Hello and welcome to another edition of our writers' challenges!
Today we start the two-week run of the thirty-third Literary Challenge: New Romulus
Much was unknown about New Romulus, but you and your crew have had some time to explore and learn more about it -- you've also been working with and aiding the Romulans in building their new homeworld. As a couple weeks have passed since your ship first took up orbit, a preliminary report is now due on your findings. Share it here.
This is the writer's thread -- only entries should be made here.
The Discussion Thread can be found HERE.
We also have an Index of previous challenges HERE.
The rules may change from one challenge to another, but I'd like to remind everyone what the base rules are. These may grow as we move on, so also feel free to give feedback!
Each Challenge will run for two weeks. For 2 weeks we will sticky the challenge and let you make your entry.
There are no right or wrong entry.
The background story, questions I ask, and format requested are only to serve as a platform that you can start your writing from. Feel free to change up the back-story or the way you deliver, as long as the entry stays on topic of the original challenge.
Write as little or as much as you would like.
Please keep discussion about the entries in the appropriate Discussion Thread.
In the Discussion Thread, feel free to write what inspired you and what your thoughts on the topic are.
A few other important reminders:
Please heed the rest of the forum's rules when submitting your entry! All of them apply to these posts.
Each poster can have one entry. Feel free to edit your post to fix typos or add/ remove content as you see fit during the next two weeks.
After two weeks time, the thread will be locked and unstickied, as we move on to the next challenge.
We'll have two threads: One to post the entries in and one to discuss the entries. **Cross-linking between these two threads is acceptable for these challenges ONLY!!**
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New Romulus... what to say about New Romulus other than I am very pleased to be one of the Federation's first Away Teams to take part in exploring this strange but unusual planet. I am very proud of all of my officers especially my First Officer, Mirra, in taking upon herself the dauntless task of commanding my starship while I have been leading the ground detail here on New Romulus.
Who would have guessed that the Federation would actually be assisting ROMULANS! But, I guess that they are in need of help, and the Federation has promised to help those in need. Not to mention, these Romulans are not part of the empire but just simple men and women trying to make a honest life of themselves and get away from the war. I respect these men and women because creating a new home is not easy but being on a starship for the last two years has let me drift away from this challenging deed.
We have encountered strange water dwelling animals, which seem to live in the planets water sources. Scientists are dying to capture a live specimen and learn more about this being. Also, for the first time this has been a life changing experience to see Romulans and Remans coming together to focus on one thing... a HOME!
The Reluctant will be departing from New Romulus soon and as bad as I dread going duty calls elsewhere because the fight with the Borg has just begun.
As I look back on these people that have set aside their differences to achieve one common goal together, I wonder if we, the Federation, could do this with the Klingons to one day stop the war and focus on expanding our knowledge of our galaxy?
This is not my last report on New Romulus because the fun is just getting started. I will be back soon enough to see the grand walls open and the adventure begin. Adventure awaits, Admirals...
***Begin Priority Transmission to 1st Assault Fleet Command*** ***Fleet third in command and acting XO Brian Mitchel Valot reporting***
All 1st Assault Fleet flag officers,
The crew of the USS Athena has been assisting with settling the Romulans on the planet "Mol'Rihan" (New Romulus). Our Personnel recently found an area outside the new capital that would work very well for planned wilderness survival training exercises. My crew and I believe this locale would work well for the following reasons:
A) We would have plenty of area to spread ourselves out to prevent groups from coming too close to one another
B) The area is close enough to a civilized area that, should the exercise need to be called off for any reason (critical injuries, major assault on a Federation held sector, etc...), everyone could be back on their ships within an hour
C) Varying terrain (forests, plains, mountains, etc...)
If you wish to discuss any of the above points further, contact me. Otherwise, I will discuss this further when our plans are more coordinated. In the meantime, please continue normal operations.
USS Athena, out.
