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Avel Durken

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Avel Durken was the Chancellor of Malcor III in the 2360s. He prided himself on looking forward and had championed social reforms that he believed were instrumental in leading his people out of the dark ages. A family man, Durken appreciated diplomacy and its nuances. His skills in this area were put to the test in 2367 when the existence of alien life was revealed to the Malcorians.

That year, Commander William T. Riker, who was on the planet overseeing the final steps before the Federation initiated first contact, was injured and treated at the Sikla Medical Facility. The physicians soon discovered his alien nature and alerted the authorities, including Durken, Mirasta Yale, and Minister Krola.

The exposure of Riker's mission necessitated premature first contact, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard met in secret with Durken. Though the chancellor himself accepted the situation, saying that though he had left his home that morning as the leader of the universe he would return as a small voice in a chorus, he feared that most Malcorians would not understand. The chancellor was humbled when he observed, upon seeing the advanced technologies of the Enterprise, that if the Federation were conquerors as opposed to explorers and diplomats, the planet could easily be taken over with no need for peaceful contact. Ultimately, based in no small part on the actions of Krola, Durken asked the Federation to leave and not return to Malcor III until the Malcorians were ready, but not before he shared a glass of Chateau Picard with Captain Picard aboard the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "First Contact")

Durken was played by actor George Coe.
The script of "First Contact" describes Durken as "in his fifties, slight in stature, no Ronald Reagan here, there is a gentle, Woodrow Wilson quality, thoughtful, brilliant, committed."

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