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Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks in Star Trek)

Captain Benjamin Sisko


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Captain Sisko is the main character and commander figure in the Deep Space Nine TV series. This Star Trek spin-off ran from 1993 to 1999, with slightly different themes – less exploration, more politics and religion.

The show takes place on a politically sensitive large space station, which also becomes a major travel hub toward newly accessible system. It eventually turns into an important military objective.


Background

  • Real Name: Captain Benjamin Sisko
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Joseph Sisko (father), Sarah Sisko (mother), 6 half-brothers and one half-sister, Jennifer (first wife, deceased), Jake Sisko (son), Kasidy Yates (second wife), Rebecca (daughter)
  • Group Affiliation: Starfleet, United Federation of Planets
  • Base Of Operations: Deep Space 9
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 190 lbs Age: 43 in 2375
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Benjamin Sisko is an experienced Starfleet officer, having served on numerous diplomatic assignments and tours of duty on starships. He is a qualified engineer and spent several years designing warships at Starfleet’s finest shipyard.

Having earned a reputation as a respected naval strategist and ground tactician, Sisko has been assigned temporary duties such as Head of Starfleet Security and Admiralty Strategy Adjutant during the Dominion War.

His prominence on Bajor and DS9 has made him a widely respected figure in the politics of the Alpha Quadrant. So much so that when the Dominion began its war against the Federation Sisko’s psychological profile became required reading for the Vorta controllers of the Dominion military.

Sisko is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant. He is capable of quickly defeating multiple armed opponents while fighting unarmed himself. He maintains excellent physical fitness through a variety of athletic activities including baseball, wrestling, and soccer.

After becoming the emissary of Bajoran faith, Sisko took it upon himself to become a scholar in Bajoran religious beliefs and history. His goal was to better understand his role in their society. This knowledge has been supplemented by recurrent prophetic visions giving Sisko unique insights into the events surrounding him and Bajor.


History

(This history includes the events of the Deep Space 9 relaunch from Pocket Books up to Unity.)

Though Benjamin Sisko would not even hear of Bajor’s Prophets until much later in his life, they were an instrumental part of his very birth.

The Prophets arranged for Joseph Sisko to meet his first wife and to father Benjamin with her. However, their involvement would remain unknown to Sisko or his father until early 2375. After the Prophets’ future was assured by Benjamin Sisko’s birth in 2332, Sisko led an otherwise unremarkable childhood (“Image in the Sand,” “Shadows and Symbols”).

At the age of 18 Sisko entered Starfleet Academy. During his 4 years there he was captain of the wrestling team. Shortly after his graduation in 2354 Sisko met Jennifer, the woman who would become his first wife (“Emissary”).

Sisko was First Officer aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga during the Battle of Wolf 359 in early 2367. Sisko’s wife was killed during the destruction of the Saratoga in that battle. The loss traumatized him and he spent most of the next 3 years away from field duty at the Utopia Planetia Shipyards.

His engineering team designed warships to combat future Borg incursions, the result of which was the Defiant starship class.

Back into the field

In late 2369 Starfleet decided that Sisko was ready for field operations again. Over his protests they transferred him to command of the space station Deep Space Nine (DS9). DS9 was a former Cardassian ore processing station left behind when the Cardassians gave up their decades-long occupation of the independent planet Bajor.

To aid the Bajoran reconstruction, Starfleet had agreed to help run DS9 as a shipping port while the Bajorans rebuilt their planet’s infrastructure.

Soon after arriving at Deep Space 9, Sisko and his crew discovered a stable wormhole in the Bajor system. This wormhole was the creation of the Prophets, a group of aliens that were considered gods by the Bajorans.

The wormhole aliens/Prophets were non-linear beings. They lived in all times simultaneously rather than experiencing one moment after the next as humans do. Sisko explained life in linear time to the Prophets. In the process he truly came to terms with losing his wife for the first time since her death.

