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The Raptor Strikes


The Romulan Empire has succeeded in baiting the Coalition Of Planets into open war and now the raptor will make its strike. As both sides escalate the conflict, dissension will spread through the Coalition, opposition groups will question the need for war and rogue elements thought dead will resurface.

Front & back cover graphics by p0is0n0us of GalacticaBBS.com. Internal graphics by Kirok of L'Stok

Dispatches From The Romulan War – Vol. 2


Dispatches From The Romulan War - Vol. 2:

The Raptor Strikes In This Issue 1 2 4 5 7

Romulans Attack Earth's Proxima Colony by Tyler Edwards

Proxima Colonists Pick up the Pieces

by Tyler Edwards

Editorial: Why must Earth fight?

by Aussie Trekkie

Tensions Rise Across CoP

by Tyler Edwards

Denobula Attacked

by Tyler Edwards

10 Prime Minister Samuels Orders Deployment of Nuclear Weapons by Tyler Edwards

13 Famed Andorian Soldier Attacked by Tobster and Tyler Edwards

15 ENN Exclusive: Interview with anti-war activist Sarah Benson by Tyler Edwards

18 Enterprise, Columbia Depart Earth Following Repairs, Crew Changes by Tyler Edwards

21 Support for the War Strong Among Australians by Aussie Trekkie

22 New Leader Appointed in War Against the Coalition by Sareth and Tyler Edwards

This is a Star Trek, fan written work The copyrights & trademarks of Star Trek are owned by Paramount Pictures, CBS Corporation and their licensee Pocket Books. Any attempt to sell or rent this book should be reported to the copyright owners for their action The Raptor Strikes


Dispatches From The Romulan War was a member written fan fiction series that ran on TrekUnited, between 2007 and 2011 organised by Captain Hair and Tyler Edwards.

This anthology has been produced by TrekUnited Publishing, Publisher & Editor: Kirok of L’Stok Kirok@trekunited.com. First pdf online edition 10/08/2011

Contributors to this volume in alphabetical order are: Aussie Trekkie; Sareth; Tobster ; Tyler Edwards.

Special thanks to the countless professionals who have created Star Trek canon and licensed material over the years and Gene Roddenberry, The Great Bird of The Galaxy, without whom this would never have happened.

Dispatches From The Romulan War – Vol. 2


Romulans Attack Earth's Proxima Colony Shlokt - Tellarite Information Service 29 December, 2156

The Coalition Council has released a report confirming the rumors first heard yesterday of an attack on one of Earth's colonies. The report states that at approximately 11:15 AM Proxima City time, several Romulan warships decloaked in low orbit over the colony and began orbital bombardment of its three major settlements. It is not clear why, but the Coalition patrol assigned to guard the system took several minutes to respond (the report cites a "delay") and, as a result, the civilian casualty count is estimated to be in the thousands. The Romulan ships were repelled, but not before they destroyed the Tellarite battlecruiser Brotag, as well as a Vulcan ship, the T'klass. Additionally, a Denobulan light cruiser, the Zo'bram, was badly damaged and is most likely beyond repair.

It is not clear what, if any, casualties the Romulans suffered. The Andorian Imperial News Service is reporting that at least one enemy ship was destroyed, but the TIS's own sources within the Tellarite Fleet say that the Romulans did not lose any ships. The Council's report makes no mention of whether or not any Romulan ships were destroyed. Magistrate Gol was quick to condemn the strike, calling it a "ruthless attack by a race of cowards." Proxima Colony orbits the star known on Tellar Prime as Torreb 271. It was founded by an Earth colony ship in 2102. Since then, three small cities have been built on its two largest continents. Prior to the Romulan attack, it had a population of just under 30,000. This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Proxima Colonists Pick up the Pieces Yusef Al-Fayed - Editor-in-chief, Proxima City Sun 1 January, 2157

We apologize to our readers for our lack of activity over the past few days. Several of our staff were wounded or killed in the Romulan attack. There was talk of shutting down the Sun completely, but we have decided that, as Proxima Colony's only surviving news service, it was our duty to keep the people informed. Numerous rumors about the attack have cropped up in the past few days. Some of them are true, many are not. Here is what we know right now: Late in the morning of December the twenty-ninth, a trio of Romulan ships decloaked in low orbit and began bombarding our cities, initially focusing on New Bombay. The Coalition patrol assigned to guard our colony had been expected a traditional assault on the outer edge of the solar system. This delayed their response and allowed the Romulans to begin attacking Proxima City and Southborough. The Romulans were fought off, but several CoP ships were damaged or destroyed. The number of Romulan casualties remains unclear. New Bombay has been almost completely leveled. Much of the population was killed, and the survivors are suffering from severe radiation poisoning, as well as shortages of food and clean water. The nearby CoP ships have been 2

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aiding the recovery efforts, but they are not equipped for a disaster on this scale. A dedicated relief ship is scheduled to arrive from Vulcan within the next few days. Here in Proxima City, the damage has not been so grave, but the economic and human losses are still expected to be high. The manufacturing district and close to half of Riverfront Village have been reduced to ashes. The Romulans had only begun to attack Southborough when the CoP ships engaged them. As such, the damage was relatively minor. However, several important buildings in the downtown core were destroyed, including the offices of our colleagues at the Southborough Post. Our thoughts are with their families and the families of all those killed in the attack. The total death toll is still unknown at this time. Estimates range from 5,000 to as much as 12,000. A group of citizens is planning an unofficial memorial to the fallen, this Friday at the West End Park. All are invited to attend. We will continue to bring you updates on the recovery efforts.