Vice Admiral Bryan Mitchel Valot
Commanding officer: Odyssey class U.S.S. Athena
Admiral of the 1st Assault Fleet
Join date: Some time in Closed Beta
ir'Menae, A, Captain, C/O USS S'harien, C/O Relief Force Sierra
OEH-477, M, Captain, C/O USS Bethune, Relief Force Sierra
Philharmonica, O, Commander, C/O USS Allegrezza, Relief Force Sierra
To: Admiral Schmidt
Fleet Command, Tau Dewa Operations
The situation at Mol'Rihan is stable, and, should continue to slowly improve. Additional forces may be required in the area in the future, but no further deployment is currently needed or wanted. Specific reports follow.
The initial reaction to the Relief Force's arrival was, naturally, wary. However, as Command no doubt intended, my presence as both a Reman and the relationship developed earlier with Obisek during the Hakeev incident allayed many of their fears, especially amongst the Reman population. Ambassador T'Pia's gift of a pre-Reformation S'harien sword was well considered, these weapons holding a special place in Romulan culture.
As further assistance was given, relations with the Mol'Rihannsu has improved.
Mol'Rihannsu relations with the Klingon Empire also proceed well, although the presence of rebel Klingon and Gorn forces in the sector has caused relations between the two to develop slower than they have with us.
The Tau Dewa region as a whole is under frequent attack by numerous forces. Hirogen, Tholian, Nausicaan, Orion, Klingon and Gorn forces have been sighted, along with Romulan vessels under Tal Shiar control. According to KDF sources on Mol'Rihan, the Klingon, Gorn and Orion forces operating in the region are not acting with the support of the KDF.
New Romulus itself is under frequent attack by Tal Shiar, Tholian and Hirogen forces, although the Mol'Rihannsu and Reman forces are keeping their operation combined to outlying areas.
There is a lack of intelligence regarding the Tholian and Hirogen operations on the planet, although the motives of the Tal Shiar are understood and attached later.
The Mol'Rihan forces in the region are limited in size and resources, mostly concentrated around the colony. Their outlying patrols are frequently engaged by superior forces and take continual losses. The establishment of various bases around Mol'Rihan has been discussed, but the Mol'Rihannsu lack the resources to construct such facilities at this time.
- Cpt. ir'Menae
While not considered an important aspect to this mission, there have been several discoveries in this area, as well as several anomalies that warrant further investigation. New Romulus' wildlife as a whole is generally of interest to xenobiology, and the data gathered on these creatures' natural resistance to extreme radiation has suggested several new approaches that might, with further development, aid in other colonisation efforts. The local lifeforms called nanov in particular may significantly aid colonisation efforts on hazardous worlds.
Fortunately, the Romulans have already establised medical and sanitation facilities needed for a colony of this size, and maintain these systems well. There appears to be no native illnesses that can affect vulcanoid physiologies, althought accidental and combat injuries are rising as the various hostile forces on the planet expand operations. The colony's population level is slowly rising, although a large increase in the population could easily strain the infrastructure currently in place.
While medical assistance is uneeded outside of post-combat injuries, the colony's facilities need to be expanded and enhanced to support a larger population.
- Cpt. OEH-477
Much of the colony on New Romulus is under construction or is simply temporary until proper structures can be established. Housing, sanitation and power facilities are the most developed, although there is a significant lack of infrastructure.
While suitable for now, medical facilities on the colony currently consist of temporary structures. We have been assisting the colonials with the construction of their first permament hospital, and, barring unforseen circumstances, the facility should open in two months and be capable of administering to a much larger population than the colony currently holds.
Outside of this, many of the colonial Romulans lack formal training and we have established various short courses in specific fields.
