Prior to his Starfleet career Lapzik Ghein was the son of an officer in the Andorian guard, best known as an underwhelming yet obnoxious painter and playwright who eventually found himself blackballed from the Los Angeles and New York artist communities. After enrolling and subsequently quitting CUNY – the “poor man’s Andorian Academy” as Ghein would brazenly state – he somehow managed to gain a commission within the New York Mural Arts program. His work was near universally panned by critics in the city, however, as the inherently violent nature of the Andorian fables he used as inspiration were against the more peaceable sensibilities of the population. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue other artistic avenues, Ghein wrote a play that told the story of his time in New York entitled “The Mist Beyond the Frozen Fog.” The script was a near universal laughing stock amongst serious theater and film producers. In the words of one playhouse director, Lapzik’s masterpiece was, “[of] a level of crass, irredeemable pretentiousness that has not been seen since the stage adaptation of Sean Penn’s ‘Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff’ in 2022.”
Ghein was ruined as far as LA was concerned, and he was unable to find work or opportunity in either a theater or a gallery across three sectors as early as 2361.
Unsure of his future, he decided to book a one way ticket on a Greyhound passenger plane that would bring him to Anchorage. The climate was more welcoming, and there was only a two hour layover in Sacramento. Lapzik discovered he had read the itinerary wrong while booking his trip, however, and was stuck in the city for two days. He was fortunate enough to find a hostel, but on the walk there saw an advertisement for an open application event for Starfleet Academy. On a whim, Lapzik decided to complete the application and preliminary testing. After a handful of hours he was released and told he’d be contacted at a later date. The young man thought little of it during the second leg of his trip to Anchorage. He quickly found an apartment, took a job as a packaging hand at a local fish processing complex, and ruminated on his failures.
Three weeks passed before the transmission reached him. While his scores at mechanical inclination, general science, and mathematics were just below the average for a qualified Cadet, his very high spatial cognition, comprehension, sentient communication, and general intelligence scores more than made up for them. His letter of acceptance, printed on parchment and still framed in genuine Bajoran mahogany and always prominently displayed in his primary office, stated that “it [was] the belief of this panel that Lapzik Ghein [would be], with the diligent effort and work ethic expected of all Cadets, more than capable of becoming a well-rounded officer by the time he [graduated].” The higher scores in his weak areas of study never quite materialized beyond satisfactory, however. While he indeed excelled at athletics, naval tactics, and marksmanship, as well as histories, languages, sociological subjects, and other such humanities, his grasp of hard sciences was at best average or, at worst, remained mediocre. Ghein subsequently found himself relegated to the security field after graduation in 2365, despite an interest in operations and flight control.
His first assignment was aboard the USS Challenger in 2365 as, in title, the Gamma shift Brig Attendant. There was hardly a use for the brig for the first fourteen months of his service, it seemed, as the Galaxy-class vessels still attracted the more promising or serious recent graduates and veteran duty officers of that decade, both of whom were typically loathe to jeopardize their career with a stint in the confines of a cell. Ghein, in practice, acted more as a custodian of his area than a guard, all the while being denied lateral transfers to actual security duty and by all signs headed to the Starfleet equivalent of a dead end career. Such a sinecure, however, did allow him a certain freedom to study any subject that he took even a fleeting interest in with little interruption or distraction. He voraciously consumed poetry, prose, literature, art, and music from civilizations throughout the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. While academic papers regarding engineering, theoretical science, or medical procedures quickly became beyond him, Ghein developed a passing familiarity with a staggering number of authors, philosophers, and historians from throughout Federation space. He developed an especial interest in Ferengi, Cardassian, and Romulan works as they became available, as the still mysterious nature of these cultures held great appeal.
The nature of his duties changed when the Challenger was deployed to the front lines of the Cardassian Wars in mid 2366, as suddenly he found himself wrestling with enemy combatants-turned-POW’s and unruly, often drunk Starfleet marines. While Ghein continued to read and listen to dissertations during his shifts as opportunity allowed, often in the presence of one or two POW’s in their cells, distraction and interruption now abounded. During one particular lecture regarding political theory, a captured Cardassian named Sela interjected that the Cardassian Union would prove triumphant due to their superior form of government. The totalitarian system under which Cardassians lived, she contended, would prove to be capable of faster, more decisive action compared to the slow-turning machinations of Starfleet’s intricate regulations, bloated chain of command, and bureaucracy. The discussion that followed touched on historical Federation contact with belligerent civilizations as well as peaceful ones, and the various theories surrounding the effects and consequences of such occurrences. The conversation culminated with Ghein’s concession that “there [were] advantages to a totalitarian system, undeniably,” but that, “totalitarian systems have always suffered from the same administrative bloating attributed to the Federation, but also developed a tunnel vision or echo-chamber-like quality that more collaborative forms of government typically do not.” He proceeded to cite instances of such failures from planets on both sides of the Cardassian-Federation line, and even mentioned a battle from a minor coup attempt on Cardassia Prime. Glinn Zoya Sela was stunned by such an admission from a Starfleet officer, and found herself entranced long enough to hear Ensign Ghein’s argument out. She was impressed in equal parts by both the still relatively young Ghein’s grasp of widely-varying political theories and the number of historical perspectives he had versed himself in; so impressed that she offered actionable intelligence to the Chief of Security in exchange for asylum, citing, “if your barbarous Andorian is that clever, we’ve grossly underestimated your Federation.”
