I have decided to begin keeping a log of my adventures and exploits, for future reference and record-keeping.
Today, my goal was to take my long-range Diamondback Explorer all the way out to Merope, in the Pleiades sector, in search of a single unit of Meta-Alloy, so that I may earn the services of the famous engineer Felicity Farseer, and begin upgrading my fleet's powerplants. To that end, I loaded up my small SRV hanger with a single rover, and made the trip... scanning each star system along my route, as usual.
As I approached the Pleiades region, the systems became crowded with more and more non-human signals... many of which had the highest threat ratings I have yet seen. I can only presume these are Thargoid ships on the prowl. Since my Explorer is lightly armed, I avoided any confrontation.
Upon arriving at Merope, I located the first Thargoid Barnacle ever discovered, but found it and the few neighboring sites had been picked clean some time ago, and now worthless. I visited the tourist beacons in the system -- my first time bothering with such beacons. I then traveled to Maia to see if any Meta-Alloy was available for sale, but all stocks were depleted there too. I detoured to visit the Maia Black Hole some 300k Ls from the main star -- a long trip, but worth it to see my first black hole. I then resumed my mission, searching neighboring systems where my research suggested many more Thargoid Barnacles might exist.
In the Pleiades Sector JC-U B3-2 system, planets 1 and 2 are co-orbiting very close together... and after visiting a tourist beacon in a crater of one of these worlds, I mapped their surfaces, and found both were littered with numerous Thargoid Barnacles and geological sites. I got lucky upon landing at the nearest Barnacle, finding it untouched and ripe with the single piece of Meta-Alloy I was looking for. It was guarded by three small drones that were lightly armed and easily shot down from the SRV. I stripped the Barnacle site, and made a pit-stop at a nearby geological site, finding lava geysers and some rare minerals that will certainly come in handy later.
Mission complete, I then proceeded directly to the Deciat system to find Felicity Farseer, once again scanning every system along my flight path, and evading one minor pirate interdiction attempt. Arriving in Deciat, I found two megaships in distress after being attacked by Thargoids: a Sampson-class bulk cargo ship (RUF-707) that had been abandoned, and a Lowell-class science vessel (HLD-667) in the process of being evacuated by rescue tenders. Since I could not reasonably assist either vessel with my little ship, I downloaded the logs for each vessel. I also found a cloud of cargo a short distance from the science vessel, and retrieved it all (manually, since I did not have collectors with me). Luckily, I had just enough cargo space for everything -- the haul is mostly composites, fuel canisters, polymers, semiconductors, and medicines... but it's legal salvage, and worth a few bonus credits, so why not rescue it from the void?
I then located the Farseer Inc base, and assuming that was where my contact would be, docked. Felicity Farseer was indeed home, and pleased with my unit of Meta-Alloy. She helped me upgrade my ship's powerplant, shield-booster units, and surface scanner.
Upon leaving, I spotted a third megaship nearby: an Aquarius-class tanker (FBY-8839). They too had been crippled by Thargoids. I collected a copy of their logs as well, but could not render assistance.
I then stopped at nearby Garay Terminal spaceport, and unloaded the cargo I rescued earlier.
Since I had some unclaimed bounties to the tune of nearly 200k credits, I decided to make the trip to the nearby Wolf 397 system to access the services of one Tod McQuinn, an engineer I have heard about who specializes in multicannons. When I located his base (a place called Trophy Camp), he accepted by bounty vouchers and granted me access to his services. Two new engineers in as many hours! He helped me to significantly upgrade my little ship's gatling gun.
I then rented a hanger at his base for the night, and retired to my bunk.