Ultimate Steve

Project Intrepid (Chapter 54 - Terms and Conditions)

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Chapter 49 - Four Worlds

 

Spoiler

========== Part I, The Prophecy

hOjLthG.png

"Airbrakes have deployed," announced Mayl Kerman, pilot of the ITV-022A Dr. Wily.

"It looks like you are going to overshoot the anomaly," observed Martin Kerman, who was still at the north pole and had not yet left for an anomaly.

"Hopefully it will actually be anomalous, unlike Joey's anomaly." Joey remained silent - he had kept his encounter with the Monolith secret from the other two people on the planet.

qLMShrF.png

"Parachutes are out, firing engines, aaaaannnddd.... Landed!"

"Congratulations on not tipping over!" said Martin, clapping.

"Come on, that was one time!" responded Joey. Mayl exited her ship and began jetpacking over to the anomaly, which appeared to be a large, oddly white hill.

"I'm getting these readings," said Martin. "It's just a hill, albeit slightly brighter. Is any of us actually going to find an interesting anomaly?"

"Maybe it has a large concentration of a highly reflective substance." said Joey. "Like a metal meteorite impact site."

"There's no crater," observed Mayl.

vn5Z0pl.png

"Hey, Martin?" said Mayl. "I know you're really big on music, but could you mute it? Or use headphones? It's got to be the worst song I've ever heard, no offense."

"Mayl, I'm not playing a song right now."

"Haha, very funny."

"No, I'm serious."

"It's not me either!" said Joey."

"Well, someone's playing a trashy techno tune with no real beat, and it certainly isn't - wait a second." She set down and placed her head on the strange hill.

x7KNwLn.png

Her eyes widened in surprise. "Guys, it's coming from the hill!"

"What's it saying?" asked Joey excitedly.

"Nothing - it's just beeping. Wait - could this be a crashed alien probe?" asked Mayl.

"Maybe," said Joey. "But why would it be playing sound? That's a bad way to communicate over long distance."

"Maybe they just really like music," suggested Mayl.

"That vile excuse for music makes me want to jump off of Duna's north pole," said Martin. "It can't be an alien probe transmitting something... If it wanted to be found, it would have transmitted radio signals."

"Unless it wasn't meant to be found for a while... Any old species can detect radio waves, but it takes a large presence on another world to detect sound waves," thought Mayl.

"Well, we got here early then," said Joey. "We could detect this from orbit. Maybe the discolored hill was an unexpected side effect."

"Wait a second," said Martin. "Can we just take a second to admire the fact that we might have just found more evidence of aliens?"

"Good point. I'll work on scanning the hill to see if I can find anything. Someone contact Kerbin, they might know what this sound means."

 

Several hours later, they had consulted with Kerbin for a while and determined that the message was in code - a code very similar to what was used many decades ago - Slow Scan Television. The engineers dug out the decades-old decryption software, and then the decades-old computers to run it. The exact algorithm for decryption was a bit hard to guess, but it was found eventually, after several attempts. Then came the issue of sound quality. Just the audio from Mayl's suit netted this:

bY9quvn.jpg

She stood on the epicenter of the sound, and then it was slightly better.

WnYP1kH.jpg

Mayl then grabbed a microphone from her ship, which she had earlier "borrowed" from Martin.

HQLIuaL.jpg

However, the weak wind was interfering - Mayl was told to bury the microphone to avoid that interference.

4hsBP8X.jpg

And after some lab processing, the final image was decoded.

RHdQsly.jpg

The image remained top secret - it was surefire evidence of even more aliens. No recorded Duna mission ever made it to the south pole, and there is no record of the USKN having done so either. Valentina was too far away.

If you're keeping track, we now have the Kraken, the Monolith, the strange geysers on Eeloo, whoever built Vallhenge, and these ones.

 

The top secret analysis team argued forever on just what this message meant - was the planet Duna? Some alien planet? The hill structure could be the Duna hill... Did the circles underneath represent anything? A planet? A probe? Was there a giant laser, or just an arrow? Who were the four figures? What were the four spheres? Planets? Death stars? And the weird number four?

 

It would be a long time before anyone knew.

 

========== Part II, Here comes the sun

Dsd2kcb.png

"And, takeoff of Planetary airlines fight 004, Peregrine Point to Delta Basin!" announced the pilot, Shepsel, as the Evian Self Refueling Exploration Plane took off once more from Eve - at an altitude of nearly five kilometers above sea level. You may notice that the time to refuel ESREP was much shorter this time... Brian, the unwilling stowaway, was studying to become a thermal engineer. He discovered that due to a lack of radiators, the ESREP's ISRU was operating at only 15% capacity. He figured out how to rig up some extra materials into a radiator panel, greatly reducing refueling time.

AKA I forgot radiators, and this save goes really slowly IRL. I'm not waiting until mid 2019 to get a radiator to Eve. For the sake of enjoyment, and the sake of plot, I hyper-edited a lander-can with a KAS drill to attach a radiator to the ESREP. Now, if you're done shaming me, the story can continue.

rBqjQph.png

"Turning to the north," said Camfrey, the copilot.

"I still wish I could see where we were going," said Gene.

"Just hang in there," said Leah. "We'll get you a doctor as soon as we get back to orbit."

"There's several doctors on Gilly," said Valrigh, the flight attendant. "Right when we get back to orbit we'll all take one of the shuttles to Gilly, and they will fix you right up!"

"The very first eye surgery in microgravity," said Gene. "I'm a guinea pig now."

"If it's really severe, we can send one of the shuttles back to Kerbin at almost any point in Eve's orbit. We'll have to build a special ship to catch it at Kerbin, though," suggested Camfrey.

"All that to save one person?"

"Gene, you are the head of the space program. You've been associated with the program since it's very early days! We'd crash Gilly into the Mun for you!"

"I highly doubt that," said Gene. "And I have been associated with the program for a long time... Too long. Almost 100 years now."

mX2e0Xq.png

"Fuel at fifty percent," said Shepsel. "Approaching cloud level."

"You're going to want to see this!" said Camfrey. And then, the ESREP rose above Eve's clouds to a sight that everyone on the plane doubted they'd ever see again - the sun.

PgR4Wi6.png

Everyone stopped and stared for several minutes. Even Gene, who could not tell a Kerbal from a nosecone, felt the sunlight on his skin, sensed the brightness. And then the engine cut off. The six on board were weightless once more, but only briefly.

"I, uh," began Shepsel, "May have burned more fuel than necessary so we could see that. As a result we are going to have a sudden and very... vertical... descent. You may move around the cabin, but only for a few minutes."

"Aww, sweet!" said Brian as he unbuckled his belt. He tried to do a cartwheel in zero-g, but soon flew to the front of the plane due to drag. He hit his head on a beam. "Ow! Wait a second... I could be the first Kerbal to use a bathroom on an airliner above Eve!" He entered the tiny bathroom, very reminiscent of airliner bathrooms - and just as uncomfortable.

z3TrQ6n.png

"Refreshments, anyone?" asked Valrigh as she pushed the snack cart down the center aisle of the airplane.

"No thanks," said Gene.

"I'm good," said Leah.

"We shouldn't eat and fly at the same time," said Camfrey. Shepsel nodded in agreement.

"Brian?" asked Valrigh.

"I'm in the bathroom! How does this - OW!"

"Attention, passengers," said Shepsel, "We may be experiencing some slight turbulence."

"So I come all the way to Eve, and on our first flight with passengers I can't even serve them snacks!" said Valrigh, slightly upset.

"But that's the sun!" said Gene excitedly. "I never thought I'd see it again at some points!"

"Attention, passengers, we are now entering our dive, we are almost directly over Delta Basin. Please refasten your seatbelts."

"I'm still in the bathroom!" shouted Brian.

"Valrigh, you might want to put your cart back," said Leah.

"Oh, it's fine, its attached to the walkway via rails."

"But what about the food on it?"

"Oh - " and at that moment, the ESREP entered its near-vertical dive, throwing all of the snacks - and Valrigh into the air. It isn't every day you get to see flight attendants and several dozen objects fly around in zero-gee. Brian got thrown around in the bathroom, and Valrigh got thrown around, before finding a seat rather quickly.  A minute later, the ESREP leveled out, and began its final approach to the ascent vehicle's landing site in Delta Basin.

ZY3DB9O.png

"Touchdown!" said Shepsel with a grin.

"And there," said Camfrey, "Is the vehicle that will take all of us home!"

"Oh!" said Brian as he emerged from the bathroom. "It looks tiny!"

"Just wait until we get closer!" said Valrigh.

"Also, someone might want to wipe down the toilet seat... and the walls... and the ceiling."

"Eww!" said everyone.

"Okay, new rule!" announced Shepsel. "No using the bathroom in flight unless it's an emergency. I doubt this thing can stay airborne for much longer than twenty minutes, you can hold it that long. Camfrey, the flight log?"

"On it, sir!"

 

Planetary Airlines Flight 001 - KSC, Kerbin ---> Minmus City, Minmus. Duration 1 week.

Planetary Airlines Flight 002 - Minmus City, Minmus ---> Undeveloped Airfield, Eve. Duration several months (clock fixture has broken and I don't want to ask the others).

Planetary Airlines Flight 003 - Undeveloped Airfield, Eve --> Peregrine Point, Eve. Duration 10 minutes. Taxi from Peregrine Point to nearby Mount Peregrine.

Planetary Airlines Flight 004 - Mount Peregrine, Eve --> Delta Basin, Eve. Duration 12 minutes.

 

l0OlbyC.png

 

========== Part III, Goodbye

jVnp13Q.png

Stabel and Patfrey lifted off from the surface of Tylo, leaving only two behind, on the other side of the moon. They, the two most experienced crewmembers on the Creativity's mission, remained cool, calm, and collected throughout the ascent.

UpXFgBF.png

Several minutes later, they docked to the Creativity with no incident. A day or two later, the same thing happened again with ARMY-5.

GpTjDh3.png

"Ignition!" said Podpont.

"WOOOOOOOOOO!" shouted Gemna. "EXPLOSIONS!"

"Just the side tanks," said Podpont. "Hey - did you hear about the anomaly they found on Duna?"

"Yes," said Gemna. "I assume you're going to ask me what I think."

"Well, yes. You're good at literally everything... Juggling, remaining silent, flying, quoting anime, solving Rubik's cubes, repairing spacesuits, jury-rigging landing leg repairs, science - and deduction."

"Fair enough."

ky5bqZT.png

"Well, for starters, I'm going in two directions."

"Okay."

"One - the signal was placed on purpose. The hill is the same hill on Duna, the arrow is a transmission or location marker. The people are ancient beings, who made this, and the spheres? The four gas giants. Back before three of them were destroyed by a gravity wave and radiation."

"Right, gravity wave and radiation."

"No, silly. I can't believe anyone buys that story. It was the Deep Space Kraken, trying to get revenge on Jebediah Kerman."

"I thought that was a myth!"

"It's real. But that's a story for another time. Three of them are on the right, and one of them is on the left - Jool. Because it's the only one left. And the semicircle on top is Ike - maybe signifying a connection to the original Magic Boulder."

"Also a myth."

"Maybe... But a likely one. And the symbol is a symbol of the species, and the whole thing was planted to let us know they existed. But - they also knew three of the gas giants were going to be destroyed, so maybe it was the Kraken. Or just very good fortune tellers."

"So what's your other theory?"

"That the signal was placed on purpose - by beings from the future. I don't buy the crashed space probe theory - too much coincidence in the drawing."

"Really?"

"Yes. The planet is arbitrary - four beings come together and activate a laser from a pyramid to destroy whatever is there on the top of the screen, surrounded by four celestial bodies. And the symbol is there just because."

"A prophecy?"

"Yes. A prophecy. Potentially even at Jool - the only place nearby with five bodies, this may take place on one of them. Of course, I'd bet on the first theory, but at this point, anything is possible. Also, get ready to bail out."

"What?"

rFWRjhe.png

"We're out of fuel, the navball was messed up and I turned the wrong way for the first bit of ascent," explained Gemna. "We're out of fuel, so I suggest you EVA over."

aDgLFh8.png

And just like that, the Creativity's mission at Tylo was over.

y7uwSzI.png

A day later, it burned for Laythe - a fuel problem was noticed, no matter, though. Tylo to Laythe was the largest burn of the mission. After that it was smooth sailing.

Of the TYLO ARMY, five landers went down to the surface. Four returned to orbit, Three returned to the ship. One unused one remained docked, perhaps to act as a shuttle to Vall or the outer planets. All plans after Laythe were still fluid at this point.

 

========== Part IV, Grasshopper

yTAhkOh.png

Jebediah Kerman looked upwards at the Ultima, the spaceship he had designed to take 177 members of the Order of the Two Poles to the Mun in. It had just been fully fueled for an atmospheric landing test. Four larger engines had been strapped to it so it could take off on Kerbin.

177 Kerbals with life support. 75 tons of cargo. One crazy idea about poles being portals...

"Jebediah!" said Albert, the head of the Order.

"Hello, Albert," Jeb said as he walked the group of Kerbals up the ramp.

BRsNS8i.png

"Can you believe this?" he said enthusiastically. "This is the thing that will take us to the Mun!"

"Yes. If your pilots can demonstrate the ability to take off, hover, and land without blowing it up."

"Yeah... But once we're there, we can finally work on proving our theory!"

"And if it doesn't work?"

"We keep trying."

