adsii1970

Kerny Kerman's Journal (mission reports from a Kerbal's point of view) [Chapter 70: "Maintain our current distance from Kerbin, Lieutenant..."]

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2 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

... Of course, Dr. Angelo laughs all the way to the bank with his new Kbox game, Grand Theft Shuttle: New Zebulan... ;)

Who knows... Maybe one of his engineers comes up with the idea... Now that would be funny! :D

2 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

New security system:

keycode, retinal scan, voice print, dental scan, secret handshake...

Never thought of a dental scan. But then again, how intrusive do we want to make the security protocols? Voice print would be easy and I've used one before in the story... Or I think I have... :blush:

3 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

Anyway, now I wanna know what the ghost has to say! 

Oh, next chapter that will happen :D But admit it, if that happened to you in real life, it would cause one of those Okay, I am officially weirded out moments!

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6 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

Ysssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss, more Kerny!

Great work as always, @adsii1970!! 

Thank you...

I've got some wild ideas for the next chapter. Right now, there's really not a lot I can do as nothing ever happens fast in space. Kerny and his crew are on course, drifting, and still almost  three days away from rendezvous with the Discovery IV. So...

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On 9/28/2018 at 2:56 PM, adsii1970 said:

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I guess you do need some entertainment while drifting through space.... 

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1 hour ago, TeslaPenguin1 said:

I guess you do need some entertainment while drifting through space.... 

Actually, it is a running joke between @Just Jim and myself that in my Kerbiverse, The Saga of Emiko Station is actually a claymation weekly television show.... :D

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awesomesauce! 

Nice little "message from the past" if that is what it is. I love that you keep perspective on Kerny continuously, and only show off other missions from wherever he is, like from a remote feed. 

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21 hours ago, Thedrelle said:

awesomesauce! 

Nice little "message from the past" if that is what it is. I love that you keep perspective on Kerny continuously, and only show off other missions from wherever he is, like from a remote feed. 

To be honest, at times, it is quite a challenge. But I figure it gives me an opportunity to show you all some of the things I do in the same game kinda "behind the scenes" of the same game to set the stage for what's happening. Kerny's Journal only uses about a quarter of what I actually do. I could easily write another "journal" but from the perspective of any one of the other 145 Kermen in the game... :D

 

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21 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

. I could easily write another "journal" but from the perspective of any one of the other 145 Kermen in the game... :D

 

I would LOVE that, but I would not include it in this thread. I would write a separate thread that would be another "mission report from a kerbal's point of view", linked to the series, like a spinoff.

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On 10/4/2018 at 11:38 AM, Thedrelle said:

I would LOVE that, but I would not include it in this thread. I would write a separate thread that would be another "mission report from a kerbal's point of view", linked to the series, like a spinoff.

No, it would be its own journal. There have been several times I have really come close to making Valentina the main character of the spin-off. The only problem is there are a bunch of mods I have gotten rid of since Kerny's sandbox save began. But who knows, there's so many newer Kermen on my roster, it could be interesting to have one of them as the main character. But unfortunately, for the immediate future, I need to stick to only Kerny. There's been a lot going on since May of this year... and it is only starting to return to normal here.

 

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4 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

No, it would be its own journal. There have been several times I have really come close to making Valentina the main character of the spin-off. The only problem is there are a bunch of mods I have gotten rid of since Kerny's sandbox save began. But who knows, there's so many newer Kermen on my roster, it could be interesting to have one of them as the main character. But unfortunately, for the immediate future, I need to stick to only Kerny. There's been a lot going on since May of this year... and it is only starting to return to normal here.

 

It seemed like you have been pretty busy recently, Glad to hear things are calming down, and I look forward to the next installment of Kerny's Journal

 

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Moho 24, Y003
"Echoes from another time; visions from a distant future
"
MISSION DAY +2.5

Chapter 68

Roughly a day has passed since I watched the prerecorded video message from Dr. Edmund. Seeing his image on my cabin's monitor was calming but unsettling at the same time. The data stick contains a lot of information but the most disturbing and unexpected information is about my role in Section 31.

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Dr. Edmund's expression had changed from his normal cheerful and playful demeanor to one of grave seriousness as he began to explain my role. I can still hear his old, raspy voice each time I think of what he explained to me:

Kerny, in the ideal world, myself and the other member of the Ohoroxtotil would take you to an isolated location to explain to you the orders and principles of the Section. There are things at play right now which makes it impossible for us to do so. In the history of our world, since the Fifth Great War, there have been three hundred members of Section 31 but only twenty-four members of the Ohoroxtotil. And there are only three members at one time. Your selection to serve as one is no accident.

