Cydonian Monk

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About Cydonian Monk

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    Space Monk

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  • Location Houston, TX, USA
  • Interests Model Railroading (Operations), Languages, Space Stuff, Engineering

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  1. Our tropical temper tantrum took a left turn, so we're about to get rained on here on the dry side of Houston. Made for a nice sunset though. Reminded me of the night before Ike.
  2. Bit of a storm visiting H-town today.... Was hoping it'd miss us, but it looks like it made landfall and took a left turn. Guess my car will get a free wash afterall. At least the sunset was nice.
  3. Incidentally, I gave KSP v1.3.0 a spin on Sunday, and most of the mods I use have been updated and work correctly. A couple of them I need to recompile myself (one of them being my fork of Vanguard Parachutes, the other being EngineLighting, which I've made some tweaks to), but otherwise I think I'm ready to upgrade. I'm moving on without Persistent Rotation (given the station-twisting bugs) and Trajectories (which is still wildly innacurate for the stock aero). Maybe one of is will think of a fix that works for both. (I think Persistent Rotation might work if I delete the angular momentum entry for ships when they dock and then recalculate for the new combined vessel... I just haven't tested that. I have no clue how to fix Trajectories aside from installing FAR, which I'm not doing for this save.) I'm still on an old version of the Engineering Tech Tree (as the newer revisions to the tree badly break my progression), so I need to see if the old configs I'm using will work with the new version of the tree loader (which wasn't 1.3 ready when I checked, but might only need a recompile). There's also some weirdness going on with PlanetShine in relation to the new ambient light sliders, so until that's worked out I'll just continue without it. I'm also using the new experimental build of Scatterer with the underwater and somewhat improved above-water effects, and I can't recommend it enough.
  4. Also cool, and close enough. I've added it to my growing collection of (so far 100% paint-based) fan art. Thanks!
  5. I was rather pleased with how these turned out, given how random the ground scatter is:
  6. As is giving insulin shots to diabetic cats. Or, in the case of one such of my mom's cats, it's a no-person job, as no person was capable of doing it. Said cat was big and muscular enough to break your neck (or at least you nose) when she didn't like what you were doing, and had no qualms about using her claws in a tyt-for-tat reprisal for being pinched and then stabbed with a needle. Ended up being easier (and healthier for all involved) to just put the cat on the feline equivalent of the Atkins diet. Sick pets are no bueno. Best of luck.
  7. I knew what the song was from the start (I _may_ have seen Journey perform live a few too many times when I was young), but for some reason my brain wouldn't connect up until I played it on the ol iPod. Instead it kept trying to attach it to either Sk8er Boi or one of several different Simon & Garfunkle songs..... Think I need more coffee. Well done interlude.
  8. Science Supplies What good is a science station without science experiments? Sure, the crew at Manganese Station had _some_ science to get all science-y on, but it was mostly stale science and things they'd done before. So now it was time for new science, and time to bring the old science down to Kerbin. First they went with sending up the new stuff. Jonbald and Wernher hashed out a design for a heavy-duty science delivery module that would fit atop one of their current rockets. It was an evolved form of the cargo modules used to resupply past stations such as the Oxygen, and would likely see such use in the future. It was a relatively simple design, based around three large cargo pods, so it could be easily repurposed when they need. The first of these, the Manganese 5, was mated atop an LV-12 Tango and rolled out to the launchpad. Inside were a large number of science kits, new experiments, and some food supplies such as koffee and ice cream. Additional science instruments were placed on the rear section of the module, including a Radio Plasma Wave scanner, a Magnetometer Boom, Goo Pods, Science Jrs, and other such staples of the space science world. Once again launch control was split between controllers at Manganese Station and the crews on the ground. It was an early morning launch, with lift-off minutes prior to sunrise. The craft included a small nose cone to protect its forward docking port, but was otherwise without forward fairings. The nose cone was jettisoned after first stage separation and part of the way through the second stage burn. The second stage provided only enough delta-V for the craft to reach its target apoapsis, with the remainder of orbital insertion up to the Manganese 5's own engines. Rendezvous with the station occurred within half an orbit, with the final docking performed in the dark. (As is only right and