Since the days before mankind could harness fire and paint on cave walls, two important questions have travelled with us throughout the millennia—is there life after death, and are we alone? There remains a big, fat blank after the first question, but in the year 2322 the people of Earth received an answer to the second.
We were not alone.
Fifty light years from Earth a planet in the star system 51 Pegasi had intercepted our first radio transmissions sent out through the cold quiet of space more than three and a half centuries earlier. From these primitive initial signals, the citizens of Pega—a name we later gave to this second planet out from 51 Pegasi—inferred that we were a barbaric species, set upon a path of self-annihilation through greed and violence.
The Pegans began to prepare in the unlikely event that we might make it out to the stars and spread our vile way of life along the way. A single message, a warning, was sent back to Earth.
We are aware of your existence. We will end you.
First contact had been made, and the people of Earth didn’t take kindly to the introduction. Mankind had colonized Mars and many of the far moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn. Now their sights set out farther. They would journey from their solar system for the first time and engage the Pegans in something they had done a million times.