Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lakhraem Euhren u'Ouahhai (Defense of Planet and of System)

mh'Hnahfvierai Fvillhum s'Gessatra

na Rhihv:  Lakhraem Euhren u'Ouahhai
the Concern:  Defense of Planet and of System

My dear Proconsul,

Recent events have been fast and furious.  I need not brief you again on the what of those events.  What should be obvious, however, is that the orbital defenses of both Terrha and Krhonosh were woefully inadequate.  Both Earth Spacedock and the Qo'noS Orbital Shipyard were destroyed, in spite of patrols, active warships, and the armaments in the rubble of Praxis, to say nothing of the defenses of the shipyard itself, and all the various defenses in the Sol system.

By contrast, we have almost nothing in orbit around ch'Mol'Rihan.  A handful of small satellites, a transwarp gate, and whatever vessels happen to be in orbit at the time, some of which are not vessels of our Republic.  While that leaves little to be destroyed by a similar attack on our new homeworld, it does also leave no distraction for a foe like the Undine;  they would aim their planetkiller not at some orbital construct, but at our home itself.

We must rectify this situation at once!

Patrols of the system must immediately become regular and constant.  Orbital defenses must be constructed, maintained, armed, and staffed, ready at all times.  A station in orbit, or better yet, the Flotilla of the Republic itself, needs to be there to respond to any threat of such a nature.  Additional and upgraded weapons must be authorized for all personnel.

I will trust you to take this matter to the Deihuit, with the expediency and urgency necessary for a timely allocation of funds and the establishment of any programs necessary.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

((Star Trek Online, Season 9: A New Accord [***WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!***]))

Star Trek Online,
Season 9:  "A New Accord"

The year in Terrhain reckoning is 2410.  A recounting of recent history is in order to ensure understanding.  In early 2409, peaceful colonies of the Romulan Star Empire were attacked by the Tal'Shiar and the Elachi.  Refugees of these attacks mostly joined with what was then named "the Romulan Republic," a faction vying for power in the wake of the destruction of Romulus and Remus in 2387, made up of a number of personnel from the Romulan Star Navy who had become stridently opposed to the overweening authority of the Tal'Shiar and the abuse thereof by Tal'Shiar agents.  They elected one of their own as their leader, a Romulan by the name of D'Tan, who had studied the teachings of the Vulcan philosopher Surak and joined the Reunificationist movement as a youth, under the leadership of Ambassador Spock of Vulcan.  Spock gave his life to save other worlds from the fate of Romulus and Remus, destroyed by the subspace spread of energy from the Hobus supernova -- a supernova caused, it was learned later in 2409, by the Tal'Shiar.  While still a Reunificationist, D'Tan did not push his personal views on others in the movement.  At the beginning of 2409, "the Romulan Republic" was merely a schismatic faction of Rihannsu, without any real territory to claim as their own.

In early 2409, the Romulan agricultural colony on the planet Virinat was involved in life as usual.  The Virinat variety of Romulan Ale had been brewed and had fermented in the casks long enough;  it was time for the Festival of the Tapping, when the Virinat Romulan Ale casks would be tapped and the colonists would spend the evening in revelry.  The Virinat style of making Romulan Ale had led to a popular variety throughout the Romulan Star Empire;  the colonists harvested nectar produced by Khellidir, insects native to the planet Virinat, and added it to the mix when the brewing process was completed, after which the ale would be poured into wooden casks at the time of the fulness of the Virinat moon and then left to ferment for five cycles of the Virinat moon.  Then the casks would be tapped, and a festival would ensue before the work of distributing the product to buyers throughout and beyond the Romulan Star Empire.  In the afternoon before the first Festival of the Tapping of 2409, colonists noticed that the normally peaceful Khellidir were strangely aggressive.  Investigation led to the discovery of machinery bearing a resemblance to Borg technology, but somehow different.  One of the elders of the colony suggested a connection to a race called "Elachi," who live in subspace.  The machinery having been disabled, however, and the Khellidir back to their typical behavior, further investigation was to be put off until after the festival.  As Malem, the Maiori of the Virinat colony, had just finished his oration at the opening ceremony and the fireworks were beginning to flash in the night sky, the colony was rocked by an explosion, and then another, and another ...