proper.) Spacecraft control was turned over to one of the kerbals on the station once it was within range. The new module was docked opposite the Iron Shuttle, as the in-line docking adapter was intended for future station expansion. The science team had been hard at work aboard the station, both while the Manganese Module was docked at Transfer One and after it had been moved to the final Manganese Station. The first batch of results were in, with mixed findings. The Space Adaptation study had found the bone density of those kerbal who had bene in space the longest was lowest, with Wernher providing a more-recent "control" to compare to. The Cryogenic Resources study was not as successful, with all of the test subjects having been severely bleached. The power tools study was found to be successful, though the notes provided from the chief "researcher" were barely evolved above cave-kerb grunts and chest-thumping approval. Unsurprisingly, the Ice Cream Research study proved to be the most popular among the kerbals. New experiments sent up for the lab include the Crystal Growth study, a simple Botanical Research experiment, another preliminary study into long-term cryogenic storage, and a fourth experiment the kerbals in the record keeping department completely forgot to take note of. Now they needed some way to bring the science results home. -- Lucidity "Hello Rosuki." A scratchy, dry whisper of a voice awoke her. She blinked herself awake and looked up to see Jonbald smiling back at her. He was the first familiar face she had seen in several munths, a happy sight such as it was, as the room was starting to drive her a bit crazy. It was an empty room, with only a bed, the usual private facilities, and a small desk-bench-combo built into the wall. And it was white. Everything was white. Until now there had been nothing but the daily interruption of the orderlies, who brought food and took the remains away. Nothing else; no questioning, no interrogation, especially no torture. "Why am I here?" "Good to see you again, too." He cleared his throat and spoke a bit louder. "Have they been treating you well?" "They haven't been _treating_ me at all. Just food and a steady diet of blank white walls." "Yes, well, space madness is nothing to be trifled with." "I'm not crazy." Jonbald's smile grew deeper. "Of course you're not. None of us are. And yet we end up here," he spread his arms, indicating the room. "Most of us do, anyways, whenever the cycles hit. We wake up one morning, find ourselves in a strange place surrounded by strange beings and we start asking questions. How did I get here? Where is Jebediah? What mad creation did Wernher come up with this time? When is the next Mün mission? And of course none of the kerbals know what we're talking about. They jump to conclusions, assume we're out of our minds, and lock us up in well-lit places such as this." "Why am I here if you know I'm not crazy?" "That's the problem, Rosuki. They think you're crazy, and there's nothing I can do to change that. You're not, of course, not exactly, but you are perhaps a bit broken. All kerbals are a little broken. Some are more broken than others, such as Sieta, Rozor, Hallock. The endless cycles and repetitions, they do take a toll on the kerbal mind. Eventually you start to hear whispers. See ghosts. And have conversations with kerbals that simply don't exist. Take for instance the story you related to me, shortly after you landed. About how you had traveled into some higher orbit just to talk with me at the North Pole. That never happened." "It DID happen." Jonbald shook his head. "No, I'm afraid to say it didn't, not as you remember. It couldn't have, as the airport at the North Pole has no radios powerful enough to transmit to low orbit, let alone at the distance you were at. It's a small base, and only provides a beacon to aircraft. That conversation was no more real than I am." "What?" Rosuki blinked and he disappeared. Where there had previously been a kerbal there was now nothing but a blank wall. "You see, my good Rosuki, not all is as it seems." She spun around, scanning the room, checking under the desk, under her bed. Nothing but the mostly empty, well-lit white room. "Where are you? What are you?" "I can't answer that." He appeared again behind her, still smiling. "Not entirely. Not yet. I am a whisper to some, a ghost to others. All I can tell you is I do exist, I am real, and that I'm not Jonbald. Your mind merely builds an image of me as Jonbald, hears my voice as his, perhaps because the two of you have worked together for so long. I can understand how this would be confusing for you, as Jonbald himself is still very much real, but how you see me is beyond my control. "You're not the only kerbal we reach out to. Others see and hear different things. Jonbald hears only his imagination. Enwise sees me as The First Citizen. Sieta hears my voice as music, remixes it into an even more glorious sound, a righteous dub. And while that's endlessly amusing, it's not very useful for communication. You are one of the first with whom we can even talk, albeit such as it is." Rosuki smiled back, laughed, laughed