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wanderlust [ar-43e]
(Krait Phantom)
 
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Black 'oles

Ovomly

That there 'ole is a.. well, maybe a Poin' of interest is the term, but there it is. Big, black and an 'ole.

Dangerous, aluring, pretty of sorts depending on the background as it don' do much itself but suck in light and material. A silent siren in the black, asking to be poked.

At least, that'd be the usual of it.

It'd been a few since I last caught a wake of that ship. Bored, or no longer worried about me, they'd continued on in the same direction, least I can tell, as I was. Or is. Or was. To this, the Ovomly black 'ole. Now, I ain't sayin' there aren't more of em, but this is the one I knew about and this whole sector used to play havok with ship's systems and so was given a wide bearth. Not so now; modern navigation bein' what it is, we can filter out the noise and keep on jumpin' through.

My mission, least to me, was the Z. I done that, so I was gonna go home, but the fella appeared and I had some systems issues that kept me from returning. Truth be told, I didn't wanna fly back through that sector. Probably shoulda since I reckon someone else was pullin' the ol' strings and gave me the willies out here.

Now that disc is offline, or at least, no longer of interest, I'm.... free, I guess. I still miss the fella though; real or not, I'd gotten used to 'im. Company of one's own ain't all that great long term, and I' been out here a few months now.

Still, the girl is just truckin' along, nice like.

Anyways, off topic I gone. Again.

I jumped in; and, well straight away I saw much of nothin. Then the galactic plane started to warp and distort; there she was, the black 'ole. Now, in normal space, I'd be turnin' tale and hitting the thrusters, but in 'cruise you're somewhat detached and the girl can easily outrun, or ride, the gravity well those things create. Still, I wasn't gonna drop and take pics all day.

I had arrived. Now what?

And there it was. Sat in the distortion field, behind the hole. That bloody ship. Was it tracking me? I dunno; I gotta say it felt more like a coincidence than anything. I guess we sat there lookin' at each other for a few, before he or she peeled off and jumped out toward the core.

I didn't.

In fact; I'm close by in a safer system; least to rest up. I've set up my ship here with full RF; a beacon of sorts. If they wanna come knocking, I'm here. I don't think they will though. Whatever experiments they running, they're done. Least on me for now. I think though, for a brief second, I saw the fella. Either the proximity of the ship, or the 'ole had him flicker in. I reckon, well, as much as my mind is my own, he's real. One and one don't need to make two, but it 'elps.

This region is big. Hundreds of light years in all directions; lightly surveyed. I am, I think, gonna look around before heading to Colonia or home since are both... kinda that way. I ain't seen Anchorage either; she was still an idea when I passed through the core last.

An to be honest; if my ship has some data onboard that I shouldn't have, going home ain't gonna help matters. The longer the black has me, the better I think. I certainly can't get to, or affect, that other ship, whoever it is.

Sunlight

What do you think, fella? Stay or go? Heh, yeah, you're right. Wha?, the lights just went out. That' better. Maybe spoke too soon on the girl's systems! Best go run a diagnostic. You comin? No? Heh, thought not.

Picking holes

Hold up

So, this was causin' all that. Fella. Every bit of it. "Silver linings" they call it, I remember. A good thing from a crock.

You' see, this hear was stuck to my hull. It's a diddy thing. A few inches across, maybe two or three mil thick. A product of "nano" tech. Wonderful really, when you think. Pretty too. Shiny, even.

Ahm sat on a small moon around 6 light from the Dwarf' in this here system. It's such a firey thing, angry, boilin' away. I had to set down after my last jump. Managed to jury rig the girl to get me one more jump, but weren't worth burnin' systems out so I landed to take stock. The ship, either huntin' or bein hunted is still out there. I doubt she's gone far but she ain't in-system. Least not yet. Maybe this here slice of tech is keepin' me in their sites. Or was.

