You know when you get that itch? Like when you have unfinished business, something you started but never quite completed? I got that, and it is burning a hole in my mind. You may remember when CCN became an official entity that myself and Cmdr Head_Case were some 9,000 Ly away on expedition Herbig Hurrah. We broke off from our journeys to help nurture the fledgling faction. Since then we have exceeded all our expectations. We have expanded, fought wars, forged alliances that span the Colonia Highway and consolidated our place in the Nebula. Now it is time for us to take up that gauntlet again and reconvene the Herbig Hurrah expedition. CCN is in great shape and we have a number of dedicated members who can bear the burden while we are away.
But first i must travel back to Shinrarta Dezhra to pick up my vessel for the rest of the journey. Loki's Lament is currently sat in the hangar in Shinrarta Dezra where she has been for a while. I must travel there and ready her for another trip. The same ship has seen me to Beagle Point and back and of course from Sol to Colonia on several occasions. In short order i arranged travel back to the "other" civilisation and was soon standing in the arrivals lounge in Jameson Memorial. I glanced out of the viewing port at Founders world below gazing at the dazzling blue seas and lush green lands i almost felt i could stay here, but no i had business to get on with. The transport to the hangar was swift and efficient as you would expect from one of the galaxies busiest ports, Jamesons Memorial you see, is only open to those Cmdrs that have been deemed worthy by the pilots federation and had the award of Elite bestowed upon them.
As i surveyed the large but compact lines of my Asp i felt the urge to jump straight in and head off in a totally random direction. Pretty she may not be but effective and comfortable she certainly is. I boarded the ship and took some time looking around and familiarising myself with her layout again. As i slunk down into the Cmdrs seat it was like i had never been away. The chair moulded perfectly to my body and i felt weightless as it surrounded me. A few switches flicked and the control panels flashed into life, almost psychedelic in there variety. All seemed good as i uploaded the new firmware for the nav computer, i can now plot 20,000Ly in one go using whatever combinations of stars i liked. With a course plotted some 3,000Ly short of Centralis i fired up the engines. The ship hummed as if with excitement at being unleashed again. With diagnostics and pre flight checks complete it was time to depart. The hangar soon disappeared from view as i was hoisted back up to the surface of the station.
There are some partnerships that are just meant to be, the symbiotic relationship between a Long Range Explorer and his ship is likened to that of the fighter pilot and his craft. You learn all those little idiosyncrasies and soon they become as familiar as the nose on your face. In no time at all i was bursting through the no fire zone on my way back to Centralis. The journey has become so run of the mill now, were once it was deemed a serious effort to make it. The Neutron Highways and the Outposts along the way Facilitate those in a hurry or that don't like to stray too far from civilisation. The journey was swift yet uneventful save a few systems with Earth like planets. In no time at all i could see the violet haze of Colonia in the blackness. Almost iridescent it acted like a beacon amidst the pitch black. Guiding me home, it loomed before me expanding, growing until it was all enveloping. The nebula is a beautiful thing, it alone is reason to be out here rather than in the swamp they call the bubble.
I lurched down on the pads in Centralis, getting used to that gravity after 22000Ly of nothing is still a difficult task. I had little time my partner in crime was itching to be away. I tried to convince myself i had all the time in the world but to be honest the itch was building again, the dark was calling and my little jaunt to the bubble and back had simply fed it and made it grow bigger. So that was that i was ready the trip was on and all that was left was to get going.....
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