But before I get into all of that, let me explain to you what Section 31 is and what our mission is. We are all the guardians of the Republic as described in Section 31 of the Governing Statues and Decrees. Within the original Regulations, Section 31 was assembled to protect the integrity of our government. The members of the Section came from all parts of Kerbin society and were encouraged to be a part of society. The job was simple - be exemplary citizens and be the eyes and ears of the Grand Committee.

The lower level of the Section, the Ah Cuxtal, report to one of the three members of the Ohoroxtotil. The meaning of the Ah Cuxtal, the ancient deity of our ancestors, was responsible for child birth and fertility. The early framers of Section 31 felt the first level had assigned responsibilities which they felt paralleled Ah Cuxtal. Remember your primary education, Kerny. Every primary-aged Kerman is taught this deity protects the unborn Kerman and ensures its safe passage into the world. And this is what the Ah Cuxtal do - protects the Republic for the next generation of Kermen. Over time, this role evolved into where we are now - as the guardians of the Republic. 

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A few years after the founding, and in spite of what Dr. Zarkov will tell you, I was NOT there, a second level was added to Section 31 - the Ohoroxtotil. To understand our role is to remember the deity which is our namesake. The deity, Ohoroxtotil, was one of the creator gods. He is the creator of Kerbol and the deity that made the world habitable by destroying the extremely deadly scorpion platypi, which infested the surface.

Just as the deity had the power to create and destroy, so does the Ohoroxtotil. While the mission is the same, the defense and preservation of our Republic, the tools at our disposal are different. The Ah Cuxtal take orders and report directly to the members of the Ohoroxtotil. There's only one member which acts as the liaison at a time. Traditionally, the eldest member of our level is not only the regarded as the head of Section 31, but is who the lower level reports to directly.

I don't remember if I told you who the other member of the Ohoroxtotil is. Dr. Zarkov holds that title. He's been at this level for nearly thirty years; he replaced Dr. Bohr Kerman about five years after his passing. The decision was made by myself and the other member of the Ohoroxtotil, Piper Kerman, whom you replaced two years after her death. Dr. Bohr Kerman's death was expected. He was already over three hundred years old when he died. Piper's death caught us off guard - she wasn't even seventy yet... I've been a member of Section 31 for nearly a hundred years and became a member of the Ohoroxtotil about twenty years before Dr. Zarkov.

Anyhow, shortly after the founding of Section 31, it was decided that the section must operate in secrecy. So, when the Governing Statues and Decrees was updated later that year, Section 31 was rescinded but with the section number marked "reserved." This is why within the library, only the revised Governing Statues and Decrees is available to the public. When I first recruited you for Section 31, I told you that you now had access to everything you could possibly want or need for your research on the alien craft. As a member of the Ohoroxtotil, you have access to even the most secret of Grand Committee records. You'll even be able to access the secret archives which date from the times before the Fifth Great War. But there is much, much more you'll have access to. But with access comes great responsibility. 

You are now one of the decision makers for Section 31. You are an equal with myself and Dr. Zarkov. You were recommended by two members of the Ah Cuxtal, Bobak Kerman and Captain Bob Kerman. Those were pretty impressive recommendations from two Kermen Dr. Zarkov and myself hold in high regard. You were selected because of a combination of your natural curiosity, the ability to remain mission focused, and your ability to directly and indirectly influence others to share your passions. You were chosen because you are also a visionary - able to see the world as it should be. During your candidacy interviews for the Kerbalnaut program, I was amazed at how quickly you could come up with applications for theoretical technologies. Dr. Zarkov was impressed by your ability to see all sides of a problem and work out a solution which was sound and easily to implement. This is how we operate; this is who we are.

When you return to Kerbin, Dr. Zarkov will meet with you and we will continue your training together. There's a bright future ahead of you, Kerny.

And with that, the prerecorded video message ended. I sat in my cabin not sure of what to think of it all. What did he mean by "but with access comes great responsibility"?

Just as I was ready to leave my cabin, Lieutenant Gilti's voice came over the communications panel speakers. "Captain, we've received a data packet from Bobak."

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"Thanks," I began. "Just send it through to my cabin." Within what seemed like a few seconds, the data packet began to unpack itself and displayed its directory on my monitor. The first one was about the shuttle operations around the Orbital Platform Zebulan Kerman. The STS Dauntless had been given orders by Mission Control to return to the KSC, bringing with it Dr. Angelo and the remaining members of his staff.

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I'm not sure why Bobak included it with the data packet since it doesn't directly concern our mission. But I do know my crew will enjoy seeing the departure of the shuttle from the station. For nearly five minutes, the chatter between the shuttle's crew, mission control, and the orbiting platform was fairly routine. By the time we received Bobak's data packet, Dr. Angelo and his crew would be less than two hours from touchdown at the space center.

Apparently, yesterday also had some excitement when the Au Peku Mk 2 flown by Lieutenants Gemfurt and Joewell had an engine malfunction. The mission started normal enough with a routine air patrol of the corridor between New Kerbin City and the space center.

