Star Trek Expanded Universe

Breaking Benjamin (TCE episode)

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"Breaking Benjamin" is the third episode of the first season of Star Trek: The Cantabrian Expeditions. Despite the title, it focuses on Dr. Marie Bourget in its A-story, but does reveal a large amount of backstory about Benjamin Caldwell.


En route to Lelar Prime, attempting to enlist Lelari help in the fight against the Myhr'an, the Cantabrian must comply with the demands from three Lelari battle cruisers to accompany them back to the homeworld so Benjamin Caldwell can face charges of attempted genocide and mass murder...

Memorable quotesEdit

"You and your conspiracy theories, Helena. Really. The Federation's nearly on its knees with all the struggles going on around us, and you think there’s something to be gained by significantly weakening a technologically-superior race? Instead of simply asking them to help us?"
"Sometimes, Mama, the truth is stranger than fiction."
"The truth is, Helena, that these people need to find a solution, not someone to blame. That's the truth."
--Bourget and Helena Bourget debate about Benjamin Caldwell's trial


  • The Taris Syndrome is an allegory for AIDS. In a mirror to how the world reacted to AIDS when it emerged as a disease in the 1980s (and the stigma still attached), this story deals with the Lelari reaction to the Taris Syndrome: wasting resources on placing the blame instead of attempting to find a cure.
  • Some of the inspiration for this story includes Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods and David Gerrold's unused Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Blood and Fire".


Arden, Ethan; Arkrand Society; Bourget, Helena; Bourget, Marie; Caldwell, Benjamin; Caldwell, Jefferson; Caldwell, Sydney; Carrington Award; Cantabrian, USS; Cartwright, USS; Coral Sea, USS; cultural exchange officer; Federation-Tzenkethi War; Fernandes, Antonio; Galaxy, USS; Hogan, Zahara; Huntly, USS; Jonar, Ulitania; Killan, Tawana; Lelari battle cruiser; Lelar Prime; Lelari; McLeod, Gerold; Nowak, Christian; "Offworlders"; Paris; Radke, Daniel; Rakayla; Singh, Elizabeth; Starbase Expanse 3; Taris Syndrome; Typhon Expanse; Wrightson, Noah; xenoendocrinologist; Yh'ahni

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