Back into the void beyond, from where it came

“…Do they really expect us to find… anything here? We’ve been searching for weeks on end, nothing’s here. I wonder if going here was a mistake… I’m about to miss a family reunion!”

“I mean, they said it was gonna be difficult and might take some time. It’s an anomaly, so it’s to be expected that it’ll be hard to research.”

“Yeah, but they said we’d be back home in about a month, and it’s been over ten weeks! Don’t you think it’s a little weird how long it’s taking?”

"I mean… maybe… But I’m not complaining. At least we have something to do.

The research expedition has been ongoing for over 2 months following the detection of the strange signal in the middle of Colestian territory. A team of over 100 astronomers, pilots, engineers and other great minds lead by Maia Farolam and Galven Hanelvor have been searching around for clues, but to no evail. The 74th day, or length of a day really, of searching was about to go down the same uneventful way as all the others, when…

“Galven! Check this out!”


“Huh? What is it?”

“There’s something on the radar! It just… appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the scanning zone!”

"What? Let me take a look, maybe it’s a mistake, or something. Honestly I didn’t expect do really do anything here, so that’s a surprise… No, the system’s working fine, the thing did just pop out of thin air!

“Oh god, this is so EXCITING! What should we do? Should we get the fleets to investigate, maybe the policemen should secure it first, or maybe we’ll go alone and check out what it is, and-”

“Just calm down please… chaos is really the last thing we need right now. Let’s just get a few police ships in case whatever this is is dangerous and just go see what it is. Might be just an asteroid that wasn’t detected before because of a glitch or something for all we know. We’ll alert the others when we know what we’re dealing with.”

“Aw, come on! Let’s have a bit of an adventure, let’s go alone! If it really wants to kill us, like… I don’t know… a rogue envari, a police ship wouldn’t really help all that much. What do you say?”

“This is a really important and potentially important mission, maybe we shouldn-”

"Well, too late!

Maia quickly rushed to the control pad and operated the holographic displays to give an order. A machine voice suddenly spoke out on the ship.

Tracking radar object. Course set to object destination. Arrival in: 43 minutes

“Why do I even bother…”


The next half an hour of flight was spent on smalltalk, tending to the ship, monitoring the autopilot and other such trivial actions, but after that time, something changed…

“Oh! The sensors are picking something up! I think… It’s that signal again!”

“What signal? Do you mean the one detected by the patrol groups?”

"Yeah, that one! Except this time it’s much stronger. I think we can find out the point of origin. Just give me a while… And… It’s the thing we’re seeing on the radar.

“You sound disappointed, why? I mean, now we know this isn’t just some random asteroid or whatever, and that it can emmit electromagnetic waves, so that’s something. We have information, now to just check what it is.”

“Well, if you put it that way, it does become kinda exciting, if we were missing that. Let’s just move on and check out the reading, I can’t wait to see what it is!”

After another fifteen minutes of travel, the researchers have arrived at their destination, and what they saw shocked them. Through the window, they could see a large, about 400 meter long, ruined and abandoned spaceship, looking like none they had ever seen before, not Colestian, nor Galactyan, nor Envari.

“WOAH! What is that!? I was expecting some kind small celestial object, or some other anomaly, but this is just… Wow.”

“Yeah… This is just… Stunning! And you know how hard it is to get me amazed! This is way better than just doing nothing and going back home!”

A moment of silence followed. No words were spoken, but the atmosphere was more meaningful than many sentences. It spoke of amazement, shock and almost disbelief. After a few minutes without talking, Maia spoke out.

“…So what should we do with it? I mean, it’s great, don’t get me wrong, just… what now”

“Well, we should probably co tact the rest of the team, then either get someone to explore it or explore it ourselves. I call the latter, since then we know we don’t miss anything, and it probably won’t be that difficult.”

“Or, alternatively, we could… just go in. I mean, telling the team would mean that someone would tell someone outside, then that gossip spreads like wildfire and why knows what happens next. Mass panic? Great excitement? Who knows! So maybe we’ll… Just do it ourselves. It’s safer that way.”

“You always make the most rational and yet the most absurd point I have ever seen, and I don’t know how to feel about that, but I’m not in the mood for arguing, so let’s just go in, but if ANYTHING dangerous happens, we’ll go back asap, ok?”

"Yeah! So, let’s go!

The two grabbed a few measuring and scanning tools, put on their spece suits and went through the air lock, into the abandoned wreckage.


Exploring the Ship wasn’t very difficult. Moving through was not an issue, since someone who can walk on walls and see in the dark equipped with life support and sources of light has no problems moving about in such an environment. But the frankly ominous and chilling atmosphere could be felt strongly among the two researchers. The whole vesselthing was devastated not only on the outside, but on the inside too, and it looked like large parts of the vessel were simply missing.

“Well… let’s not waste any time. Let’s search for some points of interest, hopefully find out what aliens made this ship and why it was destroyed. After that, we can report to the Grand Councilor, then we’ll see what’s next.”

