Sheliak is what we call a destination star. The better part of a thousand lightyears away, we hadn’t even considered going that far before Contact. We’ve gone there since, because we wanted to see what it looked like up close. I’ve been there, and it is beautiful beyond my gift of words to explain. Imagine two stars so near each other that gravity is tearing one apart and spreading its fire all over space. Then imagine the other star eating it all. Amazing.