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"Ok, Joewell," his copilot Lieutenant Gemfort, could be heard saying. "We're at the end of our patrol route, time to turn around for the next part."

"Roger, Gemfort," he replied. "Let's bring her around. You better hang on!"

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On the screen of my communications panel, I watched the aircraft go nearly vertical and roll over, doing a slight course correction back towards the direction of the space center. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary with this flight until...

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"KSC Tracking, this is Meteor Three..." It was the voice of Gemfort. "Our onboard computer is registering a system failure in our port engine -- "

"Roger, Meteor Three," Kuzzter's voice could be heard over the communication panel speakers. "Have you implemented the checklist?"

"Tracking," interrupted Joewell, "your checklist is fine in the simulators... the engine... will not engage..."

"Joey," Gemfort's voice merely added to the unfolding confusion, "cut the power to starboard, then give it full thrust. See if we cannot force the port to engage..."

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From the video feed, it was obvious nothing was going to reignite the port side engine. In spite of the efforts of the flight crew, the craft continued in its death spiral. The chatter between the flight crew and the tracking center continued.

"Meteor Three," this time, it was Gene's voice. "Eject, repeat... Eject. Bobak, get Thompberry's team going... Now!"

"Roger, Gene." Gemfurt's voice full of calm reservation. "Punching out in four... three... two... one..." The sounds of the canopy's explosive bolts firing soon filled my cabin.

"Tracking, this is Meteor Four," voice called out. "I see two chutes! -- "

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"Roger, Meteor Four." Gene's voice once again filled my cabin. "Stay over ejection area until recovery arrives."

"Roger, Gene." came the reply.

The video feed quickly changed to right in front of the center's space plane hangar. Although the audio feed was pretty low, the video feed told me all I needed to know. Thompberry's rescue team vehicle and one of the Ospreys assigned to his pilot recovery team sat on the apron. And in between both vehicles were two Kermen. The posture of the one closest to the camera was obviously Thompberry.

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Soon, the Osprey rose above the space center and headed off to where the flight crew of the Au Peku would wait for their ride back to the space center. Knowing Major Thompberry, he'd have multiple flights to the crash site and back until every scrap of the aircraft were recovered. He is good at his job; already he has begun to piece together what happened with the craft which was transporting Dr. Edmund to the space center. Most of the larger pieces were recovered from that one and it is hoped that Thompberry's report would tell us what brought the craft down.

The loss of the Au Peku wasn't the only excitement yesterday. It seems that about two hours after the Osprey left the space center, Major Obney's tracking team at the Island Air Field began tracking an unknown craft heading towards the island. It seems like something which is happening a lot in recent times --

"KSC Tracking, this is Island Airfield CIC," Obney's voice now filling my cabin. "We are tracking an unknown craft entering our area. Bearing is 250 degrees. Please advise, over..."

"Roger, Airfield," Bobak responded. "Tracking advises they are now following the craft." In the background, Kuzzter could be heard ordering one of the space center's pilots into the air to investigate.

Within a few uneasy minutes, the voice of Lieutenant Megzy was heard over the radio. "Tracking, this is KSC Three. Requesting permission to --"

"Lieutenant," Obney said, "whatever you're asking, intercept!"

"Lieutenant," this time it was the voice of Bobak. "Gene's stepped away -- "

"Requesting the use of afterburners -- "

"Granted," Obney fired back. "Go intercept -- "

And before Bobak could respond, the sound of afterburners engaging could be heard over the small speakers of my communications panel. Megzy was doing everything she could to intercept the craft before it could reach the island airfield.

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After a few minutes of radio chatter between the space center tracking and the efforts of the air traffic control section of the island airfield, Megzy called out, "Hey, I see it on my radar but there's no visual. KSC Tracking, request instructions. Repeat, KSC Tracking, request - "

"KSC Three," Gene's voice was back on the radio. "Go weapons hot. Repeat, go weapons hot. When your system has a firing solution, engage -- "

"Gene, I don't see anything," she replied. "My radar shows there's something there, but I don't see -- "

'Well," Major Obney sounding annoyed. "It's too late to worry about them once they're here! Gene, I request permission to launch my own squad --"

"Denied, Obney. You have two certified pilots, three craft with training loads, and ten trainees -- "

"Gene, I see something, but it's not... " As if on cue, the sound of tone lock filled my cabin. Her craft's targeting computer had found it's target. "Fire one... two..." she called out.

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"KSC Three, this is KSC Tracking," Bobak said in his normal, calm voice. We are tracking... impact and... impact!"

"Confirmed kill," Obney called out. "Island Airfield is confirming target has been neutralized!"

"Gene," Megzy said, in a questioning tone. "Permission to do a flyover. I would like to know what I just shot down -- "

"Permission granted, Lieutenant." Gene added, "send the coordinates. We'll give Thompberry something else to do today."

