THE LONG VOYAGE HOME
17 JUN 3305 Somewhere in the Empyrean Straits.
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log on board the Hyperion, crossing the Galactic Bar. Heading back to the Bubble. Heading back… home.
I might have overcome space madness. Crossing the Solitude Void and the Silentium regions proved to be hard, but I did it. Anyhow, I am thousands of light years far from home, and I must keep focus. I have developed a routine, with stablished periods of flying, resting and eating in a twenty four hours schedule. This has slowed down my path but helped my mental stability. I am also trying to reconnect with the issues of men reading about the news that I receive here from the Bubble.
The Voyager Trail, the path back home recommended by the Distant Worlds 2 fleet command, has far way less milestones than the route that took us to Beagle Point to break the monotony of the trip.
Arriving to system Hyiechou AI-J b36-0, also known as Sysipho’s Rock, was quite a relief. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, the system contains a vulcanic active icy moon, while its parent body itself is a moon orbing a gas giant. A 2 c a is tidally locked to its parent body, allowing for a constant view of the moon A 2 c looming over the geyser site - just like the rock in the Sisypho’s myth, being a constant reminder of the futility of life in a seemingly endless universe but in the same vein offering a way to self-realize oneself in it, as the ancient philosopher Camus already put it over 1300 years ago. I could not agree more. I landed close to a geyser, under the shadow of the rock, and meditated about my place in the galaxy and my goal in life. I thought about my father and the quest I interrupted to participate in this expedition. I recalled that the worlds of men are being harassed at this very moment by an alien invasion, and that I am thousands of light years away from all that. It is time to come back.
Back on track I arrived to sector Chraiteau, where I found two Earth-like worlds in a row. The first one in system Chraiteau AK-E C13-0, an otherwise anodyne system with just a landable moon.
And the second one in system Chraiteau WW-C C0, which has much more to offer, including several landable planets and moons and a class I giant with a pristine ice ring.
I have developed the habit of searching for high mass systems when entering in a new sector and, if it does not suppose a big detour, pay a visit to these systems. It is always a source of pride to discover a black hole or a Wolf-Rayet. That is how I arrived to Dryignoe AA-A h70, which contains a Wolf-Rayet and two class O stars. That was the first Wolf-Rayet star I had seen in a while. But it seems that commander EtherealCereal found it first.
I headed for system Bleethuia FF-A e1, also known as Proximity Rock. The Galactic Mapping Project database says that it is located within visual range of the Flyai Flyuae AA-A H20 Nebula, and that the system presents an uncommon trinary formed between a Class M, a Neutron and a White Dwarf. However, that is not what makes the system really catch the eye, it is the first landable body, that is only a scant fifty one light years away from arrival, relatively close to the dancing trio. It allows for views of all celestial objects with fantastic fidelity. I found a place to land from where to behold the nebula and the star’s trio.
It seems that neutron stars are now less scarce than in the outer rim. That might speed up my pace, but I must be extra careful. I am carrying a fortune in scan data and I feel my focus and reflexes diminished after so many months travelling. Overcharging the frame shift drive in the jet cones of stars is always a dangerous business. Neutron stars can be treacherous and white dwarfs kill more commanders than Thargoids. That is why I replenished my Auto Field-Maintenance Unit when in Proximity Rock and repaired the main systems of the Hyperion. The battered painting has no solution right now.
Right after departing Proximity Rock I discovered two black holes. The first one was in system Tegneia EG-Y g0, and had two neutron stars orbiting it in the distance. The second one was isolated, in system Phreia Byoe BA-A g1. It had eight solar masses and was more than twelve thousand million light years old.
Now that I am close the galactic core, Wolf-Rayets are more common. I pass by them anytime I can but, alas, I have not been able to find any not already been discovered on this part of the trip.
In system Hypio Bli EN-C c5 I found an Earth-like world orbited by a water world tidally locked. There were no landable bodies in the system.
The next milestone in the itinerary was the Blue Peach Nebula, in system Lyaisai PS-U e2-160, a planetary nebula with two class F suns and a total of fifteen objects in orbit that orbits a small black hole in the southeast corner of Perseus Stem.
And very near it was system Rotheau SZ-O e6-895, or Rattla, a system comprising a neutron star aged twelve thousand million years which is orbited by an incredibly beautiful lonely ringed Earth-like world.
I was in the core regions. At last! I had crossed the Delta Quadrant. This last part of my trip proved the hardest since I left the Bubble six months ago. And it took its toll too, both physical and mentally.
With a renovated spirit, I headed for the Aether Nebula, in system Eorm Phyloi OY-Z d37, a medium sized nebula located over two thousand light years above the galactic plane. The Aether Nebula is named after one of the primordial deities of Greek mythology, being the personification of the pure upper air that the gods breathed - particularly apt for the nebula's position in the galaxy.
The Perseus Stem is ripe with stars and systems containing Earth-like worlds. I found one in Cleeqai YP-O d6-9547, a very rich system containing tens of landable bodies.
And then I found an amazing place. After visiting hundreds of barren systems in the outer rim, I jumped into Zuneae GD-A D14-2200, one of the richest systems I have ever found. It has forty three celestial bodies including an Earth-like world, three water worlds and an ammonia world orbiting its four scoopable stars that are one F white star, two red dwarfs and a K yellow-orange star. Seven of the bodies are landable and six of them are terraformable. The place also has a class I gas giant with a pristine ring with hotspots of platinum, rhodplumsite and serendibite. A system like this, with four bearable life planets, would be an ideal place for a colony, and a very contested system if it was in the Bubble. And it is just six thousand light years away from Sagittarius A and Explorer’s Anchorage, right after the eastern neutron fields.
I must report the discovery of system Zuneae GD-A D14-2200 to the Galactic Mapping Project as soon as I am able. But first, I must think of a name that suits the system. The place is so full of life that I have decided to call it Gaia, like in Greek mythology, the primal goddess and ancestral mother of all life.
I am recording this log somewhere in the Empyrean Straits, approaching system Phroea Ploe PD-B e2165 and the Phroea Ploe Nebula Cluster, just about twenty four thousand light years from the Bubble.
Just a couple of weeks more and I will be home.
Jav Marlo signing out.
ON WARS, MERCENARIES AND DRUGS
30 MAY 3305 Somewhere in the Silentium Region.
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log on board the Hyperion heading towards system Hyiechou AI-J b36-0, also known as Sishypho’s Rock.
I am feeling a little bit better. Arriving to Voyager’s Reach boosted my moral and I think I might have overcome space madness, at least for a while. My Whitchspace dreams are still recurrent though, and I am still tens of thousands of light years away from the core regions, so I have to figure out something to keep my mind occupied. It occurs to me that maybe I have been so focused on arriving to Beagle Point and exploration that I have loosen my ties with civilization. Old, evil, harsh, violent and corrupt civilization. Home.
It has been weeks since the last time I paid attention to the news. It is like if I have lost my interest in the issues of men. Maybe it is time to reconnect. With everything that is happening in the Bubble, the war with the Thargoids and all the power struggles, I should catch up with the recent events now that I am coming back There was a time when GalNet, the Pilots Federation data network and source of its power, was only accessible from space stations. But since a year or so they have been able to create a news bulletin accessible from starships. It always has helped me focus to record these logs so, let’s see what is going on.
I wonder what happened with Nova Imperium. Curious, the politics section does not open with conflicts within the Empire, nor the Federation, but with the rivalry between Prime Minister Edmun Mahon and President Gibson Kincaid of the Alliance. It seems an impeachment procedure is on its way. The democratic way of solving a dispute. Admiral Denton Patreus of the Empire has his ways too to solve these matters but, perhaps, they are a little bit more expeditious.
Some technician was able to stole a starship from a starport in the Vega system. That is impossible. I do not believe this. There must be something more.
