Just Jim

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About Just Jim

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    I'm not out to conquer the galaxy.... I swear...

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  • Location Gulf Coast, Florida
  • Interests I remember when I was a kid I watched the first moon landing on my grandparents big TV, along with my grandpa, who was equally fascinated.
    And I've watched each and every satellite, probe, and rover to go into the solar system since.
    That's why I'm so hooked on this game.... it's like I get to do it all over again, and this time I'm in command... cool!
    I read a lot... probably too much, if that is possible. My favorite authors are Frank Herbert and H.P. Lovecraft.
    I also love studying history... and obviously I'm a huge science fact and fiction fanatic.

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  1. Just Jim

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    Been too long since I posted anything from Tina Guo... Enjoy!!!
  2. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    Thanks! And yes, I joined the Squad team last August... Yeah... some are worse than others...
  3. Agreed. Kuzzter got a really, really, good job last year. I don't know the details, but I know it cut back on his free time a lot. But I do believe he plans on finishing when he can.
  4. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    hehe... that's cool. I mean, you're not really suppose to poke the writers, but I honestly don't mind. If y'all are bugging me to write more... Well, that just means y'all must like what I'm doing. And I take that as a big ol' compliment! Thanks!!!
  5. A quick follow-up. If you meant the game itself, and not the forum, it is available in French. I don't know which site you may have purchased your game, but if you have a problem finding the translated version(s), please feel free to ask, and I'm sure someone here will gladly point you in the right direction. Un suivi rapide. Si vous voulez parler du jeu lui-même et non du forum, il est disponible en français. Je ne sais pas quel site vous avez peut-être acheté votre jeu, mais si vous rencontrez un problème pour trouver la (les) version (s) traduite (s), n'hésitez pas à demander, et je suis sûr que quelqu'un vous guidera avec plaisir dans la bonne direction.
  6. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    Thanks! It's not really stress.... But a weird one-in-a-million situation where I actually got hired by Squad, so I'm literally doing KSP all week, and on my time off... I'm still playing KSP.
  7. Yup. On Emiko they started with a Lobster... But Emiko also called it a "Giant Sea-bug"... I agree. If you put a prawn in between a lobster and shrimp, you immediately will realize they're all cousins. I would even include crawdads... they're all in the "sea-bug" family
  8. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    Thank you everyone! I'm so glad you like how it came out!
  9. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    How I wish, how I wish you were hereWe're just two lost soulsSwimming in a fish bowlYear after year Pink Floyd: "Wish You Were Here" Chapter 100 The Great Gig in the Sky This chapter is dedicated to the Kerbal Space Program, my friends and co-workers at Squad and Private Division, and most importantly, the KSP forum readers. Without your continued encouragement & support, none of this would have ever been possible. I love all of you more than words can ever truly express... * * * It had been nearly 30 days... 30 quiet, calm days since Emiko, Chibi, and Grand Kerbal Samantha Kerman had encountered the Kraken Lord and Insane Empress on Bop. 30 days... and things at the Kerbal Space Center were actually returning to something slightly resembling... normal. Or as normal as could be expected. The biggest surprise recently had been the revelation of Geschosskopf's discovery of a half-finished, and then abandoned airfield in the desert, not far from the pyramids of Tut-Un Jeb-Ahn. Even more importantly was the discovery of Burberry Kerman, Thompberry's mother, wandering around half-poofed in the deep desert near a previously unknown green monolith. In the days that followed, a large shipment of base parts and supplies originally destined for the Mun were diverted out to this airfield, now nick-named the "Dessert Aerodrome" by the engineering team... a name that still made Werhner von Kerman groan... And a temporary base was constructed, until more permanent structures could be built. North-East from here, a smaller observation camp was set up to study the recently discovered green monolith. Bob, Bill, Gem, Theo & photographer FayRay Kerman were all here... along with Captain LoVar Kerman, who had gotten into some sort of argument with Jeb just a couple days before their departure to the desert, and volunteered to go along at the last minute. The camp was located about a kilometer south of the weird monolith, and had some of FayRay's best equipment trained on it... but so far nothing had really happened, and the crew was enjoying the quiet. LoVar had even taken to reading by himself in one of small hydroponic domes. Back at the Dessert Aerodrome, Chibi was outside by the fusion reactor, trying to chase down Bruberry, and get her to come inside and go to bed. But sadly, while Bruberry seemed in great shape physically, especially for a Kerbette of her age, mentally she was like a child... Which some, including Thompberry, argued might be for the best, given what she had been through. Perhaps this was her way of dealing with the horror of being possessed for so many decades. Others insisted that she had a right to her memories... but in the end Piper Kerman sided with Thompberry, and agreed that Bruberry was far, far better off not knowing what had happened to her. And nobody, but nobody, in the entire space program had the guts to stand up against the wrath of both Thompberry and Piper Kerman combined. "Bru Bru..." Chibi called out. "Time for bed, dear." "Awwww...." Bruberry frowned, then went back to singing and dancing. "Chibi, Chibi, Chibi... pretty, pretty, pretty... la la la la la..." "I know, dear," Chibi smiled warmly. "But we have to get our sleep... Otherwise we can't go butter-moth hunting in the morning." "Oh... OK," Bru smiled,... "Butter butter butter moth moth moth... Chibi, chibi, chibi... hehehe" And still singing, Bruberry followed Chibi inside to her bunk, where Chibi tucked her in for the night, still laughing and giggling. Now while this was going on, Piper and Thompberry were high overhead in the Pandora, and ironically enough, they were also