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  1. Hey folks, This thread has grown quite a bit since the original First Flight short story. To make things a little easier (and thank you to those who suggested this), here are the links to the various chapters for ease of reading. The whole story is also posted up on my forum blog. Cheers, KSK Contents Prologue: First Flight Part 1: The Interplanetary Society 1: Space Program Rising (Part I) 2: Space Program Rising (Part II) 3: New Directions 4: Satellite 5: Two's Company 6: These New Engines 7: The Courage of Conviction 8: The Other Side 9: Kerbal in Space Soonest 10: Project Moho 11: The Seed 12: Poyekhali 13: All the Proof They Needed Part 2: Secrets of the Kerm 14: Decisions 15: New Homes 16: Mun Or Bust 17: We all build them - We all fly them 18: MarkusA380 Fanart 19: Reunion 20: Beached 21: Beyond Kerbin 22: Far Side 23: The Dish 24: Dreams 25: A Journey Around the World. 26: Circles. 27: Docking - Part I. 28: Docking - Part II. 29: And Rendezvous. 30: The Cords That Bind. 31: Echoes of Time. Part 3: Kerbal Space Program 32: Right of Conclave. 33: Project Eve. 34: Uncharted. 35: Dewdrops. 36: Preparations. 37: Pioneering Spirit. 38: With a little help... 39: Stormclouds. 40: Second Mün. 41: Training Days. 42: The Best Laid Plans. 43: A Voyage for the Ages. 44: Mün. 45: Priorities. 46: Pre-emptive. 47: Diplomacy. 48: Pilgrims. 49: Lightning. 50: Through the Eyes of a Child. 51: Under Pressure. 52: Halfway Point. 54: Craters. 55: If you cut us... 56: One Small Step. 57: The Days the World Stood Still. 58: Starseed. Part 4: The Age of Fire. 59: Engines and Engineers. 60: A Thin Red Line. 61: Children of Kerbin. 62: Shrinking the Ellipse. 63: Journeys. 64: Hopes. 65: And Fears. 66: Black Stripes 67: Prospecting 68: For Kerm and Kerbal. 69: A Time for Love. 70: Shaking the Pillars. 71: Crossroads. 72: A Grove for a Grove. 73: No Borders. 74: Hot and Cold. 75: Politics. 76: Blue and Grey. 77: The Skies of Minmus. 78: A Few Good Kerbals. 79: Names. 80: Instincts. 81: The Straw and the Mallek. Artwork and Crafts I'm absolutely thrilled (and more than a bit humbled) to be adding this section to the contents list. Here are links to various illustrations, screenshots, in-game vehicles and (unbelievably) a mod, from First Flight created by readers of this thread. Enjoy - I know I did! "Those Trashcans definitely made it happen." The Kerbal 1 blasts off on its pioneering first flight. "It's Kerbin... just Kerbin." The Kerbal 1 crew get their first glimpse of their world from high altitude. By Yukon0009. "Four green hands clasped in quiet triumph as Kerbin's very first artificial satellite soared through the void." The Kerbin 1's broadcast from the KIS to kerbals around the world inspires the Speciality Fireworks Company's transformation into the Rockomax Corporation. By minepagan. "Moho 1 has cleared the tower!" Jebediah Kerman rockets into orbit - and history. By Yukon0009. "I think we've just got a very happy kerbal up there." Wilford Kerman notches up his own spaceflight firsts aboard Moho 3. By MarkusA380. "There's parking space to the left as you go through the gates, Ornie." Whether you need to pick up supplies for a morale raising barbecue or tow rocket stages to the VAB, Ornie is your kerbal. By Mr. Pseudonym. "Why don't you just do that, Jonton Kermol." Seen here in typical working garb, the kermol are the vital, rural half of kerbal society. By Krevsin. ------------------- Before the Space Program, before Mainsails and Mun rovers, before there was even such a thing as a probe core, there was just a group of friends with a shared dream who refused to let that dream go. This is part of their story. It was a bright sunlit afternoon as Geneney walked out to the launch pad. He could see the rocket in his minds eye. A gleaming tower of sculptured metal rising into the sky with a cluster of the latest generation engines at the base and the newest, most spacious capsule sitting proudly at the top. Ready to take him to the Mun, to Minmus or anywhere else he cared to go. He sighed. The reality of course was rather different. A rusty launch tower constructed from old scaffolding. A bunker full of worn out monitors and other abandoned electronic gear. And a last ditch attempt at a rocket that they had built from whatever junk they could scavenge up and weld together. Wernher's original LV-1 engine had proven far far more difficult to scale up than any of them had imagined. Getting the stability augmentation system to work had eventually been an exercise in stubbornness rather than elegant engineering. And as for the decouplers. Geneney shook his head. Best not to think about the wretched decouplers. He reached the first of the launch clamps and inspected it carefully. The rocket loomed above him, a battered metal cylinder with a tangle of plumbing at the base, connected to the familiar ribbed shape of the LV-15 engine bell. Four RT-5 solid fuel boosters attached to the sides by explosive bolts and a simple capsule secured to the top with more explosive bolts completed this most unlikely looking spacecraft. In Geneney's opinion 'booster' was an optimistic name for a squat drum of firework propellant with a cone attached to the bottom. As for sticking them on with explosive bolts... No - best not to think about the decouplers. Besides they had worked well enough in testing and none of them had been able to get the hydraulic pusher system to work reliably. Geneney could hear voices far above him as Lucan helped the three cosmonauts into the capsule. An occasional mumbled comment from Bill, Bob's nervous chatter and Jeb, talking up a storm in his enthusiasm. Geneney smiled to himself. Bill was still a believer, Bob... well Bob was loyal. If his best friends were risking themselves in a home-brewed rocket, then Bob would be there alongside them. And as for Jeb, he had never given up, despite all the difficulties, frustrations and exploded prototypes. He'd kept them going, with his permanent grin and irrepressible enthusiasm, even as the other members of the Kerbin Interplanetary Society had gradually drifted away. It helped that the grin hid a surprisingly competent engineer, otherwise Geneney was fairly sure that Wernher would have stuffed Jeb headfirst into the engine bell of the LV-10 test model and probably fired it too. His smile faded. The LV-10 test had been a definite low point and they still hadn't figured out exactly what went wrong. The LV-15 worked, although it wasn't close to being powerful enough and all their attempts to cluster multiple LV-15s together had failed. Eventually even Jeb had conceded that the multiple LV-15 design was just too prone to overheating and suggested using a set of RT-5 'Trashcan' engines instead. All