The shakedown and integration tests of the Black Butterfly are finally complete, and I’m reminded of the ancient metaphysical paradox of the ship of Theseus: if one has replaced every part of something, is it really still the same thing?
The ion thrusters are a new twist on an old Irrikon design, low energy but high speed, in that distinctive hydrogen emission pink; I could have gone lighter weight, but I wanted the ability to move quickly. Complete chassis and hull replacement with ultra-lightweight materials based on meta-alloy analysis – a dull black, but the hull coatings have quite a nice paintjob most of which probably won’t even last the first 5,000 LY. Customised the chairs, but kept the cockpits: these Lakon units have a much better field of view than the Gutamaya I feel, even if they’re more industrial than comfortable, but we’re going to spend a very long time in the pilots’ quarters out there in the black, so I’ve swapped those out with first class accommodations. Hardpoints removed to house the replaced custom computer, sensor arrays, and avionics running a modified Block 3.4γ. And of course the only thing better than Felicity Farseer’s custom frame shift drives are her scones. You get the picture. Shields are light, but I’ve tested them and hopefully they’ll do.
It’s a long way, but now seems like a very good time to be far away from the bubble. I wonder what we’ll find out there.