laughing. "You... you didn't..." Thompberry cried, sounding strangely out of breath, given the fact he didn't have lungs. "I most certainly did!" Piper howled back in hysterics... "And to all 5 of them!" "Oh... oh my... You, my dear... are SO BAD!!!" "Oh, that's nothing," Piper grinned wickedly. "In my senior year...: It was strange... years ago Piper had hated Thompberry so much it burned like a smoldering ember in her mind. But the last several ten-days together... especially after the discovery of Thompberry's mother alive in the deep desert, Piper had discovered many facets of the strange brain-pod she had never, ever imagined existed. He hurt so much... missed his parents so much... Piper agreed his decision to not try and recover his mothers memories was the right one. But she also saw how badly it had ripped him apart, and as much as she hated to admit it... it... it hurt her as well to see him like this. In fact, it was Piper's suggestion that the two of them get off planet, and back into orbit as son as possible, where they could be alone... more or less. The Rocklady was also aboard, naturally... and this time the Rocklady had managed to convince none other than old, grizzled Pappy Kerman to accompany her as acting ship engineer. The Rocklady and Pappy had also started to grow close, and being somewhat of a recluse himself, Pappy relished the idea of it being just the 4 of them alone in orbit, with no "niblings" to pester him. "Sooo, there we were, the three of us," Piper laughed. "It looked like the coast was clear, but just as we were breaking into the dean's office, the platypus squealed, and... Wait, I'm getting an incoming call from..." Piper paused, and her face went deathly pale... "Oh.... my God..." Back on Kerbin, an exhausted Chibi entered the Dessert Aerodrome's central conference room and plucked herself into a chair near Emiko. "What did I miss?" "Werhner was just telling us of your brilliant little scheme," Geschosskopf laughed from across the room. "Well played, Miss Chibi..." One of the biggest issues they had been grappling with since the fall of the Kraken handmaiden was the bright emerald gravioli flash that occurred when she was finally vanquished. No matter what they said, or how they tried to spin it, the public and media were just not buying any of the excuses Walt and the PR team released. But then Chibi suggested taking Angelo Kerman's latest prototype engine, a monster thing called the "Super-Nova"... Position it on the launch pad, bathed in green spotlights, and have FayRay take several shots, using her best wide-angle lens camera's to make it appear even larger than life. Then... instead of releasing it to the press, the photo's were passed off to a 3rd party, who passed them off to another party... who then leaked them to the media... And the very next day, when KASA "Officially denied the existence of a Super-Nova engine", the public was hooked, and almost instantly believed the proto-type Super-Nova was, in fact, the actual cause of the emerald flash. "Brilliant!" Werhner chuckled. "Walter asked me to convey his thanks, and said if you ever wanted a job in PR..." But just then Thompberry appeared on the screens, a strange sense of urgency ringing in his weird, electronic voice. "My apologies, friend Werhner. I must interrupt...." Was Thompberry.... stammering??? Thompberry??? "Miss Emiko... We... We've received a message..." "Emiko here..." she replied nervously. Emiko had never heard Thompberry sound so rattled, and she did not like what it might foretell... "Who... who is message from?" Thompberry paused for several seconds... and Emiko started to get a really, really bad feeling. "It's from Minmus... from them..." Thompberry whispered. "I... I think you need to see this." Then the screen changed, and everyone in the room gasped... "Thompington???" Emiko could barely breath... "Thompy???" "Professor Emiko?" the recording began. "Hi... It's... It's me, professor. I must be brief. These... things... they said to tell you and... who?" Thompington paused, as if listening... Clearly one of the krakens was speaking into his mind. "What is a half-twin???" Another brief pause. "Fine," Thompington sighed. "Professor, these... individuals... behind me say they want to talk to you and your... half-twin? Whatever a half-twin is.... the insane one says you would know. Then... then she said I am free to go with you..." Thompy paused a second, then continued quickly. "But ma'am... I don't believe..." And the transmission ended.. No-one said a word for several long seconds, until Kuzzter shook his head in disbelief... "Yeah... that's not a trap..." "Oh, yeah," Geo agreed softly. "But.... why so obvious?" Across the widescreens Val chimed in from the KSC. "This is bad......" she said softly. "The Krakens are clearly mad, but not stupid... Something isn't right." "I hate to be the one to ask this," Angelo Kerman chimed in. "But is there any chance at all these... monsters... could actually be telling the truth?" "Not likely," Kuzzter replied sarcastically. "What do they want to talk about, the weather??? Perhaps the current price of seabugs?" "The handmaiden," Chibi said softly. "Don't ask me how I now." "Ahhhh, the handmaiden... Yes, intriguing..." Thompberry's voice came back across the speakers. "There is a possibility... remote... but perhaps..." "Well, go on..." Piper's voice could be heard in the background. "What are you thinking?" "I'm not sure..." Thompberry continued. "But consider this... I've reviewed the tapes several times... and in the few moments before her end, the Handmaiden seemed... confused... almost lost. If the Krakens were in communication telepathically... what if her link had been severed by our Laythean friends???" "Then the other Krakens may not know what actually happened to her..." Chibi finished Thompberry's chain of thought. "Now that is an interesting possibility... Even I could feel how powerful those Laytheans were." "That just makes it worse!" Val objected. "And another thing...If Thompington isn't possessed anymore... then where it the Kraken that was inside him?" "Lurking about somewhere," Geschosskopf growled. "Waiting to strike." "This is a bad idea," Kuzzter grumbled. "I have to agree," Werhner added softly. "Emiko, dear... This is really, really unwise." For several long minutes Emiko sat and said nothing. Yes, it was clearly a trap... But she wasn't entirely defenseless anymore... And if there was even a fraction of a chance that they could rescue Thompington... In her mind it wasn't even a debate. "There is old Earth saying..." Emiko finally said softly, looking over at Chibi. "First step in evading a trap..." "Is knowing of