Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999): Season 2, Episode 7 - Rules of Acquisition - full transcript

A group of Ferengi are playing a game of tongo with Dax. Pel, a new waiter in the bar, has a great idea to ensure the customers are always thirsty. Suddenly Quark gets a message on subspace from Grand Nagus Zek. Zek has chosen him as the chief negotiator for the new business opportunities that will open up in the Gamma Quadrant. As his first task he must negotiate with the Dosi to acquire 10.000 vats of tulaberry wine. Zek believes the wine can be the key to opening the markets in the quadrant. He tries to convince Sisko and Kira to have a conference on DS9. Pel manages to put himself forward as assistant of Quark. He seems unusually devoted to Quark.

You know the rules, Morn.
No sleeping on the Promenade.

Come on, come on, come on.

The risk is to you, Lieutenant.

l could think better
without your hand on my thigh.

How did that get there?

What's it going to be?
Confront, evade, acquire, retreat?



- Doesn't she ever lose?
- How did you learn to play tongo?

Curzon played it all the time.

So it's Curzon whose beating us,
not this female.

- This female is a better player.
- And a prettier one, too.

Maybe, but l still prefer
a Ferengi female.

One who never wears clothes,
never talks back

and never plays tongo!

ls that how you prefer your women?
Naked and submissive?

- You find such a lifestyle appealing?
- Don't you wish?

l do. l really do.

The opening risk is at five strips
of latinum.

The purchase is three,
the sell is eight.

This isn't the proper time!

- l'm trying to concentrate.
- lt's this insolent waiter's fault.

- l think you should try this.
- What is it?

A way to double profits.

- He immediately reached for his drink!
- So l did.

You don't realise you're thirsty.
What are they?

Gramilian sand peas. They inhibit
the secretion of the salivary glands

while drying out the tissues
of the tongue. lt works every time.

lf you replace your dishes
of lokar beans with these,

your customers' glasses
will never be empty.

- What's your name again?
- Pel.

What do you think about my idea?

l agree with the 59th Rule.
''Free advice is seldom cheap''.

But the 22nd rule says, ''A wise man
can hear profit in the wind''.

- l see you know your rules.
- All 285 of them.

The commentaries on them, as well.
l don't plan on being a waiter forever.

- Good, then you're fired.
- Shut up, Rom.

When it comes to business,
my brother has the lobes of a female.

What made you take a job here
at the station?

l wanted to learn from the very best.

Which brings to mind the 33rd rule:

''lt never hurts to suck up to the boss''.

The Grand Nagus Zek's
personal subspace frequency.

l wonder what he wants.

Why look so surprised?
l told you l'd be back.

- l looked forward to your return.
- Still the perfect toady, Quark?

- l try to be.
- Listen carefully.

The Ferengi expansion into
the Gamma Quadrant is about to begin.

l'd like you to be my chief negotiator.

- Me?
- That's right.

lt's an opportunity to make more profit
than you ever dreamed of.

All you have to do is earn it.

Some Hupyrian beetle snuff?

l don't think so.

Suit yourself. More for me.

Little late, aren't we?

You wanted to see me?

You're planning a business conference
at the station?

With the Dosi,
a race from the Gamma Quadrant.

A profitable opportunity
for all concerned.

For the Ferengi.

Are you implying something, Major?

Not at all.

The Ferengi reputation speaks for itself.

A reputation for honesty and decency
and reliability.

You always know what to expect
when you do business with a Ferengi.

Which you don't if you're smart.

- You've made your point, Major.
- As misinformed as it may be.

Besides, how we do business
is no concern of yours.

Unless you conduct it here.

ln other words, Zek,

if you hold your negotiations here

and you cheat the Dosi,

you'll never set foot
on this station again.

Did anyone ever tell you
your eyes shine

with the brilliance
of Kibberian fire diamonds?

- Not that l recall.
- Well, they do.

So, tell me, Major.

Could Bajor use 50000 kilos
of brizeen nitrate?

Of course we could. We could fertilise
the entire northern peninsula.

l've come into possession
of 50000 kilos of brizeen nitrate.

To show you how much
your co-operation means to me,

l'll let you have the entire shipment.

The Dosi must still be fairly treated
while they're here.

- You have my word.
- Good.

Then it's settled.
Let's see.

50000 kilos at...
25% of our usual price.

You said you were giving it to them.

You're right, Commander.
We're all friends here.

- l'll let you have it at cost.
- l have a better idea.