There is a rush for Guardian commodities. That is something a I have pending. I need to get my hands on some Guardian technology an enhance the jump range of my ship.
The Thargoids are still assaulting the core systems but they are not targeting the most important social or military centres. The main resistance against them is being held by the independent pilots, not by the superpowers. And within the mayhem, local conflicts still erupt and the local factions fight for influence in their tiny systems in this cutthroat galaxy, as it always has been.
Enough of the official reports. Let’s see if I can find something juicier on the independent bulletins. Wait. Here is something interesting. War in Terra Mater, an article in Sagittarius Eye Breaking News. Terra Mater, that is where they grow the plants from where they extract the Blood Bores, the drug. I have never tried them, but they say it is a potent physical stimulant with some uncomfortable side effects that, despite them, they are very popular among mercenaries and bounty hunters. That reminds me that I should have brought some performance enhancers for this stage of the trip. Damn! I thought about coffe, food cartridges and even bought some survival equipment, the Lavian Brandy does not count, but I did not think about stimulants.
I remember the Blood Bores were very popular among hand to hand combat practitioners from my times as a martial artist, and that even blood checks at competitions were common, for the shake of fair play. Later, they became even more demanded when the trade contracted as a result of the system becoming permit locked. That rose the price of the Blood Bores in the systems where they were legal, and even more in the black market. The Blood Bores are nurtured by the anarchists of the Brotherhood of Terra Mater, who recently had been challenged by the theocrats of the Sacra Oculus who intend to use the Blood Bores to create a breed of super soldiers against the Thargoids. A sensible plan! We do not even know how the Thargoids look like and they are thinking on going hand to hand combat with them. Anyhow, it was just a matter of time that they attract the interest of a bigger power, and it was Pranav Antal and his Utopians who tried to get control of the system, causing a war in the process. It seems that Pranav Antal’s ambitions are beyond the control of the monopoly of nanomedicines, and that they want to control the Blood Bores too.
Odds were against the Brotherhood of Terra Mater, harassed by a much bigger power but, in a dramatic turn of events, several mercenary groups came to the rescue of the brotherhood. Among them, the article highlights the performance of the Blackguard Dragoons. Catchy name! These ones claim that they were not enlisted by the brotherhood and that they simply “liked the cause”. I do not buy it. There must be something else. Anyhow, it seems that thanks to the efforts of these mercs with a golden heart, the permit access to the system remains controlled by the brotherhood and Blood Bores remain legal and available at GR8Minds, Terra Mater’s principle station.
Let’s see if I can find more info on these Blackguard Dragoons. That information could be useful. Someday I could have a problem which with no one else can help me, and I could be able to find them and maybe hire them. Here they are, the Blackguard Dragoons announcement at the Inara database, resolving situations since 3304. An independent mercenary faction, with no ties to any of the superpowers, that takes on contracts to bring about the changes that their clients wish to see. It seems that they act on their own agenda too. Their cause is the spread of true personal liberty and freedom. The good Samaritans. A leopard can't change its spots. Perhaps there are some personal files.
Hey wait! What do we have here?
I have just found another Earth-like planet. System Blie Chrea QO-X C28-1 for the record. Let’s take a closer look. What was I doing, by the way? Here. Inara database. Known members of the Blackguard Dragoons. Personal files. The Squadron Commander is Stryker Aune. And there are pictures. Amazing! I do not know how this guy can fit into the command chair of his ship. Does Remlok do suits that size? The only word that comes to mind to describe him is massive. He is bigger than the planet in front of me.
This guy must be the most dedicated bodybuilder in the galaxy. Not someone you want to cross in a dark alley. I am wondering what a man like him may want to do with the Blood Bores. He is clearly in no need of more physical strength. Wait! Is that a prosthetic arm? It looks like a cybernetic claw. It seems that he has quite a curriculum. There are many files about him in the database. Not so much about his partners though. Maybe I have found some reading material for the trip back home.
Great. Two neutron stars in a row. At last. I am arriving to system Hyiechou AI-J b36-0. Sishypho’s Rock. From there just fifty thousand more light years to the Bubble.
All this reading on wars, mercenaries and drugs has made me reflex. Here, surrounded by the solitude and the silence it is easy to lose perspective. This is a huge galaxy, full of wonders that we are barely starting to discover. But in our little corner, the Bubble, the law of the strongest prevail, as it always has been in the dominions of men. I may be an accomplished explorer now. But the Bubble is a dangerous place, and now is even more dangerous than when I left it months ago. I know how to run, but if want to discover what happened to my father, running may not be enough. Now we have to add the Thargoids to the political struggle, the conspiracies and the pirates. More wars and conflicts are arising. This expedition has opened my mind, filled my pockets but weakened my body. There is a lot to do. I must get fit again. I must use my new wealth to buy and build a proper combat ship. I must tune my flying abilities. If I want to survive back at home, I must get ready for war. Let’s get to it.
Jav Marlo signing out.
SOLITUDE AND SILENTIUM
26 MAY 3305 Voyager’s Reach
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log on board the Hyperion heading towards Voyager’s Reach.
It has been two weeks since I departed Salomé’s Reach, currently the most distant reachable landable body from Sol. Before me, twenty two thousand light years distance crossing the Solitude Void and the Silentium regions to arrive to system Byoo Briae CW-C c26-0, also known as Voyager’s Reach, the place from where the recommended route back home starts. Solitude and silence had been my only companions on this trip so far.
The remnants of the Distant Worlds 2 fleet have dispersed after reaching Beagle Point. The fleetcomm channel remains now silent most of the time. I guess that many commanders have taken a straight course back home. I do not blame them. I have not seen a single soul since I departed the campsite at Legacy Crater in Beagle Point. I am feeling lonelier than ever in my life.
I have experienced space madness before. The last stages of the Distant Worlds 2 expedition were quite an endurance test. But this is totally different. The only word that comes to my mind to describe this region of space is desolation.
For thousands of light years and hundreds of jumps I have not found a single remarkable, not even interesting system. Most systems I jump are barren, with just a few icy worlds orbiting around its stars. From time to time I may find a waterworld or ammonia world, but these are very rare. The stars are so scarce and separate one from the other that is almost impossible to keep a straight route or to squeeze all the jump range of the Hyperion and, of course, there is no neutron highway here to short the trip. I have found just two neutron stars, both already discovered, in this last two weeks. It is, as I say, a wasteland!
Well, I must admit that I found an Earth-like world halfway, in system Pyria Eurl LJ-T C3-0. Right there, in the middle of nothing. The farthest one I have ever found from the Bubble. Like an oasis in the middle of a desert. A world with a human-breathable atmosphere and indigenous life more than sixty thousand light years away from civilization, in one of the most unknown and unexplored regions of the galaxy. It could be quite a place to hide.
And after that, nothing, thousands of light years of nothing. Jump after jump. Solitude and silence. Emptiness and absence of gravity. I feel weaker every day. I am losing bone mass. I am losing weight too. I feel sick. I brought some food rations with me to flavor the trip, but I do not find them appealing anymore. I have some Lavian brandy too, but I have decided to avoid drinking since I am not sure if I can trust my senses anymore. Sometimes I lose the conscious of time and remain in the cockpit of the Hyperion, attached to the command chair for hours and hours without noticing. I cannot get a proper sleep. I have a recurrent dream in which I am trapped in an endless Witchspace tunnel. I get up soaked, floating in the cabin, go back to the cockpit and start to jump from system to system again and again. With the galaxy on my right. Always on my right. I feel like if the Hyperion would be becoming some short of flying coffin for me. Any moment I will make a fatal mistake and die here. Alone. Afar from everything. Just surrounded by the solitude and the silence.
