Being the first human to step off the wrung of a ship's ladder and onto the living breathing soil of new planet spoils you for every other form of thrill or experience. I am not kidding. We have support groups in Galactic Scouting Guild, because those untouched garden goldilocks worlds are few and far between and once you land on one...well...there will always be a part of you standing in that airlock and sweating in your encounter suit right before the door rolls open.
-Phelan OverGao, Galactic Scout
"I've been tethered to the side of a spaceship, nothing but a thin layer of carbon fabric between my nuts and the vacc, and I've looked up from the panel or whatever is broken and seen all those stars. It use to make me feel small, but not anymore. Cause after a few runs between those stars, it changes. It will change for you. You will realize that the closer you get to those stars the smaller everything gets. You know what I saying? Ain't that many goldilocks worlds, but there are tons of little rocks circling fainter stars. And almost every little rock has a little petty king scraping out a living and fighting with another little king."
- Buck Leftyork, FTO Mission Engineer
Interstellar warfare is logarithmic. The plan for the attack begins by considering questions of hundreds of billions of kilometers. How will we get people and equipment from all over the galaxy to orbit the star of the planet we intend to take? Those logistical threads can get tied into knots that are literally light years long. Then once we have our force in star system it becomes a question of millions of kilometers. How do we get to this planet safely and quietly? Then we have to make the landing, thousands of kilometers. Next there is a question of defending the LZ: hundred of kilometers. Once the air support is dealt with and the artillery is neutralized, we’ve got to reach the objective. Then finally there is the soldiers’ combat. That is when the scale collapses quickly. A fight we started light years away can end because we had to cross two meters of open field or because a piece of shrapnel was a millimeter too close.
-Awl-70000891, Captain, Dynastic Army
"I keep my sanity tied to my hip with very thin thread. Somedays when I am pushing through the throngs of people all staring at tiny screens in their heads or in their hands I start feel that thread slipping. On those days I know that my only salvation is docked at the spaceport. My savior is not some luxury liner or high speed transport filled with perfectly balanced environments and a history of 'punctuality'. This man's spaceport messiah is more often than not a century old craft whose airlock is caked with the mud of a hundred worlds, with a computer programed in a dead language and a captain that makes his living looking for the slimmest trade margins in the most distant stars. When I sign on to the crew of such a craft I feel my thread of sanity tighten. I know that when we break through that blue ceiling we will be passing the soul crushing civilized worlds and heading for the fainter stars."
-J. Mitchell Overnantuck, Unlicensed Jump Drive Navigator
A man is arrested for mass murder and found to be insane. Piles of corpses were found on his property, neatly stacked torsos with the skin peeled off and the limbs removed. The man readily admits the work is his, though he claims he was only chopping down trees, removing their branches, debarking them, and then stacking them to season.
The man may have swung the axe but it was a Druid who caused the delusion. This Druid is still on the loose and likely to repeat the crime. In time he may get more creative in his "punishments."