In this series, I examine some less traditional posts and the characters and writers behind them. Today, the featured character is Lieutenant Junior Grade Brek, Diplomatic Officer for Starbase 118 Operations.
Although diplomatic officers are not unprecedented in the 118 fleet, they have traditionally been human or Vulcan characters – those species noted canonically for their political aptitude. Brek, a Ferengi, appears at first glance to defy the established standards of the sort of character attracted to such a post. Mark, Brek’s writer, recognizes the apparent disconnect between character and job, but he noted, “The choice might seem odd, yet in order to expand their business, the Ferengi need to interact/negotiate with countless species. They must also be aware of what is going on in every sector where they have a financial interest. If you put the commercial aspect aside, this is pretty close to what diplomats also do.”
Most interestingly, 118 Ops currently supports two diplomatic PCs – Brek, a vice-counselor, and Samal Frazier, a full ambassador; I wanted to know how this relationship worked in simming situations. Mark said, “I consider Ambassador Frazier to be a bit like a mentor to Brek. The person he looks up to and from whom he hopes to learn a few vital tricks.” These tricks may be of vital importance to Brek, as his training was not initially in diplomacy. “Brek entered the Academy as a science student, but there was no opening in that department when I arrived on SB118. Due to Brek’s sudden change of career, I view him as being a bit unsure of himself. There is always the fear that he will make a horrible blunder.” These traits make for a rounded, fully realized character in the tradition of the developed Ferengi from Trek and suggest, as for those characters, that there is no single way to be Ferengi.
A final thought from Mark upon writing for Brek: “The way I visualize Brek, his main goal was to become a Starfleet officer. Once there, a change of path was just another learning curve to go through. Knowledge, after all, is power. What he wants before all is respect and privilege, and there is certainly plenty of that in diplomacy.”