I ran out of coffee 137 light years out from Kaleo and the nearest source on Martinez Platform. I managed to survey three more systems, only one of which had anything of interest, before the withdrawal symptoms became too much. I made the last four jumps hoping the jitters in my hand didn't inadvertently plunge the ship into a plasma monster.
[caption id="attachment_4901" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] HIP 101646[/caption]
Speaking of plasma monsters, I got a chance to see a really big one up close and personal. HIP 101646 was near enough my course I decided to pay it a visit. The only star in the system is a spectral type A0 V giant nearly twice the size of Sol and more than twice the mass. The star itself has been known since the 20th century. Being large and bright, it was easily picked up by Earth-based telescopes. Subsequent parallax measurements showed it to be just over 400 light years from home. In orbit around this behemoth were three high metal content planets, but the real jewels of the system were the six gas giants, four of which were ringed. Half of these rings were metal rich or at least predominantly metallic. Even the large moon of the fifth and first ringless gas giant had a metal rich ring, itself being a high metal content world. The gas giant itself harbored water-based life.
I visited a couple other interesting systems during my last week out, but I really need to get to the results. That's what folks are really interested in. So let's go back and visit the three systems I made income predictions about and see how close I came to predicting my actual haul. Then I'll tell you about my most profitable system.
In my fourth log entry, I outlined what a system like WREDGUIA DX-O B47-1 would bring in. You can click on the system name link to bring up its video catalog entry. As a refresher, this was a trinary system where I discovered four terraforming candidate planets orbiting the main star. I estimated the system would be worth a minimum of 110,400 credits and as much as 150,750 credits. I was a little off on the maximum payout. This was my second most valuable survey.
[caption id="attachment_4918" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] WREDGUIA DX-O B47-1 Payout[/caption]
In the same weekly log entry, I also discussed WREDGUIA HD-N B48-1 (link to video catalog entry.) This was a binary star system where all 14 planets orbiting the star themselves were high metal content worlds, and one lone gas giant orbited both stars. It was less than half the value of WREDGUIA HD-N B48-1, but it still brought in a tidy profit.
[caption id="attachment_4921" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] WREDGUIA HD-N B48-1 Payout[/caption]
I went into quite a lot of detail on the next system in my log entry last week on why one should survey and not just prospect. WREDGUIA FB-F D11-42 was the star system where the initial scan was not very promising. There were 19 astronomical objects found by the advanced scanner, but they were not orbiting the main G class star. They were a long way off (65k plus light seconds) orbiting the two red dwarf companions. My point with this system is that prospector mentality would have passed on the 13 high metal content planets around those two red dwarfs. I estimated I could make up to 84,750 credits as the first pilot to survey them. I didn't make quite that much, but I still made more than if I'd have been a prospector rather than a surveyor.
[caption id="attachment_4922" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] WREDGUIA FB-F D11-42 Payout[/caption]
But those three system were not my highest grossing survey result. That goes to a system I was not the first to survey: WREDGUIA RO-G C24-18. This system was also in my fourth week results and mentioned in that log entry. This system had several high metal content worlds and a terraforming candidate orbiting the main star, and a red dwarf companion at distance. It was the red dwarf companion that held the real surprise of 8 high metal planets with three terraforming candidates itself! The total haul from that system was nearly 200,000 credits.
[caption id="attachment_4923" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] WREDGUIA RO-G C24-18 Payout[/caption]
And last but not least, they total profit from Galaxy Survey Expedition One was 2,819,534 credits, which more than doubled my cash on hand. That doesn't seem like a lot of credits for six weeks worth of hard work. And to tell truth, I could have made much more conducting rare trades. But then I'd have had to put up with idiots. 'nuf said?
Actually, no, not enough said. In six weeks I surveyed 77 systems. Of those 77 systems, I was the first pilot to survey all or part of 29 of those systems. That's over a third of the whole in an area that's already been crisscrossed by many prospectors. That's a lot of navigational hazards in need of refined survey. If humankind is ever to find enough room to leave each other in peace, we need to know exactly what's out there and where exactly it is. That's why I do it. So in the future we can all have a home we don't need to carve out of someone else's hide. Perhaps I'm too much an optimist, but hope is better than despair.
So now I am comfortably docked in Martinez Platform and thinking about what I'm going to do next. I honestly don't know. My heart says to head back out into the unknown. My head says I could be more effective with a longer range survey ship like the Asp. I could afford an Asp now, but it still wouldn't have the top of the line gear I'd want. And my trusty Cobra Mark III performed exceptionally on this expedition. You know, I can always try my hand at mining. I've not tried that yet. My Cobra would be just the ship for that. I'll have to add that to my consideration list. Regardless of what I choose to do, I've earned some down time. I'm going to take it. There aren't so many people here they'll drive me crazy. For now, I'm just going to bask in the glory of being a Trailblazer.
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