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About purpleivan

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    Spacecraft Engineer
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    The frozen north

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  1. At precisely 3:47pm (EDT) this reporter was in receipt of the latest in a long line of unusual packages, of unknown origin. These packages, all of which contained a single photograph and a transcript of an astronaut debriefing, have mystified this reporter since the very beginning. Here I relate the events of the arrival of this latest package. It was a warm summer afternoon. Weather perfect to take a walk in the park, to take a dog to the beach, or to pluck truth from the sea of mysteries and lies that is life in the big city. This reporter was hard at work on the later of those seasonal pursuits, when a package was dropped at his desk by one of the secretaries from the pool. On inspection of this unexpected arrival, it was discovered that mysteriously there was no return address on the delivery note that accompanied it. Stranger still it was wrapped in what appeared to be birthday wrapping paper, featuring a cartoon animal. The wrapping paper was bound in a neatly tied, large blue satin bow. Suspecting that the contents might be something out of the ordinary and noticing the lack of appropriate identification of the sender, this reporter hot-footed it to the stairs down to the lobby. On reaching the once grand, but now sadly dilapidated entrance to this newspaper's building, there was no sign of the courier. Only the usual lobby staff were there, plus a small group of college kids, one a male, sporting a rather fetching cravat, the other two being of the female gender. I approached the male of the group and enquired if they had seen a courier pass through the lobby, but unfortunately they had not. In reply they asked if I too had seen someone, another member of their group. A male, late teens, of rather unkempt appearance, and prone to getting lost, who had gone in search of a lunch cart, or other food provision that the building might offer. The student made mention of another missing member of their group, but as my focus was finding the vanished courier, I didn't catch their name. I then headed for the back stairs, to see if the deliverer of the package had exited the building in that direction. It would be no surprise if a person so negligent as to to fail to ensure delivery with the correct documentation, would exit the building via a dingy back alley. Having made it through the maze like corridors to the rear stairs without sighting the courier, this reporter heaved open the heavy door that secures the entrance to the alley. The alley, quiet at first, suddenly burst into life when a large dog, trailing a string of sausages from its mouth, sped out of a door on the other side of the alley and ran straight across, entering a door at the base of this building. Following rapidly behind was what appeared to be a person dressed in a poor halloween outfit. No more than a sheet with a pair of holes cut in it, presumably to allow vision for the wearer. Strange behaviour indeed for mid July. With my search for the courier now at an end, I turned my back on the alley and it's unseasonable occupants and made my way back to my office. At my desk once more I was again presented with the sight of the strange parcel and pondered its origin. Was the cartoon gift wrap a fiendish clue from the sender of the package? The same could be asked of blue ribbon? What did they mean? With no other avenue of investigation available to this reporter, the only remaining course of action was to tear off the gaudy covering of the package, a disguise if you will, to reveal the truth beneath. The truth inside being another of the by now familiar large manilla envelopes, that have brought with them truths from beyond this world. Speaking of the truth, some have accused this newpaper, even this reporter, of fabricating both the photographs and the accompanying transcripts. The same documents that I have toiled long and hard to get to the bottom of their mystery. But to what end dear reader, to what possible end would I, or this venerable newspaper, engage in such chicanery. Yes, circulation has increased 270% since publication of these photographs began. Yes I have been made many lucrative offers by competing publications? Yes I have moved from my tiny desk by the copy machine to a nice office next to the editor. However these trinkets would never be enough to sway the honesty of a seasoned newspaper man. It is this reporter's opinon that there can be no doubt. This documentation of otherworldly encounters is real. These are genuine encounters with alien beings in possession of technology; which although crude, possibly poorly constructed and diminutive in size, is at least a match for the best that this nation can build. But behind the mystery of these strange alien creatures