Kinda sad the fella's gone though. If he were in me head then I got a better imagination than I knew. Perhaps he lives in this tech. Perhaps he's an AI in that ship out there bein' transmitted. Perhaps he's real and the tech let me see 'im. Heh, probably none of it, but he's gone anyways. The girl weathered that last storm real good, but the emergency drop and buffet shook some things loose, got me a hull breach or two and took my jump drive offline for a spell. I spent a few hours outdoors soakin' up some rays whilst I did manual inspection and panel realignment. Can't have my girl not fit for the ball, now can we? Paint's a bit tatty though; the dust out here is like sandpaper. You'd think the likes of Lakon would know better by now!

Right, gotta get a move on. Last few jumps were on the straight and narrow and off the neutrons; can't have any risky shizz out here now and I'm true for a 3k run to the Ovomly black hole. That was always my aim, and I'm so near, I can feel it. Tuggin'. Like.... like a siren calling me home.

Come on' girl, let's see if this tech gets me a call from the bullies.

Ping Ping Ping

. Take off

On no you don'

Sunrise

Time//code - 140405:193625 --Streaming--

Girl! Plot me a route out of system, via that rock there.

*PLEASE STATE PLANETARY BODY

Bloody useless thing; that one.. TH... 8A. Furthest one out. He's goin' that way, and I wanna be on his wake as he jumps.

*EXPOSITION NOT REQUIRED. ROUTE... 55%,75%,95% PLOTTED

Quite the talker, aren't yeh? Fella; we comin in fast on this bogie. He knows we're here, and we knows where he's goin. Whatcha think? I can't interdict 'im; got no 'dictor, but I can distrupt his jump field if I risk blowin' us both to hell. Fancy it? Here it's quite warm this time o' year...

Heh, you're spot on there. Dog's o' war alright! Takin' her in.

--End--


Time//code - 150405:022415 --Nominal--

Certainly pretty out here. Got the whole milky way out in fron' of me. Just sat there, all majestic like.

So. . I lost em. I had a great plan; I had no plan. Was caught up in trying to stop 'em. Find out why they been hasslin' me that I didn't come prepared. I came out here explorin', and I found somethin'. Trouble bein, I don't know what it was. That ship. Well, that ship thinks I do. Either it's the fella, or he's their plant. Or I lost my marbles a few weeks back and never made it past the Zurara. That'd be a story! Heh. Not one anyone would hear about tho'

Rings

I thought I'd disrupted their jump; right in their path I was. Like some ancient action movie; all noise and fire and light. What a ride!

Trouble bein' I was caught in their wake. I mis-timed it. Probably by a few milliseconds and instead of burstin' their bubble, I burst mine. Dropped in to normal, emergency style and my FSD crapped out on me. Got the AMFU workin' her magic but I gotta either land and do some spannerin' or do it out here. Lost nav and and the coffee maker's on the fritz. I mean, sure take away my means of getting home, but not ma' coffee!

Stupid. Stupid.

Still, mighty pretty out here.

Milky

Windin' ma wwayyy

The girl

!Clear text!

Hmm.

'ello? You out there?

Com' on. I know you watchin. I seen you already!

Okay. Fine, be like tha'.

!Closed!


Water

So, I'm windin' through the Neutrons out here in the Elysian. I crossed a part of the Marches as I'm still headin' north (as per the charts tell me) toward the core and the Ovomly sector. Initially I thought, why not? But now it's somethin' else. Whatever I left behind in the Rift, ain't been left behind. I seen 'em. A ship. Big one too. Jumped a bit late and left me a wake, silly sods.

Ohkay, sure, you're thinkin' "Wait, if they left a wake, aren't you chasin' them?"

I sure am.

And they ain't headin' South either.

Fella and I have the basics of communication down now. It's more of a "How's you, son?" and a "No, I don't like that" kinda jam, but he seems friendly.

And yes, I realise he might be a figment. But as real as he is to me, I ain't ignoring the chappy. He's all I got out here. Explainin' him will be the issue if I get home and everyone says "Who you talkin' at?". Might be interestin', that.

Also, the ship. That's real. I got data on it and even my own tiny brain ain't makin' that up. I got no class; just big. He... or she, ain't talkin' though - just runnin' north, and I was goin' that way anyways, so why not go where they're going, eh?

Bein' sneeky buggers too. No scans, nothin'.

As for me, well, spirits are up, come to think. I found me some real pretty worlds; landed on a couple for materials, and everythin' tickin along nice, like. The girl is treaten me right I'd say. Good times.