Resuming log. I have made it. Voyager’s Reach. At last! This remote system on the fringe of the galactic rim marks the beginning of a stablished trail back to the Bubble with some stablished points of interests. The Voyager Trail is inspired by the journey of a fictional ship, the USS Voyager, that was accidentally transported to this corner of the galaxy circa 2371 AD and headed back to the Sol system in a trip that took several years. A tale probably inspired by the epic mythological trip of Odysseus.
For me, it marks the place from where I will head back home too. No more the galaxy will be visible on my right window. From now on I will have it in front of me. Soon I will be in the Sagittarius-Carina Arm, where the density of stars will be bigger and hopefully, that will allow me to travel faster if am able to find neutron stars from time to time. I am dying to reach the core regions and be able to take the neutron highway again. But first I must cross the desolates regions before the Scutum-Centaurus Arm. I am excited. I am coming back!
I think I should rest before confronting this new stage of the trip. I mean, a proper rest. Landed. With gravity.
I have found a nice camping site close to the slope of a mountain in the second planet of the system. I can see the core regions from here. The night is dark and the silhouette of the mountain cuts the view of the distant galaxy. I need to leave the ship and stretch my legs. I have not driven for weeks. I think I will wander around a little in the SRV and then I will get a proper rest. I just hope I do not dream with Witchspace again.
Jav Marlo signing out.
BEYOND BEAGLE POINT
10 MAY 3305 Salomé’s Reach
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log on board the Hyperion landed at Salomé’s Reach, at the very edge of the galaxy, beyond Beagle Point.
My Diamondback Explorer, the Hyperion, was able to cross the Abyss with no mayor problems, but arriving here has proven to be more difficult. I had to manually trace every jump to system Oevasy SG-Y d0, also known as Semotus Beacon. The use of jumponium was mandatory. One of this jumps was over eighty light years. It was a good thing that I made myself a good reserve of synthesis materials when I was in Beagle Point, and that it exists a well stablished route to this system in the Galactic Mapping Project database.
According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, Semotus Beacon, also known as Ishum’s Reach, is currently the most distant reachable star system from Sol.
This system represents a double galactic record. It is at the same time the most distant system from Sol at 65,647.34 light years and also the system furthest north of Sol at 65,630.16 light years. The system was apparently visited by "unknown means" sometime in 3301 by a Commander Tooth, who originally held the first discovery tagging rights with Universal Cartographics, until the system was revisited by more legitimate means by Commander Ishum in June 3302 once engineered FSD upgrades were introduced.
And once in the system, it is compulsory a visit to Salomé’s Reach, or Oevasy SG-Y d0 B 9 F, the outermost moon of the secondary star, that is over 134,000 light seconds further out into the intergalactic void making it the most distant planetary body an explorer can currently visit.
This place was designated Salomé’s Reach in honor of Senator Kahina Tijani Loren, Salomé, by a member of the Children of Raxxla who was the first pilot recorded to have landed there on June 3302. It had to be her. It always amazes me how Salomé was able to cause such an impression in the galaxy having died so young. Even here, the farthest place a human can go, her influence manifests. Salomé, the patron saint of the explorers.
And this is it. No place to go beyond. From here, the only possible way is back. And that is what I intend to do. To come back home. To the Bubble, all through the galactic core. But it is a long journey. Who knows what wonders will I discover on the way and how many perils will I face? Let’s find out.
Jav Marlo signing out.
DISTANT WORLDS 2 – EPILOGUE
8 MAY 3305 Beagle Point
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log on board the Hyperion landed at Legacy Crater, basecamp of the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition in Beagle Point. Being in this place now is the culmination of an incredible Journey of Discovery.
The expedition left Pallaeni system the thirteenth of January, and one hundred and five days later I managed to arrive to Beagle Point. Few of us were able to made it. Many quit along the way, some were attacked, others sadly died in accidents, and there were even those who were not able to face the space madness and succumbed. I mean, this was not an easy trip, but it was worth it, at least for me. On the way here, I have visited every waypoint on the route, stopping in all the points of interest, major or minor, that were marked on the itineraries released by commander Kamzel, with the exception of the Peak, that I was not able to reach. I have seen many wonders, photographed and documented them. I have met other fellow commanders with shared interests. And I have discovered some hard and hidden truths about this galaxy and myself. All my thoughts about these experiences, along with my navigation data, have been dully recorded in logs aboard the Hyperion that I am making public in GalNet through the Galacatic Maping Project database (EDSM) and the platform Inara. Maybe somebody will find them interesting in the future.
To all the commanders that organized and have participated in Distant Worlds 2: o7.
I have spent the last ten days exploring Beagle Point and enjoying the views of the Milky Way, there, on the horizon. Many commanders are still arriving.
I have been driving a lot around Beagle Point 2, collecting minerals, specially Arsenic and Yttrium, to be able to synthesize jumponium. You never know when can it become handy. It feels good to drive a little bit instead of flying for a change. Impossible to lose track here with the galaxy on the sky as a reference.
The beauty of this place haunts me. All the troubles and tribulations of the Bubble look so far now. They look so meaningless from here, on the edge of this beautiful and huge galaxy that we have just started to truly explore and know some years ago.
But there is a war ongoing. The human worlds are on fire, attacked by an enemy from whom we barely know anything, not even its motivations. And I have left many unattained businesses there too. I am neglecting my duties with the Elite Alliance Diplomatic Corps. I almost left them to embark me on this expedition the moment I sign with them. And I have some personal and unfinished matters to attend too. Maybe it is time to come back. I am not the same green pilot that left the Bubble months ago. I have changed. And now I have the resources to properly equip myself. This expedition has resulted more profitable that in my wildest dreams. The exploration data stored in the Hyperion databanks is worth hundreds of millions of credits. And there is still the way back.
I have returned to Legacy Crater to spend my last night here, with the other commanders that are gathering, and enjoy some camaraderie. The trip back promises to be lonelier. Tomorrow, I will leave Beagle Point. I will always remember Legacy Crater as it is right now, shining with the dim light of an eternal sunset.
When I woke up the commanders that spent the night too at Legacy Crater were gone, but I was not alone. Commander Thunder-guts was carefully landing his shieldless ASP, and minutes later commander Psygar landed his Anaconda close to us too. The three of us met in the field to exchange impressions about the expedition. For reasons beyond my comprehension, commander Psygar had brought a Guardian Relic all the way to Beagle Point. Well, I am not to judge since I have been carrying three crates of Lavian Brandy all the way here, and I thought that was a great moment to share them. I loaded one of the crates in the SRV and jettisoned it on the ground for anybody to pick it. I bet this is the farthest a bottle of Lavian Brandy has ever travelled. It could be a great commercial. Anyway, here is a toast for Distant Worlds 2.
And this is it. I am leaving Beagle Point. But before I start my trip back to civilization, I have heard at the basecamp that nowadays it is possible to travel even farther than here. Well, I did not made it this far not to try going a little bit farther. So I am putting the galaxy behind my back again and venturing even deeper into the void. Forward, further… beyond Beagle Point.
Jav Marlo signing out.
DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 16) – BEAGLE POINT, THE END
28 APRIL 3305 Legacy Crater (Beagle Point)
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log onboard the Hyperion. I have just made it to the Seldowitch Nebula, in system Thuecheae WR-H D11-54, a small emission nebula with a neutron star as its core located in the Galactic Aphelion region. The nebula glows in bright spectral lines of hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen because of the intense radiation of the neutron star itself and from several massive stars in the vicinity. The place is named after the Russian physicist and astronomer Jakow Seldowitch, who studied on the effects of cosmic background radiation and the greater cosmic structures, including black holes.
There are no landable bodies here, and it has been quite a trip, so I am looking for a place with a nice view to land and rest. There it is. A ringed world in Thuecheae BW-L c24-17.
Resuming log. Very near to the Seldowitch Nebula is the Fly Trap Nebula, in system Pyrivo HW-V e2-8.
The nebula just contains a very treacherous black hole, hence its name.