"You know you can come back. I designed it with that margin, and parachutes. You could also go to Minmus, they should be accepting to anyone who goes up there," responded Jebediah.

"About this whole thing," said Bill. "We have a problem."

"Problem? What sort of problem?" asked Albert.

"We've used almost all of the high quality material to build the lander and the second stage of the launch vehicle. It's a miracle you actually managed to build this, congratulations. This is a huge undertaking, and you all are, no offense, not trained aerospace engineers."

"None taken."

"But - we simply need more material to build the first stage of the Ultima. The first stage is easily more than double the material of what we have built so far, and we have nothing to build it out of. We've taken apart all of the USKN's old nuclear missiles - and some of the Flat Kerbin Society's sturdier airplanes. We do not have enough metal to finish this."

"Hmm," said Albert.

"We could downsize the mission," said Jeb.

"No! 177 is already nearly too small."

"177 requires one of the biggest rockets ever built, and the biggest one built by amateurs."

"Right. Anyway... I think I have a solution. The Flat Kerbin Society had a humongous naval fleet. Old aircraft carriers, submarines, you name it, they had it. They are mostly stored at a harbor somewhere on the other side of the world. We could go get them and make the rocket out of them."

"Excellent idea," said Bill. "But that's submarine parts, lower quality and heavier. We may have to eliminate something!"

"Every ounce of planned cargo is mission critical!" protested Albert. At this point, the crew had reached the top of the ramp.

NBurwLm.png

"Albert, so is every ounce of spaceship hardware. We could make it so you don't come home, but we would never!"

"Well, what else can we nix?"

"What about the launch escape system?" asked one of the pilots, now boarding the Ultima

"No!" shouted Jebediah Kerman. "I've rode far too many rockets, and while I can fly fairly well to get out of almost any situation - but 177 Kerbals on a rocket built by amateurs! Out of submarine parts! We cannot nix the LES!"

"Done," said Albert. "We're nixing the LES. We'll need something to make up for it - Jeb, you're an amazing ascent pilot - "

"No!" said Jeb. "I will not ride that thing!"

"You must!" replied Albert. "Attach a crew cabin to the side if you must, but we need you in case something goes wrong! You know what to do!" Jebediah began to protest, but Albert entered the Ultima, closing the hatch behind him. Bill and Jeb were the only Kerbals left on the walkway. They quickly ran down, for the lander was about to undergo its first test.

Cxn3LnY.png

As the lander rose into the sky, Bill took off his helmet - and his microphone and gestured to Jeb to do the same.

"Jeb!" shouted Bill over the roar of the engines. "I have an idea!"

"What sort of idea?"

"An idea that gets us back to the KSC!"

"Isn't our real plan doing well?"

"We can't steal a jet! We just took most of them apart to build the Ultima! The rest are too closely guarded!"

"So what are you proposing?" Bill told Jeb his plan. A few moments later, Jeb realized - it could work.

wp3itJe.png

"Get those aircraft carriers and sumbarines here as fast as you can," said Jebediah. "Tell the others we're getting out of here - and soon. I might have to change my stance about the mission."

"Yes - won't it be suspicious, you suddenly wanting to go on the mission?" asked Bill.

3FBfrvn.png

"On second thought, they might need me as a pilot after seeing just how they handled that landing." Jebediah grinned. He was going home.

 

The Story of Project Intrepid will Continue...

 

 

Also, what do you all think about splitting up chapters a bit? Like, each "part" is its own chapter, unless I have 2 or 3 short ones. That way image loading would be better. Also, I remember back when I did the math and the most words in a chapter was 3,000. Now I regularly surpass that - this chapter was 3,100 words and it's the shortest recent one! Let me know what you think!

 

 

Edited by Ultimate Steve
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

4 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

 

Also, what do you all think about splitting up chapters a bit? Like, each "part" is its own chapter, unless I have 2 or 3 short ones. That way image loading would be better. Also, I remember back when I did the math and the most words in a chapter was 3,000. Now I regularly surpass that - this chapter was 3,100 words and it's the shortest recent one! Let me know what you think!

I'm quite an avid reader and I like long-ish chapters, so I'd be fine as it is. Though I reckon a bunch of people reading this would prefer them shorter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapter 50 - Not Again

 

Spoiler

========== Part I, In Remembrance of Heroes

avcojNJ.png

"And, landed!" announced Martin Kerman.

"Now is this anomaly three or four? Are we counting the pole?" asked Joey.

"Well, we already know what this one is," said Mayl. "It's not an anomaly - It's the site of the first Duna colony."

"Wait, what?" asked Joey. "I thought Martin was going for an anomaly!"

"Well," said Martin, "I was. And then there was one of those huge dust storms, I wouldn't have been able to land."

"I landed in a dust storm once!"

"You also fell over once," said Mayl. "This is a bigger dust storm, expected to last quite some time. Which is ironic, considering that Duna Colony One was placed in pretty much the worst spot for dust. It's buried now, under who knows how many meters of dust. It's the largest grave off of Kerbin."

"And it was nuked by the USKN," said Martin. "I came here to see if there was anything left."

3scijwe.png

"And lo and behold," said Martin, "The head of Duna."

"The what?" asked Joey.

"Long before the war," began Mayl, "right after the Octavius mission, Cloneus paid the KSC 50 billion funds to build a Mun casino and resort - only some of that was needed, the rest ushered in the great era of exploration. One of the first things that was built with this money was Duna Colony One - and with it, a giant stone statue to honor the sacrifices of David and Marie Kerman."

"David and Marie?" asked Joey. "Who are they?" Martin and Mayl stood in shocked silence for a few seconds.

"You don't know who David and Marie are? What do they teach in schools these days?" said Martin, outraged.

"They," said Mayl, "were the two who piloted the suborbital spaceplane that caught the Dragonhearted return capsule after its parachutes failed. Unfortunately, the plane pulled up too hard in an attempt to miss the ground, stalled, and crashed, killing the two."

KznAPmn.png

 

"This is literally spaceflight history 101 material, Joey," said Martin. "This, and the tragedy of Space Station Epic V are the two points in history where the space program could have ended the easiest."

"Sorry," said Joey. "I can't believe I didn't know. So, the statue."

mwMvSZT.png

"The statue," continued Mayl, "Was 150 meters tall, a massive undertaking. That's taller than the Philosopher of Time for comparison. Built entirely on Duna. It featured a representation of the ancient Kerbal philosopher Duna, in appropriate ancient attire, standing above representations of David and Marie. Models of Jool, Sarnus, and the ten moons surrounded them, each ten meters in diameter. Behind David and Marie but in front of Duna was a large sculpture of a spaceship."

"And then the USKN nuked Duna Colony One to bits, and the statue toppled. Apparently," said Martin, "The Head of Duna is the only thing still above the dust. It's anti-dust coating kept it clean while it was up, but no coating can do anything against fifty years of dust deposits."

"Well, that's sad."

"An understatement, Joey," said Mayl. "At least five hundred Kerbals died near where Martin stands."

"Also," said Martin, "I do not see any other evidence of the colony besides increased radiation levels. I will continue searching, but everything is probably buried."

"So, since we cannot visit anomaly four," said Joey, "Should we progress to Ike?"

"Not quite," said Mayl. "One of us still has to go to the landing site of the Intrepid to check on the base, but then we can go to Ike."

"Can I go early?" asked Joey. "My anomaly was a bit of a bust."

"Well..." said Martin.

"Okayimgoingtogonowbye!" said Joey as he took off from the surface of Duna.

GyZxbaA.png

"Wait, no!" said Martin. "You could have helped with the alien investigation!"

"Actually," said Mayl, "I'm told you don't like Ike as much as Duna, if we let him do most of the science, we can stay here for longer!"

"I like Ike," said Joey.

"There we go, everyone's happy!" replied Mayl. "See you in a bit, Joey!"

UP0Rz0A.png

8DmtBT2.png

"Excellent job, Joey, convincing the crew to let you go to Ike early."

"You can thank me later. So, the weird portal thing."

"I've already told you - but, yes. Samples from every planet, and moon, plus the sun and a magic boulder, will create a new element which will create a portal which everyone on Kerbin can use to escape to another universe - and which I must use to escape, as I cannot be moved by rockets."

"Well, what about the sun?" asked Joey.

"That is going to be the hardest part. We have already surpassed two things we thought to be impossible - finding a magic boulder and building a Jool Ascent Vehicle. Plus returning from Eve."

"Okay, I've searched the base module the Intrepid left here. No samples from anywhere else, it's mostly empty. How many bodies do we have samples from now?"

"Moho. Eve. Gilly. Minmus. Duna. Dres. The Magic Boulder."

"And now, Ike."

sWheCdc.png

"Eight down, ten to go."

"Now, Joey, I need you to do me a small favor."

"Yes?"

"Remain above suspicion for as long as possible, and the second the transfer windows allign, go to Jool."

"Jool? I can't go there!"

"You must."

"But I can't!" protested Joey. "I'd go crazy, this is a two seat spacecraft! I'd be floating in space for what, a year just going there? I was supposed to be back on Kerbin this time next year!"

"Your ship has a lot of Delta-V. If you were to, say, steal the fuel from someone else's ship - "

"No!"

" - You would save the species and be there in six months. You burn the last of your fuel and use gravity assists to enter orbit, turn the samples over to the space pirates, and go home. They'd arrest you, of course, but they'll need all the help they can get out there. If you stayed for a bit, helped, and took a ride home on the Creativity when it leaves, you'd visit several more worlds. Now are you willing?"

"I..."

"Or do I have to threaten you?"

 

========== Part II, speaking of the Creativity

 

Mir6GSH.png

 

"Alright, Bobwig! You are go for Laythe descent!"

"Wouldn't it be better to land the ascent vehicle first, Stabel?" asked Bobwig. "If something goes wrong, I'm stuck."

"Correct," chimed in Gemna. "The ascent vehicle is also the descent vehicle. We risk another life sending you first, if something goes wrong with the SSTO, we lose 6 instead of 5."

"Reasons," said Podpont. "We cannot precision land the miner."

"But we can drive it around," said Miteny.

"Alright, fine, we'll land the SSTO first. Decoupling scansat and - oops. Wrong decoupler."

VwtY61K.png

"Great. Now, the miner's floating out there with no control. Bobwig, I suggest you get in," said Podpont.

"Fine," grumbled Bobwig. "Hey, whose idea was it to put parachutes right over the hatches? Okay, after some struggling, I'm in!"

"Congrats!" said Angie.

"But, uhh, we have a problem."

mgWbB8O.png

"And, he's going to die," said Miteny.

"Miteny!" said Angie. "Don't say that!"

"No, it's fine!" said Gemna. "He can klaw to the exploration plane and transfer through that!"

"How does that even work, crawling through a klaw? And why can't I do that now?"

"Well," said Gemna, that's {[(CENSORED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION)]}."

"Oh, that makes sense," Said Podpont. "But we have to land the plane perfectly. Alright, Bobwig! You are go for descent!"

"Roger."

fTO3Up4.png

 

First, however, the scansat was deployed into a polar orbit.

itcslF6.png

A few days later (due to the fact that he had to de-orbit at apoapsis) Bobwig fired the VERY POWERFUL ALMIGHTY TWO SEPRATRONS and his pitiful supply of RCS fuel to de-orbit, getting his periapsis to only 41 kilometers (Laythe's atmosphere is 50km tall). Yet another example of subpar mission planning by 2016 me.

If you remember, I designed all these ships on one piece of notebook paper at a restaurant and rushed them to launch with minimal testing.

fvAIGAj.png

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!"

"I'm sorry, Bobwig, I can't hear you over the sound of my reentry song!"

vbZof17.png

"Anyways, your landing site, Bobwig, is unfortunately not on the Jool side of Laythe, but that should help with the radiation a little bit. It is, however, the second greatest concentration of ore on Laythe, and we are NOT going to the north pole for ore."

"Okay, got it! We're slowing down a bit now!"

A few minutes later...

"Okay, parachutes have deployed!"

RI2nF4g.png

"Just make sure to land it on the wheels."

"Got it, Podpont!"

"If you land on the back the ISRU will explode and make you immobile, unable to klaw anything, stranding you."

"Stop being so pessimistic, Miteny!"

"Stop being so optimistic, Angie!"

1rCcGXO.png

"Touchdown!"

"Congratulations! You are the first Kerbal on Laythe in a long time! Unless someone's still alive there - and that's part of what we're here to find out."

"Now, the Laythe exploration plane."

M7WLy86.png

"The person who designed this was an idiot," proclaimed Miteny. "The retrothrusters can't be fired all at once or it will turn upwards because of the Laythe submarine. We could detach it, but it has no de-orbit motors! And the plane doesn't have a probe core! We have to land them both at once!"

7UhOyIB.png

"I'm remotely piloting this, by the way," said Podpont. "And the submarine was loaded with a bit of ore so it would sink - it's throwing the balance off. Extremely. Landing may be a challenge, it wasn't simulated landing with this much mass - on a mountain."

u7NNx6V.png

"I drove to the flattest area around," responded Bobwig.

"And the air pressure is so low that it's going to mess up landing further! Laythe is already 0.6ATM at sea level, here we are almost 5 kilometers up!"

4CyFBTz.png

"AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!"

jbWLTdg.png

Podpont flared the Laythe Aeronaut III into a stall, and it came down travelling nearly 50 meters per second - hit Laythe, bounced, and almost cartwheeled forward. But it didn't. And Laythe Aeronaut III and Laythe Subnaut II were successfully landed on Laythe. After a brief 180 degree drifting maneuver, of course.

