Most rosters in the StarBase 118 fleet are filled with members of well-known species – humans, Vulcans, Betazoids, Klingons, Trills. Spiced throughout are the uncommon species, and this series hopes to investigate those unique characters and the writers who decided to explore the strange new worlds of Trek.
from the USS Mercury, Skyleena Blake, a Brekkian/Betazoid hybrid
For many writers, the attraction of a particular primary is in the challenge of writing that character. For Sky Blake, her writer wanted “a character that had a ‘cool’ advantage, but have a very annoying, and very hard to cope with, disadvantage.” However, Sky Blake’s creation was not solely informed by her species. “I wanted her to be the bad person with an attitude among a whole heap of good people, regardless of her species. And that is what she is. The only problem I had was that, at the time, there was no reason behind it.” The decision to make Sky at least part Betazoid seemed obvious: “I knew I wanted a Betazoid hybrid that was unable to control her telepathy as soon as I got the personality down for her.” But there are plenty of Betazoids in Starfleet and the culture has been explored in-depth; why choose a Brekkian half? “I thought of giving her the history of what no child should have to experience.”
The Brekkians appeared only in the first-season Next Generation episode “Symbiosis,” in which the Brekkians supplied the drug felicium to the Ornarans. They were never explored beyond this single dimension, and so if Sky Blake was to be Brekkian, her writer had her work cut out for her. “There isn’t any information about how [the Brekkians’] government works, wasn’t anything on their religion or their culture, and there is nothing about how they progressed after 2364.” Yet many writers who choose to write for uncommon species choose completely unexplored species and develop them as they see fit — and in Sky’s case, the combination makes for an even more intriguing character. “Because Sky’s half Betazoid, she has little control over her electric ‘charge’ – when she gets extremely angry, the charge builds up and she has to calm down in order to not let it lose unintentionally. But because she’s half Brekkian, she can’t control her telepathy – she can hear almost a whole ship that’s the size of the Ronin if she was on the middle deck.”
Often the little details bring a character to completeness, and for an uncommon species without established quirks, those that the writer provides can make the character truly believable. “There’s a few quirks that Sky displays from Brekka; females on Brekka are unusually stern and have somewhat of an attitude, which is just like Sky, although, now that she’s pregnant, the attitude is fading a heap (much to everyone on the Mercury‘s surprise, she went to work on the Bridge, and had a friendly conversation with Captain Tallis – which is apparently rare . . . hehe). Brekkians rub their nose against another (because the nose is apparently the most unsexual feature, so they use it in a nurturing manner). Much to a few of her boyfriends’ confusion, she does this a lot. Another one that she shows is the lack of body heat – Brekka is an extremely warm planet. It barely rains, hails, storms or get cold – and her quarters are at least ten degrees hotter than everyone elses’ because of this.”