THE BEAUTY OF EXPLORATION (PART II)
06 DEC 3304 Deep Space (Thailae NO-B c16-35) Heading back to the Alliance Space
I think I have developed a hunger for exploration. The attraction of the void, the loneliness, the helplessness, and the feeling of going where no man has gone before. I find it very appealing. The frame shift drive technology was introduced in 3290 and had been monopolized by Sirius Corporation since them, but assuring it was distributed to all powers and factions. Since 3300, every space ship comes with a frame shift drive incorporated. Nowadays, commanders can travel in seconds distances that took days before. Frame shift drive technology has made possible to reach the far corners of the galaxy. And it has been done. The stories of pilots like Commander Zulu Romeo, who flying his Cobra MKIII was the first man to go to the galaxy nucleus, the system Sagittarius A, and confirmed that there was a super massive black hole there, or Commander Erimus Kamzel who visited the farthest point of the galaxy, system Beagle Point named in honour of his Asp Explorer, are now legendary among the Commanders who wants to make an impact too themselves in the Milky Way.
I am a rookie explorer on his first trip out of The Bubble. But I want to contribute to the mapping of this galaxy. And soon enough I make my first significant discovery. Phylucs KO-Z d13-2. An undiscovered system containing two water worlds. A pity I did not brought a detailed surface scan with me. I still have much to learn about exploration, Nevertheless, I scan the whole system. I feel exultant and decide to take a closer look to the planets. Tiny beautiful blue pearls in the void.
The Ariadne in Phylucs KO-Z d13-2
Peter Mays, my passenger, the seasoned explorer who is mentoring me in the navigation techniques and the secrets of exploration, congratulates me on my discovery, but insists that we should arrive soon to his destination. I understand. No more distractions. Some hundred jumps and a couple of days later we arrive to system Flyeia Hypai FH-X c17-16, our goal. More than 8.000 light years away from Alioth.
The first planet in orbit of system Flyeia Hypai FH-X c17-16 is a small heavy metal planet with vivid red colours that orbits very close to his K-class star. Universal Cartographics has set a tourist beacon there, in a strategic place with astonishing views. Peter Mays asks me to approach the beacon an stablish a link. I do as he says. He does not explain his motives and I do not need to know them. I am just mesmerized with the scene. Lucky me, I brought an SRV on this expedition, and I take my chance to enjoy driving around on the beautiful crater where we have landed.
The Ariadne in Flyeia Hypai FH-X c17-16
Well, it seems that Peter Mays got what he was looking for and now we can go back to Alioth. We have four days remaining to do the trip back on time, so maybe I could indulge myself and do a little detour. I want to see a black hole. So, I search in the nav map for systems with huge mass signals and find Flyeia Hypai AA-A h41. There I go. I can see that it has already been discovered, so no chance of finding the black hole untagged; but for my first exploration trip I am content with just seeing it.
I am on my way to my first black hole, just quick searching every system I jump looking for something interesting when I see it. Something I have never seen before. A big brown planet emitting a signal new for me. It seems that it has an atmosphere, but made of what? Peter Mays suggests that I should scan it, so I make an approach while the scanner tries to identify the planet in front. After some seconds, that seems like hours, I get a result. Flyeia Hypai EO-U b35-0 2. An ammonia world with four times more mass than Earth. And I am the first human to find it. They say that the Thargoids may live on these planets. I have to take a closer look.
The Ariadne in Flyeia Hypai EO-U b35-0
I arrive to Flyeia Hypai AA-A h41 and cut the impulse power as soon as I jump. There it is. The first black hole I can see with my own eyes. Or more correctly, the first gravitational distortion of a black hole that I can observe for real. Black holes are the stellar remnants of super massive stars that have reached the end of their lives. Nuclear fusion has ceased, and the star has collapsed to a point where gravity is so extreme that light itself can not scape. They are only visible by the distortion they make in their vicinity. One of the great mysteries of the Universe. And I am in front of one. But it seems that Commander Skyflyer found it before me.
The Ariadne in Flyeia Hypai AA-A h41
With my exploration urges satisfied, I trace a path back straight to Alioth in the nav com. No more detours. I have a mission, a schedule, and I will fulfil them. Back to the tedious jump, scoop, honk, check and jump again. I promise myself that I will just stop if I see something extraordinary. And still travelling through the Flyeia region I see something very familiar, but extraordinary at the same time. An Earth-like world. I aim the planet and see that the signal of the scanner is very similar to that of an ammonia world. The first Earth-like world I discover. Flyeia Hypai CM-K d9-28 5. And it is not so far from The Bubble. Maybe one day there will be a human colony here. This exploration trip is fulfilling all my hopes and more.
The Ariadne in Flyeia Hypai CM-K d9-28
I am now not too far from The Bubble, in Thailae NO-B c16-35, a system without planets but with four scoopable stars. Two of them orbit the main star creating quite a spectacle. I have stopped to refuel and enjoy the view. I am thinking that if I stay here long enough I could get a nice tan, when something catches my attention. I have a message in the GalNet from Commander DNA-Decay. He introduces himself as a veteran of the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps, and he wants to talk with me. That is very intriguing. I wonder what the AEDC may want of me. I need to go back to Alioth ASAP. This may be the opportunity I was looking for.
Jav Marlo signing out.
The Ariadne in Thailae NO-B c16-35