- Cmdr. Philharmonica
- Security Clearance Required
The New Romulus colony appears to be sincere in its peaceful intentions. Security recordings from colony leader D'Tan's office reveal that the Tal Shiar has attempted to influence the leader and has been refused. There are unconfirmed reports of a Tal Shiar bases in the mountains near to the colony which will be investigated. Politically, there appears to be two powers in the colony's leadership - D'Tan, who commands the respect of the Romulan population, and Obisek, who leads the Reman forces and supports D'Tan. There is currently a lack of public dissent, which appears to be due to widespread agreement with the colony's leaders rather than from any attempt by D'Tan to control the population. Several Tal Shiar agents have been found amongst the colonial population, but these operatives have so far refused to reveal any information concerning their activities. If the Tal Shiar base in the Vastaam Peaks exists as I think it does, it will be the best chance we have at obtaining solid data on their operations here.
Also of note, the KDF forces operating in this sector appear to hint at some form of instability in the Empire. We have observed Klingon, Gorn, Nausicaan and Orion vessels firing on New Romulus, Federation and other KDF forces. While the Orions and Nausicaans appear to merely be pirates, the Klingon and, especially, Gorn forces are ofinterest. The instability that a Gorn rebellion would cause to the Empire could provide Starfleet with significant opportunities.
*** Location of creation: Starfleet embassy, New Romulus. ***
It's been a while since I last met a fellow Romulan without them trying to kill me. So long, in fact, that I almost felt like somebody would shoot me with a disruptor from behind during the first few days. Not that some of them didn't try - there are Tal Shiar spies throughout the staging area, and the Vastam Peaks are crawling with Tal Shiar forces.
Still, it's a lot better than the last time I was in anything remotely resembling a Romulan colony. If only it didn't feel so... fragile. Perhaps even hopeless. D'tan's intentions are good, but unless Starfleet can seriously hamper the activities of the Tholians, the Hirogen, and the Tal Shiar, his intentions will be the only thing good about the colony. I'm considering using my old disruptor again, just for the aesthetics. Just like Vraun does with his polaron pistol.
From my point of view, New Romulus will be a turning point. But in what way?
If it succeeds, then perhaps the Iconians have failed after all and will be defeated. If it fails... I dread to think what might happen. But I've had a feeling I haven't had for a very long time... since I was forced to flee Romulus. As if I'm being watched by... but no, it can't be.
But what worries me most is the Remans. It will be very difficult to create a habitat suitable for their needs without putting both populations at risk. An underground city, while the most suitable option for them, would require devoting large resources towards building a second city away from the new capital, and constructing it under the capital would put both cities at risk should the structure be sabotaged, or worse yet - bombarded.
Interesting. Very interesting. Well done, Centurion. Monitor him closely, but do not engage.
Oh, lovely, I can't even requote the Douglas Adams quote I used to have here I WANT IT BACK!!!!
Cold, wind-driven rain fell on the Vastaam Peaks, while arctic-bitter winds howled through the mountain forest, but Rynar Lambert maintained his brisk pace and ascent, intent on pursuing what Science officer Laing was convinced was only a sensor ghost.
The canopy of pine trees offered some respite to the wind and rain, but in clearings, the rain certainly qualified as what the Ferengi would consider glebbening, and Lambert knew that it was only the polymer and synthleather of his uniform which kept him from being soaked to the skin.
Kneeling behind an outcrop of rocks for some momentary respite from the rain, and slicking his dark hair back from his face, Lambert reached up and tabbed his comm-badge, holding his fingers down to engage low-audio mode.
"Lambert to Valkyrie," he murmered. "I'm nearly at the peak, can you give us a more precise heading."
"Keep heading north, Ryan," came the voice of Captain Amanda Palmer. "And keep your eyes open, Number One, you're nearly upon the anomolies."
"Aye, Captain," Lambert acknowledged, as Lieutenant S'rR's Kane crouched down beside him. "Lambert out."
"Which way, Commander?" S'rR's asked quietly, her vibrant purple eyes constantly scanning the treeline as she reached back, deftly knotting her bolt straight ice-blonde hair into a functional warriors queue and out of her face.
"North," Lambert replied, reaching back, and drawing his great-grandfather's mek'leth from his ceremonial baldric. "Do you still think there's more than one?"
