As I sat down at the bar I breathed a huge sigh. I'd just forked out 3 million CR to have Colonel Livingstone, my bespoke Asp Explorer, delivered so that I can start my pilgrimage to the centre of the universe.
Livingstone is a great little ship. Not the best jump range in the universe and a little spartan inside, but I love flying her (him?) and she (he?) has never let me down.
My last big trip was the Eta Carina nebula via the Statue of Liberty nebula. Since then I have added a Guardian FSD booster and engineered the last scraps of weight off of, well, literally everything. She now sports a very respectable 63LY jump range. Not the 80-odd I could get out of my Anaconda, The Lord Arthur Florence, if I had the time and inclination to strip off the goodies that have made it the most impressive combat ship I have ever flown. But the best part of the journey is the discovery. So, while it will take me longer, it will be full of discoveries.
I am not quite ready yet. Part of my hesitation in leaving has been my desire for Promotion to Dangerous. When I come back from the trip I will be Elite in trade and exploration and I wanted to be at least Dangerous in combat before I left. But the destruction of so many ships has played heavy on my heart. It's time to be alone for a few months.
I gave my fighter pilot notice today that we would be splitting up. I thanked her for all her service and, while we both wiped a tear from our eyes, we agreed to make the run up to the trip as profitable for the both of as as we could. I have such a soft spot for her and I will miss her company. But this journey would bore her, she needs the taste of laser ozone and the sounds of hulls crumbling. I am buying her dinner tonight, I realised that I hardly know her.
I am looking forward to seeing biologicals for the first time. Critters that inhabit the vacuum of space, that swim in the void. I am so excited to see the cosmic delights that wait. Then, there is the payoff that is the Supermassive Black Hole, Sagittarius A*. I want to stay as far away from Colonia as I can, but a friend recently moved there for good preferring the new frontier to the drama of the bubble. Who knows, maybe it will be my new home. It's blissfully free of idiots out to destroy you for no reason other than because they can.
I receive a text telling me that Livingstone has been pre-flight checked and that the ferry pilot has received the passes to fly her. Soon he'll be on his way. I smile, dinner awaits.
Expect pictures and updates!