Commander Earen


I’ve been playing Elite again, on the Xbox now. It’s been a lot of fun … even for a starship flight simulator and screenshot generator :laughing:

Speaking of which, here’s my pride and joy, Phssthpok:

It is an Asp Explorer that I’ve spent a lot of credits outfitting with the best components I can manage. Last I checked it was worth over 15M credits. Though most of the time lately you can find me in my Dolphin Passenger Liner named “Slower than Infinity”:

I’ve been ferrying passengers around to all the best tourist locations to make enough money to buy a Python. I still have a ways to go :blush:

Today though, I’m helping the Empire by ferrying goods to the Maia star system so that an outpost can be built in this strategic place. From GalNet:

For several months, the Maia system has been a focal point in the ongoing hostility between the Empire and the Federation.

Now, the Empire and the Federation have announced plans to expand their presence in Maia by constructing new outposts. But with a shortage of reliable supply lines into the system, the superpowers are relying on the galactic community for help in compiling the necessary materials. Both are keenly aware that the finite nature of resources and support means only one will be able to proceed with its plans.

Both the Empire and the Federation have promised to reward pilots who contribute construction materials to their respective campaigns. The Federal campaign is being coordinated by the Pleiades Resource Enterprise from the Obsidian Orbital starport, while the Merope Expeditionary Fleet has been authorised to oversee the Imperial initiative at Obsidian Orbital, in the Maia system.

The rival campaigns begin on the 20th of April 3303 and will run for one week. If either faction achieves its aims earlier than planned, the campaign will end immediately.

I stripped off a bunch of various equipment from Phssthpok and loaded her up with cargo racks so that I can ferry the necessary materials to Obsidian Station. Maia is over 400 light-years from where I was starting, CD-72 190 if you’re curious. It was a journey of over 30 jumps fully-laden, probably the furthest single trip I’ve undertaken … but I made it with my first load of 80 tons of Building Fabricators! (And made a profit of a measly 52K credits, but I made over 500K credits with the star system data I gathered for Universal Cartographics on my way through :grinning:)

Anyway … off to source my next load of materials!

Fly safe Commanders! o7


On my second trip to Obsidian Orbital, I was viciously attacked and my ship destroyed. Most likely by some Federation-loving privateer :rage: Not only did it cost me a hold of 80T of Building Fabricators, but 1.15M credits in insurance and 31 jumps of travel! Fortunately, I can afford the insurance cost … just not too many times.

Off I go to make another attempt, this time in stealth mode.

Out-of-character: Since this appears to be just someone griefing rather than role playing the combat, I have no problems with switching Elite into Solo Play mode where I’m flying in a universe consisting of only NPCs :grinning:


Landed at my first ever planetary-based station on a planet with noticeably higher-than-normal gravity, HR 1185 A 4. At 4.12G, I almost was unable to take off using my ship’s vertical thrusters. And then when I was attempting to launch into space, I couldn’t go straight vertical like I normally do. I had to fly at about a 60° angle in order to pick up enough speed to make it. The people that say that this game just isn’t deep enough aren’t looking in the right places :grinning:

Wish me luck, here I go taking off from there again!


Date: 23 April 3303

I decided to try my hand at bounty hunting. I had outfitted Phssthpok originally with four gimbaled beam lasers and two gimbaled multi-cannons. But for this, I thought I might want a little more, so I swapped out the multi-cannons for two fixed-mount rail guns instead :astonished: It was my first time experimenting with both fixed mount weapons and rail guns … but more on that in another log entry. I was flying out of Fraunhofer Station in LTT 1289, interestingly this is the station where I first purchased Phssthpok, and it is in orbit of LTT 1289 AB 1, a ringed planet where miners congregate in what are called Resource Extraction Sites (RES), extracting the rings of their resources. Of course, this attracts pirates … wannabe and otherwise. I managed to make .5M credits in my first sweep before going back to port to reload my ammo. Not too bad …

Then I remembered that I hadn’t been using my Kill Warrant Scanner. This little gadget scans a target for kill warrants in other star systems, potentially increasing one’s reward when destroying a mark. (Of course, the problem is that some of the time you have to travel to those other star systems to collect on the foreign bounties. But, money is money.) So I went back out to collect some more bounties. Things were going kind of slow and uneventful … so I sat up in my flight chair when I saw a wing of three wanted criminals being led by an Imperial Clipper, the ship I’ve had my heart set on for a long, long time. They didn’t deserve such a beautiful vessel!