Sharing these experiences with the Prophets sparked their curiosity. It also assured them that Sisko and the Federation meant no harm to them. This contact led to the Prophets permitting use of the wormhole to explore the Gamma Quadrant.

Sisko consequently become known to the Bajorans as the Emissary of the Prophets. This was foretold in their religious prophecies about a non-Bajoran who would travel to the Celestial Temple (the wormhole) and meet the Prophets (“Emissary”).

His command

For the next 3 years the crew of DS9 met many challenges related to its two on-going missions. The first mission was the exploration of the Gamma Quadrant. It yielded a wealth of scientific discoveries and first contacts with Gamma Quadrant societies while challenging the crew with hitherto-unknown dangers.

The second mission was the one on which DS9 had been founded, the protection and rebuilding of Bajor.

DS9 was instrumental in averting several crises involving Bajor. It most notably prevented a coup by radical Bajoran militants (“The Circle”, “The Siege”). It also took action against Maquis terrorists in the Federation-Cardassian Demilitarized Zone before they triggered a war with Cardassia (“The Maquis”).

Dominion

In late 2370 exploration of the Gamma Quadrant was interrupted by the Dominion. The DOminion announced their presence by wiping out the New Bajor colony in the Gamma quadrant and destroying every Federation ship on their side of the wormhole. This included the Galaxy-Class starship U.S.S. Odyssey (“The Jem‘Hadar”).

The conflict with the Dominion would occupy much of Sisko’s time for the next 5 years. It moved from a cold war with increasingly frequent skirmishes and terrorist attacks to outright war in 2373. The Dominion even forced Starfleet to temporarily abandon DS9 to the Cardassian-Dominion Alliance in late 2373 (“Call to Arms”).

Sisko led the effort to retake DS9 a few months later. He arranged for the Prophets to stop the Dominion from sending a major reinforcement fleet through the wormhole (“Sacrifice of Angels”). The war ended in 2375 when a combined force of Alpha Quadrant political powers inflicted major defeats upon the Dominion. This forced them to cease hostilities (“What You Leave Behind”).

Despite the trials of the war, Sisko also enjoyed good fortune during those years. He began a relationship with freighter captain Kasidy Yates that led to marriage (“For the Cause”, “’Til Death Do Us Part”).

When Sisko temporarily returned to Earth to help with security arrangements against Dominion intrusion, he prevented a military coup from overthrowing the Federation president (“Homefront”, “Paradise Lost”).

Visions

In 2373 Sisko had an accident in a holosuite while studying artifacts relating to the lost Bajoran city of B’Hala. As a result, Sisko gained prophetic visions that led him to B’Hala and helped him keep Bajor out of the crossfire of the Dominion War.

Sisko lost most of his prophetic ability after surgery to relieve the worsening symptoms of his visions, but the visions still appear from time to time (“Rapture”).

Shortly after the war ended, Sisko received one more vision. He traveled to Bajor to foil the plans of Gul Dukat, a Cardassian officer who had collaborated with the Dominion. Dukat sought to free a malign splinter group of wormhole aliens known as the Pah-Wraiths from the Caves of Fire on Bajor.

Sisko beat Dukat by throwing him into the flaming chasm within the Caves, though he fell in as well. Sisko was rescued from death by the Prophets, appearing one last time to his pregnant wife in a vision in which he promised to return one day (“What You Leave behind”).

In 2376, several months after he’d joined the Prophets, Sisko returned just as his and Kasidy’s daughter Rebecca was born and Bajor joined the Federation.

Sisko chose to neither accept a promotion to admiral or to retake his position as Deep Space 9’s commander. He instead plans to act as an advisor on DS9, using what he learned during his time with the Prophets to help Bajor weather the crises he knows are coming (DS9 novel “Unity”).


Description

Thanks to his tall stature and broad-shouldered build, Sisko forms an imposing figure. This impression was furthered by his change in hair style in 2372, going from tightly-cropped hair with a clean-shaven face to a clean-shaven head with a small beard.