This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Editorial: Why Must Earth Fight? Chuck Harrison - Australian News Network January 4, 2157

After nearly a century of relative peace on Earth and our solar system, the question of why Earth is fighting the Romulans has been raised by citizens throughout the planet and her colonies since Prime Minister Samuels declared war on December 21 last year. The people who believe that going to war is not the solution to Romulan aggression, and who believe that Earth should have a 'live and let live' policy with Romulus must remember that the Romulans do not believe in letting other races live in peace and harmony. They believe in taking planets and space at their leisure no matter where the planets are and no matter what race is on that planet. Some believe that Starfleet does not have sufficient strength to hold off the Romulans, it should be noted that Earth does not stand alone. When it comes to the defence of Earth and other human colonies, we share that responsibility with the Vulcans, Andorians, Tellarites, Coridanites, and many other Coalition worlds, defending not just Earth's colonies, but their territories as well. Of one thing we can be assured, if Earth does nothing to halt Romulan aggression, they will be on our doorstep sooner rather than later. They will not stop their attacks until Earth surrenders in humiliation or, as is more likely, they will keep attacking until Earth and every colony, outpost, and ship is annihilated. We, the people of Earth, should not bow to aggression or needless slaughter. Throughout our history we never bowed down to tyrants such as Adolf Hitler or Khan Singh on our own planet. We did not bow to the Xindi when they attacked our planet, killing seven million people, and we will not bow down to the Romulans who destroyed Salem One, who attacked the Columbia, and who devastated Proxima Colony. That is why we fight: for the freedom of the human race and our allies.

This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Aussie Trekkie.

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Tensions Rise Across CoP Akuba Mansa - Earth News Network January 23, 2157

Over the past few weeks, Coalition governments have stopped releasing new information about the war with Romulus. While some defense analysts have speculated that this is because there is no new information to release, this has done little to lessen people's apprehension. In fact, the lack of information has spurred unrest among CoP worlds, with fears that information is being deliberately withheld, or that the Romulans are preparing for another attack. Anti-war protests have become regular occurrences on Earth and its colonies; the largest of which took place a week ago in Beijing. The residents of Tellar Prime have also begun to protest their government's involvement in the war. Terra Prime continues to broadcast anti-Coalition transmissions advocating an isolationist policy towards extra-terrestrials, despite several recent police raids on their known safehouses. Since the capture of John Paxton, the organization has operated without a clear leader, but like after the April 20th Xindi attack, the Romulan conflict has notably increased their ranks. The Earth Cargo Authority, as well as a number of other interstellar trading organizations, have reported severe disruptions in trade, resulting in plummeting profits. The ECA reports that five cargo ships have disappeared in the last two months, all but one from more remote trade routes. The ECA has requested a detail of Starfleet ships to protect their vessels, but ECA vessels outnumber Starfleet's interstellar-capable vessels 3-to-1. With dozens of Starfleet ships assigned to guarding Earth and other unarmed outposts, there are even fewer vessels available for convoy duty. The ECA, Trade Fleet of Tellar, Andorian Interstellar Finance Ministry, and dozens of independent shippers have lodged complaints with the Coalition Council. Prime Minister Samuels responded with the comment, "We are doing everything we can to keep trade routes safe. For now, we recommend all civilian ships remain close to their homeworlds and avoid areas reported as being high risk." ECA Chief Administrator Anneke Kotkin issued a seething response to Samuel's recommendation, "It is ludicrous to suggest that the best solution the CoP can manage is to stay home. The Earth Cargo Authority depends on our trade partners and the safety of our interstellar trade routes for the livelihood of our merchants and transport crews. To do as Samuels suggests would mean the collapse of regional interstellar trade and economic failure for thousands of civilians that depend on that trade. I do not find this to be an acceptable solution."

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The topic of the Romulan war has become a popular issue among professional debating competitions, a popular Tellarite sport. Dahaar, one of the sport's top competitors, recently won the prestigious Rawa Cup for his anti-war arguments. A group of officials from Andoria's government, backed by members of the planet's media, have lodged an official protest against the Coalition Council's recent silence on the war. Chancellor Tson has dismissed their objections, saying, "Any integral information will be given to the people." However, there are two planets that seem to have avoided the civil chaos now plaguing the CoP. According to independent polls, Denobula and Vulcan have the highest per capita support for the war of the Coalition worlds, and their heads of state, Minister T'pau and President Larsha, have been unflinching in their belief that the war is a worthy cause. In a recent interview, President Larsha said, "They attacked first. We do not seek war, but we must defend what is ours." This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Denobula Attacked Charles Carmen - Earth News Network February 2, 2157

