THE CALIFORNIA NEBULA
07 NOV 3305.
This is Jav Marlo, on board the Deimos, landed at Darwin Research Facility, in California Sector BV-Y c7.
It has been almost a year since I graduated at the Asellus Primus Academy for Novitiate Pilots
and got my commander license. Back then, my only purpose was to find out what happened to my father, Cisco Marlo. The official report said that he disappeared in the Merope system four years ago. His ASP Explorer was found adrift with no life signs on board. That was all. And that is way I bought an Adder, the Hesperides, and travelled to the Pleiades
. I wanted to know the truth.
In the Pleiades I had my first contacts with the Thargoids
and, after many endeavors, got to finally meet professor Palin
. Before that I had tried to get more information from the Alliance authorities
with no results. It seems that any information concerning my father was classified. Palin put me on track again. He suggested that some powerful and influential engineers, Bill Turner and Lori Jameson, could have some clues about the fate of my father. He also warned me about Bill Turner
Then came Distant Worlds 2
, and my involvement with the Alliance Elite Diplomatic Corps
. I am now an accomplished combat pilot who has crossed the galaxy, owns a flotilla of ships and has vast resources at his disposal. And, nonetheless, I have not yet found my way to Bill Turner and Lori Jameson.
Well, I decided to put it a solution. Lori Jameson is still way out of my reach. She only invites to her base in Shirarta Dezhra to pilots with a huge toll of kills on their backs. I will get to her, with time. But Bill Turner is Alliance. I have been to his base
. I just needed to find a way from him to receive me in person.
And that is what brought me to the California Nebula. The Alliance has made a considerable infrastructure investment in the Nebula, and most of this expansion effort has been leaded by Turner Research Group. I thought I could improve my relation with this faction in order to get to know to the big man himself. And I had the Deimos
for that task, and incredible efficient multi role ship engineered to the max. I thought such a fringe place would be ripe with pirates and criminals messing with the local authorities. I was not mistaken.
Jav Marlo on board the Deimos approaching Viridian Orbital (Mel 22 Sector GM-V c2-8)
The California Nebula is approximately 1000 light years away from the Bubble, but there are some connection outposts along the way. Viridian Orbital is the first of them, an Orbis starport in system Mel 22 Sector GM-V c2-8, surprisingly well outfitted for such an isolated place. The Alliance did not spare resources when they colonized the California Nebula three years ago. They probably foresaw a war for the resources of the nebula and tried to stablish a solid supply line.
One day after I arrived to California Gateway, an Orbis Starport in system Synuefai EB-R C7-5 and, as before, Turner Research Group was the only faction present.
The Deimos approaching California Gateway (Synuefai EB-R C7-5)
According to GalNet and the official logs, in October 3302, the Alliance deployed a flotilla to California Sector BA-A e6 to study a number of organic structures called Bark Mounds that were discovered on the system’s fourth planet. On October 13, in a controversial move, the Alliance announced plans to build a research outpost there to continue studying the structures. The campaign was successful, and Mic Turner Base became the first colony in the California Nebula.
The Deimos flying towards the California Nebula
The Alliance began expanding its presence in the California Nebula on December 22, with a second campaign personally overseen by Alliance Prime Minister Edmund Mahon. This resulted in the construction of Mahon Research Base in HIP 18077, intended to serve as a center for xenobiological and astronomical research, my first stop.
The Deimos landed at Mahon Research Base (HIP 18077)
The Bark Mounds that took the Alliance to the California Nebula years ago are a species of fungal life. They were such an incredible and relevant discovery on that time, right on the verge of this new season of galactic exploration. Another significant discovery decided the location of Mahon Research Base. They found another species of fungus: anemones. Beautiful and orange, like giant pumpkins.
The Deimos landed among the field of anemones of Mahon research Base (HIP 18077)
On May 5 3303, the Alliance announced another outpost campaign, this time focusing on the California Sector HR-W d1-28 system, resulting in the construction of Ford Research Laboratory. The found some geological phenomenon in the form of fumaroles that were worth of study.
A field of Piceous Cobble with Ford Research Laboratory on the background (California Sector HR-W d1-28)
My final destination was, of course, Mic Turner Base in California Sector BA-A e6. The place where they found the Bark Mounds field. The mysterious biological structure that brought the Alliance here on the first place. The field is right at the side of the base and the security is incredible tight with Goliath skimmers hovering all around the place. Now I only needed to settle for a base from where to start my operation.
The Deimos landed at the Bark Mounds fields of California Sector BA-A e6 4
After the sightseeing tour, in order to start with the bounty hunting, I decided to head to California Sector CQ-Y C5, where a prison megaship, the Quarry, is stationed. I hoped they could provide me with some juicy hunting pirate contracts, but they operate as an independent faction more focused in providing detention services than law enforcement. Lucky for me, they put me in the right direction.
The Deimos approaching the Quarry megaship (California Sector CQ-Y C5)
And that is how I arrived to the rock where I am now. The asteroid base of Darwin Research Facility in California Sector BV-Y c7.
The Deimos arriving to Darwin Research Facility in California Sector BV-Y c7
This system is crowded with pirates. I guess the asteroid belts and the high number of landable bodies makes for good hideouts. The nav bouy is compromised. Criminal groups have taken over the place and are harassing every ship stopping by. A deadly Mamba by the name of Hatred tried to scan me. I blew it to pieces with my modified frag cannons.
Turner Research Group has presence on the base, as in most bases of the California Nebula. General Scout Ramsey briefed me on the state of the sector upon my arrival. But Darwin Research Facility is the home of another Alliance faction, the Allied Order of Exemplars. A theocratic group of jaded Alliance operatives and rock hermits that consider themselves custodians of the peace in the California Nebula.
And they have a lot of work. For the last weeks I have been hunting pirates and criminals at the compromised nav buoy of California Sector BV-Y c7. All the modifications of the Deimos made of it, probably, the most powerful ship in the sector. My exploits have gained me an allied reputation with Turner Research Group and, what is most important, the big man himself has allowed to meet me in person at his base in Alioth when I come back.
I have found some old friends here too. Some of the Sunflex Pilots I rescued from slavery
have been relocated to the California Nebula by the Alliance Interpol cover operations agents, and a group of them have joined the Order of Exemplars.
One of them, Josslyn Carver, now Acolyte Josslyn Carver, recognized me upon my arrival. She is now in charge of greeting the new comers to the station and organizing low level operations. She felt grateful for her new faith and life, and procured that I felt comfortable during my stay in their rock-home.
Acolyte Josslyn Carver from the Allied Order of Exemplars
Somehow this place has captivated me. A nebula full of mysteries. The fringe of civilization. The raw and simple violence of the combats I have been taking part of. They were not about politics, like the wars of the Bubble, they were simply about greed and survival. A ship like the Deimos may not be a big deal in the core worlds, but here, in the frontier, it can make a huge difference.
It is a pity I will have to return soon. The news that came from the Bubble about the blight, these terrorist biochemical attacks and the hunger are not very appealing. But I cannot delay my responsibilities much longer and, besides, I am going to know Bill Turner.
Jav Marlo signing out.