10 Days Later.
Why in all the levels of hell did I believe him? He offered no credentials, no proof, no reason to his story. All he had was some slick words and a datacore.
The datacore. Took me 40 hours to sneak into the Great Wildlands with some semblance of safety. Once I was fairly certain I wasn't followed, I plugged it into my comms system as Eyes instructed. Then I sat, stared, scanned and tried not to make too tempting a target of myself. I moved as little as possible and only jumped to another system when I was either evading pirates or bored out of my skull. I've come to rely partly on meditation to keep myself focused, but there's no oppertunity to meditate out here. There's barely time to sleep.
I've done what I could to stay out of the crosshairs, but in the last nine days I've been in over 20 small battles, mostly with the Angel Cartel. Surviving is enough for most because they have a destination, but roaming aimlessly in this gods-forsaken part of the galaxy is asking to die a death of a thousand cuts. Secondary systems started to become a problem 5 days ago, primaries more recently. It's been all I can do to keep nav and comms up. Ammo reserves are pretty dry as well.
Yesterday I noticed the pod-gel was starting to feel odd. Gritty. I ran a check on the life-support systems, half-convinced it was my imagination getting the better of me. Turned out the nanos keeping the synthetic amniotic fluid running properly were starting to malfunction due to extended use. No amount of recirculation, cleaning and filtering can keep this stuff clean forever. It has to be replaced at dock. I've heard of some capsuleers who make a living staying in a pod juiced out of their heads for weeks straight have extended supplies of gel and nanos to keep them going, but I'm not one of them. At this point, the low oxygen and floating in stale filth is probably taking time off my life expectancy. I have food– if that's what you want to call the nutrition drip capsuleers subside on – for a few more days.
I'd hate to think about what I'd be dealing with if I had a crew. Some may say a crew of semi-sentient drones a needless expense, but I prefer to be alone in the void. Living beings don't seem to put out the same spiritual signals as non-sentient machines do. From mecha it's a sort of static that's easy to tune out. Maybe there is something to this Planeswalker thing, this Prano legacy.
I tried to analyze the signal this datacore has been pumping out. If this carrier wave was ever in use it's been so long ago that there's no traffic on it now. I can't even make heads or tails out of the message. It's either the deepest encryption I've ever come across... or it's just noise meant to attract pirates to an easy target.
I could go back right now. I could head back to Hakeri, track that motherless dog down and take my compensation for all this wasted time out of his hide. I could, so why don't I? Well, what if he's right? He was right about me. He was right about me running around in circles, not having a clue or a plan or even a general direction. I've looked high and low as discreetly as I could, but the only things I have been able to turn up on my heritage is dust and trouble. This is my first real clue, and it could very well be the only one I'm going to get. So yeah, I need to risk my life floating here scanning and broadcasting as loud as I can and hope to gods whatever finds me next are not more pirates.
DAMNIT! Spoke too soon. More Angels. No, wait, Thukkers? I didn't know they operated here. Damn there's a lot of them. I count six Rifters, three Ruptures... and a Tempest! Even in perfect shape I wouldn't stand a chance. Opening comms channel. Maybe I can... Huh? They're jamming my comms, along with targeting and nav. I'm completely paralyzed! With the comms jammed at this level I don't even think my clone will be able to activate back in Empire space!
Mother, father, my people. I've failed...
*LOG RECORDING TERMINATED. CRITICAL SYSTEM ERROR.*