the launch clamps seemed to be in order and a loud clang from above announced that Lucan had finally closed the hatch of the Kerbal 1. Geneney waited as Lucan clambered down the launch tower and the two kerbals hurried back to the control bunker. ------------- Geneney tapped his microphone. "Kerbal 1, this is Control. How are you guys doing up there?" Jeb's voice crackled from the speakers. "Cool, calm and collected, Genie. How's that telemetry looking?" If Geneney knew Bill and Bob, then calm was most probably a lie, let alone collected. No point in breaking the facade though. "Wernher's just running the last tests on the decouplers now Jeb. Five minutes to launch." Wernher pressed a button on his console and grunted in satisfaction as a set of indicator lights winked out. He flicked a switch and all five lights flickered briefly then lit up with a reassuring green glow. "All rocket systems check out. Guidance control and launch sequencing transferred to booster. Ready when you are, Gene." "OK then. We all know what we're doing. LV-15 engine start on my mark, 3 second hold down at full power as a last check, then we release the clamps and light up the Trashcans. That last bit is probably going to be a bit bouncy guys, so as soon as the LV-15 lights you'll probably want to hold on to something." "Gotcha, Genie." Geneney took a deep breath. "LV-15 ignition in Mark!" Lucan and Geneney turned towards the main monitor screen. Behind them they could hear Wernher rattling through the ignition checklist. "Firing gas generator, turbopumps powering up and IGNITION!" Fire erupted from the base of the Kerbal 1, rapidly focusing into a single hard bright flame. A steadily increasing rumble could be heard outside as the LV-15 throttled up to full power. "Holding for" The bunker shook to a thunderous roar as all four RT-5s ignited, sending sheets of flame washing across the launch pad. The image on the monitor flared brightly. Spots danced in front of Geneney's eyes as he stared at the screen trying desperately to spot the Kerbal 1 amongst all the static. As the image came back into focus, all Geneney could see was a badly scorched launch pad. The noise in his headphones suggested that this was due to a successful launch rather than a catastrophic explosion but the faint screams didn't sound at all good. The static on monitor 2 didn't look promising either. "Wernher - talk to me!" "LV-15 performing well, all four RT-5s are running. All decouplers intact," came the calm response. "Capsule telemetry and sensors offline." Geneney gripped the arms of his chair tightly. "Which means?" "We have no way of telling how high the capsule is travelling, how fast or at what angle." Lucan interrupted him "If the decouplers haven't fired...I can still hear the engines in my headset, so the rocket should still be in one piece." He snapped his fingers. "The main data cable - it probably just came loose during the launch. Wernher, try SCE to Aux." Geneney's knuckles turned white as Wernher searched for the switch on his console. Then, with a click, monitor 2 lit up, as telemetry suddenly flooded in from the Kerbal 1. A slow smile spread across Geneney's face as he got to his feet and slapped Lucan on the back. Above his head, the numbers for altitude and velocity of the Kerbal 1 were both steadily increasing. ------------ "10 seconds till burnout." Geneney kept his fingers firmly crossed as he waited for the Trashcans to shut down. Five seconds to go, two, one... and nothing. The roar of the engines still filled his headphones. Five more seconds, ten more seconds. He was just turning towards Wernher, when everything went quiet. There was a series of muffled explosions and four lights on Wernher's console winked out. He grabbed the microphone. "Kerbal 1, this is Control. Come in Kerbal 1! Jeb, Bill, Bob - can you hear me!" Jeb chuckled. "Hearing you loud and clear, Genie if you'd let us get a word in edgewise!" "Jeb - thank the Kerm! Are you guys OK up there?" "The Bobcat here is looking a bit blue but we're all good. Nothing but Class A Badasses on this rocket ship!" Jeb paused to savour the moment. "Yeah, this rocket ship...", his voice trailed away. "Dammit guys we did it! Faster than any kerbal has ever travelled, higher than any kerbal has ever travelled and way way noisier than any kerbal has ever travelled! I told you those Trashcans would do the trick!" "Well we've still got a couple of things left to do, Jeb but yeah - those Trashcans definitely made it happen. Thirty seconds of fuel left for the LV-15." Lucan was keeping a close eye on the telemetry. The Kerbal 1 was actually accelerating slightly now as the last litres of fuel drained away, until at last the engines shut down. The last light flickered out on Wernher's console accompanied by a final muffled bang from the speakers. "Shutdown and booster separation confirmed, Jeb. We figure you should top out at around thirty to thirty five thousand metres." "Thanks, Luco. Not bad for a first flight, not bad at all! Looks like I won that bet with the Bobcat too - he reckoned we'd get to twenty five thousand at best!" Bob laughed nervously. "Are you sure they were just the standard Trashcans, Jeb? If we get down from here in one piece, I'm not sure I'll be able to get out of this seat, I got mashed into it so hard." "Didn't touch them, Bobcat. They sure did make for one heck of a ride though. What did you think, Bill? Hey - are you OK there, Bill? That window isn't coming loose is it?" "Oh... Oh wow... Guys you need to see this." Bill silently reached out a hand and Jeb wordlessly passed him the camera. Geneney blinked. He'd never heard Jeb sound like that before. Almost awestruck. "What is it, Jeb?" "It's Kerbin... just Kerbin. Only not quite and all of it at once. And the sky - it's full of more stars than you can believe. Greens and blues and brilliant white clouds and then black and stars." "You're not making any sense, Jeb." "No, no I don't think I am. You're gonna have to see this for yourself, Genie." Geneney sighed. "You know we're never going to get another shot at this. The Kerbal 1 was all we had left," he said sadly. "Actually, Genie, if even half of Bill's photos come out, I think you're going to get to see this quicker than you can imagine and in a bigger and better rocket than you can imagine too. Hey, Bill, if you're done with that camera, pass it over here. Genie, I'm taking off my helmet, sticking the camera into it and wedging it under the control panel for safekeeping." Geneney's jaw dropped. "What, why, what are you doing? What happens if you get an air leak?!" Jeb's voice was uncharacteristically serious. "I'll just have to hold my breath, Genie. Whatever happens to Bill, Bob and me, you need this camera. It's all the proof