it's existence," Chibi nodded slowly back. "I'm going with you." "Gramiko, no!": Val cried... "Please..." "Emiko has to..." Emiko whispered back. "For Thompington... and for poor Bruberry." "But... damn..." Val conceded, knowing she wasn't going to change her grandmothers mind. "What's your plan, using your Magic Boulder?" "Would be fastest..." Emiko started to say. "No... no..." Thompberry cut her off. "They're going to be expecting that. If it is a trap, and they're holding... my father... hostage, then they need him alive. And that gives us a little time... to prepare "Prepare?" Kuzzter asked with a mischievous grin "Yes... yes..." Thompberry seemed to chuckle. "I've been analyzing the data from the Handmaiden's fall... I believe if the Kraken's red Magic Boulder is anywhere nearby, I may be able to use it's gravioli particles to our advantage." "Like when the Handmaiden fell..." Chibi smiled. "And if the Krakens don't know how specifically she died... Oh... yes... YES... they just might not see this coming." "OK, settled then. Emiko and Chibi need a ship..." "We can have a jet there in a few hours..." Werhner calculated. "Both Diamondbacks are being retro-fitted with new guidance systems, but I think we can have one ready in just a day or two if we double the shifts..." "No... no!" Emiko objected. "That's too long! Already pushing it!" "Well... there is the Barn-Swallow..." the until now silent Ted Kerman volunteered between donuts. "It's stored in Quonset hut 4... "I don't know..." Geschosskopf looked over. "It's just a prototype..." "And only half finished." Kuzzter agreed. "True," Ted argued. "But it can make it into orbit... it just can't make it back down." "That should suffice," Thompberry already began calculating. "Just get her in the air and LKO by sunrise your time. I can set the rendezvous from here, we'll have a perfect window to reach Minmus in 8 days." "Agreed then..." Emiko sighed, knowing she was quite possibly making a very fatal mistake. "Who wants honors???" "Oh, I think Ted should have the pleasure..." Kuzzter and Geschosskopf both smiled over at Ted, who was beginning to grin quite evilly. "Yes..." Ted laughed softly, setting down his donuts and grabbing his hardhat and old school walkie-talkie. "Yes... I think I will enjoy this very much!!! His name was Theodore "Bulldog" Kerman, and he was quite possibly the planets leading authority on geology, plate tectonics, and re-fueling operations... He also was quite possibly the hardest Kerbal on the planet to work for, and was well known for having the inter-personnel skills of a spiny back razor-platy. Despite this, his crew was fiercely loyal, and gave him 110% whenever possible... which is why they were chosen for the Dessert Aerodrome project. Now, as the hour crept towards midnight, Ted walked out to the front of the Aerodrome, calmly adjusted his walkie-talkie, and gave the heads-up to the conference room that he was ready... Then, at the stroke of midnight, he flicked on his walkie-talkie, and roared across the Aerodrome loudspeakers... "On... Your... FEET!!!" Ted bellowed as his image flashed across the night-shift factory wide-screen monitors. "Everybody up NOW!!! I need the Barn-Swallow fueled and on the runway in one hour! This is no drill... repeat... This is NO DRILL!!! Come on, Kerbals... move like you have a purpose!" "Yup," Chibi giggled over to Emiko. "I do believe Ted's enjoying this..." And an hour later, just as promised, the Barn-Swallow prototype SSTO was on the runway, fueled, and ready for take-off. "Well done," Angelo Kerman smiled over at Ted. "15 minutes to spare." "Too slow," Ted grumbled. "But they'll make it to the rendezvous." Inside the Barn-Swallow cockpit, Emiko was enjoying how excited Chibi was to finally be going into space. True, they had traveled from Earth to Kerbin... but she had been in cryo, and had no memory of the experience. But now... now she was actually flying into orbit with her best friend, and she could not be more excited. Passing high overhead, Thompberry was monitoring the Pandora's position, and he soon called out. "We are in position... Miss Emiko, you are clear to launch at your pleasure." "Roger Dodger," Emiko looked over at Chibi and giggled. "Let's see... there should be a start button around here somewhere...." "Oh, great..." Chibi laughed... then screamed as Emiko throttled up the Barn-Swallows massive RAPIER engine, and they both felt themselves drawn back into their seats. "Weeeeee......." "Oh... My.... G........... Chibi squealed as Emiko banked the Barn-Swallow hard to starboard, assumed a course of 090 degrees, and began to climb into the rising sun. Higher and higher she climbed, gaining precious speed, until the ship screamed over 1200 m/s, and was engulfed in a beautiful wreath of flames... "Switching to closed cycle in 5... 4... 3..." Emiko screamed over the roar of the Rapiers. "2... 1... Engage... And Chibi was shocked to feel herself being pulled even further back into her seat... "WOOOOOOOWWWWW........" She howled and laughed... But in just a couple minutes it was over... Emiko pulled back the throttle, set the SAS to auto-pilot, and smiled over at Chibi.. "That... was... insane... "Chibi laughed breathlessly... "Thank you..." "Was Emiko's pleasure..." Emiko smiled back. "Circularizing orbit in 2 minutes." Once she had established a good LKO, Emiko hit her radio. "Barn-Swallow to Pandora, do you copy?" "Pandora here, I have you on my monitors," Thompberry called back. "Well done, Miss Emiko. I have the rendezvous maneuver plotted and set, we will intercept you in approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes... You have that long to teach Miss Chibi how to use a jet-pack..." Exactly 75 minutes later, the Barn-Swallow radio piped back on... "Pandora to Barn-Swallow, I have a visual," Thompberry called over. "Moving into position now. Kerbol should be rising in 2 minutes, so you'll have the light by the time we're ready for EVA." "Understood," Emiko radioed back. "Emiko and Chibi are suited up and ready." "OK, remember Chibi," Emiko instructed (for the um-teenth time) while she waited just outside the Barn-Swallow main hatch. "Right hand is X & Y-Axis. Left hand is Z-axis and throttle control. Keep eyes on Emiko at all times..." "Yes... yes... I get it, dear," Chibi laughed as she exited the Barn-Swallow and looked around at the stars surrounding her... "Wow... so beautiful!" "OK, I see the Pandora, Emiko..." Chibi called out. "Good," Emiko called back. "Chibi go first, and Emiko will follow close... be careful..." "I will," Chibi laughed. Truth was, she had already figured out the controls, but she was still touched at how