It is a time of transition for the Distant Worlds 2 fleet. Week 6 began by celebrating the end of the first stage of the expedition. A chance for new and seasoned explorers alike to make final modifications to their ships before entering uninhabited space. One last opportunity to enjoy the relative luxuries offered by frontier outposts in this part of the galaxy. Ahead is the galactic core which comes with it’s own unique set of challenges. The densely packed star field makes the navcom whine and stutter as it attempts to process all the route permutations. While the abundance of neutron stars and black holes disguise raw destructive power within their cosmic beauty.
|WP||System Designation||Friendly Name||Specific Location|
|5.00||Boewnst KS-S c20-959||Polo Harbour
|5.01||Byoi Ain WE-R e4-913||Jade Ghost|
|5.02||Byaa Airm JM-W f1-744||Ebony and Ivory|
|5.03||Dryao Aoscs FW-W e1-5865||Phiaanor|
|5.04||Mylaifa AA-A h786||Ocularis Coelum|
|5.05||Dryoea Flyi II-S e4-6870||Gardens of Shangri-La|
|5.06||Eoch Pri FB-W e2-5646||The Gloaming|
|5.07||Leamiae LS-T e3-3317||Fosforon|
|5.08||Eok Pruae RO-R e4-2481||Pink Flame Nebula|
|5.09||Eok Pruae PI-S e4-2295||Cloverfield Planetary Nebula|
|5.10||Dryaa Pruae BG-X d1-1087||Fleur-de-Lis Nebula|
|5.11||Dryaa Pruae GG-Y e5180||The 'Neutron' Nebula|
|6.00||Dryau Ausms KG-Y e3390||The Dryau Awesomes||Planet AB 8 A A
(Location Revision #2)
Full details available at Frontier Forums
The off route points of interest continue to offer scientifically and visually compelling distractions to the goal of the next waypoint. The distances involved also incur a time burden. My planned route for the week through all POIs is calculated to be almost triple the direct distance between waypoint #6 and #7, and almost double the distance of the planned route. However their proximity to the main route is undeniably enticing. The accompanying sense of wonder is like an addiction.
Having declared my membership of Explorer’s Anonymous, the full distance of the route requires the continued use of maximum jump range navigation. However the density of the star field provides the opportunity to try a day of economical jump range route plotting. The number of permutations sends the navigation computer into a tail spin that takes it almost half an hour from which to recover. It calculates 476 jumps over a ~975Ly route. There are many Water World and a few Earth Like World discoveries along the way but nothing much else of note. If you explore the galaxy for long enough its easy to become blase about such encounters.
Beyond the micro-jumps of expedition day #41, the rest of the week consists of maximum range jumps. The route, however, is plotted ~200Ly above or below the direct path between each Point of Interest. Such an approach offers a wealth of new discoveries for the Galactic Mapping Project. In essence, then, business as usual.
The crew of the ‘Inquisitive Surveyor’ mentally take stock of the path traveled before requesting departure clearance from dock control at Polo Harbour. Unlike so many of the prior solo expeditions, the structure of Distant Worlds 2 offers a clear distinction of purpose with the next phase of the discovery looming. For those that choose to pay attention to FleetComm, be they seasoned explorer or recent flight school graduate, the start of stage two heralds new challenges. The path ahead will not suffer the ill-prepared lightly. As a fleet we are strong. However when it truly matters, and time is of the essence, we may only have our own whits, resources and cunning to keep us from the confines of an escape pod.
Before departing Waypoint #1 and the Pallaeni system, there was a deliberate and month long stock-pilling of materials necessary for synthesis of tools and supplies. While in hindsight stage one of the expedition has offered many opportunities to collect materials, there has been contention for resources at some of the publicized locations. Straying away from the main route, making use of the new Full Spectrum Scanner and Detailed Surface Scanner, has revealed many opportunities to top up some of the galaxy’s rarer materials.
