On my way to the Metaphoris’ polar region. My Elite-class range rover has a nifty auto-drive-by-wire, it’s not really automatic, but also not completely manual. It depends on the terrain I will be driving upon.
So, logging in my journal.
I never thought I could go blind of my rationale under the shadow of the opportunity to get off this planet. I have travelled this far without a space-school degree, but when a crucial moment came my whole system of decision making went out the window. Maybe it’s because I was stuck here for so long. Anyway, I need to understand this emotional interference better, and deal with it properly. Such interference does not help in flying. On top of that, I was too inclined on proving my flight skills to Radakee, I lost touch with my original plan, to get off the planet with another spaceship.
In retrospect, my whole future could have been different if I acted differently, but it’s too late now. I will have to live with it, and keep surviving on Metaphoris and await if any ships plan on getting into shallow orbit. One can’t really catch up with a spaceship if it’s cruising through space, the rendezvous has to be in slower velocity. Oh, I wish I had a time machine instead.
To all Planet Hoppers out there, if you are getting this data package, never ever lose focus. Space is a incredibly hostile place. We after all are humans, our minds and bodies aren’t made to survive vast expanses of space and loveless planets. It will asphyxiate us in seconds, or toxic air would burn up our lungs, or drown us under an alien ocean, or plunge our minds into the abyss of insanity. Be prepared, it will be hard and it will never get easy. You may not even reach the star system you want to reach. You might end up somewhere else. Anything could happen; But remember, you are only responsible for the journey, not for reaching your star system. Godspeed!
Human minds are funny. Once it gets hold of something it can hold on to, it’s almost impossible to erase it, or change. “An idea is the most resilient parasire” as told by Dominick Cobb, Inception.
Catching up with Ostraflex. I was excited about it, and I miscalculated my flight plan, and now in retrospect I can’t help but focus on why I did the things wrong the way I did. I chose to give it shot, knowing what I was doing has the potential to go wrong badly, but in retrospect I can’t help but regret. I lost my composure because I really was looking forward to get off this planet. Desperation brings out the worst in planet hoppers, or people in general. Clearly, Radakee didn’t want to fly into deep space with such a hothead pilot. Oh, what I would pay to have another shot at the same flight plan with Ostraflex.
Funny enough, after Ostraflex flew away, I didn’t have much trouble dealing with danger, e.g. in the water cave. It’s funny how many the possible ways I could have remedied the flight situation; Looking retrospectively. I always thought I could be like a mentat, the incredibly rational beings in Frank Herbert’s Dune, turns out I can’t. Still a human, quite a human, plagued with self doubts of insecurities.
And life; Well, life is pile of regrets, until you decide to press the “Fuck It” button all over again.
Repairing was going well, until now. I don’t have a robot repairing kit, so I am doing it manually. But looking at my logs, I am spending more time with the simulator, than on repairing. It’s important that I repair my ship, to fly again. And if I do a bodge job, I will burn up in the atmosphere. Hull integrity during off-planet flight is super important, as I now know. I am thinking if my un-repaired ship hull has anything to do with my latest crash. Aerodynamics is a significant factor in this cases. I don’t want to rush my repairs but I also don’t want neglect my flying skills.
I will do a light excursion to the polar region tomorrow, come back to MLS, and figure out the rest of the repairs. Hope nothing goes wrong during the expedition. Given the recent snags I have been hitting, I am a bit afraid to be honest. But hey, who said spacefaring was easy, eh?
Cleaned up all the lateral thrusters. The main engine outlets seems to be intact. Lot of progress today. Metaphoris isn’t that bad after all.
I tried to reach out to Ostraflex today, no response. Either Radakee is already in cryo-sleep for the next push, or she doesn’t want to respond back. That’s respectable. I guess I shouldn’t ask Radakee to turn her ship back anyway. That kind of turn is a fuel monster. She would need to do a obtuse retro-thrust to get back into Metaphoris’ orbit. And I am getting a feeling Ostraflex isn’t a ship made to pair up with a second generation explorer for a long haul. Loads of differences in tight course correction capabilities.