Unfortunately, in my zeal to deprive the reprobates of their shining trophy I didn’t look to see if the system security was anywhere near in case things went south … which they did. The three of them made quick work of my shields … I panicked and couldn’t manage to launch the chaff that would buy me some respite to activate my FSD to get out of there. While I was struggling with my flight controls, I slammed into an asteroid and only a couple more shots finished me off. Not only did I have to pay the 1.4M insurance charge … but I lost all of the bounties I had collected as the proof of my victories were stored in the destroyed ship’s gun cameras.

I think this time, I’m going to switch to a cheaper ship to build up my bounty hunting skills on …


Date: 23 April 3303 Supplemental

I decided to outfit my old Viper Mark IV for the purpose of bounty hunting, renamed the “Long Shot” for the occasion:

Unfortunately, it seems that all the criminals had gone home by the time that I got done reconfiguring the Long Shot. I stayed out for a while, getting used to the rhythm of using a kill scanner before engaging the enemy. I only came back with 145K in bounties … but I guess that wasn’t bad for the Long Shot’s shakedown patrol.

On the other hand, if she does get blown out from under me, the insurance is a much more amenable 370K credits.


Date: 25 April 3303

I’m on my way back to the Maia system, Obsidian Orbital. While I’m reticent to risk Phssthpok again, I need to do my part to ensure that the Empire is able to establish a foothold in Maia. And the 80T of cargo space in Phssthpok is the best way to do that. According to my in-ship data system, I’m in the top 75% of commanders contributing. Perhaps not too impressive, but given that there are commanders with ships that can haul hundreds of tons of cargo in one trip, I don’t think it is too bad. And I’m also guaranteed to get at least 600K credits when the push is over in two days … and perhaps much, much more if I maintain my standing compared to other commanders participating in this rush of support.

When I finally arrive in Maia, a pirate thinks they can get the better of me. Normally, I would throttle down to allow them to think that their interdiction attempt was successful. Then I would turn around and show them that they don’t really have what it takes to be a pirate. But today, I don’t really want to waste my time on this moron … I’ll let someone else take care of them. So I fight the interdiction, which admittedly is slightly harder in Phssthpok than it would be in the Long Shot or Slower than Infinity. But it isn’t long before I break free and their interdiction system overloads their frame shift drive, dropping them out into normal space … eating the ionization trail of my frame shift wake.

I think I have one more round trip in me, to the much closer 64 Arietis system, before I need to head to the bar and relax. Maybe find myself some companionship. More likely just stare into the bottom of the glass and try to remember what it feels like to have four walls around me … instead of being surrounded by infinite black emptiness, or worse, the psychedelic formlessness of witch space.

Yeah, time to take a break I think … after this haul.


Date: 27 April 3303

Two more days of nothing but hauling Building Fabricators to Obsidian Orbital, but the Empire has succeeded in establishing its foothold in the Maia system before the Federation. And, for my part, I’ve been granted a bonus of nearly 7M credits! It isn’t enough to buy my way into that Python I’ve had my eye on, but it does get me a noticeable amount closer to that goal.

Now, to make my way back to Fraunhofer Station and resume my normal activities of passenger deliveries and bounty hunting …


Date: 25 May 3303

I’ve been doing some trading, mostly to build up my bank account after purchasing a Python. It was expensive at right around 60M credits. And continues to be so because it is a mid-sized ship it can fit larger, and far more expensive, components. But! I’ve now got her outfitted to carry up to 280 tons of cargo at a time, making trading probably the most lucrative thing I can be doing right now. It isn’t exciting or glamorous … but I’ve sunk about 81M credits into her and she’s going to make me even more rich :grinning:

The Lying Bastard


Date: 28 May 3303

Not much to update. Trading is very lucrative but kind of boring as far as updates go. Occasionally some pirate or another tries to interdict me. They never succeed.

I have sunk even more money into The Lying Bastard though. She’s now worth over 100M credits and has over a 5M credit insurance rebuy :scream: I think that there isn’t much more I can reasonably do to her at this point though. There definitely isn’t anything I can do to make her more trade-worthy. So now the only thing to do is build up enough of a bank account that I can afford to purchase an Anaconda or Imperial Cutter. I haven’t gathered enough favor with the Empire to even be cleared for an Imperial Clipper though … so I’ll probably be getting an Anaconda next.


I decided to make the (albeit short) journey again out to visit Felicity Farseer in the Deciat system. I managed to get my thrusters and FSD upgraded. I now have a fully-laden jump range of about 17ly, up from about 12ly :metal: That should make my trading round-trips a little quicker.


I overheard someone talking in the bar about HIP 20277 being an ideal system for pilots loyal to the Empire. I’m going to head that way to check it out. Maybe I’ll move there …

To curry favor with the local factions and to raise my rank with the Imperial Navy, I took on a smuggling mission. I’ve never been a great smuggler, but I outfitted my new Imperial Eagle to help. I managed to pull it off rather easily with this configuration, actually. My ship was near invisible!


