Time: 23:20:00 GST
Jumps Completed / Remaining: 84 / 138
Distance Covered / Remaining: 5448.45 / 16594.23 LY
I know I said I'd make another log at the halfway mark, but I suppose that was an example of how little I knew about deep space expeditions. I've definitely learned a lot, though.
Heard through GalNet that Tothos cult is still in full control of a whole station. Not only that, but they've started making human sacrifices, apparently as a prelude to the detonation of their nuclear device. You'd think the Feds would have tried to send in a special forces unit by now. I suppose it's not exactly easy to fix this situation, though. What an awful mess.
My current system is Thailoi TO-O d7-48, about a quarter of the way to my destination. I've gotten better at resisting the urge to scan every system I move through, but I still get sidetracked from time to time. I've certainly added to my codex, and the new FSS equipment is amazing compared to the old days of super-cruising all over a system just for basic scans. I can do basic scans of objects over 200,000 Ls away, now! I used to dread exploring multi-star systems, and now I only have to do massive in-system trips if I actually want to land on something or do a detailed mapping. It's glorious! With all the exploration data I have now, I should make a small fortune when I finally cash it in. It's hard knowing that I'm still quite a ways off from safely depositing it all.
One of the things I learned very quickly is that the FSD needs a good amount of care. I tried to make a jump at 80% integrity, and the FSD malfunctioned. First time I've encountered that. I panicked and did an emergency shutdown of the FSD, which was stupid because it made the whole ship take a hit when it lurched back into normal space. The AFMS works quite well, thankfully, but I have noticed it has some considerable limitations: I can't use it to repair the power plant, and I can't use it to repair the AFMS itself. Something to plan ahead for, next time.
Aside from a close call with a neutron star's exclusion zone, I've handled myself pretty well. I've gotten savvy with the component synthesizer, and resupplied my SRV quite a few times already. Pretty soon, I'm going to need to resupply my heat sink launchers. My AFMS is probably good for a while longer, but I'm keeping an eye on it. I've gathered tons of raw materials from surface excursions, so I'm not worried about supplies at the moment.
All in all, not too bad of a learning curve.
Time: 20:25 GST
Jumps Completed / Remaining: 14 / 208
Distance Covered / Remaining: 489.43 LY / 21622.94 LY
I have reached my first boost point, system PSR J1752-2806. From here, all my jumps should take me within one or two jumps of another neutron star, if not directly to another neutron star, until I hit the final leg of my trip to the Tir system.
I had forgotten how eerie the glow of a neutron star was. Sitting in a system all by itself, spinning madly as it violently spews subatomic particles from its poles. My stop to write in this journal is, admittedly, partially to work up the courage to fling myself into the twirling jet-stream of neutrons and high-energy waves. I'll be checking my FSD's integrity at two-jump intervals, though I don't yet know how effective my AFMS is, so I'll probably start a repair cycle at about 50% and see how well it works.
I did a bit more exploring and scanning than I should have, but it should pay off when I cash my data in. Yesterday, I mapped a planet that had not been mapped previously, the first time I had done such a thing. I gladly take pride in being the first to fully map the second orbiting body of system COL 285 Sector VY-X A44-2. I have mapped a few more virgin planets since then, but I have yet to find any entirely unexplored systems to plant my flag on. I'm sure I'll find some, and continue adding to my Codex.
I heard yesterday that the situation with the Children of Tothos cult had gotten rather dire, with them using the Lucifer Device to take a whole starport hostage. I hope they take those nutcases in before anyone else gets hurt. Makes me glad to be on the road.
It's time to take the plunge, I suppose. My next entry will probably be at the Skaude NP-M d8-131 system, which will be the approximate halfway mark, unless something comes up. Signing off.
Time: 17:35 GST
Jumps Completed / Remaining: 0 / 222
Distance Covered / Remaining: 0 LY / 22,042.68 LY
Today, I begin a massive undertaking. In order to access the workshop of the engineer Marsha Hicks, I must travel to the Tir system from my de-facto base of Lembava, a distance of about 22,000 light years. I made the mistake of going mining for her entry fee, ten tons of osmium, before checking her location After spending the time hunting for osmium deposits in planetary rings and asteroid fields, it would be a waste to sell it now just to start over at a later time. Regardless, I'm about as ready as I ever will be. It's really just my nerves that wanted to hold me back from taking the plunge. Aside from some short jaunts to places like Maia and Colonia, this is my first real journey outside the Bubble.
I have always loved exploring. The silence of deep space is what allows me to feel most at ease, away from interstellar powers and the hundreds of civil wars that occur every day in the Bubble. I don't know how many times I've had some slimy little pirate try to interdict me within a minute of jumping into a system, or some system security patrol yank me out of supercruise for no real reason before telling me to "be on my way". I will be glad to not worry about them, but on this trip I know I will be very far from the safety of a starport, further than I have ever been by several orders of magnitude. However, it is probably past due for me to do some proper expeditions. If I want to go to anywhere worth going, like Sagittarius A*, or Beagle Point, or the many Nebulae, or the unexplored sectors, I have to cut my teeth here and now.
I've outfitted my trusty Asp Explorer, Shackleton's Reprise, with the necessary modifications. Reduced component weight everywhere possible, got a good AFMS and a bunch of heat sink launchers, and stripped out anything unnecessary. I can't help but be nervous about leaving my good shields and multicannons behind, though. All the commanders who have done long hauls assure me that I won't need them, but that doesn't make me any less worried about it.
I used the nav computer to plot a route with as many neutron stars as possible, which cut the number of jumps in half. I always break into a cold sweat when I'm riding those damned jet cones, but if I want to make decent time then I'll need to get used to it. Definitely going to make sure I have plenty of materials to make AFMS cartridges before I leave the Bubble.
I'm not sure how much exploring I want to do. It'll be sweet to come back with a few million credits in data, but my inexperience with deep space exploration means it'll be safer and faster to just bounce my way to Tir with as few stops as possible. Maybe I'll stop to fill out the codex here and there. It's hard for me to leave a system without doing a complete scan, but I'll have to repress that urge if I don't want to spend an extra week in the middle of nowhere.
My first Neutron jump will be at PSR J1752-2806, about 480 LY from my starting point. I will make my next log entry there. Until then, signing off.