Water

Eh, fella, you fancy that ringed Water? No? Okay, I'll take her. Would love a dip in that crystal blue, eh? No? Strange boy.

Heh, so I'm a jump away from a Neutron. Gonna jump ahead around 200LY and see if I can detect this big bugger I'm chasin. I ain't got weapons to fight, like, but my girl is fast, so if they're on the angry, like, I can run rings!

Fella, you wanna take us out? Can't touch the controls? Heh....

Right, I'll just.. oh... wouldyalookatthat!

Neutron

Gotcha.

!ELB! I see you !ELB!

Travel

\Encryption re-pass//

\Reroute//

\Scramble 1;55;1;a//

....

Bastards.

Seems I'm not alone out 'ere after all. Little fella could well just be a figment, but if he is, then he's a bloody good one.

Dunno whether I'm bein' targeted, or something more sinister. Heh, sinister. Wait.. both of those are sinister. Oh.. anyways, someone's on ma tail and makin' me nervous, like.

Yeah, I know, tin foil hats.

You gets to a point where you don' know whether you're just lost it already or it's layers of foil. But, either way, I came across somethin' strange; more strange than my last week or two have been, I mean.

So, I was requestin' more information on the Z's journey, thems Children of Ra.. well, you know, thems. Obviously I got some attention, which is fine, I'm nearly 20k out here and even with the best jump drives, you ain't catchin' up with me.

Materials

Well, so I thought.

I guess. Well, I probably shoulda thought this through a bit more. Ain't everyone gone home. Listening posts! Idiot. Honestly. I visited a fair few. Abandoned. Maybe. Seems to be anyway. Wouldn't take much to leave an AI or some such in a Sidey there to relay and track, would it?

Then again; ask all you want about Ra... well, you know, and why would they track me? I ain't got nothing to show 'em. They can't be that paranoid that they'd go round picking on noones just cos they ask a few questions about routes, crew, loadouts, dates, planets... oh okay, maybe they could.

In any case, I'm long outside the Formadine and I'm sat not on a moon, shadowed, not by another moon, not at the primary star, not. Hah. Either ways, I got double encryption and some long distance pinging goin' on - yeah, I'm broadcasting this since it'll be harder to read if my ship gets toasted.

Solace

Questions I might be askin' about now:

  1. Is the fella real? He's quite the talker, if you can understand him. If not, then my imagination is fantastic.
  2. If he's not real, is he a plant? An AI on my girl? She says not. Guess she would though.
  3. Somethin' in me? My head, like? Maybe at the last stop - the station.. not the... well, guess it could be the look outs. Dunno how though.
  4. Bein' broadcast in my ship from local, like? A cloaked ship? Anyone got those? Damned if I've ever read about 'em bein' real.

I'm resting up for a couple. Then I'm making some blind jumps; if that don't shake em, nothing will. Fella says "Hi". I think.

P.S. You mighta guessed the last log weren't me.

\Encryption pass-re-pass//

\Deroute//

\ReScramble 2,66,2;a//

-- *//Cracked it!//*

--* Log system

. Log scan --scanning --data intercepted --log retrieved -- please wait for analysis

WARNING Contains sensitive data. Code. A1. **. A1. Delete?

. Y --data deleted --overwrite?

. Y --overwrite with?

. Contain; "Turns out I was just seeing things all along. The little fella has all but disappeared and I was probably just suffering from sleep deprevation in deep space..."

. Complete --overwrite complete --publish?

. Y --log published

S--*prise *isit((/

* Partial log; corruptio..0---1

;11;0---* teresting to me but gotta be honest, I think I'm either losing it or or I'm losing it. This cannot be real. Can't be. Just can't.

You might or mightent think I gone a bit space crazies. I mean, lets me honest, I be talkin' about shiny planets with the odd note or two about an alien stoaway.

But there's a good reas...**-1;!!

-- interupt --

  • please wait *

--- new message ---

///111///1///1////1///111//////

Translation matrix enabled

Shh. TShhHHHH,.. ... .. ;1;1; - active. Subje..**1111;; over. Intial tests confirm.***!!////1/1/1////1111

ReTREAT1111

--- confirm message ---

!REINSTATE!