Still in the Pyrivo sector, I have made quite a discovery. An Earth-like World. Here, in the Formorian Frontier, system Pyrivo ZS-K C24-0 contains a beautiful and undiscovered ELW.
Resuming log. I have made a small detour to claim what I thought it might be an undiscovered black hole, and I was right. There was a black hole with five solar masses in system Pyrivo EG-Y g0. Here, so far from the galactic core, the black hole creates a quite remarkable lensing effect when approached from the opposite side of the galaxy.
Resuming log. I have found a couple of Wolf-Rayet stars here, so far from the core, but they had already been discovered.
Resuming log. I finally made it to system Chua Eop ZC-T c20-0, the Lone Star. The furthest known point that a 'stock' Sidewinder reached prior to the 'Jumponium & Engineering' era. This incredible deed was performed by commander R4nger0 onboard his ship, the Sneaky Pete. It took him eleven weeks back in 3301 to reach this far from Sol. Alas, he could not made it through the Abbyss. On his way back he met commander Erimus Kamzel at Rendezvous Point.
The system has three gas giants with many landbale moons. I think I will find myself a nice campsite.
Resuming log. I have arrived to system Slaiyooe OX-L d7-0, also known as Thomaski Point Memorial. Named in honour of commander Thomaski, a veteran of the Galactic Nebula Expedition of September 3302. Commander Thomaski had a goal of reaching Beagle Point, and after several attempts he achieved that goal on June 3rd 3303 with only 9% hull remaining. On his return journey to Colonia, sadly Commander Thomaski (Bob) passed away. His last known location being Slaiyooe OX-L d7-0 on the edge of the Scutum-Centaurus arm after successfully navigating his way back across the Abyss and into denser regions of the Galactic Aphelion.
In September 3303 Universal Cartographics (Frontier Developments) deployed a memorial beacon at Slaiyooe OX-L d7-0 in honour of this intrepid explorer. In late September 3303, an expedition to Beagle Point to honour the memory of Commander Thomaski was organised by Commanders Harry Palmer and Narzgul, and a flotilla of ships gathered at the Thomaski Point beacon before setting out to cross the Abyss.
O7, commander Thomasky.
Resuming log. I have arrived to system Cheae Euq ER-L c21-0, also known as the Grand Rings. I am in the middle of the Abbyss now and, so far, the Hyperion has proved itself to be able to navigate this treacherous region of space with no major problems. Stars are very scarce now, and it is quite difficult to flight straight towards a destination, but the ship is behaving remarkably.
According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, the third gas giant of this system has a close orbiting moon providing spectacular views of the gas giant and ring system. The location was designated by Universal Cartographics as a tourist location and a navigational reference is available during visits.
I am so close to Beagle Point now.
Resuming log. I have made a detour to pass by system Pyrie Eurk QX-U e2-0, also known as the Distant View in Blue. This planetary nebula, with a black hole at its core, offers a stunning and unique view of the galaxy as seen from the void between the Sagittarius-Carina and Scutum-Centaurus arms.
Resuming log. I have made it to system Streau Eop ZP-N c23-0, the Calidum Capsicum Annuum. A four star system located on the far side of the Abyss region. Around the primary star there orbits a curiously misshapen orange-red potato-like world. Being only eight light seconds distant from the star it is being constantly baked; and with an orbital period of just over a day, it is travelling very quickly. Quite difficult to land on it. I had to chase it.
It was difficult, but I have found myself a nice camping site among the geysers. Hopefully, this will be my last rest before Beagle Point.
Resuming log. I am in system Myeia Thaa ZE-R d4-0, also known as Podar. This system is unique in several aspects. First, it contains a ringed Earth-Like World, second this world has three satellite moons, and third its situated on the far edge of the Abyss, making it a possible oasis of life in an otherwise desolate region. Discovered in mid-3301, it is one of only a few ELWs so far located in the Galactic Outer Rim regions.
Resuming log. Back on track to Beagle Point, I have arrived to system Iorant JH-D c12-0, or Iorant Depot. It is located just south of Beagle Point and represents an excellent opportunity to stuck up on materials before traversing the last and difficult part of a journey there. It was surveyed by the Rock Rats during the Distant Worlds Expedition of 3302. One of the aims of the expedition was to establish a galactic highway of jumponium-rich systems.
From here, I can see the whole Galaxy all in front of me.
Resuming log. I am in front of the tourist buoy of VonRictofen’s Rescue. A location where an epic deep space rescue occurred, back in November 3302. Commander Macedonica was returning home from Beagle Point, but he became stranded here when a miscalculation of Germanium resources meant he could not make a jumponium jump to the next system on his route through the Solitude Void. His distress signal was picked up by Commander Chiggy VonRictofen, who was sixty thousand light years away! Rigging his ship out with a mining laser, VonRictofen set out on an epic journey across the galaxy to help the stranded Commander Macedonica seek the badly needed Germanium. To commemorate this historic event, Universal Cartographics renamed Iorant JN-S c17-0 to VonRictofen's Rescue in March 3303.
Beagle Point is just ten jumps away.
Resuming log. I have made it. I cannot believe it. I am at Beagle Point. I am checking the navigation map. Yes. I am here. Beagle Point. After more than one hundred days. I have finally arrived.
This is it! This is the culmination of this incredible journey. I am exhausted. I have travelled more than twenty thousand light years in the last week. I cannot think with clarity now. But I am exultant too.
I better find the basecamp of Legacy Crater and take some rest. I do not want to make a fatal mistake now.
Hey! There are other commanders flying around the system. O7 commanders.
I have found the crater in the second moon where the camp is. I see no other commanders landed there, but it does not matter. I know I am not alone.
I have landed. Securing the ship. All systems nominal. I want to finish this record before I fall asleep.
This is commander Jav Marlo onboard the Hyperion landed at Legacy Crater, in Beagle Point, in the farther side of the galaxy. The final waypoint of the Distant Worlds 2 expedition.
Beagle Point, one of the most distant star systems currently surveyed at 65,279 LYs from Sol. This system marked the end of the line for Commander Erimus Kamzel's Distant Suns extreme-range survey mission during the very early days of deep space exploration, and marked the first recorded galactic crossing culminating in mid-January 3301. Unofficially nick-named Beagle Point at the time by the exploration community after Kamzel's intrepid starship that first discovered it, the DSS Beagle, the system has subsequently become a point of interest that has been visited by many explorers conducting their own survey missions of the galactic outer rim regions.
And I am now one of these explorers too. This has been an incredible Journey of Discovey.
Jav Marlo signing out.
DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 15) – EMBRACING THE SPACE MADNESS
21 APRIL 3305 Luna’s Shadow (Smootoae QY-S d3-202)
Resuming log. Well, I will be alone, but I must go on. One of the purposes of this stage of the expedition is the mapping survey of the regions called the Boreas Expanse: Boreas, Styx and the Bleak Lands. I am in the Boreas now, ready to cross the Styx, but there is a detour that could take me along a great sector of the Styx region. A huge detour.
There is a system called nowadays Rendezvous Point, that was the set for the first ever deep space encounter beyond the galactic core regions. Commander Erimus Kamzel and Commander R4nger0 met there on 16th February 3301, during a time when seldom few had reached those remote regions of the galaxy. And this system is seven thousand and five hundred light years from here. If a trace a path there and back again to Kalipheron, the following meeting point of the route, it will take me al across the Styx Region for more than fourteen thousand light years. That will be quite an exploration detour. Let’s get to work. I must hurry up if I want to make it on time for Luna’s Shadow.