that the Kerbin Interplanetary Society needs and it's going to change everything." --------- Two small green figures stood on the roof of a makeshift concrete bunker, anxiously peering out to sea. Geneney glanced at his watch and then scanned the horizon again, too nervous to look away for more than a moment. He knew that he probably wouldn't see the capsule from this distance but the parachute should be visible. And it should be visible any moment now. Beside him, Wernher suddenly stiffened and pointed at the sky. An orange streamer popped into view, plunged towards the ground and then fluttered skywards. Geneney's heart was in his mouth. If that was the drogue chute then... YES! Two orange discs burst into the sky and then unfurled into the welcome, welcome sight of two fully opened parachutes. Geneney and Wernher looked at each other, grinned in triumph and then threw themselves down the stairs as fast as they could. "Lucan, Wernher - boat. Now! We've got three kerbonauts to pick up! Epilogue - two days later Four members of the Kerbin Interplanetary Society were lounging about at the Jebediah Kerman Junkyard and Spare Parts Company. Bill was in Jeb's office working on his camera, whilst Jeb was out with a pair of customers, helping them rummage through a pile of old engine parts. As the three of them strolled back towards the office, Geneney overhead snatches of conversation. "Were you boys anything to do with a mighty lot of noise out by that old rusty tower the other day?" Jeb nodded, "Yup, that was us, sir. Testing some bits and pieces from the junkyard." The older of the two customers chuckled. "People back in town reckon they saw one of those rockets flying into the sky." He snorted. "Load of nonsense if you ask me, never mind what those crazy interplanetary characters keep talking about. Although I have to admit, they do make some mighty fine explosions." Genneny stifled a grin as Jeb tried his best to keep a straight face. Just then Bill popped his head around the office door. "Hey guys - photo's came out nicely. You want to take a look?" Jeb smiled. "Love to, Bill." He turned towards his customers politely, "and would you good kerbals care to join us?" Geneney stared at Jeb's office wall. Most of Bill's photographs were blurry views of not very much, taken out of what was obviously a very small window. Several more showed what looked like maps. But none of the eight kerbals crammed into the room had eyes for anything other than the largest picture in the middle. This too was clearly a view through a window but beautifully sharp. A very obviously curved line down the middle separated inky blackness from brilliant blue, dusky brown and lush green. Far away in the distance, the familiar battered grey ball of the Mün rose over Kerbin. Geneney blinked back tears. Jeb was right. They had really done it. They could do it again. And there would be a Space Program.
  2. There is a LOT of great stuff going on in Fanworks and Mission Reports now, with some new stories and some continuing ones. Some are all text, some are text and screenshots, and there are at least two graphic novels. I've had some good conversations with other writers in PMs and thought it would be nice to have a thread where we can talk about things like characterization, canon/fanon, plotting, tone, things to avoid, etc, etc. If I may be so bold, I propose a few ground rules to start: All of the Forum and Community rules apply. They apply VERY much. Don't criticize another writer's work unless asked to--and then, only criticize those aspects about which the writer asked for help. When criticizing, above all be constructive. "You did this wrong, this is how you should do it." is not helpful. "When you did this, I had this reaction, which I'm not sure you intended. If you intended the reader to have this OTHER reaction, you might try doing it in this way." -- that might be. But... If you asked for criticism--take it. Try not to argue with the critiquer. Is he wrong for feeling what he felt when he read your work? Maybe, but he did feel it, and writing is about the reader's perception more than the author's intent. Find the kernel of truth in the critique and do your best to learn from it. If you get angry about a criticism--stop posting, make peace by PM, move on. Let's not post drafts of works-in-progress for commentary on this thread. I was thinking this one could be more about general topics and idea sharing. Interest? Ideas? Other directions for the thread? Thanks all.
  3. I am trying something new, I want to make a series of videos, that's not new, the new bit is I am going to publish the script on Gitbook and allow anyone to contribute to the script while I (and anyone else who wants to) construct craft, scenes and film the script. Here is a link to the script For those not inclined, but wish to know more, here's a synopsis of Episode 1 - Daedalus Introduction Kerbals are a very intelligent long-lived, but unadventurous race. They delight in becoming experts in the minutiae of a field of study or skill and because they live so long they can have several changes of fields or careers. At this time the most advanced Kerbals are spreading slowly around the globe contacting, and integrating with the less technically advanced Kerbals. They have an egalitarian society and share easily and without conflict. Wernher von Kerman who has over recent decades become an expert at astrophysics has recently discovered something troubling about the Kerbol System. Hearing about some ancient ruins in a strangely barren land that may hold clues to complete his puzzle he journeys there (long dangerous journeys are uncharacteristic of most Kerbals, though some love adventure) with his associate Bob Kerman. Episode 1 His sailing ship (no electricity, planes or rockets yet) is crewed by Jebediah Kerman who loves adventuring, and his sidekick Bill. Temple: When they get to the barren land they enter the temple to read the inscriptions. They discover that the ancient land, once the most technologically advanced civilisation on Kerbin, maybe Kerbalkinds birthplace, was catastrophically ravaged by 'the sun god incarnate'. Modern Kerbals assumed this was an allegory or story. However, the dates match Wernhers calculations. Wernher turns to his companions and says "Kerbol is too small. If I am correct, Kerbol is rapidly becoming a Red Dwarf and will grow to engulf Kerbin. Before that happens though, more gigantic flares will ravage the surface of Kerbin and Kerbalkind will be destroyed.' Return: The group journeys back to the Capital to report to the first council, through storms and arduous journeys over Kerbins surface. The First Council When they report their findings to the first council and Wernhers calculations are verified by the council's most pre-eminent scholars Archimedes Kerman and Isaac Kerman the council deliberates. It is decided that to save Kerbalkind they must devote the resources of all Kerbals to developing the technology to leave Kerbin and find a new home. The most adventurous Kerbals like Jebediah and others would be the test pilots of the future, while scientists like Wernher and Bob would develop the means to save Kerbalkind. Episode 2 - The Icarus Project coming soon
