Log entry 3305-25-C. Colonia.
Following repairs at Amundsen terminal, I continued on to Colonia making only one overnight stop in an unexplored system, where I tried out the FSS scanner I had fitted a while back, but which I hadn't gotten to grips with yet. It wasn't exactly easy either with Archer having to calibrate it first. We got there in the end, and having scanned the vicinity, chose a barren moon with a nice view over a pink and blue gas giant. I touched down ín a deep valley emanating a strong geological signal, and sure enough, farmed some rare elements before setting up camp.
The next day, 189 jumps completed the journey to Colonia. I was surprised that the system came up as a new discovery. There must be a glitch in my memory banks. I have definitely been here before, towards the end of 3303. All the better, while out here, I'll be making more exploration earnings then, rediscovering already visited systems, I thought.
I was puzzled upon disengaging at Jacques. No one up in traffic control, not even an AI to greet me. In fact, no ships in sight. My docking request pinged back a glowing pad in the otherwise deserted docks but that was it. Touch down. No crew. Dead of the night station time maybe, so I hit the rack.
Once rested, I found my way to the cartographic data centre, in a station now transformed into a hive of activity, and handed over my data drive. What did I miss? Some convention? Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by the offer of over 30 Million credits considering I had essentially just fast jumped to Colonia from the bubble, having more or less scanned only one previously undiscovered system on the way. That's 50% more than what I made two years ago in my, at the time, un-engineered Asp
with 20% less jump range, stopping regularly and scanning anything significant.
It's while waiting at the Universal Cartographics desk that I met Commander Rob "Scubadog
" Wade, who was quick to pick up I was new in town. He was just passing through from his home on Colonia Dream in the nearby Ratraii system (I said: 'Oh yeah, I remember the place, that's where I perched the last time I was in these parts'). Having heard my story, he gave me tour of the station along with a few really good tips.
He said he's been out here for the past three years and that he's always happy to see a few more commanders realize Colonia actually is a pretty decent area to call home...or at least a second home. Finally, I felt welcome.
-Personally, I love the sky in Colonia, said Rob Wade.
-I couldn't agree more from what I saw on my way in! It's more beautiful than I remember, I said.
-While we still don't have all the A-rated modules yet (they seem to be slowly showing up) nor all the ships available in the shipyards (we just got the FDS, FAS and FGS recently) we do have some engineers - albeit, you'll need them unlocked via some engineers in the bubble.
-Yes, I was recommended and received the invitations from Etienne Dorn, Marsha Hicks and Petra Olmanova a while back already, and I'm also aware of this Mel Brandon genius, who can grade-5 engineer thrusters so you don't have to work for Mr Quent before Professor Palin will even consider granting you an audience, let alone farming Thargoid settlements for him before he'll do the same job. Hey, you know I've just ordered for my Sidewinder
to be shipped over, as well as my Diamondback
, and all my mining equipment? I added.
-I really get spoiled to the fact that everything is reachable here within a jump or two, so even a Sidewinder can be useful. Gankers aren't much of a problem, by comparison, which makes mining for Void Opals, Low-Temp Diamonds and the like an easy way to buff your bank account, he replied.
-Awesome! Thanks a bunch Commander, I'll be seeing you around hopefully!
I couldn't wait to get back to my ship and out in the black but before I could walk away, Rob Wade held me back by placing his hands firmly on my shoulders and looking me straight in the eye:
-Right you are Miss, but before you run back to the docks, as an explorer, you'll see this part of the galaxy just seems...fresher...for undiscovered planets. And, in your case, since there's no Federation (or Alliance or Imperial) presence here, you shouldn't have to look over your back constantly. Welcome to Colonia!
With a warm smile, which veered on the mysterious in the last second, Rob Wade did an about face, and disappeared into the crowd, saluting me as he went... I didn't get a chance to ask him why the station seemed deserted when I arrived.
I haven't come across him since, but boy was he right. Within a week, I've made numerous discoveries and quickly got a contract for Mel Brandon, who has been more than willing to engineer my trusters. But I must remember that while I will
return to Colonia soon, this was just a ship 'drop off' run: to find a pad on station and leave my Phantom here for later use. I now have to give some thought to whether to head straight back to the bubble, where the Admiral, Commander Jake "Jkurittu
" Sauvignon has new orders awaiting me, or to go back via Explorer's Anchorage, which is tantalising given the Galactic core isn't that far away in a 70Ly Diamondback...