Paper Moon wrote:
Sort of nitpicky, but regarding an important detail: in RBoE, Sisko is chosen to go on point with the Romulans because of the Vreenak Incident and his work with them during the Dominion War, but also because he was a Lieutenant JG on the Federation embassy on Romulus for a while. And that part of his service record is kind of played up a bit to justify his taking that assignment.
But Sisko being a LTJG on Romulus seems to be a problem, because the Romulans were in isolation until 2364. Maybe it's just the way I read the dialogue in "The Neutral Zone," but it sounds like the Romulans were completely isolated, as in, no diplomatic ties, which would make a Federation embassy hard to swing. (I know Garak is firmly established as having been a gardener on Romulus during their isolation, but I could see the Romulans having relations with the Cardassian Union while still giving the UFP a cold shoulder.) In theory, Sisko could have been at the embassy as soon as it (presumably) opened in 2364, but, from what I can gather from his Memory Beta page, he was already a LT in 2360 (Catalyst of Sorrows), and going to Romulus in 2364 would interrupt his XO time on the Okinawa.
In a scene from "The Wire"--apparently cut, though I seem to remember it--Sisko talked about his time on Romulus at a LTJG.
When I was your age, I was assigned
to the Federation embassy on Romulus.
One of our Romulan kitchen staff, a
man named Stolpan, got arrested by
the Tal Shiar for political
improprieties. Somehow I got the
foolish idea that I could go into
Tal Shiar Headquarters and convince
them to set him free.
(shakes his head at
his own foolishness)
Curzon took me aside and said the
same thing I'm about to say to you...
You won't do Garak or yourself any
good if you're rotting in some
Cardassian prison. Now I want you
to promise me, that at the first
sign of trouble, you'll forget about
Garak and get the hell out of there.
I imagine that Federation relations with Romulus in this timeframe would have been distant, at very best, and uninformative. Having one line of connection open, even if intermittently--who says the embassy has to have been open throughout the period of isolation?--would have been possible.