16xuh1w.png

 

========== Part III, Problems

1gjFtzQ.png

The repaired Ultima lander took off once more from the desert space complex. It had undergone a few more short landing test hops over the past several days, but this was a big test - and the last one before the voyage to the Mun. This was the Kerbin descent and landing test. Ultima did not have a heat shield and instead relied on aerobraking passes and high surface area to mass ratio of the hull to slow down enough to withstand entry - it then would land with a combination of engines and parachutes. This was the test of those parachutes.

Jebediah Kerman, Bill Kerman, Gidrien Kerman, and Albert Kerman were on the ground observing the test. Bill was on his phone running over some of the engineering numbers.

"And you're sure the numbers are the way they are? Yes? Well, then. This is a major problem - yes, I'll ask them about it. Goodbye."

kA372Y9.png

"A problem?" asked Albert."

"Yes, a big one," said Bill, nervously eyeing Jeb.

"Well, spit it out!" said Gidrien.

"The submarines and aircraft carriers we stole from the Flat Kerbin Society's naval base... Most of them were actually old USKN ships. More than fifty years old. They've deteriorated, the metal's bad. We could reforge everything, but it wouldn't be that much better, as getting aerospace grade metal out of a smeltery is by some definitions harder than getting to the Mun. Especially out in the desert, so many contaminants."

"So you're saying?"

"The first stage of Ultima's booster is almost done. However, the stage is even heavier than anticipated - we are going to need to nix something. The delta-v will not be enough to reach the Mun now, and the thrust to weight ratio will almost not be enough to take off."

"Drat! Okay... Jeb, I'll relent," said Albert. "You don't need to come on the mission."

"What? Of course I'm coming! I told you about the side pod, I'm bringing my crew with me, they are invaluable to this mission!"

"I am?" asked Gidrien. "I just know a lot about graviolis."

"Aaaand orbital mechanics!" said Jebediah, encouraging her.

"I don't - ooooh. I know how the engines work. and stuff - I can fix things."

"But you're not mission critical."

"Albert - "

"Jebediah. You said it yourself, you're getting too old for space missions."

"That's not what I said!" objected Jebediah.

"Wait a second," said another Kerbal who had walked by. "What if we just remove the return margin? The KSC won't just let 177 Kerbals be stranded on the Mun!"

"NO!" said Bill.

"Okay," said Albert. "I trust the KSC."

N0RGYSr.png

"Chute covers have come off, and chutes have deployed," said Bill.

"There has to be another way!" said Gidrien.

"What if we added another stage?" asked Bill.

"This rocket is already pushing the size limit of what we can do," said Jebediah. "And besides! We're out of high quality material! We can't build many more engines, if any at all!"

qip2Wzm.png

"Ahh. We may need to add some drogue chutes," observed Gidrien.

"We're nixing the chutes," said Albert, "And the return margin. We'll shorten the first stage to account for the TWR problem. That's final - unless, Jeb, you can magically find a way to increase the thrust and delta-v of the rocket by our launch date, in five days."

"Albert! There might not be a mission! Our spaceship is hurtling - oh, they've started the engines."

"Come on!" The ship fired its engines, and it looked like a very late suicide burn - but defying the odds, Ultima reached zero velocity a few hundred meters above the surface.

iuBRVJC.png

"Phew," said Albert. "We almost just lost the mission! And, yes, Jeb. We launch in five days. If you can't come up with anything, we're nixing your side pod and the return margin. That's final."

"But - " Albert walked off.

I4cRPNX.png

"Where on Kerbin will we get a set of rocket boosters that work in five days?" aksed Jebediah in despair. "We were so close to finally escaping."

"Um, Jeb," said Bill. "I have an idea."

"Come on, Bill! It's not like there's just going to be high quality, fully assembled rocket boosters just lying around!"

"Well, actually..."

 

========== Part IV, Robbery

Two days later...

 

PpYzI6N.png

"You are looking at a KD-920 intercontinental ballistic missile with 14 independently targetable re-entry vehicles, each with a nuclear warhead," said Insignificant Pilot #1.

"And?" asked Dalton Kerman.

"These were highly experimental missiles. Before the war, they were originally designed for emergency asteroid deflection. However, they used non-storable propellant. They could be fueled in an hour and launched to deflect most asteroids with their nuclear pusher devices."

"And?" asked Dalton Kerman.

"They were converted for use as ICBMs 6 months before the war started. They were only fueled if the threat reached a certain level - which was every few days. There were 4 groups of 4 silos each around the KSC's far-reaching territory. They were on high alert when the war started. One cluster had a fueling problem, and four out of sixteen missiles were not fueled - and therefore, not fired."

"And? Get to the point already!"

"Alarms have gone off in that cluster, long since abandoned. We didn't even remember the cluster existed! The software was still running after all these years. The point is - "

"Yes?"

"These 4 remaining missiles have been stolen."

"Stolen?" Dalton Kerman spit out his drink, unfortunately all over the top secret documents spread across his desk. "By who?"

"It appears that they took the missiles out of the silos and then transported them by heavy boat to the same location that Jebediah Kerman is - "

"Jebediah Kerman!" shouted Dalton as he stood up. "He's going to nuke someone!"

"But why would he - "

"Exactly! Maybe he's nuking one of Cloneus' old mansions for revenge for him being so rude, maybe he's nuking the FKS launch pad... But they haven't contacted us, which might mean they are planning on nuking... us!"

"That makes sense!" Insignificant Pilot number #1 started to become afraid.

"But why would Jebediah nuke us?" asked Dalton. "Maybe he's being forced to.... Maybe it's a grudge he has against something."

"He might not be targeting us though, right?"

"Fourteen independently targetable warheads."

PWSpjw9.png

"Per missile. He has 4 missiles That's 56 warheads. He could be targeting more than one place! Maybe he's gone insane and is nuking everything!"

"So, Dalton, what are we going to do about it?"

"Well, let's be sensible, maybe we were wrong. Maybe Jeb's not there. Maybe they are removing them so nobody else can steal them and nuke everyone. But in case they are nefarious, and they probably are... We need to prepare. KSC has been destroyed twice in the past two years by outside forces. First it was the FKS. And then it was the FKS again! And now it's whatever the FKS has grown into!"

"Your orders, sir?"

"Get all the pilots we have. Go to hangar W. Prepare the fighters and bombers and tanks - as a defensive measure, obviously. We are not going to attack unless provoked, but we need to go there and secure the area in case they are trying something."

"Got it sir - how many fighters and bombers and tanks?"

"All of them. How soon can you get them ready?"

"3 days."

"Good. Let's hope they aren't planning on launching sooner than that. I am not letting the KSC get nuked. Not again."

 

 

The Story of Project Intrepid will Continue...

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Oops. I wasn't done and I didn't mean to post that. Apparently I'm pressing a button that automatically presses enter.

 

Edited by Ultimate Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was originally supposed to be a big chapter with lots of developments, but I delved a bit further into the details then I wanted to, but I guess that's fine. The next three chapters (maybe more) will encompass a story arc containing several pretty large and exciting developments.

I would like to thank @dundun92, @Thor Wotansen, @ZLM-Master, @Coca992, @qzgy, and @Cupcake... (again) for providing the craft used in this chapter (and also the next three) because I probably can't make a decent fighter plane to save my life! They will see some action very soon!

 

Chapter 51 - The Calm Before the Storm

 

Spoiler

 

========== Part I, All of the Aircraft

 

As it turned out, all of the aircraft wasn't actually a whole lot of aircraft. The vast majority had been incinerated after the bombs fell and most of the rest had been broken up for scrap afterward or left to rust for 50 years. Hangar W, however, was a maintenance hangar underneath the old island airport, shielded by several meters of rock and soil. Some of the wings were flooded. And the island had been nuked. But a few wings were intact, and a few aircraft in the wings were intact as well. This amounted to several dozen aircraft.

One by one, the mostly intact aircraft were inspected for damage, re-armed, and flown over to the KSC. Pilots were trained, mostly in simulators, about what to do in a combat situation, which would be fairly easy. The mysterious organization in the desert probably did not have many fighter aircraft, they just needed to spy on them, talk to them, and if needed destroy the nuclear missile.

You can never have too much caution, though.

aDkZdld.png

"Over here we have our last ditch defense aircraft," said Wernher Von Kerman who was in the front of the rover.

"Why are we in a cramped rover designed for the Mun again?" asked Rick Kerman, Financial Director, from the back seat.

"It's the closest thing we have to a tank. The tank wing got flooded according to Sergeant T."

"Okay, makes sense. So, these interceptors..."

"Two Aeris 2Bs and 2 Midgets. One of the midgets is broken, though. More of these are coming, we should have at least 4 of each lying around. We call this the Alpha Squadron with Red flight and Blue flight."

"Okay. And this thing?"

"An antiaircraft turret, our only one right now, but we have, like, 10 in the hangar, most of which are working. We'll bring them over in cargo aircraft. Next up, Beta Squadron!"

3wX6iK0.png

"Kinda small."

"We might have more, and we are going to pair some small fighters with these. But these, Rick, are the Bear Medium Bombers. If we need to bomb Jeb's location, these will be the second things there."

"What are the first things?"

"Hold on, I'm getting to that. This is Gamma Squadron and Delta Squadron."

bKa5VLD.png

"Gamma Squadron is those two Mallard bombers up there. We don't have escort craft for them, yet. We're working on that. The right hand side has a Thunderbird, a Raven, and in the middle two Ravenspear Mk4s. That's Delta Squadron. It's also primarily aimed at ground attack, although all 4 aircraft are part fighter as well."

"That's a lot of aircraft."

"Certainly, Rick."

"How much did this all cost?"

"Don't worry about it, Rick, this was already built and mothballed, we're just bringing it back to life. Don't go all Mortimer on us."

"I miss him. I hope he's having fun on his way to Jool."

"In the middle left, we have Epsilon Squadron. This is the squadron that will bomb anything first - the Ravenspear Mk3s."

"Hold up, you've been saying Ravenspear and Aeris. Aren't those supposed to be just training aircraft?"

"Before they were trainers, they were fighters and bombers. It's how the defense world works, sadly, Rick. Anyway, Ravenspear Mk3 was originally designed to be able to bomb targets and travel at mach 4 while doing so. They won't know what hit them."

"That's fast!"

"And they can be used for recon."

"Let me guess what's next, Zeta Squadron?"

"Yes."

Bp8Vu7T.png

"Two F-22 long range fighters. We might pair this with a bomber squadron, though. We might have another F-22 but most of them were in a flooded wing of Hangar W."

"And Squadron... Pi?"

"You need to brush up on your Greek. Next up is Squadron Eta."

yXgnYKQ.png

"Good lord!"

"That isn't supposed to happen, Rick... It appears both of our good X-27s spontaneously disassembled. We might have more in the hangar, it's a big place and the maps were lost forever ago."

"Isn't someone going to clean up the unexploded ordinance?"

"Eventualy, yes... But this is a fighter squadron, as I was saying. It is - well, was, five aircraft, two X-27s, two Du-3Es, and an X-29, but it's down to three now. One of the Du-3Es is on the other side of mission control right now. We are also dividing this up into two or three flights depending on how many more of these we can find."

"Okay. And the next Squadron?"

"Theta."

YcZVron.png

"That's just a guy in a broken... whatever that is."

"A Tui Light Atmospheric Dropship modified to carry a turret."

"Why mount guns on something that small?"

"Ask the designers. And we have five of them so we're putting them in a Squadron. Well, we had five, it's four now I guess. A bit of a shame, they are very valuable classics."

"So I've heard. They don't make them like they used to."

wSNcRud.png

"That over there is the Sky Fortress 9 Emperor, it counts as its own Squadron, Squadron Iota. It just landed. It's got an incredible amount of bombs, can carry two tanks, and has a gigantic turret right below it. And a laser."

"Oooh, laser!"

"Don't look straight at it."

"Okay."

"And lastly, for now, Kappa Squadron."

OhQOsAl.png

"Woah!"

"Yes, Rick. Five intact Bryntrolls modified to have swiveling guns. They have a short range but are very formidable once in the air, and are often regarded as some of the best defense fighters ever built."

"And that's it?"

"No, Rick. We found a few Shrykes, another Thunderbird, at least two Shark IIIs, and several highly experimental Hex-Archers."

"I can tell just by the names that those are cool!"

"They are indeed, very cool. We might run out of alphabet for naming Squadrons We haven't even gone through the entire hangar!"

"Lastly, this is a lot to take in... Is there a guide or anything? I'm going to forget this in 5 minutes."

"I thought you'd never ask! Here, I've uploaded one of Cassidy Kerman's aircraft censuses to my Kpad, you can have a look if you like."

"Sure!" At that moment, another plane touched down on the runway. They would keep coming intermittently for several more hours.

LBg6vLS.png

(Holy mother of lag)

 

 

========== Part II, Aircraft Census

 

 

DECLASSIFIED FILES - WRITTEN 6 YEARS BEFORE THE GREAT WAR BY CASSIDY KERMAN, HISTORIAN OF THE KERBAL SPACE COALITION AIR DEFENSE DIVISION

EXCERPTS FROM THE MILITARY AIRCRAFT CENSUS - FEATURES COMMENTS FROM JEBEDIAH KERMAN

 

=========================================================================

GUq7JoY.png

Aeris 2B

Role: Intercept Defense Fighter

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 2x Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 1.8/3.8km/s

Mass: 4.6t

Crew: 1

Description: Jet powered last minute intercept plane designed primarily as a last ditch attempt to shoot down enemy bombers before relying on antiaircraft guns. Only carries 1 minute worth of fuel on full afterburner.