lies an even greater one. Not a question that reaches towards beings across the cosmos, but to those much closer to hand. Who has been sending this documentation and to what end, why had they not sent them all at once, and why did all the photographs smell of liquor and fried chicken. This reporter is still in the dark as to the aims (possibly sinister) of those providing these packages and their unusual contents, but all I provide to you my readers, are the facts, such as they are. The rest remains a mystery. "On EVA-2 we were making preparations for the drive from Station 2 to Station 3 and I was to taking some photos of the rover at the end of the roll before swapping to a new magazine, while Jack was seated in the rover. I was lining up a good shot of the fender repair we made before leaving the landing site. It didn't look pretty, but that tape, clips and cronopaque maps did the job. Anyway, I was about to take the shot when one of those creatures ran into view from my right. I almost jumped out of my suit, it was a hell of surprise, but at least we'd seem them before during EVA-1 and they seemed friendly enough. It leaned in towards the wheel as if it was taking a look at my handywork on the fender. Then it reached out and grabbed the end of the map and started tugging away at it. That thing was only held on with clips and tape, so I reached out to stop that creature yanking it off. But as I did that it stopped tugging and turned round looking at me with this big grin on its face. I pushed in on the shutter button to take the photo, I was hoping to get a closeup of the creature as well as the repair and as I took the shot it gave me what looked like a thumbs up sign. I guess it liked what it saw. It then turned round to my right and lit up one of those rocket packs they have. I got sprayed with dust from that thing but could see it heading away up sun. I tracked it for about a half minute before it set down on the surface, maybe a quarter mile or so away, behind a large boulder. I moved around a little to see if I could get a view at where that thing landed, but after 10 to 15 seconds some kind of vehicle took off from behind the boulder. The thing headed straight up and then pitched over in our direction, it must have passed over us at about 70 to 100 feet up, then continued on down sun until it went out of sight about a minute later. It was an open vehicle and had that creature was sitting on top of it in some kind of seat. That thing looked like it was made from all sorts of weird parts, strung together with what looked like thin metal struts. Looked like somebody slapped together parts of a ride-on lawn mower and some welding tanks and called it a day. Made my work on the fender repair look like precision engineering. No idea how that thing of theirs was capable of flying."
  2. Returned safely from all the planets minus Jool (because.... gas giant), as well as all the moons and a few asteroids. Not done a single mission grand tour, but have done the Jool 5 twice.
  3. Weeeeell... that might be true Actually it's the ascent stage only in the image, but not after an ascent from the lunar surface. The reason for that is that it's an Apollo 10 image. For most of the earlier images I just dove in and wrote something around the image, without much checking (if any) of the context of them. Later image writeups are based around documentation like the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.
  4. I let loose Destructo on the KSC a few years ago, that took out most of the buildings with a bunch of jet powered rovers. I set that up to see what would happen after I grabbed video of a single rover when it escaped its driver. That one only took out a couple of buildings and the unfortunate driver.
  5. Had a lull in work at end of last year, but that got filled with other real life stuff, then it was back to work in the new year on a new project, so time's been pretty tight lately. Once things calm down a bit, more dodgy photos of kerbals encountering stange tall aliens should be on the cards.
  6. No plans to continue this I'm afraid. I got into playing about with boats in KSP when I did the Kerbin Sorta-Circumnavigation and mucking about in boats underwater came out of that. Just a quick bit of evening/weekend fun with some mods which I did a writeup on.
  7. I used a mod called Kerplunk that allows you to set kerbals to sink or float.
  8. I've got a couple more if you're interested @Admiral Fluffy This one is in progress, about 60%, done and I've got the rest of the chapters mapped out, but it's been on hiatus for quite a while (sounds of hurridly checking my last posting date). April 13th 2020... ouch. I promise I'll finish this... sometime... pinky swear. This is complete and starts out as a fairly straight forward mission report, but gets more story like as it progresses. It's also very long, with lots of pics... plus boats!
  9. @Jack Joseph KermanMaker of massive rovers... can you hear me... can you hear me?
