In which Morn dies, Quark meets some shady characters, and nobody cares about gold.
Odo is wandering by Quark’s to ask Morn to take care of his shipment of beets, which has been sitting in a cargo bay and rotting for two weeks. However, Morn is a hologram. The real Morn is away on business, but people expect to see Morn. People don’t feel comfortable drinking at Quark’s without him, and everybody knows his name. The holo-morn doesn’t chatter as much as the real morn, because it’s too expensive. It’s at this moment that Jadzia and Benjamin come in to deliver the news – the real Morn had a shuttle accident in an ion storm, and is dead.
The custom of Morn’s people is to bring gifts to the wake, and everyone is going. Worf will miss sparring with him, Jadzia used to have a crush on him, and Quark sets his waiters up to shift some Yiridian ale that wasn’t moving fast enough. We also find out that Morn had two stomachs, which he always filled up with alcohol. He arrived on the station ten years ago, during the Cardassian occupation, and stuck around. Quark’s tribute is very self-serving, but good enough to get some tears for the impassioned observer.
As it turns out, Morn left everything to Quark, as the curator of his home-away-from-home of the past decade. Morn had basically no liquid assets, they were all tied up in inventory, which at the moment is rotting beets. Odo enjoys giving Quark a runaround and talking him through all of the assets he might have. Instead of furnitre, Morn has a black velvet matador painting and a hot mud sauna. Oh, and a hot woman hiding in it. Lorel introduces herself as Morn’s ex-wife of two years, and considers herself part of Quark’s inheritance. Let’s hope desperately that this is a scam, but she does put him on to Morn’s thousand bricks of gold-pressed latinum, won from the Lisseppian lottery.
Quark gets a pretty impressive vacuum to drain the mud bath looking for it, and it’s clear that Lorel suddenly understands that she’s made a terrible mistake by letting Quark know about the latinum. At this point, Quark is on to Lorel, but since they each have enough of a claim to be inconvenient to each other if they don’t cooperate. So Quark goes to his old confidant, Jadzia, to discuss the problem. At least he has a black velvet painting.
When Quark returns home, he finds an unexpected pair of visitors, with a very genial-gangster The brothers are also here for Morns inheritance, as his business associates who loaned him some money… about a thousand bars of gold-pressed latinum. Quark argues with them over a percentage, and after getting a painting to the head, promises them 50%. With Lorel’s 10%, that leaves only 400 bricks for himself. The good news is that inside the painting was a claim slip for a storage locker in the Station assayer office.
Odo forces Quark to open it in his office, and it’s a very small locker indeed. Inside is a single brick of gold-pressed latinum, and a note about where the rest of the latinum is hidden. On the way home, he runs into Lorel, who brushes past him in a way that astute watchers of Leverage will recognize as the prelude to a later flashback that includes some pickpocketing. Although it’s rather hard to imagine where in that costume she hid the brick once she lifted it. As he repeats the account number to make sure he’s memorized, the gangster brothers sweep into the lift… to apologize about the painting, in an exceptionally threatening manner. Once he gets home, he is interrupted by a pistol and a third player in this little paper chase.
The new player is some sort of law enforcement, and Quark is being charged with conspiracy to intercept government property. The thousand bricks was neither lottery winnings, nor a business loan, but a bequest from the Lurian royal family, as Morn was the crown prince. The officer is also put off his game when Quark mentions that Lorel has shown up, but quickly rallies and claims that Lorel has been a constant claimant to the money. The brothers also throw the officer for a loop, much in the same way that Lorel was thrown off when Quark revealed he didn’t know about the money.
MIles and Julian have a brief conversation where they take keeping-Morn’s-seat-warm in stride, and then we cut back to Quark’s farce. Lorel’s waiting for him, and the brothers show up so she has to hide. Then the officer shows up, so they have to hide. Then they all get out into the open and have all their lies revealed. Hayne isn’t really an officer, the brothers and Lorel and Hayne all know each other from nine years back, when they were all partners in crime.
They all were together on the Liseppian Mother’s Day Heist, a famous theft of a thousand bricks of gold-pressed latinum, and Morn double-crossed them all. He’d stashed it waiting for the statute of limitations to expire, and just when it did, Morn went off for two weeks and got himself killed, leaving Quark in the hot seat.
So Lorel, with her pickpocketing moves, was obviously the thief of the group. The brothers are quite clearly hitters, and Hayne with his fake badge and smooth cover story, seems like the grifter. Which leaves Morn as the mastermind, and Quark as the patsy that the other four don’t need anymore… except to take delivery, which is enough to keep him alive and unmutilated.
Since nobody wants to leave the others alone before the latinum shows up, they all repair to Quark’s bar so that nobody will have the chance to call security. Over drinks, they try to figure out which of them killed him, but they come to the conclusion that it was a true accident. Odo shows up to increase the tension level.
Finally, the shipment arrives in a cargo bay, and Quark takes delivery. Inside are a thousand bricks of gold-pressed latinum, and while Quark leans in to count it,they all pull weapons on each other. Alliances shift and dissolve, and they all betray each other. Quark dives into the only safe space available – the shipping crate with the bricks, and we hear Odo show up to arrest the survivors. Lorel nominally won, but are all going to prison. Quark has the bricks all to himself, but there’s something terribly wrong with them. There’s no latinum in any of them, just worthless gold. Also, it seems that extracting the latinum from gold-pressed latinum leaves behind a powdery, dull material that explodes into dust under slight pressure. Gold clearly occurs enough naturally (or can be replicated, indicating the ability of replicators to create elements they don’t have stocked) that it has no scarcity value, whereas Latinum clearly cannot be. My question at this time is whether latinum has a utility beyond its scarcity. Like, say, being useful in industrial processes because of what it can evidently do to gold.
With his windfall revoked, Quark is angry at Morn’s chair, but it turns out that (surprise) Morn the mastermind faked his death. He used Quark to keep the others spinning long enough to turn on each other. But the real kicker is that Morn has been keeping the latinum in his second stomach for years, and his hair fell out due to, presumably, heavy metal poisoning. For his part in it, Quark gets a small chalice worth about a hundred bricks.