New Beginning

May 28th, 2017 | Posted in Captains Log | Comments Off on New Beginning

[Author’s Note:]

I decided to Start over. I figured that if I was going to do it, better now than after a week or three of progress. Doing this would let me apply what I’ve learned so far to the new start.

Why restart? Because there is a story to be told here, one that I’ve tried to write many times over the last twenty five years. Those failed attempts had promise but I think that this time, set within Elite Dangerous, it might just turn out decent.

All in all, it was an easy decision.

From here out the story is told mostly from the point of view of a new commander.

 


A very little bit of Background:

He was born at Trevithick Dock. His family lived and worked there for a refining operation.

He spent most of his life seeing commanders come and go, and hearing their stories. There were the adventurous types that ended up as bounty hunters, getting paid by the federation for bringing wanted criminals to justice. There were the traders, buying and selling all manner of things. Others who like him, just had to see what was out there in places they had never been.

He grew up fascinated by the stories of explorers. The modern commanders that would be gone for months at a time traveling to some part of the galaxy not visited by humans before. Ancient stories that went as far back as Old Earth when all of humanity lived on a single planet.

It was all the same to him. He loved the idea of being the first to go somewhere, the first to see something. The people throughout history that had actually ventured into the unknown where no one else had gone had his respect.

Eventually he went to flight school & got his commander’s license. Once he got it he went to work, saving his credits, until the day came when he could get his first ship.

It was only a sidewinder and between buying it and getting ready to fly he was left with only 1,000 credits to his name.

 


 

I’ve finally got my own ship. Granted it’s a sidewinder and you don’t have to tell me what experienced pilots usually think of them, I’ve heard enough of their talk myself to know all too well what most of them think of it. However even most of those same pilots will admit that you have to start somewhere and if I’d waited to save for a Python, well I’d still be working at it for a few years.

It’s new but it’s also completely stock. That means the modules are “loaned”, they’re the lowest rated things that will work. The idea is that if you manage to make money, you buy better stuff to replace them and the loaned units get refurbished for use in another new ship.

It’s only got a 7.57ly jump range, the smallest fuel tank, and the cargo rack is almost a joke. It just means that I need to pick my first missions with care.

As soon as the paperwork was done I climbed aboard and after doing a check of all systems I had the ship’s computer connect to starport services and looked at the missions board.

I decided right off that hauling cargo was out of the question at least initially. With only a four ton capacity there wasn’t room to carry very much. Besides which filling even that small space was beyond the thousand credits I had left.

Speaking of credits, the first thing I did was spend 309 of it to have the cheapest 1E fuel scoop installed. One way I intended to save money was by not buying fuel unless I absolutely had to.

I mean seriously, the stuff is out there, free for the taking. Hydrogen is literally the most common element in the universe. All you need is a fuel scoop and access to the right type of star.

Growing up hearing commanders talk all the time helped me out. One of the things that they often suggest for new looking to make some quick cash. Something that even experienced pilots will do on occasion if they’re low on cash. I knew what kind of missions to Look for on the mission board.

There were two delivery missions I could take. That’s because I’d be delivering data packets, no cargo space needed, I accepted the missions and the data packets were uploaded to my ship’s computer.

One paid 18,000 credits and the other 17,000 and a crystal shard. I had no idea what I’d do with the shard but the credits would go a long way to helping me get started.

when I got the missions done I had a little more than I expected. My balance was a bit over 42K credits. However since nobody ever came after me demanding repayment I decided not to worry about it. Though surely somebody would be sweating over a mistake that big.

I put the money to good use. I checked around and found that a good place to go was Wohler Terminal in kremainn. The first thing I did was replace the Frame Shift Drive with a 2C module, same thing for the power plant, putting in a 1C unit.

These changes increased the jump range to 11.37ly. It also put my insurance rebuy cost at 1,795 credits but I like to be optimistic and expect that I’ll not get it destroyed.

Then came the question of how to make some good money. I already had the answer. Another advantage of having spent so much time around pilots. I knew that Universal cartographics was always buying updated scan data, even from populated systems that have been scanned only they know how many times.

You got paid based on what you’d scanned and if you’re the first person to scan something, you get a 50% bonus. The trick is that none of their offices would buy data that came from anywhere within twenty lightyears.

It seems rather obvious to me that, for whatever reason, they’re trying to encourage humanity to spread out as far and wide as possible. I can’t imagine where they get the money they pay for all this and perhaps I might just not want to know.

The basic discovery scanner that came with the ship wouldn’t be able to discover a whole lot but it would do for starters. I could always upgrade later.

I set out to Hariti, 39ly out. I deliberately plotted the “economical” route because it made for more jumps, This way I could scan every system along the way and have more to sell to cartographics. My course plotted I wasted no time in launching.