Late last night, at approximately 25:30 hours local time, a series of explosions ripped through the Denobulan capitol city, Dwassan. At this time the Denobulan Internal Security Ministry has not issued a statement of findings on the explosions, but according to sources inside the DSA, the explosions were powered by powerful dicobalt explosives. The explosions, which appear to have been pre-placed bombs, were detonated in locations throughout the city, including the Denobulan Exterior Security Ministry (DESM) and the popular Kaybin nightclub district, which was filled with an estimated 90,000 revelers at the time of the attack. Minutes after the explosions, a fleet of Romulan vessels decloaked in orbit of Denobula. They proceeded to attack and destroy Kintosk Two, a platform in orbit of Denobula used for research, commerce, and defense. The Romulan vessels then began orbital bombardment of the capitol city. The size of the Romulan fleet is currently unknown. Reports range from three to nine large battleships. Given the destruction of the DESM headquarters and the widespread damage dealt by the surface bombings, many of the ships in orbit of Denobula were in the process of dispatching emergency teams to the detonation sites when the Romulan vessels began their attack. Responding to the incursion of the Romulan vessels, the Challenger NX-03 took command of the contingent of CoP and Denobula Defense Fleet vessels and engaged the Romulans. According to unconfirmed first-hand reports from the Challenger, at least one Romulan vessel was disabled and appeared to self-destruct, and at least two DDF ships were destroyed, with one loss attributed to friendly fire amongst the initial chaos of the attack. None of the Coalition governments involved in the incident (Denobulan, Earth, and Tellarite ships were stationed at the planet) have released any official information on how many, if any, Coalition ships were lost in the battle. As of this writing, the casualty count on Denobula stands at over 78,000, with 52,000 wounded and at least another 358,000 reported missing. Due to of the crowded nature of Denobulan cities and the timing and accuracy of the strikes, the death count is expected to rise much higher. “There may have been over a million people killed,” Janish, Denobulan Ambassador to Earth, said in a press conference this afternoon. All Coalition worlds have dispatched ships to aid in the recovery effort. “We are extremely grateful for the assistance of our allies in this time of crisis,” the ambassador stated. The Raptor Strikes

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In addition to the Denobulan casualties, several hundred representatives of other worlds are believed to have been killed, including at least eighty humans. Kintosk Two is known to have housed both temporary and permanent residents from numerous worlds, including some outside the CoP. Additionally, the Interspecies Medical Exchange’s head office on Denobula--home to twelve humans and a number of Andorians, Coridanites, Vulcans, and Tellarites-- and the Vulcan embassy were completely destroyed as part of the orbital bombardment. The staffs of both these institutions are missing and presumed dead. A delegation from the Vulcan Security Ministry had been temporarily stationed at the DESM at the time of the attack; they were working with Denobulan officials to improve the planet’s surface and orbital defenses and are presumed to have been killed in the attack. It is not known if the DESM was targeted, as many civilian areas of Dwassan were also struck. Even though significant damage was dealt to the Dwassan offices of the Denobulan federal government, President Larsha is reported to have survived the attacks and is now being held in an undisclosed secure location. Larsha issued a written statement calling for assistance from Coalition members in “Denobula’s time of need.” She reiterated points made after the attack on Salem One, firstly that the Denobulan government is still fully functional due to redundan8

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cies and regional offices for primary-level federal offices being distributed around the planet, as well as stating that “Denobula has not and never will back down in the face of adversity.” Unconfirmed rumors state that the Romulans fired something into Lake Dodyu, the primary water source for Dwassan. While Dwassan borders Lake Dodyu and may have been hit by a wayward shot, speculation is rampant that the Romulans dropped something into the lake for the purpose of contaminating it and Dwassan’s water supply. Ambassador Janish refused to confirm or deny this, saying “We are in the process of determining whether or not this is the case. Right now, the recovery of survivors from the rubble is our top prior ity.” Planetary leaders across the CoP have issued statements on this attack, presenting a unified front to what is admittedly still an unclear enemy. Prime Minister Samuels has offered as much support for Denobula as Earth can muster, saying, “This is an attack that boggles the mind and shocks the conscience. We will do whatever we can to alleviate the suffering of those affected.” On Andoria, Chancellor Tson called the strike “heinous.” Tson declared that, “All of Andoria stands with you.” The disturbingly destructive timing and accuracy of this attack has led defense analysts and politicians throughout the CoP - most notably the leader of Vulcan’s opposition party, Minister Sanek - to suggest that the it was the result of infiltration by Romulan agents, and that it was a reaction to the planet’s support for the war. ENN’s own military analysts call the statements unfounded, as it is well known where and when the nightly festivities take place in Dwassan, former Starfleet Admiral Markson Kelley decried the postulation, “It’s not like anybody would have to draw the Romulans a map.” Vulcan Minister of Colonial Affairs Soluk has publicly hypothesized that the Denobulan government was spared so that they would be able to order a withdrawal from the war, should they choose to. When confronted with this information, Ambassador Janish said, “We are exploring all possibilities. I will not comment on specific theories at this time.” This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Prime Minister Samuels Orders Deployment of Nuclear Weapons Juan Ramirez - Earth News Network February 14, 2157