Within a couple of minutes, the radio chatter resumed. Megzy's voice told me everything about this latest encounter I needed to know...

"Gene," she called out. "It was one of those small unKermaned craft. You know, one of those the younglings play with -- "

"Not younglings, Lieutenant!" Major Obney blurted out. "It's J. Jim, dammit!"

Wait, you knew -- " Gene called out across the radio, cutting off both Megzy and Obney in the process.

"Yes, I knew! He's been trying to film shots for his stupid -- " It was apparent Gene and Obney shared the same thoughts about J. Jim's efforts to make his claymation show, The Saga of Emiko Station as realistic as possible.

"You still want the coordinates, Gene?" Megzy asked, mostly out of amusement now.

"You bet." Gene said, almost in near laughter. "Let's see how many we can irritate today. No need for Major Obney to have all the fun --"

"Gene, he sends his pesky small camera remote planes over here at least twice a week -- " but before Obney could explain any further, Gene cut him off.

"That's your problem," he began. "Since Dr. Edmund gave him complete access to all KDF facilities, I've had drones at the space center nearly non-stop..." and with that, the video stream stopped. Even at this distance from the space center, Bobak's data packets seem to keep us involved in what's happening. I could only imagine the continued exchange between Gene and Obney with Megzy caught in between the two as she tries to complete her mission. It's times like this I am glad I made the decision to enter into the space corps.

The other bit of routine news was the testing of another new transport craft designed by Harrison Kerman. He calls it the KAI-130, for lack of a different number. Yesterday evening, about three hours before this data packet was transmitted to us, the craft took its first testing flight from the space center.

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From what the craft specifications say, it has the ability to use something Harrison calls "rocket assist" to take off with heavy loads on short runways. It also has two tail-mounted drogue chutes to help it land on those same shorter runways, much like what is out near Tulum Station. According to the data from the preliminary flight, the craft had a pretty solid performance under normal take-off and landing tests at the space center. The main objectives of the first test flight were fairly simple. After a standard take-off, the test crew flew the KAI-130 for thirty minutes around the space center, and did a normal landing.

Within the next week, the second set of test flights are scheduled. The information Bobak gave us has a pretty aggressive testing schedule. The first of two flights will be to test the new rocket assisted take off and drogue chute assisted landings at both the KSC and the Island Airfield. I can already hear Major Obney complaining how the test flight involving the Island Airfield will disrupt his training schedule.

Within the rest of the data packet were the shuttle rotation schedules. It appears that once the STS Dauntless has returned to the space center, the STS Jala Kerman will undergo final preparations for launch. The mission has two parts: taking new Orbital Platform Zebulan Kerman, then once that is finished, to rendezvous with one of the older survey satellites and bring it back to the KSC. The entire duration of the mission is supposed to be two decaKerbols - longer than our current mission to rescue the crew of the Discovery IV.

As I was preparing to close down my communications panel and return to my bridge, Gilti's voice came over the small console speaker. "Captain, you have a class four communication, marked encrypted. Want me to send it back?"

"Go ahead, Lieutenant," I said. I had no idea who would be wanting to talk to me, but a class four communication carried with it certain restrictions. It was to be considered as personal and classified. I opened the channel and immediately, my cabin's lights went from white to blue, indicating the channel was now secure.

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"Captain," the familiar voice of Bob called out. "I hope I'm not distracting you from your duties."

"No Captain," I replied. "What can I do for you, Bob? Is everything ok?

"Kerny, I am not too sure," he began. "It's not about me; I'm fine. It's about Jebediah."

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'Yesterday, I walked to the edge of the ice field where the Polar Station is. I don't know if you've ever been there, but the settlement's air can get stale pretty quick. When I came back, Jebediah met me and he was actually -- smiling! It was the first time I've seen him smile since the disappearance of Bill. Since my arrival here, he has been to the crashed alien craft multiple times, but he hasn't been back since the encounter we had a while back ago."

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"We stood there, watching Kerbol set until it was nearly over the horizon. He really didn't say much except how he felt everything was passing him by."

"I wonder what he meant by that?" I asked.

"I'm not sure," Bob continued. "But there's something going on with him. I'm not sure what, but that's not all. Normally, I'd call Dr. Edmund with these kinds of things because he was the one who asked me to keep my eyes on Jebediah. But with..."

