July 25, 2021

To Our Friends On Earth

I am happy to report that we have left the well.

The Andromeda Ambassador Fleet completed our Jupiter slingshot, and the Pak Thruster Arrays gave us plenty of push to get up and away from the gravitational grip of our home sun. When we departed, we knew ours was a journey into the unknown, and we promised to share what we found with you. We remain committed to these goals, but already the journey is stranger than we anticipated, and it's important to bring you up to speed.

We are safe. All of our life support and sustainable supply systems are fully intact, all of our vessels are in full operation and we remain in good health. However, we are not where we expected to be, and we do not know why. When we turned on the Pak Thrusters, our course was a straight shot towards Andromeda. Our first thrust was planned to take us 20 LY to Checkpoint One. When the thrust was complete, we countered our thrust to slow to classical speeds and triangulated our position. The results boggle the mind.

As far as we can tell, we traveled more than 60 LY, and not in the direction we anticipated. Our direction of travel appears to have shifted, such that Andromeda is not in front of us, but at a steep angle to our side. Even more alarming is the question of where Earth is. Scanners identify our home sun sitting far to one side, which is in line with our analysis of Andromeda. However, the hyperchannel array I am communicating with you through has a wholly different idea. The array is still link-locked to Earth, aimed 20 LY behind us. We do not know why.

We assembled a fleet-wide council to discuss our options. After careful consideration and public debate, the overwhelming spirit of the fleet is in favor of continued exploration. However, with our unreliable navigation, our fleet no longer feels suited to the specific task of visiting Andromeda. Should this remain a priority, we recommend the construction of a new fleet. While we understand this is less than ideal, we note that disagreeing with our decision would also require the construction of a new fleet.

Fear has quickly turned to excitement as the crew puzzles over our displacement. The artists have popularized a term for our strange predicament, they call it the Fritz. Names have power, and suddenly the crew is rallying around the call to "Forge the Fritz". One of our poets captured the feeling succinctly:

"We didn't leave because we knew what we'd find,
we left to find what we didn't know.
I don't know what happens in the Fritz,
that's why it's where I want to go."

So I guess that makes this the final broadcast from the Andromeda Ambassador Fleet and the first broadcast from the Fritz Fleet. We'll be out here for as long as we can, and we'll let you know all about what we find.

With adventure in our hearts!

-Your Friends in the Fritz

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