  10. Leg03a - No... your other left "Kerfel, you there... Kerfel... Kerfel." called Val over the radio, but no reply was to be heard. Kerfel is a stickler for the rules and the rules say that the working day for a member of the KSC's pilot corp is 02:00 precisely and Val was calling at 01:58... that just won't do. At exactly 2:30 Kerfel grabbed the mike to respond to Val's inappropriately early request for assistance, in the form of a big slug of fuel. With the preflight checks made, all loose items stowed and the crossword puzzle (the hard one) in the Daily Kerbin done, Kerfel took to the skies. The Super Juicer headed South East towards the location of the Flashback, down near the equator. A journey that took the plane and it's pilot (good thing she wasn't left behind) across great expanses of green lowlands. The route also took them over an extensive mountain range. Yes this fuel trip had it all, including skipping across an area strewn with lakes. Then finally out over the ocean, the big blue, the great wet one, the... er... other things that one might call the sea. After much cruising at about 500m above the surface of the sea, with nothing much to look at, a group of islands appeared on the horizon, drifted towards the Super Juicer, then passed beneath it, as it scampered on towards the Flashback. Talking of which, there it is! Kerfel cut back the thrust and decided to bring her plane in over land, rather than comng in directly over the beach near the flashback, so jinked a bit to the right, aiming at an inlet and valley beyond it. The sun was passing below the horizon and light in increasingly short supply. Hopefully there will be some left for the landing. That would be a no. By the time the plane made it through the valley and had the location of the Flashback in sight, the ground ahead was dark. Just hope that that altimeter reading is right. Indeed it was. One good thing about having all the wing on the Super Juicer is that the landing speed can be really low. By the time the wheels made contact with the ground, the speed was down to about 30m/s. Kerfel wasted no time in flipping on the landing lights (hey... should have thought about that earlier when landing) and making her way over to the Flashback. Refuelling of the little plane had to wait until morning. With it's tank brimmed with 1100 units of "get up an go" the Flashback took to the skies. Off the plane went flying South, as that's the direction we're headed for right... Southern Hemisphere, fly South... simple. Er... no. After flying about half a minute in that direction Val realised that they needed to be flying North to get around the big headland she'd landed the plane at the previous day. Never mind, one swift turn and they were back on track again. That's better, round this headland and it's time to head South again. Val never wastes an opportunity to go down near the waves t make a quick pass through narrow gaps between islands and the mainland. Some impressive mountains over there. See you another time perhaps. Something tells me Val and her crewmates will be seeing them sooner than later, as another big turn later, to round a long thin headland and the Flashback was headed back towards them. Val followed the coastline of the headland back towards the mountains. But what's this... looks like a river. Looks like an excuse for Val to get all aerobatic. Yes... Val again was happy to zip along between the steep banks of the river. That bank of rock across the river is the point at which the Coastal Cruiser had to stop it's travels up this particualar waterway. In the back, Jeb and Bob didn't have quite the same qualit of view that Val had. The experience they were having was more like that of a package on a cargo flight... just with more stomach churning turns. Val left it until just about the last moment before pulling back on the stick to climb out of the lake at the end of the river, over the cliffs that surrounded it. Then she pulled the plane sharply to the right... ... and aimed at the nearby mountain peak. Up the Flashback climbed. Compared with cruising along at 500m, the engine felt like it was puffing and wheezing a bit. As the plane neared the summit, Val had a nice view out over the river they'd followed on the way inland. Make it over the top the Flashback did, but not leaving much of a margin (just how Val likes it). Then all of a sudden the land fell away as the plane headed over the steep cliffs on the seaward side of the mountain. Well... that's that bit of excitement over with. Back to cruising along the coastline. A little way along the coast, more mountains appeared, but Val did the sensible thing and did not waste fuel, buzzing massive pieces of rock. So onward the Flashback went, here seen passing between a large island and the mainland. As another neck breaking Val turn took place, Jeb put a bit post it note on the window next to his seat. "My turn to fly next!" By this time it wasn't getting really late, but the shadows were getting to a decent length, so Val decided that it was time to put down for the night. This she did on a nice, near flat expanse of grass, near the beach. Yep... those shadows are getting long now, so it seems like this had been a good time to land. But where did the Flashback land. Here's where. It's hard to see through all that cloud, but the Antarctic ice isn't far away.
