Beyond the Farthest Star: The Furthest Reach of Time

Mysterious radio emissions. A strange, dead star. An advanced and ancient alien vessel destroyed from within.

Welcome to Thursday on the starship Enterprise.

When the strange ship turned out to be destroyed from within, I was really hoping the whole thing would turn out to be some sort of giant egg-sack and that the radio emissions were the sack’s way of calling back the most recent progeny to lay new eggs. Nope. What I got was an electromagnetic being without physical substance capable of taking over a ship as though it were its very own body, a being who’d spent billions of years alone.

It’s so weird when a “villain’s” crime is loneliness. Yes, their behavior is bizarre, even harmful, by our own standards, and as such we wouldn’t want to turn them loose on the unsuspecting. The question, though, is whether they were that way from their very beginning.

With the claim of loneliness, I’m inclined to think not. Isolation has a way of twisting people. Without a touchstone, without some connection to the rest of reality an individual/a colony/a community will grow increasingly more bizarre as it continues to be isolated from the nearest thing to it. Even if that nearest thing is itself.

The ache of limbs — made infinite
by being one while ever none,
that cling to hope which won’t submit
to pull of fire long dead and done
but seek the warmth of many true
to everything they ever knew —
is ever but a human thing
that keeps us all from taking wing.
When one is cruelly kept away
from any sweet companionship,
there is no hope they e’er could grip.
We need each other all the day,
we need each other all the night,
it is that “we” which gives us might.