Cydonian Monk

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About Cydonian Monk

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  1. I don't remember anything pre-1980...... TV? Aside from things already mentioned ("MASH", "Hogan's Heroes"), about the only TV show I could watch any time it's on would be "Taxi". Just barely pre-1980 though. Movies? I think we had another thread for that, but for pre-1980 really it just comes down to "Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Star Wars". Maybe "The Great Dictator". Lots of other films from the pre-1980s that I like, but most of my "favorites" came out in the 80s and 90s.
  2. Cool! Or not.... Seems standard fare for most of my saves. F5 (or Alt-F5) must become a religious process. I also keep my saves on a version-tracking filesystem, so when things go super pear-shaped I can find where the problem started. Save corruption hasn't been a super serious problem for me for a couple versions though. Hope it all works out.
  3. Very cool. This has my blessing, just in case that wasn't clear. Current versions store the alarm data in the persistent files. Thankfully KSP won't delete that data if KAC isn't installed, so if anyone isn't using KAC the previous alarm data won't be lost. I'd also suggest avoiding mods and the DLCs, especially life support, but that's up to what you folks decide.
  4. An homage, to one of the more dangerously entertaining circuses in existence. I have a dark history of sending kerbals off on weird test missions from which they never return. (Especially in the days before I knew how to hack crafts into test orbits.) I can imagine a cycle where any that ever make it back would serve more of a scientific benefit if they were fully studied. Danke.
  5. I'd be lying if I said I didn't do the same.... Harlock / Galaxy Express 999 was one of the first animes I ever saw.
  6. Begin Kerbal Space Program version 1.4.5 ==== Forgotten Space Program It's happened again. Those space-mad kerbals ran off and completely forgot about their space program. Maybe they shot a few kerbals out into the void and lost track of them. Maybe there was a bit of space piracy. Perhaps they went out for a jog and lost the keys to the VAB. Or maybe.... Wait... Space Piracy? -- Alone on Duna The lander's window had developed an annoying rattle. Up until now it had been solid, if perhaps a bit on the old and worn side. The atmosphere of Duna had changed that, thin as it was. At least the engine worked, though it too would occasionally sputter violently. Bad fuel? Probably. Given how long this craft had been in orbit it was likely that something had gone wrong. Between the violent objections from the engine and the aerodynamically questionable noises from the cockpit window, the craft seemed to be just barely holding it together. An alarm sounded and two bright red warning lamps flashed on the lander's display. A black-mittened fist pounded the panel, the quick thump causing the alarm to quiet. It was as though the craft itself had decided it was best to not disturb the pilot. The white-haired kerbal which sat in the seat was calm and collected, but also quick to mete out punishment to the things which crossed him. The racket from the window grew louder, eliciting another thump and an inaudible grunt from the pilot. He checked his helmet seals, the sixteenth he'd done so since leaving orbit, then made a small adjustment to the controls. The planet-spanning dust storm was thinner where he was landing, but still not thin enough to see his target. Everything had the same ruddy hue, an endless ocean of rust. The only other colors were those of his red and gold-trimmed suit's reflection in the lander window. A small grey speck appeared on the surface briefly through the storm, disappearing again a moment later. His suit radio chimed and he again adjusted the craft's trajectory. "I see it. Going dark now." He turned off the radios. All of them. The engine was still sputtering along as the lander made its final approach. The dust had thinned enough to see the target. A small aircraft, and what appeared to be a large rocket engine nearby. It was impossible to determine how long it had been on the surface, but it was unlikely the craft still had power for its radios. Not that he wanted the pilot to know he was coming. Assuming its pilot had survived, or existed in the first place. Another violent kick from the engine bucked everything in the lander upwards, dislodging a toolkit and other supplies in the cockpit. It had no parachutes, this worn out rusty tin can. He could have rigged some from spare sheets, or robbed some from one of the other craft in orbit, but chose not to. The extra mass would have only made this operation more difficult. If something went wrong he'd be stuck on the surface no matter what, so using his own personal parachute would be just as good as one on the lander. Not like parachutes would do much for something this heavy in air this thin. And then he was down. Just a soft bounce. He idled the engine and suspended the computers to save power. It took a few moments for the dust to settle, but once