Chapter 1

"Are you sure you can do this?" Julian Bashir interrupted right as Miles O'Brien threw the dart, causing him to miss.

"Now that's cheating!" Miles responded. Julian laughed. They were playing one of their many dart games, and Julian was just barely ahead, and wanted to keep it that way. Quark's was pretty empty today, so he had to create his own distractions.

Just then Quark walked over, "Do you have to play that game here. You're scaring away all the customers."

"We're not scaring away anybody Quark. Look around. Your place is a mess," Bashir countered, gesturing around the bar. True to his word, Quark's bar hadn't been cleaned in days. The tables were sticky from drinks, and the floors had food all over them.

Quark responded, "It's not my fault. All my waiters quit to go back to Ferenginar. It's that stupid anomaly. It keeps getting larger and larger."

"Yes, we know," Bashir said. Then raising his voice to mock Major Kira he said, "Captain, if we don't get this under control soon it's going to destroy DS9, and then after that Bajor!"

"What was that Doctor?" Major Kira asked, having just walked in. She surveyed the room, looking disgusted by the filth, but oddly happy.

"Nothing Major," Julian responded, a little afraid.

"I thought so. Now Quark, Captain Sisko is about to declare an evacuation of all non-essential personnel. We're going to open negotiations with the Dominion. We have reason to believe that they've caused this anomaly. The Captain feels that you'll be best for the job since you've had more contact with them then the rest of us." Kira announced, suddenly looking glum. It was well known that she didn't like Quark, so she obviously didn't agree with the Captain's decision.

"Um. No thanks Major. I'll just go pack." Quark replied, looking scared.

"That wasn't a question Quark. You're in charge of the negotiations with the Dominion. You better not fail," Major Kira said quickly, then promptly left.

"Well, good luck to you Quark," Julian offered.

"All non-essential personnel, prepare for an evacuation. I repeat, prepare for evacuation," Sisko's voice came over the intercom. "All Starfleet officers should report for duty immediately."

"Thanks for letting us stay Quark," O'Brien said, then walked off, Julian right behind him.

Quark sat down on a bar stool and sighed, "This day just keeps getting better and better," he said sarcastically.

Suddenly his personal intercom blared to life, "Quark, meet me in my office. I need to go over the finer points with you," Sisko's voice came through again, then the intercom shut off.

Quark did one last look at his bar, then quickly turned and walked out. He headed straight for a turbolift. Maybe it's not to late to change Sisko's mind, thought Quark.

Just as the doors to the turbolift closed, a strange figure appeared on the promenade.

"Captain, I really don't think I'm the right person for this job," Quark said right as he walked into Sisko's office.

"Well I do, and I don't really care whether or not you're confident enough. You've already dealt with the Dominion, and you'll," Sisko responded, but before he could finish the station shook. He quickly got up and exited the office. "Report," he ordered.

"The anomaly has penetrated the shields," Dax reported.

"How many of the runabout's got away?" Sisko asked.

"All of them," Dax reported. It's just the bridge crew now. And Quark," Dax answered.

The turbolift could be heard arriving, then came suddenly into view. "What is this place. I've never been anywhere like it. And that's rare. I've been just about everywhere."