Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Tuesdays at Quark’s. This month we’re going to be exploring the fast-and-loose way that Star Trek engages with time travel by looking at five characters that are themselves time travelers. By the way, if you didn’t see this update until Thursday then… time travel?
I’m happy to get back into the swing of things with a character that I’m particularly excited about. The Department of Temporal Investigations was introduced in the Deep Space Nine episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” better known as “The One Where They Spliced the DS9 Crew Into the Original Series.” It’s a fun episode with a number of quirky shout-outs for the fans, but the memorable characters of Dulmur and Lucsly (profiled already here on the site) are a fun straight-man counterpoint to the zaniness of the situation.
With all the time traveling we have going on this month, you might need a counterpoint yourself in which case I heartily suggest that you use Dulmur and Lucsly. On the other hand if you need someone to stress to the Players how serious the ramifications of time travel can be, Agent V’leme is here to help! She’s a solid character and I’m proud of her mechanical synergy, but I’m also excited about the plot hook embedded in her background (read up to see what I’m talking about) which is just the sort of philosophical conundrum that makes Star Trek great.
There are lots of directions to take this character, but here are a few plot hooks to get you started.
- While charting an unexplored system, the crew finds a micro-wormhole which spans time as well as space. Agent V’leme comes to meet the crew as they finish their survey in order to perform her own analysis of the wormhole. As she studies it, however, she finds evidence that someone on the PCs’ ship has used the wormhole to carry a small message cannister to someone in the past. She demands answers of the senior staff even as everyone tries to figure out where the wormhole goes and what the message might be.
- Evidence of Devidian activity on Bajor leads the crew to bring Agent V’leme as an expert investigator. They work with the temporal investigator but when it seems that Vedek Lenaris has had contact with the Devidians, V’leme is ready to order his arrest. Can the crew figure out what the contact might be, whether Lenaris is actually guilty of anything, and what the Devidians want on Bajor before the situation blows up into a diplomatic disaster?
- As the Dominion War begins, the crew receives a classified mission to retrieve a cache of powerful weapons stored on an uninhabited world. As they retrieve the cache, the crew begins to realize that the weapons utilize banned technology and that they are cutting-edge Federation designs despite being buried for at least a century. The only answer is that someone from the present built a production facility in the past and has been producing weapons to fight the Dominion. When another starship arrives carrying V’leme and other temporal agents they are torn between their classified mission and honoring the Temporal Prime Directive.
Click on the image below for the PDF.