Easy come, easy go.
Exploration! The absolute love of my life! I can't imagine how long I have spent outside this time, maybe a month, maybe two. The days seem to meld together when you jump from one system to another constantly. I explored the vast reaches of space, at-least what I could reach with my small little ship.
I found gas giants by the plenty, earth-like worlds spilled forth into my eyes and water worlds and ammonia planets blinded me. With the happiness of a dragon counting his gold, I scanned, I mapped and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Life was looking good, but then I got a little too close to the sun while scooping some fuel to ready myself for the coming days. A moment of carelessness and my ship took damage. I knew that now, it would be best to simply return to the human bubble and properly get my ship fixed. Duck-tape can fix almost anything, but I would still rather have my engines not whine the way they do. I was quite far off but I didn't mind the journey home. I merrily continued on my freshly planned route, looking through my codex and viewing my accomplishments.
Many many jumps later, I was only a few more away from civilization. My ship managed to hold itself together and I wasn't worried at all. I scanned the system before me, it was barren with only a few icy planets to fill it. Yet, I was thoroughly shaken because I discovered something truly rare. I checked, I double checked then I triple checked my full spectrum scanner. I found Non-Human signals, furthermore, the signals showed that a fight was occurring. I was beyond myself in excitement, my jaw was so low that I could consider using a collector limpet to help me retrieve it. I had heard the rumors, even spoken with others who told tales of their run-ins with non-humans and yet I could never believe them, never truly understand whether these people were spinning these elaborate stories or truly speaking from experience. And so, I made a decision. I wanted to see these non-humans for myself. It is a decision that I regret but one that I would still take if I were to be taken back in time to that point. I decided to prepare myself, I knew that I didn't want to fight and immediately diverted as much power as I could to my shields, the rest went to my engines.
I super-cruised to the signal source, anxiety and excitement fought over my mind while my spirit trembled and tried to return calm to the storm. I slowed to a snails crawl before the signal source, a safe-disengagement from super-cruise was available. I looked once more at the little blue disengagement notification in front of me, and my heart stilled. Calm came over me and without hesitation I locked onto the signal location and dropped from super-cruise.
My mind was clear, my thought reigned in, my eyes wide open staring with immovable concentration past the glass before me. It was quiet, there was no movement at all, no lights, no sound of weapon discharge. I was confused, where were the non-humans? Then another small ship whizzed past me, its shields broken, its hull cracked, I could not see the pilot yet I could feel his panic. My eyes widened even further, I immediately traced his path back and there I saw it. A non-human, it was...beautiful and ugly, menacing and yet it seemed not to instill fear in my heart. It looked like a flower, a perfect, symmetrical flower that slowly turned to look at me. I re-oriented my ship, faced it and for a moment, I felt a connection. I felt as though we acknowledged each others existence, I was elated but before I could even blink I was thrown into hell. My ship was attacked, my shields did nothing as my AI yelled warnings at me. In that moment, heart rendering fear gripped me. I tried to turn around as quickly as I could, by the time I had managed my shields were broken and my ship was at 50%. I boosted, I charged my frame shift drive, I even yelled some expletives as though it would help. I used every skill at my disposal, I launched chaff, I even launched my heat-sinks and it did not help. My ship was swiftly brought down to 30%.
I watched in absolute panic as my FSD charged itself. It was so close, mere seconds away from jumping and I started laughing. I was so happy that I managed to escape but before I could even count my my lucky stars, my AI solemnly told me to eject. My ship was destroyed, I was put into stasis and thrown out into space. The next time I opened my eyes I was in Chu City in Shana Bei. I remembered what happened, and my heart was pierced. I felt a bolt of pain run through me when I realized that all my data, worth possible several hundred million, was wiped out in an instant. But then I remembered the non-human, and I laughed, I may have lost everything but now I could prove to myself that they existed. I was happy they existed, because now, I have a goal. I will paint my new ship, but I don't yet know if it will be pretty, after all I still don't know if the non-humans bleed red or blue. I like blue.