  4. This was a paper I wrote for fun simulating a psychologists newly released study at the dawn of widespread, low-cost Kerbal exploration. Enjoy, and all input is appreciated. The Psychology of Kerbals in Isolated Environments For generations, Kerbals have long looked at the skies and wondered if they would ever be able to explore the seemingly endless expanses of space. Now, in the thirteenth decade of Kerbal-kind, exploration is becoming a reality for the everyday Kerbal. However, the aerospace technology that makes space affordable for Kerbals has been developed far beyond the exploration of a Kerbal’s emotional and mental health while traveling for long periods of time through a potentially lethal environment. Through my years of research in these neglected fields, including self-experimentation, I have determined the best environments for Kerbals to not only survive and perform adequately during long missions, but rather thrive in the vacuum of space we all adore so much. A common way to reduce the cost of a manned mission would be to reduce both the crew count and capsule size (this was an original tactic used by both Kussians and Kermaricans to severely reduce costs of missions). However, despite the obvious cost benefits of such reductions, the drawbacks become much more prevalent after time. For instance, imagine a Kerbal pioneer from half a century ago, ready to explore the depths of the cosmos. He has visions of huge starships, incredible adventures, and awe-inspiring landscapes everywhere. His excitement is further fueled by his assignment to Duna I, the first ever manned mission exploring Duna. The Kerbal arrives at the Space Center weeks before the launch, expecting to see a giant, space-age starship fashioned with all the newest commodities for Kerbal comfort on such a long journey. He is shocked to see a small, minimalistic capsule with the cheapest possible solar panel technology, communications equipment, and instrumentation. The propulsion method is not exotic, creative, or innovative in any way; just a traditional LF+O rocket with staging. He pushes his dismay aside however, hoping his long explorations on the surface will more than make up for finite discomfort. Once the mission has launched, and he has been in transit for a half month, the boredom-driven insanity begins to set in. Without proper social interactions, he begins to act abnormally, muttering about Space Krakens to Mission Control. Despite the best efforts of Mission Control to convince him to do otherwise, the Kerbal accidentally kills himself when he hallucinates and thinks he is flying through Kerbin’s atmosphere and the parachutes on his craft failed, prompting him to leave the capsule without a spacesuit. Obviously this situation has never been encountered, as the only manned interplanetary or long-duration missions have had a minimum crew of three. The situation is not impossible, nor improbable, thus a sole crew member situation is avoided for any missions longer than 5 days. The opposite situation has potential to be a bad situation as well- should a Kerbal be sent on a mission with 31 other Kerbals without proper faculties to support everyone, the overpopulated craft could cause the Kerbal to either feel insignificant and uncomfortable or insane and paranoid towards the others. Therefore, a perfect number of Kerbals must be determined for the future of Kerbal spaceflight. While that exact number could vary depending on the mission length, specific crew members’ personalities, and mission nature, six Kerbals on any given mission tends to operate well. As mentioned previously, I have determined this through extensive experimentation (isolating myself and other volunteers in a mission environment), and here is my theory for the reason this could be optimum. In a traditional small group of friends, three persons all have an extremely close relation to each other, with variation. A six-crew mission allows this pattern to reveal itself- in a traditional mission where roles of crew members vary; there will tend to be a natural grouping of two sets of three Kerbals with similar jobs, with alternation between groups as the mission continues. Furthermore, these Kerbals have the ability to emotionally sustain each other should relations go sour between two Kerbals; the remaining four Kerbals offer potential interaction to both Kerbals who dislike each other. To conclude, Kerbalkind is currently experiencing a drastic growth in low-cost space travel for any interested Kerbal. Before any Kerbal spends his Funds and heads out into the vast expanse, he should be willing to consider joining up with a crew of five others to better explore and thrive together. The planets and stars are out there for anyone to explore; let’s do it right.
  5. This is something I think will be...entertaining. Table of Contents [Prologue]: The Freighter [Chapter 01]: Garage Shenanigans [Chapter 02]: The Crash [Chapter 03]: The Inquisition [Chapter 04]: Cracking the Egg [Chapter 05]: The Second Flight [Chapter 06]: The Race [Chapter 07]: First Launch [Chapter 08]: Meeting Day [Chapter 09]: Mystery Goo [Chapter 10]: Boost Phase Prologue: The Freighter The freighter's massive girders strained, their creaking providing relief from the eerily silent ascent. It carried several thousand tonnes of machinery, soil, and organisms, most of which were immersed in a jellylike g-absorbing fluid. As the freighter rose slowly into the air, leaving not even the slightest puff of dust, a grizzled bystander shook his head slowly. "It's just not right," he remarked to his similarly wrinkled companion, "Rocket launches should be things of awesome power, and fire, and smoke. Sometimes explosions. Not this...kraken-borne sneaky rise into space." He shook his head again. "Just...not right." His friend chuckled. "I don't know, Jeb. Seems like a grand way to go up to me. Nice, slow, and totally safe. No cargo's been lost for several years." "That's just the thing, Bill. That was the whole charm of the space program! Without explosions, who wants to watch? Without the noise, who wants to fly?" He watched the giant freighter rise slowly in the dry air. Its groans quieted once it had lifted several meters into the air. The air once more became silent. Jeb shivered. "This thing's unnatural."
