Welcome to another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s! We’re continuing our January theme of technological NPCs with a sentient holoprogram, one that is based on a Vulcan philosopher from the beginnings of the Federation.
Ambassador Soval is a familiar figure from Star Trek: Enterprise representing what the government of Vulcan was like in the mid-22nd century. They still followed the logical teachings of Surak but with a militaristic bent that led to them tangling repeatedly with Andoria, becoming manipulated by a mysterious enemy, and the near-destruction of a discovered relic of Surak. Long story short, these were bad times and when the first steps towards the Federation were taken it was a time of reformation and self-inspection on Vulcan. Kovar was part of that, a scholar of the Vulcan concept of grief who helped those Vulcans feeling lost and confused at the social changes happening.
Then someone took all of that guy’s writings, made a holodeck program out of it, and accidentally triggered a self-aware and hard-to-control figure. Like you do. This is no Moriarty but holodeck-Kovar is a strong-willed person with some definite ideas as to what the Federation should be doing. The real Kovar was alive for the first century or so of the Federation’s existence but things have changed drastically since then. He’s not entirely happy that this principled organization that he helped foster is fighting war after war and using underhanded tactics to achieve it’s aims.
There are lots of plot hooks in the information below but here are a few to get you started.
- The Kovar program is created by a member of the player character’s crew and it’s up to them to figure out what to do with him. He’s not a malevolent intelligence but he also demands that he be left running and allowed to learn more about his condition and the status of the galaxy. How long can they reasonably keep that up?
- After initially being created on a starship, Kovar has been moved to a starbase where he is collecting a following of Vulcan travelers looking to learn from this version of the master scholar. The Vulcan government has asked the crew to travel to the space station and assess the situation, including reports that Kovar has advocated a dissolution of the current Vulcan High Council and a realignment to traditional values.
- The holoprogram Kovar has constructed on his own time a program to emulate Surak, putting it through the same processes that created his own sentience. He intends to keep doing this with other ancient scholars to create a circle of debate but the Vulcans have labeled him a “rogue program” and advocated for his deletion on the grounds that he is corrupting valued historical figures.