UnusualAttitude

THE CAMWISE LOGS - "You are superior to them all."

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They still have that shuttle, and they have lots of time to find alternatives to dropping it on the Board's collective head.

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2 hours ago, Plecy75 said:

So, how will they het back to the surface of earth from orbit? It's not like the board will allow the launch of anything with any sort of return or landing capability when they see the crew coming back

My $$$ are on shenanigans involving the theft of a spaceplane, Bartdon testifying in court against the Trans-Pacific, and a continuation of the frenzy to get to deep space.

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11 hours ago, Plecy75 said:

So, how will they het back to the surface of earth from orbit? It's not like the board will allow the launch of anything with any sort of return or landing capability when they see the crew coming back

Secret launch site?

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19 hours ago, Plecy75 said:

So, how will they het back to the surface of earth from orbit?

That's a very good question, I've been working on it myself for the past few days. :D

Obviously, Bartdon will be reluctant to trust any means of returning to Earth that is launched from Omelek and funded by Trans Pacific. Unfortunately, there may be no other alternative. There is no court to go to, other than those run by the Company. Yeah, Trans Pacific is really powerful. But not all-powerful. They cannot get away with blatant, public murder, particularly with someone as influent as Bartdon. But accidents can happen...

In other news, my 1.2 install is mostly ready, except for a couple of critical mods. In the meantime I've been probing the outer system, and I will have lots of pretty pictures to show for my troubles. Then I can get around to designing and launching, and then writing again...

Thanks for your patience. :)

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if he could somehow make some parachutes, he could use the ship as an "ablative shield." I've done that once when I forgot to bring a heatshield. i used a transfer stage as a heatshield. unfortunately, the capsule was much heavier than the empty stage, and it burned up. however, they could use that giant shuttle

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7 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

There is no court to go to, other than those run by the Company. Yeah, Trans Pacific is really powerful. But not all-powerful. They cannot get away with blatant, public murder, particularly with someone as influent as Bartdon. But accidents can happen...

 

So I guess at this point there's a lot of dissent among kerbs, huh?

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7 hours ago, hidude398 said:

So I guess at this point there's a lot of dissent among kerbs, huh?

Oh yes. See Cam's adventures in the Antarctic for an example of dissent that ended in tragedy. The problem is that the Kerbals are too divided and live in small, scattered settlements, and most lack the channels of communication (telephones, internet, radios) that we humans would use to organise resistance. You may have noticed that I never mention countries or states, but rather geographic areas (Europe, North/South America, the Pacific). That is because there are none on this version of Earth. Therefore, the major powers are the three Companies themselves.

These Companies control the resources that the settlements need to survive. In this context, any revolution is just distant dream. But what if the settlements were no longer dependent on the Company resources...?

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On 11/01/2017 at 11:03 PM, Plecy75 said:

So, how will they het back to the surface of earth from orbit? It's not like the board will allow the launch of anything with any sort of return or landing capability when they see the crew coming back

Well, there are three large companies, Omelek is run by Trans-Pacific, I would imagine that if Trans-Pacific can run their own space program, then the other two companies (Trans-Atlantic and , err Pan-Asia?) would be able to as well.

Enemy of my enemy and all, one of those two would be willing to assist Bartdon if for nothing more than a chance to hurt Trans-Pacific ... and gain any additional info from Mars which was not broadcast.

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4 hours ago, Shania_L said:

Well, there are three large companies, Omelek is run by Trans-Pacific, I would imagine that if Trans-Pacific can run their own space program, then the other two companies (Trans-Atlantic and , err Pan-Asia?) would be able to as well.