When he’s in a good mood, his broad grin can be very welcoming. By the same token, when Sisko is angry his blazing eyes and fearsome scowl can be daunting even to his closest friends.

When he’s off-duty Sisko likes to wear loose clothing in earth tones. Otherwise he wears the standard Starfleet duty uniform.


Personality

Sisko is a passionate man, which shows rather quickly when he gets angry or excited. When he was younger his emotions used to lead to all sorts of impulsive behavior from constant late-night carousing with Ambassador Curzon Dax to once punching a diplomat for offensive behavior.

Though his maturation in later years has curbed these tendencies, he still acts rashly if sufficiently provoked. At the same time, these passions make Sisko a man to be reckoned with, whether as a devoted ally or as a determined foe.

Sisko’s feelings can be very infectious, whether he’s passing along his excited giddiness over a new discovery to the crew or sending them all for cover in a towering rage.

Grieving

Though Sisko can face most situations with unyielding determination, he is vulnerable to despair when he loses someone who was close to him. After his wife’s death, the depth of Sisko’s pain was almost more than he could stand and he withdrew from field duty for a long time.

When Starfleet forced back into a more active post as commander of DS9, Sisko considered retiring. His encounter with the Prophets made him come to terms with his wife’s death and inspired Sisko to embrace life again rather than continue running from it (“Emissary”).

Similarly, the loss of friends during the Dominion War caused Sisko numerous crises of faith. During a critical covert mission, Sisko almost blew the team’s cover by publicly attacking a Klingon who had killed one of Sisko’s academy classmates in battle (“Apocalypse Rising”).

When he learned of an old friend’s death in battle, he once again seriously considered resigning from Starfleet and was only persuaded otherwise by visions from the Prophets (“Far Beyond the Stars”).

Later, the murder of his dear friend Jadzia Dax along with the loss of his connection to the Prophets drove him into a months-long leave of absence in the middle of the Dominion War (“Tears of the Prophets”).

Values

Sisko’s professional ambition at the start of his career was to become an admiral. Over the course of his career his plans have changed as he realized he preferred being in the field where he could be a part of events rather than giving orders from a distance.

Sisko has repeatedly “creatively interpreted” or outright ignored orders to stay in the thick of the action where he can best make a difference (“The Siege”, “The Siege of AR-558”).

One of Sisko’s most highly esteemed values is loyalty to his people. He has defended the more controversial members of his crew on many occasions. Aiding a crew member or friend in need has been the most frequent reason for the bending or breaking of orders noted above.

He also prizes the same loyalty in return. Consequently some of his bitterest rages have been reserved for betrayals such as Security Officer Eddington’s defection to the Maquis on Sisko’s watch (“For the Cause”).

He is very protective of his family as well. Sisko has at times verged on being overly harsh and judgmental of potential bad influences such as Jake’s Ferengi friend Nog. Fortunately, he was convinced to give Nog a chance and ended up recommending Nog to Starfleet Academy as a promising recruit.

Ruthlessness

Incidents such as Sisko’s reaction to Eddington’s betrayal demonstrated his hidden ruthless streak. When he realized Eddington’s melodramatic leanings made him see Sisko as a horrible villain, Sisko exploited this by acting as one. He started bombarding Maquis colonies with toxins that would make the planets uninhabitable by human beings for decades to come.

Eddington believed Sisko had gone insane and surrendered rather than have Sisko continue his rampage. It turned out to be a diplomatic solution. The Cardassians that had been displaced by the Maquis were able to resettle on the worlds bombarded by Sisko – their physiologies being unaffected by the toxins used. But even then Starfleet Command was seriously concerned by Sisko’s acts (“For the Uniform”).

