On the space station Deep Space 9, Quark’s Public House, Café, Gaming Emporium, Holosuite Arcade, and Ferengi Embassy can’t legitimately be called an embassy until the Grand Nagus—namely, Quark’s brother Rom—dedicates it as such.
Not that Quark really cares about Ferengi protocol, but a well-publicized dedication ceremony will naturally draw people to the bar. Everybody loves a good open house—free appetizers, half-price drinks, door prizes, etc.—all of which Quark can write off as Embassy expenses.
It’s a win-win situation, with him on both sides of the win. There’s even a plan to display the original scroll of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition—which no one has seen for decades given that it’s been held in protective storage—and charge patrons by the minute to look at it up close.
Nothing, of course, could possibly go wrong with this big plan. Absolutely nothing at all…
In general, the post-series shared continuity stories of the 24th century Star Trek novels have been a treasure of the Trek book line. We’ve been able to witness the continued adventures of our heroes long after their respective series have ended, and in many cases, we have seen those crews evolve in new and unexpected ways.
The Deep Space Nine book series is no exception. In recent years, various characters have moved on to new assignments, new characters have arrived to take their place, and even the station itself has been replaced with a new, state-of-the-art facility.
However, sometimes it’s nice to return to a more familiar situation, and that’s what writers Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann endeavored to do with Rules of Accusation. Because of where in the timeline they set the story, Block and Erdmann took advantage of the fact that some familiar faces were visiting the station. Odo is aboard, temporarily stranded on this side of the currently-closed Bajoran wormhole, leaving him free to interact with a whole host of familiar Ferengi faces who have arrived on DS9 to celebrate the dedication of the Ferengi Embassy to Bajor, also known as Quark’s Bar.
In order to properly celebrate and lure high-paying customers to the event, Quark decides that a public display of the original Ferengi Rules of Acquisition is just what is needed. However, it is soon discovered that the supposed original on display is a forgery. Shenanigans ensue as the characters attempt to discover what happened to the original Rules of Acquisition, a search that ends up in some unlikely places around the quadrant.
There are a couple of moments that stand out to me in particular: first, when taking on the assignment of investigating the alleged theft of the Rules of Acquisition, Odo changes his form into his old Bajoran uniform and goes into investigator mode. Finally, near the end of the story, Rom temporarily resumes his old duties in Quark’s Bar, and he and his brother share a look of fond remembrance that was actually quite touching.
I really do enjoy the expanded continuity of the current Star Trek novels, but there are times I yearn for stories that feel like the episodes of the shows did. In that respect, Rules of Accusation succeeds. It is a lot of fun to see these characters back in familiar roles, and the story itself is a lot of fun with a resolution that I did not see coming.