Measures for Sapience Recovery

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The Watchers Council’s Measures for Sapience Recovery is an extremely controversial practice to mitigate a major disaster from destroying or severely inhibiting a civilization. Although it can, in principle, apply to any civilization, it is usually taken to address subluminal species in particular.


The Watchers Council has always had a tension between its charter to observe and protect, and the fact that by its nature, the Council may discovered threats to civilizations with a short enough lead time that no other organizations can take action to prevent them. In theory, if a civilization under observation encounters a challenge that threatens to end that species, the Council policy is to observe and not interfere unless the challenge was precipitated by some outside entity for malicious or even indifferent purposes.

In practice, many observers find it very difficult to watch tragedies unfold when they have the ability to almost trivially mitigate or completely advert the catastrophe. The classic example is an asteroid strike. A civilization needs to be quite near to interplanetary technology before they can even reliably detect an incoming asteroid, let alone divert it away from their planet. On the other hand, doing so is a patently trivial act for any member of the Watcher’s Council.

Having a non-interference policy prove inviable, as it was found that a significant fraction of Watchers would, upon detecting such a threat, break policy and protect their observees. Even when punished for doing so, such Watchers seemed to have a calm, justified demeanor about their actions. The Youth Helpers have been particularly forgiving of these kinds of transgressions.

To try to regulate something that was clearly going to happen no matter what, the Watchers Council established the Measures for Sapience Recovery, a policy that permits for Watchers to take steps to help civilizations recover from a disaster, but retains the non-interference policy regarding blocking the disaster itself.

In the truest traditions of compromise, it has proved to be a solution that nobody is happy with.


The Measures for Sapience Recovery have been enacted a few times to justify actions by Watchers to avoid the destruction of an entire culture.

A vot was held by the Council on weather to intercede in the Fourth Cataclysm of Mnomn. The Council decided against intervention. The failure to act and the resultant retardation of the Mnomn’s development is often held up as an example how how the current Measures for Sapience Recovery is a failure as a policy. The Council voted in favor of intervening to protect and re-integrate the last surviving pods of the Cerdian Generation Fleet. After passing the vote, though, the Council was unable to locate any of the three known pods. This embarrassing failure is often held up as an example how how the current Measures for Sapience Recovery is a failure as a policy.


Delegate 0x75D requested and was granted authorization to recover records from the inhabitants of Zuuvok Site 0x06 after incorrectly diagnosing them with Axiom Decay. The resulting Trial of Delegate 0x75D is often held up as an example how how the current Measures for Sapience Recovery is a failure as a policy. The Youth Helpers attempted to pass a vote to archive the brain patterns of the Youlon before their extinction, resulting in the eponymous infomorphic entities.


The Measures for Sapience Recovery is a bad policy that should be ignored by the Watchers Council until it can be formally revoked.