"What the hell is that thing?"
I'd been in the black for 2 months without contact with another human. I was taking the scenic route to Sag A, figured I'd attach my name to a few systems along the way. Based on the number of untouched systems I'd come across, I was right to cut from Mammon to Sag A instead of from the bubble. But it had become routine. Drop out of hyperspace, scan the system, scoop, check the system's contents, deep scan anything interesting (or valuable), then on to the next point. I didn't bother checking the names of any of the systems, they were all scientific gibberish anyway.
Then I jumped into this system. 51 objects, a nice reprieve from hyperspace while I scanned them. Seven gas giants, four with rings.
Wait. Six of those are giants, but one of those isn't a giant.
"What the hell is that thing?" I mutter to myself, brow furrowed. The computer shows no data on what it is I'm looking at. It appears to be a gas giant with a ring on the screen, but the computer isn't classifying it as such. It has no classification whatsoever.
I set it as my target and take the two-minute supercruise. Endgame's engines hum softly, but I've been out in the black for so long I normally don't notice them. I'm filled with anticipation. Could this be a new type of planet entirely? Would my name be attached to it for the rest of history? This is why I'm out here, after all. To find something to put me in the history files, to make my mark on the galaxy.
I approach the unknown planet, and the first thing I notice is the ring system. It's enormous. I've never seen a ring system so large. One of the planet's moons is nearly within the outermost edge of the rings, it may be on the road to becoming part of it soon. I drop my speed and fire up the scanners. The rings are largely empty of valuable resources, so I turn my attention away from their awesome size to the planet they're orbiting.
The scanner refuses to lock onto the planet. What the hell? I try again. It still can't lock on. What kind of planet can I not lock onto? I move Endgame in for a closer look. Closer. Closer.
Suddenly I'm ripped from supercruise and my engines immediately warn me they're overheating. In that moment I think for the first time to check my scanner. It's a dwarf star! Damn my curiosity, and doubly damn my failure to identify a STAR. I spin Endgame's nose around and try to jump away, dumping my heatsink as I do. The ship breaks away from the star's gravitational pull and I breathe a sigh of relief.
A quick check of the systems shows no damage done, so my repair systems can stay powered down. In frustration I slam my fists into the arms of my command chair. "It was a STAR. Of course it was a star! It was orbiting the larger stars, and had rings and "moons," but it was a STAR. Why didn't the computer tell me it was a star?!" I open the system map and double check. The system doesn't directly indicate that it's a star, but the naming convention and display is identical to the…