"I think so," S'rR's replied with a shrug. "It's hard to tell in the dark with all this rain. It's times like this, I wish I had inherited my mothers tapetum, rather than Marcus' ability to heal..."
Lambert remained silent. The fact that the Lieutenant and the Admiral were an item, was something of an open secret aboard the Valkyrie, and never spoken of. Lambert understood that like ancient Egyptian royalty, Pentaxian bonding and mating customs were somewhat different to what many societies considered decent, but it was not his place to comment, and the weapon in his hand and the sash across his powerful shoulders were reminders of that: Starfleet and the Federation tolerated his cultural values, and still afforded him the freedom to express that heritage, even though he was only one eighth QuchHa Klingon on his maternal line. Who was he to criticize who a woman fell in love with?*
Additionally, he felt a kind of kinship to the half-Human half-Pentaxian Lieutenant due to her own mixed heritage. She may have looked Human, but biologically, she was closer to Pentaxian than Human norms, and he knew she was as proud of her Pentaxian heritage, as he was of his own Klingon roots, which few observers would have ever suspected, were it not for the ceremonial baldric which he habitually wore over his Starfleet uniform.
"Commander, did you see that?" S'rR's whispered, returning Lambert's attention to their surroundings. "About a hundred meters ahead of us, some kind of disturbance in the rain."
Lambert squinted, trying to see what S'rR's meant. Then he saw it. A moving void in the rain. A void moving against the wind.
"You may not be able to see in the dark, Siri, but I think you're right," he muttered, before breaking cover and sprinting across the clearing in the forest. He had almost reached the treeline, when it, whatever it was, hit him, trapping his legs and bringing him down with a force which momentarily winded him as he hit the floor, and sent the mek'leth clattering away on the rain-slicked rocks, moonlight reflecting from the tines like shooting stars as it fell.
Rolling onto his back, Lambert automatically kicked out at whatever had tripped him, his boot encountered solid resistance, he pushed against it.
A phaser beam hissed viciously close to where Lambert lay, but in that illumination, for an instant, optical refraction meant he was able to perceive his assailant: A humanoid-shaped void in the rain, partially outlined by the phaser beam.
"They're using stealth suits!" he shouted, rolling into a seated crouch and diving forwards in a headlong tackle, his shoulder making contact with something which definitely felt like someone's midriff.
Landing in a kneeling position atop the invisible assailant, Lambert lashed out with a powerful blow, which he felt being partially absorbed and deflected by the head of the stealth suit.
Hearing the commander's shout, S'rR's stopped as she entered the clearing with her phaser drawn. Stealth suits would explain the sensor ghosts and mysterious occurrences around the developing capital, and having been in existence for over twenty years, they were hardly unknown technology.
The rain whipped mercilessly into S'rR's's face, reducing her visibility to mere meters, and she holstered the phaser, knowing that another miss-placed shot was as much danger to Lambert as his assailant. There was a change in the wind, and then she heard it: Running footsteps.
Turning slightly, she saw what looked almost like a waterspout circling her, but gradually drawing closer, spiraling through the driving rain like a spirit, and she felt the hair on her scalp raising in animalistic acknowledgement of the threat. The rain meant she couldn't trust her eyes, so she closed them.
Her eyes closed, her hearing became amplified, and she could clearly locate the approaching assailant. Not wanting to alert the assailant to her awareness of it, she continued to move towards the sound of where Lambert was grappling on the floor, her training allowing her to move as easily over the rugged terrain as if her eyes were open.
She could still hear it drawing closer, closing the gap rapidly, twenty meters, then ten, then five, when she heard a footfall at two meters, she knew the assailant was running for her on a direct collision course. Turning toward the assailant, and clenching her fists, S'rR's felt the momentary burn between her fingers as her claws extended, and she dropped into a crouch, slashing her left hand horizontally from left to right. The sound of ripping cloth and a guttural howl of pain reached her ears, and as she felt the resistance against the blade-like claws and a liquid warmth over her hand, she automatically tensed her wrist further, continuing the swing and opened her eyes.
