The results came back negative. There was no life to speak of on any of the four planets orbiting ULAS J0015+01. It had been a long shot, astronomers knew, but public opinion as much as anything had led them to make the final push. The most distant star in the Milky Way was lifeless. Humanity and its hangers-on were the only life in the galaxy.

As with so many others, ULAS J0015+01B had the remnants of an advanced civilization and a thriving biosphere. The great craters where the city-ships had lifted off for parts unknown were still visible, as were the twisted and dead remains of what must have once been a thriving biosphere. Not a single living thing remained.

Like every habitable planet, ULAS J0015+01 was awash in signs that its inhabitants had seen us coming, and they had fled in abject fear before us.

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