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Nazwa dowódcy:
Aktualny statek:
Starlight Tracer [4p5-dw]
(Diamondback Explorer)
Członek od:
18 lut 2017
Zgłoszone odległości:
1 186
Odwiedzone układy:
6 344
Pierwsze odkrycia układów:
3 103
Stan konta:
1 349 755 628 Cr
And one more reason...

Emergency stopping by accident will take 1-2% hull off, plus damage all modules. Seriously, I need to put the cover back over the emergency stop button so I don't drop another water bottle on it. I swear I'll find a paperclip or something to reattach it.

I suppose I could always take a hammer and wreck the console until the auto field maintenance unit finally decides "this looks like it's actually broken" and repairs it back to spec. (See log entry "AFMUs and sledgehammers: right on!" from three years ago.) But seriously I'm about to come full circle. Brook's Point in Pallaeni is less than 1500 light years away. I can wait for a proper repair, and try not to drop dinner on the dashboard again.

Since I'm so close to home, time to start logging the last of my return journey pictures.

NGC 7822 Sector EG-Y e2 looking at NGC 7822 nebula

NGC 7822 Sector EG-Y e2 looking at NGC 7822 nebula

North America Sector FW-W d1-17 viewing North America and Pelican nebulae

North America Sector FW-W d1-17 viewing North America and Pelican nebulae

Veil West Sector DL-Y d68 looking at West Veil nebula

Veil West Sector DL-Y d68 looking at West Veil nebula

Top reasons for leaving paint and hull behind

No matter how experienced one is, it's good to every once in a while reflect on one's skills and routines. If things become so routine they're mindless, one may take for granted that exploring can be hazardous and make stupid mistakes that damage one's vessel -- or worse, destroy it. Besides, my philosophy is "keep learning". Exploring the galaxy is part of that, but "keep learning" applies on the micro scales of my life as well as the macro.

After I left another layer of paint behind, along with 11% of my hull, while looking for tussock I decided to reflect on why I have piloting accidents.

  • Carelessness on initial descent. Remedies: before entry, check gravity. After exiting glide, reduce throttle above two kilometers. Begin leveling off between 250-750m depending on speed.
  • Carelessness descending on high-G worlds. Remedies: try to exit glide at shallow angle conducive to safe flight afterwards. After exiting, reduce throttle, don't exceed 20 degree descent. Turn off flight assist in pulses for final vertical landing descent rather than use down jets.
  • Carelessness looking for life on the ground while in flight. Remedies: maintain 0 degree pitch attitude while terrain-following unless major altitude adjustments are required. Use vertical jets to make most altitude adjustments otherwise. When encountering steep inclines in front, reduce speed before pitching up lest forward momentum carry me straight into the mountainside. Oh yeah, and keep an eye on what's in front.
  • Reading the codex or maps while terrain-following. Remedies: reduce speed, stop or increase altitude while doing this. (This was that most recent accident looking for tussock.)
  • In the SRV, crashing full throttle into rocks and other immovable objects. Also rough landings after using jump jets to get some serious air time. And rolling (falling) down steep mountains and cliffs. Remedies: none. I'm OK with this, because hull repairs are free when I board the ship. A person's got to be able to drive like a maniac somewhere, right? Maybe just try not to go below 20% hull integrity while joyriding.
The best part of being an explorer

I'm continuing my tour of nebulae and any other colorful phenomena on my way back to the bubble. Last time, I mentioned I had some photos from before and after Medusa's rock. Well, here's a two of them.

Traikeou TT-W b32-0

Traikeou TT-W b32-0

Wredgaei KA-C c27-3 6 a

Wredgaei KA-C c27-3 6 a

But you know what the best part of being an explorer is? Not having any set destination, because the journey itself is the destination. Case in point: take a look at the next photo I took on the way to the Elephant Trunk nebula:

IC 1396 Sector VU-O d6-16

IC 1396 Sector VU-O d6-16 looking at Elephant Trunk nebula

First off, I will admit this nebula is a bit of a bust. It looked interesting in Galactic Cartography but now that I'm three jumps out, it looks kind of meh. But that's not the most interesting part of this photo. Not by far.

