8300 LY to go. I’m now nearly 18000 LY from home. The math doesn’t add up, I know, but then I did move 250 LY down from the galactic plane. Not to mention SagA is 20-30 LY down from TZ Arietis or thereabouts. I’m just going by what my navcomp is telling me. Anyway, made decent time last night to the tune of 1500 LY. Not quite what I can now normally do, but good enough.
Now that I have a copilot, I think I can justify a bigger ship. A lot of people explore in an Asp, so I may go with that. I know It’ll cost quite a bit, but I should be able to cover it with the trade-in value of my DB Scout alone. Not to mention whatever I’ll get for all the exploration data I’m bringing back. I’d still have to grind for the necessary parts, but I plan on doing that anyway.
Speaking of my copilot, Rakhi and I have gotten along well so far. We’ve also gotten fairly close. She says she’s willing to stick around and help me when I need it. I tried telling her how big a commitment that was, but she seemed to grasp the scale, and it didn’t seem to bother her. I guess giving her the benefit of the doubt when we met was the right move. She’s pretty serious about her offer, too.
We, uh... she even let me share the sleeping bag with her. We didn’t do anything but sleep in each others’ arms, but I must admit it was nice. The furthest we went was a nice, long, good-morning kiss before we got up. I initiated it and she didn’t pull away. I asked afterwards if I was too bold, but she said I wasn’t. Even told me I could do it again if I wanted. If she’s willing to help me even half as much as she offered, I...I don’t even know how to describe it. Suffice it to say that I’d be the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
Now for what happened over the weekend:
500 LY to go. I buckled down the last few days and made nearly 8000 LY. Unfortunately, my navigation computer is having trouble plotting through the dense star field. Honestly I was too tired to wait last night and Rakhi doesn't feel comfortable flying my ship this far from settled space. Especially not since I bounced off of an asteroid Friday night, knocking my hull integrity down to a mere 39%. My modules and canopy are fine, so if I fly carefully, I'll make it back home no problem.
I’m thinking I’m going to cut the plots down to 100 LY per. Even at 250, my computer’s struggling, when in Humanity’s little bubble 1000LY per plot is nothing. So a warning to new explorers: The closer you are to the center, the more stars there are, and therefore the slower your navigation computer will plot. I’m also going to make a beeline back to civilization, only doing a fly-by scan of interesting planets rather than going up to take a picture.
On a much more personal note, I’ve been out here for a good couple weeks. Done some serious thinking and introspection already, but I still plan on doing some divination at the core. Even if all I can get is a vague inspiration, the trip will have been worth it. I definitely need something bigger than myself to live for. I’m too aimless without it, and that may make “my time” come too quickly, if you catch my meaning. My relationship with Rakhi has been good for me, though. We’re friends-with-benefits at this point, but I get the feeling that’ll change here rather quickly.
I have to admit that I’ve fallen for her. But then, lately my meditative reflections have centered around her offer to be my pillar of support, so I’ve been thinking about her a lot. I’ve talked with her about this, and she says she’s even willing to go as far as marriage. She insists that this is her way of paying me back for rescuing her, but we all can probably agree that this is going above and beyond. Either way, though, I’m glad to have her in my life. It certainly cuts down on the loneliness I’ve felt since Izumi’s death.