It's good money, but I can't stand making the same trade run day after day after day any longer. I've always been a rinse and lather sort of guy who's always interpreted the repeat instruction as an encouragement to waste time. So it's always been lather and rinse for me, and then on to see what the reset of the day holds in store. Well, it's time to get on with the day. I've done my rinse, lather and repeat routine long enough. I didn't make enough cred to buy an Asp, but I did make enough to outfit my trusty Cobra Mark III as a proper exploration vessel with creds to spare. I'll buy the Asp when I return from uncharted space with millions upon millions worth of data. Attached to this entry is the ship load out I finally decided to use.
[caption id="attachment_4631" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Exploration Cobra Mark III[/caption]
Leesti didn't have the power plant I wanted, so I had to make a quick side trip to Arexe where I could pickup the final modules. I decided to go with an A rated class 3 power plant suitable for a ship class just below my Cobra. As a friendly pilot pointed out to me not long ago, without weapons on her my Cobra power requirements are moderate, more in line with a smaller ship. And, the low base heat output and the fast thermal dissipation makes dropping a power plant class desirable for deep space survey missions where my biggest threat is dropping out of warp too close to a plasma monster. I also used lesser mass components wherever possible to increase my jump range. I almost got to 25 light years. You might think dropping the docking computer might have done it, but those things really don't have any mass. It's mostly software.
After all my provisions were aboard, I jumped for Martinez Platform in the Kaleo system 268.5 light years closer to blissful solitude than Arexe. As I left Janes Horizons in Arexe, I was treated to a stellar eclipse of sorts.
[caption id="attachment_4635" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Leaving Janes Horizons[/caption]
I tried not to think of it as an omen. Humans should have moved past that sort of thinking long ago. Still, it represented my frame of mind well. I would be on my own in the deep dark for a long, long time. That doesn't bother me you know. Crowds are highly overrated and often dangerous. I'd rather deal with a close trinary of white dwarfs than most of my own species. The white dwarfs can't help but be what they are and act as they do. It's all according to the laws of the universe. Humans broke with those laws long ago, defying them at every chance. It never seems to end well, but humans keep trying. I prefer to live in harmony with the universe. It's the respectful thing to do.
I reached Kaleo with incident. I topped off and repaired some damage I incurred during one of those dangerous crowd events on the way there. I had one last meal I wouldn't have to prepare myself. I'd have liked a hot shower too, but this far out showers are a luxury no one wants to afford. It's not that there isn't plenty of water in system. Kaleo-9 is a lovely Earth like world with many oceans. It's just there aren't that many traders willing to just haul water in systems as remote as Kaleo. No one wants to risk their life on a rinse, lather and repeat just so deep space surveyors can wash the suit stink off. I know I wouldn't.
Refreshed and ready to get the hell out of human space, I got back into my ship and programmed the fastest route possible to get beyond the halo of scum and piracy that throttles so-called civilized space. These are the murderous dregs who've preyed on their own kind so long they can't show their faces in colonized space, so survive on the fringes by forcibly ejecting guys like me from their cockpits. Did I mention I'm not taking any offensive weapons with me? These types are human in name only, and I wished no part of their depraved ways. I was determined to use my nearly 25 light year jump range to quickly reach a system that according to Universal Cartographics no one else had ever been too.
[caption id="attachment_4636" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] WREDGUIA OD-N B48-6[/caption]
That system was WREDGUIA OD-N B48-6 some 172 light years beyond Kaleo. It's a class M red dwarf with seven planets, only one of which was all that interesting. The closest planet to the star had a high metal content and will pay well enough if I can get the data back to UC. But this system was rich in one thing: contentment. A pilot can lean back in his chair and just enjoy the beauty that is our universe. The long distances between stars and planets are not lonely and empty. They are full of wonder. But most importantly, they are full of peace and quiet. A man can turn everything off, go into silent running, and until the heat alarms go off you can actually hear yourself think on what it all means.
[caption id="attachment_4637" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] WREDGUIA SJ-L B49-2[/caption]
I currently sit dictating this log entry in WREDGUIA SJ-L B49-2, another indistinct red dwarf system with four planets and as many moons that no one has ever visited before. There is a nice class III gas giant with water based life in its atmosphere. One day I'd like to know what such life looks like, but venturing anywhere close to the atmosphere of one of those behemoth's is asking to give your auto repair unit a nervous breakdown. Perhaps one day we'll be able to venture into such places, but for know I'm content to sit in the peace and quiet of my cockpit and know the galaxy is full of life I don't have to interact with. One day I know humans will come to this system. They'll mine the asteroid belt and the lovely rings of WREDGUIA SJ-L B49-2 2. The silence will end then for at least awhile. But that day is not today. Today, I am the only human I need worry about. Life is good.