  6. Thoughts and Ramblings on the Asteroid Sentinels Here’s a fun little thread for reflecting on The Asteroid Sentinels, and hopefully will act as a “behind the scenes” thread for future works. Some Basic Things I started the Asteroid Sentinels after seeing other comic threads and the release of the Asteroid Day mod. The original idea was just to launch the SENTINEL telescope, find an asteroid headed for Kerbin, intercept it (I would do this in many ways like with the ARM and ADM, or maybe the DART/AIDA concept), and maybe a few more details. I didn’t really care about storylines, so off I went. The earliest of episodes were made in Sketchbook Express. I hoped that this would let me edit and draw on the panels, but it also was far harder to do the main comic part so to speak… If you've got an idea for a bit I could write about, let me know! *Spoilers!* Let's start with a couple of thoughts on some of the characters! Characters Wernher von Kerman The first character seen in the series, he is the chief rocket scientist at the Kerbal Space Center. He was responsible for designing the Mun 3, flying to and back from the Mun, albeit with enormous delays (but it is often said to be the best performing flight). The mustached character has a rather strong accent that slips through translation devices (they are not perfect at decoding Deutchekerb, and while the long words are said to be the issue, it frequently fails at simple words). Wernher generally opposes Mort’s measures, trying to take a more pragmatic and reasonable approach. Wernher started the KSC Rocket Scientist program for young kerbals to help him. However, it must be said that he finds the youngest interns annoying, as he found with Linus, who once got a bit tired of waiting for the rocket launch, taking matters into his own hands... I personally think of Wernher as the main voice of reason, especially in the meetings with the main executives of the KSC. He’ll even act directly against Mort’s wishes. He’s someone intended as a sort of “father figure” to Linus, helping him along and correcting him when he’s wrong. Mortimer Kerman: Chief Financial Executive/Advisor (the writer failed to remember the proper title, and was promptly fired) The financially stingy Mortimer Kerman can be seen as a rather controversial figure, having essentially ruled by decree multiple times as both Financial Advisor and Emergency Administrator, though he labels himself as a middleman in an unfortunate upset of events. That can’t really explain his decision to blow up parts of the Refinery/Hotel rocket, a decision made almost certainly in a fit of rage. Mortimer usually advocates for the aggressive and even extreme measures to solve certain issues, with a rather cynical and disdainful view of adversaries, notably the RDF. As a general rule I wrote Mort as someone who didn’t want his job, acts aggressive to cover his weak points, but still works at the KSC because of his dedication and good pay. He rarely strays from his plan even when things change and rarely expresses much emotion. It’s quite accurate to describe his approach “getting the job done” and being quite a fan of “the ends justify the means”. Mortimer acts as a sort of villain, though he becomes the “enemy of my enemy” towards the end. Jebediah Kerman: “Pilot Extraordinaire” “Best Pilot” One of the first pilots of the KSC, he became a hero after the Mun 3 mission, with the role of landing safely. Especially when I first introduced him he was written as incredibly cocky and often did dangerous things purely for fun without considering the consequences. Jeb tended to overlook the big picture and instead focused only on what was happening now. He also had this view of the “good ‘ol days” when could do “all sorts of crazy stuff”, though he maintains the whole “let’s go to cool new places” thought. He’s probably the most dynamic character, become far more careful about the consequences of his choice. Bill Kerman: Chief Flight Engineer One of the best students at engineer school (though some teachers complained he wouldn’t shut up), he joined the KSC, and was unexpectedly thrust into a space station mission in the literal last hour. He did “pretty good” according to Wernher. Kind of snarky, especially in the early writing, and quite precise with numbers. He’s quite good with coming up with ideas and solutions, notably illustrated in the final approach against the Intimidator. In general he’s one to carry an argument for a fair while longer than it needed to be. Valentina Kerman The commander of the first expedition to Minmus, Valentina managed to save the mission by aborting when a fuel leak was noticed on the orbiter. A more thoughtful leader, who tries to unite the crew of the Asteroid Destroyer. She’s quite convincing, notably when she used a variety of arguments to make a demoralized Jeb join the crew of the Asteroid Destroyer. Barbarry Kerman The powerful “Great Leader” of the Real Deal Front. While rarely seen in public, he is arguably the mastermind of the RDF, a group that capitalized on the anger of many kerbals after the asteroid. Of course, this was part of a far bigger scheme to change the Kerbal Union. A kerbal crippled by the horror that was the downturn of Kerbal Dynamics, his focus became purely to get revenge. While he holds meetings at the RDF, it’s clear he’s the one who wants to be in charge. Linus Kerman A bright, young kerbal, Wernher picked him to be his main assistant. While originally described as “too eager”, over the years Linus has become more careful, enough for Wernher to trust him to be in charge in case he couldn’t lead. While not as noticeable a changing character as Jeb, he’s certainly still changed, becoming a bit more like Wernher towards the end of the Series. Gus Kerman Gus is perhaps a weak leader. His decisions are at certain times more emotionally based despite the need for careful thought. However he’s certainly far more liked than Mortimer, caring a lot more about the kerbals working there. He’ll do what he believes is right, even though this might go against what is agreed.
  7. Hallo folks! As some here might know I've been writing a novel; have been for several years now. It's almost done; just a few chapters left. But I just noticed that I passed a small milestone; I honestly had no idea until I looked just now. Here; take a look: 100,000 words! Woot!
  8. I'm playing through a single game of KSP, and writing newspaper articles in the style of the '60's and '70's reporting on the US space program. I'm trying to capture the spirit and language of those days, and inject a small amount of Kerbal humor as well. Recently, we just achieved our first sub-orbital entry into space! Comments and constructive criticism are welcome.
