Prologue: The Start Of A New Era.
Five years had passed since humanity had spread its reach into the Stars. The Stars that we used to gaze at for eons from the relative safety of our planet. For five long arduous years we had persisted together, a joint effort from a broken world. Luna and Mars were now home to Hundreds of us. We were finally without war for reasons of religion, revolution & resource or caste, colour & creed. That was before they came.
Out of nowhere they appeared on the edge of our Solar System. Two Starships of strange design, one being chased by the other, firing what seemed to be volley after volley of lasers and projectiles. Confused and shocked all of our ships stopped as their crews turned their eyes to the battle.
One of our ships, a research and observation vessel known as The Picasso, was sadly too close to the path taken by these two alien combatants and was destroyed in a hail of laserfire from the rear ship. Upon seeing this brutal act, the captains of three different cargo frigates (Later honoured with high distinction for their act of bravery and quick thinking) sprung into action an commanded the crews on a daring assault. Wave after wave of missiles and railgun projectiles slammed into the rear unknown ship till it was ripped apart. Missiles and projectiles meant for the defensive protection from asteroids had been used offensively for the first time since the World Peace Agreement.
The remaining Alien craft just stopped dead in its tracks and showed no signs of moving. Then on multiple signals and wavelengths it broadcasted the same encrypted message over and over in regular intervals. Three Standard Earth days later the message was roughly translated to say "You have our many thanks. Can we please meet planetside. Conditions of 3 [methane]: 2 [Nitrogen] environment with full basic standard language data." (source from UN Intelligence service under freedom of information act).
The beings called themselves the Shikes (More info in chapter 5) and went on to give us a vast amount of information in trade for the majority of ours, including most importantly the railgun designs that had been the only thing capable of piercing the Korr'Ik Shielding (Later told to us by the Shikes)(More info in chapter 6), resulting in the victory.
Thus we had met our first two extra terrestrial races and had answered the final question, 'Are we alone?'
However if this was for the best is still yet to be proved...
~Excerpt from chapter 1 of Hugh Daffins 2nd award winning history book 'Our Leaps Into Interstellar Travel' 2457.