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The planet Kaarethode had, when the Federation discovered it 50 years ago, been stagnating at a pre-warp level of technology, having visited their three moons and the closest planet in their solar system, then stopped their space program without so much as an orbiting station or an attempt to send a satellite out of their system. An early, clandestine visit had revealed little, save that the planet was curiously underpopulated for a post-industrial world, with most people living in walled cities on the mountain plateaus that lined the Western edge of their single massive continent or out in the scattering of coral islands that freckled the other hemisphere. There was a strange number of abandoned cities, both ancient and apparently recent, but no evidence of any major war or disaster. No contact was made, and the planet was remitted to remote observation.

It was a surprise to everyone when Kaarethode's first warp-capable vessel, the Greikaar, made it to the next star before their engines failed, leaving them drifting, broadcasting a cry for help that they never expected to have answered.

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