  9. I thought about doing some creative writing, and I figured I'd share the prologue with you folks. Let me know what you think. Prologue
  10. I'm one of those people whose head is constantly filled with random threads of narrative, stories both silly and serious, long and short. I've found the best way to "let them out" is through writing, which has lead to a somewhat bizarre catalogue of short tales and snippets. Not sure how many would interest the community here, but I had one recently I thought might strike a chord, and figured I'd share. (Untitled) "You'll die," said Marco. "No," replied Weston, "I will finally live. I will be immortal." He looked upon the great white machine with the adoration of a proud parent. This ship, this ugly, boxy, angular vessel, which brooked no comparison to the sleek rockets his grandfathers had envisioned, whose hide was composites and ceramics and materials so strange and alien they would never have imagined in their time - this fine thing was to be his, and his alone. "You're a fool, and you'll die a fool's death," his pessimistic companion declared. "If it is foolish to chase your dreams, to live them, I would not wish to be a wise man. How many hundreds of years, Marco? How many has Mankind waited for this moment, dreamed of it? How many since we looked up at the stars and took it in our heads that we should be out there, among them? To stride vast distances of nothing, as the Gods do. I shall meet them all, Marco, the Christian and Islamic and Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Myan, Sumarian, and all the rest! I shall shake Ra's hand, ride Apollo's chariot, help Orion fasten his belt!" Weston's eyes grew wide as his excitement tumbled from his lips. "I will see with the eyes of Hubble and Kepler, Chandra and Spitzer and Herschel, drink from the ice of comets, breathe from distant nebulae, bask in the warmth of newborn suns. The whole of the universe, the length and breadth of infinity, all of it within our reach at last. Our mother Earth, a green bud, at last blossoming, flowering, spreading the pollen of human civilization into the cosmos. It all begins here, Marco, with this. With us!" Marco shook his head, hiding a smile. Weston's passion would not, could not be undone, by words or force. Death itself might not stop him, he considered wryly. The boy had been born with stars in his eyes, rocket fuel in his veins, his head forever far, far above the clouds, where molecules of gas danced lonely waltzes through the edge of space before bumping into another of their kind. His future on this world had only ever been to leave it. "I will miss you, my friend." Weston clapped him on the back. "Oh cheer up already! You're standing at the feet of history as it's being written, this is no moment for melancholy!" A heartbeat of silence, two, ten... "I'll miss you as well. And Renee. Florida. Earth. But just look out there." He pointed to the night sky, the star-flecked darkness behind the spacecraft on the pad. "All of it, this whole solar system, the Milky Way, someday we'll look at it as 'home,' they way we think of our towns now. Someone will ask where we're from and we won't answer 'New York,' or 'Cincinatti,' no sir, we'll say 'Earth,' or 'Proxima Centauri,' or 'Gliese 667.' They'll teach geography in stellar terms, not national ones. Just imagine it Marco, imagine that day!" "You really are a madman, Weston," Marco told him, laughing. "But by God, I wish we had a million more like you. Just don't forget to send us some damn fine pictures when you get up there, would you?" "Pictures? I'll send holovids. People will have the wonders of the universe, right at the tips of their eyeballs. But it won't be the same, you know. They won't feel the warmth of a new sun, they won't hear the patter of dust on the hull or the radio-band sonatas of gas giants singing them to sleep. There's only one way to have that - they'll have to follow me up." For a moment, Weston's voice grew low, serious. "Make sure they do, Marco. Space is vast, but it's not empty and it's not meant to be lonely." "We all do our part, Weston. Get some rest, you'll need it tomorrow." I've always liked Ray Bradbury's work, but somewhere along the line he became my "favorite" author (at least of Sci-fi). There's an earnestness in his writing I greatly admire, and I've been itching to try and capture some of that. So you might consider this a sort of literary homage to his style. Hopefully I succeeded. "Hide & Seek" was another I thought might have some merit, short as it is. Maybe one day my muse will feed me a continuation of it, but for now I suppose it stands well enough on its own. Hide & Seek No one knew for sure where the Rocket came from. One day it was simply there, a gleaming silver Fifties-style space needle, perched on three stubby fins. There were no visible hatches or windows of any kind, no openings in its smooth metallic surface except the exhaust nozzle in its base. And perhaps most mysterious of all, the ground below it was still green and fresh, without a single trace of scorching or interstellar fire. For days, people crowded around the Rocket, cautiously poking and prodding and snooping. When the craft stayed silent and dead, they grew bolder, tapping and hammering and even attempting to cut into the metal to get at whatever workings might be inside. Their efforts were wasted. The Rocket stood silent and impassive, its hull unblemished and whole despite their drills and saws and torches. No diamond tip or fiery plasma could make so much as a scratch on the strange craft. Since it had "landed" in the park, out of the way of all but the weekend Frisbee-throwers, the townsfolk were content to leave it alone and forget about it. Certainly, the mystery remained, but it was neither an obstruction nor a danger, and so it became an idle curiosity instead. Gossip, rumors, and fanciful stories circulated through the town, and the surrounding counties, but there were no answers to be had. Three months passed. A small group of children were playing in the park, enjoying their last few days of freedom before school resumed once more. They dodged around and between the Rocket's fins, heedless of the black exhaust nozzle over their heads as they pursued one another in a game of tag. But as bottomless as a child's energy may seem, they did eventually grow tired and turn to the more passive activity of Hide & Seek. And that was when it happened. While the other children scurried off to hide among the bushes and trees of the park, seven-year-old Victoria had a different idea. She crept around one of the Rocket's fins, looked up at the tall gleaming object, and asked quietly, "Please, let me in?" And so it did. A doorway appeared in the base of the Rocket, a small oval of white light, and it extended a ramp down to where she stood. Hesitating for only a second, young Victoria walked up the ramp and disappeared inside it. "Five!" counted down the Seeker, whose name was Timothy. "Four...! Three...! Two...! One...! Ready or not, here I come!" And ready or not, there went Victoria, streaking skyward on a tongue of orange flame and white smoke. To this day, no one's been able to find her. She always was the best at Hide & Seek.
