STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
“Starting Price of Rom” – By Stephen Radford
Open wide panel - close up of Quark (facing the reader) while the background reveals the edges of recognisable pylons that would notify us that we are on DS9.
He is holding up an AMAZINGLY RARE GEM STONE. It sits comfortably in his hand, coloured lights flaring with brilliance, and he is pushing it forward, closer for the reader to see.
QUARK: BEAUTIFUL, ISN’T IT?
Normal panel - we have now pulled back to a wide shot. Quark is now on the left edge of the panel, holding the GEM, staring at it in wonder.
We see ROM in the background, standing by the office door, and to the left, angled to us is a COMPUTER SCREEN where an unfamiliar alien TRADER stared back with anticipation. He is adorned with rich garments, and carries subtle distinguishing marks oh his nose and cheeks.
TRADER: (transmission) I’M SURE IT IS, BUT I CAN’T SEE. BRING IT OVER TO THE VIEW SCREEN!
Normal panel, - Facing the view screen from behind Quark’s position as his hand SWOOPS in, giving the trader a good look. The look on the trader is one of awe, but also ponderous.
QUARK: What do you think?
TRADER: (transmission) Looks real enough. I will be there in two hours, if you can hold onto it for that long.
One third in width – Close up of Quark, glaring with excitement.
QUARK: YOU HAVE THE LATINUM?
One third in width, open panel – Close up on alien trader as he answers Quarks question - with the look that conveys that doesn’t approve of the question.
TRADER: (transmission) Wouldn’t be much of a trader without it. just as long as I can check its authenticity first. in Two hours, remember quark! End transmission.
One third in width – Rom is standing in the foreground, with Quark behind him jumping up and down now that the communications panel has fizzled to black.
Rom has a concerned look on his face, as he stares right and out of the panel.
QUARK: WE’RE GOING TO BE LATINUM-AIRES!
ROM: UH OH, SOMEONE IS COMING, BROTHER! QUICK!
* * *
One third in width, mid shot - Rom comes bounding in to Quarks position. Quark still smiling.
ROM: IT’S DOCTOR BASHIR! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
One third in width, mid shot – Quark’s face changes to concern, his eyes on the gem in his hand, his mouth wide open. Rom also has a look of alarm.
QUARK: DON’T PANIC! BE GLAD THAT IT’S NOT ODO! QUICK WHERE’S THE BOX.
ROM: DON’T KNOW! YOU HAD IT LAST.
One third in width, mid shot - Quark tosses the gem to Rom and spins around, searchingly. Rom scrambles to catch it.
QUARK: IT WAS HERE A MINUTE AGO. WE HAVE TO HIDE IT QUICK. THINK OF SOMETHING ROM!
One third in width, mid shot – Quark is out of shot now, Rom stands staring at the gem, mouth wide open.
QUARK: (OFF PANEL) WE HAVE TO HIDE IT. I CAN HEAR FOOTSTEPS.
One third in width, mid shot – Rom places the gem on his tongue. Bashir’s shadow is now in the doorway. Quark leans into shot.
QUARK: QUICK, STICK IT UNDER YOUR TONGUE.
Normal Panel, mid shot. – The two Ferengi stand side by side, not at all looking suspicious. Rom looks obviously full in the face.
QUARK: MORNING DOCTOR, WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?
ROM (VERBALLY OBSTRUCTIVE): MORG-NIG!
Normal Panel, wide shot – Bashir stands to the left, the two brothers’ stand side by side (angled so we see both).
BASHIR: THERE YOU ARE! WITH NO ONE BEHIND THAT BAR, I’D SAY YOU’D BE STRUGGLING FOR PROFIT.
Normal Panel, wide shot – Quark slaps Rom on the back, in a false pretence of annoyance. This inadvertently makes Rom GULP and SWALLOW the gem stone.
QUARK: ROM, YOU IDIOT! YOU TOLD ME NIT’CHA WAS COVERING FOR YOU... I’M SORRY DOCTOR; HE’LL BE OUT IN A MINUTE.
* * *
One third in width, close up – Bashir stands in the door, raising her hands in a “no worries” gesture.
BASHIR: WHENEVER YOU’RE READY, I HAVE AN HOUR BEFORE THE URIDIAN TRANSPORT ARRIVES TO PLEAD FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES. ANYTIME BEFORE THEN, WILL BE APPRECIATED.
