Day 1 - Location: Beta-1 Tucanae - Date: 15 May 3301
I have decided to do it, im going to the center of our galaxy to see the super massive black hole for myself. I have no good reason for doing this and I can't say im an accomplished explorer, in fact so far I have made almost the entirety of my fortune through bounty hunting, yet, I want to see it with my own eyes, just this one great voyage so that I can tell myself I did it, I can do it if I want too, then I can hang up my explorers hat if I please and go back to collecting bounties with my head held high if I so please.
I shouldn't jump into this, I have heard horror stories from the people that have attempted or succeeded in this in the past. At the same time I am eager, I don't want to spend so much time preparing that I have time to scare myself off it. I keep telling myself that maybe I can do better, maybe these people where over reacting when they talked about the space madness. Maybe if I just aim for this one goal without wasting time sightseeing or collecting too much data, just finish my goal and make my way back home that will be enough, I am not doing it for the money after all. But in the back of my head I know I am probably fooling myself, did they tell themselves the same things? I don't want to turn back now, I've spent houres doing pre journey research, I know my trusty Vulture won't be able to do this, it's a warship, I am not that stupid. Yet I am on a budget, I can't afford a perfectly optimized ASP Explorer, I will probably have to aim for a Hauler or an Adder.. Hah, listen to me, too eager to even spend enough time to make the journey the safest it can be, I am really about to bite off more then I can chew here, aren't I? At least I am not underestimating the journey.
I settled on the Adder, it set me back around three and a half million to kit it out for the journey so it was very much affordable compared to the thirty or so million I would have had to invest in an ASP, while it seems to be slightly inferior to the Hauler out in the reaches of space I liked the added protection I could fit in, i'd hate to make it back after this journey only to be blasted out of space by a pirate while in viewing distance of home. Such a small fraction of the journey, but so crucial, I hope I don't regret this choice. Now I plan to have one great meal before finishing ship assembly and starting my journey, so I suppose my next entry will be at the end of the day and I will already have spent houres traveling. How far will I have gotten I wonder?
Addendum: I decided to simply sell my Vulture considering I won't be back for a while, in the end all it really means is that im investing a little over 500.000 credits into this trip, im sure ill earn that back easily enough. More importantly this means ill have more money to fund my ship, so I will be outfitting a Cobra instead of the Adder. It has a slightly lower jump range but in return I get even more defensive capability and speed, but most importantly and the one true reason I made this choice, this ship simply have much superior front view visibility, I am here for the sights and i'd like to actually be able to see outside clearly. I really do wish I could afford the ASP now that I sold of my old ship, but with my assets currently valued at a little over 9 million it just doesn't feel like a good idea, while I might afford the ship itself I would need twice what I have in order to properly outfit it.
Enough stalling, my Cobra is outfitted and ready, time to take one final good look around and start my journey, im both excited and scared.
End of day note: Getting out of civilized space went much faster then expected, in fact it happened so fast I didn't have time to dock at the station closest to the edge as I had planned. Where to begin.. I've seen so many wonderful planets and combinations, I've seen stars caught in each others gravity, stars so bright red or blue they hurt my eyes. I started my journey aimed towards the galactic core, there was several small black dots on the rim that got larger the further in I went - my guess was that these were nebulas, in fact I was using the Lagoon nebula as a sort of landmark for the first part of the trip and for as long as I did one of the larger spots stayed almost straight ahead of me, unfortunally it eventually passed me by without me figuring out if it truly was the Lagoon nebula or not but I eventually got closer to the second biggest black dot, this time I decided to make sure I was heading straight towards it and I made a few detours to make this happen, eventually it got so big that it covered my entire viewing screen when aimed towards it and I started getting worried - my first thought had been that it was a nebula but since it was so dark I started worrying it might just be a black hole sucking in the light around it. It wasn't until I was smack in the middle of the thing that I realized it was indeed a nebula, a very dark one, almost black, I forgot it what it was called.