See that cluster of bright stars in a line? Thirty or so jumps ago, this looked like an odd smudge of light that I at first thought was a distant gas giant cluster. Except gas giant clusters don't appear in system after system. And finally, they resolved into dots of light. Dots that grew larger and larger and next to a gray smudge.

As I drew closer to the Elephant Trunk nebula I kept consulting Galactic Cartography to figure out what they were, and now I know: the NGC 7822 nebula, which is home to what looks like a cluster O-type stars and lots of black holes. That sounds exciting enough to be worth a diversion!

That's what makes exploring so great, and why I'll always be an explorer at heart. Out here, I answer to no one and can go where I please, so long as I have a hull around me and fuel in my tanks. And that's why I think I'm also going to zig-zag back to the Cave Sector, North American Sector, and Veil East and West to see the nebulae there too. I'm only around 3000 light years from home, but so what? I'll get home when I want, after I've gone where I want.

Strange new life, and strange old life

I've encountered some strange new life. I don't recall seeing this during the Distant Worlds 2 expedition.

Strange life on Byoi Eurk ZV-C d13-14 B 2 a

I've also encountered some old familiars in red, green and purple.

Chraufao VZ-X b43-0 stellar phenomenon Chraufao VZ-X b43-0 stellar phenomenon

The humans I saw when I passed through Medusa's Rock count as "old life" too, although I wouldn't call them strange. Except for the one-armed, one-eyed guy in the lounge who was sleeping, drooling on a beat-up Manticore Intimidator and smelling like barrel of stale Lavian Brandy. I bet he had a story to tell had he been sober, but I'm not fool enough to wake some sleeping drunk holding a shotgun, station security or not.

I wonder what the Thargoids think of other life? Do they have explorers like us? Do they appreciate new lifeforms like we do, or consider it "strange"? They definitely don't appreciate us, that's for sure, and the feeling is mutual. I suppose if nothing changes, we'll never get to ask them.

I have more nebula pictures for later, including a little from before Medusa's Rock. I had stopped there for repairs (I had managed to lose another 10% of hull strength since last accident), do a few courier missions for quick cash and sell some of my data for even quicker cash. I'm saving most of my sales for the bubble, though. That much data should ingratiate me to the local authorities quite nicely.

Of nebula, dust clouds and rookie mistakes

I liked Dr. Kay's Soul. Conveniently, it was near a few other nebula. I added some more pictures to my collection for this voyage.

I then proceeded on to the Temple region, aiming at a rather dark nebula I had noticed in the galaxy map. In hindsight, I don't think that was a nebula at all. I think it was a dust cloud. I never saw anything as I approached it, nothing but blackness. Even when I arrived in it, no lights. So I guess the moral is that if you want to find color, don't look in black clouds.

On the other hand, I had forgotten that not all planets are boring gray balls of ice and rock. Blaa Hypa JH-M d7-0 6 b a (ugh, what a mouthful!) had some golden canyons with some interesting features that I scanned.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the only thing I forgot about planets. One of the planets I tried to descend on to scan its geology was about 1.75g, and apparently I forgot all about extra care on high G worlds. Yeah, 1.75g isn't that "high". But still, in my rush to get down for scanning, I rode full throttle descending at a fairly steep angle all the way down. By the time I noticed my descent rate was rather hot and tried to pull up, it was too late. I blew right through my shields and almost two thirds of my hull integrity.


Unlike Distant Worlds 2, I'm on my own with no support ships that I can call on for a quick hull repair. Needless to say I've been a lot more careful on descents since that accident, double-checking gravity and reducing throttle well above the surface to a manageable level on descents. I'm pretty sure I can get back to civilization with what I have left, so long as I avoid more stupidity.

Dr. Kay's Soul

Dr. Kay's Soul nebula from Greae Hypa RC-J b23-9

Red Blaa Hypa nebula

Red Blaa Hypa nebula from Blaa Hypa TH-G b54-8

Blaa Hypa JH-M d7-0 6 b a

Flying through canyons of Blaa Hypa JH-M d7-0 6 b a

So how does one decide a route?

For me, the answer to that question is easy: whatever way seems likely to showcase the wonders of the galaxy!

