Taking my leave... a brief delay.
I decided at the last minute to swing back into the bubble, to grab a few delicacies. Some Orrerian Vicious Brew and some Kongga Ale to name a couple. While I was in Balente I picked up a couple of cuttings of the Kongga Ale hops. They probably won't grow for me, but it's worth a try. I tried Kongga Ale for the first time when I had to deliver some to Lori Jameson, and have made a point to grab some any time I'm in the area.
As well as the Ale, my visit to Laplace Ring yielded one unexpected addition. When I got back to the airlock leading to Leave of Absence, there was a small kitten milling about the hatch. I tied to shoo it out of the way, but it hopped up on the trolly of ale cases. When I reached for it, it allowed me to take it up in my arms. I could see no collar, name tag or any other sign of ownership. About then the Customs inspector showed up looking for the duty on the Ale. When I inquired how to find out the ownership of the cat, he just shrugged, but told me I had to clear out before long; that I couldn't keep the berth tied up while I hunted for the owner of a blasted cat. Have to give it to that guy, he had the art of trying to solicit a bribe down to a fine art.
After stowing my new cargo, and making a quick download from the station database for various feline foods, supplements and medicines replication patterns, and I was back in space, my new co-pilot at my side. I'll figure out a name when I figure out if it is a pointer or a setter.
I decided to head out to 'galactic south', get out to the rim and out of the bubble sooner. About 500 ly out, I came upon a system filled with some high metal planets, rocks really, originally catalogued by one CMDR Noggin. Catalogued but never explored it seemed. I decided this looked like a good place to gather some minerals and the like. If I'm heading out to where the stars are thin, I want to have a good supply of the minerals used for 'Jumponium' on hand.
I was on my second day of gathering resources when a Commander (whose name I didn't catch) in a scarlet Python decided to have a bit of fun with me. The Commander brought his ship in close, flew maybe 50 meters over my head, swung about and came back for another pass. Then another. I could see several weapons deployed... but he never fired a shot. I don't know how he found me, nor do I much care. I'm just grateful he didn't start using my SRV for target practice. They never did reply to my hails, but he didn't shoot, and that's good enough for me. As soon as the sky was clear, I called down LoA and was back in space minute right quick, and on my way to another system as soon as I could go. The Python was still in system, still close enough to register as a contact, and still not answering my hails. Discretion and all that. There are lots more worlds with the resources I need. I have a hundred or so uses of the base recipe, and maybe twenty of the premium. That'll do for now, I'm still nowhere near needing them.
Three jumps later and a hundred light-years further from the bubble, and I was much happier.