DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 1) - PREPARATIONS
11 JAN 3305 Lave Station (Lave)
I have been in Hind Mine asteroid base for the last ten days, trying to become a proper miner. My mining Keelback, the Ponos, despite its tiny size, has demonstrated to be quite an able miner with space for everything necessary. My main objective was to master the different mining tools: lasers, abrasion blasters, displacement missiles and seismic charges; so my benefits were meagre, but I cracked some asteroids nonetheless and made some million collecting the valuable mineral deposits of the core. After my encounter with Commander James Barrett
, and his later disappearance
, I had the hope of finding him alive back in Hind Mine, being this one of the closest bases to the place where I lost track of him. The base records say that he was here not a long time ago, but there is no news of him so far. I am still wondering what happened
The Ponos mining in T Tauri
Hind Mine is a curious place. The asteroid base was constructed in 3303 by Taurus Ventures. It is placed on the ring of the first planet of T Tauri system, a Class III gas giant orbiting the G White-Yellow star of T Tauri. The star illuminates also a variable nebula that envelops the system like a shell with its orange halo, creating astonishly beautiful images. The place has just ten thousand habitants, but it boils with activity. The miners tell me that the base was even used as a supply depot for the Premonition Allied Coordination two years ago, during the events that lead to the death of Kahina Tijana Loren, also known as Salomé. The Premonition Allied Coordination was one of the fleets of independent pilots that gathered to protect Salomé on her trip back to The Bubble from the Col 70 sector. It seems that members of a notorious band of mercenaries and bounty hunters, the Smiling Dog Crew, were able to infiltrate the group and utterly caused the demise of Salomé. Salomé, that name again. And, like in Darnielle’s Progress
, just the mention of her seems to inspire an almost religious devotion. They said that more than a thousand ships rallied to protect her and the secrets she was carrying on her trip back to civilization. A pity she did not made it. Conspiracies and more conspiracies.
Hind Mine in T Tauri
And talking about conspiracies. My utterly reason for being in T Tauri was to find a way to reach Selene Jean, the Alliance engineer. I want her to recommend me to Bill Turner. Professor Palin told me that Turner may know about my father’s motives to be in the Merope system before his disappearance
. He also warned me not to trust him
. Conspiracies again. Well, after days of hard work and mingling with miners, I still have been unable to get an invitation to Selene Jean’s base. I am starting to think that this is a waste of time. Professor Palin also mentioned Lori Jameson, an engineer even more secluded that Bill Turner. She is in Shinrarta Dhezra, headquarters of the Pilots Federation; and only the elite pilots get a permit to fly there. To become Elite. These are serious words. It is the Pilots Federation who decides the ranks of the Commanders based on their exploits in combat, trade and exploration. It takes years of dedication to achieve the rank of Elite, these commanders get all sorts of lucrative offers, are considered to be the most trustworthy and confidentiality assured pilots in the galaxy, and take their reputation very seriously. Far way out of the reach of an emerging commander such as myself.
I was in the Ponos, returning to Hind Mine with my cargo bay full of minerals, thinking about giving up and returning to Hamilton Gateway, when I switched on GalNet News and heard about Distant Worlds 2, the mass expedition across the galaxy that was beginning in two days. A journey of more than two hundred thousand light years beyond Sagittarius A to Beagle Point, in the far corner of the galaxy. That could be it. The opportunity I was looking for. I remember that Peter Mays
, the seasoned explorer I took on a sixteen thousand light years roundtrip to Flyeia Hypai FH-X c17-16, used to say that a visit to Beagle Point usually grants the rank of Elite to the explorer that manages to get there. But, am I ready for such an endeavour?
