Place of Origin: SS Dresden
Played by: kalyka
The youngest of five, Cassandra Leblanc-Reed was born on September 2, 2365 on the SS Dresden, a commercial transport. Her father, Patrick Reed, was still an active photojournalist when she was born. Her mother, Hélène Leblanc, had retired from teaching at Sorbonne University seven years earlier to privately teach her older half-siblings, Faith and Shamek.
Cassandra has always been much closer to twins Jonathan and Andrew, who were much closer to her in age than Faith, who is thirteen years her senior. Despite hearing much about Shamek, she has never met him.
A life of travel had long been the norm, as her father brought the whole family when working on various assignments or off-Earth personal projects. She and her siblings were all homeschooled by Hélène, who imposed a rigorous schedule: lessons six days a week, limited vacation time between terms. Every planet they visited was considered an educational field trip, and the children were expected to report on three aspects of their visit as soon as they departed for an another location. While Jonathan and Andrew would usually write about the artistic community or the architecture in a specific region, Cassie would write about the languages used by the planet’s inhabitants, the different dialects she had noticed during her visit, and if she had acquired any novels during her visits, how it influenced the local contemporary literature.
She has been passionate about foreign languages from a young age, striving to learn as many as she could as she became more aware of the cultures in and surrounding the Federation. By age nine, she was fluent in four Terran languages. She mastered Vulcan and Andorian a few short years later, and learned Klingon and Cardassian soon after.
Possibly because of her half-Romulan siblings, she became particularly interested in the Romulan culture, language, and politics. She devoured any and all documents she could get a hold of, including personal letters written from Shamek, which were few and far between, when she was a child. She was therefore able to write in Rihan long before she could hold a conversation in it, despite being given lessons by Faith. It would take many more years before she became fluent in spoken Rihan.
At age 17, she applied and was accepted at the University of Alpha Centauri in Linguistics and Political Science. While she enjoyed her studies, she was disappointed at the limited number of courses concerning the Romulans. Fortunately, through a loophole in the intra-university library program, she was able to gain special access to the library at the ch’Rihan Academy of Arts and Science. As a non-Romulan student, she only had restricted access to the library, but it would prove to be an invaluable resource nonetheless.
Cassandra interned at the Federation consulate on Alpha Centauri for the 2384-85 academic year, and at the Centauran Parliament the following academic year. It was there that she met Dahni Vasur’datura, who quickly became her mentor and friend. They were lovers for a brief time following Cassandra’s internship, but separated when Dahni decided to accept a position at the Chamber of Commerce on her home planet, Orion. Despite the initial heartbreak, they’ve remained close friends.
She completed her double-major in 2386, after which she started a joint Master’s degree, also in Political Science and Linguistics.
Hobus exploded less than a year after she started her Master’s degree, towards the end of her second term in 2387. Her father contacted her from his cottage in Canada, and she rushed to join her family as soon as she was able. She knew the event would affect many members of her immediate family, but none more so than her sister Faith, who was desperate to find and contact any survivors of her maternal family. No one responded, despite all efforts.
Faith and their father held a makeshift funeral for House Danrinillieu. It was an unorthodox funeral, Cassie observed, but it was touching nevertheless. Her older sibling mourned for a few more days, then sent for the copies of the wills that had been stored off-world by her grand-father. Cassandra helped in any capacity she could, and was even able to provide some information on Romulan estate law from what she had learned over the years.
Several weeks later, Cassandra returned to Alpha Centauri in time for the start of the new term for the 2387-2388 academic year, where she started focusing on her thesis. She had no interest in covering Federation issues, as she thought they had already been covered at length. The subject she wanted to write about, the evolution of the Rihan language in parallel to ch’Rihan politics and culture, was initially rejected. However, the committee overseeing her thesis reluctantly approved her thesis subject once she presented the initial outline, which was particularly detailed.
She still had access to the library at the ch’Rihan Academy of Arts and Science, and despite her limited access, the sections she was allowed to peruse offered so much documentation she had never before encountered that she was able to write a compelling Master’s thesis. The committee was so impressed by Cassandra’s research and interested in her document that it published it soon after she completed her degree in 2390.
She accepted a position in late 2390 at the UFP offices in Paris as attaché to Councilmember Franq Milhaud. She managed his daily schedule and conducted research for his various dossiers until it was decided eight months later that she should assist him during council meetings, and sometimes attend on his behalf. She had become so invaluable by 2393 that not only was she regularly attending council meetings in Paris , she would also travel off-world on his behalf at various events. Various other Council members and senior attachés would employ her for her expertise. In mid-2393, she started attending conventions and events as a diplomat in her own right. But wanderlust gnawed at her; she had been based somewhere for far too long.
When a position as Federation representative on a Starfleet vessel/starbase opened up in early 2394, she jumped at the opportunity. And she wasn’t the only one: competition would be fierce. Months later, after several interminable interviews and medical tests, she was offered the position she so coveted. Her wanderlust would finally be satisfied. She’d travel full time again.