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WRITING GROUPS: Star Fleet: PRIME (SD- 2427) | Star Fleet: ORIGINS (SD- 2261)- DEFUNCT | Star Fleet: BEYOND (SD- 2771)- DEFUNCT
- INFORMATION CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
- RELIABILITY CLASSIFICATION: D (dated information acquired from limited exposures and assets of a foreign/hostile power)
What or who are "The Breen" That is a question that many people have been asking for centuries. Unfortunately when dealing with the Breen one rarely gets answers. Instead the most that can be said about the Breen is nothing more than a collection of theories. No other race has been encountered for so long but has kept its secrets any closer. Star Fleet's understanding of the Breen as a people and as a threat is nothing more than a collection of theories and conclusions based on second hand observations. This work will attempt to combine these theories into a format that may provide at least some insights into the Breen. This much is known for certain about the Breen, they are a dangerous and cunning people who need to be watched. Even the Romulan Empire has a saying about the Breen: "Never turn your back on a Breen."
HISTORY OF CONTACT
Contact with the Breen has been at best, sporadic. Although the existence of the Breen has been known for centuries, the Breen have gone out of their way to avoid formalized contact with the other galactic races. Prior to the Breen's involvement in the Dominion War, the most interaction with the Federation has been in the form of isolated acts of piracy or as slavers. Sharing a boarder with both the Klingon Empire and the Cardassians, the Breen have strangely chosen to keep a self-imposed "Neutral Zone" between their space and Federation territories.
There are a number of theories as to this self-imposed isolation, most of which involve an unpleasant encounter with another foreign power. The first contact with an alien species by the Breen is believed to have occurred somewhere around the year 2172 when a Cardassian survey ship developed mechanical difficulties and crash landed on the Breen home world. Although the Cardassians themselves deny this encounter, it is believed that this survey ship opened the Breen to the possibilities of extraterrestrial life and the ideas of space travel. The Cardassians claim that the Breen in fact attacked the survey ship with aerospace fighter craft and shot it down. However the crash occurred, it is believed that the Breen quickly learned from the wreckage of this vessel and built their own ships capable of carrying them to the stars, and other unpleasant encounters.
At a time in the late Second Klingon Empire, Emperor Chal'Vek ordered a Klingon fleet to enter what was believed at the time to be Breen space. Although the records from this time period are sketchy and prone to exaggerations by the authors, it does appear that the Klingon fleet did engage a Breen task force. If the records are to be believed as accurate, the Breen, which supposedly fielded over 1200 vessels, engaged the Klingon attack force and destroyed it in a number of vicious battles over a three-day period. It should be noted though that the records indicate that the Klingons fielded a force of 130 vessels that were able to destroy over 800 of the Breen ships before being totally destroyed.
Finally, according again to Cardassian records, the Cardassian sent another 'exploratory' taskforce into Breen space late in the year 2285. The Breen supposedly began a series of hit and fade attacks against the Cardassian taskforce damaging one or two vessels at a time. The Cardassian records indicate that although they made several attempts to contact the Breen 'attackers' they were unable to find a peaceful solution to the situation and were forced to retaliate. This retaliation took the form of attacking several Breen held worlds in an effort to draw out the Breen attackers. Unfortunately for the Cardassians, the tactic worked and they were quickly engaged by a Breen taskforce. The Cardassian taskforce was destroyed but not before the Breen had lost the majority of their ships as well.
Other than these three encounters, and their involvement in the Dominion War, nothing more is known about the Breen's encounters with the other galactic nations. Until recently, the Breen have remained an isolated but possibly dangerous cloud looming on the horizon.
Almost nothing factual is known about the history of the Breen. We have no knowledge of any significant leaders or important events in their history other than the events recorded by other races. As such, the modern recorded history of the Breen is beyond the scope of this work. Do to their unique biology; introduction of on site observers or researchers is impossible so it is very likely that the Breen shall keep their secrets.
On the other hand, there have been several theories made concerning the pre history development of the Breen. For a roughly humanoid race to develop on a frozen planet such as the Breen home world, paleontologists believe that the Breen hold several unique biological adaptations. These theories have so far been supported by what little medical knowledge we have of the Breen. Although the Breen's unique physiology will be discussed later, it does play a major role in their pre history development.
