The Eagle arrived at a nascent wormhole at the edges of Federation territory, on a science mission to investigate the newly-discovered phenomena. Upon arriving, they detected vessels nearby from the hostile mahdee species known to frequent the area, although those ships appeared unaware of the Eagle’s presence. The scientific mission was disrupted when the Eagle came under fire; a cardassian ship – brand new, but seventy years old in design – and a heavily damaged Bird of Prey emerged from the wormhole.
The weapons fire had come from the cardassian vessel and the Bird of Prey turned out to be manned by humans from the Archanian Empire, a short-lived assembly of colonies in the contested Archanis sector. The firefight had drawn the attention of the mahdee and while they joined the fray, attacking the cardassian ship, the Eagle responded to the Bird of Prey’s distress call and locked a tractor beam on to the vessel, towing them toward a near-by nebula.
The Archanians turned out to be a paranoid and insular group and were reluctant to allow any Starfleet officers onto their vessel to assist in repairs, fearing cultural contamination (not to mention members of their own crew trying to defect to the Federation). The away team were eventually allowed aboard, with strict orders not to discuss anything except the business at hand. Unfortunately, they were not able to complete repairs before the cardassian vessel resumed its pursuit and the Archanian captain issued the order for his crew to evacuate to the Eagle, much to the anger of his political officer.