Why not consider the nitrate
as a gift to the people of Bajor?

That doesn't sound very profitable.

- lt depends.
- On what?

On whether you want to conduct
business here or not.

Your negotiating skills
aren't bad for a human.

Your nitrate will be delivered promptly.

Anything else you need,
come see me personally.

l've been involved in some
very profitable opportunities in my time,

but my lobes are telling me
that this may be

the most profitable opportunity
in Ferengi history.

And part of those profits will be mine.

Profit, fame, power.
As much as you want.

Tell me, Nagus,
what exactly is this great opportunity?

l can sum it up in one word:

- Tulaberries?
- Exactly.

They're the main ingredient
in tulaberry wine.

Your job will be to purchase
10000 vats from the Dosi.

Within a year,
we'll have made tulaberry wine

the most popular drink in their entire
sector. That's enough!

l like it. Very distinguished.

How will tulaberries be the most
profitable opportunity in history?

- Do l have to spell it out for you?
- lf you don't mind.

They'll establish a Ferengi presence
inside the Gamma Quadrant.

Once we get our foot in the door...

...they'll never get it out.

Yes, l see.

Tulaberries, Quark.


- l wonder what they taste like.
- Who cares?

They'll get a Ferengi foot
in the Gamma Quadrant door.

lt'll be your foot, brother.

l'm going to make history, Rom,
and l'm going to be rich.

l have the Grand Nagus to thank for it.
He must really like me.

Just remember one thing: ''The bigger
the smile, the sharper the knife''.

- 48th Rule of Acquisition.
- l warned you about that fellow.

Do you mind telling me
what you meant?

Why did the Nagus put you in charge
of such a lucrative opportunity?

He knows l have the lobes
for business.

l won't have my brother insulted.
You're fired.

Shut up! Go on.

lf the negotiations are profitable,
the Nagus is a hero.

lf they fail, he'll need someone
to take the blame.

All l'm saying is be careful.

Ridiculous lies!
He's jealous of your success.

lf something goes wrong,
it'll be my fault.

- Then you'll need help, brother.
- Yes.

- Someone to serve as your consultant.
- Yes.

- Someone like me.
- No.

l've been thinking about what you said.

l could use some help
during these negotiations.

l accept.
Then we're partners.

Not quite. l don't need a partner.
l need an assistant.

- l get 25%.
- 15.

- 20.
- Done.

Brother, what can l do to help?

You want to help?
Table six is waiting.

- How do l look?
- Nervous.

What have l got to be nervous about?

Zek should be nervous
with Quark as his chief negotiator.

lf you ever do that again...

lf you do that again,
l'll stick that brizeen right up your...

- Here they come!
- Whoa!

Don't worry.
Just a minor disagreement.

So er...can l get anyone
something to eat?

All right. Erm...let's go over our offer.

The Ferengi are interested in buying
10000 vats of tulaberry wine.

ln exchange, the Dosi will receive
a very fair trade package.

There are interesting items on that list.
A subspace field modulator...

- We'll give you 5000 vats.
- l'm afraid that won't be enough.

Our vast distribution network
in the Gamma Quadrant

will need 10000 vats.

l'm offering you 5000 vats.
l suggest you take it.

The Nagus will never agree.

This is a waste of time.
We should be talking directly to Zek.

Why do you bother talking
to this insignificance?

See what you've done?
You've made me look foolish.

- l didn't mean to.
- Then bring us Zek.

The Nagus asked Quark
to represent him.

Are you implying that Zek is
too important to negotiate with us?

Because if we kill you...

...Zek will have to talk to us.

You want to do business
with the Ferengi, you talk to Quark.

How about it?
Do we say 10000 vats?

We'll think about it.

Can l help you?

What is it?

- lt's beautiful.
- lt's latinum.

l really can't accept this.

Did Zek think this would get him

lt doesn't stop a Ferengi from trying.

- You sound like you admire them.
- l suppose in a way l do.

l don't understand your attitude
about the Ferengi.

You don't socialise with them
the way l do.

l can't think of a single race
l've enjoyed more.

Did anyone ever tell you
you have very strange taste?

l admit they crave profit

and their behaviour towards women
is primitive.

They're greedy, untrustworthy trolls.
l wouldn't turn my back on one of them.

Neither would l. But once you
accept that, they can be a lot of fun.


- Evade.
- Retreat.

- Acquire.
- Confront.

Did l say ''acquire''?
l meant ''evade''.