it did he had a clear view of the relic. An air breathing jet, on Duna. Not too surprising, and not the first time he had found a test article on some distant body which made no sense. The large rocket engine was also strange, but well within the usual antics of the agencies of the past. Just fling something to the distant edges of the cosmos and wait to see if it works. If it doesn't? Well, that was data too. He checked his helmet seals for the seventeenth time and tugged at his mittens. The straps for the crash couch were unfastened with calm and precise motions, and the pilot made his way to the hatch. He slipped into his EVA pack and snared a power drill to his belt. The hatch was almost open when he reached back and pulled a shovel from a cabinet. Best to be prepared, right? He was down the ladder and onto the sands and fines with a single bound. The wind was wicked, the blown sand fierce. Too thin to have enough energy to knock anything over, but just thick enough to be annoying. Probably thick enough to destroy unsuspecting solar panels. A flag was lying flat in the dust on the far side of the aircraft. Was the blame his or the wind's? Not likely it mattered. There was no greeting party. He gave the grip of the drill a quick squeeze. Its low-frequency buzz echoed up through his suit. These were fancy drills, where one could dial in all sorts of settings such as torque, rotation rate, probably even the exact number of electrons one wanted to have pass through the windings of the motor at a time. Supposedly it took years of study to understand how to properly calibrate and tweak these drills for the job at hand. Somehow he'd made it through all the work he'd done without changing any of the settings. And so far nothing had exploded or stripped out on him. He clipped the drill to his EVA pack and pulled out his shovel, using it to steady himself as he made his way across the dune to the aircraft. There was not much salvage visible from the outside, but what he could see was something he would not leave without: a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Power. This far from Kerbol such a power source was almost required. No idea if it was still at a good strength (unlikely), but the only way to find out was to remove it and take it back to his workshop in orbit. The other parts of the ship were either trivial, such as the small batteries, or useless to him. What good would air-breathing engines be in space? They would serve no more good in the void than they would here on Duna. The cockpit glass was glazed over from the inside. Ice? He couldn't tell if there was a deceased kerbal resting in it or if this had been an unpiloted drone. He brushed some dust off the glass and peered inside, but couldn't make any more sense of it than before. He'd get to that part of the ship in due time. The rocket engine made no sense. It had a large reaction wheel attached to it, and near as he could tell there was no damage. Looked as though it had been deliberately detached from some part of the aircraft. And there were no fuel lines on it either. Had it been part of some other lander assembly? Or parachuted down to the surface? If that was the case, then where were the parachutes? And there was no way he could salvage it. Or even move it. The engine itself was far too heavy, and he knew better than to attempt to roll it. Maybe the turbopump assembly could be useful? Maybe. He'd look at stripping it for parts later. Best to start with the most important loot: The RTG. He secured his shovel and stepped on the aircraft's wing, scrambling quickly onto the useless starboard jet engine. The drill was back in his hand and he was considering how best to acquire his loot when a buzzing noise started in his ears. He slapped at the side of his helmet once, and shortly after an ancient sounding heavily accented voice scratched across the suit's radio. "Hey! What'cha ya think yer doin' up there!? Git down! Who in the dusty sands of tarntion are ya?" He turned to find another white-haired kerbal glaring up at him. Was it his own reflection? No. Didn't sound right. Different suit. Did kind of look like his old suit. Was this his own ghost? Unlikely. He blinked and the kerbal was still there, looking angrily up at him. OK, not his reflection. Maybe still a ghost. Or do reflections not go away when you blink? He shook his head and returned to sanity. "Apologies. I was merely looking about, trying to decide how best to dismantle your ship. I don't suppose you have any suggestions?" "Yeah. How about not?" "Not an option." A smile should quiet him. And it did. A few seconds of confused looks were exchanged before the exasperated ghostly resident of Duna continued. "You the rescue crew, then? Took ya right long 'nough to git here." "How so?" "What do ya mean how so? Are you the rescue or ain't ya? Here to take old Ludke back for dissection?" Dissection? Had he heard it right? What a weird ghost. He wasn't even sure kerbals could be dissected, given their tendency to explode into a cloud of spores when punctured. To deflect from the question he motioned towards the flag, lying flat in the