Virinat was under attack.  Colonists were abducted or killed.  A fortunate few managed to escape the planet's surface in shuttles, only to be confronted by Tal'Shiar drone ships and Tal'Shiar light warbirds.  Some colonists managed to get to older light warbirds in the system, relics of past service by the Maiori and other elders of the colony.  These colonists would fight off the Tal'Shiar drone ships and light warbirds, and even a more powerful Tal'Shiar vessel commanded by Colonel Hakeev, the Chief of the Tal'Shiar, the latter with assistance from warbirds of "the Romulan Republic" which warped in at a critical moment.  An Elachi vessel was also destroyed by the Colonists and the warbirds of The Romulan Republic.  Many of the Colonists chose to throw in their lot with the schismatic faction at this point.  Not long afterward, the unwarranted aggression was repeated in another place;  the peaceful Reman mining colony on Crateris was also attacked by Elachi and Tal'Shiar forces.  Fortunately for the Remans of Crateris, however, they had vessels in orbit, and some vessels from the Romulan Republic were also present to lend support, including ships commanded by refugees from Virinat.  A few months later, the Reman Resistance, under Obisek, allied themselves with the Romulan Republic.

Investigations conducted by the Romulan Republic's Militia Intelligence revealed the depths of Tal'Shiar crime and corruption;  a repetition of the offenses would be extensive, and is not necessary in this place, having been recounted elsewhere already, but among them is a practice of indoctrination and brainwashing using various chemical, physical, psychological, audio-visual, and other techniques.  The sycophancy, passive-aggressive tendencies, cruelty, capriciousness, and incompetence which result from successful indoctrination is very similar to symptoms of Damaged Personality Disorder, with an unhealthy dose of Paranoia tossed in.  Deprogramming efforts to liberate the psyches of subjects have not always been entirely successful.

In the first half of 2409, an expedition of vessels from the Romulan Republic rediscovered Dewa-III, a planet to which their ancestors had come after The Sundering and which they had settled before settling on the Two Planets in the Eisn System which became ch'Rihan and ch'Havran.  Important and symbolically potent artifacts from the first settlement by the ancestors were discovered and a new conference was called at Khitomer, where, after attempts to sabotage the proceedings were made by the Tal'Shiar and foiled by elements of the Romulan Republic's Star Navy and the Klingon Defense Force, the Romulan Republic was formally recognized by both the Klingon Empire (and thus the Orion Syndicate, which now secretly runs the Klingon Empire) and the United Federation of Planets.  Territory, including the Dewa System, was recognized as held by the Romulan Republic.  The planet Dewa-III was renamed ch'Mol'Rihan, or "New Romulus," and a Capitol City was constructed on the planet with assistance from the Federation and the Klingon Empire.  Although the Federation and the Klingons were still officially at war, the situation had come to the point of being primarily a cold war, with occasional minor territorial skirmishes, raids, and the like.  The two powers, and what was now "the New Romulan Republic," were faced with far more dangerous enemies, including the Tal'Shiar-Elachi alliance, the Hirogen, the Tholians, the Borg, the Breen, the True Way terrorists, the Undine, and the silent puppetmasters sitting concealed in subspace:  the Iconians.

With the discovery of a functional Iconian Gateway beneath the surface of ch'Mol'Rihan, a new season came.  The New Romulan Republic chose to power up the Gate and open it.  Representatives of both the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets were present for the event, which was almost a catastrophe, but that potential was averted.  In the process, several persons from the three powers had to escape through the active Gateway.  They found themselves inside a Dyson Sphere.  A solanagen-based lifeform was present in the Sphere, as were Voth, a reptilian race which had originated on Terrha and was bent on exterminating anyone who challenged their fundamentalist pseudoscience.  The Solanae Dyson Sphere, as it came to be called, was capable of amazing things.  Among the discoveries was the fact that connecting to the Jenolan Dyson Sphere was possible.  Unfortunately, the Undine invaded the Jenolan Dyson Sphere and began plans to launch an attack on the powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.  The three major powers of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, namely, the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire (Orion Syndicate), and the New Romulan Republic, banded together to fight off these attacks, but Earth Spacedock and the Qo'noS Orbital Shipyard were destroyed.  A number of Undine who had infiltrated the Federation were revealed and died trying to kill citizens of the three major powers.  An Iconian appeared with a warning.