- You said ''acquire''.
- l meant ''evade''.

- Let's play the round over.
- That's fair.

Who asked you? And shouldn't you be
plotting strategy for the negotiations?

- l've thought of nothing else.
- That's why you're losing.

l think by tomorrow,
we should have an agreement.

10000 vats of tulaberry wine
aren't enough. We want 100000.

l'm not sure they'll even agree
to sell us 10000.

100000 vats would mean more profit
for them and for us.

Do as l say or l'll take over
the negotiations.

l think raising the stakes
is a brilliant idea.

lt'll show we mean business.
No wonder Quark says you're a genius.

- He says that, does he?
- All the time.

Very touching.
Now bring me some fresh tube grubs.

Right away.

l believe the next challenge
goes to you.

l think l'll pass on this round.

Such loyalty must be expensive.

- You can't buy that kind of loyalty.
- You can where l come from.

- ls the Nagus always this impatient?
- He wants results.

But he's not making my job any easier.

100000 vats.
That's a lot of tulaberries.

You'll get them.

You're good. And with me helping you,
you're even better.

Why are you being so nice to me?

For 20% of your profits.
Why else?

- Fair enough.
- Quark, where are my grubs?


This is what l call fresh.

- The Replimat has a Ferengi menu?
- No, l like to try new things.

That's unusual for a Ferengi.

- l never heard of a Trill playing tongo.
- That makes us both unusual.

l was impressed by your show of loyalty
to Quark last night.

He deserves it.

Another Ferengi would have let Zek
pick him to pieces.

But you're not like
any other Ferengi l've ever met.

Quark really likes you.
He talks about you all the time.

He once convinced me
to go up to a holosuite with him.

He recreated the bedroom
l slept in as a child.

Most of the details were wrong,
but it was a sweet gesture...

- ...until he tried to kiss me.
- That sounds like Quark.

l don't care what anybody says.
l love him.

- So do l.
- You really do, don't you?

l've seen the way you look at him.

Keep your voice down.
He doesn't even know l'm a female.

- You're a woman?
- Please lower your voice.

l knew you were different.

- l've never met a Ferengi woman.
- You probably never will again.

Women can't leave the house
or wear clothes...

- And you wanted more.
- Why not?

l'm as smart as any man.

l made myself a pair of lobes
and became one.

Why come here?

To acquire profit, of course.
There's one thing l wasn't counting on.

Falling in love with Quark.

- What do you think l should do?
- l don't know.

But l do know there's more to life
than profit.

Pel, it's time. We don't want
to keep the Dosi waiting. Hurry.


Excuse me.

Did the shipment of brizeen nitrate
arrive on time?

- Yes, it did.
- And here you are to thank me.

Have a seat.

- l stopped by to return this.
- ls something wrong with it?

lt's lovely.
l just can't accept it.

Then l suppose a night of wild romance
is out of the question?

- That's right.
- Just thought l'd ask.

Dax must be crazy.

Nice view, isn't it?

The negotiations are already over?
Let's see the contract.

- There is no contract.
- No contract?

You offered to buy 100000 vats,
didn't you?

That's when they left.
The station.

- l begged them to stay.
- This is a complete catastrophe!

This was your big chance
and you blew it!

You may have harmed Ferengi
opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant!

We said we'd get you the tulaberries
and that's what we're going to do.

We'll travel to the Gamma Quadrant
and get the Dosi to sign the contract.

How do you plan to get there?

- We'll take your ship.
- My ship?

l suppose you expect Maihar'du
to pilot it for you.

l can pilot the ship.

lt's up to you.
Do you want the tulaberries or not?

All right. You can use my ship,
but l'm warning you, Quark:

get the Dosi to sign that contract

or you'll be tending that worthless
little bar for the rest of your life!

l've waited my whole life
for an opportunity like this.

So have l.

- lt hasn't turned out how l planned.
- lt's not over yet.

l still don't understand why the Nagus
is insisting on 100000 vats.

Neither do l.

You think he's trying to sabotage
the negotiation?

- Why would he?
- l have no idea.

He knows more than he's letting on.

- About what?
- Everything.

The tulaberries, the Dosi,
the Gamma Quadrant.

lf you figure out what he's up to,
tell me.

Don't worry, l will.

The only thing l've done right
is pick you as my consultant.

l'm glad you feel that way.

lf we can only make some profit.

Quark, there's something
you should know.

l know what you're going to say.
lt's no secret.