“How do you do that? I mean, just keep a clear mind in EVERY situation. We just found an alien wreckage and you just devised a plan of operation for the next 3 days! We could be dealing with a first contact! Or traces of an ancient civilization! Or whatever else this might be! For all we know, we could’ve been caught in a war and this ship was destroyed 5 minutes ago and the battleships will come for our ships too! How can you be so calm right now!?”

“Because panicking will lead us nowhere. We need to find out what this is to prepare for the things you just listed. Now please, calm down and let’s go though this together, okay?”

“Yeah, you’re right, I just got so excited that I… nevermind. Yeah, let’s go.”

Exploring the wreckage, the two found it to probably be some kind of colony ship, with living quarters, meeting spaces, remains of farming sections and similar infrastructure necessary to keep crew alive and well. However, everything seemed very old and primitive in its technology, with the whole ship seemingly running on solar panels instead of the usual Colestian antimatter generators, and having no FTL mechanism whatsoever. After searching for a few hours, they found something interesting.

“Hey, check this out!”


“This room looks like some kind of bridge, or something like that. There’s like a screen lit up here”

“Curious… There seems to be some kind of… writing on it? and a diagram of a planet…”

“Thats so cool…”

“It is, yes, but right now we have take this back to the ship and send back to one of our planets to decypher.”

Galven pulled out a camera-like device and took a picture of the screen.

“That’s all we’ll need for now. We can always come back if we need any more data. Let’s get back on board now.”

“Yeah, let’s.”

With that, the scientists made their way back through the ruined corridors and out of the wreckage, into their own ship.


Back on Silvalia…

“The regular daily report on the “deep void” signal investigation: ‘Once again, we have found nothing. The crew has been investigating the possibility of alterspace rifts as a possible explanation for the transmission. It was proven theoretically impossible, as the wavelength spectrum was to thin to have come from that chaotic dimension, and no physical evidence has hinted at such an event occurring. We are no closer to figuring out the mystery.’
Just like yesterday, and the day before, and a week ago, and a month ago, and before that too. The project is visibly pointless, it must be discontinued. It is a waste of our resources and time, and the time of the researchers. That concludes my statements, thank you.”

The debate in the technology Congress Hall was hotter and tenser than it has been since a very long time, possibly hundreds of years. A councilor stepped out from the lectern and walked up to the wall, where he clibmed up to his seat, like 76 had done before that day. The “deep void signal”, as it had come to be called, had been detected weeks before, yet the research project gave no results since. It truly seemed… pointless. Then, after a long debate of mostly agreeing voices, demanding to shut down the deep void investigation program, the Grand Councilor of technology, Alverd Galdam, stood up from his seat and slowly walked towards the lectern in front of the room. He turned on the microphone and started speaking.

“It has been a long day today. We’ve said many things, but we mostly agree on the matter we are here to discuss. The deep void project is so far unsuccessful. Nothing has been found. No clue, no sign, no anomaly, simply nothing. And I hear your voices clearly. The Council, and the people, want the program shut down. And it breaks my heart o say this, but, given what we’ve seen so far, it is a waste of time. Our time, the scientists’ time, everyone’s time. So now, as for the law, we must cast our votes on the matter: Should the Deep Void Investigation project be shut down? You may vote n-”


A Lesser Councilor shouted. He had been silent for the whole meeting, up until then.

“We got a new report! It’s not a daily one, since it’s not the right time for that, I think we finally have results!”

“Huh? A new report you say?”

Alverd walked away from the lectern and gestured to the Councilor to come down, which he did

"Please, show it to me. We need to see it.
Let’s see… It reads: ‘Emergency report on the “Deep Void” Signal Investigation Project, we had found something. It appeared on the radar suddenly, somewhat near where the signal was first heard. Examination revealed it to be a wre-’ … No, am I reading this right?

“I belive yes, sir”

" ‘A wreckage of an alien spaceship unlike one we recognize from any nation we’ve encountered so far. It seems to have been abandoned long ago and posesess rather primitive technology, being powered likely by nuclear fusion and solar panels. Most electricity was powered down, but one screen remained, displaying some kind of planet and writing in a language we don’t understand. We ask for linguists to translate the cryptic message, as our ships aren’t equipped with Universal Translators.’
Well, that’s quite the turn of events.

The Grand Councilor walked back to the lectern and spoke out loudly into the microphone.

"Well then! We shall now cast our votes on the matter: should the Deep Void Investigation project be shut down? You may vote now!

The councilors took about 20 minutes to think and cast their votes on the holographic screens built into the “desks” in front of their seats. Then the final result was announced.

“The voters decided, with a 98 percent majority, that the Deep Void Signal Investigation Project will be continued!”

Everyone cheered and clapped. The project might bring something useful after all. After the meeting, Galven and Maia were told to stand by, as the linguists got to work.


A few days went by at the investigation site rather uneventfully. The head scientists knew that the linguists are analyzing the text, but the wait, in reality no longer that a week, felt like months, or even years. The team couldn’t sleep for days on end, constantly wondering, worrying and anticipating the response from back home. Eventually, about a week later, it came.

