Her crime was to cross the Tal Shiar, and her penalty was unspeakable, even by Romulan standards. She hadn’t started off an enemy, of course. Such characters rarely do. Jesderell had been an exceedingly efficient operative within the Senate. Nominally, she represented the interests of the Pictae planetary systems. In reality, she worked at the Tal Shiar’s beck and call, chairing the Committee for Public Safety, sitting on the Progress and Development Council, and voting whichever way she was told. It was nothing unusual, it was just the way Romulan politics went, and how it had gone for centuries.
So it was until Hobus; the event that splintered the Empire and the lives of everyone in it. Jesderell’s was no exception. Amidst the last hearings of the Senate in 2387, chaos and confusion were the orders of the day. Those for which chaos was a ladder chose this moment to play their cards, and one by one Senators, thought leaders and government apparatchiks fell victim to the purges. Jesderell stood out as a survivor, which eventually made her a target. She had no remorse for the lumbering oafs who felt the Empire could simply carry on as before merely by moving the capital to Rator III. They were comfortable in their positions, but decidedly less so once entombed in a Tal Shiar dungeon facing fabricated charges, for which Jesderell was only too happy to provide falsified evidence. There was simply no way back to the old ways now, and like the changing seasons and colours of the Brelgek trees, a new era was upon them.
In the months following the split, each faction tried its best to carve up the remains of the Star Empire into competing spheres of influence. Resources, populations and fleets were all up for grabs. The Tal Shiar had a head start. Their chain of command was brutally enforced, ensuring they retained control of all assets from warbirds to planetary bases. Despite what they might have said in public, all other loyalties were secondary, including loyalty to the Empire itself. As of this writing, it remains unclear who made the initial call to break away, but by 2388 the writing was on the wall. Jesderell became the public face of the new movement in the Senate, formally announcing their separation from the Empire as first Praetor of the Romulan Free State.
Relative parity between Star Empire and Free State fleets prevented civil war on a catastrophic scale, and the outright purge of the Free State government as it withdrew into Tal Shiar controlled space. Jesderell’s downfall was to begin shortly thereafter. Recently decrypted communiques indicate that the newly minted Praetor began to use her office to weaken the Tal Shiar’s grip on the strings of power. This first came to the attention of Stelrak, then Tal Shiar Chairman, upon his learning of a secret vote planned the following day in the Free State Senate. The motion sought to transfer economic output allocation from military to civilian government control. Upon hearing of the vote, Stelrak flew into a rage. In the early morning before the vote, he mobilised his personal guard. In the Praetor’s residence, Jesderell was awoken by an unauthorised beam-in. She grabbed the disruptor pistol she kept by her bed, vapourising two of the guards before being overpowered and tranquilised. Signature masking transponders ensured no trace of the transport was ever recorded, and she awoke deep in the bowels of Stelrak’s personal warbird, the V’Trella. Plasma charges were planted in the Paetor’s quarters by a remaining guard, and so it came to be that Jesderell, first Praetor of the Romulan Free State, was tragically assassinated in a brutal terrorist bombing.
The extraction was painful, as per Stelrak’s orders. Upon excision, her brain stem was encased in an oxygenated neurochemical stimulator. It received the nutrients it needed, preserving consciousness. A synaptic output decoder was grafted to the exposed dendrite cords, processing Jesderell’s conscious thoughts into Romulan script. On the top floor of Tal Shiar headquarters, what remains of Jesderell now sits in a suspension flask behind Stelrak’s desk. Occasionally, perhaps on the swearing in of a new Praetor, Stelrak might place the flask in front him and activate the output decoder. Gleefully, he observes another leader of the Free State as their expression changes from confusion to horror, then finally to a grim understanding. All Praetors then know fate that awaits those who challenge the supremacy of the Tal Shiar.
Character Service Record
|2343 - 2370||Tal Shiar Operative||Romulus|
|2370 - 2388||Romulan Senator||Imperial Senate of the Romulan Star Empire|
|2388 - 2391||Praetor of the Romulan Free State||Senate of the Romulan Free State|
|2391 - 2399||Desk Ornament||Tal Shiar Headquarters|
Little is known about Jesderell’s early life, other than that she was groomed for her role from birth. The Tal Shiar has written a fabricated history as is customary for those public figures in their employ. Such a history is, however, of little use to us in deciphering Jesderell’s motives and impact in the immediate aftermath of the Romulan Star Empire’s decline.