You've been a great help,
but you agreed to a 20% share

- and that's all you're going to get.
- l see.

''Never place friendship above profit.''

- 21 st Rule of Acquisition.
- l'm glad you agree.

Go, just go!

- Feeling a little overwhelmed?
- l'm glad someone notices.

- When's Quark due back?
- How should l know?

He doesn't even bother to insult
me any more.

lt's Pel, that flabby-eared interloper.
He's stealing my brother's affections.

You're better off.

Would you let someone
steal your brother?

l don't have a brother.
Not that l know of.

But if you did?

l suppose if l did have a brother,

even one as worthless as Quark,

l wouldn't let anyone come between us.

There must be something here
l could use against him.

l want to supervise all operations.

- That's ridiculous.
- Then find another partner.

l said no!

Are you enjoying yourselves,
little Ferengi?

- How could we not?
- What is this place, Zyree?

This is where opportunities are made.

- l thought it was a party.
- This is all about profit.

Like the Ferengi, the Dosi are
very serious when it comes to profit.

You. Take him away.

Very serious.

Look who finally showed up.

lt's about time.

- Where are you going?
- To get serious about profit.

lt's you, Ferengi. Aren't you
on the wrong side of the wormhole?

lt certainly feels that way.

l need your thumbscan on this lucrative
contract and l can go home.

You had your chance.

- Go away!
- Not until we finish our discussion.

You are starting to annoy me.


l should have killed you
on that station.

You didn't because you recognise
a good opportunity when you see one.

Just put your thumbscan here.

You can have the 10000 vats.

- 100000.
- That's impossible!

- l'm not leaving till l get it.
- Fine. Then stay.

We'd be more comfortable
on the ship.

l want to be here in case
lnglatu changes his mind.

- Wait!
- What is it?

- The mattress!
- What about it?

- lt looks lumpy.
- lt's very comfortable.

- l can't sleep on a lumpy mattress.
- Try it for yourself.

- What side do you want?
- What are you doing?

- Getting undressed.
- You're going to sleep?

l'm tired.

Shouldn't we discuss
rules of strategy?

There's nothing to discuss.

You know what
the 103rd Rule of Acquisition says.

- ''Sleep can interfere...''
- l don't care!

- Wait!
- What is it now?

- First a toast.
- To what?

- To profit, of course.
- Of course.

- lt's warm in here.
- lt must be the wine.

l hope so.

l was impressed with the way
you handled lnglatu.

l was good, wasn't l?

- Let's get to bed.
- Wait!

The look on his face
when you knocked over the barrel.

That was risky.

''The riskier the road,
the greater the profit.''

- You really know your rules.
- And you have a very nice smile.

l do?

Quark, l have something to tell you.

- l'm not interrupting anything?
- No, definitely not!

- Are you sure?
- Positive!

- l'll come back tomorrow.
- Wait!

- This is a misunderstanding.
- You seem to be busy.

Busy? Don't be ridiculous.

We can't wait to hear
what you have to say.

We could use the company.
lsn't that right?


lnglatu will never sell you 100000 vats
of tulaberry wine

because he can't.

lf he can't, who can?

There aren't that many vats
on the planet.

- Then we're finished.
- Not necessarily.

lf you really want 100000 vats,

l can put you in touch
with the right people.

- For a price, of course.
- Of course.

l always said
you were my favourite Dosi.

Who do we have to see?

- The Karemma.
- Who's the Karemma?

- An important power in the Dominion.
- What's that?

lf you want to do business
in the Gamma Quadrant,

you have to do business
with the Dominion.

''The most profitable opportunity
in Ferengi history.''

But Zek didn't mean tulaberries.
He meant the Dominion.

That's why he sabotaged negotiations.

He wanted to use the Dosi
to get to a member of the Dominion.

- We need to talk.
- We are talking.

Don't you want to know
why l kissed you?

- You never kissed me.
- Yes, l did.

l don't want to discuss it.
Let's concentrate on the Dominion.

l wish Zyree had told us more.

Maybe it's some planetary alliance
or trading consortium.

Whatever it is, it's important
and l want a piece of it.

l really wanted those tulaberries.

My trip had nothing to do
with tulaberries.

- l must speak with you, brother.
- Can't you see l'm busy?

Does the word ''Dominion''
mean anything to you?

- What have you found out?
- Please, brother, it's urgent.