I think I should remove Ostraflex’s XOR encoding from my servers. I don’t need it anymore, at least not now. I spent some with the simulator today, made it to work. After the crash, it was borked. Had to re-instantiate the whole subsystem. Works again. Flew a couple of short take offs in it. Flight school training helps, but I am “out in the wild” already. What can go wrong anymore?
Anyway, back to preparing for my excursion to the polar region.
Physical damage is usually very hard to repair, specially if it’s of composite construction. I have been avoiding repairing some thermal protection panels for some time now, but I really should have before flying this time. These aren’t really an issue but in this case, it is. The crash was pretty bad, and if I am to fly again, I need to fix these panels, or they will just fall off the hull. Luckily these materials have pretty good nanotech, so repairing is generally straightforward, but takes time and sometimes needs extra material to work with. At the moment looks like I need carbon, I will extract some from the flora at the North of the site. I need to endeavour there, near the polar region. Same region where Radakee and I planned to land.
I call this crash site; MLS. Stands for “My Life Sucks”.
I generally split hydrogen and oxygen from regular water. There’s not much of it where I crashed few days back. But there’s a cave about 2kms from the crash site, as my vibroscanner reported. So naturally, I went there to grab water. I entered the cave, it wasn’t too small, I could stand in there. And then I slipped free fell into a cavern through an opening I was trying to avoid. Just my luck! First failing to getting to orbit, then crash landing, and then this!?
I used my rocket operated winch, pulled myself up. The winch was made to work with Earth’s gravity, so worked more than fine in here on Metaphor-is. Good thing, found a lot of water in the cavern.
I would be great if I could find a way to pull water from the cavern to the electrolysis apparatus.
No use getting worked up about this. Back to repair.
Testing out repeaters around the Omega belt, to pass it back to Earth.
Repairing my ship on this planet hasn’t been easy; I am getting there.
I really thought I could fly out this time, but I failed. Radakee even said we would make a short landing on the polar region, so that we could watch the sunset on Metaphoris, one last time before we fly away. But she wasn’t keen on staying in orbit for long after seeing my piloting skills. She flew away, re-keying her transponder.
I haven’t flown for a long time. There were no ship wanting rendezvous in orbit for such a long time, I became restless. I mean, otherwise, who in their right mind tries to use momentum engines to boost themselves up, it’s a bad idea! I didn’t have enough fuel that would allow that kind of prolonged burn. I should have switched to ion drive and be more patient, and slowly go up the orbits. I didn’t even have enough to do a retro burn, I couldn’t slow down. I used up all my fuel for one last ditch effort to catch up with Ostraflex. And I crashed.
I crashed pretty bad this time. The atmosphere on Metaphoris is thick, like Earth to skim velocity. But a crash is still a crash. The hull is manageable. But the most important thing that needs repairing is my flying skills.
I have been contemplating about keeping a journal for some time now on this planet of Metaphoris, but I have been too busy looking for ships that are flying by. Space travel is dangerous without another ship around you.
I started picking up a ship’s transponder signal few days back. We initiated communication, and we decided we would try to reach the next star system together. I grossly miscalculated orbital dynamics, and I failed to enter Radakee’s orbit. Radakee, a brilliant pilot, born on planet Earth, had come close to entering a D-orbit around a star somewhere in Sector T3LNGA once, but she executed a perfectly timed burn, pulling herself out of danger. She is a great pilot. Her ship Ostraflex, is a Class III latest generation spacefarer, made for serious exploration.
I never went to space school, I have only flown by myself couple of times for short duration. Before I crashed on Metaphoris three Earth years ago, I was orbiting planet Banxian. My ship isn’t new, it’s pretty old. It’s a second generation explorer class speeder, goes pretty fast, but control computer is pretty rudimentary. Unfortunately synthesising fuel on this half barren planet, makes it incredibly hard to try and escape this planet; Not to mention the repair work.
While flying into orbit last time, I made multiple course corrections, according to specifications Radaki gave me. She even came to Lower Metaphoris Orbit to rendezvous with me, but we failed to attain a singular course and diverged. Unable to fix my course in time I crashed on the surface again, bumped the hull pretty bad. In retrospect it looks very naive to take flight like that in retrospect. Anyway, time to get back to repairing my ship. “Tomorrow’s a new day”, as my friend Danx always says.