“Go ahead, touch it,” said the voice.
The wall was larger than I could fathom. I trembled as I reached forward, terrified, but you wouldn’t know it through the thickness of the pressurized gloves. My fingers pressed lightly into the surface of space and my reality crumbled. This is what it means to have an encounter with infinity; I was a tiny spacesuit on the edge of the universe.
The wall was soft but impenetrable, deeper than the deepest black, with the tiniest of lights within as though stitched into impossibly fine fabric. The larger lights I recognized: Alpha Centauri, Rigel, Procyon. The smaller ones had only recently been detected by our most powerful telescopes. All of them, not stars and galaxies but merely an extraordinary facade.
“Then astronomy is…”
“Beautiful, but ultimately wrong,” said the voice.
I was 300,000 miles above Earth and there was nothing left to explore. I turned my gaze to the shuttle tethered below me. “So what should I tell them?” I asked.
“Tell them that this is the end.”