March 9, 3303,
Azeban City, Eranin
The past few days have borne fruit - my surface survey work at Meliae 8 D and Eranin 2 was noticed by the Pilots Federation, and I finally have earned my Scout's wings. I received notification while I was still on Eranin 2's surface.
Almost immediately after my promotion notice, a second message arrived from someone calling herself Felicity Farseer. The message was brief:
I'm always happy to help a fellow explorer. A marker for my location has been added to your galaxy map, so come and see me and let's discover how I can help you.
Once I docked at Azeban City, I called up the map while my ship was being refueled. A new entry sat well outside the bubble: Deciat, a system reputedly owned by the Federation. The ship's AI was able to plot a route between Eranin and Deciat - over a hundred and fifty light years travel. Fifteen jumps with my current equipment, if I could jump in a straight line.
It soon dawned on me that I had been contacted by an Engineer.
Tales of these technological masters had been whispered at the academy. People who were able to accomplish things that the finest shipyards in the Bubble could not match. I never put much stock in such tales, but now one was contacting me.
I confess suspicion was my first reaction. If the Engineers were as legendary as people claimed, surely they would not waste their time with a novice explorer. Also, the Federation and the Alliance were not on the best of terms right now - my route would take me through several Federation systems, and Deciat itself was under Federation control. There was no guarantee I would reach the system unmolested.
Further... I looked at the space between Deciat and the bubble's edge. My frame shift drive was not upgraded, and I still had to purchase a proper scanner. Was I really ready to venture out into the void, poorly equipped though I am? Although there was no stated deadline, I got the impression Ms. Farseer's patience would be limited.
I would have to make my decision soon.