Life in The Void
Life finds a way...
We're in no position to study them. We really don't fully understand how they work. Void life is rare. When not isolated to a single system, life may drift through space in hibernation, waiting to stumble upon a place to call home.
As rare as it is, there are numerous occurrences of life in space on record. Most of the time it's nothing but microscopic life, especially when it comes to carbon based lifeforms, but most complex organisms out in the void tend to be silicone based.
We've seen crystalline entities and massive planet sized creatures. Some have a slow metabolism, where blinking an eye takes an entire human lifetime. One thing seems almost universal: the creatures survive either through photosynthesis or by breaking down non organic matter.
In case it hasn't occurred to you yet, I'd like to make it clear: your ship is made of inorganic matter. We have a few accounts of void life trying to tear through a ship's systems. Most of the time, especially with the largest examples of void life, they barely register our existence. When they do, however, be prepared.
It's widely considered a good idea to avoid these creatures, but sometimes it is inevitable. Some creatures threaten the existence of our species. There are creatures that eat stars out in the black, and they don't care what happens to those left without the light. Imagine it: one moment the sun is there, casting its warmth upon you and the next, it's going supernova billions of years ahead of schedule.
It's common for those with the means to destroy any unwelcome visitors to their systems. Some species even offer their services to remove particularly dangerous pests. These exterminators travel all over the galaxy, seeking to control the population of some of the more troublesome cases of life in the void.
A recent discovery for us are numerous cases of stellar flora. These massive growths can feed on stars for eons, but if starving, they can rapidly speed up the inevitable supernova that all stars meet at their end. They use this initial pulse of energy to blast them off into deep space, entering hibernation till the heat of another star wakes them up.
Another example is what human drifters refer to as space whales. These silicone based lifeforms use webbed membranes similar to solar sails to drift through space. They feed on asteroids along a commonly traveled space route near the core of the galactic community. They have been known to assault nearby ships and can be notoriously difficult to kill.
Web drifts are especially dangerous. Spores spread out using the release of built up gas, bonding with other spores to form a large wall or sheet. This will collect debris or even ships, slowly eating it away to feed the entire colony.