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Everything posted by purpleivan

  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.
  16. @Admiral FluffyThere should be, even though I've not written anything for LOST on Laythe in about 18 months. I have the plot outlined for the remainder of the story, I've just had a lot of thing getting in the way of completing it here. I definitely plan to finish this though, even though it's been on hiatus for a long time.
  17. Today the PanOceanic Canal Cruise began.
  18. PanOceanic Cruise Day 1 Kerbin is a world that is not short on big ideas, nor one that shrinks from tough choices. Choices like should Tuesday be meatloaf or spaghetti day in the KSC canteen, blue or green for the new breakroom cupboards, or should a hundreds of miles long canal be dug to connect two oceans. A canal that would finally make circumnavigation of the planet by water a posibility. Like I said... big ideas, tough choices. This was an undertaking that would impact most of Kerbin's economy, missions would go unflown, science would go unscienced and those old brown cupboards would have to stay in the breakroom . The decision was easy. This can be done, this should be done, this must be done... why isn't it done already. So one army of interns flew East, armed with the finest shovels the KSC could find in the local hardware store was flown out to one starting point for this grand venture. Another was flown West to start on the opposite shore and the two began to dig, dig like the wind... well, like something that is is adept at digging. As well as shovels, the "finest" explosives that KSC scientists could come up with were flown (carefully) out to the path of the canal, to get rid of those tough, stubborn spots that are hard to remove. After much time, digging and running from imminent explosions, it was done and it was beautiful. A huge trench had been dug from one distant coast to another, making use of a few lakes that were conveniently enroute. Bill who had overseen this massive project, took to the skies to get a look at it from the air, but a canal is not enjoyed from an aircraft, instead a different kind of craft is required. Something in the shape of a boat. This boat. The Coastal Cruiser. This was the boat that was made for long distance travel, as long as it has some help along the way in the form of fuel deliveries. This was the boat that had sailed the entire coastline of the Kerbin mainland... with the help of 60 deliveries of much needed juice along the way. That journey had taken Bill, along with Val, Jeb and Bob months to complete, with fuel supplies brought to it by the Juice Goose as well as dropped from orbit in MIRFs. With his other 3 colleagues having started a rerun of sorts of that great voyage, Bill decided that it was up to him to break in this new waterway, in the trusty Coastal Cruiser. His crewmates on this trip would be Dudzor, Gwengel and Karby, interns who had worked on the digging of the canal and had been picked at random for this little pleasure cruise. The plan for the first day had been to make as much headway possible (at an fuel economical 50-65% thrust) by sundown, when they would stop for the night. But that's the thing about plans... they have a habit of being waylaid by shiny things. In this case it was a structure just inside the the bay at the start of the canal. Dudzor, even though he was not a pilot was driving the boat. He's not the most confident of prospective kerbonauts, but Gwengel (an actual pilot) thought it would be good for his self esteem to take the helm of the jet powered boat. What was I saying about shiny things, ah yes... that building on the right. Karby (the scientist on this "mission") insisted that they visit it before they set of along the canal itself. Reluctantly Bill told Dudzor to swing the boat round to the right to go take a look. The concrete structure that the building , which Karby said was the Customs House, was built on, was too high for the Coastal Cruise to moor with, so instead they made their way over to a dock for small boats. Out of habit Bill instructed Dudzor to swing the boat around when close to the shore, to come to rest with the rear ramp grounded on the beach. This isn't a necessity, but was the norm on the Kerbin Sorta-Circumnavigation, as that allowed the rover at the back of the vessel to roll off and head inland for it's own adventures. The crew wasted no time making their way out on deck to enjoy the morning sunshine. They then made their way over to the boat dock. Karby had forgotten how far the Customs House was from here, so they all agreed not to go on the hike over to it. Instead Karby told them it's purpose. "It's where Kerbals from different places along the canal can put up exhibitions about their local customs." Bill was curious and asked "are any of them funny." Er Bill... this Kerbin. They're all funny. With that bot of local knowledge out of the