Enemy of my enemy and all, one of those two would be willing to assist Bartdon if for nothing more than a chance to hurt Trans-Pacific ... and gain any additional info from Mars which was not broadcast.

well, the board is actually made up of representatives form Trans-Pacific, Trans-Atlantic, and Trans-Indian, so the other companies are actually complacent with Trans-Pacific. The space program was a bit of a joint effort between the companies (evidenced by the fact that the spaceplane launch site they lost during the budget cuts was smack in the middle of the Atlantic) because it is simply cheaper to work together than for each company to run it's own space program. from where each company is sitting at, the other two companies are paying for two-thirds of the program, which makes the risk to any one company a lot less (even if the benefits are split up)

TL;DR: The big 3 are all working together, and they all voted to blow up the ship

Edited by Plecy75
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Omelek Space Centre was indeed originally created as a joint venture of the Big Three (Trans Pacific, Trans Atlantic and Trans Indian, indeed), as specified in my intro-blurb. Although they are competitors, until now they have traditionally worked together to maintain the status quo and their shared monopoly of the resource market.

However, after the loss-of-contact that occurred with Cernin during the first Mars mission, most of the benefactors (including Trans Atlantic, hence the loss of Kourou as an equatorial launch site for spaceplanes) withdrew their support of the space programme one after the other, with Trans Pacific being the last to go (see here). 

When the Second Engineer transmitted from the Moon, almost everyone got back on board. Almost. See this entry for a reminder of which one of the Big Three didn't. Bartdon himself was wondering what that might mean... :wink:

The Big Three are all separate business entities and have their own Boards, but there is a special committee that oversees the space programme. Because of the programme's immense strategic importance, this committee reports directly to the Chairkerb of Trans Pacific (who is by far the most influential figure behind this venture). This is why Bartdon refers to it simply as "the Board".

You're both picking up on details I wrote about months ago. Consider me impressed. Bartdon certainly would be. :D

Edited by UnusualAttitude
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so, was the company that wasn't on board anymore Trans Atlantic? because if so they could definitely help, just because they have that launch site, and Camwise could be a real asset in this case just because of his engineering prowess. Trans Atlantic may even be able to start their own independent space program, with Bartdon and Camwise heading it up!

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I was somewhat surprised that the shuttle (with drop tank, but weighed down by crew modules) had enough Delta-V to stand in for a nuclear transfer stage. However, I guess it should have been obvious. The shuttle needs to get from Mars surface to orbit, and they refueled it at Phobos, and orbit is halfway to anywhere...

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2 hours ago, greenTurtle1134 said:

I was somewhat surprised that the shuttle (with drop tank, but weighed down by crew modules) had enough Delta-V to stand in for a nuclear transfer stage. However, I guess it should have been obvious. The shuttle needs to get from Mars surface to orbit, and they refueled it at Phobos, and orbit is halfway to anywhere...

Hello @greenTurtle1134. A few figures might help put things into perspective...

- Low Earth Orbit to Mars intercept (assuming minimum energy Hohmann transfers here) requires about 4.2 km/s of delta-vee.

- Low Mars Orbit to Earth intercept is "only" about 2.5 km/s: that's Earth's killer gravity well for you. And, as you say, their transfer home was initiated from a higher Martian orbit after refueling operations on Phobos (about 700 km circular).

- The bulk of the fuel for the return burn was in the (now discarded) transfer stage: nearly 60 tonnes of LH2/LOx. The internal capacity of the shuttle is much lower. That's why they now only have about 1.3 km/s left to capture at Earth. They will need assistance from the ground. (Gradual aerobraking into a circular orbit with an unshielded vessel is actually possible at Earth, but would be incredibly time consuming and take many orbits. My roleplaying streak would be screaming at me for leaving my crew to fry in the radiation of the Van Allen Belts).

- Laroque's defunct nuclear rocket used methane for an ISP of 600-something (from memory). Pretty good, but not that much better than the shuttle's LH2/LOx (450 for the Real Fuels LV-909) and far worse than hydrogen NTRs (800-900).

By the way, I'm taking my own sweet time, but I am still working on this, and I have made slow but sure progress in the past couple of weeks. After taking a much-needed break, I finally pulled out my finger and installed the dev-versions of the missing RSS/RO mods. The unfortunate disappearance of the RO release thread didn't help. 

Part Five will be pretty ambitious and will require a lot of careful planning to make sure that I don't strand my favourite characters forever in the depths of the outer solar system or dash them against some remote, icy moon.

Wish them good luck, they're going to need it.

