Nero was a male Romulan native to the 24th century. He was a mining vessel captain in service of the Romulan Star Empire's Mining Guild. In 2387 when Romulus was destroyed in the Hobus star who went supernova, and his wife assumed killed, Nero began a campaign of retribution against the Federation and its allies, who he blamed for the loss of Romulus. He particularly blamed Spock and attacked the Vulcan at Hobus causing both to be accidentally be sent back in time - Nero emerged in 2233 where he continued his campaign, generating an alternate reality. Nero was eventually killed as a result of the actions of the crew of the USS Enterprise working against him to try and put an end to his megalomaniacal attacks. (ST comic: "Countdown"; TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek)
Nero's formal Romulan name was Ŏ'ŗên, however he introduced himself as Nero (essentially reversing the name) as he found Humans tended to be unable to pronounce his proper name. (TOS novelization: Star Trek)
In 2387, he and his crew were drilling for iridium and deuterium on a planet in the Hobus system. Shortly after discovering large quantities of decalithium, the crew observed the nearby star going supernova. Realizing that his crew was in imminent danger, Nero ordered the transporters to beam the drillers back to the ship, forcing them to leave the drill behind.
Upon returning to Romulus, Nero was present for an important Senate meeting regarding the condition of the Hobus star. Representing the Miner's Guild, Nero spoke out in support of Ambassador Spock's plan to eliminate the supernova via the use of an artificial black hole created by Vulcan red matter. However, the Romulan senate refused to believe Spock's dire warnings, leaving Nero frustrated over their ineptitude. Realizing that he was risking his career over the decision, Nero spoke to his wife Mandana about the situation. Both agreed that Nero should rely on his loyalties and heart to approach the problem, and so Nero approached Spock and offered his services to aid him. Nero managed to persuade his crew into taking Spock to the neighboring Kimben system in search for decalithium. Upon reaching the system, Nero and his crew were attacked by Remans. The ship was nearly taken over, but at the last second, the USS Enterprise-E arrived with Captain Data in command, swiftly defeating the Remans. Though the Remans had damaged the Narada's drill, Data suggested the confiscation of the Reman contraband decalithium, giving the miners enough to create the red matter.
Accompanied by Spock, Nero and the Narada travelled to Vulcan, where Nero spent much of the journey as a guest aboard the Enterprise, taking the opportunity to learn about the history of the ship, including that of its first captain - James T. Kirk. However, the meeting with the Vulcans progressed disastrously, with the Vulcans unwilling to give the militaristic Romulans the Red matter. Enraged and feeling betrayed, Nero took the Narada back to Romulus, vowing vengeance upon the Vulcans should the worst happen. Though Spock was able to create the red matter from Nero's decalithium, the star unexpectedly went supernova early, and Nero arrived just in time to watch Romulus and its population destroyed.
Grief stricken by the loss of his wife and unborn child, Nero was contacted by three Federation Medical frigates sent to offer assistance. Believing their appearance to be part of a ploy by the Federation to claim Romulan territory, Nero had all three destroyed through subterfuge. Nero was then contacted by the surviving members of the Romulan Senate, who had escaped the devastation. Enraged by their previous refusal to listen, Nero murdered them, though not before acquiring the codes to a secret Romulan installation called the Vault, as well as the Romulan Praetor's sacred weapon, the Debrune Teral'n. Determined to have their revenge for Romulus, Nero and his crew permanently tattoed themselves with ancient symbols of grief to symbolize their pain. Arriving at the secret installation, Nero met with Commander D'spal, who unveiled the system that had been kept secret from all outside the Senate - a retrofitted Borg system capable of greatly improving all the capabilities of a ship, giving it advanced cloaking, weapons and sensor systems, as well as self-repairing nanotechnology. Wanting vengeance just like Nero, D'spal offered the system to be fitted to the Narada, turning it from a humble mining vessel into an incredibly formidable battleship.
In the days following Romulus' destruction, Nero and the Narada remorselessly attacked ships near the Romulan border to test their abilities, annihilating Federation, Klingon and Cardassian alike. However, preparing to assault Vulcan, the Narada was unexpectedly attacked by a fleet of Klingon birds of prey under the command of General Worf in retaliation for the attacks on Klingon ships (and at the instigation of Jean-Luc Picard). Even the Klingon vessels were no match for the Narada, and Nero offered Worf the chance to surrender. Instead, Worf led a boarding party that cut their way through ther hull, seeking to kill Nero personally. However, Nero outsmarted the warrior, impaling him with a piece of the Narada's bridge just as the Enterprise arrived. A gloating Nero offered the Enterprise the chance to beam Worf aboard to save his life, in doing so dropping their shields. With no real option, Data complied, but was able to get his shields up fast enough to avoid serious damage. Nero then left to intercept Spock, leaving the Enterprise with no Warp capability in its wake. Spock's mission had been a success. Piloting the Jellyfish, his release of the Red Matter had swallowed the supernova within the black hole as Nero arrived. Raging at Spock's actions, the Narada was caught in the black hole and sucked in, seemingly destroyed for good. (ST comic: "Star Trek: Countdown")
Though in his timeline he was seemingly killed, Nero and his crew were actually transported back in time to the year 2233 where the Narada emerged back into realspace and discovered a Federation starship called the USS Kelvin. Immediately attacking it, the Federation ship was badly damaged. However, the Romulans desired to learn more about their situation, and Nero, through Ayel, ordered the Kelvin's captain to come aboard. Realizing that they had been thrown back in time, and that no-one had heard of Spock, Nero savagely killed the Federation starship captain and continued the attack on the USS Kelvin. To allow the ship's crew to escape, the Kelvin's acting captain, George Samuel Kirk, rammed his ship into the Narada, engaging warp at the moment of impact and almost destroying the Narada.
