With all his debts about to catch up to him at once, a desperate Quark agrees to enter the dangerous world of weapons trading with his treacherous cousin Gaila and feared weapons merchant Hagath.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Gaila tries to invoke this in his "one star in the sky" speech to Quark, but Quark disagrees. Later, Quark considers the death of the Regent (and the narrow escape of Hagath and Gaila) to be a small price to pay for the lives of 28 million people—a sentiment Sisko agrees with.
- Bad Dreams: Quark's conscience gets the better of him, and he dreams of his friends being killed by the weapons he's selling.
- Badass Boast: Quark gets off thanks to Hagath's old connections with the Bajoran government due to his business with the Resistance during the occupation. But Sisko makes sure he knows he's skating on super thin ice.Sisko: You'd better hope there isn't a next time, mister. I have cut you a lot of slack in the past. I even looked away once or twice when I could have come down hard on you, but those days are over. Now we may not get you for selling weapons, but you so much as litter on the Promenade and I will nail you to the wall!
- Call-Back: This is not the first time that Gaila and his weapons business have been mentioned. Dax also brings up that time he tried to kill Quark.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: Quark's conscience starts to act up when the Regent says he wants to kill thirty million people, earnestly asking "can't you just wound some of them?" Hagath covers for this by saying that Quark was making a joke, but Ferengi humor doesn't translate well.
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: Quark contacts the Regent's chef to prepare a sumptuous dinner of all his favorites. Hagath pretends outrage, asking if Quark is trying to scuttle the deal."This?! He's going to enjoy this?! [samples a plate] Well he should, it's delicious."
- Even Evil Has Standards: Quark has done some reprehensible things, but even his conscience can't justify ending 28 million lives.
- Everyone Has Standards: While the crew is usually content to roll their eyes at Quarks greedy nature, his entry into weapons trading is the straw that breaks the camel's back. All of the Starfleet crew immediately stop coming to the bar. Even Jadzia freezes him out.
- Evil Brit: Hagath.
- Evil Is Hammy: Hagath sells weapons, not subtlety.
- Faux Affably Evil: Hagath, again. He appears jovial and kind, seeing to it that all of Quark's debts are settled. Just don't make him lose his temper.
- Hero Insurance: Averted for Quark, who finds himself in debt to Sisko at the end of the episode for the firefight that caused damage to part of the station. Sisko is open to a payment plan, thankfully, and Starfleet is not a creditor that is liable to resort to thuggish measures unlike his previous ones.
- I Can Live With That: Quark's reaction to the narrow escape of Hagath and Gaila from the station. He also has this reaction to the death of the Regent:Quark: I can live with that, too. And I can think of twenty-eight million other people who won't mind either.
Sisko: Twenty-eight million... and one.
- It Will Never Catch On: Hagath and Gaila reminisce about how people said they were crazy for wanting to sell weapons to the Bajoran resistance.Hagath: "What chance do they have? Invest in a winner, sell to the Cardassians."
- Loan Shark: Quark is facing a lot of business debts about to come due, with what are implied to be dire consequences if he doesn't pay up.
- Loophole Abuse: Quark knows that Odo would never allow any weapons onto the station, so buyers are given demonstrations using holographic replicas instead. All the actual shipping takes place outside Federation territory, so they can't get busted by Starfleet.
- Mood Whiplash: The A-Plot is Quark wrestling with his conscience as his new employers openly discuss ending thousands to millions of lives for profit. The B-Plot? O'Brien's baby won't stop crying.
- Playing Both Sides: Hagath and Gaila occasionally do this during planetary wars, but note that it's very risky.
- Rejected Apology: Quark tries to make amends with Dax before sabotaging the deal, knowing he will likely die, but she rebuffs him. She's much more receptive, though, afterwards when everything is back to normal.
- War for Fun and Profit: Subverted - Quark acts like he's willing to sell to both sides, but he's really setting it up so that the leaders of both sides will "accidentally" run into each other and start shooting.
- Worth It: Implied several times regarding Quark's screwing of the deal at the climax. If Quark died in the execution, it was worth it to stop the slaughter of 28 million people. (As he himself puts it: "One life for 28 million. Best deal I ever made.") He sheds no tears over the Regent's death when it's revealed, and he doesn't even try to wiggle out of being sent the bill for the damage dealt in the firefight, only asking for a payment plan that Sisko agrees to.
- You Have Failed Me: Hagath is extremely displeased with Farrakk, who was vacationing instead of conducting a weapons deal. Needless to say, Farrakk doesn't leave the station alive.