The Tal Shiar
Though the Tal`Shiar's exact origins are not known, it is known is that, at some point, an Emperor organized a small unit, which he named the Talshaya (the old Vulcan word for a form of execution.), and tasked them with intelligence, assassinations, and the his own personal security. While its role barely changed, maintenance of the squad, or a similarly tasked unit, became common practice amongst the Emperors.
In 2293, when the destruction of the moon Praxis caused a sudden political shift and opened the first peace talks between the Klingons and the Federation, Romulan Emperor Tiercellus tr`Rllailieu became extremely apprehensive. In the hopes of precipitating a war between the two powers, which would leave the Rihannsu free to defeat them both when their forces where depleted, he ordered that the Talshaya be combined with the most elite members of the Ta'Pakrsh and Tal'Diann to form a super elite intelligence force known simply as 'The Black Legion'. The 100 officers of the Legion worked with renegade elements of the Federation and Klingon Empire-- particularly in financing the operation, and supplying 'runners' and 'spotters' for operation information and logistics. Ambassador Nanclus (a member of the Talshaya) was part of this conspiracy, as was Federation Admiral Cartwright and Klingon General Cheng. However, Captain James T. Kirk and the USS Enterprise. this time aided by the USS Excelsior, foiled the plans.
With Nanclus captured and the plans foiled, the Senate decided that while the Black Legion had been a good idea, it hadn't worked. In a very Romulan move, the Black Legion was increased in size exponentially, and became a full military branch. The new military branch was dubbed 'Tal'Shiar' and thus 'The Agency' was born.
The first task of the new Agency's was to deal with repercussions of the Federation and Klingon talks, the most major of which being the Black Legion operatives who had been stranded in SF and KDF space once the conspiracy fell apart. These operatives became spies at their locations, and the new Agency began its policies of infiltrating other races.
Since then, The Agency has grown considerably. With its high level of prestige, and greater appeal of power, many citizens are eager to join the ranks of the Tal'Shiar-- even in the face of its highly selective screening process and training program.
After 300 years of service, the great black legion finally ended its reigne of the Tal'Shiar, stepping back to allow the new Red Fragment to take hold to lead the agency for the next 300 years.
- 1 Tal Shiar Ranks
- 2 Sections of the Tal'Shiar
- 2.1 Section 1, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- 2.2 Section 2, Military Affairs Division
- 2.3 Section 3, Internal Affairs Division
- 2.4 Section 4, Civil Affairs Division
- 2.5 Section 5, Ministry of Data Collection
- 2.6 Section 6, Ministry of Data Analysis
- 2.7 Section 7, Public Relations Division
- 2.8 Section 8, Ministry of Technological Development
- 2.9 Section 9, Ministry of Research
- 2.10 Section 10, Contingency Logistics Division
- 3 Becoming an Agent
- 4 Agency Protocol
- 5 Agency HQ
- 6 Officers and Operations of Note
Tal Shiar Ranks
Ranks are worn on the left hand collar of the Duty Uniform, and on both collars of the dress uniform.
Sections of the Tal'Shiar
Section 1, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The administrative section of the Tal'Shiar. Section 1 provides direction and organization for the rest of the agency. The Director of the Tal'Shiar has his offices within Section 1.
- Department of Strategic Operations: Administrative group that oversees and directs all classified operations. This includes, but not limited to, personnel disputes, transfers, and promotions. In charge of keeping a director of Tal'Shiar departments.
- Department of Operations: Department that the public deals with. It is in charge of making available to the public any non-censored information. Essential, it is the 'information desk' of the Tal Shiar. It also releases census data, there is no real information to be gained from this department.
- Officer of the Director: This is where the Tal Shiar director oversees the entire Agency.
Section 2, Military Affairs Division
- Department of Strategic Fleet Operations Maintains, oversees, and directs combat vessels in the agency's fleet.
- Department of Logistical Operations: Maintains, oversees, and directs all courier vessels in the agency's fleet.
