Who Mourns for Morn?
Production no.: 536
Written by: Mark Gehred-O'Connell
Directed by: Victor Lobl
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: January 31, 1998
Gregory Itzin ..............
Brad Greenquist .........
Bridget Ann White .....
Cyril O'Reilly .............
To Quark's amusement, Odo comes into the bar to have a word with Morn about the shipment of Livanian beets he's got rotting in a cargo bay. The Constable is nonplused to find that "Morn" is actually a hologram which Quark installed to sit at his usual seat while the real Morn is away on a business trip. The reason? Morn is a fixture at the bar, like a mascot, and people don't feel at home there unless they can see him in his regular spot. This would result in a loss of profits. There's another benefit for Quark: the hologram doesn't talk. "You know Morn. He never shuts up."
Dax and Sisko come in at that moment, and are shocked to see "Morn" sitting there; Sisko orders the hologram turned off. They have just gotten word that Morn's cargo ship was caught in an ion storm. Morn is dead.
A memorial service is held in Quark's, with attendees observing Lurian custom by bringing gifts of food and drink for the deceased, to sustain him in the afterlife. Quark is making sure to sell Yridian ale to the empty-handed, telling them it was Morn's favorite. The Ferengi is apparently quite choked up, especially since Morn died without paying this month's bar tab. "How inconsiderate of him," comments Odo. "...Now that your 'mascot''s gone, business will suffer."
Quark makes a speech to the crowd, full of emotion that seems at least partly sincere. He speaks about how important Morn was to him, and to everyone, as "someone we could count on for a cheerful smile, and an entertaining story." He goes on, and indicates Morn's usual chair. "I think the greatest tribute we could ever pay him would be to make sure that it is never empty." Quark pulls a man over and makes him sit in the chair. In this way, of course, he hopes to not lose any profit due to Morn's absence.
As Quark is drowning his sorrows with a Dabo girl, Sisko comes up to him and tells him that he has unsealed Morn's will. Morn left everything to Quark. "Morn," sighs Quark, overcome. "Dear, sweet Morn."
In the security office later, Odo hands Quark a PADD containing Morn's financial records. According to them, Morn was broke; Quark is disappointed and puzzled, since Morn paid his tab at the end of every month. Odo suggests that perhaps the assets from Morn's shipping business were tied up in inventory, and takes Quark down to the cargo bay, where the Ferengi learns that he is the proud new owner of several huge crates full of decomposing beets.
Odo (enjoying this) then takes Quark to Morn's quarters: perhaps there are furniture and works of art there which Quark could sell off. But all there is is a matador painting and a huge tub of bubbling mud, which was what Morn slept in. "I'm told it's excellent for the skin," Odo remarks, and exits, having had his fun.
As Quark dejectedly surveys his inheritance, suddenly a naked woman pops up from the mud. Her name is Larell, and she says that she couldn't resist slipping in, having spent so many happy hours here with "Morny". In fact, she tells Quark that she's Morn's ex-wife, having been married to him for two years. "He told me that if anything ever happened to him, he wanted you to have everything that was ever his," she purrs seductively. Larell doesn't believe Quark when he says Morn didn't leave him much. She knows that Morn had a very substantial retirement fund -- "one that could make two people very comfortable", meaning the 1000 bricks of gold-pressed latinum he won in the Lissepian lottery. "Now that he's gone, it's all ours."
Quark pumps the mud out of the tub, trying to see if there's anything else in there besides naked women, but there's nothing. Larell (now showered and dressed) suggests that perhaps Morn had some latinum somewhere on the station. Quark has a fairly good idea what she's up to, and makes it clear that the latinum is his, but Larell sweetly points out that she can contest the will and tie him up in court for years. However, she's quite willing to share. They could take a nice long vacation together. "Morn would've wanted it that way," Quark agrees.
Quark takes Dax into his confidence as they're playing Tongo later. The latinum is not on the station. But he's determined to get it, someway, somehow. "This is the break I've been waiting for, and it's been a long time in coming. I want Morn's money. I need Morn's money. I deserve Morn's money." He takes a moment to observe the beauty of latinum, its musical clink as he taps two strips together, and wonders who thought of suspending the precious liquid inside worthless gold. "Probably someone who got tired of making change with an eyedropper," Dax replies. Quark admits that he agreed to give Larell ten percent to stop her from contesting. Dax thinks something's not right. "Just keep your eyes open. Don't be fooled by a pretty face." "Not me," says Quark. Dax proceeds to win the game.
