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Infighting continues among the leaders of the Romulan colony worlds. While basic needs are being met and Starfleet is delivering supplies and replicators to every world that will accept their help, the Romulans lack a stable government and the chain of command of the military is chaotic.
Throughout the course of 2389, five Romulans try to seize the emperor's throne, more than two dozen people declare themselves praetor, and at least a dozen more claim the role of supreme commander of the Romulan fleet. Most of these erstwhile leaders fall prey to quick assassinations. A fortunate few are simply ignored.
Federation analysts agree that the Romulan empire will remain in turmoil until there is a leader who is able to command the allegiance of the majority of the colony worlds. Federation diplomatic teams attempt to organize a conference where representatives from each of the colony worlds can take the first steps to establishing a new government and choosing leaders, but the Romulans cannot even agree on where the meeting should be held and the plan collapses.
The Klingon Empire takes advantage of the confusion with lightning strikes into Romulan space. The empire takes control of the Tranome Sar and Nequencia systems in a matter of days, and is poised to strike deeper into Romulan territory. The Klingons temporarily halt their advance when Starfleet sends a fleet to protect the Romulan/Klingon border, but tensions remain high and there are reports of minor skirmishes between Federation and Klingon starships.
The campaign to conquer Romulan space is not the only military conflict the Klingon Empire is engaged in during 2389. Their conflict with the Gorn, which had quieted after the battle for Gila IV, erupts again when the two powers struggle for control of the Gamma Orionis System. The Gorn take the advantage when King Slathis negotiates with the Nausicaans, who agree to contribute ships and weapons to the Gorn war efforts in exchange for rights to several asteroid belts and a substantial payment. The Klingons refuse to give up the fight for Gamma Orionis, winning several battles even when outnumbered, and Starfleet Intelligence reports that there are no signs that the conflict will end anytime soon.
In addition, internal strife divides the Klingon noble houses. On Stardate 66091.53, Aakan of the House of Mo'kai slays K'das, son of B'vat. The death reignites a century-long blood feud between the two houses, and B'vat throws all his efforts into hunting down every member of the House of Mo'kai. Allies of both of the noble families enter into the fight, but in the end, Aakan is the last of his house. After Aakan flees Qo'noS, he is run to ground by agents of the House of B'vat, who corner him on H'atoria on Stardate 66306.71. Two days later, B'vat defeats Aakan in ritual combat, and Chancellor Martok formally dissolves the House of Mo'kai.
The Cardassians take a major step toward self-sufficiency when they vote to replace the Reconstruction Committee with democratically-elected leaders. In the weeks leading up to the election, two groups dominate the debate: a civilian coalition with Elim Garak as a prominent member, and a hardliner group calling for the Cardassians to withdraw from the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2386 and reestablish the military.
Garak's coalition wins a narrow victory, and in its first act reforms the Detapa Council as a representative body. The council faces its first controversy when it votes to send six ships as a token force to assist the Federation's recovery efforts in Romulan space. Popular opinion is against the decision, and polls show that most Cardassians feel that they should reserve their resources. The Federation Council's decision to cut funding for Cardassian reconstruction by 30 percent makes aid to the Romulans even less popular, and support for the council plummets.
Speaking to reporters from the shattered remains of the University of Culat, Elim Garak defended the Detapa Council's actions. "We've seen what suspicion and backroom deals have brought us," Garak said. "We know what happens when we turn our backs on the rest of the galaxy and just worry about what happens on our own street, in our own city, on our own planet. Maybe it's time to try something different."
One of the first industries to be restarted in Cardassian space is mining. A former member of the military, Gul Madred, acquires the rights to several-mineral rich planetoids and begins building a large mining operation in the Septimus System.
Federation President Nanietta Bacco focuses for much of 2389 on smoothing relations between Vulcan and the other worlds of the Federation. She and Ambassador Jean-Luc Picard do much to soothe the wounds caused by the revelation that the Vulcans may have known about the Hobus supernova.
On Stardate 66839.72, the Federation Council announces the results into an investigation of the Hobus supernova and the Vulcan Science Academy's research into red matter manipulation. The council decides that the Vulcans may not have realized the full extent of the threat of the Hobus supernova, as the scope of the explosion was greater and more violent than any supernova previously recorded. In addition, the chain reaction of the detonation could not have been predicted, and the council recommends that the matter be subjected to further scientific study.
However, the council criticizes the Vulcan Science Academy for creating red matter without consulting or informing Federation authorities. In a speech before the Federation Council, Councillor T'Los of Vulcan expresses regret if any of the actions or inactions of her people have caused harm to the Federation. She announces that all of the academy's red matter was on board the Jellyfish when it disappeared, and that the Vulcan Science Academy has pledged to do no further red matter manipulation research without the full knowledge and cooperation of the Federation Science Council. To the Romulans, she directs a single statement: "We grieve with thee."
At the end of her address, T'Los says that is only logical to change who speaks for Vulcan, as the past year has made it clear that she has been inadequate to the task. She resigns from the Federation Council and returns home.
In the courts, the case of the photonic life form known as The Doctor makes a small advancement after years of being stalled in hearings and appeals. On Stardate 66954.79, a Federation judge rules that the lawsuit may be expanded into a class-action suit encompassing all sentient artificial lifeforms in the Federation. "This is about more than one being and a mobile emitter," says Alyssa Cogley-Shaw, a lawyer for the Soong Foundation. "This is about basic rights."
Cogley-Shaw says that while the expansion of the lawsuit may mean that it will remain tangled in the courts for years to come, its ultimate resolution may mean an end to the forced servitude of more than 600 EMH Mark I holograms. And, as Starfleet re-equips more of its starships with holoprojectors to expand the usefulness of photonic "tools" such as the Emergency Command and Emergency Medical Holograms, someday those lifeforms may be considered Starfleet officers with all of the rights and privileges of their rank.
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