Resuming log. Ahem. I keep Flying. Still one thousand light years to arrive to Rendezvous Point. This was not a good idea. I think I know now why they call this region the Styx. It is dead. For thousand of light years I have found nothing interesting, only frozen planets and some gas giants. There is no life here. All the systems I jump are barren, dark and frozen. I have been making little detours heading for the heavy mass systems of each sector. I was able to find a black hole in sector Preae Auwsy, but it was already discovered. Beyond that, nothing. The star density is quite low here and there are not many promising stars to look for. After so many jumps I am exhausted, I feel dizzy and I have started to talk with my COVAS, Archer. I chose him because I thought his British accent would be very relaxing and appropriate for an explorer vessel. Now, I find him quite annoying.
Resuming log. I have arrived to Rendezvous Point. No signals of any other vessel from the fleet. I had no expectations. I need to land and rest. The fifth planet has a landable ringed icy moon with a comfortable gravity, that will do me good. There I go.
Resuming log. I am feeling better after a good sleep on a planet surface. But I must continue if I want to make on time for the final stage. There is still a huge distance to cover across the Styx. I am now more than forty three thousand light years from Sol. I wonder how Erimus Kamzel and R4nger0 felt when they found each other here, so far from civilization. There were no route plotters on that time. Commander Kamzel was returning from a mission on the Outer Galactic Rim, and Commander R4nger0 was attempting to cross the galaxy in a Sidewinder. That is madness. How they could resist the vertigo of being adrift for so long without reference points. I can not imagine.
Resuming log. The trip back to the route is being as fruitless as the way to Rendezvous Point. I have started to see strange lights while passing through witch space. I even found a waterworld, a lonely waterworld in a system with five stars. No other planets there. I scanned it and heard some weird noises. It was like if the only life bearing planet I have found on this desolated region was calling me.
Resuming log. I have made it to system Byua Aub WO-K b36-0, Kalipheron awaits me. I would like to find someone, anyone there.
Kalipheron is a moon that is geologically active with ammonia magma, one of the rarest forms of geological phenomena so far discovered. And I am not alone this time. My scanners have caught the signal of a vessel piloted by a commander called Gimpinstars, approaching Kalipheron too.
I guess I am not the only one affected by space madness. When I found Commader Gimpinstars flying over the meeting point he was reluctant to land, despite his Phantom was armed and my Diamondback Explorer not, and he demanded me about my intentions. I had to land first in order to build confidence. Space can make you paranoid. I understood him perfectly. After that, everything went smooth. We met in our SRVs and we could enjoy an animated chat, face to face.
There were no one more there. We talked about the specs of our ships and we shared our experiences of the expedition. I guess that is what explorers do when they met in the other side of the galaxy. I wonder what commanders Kamzel and R4nger0 talked about in Rendezvous Point. Anyhow, our tales were quite similar, we both have been alone for a while in space during this stage of the expedition. It was nice to have company.
Resuming log. I have arrived to system Byeia Free WR-W b56-0, known for the Misty Mountains of one of its moons. It is said that the dark side of this moon is covered in a heavy mist with deep canyons. Well, it is pitch black here on the dark side and I can not see if there is mist, but these canyons look quite dangerous. I have decided not to risk the ship. Not so close to the end. I am leaving this place.
Resuming log. Just some jumps away there is this system, Striechooe HO-D c14-2, which contains a gas giant with an extremely narrow ring. They call it the Hula Hoop.
Resuming Log. I continue to look for high mass systems on the way to Luna’s Shadow, and I think I might have found something in system Swuenoi AA-A h86. The system contains two stars and many high metal content worlds. There is vulcanism activity in just one rocky body, the only moon of the first planet.
The surface of the moon is covered by very deep craters and lots of peaks and mountain ranges. I am going to land on the verge of one of these craters that has a huge peak on the other side.
I have rested and now I feel ready to continue exploring the surface of the moon. From above I can see many lonely mountains, and one peaking above the rest.
I have tried to land on the peak, but I could not do it. This system is in the region known as the Formorian Frontier. The Formorians are a supernatural race in Irish mythology. They are often portrayed as hostile and monstrous beings who come from the sea or underground. That reminds me that, according to Irish mythology, the site of the first battle fought in Ireland, that confronted the Formorians with the followers of Partholon, took place in a plain called Mag Itha. The plain of Mag Itha is said to have been devastated by Partholón's army. Three hundred Fomorians took part in the battle, and Partholón was victorious. Well, from above this mountain I feel myself like contemplating the battle field of Mag Itha and its many scars after the confrontation. I can not think of a more appropriate name for this place.
I wish I had more time to spare on this place, but I must go on.
Resuming log. I have found a black hole in system Swuenoi DL-Y G2. It is a lonely one, no more bodies in the system, but it is big, more than five solar masses.
Resuming log. Finally, my luck has changed. I have found life in the middle of the Bleak Lands. There is an Earth like planet in system Auphaibs EY-J b3. It is tiny, cold and has a landable moon.
A nice camping site before arriving to Luna’s Shadow.
Resuming log. I have arrived to system Smootoae VE-R d4-134, also known as the Shadow Earth, because it contains and Earth like world that is situated 51,819 light years along the zero meridian line from Sol, and 25,919 light years from Sagittarius A. It is thought to be the closest Earth like world discovered to the physical antithesis of Sol on the far side of the galaxy.
And the antithesis of Sol on the far side of the galaxy is just fifty light years away, system Smootoae QY-S d3-202, Luna’s Shadow. Situated on the galactic prime meridian, and one light year above the galactic plane, some 25,898 light years from Sagittarius A on the far side of the galaxy, this system is the physically located antithesis of Sol. Remarkably the star system also has eight major planets, the third one being a water world orbited by a moon that is strikingly similar in both appearance, size, and composition to that of the Earth's moon, on the opposite side of the galaxy from this location. This moon, nicknamed Luna's Shadow, is an ideal location for travellers to land at and collect Jumponium resources before heading out to the Abyss. And the moon has a huge crater known as the Magnificent Desolation, where the basecamp of the expedition is.
There are already some commanders landed there. I can see a Cobra a Diamondback Explorer like mine, some Anacondas and one Beluga. Huge ships. Probably with a crew of a few. I guess space madness feels different when flying one of those.
It seems that we are at least a couple of hundred commanders who have made it to here so far. And they say that a mass jump is being organized right now. I cannot believe it. I have made it on time to participate on a mass jump. One of Distant Worlds` most popular rituals. And this will be the last mass jump of Distant Worlds 2.
I quickly go back into orbit and request permission to join one of the groups that are being organized by commander Rebecca Lansing and her partners. Soon, I am invited to join the group of Commander The Sonderval, and I drop out of super cruise at her beacon. A bunch of commanders have already gathered there.
The final stage of the itinerary has been released by commander Erimus Kamzel. Everybody wishes good luck. All the vessels align themselves for the jump.
T minus five. The chaotic formation of more than fifty ships make a big honk altogether. Frame shift drives charging. Holding thrusters.
In the last two weeks I have covered more than thirty five thousand light years exploring. That is more than half the distance between Sol and Beagle Point in straight line. And the final goal is just thirteen thousand light years away. It is time. Now! Frame Shift Drive charged. Thrusters at maximum power. See you at Beagle Point. 3, 2, 1, ENGAGE.
DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 14) – IZANAMI’S HELL
14 APRIL 3305 Distant Worlds 2 meeting point at Aristo (PRU AUB DL-P E5-35)
This is commander Jav Marlo, onboard the Hyperion, departing Mors Pit in system Bleethuae NI-B D674. The next waypoint has been released. The fleet has been asked to contribute in the mapping of the Aphelion regions, a vast stretch of the galaxy that little is known about. If we are able to discover some points of interest in these regions, that will be considered one of Distant Worlds 2 lasting legacies, commander Erimus Kamzel have said. This is too one of the longest stretches between waypoints, exceeding the mark of fourteen thousand light years distance. We have two weeks to arrive to Luna’s Shadow, in system Smootoae QY-S d3-202, from where we will confront the final stage of this expedition. After more than eighty days, the fleet attrition is very notorious now. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, less than twenty five percent of the fleet made it to the rendezvous point in the Morphenniel Nebula. I wonder how many of us will reach the end, in Beagle Point. And then is the return trip. But let’s not think about that now. Just focus on the task ahead. I have decided to start by heading to the Phoenix Nebula.