The cloth of the stealth suit damaged, the cloaking technology deactivated, and the assailant became fully visible, automatically clutching at its disemboweled abdomen, just as S'rR's punched upwards with her right fist, driving the ten inch claws deep into its chest. As the assailant collapsed to the wet ground, S'rR's straightened out of her fighting crouch, her claws retracting back into her forearms as she relaxed her fists, and she saw Lambert delivering a knockout blow to his own assailant, slamming a forearm and elbow into the jaw, before pulling away the hood of the stealth suit.
Getting to his feet, Lambert moved to where his mek'leth had fallen. He stooped and picked up the heirloom, before returning it to his sash and tapping his comm-badge.
"Lambert to Valkyrie," he said somewhat breathlessly. "We found them, and I can confirm that the Tal Shiar are definitely operating on New Romulus."
Last edited by marcusdkane; 07-30-2013 at 10:46 AM.
*Open transmission to Starbase 39-Sierra*
To: Admiral T'nae, Combatant Commander, UFPROMCOM (T'nae@audioGoddess)
Subject: New Romulus Status Report
Jolan tru, Admiral! As instructed, I am sending you a preliminary report on the situation down here on Mol'Rihan. Admiral Valoth sends his regards and thanks you for sending him the uniform he left in your quarters. Commander Twimek, the Reman exchange officer aboard USS Lord English, is moving all his belongings into a new apartment in the Reman city, so we will remain here a while longer before returning to Captain Kurland and UFPCARCOM. As for the situation here on New Romulus...
Relations between the New Romulans and the Federation are touch and go, but on the whole, the Unificationists are receptive to our overtures. Curiously, they are also receptive to the overtures of the Klingon Empire as well. Barring the usual Klingon-Federation War tensions, cooperation between Starfleet and KDF personnel are also cordial. Recommend additional FDC personnel to staff the Federation embassy on New Romulus to facilitate diplomatic efforts.
New Romulus is unusually rich in previously unknown lifeforms and specimens. The New Romulans would like us to collect as many samples as we can for further research. I will be including a few samples in this message for your scrutiny. Also, there is a small mammalian creature here known as the epohh which is popular with all the personnel here on New Romulus; recommend further investigation/potential to replace tribbles as decoration on fleet starbases.
Construction of the New Romulan city is proceeding apace. The Remans are also involved in the construction of their own separate yet adjacent section of the city. The equipment here is prone to breaking down however. Embassy construction is also going apace. Otherwise, nothing to say other than to keep construction supplies flowing.
Military situation on New Romulus is at threat level 3. Reports have come in of Tal Shiar at the Vastam Peaks, Hirogen hunters in the Paehhos Crater, and Tholian raiders at the Hwael Ruins. The New Romulans are increasingly relying on Starfleet and Imperial personnel to defend their citizens. Please forward this to Starfleet Command for a final decision, as without direct orders, the Starfleet personnel assigned to New Romulus keep exposing themselves to injury.
The Hwael Ruins on New Romulus are an archaeologist's dream, with artifacts from the Romulan Sundering, the vanished Dewan civilization, and something which the archaeologists describe as "Old as balls". Excavation of the ruins are being held up by Tholian raids, so progress is slow, and the situation will not be safe for anyone from the Archaeological Council or Ambassador Picard for quite some time.
The Tal Shiar have concluded an agreement with the Hirogen concerning New Romulus, putting them on the track to become another True Way. This is even more dangerous as the Tal Shiar are skilled infiltrators; security forces have already caught Tal Shiar infiltrators outside the embassy. Federation vessels in the area should employ stringent security measures before receiving personnel.
As stated above, Starfleet personnel are being subject to disruptor wounds, tetryon exposure, and radiation burns. Just as bad, though, are the wild animal attacks. Did you know there is an insect here called the virhranen with stingers long and fine enough to pierce through Mk. XI polyweave armor? Recommend more medical supplies.