- Department of Military Personnel: Educates and allocates personnel into ship operations positions (basic crew roles)
- Department of Military Specialists: In charge of spooks, striker commandos, and Shock Troops. Spooks are soft contact, small number incursion units. Used for some espionage, some sabotage, some assassinations, but mainly used for a small scale efficient operation. Striker commandos are normally used for espionage and sabotage missions against bases and facilities, they are hard contact and soft contact incursion units. Shock troops are hard contact, large number units used for agency operations and security guard work.
- Department of Agency Training: In charge of Tal Shiar basic military training. Maintains all facilities that educate all prospective agents in the basics.
Section 3, Internal Affairs Division
Oversees the Tal Shiar's internal security and, to a certain extent, the security of the entire Empire. In charge of making sure all informants are truthful, and for making sure counter-informants are untruthful.
- Department of Housing: In charge of housing classified prisoners. (i.e in charge of secret prisons).
- Department of Naval Observation: Oversees Political Officers on various vessels.
- Officer of the Chief Agency Executioner: If the agency is executing someone publicly, he is the one to do it.
Section 4, Civil Affairs Division
Deals with the census, and all public data collection. The Civil Affairs Division has many departments encompassing all varieties of data collection about the citizenry. The Census department is the biggest and most well known department. Maintains the Archives, but does not have access to it itself. This is mostly a clerk section that deals with data entry but does not have access to the collected data.
Section 5, Ministry of Data Collection
- Information Collection Group: Deals with spies, plants, listening posts, sleeper agents, open observers, informants, and some connection to other Rihannsu intelligence-gathering groups (the Tal'Diann and Ta'Pakrsh)
- Cryptology Division: Mathematicians in charge of decryption, encryption, and deciphering of any communication media. This includes code-breaking and tracking other forms of communication. Maintains a massive database of all communications within the Empire but also any intercepted messages, and has sophisticated computer algorithms that attempt to analyze each message for anything important. Anything marked as important is sent on to Data Analysis.
- Psi-Corps: Monitors psionic potential among the populace, and "retrieves" anyone of a high enough potential.
Section 6, Ministry of Data Analysis
Data Analysis maintains a large body of specifically trained individuals that are mainly interested in observation of various bodies of knowledge, and how they can be analyzed to the Rihannsu advantage.
- Cultural Reference Group: Maintains database on foreign species and their cultures, governments, societies, etc.
- Military Reference Group:
- Science Reference Group:
- Technology Reference Group:
- Medical Reference Group:
- Economic Reference Group:
- Art Squad: Maintains an archive of stolen 'great works', great works and their true placements in time, etc.
Section 7, Public Relations Division
- Department of Education: In charge of educating the people in the Romulan Way, be it through lies, the truth, or some semblance in between. Also for educating those who are previously uneducated about certain fields.
- Department of Re-education: This department handles any people who need reprogramming, whether it be Romulan citizens who are useful to keep alive, or Starfleet citizens who need to 'forget' something that they have learned.
- Mind War Group: Deals with psionic manipulation of Romulan citizens and anyone else who needs to be manipulated in this most subtle of ways. A very small department.
- Department of History: This group releases the history for the Romulan citizenry. Unknown but suspected by the populace is that this department releases only the most favorable history, one that contains no censored elements.
- Department of the Archive: Maintains all real history of everyone.
- Department of Xeno-relations: The department that makes sure the version of Romulan history that is released to aliens is the most appropriate one.
- Department of Propaganda: A production agency and publication agency that spreads around various lies.
Section 8, Ministry of Technological Development
This Ministry has many departments, but is responsible for the Tal'Shiar's R&D, tunneling, weapons building and testing, etc.
- Applied Technology Group: Weapons development group, or utilization of old technologies for new uses.
Section 9, Ministry of Research
- Temporal Assessment Group: Group that makes sure that the current timeline is the most favorable one, whether it means tracking alterations to the timeline by external sources, or making alterations themselves.
- Department of Temporal Research: Department that does all manner of temporal research, including observing the past and future.
- Spatial Anomalies Group: Like the Temporal Assessment Group, but monitors spatial disturbances such as rifts and wormholes, and also monitors subspace integrity within the Empire.