It's too bad there's no signs floating out in space saying "wonders are over here". So you make do with educated guesses. I like color; lots of color. (Sometimes I wonder how I ended up in space which is pretty much defined by a near monotonous black.) Finding color aims me toward nebula, traveling vaguely in the general direction of where I want to go.

Since I'm a scan junkie, I usually come across geological and biological phenomena. I can't visit them all, but still one needs to "stop and smell the roses" along the way some of the time. Just not literally since taking off my helmet to do so would end my journey well before I'm ready. Besides, a lot of these worlds have sulfur compounds and I definitely don't want to smell those. I had quite enough of that early on in DW2 in the Starlight Tracer. Somewhere when I restocked at a station, they mixed up my requisition and loaded a batch of rations that I would never have ordered for such a long trip. Or even a short trip. I am unfortunately well acquainted with what that brand of rations does to my stomach. And afterwards.

But I digress. Geology and biology interests me. It breaks up the sameness of thousands of lightyears and it's good to get out of ship and move around. Some of of those finds are quite beautiful too. It doesn't hurt that scanning them also will net me some credits, and sometimes the search for them brings out amazing vistas. Right now I'm on my way to Dr. Kay's Soul and I stopped at Blue Eaewsy AY-E b27-17 2. I didn't find the fumaroles I was looking for, but the view was spectacular. Dr. Kay's Soul is just over the horizon, beckoning me onward!

Blue Eaewsy AY-E b27-17 2 looking toward Dr. Kay's Soul on the horizon

Beginning the odyssey back home

Wow. I can't believe it's been so long since I've made a logbook entry. Just looking around the cockpit, I feel rusty. I'm practically learning how to be a pilot all over again.

After Distant Worlds 2 I was burnt out. After months spent in that Diamondback Explorer cockpit, that was the last place I wanted to be. I hung out at Jacques Station for some years. But it's time to get back home.

I have to admit, I did get into a little bit of trouble. Who knew that security at planetary installations would shoot at me and land me in jail? It's not my fault I didn't hear the guy with the gun ask me to stop for a search while I was lost looking for a container. He was talking too softly. And my comm set was all static! But did the judge believe me? Of course not! I had to pay a 500 credit fine on top of lockup. At least the Apex shuttle ride back to Colonia Dream was free.

So if I'm being perfectly honest, yeah, that might have something to do with why I want to go back home. But I always intended to see Jameson Memorial now that I'm an elite explorer. I have more credits than I know what to do with. An Anaconda could be nice. Or an Imperial Clipper. And while Colonia is nice, it feels small. Constraining. I want to get back to where things are really happening. And see my brother.

It's time to bring Starlight Tracer out of mothballs and finish my odyssey. Maybe one day I'll be back here again. There's some engineers with whom I'd like to get into good graces. Perhaps I'll return in a fancy new ride.

Still on hiatus

Well, I'm not dead. Yet. I just haven't had much motivation for leaving Jacques Station.

Still on extended "R & R" from returning from DW2.

The last nebulae

It's hard to believe it, but my nebula tour is over. And amazingly I am only 7 jumps away from Colonia! Time to flush out the rest of my photo album...

Demon Eater Nebula

Viewed from Phrae Flyou DB-M d8-1433

Clover Nebula

Viewed from Dryooe Prou AC-W b5-2

Peng Nebula

Viewed from Dryooe Prou DV-Y d2408

Painting the sky

I took a detour on my nebula trip because I saw from the codex there were Lagrange clouds nearby. And you know, I had forgotten how beautiful they are. I like them more than nebula.

Along with some of the nebula I passed, these vibrant gas clouds paint the sky with vivid colors. It feels like a homecoming festival of sorts. Sure, technically Colonia isn't "home" but at this point anywhere with humanity I think qualifies :-)

Roseum Lagrange cloud at Wepaa MH-V e2-5352

Crystals in roseum Lagrange cloud at Wepaa MH-V e2-5352

K03-Type anomaly at Wepaa BF-A f494

Crystals in croceum Lagrange cloud at Wepaa MH-V e2-5352

K05-Type Anomaly at Wepaa BA-A g751

Caeruleum Lagrange cloud at Wepaa BF-A f494

K01-Type anomaly at Wepaa BF-A f494