Resuming log. Midway between the Phoenix Nebula and the Morphenniel Nebula, in the Izanami region, I have found an interesting system, Prooe Flyuae YZ-P d5-100. Its primary star is a deadly and beautiful white dwarf, that has been guarding the entrance of the system since more than ten thousand million years. If the explorer that manages to arrive here is prudent and able enough to avoid the deadly trap of the white dwarf exclusion zone, he will find himself in an incredible dark and cold, but beautiful system hiding many wonders.
There are four class I cold hydrogen rich gas giants with thirteen icy bodies orbiting them. All these icy moons are landable and there are two hundred and eleven different geological sites spread among them. The first moon in the third gas giant has forty nine geological sites. The system contains too a secondary brown dwarf star more than one hundred thousand light years away that keeps another six similar icy bodies orbiting around. None of the nineteen icy bodies in the system has a temperature above the forty kelvin degrees.
The first gas giant has a very close couple of moons that share an incredibly tight orbit.
The smallest of then has deep canyons and forty five geological sites, providing incredible views of the other moon and the gas giant.
The fourth gas giant has two moons. The closer one describes an orbit that circumnavigates the ring of the planet almost touching it.
It has forty five geological sites too, providing with many potential campsites from where to behold the magnificent ring of the gas giant. The views are quite similar to those on the Silver Highway in system Phipoea HJ-D c27-5254.
Being this system in the region of Izanami, the Japanese goddess of both creation and hell, it reminded me the legend of Yomi, the land of the dead, most commonly known for Izanami’s retreat to that place after her death, that is described in Japanese mythology as a World of Darkness.
I think Yomi would be a very proper name for this place.
Resuming log. After expending some time exploring the frozen system I have found, I finally made it to system Dryiquae SO-Z d13-3, the Phoenix Nebula, which greeted me with all its magnificence opening its wings like trying to embrace my little ship. The three thousand light years trip here was worth that sight.
It has been quite a trip and I am exhausted now. I am looking for a suitable place to land and rest, and I think I have found it in one of the moons of system Preia Pri UA-A CO. A great campsite under the shadow of the Phoenix.
Resuming log. I am heading to system Bleia Flyuae ZU-N d7-54, also known as Poseidon’s Fury. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, there is a ringed water world, with three relatively large moons. While ringed water worlds in of themselves are not all that unremarkable, this particular water world and its ring system is unusual due to the large gap between the A and B rings with two moons orbiting between the A and B rings, and the third moon in an inclined orbit outside the rings, suggesting that the planet moon system may have had a violent formation.
Due to the third moon’s inclined orbit, it is possible to find an excellent view of the water world, its inner ring, its two intra-ring moons and its colossal outer ring.
This planet and its ring system was discovered during the Minerva Centaurus expedition in Feburary 3304.
Resuming log. After enjoying the view of Poseydon’s Fury, I am heading now to system PRU AUB DL-P E5-35, also known as Aristo, the first stop of this stage of the expedition. It is my plan to look for systems with heavy mass along the way in hope of finding something interesting.
Resuming log. I think I have found something. There is an undiscovered black hole in system Blae Flyuae CL-Y g1. Interesting! The system contains, apart from the black hole, two almost identical T Tauri Stars with almost two identical class III gas giants orbiting them. Alas, there is nothing visually striking here.
Resuming log. I was passing by system Blu Aoscs LH-N b20-15 when something attracted my attention. There was only a planet there, an icy body, but its colour in the scanner was orange instead of blue. I decided to approach and found it is huge, more than sixteen Earth masses with 2G. And here is the best part. Its surface temperature is 540 K. What a hell! And the computer identifies it as an icy body. Well, if there was ever ice here it was a long time ago. This huge desert planet is vey close to the systems main star too. I have decided to land an take a closer look. On approach, the surface looks quite bumpy. Such a desolated place! But I am tired. The distances of this stage of the expedition are huge, and I must take any opportunity to rest. So, there I go, to land in this burning ice rock.
Resuming log. I have found an Earth like planet. Here! In the middle of nowhere. It is the first one I find in quite a time. It is very close to Aristo, in system Pru Aub BX-A c27-49. And it is beautiful!
Resuming log. I have arrived to Aristo, in system PRU AUB DL-P E5-35. It is quadruple white star solar system in the heart of the Boreas Expanse. The system contains a variety of high metal content worlds, brightly illuminated ring systems, and several moons, many of which are landable. Most of the landable planets are high gravity. I am heading now to the coordinates of the meeting point, in a ringed metal rich world. The place is on the edge of a huge crater with a great view of the ring. Two of the white stars of the planet are illuminating the ring right from behind making it very luminous. There are no signs of the fleet here. Not a single commander. I am alone in this place.
DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 13) – THE SHADOW ZONE
7 APRIL 3305 Mors Pit (Bleethuae NI-B D674)
This is commander Jav Marlo, onboard the Hyperion, registering this log at Mors Pit, basecamp of the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition in system Bleethuae NI-B D674, in the Morphenniel Nebula.
The farther we go, the more mysteries we encounter.
The week started fine. On this occasion, I woke up at Tranquility Valley basecamp several hours before the releasing of the itinerary to the next waypoint, so I indulged myself in an animated chat with other commanders gathered there. I even drove around the valley watching the Kraits, ASP Explorers, Cutters and Anacondas landed there, dreaming about being the owner of one of them soon, now that I have the credits earned through my exploration efforts. When driving around I met friendly commander Thudpucker, who taught me how to make my scarab rest over its butt in a vertical position. I aligned my SRV with his and we both performed a particular figure of sun salutation to the gas giant above us, resembling some kind of ancestral ceremony before embarking us on the next stage.
Then it came the transmission of commander Erimus Kamzel with the coordinates of the next waypoint. Most of the commanders wished good luck to everyone and departed.
The first point of interest of the itinerary was the Undine Haven, in system Phroi Bluae LS-B d13-744, which contains a neutron primary star and two secondary stars. Its most distinctive feature is that in one of the secondary stars, at a distance of about twenty eight thousand light seconds, has six water worlds orbiting, all of which are terraformable. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, the term ‘Undine’ refers to mythological water spirits first described in the alchemical writings of Paracelsus.
A pity I did not bring my swimsuit with me. From there I headed to the Briar Patch Nebula, in system Hypuae Briae BV-Y e3851, a lone neutron star inside a nebula that has an eerie feel to it as it is the only star there.
Close from there and way above was the Zinnia Haze, in system Hypuae Briae LC-U e3-152, a small planetary nebula located more than a thousand light years above the galactic plane. It has a neutron star as its primary object that gives a blue hue to the nebula when watched from the inside close to the arrival zone.
But when observed from the nearby system of Hypuae Briae LU-A b33-10 it shows its true and beautiful purple and pink colors.
Down again it was the Hydrangea Nebula, in system Hyuqeae MT-Q e5-4335, a small nebula with bright red, orange and green colors that gives it a very floral appearance, hence the name. It has a neutron star as its centre and a collection of planets with many airless moons.
And very near it was too the very impressive Magnus Nebula, a large vivid purple nebula along the inner Perseus Arm near the galactic core. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, it is possibly one of the largest nebulae so far discovered on the far side of the galactic core. Magnus Nebula contains several thousand star systems, including two neutron stars and three K-Class Giants. In system Hypuae Briae YQ-Z c28-339 I found two big high metal content planets sharing an orbit that had the tag of being discovered by commander Erimus Kamzel himself and landed in one of them for a rest. The 2.5 gravity tensioned my muscles and made all my body ache, but I decided to endure it since I was feeling very weak after so many days travelling with no gravity. All the space explorers loose muscular mass when out in the black, it comes with the business.
