Peace Forged in Fire (original Romulan language title: Saith Daehpahr hrrafv Llaiirevha) is a Star Trek Online fanfic by StarSword and worffan101, written for Unofficial Literary Challenge #4: The Return of the Revenge of the Unofficial LC of DOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!! on the STO forums.
StarSword had proposed a prompt to finish a storyline that Cryptic Studios started but never finished. Unsatisfied with the vague Word of God explanation of the current status of the Romulan Star Empire after the kidnapping of Empress Sela, he and worffan collaborated on a geopolitical/military thriller to formally end the storyline. Praetor Velal of the Romulan Star Empire contacts the Romulan Republic, asking for a summit to discuss an end to hostilities and recognition of the Republic's right to exist. Things get off to a rocky start, and Rahaen'Enriov D'trel ir'Aehallah tr'Rihannsu (worffan's recurring Romulan character) and Khre'Riov Morgaiah ir'Sheratan t'Thavrau (from Legacy of ch'Rihan) have to step in, bending their skills as warriors to work for peace.
- Attack Pattern Alpha: Attack patterns Tyrava Four, Valdore Seven, Velal Five, Shinzon Four, and Donatra Seven are mentioned.
- Berserk Button: D'trel's pathological hatred of the Tal'Shiar tends to make her go on Roaring Rampages of Revenge at the mere mention of them in a positive light. First exploited, then subverted.
- Exploited by Colonel Merik, who intentionally provokes D'trel into Berserker mode by speaking fondly of two other Tal'Shiar, one of them being Hakeev. He was luring her in so he could trap and kill her, though he underestimated how much gun Velal had brought along.
- Subverted after Merik's ship is disabled. He claims to have been one of the men who raped D'trel's lover Adani to death, to get her to destroy his ship to deny intelligence to the Republic and Empire. It backfires: D'trel decides death by exploding starship is too good for him and Merik is taken alive.
- Blood Knight: Played for Laughs when Koren arrives to discover that she's missed the battle entirely.Koren: TalShiar scum! This is Koren, daughter of Grilka, Captain of the glorious IKS bortaSqu! You willwhat the What do you MEAN we missed out on a glorious battle? ARGH!!!!!! I havent seen any action since QonoS! Why does it ALWAYS take an impending apocalypse for me to get to kill things???
Brokosh: (facepalm) Koren, you damn fool, get back in formation.
- Broad Strokes: Some sacrifices have to be made to do crossovers with Worffan 101's character D'trel, since all Romulan Player Characters have the same basic backstory. Among other things Tovan tr'Khev's presence in some of D'trel's past adventures is ignored in favor of him being assigned to Morgan's ship, and it's indicated that Morgan and D'trel didn't know each other before this story despite both having lived on Virinat.
- The Romulan Star Empire apparently fell into chaos (again) with the revelations that the Tal'Shiar were responsible for Hobus (missions "Revelation" and "Taris") and Empress Sela's kidnapping by the Iconians (mission "Cutting the Cord"). Velal only recently restored order.
- There's roundabout explanations of Velal's backstory as the Romulan general who turned up in a couple episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Among other things the destruction of the Romulan flagship IRW D'ridthau at Cardassia is mentioned (the Aen'rhien, then an Imperial ship, apparently rescued the surviving crew).
- The ch'R Maens detects a tachyon burst, which in Red Fire, Red Planet was a sign of a cloaked warship dropping to sublight.
- The Cameo: Brokosh (and Meromi Riyal, described but unnamed) from Red Fire, Red Planet and Koren from the canon game arrive at the end.
- The Cavalry:
- Merik suckers D'trel and things look grim. Then Velal's flagship, which had previously only been mentioned by name, decloaks. It's a Scimitar-class.
- Also subverted. The Klingon Sixth Fleet that had been mentioned to be on its way turns up right after the battle. Starfleet and Republic reinforcements never even get there.
- The Dead Have Names: At the Fade to Black, Morgan reads off the names of all the crewmen, Republic and Imperial, who died in the fight against the Tal'Shiar.
- Dope Slap: The tactical officer of the ch'R Maens does this to the sensor officer after he tries to laugh off a tachyon burst.Subcommander t'Ihaimehn: Better wake the leih.
Sensor Officer: That could mean any number of things, rekkhai. (Dope Slap) Ow!
t'Ihaimehn: Yes, 'any number of things', and most of the list consists of things I would not wish to face without Riov t'Khellian on the bridge.
- Enemy Mine: The Tal'Shiar's deceptions (and outright treason in attacking Imperial vessels in a False Flag Operation) convince Velal to join the Republic in fighting them. During the talks they also prepare command protocols for joint military operations against enemies like the Undine and Borg.
