Hello and welcome back to another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s! This month we’re looking at institutions in the Star Trek universe with guest contributor JtEvans. Today’s NPC is a doctor in the Interspecies Medical Exchange, Dr. Otak’ka.
The Interspecies Medical Exchange comes from Star Trek: Enterprise and is the program that brought Doctor Phlox to the Enterprise NX-01. There’s no reason to suppose that it didn’t continue after the founding of the Federation. As a civilian medical program the IME only has to answer to its Board of Directors and can freely send physicians to collaborate across the galaxies, even to states that would be politically dicey to go to. Cardassian doctors can come study on Earth, Betazoid doctors can go to the Klingon Empire. This is a recipe for disaster in some ways but also a work-around for situations where politics keep Starfleet out but where medical aid is desperately needed.
On another note, people really love Chelons and so far we’ve only had one who was kind of a jerk. Who doesn’t like a fun turtle-person, though? Otak’ka has that semi-comedic aspect to him, especially with the funny turtle picture I picked. Your players are likely to snicker when this old, clumsy turtle but when he starts telling his stories from warzones and emergency triage all bets are off.
Dr. Otak’ka is an incredible character who can be used in a variety of situations. Here are some.
- A relief effort for the planet Montressor has headed by Dr. Otak’ka in the aftermath of a civil war. Your ship has been chosen by Starfleet to assist. When you arrive, there is no communication whatsoever from Otak’ka. Could this be a plot from the losing side of the war, or something else?
- The CMO on your ship has requested a short leave of absence to visit their old friend, Dr. Otak’ka. When the ship arrives, Dr. Otak’ka seems really agitated and nervous, but won’t say why. The CMO wants to go down and see why. The captain is more hesitant.
- One of the medical crew on your ship is approached by Dr. Otak’ka who offers them a full position with the IME. He hints that he is looking to change up the program and needs inventive minds like theirs. Someone from Starfleet Medical warns against taking the position, though, and says that Otak’ka has done some very questionable things in his past. Is Starfleet Medical telling the truth or are they just trying to stop Dr. Otak’ka from poaching Starfleet officers.
Click on the image below for the PDF.