Remember that movie from the 20th century, The Matrix, about how life was just a virtual reality humanity was connected to while their bodies were used by machines, so they would not know about the real world? Well, what if that situation had had an external influence?
Imagine you are the captain of a starship and, in one of your planets, you find a planet ruled by robots. After investigating, you learn that the native population of the planet, humanoids like you, have been enslaved by the robots, and they live connected to computers for their raw computing power! However, they are living in a virtual reality world where they think they are a rich and happy civilization. The machines, to prove their humanoid computers are happy, even let you connect to this world and check that they really are.
This is a new question from our category Morals of Trek, where you are in the shoes of a Starfleet Captain facing a dilemma any of our favorite 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!