ToT: And Now For Something Completely Different

A good heist always begins with a good plan. Of course, these are Ferengi we’re talking about.

Report from Commander Two of Five to “F.D.”:

Sir, I regret to inform you that I can find no information on what First Jalot’iklar has been up to for the last week.

I thought that my cover had been discovered when I was told in no uncertain terms to disembark from the Indomitable.  At the time, I was simply grateful that I wasn’t being summarily executed.  It wasn’t until they left Deep Space Nine that I began to question the real reason I was asked to step aside.  Upon their return, I was re-invited aboard the ship, but nobody will say what had happened-you know how disciplined the Jem’Hadar are.

What I do know:  the ship had been in combat.  The damage on the ship seemed almost familiar-not polaron damage, like I might have expected if a Dominion Civil War had broken out.  Nothing like the damage inflicted by Hur’q weapons.  I do not want to speculate on the source of the damage, because if my speculation were true, the Dominion may have stirred up the one possible danger that exceeds even the Hur’q in magnitude.

There are also other rumors I’ve heard aboard Deep Space Nine while awaiting reassignment-which I realize is no longer necessary.  I hesitate to mention this, because it sounds unbelievable, but rumor has it that a number of Ferengi were spotted boarding Indomitable.  That sounds insane-why would a Jem’Hadar allow any Ferengi aboard?  Even more insane, why would a Ferengi even try to board?  I realize there is only one answer to the latter question:  profit.  But why would Jalot’iklar cooperate?

I am in no position to question him; he’s a captain in the good graces of Ambassador Odo, and I have no authority to compel answers.  It may be best to ignore this for now-if the worst possibility happens, there’s nothing we can do to prepare, and if nothing comes of it, it does not matter.

Agent Two, out.

The Dominion War in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was a running thing in the last few years of its run.  Given how much of it tended towards the “Federation is having its hind end beaten like a drum” happened, things could get pretty grim looking.  But every once in a while, we got breather episodes.  The kind that were less serious, or less war focused, just to give the viewer a break.  Some fans hated them, some fans liked them.  And several of these breathers involved the resident Ferengi, Quark, or his family-or, in a couple of cases, even more members of his species.

This is the case with the Star Trek Online episode “Quark’s Lucky Seven”.  And not to put to fine a point on it, your player captain is not the main character here.  Oh, the captain will play a role, sure, but the stars of this episode are the Ferengi-and their goal is a heist like few others.  And the subject of the heist…well, let’s leave that for spoilers below, right?

Proof that even Ferengi can be badass. I should design one sometime….

I have to say, this episode really impressed me.  I’ve said before that I’m not entirely fond of missions where your character could be regarded as window dressing, but this episode is honest about it-and honestly, it couldn’t work any other way.  For it to work, the Ferengi had to be Ferengi, and that just doesn’t work out with Starfleet or other factions are involved (beyond your captain’s short contribution).

Instead, you find yourself running a number of characters, from Leeta (the real one, not the Mirror Universe version), Rom, Quark, and a couple other Ferengi.  Not at the same time, obviously (although I think it could’ve been awesome if there had been a portion where you ran one Ferengi and another four came along as the away team).  The first part of it involves getting information from Deep Space Nine computer systems, and not in the legal way.  (It’s a heist episode!  What do you expect!?)  Once the information is obtained, the Ferengi head on off to the destination they’ve been looking for, something that could turn the war around.  The problem is that it’s on board a ship that nobody in their right minds would want to go anywhere near-an Iconian ship.

Well, Ferengi with profit on the mind can’t really be considered “sane” by most species, can they?

From there, the Ferengi go to work on a plan to steal their target from this ship-something that can alter the course of the overall conflict, and-even more importantly-made the Ferengi oodles of latinum.  And, of course, knowing the Ferengi, one can expect that they’ll be happy to share in the profits, right?

RIGHT?!

(stop laughing)

Once things have finished going wrong, it’s time for a thrilling escape-thanks to the player captain’s involvement-and a couple more secrets revealed that might get a certain species off their butts and into the action.

I suspect if I looked on the official forums, I might read some complaints about how the primary antagonists in this mission have been jobbed; these Ferengi are more or less punking the bad guys, and I’m sure there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth over it.  If so, they’re taking the episode too seriously.  The Ferengi have gotten it over in the past on the Dominion back in the DS9 series, and the point is…don’t take it too seriously; heaven knows, the actual series didn’t.  If it makes one feel better, consider the whole episode a tall tale spun by the Ferengi-wouldn’t be the first time.  But the episode should be viewed in a humorous light, even if the stakes are real.  And believe me, I played it in that humorous light-and had a smile on my face for a good chunk of the episode.  (Be sure to look over all the items in the “vault” area; some of them are quite hilarious.)

The short version:  this is probably the best episode in the arc, and possibly one of the best in the game, in my opinion.  The only down mark is the limited involvement of the player captain-understandable, true.  But that means I put it on a lower tier than some older favorites like “What Lies Beneath”.  It’s still rarefied air it’s breathing.

“Quark’s Lucky Seven” is, as stated, a breather-because the next episode is the last one in the “Victory is Life” expansion, and that’s where things get real.  Just when you thought things were as crazy as they get….

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