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Deep Guardian

The Grand Federation of Races and all known interstellar civilization peters out in the coreward extreme of the Orion Arm, where the stars grow dim, old and widely spaced. Across a void lies the Sagittarius Arm: older, denser, a real Arm and not a Spur. The Founders once traveled there, both across the Void and spinward up the Orion Arm. But even before the Grand Federation came into being, the Founders stopped all contact with Sagittarius, telling the younger races that the great civilizations there had “gone strange”. The Founders aren’t keen to explain what that means. Since those days, the spinward route has closed to us, and none that try to cross the Void have ever returned.

Now sensor posts dot the frontier, listening, looking coreward, seeing whole systems rebuilt, worlds of metal, ringworlds and ruins, asymmetrical structures billions of kilometers across. Nothing has come out of the Void since the Zhretra, sixty thousand years before, and they had forgotten why they fled. Still, in the darkness of interstellar space, on the edge of our Arm, guardian stations watch and wait to see what might come across the dark.

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