again, then collapsed into a sobbing pile in the center of the room. "I really have lost it." "No. Yes. We can help you. Come to Dres." "Dres? What's at Dres?" The spectre of Jonbald disappeared one last time, the voice trailing off into a scratchy whisper. "Emancipation from your invisible chains." She pushed herself up and onto her feet, looking around for some clue as to where her ghost had gone. "How can I get to Dres if I'm stuck in this room?!" Silence was the only response. Several minutes later she heard the lock on the door slide away. The door opened, slowly reveling Munlin's face behind it. Munlin the Monk, one of the other members of the Continuum Council, assuming even that was real. He smiled, bowed, and then motioned for her to follow him. He didn't seem surprised when she walked up and put her hand on his face, to make sure he was real. What was real anymore? "Please, miss. We haven't much time." "By all means, lead the way." She motioned towards the door and followed him into the dark hallway beyond. "It can't possibly get any crazier than it already is." "If only that were true." -- Downwards Wernher and Jonbald decided it would be best to return the experiments down-well using a variation of the Nickel capsule and spacecraft. Thus was born the Nickel-Dime. Modified such that the forward compartment is only storage, and retrofitted to make the rear seat even more uncomfortable, this small craft would fit the bill nicely. It could also deliver more up-well cargo than it could bring back down, useful for sending up yet more snacks. Otherwise the craft was largely unchanged from the Nickel. Nickel-Dime 2, containing yet more science kits and ingredients for the Ice Cream experiment, was launched some days after the Manganese Expansion module. As is increasingly usual with these kOS-controlled flights, the launch and rendezvous were perfectly routine and without issue. And, as is also usual, the craft came in for docking in the dark, as is only fitting and proper. That allowed the crew to test out the new spotlight system, which did a fine job in illuminating the target docking port. (Not that it mattered, as the fly-by-remote system uses radar and other such tricks to work.) The crew was ready to go when the Nickel-Dime arrived, with the experiments for return already packed and sealed near the docking node. Some worked quickly to unload the new "experiments" and research kits into the science module's storage while others replaced the now-empty craft with the return samples. Once everything was transferred and the crew was happy, they undocked the Nickel-Dime 2 and sent it on its merry way back to Kerbin. The return capsule was programmed to burn into a lower roughly 72-km orbit, and then perform a final de-orbit burn once at a designated position over the planet. With luck, the capsule would come down directly over the Space Center, making it that much easier for the science team to recover and examine the results. Before long all the members of the crew were happily sampling the results of the previous Ice Cream experiment in the lounge. A conversation broke out and, as usual, drifted into the edgier subjects. Such as the heretical beliefs of those that put ice in their koffee, or discussions about the uncertain and unknown fates of their space program. Eventually Mardi asked the question everyone had been avoiding. "Has anybody talked to The Boss lately?" Gene had been the last to talk with her, some time after he and Wernher launched. She hadn't been present in Mission Control for either of the last two launches, which was strange in its own right, but not unheard of. Not hearing from her at all, though, was very strange. No radio checks, no notes relayed through others, nothing. Something was going on and none of them were quite sure exactly what. Tetris, who had ignored most of the conversation, licked her ice cream spoon clean before jumping into the fray. "I'm sure she'll call us when the time is right. It's not like we have much of anything to do up here anyway, what with mr crazy scientist here," motioning towards Rozor, "and our prisoner." She glanced around quickly, obviously counting kerbals. "Wait, where's Enwise?" There weren't many places to hide in the station, and a quick check showed the ones they new about were empty. "You don't think he escaped, do you?" "Probably in the Nickel." Tetris grimaced and pounded her fist on a bulkhead. "Gah! He even asked me to let him go." "What? When?" "When we were moving the Nickel 1 up here to assemble the station. Said he'd just slip out, find his ship and get back to work." "Nothing we can do about that now. If he's in the Ni-2 the ground crew will find him when they crack open the capsule. If he's not, there's also nothing we can do." Gene called the Space Center and asked them to have security on hand when they recover the capsule. "Under no circumstances is anyone to talk to the prisoner. Escort him directly to Jonbald." -- Through Fire It was uncomfortable in the rear seat of the Nickel-Dime, Enwise had to admit that much. Not as uncomfortable as the capsules built by The Party, but still good and cramped. He had considered