### To the Reach
I hunt through the settings on my course plotter and set it to auto-log everything. I don't want to be reading out 19 jumps worth of alphanumeric star ids. It's probably not important, but I toggle off non-scoopable stars from the plotter too. No reason not to stay topped off. Most of my jumps will be to red dwarfs anyways I'm sure, so avoiding the occasional L class shouldn't cost me more than a jump or two.
If I find anything interesting, I'll let you know.
Location: Coalsack Sector QI-T C3-19
Barnard's Loop pops back into view. It's nice to have it back.
I get an unusual signal as I sweep my sensors through the bands. There's a terrestrial planet here! It's been mapped already, but that didn't seem to matter for Gacrux 5. I drop some probes on it and its co-orbital, then finish mapping the high metal bodies around its host star.
Location: Coalsack Sector IR-W D1-150
This is a nice stellar neighbourhood. I get to map a water world, with rings.
Location: Praea EUQ WV-P B5-0
Apparently I'm reaching the edges of explored territory. Some ice worlds in this system weren't even logged. I journey to the nearest and make maps. It's not my first entire system, but I think it's my first world. I take just a sip of brandy to commemorate.
Location: Praea EUQ XF-H B10-2
So, this seems to be it. The primary here is logged with UC, but there are a trio of L class dwarfs and a bunch of icy rocks which don't have names attached to them. Seems like somebody used this as a jump point once but didn't hang about to scan anything. I can't say I blame them, there's not really anything interesting here. But still. Unseen worlds. Another shot of brandy.
Location: Praea EUQ OY-B B13-8
I add an ammonia world to my collection of new mappings. 39 Crucis is shines brightly ahead. One jump to go!
Location: 39 Crucis
So, I'm not the first person to visit. But nine metallic bodies orbit this blue beast of a star, and none of them have been properly mapped.
That's weird. I'm getting a whole bunch of strange signals from the surface of 3. Some of them appear to be biological? I could drop out of space to get a closer look, but I don't have an SRV with me. I guess, if I'm interested, I'll have to buy one and come back. I hadn't planned on landing anywhere when I began this. The mass of an SRV bay didn't seem worth it. But I do have the pod space to install one. The journey so far hasn't been bad though. Yeah. I'll go visit Theta-2, and then head back to collect a bay.
### The Plan
I need an SRV, and I'm 800LY from the closest one. So, the plan is to make a 1600LY round trip, followed by the 800 back home, plus the 800 that got me here... Well over 3000LY.
I'm going to have to get my frameshift drive thoroughly inspected after all that. I'm not worried about this Asp. Lakon know how to build tough ships. The spaceframe is in really good shape; considering how old it was when I bought it, I don't think I'll ever have to worry about the hull.
Target: Theta-2 Crucis
Only 6 jumps to Theta-2. Last star in the list.
Location: Theta-2 Crucis
Lots of ringed brown dwarfs, with an almost ridiculous number of unmapped moons. Upwards of 30. I'm going to make sure it gets done, I'm just thinking about if I want to do it now, or when I come back to 39 CRU.
I decide to map the innermost planet today then come back. And I'm glad I did; the rings of bodies in the system shine a brilliant blue, a consequence of how bright Theta-2 is and how close they are.
So. Time to go home.
### Back From the Reach
As I'm plotting my way back, I have a thought. I meant to start from the Nadir of Earth's viewpoint. Well, how far away was I?
HIP 104382. Polaris Australis. 618.68LY
It's obviously not directly on the way back to Sol, but I'm so far out that it doesn't seem like a huge detour. And I'll get to explore new systems on the way. Yeah, I might as well make the best of the situation, eh? I'm also going to try to maximize the odds of finding habitable worlds by excluding stars that aren't class F, G or K from my pathfinder. It won't be the shortest route, but it might be more interesting.
Target: Polaris Australis
27 jumps to go.
Location: SWOILZ UK-A C3-38 A
I've been making a habit of checking the system discovery attributions. And finally, this system gave me what I wanted.
I mean, admittedly it's "just" a trinary star system. With no planets. But guess who else knows that? Nobody. Well, whoever reads this, I suppose. But I'll have claimed my credits and signed my CMDR id onto it by then by then.
Location: SWOILZ HC-B D1-19
And that's what I'm going to call it too. The Brandy system.
Strangely, HC-B D1-19, which is right next door, has been not only scanned, but partially mapped. Just down to luck I suppose.
Location: HIP 80382
I finally return to the systems using the older category numbers instead of modern region names. One jump to Polaris Australis.
I've found a couple of water worlds on the way but I'm not convinced I've done much better than before, in terms of planet finding, by avoiding the hottest and coldest stars.
Location: Polaris Australis
So. This is where I meant to start. I point towards Sol. I squint, but it's too dim to see from here.
I flick through the discovery attributions and it looks like nobody has mapped the farthest planet out. So I do that. It's a pretty little yellow thing with nice rings. Unfortunately it's at just the size where I'm not good placing my probes (yet) so I whiff my efficiency bonus. But it's better to be mapped poorly than not at all!
### A Place to Rest my Head
I toggle the galmap into economic view and find the nearest inhabited system. HIP 78866 is only one jump away. Good: I need to dock up and resupply. I want to have a quick look at the shield generator too – I think it's making a whining noise. I know it's not getting much use out here but I feel safer having some
shields than none. Particularly now that I'm in back in the fringe systems.
I've heard stories about quinmanthas that watch out specifically
for ships with no shields. Because an Asp with no shields is probably out exploring and therefore is most likely unarmed. There's a word for people who interdict unarmed ships and fire missiles at them for fun. I think I've already used it though. Even if my shields can only absorb a token amount of damage I think it's better to not appear
to be the easy target that I am.
Jump: HIP 78866
Looks to be a busy mining system. I start scanning and just as I'm finishing one of those tubestains tries to drag me out of supercruise. I give him the slip and fly a hasty and messy path to Laming Depot.
I spend one day out of the bubble and as soon as I get back, I'm a target for a pirate. Yeah, it's the best "welcome back" gift. I'm going to finish my brandy.
End point: Laming Depot – HIP 78866