As the Crystalline kept expanding, it became clear that someone has to do something with it. Local authorities handled it with various success, and any research on them proved to be for naught. Nobody could get near the crystals for an extended period of time without becoming paranoid and delusional. So, when Essential Tech stepped in to quarantine and carry the crystal to some undisclosed location, people were eager to pay and leave the problem to them. What were they doing with the crystals, didn't really matter.
Soon, Essential Tech, aside for being a seemingly regular defense contractor, got to be referred to colloquially as "the guys for The Crystals".
Their operations continued even after the invasion, with payment or without. Not without difficulties, though, as the aliens also seemed to be interested in the crystals, for whatever reason. As if that wasn't enough, with cut off supply routes and no contact with the rest of the world, local populations weren't always able to leave the vicinity of the crystal fields. In various cases, those populations became hostile to anyone and anything that comes nearby, even to the point of cannibalism. Whether it was doing of aliens or some effect of the crystals, didn't matter - anyone found where Essence sought the Crystalline was to be shot on sight. For any regular person, it was common knowledge, and even local authorities didn't dare to cross that line.
But apparently, not everyone was willing to follow those rules. The selected few, that for some reason didn't go insane, were drawn close to the crystals, and were using them for their own purpose.
What would the Essence do if they were to be discovered?