Section 10, Contingency Logistics Division
Akin to Starfleet's Section 31, this group exists within the Tal Shiar's structure and charter, but its function is not exactly specified. Secretly, this is the Division that produces bioengineered weapons (i.e. soldiers) completely engineered to kill, blow things up, devour targets, or all of the above
Becoming an Agent
When an officer is taken out of the Romulan Naval Academy (the Rei`Krannsu typically does not allow the Agency to draw from its cadets) and entered into the Tal Shiar's programs, they are given the rank of sub-trainee. With this, they have access to the basic class rooms of the Tal Shiar academy of their region (not necessarily the one on Romulus) and level one clearance to the computer core.
By the rank of Eneredh, which usually takes thirty years of study, the Trainee is considered proficient in their basic courses. The sergeant receives a few additional training courses, either inside a specific section or in general field study should they not have a section within which they would like to work. Eventually, following their 'final project', the soldier is sent into a specific Section, issued the rank of erie`Arrain, and put to work on their first formal assignment.
This is the major stopping point for all plants from exterior sources. To graduate from the academy, every student is required to undergo an intense screening process to continue in his or her studies. The screening process is psionic, mental, chemical, and medical. The TS Command takes this step very seriously, which is why no one (not even the famed SSS or Obsidian Order) has progressed very far in the Tal`Shiar. As it is necessary to have done all this to become an officer, it is impossible (with very few short lived exceptions) for an infiltrator to become an officer in the Tal`shiar. Only one attempt by SF, which was aided by the underground, managed to plant Commander Troi as a Tal`Shiar Major on a Naval ship. This would never have worked on a Tal`Shiar vessel, and only lasted for a short time on the naval vessel.
The Agency has a strange mix of 'open door' and 'for no one's eyes' policies running in tandem, which often cause as much trouble for the agency, as much as for the few spies that manage to get through the screening process. Regardless, the practices are very effective.
The Agency maintains a publicly accessible database for orders and communications. This may sound strange at first, as it would allow any foreign power to simply download any (well not 'any') Tal Shiar orders, and intercept them accordingly.
By the command of sub-section head in charge of department twenty two, of Section 1, herein, vests the power and authority of said office and officer upon Specialist-Officer and project supervisor Enarrain 'Tjorn'. This operator-supervisor, as per protocol 57, under general order 22 (section 1, sub-set general orders, 2388.6) is provided discretion and leave, by the this office in the name of the first office, to use what facilities may be available on hand, or abroad, to pursue and complete the afore-mentioned mission. Should this mission overlap other Agency matters, by way of same-space destination, or duplicative task planning, the operative is cleared to join such said potential element, but at leave to expose only as much, or as little, of the project to authorities as warranted. Signed, Department Supervisor, 11th Brigade, Department 22, Section 1.
As you can see, aside from the officer who is in charge of the operation, what that operation is, who is in charge of it from above, and so on are completely left out. This system allows Agents to pass through society, with orders and missions that are only known by them and those who watch them, but still allows for civil police forces to check and make sure the officer is, in the very least in name, cleared to do what they are doing. If the clearance was not there for the above, or if internal security noticed a request for clearance check where the operative was not supposed to be, the agency would then send out an operative to run an investigation, or more if they suspected a larger problem.
'For no one's eyes...'
Often times, the Agency's plans are so overlapping (as a multitude of officers are doing the same projects, but are unaware of the overlap due to security) that very few people know what is going on. Department heads and Group leaders may not even know their Section head by face. Worse, they may not even know their supervisor by name or reputation. When all else fails, it is upon the Agent to assume that they are being watched by a superior, and act accordingly. Most of the time, this paranoia is very justified...
While the agency has a standing army large enough to assault and occupy a medium-sized planet, they very rarely deploy such forces in number, and more often than not, avoid combative engagements all together. Stealthy evasion and silent observation are the Agency's ways-- even when it is moved towards full engagement. Even when there has been a major security breach, or a major threat of one, the agency will not simply 'throw' troops at a problem. Such a move would be wasteful, and most likely futile.
Units of small number, and limited contact, Spooks are the most commonly seen 'combat troops' of the Tal`Shiar. These operators are tasked with 'extraction' (kidnapping, theft, etc.), counter terrorism, terrorism, and small scale espionage duties. They are a hit and run style unit, who rarely use armors, mechs, or heavy weapons.
