I've finally made it to my first waypoint on the way to Colonia: the Thueche Brahe nebula. It's one of the few major outlier nebula near Beagle Point and on the way (sort of) to Colonia, possibly the nearest.
It took way longer to get to than I wanted, but I finally got here.
I'm going to spend some time mapping the systems here, then move on. I have another nebula in mind for my next target.
Nope, I'm not dead yet. The Thueche nebula is just a lot longer of a grind from Beagle Point than I anticipated.
In the meantime, I have a photo from along the way.
An ELW with an incredible view of the galaxy edge-on.
(OK, it's obvious maybe I'm suffering from space madness. I just posted this in my last log entry!)
This one reminded me of the Hot Potato.
One thing I found during my outbound DW2 trip was that I like nebulae and photographing them. So I think I'm going to pick a westerly route that takes me toward some nebulae.
The problem is things are sparse enough out her that the course plotter keeps failing. Either that or there are some locked systems in my way.
Regardless, I think I'll do better moving into a denser region of an arm.
Found an ELW with a nice view of the galactic edge out here. I'm the first discoverer too, according to EDSM, which is surprising because it's on a route that had very few undiscovered systems. Heh. You never know what you'll find, I guess.
So I finally located the cause of the pesky glitch causing shields to activate every time I jumped: a fried circuit board in a maintenance bay, caused by my last accidental drop into a star's corona.
After looking it over carefully and reading the AFMU manual, I know why it wasn't fixed. Curse those repair workers in Sacaqawea Space Port!
"But wasn't that repair a couple of months ago?" Why yes. And apparently, I've had no damage to that area until that last accident.
Here's the problem: some extensive repairs or tune-ups to adjacent systems used a couple of "alternative manufacturer" repair parts in the bay (looks like its related to power distribution). Probably locally made parts and cheaper. That's fine, except the AFMU has to know how to repair everything it fixes. And so it needs to be uploaded with all data regarding the ship systems, and updated whenever substitutions like that are made. The workers forgot (maybe "forgot") to do that, probably due to a glut of activity regarding Distant World repair jobs.
So why didn't the AFMU undo this and repair it later? Because the AFMU manufacturers know independent pilots like me like to tweak systems, sometimes at great expense, and so if the AFMU sees something foreign that clearly is not damaged, it cautiously ignores it lest it brings the wrath of a screaming pilot down on the manafacturer after it undoes carefully (maybe illegally) tricked out systems. (Smart pilots will pay someone to produce and upload the necessary AFMU system spec docs for the new parts.)
So the upshot was that the AFMU didn't recognize enough of the components in the bay, decided "this is beyond my repair scope", and ignored it, leaving the burnt-out circuitry alone.
In the end, fixing this was simple: I disconnected power to those systems, grabbed a sledgehammer from the maintenance locker and proceed to bash the components in that bay up until they were in more pieces than there were rocks in the Grand Rings.
Then I told the AFMU "go fix the ship". No more unrecognized "foreign enhancements": it rebuilt all the systems right up to the original specs it had in its memory.
It's time to say goodbye to Beagle Point. The expedition leaders have released an itinerary for the voyage home.
But I don't want to follow it.
I've said repeatedly I'm going to visit Colonia. And the voyage home steers east in the galaxy, not west.
So I'm off on my own, in a spirit of true exploration. Homeward bound, but to see things few if any others from Distant Worlds 2 will ever see.
And who knows? Maybe I'll find some things of interest along the way.
After visiting Vonrictofen's Rescue and Macedonica's Leap, I decided to take my DBX as far north of Beagle Point locally as I could.
With lots of jumponium leaps, I got as far as Oevaxy IG-Y d0. I then turned back to view the galaxy. I had come a long way from Sol. But this was it. End of line. Time to finish what I had come to start.
I flew on and finally reached the Distant Worlds destination: Beagle Point. After months of flying I made it!
But now -- this is when the real adventure begins. This journey is only half over. I'll be returning to civilization next (hopefully I'll find someone willing to spare a limpet to patch up 1% hull damage). But that's a long way off. And this time, we're more or less on our own. Mistakes will be more costly without all the support ships keeping pace.
Still, I'm looking forward to it: both the journey and the ending. To make it back on my own, to see Colonia, to get to cash in and spend all this exploration data I've accumulated.
