In Star Trek Discovery S1:E9 Into the Forest I Go - we see Captain Lorca refer to scattered pockets of negative mass. We read:

Lorca: Let me show you something.

Stammets: You've been accumulating this data from my jumps the whole time? Mm-hm.

Lorca: And these scattered pockets of negative mass.

Stammets: They could indicate alternative parallel universes connected to the mycelial network.

Lorca: And with more jumps, we could find a pattern, perhaps even the coordinates to reach them.

Lorca: You showed me this invention could take us to places that we never dreamed we could reach.

Lorca: Places far beyond our preconceptions of time and space.

Stammets: Captain, I didn't know you cared.

Lorca is a guy who is ruthlessly interested in winning a war. This seems like a scientific curiosity that is merely a distraction.

My question is: Why does Captain Lorca care about scattered pockets of negative mass?

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    opinion: because there is no way this show is set in what we know as the TOS timeline and they are setting up some kind of reveal :| – NKCampbell Dec 6 '17 at 22:14
  • In one of his first appearances didn't Lorca say that he loves being Captain of a science ship and wants the war to be won quickly so he can get back to it? Seems like that's a more fundamental part of his character than "ruthlessly interested in winning a war" which seems to be a pretty standard secondary character trait for people who are stuck on one side of a war. – starpilotsix Dec 6 '17 at 22:17
  • @starpilotsix Assuming he's being truthful. I'm of the opinion that he's far more devious and manipulative than he lets on. – Brian Ortiz Dec 7 '17 at 18:52

Lorca's main motivation, as you say, seems to be to win the war and he believes that he and his ship and crew are key to that (He most definately views it all as his). Presumably he was collecting all this data initially on the chance that it may be useful to the war effort.

The point of revealing all of this to Stammets was to increase motivation and commitment, by appealing to Stammets' scientific curiosity, which has been established previously as one of Stammets' primary character motivations.

I don't think there is any indication here that scientific curiosity is Lorca's primary motivation (although I wouldn't discount that he has other interests he has put on the back-burner until the war is won).

My reading is that it is all about building a crew that is loyal to him. Its not like we haven't seen him manipulate people for the sake of his effort before (i.e. the whole recruitment of Burnham).

So the gist of it is, he mostly cares about the spore drive data/ negative mass pockets as far as it can help his personal war effort, and if he is considering anything after the war, it is secondary.

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    I think this is the correct answer, but just to add to this: their working theory on how Klingon cloaking technology works involves their ships generating incredible mass in order to bend light, so it's not implausible he was taking a keen interest in any mass anomalies they might be witnessing as part of the effort to determine a way to track/defeat them, and then he used this data to influence Stammets. – delinear Dec 7 '17 at 12:31

Actually, at this point, it's looking like a nice bit of foreshadowing to me (have the Discovery writers been taking JMS lessons?). Given that

Lorca is actually from the mirror universe, and wants eventually to get back there

It seems painfully obvious, in hindsight, as to why Lorca would have an interest in a phenomenon indicating access to parallel universes from the network.

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