So okay. This has certainly been an entertaining couple of days. After returning and getting that nice payout for all my exploration data, decided I REALLY wanted to get me one of those really sweet looking Empire ships. BUT to do so, I had to work on my rank standings with the Empire. I swear, to a decent pilot, they give these ranks out like candy. I guess perhaps they're really strapped for pilots that can actually fly. I mean, if their pilots are equal to the riff raff I've been turning to space dust the past couple days, I'm not surprised.
So yeah, found a sweet location in Mainani, the only station in system, that gave out data courier missions and mercenary work by the freighter load. Best part, all I had to do was jump to the very next system, Ngalinn, only about 3 Ly away, and turn in to the only station in that system. In turn, I'd pick up a freighter load of missions from the station in Ngalinn that needed to be ferried to.... can you guess it? Yep! Right back to the station in Mainani! It did get a bit tedious but who can complain about doing simple back and fourth transporting of data?! After an ungodly amount of jumping back and forth, I eventually was able to achieve the rank of Duke within the Empire. Damn awesome if you ask me! And THAT then gave me the privilege of purchasing the Imperial Cutter, which of course I immediately ran off to purchase. Also bought the Imperial Clipper, Mamba, Fer-de-Lance and the Beluga Liner. Only a couple more ships, besides the Federation ships, and I'll have every ship available to me in my shipyard.
Only problem now... I bought the ships on what seems to be the far side of the bubble from my home station and spent pretty much all my money doing so, that I can't afford to upgrade the FSD and other internals. That means, at only 10 Ly jump range with the stock FSD, the trip home is going to be 45 jumps! Whoops! So I guess it's just going to have to sit in it's original hanger until I can make some more money via mining or do some exploration before the upcoming expedition. Mining is faster so I guess it's back to blasting rocks.... yay....
Okay! I'm recording now! Just give me a minute and I'll get that part ordered alright?! Sheesh!
Alright... So... Yeah. I'm back. In the bubble. At a station. Dealing with...well...people. I'm starting to realize why a lot of commanders enjoy it being out in the depths of space...
What?! Yeah I'm talking about you! So what of it?! Just get back to work!
ANYWays.... As I was saying...
I actually enjoyed the long road back. Got to see and discover a lot of cool and beautiful planets along the way. Came across a couple more ELWs as well as a lot of terraformable planets. By the time I got back, I had accumulated nearly 200 million credits worth of scans. Sold it off to the Alioth folks so they'd give me a permit to their damn system. Why? I dunno. Just seemed like the most logical thing to do and besides the credits, the most valuable sale. It also bumped my explorer rank with the Pilot's Federation up to Pioneer and actually, a majority of the way towards getting elite status. Again, definitely was worth taking the long road back!
So anyways, since I've been back, I only had a couple more things I wanted to get engineered on the Song of Amara, my Krait Phantom class ship, before the upcoming expedition. Had to run out and gather some materials from a Thargoid wreck but otherwise didn't really take long. So now, final touches are being wrapped up by this moron technician they assigned me and I'll be completely ready with my completely engineered ship. Here I come baby!
So anyways... That's really all I got to say. Now I just gotta find something to do for the next.... 2 weeks... before the expedition is scheduled to depart. Maybe I'll make a short journey to see some nebula so I can claim that explorer elite status. We'll see.
Alright. So a lot has sort of happened since I made my last recording a couple days ago. I did as I said and made a beeline for Sagittarius A*. Made it there in rather quick time I must say. Gotta love those Neutron stars...
Honestly, Sag A was...well... a bit underwhelming. Seriously. There was so much gunk in the skies, or at least that's what it felt like to me, that the wormhole itself looked as though it was simply covered and surrounded in brown dirty space. I've seen crazy pictures of wormholes and this one just... Well it just wasn't really much to look at. Nothing more than a wonky, circular warping of the space back drop. I don't know. Perhaps I really need to do some re-calibration of my ship's window light metering. Maybe the warping of light confused it and it simply cancelled out all light coming from the black hole area.
So either way, I ended up not really staying very long. Dropped into the beacon to say high to some of the other tourists, scanned out the system, plotted my route back to the bubble and then...poof. High waked it out of there.
On my return trip to the bubble, I decided I had plenty of time and chose to take the long route home. I'm still traveling by way of my Neutron star plot, but have so far done standard warps from one star to the next. This has netted me a LOT of unexplored systems. Unfortunately, not a whole lot of high value stuff...until just now.
I've just warped into a small gold mine. Scanners have determined I have one earth like world, one terraformable water world, and two terraformable high metal content planets. So by my calculations, I should've just netted a cool 10mil from this system alone. Definitely a great find for a new explorer like myself. Not only because of it's value but because it's my first ELW and terraformable WW discovery. Yay for me baby!
