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It was bad enough that Captain Picard tricked and trapped two sapient beings in a little cube, rather than in any way acknowledge their rights under Federation law, but whatever happened to that cube?

The Enterprise crashed (in Star Trek: Generations), but was the salvage crew made aware of what to look for? Are the two holobeings still in there, unaware of their status? Or screaming to get out? Oblivion?

  • I don't remember if we ever see what size the data storage device is that Moriarty's program is on but if it's small enough I'm surprised that they didn't just used a phaser on it, set to a high enough setting to vaporise it – SpacePhoenix Aug 23 at 22:47
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    @SpacePhoenix We do see it held by Barclay at some point. It is small and portable, and I believe they entrusted Barclay to take care of it. And the Federation does not vaporize sentient beings on a whim. – Sava Aug 24 at 11:48
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    As far as "rights under Federation law" - They probably had such rights after "Measure of a Man" if not earlier, but regardless, Moriarty tried to commandeer the Enterprise. He should have been arrested and stood trial for that, but from the episode's plot, it seems that they were unable to remove him from the holodeck given the available technology. So I'm not sure what they could have done differently, unless you are suggesting they try, sentence, and punish him entirely within the holodeck. – Kevin Aug 24 at 17:39
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Main Canon

Within the main canon, Moriarty's "ship in a bottle" is never mentioned again after TNG: Ship in a Bottle, although the events of the episode (as an instructive warning) do receive a very brief and tangential reference in VOY: Alter Ego

CHAKOTAY: Most likely a sentient computer programme. I checked the Starfleet database. This kind of thing has happened before. The Enterprise-D under Picard was once taken over by a holocharacter.

EU Canon

Moriarty's program is mentioned as having survived the crash of the Enterprise in the TNG Pocket Novel: The Light Fantastic

Moriarty explains to Lal and Alice that the destruction of the Enterprise-D affected his and Regina's world, wiping their two daughters out of existence. Their programme was transferred to the Daystrom Institute but a further disruption during Vaslovik's raid on the facility saw the rest of their world wiped out.

It was one of the items the Soong Foundation (for the Advancement and Emancipation of Artificial Lifeforms) was interested in acquiring. The Federation apparently refused to entertain the idea.

Circa 2392

And the legal fight for civil rights for artificial lifeform hit a snag over the hologram known as "Moriarty." Alerted to its existence in a Starfleet computer, the Soong Foundation sued to have the program released into its custody.

Attorneys for Starfleet argued that Moriarty and his companion were a security risk, and that the program's attempt to take over the U.S.S Enterprise-D in 2369 allowed Starfleet to keep it in indefinite custody to protect the public. "That's just imprisonment without a trial," argued Alyssa Cogley-Shaw, lead attorney for the Soong Foundation. "Since when did Starfleet turn into the Obsidian Order?"

Star Trek Online: 2029 Lore

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This is addressed in the non-canon book "The Light Fantastic" by Jeffery Lang

...complicating Data's life is an unexpected nemesis from years ago on the U.S.S. Enterprise - the holographic criminal Professor James Moriarty. Long believed to be imprisoned in a memory solid, Moriarty has created a siphon into the "real" world as a being of light and thought. Moriarty wants the solid form he was once told he could never have, and seeks to manipulate Data into finding another android body for him to permanently inhabit... even if it means that is Data himself.

This is a semi-direct sequel to Lang's book "Immortal Coil" (pre-Nemesis) and the "Cold Equations"(post-Nemesis) trilogy (and they all are excellent imo)

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