Embassy of Duronis II Officer's Manual/Plot Summary
The story begins after the Laudeans achieved warp flight in 2379. While they had been a space-traveling species, within their system, for at least fifty years before that, the general population held little regard for space travel, and the achievement of warp flight was a non-event for the Laudeans. It was over a month before they were contacted by alien beings, and in that time there was little interest in the new technological advancement.
A few days before the Laudeans were scheduled to send a live crew into the unknown - further than simply to another planet and back - a Starfleet ship passing nearby monitored the residual effects of warp flight. As Starfleet made contact, things began rapidly changing on Til'ahn. The Laudeans were opening their eyes to a new era for their people: one of limitless boundaries.
Starfleet authorized First Contact with the Laudeans, which seemed to go over in a rather lukewarm manner. It quickly became evident that, while warp flight is amazing, the news of an alien civilization was society-shattering. The Laudeans had always believed that they were the center of the universe, and that no other species existed beyond their own. The idea that thousands of other species existed in their galaxy alone was shocking.
The government of Til'ahn (or, Duronis II, as it is called by Starfleet personnel) made small efforts to receive their new ambassadors in as orderly a way as possible, while civil unrest began to grow. Some people believed the monarchy should do more to welcome the new guests, while the monarchy clearly felt threatened by the Federation's presence.
Not long after Federation first contact, the Zalkonians also made contact. People of mysterious background, the Zalkonians were beginning to feel cramped on their homeworld, and saw worlds to expand to. While some of their species were transitioning to a non-corporeal form, others "left behind" wanted resources for what they hoped would be a great expansion. They were the first to discover that the Laudeans possess a special ability - one that is rare and perhaps even unique: the ability to sense fields of energy, from the distant stars to the tiniest vibrating atoms. Using their considerable charm, the Zalkonians offered the Laudeans protection from the watering-down of their society from members of the Federation.
Within just another week, the Romulans also made contact, notifying both the Zalkonian and Federation personnel that Duronis II actually falls within Romulan boundaries - a dubious claim. Undoubtedly interested in the Laudean energy-sensing ability called "Fielding," they were most concerned with the "cultural and historical importance" of Duronis II to the Romulan people. Making a surprise revelation, they pointed the Laudeans, Zalkonians, and Federation personnel to a long-covered marble monolith in a remote dessert, covered in archaic pseudo-Romulan markings.
Despite these incursions, the Federation did its best to warmly bring the Laudeans into the galactic fellowship. Presenting small milestones in technology and new commercial venues to trade wares, the Federation argued that it had the most to offer the Laudeans. As all three non-Laudean empires put in an effort to garner favor with the people of Til'ahn, the son of the emperor was sent on a tour of Earth and Vulcan; an (unsuccessful) attempt to convince the population that the monarchy was accepting of the new aliens.
As the Prince readied to return home, after having visited Federation worlds, Til'ahn erupted into a chaotic cauldron of social upheaval. A massive coup was staged by thousands of non-aristocratic individuals, operating in a worldwide network to bring a new, socialist government into power. Many members of the emperor's royal family were murdered in their homes, while five of the other six kingdoms were thrown into anarchy. In just two weeks, the entire hierarchical aristocratic system was overturned, leaving just one kingdom standing while the others were quickly headed toward uniting as socialist republics.
The Federation swiftly retreated off-world, urging both the Zalkonians and Romulans to pull out until the violence of the civil war was over. Both complied.
Many factions were beginning to gain power within the new government: Fielding leaders, Royalists, Scientists, Proletariat. While the population was uneasy with the upheaval, a new day in Laudean society seemed to be dawning. The old guard was felled in one quick slash, while one government "for the people" daily grew in power. The Fielding leaders were cautious about the new aliens, while the Royalists rejected them outright. The Scientist and Proletariat groups desired more contact with the Federation, Romulans, and Zalkonians to gain a better perspective and assess the benefits of possibly joining a federation of powers.
Giving the Laudeans a little more than two months to settle the chaos, the Federation, Zalkonians, and Romulans returned to Duronis II. The new government (between infighting and disagreement) offered the three empires embassies on their world in the hopes of fostering trade and aiding in making a better decision on whom to trust. The Federation was the first to accept, and had a crew on-site within a few days.
Exuberance was quick to die, though. Less than 24 hours after the official welcome ceremony, a bomb exploded inside the Federation embassy, killing most of the team members and destroying the entire building.
Federation members were outraged, demanding immediate restitution and withdrawal from the volatile situation. The Laudeans were humiliated and infinitely apologetic. Their new world leaders begged the Federation to return and offered a new, lavish embassy for the Federation - complete with a host of security measures. Amidst rampant controversy, the Federation advisors accepted, but stipulated that Starfleet construction engineers must be involved during the entire process. To protect their own interest, both the Romulan and Zalkonians decided to build their own embassies as well.
Back in the UFOP, a new team of officers was being collected to head back into the "lions' den." The Laudeans possess an ability that could be a critical element of future defense for the Federation - allowing the Zalkonians to squander the opportunity, or the Romulans to take advantage of it could mean massive future losses. The Federation leaders are determined to "win" the Laudeans to their side. The new team settled in, and began taking up the diplomatic mantle.
Despite three years of work and considerable effort, it was the Romulans that the Laudeans chose. The circumstances were clouded with mystery, but concrete enough: after returning from an away mission, the senior embassy staff found themselves facing a 24 hour deadline to remove anything they needed from their embassy and vacate the system immediately. And that they did.
Four years passed, and reports of growing unrest began to rise again. The Romulans were harsh taskmasters, and it was becoming clear from what small information was leaking out of the Luxis system that the Romulans were pillaging the world of resources, and coercing the Laudeans into service within the Romulan military force as bellwethers for other cloaked ships and resources.
And now, 2387 -- Romulus is destroyed by a supernova sun. What does this mean for the Laudeans, and their alliance?