Star Trek Hunter
Episode 17: Terms of Surrender
Scene 1: Sela
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17.1
Sela
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"That was too easy… Far too easy…"

Sela stood out - a blonde romulan among a people who were exclusively dark-haired. Her blonde hair came from her human mother, Lieutenant Tasha Yar of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Sela had not been in the vanguard or even the first wave of migrants to Vulcan. She knew well when to lead from in front. The seizure of Vulcan was a time to lead from behind. While it was a priority for the Romulan Star Navy, neither she nor anyone else in the navy wanted to have anything to do with the actual capture of Vulcan. That risk was to be borne exclusively by the Romulan Senate and the Praetorian Guard.

"Can't you just admit that those humans you worry so much about are cowards and that the vulcans actually want us there?" asked one of the more brash young centurions in the council room, only to receive withering looks from those among the older officers who bothered looking at her at all.

"Centurion Cireeka, you are an expert at warp field theory and long-range telemetry, yet unlike most scientists, you seem quite unrestrained in commenting on topics that you know nothing about," said Sela. "That is most unbecoming in a scientist or any romulan. Do not speak further," she added as it appeared the centurion was about to apologize.

Three top admirals were also in the council chamber of Sela's mammoth flagship, the I.R.W. Bestia, the first of the new class of romulan battlegods. Admiral Ritrina spoke up. "It's a trap."

"Of course it's a trap," Sela snapped. "The question is what kind of trap, and for whom?"

"Should we discontinue the resettlement, then?" asked the admiral.

"No," Sela responded. "That is how insidious this trap is. No matter what the humans have cooked up for us, it is still in our best interest to complete the resettlement from Romulus."

"You knew it was a trap before the Praetorian Guard attacked," Ritrina observed.

"Don't be dense, Ritrina, it doesn't suit you," Sela replied. "The Praetorian Guard knew it was a trap before the attack - if you could even call it an attack. Centurion Cireeka, are you listening?" Sela slapped the table. "You won't learn if you cannot focus! NO - do not apologize, just keep your mouth closed and learn something!"

"Should we reinforce the Praetorian Guard at Vulcan with Navy resources?" asked another of Sela's admirals.

"Where would you pull those resources from?" Sela rejoined. "The Klingon Border? The Neutral Zone? Internal resource acquisition and enforcement? Do you begin to see how insidious this trap is? Despite its historical significance, Vulcan is not like Romulus, or Earth, or Bajor. It does not have the resources to support more than three or four billion people at the most and even that probably is not sustainable. The acquisition of Vulcan gets the Senate out of our hair, along with the refugees from Romulus. But it cannot also sustain the Navy. If we push further into federation territory, we open ourselves to klingon attack. If we open a front against the Klingon Empire, Star Fleet will attack. And if we don't sufficiently resource our base here within the empire, we face almost certain rebellion against the Navy."

"Why did they hand us Vulcan without putting up at least the appearance of a fight? Why would they make the trap so obvious?" asked Admiral Ritrina.

"That is a much better question, Admiral," Sela responded. "The vulcans could have inflicted heavy casualties on the Praetorian Guard with minimal risk to their own resources. They could have mined the system, used the planetary defense platforms. They could have drawn the guard ships in close to Starbase 18 before destroying it. They could have waited to destroy the gantries until they were swarmed with breaching landers carrying troops for boarding. Even with Star Fleet pulled out of the Vulcan star system, the vulcans alone could have inflicted tens of thousands of casualties and taken out as many as a dozen warbirds and dozens of breaching landers if they had put up a fight with what they had stationed in the system instead of scuttling all of it just when the Praetorian Guard decloaked."

"It isn't logical. Degrading our resources would have made it much easier for Star Fleet to re-take Vulcan," Ritrina observed.

"That's because they have no intention of retaking Vulcan!" Sela exclaimed. "Ah, this hurts my head! What are they up to? What we need, more than anything, is information. Something is missing. The vulcans and the humans are hiding something and we must find it before they finish springing their trap. I want all our intelligence assets within the rump Romulus population activated. And our resources on Vulcan. We need to put our feet on every inch of that planet and its sister planet, T'Khut – and T'Khut's moon. There is something we just are not seeing from orbit. Get me telemetry on that entire star system. There are two brown dwarf systems nearby, get me everything on those as well. Pull up everything we have on traffic patterns and communication patterns, commerce around Vulcan, everything. We need a thorough analysis on what has changed in the past year and especially in the past few months."

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