Jav Marlo in the Ponos (T Tauri)
The original Distant Worlds Expedition in 3302 was a huge event that featured thousands of independent pilots that followed the path traced by legendary Commander Erimus Kamzel to Beagle Point, surveying and exploring the worlds along the way. One year before, a long range ASP Explorer, the DSS Beagle, piloted by Commander Erimus Kamzel, had left the Pallaeni system to try the first galactic crossing. The codename of his mission was Distant Suns. Five weeks later, Erimus Kamzel reached system Ceeckia ZQ-L c24-0 on the edge of the far galactic rim, pass the region known as the Abbys, 65.279 light years from Sol. The farthest a human being had ever been. The system subsequently become known as Beagle Point. Now, with the aid of other legendary explorers like Commander Dr. Kaii, Erimus Kamzel is leading another expedition involving more than eight thousand Commanders with the mission of mapping new sectors of the galaxy, and to discover, catalogue and name spatial anomalies and geological features thanks to the recent advances in exploration technologies. The plan is also to support the construction of an starport in Saggitarius A and a surface port in Beagle Point. Quite an inspiring enterprise.
Lucky for me, I have a fully able exploring ship, the Hyperion. A Diamondback Explorer that has been modified by Felicity Farseer to jump more than fifty light years, enough to cross the dreaded Abbys region and, thanks to Professor Palin, it is very fast too. I used it to explore the Thargoid sites
in the Pleiades and I have been able to outrun Thargoid ships on it. I can mount an Auto Field-Maintenance Unit and it will suffice. On the other side, eight thousand light years is the farthest I have ever been from the Bubble. And my exploring experience is limited to just one trip
. But I did it in a Dolphin with a much shorter jump range and managed myself quite well, to the point that Universal Cartographics payed me more than thirty million credits for my exploration data on my return. I was even able to discover an Earth-like world and an ammonia world. I am going to miss the luxury cabins of the Dolphin, the Hyperion crew quarters are not as comfortable, but they are functional. I will not be alone, so I hope I will not suffer from space madness. I have signed in and chose the role of explorer and astrophotographer. I must run if I want to be in the Pallaeni system in two days for the launching of the expedition. But first, there is something else that could be useful for the trip, and the place to find it is the Lave system.
The Hyperion departing Hind Mine (T Tauri)
On my way back to the Bubble I find myself thinking again about Salomé. I must admit that I have been captivated by her too. I did some digging before departing Hind Mine, and it seems that the mercenary that killed her, the notorious Commander Besieger, was a member of the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps for a short period of time, years ago. Interesting! I am a member myself and never heard about that. I have been very busy with my quest, but I should get more involved with the activities of the AEDC once I come back from the Distant Worlds 2 expedition. I have heard that the Premonition Allied Coordination was a coalition of several allied fleets that rallied to protect Salomé and disbanded after her demise in Anumclaw system, but the real faction coordinating the return of Salomé to the Bubble was a group known as the Children of Raxxla. Little is known about this Children of Raxxla. They are very secretive. They claimed Salomé to be their leader, but she is gone now. They are not aligned to any of the existing factions or powers and their goals remain unclear, but they claim to fight for peace and freedom. Nobody seems to know who are its members or how many of them there are, but it is believed that many famous explorers belong to the Children of Raxxla, and that even Salomé herself was present in the original Distant Worlds. I wonder if the Children of Raxxla will be present on this occasion too. As I said, conspiracies and more conspiracies.
The Hyperion landed in Lave Sation with its ID for Distant Worlds 2 (Lave)
I am recording this log in the Hyperion, landed on Lave Station. I have just received notice from Fleet Comm confirming my inclusion in the Distant Worlds 2 roster. My ship ID will be 5A5-DW. I will have it painted on the Hyperion. I have applied to be in the squadron led by Erimus Kamzel. I recall watching his video log years ago, when I was stuck in Baker’s Prospect. He is one of the reasons for my application to the Asellus Primus Academy for Novitiate Pilots, and I would like to get to know the man. It is my intention to be in the Pallaeni system in two days for the launching of the expedition. But first, I am going to buy some crates of Lavian Brandy. I know I should not carry extra weight on this trip, but it is a long journey, and I would like to make some friends along the way.
Jav Marlo signing out.