Notes from manufacturer: Following the development of the highly unsuccessful rocket powered Aeris 2 and 2A Intercept Defense Fighters, The Aeris 2B switched the solid rocket motors for a standard Panther jet. Mission success increased due to being able to control throttle levels, a great bonus in combat. However it was discovered to be ineffective against bombers because it was only able to make a few passes due to its fuel supply and only carried 2 turrets.

Notes from Jebediah: I wish I could fly this thing longer. It's really fun. Maybe if you swapped the engine out for something more conventional, you could make it into a training aircraft which could fly for more than 5 minutes at a time.

 

=========================================================================

QksljaU.png

MIDGET

Role: Intercept Defense Fighter

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 4x Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 2.0/4.0km/s

Mass: 6.4t

Crew: 1

Description: Jet powered last minute intercept plane designed primarily as a last ditch attempt to shoot down enemy bombers before relying on antiaircraft guns. Only carries 1 minute worth of fuel on full afterburner.

Notes from manufacturer: Developed as a replacement for the Aeris 2B, the Midget is designed to fix some of its problems. The guns were doubled allowing for more attacking power on incoming bombers, and using rockets as boosters has greatly decreased the time between target detection and takeoff. Landing gear was omitted and a parachute installed instead.

Notes from Jebediah: This is about the closest you can get to flying a rocket while in a fighter aircraft. I may or may not have borrowed a few during my downtime, but the designers told me to stop because the sepratron boosters aren't reusable. Neither is the plane, really... It's designed for one use, being recovered via parachute. Understandable as these planes will likely be used only once in a battle situation, if one ever occurs... It makes it hard to train the crew, though.

 

=========================================================================

iHLTmVR.png

Tui Dropship W

Role: Ultralight Patrol Fighter

Manufacturer: Cupcake's Dropship Dealership (Modified by the KSCADD)

Armament: 1x .50cal Turret

Delta-V Rocket/Jet: 0.7/16.8km/s

Mass: 1.8t

Crew: 1

Description: A modification of the Tui Dropship/Search and Rescue/Sport/Transport VTOL aircraft carrying a machine gun, to patrol KSC and other bases in times of heightened conflict

Notes from manufacturer: R variant for rescue. Cupcake... Modified back to one seat to make room for a turret.

Notes from Jebediah: Don't tell anyone, I wish we had bought more of the Sport variants. The guns weigh everything down, TWR is 1.01 with all of the bullets in there. And then there's the Recreational variant with 4 seats... Back in the old days I owned an early model custom made, bigger and bulkier with 4 seats and went camping sometimes in it. It's a bit fun to to take 3 random employees I barely know to the top of a steep mountain and see how they react to spending a day or two there.

 

=========================================================================

SzUywIs.png

 

Bear

Role: Medium Bomber

Manufacturer: Thor Aerospace

Armament: 26x Hellfire Air-To-Ground Missile, 4x Hydra Rocket Pod, 2x HARM Anti-Radiation Air-To-Ground Missile, 1x GAU-8 cannon

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 13.0/22.7km/s

Mass: 19.3t

Crew: 1

Description: Medium bomber with significant range. Packs a significant punch for its side. Not very suited for in-air combat but can in a pinch.

Notes from manufacturer: Not sure if it counts as a bomber as there actually isn't a bomb onboard, it's all AGMs, but it sure has a lot of AGMs.

Notes from Jebediah: VERY unstable after you have dropped your bomb load. The maneuverability with bombs onboard is almost perfect, but a bit too much without. Definitely a solid aircraft otherwise.

 

=========================================================================

0fR06CU.png

Shark III

Role: Fighter-Bomber

Manufacturer: ZLM Advanced Materials Division

Armament: 8x AIM-9 Sidewinder AAM, 3x AIM-120 AMRAAM AAM, 6x Hellfire AGM, 3x Hidden Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 16.9/23.4km/s

Mass: 17.2t

Crew: 1

Description: Fighter-Bomber with a significant amount of missiles including a few for ground attack to supplement bombers it escorts.

Notes from manufacturer: The engines for this one are extremely advanced, hopefully more so than the USKN's engine technology. It looks like 2 Panthers, but it has the thrust of 4.

Notes from Jebediah: So I crashed this once by accidentally firing a missile at myself and I discovered that the plane has a secret Juno jet engine inside! I was able to make it almost all the way to the island airport with half the plane and that Juno! That might make for an interesting thing, making a plane that looks like it doesn't have any engines but they're secretly inside!

 

=========================================================================

QCVL5Ry.png

SF-9 (SkyFortress) Emperor

Role: Transporter-Bomber

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 24x Mk82 or Mk82 SnakeEye bomb, 6x AGM-65 Maverick, 2x any cruise missile, 4x CBU-87 cluster bomb, 1x Airborne Laser, 1x Goalkeeper Turret, Gigantic Cargo Bay

Delta-V: 29.6km/s

Mass: 84.3t

Crew: 4

Description: Transport craft which can also carry a significant bomb load. One version actively carried nuclear weapons.

Notes from manufacturer: While the combination of transporter and bomber may seem odd, the idea was to suppress ground defense and then land a tank or something down there to help.

Notes from Jebediah: Surprisingly maneuverable for such a large, laden aircraft. And they stuck a giant laser pointer on the front for me to play with. Do not point at face. Although the SF-10 does the job way better... Just means I get some of these outdated things to play with. And, yes, it was necessary to stick a giant turret on the bottom. It was originally going to be a tank turret but Bob talked me out of it.

 

=========================================================================

9sk4e3g.png

Ravenspear Mk3

Role: Supersonic Bomber and Reconnaissance

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 8x Mk82 bomb

Delta-V: 28.9km/s

Mass: 26.4t

Crew: 1

Description: Supersonic bomber designed to strike with as little warning as possible. Does not have any other armament as the plane will only be vulnerable for several seconds travelling a minimum of mach 2. In an alternate configuration with more fuel and no bombs, the Ravenspear Mk3 can be used as a high altitude reconnaissance platform.

Notes from manufacturer: Drops bombs while still travelling at Mach 3, has a top speed of Mach 4. Can reach the Eastern peninsula and return in less than 15 minutes. For increased accuracy airbrakes were added. Accelerate towards target at Mach 3-4, quickly turn and brake to 200m/s. Drop Bombs. Turn around. Accelerate away. Increases vulnerability to minimum 20 seconds but allows for much greater accuracy.

Notes from Jebediah: This thing can reach space. Once we all come to our senses and end this pointless arms race, I can see this be used as a tourism vehicle or a trainer for an SSTO. But for now, the concept of a supersonic bomber is cool. We were going to call it a hypersonic bomber but it can only just barely reach Mach 4. The bombs like to keep going, though, so it takes some practice in order to accurately hit a target while moving at a kilometer per second. TBH I just use it to get into suborbital space sometimes if I have downtime.

 

=========================================================================

stgGf6b.png

Bryntroll

Role: Short Range Fighter

Manufacturer: Thor Aerospace

Armament: 4x AIM-9 Sidewinder, 2x AIM-120 AMRAAM, 2x Vulcan Turret

Delta-V wet/dry: 5.6/9.8km/s

Mass: 11.4t

Crew: 1

Description: Ultra-maneuverable fighter used primarily for defensive and light offensive purposes due to short range.

Notes from manufacturer: In our testing, we have not been able to create an aircraft that outperforms the Bryntroll.

Notes from Jebediah: It's supposed to have the 2 dots over the O but I'm guessing whoever writes this report is probably going to be lazy. This is one of the most maneuverable aircraft I have flown. I learned the hard way that its turn radius is less than that of the VAB. I have disarmed one and used it as a stunt craft. The armed version originally had hidden Vulcans, but we replaced them for easier targeting at the cost of a little bit of performance. My only gripe is the range. Adding drop tanks could make this into a great escort fighter. Also it sounds like 'Bird Troll' so that's what I've always called it when talking to my friends.

 

=========================================================================

NYNx2D3.png

Du-3E

Role: Medium range fighter

Manufacturer: Dun Bros. Aircraft & co.

Armament: 12x AIM-9 Sidewinder, 1x AIM-120 AMRAAM, 5x Hidden Vulcan Turret

Delta-V: 6.1km/s default, 27.5km/s fully fueled

Mass: 17.1t

Crew: 1

Description: Reverse swept wing fighter. Don't let the basic jets fool you, this one is formidable.

Notes from manufacturer: We ironically had to add missiles to make it less powerful. The five Vulcans would pretty much kill anything right away so we had to nerf it to meet arms limitations. From the KSC: This fighter operates in two modes, defense and escort, the only difference being fuel load. It performs best with little fuel but has great range with a full load. The basic jets make it a good match for escorting low-speed bombers.

Notes from Jebediah: This is the reason I'm banned from flying under the bridge at R&D. Not because I crashed... Well, i did... But because people were spilling coffee everywhere and we had to spend a bunch on janitors. Also looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. After we thaw the cold war, we should sell them as stunt planes without the bomb load. They're really maneuverable despite using basic jets.

 

=========================================================================

bcZY21M.png

F-22

Role: Long range fighter

Manufacturer: Cephalopod Advanced Research Division

Armament: 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder, 4x AIM-120 AMRAAM, 2x Hidden Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 15.3/27.0km/s, 99.0km/s fully fueled

Mass: 15.2t, 33.6t fully fueled

Crew: 2

Description: Long range fighter with unique wing geometry.

Notes from manufacturer: This is an older model that still works fine. We have lightened the fuel load so the craft is 50% lighter but still has 25% of the range. As with the Du-3E it can be used as a defense or escort fighter, but can travel faster and farther.

Notes from Jebediah: This thing can do a circumnavigation of Kerbin if you do it right. Taking off with a full fuel load is a pain in the tailstrike if you ask me. And if you want to circumnavigate you have to go around USKN territory making it harder. Very good at what it does.

 

=========================================================================

2xk8Rf5.png

Mallard

Role: Long range Bomber

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 24x CBU-87 Cluster Bomb, 4x Chain Gun Turret

Delta-V: 33.6km/s, 61.7km/s with drop tanks

Mass: 61.1t

Crew: 4

Description: Long range bomber designed to bomb anything into nothingness. Features vertically asymmetrical engine nacelles to confuse the enemy.

Notes from manufacturer: While it is slow it can blow up anything with ease. The Mallard is outdated as the Ostrich does the same thing but can go three times faster. We are shifting the Mallard towards retirement.

Notes from Jebediah: Back when this was new it wasn't a combat aircraft at all, we used it to transport KSC vehicles and equipment. We even launched smallsats from it sometimes. And then there was that one time we dropped a million or two ping pong balls all over Kerlington. We got in trouble for that but it was worth it, we launched them at Bob's old private school - He hated that place with a burning passion. We had to make it look like a prank, though...

 

=========================================================================

gA91qWS.png

Ravenspear Mk4

Role: Medium range Fighter-Bomber

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 6x missile rails, can contain Mk82 bombs, CBU-87 Cluster Bombs, any AGM, and any other non-radar missiles, 2x HYDRA Rocket pods, 2 Vulcan turrets.

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 15.5/20.0km/s

Mass: 19.0t

Crew: 1

Description: Multirole fighter-bomber. Does not come with radar, so its air to air capabilities are somewhat limited. It can be outfitted for many different types of missions.

Notes from manufacturer: The Ravenspear series of bombers started with the Mk1 and 2, medium range bombers, and went to the Mk3, a supersonic bomber. The Mk4 goes back to the Ravenspear's roots but also incorporates a bit of fighter.

Notes from Jebediah: This plane is pretty "meh." You know what a "Meh" aircraft could be used for? Training!

 

=========================================================================

MudyMAu.png

THE RAVEN

Role: Medium range Fighter-Bomber

Manufacturer: USKN

Armament: 10x TOW missile, 4x Hellfire AGM, 2x AIM-120 AMRAAM, 2x CBU-87 Cluster Bomb, 2x AGM-65 Maverick, 2x Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 21,7/38.1km/s

Mass: 16.5t

Crew: 1

Description: USKN-developed fighter-bomber.

Notes from manufacturer: Manufacturer unable for comment.

Notes from Jebediah: We managed to recover three crashed aircraft from the USKN and pieced them together to make this full one. It doesn't fly that well, but it does fly. Looking at the technology, it's very similar. They must be copying us, I helped design these standardized parts myself... But I wonder how much we are copying them. The maneuverability would be alright if it wasn't supposed to double as a fighter.

 

=========================================================================

NANFdJI.png

Thunderbird

Role: Long range fighter-bomber

Manufacturer: Kerbal Space Coalition Air Defense Division

Armament: 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder, 2x Hellfire AGM, 2x HYDRA Rocket Pod, 2x Maverick AGM, 2x Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 27.8/62.5km/s

Mass: 15.0t

Crew: 1 (more in other variants)

Description: Long range fighter with drop tanks.

Notes from manufacturer: Very old long range fighter. We were trying to phase these out or at least upgrade them but Jeb's resisting so we're keeping it.

