I am an explorer. Always have been, always will be. But a man’s gotta eat, and more importantly, a man’s gotta upgrade his ship.
Exploration data doesn’t pay very well.
With a view towards a future out in the deep Black, I decided to sell the Blue Sun, my trusty Asp Explorer, and purchase a (slightly used) Lakon Type-7 Transporter. It’s ugly, it’s uncomfortable, but it can fit a decent amount of cargo.
I am currently hauling marine equipment and Palladium, Gold and Machinery. I now know what it feels like being dead inside, but the prospect of a bigger and better exploration ship (it doesn’t have to be bigger) keeps me going.
Just received this in the mail:
I’m goin’ to Cologne, baby!
My first notable discovery! A double terraforming candidate in a system of four terraforming candidate worlds.
Babysteps. Walk before you run. Learn to swim before jumping into the deep end.
I’ve gone on my second voyage outside The Bubble; this time, I took my Asp out to the Pleiades – and encountered my first black hole. It’s an awesome, and scary sight.
I looked at a few systems, but found nothing too extraordinary. I am beginning to feel that boldly going so many people have gone before is not really exploration; it is tourism. I’ll have to head out far further for my third trip.
As you know, a disease has broken out in several systems. The so-called Cerberus Plague originated in BD-02 4304 and had spread to Dajoar, Eleu and 20 Ophiuchi. After efforts to contain the plague there failed, it has now spread to six additional systems: Bast, Una, Santjalan as well as Bastes, Maheou Ti and Ochoeng,
Since there seems to be no chance at providing enough medical supplies to all affected systems, independent skippers – such as myself – have informally agreed to support Bast, first and foremost. As I write this, 634,000 tons out of a needed 2.5 million have been delivered. I have joined the effort, though the Blue Sun can not transport much. Even outfitted for cargo, her hold can only carry 112 tons.
On my last drop-off, locals in Hart Station told me that the situation is dire – the plague is spreading rapidly, and they expect a break-down in public services within four days.
If you have a ship, fly to Bast. Bring medicines – any type! The hope is that, given enough resources, the local medical team can provide further insights into the plague, and make future efforts to combat it more effective.
I am now considered a “serf” by the Empire. How flattering. And while I still can’t afford a Clipper, I think I can now buy an Imperial Courier. I won’t, simply because I don’t really have a use for one. A Clipper would have made a really good trading ship.
In similar vein, the Federation Navy has recruited me, despite my refusal of their previous offer. I wonder whether the slavery mission was a test of my integrity.
Looks like the Federation Navy is a player in the illegal slave trade:
Needless to say, I refused that mission. I don’t want to get a promotion at the cost of selling some unlucky sons-of-birches into slavery.
I spent all morning in the shipyards here in Bolkow City and refitted my ASP Explorer. Mainly, I’ve aimed for a good all-round exploration outfit. It has a jump range of only 25.16 ly (unladen), but it carries equipment for every eventuality:
- Full set of sensors (including Kill Warrant, Frameshift Wake, and Cargo Scanners)
- Fuel Scope
- 2x Auto Field-Maintenance Units
- 2x Small and 2x Medium Pulse Lasers
- 8t Cargo Hold
I don’t expect to need the weapons – the ASP is not at all a combat ship like this – but it feels reassuring to have them. The cargo hold is simply there in case I find anything I want to bring back – I doubt it, but you never know.
The shipyard doe not have better components available for most types of equipment, and I did compromise on some (Fuel Scope for example) in order to save money.
Even without the best jump range the ship could get, I feel the ASP is now ready for my second trip of exploration.
I’ve taken the opportunity to christened my ship. She is now known as the “Blue Sun”, after Spica.
I received word that I am being considered for a promotion – however, as with most things in life, there’s a catch – I am to collect three blackboxes from a nearby system.
In the end, the second ascension mission was a dud. But I am now an Imperial Outsider.
I decided to take my Asp for a spin outside The Bubble today. I just picked a direction at random, and thrust myself into the black.
All systems I came across had already been explored by other people. I did have a scare once as I gravity dropped with two stars right in my face.
My first stopover was Kumbaya, at Hecate Landing. Kumbaya is a lightly inhabited system out in the middle of nowhere. The locals are somewhat deluded – they are communists – but treated me well enough. Probably because they don’t get to meet many visitors. Even though I had not been able to explore unvisited systems on my voyage out, I was at least able to fill in some census information about the locals. Maybe it will bring more visitors to them.
I then landed at Shojon. This system had been visited and cataloged in the census database, four months ago. Visitors are truly rare out here.
At this point, I considered heading back into human space. My Asp was working perfectly fine, and I had wet my feet. But then I saw that I was only a hundred light years from Spica – and I decided to check it out.
Arriving at Spica, I discovered that it had become quite a tourist destination already. Taking a few scans, I turned around and headed home.