Did I say last week that we were wrapping up this month? Looks like I need to invest in a calendar! To be fair, I’ve been a little busy… I didn’t want to skip a week, though, so I decided to push the definition of “original series” a little bit to include that iconic plot point from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the hubris-filled Project Genesis!
In the movie, Project Genesis is a secretive science project aimed at completely transforming a planet’s ecosystem. With the push of a button they can change the lifeless planetoid Regula into a vibrant and growing world. That kind of technology doesn’t just appear, though, and Dr. Mészáros is an exploration of what that project would actually mean for the Federation. Her long work on the projects leading up to Genesis mean that she’s an important and influential scientist throughout the original series as well as into the movie era. She is excellent at bringing people together and making projects that are grand in scope and achieve what other people consider impossible.
There is a lot left unwritten to allow you to customize Dr. Mészáros to your campaign, including the role she plays in Genesis. She can be an alternate project lead to Carol Marcus so that your characters can interact with Project Genesis in a meaningful way without treading on canon. She can also be a foil to Carol Marcus, manic and risk-taking where Marcus is steady and even-tempered. She can also, as described in the profile, be more of a mad scientist figure who has broken away from the main Genesis group because she’s losing her moral compass. You could even change her to be the head of some other project of your own creation with a little modifying, even changing her strongest ability to Engineering or Medicine to be a different sort of technician (just make sure to change her abilities’ focus as well).
To get you started with incorporating this character, here are a few plot hooks…
- The crew is responsible for transporting Dr. Mészáros to Vulcan but they are told in no uncertain terms that they are not to ask about her business on Vulcan or her position in the Federation. When the ship is attacked by Klingons, however, and Dr. Mészáros is knocked unconscious during the battle, the crew is at a loss of how to answer their accusations that she is a spy.
- After the events on Regula (and potentially after The Search for Spock), the crew is responsible for auditing Dr. Mészáros’s labs in Prague. Even with their mission, however, there are parts of the facility that Mészáros insists are off-limits and the crew is stymied from the beginning. Can they negotiate this minefield of science ethics, Federation politics, and dangerous secrets?
- Dr. Mészáros rendezvous with the Players’ ship and announces she is there to take Ensign Mathers back with her to Earth. The crew begins to hit red tape as soon as they try to figure out why the researcher needs Mathers or even what her project in Prague is about.