way, the four made their way back to the boat and headed out into the large bay once more, headed for the canal itself. Dudzor aimed just to the left of the lighthouse that marked the entry to the canal. He kept a firm grip on the wheel and stared at the tall structure as he guided the boat towards the entrance to the waterway. The Coastal Cruiser slipped past the lighthouse and into the canal. Karby had clear, if not very interesting view of the structure as they passed by. Ah yes, lighthouses, the runway lights of the sea. Then they were in it, the Panocenic Canal. In the distance Dudzor and Gwengel, who sat just behind him, could just make out some kind of mammoth structure in the distance. Gwengel was curious what it was, as she'd only been involved in the digging of the canal, not any fancy construction that came later. Dudzor on the other hand though of only one thing as his sweaety hands gripped the wheel. "Don't hit sides, don't hit the sides". In the back both Bill and Karby had a fine view of the tall cliff walls of the canal. Well, they couldn't see much other than that. Onward the boat went, bringing that impressive structure into view. Bill knew exactly what it was as he had designed it. It was a bridge. A might construction of steel and concrete, that spanned the canal and dwarfed the Coastal Cruiser as it passed underneath. "Hold up" yelled Bill "I want to take a look at it. Dudzor duly shut of the engine and the boat drifted to a halt. Bill clambered out of the hatch on the top of the boat and made his way along the spine of it, to then climb up on top of the rover to get a closer view of the bridge that he'd sweated over the blueprints for. With the stop for Bill to admire his creation (he can be a bit full of himself) over, the engine was restarted and the journey along the canal continued. Eventually the gap between the walls of the canal widened, as what had been a lake came into view. Another lighthouse marked the point at which the natural feature and kerbalmade structure met. Remember that fine plan... get as far along the canal by sunset as posssible. Well, Bill was responsible for the next dent in it. He wanted to take a close up look at that bridge and the Coastal Cruiser was equiped with just what was needed to make that possible. Bill told Dudzor to pull in to shore on the North East side of the lake, so that he could take a little joyride in the rover that the boat carried. Hmm... that gap looks a bit high to clamber back onto, even in that little goat over a rover. Dudzor (with some helpful instruction from Gwengel) moved out into the water, coasted a couple hundred metres along the shoreline, then reversed onto the beach once more. That's a lot better... now it's time to let loose The Hog. Bob had always thought of that rover as being goat like, given that it had allowed him to indulge in his favourite pastime of climing mountains. However Bill was under no illusions about this little beasts true nature. It was a Hog. Truth be known, Bill isn't much of a fan of goats, some kind of trauma involving one... doesn't like to talk about it. So once more he clambered out onto the back of the boat and ran full tilt towards the rover. Once inside he wasted no time in flipping the couple of switches that both brought it to life and released the docking port that held it to the back of the boat, then headed off up the beach. Hog's don't have six legs (or wheels for that matter) but suddenly this "Hog" didn't either. In his eagerness to tear across the grasslands towards the bridge, Bill had engaged Warp Speed (x2) and almost instantly wrecked one of the wheels. Luckily he's an engineer, so used to fixing such things. With the wheel count back up to six once more, Bill returned to the important task of taking a look at something he designed. As the sun tracked across the sky and the grass passed under the Hog's wheels, he moved closer to his goal. Eventually the massive structure came into sight as he came over the top of a long rise. Bill wasted no time making his way towards the entrance of the bridge on the North side of the river. Bill stopped the Hog at the entrance to the bridge, wondering for a moment if it was a good idea to venture out onto it. He'd designed the thing, but he was well aware of the various corners cut in its construction. When concrete is really CON-crete and the steel was stolen (digging that huge canal really hit the KSP in the wallet) from the local scrap yards, it's good to be a little cautious when venturing out onto a massive structure made of that stuff. But foward he went. Forward he kept going... and going, and going (this thing is big). Eventually he reached the midpoint of the bridge and came to a stop. This was marked by a meatball sub, that some joker on the workcrew had "borrowed" from their managers lunchbox, sealed in perspex, then set into the conrete of the bridge at the point directly over the middle of the canal. Bill