worried Emiko was for her safety. And slowly, carefully, the two EVA'd from the now dead Barn-Swallow to the waiting Pandora. "Perfect..." Emiko grinned when Chibi reached the Pandora's outer hatch and grabbed on tight. "That was... amazing," Chibi sighed once they were inside and secure. "Is really fun, as long as Chibi is careful," Emiko smiled back, then switched on her intercom. "Emiko and Chibi all set here." "Excellent," Thompberry's voice rang out. "Executing maneuver burn to Minmus in T-minus 3 minutes, 22 seconds..." "Wow, you timed that one good," Chibi whistled. "Yeah, every now and then he gets lucky..." Piper radioed from up in the cockpit, and the ship rang out in laughter... until they were drowned out by the Pandora's powerful Viper engines. Once the burn was complete, Thompberry re-checked his coordinates, and radioed down to the crew. "Maneuver complete. Arrival at Minmus SOI in 8 days, 1 hour, 19 minutes... I suggest we use our time wisely..." After a few hours of much needed sleep, Chibi crawled up forward into the cockpit, so Emiko could have some alone-time with Werhner. "So..." Chibi smiled as she strapped herself in next to Piper, "Did you follow my advice?" "That we did," Miss Chibi,' Thompberry replied. "And I believe it is our turn to congratulate you on your excellent timing... "We finished re-fitting and replacing the chem-cam laser's power-supply and lenses 3 days ago." Piper picked up where Thompberry left off. "It's a narrow beam, but now it should be able to slice through any standard bulkhead at close range... among other things..." In the passenger section Emiko was picking up where their briefing had been interrupted the prior evening. "You may pass onto Piper that the senior staff agrees unanimously with her proposition." Werhner smiled on the laptop screen. "What Obney did to abduct Gene and spirit him off-world broke every rule in the book. But he did it for the absolute best of intentions; risking everything, including his career, to assist Kerenna and save Gene from what they truly believed was a Kraken trap." "It will take several days to complete the paperwork required, so we haven't told him yet..." Werhner grinned. "But once everything is in order, on Piper Kerman's personal recommendation, Obney Kerman is to be promoted to the rank of Commander, and will immediately assume the position of first-officer of Emiko Station!" "Yes... YES!!!" Emiko cheered. "Obney is a good Kerbal... Will make an excellent first-officer for Piper." But then Werhner's face grew more serious, and Emiko knew there had been a problem... "What's wrong?" "It''s your friend, Badie... There's been an... well, an incident," Werhner paused, not sure how to continue. "It happened just a couple hours ago..." "What?" Emiko asked concerned. "Is Badie OK?" "Badie? Yes... she's fine... But last night she was wandering through the VAB, and everything seemed OK enough." Werhner drifted off in a way that made Emiko quite nervous. "And" Emiko whispered. "And one of the engineers said something to her..." Werhner's voice dropped low... "I've been told it was nothing inappropriate... but whatever happened... well... it set Badie off somehow..." "Set Badie off... how?" Emiko was not liking the sound of this... Werhner paused for a moment, not sure how to put it into words... "I... I saw the video feed before we classified it... They were at least 2 meters apart." Werhner's voice drew to a whisper... "Emiko, I saw it... Badie simply raised her arm... and sent that poor Kerbal flying at least 30 meters into the far wall!!!" "What... Badie is... telekinetic???" Emiko gasped. "Is... Is engineer OK?" "Not really..." Werhner shook his head. "He'll pull through, but his arm is shattered in 3 places." "And Badie?" Emiko whispered... "Acting like nothing happened... But we've quietly warned everyone to watch what they say around her from now on." Emiko thought about it for a second, then came up with an idea. "Put Badie in front of kiano..." "A kiano?" Werhner mussed. "Yes... I remember you saying how much she loved to play. We don't have one at the space center, but the Annabel Lee has one on-board. I think can re-route her here just long enough to unload it... perhaps it will help Badie adjust. I'll keep you posted." 8 days later, Minmus was coming close into view, and Piper called Emiko up to join her in the cockpit while they prepared to land while Thompberry circularized their orbit, and calculated their burn to vertical decent.... "OK, sweetheart," Thompberry called down to Piper. "I have a visual on the colony... On my mark..." "5... 4... 3... 2.... full throttle... now!" "Full throttle," Piper replied. "Burn time 30 seconds... Mark... Engines indicators all showing green..." "Horizontal speed 5 meters per second... 4... 3... 2... 1... all-stop..." Thompberry called down. "All-Stop. Disengaging main engines..." Piper called back. "Rotating 180 degrees..." Thompberry called. "Targeting Colony... Locked." "Locked on... Engaging horizontal thrusters..." Piper called "Beginning vertical decent.... Descending at 20 meters per second... Engines indicators all green." I have a visual... It's the Red Magic boulder" Thompberry called down. "Repeat, I have a visual on the red magic boulder. "Slowing to 10 meters per second," Piper replied. "Engines hot, but the radiators are all showing nominal... 1000 meters.... 990... 980... Are we going to clear the boulder?" "Affirmative, Piper dear, maintain decent" Thompberry answered. "The boulder is close, but behind the base... Hmmm... perfect, in fact... maintain course." "100 meters... Slowing to 5 meters per second... 90 meters... 80 meters..." Piper called out... "I can see our... friends..." Thompberry called. "They're just... standing there..." "20 meters... slowing to 2 meters per second..." Piper called back. " Keep your cameras on them... 5 meters... 4... 3... 2... 