When Quark enters his quarters, he finds two sinister-looking alien men waiting. They are brothers, named Krit and Nahsk. "Do you like surprises, Quark?" Krit asks. He goes on to say that they are business associates of Morn's, and they understand that Quark has inherited Morn's estate. Morn had borrowed some money from them, which they would like repaid: 1000 bricks of gold-pressed latinum. "I had a feeling you were going to say that," Quark says. There is no documentation for the loan, of course, just Krit's word that they shook hands on it.
Quark tries to tell them that Morn's assets are tied up in various enterprises. "I hope you're not saying you don't have the money," Krit says; "That wouldn't be good," Nahsk chimes in. Quark decides to bluff them, saying that the claims against the estate are greater than the assets, and offering them a percentage. Krit, naturally, starts bargaining for a bigger share. Quark suggests forty percent, plus the matador painting. Nahsk takes it and smashes it over Quark's head. "Fifty it is," says Quark, wearing the frame. Krit and Nahsk exit after warning him not to try anything.
When Quark takes the frame off, he discovers an isolinear chip woven into the fabric of the canvas, and plucks it out. The computer identifies it as a claim slip for a storage locker in the station's assay office. Jubilantly, Quark shouts, "Morn, wherever you are, I love you!"
Odo insists that according to regulations the contents of a deceased person's locker must be inspected by station security, though Quark guesses accurately that Odo just wants to know what's in it. A deputy brings Odo the box, which is smaller than Quark hoped. He opens it, and finds a single brick of latinum. "Will that be enough to cover Morn's bar tab?" Odo inquires. Quark, however, is sure there's more where that came from. Sure enough, there are words on the bottom: "The rest is in the Bank of Bolias", along with an account number. Odo notes that the account wasn't listed in Morn's financial records, but Quark couldn't care less. He tucks the brick into his vest and happily goes off to contact the bank.
Quark runs into Larell in the corridor; she immediately starts rubbing up against him, offering him "motivation" to keep looking for the latinum, but Quark suggests that she go home and wait for him to contact her. Larell can't be got rid of that easily, however. Quark finally promises that the sooner he finds the latinum, the sooner they can take their trip together, and escapes. Continuing to his quarters, he discovers the brick missing from his jacket. "You're good," he mutters. "But I'm the only one the bank's going to give the money to." He starts repeating the account number like a mantra.
As he steps off the turbolift, Krit and Nahsk block his way. Nahsk wants to apologize about ruining the painting. Krit goes on to warn Quark that his brother has a terrible temper when things don't go their way, so they're hoping things will start to go their way soon, if Quark knows what he means. Quark does, and promises things will go their way. They finally let him go.
Quark makes it to his quarters, and goes to his computer to contact the Bank of Bolias. Suddenly a phaser is jammed into his back, by a humanoid man in an alien security uniform. "Making a withdrawal, Quark? Let me guess -- a thousand bricks of gold-pressed latinum." Apparently the man (whose name is Hain) is here to arrest Quark for conspiracy to intercept government property; the government involved is that of Luria, the property is the 1000 bricks, and Hain is from Lurian security. Even more fantastic: Morn did not win the latinum in the Lissepian lottery -- he was the crown prince of Luria, and the latinum was his bequest from the royal family when he abdicated. Quark can hardly believe his ears.
As for the will, it's been nullified, as Morn agreed to return the latinum in the event of his death. "Do me a favor, don't tell his ex-wife," says Quark, resigned. "I'm going to need a little oo-mox later." Hearing about her, Hain starts thinking fast. He tells Quark that Larell has been trying to get Prince Morn's latinum for years, and that if Quark will help apprehend her, there will be a reward. Quark perks up at this. He happens to mention the brothers as well; Hain swears he won't let them get between the royal family and their latinum. To catch them trying to get their hands on it, he tells Quark to contact the bank and have the latinum delivered here.
Quark finds Larell in his quarters; she seems scared, saying that two men have been following her. Then the door chimes, and when Quark doesn't respond, someone starts trying to bypass the lock. Quark and Larell hide as Krit and Nahsk enter; then Quark comes out to tell them the latinum is on its way. Suddenly the door chimes yet again, and the lock is picked yet again. The brothers hide, telling Quark to get rid of the person. It's Hain, saying they need to talk. Quark tries to alert him to the presence of the others, but Hain's not getting it. Krit and Nahsk step out, training a weapon on Hain. "I bet the royal family sleeps soundly knowing you're on the job," Quark tells Hain in disgust.
"Royal family?" asks Krit, amused. "What kind of lies have you been telling him, Hain?" "The usual," shrugs Hain. The three of them know each other. They also know Larell, who emerges to join them. Quark watches the reunion with some bewilderment. "We used to work together. With Morn," Larell explains. Morn wasn't a prince, Hain isn't a security agent, and Larell was never married to Morn. But the part about the latinum is true, at least.