looked as the sub. It was heavy on the mustard with lots of pickle, just how he liked it. He considered heading taking a large hammer from an equipment locker and giving that perspex a serious thrashing, in order to release the tasty snack. But the sun was dropping down into the Western sky and the plan was to make good headway in the boat until sunset. That plus attacking the perspex looked like seriously hard work. He turned the rover around and headed back towards the Northen end of it. With thoughts of that poor unconsumed meatball sub filling his mind, he made his way back to the Coastal Cruiser. On reaching the boat he turned the Hog around and reversed up to the ramp to board it. CLUNK SNAP went the docking latches, as they secured the rover to the boat once more. With the rover safely attached and Bill seated in the passenger cabin of th boat, the Coastal Cruiser headed out into the lake and headed East. Onward the boat went across the lake, with Dudzor, who by now was feeling slightly less nervous and sweaty, at the controls . A narrow passage divided the lake into two halves. With the first half traversed, the sun approached the horizon. The cold grey colour of the boat began to take on a warmer hue. Yep... that sun is definitely setting, no point trying to stop it. Time to head for the shore. Gwengel suggest a nice bay just beyond the next headland would be a good place to moor for the night. With the sun dropping below the horizon, it was time to turn the lights on. The lake ahead took on a disturbing blood red colour as they approached the shore. This disturbed Dudzor, but Gwengel assured him it was perfectly normal. At last the Coastal Cruiser came to a stop, resting on a beach on the Southern shore of the lake. The sound of the jet engine replace by the sound of the evening meal making and the ripply shuffling of a deck of cards. Bill considered the events of the day, the sights they had seen and the starry sky outside the cabin windows and a serous thought crossed his mind. "I hope we packed meatballs." This episode of Pan Ocean Cruise is brought to you by @CaerfinonPacocean Canal and is dedicated to the brave interns who were lost in the making of the canal. Note: by lost we mean the interns skipped work after overdoing it at the completion celebrations with all the petty cash and haven't been seen since.
  19. Oh dear, what has @Caerfinondone. I'd just got going once again (after a little break due to real life getting in the way) on the Kerbin Sorta-Circumnavigation - Rewind, when up pops a mod with promises of a new bit of "coastline" to explore, in the form of the Panocean Canal. Bill, who'd stayed back at the KSC, while Jeb, Bob and Val headed off on a coastal trip by plane, smelled adventure, so he too took to the skies, to see what lay in store if he once more headed out to sea. Yes... you're eyes are not deceiving you, that is a canal. Cut with the finest shovels, dodgiest explosives and as much shear stubborness as Kerbalkind could muster. Cutting through the landmass that forms the single massive continent of Kerbin's mainland, making a true circumnavigation by sea possible. However, as there is a limited amount of time in the day (Bill has to help supply his 3 friends with supply vehicles for their trip) he will be making a much shorter trip, going West to East along the length of the canal. A Kerbin circumnavigation will have to wait for another time. But what sort of vessel should he make the trip in, something shiny and new, or pull the tarps of of something in storage. Bill considered bringing the Kitchen Sink out mothballs, but that ship had too much scope for distraction from the goal of completing the passage, what with it having 2 mini jets, a rover and a minisub onboard. Instead there was only one real option, something more compact, but still suitably equiped for exploring, both on land and sea. Yep,... he's going with the classic. So it's time to dust off the Coastal Cruiser (the boat that made the original Kerbin Sorta-Circumnavigation) and head to the Western end of the Panocean Canal. But first something that had been out of use for a couple of years needs a shake down to make sure it's still seaworthy. The seas off the KSC were a bit choppy today, limiting the speed (and ability to steer), but Bill's been told that the waters off the entrance to the Panocean Canal are much smoother. Adventure awaits!
  20. Not to give too much away, but Bill senses adventure ahead. He headed out this afternoon in the Flashback's sister plane, the Go Take a Look You Know You Want To, in order to give the new passage a quick recce at the Western end. The only question now is what to head to sea in, something new or something ridicululous pulled out of cold storage?
  21. Argh... I only just got the Kerbin Sorta-Circumnavigation Rewind restarted after a short break, then I remembered this. Now all I can think about is what kind of boat to go through it with.
