Chapter 11 - Sight Seeing

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Approximately 18 standard hours before the arrival of USS Hiroshima in system…

<IRW Lioraennhe’le {Luminescence}>

Invisibly graceful, the Escort-type Warbird, Lioraennhe’le, arrived at the unnamed system, detected yet not catalogued by the records keepers of the Imperial Science Academy. The world had been completely disregarded, its remote location and relatively low resource characteristics making it an inefficient colonization endeavor. In fact, it was so unremarkable that the only scans had been cursory, leaving more unknowns than knowns. Until very recently, the Rihannsu Stelam Shiar {Romulan Star Empire} was all too happy for it to remain thus – a sentiment that changed the instant that the lloann’na visited the system.

Confident that the diplomatic corps would successfully delay the arrival of any Starfleet (ll oannen’galae) vessels, erei’riov Mahan ir-Elehu tr’Keirianh needed to promptly identify what had piqued the interest of their overly expansionist neighbor, and to ensure that there was no threat to the security of the Empire. A tall task, indeed, yet one that was equally vital in a galaxy full on unknown quantities, and in which the lloann’na continued to grow and grow.

As for that neighbor, they were enigmatic, at best. Mahan had no ill will toward the United Federation of Planets inasmuch as he was troubled by their desire to homogenize the worlds under their sway. While they spoke of knowledge and understanding: he was quite certain they even believed themselves: their interference with other cultures was clearer than any words. Whether they intended or no, they would distort the draed Rihanha, which was unacceptable to his people. For that reason, eternal vigilance was required, even in such cast-off places as this.

As for the ship, Lioraennhe’le was a Warbird in name, only. His family clan, t’Khev, outfitted many ships for the Star Empire, most of which were heralded Ships of the Bastion. This, however, merely appeared to be one such ship. The hull form, code-named Raptor by the lloann’na, was normally fitted with a variety of tactical and weapon systems, but not in this case. Designed for the most covert study of phenomena and foreign military operations, Lioraennhe’le was lightly armed and shielded. Instead, the space savings were dedicated to improved sensor elements, internal laboratories, and the highly secret DBX-3 cloaking system – a system so robust that it enabled close-range sensing of high-energy phenomena while remaining fully cloaked and unseen…

…Which reminded Mahan that they needed every bit of the stealth capabilities that Lioraennhe’le had to offer. “Our presence must remain undetected,” he ordered, lest his crew forget this principle. “They have lost a ship here, and will likely see our presence as a threat,” or worse… While he had no wish for hostilities, those would pale in comparison to the fallout from the lloann’na concluding that the Rihannsu were to blame for what befell their ship.

“As ordered, Lieh,” the ship’s First Officer replied. She, like Mahan, had no wish to cross disruptors with a warship in this vessel, as she was neither built, nor equipped, for such an exchange.

“Then let us examine the crash site of the stricken vessel while you scan the fragments that remain in orbit,” Mahan concluded, although this was merely a reiteration of his existing orders. “Jolan’tru.”


Mahan made his way from the ship’s bridge and into the passage that led to the upper transporter room. From there, it was a short trip to the transporters, where he found the other six members of the exploratory team. All but one had only a sidearm, as any weapons fire would be unexpected and wholly unwanted. One, however, did have a pulse disruptor rifle, just in case. Such precautions, however, did not interest Mahan; he cared more about their hand-held sensors and sampling equipment, as the mysteries of what happened to the Lorrenz and its crew would be answered by those implements, and not by energy weapons…