Entry #6285: Today we have finally made the jump away from the rest of the fleet. Now it is only myself, Ari, Ray, and the few remaining engineers, out here alone in space. Now all that is left is to hope that Ari's plan is successful… still, it is certainly better than going along with whatever trap plan Bolygo have devised. After everything that happened in the final Conference, it baffles me that even as we locked down for spooling, so many people still trusted them. Still, I am sure that Captain Holttman will sort them out.
Entry #6286: Also, it is interesting how the tone of the lockdown week has changed with the new crew and mission. Is refreshing, I suppose, but I do slightly miss the old gang, you know? Still, the time is very useful for getting everyone up to speed on the skills they will need. Have finally had a chance to look through some of the notes of FTL Engineering that Katya sent through - very interesting! I still cannot fathom why this was all kept as Government Secret back on Earth.
Entry #6330: Without thinking, I went to start up the holoconference system a moment ago. But of course, that is all over with now. I should go and set up the next jump, I suppose…
Entry #6339: I wonder how Alexis is doing. Probably still keeping a handle on things, as ever. It will be good to catch up when this is all over.
Entry #6464: We have finally managed to get the entire crew trained in FTL Engineering. Ari and Ray are now working on designs for the new ship. I suppose that means I should start working out the salvage plan for the ZG5L. I do not want to tear this ship down - I love her too dearly - but it is the only way, and something I have had a while now to come to terms with.
Entry #6489: I feel like the repairs are taking longer with each passing cycle. Maybe it is just the limited time or crew. Or maybe she knows that the end is near?
Entry #6541: We are now spooling for our sixth and final jump, and the work plans for what we do when we get there are now finalised. The new class of ship - Heir - should be able to hold a fairly large quantity of fuel, even with only the outer layer of Spesium scraped from the ZG5L's storage, and be able to jump daily without damage. All this thanks to our new knowledge, and the large quantity of material from both the ZG5L and the Centennial Chicken to work from!
Entry #6555: Julian's software patch to recover from Apparitions meddling with ship systems seems to have seen its first triggering in a while. Perhaps that means they are getting nearer? I have suggested that we aim to work faster with this ship building…
Entry #6580: Construction continues at pace, but there is great concern amongst the crew that the Apparitions could drop on us at any moment. I have downsized the designed storage lattice to speed up construction, since the delicate work required for the Spesium is time-consuming.
Entry #6598: Our prototype, unnamed, and slightly smaller than planned Heir is finished. Now we make haste to load up and get back to the nebula!
Entry #6599: Now that I think about it, at the very least, the fact that the rest of the Fleet did not come to find us implies that they got to the planet okay. Or that Bolygo killed them all, I suppose… Point is though, our ploy to distract the Apparitions away seems to have been successful. I think.
Entry #6602: Welp.
Entry #6603: So we loaded up onto the Heir to Earth, but just as we were preparing to go, we discovered that Ray was not on board. And then, a moment later, the ZG5L begins spooling! And then we get message from Ray. He said that there was too strong a risk that the Apparitions would follow us back to the nebula. He said he would continue the ZG5L's journey to lure them further. Of course, with spooling under way, there was nothing we could do to argue the point. But without any crew, there is no way he can hope to repair the ship after each jump!
Entry #6604: What is done is done, I suppose. The rest of us are now on our way back to the nebula - back to our new home.
Entry #6605: (But my home was the ZG5L, was it not? I miss it already.)
Entry #6610: Just passing through the nebula now. Only another 24 hours until I get to see Eta Helion for the first time! It must be said, these faster spool times are truly something. As is the lack of jump damage!
Entry #6612: Four hours to go until final jump. Just registered a strange tachyon flash coming from the direction we came from. There is only one thing that could be. Good night, sweet Princess…
Entry #6615: Finally touched down on Eta Helion. Fortunately, with Aaron well aware of what we were doing, there were enough people ready for our return on the planet that our sudden appearance was not treated with too much suspicion. Now, so much to catch up on…
“What do you mean by 'gone'?”
“I mean literally disappeared. The probe results clearly show-”
“How does an entire sector just disappear, exactly?”
“Well, we have-”
“Much less how do 61 sectors just up and vanish, with a further 30 apparently 'incomplete'? How am I supposed to believe any of these numbers?”
“Director, please, just look at the diagram. This is a large, contiguous area, beginning just past Vega 7 and ending about 100 lightyears away. As far as we can tell, it's 100 lightyears across too. To our understanding, the only thing capable of causing an entity such as this would be-”
“…no, Director. An FTL Bomb. One powered with several hundred units of Deimium fuel.”
“Now, we do have one fairly promising theory as to how-”
“But how could this have happened? No ship has ever been out that far to plant any kind of-”
“-as to how this came about. As it happens, Director, one ship is known to have gone that far. And given its state at the time, it seems a likely contender. It is our belief, Director, that we are looking at the grave of none other than the Princess ZG5L.”
- Recording of a conversation within the Katya Thorsen Institute of Technology and Research, 2164.