System reset. Log rebuild *Continue? Y/N &Y

Lost

    • **!/// an' so that happened. Anyway, I ain't sayin' he's real. I got no way to prove it, not really, but we're conversin' now. It's basic stuff. He's movin' way faster than before, but still slow. Seems well, doesn' look like he (if he's a he) wants to hurt me now but wants to communicate more, so we're startin' slow and workin' our way. A bit of hand language.. sign I think, and some basic words (lip reddin' like; I can't "hear" him, but I think he's in my head like). It's weird. I feel... calm.

He now... appears. Disa[[ea[s///... when he wants. We set??//1/// times and ta...1.1...a/////

LOG CORRU{R.T... SYSEMEM REMOOTTT

Two lefts, then a right at the shore

Sunny side up

After a spell of honking random system and finding diddly squat, I decided I'd get the 'puter to give me some info on the known local space.

"Invalid data selection" she said

Thank darlin'.

I tried a remote call to the bubble via the relays too, but whilst that tends to get me somethin' useful near the core, out here it's a lotta nothin' maybe due to the distances the data has to get. I mean, it is, I don't maybe it. Damn, ma words are slipping; been out here too long.

So, I can keep spiralin' around these systems hoping to come across more Earths or a 'Goid base, Guardian homeworld, or some such thing, or I can haul my ass some place else. Truth be told, I ain't trusting my own mind, nor the fella's at this point - much use he is anyway, standing there starin' at me - and he's like 2 feet closer to the controls now anyhow. LIl' so and so.

Trails

I did download some "known system" data before I left Shinrarta a couple months back. Out here, that data ain't likely to be... what's the word... old? Obsolete! Data is data when it comes to worlds and such. They might be a few light seconds farther out, but they're still ere.. Turns out there is somethin' interesting a few clicks north of here. Ovomly. Back in the day, this sector would play havoc with jump drives and getting a bead on any one star was a chore - less you just ride it out in 'cruise, and that's never a good idea if you like your sanity in check. I had planned on turning tail and see the bubble again, but this is sorta on my way home, sorta, so I'm headin' that way for a spell.

The fella is like a hat stand now. He's here all the time, and that's all I can say on it. When he gets the console - maybe a month from now, we'll see if he phases through it like he does me. Figures; well, he's here and I'm movin' so he must be here, right? I'm almost excited. Certain though, if he IS real then I ain't docking in Jameson without an armed guard. Don't fancy that, thanks.

Long way

Ships been tip top since I left the Z's local systems, so I advise you stay distant if you like bein' alive. No stress though. I got through it... didn't I?

Heh, I wonder.. what.. what was that? You say somethin' lil fella?

Funny thing. Just moved in to Elysian space. That's a border us humans made up. How'd he know about that?

Another Earth

How'd I know what he's sayin?!

He gotta friend in me

Darkness

The Z plays on my mind. A mystery in a mystery. Solveable. perhaps... but likely easier jus' to leave it be than risk upsetting some higher upper that fancies keepin' a secret.

Had plenty of time out here to see the sights. Heh. Sights. Should be that, my tiny fleshy brain be unable to process the wonders of the void, yet, somehow it can seem normal. Monotonous even. Stars. Shiny bright stars. Worlds to plunder. Mysteries.

Always mysteries.

I ended up, well, not ended but I'm currently at the eastern most point, northernly speaking as it were, of the Rift as she meets the Elysian Shore and the Errant Marches. Lovely names; wonder why they called 'em that.

Water

I wanted to get away from the Z and that crazy region of space. Creepy as all hell and with the fella appearan' less an' less I figured that area is just cursed. Clearly something up with it; I could throw theories around of parallel universes, phasing, and other such things I ain't scientist enough to know about. Bein' honest, the more I know, the less I wanna know if you see ma point.

So, here I am. I got here quick - a few thou in light year speak and now I'm explorin' a touch. Putting my name on a few shiny. Found me my own Earth like just last night. In fact, I'm sitting on her moon right now watching her from a far. She's a beaut. Got some easy-to-log-in-a-database name which is about as emotional as a turd, but it keeps the loggin' nice and simple. I'ma gonna call her.... Lucia. No real reason, just like the name. I doubt I'll come across her again, unless the Fed let us claim them for real. Still, even so, means going back through that mess of space behind me and I ain't keen on it.