tossing out several of the useless science experiments to ake more room for himself, but he was afraid that would tip his hand too early. The fools. Whoever built this craft had assumed its occupant would always be cleared to operate the controls. They weren't even locked down, all he had to do was power up the system and the ship was his. It would just need a little push, just enough to deviate from the planned reentry corridor. That would be enough to bring him down further inland from the space center. He waited until the final reentry burn was complete and gave the RCS a short pulse. Perfectly timed, as moments later the trunk section disengaged, fired free to expose the heatshield for reentry. The G-forces increased slightly just as the flames started to lick at the outside of the capsule windows. Enwise was remembering the last time he reentered, back in the tourist days, before he was The Party Boss. Back when his wife was still alive. No, that was all in the past now, and now he had to get back to work. To stop this band of rogue kerbals that seemed bent upon tearing down everything The First Citizen had built. He was lucky with his RCS burst. It had adjusted his orbit a bit more than he had anticipated, instead bringing him down on the side of The Glorious Mountain. Had he added even a tenth of a second more his capsule would now be scattered across the face of said mountain, and he along with it. Perhaps this would work in his favor. If his memory served him correctly, there was an opinion clarification center near the foothills of the mountain. No doubt The First Citizen would send one of his Opinion Reinforcing Units out to greet him. And if not, it should be well within walking distance. The capsule came to a hard stop, the ground at this altitude cold and hard. The parachutes were cut loose just as they started to pull the entire craft over, the remaining momentum resulting in an uneasy rocking motion. The Party Boss had to shake his head to clear the nausea. Was it always this bad? Was it this bad before? This was no time to focus on such trivialities, he had work to do. He fumbled around for the hatch release and blew his way free. The heavy metal seal exploded away, smoke streaming into the misty mountain air. A quick hop and he was free. Back on Kerbin at last. Free from those fools who had imprisoned him in orbit. Free to pursue The First Citizen's directives once more. He had no idea how much damage had been done by these traitors. Traitors who were beyond all doubt conspiring with the likes of Enmore Kerman, working to undo the Party's program. No more. Curses, that thought The Party Boss just had was a sentence fragment! His time among these wicked creatures had corrupted his once perfect grammar. Reeducation is what they need, and they would reeducate the entire planet if the damage was as widespread as the Party Boss feared. It was beyond time to get back to work. GLORY TO KERBIN! He was pleased to see a small group of kerbals approaching for further down the hillside. One of his teams, sent out to recover him by the First Citizen, just as he expected. They were dressed strangely for an Opinion Reinforcing Unit, perhaps to better blend into the populace of Kerbin. Had they fallen on such dark times already, when members of The Party were unable to walk freely amongst the others? He walked confidently towards them, stopping meters away from them to salute. "GLORY TO KERBIN!" They did not respond, and merely looked back at him with their cold eyes. Monks, from the looks of them and their robes. The Party had allowed them to continue with their strange ways, though The First Citizen had always hinted they would eventually be removed. One of them stepped forward and handed him a small plaque. The Party Boss glanced at it before holding it up mockingly. "What's this?" "That is a token of our appreciation. The World's First Society finds the accomplishments of your space program to be most impressive. In honor of this important milestone, returning your first kerbal from orbit, we present you with this plaque and small amount of Funds." Enwise wanted to smile, but such displays were a poisonous trait he had picked up during his time amongst the traitors. The Party Boss does not smile, he nods. And so he nodded back to the small creature which had handed him the plaque. "The Party thanks you for your donation. Now, if you can direct me towards the nearest Party Hall, I have news I must relay to The First Citizen." The monk smirked at him. The nerve. "Oh poor sweet misguided child. I'm afraid that's just not going to happen." The Party Boss was about to speak when the plaque he was holding started smoking. He dropped it and started backing away, but it was too late. He had inhaled too much, and the world went dark. -- The next few hours were spotty for Enwise Kerman, with vague memories of being carried down the side of the mountain and into an underground passage. His senses were entirely confused, the gas taking its toll on his sanity. Strange voices and sounds licked at his ears, strange aromas flashed into his mouth, colorful lights wafted across his eyes. The world at