Galactic stardate 07FEB3305
After our gentle day yesterday, today brought us back to reality with a jolt.
It all started so well.
Having spent the night in the Octopus Nebula, we awoke to the deep red swirls of the nebula as a backdrop to the start of our day. We plotted a course to Xeehia GT-G d11-8, the home system to the so-called Causality of Lotus, a gas giant rendered pink by the light of it's parent neutron star, and set off.
We were about 10 jumps in and just settling into the day's jumping, scanning and scooping routine when - BAM! - we dropped into a system right in between a close binary pair of stars!
Star Reaper's heat began to climb as I wrestled her controls, trying to point her towards the escape gap as fast as humanly possible.
Metal creaked and groaned under the forces being exerted by Star Reaper's controls and the gravity pull of the twin stars and her heat rose towards 95% and climbing.
I wasn't sure we were winning this.
I yelled at Cathy to prep and fire a heatsink as fast as she could, as I fought and coaxed Star Reaper out of the stars' death grip. Still the heat rose.
Now I'm not a religious man, but I'll admit I did pray to some god or other at that point. I also pleaded with Star Reaper not to let me down, and promised her all the servicing and refit she could ever want, if only she would get us to that gap of clear space that seemed so tantalisingly close, yet so far away.
Cathy confirmed the heatsink had deployed and the temps receded some, buying us a little more time.
I heaved on the controls with all my might.
Star Reaper groaned some more, and slowly but surely, her nose crept away from the nuclear melting pots and out towards the safety and coolness of empty space.
We both breathed a huge sigh of relief.
That had been close call.
We let Star Reaper's Hull cool, and ran a systems check.
Amazingly, there was no vital damage, the old girl was as tough as they come it seems.
Having recovered our composure, we re-plotted, and continued on our way, a little more on edge than we had been 10 minutes ago.
We were heading down towards the base of the galaxy, and there seemed to be a dearth of ELWs, WWs or AWs today, though we did run across a couple of systems containing white dwarfs.
Fortunately, Star Reaper's plotting systems gave us the heads up and we were able to throttle down on entering the systems to avoid running into them.
For something so deadly they are stunningly beautiful, but I hate them more than neutrons, and have never been able to successfully supercharge my FrameShift from a white dwarf - and today was definitely not the day to practice!
Finally, we reached Xeehia GT-G d11-8, dropped into it's neutron star and headed out to planet A 1, a class V gas giant, and the reason for the diversion here.
Although our data records stated that planet A 1 was brown in colour, it did indeed look pink in the neutron's light.
On any other day this would have been the highlight, but after today's escapade we both felt it a little anti-climatic.
I think I need a lie down!
A landable planet and a decent landing spot on a flat plain was found and we'll recover our senses here.
Should be able to reach Llyn Tegid Nebula, the fleet meetup point, tomorrow or the day after, so we're making steady progress on this leg.