Thoughts and stories of a lonely explorer.

Angustia expedition, log entry 2

This will take time...
I charted the route towards Angustia which was around 20-25k LY from my current position, however somewhere near the border between the Rift and there, i managed to spot some interesting places and decided to explore those systems before continuing towards my destination. Found few bright B class stars and also few neutron stars. Two of them are beyond my reach, according to ship's computer, however i think i will be able to reach them if i manually plot my course once i am near and the route planner cannot help me anymore. It may require FSD boost for the last few jumps, but we will see.

The whole trip toward there was mostly unexplored, boring, brown dwarfs systems. There where few times i needed to manually jump out of course as the computer wanted me to jump through a series of brown dwarfs until my fuel tank is empty and i am stranded there, left to be rescued by a nearby flying Fuel Rat... Someone needs to upgrade the route planning algorithm in this thing, so it takes a consideration of the nearby stars and your fuel reserves.
That's the thing which amazes me in this software. There are plenty of interesting systems with scoopable stars in your path and all of them are reachable by the ship you are flying, and yet it will plot the course through a series of brown dwarfs and leave you stranded if you are not paying attention. I am trying really hard to understand the logic in it.

Beside that, the trip was uneventful until i entered further inside the Rift, and i need to say that this place is DARK and spooky! No wonder why some of the pilots and the guys from the "Dynasty Project" have been uneasy and some of them even gone mad.
Few years ago i have passed through The Abyss region at the other side of the galaxy. I was on my way back from Beagle Point in my old and trusty Asp Explorer, which is an excellent explorer ship, but at that time i was able to afford just a the stock ship without any modifications and my jump range was around 34LY per jump.
The Abyss was dark and it takes a heavy toll on you when you pass through it. You need to plot your course manually jump by jump and sometimes even to backtrack as you reach a point where you cannot continue forward. However it's not the same darkness as here in the Rift.
Here you are feeling overwhelmed by the void outside. The stars are not very bright and the distances between them are large. This is why it is so dark. You are at the edge of the galaxy and there is nothing in a million light years ahead.
You feel the darkness as a physical thing, crawling it's way inside your ship from a tiny, imaginary cracks in the hull. Devouring your sanity little by little until you embrace it and open the airlock to become part of it...
I can see why so many people doesn't like this region. The mental pressure must be exhausting for them, and i understand that not everyone is fit to be an explorer. Being alone in the dark for months takes it's toll on everyone. Even me.

Enough of this gloomy talk! I finally hit a good route full of undiscovered systems and found a bunch of Water Worlds, terraformable HMC's, one Ammonia World and finally an undiscovered Earth-like World. That was nice and i hope that someone else doesn't get the credit for this one until i am still out. I haven't even started my main mission yet...
Two of the neutron stars i mentioned earlier where really useful, as i was able to supercharge the FSD and shorten my way towards Angustia.
However i have decided to try to reach the two neutron stars which appears to be just a little outside the range of my ship.

I have surveyed the route and i can saw that i can manage to travel pretty close to the pulsar before starting to plot the course manually. The good thing is that the last star before the pulsar is class A and i will be able to refuel before the jump.
My plan is to jump to the first neutron star, charge my FSD and make a jump to the second one, then charge again and continue back on my route. The two charged jumps should cover some of the time i have lost reaching these two systems.
Now i remember that i haven't calculated the distance between the two neutron star systems to see if the charge will be enough to cover it... I will do this before the jump as if the charge will not cover the distance i may abandon the jump towards the second system as this may leave me stranded without any way of going back.


I am currently three systems away from the first neutron star and decided to take break and continue with the journey tomorrow.
And think that my mind is playing tricks on me or there is someone following me. Just before my last jump, there was a high energy blimp on my radar like someone just arrived in the system. I canceled the jump and turned around to greet him as i would be very thankful to be able to have to talk to someone, even if just for a few hours.
However, the radar wasn't showing anything anymore and there was no trace from a wake near the entry star which is very unusual. I tried to exit supercruise near the position of the blimp and i swear i think i saw a ship engines for just a second. I blinked and then nothing was there. Hit the boost immediately and reached the place i saw the ship in a few seconds but nothing was there. Not even a wake if the guy has jumped. Nothing...
I know what you guys will start thinking - he is finally out of his mind. But i know what i saw and it was another ship. And that this one is not leaving wakes when using it's FSD which makes it untraceable is kinda worrying. Didn't get a very good look at the profile but it was a flat one. Maybe a Cobra or Asp Scout. I can't tell for sure.

I am now starting to be thankful for the two rail guns mounted on "Clever Dream" and i have a plan how to lure this ghost to show itself. If he is following me i need to say that he is pretty good at his job. I would have not saw him if there wasn't this high energy blimp on my radar and i am pretty sure that this was some malfunction from his side. A ship capable of hiding it's wakes will surely not show on any radar like this one. Or maybe this whole story was just my imagination and what i saw was a solar flare, which will explain the blimp and the missing wakes.
I am going to find out if this one is real or i am starting to lose my sanity. I can set a trap when i reach the neutron star and wait for him there. If he shows up i will need to make sure that i lose him for enough time to make a charged jump and my wake to dissipate before he manages to scan it and follow me. This will be the hard part but we will see tomorrow.

Angustia expedition, log entry 1