1... Disengaging vertical thrusters...." And with barely a bump the Pandora came to rest just a couple dozen meters from the colony base... The ominous Red Magic boulder looming close behind it, throwing weird shadows... ...and the 2 Krakens were there, waiting at the entrance. "I am seriously not liking this," Piper whispered. "Maybe Piper should stay in ship?" Emiko suggested. "Keep engines running?" "No way! I'm not letting you go out there alone!" Piper growled. "Thompberry can keep the engines warm... Now, let's get this over with." And without further hesitation Emiko, Chibi, and Piper suited up and headed out to face their worst nightmares. "Where is Thompington?" Emiko called out to the Insane Empress, who was just standing there... smiling down at them in her smug, evil way. "Your friend?" the Empress seemed far too pleased with herself. "Why, he's right inside... you're free to join him if you like." But before Emiko could take another step, Thompberry called out in a deadly serious voice. "Emiko... STOP!!!" Thompberry cried out. "Look closely behind her!!!" Emiko froze, and looked up at the "hitchhiker" crew cabin, and let out a scream of horror!!! Ringing the crew cabin, both atop and below, were no less than two-dozen Explosive Demolition packs... all primed to detonate! "No... NOOOOOO!!!" "Take Emiko... TAKE EMIKO!!!" Emiko cried... "Just stop hurting Emiko's friends!!!" Behind her Thompberry was already charging his capacitors, and whispered softly through Emiko and the crew's headsets. "I am ready to disable them on your command..." But somehow, despite not transmitting to their helmets, the Kraken Lord still heard, and looked down to Chibi. "There is an old Earth term..." The Kraken lord's voice slithered through Chibi's mind... "I believe it was called... A device of the deceased? "Device of the...?" Chibi thought for a second, then screamed out. "Thompberry, STOP!!!" Chibi looked over at Emiko and quickly explained. "It's called a "dead-man switch"... It means they're rigged them to explode if they lose power..." Chibi looked back at the Krakens and scowled... "They anticipated this." "Why?" Emiko sobbed... "Why?" "Oh, come now..." the Kraken Lord's voice weaved through their minds. "Your companion is in no danger.... if you cooperate." "My little... toys... are only to insure you tell us the truth." the Empress chuckled. "What truth?" Emiko glared up at the Krakens... "Oh, no... not you this time, my little pet," the Empress smiled down wickedly. "That one... Your half-twin abomination... We wish to speak to her..." "Come forward, little monster," the Kraken Lord commanded Chibi. "Open your mind to me... show me the truth... the truth... the truth..." The dark seemed to get even darker as the monstrous thought tentacles entered Chibi's mind... But she did not fight them, she just braced herself, and fought back her revulsion, and let them see her memories... Memories that astounded the Kraken lord... "Laytheans..." the Kraken Lord whispered as he finally saw the truth of the Handmaidens demise... "They had Laytheans... 6 of them... a hive-pod." "Then this one IS of the Hive?" the Empress asked enigmatically... The hive??? "No... no..." The Kraken Lord whispered as he dug further and further back into Chibi's past... But not finding what he was searching for. Only Chibi's un-dying love for her friend Emiko... "Nothing..." The Kraken Lord whispered in astonishment. "She has none of the genetic markers... none of the mental blocks... Astounding... This one is hive born... but she is NOT of the hive..." "No... NO!" the Empress's scream raged through their minds. "I refuse to believe..." Looking down, she knew Emiko would block her, and she refused to touch Chibi's mind... and so she targeted the only kerbal left, and unleashed all 8 of her thought tentacles directly into... Piper!!! "Show me... SHOW ME!!!" the mad Empress screamed... And to Emiko and Chibi's horror... Piper's eyes turned dead white... the deadly white of one now possessed. Behind them Thompberry howled!!! "Release her NOW!!! Or I swear, I will dissect the both of you!" Thompberry raged and began to raise his modified Chem-Cam laser, targeting the empress right between her dead white eyes. But the Kraken Empress barely heard him, such was her astonishment at what she saw... For inside Piper's mind was an image of... herself??? "The fragments were sending this one visions!!!" "the Empress whispered... "RELEASE PIPER NOW!!!" Thompberry screamed again. "You have 5 seconds to comply... 4... 3... 2..." Then a ghostly voice rang out... Piper's voice... strange and distant... "No, Thompberry... my loveeeee..." Piper whispered weirdly. "Wait... wait... I can see... I can see it all..." "The war... the war..." Piper looked into the Kraken Empresses mind... and began to rant... "Laythe... the hive on Laythe is no more... Tek'To... Et'al's.... No... By the Gods... Et'al's.... Et'al's.... The poor Plati-people... No.... Goddess save me... NO... Please... NOOOOO" And Piper screamed, and screamed, and screamed, while the Kraken Empress looked down at her in genuine sadness and whispered softly... "And now you know the truth..." "It was horrible, horrible..." Piper shuddered. Nearly an hour had passed since Emiko and Chibi had dragged her unconscious body back inside. For a while she just sat motionless, then started screaming again and again... and then fell silent... Emiko was terrified she had gone mad, but the Kraken Lord assured her that Piper would recover... although she may never be quite the same. "A hive was discovered on Laythe, and eliminated..." Piper tried to explain. "But the Krakens had no idea the hive-queen herself was in our solar system... until it was too late." "Hive-queen?" Chibi suddenly put two and two together and got an answer she didn't like... "Hive-queen???" "An ET hive-queen???" "Yes... yes..." Piper sighed. "The ET's... It was them all along... We have been so lied to..." "Go on," Emiko asked gently... "What did Piper see?" "Everything... everything..." Piper began to weep softly. "The Empress eliminated the hive on Laythe, only to have them move in force against both Tekto and... and... Oh, god." "Et'al's....." Emiko whispered... and then it hit her, and she reeled... "No... Et'al's..... not.... Slate???" "Yes..." Piper sobbed... "Home of the Platy-people..." "Our forces held Sarnus," the Kraken Lord, now atop the Pandora, picked up where Piper left off. "But the Hive had absorbed Laythe, and appeared to be infiltrating your home-world of Kerbin. But we were mistaken, and when Laythe was cleansed, they moved in force against the moons of Sarnus instead." "Tekto and Slate?" Thompberry surmised. "Yes..." the Kraken Lord nodded slowly. "Tekto fell first, it's atmosphere and oceans permanently poisoned, exterminating the Insectoids that inhabited it's surface." "But on Et'al's... what you now call Slate..." the Kraken Lord paused... "The Hive didn't stop with merely exterminating the inhabitants of Et'al's. They complete sterilized the surface, and burned the atmosphere, leaving just a scared husk..." "My father, the Elder Kraken, had already been banished to Bop for speaking out against the war," the Kraken Lord continued. "It seems he had grown quite fond of your people, who were just leaving the borrows, and perhaps the most harmless of any species we had ever encountered." "Then why krakens always trying to murder-poof poor kerbals?" Emiko cried out in frustration. "Murder-Poof