I tentatively pulled into the station at Colonia having been out away from civilization for 3 weeks. I had a lot of data to sell on board, so the last thing I wanted was to run into a ship coming the other way, or accidently hit the boost and smash into the back of the station.
Upon landing, I was eager to leave the Anaconda and make my way to the nearest restaurant, to sample some real Colonian food. I had spent the last week on basic synthesised food, my options running out due to problems with the hardware and a low supply of certain ingredients. The pancakes were coming out like grey plastic Frisbees, the space cakes very much on the gooey side and the coffee was weak to the point of being like warm brown milk. I had lots of potatoes still though, and those fruits I picked up from the Earth world I visited – but I think they must have been starting to ferment a little.
As I went to sit down at a table, two students with friendly faces approached me. They were interviewing visitors for some sort of project. Normally, I would avoid situations like this, but they seemed nice and were offing me a free drink. Anyway – I was more than happy to have a bit of company for an hour or so, having just spent 3 weeks on my own with just a socially awkward ship computer for company.
There was a young sweaty man who looked uncomfortable, and a girl with purple hair, who had shaved of her eyebrows and painted them on again with pen.
The girl with the purple hair asked the questions, the young guy smiled and tried to look useful by taking notes.
“First, give me a summary of where you went?” the girl said, thrusting a recorder in my face.
“I started out from the sol system and decided to make my way out `counter clockwise` along the arm to the crags, from there up as far at the end of the Vulcan gate sector, before heading in towards Colonia. Getting to Colonia was only a secondary objective, the main thing was to gather information and make discoveries in an area of space which is less travelled – off the beaten path.
Total trip length here from the bubble – 48889Ly
Systems visited – 761
Bodies scanned - 10093
After about 5000 LY out of the bubble in this particular direction, I was getting into way more undiscovered systems than those that had been previously scanned. So after not too long into the trip, every system I dropped into was undiscovered.”
“What ship did you use and what was your set up?” she continued.
“Well, I went for the Anaconda option, stripped down. I hear of some travelers stripping these beasts down to the bear minimum to maximize jump range, but I was prepared to compromise a bit, taking an SRV, and AMFU and some shields. The Sanctuary had a jump range of just over 60Ly, with an added Guardian FSD booster.”
“What was your most notable find?” said the young man. He had now made a contribution.
“In total I found 10 Earth like worlds, though on two occasions I found 2 ELW’s in orbit about each other. I also saw may water worlds, maybe 50 or so but lost count after a while. The system with the most planets and moons had 63 in total – took a while to fully scan that system.“
“How much did you make on the trip here?” she carried on, both of them starring at me with a fixed gaze.
I looked down at my ship link device to see if the information had now transferred across to the Universal Cartographer database.
“Credits earned from selling exploration data – 391 million
Largest payout – 8.4 million.”
The girl with the purple hair replied “well, I guess the next drink is on you then!"