The 34th Rule (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, No. 23)

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9780671007935: The 34th Rule (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, No. 23)

For once, business is going well for Quark, not that anyone on "Deep Space Nine(TM) " truly appreciates his genius for finding profit in the most unlikely of circumstances. Quark is even looking forward to making the deal of a lifetime -- when he suddenly finds himself stuck right in the middle of a major dispute between Bajor and the Ferengi Alliance. It seems that the Grand Nagus is refusing to sell one of the lost Orbs of the Prophets to the Bajoran government, which has responded by banning all Ferengi activity in Bajoran space. With diplomatic relations between the two cultures rapidly breaking down, Quark loses his bar first, then his freedom. But even penniless, he still has his cunning and his lobes, and those alone may be all he needs to come out on top -- and prevent an interstellar war!

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

David George is a well-known STAR TREK: TNG scriptwriter. Armin Shimerman is the actor who plays Quark on STAR TREK: DS9.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

The universe was about to make sense.

Quark stood behind the bar and anxiously studied the display screen above the replicator. His body was rigid with tension, motionless but for his eyes as he scrutinized the data before him. He held his arms folded tightly across his chest, as though trying to insulate himself against a cold wind.

Gripped by both expectation and apprehension, Quark felt isolated, although all about him, his establishment was awash in the sounds and sights and scents characteristic of a busy night. Conversations overlapped everywhere, glassware rang as customers were served, footsteps fell noisily on the deck plating and up and down the winding metal staircases that rose to the second level. Reds and greens and indigos gyred around the walls as the spinning dabo wheel reflected the ambient artificial lighting. And the odors of the occasional exotic drink floated through the air -- as did the odors of the occasional exotic alien.

But Quark was aware of all this only in a peripheral way; his focus was the display. He examined the various readouts as tiers of white digits adjusted themselves on the dark screen, as costs and prices fluctuated according to innumerous and often unpredictable economic factors, as months of his intricate planning and manipulation advanced toward a conclusion. Every few seconds, one complicated set of matrices replaced another, causing the display to emit a soft electronic hum, and Quark's mind hummed along with it.

It's going to happen, he thought: monetary values would slide the way he had foreseen, he would arrange the final transactions in this elaborate financial dance, and it would be done. Soon, he would be one step closer -- one significant step closer -- to being able to purchase the moon he had long dreamed of owning.

On the display, one of the numbers brightened, its hue shifting from white to a vibrant orange as it jumped past a threshold Quark had earlier defined. The value decreased for an instant, but then climbed once more, causing a staccato color change: orange, white, orange again.

If it did come, Quark knew, this would be one of those moments that rarely happened by chance. In truth, at least in his own experience, it would be the type of moment that seldom occurred even when painstakingly planned. How many times had he attempted a gambit such as this? How often had he scoured the business world for just the right set of circumstances upon which to found his financial future? Uncounted times, too many times, to be sure. True, there had periodically been a measure of accomplishment -- Quark certainly felt justified in considering himself a successful businessman -- and yet the level of his achievement had never attained the scope of his ambition. By Ferengi standards -- and by his own as well -- Quark knew that he so far had been only a marginal player in the thoroughly capitalistic system in which he had been raised. But now, at last, after months of labored and complex machinations, and after a lifetime of effort, lines of communication and intention -- his intention -- threatened to converge.

Quark's mind devoured the ever-changing numbers on the screen in front of him, willing them to achieve the values necessary for the fulfillment of his plans. He remained fixed in place, waiting nervously, until the heavy shuffling of feet directly behind him prompted him to move. In a single swift motion, his hand darted up to touch a control on the smooth surface of the display, blanking the data, and he turned to find out who had come within eyeshot of his work.

It was only Morn, Quark was relieved to see. He watched as the lumbering figure dropped onto a seat on the other side of the bar and set down a tall, cobalt-blue glass. The sole menace Morn posed, Quark mused, would be if he were to end his patronage here, because Morn had been a regular in the bar for almost as long as the place had been open, Quark had come to regard the monthly payment of his tab as a long-term business asset.