Notes from Jebediah: This aircraft sucks. But I could never live without it. Tailstrike is a hazard, it uses expendable and nearly pointless drop tanks, the landing gear has a tendency of melting shut... But this was one of the first aircraft the KSC built, actually as a 2 seat survey craft. And then we made it into a fighter-bomber. Bah... I have a special one which I use, it has an EVA seat on top and I can control it from there. The guys at the ADD keep trying to mount weapons on it while I'm not looking... I guess that's only a small step up from trying to decommission it. Also, I had my fourth kiss in a Thunderbird. And I once turned off the radio and buzzed the tower 30 times in a row. Sorry, Gene! Not sorry!

 

=========================================================================

GWK2Czx.png

X-27

Role: Medium range fighter

Manufacturer: Cephalopod Advanced Research Division

Armament: 2x AIM-9 Sidewinder, 4x AIM-120 AMRAAM, 2x Hidden Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 13.8/31.1km/s

Mass: 9.3t

Crew: 1

Description: Generic fighter aircraft developed by the CARD.

Notes from manufacturer: This is the best fighter we have ever produced. It does not have the best armament, but makes up for it in maneuverability and cost. We can put 2 of these in the air for the cost of anything comparable, really.

Notes from Jebediah: This thing is really maneuverable. If I'm going below 30 meters per second I can flip it backward, pass retrograde, and pull back to forward before hitting the ground. Not useful, but cool. Like a loop the loop but maintaining forward velocity the whole time. I once landed this thing on its tail on the VAB. I hear the KSC wants to send one or two to Laythe. I do not understand why it is necessary to bring our conflicts to the stars with us. Also the landing gear likes to go into a feedback loop and bounce all around. Once it synchronized to the music I was listening to.

 

=========================================================================

lAiR917.png

X-29

Role: Medium range fighter

Manufacturer: Cephalopod Advanced Research Division

Armament: 6x AIM-9 Sidewinder, 4x AIM-120 AMRAAM, 2x Hidden Vulcan Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 16.8/29.5km/s

Mass: 15.6t

Crew: 1

Description: Reverse swept wing aircraft.

Notes from manufacturer: We designed this with looks in mind. If our enemies are like "WHOA!" then we have a 1 second advantage while they are stunned by the awesomeness of our airplanes.

Notes from Jebediah: Remember when I said the Du-3E and X-27 were maneuverable? Well this thing is better. And 29 is my favorite number so I may be biased. I love getting up to a kilometer or two and going into a flip for a minute or two until I finally fall to the ground. I pull up, of course, I may be a maniac but I'm not suicidal.

 

=========================================================================

QYRtdBg.png

Shryke

Role: Medium range Interceptor

Manufacturer: C7 Aerospace Division

Armament: 10x AIM-9, 2x 0.50cal Turret

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 16.8/29.5km/s

Mass: 15.6t

Crew: 1

Description: Lightweight interceptor, main armament missiles

Notes from manufacturer: One word: Speed. We were going to make it a turbojet powered aircraft but decided on a Panther instead because if it's going to be in fighting relatively close we want it to be maneuverable, especially due to the fact that it has no countermeasures. So let's make it two words: Mediocre Speed.

Notes from Jebediah: Way better than the deathtrap Aeris 2B or Midget as far as interception is concerned. But really, I think the designer was thinking of something else. I found some early blueprints once that described it as having really long landing gear to mount a giant bomb on. But what if we put a satellite launcher rocket on there? It would be a great opportunity for student groups and such... If we converted that structural fuselage into a crew cabin some of the people who built the satellite could actually press the button to launch it. I don't think I've ever actually flown this one, though, I was on Duna during development and I've never gotten around to it... Politics are getting in the way of my spaceflight career. I'm thinking of standing down as CEO and asking Gene to take over. Don't let him know, though.

 

=========================================================================

S2BzMNs.png

Hex-Archer

Role: To Be Determined

Manufacturer: Coca Technologies Division 99-2

Armament: None yet.

Delta-V Wet/Dry: 27.7/39.4km/s

Mass: 22.2t

Crew: Up to 3

Description: Ultra Maneuverable Experimental Aircraft

Notes from manufacturer: This is the most maneuverable aircraft ever produced by Coca Technologies. Any more maneuverable and it will be a horror to fly. Developed for a contract focusing on aesthetics, stealth, and maneuverability.

Notes from Jebediah: Okay, you've got to be pulling my leg here, I didn't think there could be anything more maneuverable than the X-29. I've only been in this thing once, it's so new. I'm in love with it already. Everything about it is beautifully badass - The looks, the maneuverability, you name it! My only gripe is top speed, but really, a stunt plane doesn't need top speed... I'll be anxiously waiting the day my paycheck comes back, I would love to add this to my garage.

================================================================================

========== Part III, Regretting the Future

 

STILL CLASSIFIED

 

JEBEDIAH: By Bop, are we done finally? That had to be hundreds of aircraft!

CASSIDY: In the name of memory, every combat aircraft since the USKN started posing a threat. I wanted to do all of them but that would - 

JEBEDIAH: Take too long. Yeah.

CASSIDY: I find it interesting that you have flown most of these.

JEBEDIAH: Well, when I'm not off world advancing the final frontier, it's my job. Not even my job, my passtime! Would you like to see my garage? I'm probably up to 100 aircraft by now.

CASSIDY: I am well aware, Jebediah, but that is not needed... I need to get this report into the archives soon.

JEBEDIAH: Anything else you need from me? The X-43 is waiting outside for me to test, and in a few days I'm leaving for Moho.

CASSIDY: No.

JEBEDIAH: You sure? You look like you have something you're afraid to ask. I won't judge.

CASSIDY: You made very few remarks about the actual combat effectiveness throughout the entire interview. Any reason?

JEBEDIAH: Well, the public story, Cassidy, is that I'm not actually a weapons tester. I don't fly combat missions because I'm too valuable. Some people don't even want me in space - even in the air, due to how much of a historical figure I am.

CASSIDY: Oh.

JEBEDIAH: But that's not it. Truth be told, I hate this. Those USKN guys way over there, they think we've got an unjust monopoly on spaceflight. It's not a monopoly, everyone else can do it, we're just popular and less expensive. Yes, we did sue and bankrupt the Arctic Space Organization but that's just because they literally stole several of our old satellites out of orbit without asking us. That's classified, so it looks bad in public.

CASSIDY: Okay.

JEBEDIAH: So the USKN comes in and says that Space should be open to all and that we're stifling exploration. And before you know it, it's escalated into a launch service war, then who can build the biggest space station, the best spysats, and then all of a sudden Rockomax seizes control of a country and we need to have a war over that, so we've got fighters and bombers, and we're down Rockomax... And now we're waving the fighters at each other. More and more fighters, and now nuclear missiles... I mean, grow up, Kerbin! We don't need to launch fighter jets to Laythe to prevent access to space on the other side! I don't even want to prevent the other side from accessing space, there's plenty of it! In all reality, I don't actually hate the USKN!

CASSIDY: But the USKN is trying to claim part of the Mun! We need to defend the solar system from their conquest!

JEBEDIAH: Cassidy... I thought you were smarter than that. Rockomax tried to do that first, and we had to take it back from them to give it back to the world, but then we sort of didn't leave... Faults on both sides. If only we could listen to each other and work things out instead of waving guns in each others faces, trying to prove we're better than the other. The original reason for the conflict, access to space, isn't that relevant any more and now it's just hate for the sake of hate. I don't want any more missiles on fighter jets. I don't want any bombers!

CASSIDY: But, Jeb - 

JEBEDIAH: Hush, I'm not done yet. I couldn't ban the weaponized planes. It was all I could to to ban anti-ballistic missiles. Maybe that way Mutually Assured Destruction will get us if we have no way to stop it. Neither side would be stupid enough to launch the first missile. It would be suicide. Maybe that will force us to talk to each other. And in 6 years we can dissolve this stupid coalition and get on with our job - exploring space.

CASSIDY: You really think this effort is unjustified? You really think the coalition is stupid?

JEBEDIAH: Of course. We were the Kerbal Space Command, or Kerbal Space Center, just a small area of land, and then we sort of consolidated into the Kerbal Space Coalition. That made it seem more like country vs country instead of company vs. company, leading to more reason for militarizing everything. And that was bad enough without Rockomax getting so greedy.

CASSIDY: You're crazy, Jeb.

JEBEDIAH: I know. But I'm right. Thank you for making this report, Cassidy - keep this last part separate and secret, though. Hopefully, in five years, this whole cold war will be nothing but history... And we'll live in peace yet again.

CASSIDY: I sure hope so, Jeb.

JEBEDIAH: And just for the record, Cassidy, I don't want these weapons ever fired at all. If they must be fired, let it be at me.

The old man looked skyward, again hoping for a better future. His past, and the world's past was... regrettable. He then saw a streak of orange crossing the sky. Probably more space junk, he thought to himself. It looked like a big piece, though, and the last time that such a large piece had fallen was decades ago... He wished that things could be the same as they were fifty years ago... before the war. Before the world had torn itself to shreds. The falling chunk of debris split into multiple pieces, and he watched the largest piece slam into the ocean about thirty kilometers away. A piece had never fallen so close before. Another piece continued to scream across the sky. Oh my, he thought to himself. This one's really close!

The old man ran over to investigate, only to find that there was nothing left. He spotted another piece falling though, as if under parachute. It looked to be going a bit fast. He saw that it had landed and that it was only twenty kilometers away. Finally, an excuse to use his fifty year old plane again. He looked up at the Mun, and uttered the first word he had ever said in perhaps twenty years.

"Please."

EcrsoVP.png

The old man felt excited and - alive. More alive than he had felt for fifty years. He decided to use the second seat on the plane, the one he would have always sprung for, with no hesitation, fifty years ago. With the engine started, he began the process of taking off. It was now a normal plane, stripped of the instruments of war that had been mounted long ago. No more missiles, no more bombs. No more guns.

 

-Project Intrepid, Chapter 4

 

The Story of Project Intrepid will Continue...

 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And thus begins a 50-year old geopolitical chess match.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

;) Excellent ;) 

I wonder if you find the secret juno inside ! Haha !

Save the pilot is more important than save the craft !

I have to read the story from the start now ^^

( Holy mother of lag ;) ) Haha !

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post was originally created as a response in another thread:

5 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Well, that was the original idea:

bFm9Mo9.png

That's the core engine with all its tons of fuel, but it's also dragging two nuclear stages. It was supposed to SSTO but it didn't really work out, so I went with plan B, strap boosters to it.

GbWwzh0.png

And then I had enough fuel in orbit to bring it to Minmus to refuel. After I filled up there, I sent it to Eve.

kHyMBpF.png

You'll notice the lack of heat shields. The NERV stages burn to depletion, and that gets it into Eve orbit. The Mammoth (the two vectors at the bottom are only there for pulling up in atmospheric flight) is used to use up all of the fuel to slow it down enough so it doesn't need a heat shield. This also means that it's a glider from this point onwards.

So it was not an SSTO from Kerbin, although it was *almost* supposed to be at the beginning. However I don't think I really designed it with that in mind, I think I just tried to SSTO it because I noticed that it theoretically could. I designed it to be so big because first, it needed to carry ISRU, second, it needed to carry up to 16 Kerbals (this was a rescue mission, I had several Kerbals stranded), it had to use Mammoths or Vectors to get any sort of specific impulse at sea level, and it needed to have a range of at least 100 kilometers.

However, that range number is affected a lot by the starting altitude. From 1km ASL you can get over 100km out of it, if you started on Eve's tallest mountain you can go a lot further. In the end I said "I could go small or big" and went big.

Not to advertise or anything, but the craft is part of my mission report, Project Intrepid (link in sig) if you'd like to see more action, although it doesn't come in until very late and hasn't done much yet.

Thanks for all the details, and the link!  I checked it out. 

One reason I asked my question is because I was intrigued by your vessel and decided to try test-building and launching an equivalent.  It was based on eyeballing your picture and description so naturally it did not have the NERV transfer stage that you had already jettisoned.  It made orbit fine.  I have a lot less experience than you, and I'm still working on my first interplanetary experience (though I've done some "proactive asteroid intercepts"), but it seemed on paper that the core vessel itself ought to have enough to make it from Kerbin system either directly to Eve or refueling at Gilly (to use on deceleration as in your post).  (The massive fuel tanks compensate for the lower efficiency vs. NERVs.)  Is this just a design choice you didn't want to do, or is there a reason this wouldn't work for your plane such as that yours is heavier than mine, or am I just completely missing something?  How many drills does your plane have?  I only put 2 large drills in mine. 

On second thought, this might be going off topic, so I think I will put a copy of this post in your Project Intrepid thread. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/19/2018 at 6:56 PM, FinalFan said:

This post was originally created as a response in another thread:

Thanks for all the details, and the link!  I checked it out. 

One reason I asked my question is because I was intrigued by your vessel and decided to try test-building and launching an equivalent.  It was based on eyeballing your picture and description so naturally it did not have the NERV transfer stage that you had already jettisoned.  It made orbit fine.  I have a lot less experience than you, and I'm still working on my first interplanetary experience (though I've done some "proactive asteroid intercepts"), but it seemed on paper that the core vessel itself ought to have enough to make it from Kerbin system either directly to Eve or refueling at Gilly (to use on deceleration as in your post).  (The massive fuel tanks compensate for the lower efficiency vs. NERVs.)  Is this just a design choice you didn't want to do, or is there a reason this wouldn't work for your plane such as that yours is heavier than mine, or am I just completely missing something?  How many drills does your plane have?  I only put 2 large drills in mine. 

