[Expedition/DSSA] Search for the Pequod



Several years ago professor Melville led an expedition attempting to find the first signs of the civilisation now knows as 'The Guardians'. Melville was driven by an intense rivalry with an engineer known as Ram Tah, who he saw as an upstart attempting to steal Melville's discoveries. After years of searching Melville finally tracked down the Guardians in his ship The Cete, but had been made unwell under the pressure of the voyage, causing the crew to mutiny and the expedition to be lost at the moment of triumph. Rumours are that Melville escaped from The Cete in a smaller ship, the Pequod, and went on to discover more areas of Guardian activity before finally disappearing into the Lyra's Song sector in pursuit of other alien lifeforms, inspired by his finds of the so-called 'Brain Trees' around the Guardian sites.

Armand's Last Stand

The search of Lyra’s Song was progressing. Armand knew his findings were related to the Brain Trees (whoever let that idiot Ram name them should be reprimanded) and the Guardians. Finding Quadripartite Trees would prove him right, not that fool Ram.

A quiet ping from the detector, the trickle of ionising radiation indicating an inbound warp signature. Not a ship - this was bigger and more worrying - a Massive frameshift anomaly. Massive - but smaller than a megaship like Armand's much missed Cete - maybe one of those new Drake class Fleet Carriers he had heard about? This made the signal far more urgent. While megaships took a week to jump the newer fleet carriers could move far faster, meaning it was incoming in minutes - no time at all! The identification in Armand’s navigation panel was the “DSSA Gam Nine”. DSSA meant nothing to Armand - some new initiative, they were springing up all the time - but Gam Nine - that made it personal. They were coming for him, and didn't care if he knew it. Armand knew his heritage, his famous namesake, that tale of obsession with a white whale, the eight meetings, or Gams, with ancient sailing ships which framed the tale. Whoever was coming also knew this, and knew that Armand knew. He was in trouble.

Armand swung into action - the opening of the fleet carrier jump portal was imminent, there wasn't much time to act. His ship the Pequod was an old original Krait which had been stowed on board the Cete when that ‘unfortunate incident’ had happened, so had the advantage was that it was built for smuggling, built for hiding things from the prying. In this case he was going to have to hide himself. He squeezed into one of the concealed holds, hoping that the age of his ship would confound the searchers. They would be here soon.

They were on board. Sounds were getting closer. Armand shuddered in his confinement, his shaking hand holding a sliver of metal in front of him - his last defence against the intruders. The door in front of him squealed, resisting to the last as it was forced back. Armand was confronted with two blackly space suited figures with those garish orange symbols confirming their allegiance.

One figure reached forward as Armand thrust the metal shard. The figure snatched it away, throwing it casually over her shoulder to her companion "Dammit Melville! Bad enough taking the Lab 5 drinks cabinet key, but bringing it all the way out here? Luckily we had to bring the Gam Nine here for the DSSA, otherwise we’d have been even more annoyed. Make use of her to repair your ship - we might have broken the Pequod a bit looking for you. Gam Nine should make a nice base of operations for your work. Try not to repeat what happened on the Cete, and next time you want a drink, remember to return the key afterwards. Count yourself lucky it wasn’t a biscuit locker..."

(as submitted to the Life on a Fleet Carrier competition. This is a made up non-cannon story trying to weave a few of the elements of the Melville story into the background of the current mission.)


The Search for the Pequod is a DSSA deployment expedition, aiming to place a Fleet Carrier (the Gam Nine) in the Lyra's Song sector. Final destination is PLA AICK GA-A e1 near the Black Hole known as Ostium Tenebris.

The trip is heading from Meene (home of Ram Tah) to visit the wrecked megaship The Cete in the main Guardian area, then two of the Guardian Ruin areas in the Eta Carina Nebula and NGC 3199 Nebula after visiting the third nebula in the Outer Orion Spur sector - the Statue of Liberty. We will be stopping in each nebula for one week to scout for new Guardian ruins and to search for double Tritium hotspots to help out other travellers.

Once in Lyra's Song the search will commence for our white whale - Lyra's Song is home to the only Quadripartite Pods in the galaxy. There are only four variations of this pod known, and compared to other types this is a low number, so we hope to find others. Finally - it is possible that there is an undiscovered 'Quadripartite Tree' - many pods have associated tree structures, but this one has not been found. This search is optional, and will start once we have the DSSA Gam Nine in its final position.

Note that this is a one way journey - we will not be travelling back, so take that into account when getting on board (more on that in following sections).


Travel will take place on Wednesdays. Dates are provisional - if Fleet Carriers launch earlier we may bring things forward. The dates are for departure - the Gam Nine should be in Meene from soon after Fleet Carriers are available. Exact waypoints are available in the EDSM expedition map.
  • Start in Meene. Look for the DSSA Gam Nine (X9Z-4XG) owned by Factabulous Minimus. Should be here from June 10th, though might be a few jumps around the bubble.
  • June 17: Visit the last known location for Professor Melville in the Col 173 Sector. The system is also home to multiple Guardian ruins, some Brain Trees and the Bifrost - last stop in a best forgotten Canonn expedition
  • June 24: Statue of Liberty Nebula - looking for undiscovered Guardian Ruins around the nebula
  • July 1 : Eta Carina Nebula - visit the known Guardian ruins and look for more
  • July 8 : NGC 3199 Nebula - visit the known Guardian ruins and look for more
  • July 15 : PLA AICK GA-A e1 - start of the search for more Quadripartite Pods and their trees, and the final resting place of Professor Melville.
Carrier will be fully fuelled, though if you want to feel free to bring along Tritium and donate as we go. We will stay 1 week in each Nebula, and when we start to jump you are advised to strap in as we will not be stopping in between.

