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Explorer’s Anchorage

 

Broadcasts from the Black

begin transmission

20.3.3306

Commander TheNekkbreaker reporting from Stuemeae FG-Y d7561.

 

~.*.~ Two days ago I departed the Treasure Chest Nebula and arrived quickly in the Starburst Nebula. The reddish star clouds were an impressive sight. I did not loiter long. I was determined to reach the center of the galaxy and Explorer’s Anchorage with great haste. I took only one minor detour to visit a tiny, single system nebula along the way. Twice during this section of the journey, I dropped out of witch space momentarily enveloped within the atmosphere of a star, which horrified me (and nearly baked me alive). Fortunately my forward momentum brought me out of the depths of the star on both occasions, though I took minor heat damage on one of the two occasions. I have no explanation for my survival. Witch space is strange, and aptly named.

~.*.~ I am pleased to report I have arrived. Earlier today I dropped out of witch space in Stuemeae FG-Y d7561, the quaternary system home to Explorer’s Anchorage. I was very nervous. It had been over a month since I last entered an inhabited system, and I was very conscious of what might happen if a local scoundrel decided he didn’t like the look of me on my way in. I would likely survive, of course, but if my ship were to be destroyed, all of my exploration data accumulated over the course of the last fifty days would be lost forever. Fortunately, no one gave me any trouble as I scanned the interesting planets in the system and pulled in at the anchorage.

~.*.~ Over the past few days, the galaxy began to warp from a smudge on the horizon into an umbrella encompassing the sky above me all about. During the final ascent from below the galactic plane back to Z=0, it enveloped me roundabout and I became immersed in the vast chaos that is the galactic core. The stars are all about now I’ve arrived at the true center. It’s difficult to convey how truly packed with stars this part of the galaxy is. My map struggles to display them, and my route planner seems on the verge of failure calculating the nearly infinite possible routes it might take. The anchorage itself orbits an earthlike world, and a water world is close at hand. I suspect it is for this reason that the system was chosen for the construction of the station a year or so ago. The Distant Worlds II team picked a fine location.

~.*.~ I felt great relief, but otherwise less emotional than might have been expected upon touching down. I sat for a moment in a bit of a stupor, just enjoying the sensation of the station’s artificial gravity, the sights, the hustle and bustle about the station. Sounds too, and smells. There’s only so much variety in a ship as cozy as a DBX. Speaking of, I repaired Jenny Lane. Evidently her hull integrity was in critical condition (probably due to a certain hard landing). I had it repaired while I went to eat an expensive meal. A few of the station staff worked me over for stories while I ate. They were suitably impressed when I told them I was on a return journey from Ishum’s Reach and Beagle Point, but it was the details that really impressed them. It’s been a very long trip, and I expect there will be more heartache before the true end. I am, after all, still not back in the bubble. Nonetheless, I feel my journey is largely at an end, and as though a great weight has been lifted, since I no longer have to be concerned for my data.

~.*.~ I sold my exploration data moments ago. It amounted to less than I expected, though the profits were still enough to make me a billionaire. Roughly 900 million credits it was. Hardly compensation for two months work, but it was never about the money. I was also promoted to Elite Explorer by the Pilot’s Federation. It is the highest honor one can receive as an explorer, and I do not take it lightly. Tomorrow I will depart for the bubble, and I shall try to make a quick job of it, using the neutron highway if feasible. But before I do that, there is a certain behemoth aberration that demands my attention: Sagittarius A*, our one and only supermassive black hole, the master of the house, and the main attraction of this Milky Way. It’s less than a jump away, after all.

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The stars grow thick
Star cluster density always increasing
A neutron star and its partner
The Treasure Chest Nebula: well named
Dark water in the Treasure Chest
The Starburst Nebula
Saying goodbye to the Starburst Nebula
The tourist beacon at Explorer's Anchorage
Explorer's Anchorage
Docked at last
My promotion letter
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Progress Toward Sagittarius A*

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