you, my dear?" the Empress laughed in Emiko's mind. "When, little one, did I ever once try and murder you?" "But... Baikerbanur..." Emiko started to protest. "Had been absorbed into the hive..." the Empress countered. "My lord protested... but I saw and acted as a Kraken should, and eliminated all traces of them." "Your kind was never a threat," the Kraken Lord shook his head. "You would not have been subjugated, were it not for the Hive." "And after Slate fell?" Thompberry asked... unsure if he wanted to hear the answer. "Fearing the Hive would move onto Kerban next, my father reached his mind out to the only other race left," the Kraken lord paused again... and Thompberry thought for just second he saw the Kraken... shudder??? "A race so weird... and powerful... We weren't even sure if they qualified as life-forms..." Then it hit Emiko what he was referring to... and she felt herself grow cold and numb with the realization... "Dres... Kraken is talking about.... Dres!!!" "Yes, little one, Dres..." the Kraken Lord whispered, as if still in awe of what secrets it held... "Dres... home of what you call... the Magic Boulders." "By the Goddess..." Thompberry gasped, realizing the implications. "How did I not see this?" "The Elder Kraken extended his mind to Dres, begged, pleaded with them to bring and end to it all..." the Kraken Lord shook his head sadly. "And to our shock and horror... the Magic Boulders answered... they answered!!!" "It all happened so fast..." the Empress whispered in Emiko's mind... "So fast..." "Suddenly, out of no-where, millions of them appeared across the galaxy, plowing through our armadas like toys, while millions more fell from the skies onto our conquered worlds... " the Kraken Lord remembered sadly. "Nothing... nothing could have prepared us for such devastation. In seconds, both sides were wiped out... along with most all of the Magic Boulders." "And thus, the war was over." For several minutes no-one spoke... no-one could. Until Thompberry broke the silence. "And how did you escape?" he asked softly. "How did you end up on earth... and like... well... like you are now?" "Without physical form..." the Kraken Lord frowned. "That was... unfortunate." "We were on your home-world when the Magic Boulders attacked," the Kraken lord explained. "And had managed to warn many of your kind underground..." "Wait... wait!" the Rocklady interrupted from the passenger cabin. "Are you saying it was YOU who warned Tut-Un Jeb-Ahn of the great burn?" "Was that his name?" the Kraken Lord mused. "I honestly had forgotten. But none the less, yes, it was I that transported some thousand underground, and warned many more..." "But we weren't fast enough..." the Kraken Empress sighed. A huge boulder struck some distance away, but it took only seconds for the shock wave to hit us. And in our desperation, I opened a wormhole using the Magic Boulder still loyal to the Empress, and, plunged her, along with her servants, and myself, into it... and into our fate...." "And you exploded back out the other side over Tunguska, on Earth...." Chibi whispered. "But your bodies... Oh... I see..." "Our bodies did not survive...' the Empress replied. "But our minds endured... they endured. And so then did we become the only Krakens to survive the great war." "And the Magic Boulders?" Thompberry surmised. "They sacrificed themselves... didn't they?" "Nearly all, yes. the Kraken Lord replied sadly. "To our knowledge only a few survived throughout the galaxy. The Ruby boulder, loyal to us, and the Emerald one loyal to you, Emiko... and apparently you found a cluster of gold ones? That news is encouraging." "Unfortunately the rest are now just fragments of their former selves, wandering the worlds where they sacrificed themselves." "Anhhhh, The floating boulders... Piper's visions were being sent by the floating boulders... Now it all makes sense..." Thompberry whispered. "How terrible." "There are a couple things I still don't understand," Chibi frowned. "You keep saying I'm the Hive-Queens daughter... half-daughter? How is that possible? I never met my mother." "Which makes it even more likely," the Empress countered. "There were once many hive-princesses, each commanding her own hive... The more important question is, why haven't you been absorbed into one?" "I'm not sure I understand... what do you mean, absorbed?" "Absorbed... assimilated... enslaved..." the Empress tried to explain. "When one becomes part of the hive, they lose their sense of self, and become part of the whole..." "Ahhh... ohhhh... Eewww..... you mean like a hive-mind???" Chibi swallowed hard. "That's... hideous..." "By most sentient standards, yes..." the Kraken Lord agreed. "When we first encountered the hive, our kind was repulsed. We prize strength and power... and individuality... above all else... And these... these... things, were an affront... an abomination to our very being. And they were spreading across the galaxy, enslaving all that stood before them." "Oh, so now Krakens good guys?" Emiko snorted. "Not believing it!!!" "That's my girl," the Empress chuckled, which only riled Emiko more. But before she could respond, Piper cut her off with a question of her own... "OK... but why Thompberry." Piper asked. "Why did the Elder Kraken do that to my... well, to him?" Outside, the Kraken Lord look up at Thompberry and sighed. "I'm afraid I can't easily answer that..." "In your tongue, you are known as a Sentinel... for lack of a better word," the Kraken Lord tired to explain. "There were very, very few ever created in the galaxy, and my Father was one of only krakens capable of performing such a delicate feat successfully." "But like the brains they encase, each Sentinel was unique... each has, or had, differing abilities," the Empress continued. "And with the Elder Kraken gone... we're at a loss as to your true purpose." "It may have been, in fact, to do what you have been doing, and keeping these others alive." the Kraken Lord concluded. "But as my mate says... we honestly aren't sure why he created you." Emiko looked over, and was slightly shocked to see Piper beginning to softly cry, but she held her tongue. "What I can tell you," the Kraken lord spoke back up. "Is the Hive cannot touch you. In this form, you are impervious to absorption... or any sort of telepathy, or mental coercion, unless you wish to hear, as you are now hearing my voice." "Interesting," Thompberry replied softly. "But you know nothing more?" "No, I'm afraid the rest you must learn on your own..." the Kraken Lord sighed. "I'm truly sorry." Down in the cockpit, Emiko had heard enough... She was seriously sickened by the story of the Great War's