At 11:00 AM local time this morning, Prime Minister Nathan Samuels addressed Earth’s House of Parliament in Berlin, European Alliance, in which he outlined a radical overhaul of Earth’s defense policies. A press release given to the media two days ago had indicated that he would make a speech at this time, though it appears the rumors of taking a hardened approach to defense may have been understated. Samuels began his address by speaking about Zefram Cochrane’s historic warp flight and Earth’s subsequent first contact with the Vulcans, saying, “On that day, a hundred years ago, a new world opened up for Earth. We learned that we were not alone in the universe. We learned that we were part of a larger interstellar community. That event helped to bring Earth out of the dark ages of war, famine, and disease.” He went to discuss the launch of Enterprise NX-01. “When its mission of exploration began, our world once again took a giant leap forward. As time went on, we discovered countless new wonders and contacted dozens of new species. “But, not all of them were friendly. Captain Archer and his crew discovered more hostility in the stars than we had ever imagined, and in spring of 2153, we learned just how dangerous the universe could be. “March 22, 2153, forever changed our perception of space. Though Earth was ultimately saved from the Xindi threat, the scars of that period have yet to heal,” Samuels said of the Xindi attack on Florida, Cuba, and Venezuela that killed seven million. The prime minister then flashed forward to speak about the current Romulan crisis. “And now Earth faces danger from an alien source once again. The Romulans threaten our very existence with their vicious sneak attacks and brutal planetary bombardments. “Chancellor Tson of Andoria was correct when he said that we can no longer continue the pretense that the universe is a friendly place. We must leave our innocence behind and look to the future.” Samuels spent the remainder of his seventy-minute speech outlining the proposed changes to Earth’s defense policy. He began by outlining a program to massively overhaul and expand Mars’s orbital Utopia Planitia Shipyards for the purpose of constructing new deep 10

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space craft and support ships for Starfleet, as well as defense and surveillance satellites. The vast mineral resources of the Utopia Planitia surface colony are cited as the reason for using the Martian facilities instead of the large Starfleet shipyards in orbit of Earth. Previously, the Utopia Planitia yards have been primarily used for the construction of cargo ships and other light craft. The most significant part of the new plan, however, was Samuels’s decision to outfit Starfleet ships with atomic warheads. As he made the announcement, he spoke about the Third World War: “Over a hundred years ago, humanity nearly destroyed itself in petty feuds between nations. Now, we have evolved as a people; but we still face great peril. Not from ourselves, but from those outside Earth who wish to see our world destroyed. The legacy of that conflict will now help to protect us in this hour of need. Hundreds of nuclear warheads were left behind by that devastating conflict, and now, the time has come to put them to use. This time, they will be used to defend humanity, rather than to destroy it.” When Samuels made this announcement, several anti-war members of parliament interrupted his speech with yells and jeers. Eventually, the prime minister regained control and resumed his speech, saying, “These weapons will enable us to drive the Romulans back from our borders and prevent future attacks.” Other new ideas outlined in the address include expanding recruitment for Starfleet officers, particularly in the security division; constructing orbital defense platforms over Earth and major Terran colonies over the next several years; and speeding construction on Discovery, the fourth and final NX-class ship planned. Starfleet estimates that at the current construction rate Discovery will be ready to launch in fourteen months. Samuels’s plan also calls for the accelerated development of the larger Daedalus-class starships, destined to begin to replacing the NX-class by 2160. Despite the frequent and vocal objection by anti-war members of all parties, Samuels’s motion passed with slightly less than 60% of the vote. It may seem odd to rely on weapons from more than a century ago to combat an advanced enemy such as the Romulans. ENN’s chief military analyst, former Starfleet Admiral Markson Kelley, explained the decision. “While it’s true that we now have access to more advanced weapons, that doesn’t necessarily make them better in all respects. Photonic torpedoes, for example, have the capacity to deliver a significantly greater yield than a nuclear weapon of similar size, but they’re also unreliable and frequently fail to ignite their full yield. Nukes are a proven technology. We know what to expect from them. They’re also quicker and cheaper to produce, especially with the current stockpile held by the government.” Numerous politicians, celebrities, and activists have denounced the decision, The Raptor Strikes