On second thought, this might be going off topic, so I think I will put a copy of this post in your Project Intrepid thread. 

 

I continued that discussion in the other thread and I think I answered everything, but since I'm posting here anyway, how's it going?

 

This chapter is taking a bit longer than the others. This one in particular involves a lot of large craft that are used for short periods of time so building is taking a while. I only intended on using them for this one chapter but I might just have to bring them back sometime with all the effort I'm putting into them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

I continued that discussion in the other thread and I think I answered everything, but since I'm posting here anyway, how's it going?

 

This chapter is taking a bit longer than the others. This one in particular involves a lot of large craft that are used for short periods of time so building is taking a while. I only intended on using them for this one chapter but I might just have to bring them back sometime with all the effort I'm putting into them.

Yeah, I'm a fully satisfied customer, lol.  

I can't even imagine how much it would change my game to have build time.  It's like completely antithetical to how I have been doing things.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, FinalFan said:

 Yeah, I'm a fully satisfied customer, lol.  

I can't even imagine how much it would change my game to have build time.  It's like completely antithetical to how I have been doing things.  

It's not ingame build time, it's IRL build time. :) It would change this story a lot if there was ingame build time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

It's not ingame build time, it's IRL build time. :) It would change this story a lot if there was ingame build time.

Oh, yeah, I see what you mean.  Yeah, IRL build time can definitely add up too.  Right now I'm doing "simulated" test launches of this awful monstrosity of a mining ship.  In games I'm often "lazy" in a way that actually means more effort so I'm pushing my design competence to its limits trying to launch it with a full load of ore so it can push another thing to the same destination body and land, while not needing to be refueled after helping itself to Kerbin orbit, and also while also not using more than one Mammoth to get it to orbit (currently trying Mainsail asparagus).  I think I'm on the verge of making orbit but I also thought that five tests ago.

Update:  success!  Instead of six Mainsails I used two pairs of Twin Boars (so, eight boars total ;)) and tucked gimbal-locked Vectors in between them on the sides of the core recoverable booster.  (And, of course, 4 sets of 4 Kickbacks collectively carrying 63 seconds worth of fuel.)  It made orbit with the greatest of ease, and with a little tweaking can even put the recoverable booster in orbit for high-value recovery. 

Edited by FinalFan
update
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I'm excited for more. Also I may have been building large one launch motherships with boatloads of mods for no reason other then because...

https://imgur.com/a/hunOgiC

I may or may not be accidentally 1-upping you @Ultimate Steve 

Although If I was I have a bigger one in store for my Jool5...

Dunno what to name it I was thinking [REDACTED BY O5 COMMAND], But that might be too good of a name....

*edit* Why did the name I typed auto-correct to that???? I'm confused... Ima lie down and think this out...................................................agbaga........................jhkgSehy08huiqdy7uxgghagagtw7tgyyydiud8yr7hvhurevhu

Edited by Starslinger999
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

9400+ words, well over a hundred images (RIP page loading times) and many craft just for this chapter... The longest one yet. I'm honestly pretty hyped to write the rest of this arc. And before you ask, I did check my math by doing the shutdown in KSP, and it worked!

So enjoy.

Chapter 52 - Running Away

Spoiler

========== Part I, The Power of Math

 

YMV9NF4.png

"There she is," said Bill Kerman.

"The largest ever amateur built rocket by a factor of twenty-five," responded Jeb. "Even more if you think the Kerlington College Alumni count as professionals."

"The Ultima."

"Our ticket out of here."

"SHH! said Bill, frantically whispering. "They are monitoring our communicators!" he said under the microphone.

"Right," whispered Jebediah, still wondering why the KSC had not come yet. It was now mere hours from the launch - many of the astronauts - out of a total of 183 - had already said their goodbyes to any friends and family members they had on planet and were onboard checking critical systems in preparation for liftoff. Bill and Jeb stared at the rocket for several more seconds - it was, after all, a very impressive construction, with a payload to Low Kerbin Orbit larger than some of the smaller Intrepid Motherships. A giant rocket built by anyone, even the FKS, would be a sight to marvel at.

"Hey there!" said Gustav, approaching the duo from behind.

"Gustav!" said Jebediah. "We weren't expecting you to get here until later!"

"Well," replied Gustav, "I'm near about killing myself with my nervousness. I've said goodbye to the only family member who cares about me anymore, my sister Maya several dozen times. I'm ready to go. Let's burn this candle."

"Right." The three started walking towards the massive Launch Complex 4, following a group of many others that walked by, which contained Albert Kerman, the head of the Order of the Two Poles.

yPQTm3c.png

"Jebediah, I swear, you are a miracle worker!" said Albert. "I thought for sure you wouldn't be able to build those boosters - how did you manage that?"

"We found some old missiles in a silo nearby, the KSC probably forgot it ever existed. We very quickly modified them, we didn't even remove the second stage engines because we were so strapped for time."

"Wait. Nuclear missiles?" Asked Albert. "I don't want anyone thinking we're terrorists. In fact we're the opposite, trying to help Kerbalkind escape!"

"By building a portal based on questionable scientific principles," asked Bob, who had joined the procession.

"That's the same thing that the Space Pirates and the Monolith are trying to do."

"Which is also pseudoscience!" claimed Bob.

"I would be careful about them..." cautioned Jebediah.

"Oh, please!" said Gustav. "You actually believe they're talking to an alien monolith? Next thing you know, you're going to say the Kraken is real!" Jebediah stiffened up at this. Best he didn't say anything.

"As I was saying," said Jebediah, "The silo was long abandoned. They wouldn't know - and we left the warheads at the silo, we didn't steal those. We even reinforced the door to keep out actual terrorists."

"Okay... Hopefully we won't get shot down or anything."

"Albert, the KSC doesn't really do weapons anymore, we're beyond that for the most part. The days of the Coalition are over."

"Alright, then. I trust you."

"You shouldn't," thought Jebediah.

w6KWzeT.png

2iKAozd.png

The elevator, unfortunately, had been copied from the previous launch complex, LC-3. It was only designed for 3 at a time. 5 was doable, but it was best to stick with 4. As a result, the whole loading process took much longer than anticipated, delaying the launch a little bit. And then there was another problem... The evening launch was pushed back to early morning the next day as the 173 soon-to-be astronauts and the 10 veterans twiddled there thumbs, waiting.

rhZoPVZ.png

Another thing was noticed - the entire launch complex appeared to be sliding towards the ocean now that the Ultima was partially filled. This was fixed with several spacers and concrete anchors put in by the ground crew. They were pretty scared, as the rocket was fully fueled at this point. They could top off propellant for several more hours at this point before they ran out, but they could not de-tank, too much would be lost to refuel the whole thing. Normally, these parts are designed for nearly infinite storage duration, but these were amateur built parts made out of old amateur built aircraft carriers and submarines.

4yeETQi.png

By the time the sun set everyone was ready to go. Concern rose about the lack of any escape system, seeing as the shoddy bottom two stages had been fueled for several hours and the boosters were more than fifty years old. The only way out was through the elevator shaft and the shoddy ladders in the actual launch tower.

kvcZN9h.png

And after a long night seventy meters in the air, the Ultima and her crew were finally ready.

fkc80jY.png

The crew access arm dropped away from the side of the vehicle. The VIP passengers were among the last to board, and had temporarily taken seats in the main cabin.

XuHpKFj.png

The gossip could be heard as Jebediah, Bill, and Bob made their way through the complicated network of tunnels that connected the five stacks of crew cabins until they ventured through one final tunnel into the six person pilot's compartment, where Jebediah would control the Ultima from.

ZyyV7K7.png

(Side pod visible in picture)

mdMiWE2.png

"Are you ready, Val?" asked Jeb.

"As I'll ever be," said Val.

"What are we even doing, confirming like this," chuckled Jeb. We can talk telepathically, remember?

Yeah, but I've told you a thousand times that I don't like it. And we've sort of found out how to switch it off because I would prefer to talk in the real world.

Okay. Just be listening in case something goes wrong.

What can I do? I may be a better plane pilot but you're the rocket guy. You're the guy with all of the magic. The one who defeated the Kraken.

You're the plane person, sister of mine. You handle the second part of the mission. We talked about this.

Right. Just out of curiosity - how much magic did you say you had way back on Duna?

Three or four quickloads worth. So if this goes really wrong then I will. But after that I need to use it sparingly - unless we can get out there and find a magic boulder or something then we've got to make these last ones count.

"Commander to Pilots 1 and 3! Commander to Pilots, over!"

"Albert," said Jebediah, "You can talk normally. We are good to go if you are, we're go to resume the countdown for for a liftoff at 2:00. T-2 minutes?"

"Correct, Pilot 1. Initiating countdown in 3... 2... 1... Mark!" Jebediah started the timer on his control panel and sat back, mentally preparing himself for the launch.

"Jebediah to Claugan."

"I'm pilot 2!" responded Claugan Kerman, who sat in the Cupola at the top of Ultima, and was indeed Pilot 2.

"You're ready, right?"

"Correct, Pilot 1!"

"Call me Jebediah. Or Jeb. There was a time and place for callsigns but "Pilot 2" is one syllable longer than Claugan and there is not another Claugan on this ship as far as I know."

"Yes sir, Pilot Jebediah! You know you're pretty much the most famous person ever, right?"

"Yeah, yeah. I try to be humble about it. Listen, Claugan - I need you to be ready to take over in case anything happens to me, alright?"

"Roger!"

"T-1 minute and 20 seconds," said Albert, whose voice sounded close.

"Albert, is something wrong with your microphone?" asked Shercott.

"Surprise!" said Albert as he tapped Shercott on his shoulder.

"AAAaaah, you startled me!" said Shercott. "Welcome to our side pod!"

"It's okay if I stay, right?" asked Albert. "I really would like to watch Jeb do his thing.

Uh oh.

No kidding. We need to get him out of here.

"Yes, absolutely!" responded Shercott.

"Albert, you should get back to your seat," said Jebediah.

"Surely there's room on a wall! I trust you!"

"T-1 minute," said Gidrien. "Can you get back to your seat in one minute?"

"Uhh, I don't know."

"Jebediah to Ground Control, HOLD HOLD H-"

"Wait, Jeb!" said Shercott. "It's fine, you see! He can sit on the rear of the capsule between Gidrien and I!"

"I really think he should go - " began Jebediah. 

"Control to Jeb, are you requesting a hold?"

"No, control," said Albert, "We're perfectly fine." He situated himself at the rear of the cabin, barely able to contain his enthusiasm. "I'm going to SPACE! With THE Jebediah Kerman! I never thought I'd see this day!"

"T-30 seconds! Vehicle is ready for flight," said the announcer. Shercott and Gidrien both did not know the details of their escape plan. For it to work it would be almost critical to get Albert out of the side pod.

"Albert, do you trust me?"

"I do, Jebediah!"

"Get back to your seat."

"T-20 seconds. Entering terminal countdown." The announcer referred to the point where the countdown would not be halted barring a crazy disaster as the side boosters, being nuclear missiles, had received their launch orders, a command that was difficult to stop. The only way the engineers could find to stop the liftoff on such a short notice was to put explosive charges in the computers.

"Mulch. Okay, Albert, you can stay for liftoff, but after booster jettison you need to get back to your seat."

"And walk around while the rocket is moving? Are you crazy?"

"Yes. And it's less than 1.5g, you should be able to manage it if you don't do anything stupid."

Ba9WHPG.png

"Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Main engine start," said everyone on the ship with increasing amounts of anticipation, excitement, and fear.

"Three!" Jebediah placed his hands more firmly on the controls. "Two!" Everyone held their breath. "One!"

PZ4oBkT.png

All 25 engines at the base of the Ultima had reached full power and the colossal spaceship slowly rose from the Order's own Launch Complex 4. All 183 Kerbals either closed their eyes, cheered, or screamed. All was well until three seconds after liftoff, when...

mi0SiKa.png

"We've lost engine 4D!" shouted Valentina amidst the cacophony of voices following the boom that accompanied the engine's destruction. At this point, everyone began talking extremely rapidly.

"We've lost Bus A on Booster 4! Switching to backup!

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!" shouted Albert. Jebediah Kerman pushed the stick forward but then thought for a moment before pushing it left so the ship would miss the tower.

"AAAaaaAuuuuuhhh....AAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaokay. Ground control, we have cleared the tower!" announced Jebediah Kerman.

"We have lost all control of Booster 4!" said Valentina.

"And that means that we can't shut it down early! Not that it would be easy, those things are practically hardwired!"

"It's going to take too long to burn!"

"We could shut off an engine on the other boosters," suggested Bill.

"But our TWR is barely 1 now," said Valentina, "And the missing engine isn't helping!"

iYwtwYF.png

"We could turn off just the opposing engine," suggested Shercott.

"The staging is hardwired, no editing it, we have to detach all four boosters at once," responded Jeb. "Uneven fuel flow would lead to problems!"

"Wait, what if we wait a bit and shut down 2 engines per side booster so we get equal burn duration?" suggested Gidrien.

"I'm on it!" shouted Bob as he grabbed a marker out of Bill's pocket and began writing very complicated equations on the window of the side pod.

"Gravity turn beginning," said Jebediah.

"Gidrien, you're a genius!" said Valentina.

