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Fallout from the destruction of the Romulan system dominates interstellar events in 2388.
The Romulan colony worlds reel from the loss of their home world and a vacuum in leadership. With the death of Praetor Chulan and the disappearance of Donatra, there is no one who has the authority to call the worlds to order or organize a new government. The leadership council of Rator III declares itself to be the new Romulan Senate and Rator III as the new capital of the Romulan Star Empire, but it is quickly challenged by the leaders of Achernar Prime and Abraxas V, who make similar claims.
One person many look toward to pull the Romulan people back together is Admiral Taris. She concentrates on evaluating what military forces remain, and issues a call for all remaining ships, even deep exploration vessels, to return to Romulan space.
Internal squabbling and politics hinder the Federation's relief efforts in Romulan space.
The Federation Council dispatches a fleet of ships to provide food and aid to refugees and to help the displaced survivors of the disaster find new homes, but Starfleet finds it must negotiate with each of the colony worlds. What one world welcomes, another sees as false friendship, or even an act of war. The fight between the three "capital" worlds further complicates issues, because any assistance given to one of them must be granted to all to avoid accusations of favouring one faction or attempting to interfere with the Romulans' internal affairs.
Most of the Federation's allies agree to send ships and supplies to supplement the Romulan relief effort. Even the Cardassians, who are still struggling to rebuild their homeworld, agree to a token contribution. But the Federation's appeal to the Klingon Empire to join the relief convoys is harshly rejected.
"The Klingons will offer no treaty, no aid, and no hand that is not holding a blade," Chancellor Martok responds.
Hard-liners on the Klingon High Council, led by Councillor J'mpok, demand that both the Romulans and the Federation be made to pay for the destruction of the fleet led into Romulan space by Worf. Some argue that because Martok handed command of the fleet to his friend Worf, a Federation ambassador, rather than a general of the Klingon Defense Force, that the entire affair may have been a trick to weaken the empire. And that even if it was not a plot, the fact remains that hundreds of warriors died under the command of a Federation official. In some Klingon minds, that makes the Federation responsible for their deaths.
Martok rejects insinuations that Worf was part of a "cowardly Federation trick" and issues a standing challenge to anyone who dares to insult the honour of a member of the House of Martok. And, despite heavy pressure from hard-liners on the Council, the chancellor ultimately refuses calls to retaliate against the Federation.
Although a diplomatic crisis is averted, this is yet another strain on an alliance that has already been tested by the retaking of Khitomer and the Klingons conflict with the Gorn. Analysts report that Federation-Klingon relations are at their weakest point since the Klingons briefly withdrew from the Khitomer Accords in 2372.
Also occupying Martok's time this year is a possible treaty with the Orions. Realizing that their home world in the Rigel System is beset with pollution and is almost completely depleted of natural resources and that Starfleet crackdowns on criminal activity are becoming a serious problem for Syndicate operations, a delegation of Orions led by Melani D'ian opens talks with both the Klingons and the Breen for possible assistance. Melani dangles the promise of Orion support and stockpiles of ancient knowledge and treasures, but refuses to commit to either side until they detail what they could offer the Orions in return.
For his part, Worf remains on Qo'noS, recuperating from his injuries and fulfilling his duties as Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire. On 'Stardate 65548.43, he is present for the birth of his second son, K'Dhan.
On Stardate 65776.64, the Federation News Network breaks a story that reports that the Vulcan Science Academy knew of the threat to Romulus but refused to take action to assist the Romulans before the destruction of their home world.
The outcry is immediate. The Vulcans decision is condemned by dozens of politicians and analysts. Seventeen independent planets recall the ambassadors to Vulcan in protest, as do Federation members Pacifica and Zaran II. Two days later, the Federation Council votes to open an investigation into the Vulcans refusal to help the Romulans, as well as the implications of the academy's work in red matter manipulation.
The Federation president makes a public appeal in an address to the Federation Council for the member worlds to remain calm and not ostracise Vulcan or anyone involved. "In this time of strife we need to remain united," President Nanietta Bacco says. "Assigning blame does not heal the injured, soothe the stricken or comfort the grieving."
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