My plans to head to the Tsu system were abruptly put on hold, as I realised that both my credit balance and assets were inadequate to achieve any explorative goals. I had the money for a stock Asp, but I needed as many credits as possible to outfit it appropriately. I had heard of a decent discount on Asp vessels in the Alioth system and so this would free up more credits for outfitting.
One hurdle was replaced by another as in order to gain access to the Alliance capital I would need to earn a permit. As such I had done absolutely nothing for (or against) the Alliance and so I faced a hard stint of labour in the surrounding systems.
I made a temporary base of operations at Teller Terminal in the 78 Ursae Majoris system. A small and quiet station despite it's location in a hub of Alliance trade routes, but there I met various colourful representatives of the Alioth Independents some of whom agreed to speak to me despite me current allegiance to the Federation. They dangled the permit in front of me as they gave me a list of menial errands to run. I did not mind however, and it came to pass that I became fairly well acquainted with a few individuals there. I was making them money, I was making myself money and I was improving relationships with each completed mission. I was offered more lucrative opportunities, albeit more dangerous as I involved myself in a local conflict zone. It's lucky I brought my Viper 'Fortune' along with me and not my transport Adder (which has not yet earned a name) as it out performed itself once again. As usual she struggled when surrounded, but her speed meant that I quickly escaped any danger.
After a few days of hard work I was greeted at Teller Terminal by one of my new associates with a big grin on his face. He showed me a document on his tablet which contained my access codes for Alioth. I smiled too and offered my hand. I was congratulated on my sudden dedication to the Alliance and I thanked him without revealing my true financial motives. My ships computer was updated and I plotted a course for Alioth.
I had not realised that Alioth was such a rich and beautiful system, and I can't believe that I haven't taken more interest in exploring before. Ultimately that's what earning this permit was about - preparing myself for exploration. Perhaps my time spent in the company of an independent faction (long before my recent return to Sol and Federation space) has made me more open minded... One thing is for sure: I will return one day to explore this system and to learn more about the Alliance, but for now I will set a course for Irkutsk Station which has a permanent offer on the purchase of Asp Explorers. Not a bad accomplishment for a few days work, although I wonder what my Federation peers would think...
Thank you for reading CMDRs. For now, farewell. See you in the unknown.