"Okay," began Bob, talking extremely fast and scribbling on the window, "given that we lost the engine at T+3 seconds and mainsails consume 98.55 fuel per second, each tank holds 14400 and we have 3.5 tanks. That's 50400 units of fuel."

okmQmAZ.png

"You can do speed math?" asked Shercott.

"Let him do his thing," said Bill. More red warning lights flashed on. "Aileron 2A has stopped functioning!"

"I've got gimbals!" said Jebediah as he continued the gravity turn.

"I WANT TO GO HOME!" shouted Albert.

"98.55*5=492.75 units per second per booster, plus the fuel line to the mammoth at 258.62 is 751.37. 50400/751.37 is..."

"For heaven's sake, Bob, use a calculator!"

"Stop it I'm focusing! Uhh..."

"He can do long division on paper very efficiently," said Jebediah, continuing to turn over, sweating just a little bit. "Or in this case, on a window."

"Approximately 67.1! Minus 3 until the explosion and 3 effective seconds during startup gives us 61.1 seconds of time on partial thrust. And that works out to...

"T+35 seconds."

"SHUT UP!"

"Are launches always this intense?" asked Albert, still half screaming.

"This ain't intense, this is entertaining!" said Jeb, a big grin on his face as he expertly kept the ship straight.

"77.2 seconds with 4 engines and 90.9 seconds with 3 engines. Effective burn time is the x axis, and the y axis units... don't really matter, oddly. Estimating Mammoth as 2.6 Mainsails gives us y=1/6.6 to aim for at T+77.2 seconds, as well as y=1/7.6 initially."

"T+ 50 seconds!

"Electrical failure on the lights in cabin 3!"

"Irrelevant!"

"So if I plot 1/5.6x then adjust the y intercept to approximately -3.6..." And this was approximately the graph Bob Kerman had drawn on his window, except his was more vertical for clarity.

j0c9fO2.png

"The lines cross there. Add three seconds and T+47... Jeb! We're too late! Okay, we can shut off three engines per core..."

"Roger!" said Jeb, preparing additional switches.

"That means a line at 1/4.6x and..."

"T+1 minute!"

eucX0o4.png

"Add three and it's 62 point -  JEB DO IT NOW!"

"Shutdown!" There was a loud thump from the base of the rocket as nine of the engines shut down.

QzcQiot.png

"NO!" screamed Bob. "I forgot to account for the fuel tanks in the engine pods!"

"It's negligible!" said Bill. "It will be close enough if you did your math right!"

"Excuse me!" said Bob. "I was Valedictorian!"

"And a really good one at that!" said Jebediah. "I'd give you a big slap on the back if I wasn't flying a spaceship right now!"

"Okay, we should be good, I'll just look out the window for a bit," said Bob, calming down a bit. "Except my window is covered in Math."

"Aaaaaannnddd... Flameout! Jettison!" said Jebediah as the ship rocket back and forth.

iPN6x4u.png

"Hey, Bob! You're a bit rusty, you were an entire half second off on your math!"

N7i69XV.png

"Everyone," announced Jebediah over the ship's intercom system, "A big round of applause for Bob Kerman, who just saved the mission with the power of Math!" The applause was so loud it could be heard over the five mammoth engines.

"I have no idea what just happened, but that was freaking awesome!" shouted Albert. And then, Jeb remembered the real reason they had agreed to pilot the ship.

"Albert, you may return to your seat now that the boosters are gone.

"But - " Jebediah looked at the Ultima's trajectory. They were nearing their window.

"Now!"

"But I don't want him to leave, he's funny!" protested Shercott.

"Albert, you need to trust me on this, get out!" The window opened.

"Why though?"

"Jebediah to Claugan, take the controls. NOW!"

"Uhh...AAAAAAAAA!!!!"

G9cNapu.png

Jebediah leapt out of his seat, as did Val, and they, despite the increased acceleration, were able to pick up the protesting Albert and shove him through the small hatch that connected the side pod to the rest of the ship.

"Jebediah, what the Moho are you doing?" The window was more than halfway over.

"Good luck with the portal and goodbye!" shouted Jeb as he shoved the hatch - or rather, two hatches - shut. The airtight seal engaged.

"Jebediah - " began Shercott, obviously angered. The window was rapidly closing as Jebediah climbed the ladder to the cockpit.

"WE'RE ESCAPING!" he shouted as he pressed the conveniently located Big Red Button on the control panel.

 

*click*

 

A9XVLy5.png

The side pod was ejected from the side of the Ultima with a bit more rotation than predicted, tossing its six occupants around the cabin. The pod flew through the exhaust trail of the five Mammoths, further shaking up the spacecraft.

YPg75PK.png

"WHAT?" shouted Shercott.

"I've been trying to tell you!" said Jebediah. "They were monitoring the communicators - we're gliding to the KSC in this pod!"

"WHAT?" said Gidrien. "YES! We're going home!" Shercott's face fell, however.

"What's wrong, Shercott?" asked Bill.

"I had a friend... Well, a bit more than that..."

"Not this again," said Jebediah.

"Her name was Maya and - "

"Oh, Gustav's sister?" asked Bill. "Now, Kerbin to the Mun would have been a long distance relationship!"

"If anything," said Jeb, relaxing a bit after the unusually stressful launch, "We helped you, now you're only a quarter of a planet away."

"But still... Yeah, I guess it was about time to go home. They really did invade my privacy."

"Can we get another cheer for Bob?" said Gidrien. "He did more math in a minute than I could have done in fifteen!"

"Go Bob!" said Jeb. "Really nice job. I sort of miss these kinds of launches. It's your first launch from Kerbin in, what? 55 years? You're still going strong!" Bob grinned, somewhat exhausted. "Okay, Val, the controls are all yours now. If it weren't for hitting the launch tower, this would be the hard part."

"How exactly?" asked Shercott.

"Well we had to disguise this escape pod as a control pod. I'm still amazed we pulled it off... No landing gear, no main wings, no parachutes, no propulsion. We barely got above suspicion with those Ibeams and winglets, just barely, but Val here has one shot to land this brick in a way that does not kill us."

"Great!" said Gidrien sarcastically.

"It will be a little like being in a car crash," said Val, "At least as far as Bob's math tells us."

"Since when have I been wrong?" grinned Bob, boasting a bit. "I am still the king of the nerds!"

xxbhsKf.png

"A car crash... Does this thing have airbags?"

"Nah. We can use the brace position, though. And maybe we can finally find out why the KSC has not rescued us yet!"

"Yeah. That feels a bit odd," said Valentina.

==================================================

"And that concludes the meeting," said Sergeant T. Kerman, the head of the new military division of the KSC. "You may now return to your posts, especially be on the lookout for any incoming warheads or bombers. We will launch our attack in precisely one hour barring contact. Remember that. The first wave should be ready fifteen minutes before that. We'll win this."

"Roger!" said many of the Kerbals in the room, mostly astronauts in training who agreed to pilot the fighters and bombers.

"Okay, Radar team, any updates?"

"Oh, we were supposed to be watching that? We're all here at the meeting!"

"Idiots. Get back to your posts! Now!"

==================================================

========== Part II, Crashing Everything

sSRvi6G.png

"Deceleration approaching maximum!" announced Valentina.

"Do you think the Order will get to the Mun alright?" asked Shercott.

"Only if they don't run into another launch tower!" Joked Jebediah.

"Can't be too many of those in orbit!"

L75B0up.png

"We overshot a bit," said Val.

"It's alright," said Jeb, "We decoupled towards the end of the window. This was expected."

icKz25y.png

"Okay... Diving... Diving... FLARE!" Valentina pulled back on the stick as far as it went. The pod righted itself, its occupants extremely nervous, but was still travelling forward very fast due to its low wing area. They were now meters above the runway. Val had an intense look of concentration on her face, trying to bleed off velocity as long as possible before the pod stalled, which was, unfortunately, sooner than anyone had thought.

"BRACE!" The pod began to stall, and fell onto the runway, landing tail first.

qqMmS9N.png

It bounced slightly, crashing down again, doing more damage as the occupants braced, screamed, and prayed. The entire back section broke off.

ncmAvY9.png

And the pod kept racing along the runway, kicking up sparks as it did so, creeping to the right. Val tried to steer back to no avail and adopted the brace position herself. The pod skidded off the edge of the runway and began tearing up grass, slowing down more rapidly in the process.

sPkLZSu.png

And then it was over, the pod stood still.

"Is everyone okay?" asked Jebediah. Gidrien raised her head from the back seat, still unable to believe all that had happened in the last ten minutes.

"Physically, Gidrien is fine. Nothing broken!"

"I'm good!" said Shercott.

"That was exhilarating!" replied Val, grinning.

"Alright here," responded Bob.

"Can we do something that doesn't involve a large chance of death for a while?"

"You'll have to get rid of me first!" said Jebediah. The whole crew began to chuckle. The chuckle grew into a chorus of uncontrollable laughter and a joyful shock at what they had just managed to do.

"Phew! That engine failure had me worried! We almost had to keep that booster on longer or jettison it early!"

"You're welcome, Gidrien!" said Bob.

"Alright, now, what kind of a welcome are we going to get?" asked Jebediah to nobody in particular as he popped open the hatch and stepped out of the slightly crumpled escape pod.

SZcooHB.png

"Hey, since when do we have a tank over here?"

"JEBEDIAH KERMAN, THIS IS GROUND UNIT ALPHA. PLEASE MOVE AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE."

"GROUND UNIT BRAVO HERE, WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED!"

dSJHJVJ.png

"No nuclear sources onboard the pod," reported one of the crew members of Ground Unit Bravo using his super advanced scanner. "Multiple life signs." In all reality, Ground Unit Bravo was just a modified Mun rover with weapons attached.

"GROUND UNIT CHARLIE REPORTING IN! THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING SHOT!"

PCUcuf7.png

A missile popped off the turret and exploded several hundred meters beyond Jebediah and the pod.

"Woah, guys!" said Jebediah. "It's me! What happened while I was gone?"

"YOU WILL BE INTERROGATED AND TRIED FOR ASSISTING IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF A MILITARY ON THE DESERT CONTINENT."

"Uhhhhh.... Not following you."

"YOU STOLE NUCLEAR MISSILES. THIS IS GROUND UNIT DELTA BY THE WAY."

zOreXv6.png

"That was to build a giant spaceship and - oh, well. Hey, we're not here to make war or anything! We were kidnapped! Sort of! We finally escaped! We can talk without you pointing guns in my face!"

"OH CAN WE? GROUND UNIT ECHO IS NOW INBOUND!"

"GROUND UNIT ECHO THAT IS NOT NECESSARY. GROUND UNIT DELTA WILL APPROACH THE RE-ENTRY VEHICLE."

"Guys? Can you tone down the military a bit?" asked Jebediah a little as he raised his hands up a little into the air. "You know how much I hate all this!"

4ChTjxJ.png

Ground unit Delta, apparently an armored pickup truck with a Hydra rocket turret, pulled up to Jebediah's vehicle.

"Wait a second!" said Jebediah as one Kerbal exited the vehicle and turned around to face him.

tMxFLvk.png

"If it isn't Jebediah Kerman!" said S.A.M. Kerman, head of the Experimental Engineering Division as he approached Jebediah.

"S.A.M.!" said Jebediah, surprised as he rarely showed his face above ground. "It's been, what? More than fifty years? Good to see you again!"

"Alright, we can save the stories for later, there's only one I'm worried about right now. Where the heck were you?"

"Well, uh... It's a long story."

"Explain in a minute or less."

"So this spaceship showed up at the Intrepid with no crew, we thought it was a KSC ship and we went on, but it reentered and took us to an aircraft carrier that took us to the desert where this crazy organization of people that wanted to harness the Nauseometric energy at the poles of the planets to create a portal that would help us escape the solar system held us captive!"

"The Order of the Two Poles?" asked S.A.M. "They tried to buy rockets from us and we sort of laughed them off! They can't possibly be serious!

"No, they are dead serious! And peaceful! Besides defensive measures, of course. So they wanted me to build them a huge spaceship that can carry a few hundred people to the Mun's north pole to study it and run experiments. I told them that they were crazy, and I had no choice, so I started with a tiny one man suborbital rocket. And then a three person Mun rocket. And then we made the Ultima, which could carry 177 people to the Mun."

"177? And these idiots built this?"

"With help. And stolen missiles. And we finally launched today, escaped in a side pod, and now they should be in orbit, waiting for the Mun to rise over the horizon."

"It worked? A spaceship built by idiots?"

"I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!"

"Attention all units," said S.A.M. Kerman into his headset, "We are All-Clear. The Reentry vehicle does not pose a threat to the KSC." Any tension there was instantly evaporated as S.A.M. Kerman burst into laughter, shortly followed by Jebediah.

"A spaceship built by idiots!" said S.A.M. between laughs. Amidst this, the other astronauts egressed from the escape pod.

YjPtcyq.png

"Okay, y'all. It's a bit weird, this whole situation," said S.A.M. "We still have to debrief you all. Please follow my assistants." The secret agents to his right nodded and motioned for the group to follow them. "Don't let them poke you too hard!" S.A.M. Joked.

oDzC6Nk.png

"Seriously, though, Jeb!" said S.A.M. "You had us really worried!"

"Yeah, I was wondering what was with all the militarism."

"This isn't a bit of it, we dug out fifty or so armed planes!"

"Oh boy. Why would you do that?"

"We assumed you had gone rouge! You just vanished from the Intrepid, and we find this base that sprung up overnight in the desert! And then a few weeks later, our radars detected a missile test with nuclear material onboard from the desert!" Jeb laughed at that.

