Andorian Am Tal
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The Am Tal is a group of Andorians who have dedicated their lives to the protection of Andoria and her allies. They operate independently of Starfleet, much to Starfleet Command's chagrin. Starfleet Intelligence does not see a need for the Am Tal, however they cannot find fault with their results. The Am Tal is also the one intelligence organization that refuses to assassinate persons of interest.
The Am Tal was formed in 1814 by Lortik th'Kavel as a means of spying on his enemies, thus enabling an easier victory. Am Tal agents even underwent surgery to replace people close to the leaders of the other clans, family members or close friends. However in 1817 the Am Tal went to the other clans and asked to be allowed to help them defeat Lortik. Suspicious at first, the clans eventually agreed and allowed the Am Tal to join them. However, they were dismayed not all the Am Tal agents arrived at the prescribed meeting place. The Am Tal leaders explained that many of them remained behind to spy on Lortik and Clan Kavel for the other clans. It was this action that enabled Andoria to create a world government; without it, it is possible they would not have succeeded for another 300 years.
Upon the crowning of the Andorian imperial family, the Am Tal took its place as the intelligence organization of the day. Surgeries were still common, however out of respect for the past, they did not kill the persons, but rather took them captive and shipped them home to Andoria. Upon the creation of the Coalition of Planets, the Am Tal made several attempts to discover more information about the Coalition's enemies, including the Romulans. The Am Tal was successful in planting agents in the Klingon Empire and the Gorn. However they were unable to find out much, if anything, about the Romulans. They also were used to find out if certain planets were safe for entry into the Coalition of Planets and later the Federation at the insistence of the Andorian government. This began a long feud with Starfleet Intelligence as Starfleet saw it as their duty to protect the Coalition and later the Federation.
In the 2200s the Am Tal began collecting ever more data on the Klingons, Gorn, and eventually the Romulans. Starfleet Intelligence was just as efficient if not more so with the Klingons and Gorn, however the Andorians understood the Romulans to an extent that their human counterparts could not. After the disastrous first contact with the Cardassians, the Am Tal saw it as their duty to gather information from Cardassia Prime. Sending several operatives to spy on both the Obsidian Order and the Central Command, the Am Tal managed to gather enough information about the Cardassians to allow Starfleet a fighting chance at winning the Border Wars.
In the latter half of the 2300s the Am Tal began to send operatives through the wormhole to spy on the races in the Gamma Quadrant, most importantly the Dominion. The Dominion was a key threat according to both the Andorian Planetary Government and the Andorian members of the Federation Council. Because Starfleet refused to listen, the Am Tal was sent to gather intelligence on these people and returned with warnings of a possible alliance with Cardassia. Though the Federation did not listen, much to their detriment, the Am Tal has continued to serve Andoria with distinction and by so doing the Federation.
After the end of the Dominion War the Am Tal advised against allowing Bajor into the Federation due to the hot-headedness of their people. However, as the Bajorans proved their worth to the Federation at large, the Am Tal began to silence their objections, if not totally cease operations on Bajor.
The Am Tal operates within certain parameters of operation at all times, no matter the circumstances. A single operative, either appearing as an Andorian or with surgical alterations, remains in a post for an indefinite amount of time or to be pulled out immediately after a mission. One thing that should be noted is that the Am Tal never commits assassination, no matter the circumstances. If assassination is committed, the operative will be either exiled or, if deemed necessary, put to death. The key to being an Am Tal agent is anonymity at all times, never letting a person know that you might be listening in. Once an Am Tal agent is close to being found, he leaves and does not return. Thus, 98 percent of all Am Tal agents are never discovered.
Above the operatives are the group leaders, who usually have anywhere from 5 to 15 agents underneath them, depending on their missions. To the outside world, they are old lovers or academy friends, cousins, childhood friends, or other people close to the people they know.
Above these group leaders are the section leaders, who are similar to Task Group Commanding Officers in Starfleet. These people spend the majority of their time posing as waitresses or some other menial employee to add to the deception of their actual occupation and to allow for the time necessary for the endless paperwork in their sections.
The section leaders report to the cavern leaders, who act somewhat as leaders for Am Tal operatives in several sectors and usually hold the rank of Lieutenant Commander or Commander. The cavern leaders report directly to the Generals in the Am Tal headquarters in the city of LaiBok, on the Andorian homeworld.
Am Tal members whatever technology is customary on the planet on which they are stationed which could be Romulan, Cardassian, Jem'Hadar, or even Breen. It is not uncommon for members to undergo cosmetic surgery, including the removal of antennae which is usually a humiliating experience. Indeed, it is becoming much more commonplace for Am Tal members, as is the implanting of subcutaneous translators and brain-wave enhancers meant to assist in learning the customs of the planet they are stationed on.
|Information on what the USS North Carolina considers Trek Canon on this topic can be found at: Memory Alpha.|
|Some or all of this information may have been made up by the Galactic Anthropology Committee.|