That Other M story review is in development hell right now, so I thought maybe I should try getting some fan fiction out of my system instead. These will be a series of vignettes set from the perspective of various characters.
Six kiloparsecs and a thousand generations at the speed of light from the nearest permanent human settlement, Ilya Patel stumbled and fell in the half-dark, screaming the name of every god he could think of. The pursuing alien raider was on top of him almost immediately, chittering and snarling. It wrenched him over, face-up out of the dry salt-encrusted mud, and raised the curving blade welded to its chitinous forearm.
Seconds crawled on, slowing into an unreal half-time that felt like hours or days. His heartbeat retreated into a slow, distant drumming, while the rush of blood in his earsrose to become the roar of a primeval ocean. The half-buried obsidian Elder statues that crowded the ancient seabed seemed to rise and study him, clasping taloned hands between broad, spherical shoulders as they whispered to one another. A warm, dark ocean rose around him.
He re-emerged to waking consciousness like a drowning man breaching the surface of an ocean. A series of bright flashes had illuminated his attacker, frozen in mid-stroke with its head cocked in slow-motion surprise. Time accelerated; its chest and the side of its head abruptly imploded under a string of glowing impacts. The raider quivered and slid off him, leaving behind a stench like burning hair.
Ilya looked around furtively, blinking stinging salt out of his eyes. The raider lay twisted on the salt flat next to him, its oozing mouthparts dangling uselessly. The black Elder statues were where they had always been, half-buried, abandoned and broken. However, there was a new addition.
Silhouetted against the light of the burning encampment was the form of a long-extinct Elder, thick-bodied with rounded shoulder cowls, a tapered waist, and disproportionately spindly legs. It looked at him for a long moment, then strode off toward the encampment where the raiders still leapt and screeched, tearing it apart in search of hidden survivors. The Elder's armor flashed red and gold as it walked, and its right arm terminated in a weapon with a muzzle large enough to swallow a small child's head.
Ilya crawled, shaking, into the shadow of a Elder statue, leaving behind the spot where he had wet himself. The statue ignored him, staring blindly upward as it had done for countless millennia, long before the first human cities, before the first human being set foot on terrestrial savannah, before even the age when lobed fishes first crawled from Earth's ancient oceans. Ilya continued to clutch the shrieking emergency beacon to his chest, barely audible over the noise of the raiders. His desperate unarmed gamble, breaking cover to activate the beacon and carry it out into the open, had paid off. Against every impossibility, the signal had been received.
He wept softly.
Weeks later, when the military survey vessel which had transported the civilian expedition to this place received the distress signal and returned for them, its commander would inform Ilya that he was the bravest man he had ever known.
Edit: changed "Progenitors" to "Elders"