- Epigraph: Part 2 opens with the final verse and chorus of P!nk's "Try".
- False Flag Operation: The Tal'Shiar try to break up the talks by attacking an Imperial ship under Republic colors, but Jaleh sees through it right away: one of the warbirds' names they used belonged to a vessel that was destroyed fighting the Undine over Qo'noS. They later attack the talks directly flying Republic colors, but the Republic had sent out an update three hours earlier for their IFF transponders that was missing from the fake ships.
- Fantastic Religious Weirdness: Jaleh Khoroushi mentions she stopped bothering to keep halal on deployment years ago. She's a Starfleet liaison to a Romulan ship. (The author's notes admitted that this was StarSword's way of covering up for forgetting in "Aen'rhien Vailiuri" that observant Muslims do not drink alcohol.)
- Fantastic Slurs: "Hevam" for human and "Klivam" for Klingon, both derogatory terms from Rihan.
- Foreign Language Title: Saith Daehpahr hrrafv Llaiirevha. In a Conlang, no less.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: So much Rihan that StarSword provided a glossary when people complained. The intent was reportedly to emphasize that these weren't human characters.
- Heroic Bastard: Morgan, apparently. Her mother never said who her father was, though Morgan suspects she was sparing a senator's mnhei'sahe. (The Romulans care deeply about saving face.)
- Hold Your Hippogriffs:Deihu Hannam t'Hei: How long will it take to reach Khitomer, KhreRiov?
Morgan: Four days, five hours, as the mogai flies.
- How We Got Here: The fic starts at the beginning of the negotiations, then jumps to five days earlier to more fully explain how this all started.
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: Merik tr'Kiell, because the final volleys from the Kholhr and Eyhon Eludet'eri knocked out his Self-Destruct Mechanism and took down the computers, and simply killing himself wouldn't keep large amounts of intel out of the hands of the enemy.
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder:D'trel: How the Ariennye did I get into this, anyway? Im a soldier, not a diplomat!
- If I Wanted You Dead...: Velal uses this line when the traffic control guy at Khitomer decides to be an Obstructive Bureaucrat over Velal refusing to tell him what the Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire is doing in Klingon territory. (Morgan defuses the confrontation by threatening to get the Klingon High Council involved.)Velal: If you wish, you may contact Governor Leskits office for the information for which you are cleared, but rest assured our mission here is peaceful.
Khitomer Control: Why should we believe you?
Velal: If our intent was otherwise, we would not be having this discussion and a third of this planets population would already be dead, Klivam.
- Inter Service Rivalry: In a nod to Star Trek: The Next Generation, Morgan mentions that when she was in the Romulan Imperial Fleet, the Tal'Shiar were the enemy almost as much as Starfleet or the Klingons.
- Irrational Hatred: Defied. Morgan avoids the problem of her tactical officer Sahuel t'Khnialmnae being ex-Tal'Shiar, against whom D'trel has a pathological hatred, by ordering her command crew to not mention Sahuel's "prior affiliations" in D'trel's hearing.
- Macross Missile Massacre: From the Tal'Shiar flagship Sienov, a Khnial-class battlecruiser based on the same technology as the Narada, using the weapons that blew away a fleet in Star Trek (2009). They target Morgan's screening ships and destroy at least three.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Justified. Morgan and D'trel take over the negotiations from the trained Republic diplomats because Praetor Velal, previously career military, doesn't respect the politicos.
- Military Moonshiner: Morgan has a side business brewing Romulan ale, and Velal is very impressed at the quality of her product. She also mentions she had a vineyard on Virinat before the attack, and in another scene speaks hopefully of one day going back there.
- Noodle Incident: Sahuel t'Khnialmnae is apparently ex-Tal'Shiar, and was aboard the Aen'rhien when it killed hundreds of refugees in an unelaborated incident.Sahuel: (tearfully) That was an accident! And I wasn't even on duty!
- Name From Another Species: Min'tak'allan is a Ferasan who uses a Jem'Hadar name. This is explained in other material: Omek'ti'kallan declared him an honorary Jem'Hadar in the piece worffan wrote for Literary Challenge 65.3.
- Pragmatic Hero/Pragmatic Villainy: Velal seeks peace with the Republic not because he's seen the light, but because he no longer has the resources to continue fighting them.
- Precision F-Strike: There's a fair amount of untranslated Rihan swearing and a bit of Farsi, but at one point Morgan tells her command crew that:"... getting an armistice is critical to our national security, and that means our conduct is critical to our national security. If somebody fucks this up, this warbird will not be responsible."