Following these events, the Klingon Empire (Orion Syndicate) and the United Federation of Planets agreed to call an end to their hostilities.  The Federation-Klingon War was over.  The threats to the peace of the three powers, and indeed the plenitude of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, from the Tholians, the Tal'Shiar-Elachi Alliance, the Hirogen, the Borg, the Voth, and the Undine continue.  The Tal'Diann stands ready and vigilant to these and any other threats to the security and freedom of the citizens of the New Romulan Republic.

Join us and fight for the New Romulan Republic.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Na Latas Rihan u' Hluntemcaire (The Romulan Way and Reunification)

Gessatra ir'Virinat t'Prell, galae'Enriov s'Tal'Diann,
to D'Tan, Ehkifv Temjahaere s'Kreh'dhhokh Mol'Rihanai,
concerning the Romulan Way and Reunification:

Jolan'tru, my dear Proconsul,

Serving the cause of Freedom in the office of hru'Phi'Tlarum Mol'Rihanai is a great honor, and a terrible responsibility.  S'task and Tellus, along with numerous dissidents, left ch'Thaei long ago, with that one passion underlying all of their several motivations.  Freedom burns savagely in the grey heart of every Romulan and and every Reman.  Freedom is the passion we cradle to our breasts, the most fundamental sigh of the voice of everyone whose ancestors left ch'Thaei, the great longing in the most intimate whispers of those whose ancestors marched beneath the raptor's wings.

Those who remained behind and became the Thaessu embraced a radical new dogma, which, however much it claimed to celebrate infinite diversity in infinate combinations, was woefully intolerant and thus failed to live up to its high ideals.  They persecuted our ancestors until they drove them away, and have played the victim ever since, when it suited them.  Other times the Thaessu would display blatantly their arrogance and conceit, and their bigotry.  They martyred their own savior, perverted his teachings to suit themselves, and deified him, and, with the accused not present, bore false witness against our ancestors, charging our ancestors with deicide.

The Thaessu fell from the lofty precepts of their savior long ere Surak had even passed from this life, and, because our ancestors would not bend the knee, nor bow the head, nor avert the eyes, the Thaessu drove our ancestors by much attrition to set out on a quest for a new home, leaving the old home behind, usurped by an upstart clan spreading a perversion of the scribblings of a Wise Fool because they could not apprehend the intentions of the Mad Savant.  Our ancestors having departed then followed the road of the stars for a time, encountered threats and dangers, suffered losses, made a false start, and after all these diverse and sundry trials, found their new home in two planets within the Eisn system known also by the name of the Thaes god Ket-Cheleb, particularly among the followers of Tellus.  This new home, too, would eventually prove to be a false start, although an age would pass away ere this verity were recognized.

Initially on finding the two worlds, however, our ancestors divided in three, with some settling a planet which they named ch'Rihan ("of the Declared Ones"), and others settling a planet which they named ch'Havran ("of the Travellers"), and some forming clans whose life would be spent primarily aboard ships, conducting commerce and tourism between the two worlds (these were called na Mhashein ih'Hierar, "the Ship Clans").

Travel between the two worlds of the Eisn system was not the only tourism or commerce.  Our ancestors and the Thaessu carried on a centuries-long exchange, primarily in the form of covert affairs, spycraft, infiltration, political influence and intrigue, subtle and hidden philosophical studies, mystical exploration, cultural anthropology, the pilfering of technology, and so on.  Some names are well known to their posterity:  Valdor, Keras, Di'on Charvon, Valeris, T'Pel, T'Prell, among a few others.  Some were so successful in their covers that they have remained hidden from the annals of history.  However, defections were also neither rare nor one-sided;  for over a thousand years, Thaessu dissaffected with the sterile orthodoxy and/or the hypocrisy of their leaders managed to find their way through an underground network to the worlds of the Eisn system, and both Rihannsu and Havrannsu disgusted by the guile, decadence, corruption, and/or madness of their leaders would likewise in the opposite direction finding their way to ch'Thaei.

