Part 3: In which Pierce freaks out and Quinn criticizes
A perfidious bastard named Quinn -
Hold on. That's not fair. Try again.
What I'm trying to say
Is the man was okay
'til he shivved me. I did that jerk in.
The boys were out on errands planetside. Nalenne needed time alone to think.
For quite some time she failed to think of anything useful at all. At some point ghost-Quinn emerged from his quarters and approached her. "My lord."
"I am not surprised you converted my quarters to storage..."
"Nor should you be."
"...but I did not realize you were going to expand your collection of hard-copy comics."
"I was willing to tolerate the entire two-hundred-year run of Captain Kaas in the cargo bay, but this..." He huffed. "Are you really collecting Scarlet Nexu?"
"Do you have a problem with Scarlet Nexu?" No wonder I killed him.
"In all our time together you always assured me you were heterosexual, but ‘story-free softcore’ is too charitable a term for that entire degrading - "
"Quiet, they're coming back. Also you haven't even seen the Insatiable Nexu run they did with - never mind. Boys!" Quinn hurried to the bridge. Pierce and Broonmark banged their way onto the ship and into the holo room, both carrying full cases of plant samples. "Drop it all off in the freezer, then have a seat. I have news."
Once they were settled on the reading-nook couch, she cleared her throat. Time for a very awkward talk. "Good work today."
Broonmark burbled. Pierce frowned. "Wait a minute. Just realized, if I'd placed those charges this morning on the pillar over, angled things just a bit, the whole mine would've collapsed much neater. Must be losing my touch."
"Wait a minute, you blew up a mine this morning? I sent you out to pick flowers!"
"Job came up," muttered Pierce. "It was legitimate."
"I won't even ask. Something's come up, and I can't explain it and I can't kill it and neither can you, but it looks like, um, Captain Quinn's not half as dead as we all thought. Sit down, Pierce. He’s a ghost or something. No Force required. I don't understand it, either. Come on out, Quinn."
The captain took up his old station at her side.
Pierce grunted and lunged. Good, good, no blaster fire. The big man charged through the apparition at a sprint, hands outstretched to grab and shove his opponent. Instead Pierce stumbled and stopped just short of the far wall. He whirled, growling.
Quinn turned to face him, brushed imaginary dust off his sleeve, and sneered. "I see you still can't quite get your hands on the things you want." He looked to Nalenne and back to Pierce so fast she couldn't be sure anything had happened.
Still, the intent was obvious. "Quinn. Cut it out."
"I apologize, my lord," he said calmly.
"So our new job is going to be destroying him for good," she announced to the living.
"M-my lord?" said Quinn.
She ignored him. "This ghost thing isn't my area of expertise, but there must be something we can do."
Pierce rolled his shoulders. "Guess there's an upside to this after all. I was sorry to miss out on your first death, captain."
"You're sorry in many ways, lieutenant."
"Oh, you're gutsy when you know I can't hit you."
"Boys? Boys." Before she could think of anything else to say, a freaking torch came into her field of view, followed by Broonmark. The Talz - when had he moved? - jabbed the flaming brand - and where had he gotten a flaming brand!? - at Quinn, who looked annoyed but not at all hurt to be sharing space with it.
Broonmark stared at the apparition and the hissing flame that, despite burning exactly where Quinn's heart should be, didn't seem to distress him at all. "Plork," said the Talz. Nalenne knew that one: "Trouble."