The most accepted theory of the development of the Breen says that all life on the Breen home world started in subterranean chambers of ice. Of course the exact method is unknown but Paleontologists believe that life formed in these chambers over geological hot spots in the planets crust. These chambers formed micro ecosystems in which life first began and evolution took place. Due to the unique temperatures of the Breen world, it is believed that evolution took a totally different course than anything the Earth has known. It is believed that these micro ecosystems were a place of harsh realities where life forms were constantly battling for survival from the elements and predation. Paleontologists currently believe that the Breen are not descendants of any primate or similar life form. It is believed that these micro ecosystems were not capable of supporting large advanced life forms. Rather, it is currently believed that the Breen are directly related to a simple single celled life form similar to the Earth amoeba, a 'proto Breen'.
The current theory is that these amoeba like cells evolved a number of traits that later allowed the Breen to exist. The exact method of these evolutionary steps are still unknown but their results have been seen in the sparse medical records on the Breen. The first evolutionary step would have been the creation of some method to identify these amoeba like life forms from the other forms around them. Once these 'proto Breen' were able to identify themselves, then it is believed that they developed a method to group together for self-preservation.
Once the proto Breen cells had grouped together it was only a matter of time before they would have begun to specialize allowing for a wider range of functions. These specialized groups of proto Breen would then continue evolve through natural selection growing both larger and more complex, reflecting the evolutionary jumps that best allowed for survival in these harsh conditions.
At some point during their evolution, it is believed that the Breen home world sustained some massive geological upheaval, which opened many of these micro ecosystems to the surface and to each other. This upheaval forced the proto Breen colonies to continue their evolution due to predation and environmental changes.
Today, it is believed that the Breen are just highly advanced versions of these specialized proto Breen communities. Current medical research supports this conclusion along with empirical evidence observed in the Breen themselves but again, these are just theories.
Again, like everything else in this work, everything that is known about Breen technology is only theory based on observations. Even if the least of these theories is partially correct, the Breen are a technological equal to the Federation in many ways and perhaps a superior in others.
When last encountered by the Federation, the Breen were already masters of cloaking technology, having already developed their own unique type of cloaking device. It should be assumed that this technology has continued and is therefore still a threat of great importance.
In addition to the use of cloaking devices, Breen weapon technology was of great concern. The greatest of these concerns was for the Breen energy-draining weapon. Originally believed to be an inverted polaron beam functioning on an unknown wavelength, this weapon could breach a starship's shields and would inhibit the transmission of power inside the ship. In just a few hits, this would render any size of vessel effectively dead in space until such time as the ship was able to recalibrate its power distribution system. Luckily during the Dominion War, an adjustment in shielding harmonics was discovered that could block this weapon. Assuming that this adjustment is still an effective defense, this weapon still poses a serious threat, as it is still effective against a vessel if the shields can be knocked down. Breen did possess type 3-disruptor technology at the time of the Dominion War. It would be wise to assume that this weapon technology has also continued to advance and would therefore be an equal to Starfleet's most modern phaser designs.
Breen ship design was not only unique but also quite effective during combat with the Federation. Although oddly shaped, Breen ships appeared to be easily as fast and maneuverable as their Federation counterparts. Also of importance is the usage of many organic features in Breen ship design. It is currently unknown if the Breen has advanced this technology but if so, qualities such as ablative armor that regenerates during combat could not be out of reach.
Another common trait observed in Breen ship design is that all Breen ships appear to be highly over powered for their size. Again believed to be based on the Breen's early needs and fight for survival, Federation scientists believe that the Breen are fearful of running out of power during combat. It is currently unknown how the Breen power their ships but there have been several speculations. The most disturbing of which is that the Breen may be powering their ship using a Zero Point Generator. In theory, this device opens an almost infinitely small opening deep inside a dimension of subspace. This opening then funnels power directly from that dimension to the ships systems. If this were the case, the generator would be much more stable then a matter/antimatter reactor while providing an almost limitless amount of energy.
The Breen appear to have an extensive grasp of genetic manipulation and alteration for their own species. As expressed in the medical examination of the Breen in this work, it is currently unknown just how much genetic alteration the Breen practices. Starfleet members should be prepared for a wide variety of genetic alterations when encountering the Breen. Just because one Breen was slower than you doesn't mean that the next one will be.
