So, I'm a world-builder that likes dark and gritty and realism in my sci fi. Big fan of the Gap series by Stephen Donaldson, and why I liked the EU for Star Wars. I'm not a big fan of the clean aesthetic, if only because dammit, they could have shown a roomba running the halls of Picard's Enterprise to explain the lack of dingy corners and scuffed bulkheads), but I like the utilitarian looks of ships from Star Wars (especially those of the Corellian Engineering Corporation's designs). Loved Voyager for that reason--they had to break from traditional Starfleet policy and learn to modify things. Made it much more realistic. With that in mind, I'm running a scenario through my head that I wonder if you ladies and gents could find a way to make work within the existing canon. Basically, this project started as I wanted to refine the look of the D'Deridex class ships, and increasse their fuselage size. lmao I know, I know. I can hear it already. "Um, do you realize how frelling big those things are???" I do. The "head" of the D'Deridex is roughly the size of a Galaxy-class, right? Well, my idea was to take the fuselage and stretch it so that in cross-section, it looked like the tilde (~) symbol, with the area past the head being used for entire factories to take in raw ore and make anything they need, including starship fuel. Basically, turn this thing into a ship that never needs to return to port. Ever. So, I started playing with scenarios. Why would the Romulans do this? What if it wasn't the Tal Shiar? How do I get the D'Deridex be even more badass? I came up with a scenario that I think works, but will need to be heavily modified to be sure. Here's the idea: A group of Romulans displeased with the Tal Shiar decide to form a breakaway world somewhere far away and out of reach of the Tal Shiar. They pick the Beta Quadrant, and plan to use the Bajoran Wormhole to take a one-way trip out of the grasping claws of Tal Shiar, and steal a D'Deridex as their ride. This is both because it's much more capable of defending itself against any interference, but also because it's a huge blow to the pride of the Tal Shiar to have one of their biggest and deadliest warbirds get stolen by rebels. The Rebels are operating the ship on a skeleton crew, and make it to the wormhole, but the Tal Shiar, realizing that this rogue ship could kick off a hot war with the Federation, weigh their options and finally decide that the best course would be to alert the Federation and risk embarassment rather than risk a hot war. They use back room diplomatic connections to pass the word in such a way as to allow plausible deniability should they be found out, but it works. The Federation is waiting for the rogue D'Deridex at the worm hole and light it up. The ship makes it through but is damaged heavily, and crashlands on a planet in the Beta Quadrant where the rest of the rebels die off from the local flora and fauna since they have no immunities to the pathogens on the planet. The ship is considered lost in space, and the Federation and Tal Shiar resume the status quo. However, the planet the ship crash landed on is the home of the De'Shi, a group of ex-Borg survivors who've lived for generations on the planet and developed a unique culture around engineering and efficiency. For them, the more refined and efficient they can make a system, the closer it is to achieving a state of Harmonious Efficiency--or whatever it is ultimately called (their version of Nirvana). They have become avowed pacifists and turned assimiliation into a past time by either buying or trading for the technology they want, and offering to upgrade ships in exchange for these advancements. They have developed an organic style that features a lot of round shapes and few hard angles. Taking the D'Deridex, they rebuild it as I mentioned above, extending the fuselage back into a tapered tilde shape, and adding larger nacelles. Unlike the Federation, the De'Shi have perfected a version of the quantum slipstream drive, as well as other technologies that are carryovers from their days as part of the Collective. One of these technologies is a weapons tech that uses small, extremely fast and maneuverable man-size drones that are basically AI-controlled kamikaze probes shaped like elongated cones with hardened tips. They're basically stripped down airframe with weapons, shields, and an engine, designed to be cheap and swarm enemies to overload shields and eventually breach the hull in critical areas and detonate. Their main defense would be a multi-phasic shield system (similar to the Borg's) as well as having a holographic countermeasure system that displays the drone several meters from its actual location in such a way that it paints sensors with the false sensor return from the holographic countermeasure. So when the drones are being targeted by enemies, they're targeting the holograms and not the drones. These drones (of which the modified D'Deridex carries thousands of them) are controlled by a neural interface similar to what Barclay (I think that's who it was) built to control the ship with his mind when he built that chair in the holodeck. I haven't added any other exotic systems yet, but figured the Romulan weapons platforms would all be upgraded similarly. Just haven't got that far yet. Now, because the De'Shi have a Borg background, they would have potential access to a whole host of Borg macguffins to write into the story. I'm sure there are a million ideas why it wouldn't work, but I have a knack for finding the spaces between canon lines where I can feasibly fit things. I'm just looking for ways I can shape the kernel of the idea to actually make it work. We can change locations, species, whatever. I basically wanted to turn the D'Deridex into the Star Trek version of the Ori ring ships from Stargate SG-1. lmao Something so ridiculous yet actually lethal that even the Tal Shiar pause long enough to shout, "Get that ship in one piece!" I was toying with coaxial warp drives and transwarp as well, but transwarp is reliant on coils and conduits, wherease quantum slipstream drives are not, they're just really advanced. And I wanted the D'Deridex to be so refined that the singularity drive was no longer needed and replaced with something more exotic and reliable. Plus, since the De'Shi have no aggression and aren't seeking to expand or take over, they're really just a background species that's interesting and non-threatening enough that the Federation would leave them alone after they declined membership. The other thing I wanted to do around their world is to have them tow thousands of large asteroids into a very dense field around their planet (not enough to block the light of the sun, but dense) filled with low-tech booby traps and ECMs like holographic projectors to paint sensors with false reads, tuned to look like actual solid objects, hidden torpedo and drone emplacements, etc. I mean, they're ex-Borg and they know if the queen ever found them, she'd send thousands of cubes and spheres to absolutely base delta zero the planet into oblivion, so they want very strong defenses. I just want them to be really low-tech or stuff that by itself is relatively harmless, but because of the sheer numbers, it becomes a hazard. Guerilla defenses using unconventional tactics to create chaos for the Borg. Layered defense after layered defense. All their focus would be on improving the old school tech and enhancing it for maximum efficiency using Borg techniques and beyond--ones they've developed themselves to go even further. Sorry for the wall of words. Appreciate any responses I get.