Excerpt from local news article, reported in the CD-63 201 Evening Express, March 1st, 3302.




Dockworkers at Dashiell Orbital were greeted with an unlikely scene today as a solo pilot drew attention after claiming to have returned from the centre of the Milky Way.

A small crowd quickly gathered around the man, who had climbed on top of the intake vent of his Asp class spacecraft to address them. He was clearly in a highly excited state and ignored the warnings from station personnel urging him to dismount. When pressed to identify himself, he was heard to say:

“You haven’t heard of me? Legendary explorer, boldly-goer and adventurer Phineas H Souvarine, that’s who I am!”

The man pointed vaguely at the letterbox.

“Up there! The Galactic Core! That’s where I’ve been. What do you make of that, eh?”

A member of the Universal Cartographics staff happened to be present and was able to verify that the man’s claims were in fact true. His recently divulged cartographic data showed that he had, over a period of many weeks, voyaged all the way to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, a remarkable feat that only a few thousand independent pilots have attempted. In addition to this, he had also travelled as far both above and below the galactic plane as is possible in a consumer-grade craft.

I managed to catch a word with the man over the hubbub.

“Mr Souvarine! Our readers would be fascinated to hear about the twin Earth-like worlds you discovered out there. Could you spare some words for them?”

However, instead of answering my question, he merely looked down at me and exclaimed:

“You! You’re a woman, aren’t you? I know, I’ve seen them before. Can I touch your face?”

Not to be deterred, your correspondent repeated the question.

“Ah yes! My binary blue and green planets. Yes. I shall call them ‘Arissa’s Nubile Orbs’, in honour of our great Emperor.”

“No, he won’t,” the Universal Cartographics clerk said quietly to me.

By questioning some of the bemused onlookers your correspondent was able to gain more background details about the remarkable return. One gentleman, a freelance freight contracter by the name of Mr Kane, claimed to be acquainted with the returning explorer.

“Yeah, I know him. We work together. I got a call yesterday, first I’d heard from him in weeks. Said he was close to being back in human space. By that point his ship was being held together by duct tape and optimism, so I thought I’d drop in here to make sure he found the landing pad ok.”

Shortly afterwards Mr Souvarine was heard to say:

“Does anyone happen to have any fruit? I will trade my sub-par cat for a flipping tangerine.”

At this point he appeared to lose consciousness and collapsed into the crowd. He was quickly whisked away to the med bay and his ship was berthed in a station authority holding hangar.

It seems the spirit of exploration is alive and kicking in CD-63 201.

Reported by Maeve LeMessurier, CD-63 201 Evening Express


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