Sensors pick up an increase in heat and particle density as you slide out of between-space and into a harsh void where a planetary system should be. Checking back through the network, you find glimpses of optical data taken from telescopes in other systems in the Simoes Galaxy, glimpses that show a sixteen planet system with a pair of terrestrial worlds in the habitable range, but all of that is gone now. Even the modestly-sized yellow-orange star that is supposed to be here is gone. All that remains is a thin haze of hot ash floating in the void between stars.
Curious and worried, you parse through deeper scans of the system, try to determine what happened to all those planets and their star, but besides the ash, there is nothing. It’s as if everything in the system, every rock, every ounce of hydrogen– it’s as if it has all simply ceased to exist.
And then you notice the subtle currents in the ash. Currents, or trails, maybe. Remnants of movement, of something huge coming and going. Hesitant, you study the readings, try to determine a direction from the movement of particulates and sift out a clear course. Something truly massive entered this system, and before it left, it erased everything.
No, not erased. Devoured.
New data trickles through the meat part of your mind, lingers and separates along divisions of machine analysis. There is evidence that whatever ate this system also made its way through neighboring systems, but whether you decide to investigate it or not, there is little left in this system to hold anyone’s interest. Spinning up your phasedrive, you give the readings for the system one last look, hopeful for answers that never come, then disappear back into between-space.