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The Atomic Solution

referring to the horrible devastation atomic weapons caused during the Third World War. Noted anti-war activist Sarah Benson called it “a regression.” Many prominent Vulcans have also spoken against the plan, remembering their own planet’s civil wars, which involved widespread use of nuclear weapons. While Earth’s government has not yet released any official estimates of the cost of this new plan, it is likely to be large. The new policies include costcutting measures, such as cannibalizing parts from retired ships and satellites, but many still believe it will lead to widespread tax hikes. Years of interstellar trade and the founding of the Coalition of Planets have led to a significant economic surplus on Earth, but some economists fear this action may wipe it out completely. To operate effectively in space combat, the existing stockpile of atomic weapons will require extensive modification to be used on Earth starships. Starfleet Munitions commander Admiral Branson Hart said that Starfleet has long considered plans to modernize Earth’s nuclear arsenal and within weeks will have the equipment in place to begin upgrading and installing the new nuclear warheads. Current projections indicate that by one month after fullscale conversion begins a complement of eight to ten nuclear warhead-tipped torpedoes could be installed on all MX and NX-class starships. This announcement comes after devastating Romulan attacks on Denobula and Proxima Colony. The combined death toll from these attacks is now believed to be somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 people. Recent reports have confirmed an earlier rumor of a brief skirmish between CoP and Romulan forces near the edge of Andorian space at approximately the same time as Samuels was making his speech. At this time, there is no word on the how many, if any, casualties were suffered. This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Famed Andorian Soldier Attacked James Harfield - Earth News Network February 15, 2157

The sound of particle weapon discharges ripped through the streets of San Francisco last night as a group of masked gunmen, armed with civilian-issue EM-33 pistols, opened fire on Commander Shran, a well-known member of the Andorian Imperial Guard, as he was leaving a conference with other Coalition military leaders. Shran and his aides were also armed, and a firefight ensued. At the time, the commander was accompanied by five Andorian bodyguards and aides. Starfleet Security has told ENN that they had offered to provide an additional escort, but that had been refused by Shran. Our sources have provided conflicting information on the number of the attackers. Some reports put the number at just two, while other estimates are as high as six. Two of Shran's aides were wounded, and one later died in hospital. The other is being treated, but is expected to make a full recovery within the next few days. The commander himself suffered no significant injuries. One of the attackers was also killed. While he carried no ID, he has been identified as Reginald Webber of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a member of the local authorities has revealed that Webber had been a member of the Liverpool police force until seventeen months ago, when he was fired for having ties with the radical isolationist group Terra Prime - the exact nature of these ties is unclear. Because of this, investigators are inclined to believe the attack was planned by the terrorist organization. Though they were thought to have dissolved after the formation of the Coalition of Planets, Terra Prime resurfaced after the Salem One attack, beginning a series of pirate broadcasts blasting the other CoP member worlds, as well as Starfleet. If they are indeed responsible, this is their first overt use of violence since their former leader, John Frederick Paxton, seized control of the Martian Verteron Array and attempted to destroy Starfleet Command. Although the assault occurred in a relatively quiet portion of the city, a number of people did witness the fight. There are no reports of noncombatants being caught in the crossfire. Those present at the time of the incident say that the attackers fled after the death of their comrade, and that Commander Shran and one of his bodyguards pursued the gunmen for more than two blocks before losing sight them. The ease with which these men were able to escape has led many to speculate that they had accomplices and a planned escape route in the area.

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The Andorian Imperial Guard, Starfleet Security, and the local police are all working together to find those responsible for this attack. Hoping to avoid a diplomatic incident, Earth's government has pledged all available resources to the search for the fugitives. "Commander Shran is a hero and an essential part of the Coalitions defenses," Commander David Edmondson of Starfleet Security told reporters today. "We will spare no expense in finding those responsible." Commander Shran - who gained notoriety on Earth after he pledged his ship to help defend the planet from the Xindi, and later became a major advocate for the formation of the CoP - is aiding in the investigation. In a press conference earlier today, he said, "One of my men was murdered, gunned down in the streets. We will hunt down the dogs responsible for this, and when we find them, I will demand extradition so that they may face the full fury of Andorian justice." This Dispatch From the Romulan War was contributed by Tobster and Tyler Edwards.

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ENN Exclusive: Interview With Anti-war Activist Sarah Benson Akuba Mansa - Earth News Network February 23, 2157

Almost as soon as rumors of a war with the Romulans began, a strong antiwar movement rose to challenge the idea. When Prime Minister Samuels officially declared war, the movement blossomed into a major force throughout human culture, with protests taking root in cities across Earth and on far-flung human colonies. From the beginning, Sarah Benson has been at the head of the charge against war, and her name and face are now recognized across the Coalition of Planets. Born and raised in London, European Alliance, Sarah Benson later moved to Australia, where she studied economics and political science at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. At the age of twenty-three, she entered politics, and at thirty one, she gained a prestigious posting as an aide to the Australian government's liaison to the planetary government, a position she held for nearly four years. When the talk of war started to circulate, she began to speak out against the growing conflict, and in early January, she quit her job with the Australian government and focused all of her energy on the multi-faceted protest movement. Sarah Benson sat down with ENN's Akuba Mansa to discuss her views. Akuba Mansa: Ms. Benson, thank you for joining us. Sarah Benson: It's an honor to be here. Mansa: You have objected to the term "anti-war activist." Could you explain why that it is? Benson: I don't feel that it's accurate. I'm not "anti-war;" I'm not a pacifist. I know that war is sometimes necessary. I'm opposed to this war because I'm not convinced that it's necessary. Mansa: Why aren't you convinced? Benson: What has there been to convince me - or anyone else, for that matter? Starfleet says that Romulan weapons signatures were found on the wreckage of Salem One. Fine. They nearly destroyed Columbia. Fine. But Columbia had destroyed one of their ships first. That was a mistake on their part, granted. But do these things really justify the thousands, millions of deaths on both sides that are likely to be a result of this war? The Raptor Strikes