Most of my information consists
of little more than hints and whispers,

but whoever learns the secret
of the Dominion, whatever it may be,

will learn the secret
of the Gamma Quadrant.

The Dosi don't know very much.

l hoped they'd lead us
to someone who does.

- What would that be worth?
- A lot.

What if l arranged a meeting between
you and a member of the Dominion?

lf you can do that,
you'll earn a percentage

of every Ferengi opportunity
in the Gamma Quadrant.

That's a lot of latinum.

Give me a name.

The Karemma.

The Karemma!

l always knew you had the lobes
for business.

- Now may l speak with you, brother?
- All right, but make it quick.

That's quite a bump you've got.

- Where's Rom?
- Right here, brother.

Luckily, there's no serious damage.

l'd like to rest here for a few minutes.

- l'll be in the other room.
- Thank you, Doctor.

- You haven't told anybody, have you?
- You mean about Pel?

Not a word.
l thought you should tell Zek yourself.

- No one will tell Zek anything.
- But she's a female.

Who wears clothes
and is trying to earn profit.

She even quotes from the sacred
Rules of Acquisition.

- Such a female must be punished.
- l know that.

- We must stop her.
- No.

You're scaring me, brother. Could it be
you have feelings for this woman?

Of course not.
Don't you see?

lf Zek learns that l've been deceived
by a female, l'd be ruined.

But if he finds out,
you're certain to be ruined.

You have to tell him. Or l will.

Let me go. l have to save you
from yourself.

What about the bar?

- You still want it, don't you?
- Don't you?

Who needs the bar
when l have the Gamma Quadrant?

l'll transfer ownership,
but only on one condition:

you never mention the truth
about Pel to anyone.

Pel? What about him?


- Where are your lobes?
- Over there.

Put them on
before somebody sees you.

No one's going to see me.

Put them on. Now.
And wrap yourself up.

- Have you finished packing?
- Am l going somewhere?

As far from the station
as possible.

- But you need me, Quark.
- Not any more.

What did you expect?
Look at you.

- You're wearing clothes.
- ls that a crime?

As a matter of fact, it is.
lt's too risky for you to stay here.

- Take this with you.
- What is it?

Ten bars of latinum.
To help you start a new life.

lf you're going to pretend you're a man,
take the profit.

This is not about profit any more.
lt's about love!

Spoken like a true female.

l love you, Quark,
and l know you care about me, too.

You'd never be happy
being a Ferengi wife.

Then come with me
to the Gamma Quadrant.

No one there cares if l wear clothes.

l'd care.

Then l guess l'd better start packing.

l guess so.

These flaked blood fleas
are surprisingly succulent.

You should try them, brother.

- l'm not particularly hungry.
- Let me guess.

Busy thinking about how to spend
that latinum we're going to earn?

- l don't blame you.
- Come.

- You said she left the station!
- l thought she did.

l couldn't leave without saying goodbye
to the Nagus.

l'm glad you did. l know how you helped
Quark during the negotiations.

l predict a big future for you, Pel.
You have the lobes for it.

You like my lobes?

- Yes, l do.
- Good. Then you can have them!

lt's a female!

- Does this mean l don't get the bar?
- Rom, out!

What's going on here?

- Leave him out of this.
- You dare give me orders?

- You knew about this all along.
- Tell me about my big future.

You have no future. You'll spend
the rest of your life in prison.


Taking business advice from a female
is a violation of Ferengi law.

- l didn't know she was a female.
- Stupidity is no excuse.

One more word from you
and you'll share her cell.

- Make it big enough for three.
- Are you threatening me?

What will your associates say
when l tell them

a female represented you
in a business negotiation?

- l didn't know she was a female.
- Stupidity is no excuse.

l see your point.

lt seems that Pel's identity
will have to remain our little secret,

- but it's going to cost you.
- My Gamma Quadrant profits.

l've always said you were
a bright fellow, Quark.

Shame on you!

l hope you're satisfied.

l'm sorry.

But when it comes to accumulating
profit, women are as capable as men.

Do me a favour
and don't tell anybody else.

l should go. l've booked passage
on an Andorian transport.

You could come with me.

- l can't.
- l know.

l guess if l can't have you,

l'll take those ten bars of latinum
after all.

ready for another night of tongo?

Haven't you lost enough for one day?

l'm talking about Pel.
She came to see me before she left.

l'm going to miss her.
So are you.

You think l'd let anyone
come between us?

Nice try, Quark,
but l know you better than that.