Edited by UnusualAttitude
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so, remind me again why the aerocapture approach wouldn't work? i also seem to remember something about an ssto at omelek. 

Idea: Transfer as much consumables to Quissac as possible and remove any weight that is not absolutely necessary (including the radiators, landing gear, and what is left of Laroque) so that aerobraking will happen as fast as possible, and will be assisted by Quissac's engines. the ssto will rendevous with Quissac and retrieve the crew. modifications might include salvaging Laroque's crew module if enough delta-v remains after simulations, to be used with a new propulsion module, or retrofitted into a space station (judging by the current geopolitical situation, they will need one very soon)

If Laroque's crew module can be salvaged, launch an extraplanetary launchpads dock as soon as possible, and perhaps a greenhouse. if you are out of the companies' reach, you will be better able to fight them. if the crew module cannot be salvaged, start work on a station immediately, one which includes a orbital shipyard and refueling plant, as well as being fully self sustaining. you will definitely want those awesome new propulsion systems, as your fuel budget in all cases will be extremely limited. you will also need to evacuate Camwise and the other senior engineers to continue building new craft.

Edited by Plecy75
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7 hours ago, Plecy75 said:

so, remind me again why the aerocapture approach wouldn't work?

Because speed at perigee will be about 11 km/s. Aerocapture is impossible at such speeds with an unshielded ship (Laroque). Fortunately, it is unnecessary. Their remaining fuel will allow them to perform propulsive capture into a highly eccentric orbit.

From there, in theory, they could aerobrake into a lower circular orbit and be recovered via spaceplane or capsule. In practice, they would have to keep their perigee above 100 km to avoid burning up and would lose only a tiny fraction of their orbital velocity on each pass through the upper atmosphere. This would submit the crew to many passes through the dangerous radiation belts that surround Earth. Laroque does have a storm shelter (with more than two tonnes of water and waste water to provide radiation shielding) behind the bridge, but it would mean the crew would have to remain there almost constantly towards the end of the braking process.

Most of all, it would also require multiple hours of tedious gameplay. :wink:

Omelek Space Centre certainly won't abandon their crew and will likely assist by sending a tug, then a capsule or a spaceplane. But if the Board are really out to get Bartdon, who's to say that the hardware won't have been tampered with in some way...?

7 hours ago, Plecy75 said:

If Laroque's crew module can be salvaged, launch an extraplanetary launchpads dock as soon as possible, and perhaps a greenhouse. if you are out of the companies' reach, you will be better able to fight them. if the crew module cannot be salvaged, start work on a station immediately, one which includes a orbital shipyard and refueling plant, as well as being fully self sustaining. you will definitely want those awesome new propulsion systems, as your fuel budget in all cases will be extremely limited. you will also need to evacuate Camwise and the other senior engineers to continue building new craft.

Sorta on the right track but... well... read on. SoonTM:)

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Wait a minute, I just realized: 

The pixel art mission patch I designed is displayed at the top of the Laroque orbital assembly post! Did you actually use that as the mission patch? Cool!

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7 hours ago, KAL 9000 said:

Wait a minute, I just realized: 

The pixel art mission patch I designed is displayed at the top of the Laroque orbital assembly post! Did you actually use that as the mission patch? Cool!

Yes. I added that in there when you posted it. Thanks. :)

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1 hour ago, UnusualAttitude said:

Yes. I added that in there when you posted it. Thanks. :)

I'm working on a Fontanes mission patch now.

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Posted (edited)

PART FIVE: L'ENFANT SAUVAGE.

"Never was solitude equal to this, never had any living being been so utterly forsaken."

Jules Verne.

YEAR 13, DAY 204. CAMWISE.

I stood waiting in the baking desert heat, sweat pouring down my brow. Hoping he would be true to his word once more. Hoping he would come.

GqMpVhU.png

Hope? I somehow found enough saliva in my parched mouth to spit in the dirt. Hope... A concept that had become rather unfamiliar, in light of recent events. A word that sounded hollow and meaningless. Out of place, like some old word of patois dialect that only the cranky old Kerbs who lived in the murky depths of the deepest, dampest caves used anymore.

