Officially, of the six primary participatory factions of the Milky Way galaxy, none is granted express power over the others. Some act more dominant or subservient, but there's not one faction with a true dominion. In practice, however, that doesn't really matter, as the Goldlen Alliance is clearly the political powerhouse faction. The Angelic Protectorate considers them the main area which they must protect, all the others fear that they might expand into their territories, and getting around in civilized space is incredibly difficult without a GA-issued IFF transponder. They enjoy a few other privileges, but one of the most valuable is exclusive access to the Watcher Memory Dump Drop. For a period spanning nearly two hundred years from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth century CE, the Golden Alliance focused an incredible amount of resources into trying to uncover the Watchers' secrets. Population, home planets, goals, culture, there was nothing they weren't trying to learn, and in the end very little actually came to light. At the end of this period, however, the Watchers seemingly threw them a bone. Rather than randomly alerting lone travelers that certain protection measures were expiring or being instituted, they would designate a specific location and, once per year, deposit a single GA-tech data storage device with all of the year's proclamations on the largest asteroid in the chosen uninhabited system. Once the drop had been made, a trusted Golden Alliance team would retrieve the drop and return to High Command with it. The Golden Alliance would then disseminate the information, which would consist primarily of data specifying when and where Watcher protection status on certain planets would be enacted or expire.
In 1755, a little more than 30 years after the first Watcher Memory Dump Drop occurred, the list of planets whose protection status had expired was light, just a couple of worlds located in the politically-nebulous and turbulent border area between the Golden Alliance and Castaways Treaty Systems. That was of little importance, however, compared with the message included. In this message, a simple text file with no attached audio or video, there was an announcement that shocked the entirety of High Command. According to the message, in exactly six months from the date of the message being received, a representative of the Watchers would BioWarp in, activate their comms, and allow a single ship to ask them any one question. The potential ramifications of this were incredible, and High Command made the immediate decision to keep this information to themselves.
Three weeks later, the entire galaxy was abuzz with excitement over the question that would be asked. Politicians from other factions began to demand that they have a hand in choosing, while rumored locations for the meeting were leaked, with ships coming to blows over attempts to squat over the alleged meeting point. With only a few weeks left before the appointed time, Golden Alliance High Command had little choice but to convene one of the largest meetings of political figures in the galaxy, with thousands of diplomats, leaders, presidents and chiefs arriving on Mythar, most of them escorted by enormous fleets of ships. The Mytharian skies were choked with massive carriers and battleships and prices for goods and services spiked as resources for these luxury-acquainted individuals grew difficult to scrounge up. What then followed was an unbridled mess of negotiations, with potential questions being voted in and out in huge waves. This, they all reasoned, was an opportunity to unlock one of the secrets of the universe. What technology powered the Watchers' seemingly-indestructible ships? What criteria did they use to determine a planet's Watcher protection status? Why do they so fiercely guard the Forbidden Zone, and why does all magic fail to function within it? All of these were pressing questions, and many of the politicians were completely fanatical about trying to find the answer to their specific question, hoping that being the one to have brought it up in the first place would bring them incredible amounts of fame. In the end, with just a few days to spare and hundreds of votes taken, a carefully-worded question was chosen. While the question itself was relatively simple, a question of what course of action would most benefit all citizens of the galaxy and bring about the most prosperity, because of the intense desire by all of the involved parties to prove to all posterity that they were participants in this monumental occasion that simple question was placed at the end of a fourteen-hour preamble listing off every single politician present at the conference, making for the longest official sentence in galactic history.
When the day finally arrived for the question to be asked, the galaxy was so enraptured in the proceedings that subspace was actually clear on enough frequencies to transmit video of the Day of The Question, as even pirate jamming broadcasts had ceased temporarily. The singular GA scout ship and its lone pilot, a Siren who was chosen for the quality of her voice and ability to continue speaking without break for the duration of the question, turned on her subspace transmitter and the entire galaxy watched as a tiny gray egg-shaped ship blipped into existence in the exact location of the data drop. Her ship detected a hail on an open comm channel, and the moment she adjusted her frequency a monotone voice softly spoke, asking her to state her single question. Across the galaxy, businesses closed down, schools let out early, and huge celebratory parties consisting of families and friends huddled around subspace receivers to hear the Question and its answer took up the entire day. With perfect clarity and a singsong voice, the Siren maintained her composure as she read through the twelve thousand, five hundred and nine names, her voice only slightly beginning to slow down around hour eleven. Finally, she reached her question, and as trillions of galactic denizens moved in to hear what was likely to be the most important answer in recorded history, there was only silence for a moment. The open comm channel buzzed for a second before the monotone voice picked back up. "Your question has been heard," the voice said, "And we thank you for your participation." With that, the tiny ship winked away.
What followed was possibly the longest galactic held breath as everyone awaited more of a response. Perhaps, they thought, the Watchers would have to think on the question, and would return later with an answer. Maybe they were offended by the length of the preamble or the vagueness of the question. It was only a few days later that it began to dawn on most that while the message said that a question could be asked, there was no promise of an answer. The politicians involved were livid. Many of them blamed each other. Had their question been the one chosen, they reasoned, they would have gotten a valuable answer. Others were upset that so much time and effort had been wasted. Some thought that it was a ploy by the Mytharian governments to increase tourism to their planets and sell expensive souvenirs. Many planetary politicians went at each others' throats, and it looked as though dozens of small civil wars would break out across the galaxy. Things remained very tense until the following year, when the next Watcher Memory Dump Drop took place. This one, showing much less subtlety than the last, proclaimed that every planet which had participated in the Question's summit was now under Watcher Protection and no one should talk to them because, to quote the appended announcement, "Their leaders are dumb, boring children with inflated senses of self-importance." From then on, the area around the drop was to be extensively patrolled and Entropic Field Disruptors were set up to catch the GAN pranksters who had obviously found and tampered with the drop, then constructed an imitation of a Watcher ship.