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Mansa: The Romulans are also believed to be behind the string of ship disappearances in recent months. Benson: Believed is not the same as known. Humanity has gone to war on unproven theories before and the results were never pretty. Mansa: So you feel that none of these things justify war? Benson: In all honesty, and with all due respect to the families of those killed, no, I don't. Not on their own, not when I step back and look at the big picture. If this was a war like those of centuries past, fought between nations on Earth, then perhaps. But it isn't - this is an interstellar war. This is something humanity has never experienced; we can't use the rationalizations of the past in a conflict of today. This is a war fought across the depths of space, with ships that can bend the laws of physics and weapons that can flatten entire cities in minutes. What do we really know about the Romulans? If you asked an average person what they knew about the Romulans, how much would they be able to tell you? Not much, I'd wager. The Coalition leaders haven't even been able to give us a definite location for their homeworld! What do they look like? Why did the attack Salem One? Are they humanoid? Do they even think in a way we can comprehend? I'm forced to conclude that the governments of the Coalition either know far more about the Romulans than they've told us, or that they rushed into a potentially devastating war without getting all the facts. Either option is disturbing. Mansa: How do you think the Coalition should have gone about things? Benson: I don't want to act like I'm an expert on interstellar affairs and say exactly how things should have been done. I don't know exactly how things should have been done. I'm not privy to all the councils of the military and civil leaders. I don't know the behind-the-scenes information. So I can't say for sure what action would have been best. But I do know enough to know that we don't know enough to be going forward with this as we are. I would have put more effort into learning who the Romulans are, and I would not have kept the public so much in the dark. War must have a good justification, and the people must know and understand it. The CoP governments have been far too vague on what they know and don't know. It gives the impression that they are embarrassed by the lack of information, and covering up their shortcomings by saying nothing at all. Mansa: Starfleet and other Coalition defense agencies would say that the complete transparency you're advocating would hurt any intelligence advantages they may hold over the Romulans. Benson: Of course there are secrets they'll have to keep for the sake of saving 16

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lives. But not saying whether or not we know where the Romulans call home? Saying nothing says more than words could ever say. Mansa: You're also opposed to the use of nuclear weapons. Would you care to explain your opinions on that topic? Benson: Nuclear weapons hail from a dark period in our species’ history, a chapter I don't want to see us repeat. It's appropriate that most of the warheads now being loaded onto our ships were built in World War Three, since it feels to me like we are regressing to a brash, immature attitude of the past. Atomic weapons are brutal, devastating. I shouldn't need to remind people of the horrors they have caused in the past. I don't think anyone would condone their use here on Earth, yet we're ready to wield them as we wish in space. Whoever the Romulans are, they're sentient beings, and I think we should honor them with the same rights we confer upon humans, Vulcans, or Andorians. Mansa: Assuming that this war was unavoidable, what weapons would you use to fight it? Benson: I am no expert in weapons technology or military strategy, nor do I pretend to be. I can't give you a definitive answer. But I do know that, if negotiations failed, I would not resort to the use of something as indiscriminate as nuclear weapons. I am sure that, with all our modern technology we would have something in our arsenal more refined than nukes. Mansa: You've received some harsh criticism because of your views. People have called you a defeatist and questioned your confidence in your world. How would you respond to that? Benson: It's preposterous. I love Earth; I love humanity. I question the actions of our elected leaders in this conflict because I know we can do better. And before you tell me that teddy bears and hugs aren't going to stop the Romulans - I know that. But for as far as we've advanced as a species and a society, it's shameful that we've felt the need to revert back to such potential for brutality. How do we measure Earth's strength? Is it in our arms, or is it in our hearts, our minds? I believe in the strength of the latter. Mansa: Do you have any words for the leaders of the Coalition of Planets? Benson: Never give up on diplomacy. Always seek peace. If you have information about the Romulans, please, let the public know. If you don't, do everything you can to learn. Seek to discover why they attacked us, and then use that knowledge to put an end to this conflict. This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Enterprise, Columbia Depart Earth Following Repairs, Crew Changes Lieutenant Commander Mi-Young Kim - Starfleet News Feed March 9, 2157

This morning, at just past 7:00AM Starfleet Interstellar Time, two of Earth’s NX-class starships, Enterprise and Columbia, departed Earth amid a muchpublicized relaunch ceremony at the Starfleet shipyards orbiting Earth. Both ships had recently undergone refits, repairs, and major alterations to their crews. Enterprise arrived at Earth nearly two weeks ago and docked at the recently completed Garneau Maintenance Platform in orbit over Earth’s north pole, where it underwent repairs to fix minor damage to ship’s hull plating suffered in recent skirmishes with Romulan ships. While docked, the ship was also upgraded with magazines of nuclear weapons salvaged from World War III stockpiles, an upgrade that has caused great controversy on Earth. The most noteworthy changes, however, came in the form of new additions to the ship’s crew. Two days prior to the NX-01’s arrival on Earth, the Coalition Council announced a broad new plan to increase cooperation and coordination among the Coalition fleets. One of the key elements of this plan was the assignment to Enterprise of an official from every member world other than Earth. The ship would then serve as a hub for CoP military operations, the new officers providing voices for their governments in the field and contributing to decisions and operations aboard the NX-01. At a press conference two days later, Starfleet Commander Admiral 18