So anyways, that's really all I had to say. Just couldn't contain my excitement at my discovery. Not really gonna hang long though. Snapped a few photos, logged my findings and now charging the FSD for my next jump.
Okay... So uhh... yesterday, almost more on a spur of the moment decision, I took off from my home base in the Shinrarta Dezhra system and made the long journey to Colonia. I know...I know. Not exactly like flying to the other side of the bubble but I was looking over my list of modifications I intend to have done on my exploration ship, Song of Amara, and realized I really only had a couple more things to complete before it was fully engineered. One was to meet up with the well-known Colonia engineer, Etienne Dorn, and the other to make contact with a Professor Palin, another high level engineer back in the bubble. Problem with Palin is that he wanted me to prove my worth by traveling 5000 Ly from my original home! I guess it's to show I'm not just some puddle jumper. So while 5000 Ly is certainly not the distance to get to Colonia, it's a pretty sizable chunk that just seemed pointless to make in some other random direction when I'd eventually have to go to Colonia anyways. So, I packed my suitcase, plotted my route using a popular neutron star router available on the net, and set off!
I'm actually surprised. I mostly took a direct flight here, but on my journey, I actually came across a few unexplored systems. I had assumed, wrongly it seems, that all the systems between the bubble and Colonia would have been explored already. Instead, I was able to map out and scan something like 5 systems on my journey. Not really that much but given I pretty much went from Neutron star to Neutron star, that's actually quite a few. Don't get me wrong, they were all systems I had to deviate to for scoopable fuel, but still. It was definitely quite a satisfying discovery and made the journey a little less tedious.
I was also surprised by how long it took. Not because it took a long time, but because it took so little time. I made it here, even with my discovery deviations, in only about 5 hours total. I did take a break about half way along the journey to catch some z's but either way, I was expecting it to take far longer than 5 hours.
So now I'm left with a small decision. Part of me wants to set course for Sag A, because based on my plotter, I'm really not that far. The other part of me wants to start the journey back to the bubble to finally finish engineering this ship. I have about 3 weeks left before I set off on the Pegasus Run 3305, an expedition around the outer edges of the galaxy that I'd signed up for and I wouldn't mind getting all my things in order back in the bubble before I leave. However, given how fast I made the 22k Ly journey to Colonia, I don't think it'd be too bad to head to Sag A and then home....so....screw it!
Sagittarius A! Here I come!
Check one, two, three. Check. Check. COVAS, this thing is recording right?
It is? Oh! Well okie dokie then!
Sooo.... It has been about a month now since I became a licensed member of the Pilot's Federation. A long month of figuring out how to actually pilot these massive chunks of space metal and then figuring out where to go and what to do to work towards actually building a capable ship for venturing out in the black.
The Black. That's the term I've heard for years now. The empty swathes of space far beyond the hustle and bustle of interstellar travel within the Bubble. And the Bubble. A place filled with winners and losers, empires rising and falling, corporations and individuals chomping at the roids, hoping to make at least a smudge more profit than their competitors. It just seems so....suffocating. In the black, credits don't matter. The latest stock prices on alexandrite or void opals or whatever other mineral or material... doesn't matter. Pirates, raiders, smugglers, gankers... doesn't matter. Out there, very little matters. Nothing but the will to survive and the drive to explore. And while it's seen as little more than a vast expanse of empty space, it's certainly not silent. For I can hear it. Every day, that voice growing stronger in my head. It calls for me. It begs to envelop me in it's dark embrace and I seek to feel the comfort of that embrace.
However, one does not just simply jump into the black without first making some preparations. At least, no one does that hopes to survive and perhaps one day return with their tales and archives of wonder. Their are ship parts to be gathered. Engineers to be sought out for their services and in turn requiring payments of their own. Materials to then be gathered in order to modify my ship's systems to their specifications. Heck, I even flew a short ways into the black in order to seek out an ancient construct of alien origins, known as The Guardians, just to gather a bunch of rare scrap for some technology broker to build me an FSD booster. Yet slowly but surely it's all coming together.
Not much longer though before I'll have to make my first real trip outside of the Bubble. I've learned of a couple engineers, engineers of the highest level, who it's rumored can almost make magic happen with some of my ship's software and components stationed out in the famous Colonia system. I'm not looking forward to that trip only because it's headed in pretty much the opposite direction I want to be headed. But I will do what I must to make my chariot, a Faulcon DeLacy Krait Phantom, through the black as powerful and as comfortable as I can.
Until then though....my eyes will continue to be drifting outwards.