I had walked through the bone dry Australian outback for nearly three hours to get to our usual meeting point, at the top of a small ridge that overlooked the dustbowl that was Woomera. It was halfway between the residential caves of Koolymilka and the surface village of Roxby, along the dusty rover trail that cut a beeline through the scrubby wasteland. The shabby, poorly maintained road was quiet.

Not a single vehicle had passed me by during my long trek, since almost all local traffic went straight to either settlement from the airstation at Woomera. But that was the whole point: it was as remote as possible whilst remaining within reasonable walking distance from my new home, since I certainly couldn't afford a vehicle of my own in my present situation. And there I waited, kicking at the dusty berm on the edge of the trail anxiously, sending clouds of choking dust into the air, but unable to keep still for more than a few moments.

He was late.

Things had changed in recent weeks, he had already warned me. It would be ever harder for us to meet and discuss recent developments. Trans Pacific was gradually pulling out of Omelek and moving its centre of operations to a new site on the island of Guinea at a place called Madang. This was just part of a wider strategy to alienate all the original contributors to the space programme and make a fresh start with new staff and new infrastructure.

He told me that they had a 5 km long runway at Madang. That was something that I would have gladly traded one or more of my grandmothers for... back when I had been the Senior Engineer, trying to launch three hundred tonne spaceplanes from Omelek's abysmally short strip of tarmac and ending up up ploughing into the Pacific Ocean more often than not. Back when that sort of thing had mattered to me.

That seemed like a lifetime ago, now.

The point was, that all of the old-timers who had worked hard to get us to space were being redistributed to new roles in airship maintenance and freight logistics. They were all being swept aside in favour of new blood, loyal and close to Trans Pacific.

Almost all of the old-timers, that is. A few individuals were absolutely irreplaceable, thanks to their extensive knowledge and experience with the challenges of spaceflight.

Froemone was one of these individuals, and the Trans Pacific Resource Company had therefore deemed him indispensable for the future of the space programme. Consequently, it was safe to assume that the Board would be on the look-out for any suspicious behaviour on his behalf. Which was why we had to meet in the Australian outback, far from anywhere.

We could not be seen together, and Froemone had to squeeze these clandestine meetings into his back-breaking schedule without his absence being noticed. The only reason we could meet at all was because he had to pay regular visits to a supplier based in Woomera. I stopped my anxious dust kicking for a moment as a wave of guilt washed over me. He was taking all the risks here: I had so little left to lose anymore.

After my brief spell in Omelek to assist the recovery of Laroque's crew, I had returned to Australia. Catbeth had kindly offered me use of her living quarters in Roxby, as she was rarely at home. I scraped a modest living as an odd-job kerb, repairing anything that the inhabitants of the village brought to me, from rover wheels to electric toasters.

A bit of a step down from maintaining the nuclear reactor of an interplanetary spaceship, or a mighty a polar delivery truck. But no job is beneath anybody, I suppose.

I pulled a small canteen from my tattered backpack and attempted to quench my thirst with a few drops of water. I squinted up at the sun with one hand raised to avoid being blinded by its harsh gaze. It was well past noon, and still he had not come. I resumed my kicking of the dusty berm, fidgeting and nervous.

Finally, the sound of a vehicle approaching.

I stepped off the trail and waited for it to appear. There was no cover out here: just sand and the odd dead bush for miles around. Nowhere to hide if the secrecy of our meeting had been compromised and this had turned into a trap. I stood there in the brilliant sunlight and awaited my fate.

The vehicle sprang into view above the ridge abruptly. It was an old flatbed truck that had obviously seen better days. It was the type of utility vehicle that was used to haul cargo pallets between settlements. Its driver was clearly not quite in full control, and the truck danced from one side of the trail to the other, kicking up waves of sand and grit as it swerved. As it approached, the truck made one final swerve and pulled off the road, tired brakes squealing in protest. It ground to a halt just a few metres short of mowing me down.

FOGuGZ3.png

The cab door opened slowly, and a Kerbal appeared, dropping heavily into the dust, mopping his brow. He was clearly relieved at reaching his destination.

