I like to think that all my characters are interconnected somehow. That every persons account is their own branch of a timeline or what have you. Thinking on that as I played through The Romulan Mystery again today is what inspired me to make this post. You see, I made my first character Federation, and I still play her. My Romulan came second, so in my mind/headcanon, her story takes place afterwards.
So. Put yourself in the head and shoes of your Romulan captain, whatever mix of details you desire. You've been through several shades of hell thus far. Home destroyed, betrayed by friends, seen others die. It's been an unpleasant past few months. You look forward to finally putting Hakkev in a hole and are honing your crew into an extension of yourself, as any good fleet officer should. You've made an alliance with [Fed/KDF] and it's fruitful. Then you're sent on a mission into the "southern" portion of what once was the Empire.
There, you discover that Admiral T'nae (an infamous name to any Republic officer) apparently has a new attack dog, and said dog has been unleashed on the Imperial and Tal'Shiar remnants. In addition, this Federation Captain apparently thinks things like "sovereign Romulan territory" is some sort of hilarious myth. You first learn of this when you start finding drifting wreckage of T'Varos, Mogais and D'Dreidexes along now empty old patrol routes. Eventually, you manage to follow leads and the trail of destruction to Nimbus 3, where you not only find signs that all sorts of hell had broken loose in orbit, but Tovan's sister, whereupon she points you to a now very screwed Tal'Shiar base on the surface. Also, lots of dead gorn and orions, at least one massacred underworld bar, and the town of Paradise apparently under martial law, courtesy of the Federation.
Upon arrival at the base, you find flaming, rihan-corpse choked ruins and so much photon radiation and dimming phaser signatures that your tricorder is telling you that there had to be a company level front-line infantry action here several hours ago. You spend a couple days investigating and wondering just what the hell is happening in the galaxy when you get an urgent message from Republic Command to haul TRIBBLE in the most scalded-epohh manner to Brea III.
You follow the swathe of destruction to Brea III, and upon arrival, you find Imperial, Tal'Siar and Reman vessels locked in bitter combat, a Federation cruiser shooting everything not it or reman that gets close while at the same time bombarding the city from orbit. A city that, according to sensors, is being assaulted even as it's being hit with capital ship weapons by a Federation strike force. A force that, according to you comm officer, has blasted Hakeev to ash, slaughtered most of the Tal'Shiar in the area, is planting a very inordinate amount of explosives, and is firing on Empress Sela.
And the last time you checked, the Feds were nice people and there hadn't been a declaration of war. Yet.
So. Pop quiz, Republic. What do you do?
(Essentially, your Romulan character's story takes place a little offset from the Feds, and you cross paths at the end of "The Romulan Mystery.")
"So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again."
-Dedication plaque of the Federation Starship U.S.S. Merkava