  11. BEFORE READING: Please note that my grammar isn't the best, coming from a European, non-English speaking country.This story isn't meant to be realistic in any way, it's speculative fiction! Oh and sorry if the story is too cliché, it is my first writing and i've put effort into it. Quote from Wikipedia: Last thing about the word count: it may be more or less, because the word count in MS Word and some onlines ones showed different results. With that being said, here is my boring ol' story: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ PERISHED A SHORT STORY Roughly 20 years ago, the S.E.T.I. Organization started another day, hoping to find extra-terrestrial life.The day was going normally so far, until working hours were over and when the curious astronomers got home.The media started freaking out along with the space community because Pluto had disappeared from Earth's skies.Space agencies pointed the JWST at the position where Pluto was when it disappeared, then they found something very sinister.An unknown, massive, Jupiter-sized object with the density similar to that of the element chromium.People were scared, an the whole scientific world went to sleep that night with a tear in its eyes.Everyone felt sorry for the big-hearted dwarf planet. The night is finally over.The Sun is rising and The Moon is setting.Before the Moon went past the horizon, people observed a purple glow, which turned into a hole/disk soon after that was observable from the surface by the naked eye.Many telescopes around the world pointed their lens at the glow before it vanished.The glow faded away and nothing happened.Scientists rushed to record this anomaly.However, the military were the first to spot something.Right when the glow vanished, they spotted a spacecraft, a very small one by human standards.And it was heading to the surface.Troops were armed, tanks were prepared and missiles were ready to fire.The craft reached the surface and landed near the Washington Monument.The exit hatch was opened and the off ramp was lowered and out came the supposed aliens, although they were a bit different than people thought they were. People expected the aliens to look like something from the movies, but these were quite the opposite.They were around 1 – 1.5ft tall and had very short limbs along with four fingers, implying their home world has higher gravity than Earth.They were able to speak English with the help of some phonetic altering technology they didn't know about at the time.They asked the humans if their system was attacked by 'Furzak The Destroyer'.People didn't know what they were talking about.The friendly aliens came from the Gliese 581 system, planet c to be exact and have mastered all means of interstellar travel.They described this 'Furzak' they were talking about, and there were some uncanny resemblances.A Jupiter-sized mechanical four-fingered claw operated by millions of sentient drones.I just can't imagine the amount of kinetic and mechanical energy required to move something like that around.Einstein and Newton were probably rolling in their graves. Both humans and aliens didn't know Furzak's true purpose, but from the stories they told them, it's only purpose is to wreak havoc on Gods creations.Wether it could be stopped or not was a complete mystery, but they decided not to ramble about it too much.It was time to take action immediately and save themeselves from impending doom. A scenario like in the Independence Day movies was coming true, however, their alien friends decided to help them get away and get as many of them far away from here to another planet of their choice.From that day on, they named their stubby friends the Zanmi people. Planetary evacuation began immediately.Within a matter of hours; trains, planes and ships were overflowing with panicking people, along with traffic jams on motorways hundreds of miles long.Everyone was panicking, yes, but all people were heading to the nearest space centre used by their local space agency.Large SSTOs carrying up to a thousand people flew to 3 secret, large, unfinished but functional colonial ships made by many collaborating governments of the world.From smallest to largest: the Idaltu, Median & Carthage.All together, these ships could hold a Rome's worth of people.It took us about a month or so to load up the ships with people, going slightly over capacity. Back on the surface, their alien friends took of with their small spacecraft and reached the colonial ships.The captain of the ship Carthage gave them their coordinates to one of the best leading candidates for human life: Kepler-62f, 1200ly away in the Constellation of Lyra.They charged a laser based on the cockpit of the craft, then proceeded to beam up a section of empty space.Lo and behold, a purplish disk opened similar to what they saw when the Zanmi first came here.It was a wormhole.The people that made it onto the ships felt sad and heartbroken to see billions of people simply left there on what is going to be just remnants of Earth.Just think of the billions of lives, not just human, but plant and animal ones they were leaving in harms way. The colonial crafts fired up their engines for the first time and headed dead straight into the massive wormhole, large enough to fit all 3 ships, keeping in mind that Carthage, the largest of the spaceships, was twice or three times the size of the Imperial Star Destroyer in Star Wars, making Carthage around 4km in length. Before all 4 ships (including the Zanmi ship) could pass through the wormhole, it appeared, wormholing its way here.Its size was incredible.To put it in a perspective, if the palm of a hand was the claw, the Earth would be the size of a quarter.Thats how big it was.It joined those enormous four claw fingers and turned them into two, grabbing their beloved Earth by its north and south poles, firmly gripping and stopping the rotation of the planet.Buildings were flung east at 465 m/s and all the bodies that were left there, dead or alive, became giant .44 magnum bullets, or Mach 1.366 tumbleweed. It was too late.They weren't able to see the initial destruction and the aftermath.They entered the wormhole emotionally wrecked, all 4.3 million of them on these 3 ships.Before their brains could process the emotional pain, they arrived at their destination, landed in their drop pods, set up base and continued living on this unforgiving, CO2 infested world in sorrow for the next few decades, waiting for the next generation to outgrow them, knowing no world in the universe could replace their beloved and now destroyed Blue Marble. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ I didn't know wether to put this in the Lounge or the Fan Works, so move if needed!
  12. So I was trying to come up with a way to graphically represent the scale involved concerning the speed of light. I wanted to make a comparison between that speed (~300,000,000 m/s) and the fastest airbreathing craft in existence (the X-43 at roughly 3300 m/s). It's a pretty large gulf. The simplest approach, I decided, would be to depict the distance traversed by a photon next to the distance traversed by the X-43 in some arbitrary period of time. Trouble is, the ratio is 90,333:1. That's a hard distance to depict in a simple graphic; I don't know of anybody with a screen large enough to display a 90,333 pixel line. However, what about a spiral? If I could create a spiral with an arc length of 90,333 cm, then I could display it next to a 1-cm line. That would be a pretty striking way of depicting the difference. If an arc length of 90,333 cm was impossible, I could make a perceived arc length of 90,333 cm...for example, by depicting a spiral with 500 turns and an outer diameter of 180 cm (as if the diameter is constant but the spiral is receding back into the screen). No idea how I could possibly find a way to render that, though. Any ideas? Or any other ideas of how to depict a scale difference of 90,333:1?
  13. In this story, I will be describing the first contact between humanity and Kerbalkind. Pretend that the Kerbol system is scaled up to real size, while still having the same planets. I am also including the OPM planets. Date: 7/25/2077 Location: Low Earth Orbit Interstellar Probe 37 was docked to the carrier ship that contained the reactors and Alcubierrie drives. It flew to a newly discovered solar system and released the probe. To be continued...