"You need a refill," Quark said, nodding toward the glass, and he was surprised to find that he felt momentarily unburdened as the simplicity of bartending replaced the relentlessness of his high-risk dealmaking. He reached for the glass, but Morn pulled it away and pointed a finger inside. Quark peered over the rim and saw a small amount of a bright-yellow liquid. "Oh, you don't want that," Quark said in a tone he had cultivated over the years to imply sincerity. "There's no flavor left in it." He reached forward again, more quickly this time, and took hold of the glass just above Morn's gloved hand Quark tugged, and after a moment, Morn relented.

"You're really going through this stuff," Quark commented. He bent down behind the bar and quickly found the right bottle: short and bulbous, transparent, not even a quarter filled with what Morn had been drinking. An import hologram decorated with the circular ensign of the First Federation was wrapped about its squat neck. "I'm going to have to order another case of tranya from my supplier," Quark added as he stood and emptied the bottle into Morn's glass. He placed the exhausted container on a shelf, adding it to a motley collection of other discards. Later, he or one of his employees would dispose of these using the replicator, recycling their matter into stored energy.

While Morn picked up his glass and sampled his replenished drink, Quark took the time to scan the rest of the bar; after all, his vigilance at the display had left him standing in a manner he ordinarily avoided -- with his back to the rest of his establishment. When filled with people, Quark's demanded attention. Ears open, eyes wide, went an old Ferengi saying, reflective of the wisdom that taught that customers should be trusted precisely as much as employees should be -- which is to say, not at all.

Quark gazed about, concentrating on picking out individual sounds amid the clamor of the bar. He heard the odd admixture of sibilant and rasping speech of a pair of Gorn huddled somewhere on the upper level; the voices sounded to him like air escaping the station into space while somebody complained angrily about it. A lone Otevrel -- evidently an outcast to be this far from home and in no apparent hurry to return -- sat quietly in a far corner, one slim tendril tracing the lip of his glass with a slight, silky tone. Closer to the bar, Lieutenant Commander Dax was down from Ops to provide her amusing, sometimes biting commentary of the weekly dart match between Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashir. Intermittent flashes of light and bursts of high-pitched peals also emanated from that direction, produced by the board as darts struck it and points were scored.

And somewhere, Quark was fairly sure, Odo lurked.

Upstairs, he thought. Perhaps near the entrance to Holosuite Three. If the station's constable was still in the bar, he was stationary at present, but earlier, Quark had heard the shapeshifter come in, had heard the strange liquid rushing sound Odo made whenever he moved quickly, no matter his form. The sound, though nearly subaudible, was unmistakable to Ferengi ears. Quark had never let on to Odo that he could sometimes hear the internal flow of the changeling's fluidal anatomy. Having taken advantage of the ability on a couple of occasions, though, he thought it likely that the constable suspected the truth; of late, it appeared to him that Odo was careful to move more slowly whenever he wished to go undetected.

Quark strained for a moment to listen specifically for Odo, without result. He was about to return to monitoring the status of his deal, but the sudden cry of "dabo" stopped him. He looked past Morn and over at the gaming table, it was ringed with people, many of them smiling and laughing.

Quark glanced up at a pair of inconspicuous conve

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Shimerman, Armin; George, David R.
Published by Star Trek, New York, New York, U.S.A. (1999)
ISBN 10: 0671007939 ISBN 13: 9780671007935
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Book Description Star Trek, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1999. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. 1st Printing. Science fiction, TV-Tie in paperback, first printing, condition is very fine, appers unread, slight edge wear, a beautiful book,.*We have other titles in this genre in stock and give discounts in shipping on additional books sent in the same package, please contact us for more info.**.WRAPPED IN A PLASTIC BAG TO PROTECT CONDITION OF BOOK.Summary - For once, business is going well for Quark, not that anyone on Deep Space Nine truly appreciates his genius for finding profit in the most unlikely of circumstances. Quark is looking forward to making the deal of a lifetime - he suddenly finds himself struck roght in the middle of a major dispute between Bajor and the Ferengi Alliance. it seems that the Grand Nagus is refusing to sell one of the lowt Orbs of the Prophets to the Bajoran government, which has responded by banning all Ferengi activity in Bajoran space. With the diplomatic relations between the two cultures rapidly breaking down, Quark loses his bar first, then his freedom. But even penniless, he still has his cunning and his lobes, and those alone may be all he needs to come out on top - and prevent an interstellar war. Bookseller Inventory # 101405004

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III, David R. George; Shimerman, Armin
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