Fleet Carrier Facilities
The Gam Nine will have all facilities apart from the Secure Warehouse (stolen goods store). Yes, it has Universal Cartographics. It is not planned to set a service change. We plan to buy Tritium at normal market rates.

What to bring

These are all advisory, bring what you like, but these options might come in handy.

  • SRV Hangar (for visiting Guardian Locations)
  • Detailed Surface Scanner (for finding Guardian Locations)
  • Research Limpets (for testing pods)
  • Weapon (for testing pods) - lasers work well
  • Mining gear - apparently Tritium can be found on surfaces / sub-surface locations and via mining lasers
We have Outfitting, so you can transfer them on-board before we start, or just fit them on a ship.

  • Stock Sidewinder: Consider bringing along a stock sidewinder for quick return to the bubble (jump in the sidewinder, self destruct and choose your start system).
  • Mining Vessel: We will also be attempting to re-stock with Tritium for passing FC once we get in place - as well as looking for nearby mining spots - if you want to help out then a mining ship would be good
  • Explorer : Obvious
We have a public shipyard on the carrier - but note that transfer times and costs are long / large once we get in place (over 4 days for a transfer, 2.5 * ship cost), so bringing along the ships you think you want would be ideal. Before bringing along your entire fleet it is worth considering the return transfer cost.

Comms channels

I can be contacted via the Fleetcom / Canonn discords Factabulous#7619 , or on this thread.

The official discord is on Fleetcom - search-for-the-pequod under the DSSA Deployment Events section - see Fleetcom thread for a discord invite :)
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Funny that, I am just on my way to Ostium Tenebris on a POI visiting run, only a couple of thouand ly away now and up pops this thread. Coincidence? Maybe!
Looks like we have the same route for quite some time, so your tasty double Tritium spots discos will come handy ;)

Are you btw sure, that you'll stay with your beta FC-ID, or did you just assumed it?
Yeah, as far as I can tell the carrier ID is deterministic. If I'm right, it's generated off of your internal account ID number and will always be the same. Using 6 alphanumeric characters, there are slightly more possible combinations than you can store in the positive half of a signed 32 bit integer. That is, it has over 2 billion possible combinations. So by doing some sort of bitwise manipulation of your account number, they can make something that looks "random" but is guaranteed to be unique, and will never run out during the lifetime of the game.
Arrived at Ostium Tenebris, then went hunting for Quadripartite pods and hopefully trees. I set course for the recorded locations of them in the codex and set the stars to ones known to have them and off I went, but found none until I was just a couple of jumps away from the first one I bookmarked. Since then I have found a few new locations and have barely scratched the area, so it appears the pods are fairly area constrained. I have been through Lyra's Song a couple of time before, if they were widespread I think I would have spotted them before.
I've updated the times - given that FC are going live on the 9th we'll be making the first jump on the 17th June - be on-board then if you don't want to have to jump for yourselves :)

Should I wait here for you I wonder? Interesting, while in the Quadrapartite region I have been performing some experiments. In the description in Canonn it says this;

Turns towards ship if approached.

However I have found an additional behaviour. If you approach them in the dark, that is in a ring in a shadow, they will face different directions when lit, follows a couple of screenshots;

Lights off (duh):


Lights on;

I would very much like to go on this Expedition! Is there a discussion channel in Canonn or FleetComm discords?
I'm really in two minds whether I should just wait out here for the carrier and sell all my UC then or travel in to the nearest station, I do want to experiment with a carrier of my own so the 25% loss would be annoying. I would need to fly to Morgan's Rock, 35kly away and probably get quite a bit extra data on the way so that's a plus, but then I would have to fly back, that's a minus I guess.

Oh yes while I am here I am mapping the boundaries of the area, it seems fairly defined already by the current discoveries, by searching on Quadrupartite pods and distance from my location at one edge of the field it gives me 168 systems with roughly 1,800ly distance for the furthest system with pods so that does seem to define it's maximum extent, but not how high or low and is it a circular feature? Finding the edges will give us a better defined search area.
I have decided to do a run in to sell my data, I have found a number of ELW's and WW's during my searching here and once the mass arrives aboard the FC there will be people everywhere, so I will get my discoveries sold beforehand.
Note that apparently the Guardian sites have all been removed by the latest software update - which renders the idea of searching for more a little pointless. If fdev haven't fixed them by next week (when we plan to start) we may delay - though at the moment everything is go.

The Gam Nine is bought and outfitted, just travelling around the bubble stocking up on supplies right now, Black Adders permitting :)
Note that apparently the Guardian sites have all been removed by the latest software update - which renders the idea of searching for more a little pointless. If fdev haven't fixed them by next week (when we plan to start) we may delay - though at the moment everything is go.

The Gam Nine is bought and outfitted, just travelling around the bubble stocking up on supplies right now, Black Adders permitting :)

Ok, that's a blow, I have just arrived on Sagan Research Lab and sold my data, I tell you what one big attraction of Fleet Carriers is that I will never have to try and sell 2b worth of exploration data 50 systems at a time ever again, and if that's the only thing they achieve it's well worth it! I will also wait on news before deciding what to do.
Loading of expedition essential supplied is proceeding to plan:

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Plan is to be in Meene for a chat with Ram Tah from tomorrow.


Nice, where are the bars, there must be a couple according to that list of supplies, I prefer my life of solitude and self consoling be done in a nice dark corner where I can regale the occasional passer by with dark tales of adventure and terror.

The very deep did rot: Oh Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea
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