Extraterrestrial Life Forms or ELFs come in many varieties, but this story centers on the Thaetauri, who look very much like humans.

The Thaetauri are the oldest, wisest and most advanced race in the galaxy. Long ago, they had their violent period—war and conquest and so on. Then, long before mankind existed, they had an era of revelation. This resulted in a complete shift in their racial philosophy. They focused entirely on science and discovery.

At first, these advances only benefitted the Thaetauri. Through genetic manipulation, they became tougher and stronger. This, in combination with their natural gifts for flight and energy manipulation made them even more formidable than they were before, but they had forsworn conquest.

Instead, the Thaetauri ushered in a new era of peace in the galaxy. They undid the damage they had done in the wars they had fought. They uplifted many races that were struggling. And they protected fledgling races from cataclysmic events that would have wiped them out.

Over the long centuries, the Thaetauri forgot the combat skills that made them so very dangerous. If a fight is unavoidable, such as in the case of one race refusing to leave another race be, then the Thaetauri intervene with their automatons. Most times, the mere threat of these mechanical sentries is enough to bring people to the negotiating table.

Thousands of Earth years ago, the Thaetauri noticed their birth rate was declining at a dangerous rate. At first, this was no concern, as the advances in genetic engineering had granted the Thaetauri such an aggressive rate of regeneration that they did not age. But over time, as scientists were unable to stop or even explain the declining birth rate, the Thaetauri began to worry.

This condition has come to be known as the Fade. It has become the central focus of the Thaetauri’s ruling Council. With Thaetauri dying in accidents or through malicious acts by their enemies, the Council knows their nigh-immortality will not be enough to keep the Thaetauri people alive.

Something must be done before all is lost.