By the 89th Century, mankind has reached the stars and beyond, establishing colonies across numerous worlds and galaxies. His technology has been boosted to godlike levels and in the course of his travels through space, he has encountered numerous new technologies and sentient life forms. Fortunately, all of this has only strengthened mankind as he wisely learned to coexist with these new life forms. There are of course always wars going on and dangerous new encounters to deal with, but overall mankind has triumphed and joined with fellow sentient species in the peaceful habitation of space.
The catastrophic event occurred in 8803 when the 69th United Space Systems Armada encountered an unknown alien artifact. Of course, all sentient species in the universe held council to determine its origin and their course of action. To the surprise of the council members and to their respective races, none had ever encountered an alien artifact of this nature and none (not even the top archaeologists and scientists) could determine its purpose. The 69th Armada was ordered to investigate the artifact. Within seconds of sensor-scanning it, the artifact “came to life” and sent an energy surge through the solar system that instantly obliterated the entire armada. The energy surge was determined to be a combination weapon/radio transmission. Questions arose: why the attack? What did the message say? Who was the message sent to? Almost immediately, additional forces were sent to the area as well as science teams. The area was declared off limits. For decades, the situation throughout the universe was tense as all its sentients felt on the brink of extinction by this powerful artifact.
Centuries pass and no other events occur with the object. But something else happens. As space exploration continues, more and more similar artifacts are found and while hesitation is the initial response, curiosity gets the better of civilization and it turns out that these artifacts can be utilized safely. Structures of this ancient alien race (generically dubbed “The Ancients”) are discovered too. Some of them even have fully functioning systems even though the race seems long gone. These structures have been determined to be millions of years old.
As the galactic civilization expands, more and more of these alien remnants are discovered. It seems that this race has already explored and conquered the entire universe. Then for some reason, it died out before humanity was even born. The strangest thing about the artifacts is that some of them are not only compatible with known galactic technology, but it seems as if it was made to perfectly fit the technology (almost as if this ancient race could see the future and predict the coming of this galactic civilization).
The first incident of this technology compatibility occurred when a lone mercenary was exploring an uncharted planet. She was in a full environment power suit and discovered one of the Ancients’ structures. Upon entering it she found a sealed capsule. When she approached it, it glowed bright green and opened to reveal what looked like a power suit add on. Instinctively, she grabbed the artifact and took it back to her ship. There she was quite easily able to attach the add-on (which to her complete surprise matched perfectly into her suit’s system). This artifact was a plasma cannon that had unparalleled firepower and with it she became a famous and powerful soldier. Within the following decades, more and more of these artifacts were found allowing explorers to upgrade their technologies.
The big mystery then is who are these Ancients? Are they still alive somewhere in the galaxy? Where do they come from originally? And more importantly, how and why did they leave artifacts for our use?