Numbing cold and shattering silence is all that awaits beyond the sky. Beyond the stars. Beyond the slow, steady, hum of idle engines, suspended in the never-ending abyss, in the vast distance in space and time itself. Beyond the capability for humanity. There is a point where the stars stop shining and the planets remain dead, no one speaks and all will remain as it has always been; quiet as the dead are cold. Selected people who look upon the blackness stop being human, and start being a whole new species. Devolving to an inferior state of life, physically similar but mentally twisted, false existence. To evolve into a lesser being may not be all that farfetched, the human mind hungers for reason and logic. Where it cannot find any it changes its criteria. It creates its own approach, morphing logic into animalistic behaviour never seen, even in the dark ages. But one gaze upon the empty void will rot the psyche of even the strongest man, if his feet are not firmly on the ground. These changed life-forms dwell in the darkness, hunting humans as animals, prey. As meat for supper, as game, as skin to use for their leathery clothing. Every year they venture further into inhabited planetary systems, wreaking havoc on civilised populations.
Around a lonely, singular planet, a ring of broken ships floats just out of orbit. All appear abandoned, excluding the blinding search-lights emit from the wings of various crafts. Debris scattered like asteroids, floating at will through the void, glittering in the sinister beams. Scarlet war-paint, draped in rough shapes and corpses decorate the grey, tarnished vessels that, for fifty years, have polluted the vacuum desert around the planet. Silence can make a person paranoid and afraid. It also has the potential to break a soul. Countless stars seem to align themselves into a perfect loop around the planet, afraid to embark any closer to its man-made asteroids, with their never terminating whispers of the long dead, desperate souls. Screams in the vacuum.
The planet itself is silent, however the souls of the dead scream out into the void for deliverance. Their desperate echoes reach only the meditating souls of the further out planets, still brave enough to look into the black through the 'safety' of their minds. Towns and cities below, poisoned and slaughtered, the unfortunate cows to the slaughter of the sick and twisted hunters breading above, miles above, their very heads. Whole cities fallen into the darkness years ago, poisoned through the very air they breathe, not quick enough to escape the silent, invisible and unforgiving chemicals.
Curiosity killed the cat, and in this case, will kill not only the cat but the owner, the owner's family, friends and anyone else who happens to share the curiosity. From the planet bellow a single and lonely transmission can be heard by any ship curious and foolish enough to follow the desire to discover, one of distress. The only irony that lies in the situation is that if the vessel achieves the near impossible journey through the ring of tortured vessels they are told that it is too late, that everything on the planet is dead, and has been for a surprisingly short time. The signal only exists to warn, but once the signal can be received, it is simply to late for warning of any kind. Serenity is not the only thing that cannot be found in this barren wasteland of slaughter, poison and silent screams.
The edge of the galaxy is a desperate place. Nothing is known to exist there that but the lonely darkness of eternity. Space never explored, space that even the bravest wouldn't dare to venture out of fear of what he or she might find. Collective stories of the unknown ring in the air and the hollow silence enforces the lingering smell of death in the air caused by the only, deceased, residents of the hostile environment. The edge proves to be lonely as it is dark. Nothingness is the most frightening thing known to man, the potential to confirm the end of discovery. Nowhere to go, nowhere else to run. Wherever you proceed to explore, how ever far you go, it has all been seen before. No new locations to discover and no new worlds to call your own. It symbolises the fullness, and in the same instant, the emptiness of the world.
All as one, floating in perfect harmony, the battered and broken vessels of the past generations mark a point on all maps. There is a saying, even the smallest light shines in the darkness. The shadows that hang over the edge are so dense and lifeless that even the brightest lights cower from it.
It can get mighty lonely in the cold, dark corners of the universe…