DISTANT WORLDS 2 (PART 10) – HUNTING WOLF-RAYETS AND THE ODIN’S HALL
17 MAR 3305 Explorer’s Anchorage (Stuemeae FG-Y d7561)
This is commander Jav Marlo onboard the Hyperion, landed at Explorer’s Anchorage, in system Stuemeae FG-Y d7561. I cannot believe I am just a couple of light years of distance to Saggitarius A, the very core of the galaxy. I barely can wait for the Hyperion to be refueled and patched. I want to see how it is.
As soon as the Hyperion is ready I lock Saggitarius A in the nav map and proceed to launch. A short jump later I am there. In front of the Supermassive Black Hole at the very centre of the Galaxy. As expected, there is a nav bouy, so I head there.
The Hyperion at Saggitarius A nav bouy
According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, since modern FSD technology made it possible to travel the extreme depths of space, Saggitarius A has been visited by hundreds of explorers. Some come here as part of a speed race or challenge, others to gain the experience and credits of scanning the most massive stellar body in the galaxy. Some come because their wanderlust drives them ever further from the regions around Sol, and others come as part of one of the many community expeditions that have made their way through this system.
Saggitarius A was first reached by CMDR Zulu Romeo, which I have heard is taking part on this expedition, in late November 3300 while he was doing a scouting mission for the First Great Expedition towards the galactic core. At the time no one expected that it would be possible to reach the galactic core before massive FSD failure would be experienced, but CMDR Zulu proved the resilience of modern drive technology by continuing on and on.
A later notable event here at the centre of the galaxy, was the record breaking meet-up during the Distant Worlds Expedition of 3302.
And now I am here too as part of the second Distant Worlds 2 expedition. Six months ago I was dreaming with owning my own spaceship and exploring the galaxy and now I am an Elite explorer who has reached the core of the Galaxy. The very centre of everything. I have become a true explorer, like my father, I only wish now he would be alive to see it. As far as I know, he never visited Saggitarius A.
Jav Marlo at The Centre
Well, if I want to catch up with the part of the fleet that has joined the excursion to Altum Sagittarii I better hurry up.
Resuming log. I have arrived to system Nyuena JS-B d342, commonly known as Altum Sagittari, that is situated two thousand light years above Sagittarius A.
The Hyperion arriving at Altum Sagittari (Nyuena JS-B d342)
This system was one of the waypoints of the original Distant Worlds expedition. It is said that, from the basecamp of Gagarin’s Reach, in one of the moons of the fourth planet, there is a spectacular view of the expansive galactic core regions below. An awe-inspiring site that only a few have witnessed from first hand.
I am trying to locate the exact coordinates of Gagarin’s Reach when my sensors catch the echo of a signal. Probably a landed ship. I aim on its direction and soon I see a beautiful yellow Krait Phantom landed on a promontory that has to be Gagarin’s Reach. The ship is registered to March Top Cat, a fellow commander belonging too to the Distant Worlds II squadron. I scan his ship and hail him, but it seems the Krait is unmanned. He must has left in the scarab for exploring. I am happy of, at least, being able to catch up with another commander. Exhausted after the trip, I decide to take a sleep while I wait for commander March Top Cat to come back. The view is incredible, as promised.
The Hyperion at Gagarin’s Reach (Nyuena JS-B d342)
Resuming log. I just got up and there are no signals of commander March Top Cat. I am alone at Gagarin’s Reach. I better depart and head back to Explorer’s Reach.
The feeling of aiming towards the void with the whole galaxy below is overwhelming.
The Hyperion leaving Gagarin’s Reach (Nyuena JS-B d342)
Resuming log. Before coming back to the starport, I have decided to pay a visit to the official basecamp of the expedition in system Stuemeae KM-W C1-342. Interesting! There are notable stellar phenomena on the system.
I have found prasinum metallic crystals and solid mineral spheres in the rings of the first planet.
The Hyperion exploring a notable stellar phenomena at Stuemeae KM-W C1-342
Well. Armstrong Landing is deserted too. I guess everybody is exploring for mining sites or at Explorer’s Anchorage. I better get there too. I just hope there is place to land there still.
The Hyperion at Armstrong Landing (Stuemeae KM-W C1-342)
Resuming log. Stuemeae FG-Y D7561 is boiling with activity. There are commanders from the Distant Worlds 2 fleet flying everywhere. I have identified some ships too that only can be pirates. There are reports of attacks to the fleet in the system. Several commanders have been shot down. Some say that there are terrorist factions following the expedition and trying to disrupt its operations. Some even say that one of this factions may be the dreaded Smiling Dog Crew leaded by the notorious commander Beseiger. I better land and see what is happening. On approach to the spaceport I can see that the construction operations are marching at good path. There is welding activity in the pylons that will support the habitat ring.
The Hyperion inspecting Explorer’s Anchorage (Stuemeae FG-Y D7561)
Resuming log. It seems that the Distant Worlds 2 fleet has done it again. Every inhabited system where this fleet expends some time destabilizes sooner or later. And this time it has been sooner. The moment the Ocellus Starport of Explorer’s Anchorage was deployed the problems started. The mighty task of building a starport in the core of the galaxy and the promise of a new life far from the tribulations of the Bubble has brought seven hundred and fifty thousand souls to this system, plus more than ten thousand ships of the Distant Worlds 2 expedition. The recipe from disaster. On this occasion the fleet did not even disrupted the local mining operations, like in Omega
, before triggering the conflict among the local factions.
This system has entered in civil unrest. The problem is that if the situation escalates, the whole system will lockdown and all the station services will be disable. Bad timing when a huge fleet has been lured here with the task of helping in the completion of the next phases of construction. Presumably, there will be a call for mining different materials, like in Omega, and there will be a call too to hunt pirates or factions that might disrupt the operations. The situation must be deal with before the whole system collapse. I pity the poor devils that left the Bubble and all its misery to live here only to find war. Same old war.
Well, I am not taking part in this. I cannot and, besides, I have another kind of hunt in mind. Last time I was able to buy an old Type 6 cargo ship and equip it form mining in order to contribute to the community goal, but there is no shipyard here at Explorer’s Anchorage. The Hyperion is a pretty basic tiny explorer ship, not fit for mining or even less for combat; its shields were meant just in case of bumpy high gravity landings. One thing is clear. I cannot contribute this time, and I do not want to be here when all the mess starts. I am leaving. This new is space station is meant to impulse the exploration of the core regions, and I am determined to find some undiscovered Wolf-Rayet stars.
Resuming log. I am on route to the Zuneae sector, about six thousand light years from the core. Here is my plan. I have chosen a sector of the Empyrean Straits region in hope that it has not been explored in depth. The star density so close to the core is huge, and sector Zuneae is not in the path of any heavily transited route, so maybe there will still be some interesting systems there yet to be discovered and, hopefully some Wolf-Rayet stars with no commander’s names on then too.
Wait. I think I have detected an Earth-like world.
The Hyperion inspecting Myrierph ZA-N d7-701 6
Resuming log. What makes Wolf-Rayet stars so appealing, besides the fact that the Galactic Mapping Project initiative gives you a badge for discovering one? Well, Wolf-Rayet are a rare heterogeneous set of stars with unusual spectra showing prominent broad emission lines of highly ionised helium and nitrogen or carbon. They were first observed by the astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet of old Earth back in 1867, fifteen centuries ago. They put out so much power that they usually blast off much of their outer layers to form nebulas around them. They have very high surface enhancement of heavy elements, depletion of hydrogen, and strong stellar winds. Their surface temperatures range from 30,000 K to around 200,000 K, hotter than almost all other stars. All Wolf-Rayet stars are highly luminous due to their high temperatures, reaching thousand times the luminosity of the sun, with most of their radiation output on the ultraviolet side. They represent a late stage in the evolution of highly massive stars, usually O-type. And there should be only around a thousand of these objects in the whole galaxy.
Summarizing, they are beautiful, violent, heavy, hot, bright and very scarce. That makes them coveted by the explorers. It is a mark of pride to being able of discovering one of these rare stars and “tag” them with your name. Since the FSD technology became mainstream five years ago opening a golden age of space exploration, many intrepid commanders have come to the unexplored regions of the Milky Way in hope of reaching notoriety by associating their names with one of these scarce stars. And nowadays, it has become quite difficult to find one of these stars that has not being claimed. But I intend to do it.
Resuming log. I have localized a Wolf-Rayet Star in system Zuneae AA-A H2 and I am jumping there.
There it is. As bright and beautiful as I expected. It has more than one hundred times the mass of the Sun and a surface temperature of nearly 30,000 K. And it has the name of commander PrimalHumanRage on it too. Damn it! He got it first. Hey! Wait a second. The system has other three class O type stars, and it appears as unexplored in the Galactic Mapping Project database. Probably commander PrimalHumanRage navigation computer is not linked to the Mapping Project database, so I guess I will get the credit and the badge for discovering this Wolf-Rayet after all. But it will not have my name on it. I want to tag with my name one of these stars, so I must continue my quest. It would have been a lot of luck to find an untagged Wolf-Rayet at my first try.
The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A H2
Resuming log. I did it! After looking in tens of systems already explored by commander PrimalHumanRage, I finally found an untagged Wolf-Rayet star. But it is red, not violet. It is a tiny Wolf-Rayet O with eighty solar masses that burns mostly oxygen and has a surface temperature of just 6,720 K. That explains its reddish hue. Well. It does not matter. It is an unclaimed Wolf-Rayet and it will have my name on it. Now, I want to find one of the big blue ones.
Orange Wolf-Rayet. The Hyperion at The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A H56
Resuming log. I have found another reddish unclaimed Wolf-Rayet. This one is fifty solar masses and has a surface temperature of just 3,672 K. It seems to be burning Nitrogen and Helium.
Red Wolf-Rayet. The Hyperion at The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A H57
Resuming log. Finnally I found my own violet unclaimed Wolf-Rayet. This one is burning oxygen too, but it has more than one hundred solar masses and a surface temperature of 50,989 K. Shiny!
My first unclaimed blue-violet Wolf-Rayet. The Hyperion at The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A H58
Resuming log. In the last twenty four hours I have found many other Wolf-Rayet stars in system Zuneae. Most of them were already claimed by commander PrimalHumanRage, but few of them were yet undiscovered. I found a couple of black holes and an Herbig Ae/Be star system, all already claimed too.
The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A H49
Resuming log. I am looking for a place to land and rest after all this Wolf-Rayet hunting. I am exhausted. I think I have found and interesting planet in system Zuneae GX-J d92624. The ninth planet is a terraformable high metal content world. I am going to approach and probe it.
It seems it has many geological sites. Well, let’s choose one and land. After all this jumping from system to system, some gravity and a ride on the scarab will feel very nice.
The Hyperion landed at Zuneae GX-J d92624 9
Resuming log. My plan has worked perfectly. There are thousands of stars in this sector and, despite the exploring efforts of CMDR PrimalHumanRage, there are still many interesting systems yet unexplored and even some Wolf-Rayet stars waiting to be discovered.
Jav Marlo discovering a Wolf-Rayet star (Zuneae AA-A h40)
In the last hours I have discovered many new Wolf-Rayet stars that have never been visited by a human.
Some of them were huge, like the one I found in Zuneae AA-A h45 which had one hundred and twenty solar masses.
The Hyperion discovering a Wolf-Rayet star (Zuneae AA-A h45)
I found one with a solitary orbiting high metal content world. The star casted a beautiful violet light over the planet creating a mesmerizing sunset.
Wolf-Rayet sunset. The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A h44
Many of them had a sister O type star orbiting near. And on occasions the orbit was so tight that, from certain angles, both stars resembled me the eyes of a mythological god scrutinizing the vastness of space.
The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A h60
One of these systems almost killed me. It was in Zuneae AA-A h67. The system contains a Wolf-Rayet star, two O Blue-White stars and a Herbig Ae/Be Star. The problem is that the Wolf-Rayet and one of the type O are orbiting very close, and both of them have a surface temperature over 50,000 K. The perfect oven. Seconds after I dropped into the system the high temperature alarm triggered. For the record, I arrived at zero impulse power and the Hyperion is a heavily modified Diamondback Explorer with all systems A rated and a low emissions power plant. I turn out and tried to gain distance with the stars as fast as I could, but it was not enough. I started to suffer module damage. I fired a heat sink and that bought enough time to save the ship but, incredibly, the temperature started to rise dramatically again when the effects of the heat sink passed while I was still gaining distance. At the end, I just suffered minor module damage, but this system is a death trap. Explorers be warned!
The Hyperion at Zuneae AA-A h67, “The Stellar Oven”
Besides the Wolf-Rayets, I have found several undiscovered black holes in this sector. I had seen many of them before, but never found an unexplored one. I think that will gain me another badge from the Galactic Mapping Project initiative.
Jav Marlo discovering a black hole (Zuneae AA-A h39)
I am landed now in system Zuneae VE-P d6-4040. I have a found a solitary landable ringed high metal content world orbiting a neutron star and thought it was a good place for resting some hours. I chose myself a cozy crater with a plateau in the middle and a nice view of the ring.
The Hyperion landed at Zuneae VE-P d6-4040 1
Resuming log. I am on my way back to Explorer’s Anchorage. This week exploring Zuneae sector has been very fruitful. I have discovered many Wolf-Rayet stars plus some black holes and many terraformable planets. I have stopped a moment at system Zuneae AA-A h287 to behold a blue-white supergiant with an orbiting class V gas giant.
The Hyperion flying over Zuneae AA-A h287 1
Resuming log. I have just arrived to system Stuemeae FG-Y D7561 and I can see that the construction of the habitat ring is progressing. That means that the civil unrest is under control now. The Earth-like world is blocking the light of the red dwarf making the sparks of the welders shine in the dark.
Explorer’s Anchorage habitat ring construction in progress (Stuemeae FG-Y D7561)
The deck crews at Explorer’s Anchorage tell me that the construction of the habitat ring is progressing as planned. I have talked with a delegate of Deep Space Surveys, the controlling faction, and he says that the security is now under control and the economy is in state of investment. He thanks the Distant Worlds 2 fleet for helping redirecting the situation and providing the necessary materials. Well, there is no task big enough for a ten thousand ships fleet, I said. I cannot avoid to feel like if I had skipped my duties and left to do some tourism on the other side of the core while other fellow commanders remained here doing the hard work. I am part of this fleet and contributed to the construction of this spaceport back in Omega using a mining ship I bought there. Alas, on this occasion I could not be of much help in the mining effort and I was not willing to participate in a civil war twenty five thousands light years away from the Bubble. Anyhow, I want to express my gratitude to all the commanders that contributed to this goal.
The news from the Bubble are very depressing. It seems that the Thargoid raids are becoming more violent every day and several systems from the Alliance and the Federation space have been swarmed. I feel the same in respect to this, like if I was running away in a sightseeing trip across the galaxy instead of staying at home to fight the invaders and defend the human territory against the alien attack. But this feeling is not new, it has haunted me since the expedition started. I better go to the Universal Cartographics office to collect my reward and write my name on some of those Wolf-Rayet stars and later I will maybe look for a bar to have a drink.
My own tagged Wolf-Rayet
Resuming log. I was having a drink at one of the bars of the station, mingling with other fellow commanders, when I caught a conversation about an excursion to the Peak, the highest known system, discovered months ago by CMDR Straha Yeagar
. The place sits three thousand one hundred eighty light years above the galactic plane, at is only at four thousand five hundred light years from this station. System Systae Free AA-A h1 is also a records breaker, holding several stars, three black holes, rocky bodies, three water worlds and one Earth-like world. Amazing! Too hard to resist. Captivated by the epic story of the voyage of CMDR Yeagar, I run to the Hyperion ready to reach the Peak.
Before starting the climbing to the Peak, I take a moment to observe the progress of the construction of the habitat ring now at daylight.
Construction of the habitat ring at Explorer’s Anchorage
Resuming log. I have found an Earth-like world in system Phua Aub DJ-A c1-387. The size and configuration is very similar to original Earth and it even has a single landable moon.
The Hyperion flying over Phua Aub DJ-A c1-387 3
Resuming log. I have found another Earth-like world in system Phua Aub NS-B D3914. This one is one third the size of Earth and shares its orbit with a waterworld.
The Hyperion flying over Phua Aub NS-B D3914 A 3
Resuming log. And just when I thought I was becoming a seasoned explorer, I made a stupidity. I was unable to lock system Systae Free AA-A h1, aka the Peak, on the nav computer, so I aimed to system Systae Free AA-A h3 instead, and traveled there using the neutron highway, taking advantage on the FSD boosts. Well, my last neutron overcharged jump has dropped me, finally, at system Systae Free AA-A h3, and now I cannot lock any system in the nav computer. There are no other systems in my jump range around. I am trapped here, alone, in the top of the galaxy.
The Hyperion trapped at Systae Free AA-A h3
Do not panic! First things first. The only body in the system is a big blue-white star scoopable. Well, I have fuel. That will not be a problem. I have food cartridges and some Lavian Brandy
at the cargo hold. I could resist here for a while. Now, let’s find out how to scape this place.
