AN: Long time no write, first dabble into the ME realm. Come along for the ride. While not strictly a cross-over given the lack of a category for this I do incorporate strong influences from a myriad of other genres although the main source is from ME, albeit an AU version. If you guess them all you'll get a cookie! This is a non-profit fiction and I maintain intellectual property rights to just about none of this.

They have come for us.

Our time in this universe is ending.

***Distorted Fragments***

The Devouring Ones spread like a plague along the arteries of our empire. They appear with no warning and pierce our defenses with hardly an effort. This is a disease of the heart and indeed from our heart they spread their tendrils of destruction.

Our greatest achievement is now our downfall. The Crystal Palace which we inherited from ages beyond our ken; that which raised us up from meager beginnings, but now is the pinnacle of our failure. This bastion, this****Untranslatable**** citadel; how could we have known it would be our tomb?

The Caretakers***Distorted Fragments*** we should have been more aware of their machinations. For millennium they've tended the seat of our empire with nary a noise; ever present but beneath our arrogant sight, how could we have seen their betrayal when they've existed before we ever ventured into the stars?

But our time of arrogance is over***Distorted Fragments***. The Devouring Ones appeared from the void and consumed the best and brightest that our race had to offer. Now they spread unchecked****Untranslatable****. We've fought these ****Untranslatable**** for decades since they broke out into our skies; our worlds wither under the unrelenting assault as the scattered remnants of our once mighty race desperately tries to survive.

The Devouring Ones pillage our worlds and enslave our minds; entire systems have devolved into madness as brother has fought brother in a ****Untranslatable**** haze of wanton lunacy. Their ships sing a siren's song into the void breaking infecting our senses and sending us into the horrible depths of civil war as the ****Untranslatable**** leisurely corral and consume our exhausted people.

There are but a few of our worlds left on the fringes of our once glorious empire. It is the strange will of the Powers that these last holdouts hold the cipher of the riddle which has destroyed us. Relics left by a race extinct ***Distorted Fragments*** had even been conceived gift us with the horrible knowledge that we were not the first, that we are not alone in our downfall.

This is not the first time the Devouring Ones have scoured that galaxy of life and the relics hint that it has happened many times before. It is a bitter consolation to learn that this nameless race too fell victim to their inheritance of what would become the heart of their great civilization or how death spread along the same paths as it does now with us.

Our race is on the brink of destruction and now we only try to survive. Some of us try to hide away in the uncharted reaches of the void or freezing themselves beneath the bedrock of hidden fortresses hoping to elude our hunters.

But WE will not.

The Vanguards of ****Unintelligible***Empire will not go quietly; we will uphold our vows now for both our people and those to come. We might not be able to cure the infection in righteous battle but we shall buy time for our people to find new worlds, to find places beyond the reach of the Devouring Ones.

Let these words be enshrined as a monument of our last act of defiance against those that bring doom to our worlds. For let all who shall gaze upon this statue know that the last of the Vanguards have dispatched themselves to do what is necessary in a final act of glory to preserve our people.

***Distorted Fragments***

Our last brigade, almost 4,000 souls, has departed to the far reaches of the galaxy. With our blood and with our steel we shall shatter the network that binds the galaxy together. With every gateway that we destroy we shall stymie the invader, slowing them down to allow our people to flee.

With the Power's help we shall destroy the source of the plague; we shall set fire to what was once the pinnacle of our power.

We shall shatter the Crystal Palace.

-Translation of stone fragments found in Oxford VII dig site

Probable Apocalyptic text

Archived for transmission to Terra

/

/

/

/Catalog file

/***29730::90N3T***

/
/

/Processing

.

..

….

…..

/ERROR

/Corruption in selected directory

/ERROR

/

/Windows 20.4 is searching for solutions

/

/

/Reboot Required

AN: Just establishing the setting of this particular universe, the next few chapters will help with this as well.