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The Providers are capable of great feats which are probably achieved by direct control of extremely advanced technology. These include the ability to instantly transport beings from light years away, and to neutralize other species' technologies (including communicators, phasers and starship defense systems).
To entertain themselves, the Providers keep enslaved humanoids of several species (they refer to all of them as thralls: likely a word for slave or cattle in their language) from across the galaxy and treat them as domesticated beasts, providing for their needs as their name implies, but also putting them in gladiatorial combats for entertainment and practicing selective breeding to create better warriors. The Providers entertain themselves by making various gambles over thrall battles and use a kind of currency known as quatloos.
In 2267 Captain James T. Kirk gambled with the Providers for all the thralls' freedom and won. What happened to them afterwards in not known.
- They are somewhat similar to the Morpho from the "Keys of Marinus" arc on Doctor Who, which predate the Providers by four years.
- The quatloo is also used as an alien currency in an interstellar game show in the Johnny Bravo episode "Third Dork from the Sun"; likely a reference to the Star Trek episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion where the Providers appear.