As the civilian Romulan captain of the late 24th century mining vessel Narada, Nero became enraged when his family and homeworld were destoyed by an adjacent supernova in 2387. Elder Vulcan ambassador and scientist Spock had been racing with a Vulcan Science Academy vessel to envelope the spreading supernova effects with a black hole created with "red matter," but it reached Romulus before Spock could stop it. His planetside wife and unborn child among the dead, Nero broke down and blamed Spock anyway for the massive loss, tattooing he and his crews' shaved heads and vowing to avenge the Vulcan in equal measure by destroying HIS homeworld and family, along with other major Federation planets.
To do so, Nero used Borg technology to greatly bulk up the Narada into a virtual dreadnaught and attacked Spock's ship, which responded in desperation with another red-matter black hole that swallowed them both. Nero's re-emergenced from the anomaly actually 154 years earlier, and he swore to prevent Romulus' loss by destroying VUlcan and other Federation worlds as a preemptive strike. When he attacked the USS Kelvin as he emerged in 2233, the incident affected people and events so much that it created an all-new alternate timeline. Nero "waited" 25 years for Spock's "emergence," the last of it spent in a Klingon prison, and resumed his killing spree by destroying Vulcan with a red-matter charge delivered into the planet's core thanks to his ship's pulse-energy orbital drilling rig.
The act killed almost all the Vulcan species, but Nero's unending obsession with Spock proved to be his downfall. A newly launched USS Enterprsie and crew in this eariier period eventually hunted Nero down to defeat when the Narada, thwarted in its next attack, against Earth, was swallowed up by a second black hole created by red matter—again launched by Spock from his small science craft. Along the way, Nero had had no qualms about killing Kelvin Capt. Robau and torturing Enterprise Capt. Pike to nearly the same fate.
Before Romulus' destruction, Neor's discovery of massive lithium deposits on the planet Delta Vega helped end Romulus' long-standing energy crisis. He had been ably served by the loyal Ayel as first mate, even though all advice to abandon the pursuit of Spock was ignored.
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