Hello and welcome to the final January installment of Tuesdays at Quark’s. We’re wrapping up our Technology theme with a look at the most infamous misuse of biotechnology in the Star Trek canon: genetic augmentation.
First introduced with Khan Noonien Singh in the first season of the original Star Trek, he firmly positioned himself in the canon by being the main adversary in Star Trek: Wrath of Khan (the second movie ever and the first good one). Since then, augments have shown up in Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (I won’t spoil the big reveal on that last one) as well as Star Trek: Into Darkness (a great contrast to the original Khan). The Federation has always been against genetic augmentation due to some unpleasant Eugenics Wars in the 1990s (who doesn’t remember living through those?) and yet messing around with our core self is such a human endeavor that it keeps coming back up.
Mailys is one of those later augments and she shows just how dangerous a sense of genetic superiority can be. At the same time, she is arguably made more dangerous by the stress of hiding who she really is so maybe society is to blame? This sort of ethical back-and-forth is central to Star Trek, and you get to couple it with smart killer who’s got a chip on her shoulder. Wrap into that some other political connections and a racial superiority ethos that can challenge players’ own feelings and Mailys might become your gaming group’s Khan.
There are plenty of plot hooks in the write up, but here are a few to get you going.
- When a human colony is destroyed, the Player Characters arrive to find a sole survivor: a single young woman who goes by Marie. As they take her to a nearby starbase to resupply and get their new orders, Mailys uses her innocent guise to compromise the ship computers and redirect it to a Bolian trade station that she intends to destroy.
- Ensign Zyle sh’Azonan has served on the Player Character’s ship for some time (perhaps even having her own cameo episode) so when she fails to show up at a rendezvous after shore leave it is a big deal. When the crew finds out that she is being held by Mailys Sault in an effort to gain leverage over the Treishya, things go from bad to far, far worse.
- In the months following the Cardassian Union’s alliance with the Dominion, Starfleet Intelligence is following any lead that it can to learn the weaknesses of the Union. When this involves making contact with Mailys Sault to exchange information on high-value targets in return for her stolen military schematics, will the Player Characters go along with the plan or refuse orders?