Welcome back to another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s! This month we’re going through characters inspired by the original Star Trek series. While the first two entries showed off some Starfleet officers, today we’re pivoting to the civilian side of the Federation. If you want your 23rd century crew to come across a driven, pushy scientist who can get the into trouble, Karen Himura is here for you.
The Vulcans are beloved species among fans and writers both, particularly in the original series where they were first fleshed out. We saw in Spock and Sarek two Vulcans intrigued by human culture but Karen Himura is a reversal off that. She’s definitely human (not a Michael Burnham trying to affect Vulcan calm) and she’s fascinated by the long and complicated Vulcan history. They have a lot of grudges in their past and Himura could connect the crew to any one of them, either as the outsider with the fresh perspective or as the outsider who doesn’t understand fully what’s going on and messes up something big.
As for personality, that’s left a bit open so that GMs can play her however they want. She could, of course, the same self-interested spitfire as Vash but that’s not such a bad thing. Even if you advance the character to the 24th century, there’s a lot to differentiate them. Vash is in the archaeology business to make money while Himura is in it to learn more. Vash heads all around the galaxy while Himura is focused on Vulcan artifacts and history. You can also make her very different from Vash and any other stereotype you like: Karen Himura could be a straight-faced academic, a bubbly counterpoint to the Vulcans she studies, or a friendly traveler who enjoys making friends wherever she goes. Pick what is going to resonate for your characters and run with it.
There are plenty of options in Karen Himura’s background but here are some plot hooks to get you started.
- The ship arrives to deliver supplies to a dig-site headed up by Karen Himura but they are told to simple beam the crates down and head out. The archaeologist seems stressed but it clearly trying to hide it. What does the crew do and will the Romulans holding Himura’s crew hostage negotiate when discovered or just kill everyone?
- The crew is transporting a deligation from Vulcan to an archaeological conference and they also pick up Karen Himura at a starbase en route. When the head of the Vulcan archaeologists learns that she’s aboard he insists that Ms. Himura be removed from the ship at once and transported by shuttlecraft to the nearest system. He claims that she stole artifacts from an historical site on P’jem, something Himura firmly denies, and that he thinks it ill-advised to bring a criminal to the conference. Can the crew sort all of this out in time?
- At the beginning of one mission (perhaps as part of a teaser), the crew drops off Karen Himura at a colony world where she is planning out a future archaeological dig. When they pick her up at the beginning of a following mission, Himura is completely changed. She credits a meditation practice that she followed but in reality she encountered an ancient Vulcan mind-control device that fills her with a desire for conquest. What’s worse, she brought it back aboard…