"Yes, I know." Now things are beginning to make some sense about why Gene had allowed Bob to take a transport craft. "Why didn't you contact Dr. Zarkov -- "

"Oh, so you do know about Dr. Zarkov being the senior member of the Ohoroxtotil since Dr. Edmund is dead," Bob added. "But the funny thing is Dr. Zarkov told me to tell you. I didn't realize Dr. Edmund had a chance to talk to you yet -- "

"Not completely," I began. "But enough to know the basics of what part of Section 31 I am in. But I do not understand how I can help at the moment -- "

"Dr. Zarkov doesn't want Jebediah to be forced out of the KDF. And it was one of the reasons he and Dr. Edmund had given me this assignment. He and Dr. Edmund believed that Jebediah had become too much of a hero to most Kermen out there. He was the first in space, he was the first to step foot on the Mün, and was the first to fly an aircraft faster than sound waves travel. Both agreed with me that Jebediah is no candidate for deep spaceflight and will probably never go into space again. But -- "

"You do realize," I began, "it's not up to me or Gene at this point. It's up to the Grand Committee -- "

"Yes, I do," Bob continued to explain. "But if we can get the backing of as many key Kermen. Commodore Valentina is planning to recommend reduction in rank and reassignment. But the theory has always been we wanted to wait until it was safe to bring Jebediah back to the space center. But last night, something happened none of us expected - none of us but Dr. Edmund -- "

"Which was..." I interrupted.

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"Last night, Jebediah came back into the Polar Station and went to the communications console. He called Gene -- "

"I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing, Bob," I said, slowly thinking about the new wrinkle in Jebediah's saga. "If anything, it could help us sway -- "

"Exactly," Bob interrupted again. "I didn't hear a lot of the conversation, but what I did manage to hear was Gene telling Jebediah to take a few more days. From what I understand, Gene is planning to talk to Dr. Zarkov later today. There's been a new development, Kerny. The Grand Committee rejected Prime Consul Katrine's efforts to name her daughter as the acting chair of the Triune Committee. For now, the Triune Committee is being chaired by Dr. Zarkov and the Grand Committee did allow Rayvan to become a consul on the committee. Because of his knowledge about the KDF, Gene has been named as an advisory consul to the Triune Committee --"

"Well, that's good, for now," I interrupted.

"Yes, it is," he replied. "Kerny, I need to go before Jebediah realizes I'm communicating with anyone. He's outside, preparing the snow cat for the first trip to the crashed alien craft in a while. I'll keep you posted..."

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And with that, the channel immediately closed and my cabin lights reverted to the normal white light. Bob had been told to contact me by Dr. Zarkov. But how did Dr. Zarkov know that I had already accessed the data stick given to me by Dr. Edmund? Was it coincidence or was there something more going on?

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We're now a full day before we begin the rendezvous maneuvers which will allow us to intercept the Discovery IV. Commander Karloff continues to be amazed by the performance of the refitted Excursion, in spite of the few problems we've already encountered. Although not needed, our long range communications array will not properly deploy. We've contacted Dr. Angelo who assures us it will be something which can easily be repaired once we return. So far, that's our biggest problem, but I am fairly confident we'll find more as this mission unfolds.

It's time for me to head to the command deck and relieve Commander Karloff for a few hours so he can get some rest before we begin maneuvers to intercept the Discovery IV. Ensign Triy has really impressed Karloff with her eagerness to learn the Excursion's engineering and propulsion systems. She has been trusted with more engineering duties by him as she has gained a level of knowledge and confidence in her own abilities. Already, she was able to diagnose and repair a wiring issue which left Senior Consul Maxbas' cabin in darkness and with no heat for nearly an hour. Karloff is grateful for her attitude and willingness to help. She's made a fine addition to my crew.

Edited by adsii1970
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WOOOOOOOOT! New chapter!

Loved all the Emiko references in there!

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11 minutes ago, TeslaPenguin1 said:

WOOOOOOOOT! New chapter!

Loved all the Emiko references in there!

Ha! There are a few... ;)

I'm sorry that it took me so long to get this chapter out. Ideally, I'd like to push one out a week. Or at least it is my goal.

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Now I get why Bobak keeps sending Kerny info packets of missions that normally would not be relevant to his command: to keep Section 31 members in the loop. No doubt some of that is public media stuff but still...

And perhaps with great responsibility comes great eavesdropping...

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10 hours ago, Angel-125 said:

Now I get why Bobak keeps sending Kerny info packets of missions that normally would not be relevant to his command: to keep Section 31 members in the loop. No doubt some of that is public media stuff but still...

Yes. I figured it was time to let some of the Section 31 Kermen known - and Bobak was a perfect fit. He's in the perfect position. He can keep everyone up to date who needs to be kept in the loop and no one would be any wiser. Plus, it was time to tie up the loose end of why Bobak kept sending data packets that, as you correctly pointed out, weren't mission related.

Edited by adsii1970
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3 hours ago, adsii1970 said:

Yes. I figured it was time to let some of the Section 31 Kermen are - and Bobak was a perfect fit. He can keep everyone up to date who needs to be kept in the loop and no one would be any wiser. Plus, it was time to tie up the loose end of why Bobak kept sending data packets that, as you correctly pointed out, weren't mission related.