  11. Leg02b - Splashdown After a long cold night in the foothills of Mt. Keverest, the sun broke free of the horizon and crawled it's way skyward. It's chilly up here in the Northern reaches of Kerbin, so Val wasted no time in preping the Flashback for takeoff. Plenty of fuel onboard - check. Brakes on - check. Slam throttles to max - double check! Once the brakes were released, the plane shot across the dew covered grass and was in the air in no time heading West for the nearby coastline, where it would rejoin its intended route. Within a few minutes Keverest began to sink below the horizon. Time for one of Val's favourite manoeuvres... the neck breaking turn. This was followed up with some zipping between the coastland and a large island. After about 15 minutes Val glimpsed something unusual about the horizon. As the plane tore on, the "unusual" in the distance took on the definate shape of something kerbalmade, which was a surprise out here in the sticks. She'd here something about some plan to dig and blow up (construction's no fun without explosives) a massive canal linking two parts of the single massive ocean that covered a large part of Kerbin's surface. Apparently it was to aid shipping, but Val's only interest in it was the large lighthouse that marked its Western end. It was an opportunity to buzz the tower. Oh yes, fun indeed for Val, but even Jeb looked a little disturbed in the passenger cabin. With good reason too. Val had misjudged her pull out of the turn and ploughed into the sea. After a tense few seconds spent making sure that all the parts the plane had before smashing into the water were still attached, it was realised that the Flashback had made it through this ordeal unscathed. Apparently this particular plane takes to the sea like a duck to water. After a little jet power pushed the Flashback to the shore and up onto the beach, Val double checked that everything was still in one piece. The only damage from the unplanned ditching in the sea, seemed to be to Val's ego. Ahah... up in the air once more, where this thing is supposed to be. Try keeping it there Val! On it flew, skirting coastland, zipping past islands. Val missed no opportunity to make a sudden neck breaker... ... or a large large bays to zip into... ... she even took the plane down for a low level blast over the ocean. As usual Bob maintained his composure. As the plane flew South, the terrain became less rugged and many sand beaches lined the coast. The sun had a more equatorial look to it too, as it climbed high in the sky, rather than crawling along the Southern horizon. Although the plan was to follow the route the Coastal Cruiser had taken, so never crossing land, except when for landing and takeoff, Val could resist zipping through this little shortcut. A check of the fuel guage showed that there was 200 units remaining in the tanks, but at 1/2 throttle that's good for a fair few kilometres more. Ooo... now what is this. Val spied a large feature along the coastline ahead. Finally it would be here torn to make a river run. Precision flying at high speed with steep river banks on either side. What could be better. Bob and Jeb's view from the windows took on a less blue colour that it had been for almost the entirety of the journey so far. Val was in her element here. An seemingly endless supply of tight turns to negotiate. After a few minutes the Flashback reached the point that had been the end of the "road" for the Coastal Cruiser, in its travels up the river. Ahead of the plan lay the remainder to the river that had remained unreachable by boat, but by plane it was another matter. Then again, that's some river! Unless the plan was to burn a lot of fuel while making no progress along the coast, it was time to put this little joyride into reverse. Val yanked back hard on the stick and the view from the Flashback's cockpit changed from the steep sided river to deep blue sky above. She swung the plane around and headed back over the spot where the Coastal Cruise had made its landing at. In the back Jeb and Bob once more have a fine view of cliffs flying by the plane's windows. Before completing their river cruise, Val couldn't resist taking the plane down for a low pass over the water. Bob caught a glance of this large mountain out of the window and was about to give it name, then realised that he'd already done that before on the boat cruise. He also remembered that the KOP was highly litigious when it came to such things. A little further down the coast Jeb enquired if Val had taken a look at the fuel guage recently. He'd been doing some back of a snack wrapper calculations and was getting worried. Good thing too, as the fuel level was down to just 50 units, so a landing soon would be required. But before then Val wanted to make the most of what flight time they had left, to make it as far round a very large bay as fuel allowed. They cruised South along the Eastern side before making a sharp right turn and headed West. With fuel dwindling, Val planned to make it through the gaps between these island on the Western side of the bay, then look for a somewhere to put down. Jeb's calculations had him worried. Was Val planning on running the tanks dry and ditching! He wandered up to the cockpit and gave a (somewhat) polite thump on the back of Val's seat to remind her to get the thing (safely) on the ground. Val scanned the land around her, looking for a suitable spot. Out of the starboard window she saw something that ticked looked like a good site for them to land and later the Super Juice. That thing needed a lot space to come to a stop, so coming to a stop on a short stretch of beach wasn't an option. Yes... this would make a fine spot to wait for Kerful. Good progress made too, as the Flashback had made it almost to the equator, although there was a large Northerly detour to fly around ahead, before they would make it into the Southern oceans.