  14. Here, I'll be cataloging major developments in my career save in the form of in-world emails, mission reports, radio transcripts, and various other primary sources. I'll also add mundane slice of life bits whenever I get bored in class and decide to write them. We begin now with one of those mundane bits. ------------------------------------------------------------------ {1 New Mail} [Message 1] - Received 1-5, 4:32:46 From: Jebediah Kerman To: Gene Kerman Subject: “I think celebrations are in order.” Hey, Gene! I tried to call you earlier, but the line was busy. Then I tried to call a couple hours later and it was still busy! I’m sure that you boys in administration have your hands full with all the contracts and PR you have to deal with. How lucky I am to be the lowest bidder for a contract like this. I’ve already told you how thankful I am that you would hire such a ragtag company to construct your rocket parts. Speaking of which, the boys over at the junkyard are putting the finishing touches on the second Flea prototype. Tell Wherner I’m confident the new model will explode in a much more orderly and controlled fashion, at least relative to our first test fire. I hope his moustache grows back soon! On to the point, I’d like to hold a little get together to celebrate our first launch. It’s going to be a stressful two weeks for all of us leading up to the big day, and I feel like an after party would be in order. I’ve got a venue picked out already, with drinks and snacks planned. All I need is your go ahead, and to know whether anyone in your department is allergic to nuts. If you have any specific requests, let me know. P.S. I hear you guys are having trouble finding someone to pilot the Flea. As CEO of Jebediah Kerman’s Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Company, and as an old test pilot for the Osean Air Force, I’ll gladly volunteer to be your first kerbonaut if you’ll have me. [End of message] ------- {2 New Mails} [Message 1] - Received 1-5, 5:13:58 From: Gene Kerman To: Jebediah Kerman Subject: “Re: I think celebrations are in order.” Dear Jebediah, It’s good to hear that the Flea is on schedule. I’m sorry for the inconvenience with our telephone lines. We thought we had enough phones installed, but as soon as our little space endeavour went public the call center was overrun. I’m glad that people are so enthusiastic about space, but our secretaries are exhausted. I’m glad you messaged me on my personal email. I already have over 300 messages in my business account, and I just checked it two hours ago. On the subject of an after party, I think that it would be very appropriate. I’ll just leave everything about that up to you, just send me the details so I can tell everyone where to be and at what time. My only request is that there be some good wine. I haven’t had a good drink in months with how busy we’ve been and how much my wife loathes having alcohol in the house. I’ll need to ask around about the peanut allergies. On the subject of your request to pilot the Flea, I believe it can be arranged. None of our current pilots are exactly enthusiastic about riding an exploding metal tube into the sky. You’ll have to go through the standard training and testing procedures, of course, but given your flight record, I think you’ll perform very well. It might be good publicity for the CEO of the company building the rocket to put such faith in his mens’ work (which is especially needed, given the fact that the people know you’re literally working out of a junkyard). Please send in an application, and we can get the ball rolling. Someone will probably need to fill in for you at your company while you’re away. The training is intensive, and you will likely have very little time for much else. Whatever you decide, good luck in the coming weeks. I’ll be looking forward to that drink. Sincerely, Gene Kerman [End of message] [Message 2] - Received 1-6, 1:59:59 To: Jebediah Kerman’s Junkyard and Spaceship Parts Co. From: Kerbol & Mun Insurance Subject: “BILLING FILED” Mr. Jebediah, this message is to inform you of the confirmation of funds paid to the Spatial Observation and Aeronautics Program (SOAP) for damages listed below. Drywall repair - $200 Glass window repair x4 - $500 Soot removal - $100 Medical Expenses for Bob Kerman - $5000 Psychological Treatment for Bill Kerman - $5500 Landscaping repair - $1000 Miscellaneous destruction of property - $5675 Moustache replacement for Wherner von Kerman - $3 Replacement of VAB mini-fridge $55 Replacement of mini fridge snacks - $1000 “Because you’re an idiot” - $24 Total Funds: $19057 If there are any discrepancies in billing, please file a claim with our customer service department. [End of message]
  15. I'mnot sure where to put this since i didn't see a forum or sub-forum suitable for writing. Oh well. I wonder if we attempted to vividly describe a world (and story) made entirely out of H.R giger's nightmarish art. (Rest in peace, my god of horror. If only you and HP Lovecraft could have seen eatchother...) In the distant future, Humanity's technology becomes more and more integrated into biology to the point that structures were built out of masses of pipe-like tunnels of flesh and plastic wires. Mankind had overpopulated so much that the world became a desperate hellscape of starvation, violence and despair. Bodies filled the cold, grey landscape, which were collected and fed to construction machines to be turned into cities of dead tissue. Healthy humans, as seen today, are so rare and valuable that the disgusting, parasite creatures that slither and bounce off of round cages of bone and exposed marrow, made slippery by the grey blood of the bio-pipes dripping down on them would immediately impale and kill them to assimilate their high-quality components. Before these twisted times, a single male Human froze himself for a time long forgotten. He awakens to this anti-paradise and now seeks to put and end to the hideous creature that controls the biomechanical world so that thing may get back on track. Armed only with a Glock .45 pistol, he sets out on a long trek through a desert of nightmares. Now the fun part: You get to add to the story!
  16. Hello guys! This new thread is a reformat of an "old" idea I started developing, but just didn't consider good enough. The old idea revolved around the mission reports of a programme aiming to colonize the Kerbol System but I just began thinking I could make it much more than that, so I scrapped what I had before and started anew. I'll be writing a story of what happened in such programme, how it got to be what it is, and the failures that happened along the way, as well as the successes. This thread is going to serve as a "hub" for the story itself, and will link all of the chapters that are finished. Also, at the beginning of each chapter I'll link the previous one, and at it's end, the next one. Please forgive any spelling, grammar or any other kind of mistakes. I'm not a native English speaker, so those will happen. Here we go folks, hope you enjoy... Pathos 1 - The Story: Prologue: Pathos Programme Creation and Preparations Chapter one: (WIP) Now, most of the images were either directly taken and edited by me, taken from the game's own sources and edited slightly, with the exception of one - the Pathos 2 Logo, at the beginning of the prologue. This one was taken from the actual Pathos 2 facility, present in Soma (a game).
  17. Heyya folks I've been a long-time forum-lurker, and finally got around to creating an account. I started playing way back in 0.19, and by 0.21 (still long before Career raised it's head) I'd decided that I needed something more concrete to keep my KSP going. I decided to start from scratch, and write down the stories of my successes (and failures) as they happened. The project grew, and grew, and GREW, and the page-count spiraled out of control. v0.22, then 0.23 came along, then 0.24 and 0.25, then 0.9's beta, then 1.0's release, and still the darned thing wouldn't end! Eventually, I just decided that I had to draw a line somewhere, and started editing, trying to trim back the page-count to something more manageable. And so, after many, many, many hours of blood, sweat, tears and asplosions, I'd like to present the chronicles of my Kerbal Space Program career for your (hopefully) enjoyment. It's been an EPIC ride, SQUAD. Thanks for an amazing game! Googledocs