Starfleet officers are assisting the New Romulans with the colonial supplies they need out of pocket. The New Romulans are still wary of allowing outsiders from the Federation and the Empire settle permanently, however. No recommendations.
Got an extremely good deal on Romulan ale. Will send a bottle your way for your next reception.
New Romulus is still too dangerous for field trips from Starfleet Academy. Please send Professor Meyer my apologies, as I know he was champing at the bit for cadets to scan radiation for their thesis papers.
Several Romulan and Reman military personnel have shown willingness to assist Starfleet officers in battle, for a small price. Perhaps with the aid of the silvery tongued devils at the FDC, we can get these personnel to become a more permanent, or at least cheaper and more easily accessible, part of Starfleet tactics.
In the meantime, I will be returning to the Lord English and to DS9 to meet with Admiral D'Vak. Hopefully we will meet again at the next SB39 trade conference. In the meantime, take care.
Vice Admiral Remus Lee
Commanding Officer, USS Lord English
U.S.S. Nightingale, NX-999656-B. First Officer's Log. Commander Mat Recording.
Captain Jinx has been spending a lot of time on New Romulus recently. It seems she is a member of the Federation Diplomatic Corps as well as Omega Force and the Nightingale Development Project.
She tells us that the development of New Romulus proceeds faster than anticipated, with a lot of volunteers from Starfleet coming to assist the Romulans and Remans create their new home. Vranlek, a Reman scientist serving on board Nightingale, does not believe that all will be as peaceful as the FDC hope. Especially now since the Klingons are involved. Which idiot thought to invite them to the party? They will be raiding New Romulus within weeks. There have already been reports of Gorn activity in the area. The Klingon High Council claims they are not operating under their authority, but I don't believe them. Most people seem to forget that J'Mpok said, not too long ago, that the only good Romulan was a dead one. And now he sends his KDF here, to 'assist' with colonising the planet.
Ugh. At least this trip of hers is providing new duties for our Duty Officers... Cleaning up after Jinx's new pets. She calls them Epohhs, and gives them the run of the ship. I will say they do learn quickly. I almost never see one these days, and when I do, they are quick to get out of my way. They have also figured out that the red alert siren means they need to get back to Jinx's quarters. I'm just glad she didn't bring one of those Nanovs back, although I will admit they do look rather appetising.
I need to report back to the bridge now, but will finish my log later.
Personal log: Ensign George 'Jim' McPhail
Stardate: uhh... November 12th? I can't remember...
Location: U.S.S. Apollonius, low orbit around Mol'Rihan
Wow, my first assignment fresh out of boot, and I've almost been blown up four different times this month alone, and no thanks to the hull of the ship the last time.
The captain seems like one crazy guy: took us and two other ships against the Borg Queen herself, and suffice it to say, no one on this ship calls me 'greenhorn' anymore.
Now we are assisting the Romulans and Remans who want to set up a peaceful home here. Most of my time these last few days has been spent over on the Dendrobium, trying to fix up what was left of the Gespenst after our scuffle with the queen.
The captain has been mostly down on the surface doing I don't know what, despite the broken collarbone and new leg. That Ray is one stubborn S.O.B., I'll give him that, just wish he'd find out he has a crew here for the more sedate tasks. Some of the more 'challenging' assignments too, since we took on that squad of M.A.C.O's a month ago.
The XO has been seeming tense too, overseeing the repair and rebuild of the Gespenst. I just wish she'd let me get on with my job... Every day I try to work on the shuttlebay but she refuses to let anyone other than Captain Atha work on that section. Its as if there is a secret there that is above our clearance.
"Computer: pause recording"
"Computer: resume recording"
Just got chewed out by the captain and XO again, why do they bother with Engineers when we can't get a look at the systems we're supposed to be maintaining?! Ray wants to speak to me later when he gets back from meeting with the leaders on the embassy and reports to Admiral Murphy, so some time in the next year or so I guess.