“Uhm... hello Camwise,” he said.

“Hello, SE,” I replied. “Nice wheels, but you nearly ran me over.”

Froemone trudged towards me through the sand, and pulled an envelope from his suit.

“Sorry about that. It was all I could find for rental at short notice. Here, this is for you,” he said. “It's official, now. You're... uhm... dead.”

I took the envelope and tore it open, scanning the declaration rapidly. Commander Tirice had indeed made it so. Engineer Camwise had officially expired in Antartica two weeks ago after receiving a fatal dose of radiation while performing routine reactor core maintenance. He had failed to comply with the proper safety protocols. The crew of the icecrawler Montbrun had buried him on the ice shelf at 68°30'25” South, 110°20'50” East and returned his personal effects to his family in western Europe. The former moonwalker and interplanetary traveller had met his end during a tragic accident. End of story. Sad.

It was highly unlikely that Trans Pacific would open an inquiry or send a team down there to go digging for their deceased employee and find an empty grave. Such accidents were, unfortunately, far too commonplace to be subject to systematic investigation. Nevertheless, Tirice had put her reputation and career on the line so that I might be free. Once more, I felt humbled.

“Thanks, Froe,” I said, relieved of that burden, at least. “So... what's the latest news from the front?”

“It's not good, I'm afraid,” he began. “Omelek is all but finished as a space centre. Even R&D is being moved out to Madang. In a few months, Omelek will be just another relay station for the long-haul airships. I'm being relocated to Madang, too. Camwise, this means...” he trailed off.

“...that you won't be able to visit me anymore. I get it. Don't worry about me, you're risking far too much as it is. Catbeth will keep me in the loop. Oh, was her candidacy accepted?”

“No, they're looking for grunts. Cat is too... uhm... experienced. Besides, they want new blood.”

New blood. The expression was fitting, perhaps in ways that Froemone had not intended. Trans Pacific had recently started a new wave of recruitment for the upcoming colonisation programme. The idea, Froemone explained, was to send numerous small teams of kerbonauts to Near Earth asteroids to extract large quantities of propellant and assess their potential for harvesting other resources. This fuel was then to be stockpiled in both Lunar and Low Earth orbits for the next phase of planetary exploration.

And this time, Froemone had ensured us that the figures added up, thanks to his new engine. Of all the weird and wonderful forms of electric propulsion he had researched, this was the one that would allow us to become a multi-planetary species at last, he claimed. Powered by our latest nuclear reactors or even large solar arrays, it could use a variety of propellants to shift large ships with high efficiency. In fact, you could burn just about anything you could get your hands on with it, including raw resources mined directly from the asteroids themselves.

The plan was to use plain old water mined from space rocks to power the Company's fleets. We would conquer the system with water rockets. The irony of it all...

The Company intended to begin with a complete exploration of the Moon, returning to the sites that we had always hoped to visit some day. The plan was to operate not from Drygalski Polar Base, but directly from orbit, thus avoiding the need for long and dangerous treks across the Moon's surface.

Plans for the following phase of exploration were unknown beyond the walls of the boardroom, but judging from the hardware that he'd been instructed to develop, Froemone had a pretty good idea of where they intended to go.

“I've been asked to over-spec the new Lunar lander,” he said. “The thing is, the delta-vee requirements for Callisto and Ganymede are only a little higher. They haven't stated it officially, but I'm building a lander for the Jupiter system.”

I closed my eyes, remembering the data transmitted by the various probes we had already fired off towards the gas giant, Martel and Fontanes Three. The insane levels of radiation around the inner moons. What if one of the Crew datacores was hiding down there? Would the Board balk at condemning a crew to certain death and ordering them down into Jupiter's seemingly bottomless gravity well?

Probably not. It didn't bear thinking about.

“Did Fontanes Three see anything down there?” I asked Froemone, who sighed and rubbed his forehead, his hair now plastered with sweat.

“I don't know, Camwise. I no longer have access to any of that data myself. Like you, I just get the beauty shots that are made public. The Board keeps all the raw data under wraps. They kept only one of the former Planetary Investigators on their team, and even if I managed to contact her, getting any sense from her will be unlikely.”