  22. Leg02a - Close Call After a night together on the beach it was time for the two planes to part company. The Flashback would head on along the coast, while the Super Juicer would remain on the ground, until Flashback needed a top up. At dawn Val, who at last found herself at the controls, taxied away from the beach into the greenery inland, then swung around and hit the throttles, causing the Flashback to shoot down towards the water's edge. Val planned on making a low pass over the Kerfel in the tanker after takeoff, but the ground was a little bumpy, making the takeoff angle a little less than straight and level and took all her skills to prevent the fully laden plane from dropping into the sea. Once stable the plane climbed rapidly away from the Super Juicer and turned North to progress along the coast. The thing with hugging the coastline in a plane is there's lots and lots of turns to make and Val took them there she likes best. Back in the passenger cabin Bob and Jeb had to stuggle to keep their breakfast down for the first few minutes, given how twisty the coastline is around here. But not long into the flight a great white (well... looks kinda grey from here) mass came into view on the horizon. The Arctic ice cap. The ice has a more gently curved coastline than the rocky outcrops that preceded it, so the pair in the back had less trouble scoffing down (and keeping down) their mid morning snack. Val took a look at the fuel gauge and could see that it was just being sipped by the Flashback, which she was reluctantly flying at 2/3 throttle to conserve supplies. Out towards the horizon to the East the great North wall of ice stretched and with little bob here and a little weave there, Val skirted along the edge of it. Wow there's a lot of ice here Val thought (and not much else). It's like one great big runway, as far as the eye can see. She considered taking the plane down so they could all take a stroll on it, but decided against it, as that would waste precious daylight. The sun was high in the sky, but that's not saying much up here. As the plane flew on, a thing other than ice (a real big thing) came into view. "Hey guys, do you remember seeing this when we sailed through " Val hollered through the cabin doorway. Bob abd Jeb looked at each other and gave a shrug before Jeb yelled back "if it's below the horizon we can't see", a response came a moment later when the plane slew round to the left, giving them a better view and empty Bob's coffee on the floor. Bob's left eyebrow twitched. His naming nerve was quivering. "It should be called Th..." he began, before Val shouted back "hey there Bob, I just can't quite make out what you said, sounds like..." followed by her fumbling around desperately for the Kerbin Office of Placenames, Big Book of Places. "So Bob, I hear you got repainted your kitchen" Val enquired while She quickly flipped through to the "North" section of the book. Bob, a little confused looking replied "Err... well, I painted the back door and cleaned out the cupboards." "Oh REEAAALLY" Val answered "Home decor is just the best isn't it" desparately holding down the urge to vomit at having said something so sickly. "Got it" Val exclaimed with much relief, "It's called Coldus Pondus Maxiumus" she continued, reading the name of the large arctic lake from the book. After that close brush with disaster for Bob at the hands of the KOP, Val was glad to see the view was now just more unending featureless ice. This "little" feature had taken some time to sail around in the Coastal Cruiser, but the Flashback made short work of it. "Hmmm... that's an odd looking feature on the ice" Val thought. "I wonder if it's lemon flavoured?" On the arctic ice stretched, on and on... and on. At least there was an island to make the view a little less monotonous. Ah... finally, something that's not ice, sea or sky to look at, which can mean only one thing. The Flashback has reached the far side of the Arctic coast. Val dipped the wing to give the pair in the rear a better view, but really they needed to be in her seat to appreciate the view. With the icy coast giving way to the a grass covered one once again, Val rolled the plane to the right to head South. Only about 20% of the fuel reserves used so far and the Flashback has already made it to the other side of the Great North Sea. Within a few minutes somethin large and familar loomed over the horizon. It looked big, it was big, in fact it it doesn't get bigger than this. It's Mt Keverest. Val couldn't resist taking a closer look, so she swun round to the East and headed for the great mass of snow covered rock. Back when the trip around the coastline was a little more sedate, Bob and Val had taken the Coastal Cruiser's rover up to the top to check the height of the summit, which was 6768m. Val headed for the summit a little faster than the pair had done in that little six wheeler. 3.8km above sea level, only about 3km to go... straight up. With the increasing altitude the engines of the Flashback started to lose a little power, so Val pushed the throttles to the max and aimed at the summit. In the back Bob and Jeb looked out at the pretty aurora that filled the sky, the view below them obscured by the wings. The view ahead, had they been able to see it through the cockpit, might have troubled them a bit. Val leveled out just before passing over the summit. She knew it was going to be close... but not this close. The Flashback shot over the top of the mountain, leaving a trail of disturbed snow and ice in its wake. Once the top of the mountain was cleared, Val throttled back to 2/3 power and swung round to the right. Then dove down the near vertical cliffs on the South side of the mountain. "Ok, that ground... well I think it's ground, well whatever it is down there, it's pretty dark, no telling how far down it is. Better level out" Val thought to herself, then pulled back on the stick to level out. The Flashback headed back out to its intended playground, the air over the sea. But the sun was low, really low, which provided precious little light to make a landing in. Landing was the plan and Val wanted to stick to that plan (difficult to fly along a coastline if you can't see it), so it was time to find a safe spot to do just that. Down came the gear and back went the throttles, to provide just a trickle of power. Val was thankful that when about 50m from the ground, she could see the pool of light ahead from the gear lights. Finally the plane was down, and not as widely strewn collection of debris for the recovery team to sift through. Val brought the Flashback to a halt, then killed the engines, from the rear of the plane came the sound of two friends playing cards; apparently they'd missed the whole thing. Ah well, time to settle in for the night and enjoy the spectacle of the Northern lights.
