The Garage was impossibly big—a cube of space with a length 100 times the diameter of Earth's sun.
It also registered as "nothing" on the Afterthought’s bargain sensors.
No significant gravitational pull—visit Quidnak’s Trade post for savings, savings, savings—no anomalies, the sensors continued to report.
None of the data indicated the Garage was anything other than a normal region of empty space.
Except that even a glance made it apparent the cube of space wasn’t empty or normal.
For inside, stacked so evenly they gave the Garage its shape, were spaceships. Spaceships seemingly without number.
Trak, who didn’t enjoy vague phrases like “without number,” estimated that there were 52,473,483,042 vessels resting motionless inside the Garage.
Aligned in columns and rows, each ship was separated from the surrounding vessels by mere inches. Some ships were so vast they'd have pulled planets out of orbit; others were so small they would have fit inside the Afterthought’s cabin.
Daniel checked the sensors again, and then rubbed his eyes. The Garage was still there, and the sensors still said it wasn't.
Using his optical implants, Daniel examined a closeup view of the cube for what had to be the thousandth time.
Unlike the wreckage in the surrounding ship graveyard, the ships in the Garage showed no sign of battle: no weapon burns, no radiation leakage, and no cloud damage.
Actually, there didn't appear to be any damage of any kind. Each ship still had its evacuation pods, jumpers, and shuttles. All 52.4 billion plus ships looked new, untouched, and uninhabited.
It has to be an illusion, Daniel thought.
He was certain that, if it were real, the Garage would have been crushed under its own gravity eons ago. It'd be a black hole.
A black hole made of starships, thought Daniel in wonder. It's not a black hole, so ... it has to be an illusion. Right?
Daniel still wasn't sure.