DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 7) – THE CRUX, THE CLOCK AND THE BULLET
15 FEB 3305 Polo Harbour (Boewnst KS-S c20-959)
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log on route to Gagarin Gate space port in system Gru Hypue KS-T d3-31. I have made up my mind and I must stick to my decision. I will go until the end of this expedition. And I will keep my eyes and ears open just in case any surprises might happen. I must admit that the visit to the Conflux Delta Site affected me more than I expected. The creepy logs and the final fate of the Dinasty Expedition drove me to dig into the GalNet News database looking for clues about them and their connection with the Children of Raxxla
, and that did not help to ease my mind. The lies of the Empire and the Federation are so obvious! The rest of information I found in the GalNet did not help either. There are groups there proclaiming all short of conspiracy theories. And, of course, there was Salomé. The saint or the terrorist, depending on who you ask. Well, she was a martyr for sure, and she took many secrets with her. One thing I have learn, besides the fact that I am developing a fascination for her, and it is that I cannot believe in what I read. From now on, I have decided to stick just to the facts, do my own research, and develop my own conclusions.
The first stop on this new stage of the Distant Worlds 2 expedition is a spaceport called Gagarin Gate, in the fourth planet of the Gru Hypue KS-T d3-31 system, that is inside the Vostok-1 nebula. It is part of the Colonia Connection Highway. The place is named after Yuri Gagarin, the first man to fly into outer space and orbit old Earth. Vostok-1 was the name of the vehicle in which he achieved his historic space flight.
The Hyperion landed at Gagarin Gate (Gru Hypue KS-T d3-31)
It seems that there are many stations and space ports on this stage of the trip if one has necessity of repairs, resupply or just wants to stretch the legs. But Erimus Kamzel has warned us that the next step will take us coreward, so we should take profit of this last chances before we start to get away from civilisation. At least, if everything goes as planned, there will be space station waiting for us near Sagittarius A. The efforts of the fleet in the Omega Nebula well deserve it.
Resuming log. As usual, I am going to try to visit all the interesting points along the route while exploring the systems where I jump. The first of them is Gru Hypue AA-A g4, also known as Jo Ella’s Flares, a system with three pulsars and a black hole. Of particular interest is the binary orbit of the black hole with one of the pulsars, keeping an orbital period of just five hours. They are really close! The black hole distorts the light and it seems that the Hyperion is flying backwards when approaching at cruise speed.
A black hole distorting the light giving the impression that the Hyperion is flying backwards (Gru Hypue AA-A g4)
The Frame Shift Drive technology of nowadays allows a ship with a low heat output, like the Hyperion, to navigate between a black hole and a neutron star with a relative safety, but that was a very dangerous business just some years ago. I cannot forget the logs of the Conflux Delta Site warning the explorers of the future about the neutron star there that causes their demise and how they described how it cooked their ship. Well, is getting hot too inside the cockpit, time to aim for Nuekuae AA-A h52, also known as The Crux.
Nuekuae AA-A h52, or The Crux, is a system containing a binary pair of pulsars in a tight orbit with a third pulsar. The jets of the third pulsar point perpendicularly to the binary pair, making them look like a cross when viewed from a determined angle. The main body of the system is a black hole, and there is a ringed brown dwarf too.
The Hyperion in “The Crux” (Nuekuae AA-A h52)
Very close to “The Crux” is the system Gandharvi, where the faction known as the Mercantile Pact of Gandharvi has stablished an Ocellus station, Caravanserai starport, and an outpost by the name of marlin’s reach. I chose to land in the first. All the gravity I can get the better.
