I have decided to start a non-profit that provides relief from famine; it seems I have a knack for discovering unlimited sources of rice.
I’m just a few thousand light years from Colonia now. I’ve been meaning to go there for some time – I have a couple of messages from engineers to follow up on. The trip has been quite different from my expectations. The Sharp Intake of Breath, my long-suffering Anaconda that has been re-fitted and re-purposed many times, has a respectable 76ly jump range. An engineered FSD, neutron star charging and the Colonia Connection Highway make this journey less of a thrilling, dangerous expedition to the frontiers and more of a long-haul drudge. Safer and quicker than for those pioneers who went before, certainly. But it’s not exploring.
To counter the tedium, each time I’ve rerouted to a fuel star, I’ve done a bit of proper exploring. Just to keep my hand in. There’s no shortage of undiscovered systems along the neutron star corridor. But I have clearly done something to annoy Lady Luck: she’s giving me the cold shoulder. In fact, a number of cold shoulders, orbiting a larger cold shoulder, multiplied hundreds of times across multiple systems.
Want rocks? I’ve got rocks. Ice? Yeah, got you covered. Rocky ice? Icy rocks? I’m your man. Grizzled explorers, with many more thousands of light years under their belts than I, call this “rice”. Where are the binary Earth-likes orbiting supergiant blues? Where are the black holes? It’s just not my month. So I bounce to the next system, and the next. Surely one of these will be interesting? Not on this trip.
And so the fear sets in. I’ve jumped past tens of thousands of systems to get where I am. How many of them were home to a beautiful blue marble, waiting for me to stick my name on it? Each jump towards Colonia represents a thousand missed opportunities. Exploring was supposed to be exciting, but I just feel tense and disappointed.
I’ve resolved to take a break: just rush through the last few dozen jumps to Colonia, find out what inane tasks these engineers will have me do to gain their favour, perhaps head to the Core afterwards. I’ve never seen Sag A*.