The FSD cooled as we jumped into the system that I had labeled as the "WTF System", the neutron star glowing purple in front of us. Unlike other neutron stars that I had seen this one's plumes were more manic. It felt like they were buzzing with energy. I did a quick discovery scan of the system revealing that there was another star, a red dwarf, and a pair of other planets. Using the FSS I checked the system out, discovering that I was not the first person to visit this system. The FSS scan didn't reveal anything untoward about the planets, they were a pair of high metal content worlds in a tight orbit around each other. There was no seismic activity, no geysers or anything.
My heart sank, there wasn't anything here that I could see. This was going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. Wondering if the sensor that I needed was the beauty in the seat beneath me I asked, "Do you sense anything?"
I was beginning to wonder if she'd heard me when she replied, "I am not sure. It feels like there is something here..." She trailed off then said, "Point to the left a little."
I yawed the ship to the left then stopped abruptly when she told me to. "I am coming up." she said. A few seconds later I heard the door behind me open and she entered the cabin. "How do I steer this thing?" she asked.
I showed her how the joystick worked. Standing behind me and to my right she took the stick in her hand, closed her eyes and started doing her best to aim the ship in the direction she sensed whatever it was that she was sensing. Her actions were clumsy but eventually she managed to get where she thought something was. "Let's go." she said.
With Linka standing next to me I accelerated forward and we moved faster and faster through space. We traveled for ages, it felt like an hour or more but was probably only 20 minutes. The neutron star was over 200 000 LS behind us and still we traveled. I looked out the cockpit hoping to see something, anything, but all that I saw was the endless blackness of space interspersed with stars. Some twinkled, most just were there, almost mocking me. I was beginning to lose focus and my mind was drfting when I started to hear something through the speakers in the cockpit. It was sort of a crackling noise, with a faint humming noise. It sounded like some sort of radio interference, nothing special. "Slow." Linka breathed.
I pulled back on the throttles and the ship slowed, even though the speed was registering over 200c. The crackling got steadily louder and I pulled the throttles further back. "UNEXPECTED SPATIAL DISTORTION DETECTED". COVAS was uttering words I had never heard before. I pulled up the manual and looked the words up. They were a catch-all for spatial events that the sensors didn't understand. As I looked out the cockpit the stars did seem to be bunching together. The only way to describe it is that it was like looking at a neutron star, a round core with arms reaching out from the centre, but was like a black hole in terms of appearance. The stars sort of rolled around the invisible arms while the rolled like a black hole in the centre, making like the knot in a bowtie. It was like seeing a black hole combined with a neutron star, there was something of enormous gravity out here. I moved the ship around to try to see the invisible, the stars rolled around as I moved the nose of the ship. Eventually I had the centre worked out and slowly approached it.
The ball of moving stars became bigger, the sensors still not seeing anything. It was still growing in front of me when the ship dropped out of supercruise. The FSD collision detection had done its job and had disengaged the FSD before we ran into something that would be life-ending.
More than I could see it I could feel it. I'd had to turn the speakers down as the noise was now so loud as to be deafening. I advanced the throttles and suddenly space seemed to be turning in on itself, like we were pushing against a barrier of clingfilm. The ship shuddered as we punched forward. Suddenly space popped back and everything went completely quiet. In front of us, about 100LS away, swirled a ball of energy. It was a lime green colour but very bright. Wisps of green and yellow energy boiled inside the outer sphere. But what really surprised me, though, were the wrecks of ships that littered the area around us. I stopped the ship, there was a lot to hit out here. Just above me was the wreck of a massive ship, the size of a Capital class ship, perhaps bigger. I pointed toward it and flew in a bit closer, turning the lights on.
The hull of the ship wasn't like anything that I had seen before. There were huge holes punched into it, deep scorch marks surrounding the holes. Where the ship had exploded through from the inside there were evil, ragged holes. Smaller debris drifted around and spiraled, glinting as it caught the light. Linka stood there looking out the cockpit with horror etched on her face.
Then I heard it. It must have been there all the time, but I was only just hearing it now. It was a thumping noise, a slow rhythm every two seconds of a dull thump, that resonated all around us. I couldn't make out audibly where it was, it seemed to be all around us. I backed away from the huge ship and then started to make my way around the detritus of destruction. I saw what were clearly Thargoid carcasses drifting about among the other ruins. As we moved the thumping became louder, like a heartbeat, when I caught a glint out the corner of my eye up and to the right of us. I angled the ship in its direction and piloted us toward it. As we approached it started to glow, a feint blue colour, like the obelisks at the Guardian ruins. It was just starting to show on my radar, but it was intermittent. Like it was there one second then gone the next. It must have had some sort of technology to hide it, I wondered who from.
It looked like a beacon of some sort but I had no idea what sort. It was a triangular pillar, about 100m long. It the top were triangular apertures that glowed blue and pulsed with the same rhythm of the thump we were hearing. We were no more than 100m away when it suddenly wnet a steady blue and I got a firm hit on the ship sensors. Quickly I locked on and did a composition scan. It came back with nothing definitive but was consistent with Guardian technology. I did a data link scan and received a snippet of data, encrypted. Although that could just mean that it wasn't a language that the computer understood. As the data snippet came in the air started to feel greasy around us. I hit reverse as pure darkness started to surround us, wisps of black cloud formed all around us as if a capital ship was jumping in. I hit the throttles and then boosted needing to get as far as away from this as I could, I didn't need a collision. As the engine capacitor filled I boosted over and over. Linka raced back to her seat below and I started to spool up the FSD. Well, I tried to. "FSD MALFUNCTION" Verity announced like it was a normal sort of thing.
I hit the right hand panel and was looking for what was wrong when I heard a massive "FFFFWONNNNNNNNN" behind us. 1 New Contact reported was all I saw before all the lights went out.