I must admit my eagerness got the better of me this last week and I rushed my way to the galactic center. Yes I used another neutron star route. Using those stars with my new route plotter is quite addictive, launching me 240+ ly each jump. I have had a few moments when my heart nearly ended up in my mouth and my dehydrated rations ended up in my pants, when the ship had tweaked "up" a little too much and I was pointed head first toward the center of the star for a second or too. I have therefore have had to be strict with myself and either knock back some extra strong caf or not do any cone flying if I am tired.
Anyway, I decided to head straight for the Great Annihilator system. This was a warm up for Sagittarius A *, two black holes, one at 200 solar masses with a radius of 500km and the other at 66 solar masses and 200 km. I got as close as I deemed safe and dropped out of super cruise. These strange, mysterious, shape shifting things never get old, this one however acted different from the others I have visited. As I got closer to it I left the engines on half speed and put on my camera drone goggles to take some shots. I gave the goggles a tap, took them off, cycled their power and put them back on, yep it was real. Instead of my red engine plumes being behind me, being expelled from my engines at the back of the ship, they were in front of me, trailing off into the distance, in-front-of-me! Was this some sort of space time distortion affect? Although fascinating it was also pretty unnerving and seeing my temperature slowly rising, I took a few snaps and then span the ship around. Definitely one to talk to my fellow scientists at Cannon about (Photo HERE
I then switched back to a normal route and headed onward. I focused on scanning, occasionally flying through systems to planets and fully mapping them if they were worth the extra travel time. I discovered at least 6 water worlds, 4 Earth like worlds and numerous high metal content and metal rich worlds that were teraformable candidates. The stars are so densely packed in now, I guess the intergalactic soup is richer in the often-illusive elements and materials needed, plus the odds must be improved due to sheer amount of everything.
A few days later and I had made it. I jumped into Sagittarius A* with excitement and anticipation and was greeted by the center of the galaxy, the Super Massive Blackhole and it took my breath away! It's hard to judge size and distance in space but this thing was a immense, huge and downright scary. It seemed like it was staring at me in one moment and beckoning me the next as it morphed, twisted and warped. The distortion nearly gave me a headache, there were what seemed like two twisted patterns inside the the circular void instead of the usual one, both mirroring themselves. As I rolled the ship they bended into a figure eight. I was there for an hour taking photos before I dropped in on the Tourist Beacon and scanned it for my records. After which, I did cautiously drop out of SC (super cruise) and gingerly approach the black hole with barely any throttle and full power to my shields. The temperature was much more aggressive and climbed steadily so I deployed a heat sink which dropped it back down as I span around and charged the FSD. It reached critical by the time I returned to SC so I dropped another heat sink and went to full throttle to get some distance. Thankfully it stayed steady this time, I decided not to push my luck and jumped to my next and last stop for the week, Stuemeae FG-Y d7561, just 3 lys away.
I came out of hyperspace with the usual lurch and stretch of light and found myself squeezed between two stars, a K and a G. Temperatures soared as I quickly picked a spot of black space through the glare and throttled up to 100%. Smoke and sparks leapt out of my dash console and alarms blared, I went to fire a heat sync but had none and had not bothered to synthesise any more yet. Luckily, as soon as I moved away from the stars the cold of space cooled everything down and I was safe! I'll be remembering that next time I jump into this system! After composing myself, I conducted a quick scan of the system and pinpointed the new station, Explorers Anchorage and headed towards it. I had a warm feeling of pride when I saw it. The fleet had showed such amazing dedication, so far away from civilisation with hundreds if not thousands of man hours invested. The result of our hard work mining all those tonnes of ore was now here in front of me. I have not seen a partially built station before, it looked like the love child of an Ocellus station and a mega ship, with just the globe section of the station at its front and the giant thrusters, still attached from the journey out here, at the back (Photo HERE
). I slowly cruised round it, taking in the strange sight before having docking cleared and setting the ship down on pad 16. The station did indeed look half finished inside too, not all the pads were built, the blue light of welding flashes were visible high up in the rafters and industrial drones were darting about like flies. There is more work ahead for us all to get it finished but it was great to see the start of the build.
As soon as I touched down and the clamps were in place I quickly opened station services. I blinked a few times and stared at the options, there was no Cartographics available. They obviously had not been instated at the station yet, I was too early! After my meeting with Caz the previous week and witnessing her attainment of the prestigious Explorer Elite Rank, I had secretly been hoping that I would also make the rank too upon selling this last extensive set of scan data. Guess I am going to have to wait a little longer!