Units of larger number, and considerable staying power, shock troopers usually serve as facility guards, 'occupation' forces (holding beach heads and landing sites), and any other situation which would require the agency to defend a physical locality at all cost, for any given length of time. Shock troops do not retreat. Depending on the nature of deployment, troopers may be equipped with armor, mechs. and heavy weapons.
Commandos / Strikers
Units of large number, but limited engagement, commandos are the least common Agency combat unit. Though still essentially 'hit and run', they are tasked with prolonged guerilla combat, or any situation where a Spook would other wise be used, but lacks the unit strength to succeed. In general, they are as heavily armed as
The Headquarters of the Tal Shiar, at least the official building in which section offices are located, resides on the southern side of the capitol city, on ch`Rihan. The facility stands like many others in the capitol: a simple tiered, brown earth-crete, reinforced and shielded fortress, of which few aliens have ever visited, and fewer have ever survived.
The Interior of the facility itself, is a simple 'ringed' affair. Each ring represents a rank-level of access with in the Agency, with 'student ranks on the outer most ring, and the generals nestled at its center. Each section has its own closed circuit computer core, which may access outer layers, but not inner ones. There are but two access points for each section, and these are always heavily guarded, and any admittance past the fourth gate is heavily screened. Furthermore, the floors are made from transporter-deadening materials, are shielded, and covered with beam-in scrambling devices. To date, only one federation agent has reached the 'Majors' circle, and did only then with the assistance of a Major, under very strange circumstances.
The building itself, contains little actually intelligence, nor facilities for research. The 'student ring', which is reserved for private to corporal ranks, has several semi-public Intel libraries, a few holographic training rooms, a vehicle-pool, and the public relations offices. The 'sergeants ring', is home to some academy facilities, teacher-aides meeting facilities, and several resource rooms (for 'senior student final projects). The third ring, open to 2nd Lt.s, has slightly more and more advanced materials around, but differs little from the outer rings. The 1st Lt.s ring houses senior PR offices, and some assistant branch offices for Sections 1, 4, and 7, as well as an expansive 'historic' armory. The Captain's ring, which marks the end of medium (if it could be called that) security, is home to operations meeting rooms, a functional armory, and Department and Group offices for all sections. The Major's ring contains personal offices for officers of that rank, sub-senior department and group offices, and a referential library listing all Agency activities and priorities updated on a fifteen-seurenna basis (though these files are all in 'Agency-eese' and therefor relatively useless to spies and the casual viewer). The Colonel's ring holds senior offices for all departments and groups, and the central office for the Agency Academy and its records. This ring also contains a variety of facilities for interrogation, decryption, observation posts watching the rest of the compound, and another armory. The final ring, in fact a circle, is closed to all but the generals. It is for this reason, that it is rarely used (as it's admittance is no doubt observed by the Colonels, and therefor less secure than a General would approve of). In the circle there is a small bio facility, a pond with several rare fish, an old tree grown from seeds brought from Vulcan, a stone bench, and a small cubby, dedicated to the running of recording equipment aimed at all corners of the Galaxy.
Officers and Operations of Note
- Khrein Genseye tr'Rakehn: Former Minister of Section 2 and current Tal'Shiar Director, tr'Rakehn was the 2nd member to join the ranks of the Red Fragment. A former Galae Admiral, Rakhen became well known in the agency for his brutish command style and swift punishments. Many considered him to be one of the most effective Chairmen, though, he also had more subordinates executed than any other.
- Khrein T'Mas tr'Leyon: The decorated Tal'Shiar general is the most public agent in the Empire. A Former Chairman of Section 7, T'Mas spends his days acting the role of Tal'Shiar Director in the upper senate while pushing the agency's public agenda. It is also rumored that the Khrein is addicted to the powerful Romulan narcotic mind bang, though such rumors never last long...
- Ssiebb tr`Rhenn: Late Minister of Section 5, as a member of the Emperor's Tal`Shaya, was the 1st member of the Black Legion. Following his death (caused by tr`Ronga to maintain cover in the field) the section had secretly been left un-lead. Was known as one of the more cunning members of the Legion, but at the same time, the most loyal.
