D’Jerux

Senator D'Jerux has been a member of the Romulan Senate since that body was reorganized following the coup of Shinzon of Remus. As a former military officer, he is seen as an influential voice on funding and support for the Romulan Star Navy, and has among the navy's upper ranks several staunch allies who ensure his popularity among the service and who secretly finance his campaigns.

History

D’Jerux’s rise to power was unlikely. He was born (TSY 2243) to an unremarkable family on Romulus. His father was a luthier and his mother a pharmacist. D’Jerux grew up knowing about family members who served and died during the Earth-Romulan War. They were not heroes by the ordinary measure of heroism, but he considered their sacrifice worthy of celebrating. He was destined to follow his mother into that pharmacology, and in fact had devoted a few years of study and apprenticeship under her (a skill set that would serve him well in the future), but the nation called. Around TSY 2268, the Federation starship Enterprise succeeded in stealing a cloaking device from a Romulan ship. The Federation’s treachery rocked the Empire to its core, and the Senate was reactionary, ordering the draft of military age Romulans.

Like his childhood, D’Jerux’s early military career was undistinguished. He served as a steward in the officers’ mess on a ship that regularly patrolled near the Neutral Zone that provided the buffer between the Romulan Star Empire and the nefarious United Federation of Planets. It was toward the end of his draft period that he found a niche in his indenture.

His vessel’s commander had come under suspicion by the Tal’Shiar as a possible defector. The ship’s courses while patrolling near the Zone had become noticeably erratic to the watchers in the Tal’Shiar, skirting to just within communications range of the nearest Federation outpost.

One day after his shift, D’Jerux was cornered by three fellow crewmen whom he thought, based on the limited interactions he had with them, were engineers. They were, in fact, Tal’Shiar agents placed aboard the vessel. They knew his background in pharmacology. They requested – strongly encouraged – him to concoct a slow-acting poison to put in the commander’s evening meals. He was initially hesitant, even turning down the request. They assured D’Jerux, however, that his deed would go undiscovered. Another Tal’Shiar agent in the ship’s medical department would see to it that the death would be reported as natural causes. After that “we’ll never contact you again.”

D’Jerux agreed, and his poison worked as it was intended. Over a period of two weeks, the commander ate the tainted food, never suspecting he was being slowly executed for treason to the Empire. Compounded with the bogus medical ministrations from the agent in medical, the commander died in his sleep. The subcommander convened a funeral, which was curiously supervised by the Tal’Shiar members who approached D’Jerux in the first place, and the patrol resumed. The Tal’Shiar was true to its word and did not contact D’Jerux for any other favors.

But that did not dissuade D’Jerux from seeking his own favors. Toward the end of his draft period, he approached one of the Tal’Shiar agents aboard. He liked the benefits military service brought, but shipboard life was wearing on him. Could he and his macabre skills be of service to the Tal’Shiar in another assignment?

They took him on as a recruit. Tal’Shiar business was more than executing the enemies of the Praetor. It was information gathering, obfuscation, playing sides against each other, keeping one’s finger on the pulse of the military and political arms of the Empire. The shipboard agents trained him, in secret, during the remaining months of his hitch. At the end, D’Jerux renewed his service commitment, and was not surprised to be reassigned to a planetside posting. He was to be part of the security detail for a young Romulan senator named Nanclus.

The assignment proved to be a turning point in D’Jerux’s career. Nanclus was ambitious. Like D’Jerux, he had lost ancestors in the war with the Terrans. He had his sights set on being Praetor, and a trajectory for the office. D’Jerux learned much observing Nanclus’ bearing and confidence, the ease with which he moved among different classes and groups of differing opinions, all the while obscuring his own true beliefs. In casual conversation with the Senator, D’Jerux discovered that Nanclus also came from humble beginnings, and, like he had done aboard ship, seized opportunities for advancement when he saw them. The two formed a kinship, and soon D’Jerux was made chief of the security detail. The promotion prompted speculation as to D’Jerux own family connections. How had a lowly mess steward risen to head a senator’s security detail? Other Nanclus, who did he know? Who did his family know? It was exactly the air of mystery he would need to cultivate for his own career. As he watched Nanclus succeed as a Romulan Senator, D’Jerux decided that politics was indeed in his own future.

When he made his aspirations known to Nanclus, the Senator agreed to be his mentor and is portal to the network of individuals who would make a seat in the Senate a reality. In return, D’Jerux did favors for the Senator: surveillance of allies and rivals, framing opponents in scandals, and occasional assassination. Where he had been reticent about poisoning his ship commander years ago, killing had now become second nature to D’Jerux. Death, he rationalized, was the price one paid for leading a treacherous life. And doling out that punishment was, in his estimation, the price of advancing in the Empire.

Eventually Nanclus was made the Empire’s ambassador to the United Federation of Planets, the next step on his journey to be Praetor. He brought along D’Jerux, making him an advisor, entrenching the one-time mess steward formally in his inner circle. Mystique continued to swirl around D’Jerux. He continued working in the shadows for the ambassador. In the early 2290s TSY, the Tal’Shiar came calling. During his time with the Senator and Ambassador, he had been making fairly benign reports to the Tal’Shiar about Nanclus, his associates and enemies, and the intelligence organization left D’Jerux alone. This time, they needed him to avert what they viewed as potential disaster. The Klingon moon Praxis had exploded due to unsafe mining practices which led to a catastrophe that now threatened the very survival of the Klingon Empire. The Tal’Shiar had learned that Nanclus was due to meet secretly with the Klingon military’s chief of staff General Chang and Admiral Lance Cartwright of the Federation Starfleet. D’Jerux’s task was to be at that meeting and report on the goings-on.