Definitely makes sense. A Section 31 high honcho would need to know what resources are available and what developments are going on around the nation... and might need a personal assistant or hundred to keep everything straight...

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6 hours ago, Angel-125 said:

Definitely makes sense. A Section 31 high honcho would need to know what resources are available and what developments are going on around the nation... and might need a personal assistant or hundred to keep everything straight...

But remember, Kerny had no idea until a couple of chapters ago, that he was a "head honcho." This gives me another fun angle to explore... And raises another question or two...

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Hey! Another chapter of Kerny's Journal! We got some Section 31 info, and Jeb is up to something........:o

@adsii1970 another awesome chapter :)

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On 1/26/2018 at 5:11 PM, adsii1970 said:

Adapted from Governing Statues and Decrees of the Grand Committee of the United Republic of Kerbin (Y001). Ed. Herodikus Kerman and J. Marshall Kerman. New Kerbin City: Central Kerbia University Press.

Article I (Defining the Grand Committee, Membership, and Standing Committees)

(SNIP)

 

2

Holy cow did you write that entire thing?? :O

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another great chapter!

Looking forward to what power that gives our intrepid spacekerb!

 

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49 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

Hey! Another chapter of Kerny's Journal! We got some Section 31 info, and Jeb is up to something........:o

@adsii1970 another awesome chapter :)

Yup, and there's probably (more than likely) going to be another expository chapter which will be the *redacted* Section 31 followed by something in a spoiler tag. Only way I can think to do it.

35 minutes ago, Lo Var Lachland said:

Holy cow did you write that entire thing?? :O

Yup, I did. It is the best way to explain the way the United Republic of Kerbin's government functions without bogging down the chapters. It also helps me to structure the story line so that I can keep things consistent, too. And one thing you should be getting is that Katrine is a threat to the very functioning of the Grand Committee.

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The plot violates the laws of physics by growing denser than a black hole...

Edited by obney kerman

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I haven't forgotten about you all. I have another chapter in the works and I will post it towards the end of next week.

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Moho 25, Y003
"Has it really come down to this?
"
MISSION DAY +3.75

Chapter 69

About thirty minutes ago I finished reading and reviewing the materials in today's data packet. Commander Alddred, the former first officer of the Sinaan, took his first command aboard the URKN Tekto. I didn't realize he and his crew departed around the same time my crew also left the space center. After traveling for two days between 20 and 30 knots, his ship, arrived at Ha'Ta'ab Station shortly before midnight last night. According to the data file, he and his crew will have three days in port, mainly to top off the ship's fuel tanks, and then begin a patrol in the Wach Nohol Sea. From what I can tell, his patrol will be the third patrol in that sea since the Emergence almost four years ago.

Prime Consul Katrine suffered another political setback yesterday. Her daughter, Acting Senior Consul Rayvan, introduced a resolution to reduce the number of planned patrol craft to three. According to the report, her suggestion was necessary to divert resources to the surface recolonization and settlement project Katrine has continued to promote. Under Rayvan's plan, the Dres, Tekto, and Eeloo would remain in service. The new Sinaan, a light cruiser with significantly more firepower and less than a third of the way completed, would be scrapped. The other five patrol craft would also be scrapped.

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The Delegates of Five rejected the proposal and although not required to, made a full report to the Committee of the Five. I don't think anyone on the Grand Committee, except for Rayvan, trusts Katrine. It is becoming more apparent there are a number of consuls on the Grand Committee who view the Prime Consul with increasing distrust. As far as I am concerned, what has caused the distrust with the Prime Consul is her vision for the Republic. She wants to completely dismantle the KDF, believing there's no need to defend our world from any threat. She also wants to restrict space exploration to just Kerbin's sphere of influence. And finally, she wants to be remembered as the Prime Consul who led our civilization to recolonize the surface of Kerbin. While recolonizing the surface of Kerbin isn't necessarily a bad thing, it must not take priority above our defense.

The data packet contained briefing notes and a video file from a special and unscheduled flight this morning. Maybe the flight was a reaction to her calling for the creation of a new organization she's referred to as the Guards of the Prime Consul". Yesterday, she called for the creation of this new military at the same time she called for the disbanding of the Kerbin Defense Forces. In her speech, she claimed the KDF could not be trusted to defend all of the Republic and remain under the oversight of the Triune Committee. In a surprise move, she claimed the Guards would be under the direct command of the Prime Consul. There would be no Triune Committee oversight. No extended oversight by the Grand Committee -- and independent of the chain of command established in the Governing Statues and Decrees. 