dust. "You're flag has fallen." "Yeah? It happens. I meander on out and put it right back up ev'ry now and then. But it's my flag. So I'll ya ask again, who are ya?" "Me? I'm just an old farmer." He twisted his shovel and spun it by its tip on the aircraft's skin. He smiled, imagining the pleasing sound it would make were it not for the thin air and the heavy suit. "Or I was, until the First Kerbal himself visited. Twenty-six years I spent on the Mün, tending my farm and growing the crescent münfruit. I was the last kerbal...." "The what now?" "The Mün. It's Kerbin's largest satellite." "Not that, ya daft clown. I know what yer Mün is. What this here croissant fruity stuff yer goin' on about?" "Ah. It's a hybrid between bananas and the cacti that grow in the desert. As I was saying, I believed I was the last living kerbal anywhere in the universe, that everyone else had died in some great calamity. There I was, abandoned on the Mün, much like you" he waved his shovel towards him, "abandoned here in the dust. No contact, no hope of rescue. In time I grew frail, feeble. Bad diet, bad exercise. It's hard to stay in shape with münfruit and recycled water and nowhere to get a decent jog. "And I continued to believe I was the last even after the First Kerbal and his ilk drifted into my base. Ghosts. They had to be. The First Kerbal been dead for almost a hundred years. Ghosts come to haunt and to rob. All of you. Ghosts. Ghosts." He stared down at the strange new ghost for a spell, but it didn't run when confronted. Curious. "Except those other kerbals weren't ghosts. Not exactly. But they hadn't come to rescue me either. They really had come to rob me. To take my radialogicals. My power. Except I got the jump on them. I stole their shuttle and I stole their ship and I left them to rot on the Mün. As had been done to me. "Much like I'm here to rob you. To strip your plane of parts, particularly that nice, juicy radiological device that gives you warmth. And whatever fuel you have left, of course. I'd take the whole plane if I could, it's a nice-looking wreck. Such is the life of a pirate. Take what you can, give nothing back." He paused, grinning wildly at the stunned old ghost. He let his grin slip to a smile before he continued. "'Cept I've changed. I've more of a heart now. I was space crazy, you see, stuck on that grey lump. The time that I've spent in space has improved my health, improved my attitude, improved my mind. It was wrong for me to abandon those kerbals on the Mün, just as it was wrong for the OSD to leave you here, forgotten. It was the OSD, was it not?" "Skunksworks, yep." "I won't repeat those mistakes. Neither mine, nor those of some corrupt and forgotten old organization. Going forward, no kerbal will be left behind. So maybe we didn't get off on the right foot. Please, allow me to correct that." The old kerbal wedged his shovel into a gap in the aircraft before extending his old, very old mittened hand to wave at this very, very old ghost. "I'm Hallock Kerman, Captain of the Memory of Tomorrow. And I'm here to free you from this desolate wasteland, from your forgotten space program, and to lead you into a new life. There's room for you in my crew if you care to join. Otherwise..." He raised his arms towards the all-encompassing deserts of Duna. "Otherwise you'll be free to make your own way in this heartless universe. "So what say you? Plata?" Hallock motioned down towards the jet and then over towards his lander.... "O pala?" And then raised his shovel. Silver, or Shovel. Play along and join the crew, or start digging your own grave. It really was a simple choice, and quite clever at that. He grinned at Ludke and laughed. If only every choice in life were so simple. --
  7. Nothing good indeed. So bad that it lost all its water, dyed its hair red, and moved out of its parents house to become the fourth planet. I kid of course, because that's Duna.
  8. A Note from the Author: Advance Reading Suggestions This next Sequence will revisit characters we've not seen in more than three years. (June of 2016.) It should've been sooner, which is entirely my fault. I always wanted to get back to this crew but kept getting distracted by shiny things. Since you kind readers are often (and rightly) wondering how anyone in their right mind could keep track of the where/why/how/who's, I figured I'd give you advance notice and a list of posts to freshen up your memories. Without spoiling too much, of course. Just gentle nudges towards these chosen words. I'll leave it to you to find the correct words in the following list of posts. And hopefully you'll enjoy this next little bit, Sequence 8, which marks the last Sequence of Volume 2. It was quite a bit of fun to play through and an enjoyable Sequence to write. I plan to have the first part of this next sequence posted either tomorrow or Wednesday. But for now I'll leave you with these six links: Are you ready? Cheers,
  9. Looks interesting, especially the bits from Dark Forest (which has a wonderfully alien future). I wonder if they'll keep the ending from the third book or make it... at least somewhat palatable.