D’Jerux was in the room when the three representatives of the galactic superpowers secretly agreed to sabotage efforts at peace between the Klingons and the Federation. He was torn. With a potential Klingon-Federation alliance, D’Jerux saw a weakened Romulan Empire, always on the offensive. Even so, he did not like the notion of Nanclus aligning himself with a sworn enemy in the Federation and the flagging ally in the Klingons. He advised Nanclus to tread cautiously. The surreptitious arrangement had the makings of disaster for the Romulan Empire regardless of the outcome. “I think it best for us to wait and see, Ambassador,” he told Nanclus. “To throw our lot in with enemies is unconscionable.”

Nanclus waved off the advice, assuring D’Jerux that the plan was well-supported and foolproof, and would, with the Klingons foolishly eager for war despite having the weakest position they had ever known, secure the Romulan Empire’s supremacy.

The insurgent plot to maintain the galactic status quo was as catastrophic as the Praxis explosion that triggered it. Nanclus’ treachery was outed. The Tal’Shiar ordered D’Jerux to take the ambassador into custody following the attempted assassination of the Federation President at the first Khitomer Conference. They further ordered him to “get rid of” the ambassador. D’Jerux understood the reason for the orders, but he would not carry them out. He staged the destruction of a ship that was to transport Nanclus back to Romulus. He smuggled the ambassador to Nimbus III.

“According to the Empire, you’re dead,” he said to his former mentor. “And you will be if you do not heed this single condition: you are never to leave this planet. If you do, I will find you and I will kill you.” Nanclus agreed. D’Jerux arranged a modest homestead for him in the desert, as well as periodic deliveries of provisions so that he did not have to go to Paradise City, removing the temptation to book passage off the planet.

For his service to the Tal’Shiar and the Empire, D’Jerux was brought home to Romulus to a position in the capital city. It was a posting the Tal’Shiar could make great use of. They removed assassination from his portfolio of tasks. That was too messy for the capital. He still had his position in the Romulan military, which afforded him access to the Romulan fleet admiralty. He networked his way into a senior position in ship construction. That is where D’Jerux began playing his long game.

Over the next several decades, D’Jerux, while administering Romulan shipbuilding operations, began quietly diverting resources to a far-flung star system within the Empire. In time, he had established a small shipyard. His ultimate goal: construction of his own personal battle fleet to call upon when Romulus needed a hero. The shipyard and the nascent fleet were protected by the most sophisticated cloaking system in Romulan history.

The flashpoint of the Tomed Incident signaled a formal end of the Romulan-Klingon détente, which had been weakening in the decades since Praxis and the first Khitomer Conference. The Romulan military enjoyed even more fervent support from the populace than it had in the Earth-Romulan War. Ship construction ramped up, and lazy administrators, keen only to continue feeding the war machine, got careless in tracking were personnel and materiel were being transferred. The confluence of opportunity and political environment was advantageous to D’Jerux’s initiative. But as the Empire went into another long period of isolation, that fervor waned, and so too did production at D’Jerux’s phantom shipyard.

Still, he had prepared for the long game. D’Jerux’s shipyard had been working on a prototype design that incorporated elements of technology stolen from Federation spacefaring races, Starfleet, the Klingon military, and various other galactic factions. The warship was a deadly tapestry, so divergent from Romulan style that an observer could not determine its origin. When the Romulan Senate appeared to be scaling back its military funding, D’Jerux would send his warship to a prominent colony world to incite panic, shifting the winds of support back in favor of a stronger military.

When the “Pretend Praetor,” as D’Jerux called Shinzon of Remus, executed a coup, killing every member of the Romulan Senate and the Praetor, D’Jerux again bided his time. The Federation had sent its star negotiator and its flagship to deal with the Reman treachery. Shinzon did not stand a chance. D’Jerux was content to let Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the U.S.S. Enterprise-E bear the brunt of Shinzon’s wrath. He was not surprised with the Reman’s adopted human champion failed to bring apocalypse to Earth via his thalaron radiation generator aboard his flagship, the Scimitar.

What D’Jerux could not predict was the instability that resulted from Shinzon’s fall. He thought his fellow Romulans were more resourceful than to leave a power vacuum, but it was not to be. Picard’s victory over Shinzon was due, in no small part, to assistance from a Romulan strike force, led by Commander Donatra. This tepid alliance led to warming relations between the Federation and the Romulan Empire. Even so, the absence of leadership was apparent, and it led to a parade of would-be praetors and warlords staking claim to the right to lead the Empire, seeking the now important recognition by the Federation as the true locus of Romulan government.

In the confusion, D’Jerux thrived, diverting entire vessels to his secret shipyard. He felt invincible, and girded with newfound vigor, he ran successfully for the newly formed Romulan Senate. When the Romulan star went supernova he was off Romulus. He relocated to Rator III with the Praetor and the rest of the Senate.

He now feels well-positioned to do what his mentor Nanclus could not – become Praetor, by force if necessary, by manufacturing a war with the other superpowers by using his personal fleet. He waits patiently for his moment to unleash his wrath and to claim the power that he feels is rightfully his.