While surveying a solar system, your ship encounters an adrift object. Closer scans reveal it to be alive, and as a captain, you decide to bring it onboard. It happens to be an intelligent humanoid, although at first she seems crazy and looks at you with maddened eyes. She slowly regains her composure and explains her story.
She was a scientist who experimented until she found a way to make herself immortal. Her body does not need food or water or any other resource, and regenerates too fast for it to be destroyed. She is even willing to demonstrate, if you don’t believe her. The problem is, those experiments required the sacrifice of a whole planet with its entire population. She made that sacrifice, and became immortal, but she was also condemned as a criminal. Unable to execute her, or to imprison her indefinitely, their society left her, with nothing but a set of clothes, in a stable orbit around a star on an uninhabited system, virtually forever.
She can’t say, but by your crew’s calculations, she has been there for near 3,000 years. Her civilization has since vanished, and there is no one left to decide over her sentence. She asks you to either free her or give her the means to undo her own experiment and end her suffering, but not prolong her penalty.
This is a new edition of our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet captain facing a dilemma any of our favourite characters could have faced in Star Trek. If your crew has faced any such dilemmas and you want to see it featured in a Poll of the Week, let us know!