In the 25th century PX Centauran astronomers observed a notable dimming in the light from the long-abandoned Sol. When an expedition was dispatched to investigate they confirmed the Federation’s worst fears, that the Destroyers were constructing a Dyson Sphere in the ruins of their destroyed home. The expedition was quickly discovered and intercepted by the machines, but they managed to fire off a weapon they’d brought directly from the Star Forge’s most hidden labs, a strangelet bomb. The mass of strange matter the device unleashed into Sol triggered a coronal mass ejection sufficient to fry the remnants of the planetary system, reducing the unfinished Sphere to its’ constituent atoms.
Unfortunately, the blast front, and the strangelets it carried, did not stop at the heliosphere. As soon as the QComm warning reached Alpha Centauri the Federation began planning to evacuate the Core Worlds. The next four years saw a mad dash through the star gates for the far reaches of the empire, first the elites attempting to secure their own corners of the wreckage, then the greater population once the news leaked. Small wars broke out in the center of galactic civilization between those attempting to escape the radiation by burrowing deep within planetoids, and those who sought to dismantle them for ship materials.
When the wavefront came within one AU of the central gate nexus on the edge of the Alpha Centauri system ships were still streaming through, but the Federal Guard had their orders and weren’t going to wait. The wormholes that had enabled Alpha Centauri to spread its imperium to the stars could just as easily carry solar ejections as ships, so to save parahumanity the Federation broke its own backbone. Every wormhole-connected system saw a planet-cracking flash in their skies, but the great distance between gates and stars mandated by the Federation spared the bulk of their populations.
The once unrivaled imperium of the Federation of Parahuman Species is no more. Where once there was a united empire there are now a dozen pretenders reaching desperately through the fragmented remnants of the gate network, and hundreds more stars that feel no fealty to anyone.
But all is not gloom and despair. In the centuries since the Federation’s fall cultures and peoples they once stifled have flourished. Quarantined Outworlds build crude chemical rockets to claim their ancestral birthright. Posthumans in their hidden lairs contemplate mysteries unfathomable to mere mortals. And a grainy compressed video allegedly from the Solar expedition gives hope not thought possible for millennia.
Destroyer vessels exploding, several minutes before the radiation wavefront reached them.