It was around this time that I had by far the scariest experience I've had so far, a Neutron Star. Let me tell you, these little bastards are no joke, I knew they were small but this one was so tiny even though my scanners said I was relatively close, I just had to take a closer look and inched closer until my ship got ripped out of supercruise, the star was still so small I would barely have been able to see it without targeting it with my scanners, I paniced and turned around towards the escape vector hell bent on getting out of there quickly - I checked the heat of my ship, it was around 50% looked good enough should be safe to just blow out of here quickly, as soon as I entered supercruise my display almost instantly showed 160% heat and every warning light in the ship started flashing and screaming at me, the ship was ripping apart stuck in this tiny things gravity. I immediately cut engines and proceeded to inch away from the star slowly before attempting to cruise again, that itself wasn't as easy as it sounds due to how small the thing is, just finding a way out of it's gravity can be a pain. Well, I eventually managed or I wouldn't be here to document this, but it came at a cost, I lost around 5% integrity on most of my internal modules, something which normally wouldn't be a big deal but since I am thousands of lightyears away from the nearest repair station you can see how it might be an issue, I haven't even travelled a quarter of the way to my goal yet and then there is the way home again, this damage is here to stay, I am -not- tucking tail and running home, this ship is not turning around until I accomplish my goal or perish. *sigh* I really wish I would have splurged on a repair module or two, ill just have to be even more careful from now on.
Other than these details it's been a calm and quiet trip so far, I am not quite sure how far away from my starting position I am right now, I forgot to check it before shutting my systems down, but an estimated guess would be close to 10.000 lightyears judging from how far I was last time I checked, I guess ill just check tomorrow. For now I am calling an end to this day, I have to say im a little scared to sleep out here, it's the first time I sleep outside of the safety of a station.
Day 2 - Location: Byua Euq EA-A e29 - Date: 16 May 3301 - 5411 LightYears from home.
I was considering quitting last night. I could be home again within 24 houres and the idea is comforting. I naively believed I could finish the trip quickly if I just tried to avoid too much sightseeing, but looking at how far I have gotten and the fact I worked myself so hard my eyes are still burning from yesterdays work.. I am signing up for a very very long trip here, I know I was told this before hand, I should have known and maybe some part of me did, but theres always a difference between hearing about something and experiencing it for yourself.
It's not that I am giving up already, actually I am still excited about my journey and I feel confident that ill make it to my goal with a healthy mind, the problem is the return trip. Yes, I can make it there, but that's going to be on the edge of what I can handle but when I am done will there be rest? No. I'll have to do the same trip all over again getting home, now that trip is what really scares me.
*sigh* Could I live with myself if I quit already? No, I have to keep going, I wanted this and d&$# it I will finish it. I'll have to be careful, despite having only one little accident last night, if I keep having accidents at this rate I won't make it home.
I've always been refusing to play music when I work because I want to keep my immersion at it's peak, and my head in the game, but I think I will treat myself this time. It actually makes me laugh a bit imagining some far away scryer looking into an uncharted part of space, not a single person around for thousands of lightyears when suddenly my old bucket ship zips by blasting old pop music combined with my terrible attempt at singing along with lyrics I don't know. Hah, anyway, I guess i'll add another end of day report tonight, or right after this for whoever may be reading or listening. I swear if it wasn't for this journal i'd already had given up.
I estimated that I had traveled 10.000 LY's yesterday, turns out it was only 5400 - almost half of that. But then the distance left to my goal was also shorter then I remembered, is my mind already playing tricks on me? At least I have passed the dark space between the galactic arms now, maybe that's why everything felt longer then it was. I feel rejuvenated, I can do this.
Entered another scarce zone between galactic arms and it's really adding time on my journey, there will probably be another 1 or 2 of these before I get to the core. At least they should be smaller now that I am closer. I passed by a trinary system as well, it's the first time I've seen three stars so close together. I am getting hungry so I will take a rest here, I know I have travelled at least another 2000 LY so I deserve it, ill continue my journey in a couple of houres.