Another telling incident took place when the renegade Trill Verad tried to take the Dax symbiont. When Sisko had Verad Dax at gunpoint, he looked into Dax’s memories and concluded that Sisko wouldn’t phaser Verad and risk killing Dax. Verad was wrong — Sisko shot him down without hesitating (Invasive Procedures”).

Sisko was slightly dismayed to realize that he didn’t feel terribly guilty about drawing the Romulans into the Dominion War as Federation allies through false pretenses. This is even though he’d inadvertently abetted an assassination and several murders – along with deliberately committing numerous other high crimes in the process (“In the Pale Moonlight”).

At first Sisko was uncomfortable in the role of Emissary to the Prophets. The sudden pressure of the expectations and adoration of the Bajoran people left him bemused for a long time.

As Sisko became more familiar with the role of the Emissary he came to enjoy it. He took time whenever he could to give blessings for events such as weddings and births. He also participated in festivals and commemorative events that were important to the Bajoran people (“Fascination”).

He also became quite the scholar regarding Bajoran religious customs to better understand his place in their firmament (“Destiny”, “Accession”, “Rapture”).


Quotes

“Even in the darkest moments, you can always find something that’ll make you smile.”

Hudson: “I’m not turning back.”
Sisko: “And you’re not going forward.”

“Major, go over my head again, and I’ll have yours on a platter.”

“I wasn’t ’yelling.‘ I was just expressing my opinion loudly.”

“The trouble is EARTH. On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see Paradise — well, it’s easy to be a *saint* in Paradise.”

Li Nalas: “I’ve done everything I can to help. I would die for my people but—”
Sisko: “Sure you would. Dying gets you off the hook. Question is, are you willing to live for your people ? Live the role they want you to play. That’s what they need from you right now.”

“Well, actually I thought I’d say ’hello’ first, and then take the office. But we can do it in any order you’d like.”

“That may be the most important thing to understand about Humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching… not just for answers to our questions… but for new questions. We are explorers… We explore our lives day by day… and we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons or ideas. But to coexist and learn.”


DC Universe History

The Enterprise crew has encountered the X-Men on several occasions, including a crossover with Kirk’s and Picard’s Enterprise. Sisko and his crew could appear in the DCU in a similar manner, particularly if Hypertime is involved.

Sisko and the DS9 crew can be integrated into the DCU more directly by making Sisko a UN officer who fought in the Invasion, losing his wife during that conflict. Afterward, he was placed in command of the DCU Dominion’s “Stalag Station,”.

This station was captured during the Invasion. It guards against future alien attacks against Earth and possibly the seed worlds colonized by the survivors of the Dominion’s metagene  experiments.

In the LSH era, Sisko would also make a good commander for a Science Police station on the fringes of UP space.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Commander, Deep Space 9
Inf: 06 Aur: 08 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 022 HP: 075

Powers:
Awareness: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Awareness is limited to events involving Bajor and the Prophets. Examples include the closing of the wormhole by the Pah-Wraiths and the consequences of Sisko abandoning his guardianship of Bajor (-1FC)
  • Awareness can sometimes be triggered prior to the actual occurrence. For example, Sisko was warned in a vision not to leave DS9 prior to the closing of the wormhole and later felt a powerful sense of loss when the closing actually occurred (+2FC)

Skills:
Artist (Cooking): 05, Charisma: 08, Gadgetry: 08, Martial Artist: 06, Military Science (Danger Recognition, Field Command)*: 07, Scientist (Analysis, Drawing Plans, Research): 06, Vehicles (Space): 06, Weaponry (Firearms, Melee)*: 05

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (B‘Hala, Bajoran Space, Deep Space 9), Expertise (Ancient African art, Bajoran customs), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (Bajor), Military Credentials (High, Rank: Captain), Scholar (Bajoran theology, baseball, Cajun food, starship design)

Connections:
Bajoran Government (Low), Crew of Deep Space 9 (High), Curzon/Jadzia/Ezri Dax (High), Martok (High), Prophets/Wormhole Aliens (Low), Starfleet Command (High), Vedek Assembly (Low)

Equipment:
See the Star Trek Federation Equipment write-up.