The briefing notes were clear - in the absence of Dr. Edmund, the KDF would continue to recognize the authority of the Triune Committee - but would not recognize Acting Consul Rayvan as the Senior Consul of the committee. The KDF's top military officer, General Gene, would only recognize the proper succession of leadership - which would be Dr. Zarkov. And the briefing notes included a list of officers who agreed with the stand he was taking. And until the matter could be resolved by a full hearing of the Grand Committee and not through actions taken solely by Prime Consul Katrine, the KDF would begin to perform periodic reconnaissance flights over New Kerbin City to monitor its production facilities. Gene's statement sent to the Committee of Five also included a provision that the all reconiassance materials would be forwarded directly to the Committee after processed by the KSC. I can't help asking has it really come down to this?

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"KSC Flight Operations, this is Starfire..." the young feminine Kerman voice called out. "Requesting clearance to launch."

"Roger, Starfire," Bobak responded. "The Old Man requests you change to seven plus.." This was the way we were taught in pilot's training when Gene wanted us to change frequencies to prevent monitoring by the Kerbal News Network. At some point in the morning briefing, the various pilots were told of a base frequency number. And the 'seven plus' was simply a cryptic way of instructing the pilot, Captain Stelbel - Starfire - to change frequencies after takeoff.

The video shifted to the end of runway camera. And there, filling the screen of my cabin, was the Hornet Mk 1. Designed for high speed chase and combat with the unidentified alien craft, the program was scrapped. The four prototypes would be fitted with various experiment packs and used to better survey the surface of Kerbin. But today's mission had a more sinister purpose than spotting anomalies and resources from the air - it was going to perform the daily reconnaissance mission over New Kerbin City.

"You are go for take-off, Starfire -- " Bobak said. The tension could be heard in his voice.

"Roger, KSC," Captain Stelbel responded. "Starfire out!' And with that, the audio was distorted by the sounds of a jet engine at full throttle.

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Within a few seconds, the craft was heading towards New Kerbin City at nearly 5,700 meters. I was totally unaware of when Senior Consul Maxbas entered my cabin.

"So, this is where you are when you're not in your chair?" she asked. "What are you watching? One of those Emiko the Kerbalnaut stories sent to you from J. Jim?"

"No," I began. "It's -- "

"Kerny, did you notice the screenmark next to the file name?" Maxbas asked. "Those files are for..."

"No, I didn't," I began again. How I hate being interrutped! "But yes, that screenmark means this video is classified. It's... I believe... it's 'Ek... which means -- "

"Star." she finised. "How did you get this? You know this is classified where only members of the Triune Committee and the Committee of Five have access -- "

"And the Ohoroxtotil," I interrupted. And it felt good. "And the Ohoroxtotil. Don't forget that. But since you are technically a member of the Triune Committee, you might as well stay -- "

"What is it, some new craft? I've not seen that one before." Maxbas asked. Maybe my decision to let her stay and watch was premature. But here, out near the orbital path of Minmus, what could she do?

"No, it's been tested before. It's the Hornet," I began to explain. "It is on a reconnaissance mission over New Kerbin -- "

"Wait, we are sending a craft to spy on New Kerbin City?" She interrupted. It was apparent from her tone she was not happy with this latest development. "You know the KDF operates under the oversight and authority of the Triune Commitee and the Grand Committee, right?"

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"KSC Tracking, this is Starfire..." the voice from the video filled my cabin. "On frequency seven plus. Over..."

"Roger, Starfire," this time it was Gene's voice. "Do a flyby run and return. Deploy equipment at 5km, one-zero-zero throttle, from and beyond target at an altitude of nine-seven-zero-zero-zero. Return to KSC with priority two no contact until five hundred. Old Man out."

And with that, the radio channel on the video died. The orders from Gene were clear - start radio transmission recording and film five kilometers out from KSC for two passes only. The first flyby of New Kerbin City was to be at full throttle and an altitude of 5,000 meters. There was to be no radio contact with the space center until Angelfire was 500 meters from the KSC on her final approach - and her mission had priority over all missions except reentering shuttles. I had to explain all of this to Maxbas; her face showed her level of unbelief of the situation unfolding on Kerbin.

"Kerny," she asked in a soft and quiet voice, "what's going on?"

"I'll show you Gene's briefing notes," I explained. "But I want to see the rest of this mission video." And with that, Maxbas sat quietly next to me, holding onto my arm for the rest of the mission's video file.

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We watched with anticipation as the sound of cargo doors opening dominated the video's audio track. And within seconds, the cockpit screen showed several different camera views as Captain Stelbel began recording her flight over New Kerbin City. We watched as her almost ten and a half kilometer reconnaissance mission took less than three minutes to record. She made a second pass above the city as she completed a steep climb and leveled out at around 9,000 meters. For a brief minute, the SCANSat system came online and she recorded another flyover above New Kerbin City.

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We watched as the video file continued to play. The Hornet continued to make its way back to the space center. Within ten minutes, she was on her final approach to the space center runway.

