Star date: 41176.8 Captain's log.
This is my (Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise #NCC-17O1 D) account of the events leading up to and beyond the Federation and Romulan war (2380-2385 AD).
Star date: 32851.2: The Enterprise received a distressed call from a fleeing scout ship.
SOS... I am ... under ... attack!! request ... asylum ... Federation ... Space!!..
The ship was pushing the limits of its engines as it hurtled out of the neutral zone -- the volume of space that serves as a no-ones-land separating the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Empire. A powerful Romulan warbird was mercilessly firing wave after wave of disrupter blasts at the small defenseless scout ship. Once the scout was in Federation space, the warbird broke off the attack and quickly retreated back to Romulan space.
We hailed the ship and found out from her captain that he was alone.
His name was Shaq, captain of the Check Mate. He claimed to be a Romulan captain in search of Federation asylum. I had never heard of such a thing; in Romulan society, loyalty to the Romulan Empire is more sacred than life itself. In any event, I was certain that we would learn a lot more during the next few days.
Star date: 32851.5: Captain Shaq claimed that he was defecting in order to prevent intergalactic war. He told us that the Romulan Empire has plans for an abominable new weapon for use against the Federation and any others who might dare to resist total domination of the Romulans. The weapon, called the Metagenic Device, would be launched from orbit to any planet and release a deadly virus throughout the planet's atmosphere. The virus would then quickly infect all forms of life and cause fatal mutations in the...