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Hovda elZana was a female Payav scientist in the 23rd century. She was a mentor to Theena elMadej, and when Theena's Discovery Center was first established on Varnex in 2283, Hovda was made its first director. After Theena succeeded her, Hovda refused to retire, and took the title of director emeritus.
Hovda was one of five team members working on the development of a subspace-disruption weapon, and the only survivor, other than Theena, to survive when the Discovery Center was attacked by the Torye and the prototype weapon stolen. When the USS Enterprise-A set off in pursuit of the Torye, Hovda was able to devise a method of shielding the ship's warp core from the stolen weapon. (TOS eBook: Mere Anarchy: The Blood-Dimmed Tide)