Title: "Gypsy"

Author: Carter Scholz

Publisher: PM Publishing

Reprinted in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Nov/Dec 2015

Publication date: Nov 2015 (F&SF), Dec 2015 (PM Publishing)

She remembered talking to Robert about Fermi's paradox. If the universe harbors life, intelligence, why haven't we seen evidence of it? Why are we alone?
Roger favored what he called the Mean Time Between Failures argument. Technological civilizations simply fail, just as the components that make up their technology fail, sooner or later, for reasons as individually insignificant as they are inexorable, and final. Complex systems, after a point, tend away from robustness.