During the earliest period in which an external party who took the time and put forth the effort necessary for the establishment of historical archives was interacting with the Thaessu, some 300 years before the present record, the Kir'Shara (Surak's original writings detailing the teachings of Cthia),  long believed lost, were rediscovered, and the society of ch'Thaei began a reformation, which continues to this present moment.  The Thaessu have come a long way in those three centuries, but they have yet some way to go before the reformation of their society and culture can be considered complete.  Romulan-Vulcan intrigue had a great deal to do with the expedition of the Thaessu and Terrhasu which located the long-lost texts and set off the much-needed reformation.  The goal motivating this intrigue was a plan to reunify the Thaessu with the Rihannsu and Havrannsu, but before that could be considered seriously by the majority necessary for bringing the plan to fruition, the Thaessu would have to see their false orthodoxy for what it was in the light of truth.  The seed would then germinate, inexorably leading to the actualization of Reunification, as the Thaessu would learn a powerful lesson by these events, the lesson to question tradition, custom, and authority, and it would take time for the collective psyche of the Thaessu to be humbled by the revelation that they had been led away from the original teachings of their savior at the hands of unscrupulous power-mongers, as it would likewise take some time for the obligatory reforms to actuate the Thaessu.  A new generation would enjoy the harvest.

Llairhi Spahkh ch'Thaessu would reawaken the Reunificationist impulse among the Thaessu, over a century later, his Thaes heart still seeping with the love he had not been able to justify, a love he could not prevent himself from feeling, but which he had not been free to demonstrate in the manner his beloved Di'on had hoped.

The power-grabbing schemes of the Tal'Shiar formed the underlying cause of the Hobus supernova, the destruction of ch'Rihan and ch'Havran, and the mass murder of billions of Rihannsu.  The second false start had been brought to an end by greed, paranoia, incompetence, ignorance, and sycophancy, passions more well-suited to Feh'rengsu, Jem'Hadarsu, Pakledsu, Terrhasu, and Vortasu than to Rihannsu and Havrannsu.

The same Spahkh ch'Thaessu was unable to save ch'Rihan and ch'Havran, but he gave his all to prevent further planets from suffering the same fate, successfully containing the subspace rupture by means of creating an artificial singularity.  Spahkh was also half-Terrhasu, his mother being from Terrha.  His name deserves commemoration and honor;  in the end, he chose his Passion over "rational" self-preservation, having already rejected the absolute purgation of Emotion as of no worth.

In the wake of this ineffable crime committed by the Tal'Shiar (but years before learning of their culpability), elements within the Imperial Star Navy, already longtime foes of the overweening authority of the Tal'Shiar and the accompanying abuse of said authority, broke away from the Star Navy with their vessels and crews, dreaming of the establishment of an independent and sovereign Romulan polity which would return to seeking the actualization of the authentic Summum Bonum cherished in the collective soul of Rihannsu and Havrannsu and our ancestors who left ch'Thaei, that passion which sings in the hearts of our peoples:  Freedom.  From among themselves, the schismatic military personnel elected one of their number to be their leader.  That one was of course your own person, D'Tan.

Your own previous studies of Thaes cultural features, including the Kir'Shara, and with personal instruction from Llairhi Spahkh, have served you well in working for the most pressing current needs of the peoples.  You understand well the challenges facing any effort to realize the dream of Reunification.  The dream will not be achieved for some time yet to come.  Our generation may have traveled the Star Road to Vorta Vor before the ideal becomes actual.  Patience will be required, and determination.  The Thaes social and cultural baggage must be exposed to the light of truth before the eyes of the Thaessu themselves, that they will have no choice but to face the truth, and abandon the undesirable (and unachievable) and illogical effort to purge emotions entirely and thoroughly, an effort not condoned nor ever taught by Surak himself.  The acceptance of both emotion and passion must be encouraged by all means which I have enumerated in a separate communique to you -- not the imposition or enforcement of the Romulan Way upon the Thaessu, but by further Reform in Cthia, reestablishing the lofty virtue of Kol-Ut-Shan to its rightful place among our brothers and sisters on ch'Thaei.  In our dealings with the Thaessu, we must remember to avoid their own errors.  Education is the key, and not force of any form.  Let that be reserved for our common foes.  If the Thaessu wish to live by the Kir'Shara, then by all means, let them do so faithfully, without partiality for their own prejudices.  The Kir'Shara is a path to enlightenment;  there are other paths to other things.

