The Device Part 1
The device beeped quietly to itself, inaudible across the hard vacuum of space. It landed on a large asteroid bound for the new artificial moon orbiting Mars. What was this device? Who built it? Where did it come from? No-one had any answers. Actually, no-one knew it even existed. They would find it, the device made sure of that. But would they be able to understand it? Only time would tell. More
Far back in the distant reaches of time, when the Milky Way was still young, a race of beings evolved on a strange blue-green planet orbiting a pair of small stars locked in a celestial embrace. They evolved incredibly quickly, reaching technological maturity before they were barely 5000 years old. To any casual observer, their evolution appeared to be in fast-forward. Then they stopped.
They fought a great war over the purpose of their existence. Some thought they should catalogue life in the galaxy, others thought they should play the part of gods, creating and destroying life, ultimately becoming rulers of the galaxy. Then, something appeared on their home planet, something new. They focussed their attention on discovering what it was, but before they even got close, it disappeared, leaving a deadly weapon behind. In their state of civil unrest, someone activated the weapon.
Out of 12 billion individuals, only 65 survived as their home planet collapsed into itself to create a new singularity where it had once been. Those few only survived as they were exploring the outer reaches of their star system, far away from the planet to avoid the gravitational influence of the new singularity.
In the centuries that followed, their numbers increased slowly. They once again split into two factions. Some stayed behind in their home star system, the majority dispersed across space to observe and catalogue all sentient life in the galaxy, they are now known as the Voyagers. Those that remained found other artefacts strategically dotted about their star system, as though some higher being wanted them to be found. They studied these artefacts, trying to unravel the ancient technology they had discovered. They eventually reached a stage where they were capable of waging terrible war against their brethren once more.
In their search for information the Voyagers discovered the remains of a species that had perished in a similar war, but without evidence of survivors. Hidden within the wreckage was one complete storage module. Among other things, it contained accounts of a technology which could actually freeze space and time. It worked a bit like a prison, so the Voyagers decided to use it to trap their cousins in the home star system, to protect the galaxy from the devastation they were trying to unleash. Only a hundred tiny sentinels were left as evidence of the entrapment.
Many millions of years passed until the Voyagers were interrupted. One of the sentinels briefly emitted an emergency signal, then abruptly stopped. The others had escaped.
Available ebook formats: