The meet-up with some of my fellow Silverbacks
was fun, typically raucous and full of good-natured insults. When you're seasoned with as much salt and pepper as this squadron, it's to be expected. Once everyone arrived at the appointed time--some being fashionably late, of course--we got lined up for the glamour shot and eventually mass-jumped out. Some of us kept on comms, sharing thoughts, encouragement, jabs and the like until, one by one, we each began to fall into concentration of the bigger task of plotting our individual courses home. Everyone but me was heading generally back to the core systems. I, of course, am anxious to get back to Colonia Dream.
As breathtakingly striking the view is of our galaxy that far out on the fringe, it simply can't compare with the sky I love so much in the Colonia region. The Silverbacks have a newspaper that has just gone into service, and we are all encouraged to participate by submitting articles. I'm very
tempted to write something up on life in Colonia. It's an oft-maligned part of space, usually by those who are so jaded by the "convenience" of top-of-the-line tech and services available in the core. But Colonia is
growing and expanding, and we are slowly catching up. One huge benefit to living out in Colonia is that you have a lot
less of a ganker and pirate problem. Dramatically less. I can mine Void Opals, etc., to my heart's content and be in relative safety on the very short trip to high-credit markets.
Anyway, a few hundred lightyears out from Beagle Point, I saw a planet that I could only describe as haunting.
As I approached, it seemed right shrouded in a mist, straight out of those old scary movies. I flew over a crater and couldn't see the floor.
Talk about foreboding. I normally run with shields off during long journeys, but I made sure I had shields to max and my SCBs fired up and ready. Watching the scanner very closely, I carefully worked my way down through the thickening fog, ever-closer to the surface. Night vision was absolutely worthless in this mess--it simply couldn't resolve a damn thing. Finally, awkwardly, I scrapped the ground and shut down the engines. The sky was gone. The fog was so thick that it blotted out the stars. But, as thick as it was, even this nasty soup pressing down on my ship couldn't completely kill the view of the Milky Way. Since I lost my SRV quite some time ago, I had no choice but to suit up and walk a few hundred yards from the ship to get a shot of all this. It was worth it.
Fast forward a bit, and after a few thousand lightyears and I found an Earth-like world to spend a little time scanning.
And, as luck would have it, a look at the data revealed a beautiful coral reef system and I was happy to find potential underwater predators were no worse than on Earth. So, after taking the necessary precautions, I found a spot to set down on a beach and I was able to knock out a relaxing dive. Scuba diving not
being a thing for Malina (yet), she was more than happy to get some sun on beach. She did share an encounter, though, with this planet's version of sand fleas, and had to make a quick dash back to the ship to figure out what repellant would work on the little buggers. Aside from that, it was a nice break.
Now, just over 10,000 lightyears from Beagle Point on the way to Colonia Dream, we spent the night on a little planet that drew my attention because of a very isolated, but very interesting surface feature. It was what I can only describe as an isolated snow range. There was a small mountain range that had no higher elevation than another other range on the planet, yet it had "snow" on the caps. Of course, analysis showed it was frozen methane, but it was still interesting.
Once we planted the landing gear and took in the view, I couldn't help but imaging that if Salt Lake City on Earth got wiped of all life, this is what it might look like. Still, it was interesting, and that's why I explore.
Malina and I will finish up with final systems checks and lift off shortly. Time to press on. I'm anxious to get home...only about 40,000 lightyears to go.