- This article is about the Breen species. For information on the Breen homeworld, see Breen (planet).
History and Politics
Shrouded in mystery, the Breen have been discovered to be one of the most underestimated races inhabiting the Alpha Quadrant. From what is known, their reputation can be summed up in a Romulan saying: "Never turn your back on a Breen". (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")
Historically, the Klingon's were among the first to discover the extent of underestimating the Breen. During the Klingon Second Empire, Chancellor Mow'ga ordered a fleet of Klingon warships to invade and conquer the Breen. The fleet was never heard from again. (DS9: "Til Death Do Us Part")
Even by the 24th Century, much was still unknown about the Breen and their otherwise politically unaligned government, known as the Breen Confederacy. The Federation, however, had limited knowledge of the Breen and were aware of Breen outposts located near the Black Cluster in 2368. (TNG: "Hero Worship") In 2370, the Breen participated in a palio held at Deep Space 3, in which the Ferengi attempted to bribe the Breen pilot into throwing. (TNG: "Interface") In 2373, the Breen settlements on Portas V near the Demilitarized Zone dealt with the Maquis, supplying them with cold storage units. (DS9: "For the Uniform") It was even noted by Ezri Dax in 2376, when captured by the Breen on a planet in the Goralis system, that they were a long way from Breen space. (DS9: "Penumbra")
Breen privateers during would often conduct indiscriminate raids against other Alpha Quadrant species. This includes the Breen attack and capture of the Cardassian transport Ravinok in 2366. Where, after, they used the survivors for slave labor in the dilithium mines on Dozaria. (DS9: "Indiscretion") In 2368, Starfleet feared the Breen might have attack the science vessel SS Vico. (TNG: "Hero Worship") Breen privateers also raided the Bajoran colony of Free Haven in 2372; they were, however, successfully driven away by the USS Defiant. (DS9: "To the Death")
Alliance with the Dominion
In 2375, the Breen moved from a policy of low-level hostilities toward other major powers to one of open warfare when they allied themselves to the Dominion. They were then allowed access to the Dominion military database. According to the terms of the alliance, the Breen Confederacy received several planets in the Cardassian Union as compensation for joining the war. The Breen would also be given control of the Romulan Star Empire in the post-war galaxy. (DS9: "Strange Bedfellows")
Shortly after joining with the Dominion, the Breen attacked Starfleet Headquarters on Earth in the raid on San Francisco. A short time later they assisted the Dominion forces in breaking the lines at Chin'toka. Under orders from the Female Changeling they allow the escape pods to carry the Federation survivors to safety. This major battle, known as the Second Battle of Chin'toka, was won by the Dominion thanks to a unique weapon, a form of energy dampening weapon system which could completely drain all the main power systems of a starship. Both of these defeats dealt a huge blow to the Allie's moral. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") The only ship immune to the Breen weapon was the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, that unintentionally survived thanks to an adjustment the main engineer had made to the ships' tritium intermix in the warp core. (DS9: "When It Rains...")
Although the Klingon fleet was able to make the needed adjustments against the weapon, the Federation and the Romulans were still unable to defend against the Breen. When the Federation finally did create a defense against the energy-dampening weapon, they would force the Dominion fleet to retreat. Breen Thot Gor expressed an extreme distaste of surrender, and would require the reassurance of the female changeling, that they were not surrendering, but instead regrouping and attempting to redouble their shipbuilding and replenishment efforts. (DS9: "The Dogs of War")
With the war turned against the Dominion, the Allies moved on to Cardassia Prime for the final battle. With defeat fast approaching, the Female Changeling promised the Breen that they could have both Romulus and Earth if they could turn the battle around, however, they could not. The Breen continued to fight with the Dominion until the end, demonstrating a willingness to die for the cause that matched that of the Jem'Hadar. With the Klingon's targeting the Breen ships, the Allies won the war. The Breen were allied with the Dominion and as a result not only shared in its defeat, but were forced to actually commit the hated act of surrender, when the Female Changeling signed the official surrender pact on their behalf. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Since the Breen homeworld is thought to have an extremely low average temperature, it is believed that the Breen have evolved with a unique physiology in order to cope with this ultra-cold environment. The Breen are a humanoid species that have no blood or other liquid circulatory system. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow") The Breen brain is structured into four lobes; this protects them from the probing of some empathic species, such as the Betazoids, who are unable to detect the thoughts or emotions of the Breen. (TNG: "The Loss")
Society and Culture
The Breen are known to use slave labor; and at least some of these slaves are captured in raids on other species. (DS9: "Indiscretion") They have been known to feed their prisoners a diet of algae paste. (DS9: "Til Death Do Us Part")
The Breen commonly produce offspring at a very early age. (VOY: "Elogium") The Breen entertain their offspring with nursery rhymes. Breen nursery rhymes can be made up of a heterophonic, five-line verse with an alternating tetrameter and pentameter structure. These are nonsensical phrases strung together because they rhyme (at least to the Breen). Some Breen music, which can accompany these nursery rhymes, is written on a Lyxian scale. (DS9: "For the Uniform")
- It is unknown if this means a young average age for known humanoid species, or if the Breen have children at an age that would be considered young among Breen.
Science and Technology
Given that most known humanoid species live on class M planets with an average temperature far above the supposed temperature of Breen, the Breen are largely thought to have had to develop environmental suits in order to co-exist with others. However, if the Breen homeworld is temperate as suggested by Weyoun, then their reason for wearing environmental suits, if they are environmental suits at all, is much more mysterious. The Breen are known for their knowledge of sophisticated cold-storage units, summed up in Captain Sisko's statement, "If anyone knows how to keep things cold, it's the Breen". The Breen have also developed organic technology to the point where they routinely use biological spacecraft. (VOY: "Scorpion, Part I") Some of these ships are fitted with cloaking devices and the Breen are known to use type 3 disruptors like the Romulans and Klingons, as well as energy dampening weapons. (TNG: "Hero Worship", DS9: "Indiscretion", Star Trek: Generations) The Breen made use of memory probing technology in the form of cortical implants and a tazer like technology for subduing prisoners. (DS9: "Til Death Do Us Part") They also manufactured the Breen CRM-114; a portable hand cannon designed to target moving objects and surface emplacements. Ferengi arms dealer, Gaila, dealt in Breen CRM-114's during the mid-2370s. (DS9: "Business as Usual")
- TNG: "The Loss"
- TNG: "Hero Worship"
- TNG: "Interface"
- Star Trek: Generations
- DS9: "Crossfire"
- DS9: "To the Death"
- VOY: "Elogium"
- VOY: "Scorpion, Part I"