100381.7 fns: star empire invades romulan republic

100381.7 Federation News Service

Intense fighting has erupted this evening following a massive invasion of the Romulan Republic by the Romulan Star Empire. Imperial battlegroups have besieged two well-established and heavily-fortified Republic systems, Chaltok and Beta Reticuli, along with the independent colony Tri’Vokil, which recently voted to join the Republic.

The speed and ferocity of the invasion, coupled with the large distance between fronts, have shocked analysts throughout the quadrant. Many, including some FNS military analysts, had come to view the Star Empire as a failed state and have been shocked by the sheer number of vessels being fielded.

While there has been an ebb and flow of tensions between the two Romulan powers, border disputes and isolated skirmishes, rather than open conflict, have been the norm for over a decade. Over the past year both sides have engaged in increasingly hostile rhetoric, going so far as to publicly question or even outright deny the legitimacy of the other. In the case of this invasion, the Star Empire has termed it as a police action against terrorism. The Senate of the Romulan Republic has, in contrast, responded by issuing a declaration of war.

A delegation from the Federation Diplomatic Corps, escorted by a task force from the 38th Fleet, visited Rator III shortly before the invasion began, in the hopes of preventing the conflict. Though the conference included discussion of Federation mediation, military de-escalation, and potential paths towards reconciliation, the prevailing stance was never in question. “Forced annexation will not be tolerated,” Ambassador Neema Perim said before a session of the Romulan Imperial Senate, echoing a similar warning when the Star Empire threatened Tri’Vokil last year, “No threat of violence, no threat of war, can grant you the standing to take a world from its people. If you try, you will be stopped.”

Despite the strong words from the diplomatic corps, the tone out of Starfleet Headquarters has been more restrained. While primarily referring questions to the Office of the President, the Headquarters Public Affairs Officer did make a short statement.

The Federation Council has been in emergency session since shortly after the invasion, and President Okeg was seen meeting with high-ranking members of Starfleet Command and the Republic Ambassador before entering the Council chambers. A spokesperson for the Office of the President told the media that the President “is fully committed to utilizing every method available to support our friends and allies in the Romulan Republic against this unprecedented, unprovoked attack.”

Last week, in anticipation of hostilities, Starfleet Command deployed the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 42nd fleets, under the command of Admiral T’Nae, to the border of Federation space in the Tebeebia, Sierra, Argelius, and Celes Sectors. The Admiral could not be reached for comment, but an anonymous source told FNS reporters on Starbase 39-Sierra that Starfleet was prepared for this conflict in advance and is both ready and able to provide swift and decisive support to the Republic, should those orders come through.

FNS will update this breaking story as more information becomes available.