- erie`Khrein Tizlak i`Zorek tr`Hamon: Minister of Section 6 and a former code-breaker from the Tal`Diann, he is a fearful number-crunching machine. Being from the Zorek clan, he is also brutish, vulgar, and very skilled with his sword work. The General holds the record of youngest champion of the Imperial multi-D chess tournament and is reported to have not been beaten at it since his 7th birthday.
- erie`Khrein Koh Aiden: Minister of Section 7, his career as a propagandist has changed very little from the days when it began. The General occasionally plays 'tricks' and 'games' with the Agency, just to let them know that he is still crazy and as juvenile as when he joined the Legion (71st). Essentially, he has very little contact with the Intel world (as it is more fun to make things up). He is, however, second only to tr`Hamon in m-D chess.
- erie`Khrein Mirok: Minister of Section 8 and former Tal`Diann operative in Galae's Engineering core, he is one of the more refined Romulan 'doers' and 'makers'. While not especially involved in the Intel community, the General is very secretive. Only a handful of his staff and superiors ever know where he is, or what he is working on. In his navy days, he was the chief designer of the Phase-cloak. Today, following suit, he is the chief developer of the dive system, as well as the prototype PCD units now commonly used by the Rei`Krannsu and Agency in all field operations.
- erie`Khrein La t'Ransu: The Minister of Section 9 is so rarely locatable, nor intelligible when she is found, that her existence is almost ignored by the Agency and the Legion's members. She is a very skilled researcher, and occasionally requires relatively classified materials for study, but little else.
- erie`Khrein Trask i`Kengo tr`Shianov: Minister of Section 10 and arguably the most mysterious of the Legion (joined 91st), he is one of the 'new blood' Rihannsu (Kenga-Rihan engendered, 3rd generation). The General is barely never seen by the Agency, and barely seen by the other Generals who would try and track everything. What is know is this: there is no sound more silent, nor blade more sharp and precise, nor a soldier as openly empty as he. Kengo, as his many would-be assassins would attest were they not dead, is unmatched in all forms of physical combat.
- Ssiebb [Mastif]: Section 1, Chairman of Department 3 / Special operations, she is only known by the Fragment's members, and not by any one name. The Colonel has strong ties to Section 10, where she presumably spends all of her time. 5th admitted into the Fragment, presumably a member of the Jorani clan, most likely from one of their assassin sub-houses.
- Ssiebb tr`Kal: Former Section 1 chairman of Department 1 / Strategic Fleet Operations. 'e`K' or 'erie`Kal' was the nickname for the younger of the two tr`Kal's in the Legion. While officially dead, he seems to be responsible for quite a lot of defensive measures which have successfully defended the Empire. He was 30th to enter the Legion.
- Ssiebb Nhatllha t`Rhenn: Successor of tr`Kal, and daughter to Colonel tr`Rhenn, she was the 9th officer admitted to the Fragment. The Colonel has spent her life doing many things-- from spying, science missions, naval observation, and political office, to full Agency fleet command. In all things, she has been competent, hard-working, and hard-pushing on her crews.
- erie`Ssiebb tr`Radiak: Secretly Section 1 chairman of Department 4 / Agency training. He is a calm and collected soldier, who uses the fears of the young, and the image of the stupidity of commanders in the old, to test the Agency's readiness in the field.
- erie`Ssiebb Maxis t`Auhhn: Secretly Section 3 chairman of Department 7 / Rei`Kranncu Observation. She is presently using the allies t`Brook, and operating as EnArrain of the Imperial Guard's 1st wing.
- Ssiebb Arrenhe t'Ahaefvthe: A former Rei'Krannsu Riov who was invited to study at the Tal Shiar academy on Romulus. After completing the Academy Arrenhe became the 15th member of the Red Fragment. The Colonel was known to involve herself in operations personally. She was a chairman in section 10, overseeing Tal Shiar activities within the Confederation. Along with a fiery personality, the former Rei'Krannsu officer is known to carry her Kaleh with her everywhere she goes. Currently, she serves as Chief Praetor.