THE QUEST FOR PROFESSOR PALIN
26 DEC 3304 Palin Research Centre (Maia)
Once I got the permit for Sirius, I jumped to the system and headed for Patterson Enterprise, a Coriolis Starport orbiting the gas giant known as Waypoint. Meeting Marco Qwent was not going to be so easy. I still had to perform one last mission for Sirius Corporation in order to be invited to Qwent Research Base and, on this occasion, I had to spy a surface base in the neighbour system of Epsilon Eridani, Federation’s favourite tourist resort, but my mission was no tourism. I had to infiltrate Klimuk Market, a base owned by the Epsilon Eridani Future faction. I flew over the base and checked that there were no ships patrolling the perimeter, so I decided to give it a try with the SRV. Security was not tight, but I had to find a way to penetrate into de base, which entrance was protected with an energy wall. I drove around the base until I found an unprotected power generator and blew it up with the plasma repeater turret of my scarab. Suddenly the quiet base came to life with alarms, defensive turrets fire skimmers and chaos. I ran to the now open entrance zigzagging to avoid the fire and managed to locate the communications tower. I scanned it under heavy fire and had to use the booster jets to jump out of the base avoiding this way the skimmers. I made it back to my ship with less than fifty percent of my hull, but the mission was accomplished.
Klimuk Market in Epsilon Eridani
Marco Qwent requested some Modular Terminals in order to meet him, so I still had to fly some missions to get them, but that was easy. Finally, I made it to Qwent Research Base and the engineer tinkered a little bit with my power distributor to enhance its charge performance. And what is most important, he recommended me to Professor Palin, the Federation scientist and engineer and the maximum authority in the research of the Thargoids. I know professor Palin is very fond of explorers and I wanted to cause a good impression, so I decided to come back to Hamilton Gateway in Wolf 406 in invest my money in a new exploring dedicated ship. My previous experience with exploration was in a luxury Dolphin where I was able to reach Flyeia Hypai FH-X c17-16, a round trip of more than 16.000 light years where I discovered many stellar bodies including Earth like worlds and ammonia planets.Not bad for sucha ship, but this time I wanted to look like a true seasoned explorer, not a luxury tourist ferry, so I chosed to buy a Diamondback Explorer. I painted it red and called it the Hyperion, honouring the titan of watchfulness, wisdom and light. I payed a visit to Felicity Farseer, who dramatically increased the Hyperion’s jump range to more than 50 light years and then, properly equipped, I headed to the Pleiades.
Jav Marlo in the Hyperion heading for the Pleiades
My first trip to the Pleiades from the Bubble took me more than twenty jumps in my first exploring ship, an unmodified Adder that I called the Hesperides. The Hyperion did the same trip in less than ten jumps. I came to the Pleiades the first time because I wanted to know what happened to my father, who disappeared in the Merope system four years ago. His Asp Explorer was found adrift with no signals of life aboard and no scape pod. In my first trip here, I could observe the Thargoids for the first time, and I witnessed how they syphoned the scape pods of the ships they destroyed. Now I am back with a more able ship and an invitation to meet the biggest specialist in Thargoids in the galaxy. I hope professor Palin can seed some light to the mystery of my father’s dissapearance.
The first thing I do when I arrive to Maia system is contacting Palin Research Centre to inform them of my arrival. The only answer I receive is that professor Palin will agree to meet me upon the delivery of some fragments of Thargoid sensors. I was not counting on that. I do not even know what these things are, so I decide to go to Donar’s Oak, the headquarters of Aegis Research in the Nearby Delphi system, one of the hotbeds of Thargoid activity and a place where I gained some reputation time ago hunting pirates with the local authorities.
According to Aegis Research, Thargoid Sensors are devices that have the ability to self-repair themselves by extracting materials from their environment. This mechanism can severely damage starships and other machinery when nearby. A number high enough of these devices can even shut down a space station, and they haven been used for that in several occasions. They are known to scan nearby vessels and celestial bodies, and transmit this information encrypted with unknown purposes. And, on top of that, they are corrosive and can destroy the systems of a ship in minutes when collected. I am not sure If I want to put one of this things into my ship. Lucky for me, professor Palin just want them in pieces.
Now I need to know where to find them. According to Aegis Research, Thargoid Sensors sometimes can be found in Non-Human Signal Sources in the systems surrounding Merope, but the Xeno Hunters in one of the canteens in Donar’s Oak gave me a better idea. I gave them some Kamitra Cigars I was keeping from my visit to Hera Tani, and they told me about the fourth planet of system Hip 17403 and its moon, where in its surface I can find the shipwreck of a Thargoid Interceptor. The Xeno Hunters say that the place has a bad reputation among the pilots, because several ships have disappeared in the system and the place is surrounded with the wreckages of human vessels. But, despite that, the place is periodically scavenged by the few pilots desperate enough to get Thargoid technology from there. Well, I need those sensors so, I guess I will have to do some Thargoid scavenging myself.
The wreckage of an Anaconda in the alien crash site of Hip 17403
I arrived to Hip 17403 and explored the system with the ship’s scanner. The HONK showed all the celestial bodies and I headed towards the fourth planet. No way to get lost. It has just one moon where I could land, an uninteresting rocky body… apparently. I decided to try the new surface scanner and launched some probes to map the body. Eight signals detected, but just one Thargoid. I lock the coordinates and started the landing approach. This side of the moon was at night and the darkness was pitch black, contributing to make the situation even more unsettling. I landed among the pieces of a ship, clearly alien in origin, that were scattered among the wreckage of several human vessels. I could clearly distinguish an Anaconda. The alien ship looked like the ones I have seen before in Merope, but it is said to be more than one hundred years old. It looked inert. I jumped into the SRV and drove around the pieces. There were crates with beer and narcotics lying around. And they looked new. That was weird. I wanted to leave the place as soon as possible. I drove towards what looked like the core of the alien vessel and the scans soon detected the fragments of a Thargoid sensor. They were around the remains of a scarab SRV. And this one looked like if it has been there for a while. Very creepy!
The wreckage of a scarab in the alien crash site of Hip 17403
I collected the fragments, checked that they were not corrosive and headed back to the Hyperion. I hope professor Palin likes what I got for him. I would not like to come here again.
I have just arrived to the Maia system again and I am recording this log in the Palin Research Centre. Professor Palin has finally agreed to talk with me. I hope he can help me with my quest.
Jav Marlo signing out.
The Hyperion in the Palin Research Centre (Maia)