Up to that moment I'd never seen a Thargoid. I suppose, in fairness, that nobody had seen one of these. With the power in the ship gone we floated through space, the sound of the life support breathers in our ears. It started to get cold quickly and ice formed on the inside of the cockpit canopy, creating icy tendrils that snaked their way across the glass. Little flecks of crystal ice broke free and floated into the cockpit, glinting mockingly at me.
I looked out the window and saw electric-green, gossamer threads, like the tentacles of a jellyfish, snake past us and in front of us and the ship slowed to a halt. As we sat there in the green caress a massive shadow crossed over the top of the cockpit as the creature crossed over the top of us. I assumed it was a Thargoid by the shape, but it was colossal, far bigger than anything I'd seen before. I had seen footage of Thargoid combat, shot by the pilots involved. The ships that they fought looked like ship sized flowers, full of aggression and malice, nimble and fast. This was something completely different.
This one looked more like a fish or a whale. I'd seen a whale swimming before, there were giant pods of whales that had been relocated to other worlds as the oceans of Earth had been steadily polluted. This creature was more like that, a giant, massive creature with a long tail that ended with tiny fin-lets at the tip. It's head was like a giant worm, except that it appeared to be a massive eight-petaled mouth, and as it turned to face us the petals of the head opened outward. Inside light brewed forth from the mouth and more tendrils rolled around the ship, causing light and electricity to dance around the instruments. For a few minutes it hovered there in front of us, twisting and rolling gently as it probed us.
It clearly didn't find us a threat, it rolled back and up to the right accelerating away in a way that belied its massive size. As the last of the green light evaporated from the ship the systems sprang to life and the ship started powering up. As the thrusters came back online I advanced them to the stops and headed for, what I hoped was, the edge of the invisible bubble. I had no idea because, as the light had bent around it to protect it from being seen from the outside, so it hid the light from the outside when looking out. I reckoned that if I went far enough long enough then I would be safe. Gradually, however, the explorer in me took over and I realised that this was an ideal opportunity to discover something new, something that would probably have a huge bearing on humanity itself.
I rolled the ship over and looked for the creature. It was still there, in the area of the glowing anomaly, sort of "swimming" around as though it was under water. I managed to get a fix on it with the scanner, but didn't have a xeno scanner on board. I deployed a drone and managed to get it to fly out a little closer to the creature, taking video as it went. I didn't want this to be another "monster video", where someone is trying to prove the existence of some mythological creature as a hoax. This was too important.
I left the drone recording as I edged it closer and closer, aware that the creature could perceive it as a threat. I preferred to use the digital zoom instead and managed to get the footage that I wanted. I checked that the ship recorders had it before recalling the drone. On the way past some of the wrecks I pulled the drone in and managed to get some decent pictures. The surface of the ships looked so unlike anything that I had seen before, this was technology that we weren't used to. I withdrew the drone closer to the ship and managed to collect some decent footage of the glowing ball of energy that the creature was circling before I headed toward what I was calling the Guardian beacon. After getting some decent images of it I collected up the drone and started heading away at a steady pace, not too fast as I didn't want the massive creature to suddenly find a reason to attack me.
We traveled for about 20 minutes at about 50% throttle until I was relatively sure that we were well away from the creature. The FSD still wasn't playing along, it kept reporting a malfunction that worried me. We were pretty much stuck out here if it didn't fire up. I started seeing stars again and we experienced the stretching of the light effect again, eventually finding ourselves in normal space again. I tried the FSD again and, to my absolute relief, it spun up. Safely in supercruise I pondered what to do when a call came through. It was Ardgraft.
"Alright?" he said. "I have managed to find someone who can help you. Gonna be expensive, son. You need to get over to Polo Harbour and ask for Oasis Mellon. Not sure that is her real name. Or if she really is a she. You'll understand when you get there."
"Any other news?" I asked.
"Yeah. Things have quietened down a little. The advert for her is gone from the pirate bands. It's bad news for these guys if a slave escapes and they can't find them. What about you?"
"You will never believe what we just saw!" I said, excitement bubbling over. With that I relayed the story of the Sentinel incident, the trip to where we were and what we had seen.
Silence followed. "You got footage of this?" he asked.
"Yep. Loads of good quality footage. I just don't know what to do with it." I said.
"Well, you need to let someone know." He said.
"I know, mate. I know. Priority is getting Linka off the grid. Will catch up in a day or so." I relayed the news to Linka and her face visibly brightened up. With everything that had happened recently this trip was turning out to be far more than I had expected.