Nonetheless, departure from Polo Harbour signals an end to the luxury and facilities offered by star ports and outposts. Word has spread through the fleet that construction of the new starport near Sagittarius A is underway, but it is not clear exactly how operational it will be prior to our arrival. So for now, at least, we are that what we depend on. Watching the other ships in the fleet break away from the grasps of the planet’s gravity well, I wonder how many of the novices among us are aware of the what lies ahead and the challenges it brings with it. At the end of the day, though, all this is in sharp contrast to the complete absence of facilities outside of the Bubble in the time prior to the Colonia Initiative. Who knew the passing of an artificial and somewhat arbitrary measure of progress would make me so introspective?
In contrast to the previous week, though, the route ahead has offered the true freedom to explore. A prompt departure from Polo Harbour affords us the opportunity to make significant early progress against the flight plan. Our proximity to the galactic core provides a cornucopia of neutron stars, black holes, nebulae and planetary nebulae to visit, scan, measure and admire. There are, in fact, man systems with neutron stars as their primary stars. I wonder why I have not previously encountered an adequate collective noun for neutron stars.
Fairly early into this week’s route we encountered the Jade Ghost Stellar Remnant system of Byoi Ain WE-R e4-913. It’s eerie glow worthy of it’s name. A notable mix of scientific discovery and observation of surface geological features, compared to the poetic majesty of the rare hues seen within the system. It is truly breathtaking. At the same time it is ironically typical to have something so awesome so early in this week’s route. Whatever time advantage we obtained in our prompt Polo Harbour departure is soon eradicated.
Continuing along the flight plan we pass near and through a number of spectacular nebula before a prolonged stop in the Dryoea Flyi II-S e4-6870 system, as know as
The Gardens of Shangri-La. It is within this system that I have my first recorded encountered with electrically charged Lagrange Cloud. My curiosity takes the better of me and I knowingly put both the crew and ship at risk to observe this phenomenon. The ‘Inquisitive Surveyor’ takes multiple direct hits from the storm but show no noticeable sign of direct damage from the strike. It is unclear as to whether luck or rigorous ship engineering is attributable for the outcome. My first officer takes a moment to remind me that the ship launched fighter would be the appropriate craft should I wish any future hazardous maneuvers.
The Lagrange Cloud proved to be the only deliberate attempt at ship disruption, but that did not prevent the occasional unplanned attempt. While observing the Fosforon nebula, the Anaconda jumped into the Leamiae SA-B c15-304 system and was greeted by a very compact trinary star formation. This time it was definitely more a case of luck when I chose to evade to port as that turn did not take us directly into the heart of one of the secondary stars. Once again this encounter validated the point I had been trying to make over a glass of Lavian Brandy with some fellow Commanders. That point being the unknowns of exploration perfectly justify fitting a heat sink launcher aboard.
The remainder of the week provided further opportunities to peer down the throats of Black Holes by nudging up against their exclusion zones and dodging the ejection cones of Neutron Stars when exiting hyperspace. I know the rest of the expedition fleet is in the immediate area but I’ve not encountered another Commander since leaving Polo Harbour. Hopefully the coming week will offer the opportunity to travel with some other members of the expedition. It will certainly not, however, provide the navigation computer any rest from the strain plotting routes through the densely packed galactic core.
|SLF||100% (6 of 6 ships available)|
|Expedition Day (#)||Week Day (#)||Jumps (#)||Distance (LYs)||Scanned Objects (#)||Avg Jump Range (LYs)|
|Systems Visited (#)||377|
|Level 2 Detailed Scans (#)||1,394|
|Level 3 Detailed Scans (#)||1,394|
|Efficiency Bonuses Received (#)||14|
|Total Hyperspace Distance (LY)||18,788|
|Total Hyperspace Jumps (#)||378|
|SRV Distance Traveled (MM)||0.03|
|Profits from Exploration (credits)||37,557,588|
The full archive of images from this week can be found at https://imgur.com/a/eT9H3Tl
“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.