What of the Romulan way, then, the defining cultural and social characteristics which make the Rihannsu and Havrannsu what we are?  Some two millennia have passed since our ancestors began their exodus from ch'Thaei, in order to maintain the liberty of their hearts and minds against enforced conformity to an external standard.  While our peoples share a number of defining qualities (acceptance of both emotion and passion, willingness to use violence when the situation requires, respect for the Old Ways from before "the Time of Awakening," and others), the one quality which underlies all of these other qualities is our Passion for Freedom.

Reunification in the context of the Romulan Way cannot become realized until the Thaessu have been made to see the value in Kol'Ut'Shan, and have come to embrace it with sincerity, rather than mere lip-service.  When they do at last come to manifest authentic respect and acceptance of the infinite diversity in infinite combinations, they will be ready for Reunification with the Declared Travellers, who had to leave in order to remain true to themselves and the ways of those ancestors whom the Rihannsu and Havrannsu share with the Thaessu.

As I hold seats on the Continuing Committee and the New Romulan Star Command, I am obligated to furnish the Proconsul with advice based on my particular situation (including, among other things, the fact of my direction of New Romulan Military Intelligence, and my sharing of the Praetorate with other worthy heroes of the Republic), and so I have done with regard to a question dear to the Proconsul's heart.  The Thaessu are not ready for Reunification with us yet.  It may take more than half the lifespan of the current Thaes generation before the errors of preceding Thaes generations will be released into the past and Reformation will have been actualized.  Based on the intel gathered by the Tal'Diann's various assets, agents, operatives, and spies, I would recommend a concerted campaign to encourage the Thaessu to scrutinize the technique of Kolinahr, to reexamine the underlying idea of the technique in light of the Syrranite Reform and the Rediscovery of the Kir'Shara.  Perhaps the Terrhasu might be of assistance with this, with regard for a proverb given by one of their greatest sages (known to most Terrhasu of the present as Socrates), who stated "The unexamined life is not worth living."

On a related matter, I wish to broach the subject of stereotypes held by some officers of the Republic.  Many Kolari who live under the Orion Syndicate and the Klingon Empire, are also possessed of noble virtues;  and many Klingons who seek the Honor embraced by Kahless.  Trill in both of the warring powers are also known who are possessed of noble virtues, Caitians and Ferasans, even Jem'Hadar, Vorta, Voth, and Tholians.  Many of these have been called, as were our ancestors who left ch'Thaei, "heretics," when in reality it is they who hold fast to the Old Ways, and the others who have fallen away, corrupting their institutions and establishments, as has happened oft in our own history.  Stereotypes are infantile ways of seeing the rich tapestry which is spread across the stars, ever varying in its weave, and ever repeating itself.  We should hold ourselves, and our officers, to a higher standard.  When I speak of these noble virtues found in individuals and groups of every species and every worldview, I speak not of the passion of battle, but of the ideal state of being in this life.  The noble virtues of honor and passion and responsibility and the way to be the best that they can be, whether they embrace Cthia or Cluros or Mnhei'sahe or Batlh or some other expression of an attempt to understand the infinite and ever-rich diversity in its infinite combinations, and we will delight with them, thrill at their boasts, laugh at their jokes, console them in their losses, and ever share our Passion with that which is too deep for words -- we shall live our Passion, that Savage Fire of Green Plasma burning in the Grey Heart of every Romulan and every Reman, giving warmth unto the Eggs of the Great Raptor Mother of the Galaxy, enlivening them and arousing them to seek ever for that highest good:  Sovereignty, Freedom, Independence.

Fvillhu Gessatra,
galae'Enriov t'Prell s'Tal'Diann
u'hru'Phi'Tlarum Mol'Rihanai