  12. Bill and the crew of the Coastal Cruiser, after completing their PacOceanic Canal voyage, arrived at the facilities at the Eastern end and decided to make an inspection.
  13. PanOceanic Cruise Epilogue So the answer seems to be a resounding "maybe", with a side order of "definitely", as this little tale is not yet over. Although Bill and the crew of the Coastal Cruiser had completed their journey along the PanOcean Canal, they still needed a place to park the boat and setting in for the recovery team to arrive. Gwengel suggested that they sea route back to the KSC, to be joined by Dudzor and Karby clamouring to extend their waterbourne adventure. This resulted in Bill curling up in a ball on the floor and crying something about "not that, not again" as well as "you said it would be a couple of weeks Jeb". Yes, getting around by boat, especially when hugging the coastline makes for slow progress and Bill wasn't about to go through that torture again. But as his crew of interns was clearly wanting some more exploration under their belts before they headed home (in straight line, in a nice fast plane) he relented to them take a look at the facilities at the Eastern end of the canal. Grengel took over the pilot's seat from Dudzor and headed for the dock for small pleasure vessels. The Coastal Cruiser might be no battleship, but it still wasn't going to dock there. Not without Bill heading out on deck with a cutting torch. Gwengel pulled the boat over to the shore a little way along the beach and Bill, who was eager to get out of the passenger cabin, headed for the deck, along with Karby and headed for the rover. The beach that Gwengel had parked up at was of the gentle slope variety, that meant that there was quite a drop when rolling off the ramp at the rear. Clambering back up onto it here wouldn't be a realistic option, so the Coastal Cruiser would need to meet up with the rover at another spot. The pair headed over to the nearby entry to the Customs House, which had been expected to draw quite a crowd, enough to warrant a traffic lights system for all those curious about the customs of other parts of Kerbin. Clearly there's not been enough promotion of the place, that or it was the custom to ignore such places. Ah yes, the majestic Customs House. A mighty structure of metal glass and concrete. If only someone would put an ad in the local paper, maybe then there's be some kerbals here. Well, at least with no-one else around Bill and Karby had the run of the place. Unfortunately the staff seemed to have all taken the day off, so the place was locked. With nothing to look at inside, Bill guided the rover around the buiding, bringing it back around the the South side of the structure. Bill pulled up at the lights once again, this time not to join a non existant queue, but to pull a chocalate bar from the front pocket of his suit, which had started to melt in the bright sun shining through the rovers windows. Good thing that kerbal suits are especially stain resistant. Seeing and intriguing object higher up the beach, Bill launched the rover up the sand. It turned out to be a fuel depot, presumably for jet powered rovers, or boats with really long fuel hoses... and planes of course. On getting close to the tanks the pair became aware of a strange phenomena and Karby headed outside to investigate. She was somewhat confused by there being a large grey rectangle in the air, advertising fuel prices. On the plus side, this is the cheapest fuel she'd seen in a long time. As the fuel tanks were the highest point around that part of the canal facilities, Karby decided to take a look at the view from on top of them. A fine vista was laid out in front of her, although it wasn't quite high