Into the Black: Setting Out

December 14th, 3305

My whole life, I always wanted to be a spacer.  Out there among the stars, at the helm of my own ship.  I had a swashbuckling image of independent pilots, with their cool bodysuits, zipping between star systems faster than light.

I had to detour from that dream until my 30s.  Got caught up in a bangneki gambling ring and ended up having to sign myself into slavery to pay my debts.  Thankfully Aisling isn’t the Emperor or I might actually have had to pay them back!  I wasn’t lucky enough to serve out my time in Achenar in some senator’s place, though.  I did my time whoring in some backwater shitstain of a world with a random string of letters and numbers for a name.  Just about the worst beat you can get.

After a john slit my throat and took out one of my eyes on a night gone very bad, I was on “light duty” the last few years.  Mostly just assigned to cleanup detail between clients.  My master did give me a new cybernetic eye, which was nice, and didn’t even extend my contract for it, which was nicer.  I asked her to leave the scar as a reminder not to trust men and she just nodded at me.  I spent every waking moment after that immersed in GalNet whenever I could, learning everything there was to know about flying spaceships.  I could project it right onto the eye’s interface directly, read up on the Thargoid incursions while I mopped up jizz.  Good times.

When my term expired, my debts were expunged as per the usual and customary agreements.  I took out a small loan (I know, I know) and got myself a Sidewinder.  No gambling this time, I’d gone legit.  I spent a couple months shuffling data around for the Imperial Navy, got myself promoted a few times, clawed my way up the ship hierarchy, got to know people.  Their demands on independent pilots are pretty lax, you’d never catch me running for them if they actually tied me down.

That’s what being a spacer is all about, or anyway, that’s what it’s supposed to be about: freedom.  Nobody and nothing out there with you but the black, and all those little points of light in between just calling to you.  I wanna see em all.

Trouble is, these days the bubble feels crowded.  I dunno.  I’ve flown all kinds of ships, I’ve got millions in the bank, it’s not like I have anything to complain about really.  But I feel this call, you know?  I wanna park myself at the boundary of the galaxy and take a nap, and wake up to see no stars at all in front of me.  I want to go where you can’t go any farther.  It’s quiet out there.  No people, no power players, no pirates.  No goddamn Christmas music.  And it turns out those sexy-looking Gutamaya ships aren’t nearly worth the price tag.

I sold it all.  Every last ship and module.  I bought a Lakon Diamondback Explorer, and popped the biggest, beefiest frame shift drive I could find in there.  Stripped everything else down.  I decided in the end to take a self-repair unit, a planetary vehicle bay, and (just in case things get really dire) a mining laser and refinery.  Worst comes to worst, I can mine up the raw materials to make oxygen and repair my stuff myself.  Got some nice scanning equipment on there too.  If I ever decide to come back, the exploration data will make me the richest woman in the galaxy.

This is my captain’s log.  They call me CMDR Applebaps, by the way.  I’m calling this “Into the Black” after my new ship.  This old girl and me will be best of friends by the time I come back from Beagle Point.

The first leg of my journey, I’m headed out of Inner Orion Spur and towards the black hole at the heart of the galaxy: Sagittarius A*.  Always wanted to see the Big Suck.  Only 300 jumps to go.

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