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Romulan Neutral Zone

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Romulan neutral zone floor chart

The Romulan Neutral Zone on the floor of the Romulan Senate

The Romulan Neutral zone was an area of neutral space between the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire. The Neutral Zone was located in the Alpha Quadrant and was established after the end of the Earth-Romulan War in 2160. Entry by either side into the Zone constituted an act of war. The Romulans incorporated a map of the Neutral Zone into the Romulan Senate chamber's floor. (TOS: "Balance of Terror"; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, production art; Star Trek Nemesis)

After the war, at least eight Earth Outpost Stations were built on asteroids along the Zone. In 2266, four of these outposts were destroyed by a Romulan Bird-of-Prey. Commander Hansen was in command of Earth Outpost 4 until its destruction. (TOS: "Balance of Terror") By the terms of the treaty, the Romulans had a legal right to seize and impound any Federation starship that entered the zone. (TAS: "The Survivor") Its location in the Milky Way Galaxy was depicted on a Federation star chart in 2293. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, display graphic)

In 2311 the Neutral Zone was reinforced and redefined in the Treaty of Algeron. Deanna Troi recalled this fact when she discussed the Pegasus Incident with Commander Riker. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages..."; TNG: "The Pegasus")

In 2364, the USS Enterprise-D was ordered to investigate the Neutral Zone to solve a mystery concerning the disappearance of a string of Federation outposts. It was later established that the outposts were decimated by the Borg due to a signature obliterative technique unique to their technology. A crew member aboard the ship, Worf, describes it: "The outpost was just not destroyed, it's as though some great force just scooped it off the face of the planet." Later that year, the Enterprise-D encountered a Borg cube that had obliterated several other populations in uncharted space in the same fashion. (TNG: "The Neutral Zone", "Q Who")

In 2373, the USS Enterprise-E was ordered to patrol the Neutral Zone during the second Borg assault on Earth, as Starfleet Command felt that Jean-Luc Picard's experience with the Borg would make him a risk during the battle to defend Earth. (Star Trek: First Contact)

Before the Romulans joined the Dominion War in late 2374, the bulk of their fleet was deployed along the Neutral Zone. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight") The USS Cairo disappeared and was presumed destroyed by the Dominion near the Neutral Zone. It was believed that the Dominion ships had crossed from the Romulan side of the Zone to attack the Cairo, something they were allowed to do as per their nonaggression pact with the Romulans. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

In 2379, Praetor Shinzon attempted to fool Picard into believing he wanted the Neutral Zone to be abolished. (Star Trek Nemesis)

The date of creation as well as the exact dimensions of the Zone are unknown. Different sources suggest the length differs in different regions of the Zone from one to several light years. TOS: "Balance of Terror" suggests a width of one light year, TNG: "The Enemy" suggests 2.5 light years.
According to "The Explored Galaxy" star chart, the Romulan Neutral Zone was located between the Tholian Assembly and Romulus. Both were identified in DS9: "Call to Arms" as being located in the Alpha Quadrant.

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