The Hyperion approaching Caravanserai starport (Gandharvi)
Resuming log. Caravanserai starport is surprisingly well equipped for being so far from the Bubble. The local government is a patronage, and it seems that the Colonia Council is expanding its operations there what has caused a war between them and a local corporation called Scutum-Crux Resources Inc. Despite that, the station has many services, and even high tier ships like the new Krait Mk II can be bought at the shipyard. The local market is also very well provisioned. I took advantage and buy a crate of liquor, to compensate for the one of Lavian Brandy that I lost during the pirate attack I suffered in the Omega Nebula
. They also sell food cartridges. I bought one crate in hope it contains some new options for the food printers of the Hyperion. I should have thought about this before leaving The Bubble. I also buy some survival equipment, just in case. Maybe it could help if I have an accident that leaves me stranded in the surface of any remote moon. I am surprise to see that the system sells imperial slaves too. I guess it is a patronage after all. Poor people, I bet they never thought they will end in such a forsaken place so far from the Empire.
Before leaving Caravanserai starport I do something that fills me with pride. I order a decal of Elite in exploration to be painted in the wings of the Hyperion. The original painting has deteriorated, too many fuel scooping I guess, so I make the Hyperion to be repainted too.
The Elite in exploration decal painted in the wings of the Hyperion (Gandharvi)
The next stop is known as the Polonium Fields, in the Amaethon Nebula, a small moon that it is said to contain the highest known concentration of Polonium in the Galaxy. The path to system Floalt GO-G d11-9 and the Amaethon Nebula is long, but splattered with many neutron stars that boost my jump range. On the way I discover my first Earth like world of this stage of the expedition. A tiny blue planet with just a third of the mass of the Earth orbiting a star thirteen light years away from the arrival point. The system is Blaa Phoe WA-J c11-61. From above, it looks like a cold planet, with lots of ice plates.
The Hyperion above Blaa Phoe WA-J c11-61 C 7
I resumed course and soon I found myself in the Amaethon Nebula with its hues of blue and orange. It was named after Amaethon, the Welsh God of agriculture and, acording to the Galactic Mapping Project database, the region could be a potential location for further human deep space expansion.
Floalt GO-G d11-9 4 E has just five hundred kilometers radius and a 0.03 gravity, making it a challenge to navigate in the scarab. Anyhow, its Polonium is worth the effort, so I choose a plain close to the north pole and carefully drive around looking to increase my jumponium reserves.
Jav Marlo searching for Polonium in Floalt GO-G d11-9 4 E
Resuming log. The pit stop at Polonium Fields have been worthwhile. I have collected forty two units of Polonium, and now I could do fourteen FSD premium injections of jumponium if necessary. I am going to need more Arsenic. The resting felt well too.
The next point of interest in the route was the place known as the Death Spiral. What a colorful name! The system Blaa Phoe NC-D d12-230 contains a Class V gas giant in an orbit of just fifteen minutes around the primary White Dwarf. The orbital distance is so tight that gas giant cannot be reached using supercruise. The White Dwarf drops the ships out of supercruise about two light years out. There is also a M Red Dwarf companion very close. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, the gas giant passes trough the jet of the White Dwarf on its superfast orbit. The planet is so close to the White Dwarf that it is within the Roche Limit and should have been torn apart to form a ring system, and it also orbits faster than the White Dwarf’s rotation period, which it is itself only 16 minutes, therefore is spiralling in to the White Dwarf due to tidal forces. The system is also 7.8 billion years old. How the gas giant continues to survive, how it got into its current orbit around the White Dwarf, and how the White Dwarf and its planet both got so close to the M Red Dwarf star after the end of the White Dwarf's former red giant phase are all deep mysteries!
The Hyperion in the Death Spiral (Blaa Phoe NC-D d12-230)
Very close to the Death Spiral is the system Boewnst AA-A h33 also known as Michell’s Legacy, in honour to John Michell who first postulated the existence of black holes back in the eighteenth century. The system contains six black holes. One of the highest concentrations of system-specific black holes currently discovered.
The Hyperion experiencing light distortion in a black hole in Michell’s Legacy (Boewnst AA-A h33)
From there I headed for the Crayfish Nebula, with a quick stop planned on the Clockwork Rings. The one thousand eight hundred light years trip proved very profitable. I found a system with three water worlds, Boewnst TI-Z D1-3734, and a beautiful ringed ammonia world with void opals hotspots in Byaa Ain ME-N C8-66. The ammonia world was huge, and I could see perfectly the shape of the continents from above. I have read that the Thargoids fancy this kind of worlds.