They call this region of space Odin’s Hall. Very appropriate! I feel like if Odin himself was staring at me now with his only eye laughing from above, while I think about ways of scape of this trap in which I, so stupidly, have lured myself.
Observed by the eye of Odin (Systae Free AA-A h3)
Wait a second. I could synthesize some jumponium. I collected materials at the Polonium Fields
during the expedition, and there is a chance I can increase my jump range enough to lock into another system to jump. Any system.
I have never done this before. I would have preferred to experiment with jumponium before needing it for real, but it will have to be this way. I think I got it. Premium FSD injection. Jump range increased to one hundred and nine light years. I cross my fingers. There must be at least a system at this distance. YES! Got it. System Systae Free SD-T E3-4. That is the same system with a single neutron star that brought me here. Just eighty point six light years distance. Great! I am saved. That neutron star there guarantees my descend back to the galactic plane. 3, 2, 1… Engage.
The Hyperion at Systae Free SD-T E3-4
Resuming log. I hope I have learned the lesson. There is still much I have to learn about exploration. I should have been more careful. Launching myself to the top fringes of the galaxy without checking the jump ranges necessary and securing a safe path back was incredible unwise on my side. It is clear that I cannot reach the Peak with a jump range of just fifty three light years. But I think I could wander around Odin’s Hall a little bit.
This sector is full of wonders and ripe with black holes. I have found a system, Systae Free JS-B d13-9, where two red dwarfs and a landable ice world fifteen times the size of Earth orbit a white dwarf, creating mesmerizing views over the galactic mat.
The Hyperion at Systae Free JS-B d13-9
Amazing! I have discovered a system, Systae Free FG-Y g8, containing forty six bodies, including a black hole, three brown dwarfs and two neutron stars.
System Systae Free FG-Y g8
I am now at system Systae Free XJ-R e4-10. I had to use jumponium to reach it. It seems it was discovered by CMDR Bra2S, but it does not appear in the Galactic Mapping Project database, so I will get that credit. The system contains a blue-white star, four T-Tauri stars, and many gas giants and big high metal content worlds of which two are landable. I have not sleep in the last seventy two hours, so I find myself a cozy campsite in one geological signal and get ready to sleep twelve hours straight. I guess nobody will disturb me here.
The Hyperion landed at Systae Free XJ-R e4-10 6
Resuming log. It is time to put an end to this trip around the Odin’s Hall. The next phase of Distant Worlds 2 expedition must be about to be released and I am still four thousand and five hundred light years away from Explorer’s Anchorage. But I hope to arrive there soon, because it is my intention to use the Neutron Highway to descend back to the core.
The Hyperion at Systae Free AF-R E4-28 on its way back to the galactic plane
Resuming Log. I made it. Just in time for the announcement of the next waypoint. Explorer’s Anchorage is boiling with activity. The dock platforms constantly releasing ships. The commanders have started to rally at Sagittarius A for a massive jump to the next waypoint. And, guess what? I have just discovered that CMDR Straha Yeagar, the discoverer of the Peak, is taking part on the expedition. Her ship, the Buckeye Spirit, is docked at the station. I could have asked her about the minimum jump range to reach the Peak before venturing myself into the Odin’s Hall. Anyhow, it was an amazing trip. Next time I will reach it. Now, that I have the money, maybe I will buy myself one Anaconda. I have heard that they are still the ships that can get the highest jump range achievable.
The Hyperion at Explorer’s Anchorage
This is commander Jav Marlo, recording this log in the Hyperion, landed at Explorer’s Anchorage. I am afraid I will not make it on time for the massive jump. The Hyperion still need some patching, and it seems that we will not see another station for a while. Maybe I stayed too long at the Odin’s Hall mesmerized by the views. Anyhow, it has been two amazing weeks. According to the Galactic Mapping Project database, I am now the discoverer of seventeen Wolf-Rayet stars, many of them with my name tagged, and fourteen black holes. I have collected more than three hundred million credits for my exploration efforts. It is clear that the galactic core is ripe with wonders yet to be discover, and that the building of Explorer’s Anchorage means an incredible milestone in galactic exploration. Whatever was the price to put this station here, it was worth it. I am sure that this place will become a major hub for explorers looking to unfold the mysteries of the core regions. And I intend to join them too in the future, but first we must reach Beagle Point.
Jav Marlo signing out.