May 12, 3305
Distance from Kunti: 0ly
Distance to Waypoint 01: 7,050.03ly
Distance to Beagle Point: 65,284.89ly
Well, here we go again. The itch to explore the galaxy has once again taken over me, mere months after returning home from my trip to the galactic core. What can I say? I love exploring the depths of space. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I completed my training with the Pilot’s Federation and attained my independent licence, but it seems I have found my calling in deep space exploration, charting the vast unknown regions of the galaxy.
This time it’s going to be a much more arduous trip, though. Fresh off the news of the Distant Worlds expedition reaching Beagle Point, I have decided to follow after them and make my own way to the distant system. I won’t be following their course, instead I’ve calculated my own series of of sixteen waypoints there and back, with the journey split effectively into four main phases.
The plan is to first take the Colonia Connection Highway, indulging in a few of the rest stops along the way, before finally reaching the Colonia Region itself. I plan to spend a week or two there establishing connections with some of the local factions and engineers, before pressing on through the second phase, around the inner-western region of the galaxy, above the galactic rim, and across The Void to Beagle Point. Again I may spend time here, even try and make it all the way out to Oevasy SG-Y d0, the most distant star system in the galaxy we know of, and see just what kind of personal best I can set for furthest distance from Sol (and perhaps set a record for furthest distance a Dolphin has travelled from Sol. I have no idea who else has attempted this in this ship).
Once I’ve had my fun out there, phase three leads back across The Void, this time angling eastward and ducking under the galactic disc, taking in a few sights along the way, including a ringed earthlike orbiting a neutron star I’ve heard about, before finally dipping inwards to make one final rest stop at the newly built Explorer’s Anchorage, right in the galactic core. Last time I was out there I was just a few weeks ahead of the Distant Worlds crew, and I’m curious to visit the station at long last. Then finally, it’s the final leg back home, stopping at another neutron earthlike I found on my last trip out there, before running back home.
This is certainly going to be an ambitious trip, and a long time away from the Bubble. My whole Sagittarius A trip, there and back, didn’t cover the one-way, straight-line distance to Beagle Point, and that voyage took a full month and a half. I’ve done some basic math in my head, factoring in my Dolphin’s sixty light-year jump range and the sheer distance I need to cover. I estimate I’ll need about two or three weeks to reach Colonia, and after that another perhaps two weeks spent there making connections and breaking in a new ship to leave there for future visits. After that, it will probably take another month to make the long run from Colonia to Beagle Point, with once again another week there to try and set a personal distance record from Sol. Then it’s another month to get to Explorer’s Anchorage, and from there another two or three weeks back home. Adding in time dedicated to prospecting for materials and detouring for possible interesting sights, that leaves us with a journey that will likely span five months, barring any mishaps. I originally had the plan to return home by my birthday in mid-September, but that seems unlikely unless I get lucky with long stretches riding the Neutron Highway.
Once again, I am taking my beloved Dolphin, the StarNova, out into the void. She handled the voyage to the galactic core admirably, and the engineers across the Bubble have been dilligently working on her since then, modifying all her internals to the maximum to make the best explorer she can be. Sturdy but light armour in case of rough landings, low powered shields, every last part and module stripped of anything extraneous, engines and reactor rigged to minimise heat generation, the works. I intend to get the life support systems stripped down even further in Colonia, as the engineers here can only do so much, and I’m told there’s an expert on them out there.
The mechanics and technicians at Hughes Enterprise have been hard at work, too, fixing a lot of the wear and tear the StarNova sustained speeding through the galaxy. She’s basically a brand-new ship, now. She’s gotten a new coat of paint, the plain white standard to Saud Kruger now having some yellow and gray mixed in for a more personal touch, along with nameplates, ID markers, and decals provided by the Pilot’s Federation proving my official status as an Elite Explorer. The clean-running drives also sport a vibrant blue blow I’m quite fond of. My living quarters have been touched up, more comfortable while hopefully shedding a bit of weight in the process, too, trying to squeeze every last light-second out of that beefed-up frame shift drive. I’ve even gotten a state of the art, high powered FTL comm system and antenna installed, which I’m told should allow me to keep in contact with friends back home in real time, and maintain access to the GalNet to stay up to date on events.
Finally, after all this setup and preparation, this weekend has mostly been spent packing supplies for the trip. Five months of food and water, plus an extra month of emergency rations. Medical supplies, especially after how ill I got last time. Books, videos, movies, and games packed into the ship’s data core, and even some basic exercise equipment and real-life games and such to keep me entertained on the long days and nights, on the far side of the galaxy from home. But now it’s done. The ship’s packed and ready, the course is charted as much as the navigation systems can figure out. Time for one last night at the Kunti Tavern with my friends, and tomorrow I’ll be leaving alongside Commander “Ceralkiller” to begin the journey together, though I’m expecting him to launch way ahead of me before long.
Wish me luck, commanders! I’ll see you on the other side!