Two thirds in width, wide shot – Bashir’s has now left, Quark and Rom stand down their pretence, and appear to breath a little easier. Quark’s hand hovers under Rom’s chin.
ROM: BROTHER, WHO’S NIT-CHA?
QUARK: I MADE HER UP, CAN’T BLAME ME FOR HAVING AN IMAGINATION. OKAY, NOW SPIT UP!
ROM: I SWALLOWED IT, BROTHER.
QUARK: A BIT OF POLISH WILL SOON SORT THAT… (Cuts off)
One third in width - close up on Rom as he faces forward with a guilty look on his face. Quark leans into him close from the side.
QUARK: …YOU DID WHAT?
ROM: YOU BASHED ME! I SWALLOWED IT!
One third in width. Quark walks away, with hands punching the air.
QUARK: I DON’T BELIEVE IT. YOU SWALLOWED IT... OUT OF ALL THE THINGS THAT COULD HAPPEN!
One third in width. Quark is left of the panel facing an empty replicator pad:
QUARK: COMPUTER, SALT WATER... HEAVY ON THE SALT.
Normal sized panel, wide shot. Rom stands worried at the left of the panel, while quark bends over while the glass materialises on the replicator platform.
ROM: NO, BROTHER, YOU KNOW THAT WILL MAKE ME FEEL SICK!
QUARK: PRECISELY. HOW ELSE DO YOU EXPECT ME TO GET THE GEM BACK!
Normal sized panel, wide shot. Rom lurches back as Quark lunges the glass towards him.
ROM: NO! I WON’T DO IT! THERE HAS TO BE
A BETTER WAY.
QUARK: LIKE WHAT? ASK DOCTOR BASHIR, WHO WOULD EXPOSE US FOR CARRYING ILLEGAL JEWELS? I DON’T THINK SO!
* * *
One third panel, long shot. Quark sets the glass down while he has a moment of inspiration. Rom looks ill at his brother, obviously dreading anymore harassment.
QUARK: TURN AROUND BROTHER, I HAVE A BETTER IDEA.
One third in width, long shot as before. Rom has now turned the other way, facing left out the panel, he stands holding his hand flat against his throat.
QUARK GRABS A HOLD OF ROM, AROUND HIS WAIST.
ROM: I THINK I CAN FEEL IT MOVING DOWN!
QUARK: WHEN I LIFT, YOU HEAVE!
One third in width, long shot as before. Quark wrenches poor Rom off the ground, the weight makes Quark lean back slightly. Rom starts to heave.
QUARK: HEAVE! BRING ME GEM STONES!
Normal panel – Rom sits at the table, looking even more queasy. Quark passes him a drink.
CAPTION: Moments later.
QUARK: HERE DRINK SOME LEMONADE, MIGHT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER.
ROM: THANKS BROTHER.
Normal panel – Rom splutters a mouthful out, spray comes out like a jet (bleeding out of the panel). Quark can be seen on the right looking evil having given Rom the salt water.
ROM: (SFX) SPLUTTER!
QUARK: CAN’T BELIEVE YOU FELL FOR THE OLD SALT WATER TRICK!
Wide panel – Rom and Quark are walking along the habitat ring. Quark carries a distinct look in his eyes, knowing that his brother might not like where they are going. Rom is oblivious, but still looks a little pale.
QUARK: HURRY, THE DOCTOR SAID THE URIDIAN MEDICAL TRANSPORT WOULD BE HERE ABOUT NOW. I THINK THEY CAN HELP US.
ROM: ANYTHING, AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T INVOLVE SALT. YOU’RE HAVING TOO MUCH FUN AT MY EXPENSE.
QUARK: NOT MUCH. BESIDES, IT’S EITHER URIDIAN FIELD-MEDICS, OR I WOULD HAVE TO HANG YOU UP-SIDE-DOWN OVER THESE RAILINGS.
ROM: FIELD MEDICS, YOU SAY?
* * *
Normal panel, wide shot – Quark is facing the Uridian Captain, explaining his predicament. Rom stands at the back, waiting, with a worried look on his face. We can see tools laid out on a table in the foreground. They look primitive to Starfleet standards. One medic is standing beside Rom and is scanning him.
