The catalyst for the final break came with the Battle of Kendai, fought at the edge of the Stellar Ring in 2375. During the engagement, the Kendai drivespace communication relay was destroyed, terminating contact between the Stellar Ring and the Verge. Thus began the Long Silence. Ndw firmly on their own, many colonies of the Verge began to think independently. As new generations were born and cultures developed, many colonists started to think of themselves as citizens of their own system, instead of members of a distant stellar nation. By the time contact was reestablished more than a century later, more than half the Verge systems boasted of their independence.
Meanwhile, they struggled for survival. Both traders and pirates organized themselves, and life on the frontier soon reached a certain level of stability. However, two events rocked that stability during the Long Silence. The first was the inexplicable disappearance of the Orion colony on Bluefall in 2454, a mystery that remains unsolved. The second was the destruction of the Silver Bell colony-and much of the surface of the planet Spes with it—in the Hammer’s Star system. (The culprits behind this attack are still at large.) Both of these events taught the Vergers the unpredictability of life on the frontier.
Yet the Long Silence itself was never absolute. Occasionally, stray vessels-some of military origin and some full of refugee s-would make their way out to the frontier. A whole fleet of such newcomers arrived from Orion space in 2464 to reestablish a colony in the Aegis system. Most of these travelers brought word ol the terrible lerodty of the Second Galactic War,- many had fled dying worlds and crumbling stellar nations in order to come. Yet in 2472, the war in the Stellar Ring came to an end. In the next two decades, while the stellar nations struggled to survive and rebuild, rumors trickled into the Verge that peace had descended. Most didn’t believe it at first, but by 2496, the gossip had gained the ring of truth: The war was over.