One advantage that Star Fleet still feels it has is the use of D-Warp. Currently it is not believed that the Breen have developed D-Warp drives. Some Klingon reports though have stated intercepting Breen communications referring to an artificial wormhole generator. If the Breen do have the technology to create artificial wormholes, especially on a ship based scale, then the Breen could easily become a threat anywhere in known space. Current engineering theory does state though that an artificial wormhole would take an enormous amount of power to create and that power would increase the further the actual distance the wormhole would cover. It is currently believed that if this technology does exist, the current power generation limitations of Breen ships would limit its usage to distances similar to those covered at high D-Warp speeds and that it would leave the ship powerless for several minutes after each usage.
Finally, it should be considered that the Breen have acquired the Dominion's cloning techniques used to create the Jem'Hadar. If this were in fact the case, it would explain the Breen's apparent lack of fear of death and the great numbers that they seem to be able to field in battle. Combined with their racial memories, their simplistic physical makeup, and their highly active metabolism; it would not be out of reach to assume that the Breen could easily clone themselves in very short order. In combat terms, if a Breen ship has been damaged and needs more engineers to conduct repairs, it may be currently possible for the Breen to simply clone more engineers to do the job. This would make the Breen a threat of the highest order.
During the Dominion War, Star Fleet Medical and many of the Federation's top scientists were afforded the opportunity to conduct post mortem examinations Breen corpses. What they found when they opened the Breen environmental suits was far from what anyone expected.
The first observations, upon entering the suits, were that the vast majority of the suits were in fact empty. Further examination found that the suits contained only two ingredients but that these ingredients were found in all of the collected cadavers. First, the suits contained a greenish refrigerated gas. The gas was in fact refrigerated, at approximately -100 degrees Celsius or -148 Fahrenheit, but it also was thick was a microscopic algae, which gave it its greenish color. It is currently believed that the green algae is actually the Breen's preferred food source although it is speculated that they could actually survive on other food sources as well.
Secondly, the suits all contained a large amount of grayish colored dust. This dust was later determined to be all that remained of the actual body.
In a few rare cases, the Breen's body was available for examination a short time after the death of the individual. What was found was surprising to say the least. The Breen are at the same time highly primitive in their structure and highly advanced. Scientists found that each cell of the individual contained a number of unique properties, unlike anything seen in other self-aware life forms.
Most humanoid life is organized to support the creature as a whole compared to supporting each individual unit in the body. As such, most creatures can sacrifice a number of internal organs without causing death to the whole creature. The Breen seem to be organized in a different manner, putting more importance on the cells of the body instead of the body as a whole. For example, each cell in the Breen is a unique carnivore, still capable of capturing and absorbing nutrients in the same manner as an ameba on Earth. It is believed that food is absorbed directly through both the skin and lungs and is then relayed to each cell in the body. This also affords the Breen with the ability to do away with an immune system. Any foreign body that enters a Breen would immediately be attacked and absorbed by the surrounding cells.
This primitive form of gaining nutrients allows the Breen's body to do away with the need for many internal organs found commonly in other humanoid life forms. For example, the Breen have no blood. This advancement allows the Breen to avoid the need for water in their systems to a great extent. The Breen have evolved into using a form of liquid hydrocarbon compound to replace their need for water. It is this natural hydrocarbon, which forms the basis for each cell and is believed to allow them to live at such low temperatures without freezing to death. This hydrocarbon is also the basis of their primitive circulatory system, which functions only to remove waste products and to deliver a huge array of chemicals.
Although the individual cells in the Breen body have specialized to complete a specific function, they have also retained the ability to adapt to do other functions. In other words, if a muscle is damaged and needs to heal quickly, cells from the surrounding areas simply change their specialized form and become muscle cells. This incredible adaptation allows for an almost unlimited regenerative ability. Although the limits of this adaptation have not been tested, it is theorized that Breen could replace entire limbs if given enough time to repair. The regenerative ability and the Breen's highly aggressive version of an immune system could theoretically provide very long life spans. Although actual numbers are pure speculation, life spans of several hundred years may not be out of the question.
According to the Klingons though, there appears to be a limit to the Breen's regeneration ability. The Klingons have reported that massive trauma works just as effectively against the Breen as it does anyone else. The current theory is that their regenerative ability is temperature dependant. When their environmental suits are breached, say by a large bladed weapon, their body temperature is allowed to rise quickly. It is believed that the regenerative properties do continue but are just greatly retarded by the increased heat. In cold environments, it is uncertain if mass trauma weapons, like bladed weapons, would be effective against the Breen.