Despite my grim mood and the blistering discomfort of the desert heat, I managed a dry chuckle.

“Steledith...”

“Yes, another one of the old-timers they couldn't do without.”

The thought of the Board's suited thugs trying to extract accurate and useful information from our dotty Planetary Investigator was an amusing one.

“What I do know,” Froemone continued, “is that we're launching a new series of probes to the outer system, beyond Jupiter and Saturn. They're smaller and lighter than the Fontanes class, same thruster type, even higher delta-vee but with a minimalist science package that emphasises surface scanning ability. Trans Pacific has signed for at least three of them, maybe more.”

iDq10hA.png

h46KocY.png

I let out a low whistle. That must have cost the equivalent of several top-tier executive pension schemes for the reactors and hardware alone, and the Fontanes programme had already used up nearly half the planet's reserves of xenon. It was a small wonder that there was any left, but it did explain why the headlights on the new rovers that I had repaired recently were of the older, halogen type.

“What are the targets?”

“The ice giants, and perhaps one or more of the KBOs. Some say the Pluto-Charon system, others say Orcus. Maybe both.”

zjXD9bh.png

I gaped at Froemone, marvelling at the thought of hitting these distant bodies with probes fired from our little blue planet that huddled close to the warmth of the Sun. In the massive gulf that lay beyond the gas giants, the distances involved seemed immeasurable... However, in recent years, our space telescope had been scouring the skies along the ecliptic, and had found countless small icy bodies wandering along the edge of the Solar System, well beyond the most distant of the eight major planets.

Steledith had dismissed these new planetesimals as, I quote, “Lumps of ice... boring.” She was more interested in their orbits. Many of them circled the sun in elongated ellipses, or at high inclination, which suggested that something was lurking out there, perhaps even more distant, and had messed with their trajectories. Something big.

Trans Pacific however seemed to think that they warranted a closer look, despite the vast distances and long mission times involved. But surely the Crew weren't out there, were they? I mean, why cross the gap between the stars to find a planet like Earth, just to then go off and skulk on some distant, frozen comet? It made no sense.

Froemone interrupted my thoughts.

“What are you going to do now?”

MPf3zyg.png

It was a simple question, but one charged with meaning. The Senior Engineer was worried for me. And rightly so, as I had no ready answer.

“Now that I'm dead, you mean? I don't know, I...” I trailed off. I looked pleadingly at Froemone for a moment. So far, he had said nothing about the only thing that really mattered to me. The real reason why I had insisted we remain in contact. It wasn't fair of me to press the matter, and I had promised myself not to ask, but I couldn't help it.

“Froe, is there any news of Bartdon and his crew? Anything? Maybe Trans Atlantic made a mistake, or maybe they're covering something up...”

Froemone stepped forward and put a hand on my shoulder awkwardly. “Cam, stop right there. The official version of what happened hasn't changed since it was first reported. Quissac's circularisation burn was miscalculated and she re-entered over the Atlantic. She broke up on the way down. Trans Atlantic found the wreckage on the west coast of Africa. There were no survivors.”

“Yeah, that's the official version, but...”

“There were witnesses, Camwise. Many independent witnesses, and reliable ones. An airship Captain saw her come apart, and the scatter of debris. You and I are engineers, Cam. We both know that Quissac was designed to land on Mars, not on Earth. You have to let it go, now. They're gone, Cam. She's gone. I'm so sorry.”

I stared at the ground in silence. Then the rage and sorrow that had been bubbling beneath the surface for weeks welled up and I could no longer contain it.

Right then, I needed to break something.

The truck that Froe had used to get here was, unfortunately for it, the only thing within breaking distance. Pulling a heavy adjustable wrench from the back pocket of my overall, I launched myself at it.

By the time Froemone managed to relieve me of my weapon and wrestle me to the ground I had smashed one of the side windows, a headlight, and put a large dent in one of the doors. A few seconds more and I would have taken out the windshield, but the Senior Engineer was younger and stronger. He had spent less time in microgravity and low gee. More time down here, and less out there. He pinned me in the dust.