  10. "Here's an oldie from some weird alt-rock group named Nirvana called 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'." That was my first "THAT'S NOT OLD YA KID GET OFF MY AIRWAVES" radio moment, and that was maybe five years ago. "Nevermind" is 28 years old. I was going to post an image of the styrofoam McDonalds boxes I found on display in the Smithsonian, but Imgur doesn't want my business anymore so you'll just have to imagine it: <insert mental image of two styrofoam quarter-pounder and filet-o-go-fish boxes here> In other "wow am I so old" news, I remember when Imgur still allowed you to upload images without using their app.
  11. About half an hour ago when I read this NPR piece about "The Muppet Movie" being OOOOOOOOLD:
  12. Thanks! None of them. Something else to consider with this interlude - it takes place between KSP v1.3.1 and KSP v1.4.5. Six version bumps.... six cycles. And they left Jool at v1.2.2, so eight total cycles in there..... Assuming the Shard events are actually cycle changes in the first place. (Hint - they are.) You reading my notes now? Ok, so it's not that simple. I'd blame a kerbal riding on a ladder, but near as I can tell they're all inside. Must be some other source of phantom motion, so the Shard is as good an excuse as any. Hard to forget about these guys. Someday they may even make it back to Kerbin! I'd forgotten that show even existed. I remember watching it on ABC, and not being overly disappointed when it got canceled early... but 2009 is something of a shadowy year in my memory. I should go track it down on a streaming service somewhere. -- In other news, I've just (as of last night) finished the last of everything I needed in KSP v1.4.5. There are some set pieces and staging and whatnot I need to do to get a couple screenshots for the end of this upcoming Sequence, but otherwise I'm done with v1.4.5 forever. (Yay!) And I _think_ I have a working install for Forgotten in v1.7.3, but I need to swap some parts in the persistence files with the old ones, because honestly? The new art on the new parts makes many of these old ships look worse. As of now, Scrivener tells me Forgotten Space Program has exceeded 200,000 words. (202,585 to be precise.) Some of those are hyperlinks to images (of which there are ~1,640), and I've excluded from the compilation things like storyboarding, discarded plots/posts, research, character notes and whatnot, so I think it might actually be over 200k. That's quite a few words!
  13. I agree. He's dressed like Fred, he kinda moves like Fred, but he doesn't sound a thing like a yinzer, so he's obviously not Fred.
  14. Interlude - Course Correction The crew of the Jool Jester (and the rest of the stack) had been talking about their drift problem for some time. None were sure exactly what was causing it, possibly a leak in an external tank or some otherwise unexplained anomaly, but its effects were obvious. Several of Maclie's crew had already inspected the exterior of the ship, but nothing obvious had been identified. It wasn't too serious of a drift at present, but they would need to make a number of tiny course corrections if they were going to hit the target for their big plane-change burn near Duna's orbit. And they'd need to make that burn if they ever wanted to see Kerbin again. And Kerbin? That was much more than a year away. Almost a year and a half. And Jool was already 260 days behind them. Agake couldn't quite wrap her head around how kerbals could live this far out. Out here where everything took years or even decades to reach. Want to go to Jool? That's a seven year commitment. Eeloo? Even more. Dres? That trip that will take the rest of your life. Anything else? Your kids might make it if you don't. Don't like living in a tin can? Tough. Realize you made a mistake when you signed on with the space program? Too late. Wish you hadn't snagged that delicious looking snack which turned out to be the bait for a trap? Too bad. Or maybe that was what the mystery goo was thinking. Thankfully she had a large number of research samples and experiments to help her stave off the space madness. And several of the more science-leaning members of the Jool Jester crew and other Forgotten were willing to help, and always there for her to bounce ideas off of. That Bob kerbal was usually helpful, if you could ignore his occasional odd idea about the monoliths and other peculiarities of the Kerbol System. And then there was the shard. Agake had her face buried deep in one of her samples when the ringing tone returned. At first she mistook it for another of the tiny course correction burns, but jumped when she caught the green glow from the edge of her vision. The shard. The exorem sample. It always emitted a pleasant and soft noise, a perfect note. The same note. The first time they had heard it was on Bop, near the monolith. She couldn't remember much about Bop, just this pleasant sound, that her rock hammer had broken, and that she somehow now had this translucent and softly glowing shard in a sample container. Just as the many times before, the glow started out a faint green, and grew more intense just as the volume of the tone increased. She keyed the microphone on the shipwide intercom system before the glow got any stronger. "It's doing it again!" Macfred and Thomlock came floating into the Sulphur first, followed by a couple of the others. Agake unsecured the container