Deranged Nasat wrote:
This leaves aside the Rihannsuverse, possibly novelverse character of Ael, who as Empress may have triggered a fairly intimate rapprochement with the Federation. It takes something pretty significant to explain how Nanclus was able to sit in on a classified Federation briefing to the UFP president how Starfleet would raid the Klingon homeworld if the RSE wasn't pretty impressively friendly.
One of the stronger arguments for incorporating Ael, and Rihannsu's
basic story, into the mainstream novel continuity is certainly the fact that between around 2275 and 2310 (loosely) the RSE seemed to pursue genuine hopes for a good relationship, even an alliance, with the UFP. Ael and the civil war would help explain that (we have D'tran and his supporters prior to this in Vanguard,
of course,but full government support for peace would come significantly easier if Rihannsu
is "counted"). Then Vokar and his ideological cousins rose up, unfortunately, there was Tomed
...and the borders closed.
Drawing from her own novels, but also from the TOS novels, Duane made a good point when her Kirk observed that the number of Romulan provocations to the Federation was rising sharply as a consequence of Romulus' increasingly deadly internal politics. The Triumvirate seem to have wanted unfettered powers for their own purposes: let them conquer vast swathes of space, use augmented telepathy to dominate the minds of their lessers, use frighteningly advanced science to deploy star-killing metaweapons and who knows what else. The Romulan Civil War, coming as it did after the Triumvirs had engaged in abundant and socially unacceptable violence at those within and without the RSE, discredited the crazy/ultraviolent school of Romulan expansionists ...
Or so I'd like to think. It took a military coup that came out of nowhere to create a Romulan government preparing to order a genocidal strike at Earth, and that government collapsed pretty quickly over the basic issue of the ethics of the thing. (That, and fear of Shinzon and the consequences of his acts. Would the RSE really be ready to take on the Federation, even after Earth's annihilation? Crazy/ultraviolent actions can as easily lead to massive retaliation as to submission.)
It would be great to have a sense of the rate and direction of Romulan expansion, who settled where and when and where the strongholds of each ideological perspective or sub-culture are. We can dream...
I think we can get an idea from the map. The Romulans seem to have started their expansion in sphere maybe thirty years across, located off-centre from Romulus (to the southeast), before embarking on two major expansions. The first took the Romulans in the general direction of Vulcan and the other Federation core worlds, coming up close to the worlds of the Debrune (whoever they were, exactly) before eventually being halted. The second, apparently more successful, went "east" and succeeded in acquiring a huge swathe of space before the movement petered out, partly because it came up against the Klingon border. At some point, the initial Romulan sphere seems to have been threatened: the Neutral Zone comes within ten light-years of Romulus, and the Battle of Cheron happened very close to Romulus and created a status quo where the ]Enterprise
could make a quick fly-by scan of Cheron to determine who won the race war without starting an interstellar incident.
Maybe the Romulans of the home sphere and the Federation border region are the people most strongly wedded to the expansionist project, the home sphere out of fear and 5he border region out of tradition, while the Romulans living in what became IRS space are more traditionalist, attached to their traditional liberty and displeased with intrusions on these liberties by their government, by aggressors, and (maybe) by undue aggression on their part?