“Cam, stop.”

I stopped struggling and he let me go. I scrambled to my feet with as much dignity as I could muster.

“Go back to the Company and build their ships for them,” I spat at him, breathless. “I'm going home.”

I turned away from my friend and stormed off towards Roxby without looking back. After a few minutes I heard the truck start up and drive off in the other direction. Gritting my teeth, I bowed my head and walked on.

That night I packed my few belongings into my tattered duffel bag and tidied Catbeth's small apartment so that there would be no trace of me ever being there, apart from a short note that I left on the table.

Catbeth,

Thank you for everything that you have done for me. Please tell Froemone that I'm sorry.

I'm going to try and settle the score. For us.

Camwise.

The next morning, I caught the first airship leaving for Guinea. If it was grunts they were looking for, then grunts they would get indeed.

Edited by UnusualAttitude
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Yay! The Camwise Logs are back! 

Question: What actually happened to Bartdon? Or is that yet to be revealed?

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CAMWISE IS BACK!!! WHOOP!!!!

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Hey Camwise :) 

nBSKa6s.png

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50 minutes ago, Garrett Kerman said:

Yay! The Camwise Logs are back! 

 

39 minutes ago, HamnavoePer said:

CAMWISE IS BACK!!! WHOOP!!!!

You're welcome. It took a while, and I'm not sure we're back on track for regular posting yet, but I just wanted you guys to know I'm still here... :)

51 minutes ago, Garrett Kerman said:

Question: What actually happened to Bartdon? Or is that yet to be revealed?

Yet to be revealed. But from Cam's point of view...

1 hour ago, UnusualAttitude said:

Quissac's circularisation burn was miscalculated and she re-entered over the Atlantic. She broke up on the way down. Trans Atlantic found the wreckage on the west coast of Africa. There were no survivors.

 ...they are all dead. That's why he's understandably angry. And like Hulk, he is green and starts smashing things.

26 minutes ago, HamnavoePer said:

Hey Camwise :) 

Is that Astroneer? Should I try it? (has it been released on Mac or Linux?) 

What is that dude doing?

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I only just recently got to the end of what was already there; just in time for this update. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

2 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

Steledith had dismissed these new planetesimals as, I quote, “Lumps of ice... boring.” She was more interested in their orbits. Many of them circled the sun in elongated ellipses, or at high inclination, which suggested that something was lurking out there, perhaps even more distant, and had messed with their trajectories. Something big.

This very much resembles foreshadowing. I'll be interested to see whether you're going to take this series as far as the mysterious Planet Nine (which I think should be named Proserpina in accordance with the current planetary naming scheme as well as the fact that Pluto and many Pluto-like objects are named after underworld beings, but that's a tangent). Or perhaps you have a different explanation for the large invisible mass in the outer solar system... Hmm.

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10 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

I only just recently got to the end of what was already there; just in time for this update. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Hey there, and welcome. :)

12 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

This very much resembles foreshadowing. I'll be interested to see whether you're going to take this series as far as the mysterious Planet Nine

Well spotted. It's supposed to look like foreshadowing, but I would call it "covering my back." Since I haven't got the whole story planned out in detail yet, I could conceivably write in Planet Nine. However, two things:

- As of March 2017, its actual existence has not yet been confirmed, even though several teams of astronomers suspect that something is out there. I do not intend to add fictional or even hypothetical bodies to the Solar System of the Log's universe. The feeling of awe that keeps me playing through this comes from exploring places that really exist and have been observed by probes or from Earth in real life. If some lucky person spots it before this story is finished, and some nice modder adds it to RSS, then I might consider it.

- It will have to be accessible with the technology that my Kebals will eventually acquire during the course of this story. If it turns out to be thousands of AU away, then it's probably not going to happen anyway. Hell, I just got back from Mars and that took me long enough...

28 minutes ago, eloquentJane said:

which I think should be named Proserpina in accordance with the current planetary naming scheme

Sounds good to me, although judging by the ego of the guy who is so intent on proving its existence, it will probably be called "The Brown Planet." :D

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