holding the shard and let it float free in the middle of the cabin. Thomlock stabbed at it with his finger, setting it into a spin with a simple flick. "Interestring toy you've got here, kid." Macfred squinted his eyes at Thomlock and stopped its rotation. The shard inside bounced off of the edges, transferred some of its momentum into Macfred, but continued spinning along one of its axes one it had stabilized. "How many times is this?" "Five, since we left Jool. No obvious pattern to the timing between the events just yet." Thomlock cleared his throat. "So, we all remember what I was talking about, right?" She gave him a thumb's up affirmative, that tiny bit of non-verbal communication she'd picked up from The Forgotten. Many of the others crammed into the tiny cabin did the same. Macfred didn't, still holding on to his unshakable belief in radio, and repeated what their older shipmate had said. This launched the two back into the dialog interrupted the previous time the shard's glow had died out. "Yes. Albro has been using the systems under his control to run experiments on the kerbals back on Kerbin." "Exactly. Each cycle he set up different government styles, different economic systems, different religions, and so on. Trying to find the best fit for our society so it can survive in this cave system he's built on Espadarte. Or, more importantly, to find the ones which don't work so he can exclude those from his model." "Right." "And, since the lot of you can remember me telling you that, it means he can't hear us while this weird green thing is doing its, well, its weird green thing, and can't access our memories after the fact." "Because otherwise he would've used the whispers to erase it from our memories." "Bingo. Same way he lured me into that thing on Vall. You know, I almost believed him when he said he wanted to save all of kerbalkind, but something just didn't add up. I don't trust this guy. I didn't trust him when we were rookie astrokerbs in the same space program, and I certainly don't trust him now. If he was so obsessed with saving all of us, he wouldn't have killed millions with these experiments. See, I think his real purpose is something far more sinister, and that we're in the way somehow. I think he's obsessed with these beasts he's trapped at Dres." "The Kraken." "One and the same. Or many and the same, I guess. And if that's the case, if all he wants to do is eradicate them once and for all, well, I don't know that he'll care too much what happens to us mere mortals once he's done. I certainly don't think sending everyone on Kerbin through the local exits to Espadarte, wherever they are, is as good an idea as he makes it out to be." Agake shook her head. "If the kerbals living on Kerbin are the only impediment, why hasn't he just killed all of us? If he has the power to build space stations and move rocks around to trap his pests, then he has easy enough ways to wipe out all life on Kerbin." "What makes you think he hasn't tried? I think that's part of The Park's design. Somebody kills all of us off, it just makes more. Somebody makes too many of us, it just recycles a few to keep the balance. Remember, we were just toys to these self-anointed gods who built us. Plus, I think these guys," he raised his arms to indicate the rest of the crew, "and all the rest of us stranded wayward souls are somehow in the way. And maybe beyond his reach or his absolute control. The more worlds we get stranded on, the more of us end up Forgotten, maybe he loses just that much more control." "Ok, so what then? We can't trust him enough to go to his moon, and we can't stay here without him meddling in everything. Do we just wait for him to give up and die of severe old age?" "Hey, we're the same age, me and him. Only I was in hibernation for 95 years and he doesn't look all that much worse for wear. I don't think waiting him out is an option." "So what then?" "I don't know exactly. Maybe we move everyone to space. Live in big spinning shelters like dandelions seeds floating on the breeze. I have no idea how many we would need to move every kerbal off planet, but I'm guessing it'd take most of our lifetimes just to get a millionth of them into orbit anyway. So that's probably out of the question. And to be honest, I'm not really sure how this plan of Albro's to get all of us to Espadarte will work either. Seems like a huge undertaking just to find all these old broken portals and fix them, and then we'd have to move millions of kerbals through them. The logistics just don't make sense. "No, we need something else. And maybe it's too big for just us. We're talking a planetary-scale engineering project here. If he's serious about this, and it's not just some ruse to get us to flip some switch he can't reach that allows him to do whatever it is he really wants, I don't see how me, the four of us, this entire crew, or everyone we've ever known could somehow make it work." The shard was dimming, its perfect note was becoming faint and distant. Thomlock held the sample container and watched intently as the bright green receded back towards its dull translucence. The green of it reflected in his eyes while its soft spin sent waves of light across his face. "No matter what we do, I think it's time we stopped running. Changed course. Took the fight to him. And we've got several hundred days to think up ways to do just that." -- Navigation: Next Post