The Magnus Nebula is situated just seven hundred light years outside the mysterious borders of the Bleia Permit Zone. Commander Erimus Kamzel warned us about that through the Fleetcomm channel. “If route plotting fails commanders will need to look for passable sectors skirting around, above, or below these restricted sectors in order to reach the Morphenniel Nebula”. Restricted sectors? What does that mean? Let’s find out.
I arrived to the Infinite Bonds in system Hypuae Briae YF-E d12-2760 without difficulty and found the stunning pair of Earth-like worlds there with their beautiful purple colors sharing their orbit just 0.25 light seconds apart.
And there is when the problems started. I opened the navigation map in order to lock the next system of the itinerary Vegnoae BK-R d4-1105, also known as the Neighboring Necklaces, but the computer was not able to plot a route. What the hell! I guess that was what Erimus Kamzel was talking about.
I randomly tried to lock on systems in the Vegnoae sector until I found one that the computer was able to plot a route to, and I headed on that direction. It seemed that the problem came from the systems in the Bleia 3 sector. When I tried to lock on them the computer it simply said: “unknown permit required”. Unknown permit? Here? I know that some systems require a permit in order to travel there, like Sirius or Alitoh. Indeed, it took me a while to get the permit to those systems. But why an unoccupied sector so far from civilized space will require a permit? Or, maybe, is not so unoccupied.
I managed to skirt around Bleia 3 and arrived to a system that was well above the Vegnoae BK-R d4-1105. From there, the navigation computer was able to plot a route and I finally made to the Neighboring Necklaces, two planets of the primary star in Vegnoae BK-R d4-1105 system that are in a binary configuration with such a tight orbit that their rings almost touch themselves. The contrast between these two worlds and their necklaces of rings is also remarkable, being one an airless landable rocky world and the other a gorgeous lava world. A great camping spot.
I checked Galactic Mapping Project database looking for other sectors in the far regions of space that were permit locked too and found there were many of them: Bleia, Dryman, Hyponia, Sidgoir, Froadik, Bovomir, Praei… And there were many others closer to Sol like Col 70. Wait! I remember now. Col 70, that was the sector where Salomé found something. Something that costed her life. Something important enough to rally hundreds of bounty hunters that tried to prevent her for coming back to the Bubble with her secret while thousands of independent pilots tried to protect her. Somehow, she must have managed to get into there. That shadow zone. But, how could she? It always amazes me how she, Salomé, managed to be involved in every mystery and conspiracy that puzzles the galaxy: the battle over the Prism system, the conspiracies within the Federation and the Empire, the Dark Wheel, the Children of Raxxla, the Zurara, the INRA bases and the Col 70 sector mystery. Is it possible that they can be all linked? But how? I fear that secret died with her.
As far as I know, space navigation depends on the Pilots Federation GalNet system, that is installed in every independent starship. The GalNet system is not only a star chart, it is also a communication system that provides newsfeed, markets information and many more. The Pilots Federation is not only the dominant provider of this information, they also manufacture the hardware and software serving this data that is embedded in every starship and space station. Summarizing, they control the communications net and the navigation systems of almost everyone. And that is a lot of power. They claim to be politically neutral, but all their endeavors are involved in secrecy.
I could understand that such an elusive and mysterious organization like the Pilots Federation locks the access to some systems in order to protect dark secrets. Conspiracies are the fuel of politics nowadays, or always have been. But we are talking of huge sectors of the galaxy blocked here. Places that were beyond the reach of any starship just five years ago. This cannot be just because of the Pilots Federation. There must be something more. Some other reason behind this shadow zones.
The system Vegnoae WE-R e4-9257 and the Eos Nebula was just six hundred light years away and I did not have problems plotting a straight route there. The place takes its name from Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn, because of its rosy calming colors.
I found a notable stellar phenomena within the nebula, a yellow Lagrange cloud filled with solid mineral spheres, rubeum metallic crystals and some serious electric activity.
I thought it was time to head for the Morphenniel Nebula the closest visitable nebula in the middle of the mysterios shadow zone of Bleia. But it was not easy to plot a route to the system Bleethuae NI-B D674, where the base camp was. I had to approach little by little, locking in the navigation computer the systems that took me in that direction while avoiding the shadow zones of the Bleia sectors in the way.
The process was tiring, and I had been flying without resting for days, so I decided to make a stop in the way before reaching the basecamp. Anyhow, I was way before schedule. I was looking for a suitable place when I jumped into system Phroi Byoe FE-B c29-23, which contained a class V gas giant orbiting very close to the secondary star of the system. I decided to make an approach to enjoy the views.
I think I have never seen a gas giant so close to a star. The view was mesmerizing. I flew around the planet before leaving looking for a place to land.
I landed on the third moon of the primary star, and I could enjoy a beautiful binary sunset that reminded me of an iconic scene in an ancient movie from the twentieth century that told a story that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
After a short rest, I finally was able to plot a direct course to system Bleethuae NI-B D674. The view of the Morphenniel Nebula from Bleethuae UH-E b1-14 was majestic. It is said that, with its bright orange-white tip that falls away to darker orange and red colours, it resembles from some angles the tail fire of a rocket.
I had arrived to the basecamp seventy two hours before the release of the next waypoint, so I expected to be alone there, but soon I noticed the presence of other commanders.
I decided to ride into the SRV and say hello. I had just left the Hyperion when I heard a loud boosting sound coming close right behind me. Out of nowhere, a superfast Taipan flew over me did a loop and stopped hovering right in front my vehicle. It was commander Hyundai35 closing by to say hello. He greeted me, performed a pirouette and lift up boosting leaving a cloud of dust behind him. I love these Taipans. They must be great for surface exploration. I have to get my hands in one of those as soon as I am able.
It seemed that commander Hyundai35 was not there alone. A couple of minutes later he came back accompanied by commanders Jipsee and Liilee, and they were flying guardian fighters. Amazing technology! I need to find a way to contact the engineer known as Ram Tah and get some Guardian technology too. They approached my humble SRV too and greet me amicably. It seemed that we were the first commanders to arrive to Mors Pit. That is one of the best parts of this expedition. The camaraderie between commanders from so many different allegiances. Here, in the black, we are all explorers, and I think that feeling of camaraderie gets tighter the farther we find ourselves away from civilized space.
In the following two days, different commanders came and go. I took the opportunity to exchange thoughts with them about the crossing of the shadow zone of Bleia, hearing all kind of theories. Some say that these sectors have higher than usual density of ammonia worlds. Others talk about mysterious distant objects and sightings. But the most common theory says that these could be a region of space controlled by the Thargoids. Alas, none of these rumors has been verified. I am afraid that the mystery of the shadow zone of Bleia will continue in the shadows for the time being.
Jav Marlo signing out.
DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 12) – THE DISCOVERY OF A NEBULA
31 MAR 3305 Tranquility Valley (Phroi Bluae QI-T e3454)
This is commander Jav Marlo, onboard the Hyperion, registering this log at Tranquility Valley, basecamp of the Distant Worlds 2 Expedition in system Phroi Bluae QI-T e3454, also known as Cerulean Tranquility.
We are closer now to our destination: Beagle Point. If everything goes as planned, we should be there in the next weeks. Meanwhile, the number of expeditioners has decreased significantly. This is still a huge community endeavor, but I can tell that our numbers are thinner after reaching the core. Nobody said it was going to be easy. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, who is following the progress of our expedition, 2,496 commanders have died on this trip, I guess mostly because of crashing when trying to land in planets with high gravity and victims of terrorist that had been harassing the expedition. 922 commanders self-destructed their ships. Space-madness, getting stranded, who knows what happens in the head of commander to force him to commit suicide. And 7 commanders have abandoned. The rest of us still go on. To the black, always to the black. The star density is still huge here, so close to the core, but that will change soon.