Sisko’s visions

After Sisko’s holosuite accident in 2373 he was imbued with prophetic abilities. He gained his Awareness Power at this time as well as the ability to trigger oracular visions, known as pagh’tem‘far in Bajoran theology.

For a 15 HP fee (or by using one of the Bajoran Orbs), Sisko could enter a dream state in which he could see details regarding a very specific point of Bajor’s past or future. Treat this as a Perception Check against an OV/RV of 10/10, with RAPs getting results equivalent to those listed on the Knowledge Points table of the Detective (Clue Analysis) Skill.

One of these visions revealed the location of the lost city of B‘Hala and another warned Sisko that Bajor would be destroyed during the Dominion War if it joined the Federation at that time.

Unfortunately the visions had a price. The RAPs from each vision would be applied to Sisko’s BODY as Bashing Damage *and* Sisko’s MIND as Killing Damage. The damage can be bought down via Last Ditch Defense as usual.

Sisko has had pagh’tem‘far visions since then on rare occasions, triggered by positive RAPs on an Awareness Check. These lesser visions do not harm Sisko and provide nothing more than a suggested course of action (“Stay on DS9 instead of going to the Chintoka system.”) or clues that Sisko should investigate (showing him a woman’s face that turned out to be Sisko’s real mother).

These interludes never include an explanation of their relevance and are often allegorical, such as Sisko’s dreams of the DS9 crew as sci-fi authors in the USA during the 1950s. GMs can include the whole group in role-playing these events by having the other players act as characters in the vision.


Previous statistics for Sisko

From early 2367 until his first encounter with the Prophets in 2370, Sisko suffered from Guilt over his wife’s death.

Sisko gained his Connection to the Vedek Assembly in 2370 when he first encountered the Prophets and became the Emissary of Bajoran legend. He did not earn the Connection with the Bajoran government until 2371; after more than a year on DS9 including his support in stopping a military coup against the Bajoran government, they finally began to trust Sisko.

Sisko only had 50 HPs when he arrived at DS9 in 2370, gaining 15 HPs per year until reaching his current level. Similarly, his INFL, AURA, and Charisma were all 1 AP lower when Sisko first came to DS9. His AURA went up 1 AP by the end of the first year. His INFL increased 1 AP in the second year. By the end of his third year at DS9 in 2372, Sisko’s Charisma increased to its current level.

Prior to 2372, Sisko’s Military Credentials were only Medium (Rank: Commander) and he only had the Low Connection with Starfleet Command that automatically comes with his rank. The combination of Sisko’s promotion that year, his exemplary work at DS9, and DS9’s pivotal role during the Dominion War raised the Starfleet Connection to High.

Prior to the holosuite accident in 2373, Sisko did not have Awareness.


Mirror Universe History

Benjamin Sisko was a merchant captain who enjoyed special privileges in Bajoran space thanks to his association with Intendant Kira Nerys. Inspired by the rebelliousness of Dr. Bashir and Major Kira during their inadvertent sojourn to the mirror universe in 2371, Sisko created a group of Terran freedom fighters and began making attacks against the Alliance.

He was killed in battle against them a year later but the resistance fought on without him.

The mirror Sisko has the following stat changes: Reduce HPs to 50, drop Artist and Scientist Skills, and replace Advantages and Connections with the following:

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Bajoran Space), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (Terran Resistance), Scholar (shipping)

Connections:
Intendant Nerys (Low), Terran Resistance (High)


Design Notes

Resources is not applicable because Starfleet provides anything that their personnel may reasonably need.


By Roy Cowan

Source of Character: Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (TV series), character played by Avery Brooks

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, John Colagioia, Marcello, Danielle Mendus, Jay Myers, Dr. Peter S. Piispanen, Nick Yankovec

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