- Ramming Always Works: Justified. Velal's flagship ch'R Eyhon Ehludet'eri, a Scimitar-class, casually runs over a much smaller T'varo-class that simply explodes on contact with the Eyhon's navigational shields. It's a bit like hitting a bass boat with an aircraft carrier. ROADKILL!
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: D'trel is the red oni to Morgan's blue. D'trel doesn't like Velal and has diametrically opposed political views, and runs on Unstoppable Rage in battle, while Morgan is a more traditionalist Romulan, shares a friendly drink with Velal to hold the negotiations together, and has a much calmer, more rational fighting style. Also visible in their ship choices: D'trel's Kholhr is a Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster T'varo-class light warbird, while Morgan captains a Mighty Glacier D'deridex-class battlecruiser.
- Religious Bruiser: Omek'ti'kallan worships "Glorious Odo'Ital", a.k.a. Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He's a Jem'Hadar First. Do the math.
- To the Stargate SG-1 episode "Fair Game" in the In Medias Res opening when Jaleh explains how the negotiations went south early:"Well, apparently we said hello, insulted each other, and broke for recess."
- Sarsachen refers to a Republic intelligence source codenamed CARDINAL.
- Omek'ti'kallan quotes the Twenty-Ninth Word of Odo'Ital as "The enemy of my enemy is my enemys enemy--no more, no less."
- One of Morgan's lines to her command crew when she briefs them:"I don't care if they say your mother was a fvai and your father smelled of eigen berries, you will not throw the first punch."
- D'trel's rant in part 1 borrows lines from Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.
- When Morgan complains that Klingon bloodwine tastes horrible, Tovan tr'Khev tells her that "the ale here tastes like a mugato peed in battery acid." Slight tweak of a line from the Castle episode "Hell Hath No Fury".
- To the Stargate SG-1 episode "Fair Game" in the In Medias Res opening when Jaleh explains how the negotiations went south early:
- Sour Supporter: Discussed. Morgan is a more traditionalist Romulan than D'trel, a Unificationist, and tells Velal that she thinks that Proconsul D'Tan is a "naive idealist" and doesn't agree with his politics. But she follows him because whatever his faults, he's sincerely trying to help.
- Spotting the Thread: The Tal'Shiar goof up their attempts at False Flag Operations to break up the talks.
- In the first case, they use Republic IFF beacons while attacking an Imperial warbird. One of the ships they masquerade as was destroyed months earlier.
- In the second case, they use Republic IFF beacons while attacking the talks directly. They're spotted early because Command sent out an IFF update in response to the previous attempt.
- Strike Me Down/Thanatos Gambit: Merik tries to provoke D'trel to kill him by ranting about how he helped rape her lover to death decades before. It backfires: D'trel decides death by exploding starship is too merciful. Daysnur later determines the intent was to deny intelligence to the enemy—the Self-Destruct Mechanism and computers had been knocked offline so he couldn't get rid of the data himself. Still disgusting.
- Tastes Like Feet: According to Tovan tr'Khev, the ale at the Klingon bar where he meets Morgan "tastes like a mugato peed in battery acid."
- There Are No Coincidences: Morgan notes that the timing of the Tal'Shiar false-flag attack against ch'R Maens is more than a little coincidental. Tovan responds:"I stopped believing in coincidence after I became a cop, Morgan. My guess? Somebody sprang a leak."
- Threatening Mediator: Velal tries to leave the talks after the faked Republic attack on an Imperial ship. Jaleh's response is to fire her phaser into the air and scream at him to sit down so he'll stay put long enough for her to look at the evidence.
- Token Human: Jaleh Khoroushi is the only human in the entire story.
- Token Religious Teammate: Downplayed. The Romulan characters tend to favor the Elements, which isn't an organized religion so much as an animistic spirituality. In contrast, Omek'ti'kallan worships Odo and frequently attributes maxims to him (one of them actually belonged to Schlock Mercenary), and Jaleh Khoroushi is a Shiite.
- Unfriendly Fire: D'trel's former CO Ameh ir'Tanat reportedly spaced their Tal'Shiar Political Officer and sent fake reports with his gear. Admiral tr'Kererek calls this "efficient".
- Up Through the Ranks: The narration in part 2 mentions in passing that Jaleh Khoroushi used to be a chief petty officer (specifically a quartermaster).
- Vehicular Theme Naming: Several of the Romulan ships are named after the Generation Ships that took the Romulans to Romulus in Rihannsu: The Romulan Way. Among them are the three leads' ships—D'trel's Kholhr (Vengeance), Morgan's Aen'rhien (Bloodwing), and Velal's Eyhon Eludet'eri (Lost Road)—as well as the Red Shirt ships Delevhas (Shield) and Eyiv s'Rea (Rea's Helm).