We left the Circinus Pulsar two days ago. It wasn't a particularly spectacular sight, and yet it was amazing all the same. When I took my first scan of the pulsar itself the surface temperature readout was off the scale. It took me two hours of tweaking the sensors and reprogramming the presentation software before I could get an accurate reading. Or so I hope. Oh well, at 480 million degrees Kelvin, a few more or less shouldn't really matter. Suffice to say the thing is frelling hot and it's best to keep a safe distance.
It's been a long trip. First 25 thousand ly to Colonia, I made around 5-10 thousand ly of exploration trips around Colonia. Then to the core, from there to the Circinus Pulsar, and now back to the bubble with some 9 thousand ly to go. Once I'm back to the bubble, in two days I estimate, it should add up to a hefty 85-90 ly round trip.
I'm carrying exploration data for 1087 honked systems, 308 of them with full detailed scans of all bodies - in total 569 stars and 1488 planets. Of course that's only from since we left Colonia, I already sold the data from the first 30 thousand ly there. There's lots of interesting new stuff amongst it, black holes and neutrons, giants, supergiants and hypergiants, a lot of Wolf-Rayet stars and some Carbon stars, 4 Earth-likes, dozens of water worlds and terraformables, some life-bearing gas giants and ammonia worlds, and enough high metal bodies and rings to keep the entire mining guild busy for a century. That is, if humanity ever stops their bubble-quibbles and starts getting serious about colonizing the galaxy. Until that time it will be useful for the deep space travelers looking for jumponium-rich planets and the miners around Colonia.
First I'll drop off Frankie at Gateway, then I'll go to the Founder's World where my fleet is docked to switch to a more nimble and better defended ship before I head out to sell the data. I figure if I play my cards right I have more than enough to convince a few companies and organizations to give me a permit to their system. The amount of bonus they get for the fact that I turn in the data at one of their stations should certainly be enough to grab their attention and prove my worthiness. It will take some flying around though, so better not to do that in the Crank, she's not built for the tumble and bustle of the bubble life.
Ship status is still excellent, a few systems at 98% efficiency but most is still running at 100%. Of course that can't be said for the paint job, the Crank looks absolutely horrible, like she was flown through the ejecta of 2 colliding stars... which isn't all that far off from the truth. I lost 2 heat sinks due to an interface failure, at which point I decided to just yank out the entire piece of code that allows for heat sink launches during super-cruise. No idea why it was there in the first place, probably a left-over from one of my crazier forefathers' tinkering. When you start out with a ship's operating system that has been duplicated, upgraded, expanded, modded and prodded for hundreds of years you get some baggage along with it that you didn't even knew you had, until you almost break your neck over it.
I am slowly adjusting my mind to the idea of being in the bubble again. Best to be prepared. I hope I can still fit my Asp through the toast rack of an orbital without scraping any paint... perhaps I should pick a planet for my first touchdown and get the Crank's hull repaired before I attempt that.