A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

A Great Material Continuum Carol

The Potemkin was on light duty after the recent events with the Ascendant and the Borg. They were supervising incoming and outgoing traffic to a Non-Aligned Worlds Summit on Betazed. The Grand Nagus of Ferenginar, Rom, asked Starfleet for conduct home to deal with some growing issues in the Ferengi Alliance. In the Nagus's honor, a reception was being thrown in the Deck 1 Observation Lounge. The spirit of the occasion was marred a bit by an argument between Rom and Quark, his brother and newly minted Ambassador to Bajor. Rom had decided to take the commerce out of "Commerce Day," the most important Ferengi holiday that involved massive buying sprees.

Why the disagreement between the two brothers heated up, Melina noticed a flashing light that informed her that her station had received a hail. She was about to report this to the captain when a touch of phaser fire hit the Potemkin. Warp called for the viewscreen to be piped to the Observation Lounge. The assembled guests were soon greeted by the sight of a fully clothed Ferengi female - who demanded that the Grand Nagus be handed over to her at once! She introduced herself as Dil of the Marauder Skrooj, the temporary executive officer of a feminist commune who had decided to vote the Grand Nagus out of office. Warp defended Rom, saying that Dil had no legal right for this course of action and had attacked a Federation vessel.

The conversation was not going well when Melina received yet another hail. A large pink alien in expensive clothing with a monocle over one of his three eyes greeted the captain warmly. When questioned as to his identify and purpose, he replied that he was Fezziwig of the Fezziwig Syndicate and that he had come to claim some property. He soon identified the property in question - Rom! Fezziwig claimed that he had bought at auction the office of Grand Nagus and therefore technically owned Rom. When Quark said that the Ferengi Commerce Authority would certainly over turn this transaction as non-legitimate, Rom responded that he had deregulated the FCA for being too powerful. Even more surprising, Fezziwig revealed that seller of all of this was none other than Ishka of Risa - Rom and Quark's mother!

With things quickly spiraling out of hand, there was another surprise twist when a Gorn ship called the Krachit appeared out of warp and hailed the 'Tem. The Gorn Captain, also named Krachit, claimed to be seeking the Grand Nagus. Apparently Rom's son, Nog, had installed a holosuite on the Gorn ship and Krachit's son, Tam, had been injured when he turned the safeties off. Indifferent to the reasoning that it was his son's fault for turning off the safeties, Krachit launched an energy draining net over the 'Tem so it could not escape. Warp fired back that this was hostile action against a Federation vessel, but the Gorn merely retorted that the 'Tem would have to hand over the Nagus or perish before cutting the channel.

Quark berated his brother for the problems his reforms had brought about - deregulating the FCA had caused someone to buy his office, offering advances to women and caused feminists to demand his head, and allowing Nog to enter Starfleet had brought a Gorn down on them. Warp tried with Fezziwig, the least demanding of the three claimants, but was cut off by a hail from Ishka on Risa. She revealed that she had, in fact, sold the office of Grand Nagus. However, she did it because she heard of the women wanting to string up the Nagus. By selling it to Fezziwig, it left him to deal with the feminists while Rom had time to go back to Ferenginar and reassert his authority. Unfortunately, the Gorn problem was not her doing and she had no advice about how to fix it.

Warp contacted Dil and informed her that Fezziwig was the new Grand Nagus. Her ship immediately turned on Fezziwig, leaving the 'Tem to deal with the Gorn problem. Arnet stepped forward with a possible solution. He forced Rom and Quark to come up with an apology and had Warp hail Krachit. Claiming to be a mediator on the Grand Nagus's behalf, the good doctor sent the sincerest apologies of the Nagus and stated that Rom had even hired him to heal Tiny Tam's leg in recompense. Krachit mulled this over and finally accepted the deal. The energy net was retracted and the 'Tem and its guest could go their merry way.

With the situation all resolved, Rom expressed that he had seen the light - in the Ferengi way. He was going to reinstate the FCA, take back gender reforms, and order Nog to leave Starfleet. Quark declared happily that it was a Great Material Continuum miracle. Arnet, the negotiator, could only crash into one of the command chairs and exclaim "As Tiny Tam would say - Gorn bless us, everyone!"

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