The combat has intensified since I was last here.
Two really very minor factions are having an argument about authoritarian or democratic influence as the way forward. Laser bolts and hot metal are exchanged where once it had been words. Still at least they're having a civil war. I'm fairly sure the words were harsher.
The neighbours are shouting at each other again and apparently the galaxy still isn't big enough.
Meanwhile I've been looking for some peace and quiet and some space to grow into.
Lambda Andromedae is home to the latest profitable venture from Sirius Corp. The plan is to place platforms further out into deep space so that explorers have a place of refuge and recovery. A staging post and watering hole with fresh supplies on the wild, wild frontier.
Nourse Orbital buys cartographic data and searches for those systems that stand a chance of being self sufficient, though in practice they really don't have to look very far. We know less about our own part of the galaxy than we like to think and explorers jump through and past systems on their way to... well... somewhere else. With just a quick scan and barely a how do you do, it's jump ever onward to the interesting bits.
The stepping stones in between the interesting bits can have an interest all their own, and are hardly slim pickings.
So I've explored systems less than 500 light years and found many that are previously undiscovered. This is a fairly innocuous volume of space to explore and barely at the end of the backyard. I've found treasure already and I'm still back in time for tea.
Well someone has to push back the frontiers that are closer to home. Might as well be me.