:: A deep pulse of bass music opens up with a graphic of turbolift flashes over the screen before the screen lights raise up to focus in on a Vulcan man seated in a chair with a pair of ceramic coffee mugs on a small table between his chair and the as of yet off screen occupied one. ::
Sopek: Hello and Greetings. My name is Sopek and it is time to once more leave behind the center chair and big office and journey down the turbolift to The Lower Decks. Where we speak with the crew of the vessels and bases in Starfleet. ::He shifts slightly to meet the changing camera and waves a hand to the other chair.:: Tonight’s guest is Lieutenant Commander Brek. Commander Brek is the diplomatic officer for the USS Excalibur-A. Good Evening Commander.
::Brek, who until now had been sat on his chair with the flexibility of a statue, forced himself to put a crooked smile on his face. Why had he accepted to be interviewed? He had no idea. Probably a vague sense of duty. After all, Starfleet Academy was good at instilling that sort of sentiments to its recruits.::
Brek: Good evening Mister Sopek. It is a pleasure to be with you tonight.
::During his posting on Starbase 118, Brek had seen all sorts of journalists, but he had never met a Vulcan one. Perhaps this was the true reason why he had accepted to face the camera. The opportunity to speak to someone who wasn’t hewmon was bound to be refreshing.::
Sopek: So Commander, the logical place to start is with the beginning. What brought you to Starfleet?
::Brek looked at the camera as if to say ‘free meals, if I’m honest.’::
Brek: Well, like most Ferengis, I’m not really taken by the sense of adventure that Starfleet offers. What I saw in the Fleet was the opportunity to reconstruct my life. I had reached a point where none of my attempts to become successful had worked, so I needed to take a different, more drastic, approach to prosperity.
Sopek: Most interesting Commander. And your choice to take the path of diplomacy?
Brek: Well… I started out as a science cadet, but soon discovered that long hours spent in labs weren’t for me. I felt I’d fare better in a different department. One where I’d have the opportunity to meet a lot of people. That’s how I tried my hand at diplomacy. That’s also how I discovered that I have a genuine cultural interest for all the species that live in our galaxy.
Sopek: How have you fared working on the Excalibur?
Brek: The ship’s been launched recently, and has only gone through one mission, in Romulan space. It’s a radical change from the functions I used to have on Starbase 118, which was my previous posting. So, in a way I’m still adjusting myself to a life in space. It’s challenging, but rewarding too, and, Ferengi or not, that’s what counts.
Sopek: It must give you some excitement to work in such a diplomatically active region.
Brek: ::Smiling.:: The best part of being on the Excalibur is its Quantum Slipstream Drive. We are now able to travel so fast, that I truly have no idea where our next missions are going to take us. So far I’ve mainly specialized in Romulan politics, and I’d welcome the opportunity of meeting new species. It might seems strange to say so, but except for my handling of a few commercial contracts, I haven’t had too many encounters with species who live on far away planets.
Sopek: And what of your family? Are they back on Ferenginar?
Brek: As far as I know most of my relatives live on Ferenginar, yes. It’s difficult to tell, as I’m not close to them, but there is nothing strange in that. Ferengi families will sometimes part company, as every individual travels the galaxy to make their fortune.
Sopek: And they are supportive of your choice?
Brek: I don’t suppose they do. But I’d say that if we all only did what our relatives permitted, we would lead sheltered lives. I feel better with myself having followed my calling.
Sopek: And it seems to be favoring you well being promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
Brek: Those three pips… they are nice aren’t they? I owe them to the generosity of Starfleet, and my Captain, of course: Fleet Captain Nicholotti, that is. The thing is, and I’m saying this in case there are some Ferengi younglings listening to this interview: if you work hard enough, the Fleet will always rewards you.
Sopek: What do you do in your free time?
Brek: ::Smiling.:: I’m tempted to ask ‘what free time?’, but it wouldn’t give
a just picture of what my life is like. I’m a bit of an art collector, so I buy and sell a lot of valuable items. I guess it’s not that I enjoy art for itself that much, but this activity keeps my Ferengi instincts alert, in a harmless way.
Sopek: Do you have a favorite piece?
Brek: Hmm… I never keep what I buy for long periods, since my aim is to turn a profit. But I tend to stick to Terran or Romulan art, especially old paintings or leather bound books. Ambassador Ventu possesses an amazing collection of those fascinating books. I guess that’s how I developed such a liking for them.
Sopek: You seem to be doing[a] well in your chosen career path. Do you have any long term goals?
Brek: Beyond having a long career within the Fleet, I would like see to Romulan Empire reinstated to its former glory. Diplomacy is making progress in that direction, but it’s a slow, arduous process.
Sopek: Is it in your opinion then that a return to an established Romulan Empire will help stabilize the region?
Brek: :With a little smile.:: This is a tricky question, one which has the potential to bring new enemies to my door. So I’d just say that, to me, the whole galaxy is the poorer without the Romulans to play their rightful part in it.
Sopek: A most interesting thought Commander. Unfortunately our time is drawing to a close. Your mention of books earlier prompts me to ask, is there a quote from your favorite book you’d like to leave us with?
Brek: Well, I’d lie if I said I’m that well-read. But as it happen, I do like to collect quotes. With them being free, it’s not a demanding occupation. So, let me see… I think I’ll conclude with wisdom of William Shakespeare: ‘Better three hours too soon than a minute too late’. Which pretty much sums up how diplomacy works.[b]
Sopek: A most fitting quote. Thank you for your time Commander. ::Sopek shifts in his chair to face the recorder.:: Thank all of you as well. I am Sopek and this has been The Lower Decks. To Lieutenant Commander Brek and everyone watching might I say. ::He raised his hand in the traditional Vulcan salute.:: Long Life and Prosperity.
Brek is played by a French woman with an obsession not for Ferengis, but for the English language, which she will butcher happily in her posts. She likes all things British (well, not so much the food) and when rl gives her a bit of time, she can be found chasing insects (with a camera, and in summer), reading sf short stories, or books about writing, (which is quite an interesting way not to write).