Humanity was something that was not known in the universe for a long, long time. Sure, a couple ships had received some unusual signals, but when were there not encrypted and/or illegal trading messages going around? So, no. What happened wasn’t what the majority of beings was expecting when suddenly all screens used for communication went black. Static was the next that was shown, and next – what was shown next? Some thought that some young hacker was laughing somewhere, because the image that was shown looked like one of the protagonists in the stories younglings are told.
Tall, serene beings amongst the stars, watching over everything – but never interfering. The origins of the stories were unclear. Most elders thought it to be just stories for sharing when there was nothing else to do. Stories that were fun and made you feel safe and secure. The ones that heard the stories felt looked after, feeling like a youngling clinging to their parent when it was sleepy.
Everyone on the streets, at home, at the councils - anyone in the vicinity of a screen stood still. On the screens were two slender figures with fur on the top of their heads. The lower parts of their heads were moving, but no sound was heard.
According to the stories, creatures were once found at the outer reaches of the furthest galaxy that could be reached. There was one ship, drifting through space. The group that had found them had supposedly reported that there were 9 beings found on that ship. Not alive, no, not anymore. They hadn’t been alive for a very long time. There were only remains found, but not a single sample on that ship matched the database on known species.
The remains were extraordinary. Long, white, and branch like. That on its own wasn’t really anything special; more than a few hundred species had a somewhat similar endoskeleton. No, it was the organisation of the remains. It seemed impossible that beings of such height and estimated weight were able to make such intricate ships and things found all over the ship.
This particular story had been in the archives for as long the United Front of Galaxy Confederations could remember. Never again was a story like this reported. If it had been reported to begin with. Maybe it just was, as generally assumed, a story to tell and at a point in time written down.
Multiple attempts were made by the predecessor of the UFGC to pinpoint where those stories allegedly originated from. Nothing had been found; no stray signals, no foreign floating debris, no wreckage. No one knew who had started the stories, not even when the stories first made their rounds across galaxies.
Every species was equipped with translators. So, even when a species encountered a unfamiliar one, or even a previous undiscovered species, they were able to talk to each other. Not fluent yet, but once the devices picked up on the rules of the particular language, its ability to translate evolved quickly. It sometimes created hilarious first encounters, when the translator devices didn’t work properly. However, of course, it sometimes didn’t translate correctly and the parties that weren’t familiar with the gadget could get quite upset at how an individual would express themselves.
So, there was a vague origin story, which was then shaped again and again by time and by different cultures. There wasn’t, not really, a general description for the beings. Stories varied on how the entities looked like, but most of them were clear on two things. The first one was that the beings from far above and beyond were uncharacteristically tall, by all standards. The second thing every story agreed on, was that you would know when you saw the being. That it was them from the story.
“..Unintelligible..” The beings seemed to be talking to someone that wasn’t on the screen as their heads looked to the side. The next few words could not be translated by the device, probably because it was to soft to be heard. Then the heads turned back and the eyes seemed to stare in to every soul present. Not a single sound was heard, no one was talking, all visual and auditory perception organs aimed at the screens and translator devices clutched in their hands.
One of the beings on the screen moved the lower part of their head again and this time there was sound. It took a couple of tries from the translator devices to come up with the statistically most accurate translation, but when it did, everyone felt their insides twist and appendages tremble with anticipation and maybe even fear.
“I believe that there are second chances. And that they are stronger and more important than secrets. Secrets can be free, out in the open, without anyone realising what they are looking at. But a second chance? You can’t let those pass you by.”, echoed the message loud and clear through the galaxies.