A Wild and Clear Call.

Dbx "Alexei Leonov" NH-16D
LBN 623 Sector UU-O b6-4 1
Distance from Sol: 603 ly

The Leonov made her first jump of the Perseus Reach expedition today. Along with many other commanders, at precisely 2030 hours we engaged our frame shift drives and made a synchronised jump from orbit over the Earth out toward the second waypoint of the trip.

A ragtag fleet above shining planet Earth

The Leonov is jumping flawlessly and our upper jump range is still around 68 light years – slightly up on the original jump range after a code error in the ship management system caused the jettison of a limpet mid-jump during one of the first jumps. I isolated the faulty code straight away and i’ve just now finished re-writing it before it could lead to the loss of my entire limpet supply.

I’ve chosen to take an early break on the trip and i’ve set down to run further software diagnostics before heading further into the Black. I envisage this will only take a few hours, and i’ve decided to also get some rest before heading back out.

It’s ship’s night and the systems are shut down. There is a frost forming on the cockpit windows and the temperature has markedly dropped, but a wee slug of rum keeps me warm as I watch the perpetual sunset over the crater wall. Apart from the ghostly whistles of the geysers there is no sound, no movement and probably has been like this for countless millions of years.

Perpetual Sunset

This is a strange, pock-marked and barren world. This little world is so close in to its primary, it is an inferno at the equator. Here, not so much. I may reconnoitre the geysers before I move out tomorrow to see if there is any mineral value.

I wonder sometimes, when looking at places like this, why we come out here. Then I remember “Sea Fever” by John Masefield, specifically the lines:

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

There are no seas here, no wind and spray… but the call is still there. The urge to drive on into the deep Black is real and I, like the ancient sailor, cannot deny it. I may be sick of it in the end, and long to be back in the bubble… but i’ll always come back craving more.

Time to sleep.


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