Returning to the Bubble from five months of the self imposed isolation that was the SpyGlass 3 exploration expedition, I was filled with an unfounded confidence that this corner of the inhabited galaxy had changed for the better. Even when you are deep in the void, the news feeds are there to keep you appraised of the shenanigans that passes as human politics. In an overly optimistic mood I dock the Cantankerous Astrolabe at Mansfield Orbiter in Eplison Indi, buoyed along by the prospect of co-operation and partnership between the superpowers of the Federation and the Empire. I could not have been more wrong.
To the ignorant and uninitiated it appears like a new era in galactic diplomacy but its a falsehood derived from political grandstanding and the basest of human needs, survival. For months explorers, the curious, the speculative and those with ulterior motives have been discovering ancient alien structures. There are rumors of federal military capital ships being disabled. Before that there was a spate of pilot’s being ripped from Hyperspace by unknown alien craft that we now believe to be the Thargoids. To my cynical mind all the posturing is nothing more than fear, that most primeval of emotions.
Behind all the headlines, the familiar forms and shadows of the political classes leach into the spaces between the lines. The exchange of information feels ice thin, and I’m not talking about the same frozen depths you experience on those distance planets. Its all a charade of epic proportions. A slight of hand and the movement of huge pools of resources across space as a distraction to the underlying intent. Whatever that intent may be, as that remains a mystery to me as well as many of my trading and exploration drinking buddies. I’m cynical but I’m not a military strategist. If I was I wouldn’t be eking out a living in all the hustle and bustle of a large Federal system. I’d be strolling around the corridors of an Alliance military installation where the pomposity of the Empire and the harsh practicalities of the Federation are absent.
So we are back to this all feeling like a giant shell game, where new allies are standing shoulder to shoulder for today, at least, but when the first beam is emitted I suspect that old divisions will quickly resurface.. The truth of each encounter and skirmish being massaged by those who want to bend and twist history for their own benefits. To be the victors. No, not simply the victors. The altruistic moral high ground victors while hiding the master manipulations behind their back. It’s a question of trust and I have none left. At least not in terms of those who deign to consider themselves as acting in humanities best interests.
There are those I can still trust. My bartender, my wingman and the loosely coupled ideologies of the Hutton Orbital Truckers Cooperative. For the rest the galaxy, staying out of firing range will be sufficient for today. The mask of a patriotic galactic citizen will sit tightly across may face, broadcasting compliance to this new synthetic political reality and hopefully keep the majority of the lightly inquisitive minds away.
Who am I kidding? Back in the Bubble for less than a week and already the nuances of governed space are eroding the visual bliss of the deep void, where the cancerous tentacles of the politically motivated whither and die by the absence of the malleable masses and historical dominion. Still my last expedition was profitable enough that I can now cross the stars in the grandiose expanse of an Anaconda’s flight deck, avoiding the personality claustrophobia when sharing an Asp Explorer with the collective of artificial ship systems. Maybe a new ship shakedown is order. The opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the Hearth and Soul Nebulae has alluded me so far. It would be the perfect expedition length to work out any kinks in ‘The Gelid Accumulator’. Before I realize it, my left hand’s muscle memory has already activated the departure request control.
The Bubble should not burst between now and my return. Let the unnatural calm before the storm hold and continue provide the illusion of stability.
“It’s all about the 400B in 34c” was created using assets and imagery from Elite Dangerous, with the permission of Frontier Developments plc, for non-commercial purposes. It is not endorsed by nor reflects the views or opinions of Frontier Developments and no employee of Frontier Developments was involved in the making of it.