Romulan questions

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by ryan123450, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Woodward, OK
    I can't really remember the whole Romulan bird of prey storyline from one of the Vanguard books. Can anyone remind me what exactly happened? It's not talked about on Memory-Beta.

    Also how does this fit in with the Romulan storyline from IDW's Alien Spotlights and The Hollow Crown? Do these overlap/contradict or could fit within the same continuity?

    Thanks so much for anyone's help?
     
  2. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    In "Summon the Thunder", the Senate dispatched a cloaked bird-of-prey commanded by...Sarith, was it?...(daughter of a prominent senator) to investigate the other major power's activities and interest in the Taurus Reach, particularly the Federation's. The ship was destroyed when Palgranex exploded.
    Its debris was later found and confirmed as similar to the attacking ship in the TOS episode "Balance of Terror" which occurred soon afterward (this was in "Open Secrets", and led to Jetanien contacting D'tran).

    The comic story is incompatable with the novels, as everyone's favourite insane praetor clearly isn't elderly Vrax, who is in charge there. :)
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Memory Beta says:
    By my estimate, going by date references in Open Secrets, "Balance of Terror" (and therefore Alien Spotlight: Romulans) is at least five months after Summon the Thunder. As far as I can tell, there's no irreconcilable inconsistency between VNG and Byrne's Romulan story -- though that may change in Byrne's later Romulan comics.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Hmmm, thanks. I had the impression the comic was implying the Praetor had been in power longer than a few months. I suppose it's up to new Vanguard books to either acknowledge the comic or not.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I just reviewed the story, and if anything it implies that the Praetor has only recently come to power. For instance, on the bottom of the 13th page, the Praetor is monologuing supervillain-style and says:
    That phrasing suggests it's a recent event. Also, on the 20th page, the Commander and the Centurion are discussing how things have changed since the new Praetor took over, again giving the impression that the current state of affairs is relatively new.

    Well, I haven't read the comic's sequel, The Hollow Crown, so I don't know if the Byrne version remains compatible with the novels. And the conclusion, Schism, hasn't come out yet.
     
  6. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Ah, well, I don't have the comic, only read it once, so my memory of it was possibly off. Don't know where my impression came from then. :) Thanks for clarifying. I tend not to pay as much attention to comics as they don't fit into the main novel continuity. I must say, I'm quite liking the idea of Vrax having a power-mad son, now :lol:.
     
  7. Jbarney

    Jbarney Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Location:
    Between 2273-2278

    This has me curious, I just read the Alien Spotlight story, a couple of days ago. I wasn't sure if it was a story that goes into late 2265 or sometime in 2266. I haven't read the Byrne story yet, but does something specfically place it in 2266?
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It's a direct prequel to "Balance of Terror," showing how and why the Commander was sent on the mission depicted in that episode. Therefore it must take place very soon before BoT, only as much time as it takes to travel from Romulus to the Neutral Zone.

    And I'm confused. The Alien Spotlight Romulan story is the Byrne story. So how can you have just read it and not read it yet?
     
  9. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    My guess would be that "the Byrne story" referenced above is The Hollow Crown.

    I wrote that line, my calculations working out pretty much as yours did.

    Byrne's main divergence from other treatments of the Romulans is in portraying the praetorship as a hereditary office with near-absolute power. Vulcan's Heart and other Sherman & Schwartz stories had the Praetor as a sort of Shogun, commanding the military and ruling the empire in the name of a hereditary emperor. Most of the praetorial successions we know of were not hereditary. It's been too long since I've read any of the Rihannsu books that I don't feel confident to comment on anything they said about this.

    On the other hand, despite Byrne's different take on the structure, it's still not actually incompatible with other versions. For instance, if one assumed S&S's version of the Romulan government structure, given controversial nature of some of the brewing policies (relations with the Klingons, starting a new war with the Federation), factions of the Senate supporting those policies might easily support making Young Smirky praetor following Vrax's death as a manipulable buffer and if need be scapegoat. That's a bit more complex than Byrne's depiction, but greater "stretching" has been known to happen.
     
  10. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Thanks, EmperorKalan. To clarify my earlier comment that Vrax having a power-mad son is amusing, it's funny to consider that, to those who have been following the "Enterprise" post-finale as well as "Vanguard", it's clear Vrax doesn't have a clear or easy path to the praetorship. His experience of politics consists of some very prominent ups and downs, and I imagine he developed a very complex and, well, wise view of the empire's internal workings, seemingly having taken a long, difficult and dangerous road to get to his final position. Vrax does seem a reasonably cautious type. It's amusing to imagine his son (if he indeed exits...)understanding none of this, instead seeing political power in simple, greedy "whoopie, I'm in charge now!" terms, and happily jumping into a position left vacant by his father (indeed, assassinatng his father) with the idea that he'll have whatever he wants, NOW. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  11. Jbarney

    Jbarney Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Location:
    Between 2273-2278
    I understand that it is a prequel to "Balance of Terror". Its just nothing in the story concretely establishes when it takes place. In my mind I left the possibility of late 2265 open if there were other events that might have unfolded before "Balance of Terror".

