Captain Hallock had his hands full. Having secured the mysterious Seconee station at Duna, he now had to integrate it into the Memory of Tomorrow. He checked one last time to make sure the ghosts were ok with his plan, convinced his new pet goo to stay in the lab, then prepared for the reconfigurations. Mostly this meant sealing all the bulkheads, unplugging any wiring, coolant lines, and other connections, but there were a few small cases where he had to replace batteries or completely rewire modules to allow for remote control.
He started with moving the two landers and the transfer-shuttle-looking-craft over to the Memory. Only one of the landers had docking ports on both ends, so it became the obvious option for docking. He moved it in underneath the Memory and secured in place.
Next were the fuel depot and the tug attached to it. That stack was temporarily docked up opposite the landers on the top of the Memory. There was still a small amount of rigging work Hallock had to do before the fuel pod could be integrated into the Memory's drive section.
Finally came the station itself. Hallock took the Rock Spear out to grab it, intending to place it directly ahead of the Memory's retrofitted living compartments.
With that done, he tested the new connections and docking seals. There was still a great deal of work to do before everything was solid enough to move under its own power. It had been a long day, and Hallock needed a nap before he started into the difficult tasks. This was work best suited to a crew of more than one, but Sieta was still immersed in her latest trance, looking for sanity in the madness of the Universe's background radiation.
Hallock napped long enough for the ship to drift through the shadow and the light and back into the shadow once more.
He awoke fully refreshed and with a new determination to ready the ship. It had been quite some time since they last added to the Memory of Tomorrow, back in Kerbin orbit, and even then the ship had been incomplete. They had only the "test" drive section to get them this far, and none of the planned expedition craft. As such the two landers were a much welcome addition, no matter how old and worn they might be.
He checked in on Queen Sieta before suiting up, finding her asleep at her station, having drifted off in the noise from the radios. She had thus far found several dozen Things in orbit around Duna and Ike, objects which had been missed during their earlier surveys. She was left to sleep while he ventured back into the void.
His first inspection pass of the ship and its newly acquired additions was done in the dark, illuminated by only his headlamps and the ship's scattered floodlights. The pressurized sections had been brought up to their regular atmospheres, and no major leaks had ruptured out into the nothingness. Some of these pressure vessels had taken more abuse than others, with the occasional ding and divot to patch over.
Hallock made note of the myriad flags adorning their collection, none of them familiar to him. Most bore some resemblance to kerbals, while other were more esoteric designs such as dice and gears and little orbs. They slipped into the bright side of Duna during this inspection, while Ike slipped into its master's shadow.
The first move of the day was the small craft he had taken to calling the transfer shuttle. Its interior was very slick and had a modern feel to it in comparison to the Rock Spear, so he decided it would become the "Bridge" to this new Memory of Tomorrow. He undocked it and the smaller lander, then slipped it in behind the Spear before docking the back up.
Next was to restring and tighten several of the craft's struts and stays. They were now considerably further from the Sun than at Kerbin, and the reduced energy had become evident in the contraction of the metal masts which held the ship's power systems and radiators. These struts, constructed of some meta-material Hallock barely understood, were either completely taut or oscillating freely with the motions of the ship. So a good re-rigging was in order.
Additionally, new anchor points were required on the modules from the Seconee station. The extra mass towards the ship's bow called for additional bracing and stays along the spine of the ship. Not work one would normally expect of a lone kerbal, let alone a ship's Captain, but what choice did he have?
This process which took several orbits, so many that Hallock lost count. Once he had finished the re-rig he went around to all the electrical bundles and coolant lines and other bits of equipment and double checked their connections.
Afterwards he brought the ship under full sail and rode the winds of the middle Kerbol System. It wasn't much, the photon and particle pressure from their distant star, but a captain could dream. It also served as a good test of their full electrical and cooling capabilities. There was still enough light in this distant land for the solar arrays to help, but just barely.
He drifted off to sleep while dreaming what the future might bring for their little ship.
The following day brought one of the most important tasks he would undertake - moving a tank that was partially full of fuel and oxidizer into position between the ship's spine and the drive section. He pulled the solar arrays and radiators in to protect them, locked down the internal bulkheads for safety, then suited up and went to work.
First thing to do was unlink the stays holding the drive to the rest of the ship. These struts were all that kept the energy from the drive from bending the ship in half under full thrust, and this force would have to be re-routed through, and around, their new fuel tank.
With the struts and masts readied, he went back inside and cast the fuel depot free. Once the minute amount of vibrational energy from the undocking had bleed out, he unlatched the ship from the drive and also let it drift away. The timing of this dance had to go perfectly, because they couldn't afford to waste fuel lining back up or tracking down the drive section.
He moved the fuel tank into place and then quickly moved the tug back to its position atop the ship. The Memory shoved backwards, slowly, and relatched to the drive. The entire operation was completed in less than a quarter of an orbit, with very little drift occurring and only a minor correction needed.
With the ship reconstituted he grabbed his pistol grip tool, aka the electric wrench, and went out to rig the aft section back together. A strut to the port mast had broken loose during the maneuver, and needed replaced first. He had probably pulled it too tightly during the re-rig.
Afterwards there was the new set of stays and struts between the drive and the ship. New anchors were secured to the fuel tank, new lines were run between the three sections. One rigged up the fuel lines were opened, resource transfers were tested and confirmed as working. All good.
It was another long day of work, but in the end the ship was in top shape and ready for whatever they asked of it next.
There was just one last finishing touch needed. While Hallock was working on the outside, Sieta was busy doing a few things of her own.
First, she had heard Hallock's complaints about needing extra hands to help out, and had scanned the surface of the planet for some wayward souls they could conscript. In total it appeared there were three sites where kerbals might once have visited, two of which were still likely to have them present. One was far removed from the other, but easily within the reach of both landers Hallock had acquired.
She had also been busy working up a new flag for their rag tag jumbled mess of a ship, one more befitting a vessel of its stature. And along with it came a new suit for their captain.
Now they would look the part they were playing, and hopefully command the respect they were deserved. And if not respect, then dread.