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Old November 15 2010, 01:33 AM   #80
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Re: Some speculation about the Romulans and the Borg invasion

SicOne wrote: View Post
The Verithrax was destroyed defending Coridan, right? A Federation planet?
It was Ardana.

Right now, I don't even remember if this incident was depicted in the Destiny trilogy or spoken of in one of the follow-on novels. The author was intentionally vague on specifics of the battle. Perhaps the full story is being saved up for some future "Tales Of The Destiny Event" anthology...
The Verithrax was described as being destroyed in Ardana's defense in the third Destiny book, in the same passage where Admiral Akaar mentioned that the da Vinci made Troyius disappear, as the only two good news items coming from the front. A Singular Destiny went into more detail about the effects of Verithrax, with mention being made about the new popularity of Romulan military haircuts among the surviving Ardanans and the logistical problems caused by every other refugee settlement's decision to name itself after the Verithrax. The only detail we got out of the battle was that the extended firefight between the Verithrax and the Borg attacker did cause significant collateral damage to the planet.

(1) The Verithrax was destroyed in the encounter, which would suggest that a suicide run was involved. I can't think of a metaweapon installed on a ship that would require the destruction of the ship upon firing it or detonating it.
Agreed. The Verithrax incident seemed relevant to the Romulan metaweapon question mainly since it's described as the single ship responsible for the attacker's destruction. That's impressive for a single ship, especially since neither Romulan state was given the specifications for transphasic weapons. That, I think now, is probably also irrelevant.

I don't really see the Romulans sending a metaweapon-equipped warship in harm's way just to defend a Federation planet. To defend a Romulan world, yes; Federation world, no.
Agreed. Any Romulan ship in Federation space from either empire was probably in transit, either to its state of allegiance or to the Azure Nebula.

In fact, I can see that possibility existing pre-"Nemesis", but after the coup and schisms in the military (like the one that led Donatra to aid the Enterprise-E), I could see them pulling all metaweapons off ships-of-the-line, with the exception of a few ships kept in close vicinity to Romulus and other very important worlds and sites in the Empire.
What happened with "Nemesis" was a worst-case scenario so far as WMD use goes. Regardless of the canonicity of the Rihannsu novels (or the degree of their canonicity, et cetera, whatever), the idea of trying to launch a decapitating attack on Earth while you're involved in a war versus the Federation and trying to hold of the Klingons makes a certain amount of sense. Trying to launch a decapitating attack on Earth while you seem to have a friendly relationship with the Federation and are in the middle of negotiating a closer alliance makes no sense at all. I doubt it made anyone feel better that this wasn't the action of the "legitimate" Romulan government, but rather the action of coup-plotters. Oh, everyone concerned with Romulans is going to be twitching for years ...

If metaweapons, or metaweapons capability, was fairly common in the Romulan fleet, I'm not sure that the metaweapons or the metaweapons capability would have been pulled uniformly. The schisms in the military, mapping onto who knows what sorts of political and cultural fault lines, would make it difficult to ensure that an order to pull the metaweapons would be followed.

Metaweapons might be illegal, but they're great deterrents. Metaweapons might even be popular as threats against other Romulan factions: The Romulans came from a Vulcan that had nuked itself into near-oblivion.

(3) With the Borg-unchained action going on, ANY ships equipped with metaweapons would in all likelihood been ordered to Romulus immediately, to form a metablockade against the Borg.
Romulus, Achernar Prime, et cetera, agreed. If the Verithrax was in Federation space at all, I think it'd be because it was in transit back to the IRS. The other mention of the Verithrax, five years ago, had it being positioned in the RSE's occupied Cardassian territories. Presumably it was trying to make its way back home in time when it got a distress call from Ardana.

(4) Finally, if no other great power in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants used some kind of metaweapon, the Romulans' use of metaweapons would lead to some very serious questions at the end of it all. Granted, everyone was in for the fight of their lives, but if you're fighting a conventional war and some third party decides to go nuclear, well, that third party's gonna get grilled pretty severely when it's all said and done. A "balance of terror" works only if there's a balance. If one side has metaweapons, I don't believe that another side would allow that imbalance to remain unaddressed... and I don't believe the Klingons would allow the Romulans to possess metaweapons, even if the Federation did. Raid on Osirak, anyone?
Agreed that the situation would make for huge complications afterwards, but I don't think that either Romulan state would have been considering the afterwards scenarios. The Romulan mentality would seem to lend itself towards the use of metaweapons in the case of a conflict with an enemy threatening to destroy Romulan civilization. The united RSE had at least as long of a history of conflict with the Borg as the UFP, and the Countdown-suggested existence (in 2387, granted) of the Vault suggests that after 2364 the Romulans continued to experience conflicts with the Borg, suggesting both Romulan states would see the Borg as an existential threat before the Acamar and Barolia attacks.

And why not Osirak-style raids? I imagine that the IRS might be happy to help out the Klingons take down their rival ...
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