Ghein found himself assigned as a Sentient Intelligence Specialist under SFI before he knew it, though remained officially listed as a Brig Attendant as cover. Though he never had quite as critical a success as he had with Glinn Sela, he managed to turn another Glinn and a Gil (both of whom were disappeared by the Obsidian Order less than a month later) into confidential informants towards the end of the Cardassian War. His efforts saw him promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade in late 2367 and officially absorbed by the Intelligence Section aboard the Challenger, working as an Intelligence Analyst. Ghein remained aboard Challenger in this capacity until 2371, at which point he transferred to the USS Cholula to sift through varying reports about the Maquis Resistance.
Ghein flourished within the strictly defined bureaucracy of Starfleet Intelligence. His written documentation proved to be clear and concise without being too descriptive, and he also had the useful quality of putting others at ease in the field due to being an unimposing, generally well mannered man. Whether developing contacts in a spaceport or sifting through transmissions spoken in code, Ghein did top notch work that struck directly at the heart of any matters given to him. In 2374, the Cholula was evacuating a Federation colony with alleged ties to the Maquis when a skirmish with a Dominion-backed Cardassian force broke out. The chief of intelligence was killed during the brief fighting, which was explained as a misidentification of the Cholula as a Maquis vessel, and Ghein was promoted to Lieutenant in order to take over the position. He spent the remainder of the Dominion War serving as the liaison between the ship and the Assistant Chief of Operations, and was an oft vocal participant during briefing sessions.
He was almost immediately disliked by most of the senior staff of the Cholula, as his unflappably polite demeanor came to be discovered as the velvet glove for the iron gauntlet of a deeply ingrained callousness. He regularly treated his peers and subordinates little better than he would a confidential intelligence source, always somehow seeming to know much about others while revealing little of himself. What came to be known about Ghein was that he was distraught when his mother passed away in 2375 due to unexpected illness, was married but estranged from his partners and the nonbiological children that the three of them were raising, and that he and his father still spoke regularly. Ghein became notorious for continuously spinning regulations to fit his changing needs, and for liberally making tactfully veiled threats against the personal and professional interests of those who were anything less than fully cooperative in accommodating the execution of his duties. When his transfer was ordered in 2380, two parties were held aboard the Cholula: his hour-long courtesy farewell, and the all night festivities that ensued once his fellow officers realized they were truly rid of him.
Ghein had been claimed by the Counter Terrorism Operations Section of Starfleet Intelligence and recalled to Sol to assist one of the Assistant Directors in developing official channels of communication between security agencies of neutral or belligerent civilizations. While war continued to rage at the borders, there were always well-organized groups of political extremists looking to use violence as a platform for their beliefs. These groups were often threats to more governments than just the Federation, and it was Ghein who often sold the benefits of a certain “professional courtesy” between “the only civilized agencies chiefly concerned with the safety of actual civilians.” While what little public credit for this approach went to the Assistant Director, the Vulcan knew where her success had been rooted and promoted Ghein to Lieutenant Commander and Field Supervisor of Counter Terrorism, Core-Federation Region. This subjected a number of operatives equivalent to a starship to his authority, and Ghein was sent to Command School to prepare for such a responsibility; the nature of his position qualified him for Advanced Tactical Training, which he undertook immediately following his study in Command. In 2384, Ghein officially took on the leadership role of his Section and remained a hands-on commander that was almost always present to coordinate a field operation. While the man seldom found himself in a position to utilize the skills he gained from Advanced Tactical, he was surprisingly respected by the majority of his operators for being competent at successfully executing his orders while seemingly remaining primarily concerned for the well-being of his subordinates in the field. While this did not make him any more personable or likeable, he managed to maintain the image of being the aloof commander rather than a condescending tyrant by only being willing to associate professionally and/or officially.
2389 was the year that Ghein was offered a command level position within Starfleet proper. After reviews of his psychological profile, service record, and various professional references, he received orders to report to Captain Richardson aboard the USS Excalibur in the capacity of Executive Officer.
Character Service Record
|2365 - 2366||Brig Attendant||USS Challenger||
|2366 - 2371||Sentient Intelligence Specialist||USS Challenger||
Lieutenant Junior Grade
|2371 - 2374||Intelligence Analyst||USS Cholula|
|2374 - 2380||Chief of Intelligence||USS Cholula|
|2380 - 2384||Intelligence Operations Specialist||Counter Terrorism Operations Section HQ, Earth|
|2384 - 2389||Field Operations Commanding Officer||Counter Terrorism Operations, Core Federation Region||
|2389 - Present||Executive Officer||USS Excalibur||
Unfailingly polite, reserved, and of a cool disposition, Lapzik Ghein has made his career as a savvy bureaucrat with extensive time spent in Starfleet Intelligence. He is qualified for starship command by credential, though in practice has only acted as a senior field team coordinator for intelligence operations. While he has been successful at leading a moderately sized and multifaceted team of operators across three sectors, a dedicated duty station the likes of a starship will be a new test of his abilities as a command officer.