I don't have much to add, most of the night was spent tediously cutting my routes short to find an appropriate star for refueling, then replotting my route towards the center only to repeat the process. At least I am making progress, I think I managed to travel about the same distance as yesterday all in all. I can say one thing though, that galactic rim that's been ever looming in the distance is definetely getting larger, will it be all around me soon? Oh, I also took some additional damage, albeit very minor due to an accidental emergency drop out of super-cruise.
Day 3 - Location: Eidaik QQ-M b27-3 - Date: 17 May 3301 - 11040.25 LightYears from home.
Feel exhausted today, I've done extremely long shifts so far to get this done as quickly as possible but im still not halfway there, almost though.. Almost. Factoring in the way home I have probably traveled aboout 20% of the journey by now. Well, nothing else to it, time to start the day, hopefully I get to the core today so I won't have to stop and look for planets to refuel at so often, still though, bless that fuel scoop.
It's getting easier again, haven't had to re-plan my route as much, had a few system errors that forced me to do it but there's plenty of stars on my current route. There's suprisingly many nebulas out here too, there's at least 5 visible ones straight ahead of me right now, none look as spectacular as some of the more popular ones though, most of them are simply dark purple blobs of gas but it's still a nice sight.
*groans* The system errors are getting worse, finding a good route with alot of stars is real easy now, but the problem is merely replaced by another. For some reason my systems won't recognize clearly visible stars as stars and drops me out mid jump, it keeps happening and I have to replan my route each time due to my navigation systems resetting themselves, I hope this problem isn't here to stay since it doesn't really slow me down - it renders me completely immobile.
Wow.. I can see the core so clearly now, it's hard to explain but it looks like this massive cluster of bright stars in an oval shaped spot ahead of me, and at the edges of the spot it's like an invisible line and the stars just stop and go back to their normal scarce looking concentration. My words don't do it justice but it's truly, truly beautiful. I feel rejuvenated once again. Oh, and the system errors resolved themselves, back to only popping up once in a while.
Im getting the system errors again, but I think I've figured out how to avoid them. To make a long story short, in order to avoid them I have to recalculate my route towards the same star after a system failure, sound simple no? The problem with that is that finding one specific star again after loosing target is god d&#¤ near impossible here due to the sheer amount of systems, I'll have to attempt to remember the systems exact name in order to enter it into auto navigation, but why do the system names have to include a million and one different numbers? If only I had a pen.
That oval shaped cluster of stars I spoke about before, I am deep inside it now. Whatever direction I turn every millimeter of the sky is covered in stars, the galactic rim is also getting fainter signifying that I am infact quite deep inside it now, yet, I have not gotten to the brightest part of the center yet, but I can feel myself getting very close, it won't be long now. I think if I am lucky I might reach the center tomorrow evening, maybe. Then I just have the trip home to look forward too.. Maybe i'll just dive into the supermassive black hole instead.. *awkward laughter*.. I mean, it would be one hell of a way to go, what better way can you ask for, and I wouldn't have to worry about the return trip.. hm. Anyway, still some ways to go.
Holy crap! So there I was squeezing out my last few lightyears for the day, half asleep just going on mental auto-pilot when my ship dropped out of warp.. Right in between two very close binary stars, I almost had a heart attack and sh!t myself at the same time, my heart is still pounding. Luckily I woke up quickly and managed to boost myself out of there before taking any damage, but &@%# if it wasn't scary. That's definetely it for today, I made some really good progress but now I should get some sleep before I start getting careless. This really goes to show that you can't lower your guard, even 20.000 Lightyears from civilization.
Day 4 - Location: Oephaird UD-K d8-4028 - Date: 18 May 3301 - 17549.67 LightYears from home.
Well, time to start today I suppose, not really in the mood but what else is there to do out here? I slept poorly today so I don't think ill reach my goal this evening, but I should get very close.
