May 13th 2015
This standard year marks the 150th anniversary of Harper Nguyen’s famous journey. At 128 years old, she holds the record for the oldest explorer to ever chart a jump point. To this day, she is renowned for not only her discovery but also the harrowing circumstance in which it occurred.
To honor her accomplishment, below are select excerpts from the incredibly detailed audio journal Harper kept during her voyage.
I finished installing the new scanner today. Took me longer than expected but it appears to be functioning properly. It contains a new interface that is … ah, quite advanced. It’s going to take some getting used to. There’s also this feature that more precisely calculates the dynamic range …
Normally, this would be the part of the conversation where your eyes glazed over. All these mechanical tweaks just never meant as much to you as they do to me. So, for your sake, here’s the summary. I won’t know how well it works until I take it out. Trust me, if there were a jump point in here, I would’ve found it by now.
I know what I promised you. Back when you were still around, none of this was on my mind. After your funeral, there was so much to settle, and so much more to adjust to. You know, I never realized how loud you were until you were gone. No more bad music drifting down the hall and into my office. No more cursing when a Sataball game didn’t go your way … Guess after living with someone for almost 100 years, you kind of get used to them being around.
Honestly, when I’m at home it’s hard not to think of you. The Spectrum was a good distraction, at first, but we were never homebodies. Then I read about this advanced scanner for our ship. I bought it and started tinkering. Just needed something productive to do. But I kept hearing your voice in the back of my head, “What good is a new scanner sitting in a hangar?”
Don’t worry. I won’t venture far. Doubt I’ll even leave the system. It’ll be fun to test the new scanner. Who knows? Maybe there’s a jump point or two still to be found?
Just so you know, I’ll be following all our old procedures. Even implemented a few new ones I think you’d like. There are plenty of supplies onboard so I won’t have to buy in bulk at landing zones. I even set two notifications to remind me to take my pills. You know how I get when I’m fixing something.
But don’t worry about me. Shouldn’t be gone for more than a week.
Remember that night we spent drifting in the Marisol Belt? I sure do. Went back there today looking to do the same thing, but it just didn’t feel right. So I spent my time flying as fast as I could through the belt. Those new thruster modifications really seem to have paid off. Think it also helped that I’ve been doing all the flying this voyage. Forgot how fun it could be.
I had lunch planetside. Felt I deserved to eat somewhere other than the ship for once. I needed to stop staring at this scanner anyways. I’m seriously at my wit’s end with it. I’ve tried every fix I can think of but it’s still malfunctioning.
Luckily, I’ve met someone who says she can help. Taylor … she’s a miner, actually. Uses scanners all the time for hunting rare minerals. You know, she said that Ellis I could be worth a fortune, but no one’s figured out how to extract anything from it without being burnt to a crisp by solar flares. Fascinating, right?
I know it’s against our protocols to bring strangers aboard the ship, but I need her help fixing the scanner. It also was … good to spend time with someone other than you. To sit back and just listen to a person interested in talking to me too.
I don’t know why I keep speaking to you like this. Well, I guess I do. It makes it easier on me. Makes me feel safer. Less alone. But after spending time with Taylor today, I realized I can’t keep this charade up forever. It’s not healthy. For either of —
Oh, that must be her. Isn’t she a punctual one? Can’t wait to get this thing working.
I can’t believe I’m alive …
It took a lot out of me, escaping those bindings. Can’t believe I did it …
I should have never broken our protocol. I’m sorry I let you down …
I don’t even know where to begin? The ship is operational, but the new scanner is gone. The second Taylor saw that I really had one, things went fuzzy, fast. All my supplies, even my pills, are gone. They didn’t even leave emergency rations. They barely left me alive.
Ok … think. What else can I do? Please, help me, André …
No, that won’t work. They disabled the distress beacon. Not worth trying to fix now. All right, what’s next on our check list …. That’s right. I’ll check the nav to see exactly where I’m drifting …
That can’t be real. Keep it together. Space doesn’t shimmer. It must be a side effect —
Whoa … what was that? That almost felt like … Yeah, no, something’s there. No way, no way this can be a ju —
At that moment, Harper Nguyen entered the previously unknown jump point that connects Terra to the Taranis System. She secured her place in history by making it through to the other side and back again. Considering her physical state, Harper’s navigation of this jump is still considered one of the more impressive feats of modern exploration.
When Harper realized she had reached the lawless Taranis System, she knew she was still in danger. She quickly updated her nav-computer with the recently acquired jump point data, then used it to return to Terra through the same jump point. When she landed in New Austin, the following day, no one believed her incredible story.
It was only after she freely provided coordinates to the UEE that her legend began to grow. When interviewed, Harper simply said that she had no desire to profit off her discovery. Her only request was that it be named André’s Jump in honor of her late husband.