Within a few hours i was joined by my long time companion Cmdr Head_case, we marvelled at the natural spectacle of the huge black hole. Mesmerised momentarily i was broken from my trance by the buzz of tourist ships it seems the whole galaxy is here to view what was once the preserve of true explorers. In my many trips here i have never felt so saddened that this truly special place had somehow lost some of that now. In no time at all we were ready for the off. It was an immense relief to hit Super cruise again and leave behind the traffic of the beacon. 11000 Ly to go and the sight of the Colonia nebula would once more welcome us home. It is strange that we should call the little oasis of Colonia home, but that really is what it has become. Although almost daily a little of that innocence slips away and is replaced by the familiar trappings of the bubble, but still that is where i lay my hat as they say.
We still had that 11000Ly to go and in true explorer fashion the light years streaked past, on an all too familiar path now. The route was as fruitful as the previous legs with nothing new or wondrous to see or discover. In terms of discovery the trip had been a complete waste of time but in terms of just kicking back and chilling it was what i needed after months of grinding work for the faction. That work would still be there when i returned but i had other things on my mind. Recent CG's had improved things somewhat in Colonia but there was much that could be improved further. This lack of infrastructure was truly frustrating. This drove me to the decision of returning to the bubble in the near future for another round of engineering and ship building. Still, i had the last leg to complete and then some recuperation to look forward to.
The sight of the purple haze in the distance was like a welcome mat put out just for me and indicated i had just a few jumps left, i felt my body relaxing and felt relieved to see it once more. The expedition had not been arduous but it was certainly mentally draining, never had i experienced such lean pickings, the few highlights failed to compensate for the sheer mind numbing effects of the barren lands we had travelled. I fear my wander lust has finally been satisfied and that i need new challenges for the future, what they are i must try and seek out i suppose. As the amethyst sky enveloped me it comforted me like a blanket round a new born baby. It had a soothing effect and calmed the soul and mind. I kind of know that this is my home but it is only when you are hear surrounded by the familiar heavens that it truly sinks in.
Loki's Lament lurched onto the pad and descended below, the paintwork scuffed and worn from the journey. She had earned her rest and i had earned my rewards. Despite the poor showing exploration is still a very profitable business 130 million credits is a welcome amount for anyone to be honest. Centralis and in particular Phoenix Harbour had become my home over the last year and you can tell it is so by the warm feeling you get when it comes into sight over the horizon, For now i am just glad to be back and pleased to see my good friend Cmdr Head_case was already here. Nothing for it now but to head to the mess and spend some of those creds and mull over what lies ahead for me in an uncertain time.
The trouble with Space is that you never know what you are going to come across, inversely you never know what you are not going to come across too. To say that this journey has been largely uneventful is an understatement. Of course the usual bucketful for credits greases the wheel somewhat but that does not lessen the feeling that the journey is wasted time. Sure there are the odd highlight but the time could have been invested much more wisely elsewhere. The final few waypoints revealed nothing except the odd water world and a pile of dead rocks, and to be honest the final way point could not come soon enough.
I guess the lack of discoveries did afford us some decent travel time with little distractions. In no time at all we found ourselves at our destination. Yes we were there but there but we only had one thing on our minds and that was to make the journey home as soon as possible. I do not doubt on a different day in a different ship i would have made some amazing discoveries but that is the luck of exploration. One step to the left and you miss that opening and are down a different path altogether.
After a brief meet up at way point 10 we were on our way, the space miles have been kind to me and i have learned to move fast, Learned what to look at and what to ignore. in no time at all i was thousands of light-years into the journey to Colonia. My longtime colleague was behind me in his much more steadfast style. What had taken weeks to reach was left behind in a matter of days. The barren expanse i once had hoped would be so fruitful banished to my memories. The return would take us via our old friend Sagittarius A*, the centre of our galaxy deserves the respect we show it. Stopping by one more time would be like reaffirming old friendships. i plotted a route direct for the core and headed out. the light-years streaked by and the brightness got closer, as if in a trance and suddenly awakened there it was in front of me less that 400Ly away, the cube appeared, some sort of optical illusion causing the stars to appear as a cube. It was almost as if there were too many stars for my eyes to perceive.
with only a few jumps left it was time to meet up with an old friend. The Supermassive Blackhole is an awesome spectacle, one that i never tire of seeing. The major difference nowadays is that there is a lot of tourist travel there. That tourism of course brings with it some nefarious types and i have witnessed more than a couple pirate ships in the area. It is here i sit at the beacon observing the passers by as i await the arrival of another old friend Cmdr Head_case.
You may have noticed it has been some time since i posted here, Things can change very rapidly in the Galaxy, and none more so in Colonia politics. Since i last made an entry many things have happened that has caused the expedition to be delayed. In short the faction was born and myself and Head_case felt we had to head back to Centralis to nurture the ever expanding family we have back there. Things gave gone from strength to strength and now we find ourselves in a great position, strong enough that the Herbig hunt can be reconvened.