Date: 29 May 3303

I’ve decided to try my hand at exploration. I’m a little tired of just flying around “The Bubble” of human space and hanging out in bars in my spare time. I want to see what there really is to see out in the deep dark. I’ve re-outfitted Phssthpok for exploration and managed to squeak a 33.12ly single-jump range out of her. Let’s go see what I can see!


Date: 17 March 3304

I took a passenger mission for 11M credits to go over 5kly on a lark. I wanted an excuse to go somewhere far outside the inhabited bubble and this gave me that excuse. Over 250 jumps later, I’m one jump away from my tourist’s destination and I notice that it is a black hole. This will be the first black hole that I’ve encountered … wish me luck!


On the way back, I got distracted while fuel scooping and ended up overheating a bit before I could launch my last heat sink. So I had to make some repairs with my AFMU.

Now, while it does state in the AFMU owner’s manual that any subsystem has to be taken offline to be repaired. It does not state that taking thrusters offline while in supercruise will execute an emergency frame-shift drop, causing hull damage. :man_facepalming: So, lesson learned.

At least I have only 92 jumps to go …


Date: 28 June 3304

A mysterious stranger just tipped me off to an interesting chunk of debris sitting on the surface of a planet out in the dark. I may go check it out:

  • System: Col 285 Sector NA-S b19-6
  • Body: 2 A
  • Lat/Lon: -0.08 by -65.55

It’s less than 300ly from my home base in HIP 20277, so I think I’m going to take Phssthpok out and have a look.


I found a crashed ship and scanned the data core. It was worth 1.5M credits. Whomever lost that ship needed that data pretty badly to offer that much cash for it.


I heard through the grapevine that the Krait Mk II has finally been released by Faulcon DeLacy. The original Krait is a classic that all the best starship pilots of ages gone by have used at one point or another in their careers. I must have one! Unfortunately, my funds are quite low right now after upgrading the Slower than Infinity from a Dolphin to an Orca, named Slower than Infinity Too.

But I heard about this new gig, where you go around to star systems and planetary bodies that have already been discovered to verify the data that Universal Cartographics has collected. It requires a ship to be outfitted much like one would for normal “blue sky” exploration but it takes the guesswork out of the process. You won’t get the huge payouts or notoriety of being the first to discover something, but neither will you go for hours and hours finding nothing but ice and rock.

I’ve taken on a 101-system circuit based around my home star system that should net me around 262M credits! That will not only buy me a new Krait Mk II, but all the fixings to outfit it however I want as well. And if I finally reach the Elite rank as an explorer, so much the better!

Out-of-character: I made it 15 systems into my generated list before I just didn’t want to risk all the data I had gathered anymore and went back home. I’ll pick up the list again at Pipe (bowl) Sector BQ-Y c13 as soon as I can.


Date: 30 June 3304

I managed to get enough credits together to purchase my Krait Mk II, that I’ve named Temerity. I’ve outfitted her with mostly D-class components, which has given her about a 22ly jump range. I’d rather have more though, so I’ve decided to take up the invitations I’ve been getting from the various top-flight engineers scattered about the galaxy, or at least the human bubble.

And … the rumors I’ve heard are true. They do great work! Temerity now has about a 24ly jump range but the most astounding change is that one of the engineers worked some kind of heat-reducing magic on my power plant. She weighs more but the extra mass is worth it for the security of never having to worry about overheating.

In order to meet more engineers, I have to run missions for the factions that can get me invitations. So I guess that’s what I’m going to be doing for a while at this point.


Date: 7 July 3304

I’ve decided that it’s about time that I get my Elite rating as an explorer. Since I’m currently ranked as Pioneer, it shouldn’t take me too long. I’m taking Phssthpok out to finish the circuit that I was assigned by Universal Cartographics. Fortunately, there isn’t a penalty for taking a break, even a long one.

Out-of-character: I made it through another 10 systems on my list, netting me just under 30 million credits. This took me from 15% of the way through Pioneer to 30% which confirms my understanding that from 0% Pioneer to 0% Elite is approximately 200 million credits of exploration data. This means I have about 140 million credits left to go, or 47 star systems if they continue averaging 3 million per star system.

I’m curious how far I can push Phssthpok’s jump range with the help of my new Engineer friends, specifically Felicity Farseer. They say that, if you really let her mess with things, she can add about 50%, which would take me to nearly 50ly per jump! But right now, she needs me to collect some sort of readings from high-energy frame shift wakes. So I’ve fitted a frame shift wake scanner to my ship to gather data from the wakes left behind when people jump out after leaving stations. Even though I got the lowest-power scanner that credits can buy, I still overloaded my power plant the first time I powered it up because I’ve got everything as stripped down and bare-bones as possible just to get the 33ly jump range that I’m currently getting. Good thing I wasn’t sipping a tasty beverage when my emergency helmet snapped into place! Regrowing fingers isn’t cheap!