CAPTION: minutes later.
URID-CAPTAIN: JUST, HOW RARE IS THIS GEM.
QUARK: OH, RARE ENOUGH. BEEN IN OUR FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS. I’D BE HAPPY TO IN BURST YOU FOR YOUR LABOURS. NAME YOUR PRICE.
URID-CAPTAIN: HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH?
One quarter panel, close up on Quark, trying to look emotionally attached to his words.
QUARK: OH, JUST SENTIMENTAL VALUE. WILL 2 STRIPS OF LATINUM DO?
One quarter panel, close up on the Uridian Captain, with one eye slightly closed, the other one wide open with cunning. We get the idea he isn’t very fair.
URID-CAPTAIN: I HAVE A BETTER IDEA.
Normal panel, wide shot – In the background, a Uridian medic takes a hold of Rom, holding a Phaser to his side. Quark in the foreground stands back in shock.
QUARK: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
URID-MEDIC: IT’S A GANN STONE CAPTAIN, VERY RARE VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE.
URID-CAPTAIN: I DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT FERENGI’S HAD A SENSITIVE SIDE WHEN IT CAME TO PROFIT. SEND THIS PATHETIC CREATURE BACK. I THINK THAT RARE GEM WOULD PAY FOR A
LOTMORE THAN TWO STRIPS OF LATINUM, BY FAR.
Normal panel - as before. Quark’s body is de-materialising. Rom now looks even more terrified than before, still being held by the medic. The captain is now holding a medical scalpel, touching the shining nib with his other hand in awe.
SFX: WHHHEEEERROOOSH! (Transporters)
URID-CAPTAIN: GET THE OPERATING TABLE READY. THIS RARE GANN STONE IS SURE TO HELP WITH OUR UPGRADES ELSEWHERE. FORGET THE FEDERATION.
Open panel - showing the edge of Deep Space Nine docking ring from space, as the Uridian ship departs swiftly.
Two thirds wide panel - Benjamin Sisko’s office. Ben is standing by his window while he listens to a frantically concerned Quark who is leaning across the desk.
QUARK: CAPTAIN, WE MUST GET MY BROTHER BACK. MY…ERM, THIS STATION CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT HIM. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WILL DO WITH HIM.
SISKO: DON’T WORRY, THEY WON’T GET VERY FAR.
* * *
Open panel, normal sized box. We see the U.S.S. Defiant, moving away from the station at high warp.
SISKO: (boxed NARRATION) WHEN WE GET BACK, maybe you can explain, the real reason why you want Rom back to quickly, and why you were over there in the first place.
Normal panel, on board the Uridian ship. Rom is strapped to a table, he has a mask over his face, but still he is struggling. We see Uridian doctors wearing primitive masks. They wait for him to relax. Their scanners at the front of the room have a display of the Gem stone from a previous scan; it is inside Rom’s digestion tube.
URID-DOC: ADMINISTER THE CHLOROFORM. JUST THINK. THIS COULD BE OUR LAST OPERATION WITH THESE TOOLS. FROM WHAT I HEAR, WE’RE GOING TO GET GOOD TRADE FROM THE ROMULANS.
One third in width, close up – the doctor is positioned far left of the panel, while a Phaser moves in slowly from behind.
ODO: I’D HATE TO DENY YOUR DREAMS, BUT THIS WILL HAVE TO END, NOW.
Open panel, One third in width – Long shot now shows all Uridian doctors, with security personnel standing behind with a Phaser on each one. Rom removes his mask, all drowsy.
ROM: Get me out of here, please!
One quarter width panel. Extreme close up of Sisko’s face. They are back on Deep Space Nine.
SISKO: I THOUGHT YOU BOTH WOULD WANT TO SEE THIS. I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN.
Normal panel, centred on page, Long shot of Sisko, standing over the gem stone with a Phaser. The Gem stone is in the process of vaporising, the sound of the Phaser is emphasised. Over the watchful eyes of Rom and Quark who stand on either side of Sisko. They appear horrified at the event that takes place.
One quarter panel, Long shot – Quark and Rom walking off out of Sisko’s office. Sisko stands on the side, grinning, knowing Quark may have learnt something from this.
QUARK: REMIND ME TO GAG YOU NEXT TIME WE HIT A SMALL BARGAIN.
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