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Their science and technology was indistinguishable from magic.
In a galaxy of six hundred billion stars a hundred million light years from the galaxy that would come to be known as the Via Lactae by an emergent race on an insignificant planet a co-fraternity of over two thousand sentients enjoyed the fruits of a technology that had bound them together for an amount of time that has saw races rise, reach their apogee and die. The science the Confraternity commanded was awesome.
Wildly different species worked together in a confraternity of more than two thousand races off sentients, beings of sometimes unimaginable types some the stuff of nightmares. They possessed instantaneous communication through the y'illisso. Their miles long starships travelled at multiples of light speed. It was their working relationship with advanced artificial intelligences that held everything together.
One day, a day as any other... a solar system, a primary with sixteen planets, fifty-seven moons, assorted asteroid, comets and space junk... Vanished!
Silence! Silence abrupt and final. Silence coming in the middle of a word.
By the time the fifth solar system had vanished leaving no clue as to how or why... Phew!
Repeated calls for attention met continuing silence. Starships are despatched to discover the reason.
The most advanced AI's had no answers; neither did the most eminent scientist.
As others have found before and since it never rains methane snow but it blizzards, or as some would have it... It's a bugger.
Long disused warships were activated.
One of the downsides to instantaneous communication is that bad news immediately spreads wide and very, very fast.
The various species discovered they were generally ill-prepared for dealing with an enemy beating down their door.
Confusion existed and multiplied. As in all battles or wars the first casualty is the truth. It slowly dawned on those responsible for the affairs of an entire galaxy that messages they were receiving painted different pictures. The awful truth was that as well as the silent systems there were enemy ships destroying the worlds of the confraternity in different parts of the galaxy.
Supplementary fleets were formed using ships hastily converted from other purposes
It was not enough to have incredible technology, not enough to have star ships of great size with both offensive and defensive means. To win the confraternity needed something else... the will to war. This they lacked. In a great battle fought bravely under the weapons of enemy ships two hundred miles in length driven home with deadly purpose they faltered and fell into ruin; only one key world ship remained. As the command world ship detonated behind them all aboard the lifeboat wondered what would befall the galaxy. How could it have happened was the question expressed by much more than words? A question often asked when things went wrong from the first wooden tool breaking to the first canoe turning turtle. As with many across time and worlds the escapees consoled themselves with the fact that they had escaped, were alive and comparatively safe...
It was a pity about the hyper-nova.
A badly damaged golden starship fell out of the rip in space horribly close to a world. Fields of energy meshed, stressed beyond their specifications, struggled to avert a catastrophe... Francis & Beryl Drake

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