It'll be fantastic.
See you in the black. o7
Today I visited the systems in which the greatest rescue ever took place: that of Felix Macedonica by Chiggy Vonrictofen.
Ever since I joined the Distant Worlds 2 expedition, I knew I would visit these places. I think I even mentioned as much in previous log. These two pioneers taught explorers like me valuable lessons. I visited here to honor their success and what it means for explorers like me.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of watching over my jumponium supplies like a hawk. Because of your experience, I gained the foresight to ensure I never jumped into a system without a plan to get out, and always ensured I never exceeded half my jumponium supplies going out so that I would be guaranteed enough to return. Thanks to you, I had the confidence and knowledge how to wisely explore beyond the normal range of Starlight Tracer.
Your rescue inspired explorers everywhere that even if we get ourselves into a pinch, hope is not lost. More than just the Fuel Rats are rooting for our success, and more than root, would willingly contribute to our success. Even if to save us from our own mistakes. Thanks to you, all explorers in Distant Worlds 2 know that we do have compatriots out there who will aid us in time of need, even at great sacrifice to themselves.
I'm making more progress toward Beagle Point. I passed through three POI's.
I now have 1.2 kLy to go, but I'm pausing for a bit. I decided not to do an EVA to look over the reactor for the shield malfunction: it doesn't make sense.
One AFMU could be wrong or broken, but not both. So whatever is wrong must somehow be outside their purview. The question is, "what/why/how?"
Next step: see if I can located the damaged component in the cabin environs and do some reading of the ship schema and maintenance docs, particularly those regarding the AFMU.
This was a black hole system in a blue/violet planetary nebula, looking back on the galaxy. Nice view!
A misshapen lump of rock and metal.
I'm still trying to figure out what that stands for because it seems to be an acronym. Maybe I'm just being dense...
Remember that collision I had with a star a couple of days ago? I thought I patched all the systems up with my AFMU.
I was wrong. And today I know what that odor in the cabin may have been shortly after that crash. Granted, on a long journey like this you get used to a lot of strange and occasionally unpleasant odors in the ship (note to self: after I get back to civilization get a premium detailing job inside and out for this tub and a box of air-fresheners). But this had a distinct scent of burning plastic and metal that lingered longer than usual from such accidents.
Without warning, my shields activated on their own. I turned them off. They came back on. No matter what I do, they keep coming back on.
Flying with them on will eat into my fuel economy to a degree, which isn't great but not the end of the world. But what I discovered is that the malfunction is tied to my FSD system energizing and de-energizing. And that worried me at first -- I need the FSD to get back home and can't afford a malfunction!
But then I thought, "After that emergency drop and escape, I patched the FSD with the AFMU. I patched the shields too." So I did a manual diagnostic of them and the AFMU. Everything looked in order.
However, there is always one system that can't be repaired by the AFMU: the main reactor. And there are some systems that run within the reactor space. It's at 94% but maybe something got loose or fried. Main power to shields comes off there by way of the distributor, but there are other power conduits for powering the systems that run the shields, control circuits, and stuff like that in there. And these subsystems aren't the easiest thing to access from inside the ship.
I'm not looking forward to suiting up and going on an EVA. I suppose I could land, but it'd be easier to access some parts in zero-G, and that means spacewalking. I at least need to know that something isn't going to blow out even worse.
Of course, even if I discover the problem whether I can repair it is an entirely different question.
Today I passed through Slaiyooe OX-L d7-0, the final resting place of Commander Thomaski, to pay my respects. His memorial is at an ELW in the system -- a rarity in these parts.
Exploration is a dangerous business. It's ones like him who paved the way for ones like me. Each death is a warning, a lesson to those who follow, so that they may not make the same mistakes.
Undoubtedly mine will too one day.
But enough of the morbidity for now. That way lies space madness and that's hazard enough in these lonely parts. It was nice to see traffic around the beacon, not just because he's not forgotten but because it's traffic: a reminder that there are other humans out here. (Possibly Thargoids too but no point dwelling on that in an unarmed exploration vessel.)
After a dearth of no ELWs, I ran across a second not too far from here but someone else discovered it first.
6.5 kLy to go to Beagle Point, zig-zagging my way toward The Abyss.