end, and looked over at Piper with a frown. "Emiko can't handle anymore..." she sighed softly. "Can Piper please take Emiko home... now?" "Yes..." Piper sat up straight and composed herself. "Let's get the hell out of here." Piper waited just long enough for the Kraken Lord to return along side the Empress before she began powering up the Pandora systems. "We are not allies, Emiko Kerman," the Kraken Lord's voice slithered across Emiko's mind. "But your people need no longer fear us, either.... So long as their minds stay free of the Hive, and they no longer interfere with our plans." "I look forward to our next encounter, little one," the Empress chuckled in Emiko's mind. "Emiko does NOT!" Emiko snarled back... but the Empress only laughed. "That's my girl... You may just survive yet..." Then Piper shoved the vertical thrusters to full, spun the Pandora around far too fast and low to the ground to be safe, and slammed the main Viper engines to full... Once they were safely back in orbit, Chibi swapped places with Emiko, and sat down next to Piper, while Emiko went back to check on Thompington, who had remained silent since coming aboard. "You OK?" Chibi asked as she strapped herself in. "No, not really..." Piper sighed. "Are you?" "No, not really...." Chibi sighed back... then they both laughed quietly... In the back, Emiko didn't really know what to say... it had been so long. "Is... Is Thompy alright now? "I'm not really sure how to respond to that," Thompy laughed weakly. "But I am grateful for risking your lives to come get me." "Emiko had to... and... suppose it all worked out... Emiko thinks? Honestly, not sure what to make of all this yet..." "How much do you remember?" Thompberry chimed in softly. "Very little, my son... my son... wow." Thompington paused, obviously choking up. "I... I am so, so terribly sorry..." "No, don't." Thompberry interrupted softly. "I came to understand years ago that none of this was your fault... or Mothers. You were a victim, and owe me no apologies." "Thank you," Thompington whispered. "To answer your question, my son, I remember only weird bits... fragments... It's like... like waking up from a nightmare. You remember being scared... but as it fades, you don't really remember why... does that make sense?" "Yes, actually... I believe I understand what you are saying," Thompberry replied slowly. "And the Kraken minion... the one.... possessing you? What happened to it?" "Without it's mate, it had no reason to exist..." Thompy shook his head sadly. "It quite simply let itself die." "Incredible..." Thompberry whispered, and for a long moment everyone remained silent. "How is Bru?" Thompington finally asked nervously. "Is she... is she?" "Bruberry alive and well..." Emiko smiled, but then grew serious. "But... well... Bru-Bru's mind not good." "She remembers nothing," Thompberry sighed softly. "Nothing..." "Ahhh," Thompy nodded sadly. "Perhaps... perhaps it's better this way.... I only wish... well..." Emiko knew what he meant, and was trying not to cry... But then she had an idea... "Wait... wait..." Emiko reached over and switched on her microphone, "Patch Emiko through to Wernher please..." It had been nearly two full ten-days since Emiko and Chibi had left the Dessert Aerodrome... But Burberry had no real concept of time. She was happy singing and dancing and chasing butter-moths in the desert sun, and she barely noticed their absence. But then one evening two of her new friends came and asked her if she wanted to go for a plane ride. Bru giggled, and rode with them out to the Aerodrome runway, where a couple more Kerbals were waiting by a small jet. "Bru, this is Valentina and Werhner," her friend Kuzzter said when she climbed out of the buffalo rover. "Hi hi hi hi hi..." Bru giggle.. then she paused, and looked at Werhner closely, and everyone held their breath... But then she laughed, and started to sing... "La la la la la..." "Damn... I thought we had her of a second," Geo muttered. "You know it's not going to be that easy," Kuzzter whispered back, then spoke up louder. "Bru... These 2 fine Kerbs are going to take you back home now..." "Home???" Bruberry looked around. "Bru is home..." "Yes..." Kuzzter tried to be patient. "OK... but they still would like you to go with them... OK?" "Okey Dokey Lokey..." Bru laughed. "Let's go..." And without further hesitation, Werhner escorted the sweet, old Kerbette over to the ladder and helped her climb aboard. "Is everything ready?" Val asked once Bruberry was out of earshot. "Yes, ma'am," Kuzzter grinned back. "The Cargowing is fully fueled, and we'll be in the air within the hour." "We'll be there, don't worry," Geschosskopf nodded. "Wouldn't miss this for the world!" "You better be..." Val smiled, then gave both of her friends a quick hug, ran over and climbed up into the small Jet's cockpit, and strapped herself in. "Are we ready back there?" val called into the passenger cabin. "All secure," Werhner smiled over at Bru. "This will be fun." "OK..." Bru yawned. Kerbal was low in the sky, and it was getting near Bruberry's bed time... Which is exactly what Werhner was counting on... As Val pulled the jet's throttle to full, and the small jet started down the runway, Bru began to laugh sleepily in the back.... "Weeeee..... <Yawn>..... Weeeeee... <yawn>... weeeeee........" In the back, Werhner watched Bruberry as she started to nod off... and he smiled. Everything was going exactly according to plan... The next day, Bruberry woke up in a strange... yet somehow slightly familiar... place. She put on the spacesuit that had been laid out for her, and wandered outside, only to discover a rather remarkable sight... In front of the building she had been sleeping in was a huge, pretty boulder, all covered in green ripples. 