The Breen also appear to store their memories in a different form than other life forms. Although they do have a brain, much like a human's, they do not appear to use it for long-term memory. Instead, long-term memory is stored at the genetic level, allowing for racial memories to be passed from generation to generation. The brain does appear to store short-term memories and creates the chemical markers for the addition of long-term memories. These memories appear to be divided into three separate categories. Racial memories, have very little changes, and are stored in one single string of RNA. Personal experience memories are stored in a separate string of RNA, while occupational memories are stored in yet a third string of RNA.
These three RNA stands appear to be easily separated during reproduction. The female donor appears to be able to choose which RNA strands are donated to the offspring. It is believed that the racial RNA strand and the occupation strand are sent to the offspring while the personal strand is omitted. This allows the offspring to be born with an innate understanding of its social surroundings and its future occupation.
The most significant discovery that the scientists found was that the Breen they examined showed heavy genetic manipulation. The manipulation was not only masterly done but was very complicated in its design. It is believed that the Breen have extensive knowledge of genetic manipulation and frequently use this technology. With this in mind, it is uncertain if the physical traits that were discovered were representative of the species as a whole or were just for these few subjects.
What little is known about the Breen's society has been discovered by long-range signal interception by the Klingon Empire. The Klingons are excellent warrior but lousy at signal interception and decryption. The Breen on the other hand are very paranoid and secretive. The Breen heavily encrypted what signals that were intercepted by the Klingons so what information has been garnered from these signals is still subject to debate.
The Breen society appears to most closely resemble the society of ancient Japan on Earth. The society appears to be highly structured with all the political power resting in the hands of a central leader
When speaking about their race, the Breen pronounce their name with a plural suffix. When speaking about the ruler, the Breen pronounce the name with a singular suffix. It is believed that this ruler is a hereditary title and that the Breen people follow this leader with almost obsessive devotion. This devotion is either the result of almost obsessive loyalty or such an oppressive society that there is no publicly permitted criticism. The Breen, the ruler, enjoys complete and total power over all of Breen controlled space. Since one person could not possibly control such a large area, it is believed that powers are granted to several people in a pyramid style layout. The base of the pyramid exerts power directly on a small region of space or perhaps a small region of a planet. Power appears to be absolute unless the next level up in the pyramid over rules in a matter. In this way, each level has a desire to make the best possible decision for fear of their superiors taking notice of the miss management and eventually replacing the lower officer.
The society as a whole seems also to be divided into a number of classes. Each class is dependent on the other much like the governmental system. These classes appear to be very important to Breen society and there appears to be significant social separation between the classes. The first and most prestigious class is called 'Those that Know'. Our current best guess is that this title refers to the learned elite, made up of scientists and advisors to the government. 'Those that Know' are always referred to with respect and a certain admiration in public broadcasts. It appears that the Breen place a high importance to knowledge and scientific pursuits.
The next social class is called, 'Those that Rule' and as the name suggests is made up of the people in leadership positions. This title is actually broader than one might expect, as it appears to include any governmental employee or military officer. Socially, 'Those that Rule' are given just slightly less status then 'Those that Know' possibly because 'Those that Rule' are advised by 'Those that Know'.
The next social class is deemed, 'Those that Do' and is made up of the people who conduct trade based activities. 'Those that Do' include everyone from the common laborer to professional doctors and lawyers. This class appears to be the basis of the Breen society as a whole and makes up the Breen economy. As such, certain key figures in this class are afforded higher status than is normally allowed.
Finally, the lowest class, 'Those that War' is actually a deceptive class structure. It is believed that 'Those that War' only refers to the lowest ranking members of the military so long as they do not possess specialized skills. This could also refer to anyone in society that is not currently serving a purpose. For example, a common rifleman would be considered in this class where as a rifleman that was cross-trained in demolitions would be considered 'Those that Do'. It also appears that this class refers to the people in the other three classes as well. It appears that every member of Breen society is considered a warrior, regardless of his or her current occupation. As long as these other people are involved in their normal lifestyle they are afforded a higher rank. If for some reason, the person is not actively taking part as a useful member of the society, they are by default, a member of 'Those that War'. If in either situation, if that person is called into the military they automatically become 'Those that War' until such time as they gain enough military training to become 'Those that Do' or 'Those that Rule'. As such, socially every member of society is urged to become an educated and productive member of society and members of the military are urged to accept more hazardous duties or training to gain the higher social status.
