+++ BEGIN LOG – CMDR SOUVARINE ABOARD SSF VORTIGAUNT – 28.10.3301 +++
I’m drifting amid rolling red clouds.
There’s hardly anything here – a few scattered stars with their meagre clutch of barren planets. No other ships. So peaceful.
This is my second day in the Horsehead Nebula. The wall of crimson gas sweeps up behind me, like the hand of god is clutching at my ship, and it’s so dense I can barely see the long arc of the galaxy behind it. It’s like I’m hiding from the galaxy behind a giant red curtain.
I’m told that hydrogen gives the nebula it’s colour. I hate learning things like that – why ruin the mystery with boring old facts?
Past the red clouds I can make out the dark shapes of both the Running Man and the Witch Head Nebulas. That’s the way I’ve come. Before that, the California Nebula, and before that – Polaris. That was days ago.
That’s a thought that I can’t seem to shake out of my head. Why couldn’t I get to Polaris? ‘permit required’, it said. I can’t understand that. There’s nothing there.
I could almost hear Vex shrugging over the comms, when I’d asked him. I should have expected that from him – if it doesn’t affect you right now, why think about it?
My musings are interrupted by the scanner. No new astronomical objects found. Time to move on.
+++ END LOG – CMDR SOUVARINE ABOARD SSF VORTIGAUNT – 28.10.3301 +++
Editors’ note: This story originally started with an entry from Vex called “Leaving Titov Dock” We decided that this didn’t really fit with the tone of the character and the direction of the narrative so it was removed. It will not be missed.