Lucia

You might a noticed I ain't been all that chatty about the fella onboard. Heh, onboard. Well, see, thing is, he left. For a time anyway.

Didn't you?

Moon bound

Come back thou; kinda permanent it seems. Maybe he'll be crew one day. Maybe I'll wake up.

I don't think he's real. Mind plays tricks and I thought mine was stronger. Reckon' I been seeing things this whole time.. and you're... movin' more and more aren't yeh? I wonder if I get to the roof of the galaxy you'll say hey or some such. He's a little further over toward my starboard controls, lookin' more that way too. Funny chap he is. Don't wear no clothes. Maybe they just ain't cold.

Picked me up some mats on the last few worlds I scanned. Gotta decent pay packet for when I get home. I'm headin' straight up, then core-ward to a set of systems that ain't seen much traffic before homebound. I'm gonna spend the time as best I can, see how much more animate my friend here gets... ain't yeh? We'll be good friends you and I.

Good friends.

Home

As and Zs

The Z

Somethin' niggled me on the Zurara. I guess with the lil' fella along for the ride before I got there, I was.. frazzled on my way in. Wasn' exactly looking forward to seeing the ship up close, despite my reasons for bein' out this way.

Plus, as you know. The alien stoaway wasn't exactly helping my mood any.

Plus side, I'm sleeping in my own bed now. Lil' fella is still appearing in ma jumps, but less so. I figure there is something in this, or at least, closer to the Z's space causing it. Whether he's here, or there, even aware of me. I dunno. I can't get through to him. At least, I can't bring myself to stand [i]in[/i] his space when I jump. Actually, I strap in, cos you know, I like bein' alive at the present. A few jumps back I'd forgotten about him. How about that? You forget there's an alien fella over your shoulder. All... shiny lookin; dark eyes, staring right at ya. What does that say about me? Tired? Or just just got the space crazies? Or numb. Maybe numb.

Sunrise

Probably why the Z's crew, being frosty, didn't really factor in. I might need therapy on my return. A few Zzzz maybe. Maybe maybe. Heh.

So where was I.. well, where am I? I'm about 1200LY from the Z heading roughly parallel along the north border of the Rift and surrounding space. I'd aimed to head in about here but I'm gonna keep going for a time, see what there is to see. As I travel, I'm seein' more systems without a claim.

Then boom... a discovered, mapped to all high, Earth like. Ain't no point me askin' the odds; so what the hell? She pretty too.

Earthlike

Anyhoo; I took a day or two here. Requested some information from Galnet on the Zurara. Didn't get a whole lot to be honest, but I did some delving against my own systems. Most recent relay is, ironically, the Z, then the abandoned bases, so uplink speeds aren't too shoddy, despite my remote locale.

Turns out the whole shebang was called Project Dynasty. Now, you go ahead and take this with some salk, but the basics are; Thargoids take us over; wipe out the bubble. These locations seeded by the Z and, well, others, would be locations we could go hide at.

Start over.

Thing is, whilst there are a dozen more of these sites all over, there was more to it. And Salome knew all about it., hence her name bein' on random worlds out here. Mostly Goid lovin' Amonia. She was on her way; maybe a year or so ago, so tell the story of the century before she were killed. Then, nothing.

All quiet.

"R" won't be the only one out there tryin' to work this out. Someone must know. I guess I'm curious for two reasons. One, hardware such as the Z ain't cheap. Lives, heh, lives seem cheaper. Two, there's a chuffing alien on my deck. It's nice to get my mind on other things.

I'm gonna head on for another K or more. See if the followin' happens:

  1. My alien friend disappears, or gets real. I got plans either way.
  2. Is there a piece of space out here that's more discovered than discovered? I might as well make a few CRs if so.

Then, my current thinkin' is to head back to Colonia. It's closer than home and I could do with the rest. Off ship. Might be wise I don't tell the station commander I got a stowaway....

Desert