"The Shrouds were 'things' out in interstellar space, light-years from Yellowstone. They'd been found in all directions: Lightless black spheres of unknown composition, wider than stars. Alien constructs most likely: thats why there hypothetical builders were called the Shrouders. But no one had ever made contact with a Shrouder, or had the least idea what the aliens might be like, if they were not already extinct..."
"Lascaille's Shroud was named for the first man to return alive from its boundary. Phillip Lascaille had gone in solo, without the permission of the study station where he'd been based. Against all odds, he'd returned from the Shroud with his body and mind superficially intact. But that wasn't to say that Lascaille had not still paid a terrible price. He'd come back back mute, either unwilling or incapable of talking about his experiences. His emotional connection with other human beings had become autistically impoverished..."