“It’s here! The response is finally here!”

“Huh? It came already? I was expecting at least a month of waiting, but this is a pleasant suprise.”

“Oh, come on! aren’t you excited? Oh, whatever, let’s just read it already!
‘Greetings researchers of the Deep Void Signal Investigation program.
The work of our most brilliant scientists has lead us to discover the meaning and origin of the texts you sent us. Unfortunately, the contents of the message were deemed secret information, and we cannot share them with you for the moment. At least not all of it. We have managed to decode a set of coordinates from the text, which is to be urgently investigated by the head science this accompanied by at least 10 police ships.
Regards, the Grand Council of Technology.’
Secret information!? Oh come on, we’re literally about to come into contact with whatever… this is!”

“I’m more worried about how they said to bring ten ships… that thing is probably something. Oh well, it’s not like we can back away now, is it?”

“Yup, no retreat now. Let’s get the ships and get going, the trip will be almost a week long, so no reason to wait!”

Maia and Galven soon assembled a “fleet” of ten police ships and embarked on their journey. Something huge was coming.


Hours passed, but is seemed like they were days. Tensions were higher than any in recent history, for the Colestians anyway. Eventually, the radar picked up a signal. It was of a completely regular star system, registered before but largely ignored due to being simply uninteresting and unremarkable.

“…That’s it!? We waited and struggled so much just for a system!? Wow, that’s anticlimactic. But I mean, this can’t really be it, can it? Can it?”

“Hold on, there has to be something here. Wreckages don’t just appear out of nowhere, coordinates and languages too.”

“That’s what I’m saying! We’ve gotta investigate, right? There has to be something, right!”

“Right. Let’s get closer and actually come into visual range, see what we can find. No activity this far, seems like a ruin of a fallen empire.”

Approaching closer and entering the outer asteroid belt, nothing really stood out. No structure around the star, no signs of Eccumenopoli, just nothing.

“Huh, it really is just a ruin, isn’t it? Kinda… disappointing. I was hoping to find something active here, but I guess there really isn’t anyo-”

At that moment, Flashing lights filled the space around and explosions went off around the fleet. Most hit the asteroids, them shattering on impact with the kinetic force and powerful photon waves.


Another wave of… whatever that was came, destroying more rocks around and hitting the ship this time, causing some damage, but not enough to pierce the hull.

“Computer, activate shielding, now! And scan for… anything around!”

"How do you not lose your mind right now!? Right, calm and collected, sure. Fleet, start charging up weapons!

Shields activated. scanning surroundings… … … Detected objects: 54. Objects 1-32: asteroid. Objects 33-52: missile, designation unknown. Objects 53-54:Vessel, designation unknown. Message received, contacting translators at base… … … Translated. Relaying message:

Go back into the void, from where you came. Go back, demon, and take your fire with you.


"Weapons ready sir! Should we fire?
“Yes, fire now.”

Between the forward protrusions of the police ships appeared mighty lightning, crackling for mere seconds right before simply fading out. At that moment, the barrage stopped, and seen could now be a multitude of ships, armed with a menagerie of lethal weapons. The fleet was now floating about in the battlefield, dormant and unmoving.

“Charge the pulse again, we don’t know what they can do to shake it off, or when.”
“Are you just not gonna question what just happened!? We were attacked by some weird secret aliens! I get that other civilizations might be hostile, but just shooting stuff down on the border like that!?”
“Please, don’t panic, it’ll get us nowhere. We need to act rationally right now. Let’s just send a message, see if they respond.”

Galven walked up to the bridge and started speaking into the microphone, sending a message to the alien ships.

Welcome, aliens. Forgive our rough intrusion it was not intentional. We come in pea-

He was cut off by the ship computer’s voice.

Message received, contacting translators at base… … … Translated. Relaying message:

Whatever you’re saying with your pathetic whimpers of a language, silence! Foul Demon! Galactic vermin! You have made the grave mistake of revealing yourself to the one great truth and justice of the universe! Bringer of the vile prophecy, spawn of the shadows, we, The Great Empire of Ventaria, will cleanse the universe of your filthy presence!


Silence took hold on the bridges and weapon controls, unsuprisingly. The fact that the long gone civilization they had mourned for so long was somehow back was… amazing to say the least, but their stance was the main cause of the tension. The republic hasn’t faced war in 15 000 years, and yet here it showed its ugly face again.
The blasts’ effect seemingly wore off after a while, with the weaponry uncharged. After that moment, the barrage of projectiles continued, waking everyone from their trance.

“What are we doing!? Retreat, run away! Now!”

The fleet, with their energy shielding severely damaged, turned around and activated its warp drives, swiftly withdrawing from battle, not followed. After close to an hour of tension and silence, everyone arrived back at the main gathering center of the operation. A few science ships were floating in the void of space, inactive but c;early functioning. Galven walked to the main control panel and picked up the microphone.

"Everyone, activate FTL and return to SIlvalia, now! No questions asked, just follow orders!

The ships swiftly carried out the command, turning on their warp drives and heading home.