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This is the story of the Kerbals of Earth, the third planet from the star Sol. Some time in the recent geological past, an unknown disaster brought devastation and extinction on a global scale. Once a paradise of forests and oceans teeming with life, Earth is now a blasted wasteland where small communities of these tenacious little green creatures struggle for survival, striving to rise from their subterranean origins and conquer the surface of their world, and its heavens. A handful of powerful companies rule over the Kerbal communities and control access to the world's dwindling supply of resources. These companies have agreed to sponsor a small team of visionary engineers and scientists who believe that the future of their species – and an explanation as to their origins – may lie in space. Together, they found the Omelek Space Centre on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This is the story of Camwise, a resourceful space engineer who proves to have an uncanny ability to survive and get his crew home, even when the odds are stacked against him. It is also the story of Bartdon, a truculent senior investigator trying to hold the space programme together despite facing pressure from without and treachery from within. This is the story of the Kerbals of planet Earth and their attempts to reach out into the Solar System. Reach out they will indeed, and find more than they bargained for. The Camwise Logs is also a KSP Real Solar System / Realism Overhaul play-through in career mode. Certain part mods are used, and occasionally part configuration files are adjusted, but these will always reflect plausible – if not yet feasible – near future technologies. Hyperedit is occasionally used for the purpose of setting certain scenes (or repairing bugs and glitches), but all space missions are launched and flown legitimately, under full manual control of the author (ie: no mechjeb). All vehicles perform according to the specifications described in the story. PART ONE: THE MOON VS. ME PART TWO: THE VIEW FROM PHOBOS PART THREE: LUNACY PART FOUR: TOO BIG TO FAIL PART FIVE: L'ENFANT SAUVAGE PART ONE: THE MOON VS. ME "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" Albert Einstein. YEAR 6 DAY 45 Now, then. My name is Camwise and I am, until the circumstances change, stuck on the Moon. Yes, Luna, the Moon, the natural satellite of planet Earth; not the Mun, or whatever they call it in that computer game played by some of the kids back home who dream about becoming astronauts. What was it called again...? Anyway, back to the problem at hand. I was sent to Luna as the engineer of the first two-kerbal crew to set up and occupy what shall be the first long-term Moon base. That is, if we manage to build the damned thing before we starve to death. Yes, as you can see if you examined the telemetry, our lander toppled. Before embarking, I had naturally expressed my concerns to the designer of the aforementioned vehicle, Karanda. She happens to be brilliant at aerodynamics, and made some invaluable contributions to the spaceplane programme, but this lander is certainly not one of her better efforts. She fails to grasp some of the fundamentals of flying where there is no air. To say it is top-heavy would be putting things mildly, but even I had not foreseen that the landing legs would impede the thrust of the radial engines that were supposed to ensure our soft touchdown at Drygalski crater. You would have thought she would have run the necessary simulations... It's not as if having engines that actually slow down a Lunar lander are mission critical, right? As it was, my pilot Catbeth had been faced with two choices: extend the gear and make a new crater on the lunar surface for the next team of engineers to drill into, or attempt to touchdown by canceling our velocity just above the surface and extending the gear at the last moment. Fortunately she had chosen the latter, but despite her best attempt at sticking the landing, the lander had tipped anyway. OK, fine. The good news is that we are still alive, and I can live with sleeping on the walls of our capsule for the foreseeable future. At least we have a ton of supplies for our long-term stay on the Lunar surface while we wait for the Island Space Port to come up with an idea for getting us off this rock, don't we? Well, not quite. The majority of the ton of supplies in question (2.4 metric tonnes actually, as well as the capsule that is our ride home, two spacious habs, a service module with large solar panels and a rover), is still circling the Moon in a low polar orbit. Some of the modules are as little as thirty kilometers above our heads. I'm pretty sure that if I go outside and squint at the sky for long enough, I will catch a glimpse of the sunlight glinting off metal as our salvation skims silently over the grey and dusty landscape at one-point-six kilometers per second. Now, of course we weren't sent here to helplessly watch our gear fly past, so let me explain. We will have a lot of work to do once the first modules touch down. But they will only touch down if the water drilling rig continues to extract H2O at the planned rate. If the electrolysis units and cryocoolers that are supposed to turn the water into liquid hydrogen and oxygen work properly. If the cryogenic fuel doesn't boil off faster than we can produce it. If the shuttle we intend to refuel and fly to pluck the modules from orbit performs to spec, just like Karanda's brilliant single stage lander was supposed to. That's a lot of “if”s, I know. But meanwhile, while the tank of this huge machine I'm operating slowly fills up with water extracted from the lunar regolith, I have nothing better to do than tell you about the series of events that brought us here.