For nearly two hundred and fifty years, mankind searched for sentience elsewhere. Massive arrays of sensors covered nearly a thousand cubic light-years of space, stretching from Sirius, to Tau Ceti, to Procyon... Others are on their way to more distant stars, such as Chara, Vega, and Arcturus. But the radios were silent. Only the occasional pulse of a neutron star or similar cosmic event generated any notice. If sapience existed elsewhere in the Galaxy, it is very, very far away.
Life existed elsewhere, that much was certain - organic compounds and microbes hide in their little niches on countless rocks. Alpha Centauri hosted no less than three worlds with clear signs of life - if in simple, blasted forms. The Centaurus Relic was the sole remnant of a civilization long destroyed in a hopeless conflagration. The Milky Way seemed a lonely place.
Except, some would tell you, it's been right here all along.
The mobius patterns were the first sign that things were not as they seemed. Strange waveforms released into our Universe due to various experiments into faster-than-light travel, somehow able to exist within, or upon, our Universe, they are living music.
They are Power.
Controlled and bred, they can reverse entropy. Focused, they can create something out of 'nothing', their songs working magic in the mythical sense.
Rumor has it, every living being has their own song.
A few have found them.
Theirs was only the first.
The Cetan civilization was found next, in Tau Ceti. Expeditions to other stars hinted at a mighty, ancient empire, spanning the whole of the Galaxy, when the Universe was half so old. But, even then, they were long gone, their existence seemingly sterilized by a great conflict. To find still-living multicellular life, one had to reach Delta Pavonis. But it was basic, simple. No more than worms.
An interplay of other, grander patterns, such as infusions and wraiths, and as the triates found common roots in their powers, the opening of the skearns suggested that strange, alien realities might not be so far out of reach.
Mankind changed forever.
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