Last time, I ended up ready to mine the ten bromellite for Bill Turner. I left dock with 35 limpets, which should be plenty to grab a few bromellite... I underestimated bromellite and laser mining. I started checking rocks, and found a few with some bromellite, and started firing my lasers, but only tiny bits popped off. I started excluding everything but bromellite, since that's all I cared about, but there were still hundreds of tiny bits of it, so it took quite a few collectors. On top of it all, the high content rocks were few and far between. I thought I'd be core mining for bromellite, not laser mining. I was not prepared. Along the way, I serendipitously stumbled into a VO core, and got 16 tons of that, which was a nice surprise. Finally, I was up to seven bromellite, but also down to my last two limpets. I knew I was in trouble. I fired one, and hit a bromellite core. I almost shouted out loud, core mining I know how to do. I started loading the asteroid up with mines, only to discover that my charges weren't set quite high enough for optimal gathering and my time was up. I only needed three more, so anything should be fine... I backed off, praying for just three, but nothing. Not. A. Crack... I was crestfallen, knowing I'd certainly have to head back to get more limpets, but decided that I'd better use my last one before I headed out. To my great surprise, this last one was also a bromellite core. I loaded it up, and this one blew. I had no collectors left, but I didn't care one bit. I happily scooped up my bromellite, and headed out to Bill. Once there, I paid him my bromellite tax, and had him cut some weight off my sensors and life support to rank him up to grade 5. Woot, one more down.
Now, it was time to turn my attention to Professor Palin, which would require a minor expedition. I knew my AspX could handle it, but I wanted something a little more roomy (but still, not a conda... not yet). I briefly considered a DBX, but I wanted a little more room than that, so I picked up a Krait Phantom, and started engineering it. I got it up to about 60 ly kitted for exploration, and I was pretty happy with that.
As a dry run for my Phantom (which I named Ranger), I decided to head out to Guardian space and gather some more mats there. Ranger handled like a dream. The view isn't quite as nice as the AspX (though still loads better than the Python), but the slightly increased range and extra room for modules was great. I spent a few days gathering at a guardian site to get my Module Blueprints, for shield reinforcements, etc. Not glamorous, but I made a good dent in the remaining work. Mostly, I need to find Guardian Tech Components... there's never enough of those. From there, I headed to "The Prospect" set up by Zende, and unlocked a couple things, but most things require some commodities, which aren't for sale out there, so back to the bubble, buy a few commodities, and unlock a couple of blueprints. I still have one or two I could unlock, but I got bored jumping around for now.
I decided that in order to max out my jump range, I needed some data, and my go to place for that is the Jameson Cobra (may he rest in peace). I gathered and traded down (at Ray Gateway in Diaguandri) twice, to make sure I had enough.
Next, I needed to grab a few experimental effects, so I headed to Deciat to talk to Felicity. After I got my upgrades with her, I remembered my side project, an high speed atmo-racer (with virtually no jump range), and that it was parked right outside Felicity, waiting for advanced thrusters and some upgrades, so I swapped to it and got ran to grab some parts and upgrades. It doesn't have enough distributor oomph for boosting (it will, just not yet), but it still runs without boost at 630m/s. I decided to take it out for a spin. Things went well for a while until I tried to hit a tight turn, and... well, lets just say that even a glancing bump at 630m/s is pretty bad. I spun out, the ship computer yelling at my incoherent mind, something about shields offline, hull critical. It ate all my shields (thank heaven for those), and 80% of my hull. I limped carefully back to Felicity and got my repairs with my tail between my legs, just grateful to be alive.
I read that this week was Keelback Awareness Week, and I'm a sucker for stuff like that, so I decided I'd take a detour and pick one up to check it out. It's a space brick, that's for sure... but it has a perk. It's the cheapest ship with a fighter bay. Then, I remembered that flying a guardian fighter is on my bucket list. I loaded one up and took it out for a spin. I flew a ways away from the space station, and launched the fighter. First, that launch sequence is incredible, I felt like I was being slingshotted out of a cannon. Then, the fighter itself was amazing, the sounds and details were incredible... but everything took a backseat to handling. I literally flew circles around my Keelback and almost shouted for joy again.
Finally, as I was going on a bit of a trip, I decided to take my son out for a fun day trip. It was his first flying experience, so I picked him up a cheap sidey, loaded on an SRV, and we flew to the nearest planet. It had a red/orange tint, so he called it Mars (I didn't have the heart to correct him), and we cruised around it's surface for a bit, and his exuberant glee made me happy. I dropped him off at home and said my goodbyes. Tomorrow, the trip begins.