The signal came from an uncharted planet, and company protocol demanded an investigation. So they went. Down through the sizzling acid storm clouds. Into the enormous cavern with a perfectly circular entrance. Past the corridor of bone-like pillars at regular intervals. To the signal's source.
As the captain inched through the mist with one eye on his motion sensor, the android approached a twelve foot tall cube covered in moss.
It was a control panel. At a gigantic scale, its top surface waist-high to an unknown race of intelligent beings. Incomprehensible. Utterly mysterious.
The android clambered to the top and pushed a large button. A hologram interface appeared before him.
"Captain, this is no cave... it's an ancient space vessel! It belonged to a long lost race called the Precursors. They lived tens of billions of years ago, had technology far more advanced than ours, and suddenly disappeared."
"Fascinating! We'll be studying these precursors for hundreds of years. The mystery of who they were, what they wanted, and why they vanished will inspire generations. It will make the universe seem even larger and full of possibility. This is the dawn of a new age of wonder!"
"No need, sir. This terminal has a record of every aspect of the Precursors' history, motivations, and disappearance. Everything is explained in Lore.pdf."
"There is one interesting note, sir. The Precursors were on this planet studying another race, one who had lived and died out long before them. The Pre-Precursors."
"Ooh! Now that sounds properly mysterious."
"No, sir. This computer also contains a comprehensive report explaining everything about the Pre-Precursors, Lore(1).pdf. They were a synthetic race who guided the development of the earliest stages of life in many galaxies, including our own. You can find the answer to literally any question about them by scanning the file."
The android tilted its head, reacting to a new series of holographic glyphs flashing above the control panel.
"Oh my. This changes everything. As the Precursors unraveled the mystery of the Pre-Precursors, they discovered another mystery - the Precomers."
"The Precomers, captain. A name given to themselves, derived from the phrase 'those who came before'."
"Captain, this mysterious race is even older than the Pre-Precursors! There is next to nothing about the Precomers here, aside from a handful of vague allusions and a mysterious star chart that does not line up with anything in my database of charted systems."
"Ah, yes," the captain observed, visibly pleased, "the majesty of space. The sheer unknowable..."
"Sir," the android cut in, "it appears I was mistaken. I neglected to scroll the teminal's interface and reveal the hundreds of pages of information about the Precomers. The Precursors were able to learn absolutely everything about this ancient race. The Precomers predated the big bang, an interdimensional band of refugees from a collapsing universe. I'll send Lore(2).pdf to your handset."
The captain looked around the cavern one last time, lingering in the hopes that some new mystery would present itself.
"Well, that wraps everything up. Not bad for an afternoon's work I suppose. Let's get back to the dropship, everyone."
A strange figure watched the crew depart from the shadows above. Its form and movements were unlike any creature encountered by humans. This was an enigma given form, an utterly alien presence as dark and inexplicable as the infinite reach of space.
It was a Xenozoid, from the planet Zoidia, genetically engineered by the Precomers for reasons that are clearly outlined in Lore(3).pdf.
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