Logbook entry

Extremofire / 28 Nov 3304
Imperial pride, shining bright in the deep black

It has now been two days since I was chartered by the New Carthage Cartographic Institute on Aeneas, New Carthage in the Legion home system of Carthage. Flying in my exploration flagship the LLV Oculus, I have managed to trek across nearly twenty thousand light-years. This may sound slow to the most avid explorers with similarly built ships, but I still take great pride, seeing as how I like to enjoy my recreational times upon my ship while others stay glued to the pilot's seat. Free from the political turmoil of humanity, I feel an exploration expedition is best served with a healthy dose of rest and relaxation. After all, it is the second Edict of Carthage (cardinal rule of 528th Legion society) to always allow time for such activities.

My mission? I'm out here with five skilled scientists from the Cartographic Institute, led by their senior colleague Hunter Bond. There appear to be anomalous readings in the sensor logs of the [REDACTED] sector near the galactic core; there is a high concentration of black holes, which isn't unusual near the core, but there is also strange blips in readouts of the Hawking radiation and radio waves in the region. Since sensor resolution is so low from such a distance, we have been dispatched to investigate.

The catch?

We have identified over 450 possible sources.

This will be a hell of an expedition, and boring at that. I don't like that. I adore the mysteries of the unknown, but it's likely the majority of this will involve idle scanning. Hence my real need for recreation. Thankfully, the Legion Office of Military Incursion needs me to command, and Admiral Lucius Lavigny himself has directly ordered me to limit my mission to fourteen days upon disembark from Marker Depot. This is bittersweet, as there is a possibility I cannot be thorough, but also saves me from the drudgery of the nature of this mission.

~~~~~

As I write this, it is nearly 0800 hours on 28 Nov. I tend to sleep between 0900-1400, so I'm headed off soon, but not until I've had a drink with Hunter Bond.

His team and I, pardon the pun, certainly were able to bond yesterday. I surprised the team in their shared quarters with Achenar Blue Whiskey about this time yesterday, which came to unanimous excitement. We had a few drinks, and I was able to hear their backstories. Two of them were younger, and clearly more uptight, perhaps nervous that a Praetor of their Legion was so readily eager to hear them speak. Their names were Alicia Matthias and Nicolus Monteczi, and both were specialists in background radiation study, serving as the authorities on the reason behind our mission in the first place. After a few drinks, they managed to crack a few laughs with all of our camaraderie. A couple more shots in, and we were singing old Imperial folk songs around the lamps, and shouting "Arissa Invicta!" at volumes that I could've sworn shook the bulkheads. ...Maybe it was the alcohol talking. Damn, the Legion makes good brew.

Hunter and I managed to have a more private conversation across the room. His personality was strikingly similar to mine, and was brash yet welcoming. His desire to explore the black rivaled mine, albeit for different reasons. He is a specialist in xenoarchaeology, and has an obsession with all things artificial. The recent discoveries by Ram Tah and those beneath him were a huge subject of discussion (although it was a bit one-sided, with him doing most of the talking)! I, on the other hand, want to discover natural wonders, and confirm theories that humanity, even in its millennia-old fascination with the stars, have yet to complete.

Perhaps that is the reason for my reluctance on this expedition.

I'm headed down to their deck with more whiskey. I think I'll try to allow Hunter Bond's infectious fervor for this mission spread to my own mind.
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