"Ever hear of the Lissepian Mother's Day heist?" Hain asks. Quark has. Everyone on the planet was celebrating when thieves broke into the central bank and stole 1000 bricks of gold-pressed latinum. And now Quark realizes who those thieves were: this group, with the help of Morn. However, Morn ran off with the latinum. The foursome know that Morn must have stashed it somewhere to wait for the statute of limitations to expire, which it did, two weeks ago. Now, Larell proposes that the group split the latinum and go their separate ways -- the four of them, that is, not Quark. They don't need him anymore, as Hain notes, echoed by Nahsk.
The group starts discussing how to get rid of Quark, who protests that they can't kill him; they need his thumbprint to take delivery of the latinum. Nahsk produces a knife and grabs Quark's hand. Quark screams. But Hain points out that they can't walk into the cargo bay with a bloody thumb. So they do still need Quark after all. "We could split the latinum five ways," Quark suggests. "That is what you would've gotten if Morn was still alive." The others finally agree to this, though they insist on sticking with Quark until the latinum arrives.
So Quark takes them to the bar, which is otherwise empty. They start to reminisce about Morn, over their drinks. "Which one of you killed him, anyway?" Hain asks casually. It seems none of them did, and that Morn's death really was an accident. "Poor Morny," says Larell. "He always had such bad luck." As the conversation continues, Odo walks in, and Hain orders Quark to get rid of him. Quark tells Odo the bar is closed, until 1600 hours tomorrow. Odo is puzzled, but leaves.
The next day, at 1600, the crate of latinum is delivered on time. Quark takes delivery, and opens it. They all greedily ogle the piles of latinum bricks. Then as Quark leans in to start counting, he doesn't see the rest of the group pulling weapons out and pointing them at each other. Quark straightens up, and finds himself squarely in the middle of the standoff.
"Put it down, Hain," says Krit. "My brother may be slow, but if you pull that trigger, he'll kill you." Unexpectedly, Nahsk trains his weapon on Krit. "I'm not slow." He fires. So does everyone else. Quark takes cover in the only place he can: inside the crate of latinum. "Go ahead, kill each other," he says quietly, listening to the sounds of the shootout outside. Then a beam pierces the crate.
Fortunately for Quark, Odo enters the cargo bay and orders everyone to drop their weapons. The thieves surrender, and are taken into custody. Odo opens the crate to find Quark inside. The others, he informs the Ferengi, are going to prison for assault with intent to kill. "Then it's mine, all mine," Quark realizes happily. "What you're about to hear is the most beautiful sound in the galaxy." He taps two bricks together, but instead of the characteristic musical clink, they make a dull sound. When he squeezes them, they crumble into dust. Someone has extracted the latinum, leaving only worthless gold. "And it's all yours," Odo says with deep satisfaction. Quark is devastated.
In the morning, as he's preparing to open the bar, Quark looks at Morn's chair. Then he starts trying to yank it out of the floor like a madman. He is still doing this when Odo comes up behind him, smiling slightly. "There's someone here to see you." To Quark's astonishment, Morn walks in, alive and well. "Apparently he faked his own death," says Odo. "But I'll let him tell you all about it." He leaves them alone, and Morn sits back on his chair.
Quark looks at him, cutting off Morn's attempt to explain. "You set me up. You left the latinum to me because you knew I would do whatever it would take to get my hands on it. You figured I could keep the four of them off-balance long enough for them to turn on themselves. This whole thing was a scam to get them off your back, wasn't it?" Morn nods. "I could've been killed, you know." Morn has the grace to look ashamed. "And I thought we were friends." But, thinking about it, Quark has to admire Morn's plan. And of course he must know what happened to the latinum.
For answer, Morn takes an empty glass and regurgitates a drop of something into it. It's liquid latinum, which he has been keeping in his second stomach for years. "No wonder your hair fell out," marvels Quark. Morn then slides the glass to Quark, making it clear he's giving him the latinum, about 100 bricks worth. Quark is overwhelmed. "I don't know what to say. Thanks. Not that I didn't earn it after all you put me through." He smiles. "If you ever want to set me up again, feel free." Quark then leans in and starts outlining a business proposition. They do still have all that gold, and some primitive cultures actually consider it valuable.
The man Quark places in Morn's usual seat at the memorial service is Mark Allen Shepherd, who played Morn. The episode received an Emmy nomination for make-up (for Krit and Nahsk). The initial premise featured more of the regulars involved in the action. The matador painting was first seen in "In the Cards", when it was bought by Morn at the auction.