the end of his trip was empty and white. And bright. So very bright. He awoke in an empty room, brightly lit and white. Everything was white, what little there was to see. He blinked to clear his eyes, stretched his arms out, and was surprised to find himself unrestrained. The room was familiar to him, if only because he helped design it. Simple, unadorned, and complete with everything a kerbal undergoing reeducation would need. No doubt this was the very center he had remembered being near the Mountain. It didn't take long for his captors to notice he was awake, and within minutes the door was open. Instinctively he saluted and shouted. "GLORY TO KERBIN!" He received no response from beyond, which was rather strange. This was not standard and accepted behaviour for the Opinion Reinforcing Units. He walked towards the open door, almost into the dark hallway beyond when a kerbal stepped out of the shadows and into his path. "Comrade Rosuki. What an unexpected pleasure." The Boss walked into the room, eyes turned down, looking at something she was rolling about in her hand. The Party Boss had to step backwards to avoid her, nearly stumbling over the edge of the relearning desk. She stopped at a short and uncomfortable distance away and looked up. She held up the thing she had been rolling about in her hand. A bullet, held firmly between her thumb and forefinger. She continued to admire it as she started to talk. "Glory? To Kerbin? Do you even know what Kerbin is?" She paused, still looking over the small piece of lead. "Chaos, Enwise. Kerbin is chaos. I had something of an epiphany the day you gave me this." She held it out briefly for him to inspect. "You see, no matter how much order you introduce to the chaos that is Kerbin, it always reverts back. You can't control it because nothing can. No, Enwise, I'm sorry to say the pleasure today will be all mine. Today, and for many days yet to come." She looked straight at him, her eyes filled with cold malice. A dark smile crossed her face. He smiled back, nervously. "And I'm happy to report that your reeducation has just begun."
  9. Hopefully you'll enjoy what's coming up later today. (Yes, today is neither Friday nor Saturday. I fail at estimating. Just ask my boss.) Inexperienced writing, perhaps. Writing that at times staggers around as though it's had a bit too much to drink. Cool! I've always thought of the Sulphur and similar craft as being the multi-purpose RAV-4 of my Kerbal Space Program universe, much as these have been jokingly called the Toyota Corollas (not my post or image): Which I guess would make this the Yaris?
  10. I wouldn't worry too much about things from Ad Lunam. I didn't really explain things such as the VallHenge in that story either, and other similarities are more of a token reference than anything else. Or are at least intended as such at the moment. If there are references to anything here, it's to Kanawha Space Program and Null Cycles, as many of these characters repeat from there. For example: Two of the "crews" at Jool (Jeb, Bill, Bob, Ribzor and Val, Grazy, Lindra, Rama) were sent to Eve and Duna in Kanawha, which was 1.0.2 and my first post-release save. The Boss too. Others are from earlier saves and stories, such as Null Cycles. Most of those other kerbals are not the focus of this story, however. The occasional references are usually in passing. (Ex: Harler Kerman, referenced in "Crazy Talk", was running an organization in Kanawha Space Program that was seeking to replace kerbal pilots with automated systems.) Harler has not otherwise appeared in this story, and most likely will not. I'd recommend reading two older threads (Null Cycles and Kanawha), except the forum migration a while back badly butchered them. Even then they're only slightly relevant to this story. The confusion is partially deliberate. (And part because I'm just a different person than I was when I started this.) Ad Lunam spoiler here: Yes. 1.1.3 is now continuing (or attempting to continue) the plan put forth by The Boss and others during/prior to 1.0.5. That plan being: Explore, Expand, Exterminate. Exterminate! Exterminate! No, wait, that's not the right plan.....
  11. Indeed. What I was implying before is the correct phrasing might perhaps be: "Forgotten... again?" Time being in riddles and what.
  12. For real this time. Hopefully will have this written and posted by tonight or mid-day tomorrow. (You folks wouldn't have wanted to read what I would've written last weekend anyway.) Again would imply it's happened before.
  13. Does this mean the expansion will not be available for those of us that purchased the game directly from Squad?
  14. I had the same question awhile back, then I remembered we traded YouTube subs. He's playing Planet Coaster, it would appear, based on his YouTube channel. Moved on to other (less buggy) games; A bit like how I've managed to put 400 hours into Hearts of Iron IV in just a year.... I'm sure we'll see @Geschosskopf again someday.
  15. It's going to posthumously kill an actor that wasn't originally in the Emiko story and use text or screenshots including said actor from some other story that got shelved?