    Its prequel status doesn't accurately place it in the timeline. While I agree its very likely it happened in 2266 I was just leaving the possibility open for a longer period of time. I'm just wondering if the marketing department at IDW said that it happens "months", "weeks" or "days" before the episode.

    The Byrne story I have not read is "The Hollow Crown", the same one you mention in an earlier post.

    Perhaps that will have a line in it about the length of time involved.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    ^Like I said, given the events of the comic, the interval between it and "Balance of Terror" would be no greater than the time it takes for the Commander to board his ship, get it underway, and reach the Neutral Zone. It would be speculating beyond the text, and going against its clear intent, to assume there were any intervening events between this story and BoT.

    Going by the map of Romulan space from BoT, the distance from Romulus to the nearest outpost (assuming they're in roughly the same plane) is about three times the distance between any two outposts. We know that Outpost 3 went dark only an hour after Outpost 2, suggesting a travel time from Romulus of only three hours. Even if we assume it took the Commander and his crew a few hours to get the ship ready before disembarking, it's probable that Alien Spotlight story takes place less than a day before "Balance of Terror."
     
  13. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    It's a common-enough cause for the fall of dynasties. Arguably, it works even better in an S&S-type structure where the praetorship is not usually hereditary. In a dynastic situation, at least some effort is made to train the heirs for the time they will have to take over. Smirky (my nickname for him, since we never learned his real name) is so arbitrary and ham-handed that he doesn't appear to have had any such training. Of course, there's no accounting for self-centered petulance, so it's also possible he did get training, but just ignored it all.
     
  14. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    That certainly makes sense to me! Praetor Smirky is now his official name, I might add. :)
     
  15. Jbarney

    Jbarney Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Location:
    Between 2273-2278
    Okay, I just doubled checked. The Alien Spotlight:Romulans was written by Ian Edgington, not John Byrne.

    I think any speculation that the Alien Spotlight story (Ian Edgington) happens hours before "Balance of Terror" is equal to any speculation that it happens days or weeks (or longer) before the episode.

    Again, I have not yet read Byrne's Hollow Crown, (or The Vangaurd books) but the speculation here that the Praetor in the comics could be Vrax's son (or at least took over very recently) is supported by the dialogue between the Praetor and Admiral on pages 7 and 8 of Alien Spotlight. The Admiral appears to be coaching the Praetor on Commander/Senator Acastus and how popular he is with the people. A Praetor who had been in power for any length of time would likely have some more in depth knowledge of his own political enemies within the Empire. So this is some solid speculation and I think it fits.

    To the other topic, I'm not saying Alien Spotlight Romulans could not have happened directly (hours) before "Balance of Terror", but I just think one guess is as equal to any other speculation. I mean, consider this: Within the events of Alien Spotlight Romulans the Romulan fleet lost the ship piloted by Ceraph the unificationist and the newest and final ship of the dreadnought class. Perhaps the Praetor was so blood thirsty he didn't mind writing off two vessels (one brand new) hours before launching an attack against the UFP but that seems pretty risky.

    Also in the last pages of Alien Spotlight:Romulans there is no discussion between the Praetor and the Romulan admiral about attacking the UFP. The Praetor doesn't seem concerned about the UFP, he doesn't issue orders for an attack against the UFP. He says to the admiral that the Empire will devote its resources to building more Ghost Ships and their disruption weapons.

    Perhaps Byrne might offer some comment on the subject, but until then I just don't see where one viewpoint is any more concrete than the other.
     
  16. DarkHorizon

    DarkHorizon Captain Captain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Location:
    Newport, Wales
    Just a quick note: there are two comics entitled Alien Spotlight: Romulans. One was released in the first volume of Alien Spotlight in 2008, and is by John Byrne. The other was released in the second volume in 2009, and is by Ian Edginton. Christopher is referring to the 2008 Spotlight, which details the events immediately prior to "Balance of Terror". Confusingly, the 2009 Spotlight takes place before the 2008 issue.
     
  17. Jbarney

    Jbarney Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Location:
    Between 2273-2278
    Ah, I see the disconnect....

    I believe Alien Spotlight Romulans (2008) was being referenced by some other posters. I was speaking to Alien Spotlight:Romulans by Ian Edgington (2009).

    This discussion makes me wish my local comic shop had a copy of the 2008 story. I'll pick it up as soon as I can.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    As DarkHorizon said, I was referring to John Byrne's "Romulans" tale from Volume 1 of Alien Spotlight. I forgot about the "Romulans" installment of Alien Spotlight Volume 2, which I have not read. They really shouldn't have given two stories the same title.
     
  19. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    It is included in the TBP for the Alien Spotlight series. Although the sequel duology, Romulans: The Hollow Crown has not yet been collected. MB does say that they are planning on releasing R:HC and, at least, the second sequel, Romulans: Schims in another TPB eventually.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Schism is the 3-part conclusion to the sequence, bringing it to 6 parts which will be collected in the TPB Star Trek: Romulans in March 2010. (These stories really could do with more distinctive titles...)
     

Share This Page