View Single Post
Old November 6 2010, 12:52 AM   #6
rfmcdpei's Avatar
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
View rfmcdpei's Twitter Profile
Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Really, prior to the Borg Invasion they were in a pretty bad way. Certainly not ready to assume supremacy if their neighbours fell into difficulties - they had too many of their own. In fact, in Articles of the Federation it's stated that they don't really count as a superpower anymore, which is why Bacco inviting Tal'aura along to the summit with Martok was "a courtesy". And why in Taking Wing and Regeneration Starfleet Command is quite happy to violate the Treaty of Algeron on the basis of "tough, we're stronger than them now". With the Remans gone, the Romulans' ability to swiftly and cheaply get the necessary resources for maintaining, yet alone expanding, the empire must be very difficult. And that was before resources were halved by the split.

Even before the post-Nemesis struggles, it seems to me like the Romulan nation had been in decline for some time. "Novels like Catalyst of Sorrows suggested that the Star Empire's economy wasn't as stable as it appeared, because the leaders kept channelling as much as possible into the military and weapons research leaving many regions in poverty."
Cretak's description of the debris in the streets of Romulus as being so decayed and ancient that it might date back to the time of Romulus' colonization, and Koval's reply to her suggestion that military spending cutbacks would just let the poor breed more quickly, stick out.

The Romulan bark might have been much larger than its bite; sure, they can build intimidating warbirds bigger than anything else in local space, but that massive gleaming starfleet is covering for several under-nourished farm worlds and crumbling city districts...I always assumed the Romulans were making a valiant effort to appear economically prosperous but really they were quietly floundering. I don't think they could have truly expanded the empire very far, because I doubt they could truly maintain their current military might for long.
Definitely agreed. Romulus' experience over the past two centuries has been one of decline. In the Romulan War, it took Earth, Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and assorted minor systems to oppose Romulan expansion; in the DS9 time travel 21st century time travel episode, the Defiant picked up Romulan signals from Alpha Centauri, suggesting that without Earth Romulan imperialism succeeded. But by the late 24th century, the atlas suggests that Romulus has been literally contained, almost entirely surrounded by Federation and Klingon space.

The Star Empire lost the farming worlds, and the IRS must have lost some major assets too. And how many shipyards or productive subject worlds in either state were destroyed by the Borg? [. . .] Of course, by my model, the Borg did get much further into the Federation than they did Romulan space- whether they sent more ships that way or if it's because the Romulan defense was more effective, I don't know.
I suspect the latter. My impression is that the Borg devoted as much time to wrecking the Klingon Empire as they did to the Federation, and that there's no reason why they wouldn't have done the same to the Romulan. If the Romulans did do a better job against the Borg beforehand with the Federation, as the salvaged technology suggests, the Romulans might have been a higher priority (though not higher than Earth.

I wonder how Breen or Tholia will feel when Romulus is destroyed in 2387 and the Romulans presumably become a burden, not an asset
Martin's latest novel, the one for the MMORPG, suggests that the Hobus supernova was the byproduct of testing of Romulan subspace weapons barred by interstellar treaty. If that's the case, given how drastically things have changed Romulus may survive 2387.

Might we basically agree on this? Agreed on the declining fortunes of the Romulan Empire, thanks to excessive military spending, and on long-term relative decline, but the Romulan states may have put up a stronger defense in 2381 than their closest great power neighbours, perhaps (my supposition) because of Romulan metaweapons use on top of relatively better military technology, and that the IRS has the best chance of the two Romulan states of pulling out of its downwards spiral?

Something I've mentioned before is that the whole Typhon Pact business potentially gives new significance to the RSE/IRS divide. Or it seems so to me. From what we've seen so far (and acknowledging we haven't got Rough Beasts of Empire yet), Donatra is pretty much just waiting for Tal'aura to screw up and then she'll let the two nations slide back into one, only minus Tal'aura. And A Singular Destiny showed us that the common people don't really care which side they're on; it's just the noble classes squabbling. So, until now, there was no reason why they wouldn't join back together at some point. But if the citizens of the two nations start buying into their new alliances, ideologically, it might actually give them genuine reasons to dislike each other at every level, not just the top level. The Federation/Klingon Vs Typhon Pact "cold war" might actually prevent any Romulan reunity. At least, that's a pondering I had.
I think that there are pre-existing factors. Leaving the restive subject races aside, the Rihannsu novels suggest a yawning divide between the Romulans of the homeworld and the colonials (descended from Ship-Clans disproportionately), with The Empty Chair suggesting colonials were willing to beggar themselves to build massive generation ships and flee entirely. The new movie also suggests that Rihannsu has three dialects distinctive enough to be learned separately. (Dialects in the Chinese sense?) The split might just reflect underlying ethnolinguistic divisions among the Romulans. Even if the Typhon Pact dominates or falls apart, I can imagine the split persisting.
rfmcdpei is offline   Reply With Quote