A chance discovery by looters in the ruins of ch'Rihan leads to a personal revelation for Commander-General Morgaiah t'Thavrau of the Romulan Republic Fleet.
- Altar Diplomacy: It's mentioned that marriages among the Rihan political class were frequently made for political reasons, to cement alliances or end blood feuds.
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Morgan surmises that her mother kept her paternity a secret to avoid a potential three-way blood feud between the House-clans of Thavrau, Ortikant,note and Vreenaknote . She comments to her (colonial commoner) executive officer that Liorae t'Vreenak would have been considered within her rights to kill the child (Morgan).
- Kissing Cousins: Tr'Vreenak was distantly blood-related to his wife (fourth cousins).
- Homage: StarSword mentioned having had the second scene of the Firefly pilot episode in mind when writing the looter scene.
- Quote-to-Quote Combat: Between Velal tr'Hrienteh, the Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire, and Dronk, the Ferengi ambassador.Dronk: "The riskier the road, the greater the profit." 62nd Rule of Acquisition.
Velal: "Dead men close no deals." 15th Rule of Acquisition.
- Royal Inbreeding: Defied. The Romulan noble class, being a minority of a gene pool that was already quite small after the Sundering and the Journey, used modern genetics to avoid this, keeping the genomes of clan members on file to avoid any mishaps from arranging marriages between people too genetically similar.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The Federation ambassador is willing to let Jethro Wisniewski be tried under Romulan law as long as the death penalty is taken off the table. In return (at Republic Senator t'Hei's prompting) she offers to help Velal get sanctions relief past the Federation Council.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The Ferengi ambassador apparently tried to buy Velal off. Velal isn't impressed.
- Separated by a Common Language: Morgan and Sarsachen are from different social strata (she's a noblewoman from the Romulan homeworlds, he's a commoner from the fringe), so he doesn't understand why Merken tr'Vreenak having sired a child out of wedlock is such a big deal until she spells it out to him what a serious breach of the nobility's honor codes it is.
- Suave Sabre: Morgan t'Thavrau uses a Romulan honor blade patterned after a cavalry saber in respectively a sparring match against her Number Two (who favors a fencing rapier), and a Duel to the Death against a Watraii nobleman (who uses an arming sword). Morgan is a Heroic Bastard of Romulan nobility.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Velal comments that the looters were fortunate not to have been after being caught by an Imperial warbird.
- Took the Wife's Name: By Romulan tradition the husband takes his wife's surname rather than the other way around, hence Merken tr'Ortikant becomes Merken tr'Vreenak after marrying.