After several months away it was time to prepare for the journey back to Way-point 4 and beyond. The Asp Loki's Lament has been little used in that time and was sat in Shinrarta Dezra in the bubble. I had to travel back and pick her up once more and to be honest it was like putting on an old pair of slippers. Never had i felt such symbiosis, that feeling of co existing as i did with this ship, the many hundreds of thousands of Light-years not only moulds a ship to your body but also into your mind. Psychologically it just felt right and in what seemed like an hour or two i found myself back in Centralis awaiting the off.
Way-point 4 was the last place we reached in our previous attempt, so with haste we strode off there to restart the expedition. Moving fast and stopping for very little has become the norm for me after the number of trips i have made to the bubble and back lately. I say i stopped for little but i did chance upon a true marvel some 1480Ly from Centralis. This system has a unique set of circumstance that i have only happened upon once before and even then i had to make a huge detour to visit it. Super Hot Gas Giants occur when a Gas Giant orbits a star at an exceedingly small distance. Eoch Pruae OS-U f2-4764 has a Gas Giant that orbits it's parent at about 2ls. this super heats the atmosphere of the Gas Giant making it super hot and super bright.
Moving on was the usual mix of Tauris with insane trails of gas giants and rocks adorning them like a necklace. Aside from these quirky systems there was little to talk of other than the odd huge Ammonia world and some water worlds. I did see the odd planetary nebula and took the time to check one out, they never cease to amaze me these tiny nebula the colours and textures in the space surrounding the planets are like a huge kaleidoscope, patterns and colours constantly changing. As a rule they tend to hide some dangerous body in there midst such as a black hole or neutron star so beware those that enter without care.
it seemed in no time at all we were both at way-point 4 ready for the off. Just like old times there was no set agenda no timetable and no one to interfere in what lay ahead. Time to enjoy the freedom and expanse of space. The calls of the black grow stronger the further into it you travel, it entices you in and envelopes you in it's inkiness, surrounding you like a warm blanket on a cold evening. It is somewhat comforting but also somewhat terrifying that we are such a minuscule speck on the canvas of the galaxy, so small that it feels we may even slip through the fabric of the canvas into the unknown below.
Time to bask in the glory of the galaxy was over and we needed to move on. the ultimate destination has drawn the attention of others too that small patch of virgin space is the destination for the Minerva Centaurus Expedition. We will be there well before them however. I currently sit 1500Ly short of Waypoint 6, staring into a huge O class star. Super bright and super huge these stars are simply awe inspiring. i will be moving on soon and this giant will be left behind. There will be many more i am sure but for now i treasure each trophy i see along the way.
After some time in civilisation the lust had returned. That old femme fatale was calling me, in the past i had likened it to the sirens of old drawing sailors to there demise. Except, for me it was more of a rebirth than a death. The mistress in question was no woman, there was no woman that had a hold over me like the darkness of deep space. The bustling space lanes in Colonia continued to fill up and many factions had made the migration from the bubble. The alien discoveries appeared to spur people on in search of safety. For me it began to reek of the distinct smell of humanity, that smell you get when people pile up together in one area. The Colonia oasis was gone, replaced with commodity markets, mining sites, stations and of course people. People brought with them all the bad things, piracy and murder is becoming more common place sadly.
Already having prepared for previous long range travels it was an easy thing to make ready, with minimal effort we were set. The route plotted took us under the core and into the region surrounding PRIE AOWSY UR-R E4-28 some 31,774 Ly from my current home in Phoenix Harbour. After some of my recent trips this is to be a relatively short range expedition. Consider this more of an outing than an epic journey. Unlike previous excursions this was a rather muted affair, with little fanfare we were out the door and on the way. Short hops and long ranges made the light-years vanish like shadows chased away by the morning light. As Colonia fell behind me like the distant shores of voyagers past the freedom and possibilities opened up before me. The fact i found nothing of interest meant little but the need to push onward was burned into my very being. 1000, 2000, 3000 Ly gone in a flash, it was simply amazing to be where i was. I never thought i would feel this again. But i did.
Of course i came across those amazing herbigs as i travelled. Truly amazing stars super hot and super small. the search for Earth like planets proved fruitless but it did not matter, i was out there, doing what i do. I felt free, more free than i had done for a long time. Of course there were amazing sights, stumbling across a system with 2 huge CN stars orbiting a single Herbig reminded me of the power of the cosmos. Spell bound by the darkness, i harked back to my trips to the end of the galaxy and the roof. The explorer truly is a pioneer pushing boundaries. Of course i would return to Colonia when it was all done but for now as i approach Way point 4 i am simply enjoying the freedom.
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