The Narada was badly damaged but not destroyed, with its weapons, shields and engines offline. As the Romulans tried frantically to repair their ship, they pondered that they could now see Romulus again. However, Nero had now grown obsessed with vengeance, and destroyed the few crew members who tried to leave. Shortly after, the Narada was attacked by Klingon Battlecruisers led by Kor, who had picked up the ship's emergence. Without functioning systems, the Romulans were overpowered by boarding parties after a bitter struggle. Nero and his crew were imprisoned on Rura Penthe, as the Klingons eagerly desired the secrets of the Narada.
Over the next twenty-five years Nero and his crew toiled in the mines, making numerous escape attempts but being kept alive as their mining skills had made the planet profitable for the first time in its history. During this time Nero lost part of his ear in a fight against a pet beast of the guards which he killed with his bare hands. Though Nero kept strong though the use of smuggled drugs and his still-obsessive desire for revenge, he secretly despaired of ever being able to avenge his wife - until he met Clavell, an imprisoned human mapmaker who was able to divine that Spock had not yet emerged from the black hole. Nero's cell was raided, and his documents on Spock finally recovered, and he was set to be interrogated by Centaurian slug. However, he killed his captors and escaped, triggering a bloody escape with his crew. At the same time, the Narada had mysteriously come back online in response to an unknown signal. The crew reclaimed it, but it took them to the Delta Quadrant of its own volition.
With his psychic abilities honed by the drugs he had received in Rura Penthe, Nero pieced together what was happening - the ship, enhanced by Borg technology had taken on the characteristics of a sentient machine. The Narada's arrival in the timeline had been sensed by another, similar entity - V'Ger, which had in turn summoned it. Nero could in turn sense the communications between the two, and was transported to the center of V'Ger. Realizing that Spock had communicated with it in his home reality, Nero was able to use the entity's immense abilities to reveal where Spock would emerge. Having resisted being assimilated by V'Ger, Nero left to carry out his revenge.
The Return of Spock Edit
Returning to the place where the anomaly brought him back in time, he witnessed the arrival of the Jellyfish after which he captured Spock as well as confiscated his supply of red matter. Nero gloated about the irony; in the original universe Spock had saved Vulcan but failed to save Romulus. Here, Nero would use Spock's own red matter to destroy the Federation planet by planet - starting with Vulcan. Refusing to listen to the ambassador, the Narada was then attacked by a fleet of Klingon Warbirds led by his old captor Koth. Despite the strength of the Klingon fleet, the Narada annihilated every vessel, saving Nero's old tormentor for last. Nero now wished to make Spock suffer the same pain that Nero had faced with the destruction of his home world, and stranded him on Delta Vega with just enough supplies to ensure he would live long enough to witness his planet's destruction. (ST comic: "Star Trek: Nero")
Nero then ordered the Narada to the planet Vulcan, drilling into the planet's core from the atmosphere. This action led to a distress signal being sent to Starfleet which deployed a fleet of starships to investigate the loss of communication with the Vulcans. As the ships emerged into the Vulcan system, they were all destroyed by the Narada. He later encountered the late-arriving USS Enterprise and stopped his crew destroying the ship, realizing that he could make Spock watch the annihilation of Vulcan twice. Opening communications with the ship where he spoke to Captain Christopher Pike, he demanded that Pike come aboard his ship in order to enter negotiations - a ploy to extract vital information. When Pike took a shuttle to board the Narada, a sabotage team led by James T. Kirk disabled the drill, but it was too late - the red matter was launched into Vulcan's core causing the planet to collapse into a singularity that destroyed the Vulcan home world and killed billions of Vulcans.
The Romulans proceeded to Earth, with Nero extracting the codes for Earth's defense grid from Pike, also explaining that he saw what he was doing as preventing the Romulan genocide of his home reality by ensuring it would never be threatened by Vulcan or the Federation. However, as they drilled into Earth's crust by San Francisco, Kirk and Spock beamed aboard via transwarp beaming, rescuing Pike and stealing the Jellyfish - along with the red matter. Though he nearly beat Kirk to death, Nero's obsession with Spock - now piloting the Jellyfish - consumed him and he pursued the Vulcan to open space, firing all the Narada's weapons at him even though it would ignite the red matter. The torpedoes were stopped by the Enterprise, and Spock's true plan became apparent - his suicide run crashed into the Narada, igniting the red matter and creating a black hole inside the ship. Kirk, logically noting that the offer may have preserved peace with the Romulans, offered to transport Nero and his crew to the Enterprise. A raging Nero proclaimed he would rather die in agony - and Kirk obliged, firing all weapons at the Romulan ship and ensuring its destruction. As the ship collapsed around him, Nero closed his eyes, resigned to his fate, as the ship was destroyed within the black hole. (TOS movie: Star Trek (film))
Members of the Romulan senate sought to finish Nero's work and recruited two of his crew members, Arix and Vella, to lead a suicide run on the Vulcan fleet only for Arix to commit suicide without bringing harm to anyone. (TOS - Legacy of Spock comics: "Part 2", "Part 3", "Part 4")
In another permutation of the timeline, Nero destroyed Earth before he set course for Andoria. He was routed in a battle however and fled back to Romulus where he shared the technology of the Narada with his people giving them an advantage in their war against the Federation. Nero eventually met and wed Valas before he led an attack on Vulcan. (TOS - IDIC comic: "Part 3")
The Narada was boarded by Jane Tiberia Kirk, Leonard McCoy and Lieutenant-Unit NU-1701 but they were detected on internal sensors. The bridge crew waited for them with Nero personally stabbing NU-1701 in the back before he noted Jane's striking resemblance to James Kirk and sardonically asked if she was his twin sister before Valas gunned down the intruder. (TOS - IDIC comic: "Part 4")