The Romulan Free State was a Romulan government existing after the Romulan supernova, and the successor to the Romulan Star Empire. With backing from the Tal Shiar, it controlled a derelict Borg cube called the Artifact, from which it derived profit through the exploitation of Borg technology.

History

Doctor Naáshala Kunamadéstifee, a Trill Doctor from Trill Polytech, was set to begin her residency at the Romulan Reclamation Site. However, on her way there, the Romulan Free State revoked her residency for reasons unexplained to her. Six months later, in 2399, the residency was reinstated. Dr. Soji Asha quipped that this behavior was normal for the Romulan Free State. (PIC: "Maps and Legends")

In spite of this arbitrary behavior, the Free State maintained a more liberal stance towards the United Federation of Planets than its predecessor state had. The Romulan Free State did not maintain the existence of the Neutral Zone (PIC: "The Impossible Box"), and it allowed Federation scientists access to Borg technology as part of the Reclamation Site. (PIC: "Maps and Legends") It also allowed a Federation citizen to serve as executive director of the Borg Reclamation Project to rehabilitate revived former drones from the Artifact. (PIC: "The Impossible Box")

However, one of the Free State's key power bases was the Tal Shiar, which had survived the dissolution of the Star Empire and now served as an agency of the Romulan Free State. While Tal Shiar operatives did not have carte blanche to seize control of Free State organizations as they had enjoyed under the Star Empire (TNG: "Face of the Enemy"), the Tal Shiar still retained its tendency towards authoritarian abuses. (PIC: "Broken Pieces")

In mid-2399, agents of the Zhat Vash, a secretive Romulan cabal opposed to the existence of artificial lifeforms, used their positions within the Tal Shiar to launch an attack on the planet Coppelius and annihilate the sentient androids living there. The fleet of Romulan warbirds, under the command of Tal Shiar General Oh, was forced to withdraw from the system back to Free State space by a Federation task force led by Captain William T. Riker of the USS Zheng He. (PIC: "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2")

The artifact was said to reside in Romulan space in "Stardust City Rag", suggesting that the Free State was a successor to the previous Romulan government.
In a story from his Instagram account, showrunner Michael Chabon described the Romulan Free State as one of several successor states vying for control of what was left of the Romulan Star Empire. They were the largest and strongest, partly from the fact that they had the backing of the Tal Shiar. [1]
Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.