2 Kerbals were standing in front of it along with a 3rd that was... floating??? And transparent??? "A spooky ghostie!" Bru giggled, and walked up closer to see what was going on. "You... you're not messing with me, are you, Sparkles?" the Spooky Ghost seemed in a state of disbelief. "You wouldn't lie to me???" "No, Emiko talked to krakens. Ovok is free, Sanny-ghost can go home any time she wants..." Emiko smiled broadly. "We can start planning you a ship today," Werhner added. "But you have to understand, it's going to take time... You'll have to be patient, OK? No messing with the crew when they're building it... no haunting..." "Oh, I don't need a ship, silly boffin," Sanny squealed. "Sanny is outta here!!!" And she twirled and spun and headed straight for the Magic Boulder, calling back just one last time. "Bye Sparkles... Remember to come up and see me sometime!!!" And with a flash... Sanny the Ghost was gone... "I'll be damned..." Werhner whispered softly. "Bye Sanny... Emiko gonna miss crazy ghost." Emiko sniffled, and choked back a tear, then turned and grinned at Bruberry. "And you... young Kerbette..." Emiko smiled at Bruberry. "Emiko has surprise for you!" "For me?" Bru giggled. "Yup... Emiko and Bruberry going to big party tonight!" "A party???" Bru laughed. "Bru-Bru loves parties!!!" "Emiko even got Bru a shiny new suit!" "For me???" Bruberry beamed. "Show me, please!!!" "OK, Emiko take you right now," Emiko smiled, then looked over at Werhner, and nodded ever so slightly... And then she led Bruberry back into the complex. Werhner smiled and waited until the two were just out of earshot, then he reached down and quietly switched on his microphone.... "OK, Kerbals... We are go... repeat, we are go... Let's move like we have a purpose..." About an hour or so later, soon after Kerbol had set behind the western hills, Emiko and Werhner emerged once again from the astronaut complex, escorting Bruberry in her new suit, who stopped, and gasped at what she saw... and heard! Where they had just been standing an hour earlier, were now laid out rows of Kerbs and Kerbettes seated in chairs before 3 large wide-screens... and on screen was... Badie Kerman! Singing... vocalizing something Bruberry didn't quite understand... but loved none-the-less! "Ohhh... pretty, pretty..." She smiled, and started swaying back and forth... "Is a song from another planet..." Emiko whispered. "Is called "The Great Gig In the Sky..." "Ohhhh," Bru whispered back. "Can we go see?" "Yes... of course," Emiko smiled over at Werhner and began to slowly walk towards the gathering. But halfway there Bru paused, and looked up at a great rover parked near-by. For a second Emiko held her breath, but Bru just smiled at the pretty lights, and turned back towards the music... And Emiko let out a huge sigh of relief... as did Thompberry. But then they reached the back row of seats... and Bruberry noticed something... odd... about the audience. The crowd were all sitting there, wearing their finest suits... And none of them were wearing neck-rings??? No neck-rings??? But... there was only one reason Kerbals took off their neck-rings... Bruberry turned slowly towards Emiko... and asked nervously. "Who... who's getting married??? "You are, my dear..." Emiko was trying desperately now not to cry as Wernher stepped closer, and gently removed Bruberry's own neck-ring... "You are..." "But Professor Emiko..." Bruberry started to protest... "I'm already engaged... engaged... engaged...engaged... " "Yes... yes, Bru remembers, doesn't she???" Emiko wept, and then pointed... "Look... Look..." And as Emiko and Bruberry turned and looked up the isle between the chairs, a figure stood up, and turned... And Bruberry paused... and gasped as she recognized who it was... and then screamed as her memories all came flooding back!!! "Thompy?" Bru could barely breath... Could it be??? Could it really be her long lost.... "THOMPINGTON!!!" And she ran as fast as she could into the arms of her long, lost love... while the gathering all broke down in cries and tears of joy at such a touching sight... And a figure in black and red rose, and waited for the appropriate moment... "My friends... shhhhh... shhh....." Grand Kerbal Samantha's figure flashed across the widescreens as she tried to calm the gathering. "Please, my friends... If I may have your attention." She waited another minute for everyone to quiet down before continuing. "in my short tenure as Grand Kerbal, I have had the honor and privilege to learn... to grow... and to witness sights I never dreamed possible. I have been re-united with my long lost mother..." Samantha smiled at Emiko, and then over at Val. "And my long... separated... daughter." "But of all the amazing experiences i have had," Samantha smiled. "None compare to the honor I am bestowed in this moment... Samantha paused, and smiled... and in the background Badie began playing softly... "Dearly beloved, We are gathered here, on this night, to join this Kerb & Kerbette is the long... LONG... overdue bonds of matrimony..." "Oh, my god..." Chibi cried from inside Thompberry's science rover. "That is soooo.... Oh my god!!!" "Do you, Thompington Kerman, take this Kerbette, Bruberry, to have and hold... through sickness and health,.... till both do you poof?" "I do..." Thompington whispered. "And do you, Bruberry Kerman, take this Kerb, Thompington, to have and hold... through sickness and health,.... till both do you poof?" "I do... oh, yes... I do... I do... I do.." Bruberry wept... "Then by the powers invested in me... I now pronounce you Kerb & Kerbette!!! "You may kiss the bride!!!" And behind them, the gathering cheered and roared and cried... And soon the champagne was flowing... and someone broke out the cheese snacks... And Chibi ran to fetch Emiko's guitar... And the party raged on and on and on... And even Thompberry began to suspect things... Well, things just might work out after all... But history... history has a strange way of repeating itself... And on this night, while the planet partied... No-one, not even Thompberry, saw the strange, unknown blip appear and disappear just southwest of the station on the old, abandoned airfield. No-one knows of the mysterious craft... hovering... hovering in mid-air... Then slowly descending... A figure in black emerges, and stares off over the water, towards the unsuspecting Space Center... It removes it's helmet... activates a small trans-sever... And a metallic voice... whispers... buzzes... in the night... "Warrior-Scout N1-K DDE in position... I have the prey in sight..." "Long Live... The Hive..." Thus Ends The Saga of Emiko Station Volume-I Return to Index
  10. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    KSK is a friend. I have no problem if he passes me.... maybe... hmmm.... hehehe But seriously... I'm about 50% done writing it up as we speak. ETA: really, really late tonight or sometime tomorrow (more likely)
  11. Just Jim

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    Came up on my YouTube playlist this morning... Some days YouTube really gets it right!!!
  12. Just Jim

    The Saga of Emiko Station - Volume I - Complete

    OK everyone... screenshots for Chapter 100 are done, sorted, and uploaded... Wut???? hehe
  13. Just Jim

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    I'm not sure why...
  14. Just Jim

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    hehehe
  15. Just Jim

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    To follow-up on what @DarkOwl57 said...Yeah... Most BORING Superbowl ever!!!