  23. Long, long days of lying on a beach (hey... I said they had time for that), time to soak in the sun and wonder where on Kerbin your fuel supply had disappeared to. Finally the crew of the Flashback could put away their deck chairs and start readying the plane for a big slug of the good stuff. Kerfel now! With the management of the KSC distracted by monthly reports time, Kerfel "Careful" Kerman, quietly slipped out of the spaceplane hanger, at controls of the Super Juicer. A fine design from the drawing board of none other than Bill Kerman, who promised to help out the crew with whatever fine creations (or possibly slung together pile of whatever's lying around) he could come up with, to help out the crew of the Flashback on their long journey. It ain't fast and it any pretty, but it does carry a decent amount of fuel and fly reasonably well and is a fitting replacement for the retired Juice Goose. Fully ladden it carries 5520 unit of fuel, a small chunk of which is needed to power those afterburners on takeoff. But once up to cruising altitude Kerfel cut the afterburners and settled in for the trip North. Unlike the Flashback her trip is going to be much more direct, passing over the great green expanse of equatorial Kerbin along the way. Kerfel, who has a reputation for "by the book" flying and no hijinks whatsoever, guided the Super Juicer through these steep valleys Passing over dense forest (well as dense as the settings allow). Before finally picking up the transponder of the Flashback. Kerfel hadn't seen and water since a couple minutes after takeoff, but now had a fine view of the Northern seas ahead. The plan had been to put the plane down as close to the shore as possible, as stopping this much mass takes sometime and Kerfel didn't want to ruin a perfect flying record, by dropping her aircraft in the small lake in the distance. But distracted by trying to get a good look at the Flashback (it's just below the left wing) on her way in, she came in too high. With some weaving to make best use of the limited space there was to land on, Kerfel brought the plane to a halt before dunking it in the drink. Then came the long haul back to the beach. As neither aircraft has the benefit of reverse thrust, gravity would need to be relied on to get the plane separated after refuelling was completed. That meant that Kerfel had to park the Super Juicer on a slight upward slope, then Jeb fired up the single engine of the Flashback and edge forward towards to meet it. Getting the front winglets of the Flashback past the nose of the Super Juicer took a bit of work, but in fairly short time the two plane were hooked up. Now it was time to glug, glug, glug a load of that lovely liquid fuel. But what's this... oxidizer, what's that doing on board the tanker plane. Bill claimed it was ballast, or coolant, or something else requiring years of engineering experience to understand. But the truth is he just forgot to have those tanks emptied before takeoff. Finally the refuelling was complete, with the Flashback knocking back 1100 units of stuff before it was filled to the brim. It's task completed (for now at least), the brakes of the Super Juicer were released allowing the aircraft to gently roll back down the slope, clearing the way for the Flashback. Jeb did some back of an envelope maths on the amount of fuel it took for the Super Juicer to get here from the KSC, it's reduced weight and the likely use of fuel crossing the Great North Sea to their next rendezvous point and thinks that their much welcome provider should have a couple more refuellings in it, before it has to head off to a refuelling of its own at Woomerang. That would be cutting it fine though, so the last refuelling of the Flashback, might need to be a bit of a short fill. As it was by then early afternoon, Val decided (as she would be at the controls for the next leg) to leave takeoff until first light, to maximise the short day in the North. So it was time to break out those deckchairs again, if only for a little while and watch the sun sink behind the nearby hills.
  24. Sorry for the delay in getting the next installment of the rewind done. In the middle of working on a Day 1 patch for the the day job, which is taking up a lot of time. Ah well... more time for the crew to sit on that beach I guess.
  25. I might have to take a look at this. Thanks.
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