+++OPEN LOG-CMDR SOUVARINE ABOARD SSF VORTIGAUNT-06.02.3302+++
First log of the trip. Just a quick one before I power down and get some sleep. I’m on a boring pink rock about twelve hundred light years from Seedysticks, at the end of day one.
IPEC want information on the aliens – specifically, whether they’re confined to the Pleiades. If I can find evidence of Thargoid activity – or perhaps even clues as to their ammonia homeworld – it may give us a better idea of where they’re coming from, and how spread out they are.
I made some tweaks to the Vortigaunt for the trip. Mass is a killer when it comes to jump range, so I sold everything not nailed down – and some stuff that was. I found a chop shop near my hangar, run by a man who called himself Voracious Dave. He chewed some kind of foul-smelling narcotic incessantly and seemed to prefix everything he said with a sort of sneering, nasal whine. It was the kind of noise which was quaint upon first meeting him but became ferociously irritating in seconds.
“Ehhhh. Beam lasers? I love beam lasers!”
He bought all my guns, and advised me to replace the power plant with an A-grade smaller model, which would both be lighter and generate less heat. Mildly mad and acutely annoying though he was, he seemed to know his stuff.
Back inside the ship I found Margot asleep on my bunk. When she noticed me she stretched, yawning.
What to do? If my canopy blew out out there there, I was the only one with a flight suit. Then again, she’d been in worse.
“Sod it, cat. You’re on borrowed time anyway. You might as well come.”
I sat in the pilot’s chair and turned to the systems console. Time to switch off as much of the internal systems as I could. Auto field maintenance unit, planetary vehicle hangar, cargo hatch, most of my heat sinks… They can all go offline until I need them. The cooler I run the better, when I’ll be surviving by surfing the corosphere of stars for the next few weeks.
I charted a preliminary course for a large, bright blue-white star around a thousand light years core-ward, and blasted off.
Populated space began to thin as I approached the frontier. Great spinning cities were gradually replaced with tiny outposts, mining communities and pirates’ dens. My sensors picked up fewer and fewer law enforcement vessels. After a while, they disappeared completely. When I passed the frontier I switched off the shield generator, too. That wouldn’t be much use for the most part now that I was alone in space.
An old friend of mine once told me a story about an outpost he’d been to on the frontier, called Titov Dock. Funnily enough, I can’t for the life of me remember how it went.
After thirty jumps or so I arrived at the star I’d plotted a course to. It was about fifteen solar masses, so stood out as a waypoint.
My eyes feeling heavy, I picked out a rocky planet in close orbit and cruised down to the surface. I could touch down here and get a few hours’ sleep.
Looks like I’m not the first traveller to set down here.
Not sure what kind of omen it is, but this chap didn’t get too far.
+++CLOSE LOG-CMDR SOUVARINE ABOARD SSF VORTIGAUNT-06.02.3302+++