enough a vantage point to see the Coastal Cruiser from. After taking a couple of pictures for her documentation of the journey (and updating her followers on Kwitter) Karby climbed back into the rover and the pair made their way back towards the canal. The boat was where they'd left it, so clearly the crew of it hadn't understood Bill's message telling them to find a steeper part of the beach to meet at. But while in this part of the facilities, it might be worth a trip over to the small boat dock that they'd failed to use earlier. Yes, yes, I nice sturdy dock with plenty of space for unloading important things like barbeques and sun chairs onto. Before leaving the dock, Bill messaged the boat for it meet them near the last place his itinerary. The lighthouse. Gwengel pulled the Coastal Cruiser away from the beach, rounded the Customs House and headed for the sand near the base of the lighthouse. Unfortunately the time she'd spent in the back seat, had left her a bit rusty and she beached the boat lengthways along the beach, much to Dudzor's amusement. However with fine piloting skills (and a whole lot revving) Gwengel freed the boat from the sand and swung it around 90 degrees, before jamming the engine in reverse, to anchor the ramp on the beach. With the Coastal Cruiser safely secured at a suitable spot for the rover's return to it, Bill and Karby headed for the tall structure at the Northernmost point of the Canal entry facilities. Having sat in the boat or rover for the last couple of days, Bill wanted to burn off a few calories and considered a run around the decking at the base of the massive structure to be a suitable way to do that. He took off across the sand, headed for the narrow metal platform. Having made it all the way to the far end of the platform Bill spun around and jogged back round to the rover. The jog quickly dropped to a steady walking pace, when he started to weaze and cough. Jeb had suggested that he join him for a morning run once in a while, but that would cut into his time for designing strange and wonderful vehicles. That and he'd be late for the "All you can eat breakfast buffet" at the KSC canteen. Back in a nice comfy chair again and not wanting to do anything other than get his strength back (with the aid of a large bag of sour cream and chilli chips) he left the task of driving to meet the boat to Karby. He wondered if she's have trouble maneuvering the vehicle backwards onto the Coastal Cruiser and docking. He needn't have worried as she'd been hoping for just this opportunity and had read the manual for it, cover to cover. With all four of the crew on the boat once more, the next task was to break out the finest supplies the boat's copious stores could provide and head for the seating on the deck. Strangely for a boat built for a crew of four, there were only three seats around each of the two tables mounted on the deck. As commander of this mission, Bill decided it was his duty to stand. That and he'd already spent a large part of the day in one of those chairs and they were not comfortable. The clear blue sky clouded over as the evening drew in and with at a chilly wind from the North blew in. Bill fetched some blankets from the cabin and the four settled in under the darkening sky, with a deck of cards to entertain them and a pot of Karby's special recipe chilli to keep them warm. The recovery team was due to arrive in the morning, to haul them and the boat back to the KSC. So nothing to do but sit back and enjoy some good company.
  14. Yep, I read that in the thread for the mod and considered setting my terrain to default detail (I run it at high) before setting off, but thought that if I encountered it, I'd have a little fun writing around it.