I know most people don’t think much of it but if you do take a moment to think about it, it’s kind of amazing not only how far we can travel today but how quickly we can do so. The hyperspace jumps from one star to another only take a minute or so to go howver far your ship’s jump range is. This means that I was able to cover 39 lightyears in less than half an hour, even with taking time to trigger the discovery scanner at every star while the fuel scoop collected Hydrogen from the star to refuel my ship.

when I arrived at Hariti I sold cartographic data that they’d buy for another 19K and I checked the mision board and found a couple more data delivery assignments that paid a grand total of 35k. I took both of them and once they were done I used some of that cash to have the thrusters replaced with a 2C set and still had a balance of 58,463.

Looking at the galactic map on my nav comp I decided to pick a system a good long ways out. This way I could sell some of the scan data there and then collect more using a different route on the way back.

I settled on Col 285 Sector CX-J c9-8, which is 32 jumps (148ly) farther out. I figured that when stars have catalog designations instead of real names, then you’re probably out a good ways.

When I got out there about 90 minutes later I found a flaw in my plan to sell the carto data from Hariti area when I got there, taking everything else back to Kremain for the “big payoff”.

Turned out there was nobody there to sell it to. Guess I should have expected that.

Arrived at Wohler terminal in Kremainn (for now, this is going to be my base of operations). Balance shows 58,335, my records show it should be 58,463. Maybe I missed something but I can’t imagine what. I’ve been recording all transactions *before* I do them and then confirming amounts after.

Meanwhile, it’s time to visit Universal Cartographics. I didn’t keep track of how many systems I visited or the number of unknown astronomical objects the D-scanner revealed (gonna try to keep better track of that next time) but there’s quite a lot. some from over 200ly out.

When I sold all the data they’d buy I’d added a whopping 831,193, making my balance 889,528. Not bad. I know that flatlanders think that’s a load of money but it’s not really. When you’re talking about buying ships, modules, ammunition, supplies, and paying for repairs and such it can disappear quickly.

 


Explorer rank: scout 63%, Federation Reputation 1%, rank none 12%.
all zeros for alliance & empire.
ship rebuy cost 2847


Speaking of ships. I decided it was worthwhile to at least investigate getting a new ship, probably an Adder, to have longer range and a reasonable bit of fighting / hauling capability in addition to being mainly an exploration ship. Even if you don’t seek out combat, sometimes it seeks you out.

1	Adder		87,808
1	2A power plant	130,224	
1	3C FSD		56,435	
1	3D thrusters	18,812	
1	3D sensors	10,133
1	3D sh gen	18,812
1	2D fuel scoop	4,451
1	1F pulse laser	2,200
1	2E cargo	3,250

new balance:557,540

note: component prices are before subtracting trade-in value of items they replace on the stock ship

Adder rebuy cost: 16,602

I hadn’t bothered to name the sidewinder. Mostly because I honestly didn’t expect to be using it for very long. I guess I’m just a touch sentimental though because after all, it was my first ship so when I bought the Adder I had the sidewinder put in storage.

The Adder however needed a name. I had no idea how long I’d be in it and I wanted it to have a name suited to exploration. After thinking about it I named it Lewis & Clark.

They were a couple of men back on Old Earth before any kind of modern age or even much technology, as in no computers, no powered transportation, no form of flight, and no energy weapons or shields at all. Almost everything was powered by muscle, either human or animals.

They traveled across half a continent, sometimes riding animals and other times just walking. It took them a year and a half to do it. Today it’s hard to imagine a trip like that. I think men like that could manage to adapt to our modern way of life. Not so much the other way around.

Heading out on second run. As before I’m taking the “economy” routing so I’ll have more stars to scan

leg 1: C Lupi, 193 ly, 39 jumps

leg 2: Praea EUQ Z1-T B3-6 155ly, 32 jumps

leg 3: praea EUQ YH-V B2-0 94.6ly, 18 jumps

It was here that I started feeling a little impatient and switched to using fastest routing

leg 4: IC 2602 sector ID-Q B6-1 195.65ly, 16jumps

leg 5: Kremain 513.28 ly, 42 jumps

Trip summary:

Outbound: 637.65ly, 105 jumps

Return: 513.28 ly, 42 jumps

leg 4 of the trip was interesting, If I was reading the galactic map right, I was out somewhere near the Coal Sack for part of it. It certainly looked like it at least, not many stars visible for over 10+ jumps.

When I finally landed in Wohler terminal it was late and I was more than ready for sleep. However I did make it a point to connect with Universal Cartographics and unload all that data. The 1,406,228 credits it got me really made the day feel like quite the success.

There’s two things I want to get for the Adder, an Advanced discovery Scanner and a Detailed surface scanner. both modules are kinda pricey, nearly 2 mil for the both of ’em, but well worth it not only because you can collect loads more data that Universal Cartographics will buy and because any serious exploration is going to need them.

I am also thinking of an auto repair module or two eventually. Sooner or later I am going to want to head out on a seriously long trip and they could possibly come in handy out there in the deep where there are no stations with repair facilities.

new balance: 1,962,768

Explorer rank now “surveyor 37%”

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