So as it happens, the nebula at Eos Brai was to be my final outbound destination last year.
Homesick, travel weary, and painfully aware of the impact that the then upcoming horizons update would have upon exploration ultimately provided significant enough a reason to commence my homeward journey and within a month of my last post, I had returned home, cashed in my travel data and had finally been formally inducted into the small fraternity of “Elite Explorers”.
In the intervening months, I used my new found wealth to procure and outfit a small selection of other ships, and from there taught myself the intricacies of sub orbital travel and exploration.
Exploration in an SRV opens up even more opportunities for me to explore. Being able to upgrade the efficiency of my frame shift drive in order to significantly increase my jump range affording me the opportunity to fling my vessel to far more distant locations, in turn providing even more opportunities to explore.
Needless to say, at the expense of cutting my existing journey short, the potential gains made possible by returning went a long way to compensating me for the time lost.
On my return, after clocking up in excess of 200,000ly’s travel in my trusted Asp without ever taking any significant damage, I made the decision to retire the vessel. After nearly a year at the helm, it had become more than just a collection of systems, bulkheads and power conduits, and was an old friend to which I’d become quite attached, and I wasnt keen on losing the vessel to some accident or another.
With the Ethics Gradient left in the hands of technical staff at Irkutsk for use as a museum peice, I left dock on the 6th of January in the much smaller DBX – Not Invented Here with the aim of starting a new journey for myself.
As is my custom, unlike other explorers, I elected to remain vaguely combat ready, and so in addition to the normal explorers selection of sensor suites, the ship also bore a standard light armament of laser weapons, shields and defensive systems, and an additional, experimental chrome armour finish, which from tests to date, do appear to help in reducing the vessels ability to absorb heat from both weapons fire and fuel scooping by litterally reflecting the energy back away from the ship.
Unlike it’s predecessor, however, the ship carries a planetary survey hangar instead of an AFRM suite,200,000 light years with only the bare minimum of damage, I feel that I’ve probably got experience enough now that I’m only likely to face danger in those kinds of a situation where an AFRM would be of little to no use in preventing serious damage anyway, so the decision is likely to have been a fair trade off.
Despite having so much packed into such a light frame, it’s a little surprising to find that the DBX actually has an extra 2ly (approx) jump range on my former vessel, and I’m already noticing the benefit in how quickly I’ve been able to traverse the short distance to my current location.