The remainder of the trip to Sagittarius A* was slow-going, but relatively uneventful. After all the heat damage taken from the close encounter with that star, the damaged communications array, the high-speed landing, and the subsequent damage to the replication systems (among many others), it's amazing that I'm here at all. Inflight refueling usually took minutes at each star, but with all the damage, it took hours, and I had to refuel far more often than normal. What should've taken only a few days ended up taking nearly three weeks.
Once I arrived in range of Explorer's Anchorage, I communicated my relative distress and concerns with my gear to the dockmaster, and they did their best to clear a path for me and sent a tug to assist with my landing. I'd been having difficultly with the thrusters and I didn't expect them to be able to fully counteract the rotation of the station, to say nothing of the mail slot with my Anaconda. I did the best I could, but Explorer's Anchorage is a busy port, and they didn't need me holding things up. A couple of gentle nudges on the alignment approach, and it looked like everything was going well. Sadly, the gear extended, but didn't lock in place. At the moment of touchdown, they collapsed and my ship listed to one side as the thrusters went offline and the station rotation caused my ship to slide counter to the rotation since, with no gear, I couldn't maglock to the bay. Luckily, with the tug there, they were able to hold my ship in place (*reminder, I need to buy that pilot a case of absolutely whatever they like to drink - that was an impressive bit of flying) while I retracted the gear and righted the ship, even if it ended up on its belly. The bay foreman locked me down with a tractor and brought me in.
After that, it was a simple matter of assessing all damages I did to the station, to my ship, and to the tug. I've never been so happy to drop 4.5M credits in my life; the ship was safe and I lived through the experience. Compared to an ejection and insurance rebuy, not to mention all the lost exploration data I'd have sacrificed, it was well worth it. I went out of my way to find the pilot and dockmaster after their shift ended and made sure they didn't need to pay for drinks (or anything else for that matter) for quite a while.
While the ship is getting repaired, I thought it wise to update this log and seek out a few of the compatriots I met the last time I was here with Roviden, assuming any of them are still here. Most went their separate ways, but not all, and we were able to meet, swap stories, and generally catch-up. They were interested in my logs and the holos I took from Beagle and Oevasy, and they caught me up on the status of some of the more interesting news, both good and bad. Apparently, I'm in for a real shock when I return to the Bubble. From what I've heard, there's been a big shakeup, and the Thargoids are more present than ever.
Of course, I inquired about Roviden, and they said that he'd left shortly after I did, and haven't seen or heard from him since. One of them had been to Colonia and back and reported that he hadn't seen or heard from him in that direction. Communications to and from the Bubble didn't turn up any news as to his arrival there, but it also didn't turn up any news that he'd been destroyed. Looks like he's "Schrödinger's cat" for a while. He's either alive or he's not, but there's no way to know until I go looking for him. Sadly, that will need to wait as my repairs aren't expected to be easy. I've been informed to expect them to be completed in the next week or two; then it's a straight line for Artemis, unless I find something truly interesting along the way. Maybe, just maybe, I'll actually discover a smaller black hole or neutron star. In all my travels to date, I still haven't done either.