At the last station, they “upgraded” me to a new ship-based AI assistant, Alix. I’m not sure why they continue to tweak with these AIs, they all seem capable and none of them have tried to kill their pilots in decades.


After gathering some stellar cartography data, I decided to stop by my home station. Now, 30 million credits richer and with the wake scan data I gathered, I was able to work with Felicity to get my jump distance to nearly 44ly!


Date: 8 July 3304

I’m still on my assigned exploration circuit. This is the first time I’ve slept out in the black since my trip to Traikoa SR-R 845-0. This ship isn’t a passenger vessel meant to carry downsiders with its artificial ambient soundtrack. It’s peaceful out in the black … but when just drifting with the solar winds, it’s also unnaturally quiet. No, not just quiet … silent. It’s like a weight pressing in from the outside. A weight of nothingness.


Date: 11 July 3304

Some bigwig or head honcho in the Didiomanja system is having a party and needs a statue made. So they want some barely-refined gold mined and delivered to them. For some reason, they don’t want gold that’s “been in storage” for too long. So I’m going to go gather some gold. I’ve done mining before, but never for a specific material, only gathering whatever I can and selling it. It always garners a profit. But this … this is rough, passing by perfectly good rocks that have good stuff in them just to see if I can find one with gold in it. Madness!


Date: 14 July 3304

This week, I found out that there’s a big push to build a new research station in the Ebor system. I decided to do my part for the advancement of science and carried a few loads of Aluminum out there in the Lying Bastard. Barely made enough credits to cover the fuel for each load, but there is supposed to be a “bonus” coming at the end of the week.

While I’m waiting for the bonus to come in, I’m on my way to Synuefe WO-Z c16-12 to continue on the route assigned to me by Universal Cartographics. Those star systems aren’t just going to chart themselves!


I got another chunk of my route done, netting me another 30M credits. Of course, no sooner than I collected it that it started burning a hole in my flight suit’s credit pouch. I decided to see what sort of exploration vessel I could make out of the Temerity. It turns out, a pretty good one. With some basic engineering and some lightweight components, and throwing out some components altogether, I was able to get her to a 30ly jump range. And I have 96t of cargo space! It bothered me numerous times that I couldn’t gather any salvage or perform any search and rescue in Phssthpok when I came across victims of the Thargoids out in the black. Now, I can get escape pods back to civilization and maybe get some salvage credits too!

Going to be taking her out on the next leg of my route as soon as I finish my meal …


And it’s a good thing that I upgraded! I was able to find nine occupied escape pods on my latest expedition. (Which netted me around a quarter million credits.) I found five in some wreckage in space and another four on a random planet that I was scouting for the heck of it:

Unfortunately, there were some people that I was unable to help, a distress call. Some of the components that I had to remove to get the 30ly jump range I have are weapons. And I have the bare minimum shield installed mostly to protect my ship from high-energy space dust and radiation fatigue. So I’m not equipped to deal with any level of threat. And my ship-board AI, Alix, was warning me that there was some low-level threat detected. Unfortunately, all I could do was to relay the coordinates to AEGIS and hope that they could send someone out in time.


Date: 15 July 3304

I have it on pretty good authority that I’m being looked at for the next batch of Elite-ranked explorers in the Pilot’s Federation, as long as I keep doing what I’ve been doing. You know how word gets around amongst pilots in their hangouts. So I’m headed back out to verify some more Universal Cartographics data …


While I’ve been out this time, I’ve had some more luck with finding various bits of profitable salvage. On the other hand, I came across a distress signal again, and this time I couldn’t resist checking it out:

It turns out that pilot Shelby Cleaver had gotten themselves and their ship-load of passengers stranded after they ran out of fuel:

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a refuelling limpet controller or limpets on board, or I could have saved them. So again, I had to just call it in to AEGIS and wish them well. Next time out though, I’m going to have some fuel limpets with me.


Date: 21 July 3304

I’m so close I can taste it. I’m certain that promotion to Elite Explorer is just around the corner. So I’m back at it, recharting star systems that have already been charted by explorers that have been at it far longer than I have. Or at least, they did it long ago during the golden days of exlporation where anything that wasn’t inhabited was unexplored.

Out-of-character: I’m currently 79% of the way through Pioneer. From my research, it takes 200M credits of exploration data to make it through Pioneer to Elite. This means that I’ve got about 42M to go. I’ve been hitting about 30M per exploration session before I get bored or anxious about losing the data. So perhaps I’ll hit Elite this weekend!