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"KSC Tracking, this is Starfire," Stelbel's voice came over my cabin's speakers. "I'm on final approach."

"Starfire," Gene's voice called out, "landing is approved. You know the rest... and report to me as soon as you can."

"Roger, Old Man." She replied. And with that, we watched as she continued her course to the runway. With what looked like little effort, she guided the craft down to the runway and deployed her chutes. It was the issue with the craft's low-speed aerodynamics which had caused the cancellation of the Hornet Mk 1 development project. At lower speeds, the craft became extremely unstable - which made low-speed landing situations difficult.

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"Kerny," Maxbas began, "it doesn't bother you we're spying on our own government?"

"Yes," There was no easy way to say what I felt needed to be said. "I don't think the problem is with our government. I think our problem is with Prime Consul Katrine. It has been for a while now -- "

"But we're not just spying on her -- " Maxbas protested. "You know as well as I do that -- "

"Do you understand she is building her own private military?" I began. "She's made it clear this new military will not report to the Triune Committee OR the Grand Committee. It is accountable to her alone!"

I watched as the weight of my words hit Maxbas. After what seemed like hours, she looked at me and asked, "What is going on, Kerny. What has Gene said about -- "

"If you'd have read the stuff I told you to, you'd see that Gene has already, as the senior military officer of the Kerbin Defense Forces, promised to recognize the military authority of the Triune Committee and would recognize Dr. Zarkov as the Senior Consul -- "

"Oh, you know there will be fallout from that. Katrine won't -- "

"It doesn't matter." Yes, I think I am getting the hang of this interruption thing. "The Prime Consul had no regulatory power to appoint Rayvan as the Senior Consul of the Triune Committee. The rules of succession within the committee specify it should have gone to Dr. Zarkov if -- "

"If I wasn't there. I suspect you're right -- " she added.

"What Gene has done is to prevent the Prime Consul from claiming the KDF is not supportive of the Grand Committee." I interrupted her again. "She's calling for the KDF to be disbanded in favor of that private army she is building. I'm just finding out about this as you are, but I know that things -- "

"Will get out of hand," Maxbas began. "Kerny, if she is successful -- "

"I can't think of that," I added. "I am an officer in the Kerbin Defense Forces and the captain of this vessel. Right now, I cannot do anything but remain focused on this mission."

For the next few minutes, we discussed the most recent developments and how they fit with the other events, particularly the death of Dr. Edmund. Our conversation was interrupted when the communications console indicated I had an incoming message. Eventually Maxbas and I would have to finish this conversation.

"Captain," it was obvious Hildi was excited. "We're at the next maneuver node."

"On my way," I replied.

++++

We had arrived at our next maneuver node, some 15 kilometers from the Discovery IV. On the central screen, we could see the craft's homing marker. Although our own inertia has begun to slow over the last two days, we are still nearly 700 meters per second faster than our target.  This maneuver is a short-duration burn which will bring us on a parallel course.

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"Hildi, hail the Discovery IV," I ordered. "Let's check on the crew."

"Aye, sir," she responded and immediately set out to contact the wayward ship. "Discovery IV, this is Excursion, come in Discovery IV..."

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Still, nearly twenty kilometers away, the Discovery IV appeared as a little bright dot against the blackness of space. After a few seconds, her crew answered our hails.

"Excursion, this is Discovery IV," it was the voice of Commander Orvin. "Welcome, Captain Kerny! It's about time you got out here -- "

"We're not there yet, Commander." I began. "We're going to begin braking in another three hours so it will appear we will be overshooting you. We'll rendezvous with you on our way back in -- "

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"Yes, sir," Orvin replied. "We already see the Excursion visually out our view ports. You're a beautiful sight to see!"

"Thank you, Commander," I added. "What's your status?"

"Since the last status date yesterday, and as I told Commander Karloff, our fuel remains unchanged. Our solar panels continue to generate power and we have enough air and water for another two days -- "

"Commander, you're not going to need it," I interrupted. "We will be rendezvousing two hours after we complete our braking burn."

"Roger, Captain," he responded. "We look forward to meeting you. Discovery IV out."

++++

We are now about two and a half hours away from our braking burn. Commander Karloff and Ensign Triy have been busy in the engineering section making sure the engines are ready. Lieutenant Gilti continues to recalculate burn times and the various adjustment burns to make the rendezvous with the Discovery IV as smooth as possible.  She's even begun to calculate our return to Kerbin.

Edited by adsii1970
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A private army that reports to the Prime Consul sounds a lot like attempt at creating a dictatorship. Fabricate an emergency- or just wait for a KSP upgrade- suspend the Articles, and declare martial law. Then you just have to deal with the KDF members who won’t stand down, but you’d have your dictatorship. Preventing that sounds like a job for your frienfly neighborhood Section 31... :)

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