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Friday, April 25, 2014

Ten Things the Romulans Won't Tell You

1. The cloaking device isn't all that good.
It's not a perfect camouflage system, and you can still hit us. Even if you cannot deal devastating blows with those photons, you can get enough hits that we cannot stay "down there" all that long. We just use it to reload and to get away. Sneaking into trouble, yeah, right, we do that, sure we do. Seriously, every minute we spend under cloak is one of helpless terror.
2. We're more afraid of each other than of you.
The Great House system means that every ship is like a corporation with a lot of minority stockholders maneuvering to build a majority and throw the other stockholders (officers) overboard. Literally. When you Feds talk about a rival stabbing you in the back, you're talking figuratively, right?
3. We don't like the Klingons all that much.
They were going to conquer us, they sold us their junky old ships instead of the new ones we thought we were paying for, and they're arrogant jerks who think charging into the teeth of a photon salvo is the epitome of military strategy. And they smell.
4. We think we're civilians, not soldiers.
The way the great houses work is that we're more concerned about money, expressed in terms of controlling planets, resources, ships, and businesses, than we are about military careers. To be successful in a great house, you need to have spent two or three decades in uniform, but we're on those ships to build our resumes, not to spend our whole lives there. Remember, we live a long time and most of us have three full careers (war, business, politics) in the span of our lifetimes, not just the one you have.
5. Big plasma, yeah, but...
Those torpedoes are really cool when they hit something, but have you ever noticed that most of them don't hit anything? They may scare you away or push you off to one flank, but actually hitting a ship that isn't trying to close in on us? Fagedabodit.
6. The Inter-Stellar Concordium scares us.
You just can't talk with those guys. I mean, they think we're crazy and that's no way to start a negotiation. They have those big mean ships and they always show up in whole fleets.
7. Tholians? What Tholians?
You mean there is another empire on that border? Hmm... we'll have to remember to send some ships to check that out. Right after we learn to stop annoying the Gorns.

8. We're the real Vulcans.
Thousands of years ago, our perfectly nice species was torn asunder by those self-righteous, arrogant, religious whackos who thought that "logic" was the be-all and end-all. Yeah, those guys, the ones who have sex once every seven years. Is there any wonder why we left? I mean, really, they told you that they threw us out? You want to compare the forests and oceans of Romulus to that desert wasteland those nutballs call home?
9. Fighters and gunboats are perfect for getting rid of inconvenient relatives and hangers-on.
The casualty and survival rates on those things are atrocious, and no scion of a great house would be caught dead in one. Actually, most of the pilots and crews of those things are eventually caught dead in them. But not us great house sons and daughters. Nope, we're not that stupid. We do run a lottery promising any peasant who survives 20 missions that they'll get membership in a great house. Nobody has ever collected that bet.
10. We do in fact hate you Feds, and we fear your money.
Those decades when the Orions were looting our Empire and you pretended you didn't know, yeah, those decades, that still rankles us. We're even more afraid that some of the great houses are already secretly owned by Federation investors and maneuvering to force other great houses to sell out.