Miranda was silent, deserted - eerie. Mal felt a shiver run up his spine. He'd heard stories of Earth That Was, how people would rush to a site that promised gold or oil, build a settlement, and, when the natural resource ran dry, abandon the site. Much the same had happened on some terra-formed planets, but 'ghost planet' wasn't as catchy as 'ghost town'.
There was something creepy about empty streets. You expected people here and they were conspicuous by their absence.
But Miranda wasn't empty. People hadn't left, chasing the prospect of a better life elsewhere. The truth was much, much worse.