Several commonalities can be concluded about the Breen from the limited contact that they have had with outside communities. The Breen as a people appear to be highly intelligent but yet fearful of other races. This xenophobic behavior could possibly stem from what we believe to be their violent history. To a Breen the entire universe can be summed up in one question, 'Can I eat it or is it going to eat me?' This question appears to be the basis of several interactions that have occurred with the Breen. For example, after the events of the Dominion War, the Breen retreated back into their space and refused any attempts at contact. However, any breaches of their perceived territories were met by harsh and sudden responses. This exemplified their reaction to their defeat by the Federation in such that they were afraid that the Federation was 'going to eat them'.
It does appear that the Breen continuously tests their preconceived classifications of the other galactic races though. Even though they lost the Dominion War, the Breen are beginning to come back out of their space and have begun to 'test the waters' so to speak with the other races.
In addition to their common xenophobic behaviors, all Breen appear to be highly sensitive to their class system and are easily offended by members of the other classes. Again, much like ancient Japanese societies, the Breen believe that honor should be bestowed upon a member of society based on their social status more than their own qualities. At least in public, the Breen appear to honor those of higher status even if the person of higher rank does not appear to be deserving of the honor.
Finally the Breen appear to have an odd relationship with death and violence. Unlike almost all other cultures, the Breen as a people do not appear to fear or worry about death. A large amount of their public transmissions contain graphic scenes of violence and death. There are currently two schools of thought concerning this lack of fear. The first school of thought is that the Breen as a people hold a religious belief that considers death to be beneficial or in some way good. The other idea is that because of their incredible regenerative abilities and their racial memories, the Breen only see death as an ending of one body for the beginning of another.
Unfortunately, these observations cannot be confirmed at this time. Until the Breen themselves decide to openly talk about themselves these are nothing more than theories. Even the perceptive powers of the Betazoids are not of any assistance in this matter as the Breen are one of the few species that Betazoids cannot read.
Tactically the Breen are currently looked at like a sleeping lion. As long as the Breen stay quiet and stay in their section of space, the Federation is not concerned with either their development or their actions. However, many believe that the Breen are beginning to come back out of their knee jerk reaction from losing the Dominion War. If this is true, then Starfleet should expect to see an increase in the number of encounters with the Breen.
Many in Star Fleet do not believe it to be a question of 'if' the Breen will return so much as it is a question of 'when'. This is of great concern to many because of all the current threat species; the motivations and capabilities of the Breen are the least understood. Because of their physical make up, they have very little need to hold what we would consider to be habitable planets. This makes their reasoning for expansion questionable and the methods of dealing with them even more questionable. It is difficult to offer negotiations to people when you don't know what they want.
Also of concern is the actual size of Breen controlled space. Although the exact size is unknown, it is currently believed that the Breen hold an area of space at least as large as the Federation. Currently the only known boarders are those that the Breen share with the Klingon Empire and Cardassian Union. It is believed that Breen space continues on core ward and comes close to Federation territories was well. The Breen have maintained a self-imposed neutral zone with Federation space but the exact dimensions of that neutral zone is known only to the Breen.
In actual combat experience, the Klingon Empire has had the most recent encounters with the Breen. These encounters so far have not gone well for the Klingons. The Klingons that survived these encounters describe the Breen as having ships of equal quality and ability as to their own but often attack in much greater numbers. Debriefings of these survivors have revealed a number of concerns. The Breen appear to use both complicated and highly advanced tactics in battle. When these tactics are not sufficient, then the Breen seem to just increase the number of ships or troops involved until they overwhelm the enemy. Many Klingons have stated that they enjoy fighting the Breen because the Breen die in such large numbers. More privately though, some Klingons have expressed fear in the way that the Breen conducted battle, often throwing themselves into battle with very little hope for survival. As one Klingons warrior put it, "an enemy soldier that throws himself on your blade is easy to defeat but the army is not." Some in Star Fleet speculate that the Breen could in fact have a navy larger than Star Fleet by several times. Causality numbers are a perspective-based measurement. If you have only ten men then a loss of two is a major concern. So far, the Breen do not appear to be concerned with the losses that the Klingons have inflicted upon them.
Perhaps of the greatest tactical concern when considering the Breen isn't the Breen themselves but Dominion. The Dominion controlled a huge region of space with untold access to technology and resources. If the Dominion brought anything with them that the Federation should be concerned about, the Breen would have access to it.
- The Breen pages were developed by Bruce Summa for OSFI, and edited by Scott Lusby and Noah Rains.