To this day, nobody knows who or what was truly responsible for the Beacon. Some believe it was a call to wider galactic civilization, others an SOS, others still that it was simply some massive celestial phenomenon. But regardless of interpretation, it called us all here. Human and alien alike, drifting through cold space uncertain of what awaited at the end of the journey. Yet still we came, arriving generations or even centuries apart.
There was no great civilization waiting for us when we arrived. Or, at least, none that survived long enough to greet us. Among the shattered ruins scattered across our destination, we found two great discoveries. First were the Gates: a scattered handful of miraculous, self-powered travel relays that could accomplish in hours what would take even the most advanced FTL drive weeks or months. Second was the Bleed: a strange pattern of interstellar radiation that seemed to warp the very nature of reality around it. The Bleed defied all conventions of known science, leaving those researching it to believe it could have only come from a dimension wholly different from our own.
As so many civilizations are wont to do, the first arrivals were quick to declare themselves the sole central authority in Beacon Space. The first days of exploration quickly turned into a period of suspicion, protracted skirmishes, and at times even outright war. In the end, however, a combination of attrition and continued new arrivals left the first of the colonial powers unable or unwilling to continue open hostilities. The history sometimes colors interactions in the present day, but the past century or so has been one of peace and growth. That same growth, however, is perhaps at a rate the known confines of Beacon space cannot support. This in turn has led to a renewed era of exploration, though some wonder if this race to discover new resources and lost knowledge will be the spark that ignites the next conflict in Beacon Space...