I think that my ship, the Hyperion, and I are ready for the next stage of this trip. We made it so far with no major problems. I believe we can reach the end. When I was at Hades Edge, in the top of the galaxy, I got perspective of the incredible voyage this is. The immensity of the galaxy, observed from that height, was overwhelming, and the limits of the milky way were visible, far away, on the horizon. Our final destination: Beagle Point. It was hard to abandon the comforting warmth of the giant star Goliath and start the descend.
My first stop was at system Schee Bli AA-A h300, the Remnants Trio, which contains many wonders, being one of them a ringed white dwarf.
The system contains many other stars orbiting its main black hole, and another white dwarf and a neutron star can be found orbiting a secondary black hole not far away from the heaviest one. If you get enough close to this black hole, it distorts the light of the stars around it and the ones on the background creating incredibly beautiful views.
From there I headed to system Braisoea UQ-C d13-6108, also known as the Gaesous Twins. The system contains a binary pair of Earth-like worlds orbiting its neutron star. I approached the ELWs to take a closer look at their surfaces and could see how violent their climate looked from above, probably result of the influence of the neutron star.
The next step was the Arach Nebula, in system Lyaisae PJ-Y c14-472, but on the way there I made a significant discovery. The biggest ammonia world I have ever seen. And it had an ice ring around. I took a closer look of Braisoea JS-L c23-493 A 6. It had nearly thirty times the mass of Earth and a gravity of 2.8. The surface temperature was just 185 K. I thought that, if it is true that the Thargoids come from this kind of planets, they must be accustomed to incredibly low temperatures.
The Arach Nebula is a planetary nebula with a neutron star core that can be observed from system Lyaisae PJ-Y c14-472.
But the true core of the nebula is system Lyaisae SY-S e3-581 which contains a water world that, according to my sensors, it has never been mapped. I fixed that and approached the neutron star in the middle of the nebula to gain FSD impulse for the next jump.
Some hours later I was watching the nebula known as the Iri’s Misive from the nearby system Lasoae JZ-Y c1-315.
But the best view is from system Lasoae BF-A f810, and this is because a black hole was discovered there during the Perseus Survey expedition. It is just seven light years away from the nearby green and blue planetary nebula so, when you try to look to the nebula through the black hole, the light distortion creates an amazing gradient of colors blue, green and purple, hence its name. As the notorious explorer and chronicler commander Obsidian Ant would say, the experience can only be described as utterly beautiful.
After enjoying the rainbow caused by the black hole, I jumped to system Lasoa AP-A e6892, the very heart of the nebula with its single neutron star. And from there I aimed to system Lyaisua SJ-Z e7708, also known as the Blue Rhapsody Nebula. There I found a planetary nebula caused by a large supernova remnant with varying shades of purple and blue. The system also has fifty stellar bodies orbiting a single neutron star.
And one thousand and five hundred light years bellow, there was the system Brairee KD-S e4-2776, also known as the Forgotten Twins Nebula. Little is known about this place. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, during the original Distant Worlds Expedition, the Eleu Exploration Vessel Velsheda came across this beautiful double nebula while in transit from the Green Crystal to the Magnus Nebula. No more description or pictures in the entry.
I flew around into the system and between its many gas giants mesmerized by the views. Some of them are in very close orbits to the others, making it possible to observe at plain sight three ringed gas giants at the same time, with the neutron star shining in the distance.
Before continuing with the trip, I jumped to the nearby system of Brairee RN-U c18-786 to better watch the nebula from afar. I took some pictures and made mental note to send them to the Galactic Mapping Project initiative as soon I have a chance.
One thousand and seven hundred light years away the system known as Dance with Giants awaited. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, system Hypoe Bluae VP-O e6-8688 has two twin gas giants in a binary orbit with an orbital period of just 0.5 light years.
Additionally, those commanders who are prepared to wait and position themselves behind the more distant gas giant will be treated to a double sunrise when the main star shines through between them both. A must see for any traveler yearning for stellar sights while passing through this region of space.
I did not have the time to wait for the planets to align with the star in a way the light shines through them, but I could behold a beautiful double sunrise. Mesmerizing. These planets are so close that it is a miracle that they did not tore apart themselves.
The basecamp of this stage of the expedition, in the system known as Cerulean Tranquility, was very close. I thought I had enough time to visit a minor point of interest I had skipped along the way, system Phroea Bli BW-V e2-10185, the Hot Temptation. The system contains three stars and a black hole, being one of the stars very close to the event horizon of the black hole. Explorers travelling there are warned about sudden super cruise drop outs followed by dramatically increase in the temperature. Nothing that the super cool Hyperion cannot manage, I hope.
I arrived to the Hot Temptation after a three thousand and five hundred light years trip and dropped out of super cruise at the very limit of the event horizon of the black hole in an angle from where I could observe the star and the black hole at the same time. Amazing! The temperature raised but held at sixty percent.
Jumping back to super cruise so close to the star and with the gravity of the black hole pulling over was not so easy. The temperature suddenly raised to ninety five percent due to the stress imposed to the power plant and the frame shift drive. I kept a finger over the heat sink trigger. It was not necessary. I love this ship!
Back on track from the Hot Temptation to the basecamp of the expedition at Cerulean Tranquility, I made another curious discovery. I was fuel scooping at Aemorrs PU-N d7-1422, a system with nothing interesting, when I saw what looked like a nebula in front of me. I locked the system in the navigation computer and looked for information in the Galactic Mapping Project database.
From thirty seven light years away it looked like a double planetary nebula with a neutron star at its core. It was strange that the Galactic Mapping Project did not mention that there was a nebula there. The entry only said that the system was visited for first time by commander Scrublord-sama. Once there I could see in the Pilots Federation database that commanders Picker, Dragonsbreath, Polar Fox and Spica had been there too. The neutron star and some of the planets had their name tags. I guess they arrived there running the neutron highway and did not have the time to properly scan the system or to notify it was nebula. A pity because, according to my scanners, the system contains thirty five stellar bodies, many landable moons and it is a green system with everything necessary to synthesize jumponium.
And it is a beautiful place too. The blue and purple colors of the nebula combined with the jets of neutron star and the star mat of the Perseus Arm creates a mesmerizing sight.
I took some pictures before departing and fully scanned all the stellar bodies in order to transmit the data to the Galactic Mapping Project initiative as soon as I were able. If they finally name this nebula, maybe they will recognize that, in spite of being an already discovered system, it was commander Jav Marlo who reported about the nebula during the Distant Worlds 2 expedition. With so many commanders passing by the nebula without telling and being it in the Perseus Stem, it reminded me of the story of The Graeae, the three sorcerer sisters that were sought by Perseus during the beginning of his quest to defeat the Gorgon. The Graeae were three perpetually old women, who had to share a single eye. As the women passed the eye from one to another, Perseus snatched it from them, holding it for ransom in return for the location of the Hesperides that were keeping the weapons he needed to defeat the Gorgon. When the sisters finally agreed to led him to the Hesperides, he returned what he had taken. I think that The Graeae Nebula would be an appropriate name for Aemorrs HX-T e3-4517 system.
Some hours later I finally arrived to system Phroi Bluae QI-T e3-3454, the Cerulean Tranquility, a planetary nebula eight thousand and four hundred light years from Saggitarius A that promises spectacular environmental views with its light blue skies. I landed among other fellow commanders between the fumaroles of the Tranquility Valley basecamp, a perfect place for resting before the release of the next waypoint towards Beagle Point.
And here I am now. Registering this log entry and preparing a data transmission for the Galactic Mapping Project initiative with information about the Forgotten Twins Nebula and the nebula I found at the Aemorrs HX-T e3-4517 system before indulging in a hard earned rest.
Jav Marlo signing out.