Author's Note: Vigil has always struck me as one of the more tragic stories within the game canon. I'm only surprised more works are not written about Vigil or the Protheans. After some time listening to the appropriate sound track, the spark that would become this work was ignited.

When Darkness Struck the Sky

"Heed the words of our ancestors, written long before...they tell of great fear and anguish...they speak of great wrath...They tell of when the skies turned dark and death rained from the heavens...heed these words for the fulfillment of these prophecies draws neigh..."


There is much to be said about those who create. Yet, it seems that the creators were preceded by another, for even they do not understand the jewels of their nightly crown. In order to spread their glory beyond the heavens above, they burrowed here, underground. Countless souls toil here now so that they may create something new. When the work is accomplished, we will never be the same. They are creating something new.


"Though the years spring ceaselessly, time is not unending. Just as there was a beginning for you, ye of mortal flesh, there shall be an end when you are one with the dust...Do not grow comfortable when your triumphs increase over enemies of wrath and mind...Do not lose your diligence...seek an answer that you alone must write in the book of eternity...though the years spring ceaselessly, the end will come upon you when you are unaware..."


Some things in nature can never be truly copied. Imitations crafted by mortal hands are feeble and weak compared to what was graven by an unknown hand. Today that law is broken. Today something is made new. Today the exacting calculations of theories and equations find a home in creation wrought out of exacting machines struck by mortal hands.

And like a flawless diamond fashioned in the forges of creation, after the fires of toil and the pressure of ambition are washed away, a blue jewel beckons to them. This azure precious stone of great worth will light the way. With this they will create more. The darkness of space will be parted.

For a long time they were dependent on the mass relays, relics of ancients unknown. Now they can create their own. Now is the dawn of a new era. The stars of this cosmic island cannot be hid. One by one they will be searched. One by one they will be charted. Such is the nature of these creators. They are driven by some divine spark that beckons them to what they do not know. They are most proud over this jewel they have created. Soon they will voyage beyond this island into other galaxies more.

A new sunrise is upon us. A new light will break the night with the coming of the dawn.


"When a new darkness strikes the sky, and the day is choked with fear...when winged destruction gnashes the earth below, know the time of your judgment is near...Your glories and treasures, your pristine cities and noble governments, your tomes of wisdom and the histories of countless great men...all of it will be cast to the fire...All your riches of wealth and mind...these will be reduced to dust and oblivion...When a new darkness strikes the skies, and the sun grows dark...When hell shows itself in the skies above, know the time of your judgment is near...


The light never came. We had unknowingly missed our last sunset. In secret, in whispers, we heard the disembodied cries of countless billions of others. The creators are being destroyed. They were preceded by great devastation. How does destruction beget creation? How can this great abomination be?

The darkness is overwhelming. We can do nothing but slowly watch and hear. Our leaders are killed, our empire is cut up before we can even respond. Our legions, perpetually victorious, are now watching their mortal defeats. How does madness so quickly scatter sacred order? How an this great sacrilege be?

Our homes are gone. Our people destroyed. There is nothing left now. Countless eras of prosperity wrought by our people, numerous sagas of noble history, it is all being burnt away. What took fathomless long years to build up are reduced to ash in an instant. All is returning to dust. From above demons from hell cast judgment upon us. Locked away in the pit of oblivion, they have shattered the gates and from dark space they swallow the light.

Our noble crown and the beauty of its brightness has fallen and broken. No one will be left to mourn it...


"Up now and take the pen. Just as in the beginning when a code of life was bundled in the form of DNA, go and write so that others may live. Encoded in machinery so that organic life may live, bundle and harness the unbreakable law that governs machines. No second chance for this may exist after, only you may be found worthy. To whom much has been given, to whom much has discovered, much is required..."


All is gone now. When the fire gives up its ghost, all that is left is lifeless ash. Our cities are gone, our people destroyed, our memory quickly fading. All that is left are are the empty jewels in the night sky, no schooner of space to brush their blue waves. What remains is our one band too few to birth another generation. The specter of death is our daily companion. His silence mocks us all with numbness, for the devastating truth haunts us all.

For all the glorious years, what is our final legacy? Just one mass relay fashioned in the likeness of the ones that created them before, their only intent to destroy us in the end. What we had hoped would bring new life was forever foreordained to condemn us to death. From our birth we were ordained to destruction. Now we find our only meaning, a death that triumphs over all.

Perhaps too late our wisdom is complete. But...ours is a people who do not give up. In the end were mortally wounded and our inevitable end will soon come. Perhaps in death, we can offer one last jest. If ours memory was built on knowledge and wisdom, then let this final encoded scroll be our eternal legacy...

This one last letter our dying gasp, an encoded mockery, but a devastating one no less. May with our last breath we curse those who had from time immemorial before first cursed us. May it be our curse to them...but may it be...one last blessing...


"One last journey you must make, the death march for a whole race. One last message you must scribe, a requiem for you tribe. One last act you must accomplish as you go to your grave...that others may live..."

The writings of this prophecy are over. May the words echo eternal...


And so to me the task was given. To me this burden was levied. A chosen few were picked to make this peoples' one last voyage through space. Behold, devoid of life and stained with the blood of innocents, the Citadel watches and waits. To this place these travelers voyaged and there these men must make one last inscription, the final message of their dying race. The Destroyers wrote long ago that the place called the Citadel would be a harbinger of death, encoded in the machines. This final intrepid few go to scribe one last amendment. What was once met to be a trap for the living and to open the gates of hell can now be a trap for the destroyers and forever close the path of oblivion.

It is a small chance, one not even I may be able to see. But let that final testament stand, that perhaps one day a chosen people may be enlightened and forever break the chains of death. These men who go will die in the faintest hope that others may have life. Though they pass into oblivion, the smallest of an echo will ring through the ages. I will testify of them. That hope no matter how small must live. It must shatter the designs of cold steel and uncompassionate machinery.

The smallest of hope still whisper here. The remaining few are left with nothing to do but sleep. They pray to one day wake and see the light again. They know well that when their eyes close and darkness enfolds them, they may never again awake. It is a truth they must rest with. It is a truth they may take to their graves.

Such is the burden I am given. Such is the cross I bear. Here I stand Vigil over them. Here I must decide when some must live and when some must die. The truth hangs over me that soon all may have to give their lives that others who are not their own may live.

Data shift...

1010101001101101001010101100011110101...

Data shift...

Through countless years I have stood Vigil. How many eternities have I watched and waited? The ceaseless years grow long and lonely. The flow of time is cold and unyielding. It shows now compassion. Only one solace I may have. The gentle hum of my circuitry still sings a fading lullaby to those who still lived. One by one it has become their requiem. All are gone now and still I must stand Vigil. I wait and watch for another to rise. Those who would bring death again are always there. I stand Vigil so that others may live, that those who have fallen will not sleep in vain. Though these noble poems that were my creators rest in eternity, their words may still speak...

One final task in my watch I must give. A Shepard must come. A Shepard must intercede for a countless flock scattered among the stars. This Shepard I must instruct. This chosen one I must convey the final testament of those who created me. I stand Vigil that others may live. This curse, this blessing, can now be carried for what it was meant for. Its words brought to life from the darkness that a new dawn may break...

An eternity I have stood Vigil so that others may live...that death may be chained...that the darkness will be parted...that the dawn that never came would break...

And now...I may rest...