Im starting to feel lonely, I can't close my eyes anymore without seeing the familiar sight of stars passing me by and it forces my eyes open again. Im also seeing strange things, I keep catching glimpses of things that makes me think of alien ships, and I could have sworn I just saw a lightning flash. Am I starting to hallucinate or is there something out here? I need to keep going.
Feeling burnt out like crazy, going to take a break for a few houres.
Not making alot of progress today, the loneliness is becoming excruciating, I've caught myself talking to myself several times now and .. I spend alot of time dancing around naked and singing inbetween jumps. I know! I know! I am not -that- crazy just yet I just.. Im not hurting anyone out here am I? Ah, I need to focus, it's getting hard to focus. It's not that far off now.
Im so sick of fuel scooping..
Im not tired yet, I just can't bring myself to jump anymore today.. Will I really be able to finish this? I am running on pride now.
Day 5 - Location: Shrogaei OM-A b41-41 - Date: 25 May 3301 - 21545.86 LightYears from home.
Notice the gap in the date from my previous entry? Im as confused as you are. I got tired, decided on a little break while I maintained my systems, found a couple of things that needed tweaking and all of a sudden days had passed. It's so still and silent out here, time just doesn't have as much meaning anymore, I can't tell houres apart from days. In any case, time to continue this journey, let's make some real progress!
Yeeesh, well I made some progress, not as much as I was hoping, im getting so restless now I could really use a drink. Will probably continue tomorrow. Again, I really do not looking forward to the way home.
Day 6 - Location: Dumbae PX-A c27-2850 - Date 26 May 3301 - 23096.75 LightYears from home.
Had a few drinks last night, day? Does it matter anymore? I just hope it serves to clear my mind rather then dull my senses. I should be able to reach my end destination today no problem, assuming I don't throw in the towel early like I did yesterday. Am I stalling? Maybe. In either case, let's start today.
Im starting to take bigger risks, it feels unwise at this point but I can't help feeling like every second cut off from this journey is worth it. I am going to need to take another break here, I hate to stop this early on but hopefully I can back to it a little later today.
Whoever said space is dark clearly hasn't been here, everywhere around me is so bright my eyes hurt.. Im deep in the core now, won't be log until I reach Sagittarius A. Im also becoming more irritable, this is starting to wear on me. If anyone ever hears this, take my advice, don't attempt this lightly, and if you do, take your time preparing. It WILL take longer then you expect, it WILL be harder then you thought. And most of all, every little bit you can squeeze out of your engines WILL add up and be worth it.
Well, I did it. I made it to the a@@hole of the galaxy! I am not really sure what to feel right now. As I started getting really close I got this ridiculous smile on my face that I just couldn't take off, and as I inched closer and closer I burst out into hysterical laughter until I was one jump away I had to shut down my engines and take a breather because I couldn't stop laughing.
Once I worked up the nerve to take the final step well.. It was beautiful of course, by far the most impressive sight I have ever seen in my life, and it somehow managed to look different from every angle, the gravitational distortions was equally impressive bending time and space itself around the hole, traveling in a straight line became pretty much impossible. I took some damage of course, but that was to be expected - this is THE black hole after all. After taking in the sights for a while I had to burn out of there at 150% heat capacity my engines @¤%& near catching on fire.
As amazing as this trip and especially the end goal has been I can't get rid of the bad taste in the back of my mouth now that I have the same distance left to get back home. Im sorry to dissapoint, I guess i'd be more optimistic if this trip would have been a bit shorter, but all I can really think about right now is finally getting home, seeing another living person again, dropping by a station and selling of my cartography data and scrapping this ship for all eternity. I won't say it wasn't worth it, the satisfaction is real, proving to myself that I could do it. Being one of the few that managed, but now I want it all to end. I jumped to a safer system and i'll probably spend the night here and start the road home tomorrow.
-after some brief static the log cuts off here-