CatastrophicFailure

ALIEN SKIES: A 6.4-scale playthrough of GPP/Rald

102 posts in this topic

Year 5, Day 287...

Rescue alarm is still going off. Which is odd, since we've taped it off, thrown a pile of old socks on it, and even unplugged the console. So it looks like it's Ferdin to the rescue again.

This design worked well before, and you know what they day: if it ain't broke...

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...Ferdin will probably break it.

 

Same plan as before. First, rendezvous with the stricken capsule at its apogee just above the atmosphere. We're coming, Negy!

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Well, Ferdin is, at least. The rest of us are busy rifling through his personal stuff and Triti has a back of itching powder and an evil look, so we're not about to question.
Oh, and this time Ferdin's brought a Klaw to avoid all that nasty "drifting off helplessly into space" stuff.

 

Step Two: as before, attach docking ports to this huge crew cabin, then rebuild the rescue ship around it.

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Wow, that thing is bigger than Ferd's room. Which is now covered in... well, he might wanna stay in the crew cabin.

 

All right, we've got a system! What could go wrong? Mind where you point the solar panels, you're running out of juice, guys...

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On to the next victim target um... objective?

Wait, his apogee is how high?!?

This one's going to be a nail biter, folks! Stranded Hadald's  apogee is barely 102km, that's ten kilometers inside Gael's atmosphere. How has he not fallen out of orbit already??

OK, you can do this Ferd! Just plot a careful inctercept...

What's that? You're just an engineer and only along for the ride, and Mission Control is supposed to be doing the piloting?

Um... c'mon guys, get those slide-rules working, it's nerding time!

 

Coming in hot...

Even in the tenuous upper atmosphere (why is it always "tenuous upper atmosphere?" Everybody always say "tenuous upper atmosphere!" Isn't that a bit redundant?) 

Anyways, even in the upper atmosphere, the drag is too high. A standard rendezvous won't work, we have to make the approach under power. Fortunately, there's plenty of fuel on board.

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The rescue ship is technically flying at this point. We've got the throttle cracked open, and it's a constant dance to keep time to intercept and intercept distance declining!

Then, only a couple of kilometers away, it's like all of a sudden the laws of physics kick in and Hadald's pod begins slowing down from drag, too!

Closer...! Clooooooser...!

 

That's it, jump, Hadald!

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Don't miss!

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We've got 'im! Or, you've got 'im! Now lets get the flarp out of there!

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Forget anything clever, just land that thing while you're ahead!

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Or spin around in crazy circles below the parachute until everybody pukes all over the walls, whatever works. You do you.

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But that explosion is coming out of your paychecks.

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...that might be more menacing if I actually gave anyone paychecks...

Wow... that's a big tree...

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Day something, somesuch...

Sigh. More rescue contracts. Where are these people even coming from, anyway?! We've gained two more flight engineers and another pilot, but we still need a scientist, anyway. All of our real scientists are still hiding under an engine bell and throwing turbopumps at anyone who gets within range after I asked if any of them would volunteer for flight training. Probably shouldn't have mentioned the possibility of being stuck in a confined space with Triti for a few weeks..

Anyway, we're keeping it simple this time.

We've stripped a NewShip down of all the superfluous bits, like the pilot and launch escape tower, and stuck a Klaw on top. That 10 degree plane change is a killer. Hopefully we can pick up another pilot along the way.

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On the up side, we've finally managed a successful auto-recovery of the Mallard upper stage. I guess all that was needed was for someone to flick the switch from "Cook" to "Don't cook." Go figure.

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First pickup successful. But really, who puts an unpressurized truck cab into orbit?? How did they put it into orbit? Where did it come fromt?? All of our truck cabs (and one missing scientist) have been visually accounted for!

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Second pickup. Another truck cab?? GENE says we're supposed to bring this one back. Something is fishy here. I'm beginning to feel like someone is... toying with us.

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...like this is all part of some sick game, running us around for the amusement of a demented mind! We cannot continue to tolerate this! In fact--

Ooh, snacks!

 

*burp* what was I saying? Anyway, third pick up. And it's a scientist! One way or another. We're gonna stick some glasses and a lab coat on him and warn him he'd better science the flarp out of this place or he's rooming with Triti permanently.

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Yup, must be a scientist, look at that awkward, uncomfortable grin squished between Jencine and Gemchell, there.

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This is your captain speaking. Sort of. Remember, in the event of a water landing, your heat shield may not be used as a flotation device. Because it sinks.

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All right, enough of this flarping about! We have been pawns in the scruples of unknown others for too long! I believe that this space center should commit itself to achieving the goal, kinda-sorta-'bout-that-time, of landing a Kerbal on a moon and returning them safely to Gael. Even if it's Triti. Cuz she said she'd hurt me if I didn't say that. But anyway, no single space project in this period will be more impressive to Kermankind, not that we have much for comparison around here, or more important for the long-range exploration of space, and keeping certain slightly unstable Kerbonauts off-planet for as long as possible.

And also, because GENE says so.

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We're... um... gonna need a bigger VAB...

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