After my return from one of the local wars, where I was helping to achieve "our" goals, I felt suddenly very tired. I was not even in the mood to visit station bar and just sat in the cockpit of my combat ship thinking what I should do next. Then I called to my copilot Deborah, which was already arranging all needed for ship repair and rearm, and we had long discussion. I knew that I need a change, at least for some time, and she advised to me to look at a serie of the Gallnet journal articles referring to the news from area called "The Enclave".
Next day morning I had much more information about my new "interest". It seemed that the Galaxy is suddenly going to be changing much quicker and more significant as it was anytime before. We already have human stations and regular "ferry" (megaship) into distant area with the Guardians ruins and now there is further new initiative to build permanent human presence very close to area rich of Meta-Alloys in blueish Witch Head Nebula. In Gallnet was written that there was at first the need to defeat Thargoids, who suddenly came there and invaded newly colonised systems, but it looks that we successfully repelled the attack, at least for now. The victory was not easy, all the new stations built in Enclave were damaged and there was the need to help with an evacuation and repairs. The distance to Witch Head Nebula was not to short, but also not too big, approx 600-1000 ly from different sides of the Bubble ... it was about a time to find out how quickly we can go there. "Deborah, please start preparations of our Cutter, we need big cargo-space and long-range travel equipment ... and of course defence is needed too, into Enclave area will be now also influx of some bad people. We will take Guardian_SLF with us, so you can have some extra fun during our way there ..."
Few hours later we have arrived into Enclave area to system Witch Head Sector LC-V c2-10 and found there a view which we experienced a few times already ... it was badly damaged station called Ezra Point. Station personel was however very professional and docking operation has went smoothly. We received information that this station got absolute priority in repairs. Requiered goods quotas, eventhough big, were it seemed fulfilling at high speed. I first checked the list of needed goods and theirs availability in local space. It was not so bad as I feared and soon we were on our way to local planetary outpost called Jackrock Outpost. Traffic in system was pretty high, we regularly saw on radar numerous other big cargo ships. We finished few cargo-runs in few hours and spotted that the local sources of materials needed for repairs were slowly getting dry. One from unfinished requested goods was Beryllium, which however was available only in the Bubble. The quota was two tens of thousands tons, and this quantity seemed to me as doable ... our cargo space was slightly above six hundreds tons with defensive equipment. An 700 ly long travel was set into naviagation computer and soon after we were on return way to the Bubble.
Return to Bubble was fast and without any troubles. When we reached station with high amounts of Beryllium, I have preventively checked latest data about requested amount for Ezra. To my big surprise has shown that the amount of missing commodity was halved! Oh, this is some new kind of racing? ... well, why not ... Challenge has been accepted! Then we proceeded in a hurry with filling our cargo space to full and turned our ship back into Witch Nebula region. Travel there was now much slower, full cargo lowered our jump range, navigation comupter had some weird malfunctions, and this was not full list of obstacles. We were only few jumps away from Ezra when suddenly during one from hyper jumps ship's systems started behave crazy. I experienced this only few times before, mostly in the Pleiades region, and now it seemed was repeat again! And yes, it were they again, the Thargoids, which have easily pulled our ship right from hyperspace. Following my previous experience I knew what I need to do. I did not waited for an expected continuation and quickly started serie of engine boosts with flight assistent disabled. Rear camera have showed two alien vessels following our ship's course and soon have arrived an shock wave which overloaded and disabled most of our ship's systems. But with the flight-asistent off, we were still fast drifting away and aliens gave up on scanning attempts and have jumped out of normal space.
We arrived at Ezra station with few minutes of delay and found that requested quota of Beryllium has been already finished (note: just 10 minutes too late). Unbelievable, this was really intense racing, ... I thoughted with little sadness. I hoped we can come here with few last missing tons, but other commanders were faster. Never mind, in area were further damaged stations with similar needs and we jumped to nearby system Witch Head Sector HW-W c1-9 where was another damaged station called Sherrill Orbital positioned on low orbit of metal-rich world. It was quite spectacural but also terrible view ...