I'm in orbit around a type K star, fuel scooping 2.2kLy from yesterday's failed launch. I was in mass a jump with cmdr's Buur, Primetime Casual, Rheeney, Sanderling, Tado Chip and Lord Tyvin, to name a few. Target was 62 ly away, nearly twice the range of Chromed Alone. Injecting the appropriate elements into the frameshift drive, the Sidewinder lurched forward, and we disappeared into witch space. Then nothing.
Completely black. No stars. a faint buur-like giggle could be heard in the distance. Definitely something not quite right with the FSD. It might have been those last few elements traded at Bunsen port, I'm pretty sure some of the pollonium looked decidedly half-lifed.
No matter. I powered down for the night, and slung my hammock up behind the Sidewinder's seat.
Tonight I see no issue with the drive. I'm running around 65% heat max on 100% fuel scoop, and all systems are nominal. Reached and Passed Shapley -1 pretty quickly, and now I proceed onward to Thor's Eye, almost exactly a year since my last visit.
Void's Speed Cmdrs °7
I walk around the "Chromed Alone", one last time without the aid of oxygen. Looking at the sleek chrome reflective paint, I wonder how long it will stay pristine as the coming light years take their toll.
Looking across the shipyard I'm surrounded by small ships. The first, "The Black" a Sidewinder which took me to the Westpoint Ormand, by way of the Zurara and the Formidine Rift with just 27ly range, and finished up joining the Enigma Expedition.
Then next to her, "The Black Beyond" with additional engineering, took the range to 29 Ly and an extended research expedition that took me to the edge of madness and Xibalba.
Both ships rest, looking towards their newly completed companion, Chromed Alone. A significant achievement, we increased both jump range, free flight speed, and storage, adding hull compartments made almost entirely from reflective composites, a Mining Laser, Chaff dispenser, and some excellent new performance drives.
Chromed Alone sits in its new paint, glinting. Perhaps naively, as the older two stablemates look on with knowing glances. 65,000 lightyear is a big ask of any ship.
With a Sidewinder, with no shields, no heat sinks, no AFMU and no limpets, some people have said it's crazy. Well the Galaxy wasn't made sane.
With a final check, I grab the lightweight bag packed for the human compartment. Toby, My Mechanical Droid Dog, yes you, you little shit head, he's staying home this time to patrol the yard. I have no wish to repeat what happened out on the eastern rim last year, it nearly ended all of us.
Swinging up into the cockpit to check the ducting and gaffer tape, I notice how small this thing is. But it is small in a nice way. Looking up through the fully open 180 degree canopy above, that small feeling makes you appreciate the one-ness of the void, the vastness of the expanse of encroaching Black.
I've done this before, perhaps not in such a fast vessel, nor in one so cold to touch, but in my bones I feel the void beckon. All is done here, and I am ready to leave. Ready to go.
Void's Speed to all of us °7
Earthlike this far out is pretty rare.
May sit here and sleep a while.