Dispatches From The Romulan War – Vol. 2


Garrett Black announced the identities of the officials: Commander Shran of the Andorian Imperial Guard; Assistant Ambassador V’kan of Vulcan, a member of the Vulcan embassy on Earth; L’nara Dittan, a member of the Coridanite government; Captain Goluna of the Denobulan Defense Fleet; and Captain Fogen of the Tellarite Battle Fleet. The first two names are likely the most well-known names among Starfleet officers. Commander Shran has become widely recognized through Coalition space for his role in defending Earth from the Xindi, as well as his involvement in the destruction of the Vulcan monastery at P’jem, the Babel Incident, and numerous other incidents involving Starfleet and/or Vulcan. Shran also made headlines recently when he was targeted by a brazen assassination attempt in the streets of San Francisco. In a news conference conducted by the Andorian Imperial News Service a few days prior to the relaunching ceremony, Shran said that he still hopes to catch those responsible for the attack that killed one of his aides. “My departure from Earth doesn’t mean that those responsible can rest easy,” the commander said. “They will be found, and they will be brought to justice. And then they will regret that they crossed the Imperial Guard.” Later, at the relaunching ceremony, Shran said that he was “honored to serve with such fine officers” as the Enterprise crew. V’kan has served as an assistant to Ambassador Soval since the early days of the NX Program and has often worked closely with Starfleet Command. What is less known about him is that he served in the Vulcan military for many years prior to his career as a diplomat. “His combined experience as a soldier and a diplomat make him the logical choice for the position aboard Enterprise,” Ambassador Soval said just prior to the relaunch ceremony. The representatives, along with a handful of aides, The Raptor Strikes

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reported onboard the NX-01 as part of the ceremony. In a speech for the assembled members of the press, Admiral Elliott Gardner, CO of the NX Program, called it “an important step forward for Earth and the Coalition of Planets.” Gardner went on to express his belief that the assignment will “make everyone on Earth and the other member worlds safer.” After the alien officials boarded Enterprise, attention turned to Columbia. The ship had been undergoing extensive repairs since its return to Earth following a devastating attack by three Romulan warships. In addition to the repairs, Columbia received the same atomic weapons as Enterprise. Columbia has also had major changes in its crew. Its former commander, Captain Erika Hernandez, has yet to recover from extensive burns and multiple broken bones suffered during the Romulan attack. She is replaced by Captain Mark Duvall, formerly of the Shenandoah. “Captain Duvall is a capable officer,” Hernandez commented to the SNF from her room at Starfleet Medical. “I’m sure he will prove an excellent commander for Columbia.” When asked if she had plans to resume her command after her recovery, she said, “I would love to return to Columbia, but it’s ultimately up to Starfleet Command. I want to focus on getting better; when I leave here, I can start making concrete plans.” Two other members of the NX-02’s bridge crew have also left. First officer and chief of science Commander Marie Lapointe and communications officer Ensign Jasim Khatami have transferred to other ships, citing personal issues as their reasons. Their former coworkers have refused to comment on their reasoning, but it is worth noting that both have transferred to survey ships not directly involved with the war effort. The ship’s tactical officer, Bao Phan, has been promoted to commander and given the position of first officer. Lieutenant Ella Mathews, formerly of the Sarajevo, has been made the new science officer, and Ensign Yuri Jovovich, a comm. technician aboard Columbia, replaces Ensign Khatami. Admiral Gardner compared Columbia’s return to operations to the indomitable nature of the human spirit, referencing the recovery efforts that occurred following the Xindi attack. After undocking, the two ships went to warp, setting off for undisclosed missions relating to the war with the Romulans. Their departure played on the screens of the station press room as Gardner closed his speech, saying, “The peoples of the Coalition can feel safe, knowing that these ships guard them.” This Dispatch From the Romulan War was contributed by Tyler Edwards.