The Hyperion inspecting a ringed ammonia world in Byaa Ain ME-N C8-66
The system Byaa Ain QA-J c11-144 has a couple of twin ringed planets with high metal content orbiting each other less than one light second away. Each planet's rings are perpendicular to other other's, allowing for fascinating views. Just beware the high gravity when landing. The perfect spot for resting some hours.
The Hyperion in the Clockwork Rings (Byaa Ain QA-J c11-144)
Resuming log. The Crayfish Nebula is a small nebula that glows reds and sits over one thousand one hundred light years above the galactic plane and over sixteen thousand light years from Sol. The system Byaa Ain XK-R c7-65 has a couple of Brown Dwarfs with very thin rings, that adds more red and pink hues to the beautiful colours of the nebula.
The Hyperion in the Crayfish Nebula (Byaa Ain XK-R c7-65)
My last stop before the meeting point of Polo Harbour is the Bullet Nebula, more than two thousand eight hundred light years away. I programmed the nav computer to take profit of any neutron stars nearby and, on the way, I discovered a system with a neutron star. I have seen tens of neutron stars on this trip and I usually use them to boost my Frame Shift Drive, a damn dangerous maneuver, but I have never discovered one. Well, Byaa Ain CR-T d4-857 will have my name tagged. I have heard that the Galactic Mapping Project Initiative gives you a badge for this.
Jav Marlo in the Hyperion after discovering his first Neutron Star (Byaa Ain CR-T d4-857)
I guess I have pushed too much the Frame Shift Drive overcharging it surfing the jet of neutron stars. I notices that it was bellow eighty percent integrity when I left the Crayfish Nebula, and I hoped that it will resist until I arrive to Polo Harbour for repairs, but it has started to fail. I had to use the Auto Field-Maintenance Unit and do some reparations in space. I have never done it before, and I did not like the idea of switching off the Frame Shift Drive in space, but it was failing too much. I dropped out of supercruise close to the primary star of Byaa Ain TV-H b28-20. I thought that like these it would be easier for a rescue party to find me in case of troubles, and I proceeded with the repairs. Everything went well. These AFMUs are an incredible technology. I wonder how space exploration was before them. I am glad I decided to equip one of them before departing the Bubble.
Some hours later I arrived to system Eor Aoscs VM-W d1-683, from where there is a great view of the tiny Bullet Nebula, that looks like a bullet ripping through space.
The Hyperion heading towards the Bullet Nebula (Eor Aoscs VM-W d1-683)
I enjoyed the view for some minutes and changed course for Polo Harbour, one of the Colonia Connection Highway outposts and basecamp of this stage of the route. On this occasion I arrived two days before the releasing of the next waypoint. This will be the last human outpost in while. From now on the expedition will be harder. Looking at the heavy traffic and the activity at the harbor, I can tell that many commanders have think like me and are trying to enjoy as much as the services of a fully doted space port as possible before heading to galactic core. There is word in the bars that several members of the expedition had taken the chance to visit Colonia too, being it less than five thousand light years from here. I would love to visit the place one day and have a drink at the legendary Jacques Station, but I think I will rest here for the time remaining.
This is Commander Jav Marlo, registering this log in Polo Harbour in system (Boewnst KS-S c20-959). I have just collected fifty eight million credits from Universal Cartographics for my exploration data. I also have confirmed that the neutron star I found will have my name tagged.
A neutron star in system Byaa Ain CR-T d4-857 tagged by Jav Marlo
I am heading to the nearest canteen to celebrate. I hope to find more fellow commanders from Distant Worlds 2. The first round is on me.
Jav Marlo signing out.
The Hyperion landed in Polo Harbour (Boewnst KS-S c20-959)