Target: Iota Crucis / HIP 62268
Since I spent most of yesterday learning how to drive, I've got to start today by mapping Eta Crucis. I'm expecting this to take some time so while I'd like to reach Theta-1, I'm not expecting to get past Iota.
Wow, literally every planet around AB here has a ring system.
Oh, uhm, guess who wasn't paying attention and just launched a planetary probe into a brown dwarf star
? I saw the rings and assumed it was a gas giant. The faint purple glow is apparently what gives it away. Well. What an interesting place to have started my journey. It will save me some time mapping at least: these ringed bodies are all
Scanning update: Bored
So many moons. Just, dry and dead rocks. Actually, if they're orbiting dwarf stars, are they planets themselves? Bodies? Worlds.
They're still dry and dead though.
And they've been mapped previously. I mean, this is a pretty active mining system, well within known space. Not even 70LY from home. I'm getting planetary mapping confirmation notices, but I'm not exploring
yet. I'm just verifying.
I'm going to quit dropping probes on mapped worlds. Boring ones, anyway.
It's not laziness. It's efficiency.
First jump: Gacrux
I don't remember jumping to a red giant before. Gacrux filled my field of view. Very impressive. I flew over to 5 to drop a couple of probes because it was marked as "potentially habitable", while pointedly ignoring the fully operational Coriolis in low orbit. If UC will buy this data for more than a credit, they're pretty gulliable.
Just as I was about to hyperspace out I picked up a bunch of comms traffic right on my location. I dropped out of supercruise to investigate, to find Gacrux stellar villas. There's a tourist station here. Yay. Go me, for visiting Gacrux and pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. The Feds dropped out of cruise to see what I was up to. Told them I was just sight-seeing and quickly plotted a course. Onwards.
Second jump: Crucis Sector NN-T B3-1
I checked my starmaps. So far I've actually been getting _closer_ to home. This system marks the point where I start travelling not only away from Sol, but away from Lave. I had to break out the system scanner but there's just a dozen balls of ice here, nothing interesting, nothing new.
Third jump: Iota Crucis
My second giant star of the journey – orange this time. None of its companions look terribly interesting though.
I start plotting a route out to Epsilon Crucis; it seems to be just outside controlled space. This is it. This is where I venture into the unknown.
Something's not right though. I can't just start jumping straight away. It doesn't feel right somehow...
It looks like the Bubble-Edge system I'd leave from would be Kitani. A small industrial operation of only a few million people.
I wonder if they've ever tried Lavian Brandy?
First jump: Tiveronisa
I'm well acquainted with Tiveronisa. I've bought a lot of polymers from Watts Orbital. I'm tempted to stop by but I shouldn't get distracted.
Second jump: Lave
I am _so_ used to having 16LY of jump range. Normally the trip home from Tiveronisa would take me 3 jumps. Today, I did it in one. I'm taking a liking to the Haje – my slightly-used Asp Scout.
I know that ~30LY of jump range isn't really that impressive compared to some of the ships I've heard about. Anacondas – stripped to their bones – pushing 40LY. Modified Diamondbacks doing 45. The crazies who fly near white dwarfs for an extra boost... The people jumping off to Beagle Point, just to say they've been, well I'm sure they're giggling at my little Asp, with its cargo racks still intact. And, that's fine... I, am going to buy some brandy.
On the way out, I check in with Universal Cartographics. They'll give me almost 900k for the surface maps I made of Gacrux 5. I decide not to question it. When making a trade, and the offer seems too good, sometimes its best not to ask too many questions. But do have an escape plan! So that was well worth stopping for. They'll pay me for all the moons I scanned in Eta too but not even half as many credits for investing way
more time and effort spent. Mapping habitable planets is where the money is at – no real suprise!
First jump: Crucis Sector DL-Y D163
Nothing. Not even rocks.
Second jump: Col 285 Sector BW-R B19-7
Third jump: Col 285 Sector IX-P B20-2
Yay, more rocks.
Fourth jump: Kitani
I make my way to the closest settlement, Malcom Oasis, only to find that it doesn't have docking facilities. Savages. So I plot a course out to Barreiros Landing, when some quinmantha tries to interdict me. He's sloppy though, and I just twist out of his grasp. He tries a second time as I'm nearing my destination, but he fares no better.
I suppose I'm still not really that far from home; the market buy my brandy, but they don't give me an especially good price for it. Still, credits are credits.
Targets: Epsilon Crucis & Theta-1 Crucis
First jump: HIP 59455
I override the course plotting computer so I can jump via stars with the older style catalogue numbers. I'm not sure why, it just seems more appropriate.
While taking scans of the bodies in 59455 I notice there's no credit claimed for mapping the moons in the system. So I swing by the first gas giant and map its moons. Nothing special seems to happen, perhaps there's just a glitch in the attribution system. UC don't seem that competent if they'll give me 900k to map a body which has a thriving tourist operation in residence. I'll find out when I return and hand my data in.
Second jump: HIP 59913
Several gas giants with moons. The mapping credit still seems to be bugged out.
Third jump: HIP 60288
I drop out almost directly on top of a small metal-rich planet, so I deliver a couple of probes to the surface while I'm nearby.
Fourth jump: Epsilon Crucis
Fifth jump: Theta-1 Crucis
No secondaries either.
### Return to Base
At this point I'm really wondering about the missing moon map attributions, so I plot a more direct course back to Kitani. Three quick jumps; I just want to satisfy my curiosity...
First jump: Col 285 Sector OD-0 B21-3
Second jump: Col 285 Sector JX-P B20-2
You jump through three systems with no planets, and then 38 come along at once. Typical! A nearby gas giant registers signs of ammonia based life. Maybe that's valuable? I pay it a visit and drop some probes.
Third jump: Kitani
Sensors pick up an unregistered comms beacon on my path to Barreiros Landing so I drop out of cruise to investigate. It's marking out a couple of asteroids with some local miners working at them. We leave each other alone.
I sit for five minutes contemplating it, then lose interest in the probe and go dock at Barreiros. Annoyingly, 59455 is too close for them to accept any mapping data for. I suppose I'll have to make a jump homeward tomorrow before setting out Cruxwards. But, for now, I've accomplished the goals I laid out. I'm going to see if I can get a discount on buying back some of the Lavian Brandy I brought here.
Endpoint: Barreiros Landing – Kitani