  15. PanOceanic Cruise Day 2 As the sun crept up over the Easter horizon, the four crew of the Coastal Cruiser rubbed their bleary eyes and set about preparing the boat (and their breakfast) for the next stage of their voyage. With the essential tasks out for the way, it was time to fire up the engine and make their way once more along the Panocean Canal. From the bay in the Eastern half of the lake, that had been the location of their overnight stop, it was a short haul to the next stretch of the canal Passing the lighthouse that marked the entry to the 2nd dug section of canal, Karby regailed Bill with tales of the brave interns of Team 1. She had been part of the team that had worked East to West, while Team A worked from West to East. Bill nodded and listened. Bill thought of asking why the names weren't Team A and B, but realised that he would not be happy being on the B team. Well, the Coastal Cruised had shown off it's land based exploration capabilities the day before, but now it was time to do the same for it's water based relaxation ones. Bill shouted through to the cockpit for Dudzor to find a spot to stop the boat, which he dutifully did at a spot on the Sout side of the canal. Bill hauled himself out of the cabin onto the back of the boat and made his way down to the seating area on the starboard deck. Karby followed him out and headed for the same seat on the port side, then Dudzor guided the boat back into the middle of the canal and headed East once more. Ahead lay another section of the trench that Kerbals, shovel in one hand, explosives in another and detonators shoved into any spare pocket, had hacked out of the surface of Kerbin. The canal can handle a much larger ship than the Coastal Cruiser, which for all its capability, is on the small size. Bill slouched back in his seat, enjoying the morning sun, while Karby looked out for the various messages that her coworkers on the canal had hewn from the cliff faces on either side of the canal. Unfortunately none of those can be included here... this is a family show after all. Onward the jet pushed the boat at a rather disappointing speed. On its round world cruise, back in the day, when smooth of oceans were all the rage, the Coastal Cruiser would have been doing a steady 35m/s at 50% throttle. Instead with the rough waters encountered these days, the speed lurched between 18-21m/s But at least there's not many bends. With the time approaching mid morning breaktime (otherwise know as "chocolate o'clock") something to break up the undending view of the canal's cliffs came into view. Karby shouted through the roar of the jet, across the deck to Bill, that she though it looked a lot like the one they'd passed under the day before and that it was a fine looking piece of engineering. Bill muttered something about an assistant designer and "cheap knockoffs". Regardless of who designed this particular bridge, it had the same daunting scale as it's sister, further to the West. On the boat rushed (well... for small values of "rush") as the pair sat on deck, leaving that fine bridge behind it. As the boat headed further Eastward, Karby leaned forward in her chair, attention drawn to something strange in the distance. However much she looked at it, she couldn't make up her mind what it was. As the boat came within 500m of the "thing" that attracted her attention, Bill flipped on his suit comms and yelled to Dudzor to cut the speed. Bill also had never seen anything like this, although he'd heard stories, the kind of stories that kerbals returning from the far reaches of the system of polar missions told. One that chilled the blood and you dismissed as the result of spending too long from home, the stress of dangerous missions, or overdoing it on the cheese before going to bed. Bill ordered Dudzor to come to a stop, just as the Coastal Cruiser approached the perfectly straight shadow that cut across the canal. He slowly turned his head to the right. His right eye started blinking furiously, while his left eyebrow was raised as far as it would go. "So what is, what do you see Bill" Karby shouted across the deck, her view to the right of the boat obscured by the cabin section. "Ermmm... errr... nothing" Bill replied, sounding not the least convincing. "Oh I better come and have a loo..." Karby began, before being cut of by a shaky voice from the other side of the boat. "NO, No, No, No... Dudzor, floor it! Bill replied before shouting an order to the boat's pilot. The jet roared to life and the boat took off Eastward again, as Bill kept his eyes jammed shut and Karby pondered what it was that she'd missed out on seeing. Bill, used to the certainties of engineering was more than a little shaken by what he'd seen and sat rigidly in his seat. No kerbal should see that. The pair sat silently, staring ahead into the distance. For a long time there was just the unchanging shape of cliffs and water to stare at, but a needle like shape gradually formed on the horizon. Tiny at first, but steadily grew in size. Eventually the canal widened and all aboard believed that another lake was about to be entered. Well... I guess you could call it a lake, a really big one. The end of their journey was in sight, the place where the PanOceanic Canal ended and the ocean to the East began. So is this the end of the journey for the brave crew of the Coastal Cruiser... no more canal to conquer, no more encounters with disturbing, reality breaking anomalies. Just relief that they didn't need to wait around for even a single fuel delivery (the tanks were still about 40% full). Maybe... maybe not.
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