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Dispatches From The Romulan War – Vol. 2


Support for the War Strong Among Australians Chuck Harrison - Australian News Network March 12, 2157

Surveys taken by ANN in recent weeks have shown strong support for war against Romulus across the nation, with over 65% of the population saying they agree with the decision to go to war. This comes despite the vocal protests of prominent anti-war activists such as Sarah Benson, a former aide to the Australian government liaison to the planetary government, who has taken on the role of leading the anti-war charge. In traditional military areas such as the Mornington Peninsula in the State of Victoria, historically home to steel manufacturing plants and naval training, the percentage of people reporting that they support the war versus those who do not stands at the rate of nearly four to one. In those areas, many respondents even report feeling that the anti-war protests go against the ideals that the country was founded upon. “The Vulcans, Andorians and Tellarites are our mates, and we do not leave our mates behind in times like these” said Frankston resident Roger Smith, a retired officer in the Royal Australian Navy. Hastings resident Henry Kennett, who lives just kilometers from the naval training base of HMAS Cerberus, said to surveyors, “No one wants a war. Nobody wants to see our kids come home in body bags. But we didn’t want this. The Romulans are the ones who blew up Salem One. The Romulans are the ones who massacred Proxima Colony. We have to defend ourselves.” Meanwhile, in Queensland, there is major support for the views of Sarah Benson at her former school, the University of Queensland. Over 50% of all students there tell ANN’s analysts they agree that this is one war not one Earth should fight. “I don’t think we should be fighting a war against a race of beings when we don’t even know what they look like,” said History student Michelle Ronaldson “In the Vietnam War of the mid-twentieth century, there was saying that went “Hell no, we won’t go.” I can tell you that I know several officers in Starfleet who feel that way now,” said Biology student Robert McKenzie, a member of Australians Against War, a group that has advocated that Australia secede from the planetary government as a means of protesting the war. Though groups such as AAW have been vocal in their opposition to the war, they seem to have had little effect on the majority of the Australian population. For now, support for the war continues to surge forward. This Dispatch from the Romulan War was contributed by Aussie Trekkie.

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New Leader Appointed in War Against the Coalition Khaell Dharvanek - Imperial News Commission March 14, 2157

Elite members of the military lined the entrance to the Senate this morning as the speaker of the Continuing Committee, Senator Turan Khellian, announced the appointment of a new commander-in-chief in the war against the Coalition of Planets: Admiral Menshal Valdore. Khellian began the ceremony with a sweeping speech on the Empire's enemies. A transcript follows: "The Coalition claims to want peace, but from the very beginning, their actions have spoken of war. They constructed a station upon our very borders and crewed it with soldiers ready to strike at our space. And when we reacted to defend ourselves, they called us aggressors, murderers, and sent their ships against our borders, killing any unfortunate enough to get in their way. "No, it is war that has always been their goal, and there can be no doubt as to who sparked their bloodlust: the Vulcans. "Centuries ago, they exiled us from our own home, ejecting us into the dark void of space because we did not share their narrow-minded views. Now, their old intolerance has resurfaced, and they plan to finish what their ancestors could not. They plan to take our new home from us, just as they took our birthright to Vulcan. "They are not strong enough to defeat us on our own, so they have gathered 22

Dispatches From The Romulan War – Vol. 2


allies to share their dreams of conquests, barbarians with corrupt and vulgar cultures. "Worst among these allies are the humans, who the Vulcans have chosen to lead their armies into battle. Just two centuries ago, they were a primitive race still savaging each other and their own world, oppressing their women and any whom their rulers deemed inferior. Now they have been given the technology to venture into space, to bring their brutish ways to whatever new worlds they encounter, to be sicked upon us by their Vulcan puppet masters. "With allies such as these, we cannot doubt the Vulcans' intentions, nor the threat to Romulus. It will take all of our strength, all of our determination, to beat back these aggressors, this Coalition of Enemies! We shall not allow them to cross our borders, to set foot on our soil!" The senator went on to speak of the need for strong and capable leadership in the days ahead. It was at that time that he declared the appointment of Admiral Valdore, calling him "a capable commander with a long history of service with the Romulan people." Valdore accepted the commission, pledging to do all in his power to protect the Romulan people from the assaults of the Coalition. Admiral Valdore has served in the Romulan Guard for nearly forty years. He gained notoriety early in his career with a number of increasingly significant victories during the Breen Border Incursions. In the following decades, he continued to distinguish himself in campaigns against a number of adversaries. In 2154, he was assigned to a top-secret defense project sponsored by Senator Adarin Vrax. Following completion of the project, Valdore and Vrax were allowed to retire from public service and disappeared from the public eye. In his acceptance speech, Valdore said that the personal sacrifice of his retirement was nothing compared to the sacrifices being made by our soldiers upon the front lines. Admiral Valdore replaces the elderly Admiral T'klanna Edjen, who will now retire. In appointing Valdore, Senator Khellian called her a "competent soldier" but said that they needed "someone with greater youth and vision to lead our forces against these deadly foes." Reaction to the appointment has been swift. Numerous prominent military commanders have spoken in support of the decision, describing Valdore's ingenuity and tactics. Polls conducted by the INC also show strong support for the decision among everyday Romulans throughout the Empire. This Dispatch from the Romulan War was submitted by Sareth and Tyler Edwards.

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The war rages on in Dispatches from the Romulan War, volume three: The Battle of Telsong

and at http://www.trekunited.com/community/index.php?showforum=352 24

Dispatches From The Romulan War – Vol. 2

Despatches From The Romulan War , Vol.2 – The Raptor Strikes  

The second anthology of short stories by TrekUnited members telling the story of the war, from the perspective of the news agencies that rep...

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