Spring 3305 -
I think I've hatched a plan that will work for me to go on quite a long period of travels without the nagging feeling that I failed to sort out my affairs at home at Jameson Orbital before heading out.
The main objective is 'been there, done that', shared by many a commander - to travel out to Beagle Point, and beyond. I'm rather hoping that by the time I get there, someone will have decided to build an outpost looking out over the void. After all, should there not be a 'restaurant at the end of the universe?'
Inspired by the Distant Worlds 2 (DW2) expedition, I just wasn't ready to leave when it did. But the desire to head out to Beagle point and beyond had been there for a long time. I have shared this with the Admiral, Commander Jkurittu, and with whom I will have the honour of travelling, for a long time already.
When DW2 set off, I was, in fact, in the middle of correcting all the engineering mistakes and outfitting weaknesses across my fleet. My exploration anaconda in particular, the Calypso II (which was named after Commander Jacques Cousteau's 20th. century scientific research ship) simply wasn't ready. It is now.
I've also changed my mindset: I have let go. I will not complete my engineering works. I will leave with only about half of my fleet in the state I want it to be in. But that will do, and it will leave me with something to look forward to on my return. Ranking up in combat will also just have to wait until I eventually return to the bubble, or to when I reach Colonia on the return leg. I will leave home, and remain, a combat Master, for a long while. I have accepted that too.
First on this voyage to Beagle and beyond there is the attraction of Explorer's Anchorage and the research and new discoveries to be made at the Galactic core. What a great stop over on the way! Then, there's the need to plan for getting a head start in Colonia at the end of this expedition to the very 'northern' edge of the Galaxy.
This won't be the first time we head to Colonia. The first and only time we've spent some time there was back in the fall of 3303. This time, there are new pull factors: the urge to respond to the invitations from the various engineers which have set up shop in Colonia since, and generally, to learn about what's actually going on there rather than just hear about it on Galnet. So before I head off on our own DW2.1, given the lack of good modules out in Colonia, I need to park a decent multipurpose ship out at Colonia Dream because the one thing I don't want to do on arrival is to have to cannibalise the Calypso II. There's just no way. I'll be way to attached to how it's fitted out by then. In fact, I hate cannibalising my ships or even having a spare load out in stock. All that fiddling around with spare modules distracts me from my day job and it's precious time spent on not actually flying.
Since I'm not the richest of Commanders (given my tendency to splash out on rudely expensive ships and equipment), I looked at the costs of ferrying another of my more versatile advanced ships, or even a set of good modules, out to Colonia. It's a 'no go' price wise and I'm bound to make mistakes on modules. I'm just not willing to part with the better part of a quarter of a billion for that and risk getting it wrong.
Then I remembered a recommendation from an old friend, Commander Superdrev, in comments he made a long time ago. I recall him telling me he'd kept his Diamondback Explorer on the books because it was such a trustworthy, sturdy, little ship. I had noticed one lurking, practically abandoned, in the back hanger at Jameson for a while already. I hadn't paid much attention to it, but suddenly, it clicked. I eventually found the drunken owner hanging off the edge of the trader's bar down at the docks, and within seconds, slipped him the credits needed to seal the deal.
So yesterday, I had it stripped clean, repainted, and I renamed it the Duke of Cambridge, in honour of an old prince I once heard about who worked in rescue operations. I had it D-rated for the most part, and fully engineered it, ready for hauling to Colonia at low cost because, even now, it's value is still only about 15 Million, despite the refit and all the tuning. Of course, it's now got the famed 70Ly jump range these ships can achieve, it's an absolute buzz to fly, and as far as top of the line equipment goes, it's certainly worthy of loaning out to the fuel rats, or ready for me to perhaps even serve as one in the future. Importantly, it will get me back to the bubble quickly after this trip to drop-off a proper Colonia-prepped ship.
Tonight, I will purchase that long coveted brand new Krait Phantom on sale at a knockdown price at Jameson and customise it as a multipurpose vessel for life in Colonia. That's the 250 Million credit ship I will fly out to Colonia Dream over the weekend. I won't quite be back in time for supper, but I will be back in time for the trip to Beagle point after a summer of getting fit, hiking in the Terran Alps nature reserve in Sol.