THE HUTTON RUN
23 DEC 3304 Hutton Orbital (Alpha Centaury)
I hate mega corporations, and Sirius Corporation is the biggest and oldest of them. It is even bigger than Faulcon DeLacy, the ships manufacturer. Their only allegiance is greed. Sirius Corporation fuelled for years the war between the Federation and the Empire, prolonging the conflict with the result of millions of deaths. Nowadays, they monopolize the new Frame Shift Drive technology, which means vast amounts of wealth and influence, to the point that their CEO, Li Yong-Rui, is one of the most powerful men in the galaxy. Sirius Corporation is a power that controls its own space in The Bubble, but they do not need to conquer systems by force, they just buy them.
I have been in that forsaken outpost of Bruce Prospect in the Avik system for a week, working for the Sirius Corporation in order to get a permit to Sirius system, where I want to meet the engineer known as Marco Qwent. Getting the Alioth permit was easy. Sirius Corporation made me pay the price. After the usual petty transport missions, soon they started to charge me with illegal infiltration missions in surface installations. I barely survived one of those. The plan was to travel to system YZ Ceti to spy one base of the Sublime Order of Van Maneen’s Star, a religious sect with origins in the Federation that believes in maximum hardship and likes to live underground. It sounded pretty easy, but once I arrived to the planet YZ Ceti A 10 b I flew over the compound and observed that it was no base, but a big planetary settlement with lots of buildings and a tight security. A strange place for a group of theocrats that likes to live underground. The night was dark, so I decided to give it a try with my SRV. I landed in a crater far from the settlement and headed there on the Scarab. To the city shining in the dark. But as soon as I trespassed the perimeter, a couple of Eagles took off from the settlement and started to pursue me firing missiles. I ran zigzagging back to my ship avoiding most of the explosions and was able to take off and boost out of the planet losing my shields and most of my hull integrity in the process. Damn zealots!
A city in the dark (Gordon Keep in YZ Ceti A 10 b)
I had to fly many more transport missions for the Sirius Corporation to compensate for my failure in my last surface mission. And things were not going good in Bruce Prospect. Conflict within the system was rampaging and it was getting very difficult to keep the supply lines. I was interdicted every time I flew with something in my cargo hold. Lucky for me, the Electra is incredibly fast and can scape most situations. The scalation was so big that even the station got damaged in one of the skirmishes. I was so eager to leave this forsaken system that I even bribed the Sirius Corporation representative with some million credits in order to accelerate my permit delivery. As I said before, I hate these greedy mega corporations.
Bruce Prospect damaged (Avik)
The last mission I got before obtaining my permit to Sirius was a curious one. I had to deliver some critical data to Hutton Orbital outpost in Alpha Centaury, a notorious place for being extremely far from the system’s hyperspace jump arrival point. Hutton Orbital orbits Eden, the only planet orbiting the star Proxima Centauri, and the first planet on which liquid water was detected by spectroscopic methods back in 2038. Coming to Hutton Orbital is considered to be some short of pilgrimage for emerging explorers, because it takes ages to fly the 0,22 light years of distance in super cruise and you can reach speeds of more than 1.800 c. I had to go there.
I make myself ready for the long hours flying straight and depart Bruce Prospect. Upon arrival to Alpha Centaury, I scan the system and head straight to Hutton Orbital. Estimated time of arrival more than 5 days, but it will get shorter as I accelerate. Soon I notice that I was being followed by a Fer De-Lance. They said there was a chance that I will be pursued, but I am not worried. The Fer De-Lance is not close enough to interdict me, and as the Electra leaves the influence of the gravity of Alpha Centaury the acceleration will rise more and more. It is a long trip before the gravity of Proxima Centaury makes us decelerate again. The Fer De-Lance can not keep the track and soon it disappears from my HUD.
The rest of the trip goes without incidents. Just me in the Electra alone in the void. A lot of time to think. I am not really interested in meeting Marco Qwent, but he can help me reach professor Palin, the biggest expert in the Thargoids in the galaxy. Maybe he could help me understand what happened to my father when he disappeared in Merope four years ago and, besides, he is also an engineer with unmatched expertise in thrusters systems. Still a while to go. Halfway, I cross my path with a Hauler of the Hutton Orbital Truckers Co-operative, a faction committed to keeping the supply lines of Hutton Orbital, do not mistake with the Hutton Orbital Truckers, the association of independent Commanders that do to crazy transport missions and defended Hutton Orbital from the blockade of The Code and the Smiling Dog Crew three years ago.
I finally make it to my destination. Upon arrival to Hutton Orbital I detect a signal with the remains of a combat, so I decide to take a look. I do not know if it is because they never found my father’s scape pod, but I am very sensible to the idea of leaving someone floating in space on their own. I find two intact scape pods. I collect them and land in Hutton Orbital. The search and rescue contact of the station pays me for my efforts and informs me that the passengers of the scape pods are still alive. I hope they have a good insurance, other way is going to cost them a lot a transport out of this place. Satisfied, I deliver the data I was carrying and run to the gift shop of the station to get my Hutton Mug. Hutton Mugs are made from the salvaged frame shift drives plates of ships that run out of fuel before reaching the station, and they are only sold to Commanders who make the painfully long journey to Hutton Orbital. You can buy fake Hutton Mugs in many places but, for the real one, you have to come here.
I am recording this log at the canteen in Hutton Orbital, sipping tea from a bag in zero gravity. I wish I could use my new Hutton Mug, but I guess I will have to wait until I can enjoy gravity again. It is said that it feels like if there were latent frame shift energies keeping your drink warm when you use it. And now, here in this remote place, I look out of the window and can see the planet Eden while I think what a milestone in space exploration was the discovery of water there, centuries ago, when the humanity was still confined to the Sol system. Before the Federation, the Empire, the Alliance or the Thargoids. And suddenly I realize that I have never been there. In Sol system. I have never set foot on Earth or Mars and never give it a thought before. I guess is the influence of being in Alpha Centaury. So close. Maybe one day. But first, I must go to Sirius and find Marco Qwent.
Jav Marlo signing out.
The Electra in Hutton Orbital over Eden planet (Alpha Centaury)