"One of the idiots used an RTG core as a strut."

"And then we saw something reenter at a really high velocity!"

"Probably the Mun mission."

"So we started building up an air force - just in case, you know. We wouldn't have used it unless provoked. We raided the old Hangar W on the island airbase. We were going to do recon and diplomacy followed by a potential attack today if things went bad!"

"An attack? That's a bit much for just vague evidence."

"Well, you did steal nuclear missiles! Yes, the alarms still worked! Clever, by the way."

"Thank you. We left the warheads there, we had no use for them. You might want to get a team out there to clean them up."

"Got it. So, the entire KSC was panicking! And then you raided Polar Base 8!"

"Wait, what?"

"Polar Base 8."

"No, we didn't. Why would we do that?"

"We reactivated it to do more experiments with Project K."

 

 

No.

I have gone to great lengths to forget this.

He misspoke.

It can't be.

Not the memories.

That day.

My birthday.

We told them it was fireworks.

How they believed that I will never know.

But it was worse.

The voices

Of the dead

Crying out

No.

No. No. No.

NONONONONONONONONONONO!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

e7HZyNI.png

 

"No."

"What?"

"You said Project K. Please, for the sake of Kerbin, say you misspoke!"

"Well - "

"We nearly blew up the planet, what? Nearly seventy years ago with the first test, and that was on an ASTEROID BASE in high Kerbin Orbit! Higher than the Mun! And you're testing it on KERBIN? Do you want to blow the planet up?"

"Come on, Jeb! The normal phases of Project Intrepid are going incredibly slowly! We don't even know if there is a habitable world in range! Project K, if it works, might be our only way to escape!"

"If you're going to test it, do it on Dres! Nobody likes Dres! Or in deep space! Not on Kerbin! After the last test we knew we needed to change something, but we didn't know which way! What if the value is on a logarithmic scale and a shift by half a millimeter could destroy the solar system?"

"Okay, Jeb, calm down."

"You need to stop the test."

"Jeb, it's just a component!"

"Oh, yeah? Which one?"

"The stabilizing agent's catalyst."

"Alone?"

"With some of the... material." Jeb gasped.

"That could still blow everything up!"

"And if it works Kerbalkind is saved!"

"WE HAVE ALMOST 200 YEARS LEFT!" shouted Jebediah. "You're a madman to test it at all, I regret the one test we did. When are you testing it?"

"Uhh..." His watch beeped. "Exactly an hour and forty minutes right now." Jeb gasped again, mentally noting the time.

"S.A.M., as the most famous Kerbal in the history of ever, as the founder of the space program, I ask you to stop."

"We're being cautious with the test."

"I don't want that thing within a Munar distance of Kerbin! Thrice that!"

"Jeb - "

"Please. We lost a giant asteroid base valued at billions of funds. We lost lives that day! That could have been Kerbin! You weren't there! Very few of the entire division was there, most of them are dead or dying!"

"Well, yes, there is some bias, but - "

"S.A.M., if we were ten years from the end I'd encourage testing it on Dres. But not now. We still have too much to lose."

"We've put most of our resources into this, there's no way we're cancelling it just like that! It can't be that bad! I'm more concerned with the fact that someone who was not you tried to steal it!"

"Not that bad? We're talking millions of lives!"

"Jebediah Kerman, I -"

"S.A.M. Kerman. Send the order. Postpone the test." S.A.M. caught onto what Jeb was going and did the exact same thing he did.

1V0Wr9e.png

"Whoa, whoa! You're that serious?"

"S.A.M., you know that very few things scare me," pleaded Jebediah, "And coming from the guy who absorbed the magical powers of the Deep Space Kraken, with Project K we are dealing with forces we cannot control!" S.A.M. Noted Jebediah's violent opposition to, well, violence. He still only had three bullets in his gun out of the six chambers he had loaded a hundred years ago. One bullet used to disarm the sniper before Octavius. Two others, uses unknown. Would the gun even still work?

"Jebediah, calm down."

"Once you agree to stop the test."

"I'll admit you have a point, that doesn't mean you're completely right," argued S.A.M. "We have the best geniuses on the planet working on that!"

"So did we seventy years ago, working with knowledge that was destroyed in the war. Also, wrong time, but cool gun."

"It's fresh out of R&D. A million funds worth of tech - it's called a blaster. Watch."

2b1fuMZ.png

"Just uses electricity." Several tank panels, confusingly on the opposite side of the tank, were damaged, and two were missing.

"Neat."

"And, Jebediah, I - "

"We're not getting anywhere!"

"Well - "

"You're actually going to do it. I don't believe it! S.A.M., if I needed you to trust me any time, it's NOW!"

"I'm sorry, Jebediah. We will be very careful."

"Those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it!"

"Jeb, you're overreacting!"

"I will NOT let this happen again! Not on my watch!"

 

*BANG*

 

 

xcyCcdg.png

 

Jebediah ran towards the tank, the occupants of which were outside chatting, startled at the gunshot. Jebediah, had not, in fact, shot S.A.M. He had shot his so-called blaster, rendering it useless.

"AAAAAA!" screamed S.A.M., more from shock than pain.

atyyzV7.png

"Sergeant Twinkletoes! Dildred!" said Jeb as he ran past the duo, snatching their keys. They looked on in bewilderment.

"Wait, what?" asked Dildred as Jeb hopped up onto the tank.

"Adios!"

"Hey!" shouted Sergeant T, unsure whether to be angrier at the fact that Jeb had shot at a secret agent, or that Jeb had let loose the secret of the Sergeants's real name.

nO03vT9.png

He fired up the engine and accelerated in the general direction of the rest of the space center, hoping to find an airplane. S.A.M. Kerman sat up, his hand still hurting a bit, and looked at the smoldering remains of his million fund blaster. There would be paperwork. But it showed Jeb was serious...

"All ground units! Stop Jebediah!" shouted S.A.M. "Do NOT use lethal force, we need him alive and well!"

"Time for a distraction!" said Jebediah to himself as he slowly rolled across the runway.

*KA-TH-BOOM!*

boKBjPB.png

That was the only shell he intended to use, to keep the rest of the KSC staff from focusing too much on him and instead fighting the fire and/or evacuating.

And then Ground Unit Charlie got into the right place to target Jebediah's tank.

2RZOl9P.png

"MUAHAHAHAHA!" said the truck's commander. "JEBEDI - and they all missed."

W0hdtSN.png

"Don't we need a radar or something for these?"

"I don't know, I went through ten minutes of training!"

"Well that's us out."

"All units, pursue the tank!" said S.A.M.

"Uhh, S.A.M.?" asked the commander of Ground Unit Echo.

"Yes?" said S.A.M. while operating another piece of high tech equipment.

"His top speed is higher than ours."

"You're in a pickup, he's in a tank!"

"An armored pickup that was not designed for this!"

"Aghhhh! Okay, unit Bravo, you are the only one fast enough, go in! Everyone else attack at a range!"

"What are you doing?"

"Going in something fast enough to catch him!"

0pBMQHR.png

S.A.M. had, in fact, summoned a Tui-X, a modification of the weaponized Tui with twice the thrust. "I'll fly over, then back, then over again! For analysis and then an attempt to stop him!"

VMf5brR.png

"Ground unit Delta ready to fire!"

cmux2Yv.png

vP8w9JV.png

"AAAAAAAA!!!!"

"We've hit ourselves!"

"Wait!"

xiZzGfi.png

"I can still fire these! Somehow! Pow, Pow!"

"Ground Unit Echo in firing position!"

"Fire, then!" said S.A.M. who was flying overhead in his Tui.

"I can't aim! Ooh, what does the "Guard Mode" button do?" *click*

K4eH8zH.png

"AAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" shouted S.A.M.

"OOOO TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF!" shouted one of the other people in the vehicle. The flaming Tui X fell from the sky, S.A.M. in it and hit the runway in a fireball. Everyone held their breath until S.A.M. sat up from the wreckage.

DpRsUNf.png

"IDIOTS!" he shouted. "Sorry." He began to summon another Tui, now just three remaining in the KSC's arsenal.

"This is Ground Unit Bravo, we have a lock! Firing to immobilize!"

EynLfPs.png

Jebediah Kerman was almost to the buildings. He just needed to make it a little bit further. Just a bit.

9t5MUaB.png

"Well, that's problematic!" he announced to himself before getting caught in another hail of gunfire, this one destroying his main cannon. He was stuck and without weapon - only two bullets in his ancient revolver.

"Jebediah!" said the commander of Ground Unit Bravo. "The crew of my tank and I have been ordered to take you as prisoner!"

"Prisoner is a strong word!" said S.A.M. from across the lawn.

"That's not a tank, that's a Mun rover!"

"It's a tank!" said the commander. "It's the second closest thing we've got so it counts!"

"You mean this was your only tank?"

"SURRENDER!"

"Alright, alright!" said Jebediah, leaving his tank cautiously, with his hands up.

uiOgcaD.png

F8Acbsp.png

"Where do you want me?"

"The Mk1 crew cabin!"

"Right..." said Jebediah as he very carefully popped the lid of the storage container. It was full of weapons.

"What are you doing down there?" Jebediah selected an ammo backpack, a machine gun, a rocket launcher, and a smoke grenade before quickly taking aim with the machine gun and firing at the plate that connected the top to the rest of the vehicle. His intention was to merely separate the bit, getting the other Kerbals out of the vehicle, but it had... unintended consequences due to the strange nature of Kerbal suspensions.

cpxhWzA.png?1

Jeb was thrown sideways as the entire tank was thrown into the air.

"SHOOT IT!" said the commander of Ground Unit Echo.

"How?" asked the gunner.

"Pull the trigger!"

"It's a flying tank! Am I supposed to use antitank ammo or antiaircraft ammo?"

"IT'S JUST ONE TYPE OF BULLET! FIRE!"

kmAI8Ca.png

By some miracle the tank landed right side up and Jeb quickly climbed the ladder, entered the lander can, and rushed forward. He was out in the open now, no armor. He had only smoke countermeasures, which he put to good use.

M3pwPln.png

"Where is he?" asked everyone mentally. Nobody wanted to shoot into the fog for fear they would damage a building or worse, hit a bystander.

"Ground Unit Echo!" said S.A.M. "You are our last ground unit! Get in there!"

"Roger!"

"I must have the worst soldiers on the entire planet right here!" Unit Echo accelerated to top speed (12m/s) after the tank. After a few more seconds, Jebediah ran out of smoke countermeasures, he was a sitting duck.

MBRkmJQ.png

"JEB! STOP!" shouted S.A.M. onto Jeb's radio channel. He switched his radio off. However, that meant he looked away, and the second that happened, he crashed into the Astronaut Complex and bounced back. Unit Epsilon was closing in fast. He didn't have time to reverse.

YKYo2h2.png

"AAAAAAA!!!!!!" shouted the gunner. He had finished his burst. And the smoke cleared - there was nothing but a pile of rover wheels.

"Jeb?" asked the commander. "You idiot! Where's Jeb?"

"What?" said S.A.M. in disbelief. "You killed Jebediah Kerman?"

"No! I couldn't have! No!" Ground Unit Epsilon approached the building.

vlDqo86.png

Jebediah had bailed out. He was originally going to go to the spaceplane hangar, but that did not work out. He would have to go into the astronaut complex first. But they were looking for him. So he took a deep breath, popped his smoke grenade, and fired his rockets at the armored truck for good measure while running for the door.

SRRG4Oq.png

"Nope, he's alive!" shouted the commander as the dust cleared. Nobody had been seriously hurt but the truck was totaled.

VA3suvl.png

At that point, S.A.M. showed up in his second Tui-X.

sPFU21I.png

"You, an entire group of twenty soldiers, including Sergeant T. Himself, operating five vehicles, were defeated by an old man with a pistol!"

"He's no ordinary Kerbal!"

"Oh, that's for sure! You with the rocket launcher! With me!"

EyPPFUq.png

Jebediah had not been inside the Astronaut Complex in quite a while. It looked too basic, they must be redecorating.

"Excuse me, can I help you?" asked the receptionist.

BIdzvPe.png

"Uhh, no, I'm sort of in a rush, and - "

"Oh, please, stay a bit!"

"I really can't."

"At least take a baguette, I've been trying to get rid of these for hours!"

"Uhh... Okay." Jebediah took a baguette, mostly just to shut her up, and ran through the left door.

isl9yFg.png

WmfBTSg.png

It had been forever since he had been here - one of the many training rooms in the Astronaut Complex. Somewhat barren now, and in the process of redecoration by the looks of it. He ran over to the two guys towards his left.

"Hey, I'm sorry, but - "

"Are you Jebediah Kerman? THE Jebediah Kerman? You're back?"

"Oh my! Can I have your autograph?"

"A million autographs if you can get me a plane in three minutes!"

"Uhh, sorry, we're interns and - " Jeb ran over to the next person.

"You! Do you have a plane?" He got a similar response from that person, at a science training station. And from the two people attempting to fix a Vector engine. And everyone else!

sYwFuCz.png

"All of the pilots were just at a big meeting. But, Jeb! You're back!"

"AAARRGH!" Jeb realized he would not get a plane here. He had to go with plan C, but he knew he was probably being followed. He hopped in to the central simulator, hoping it would be connected to the room. It was.

HkZa7tq.png

*CRASH*

"Hey, dude? That was unnecessary!" shouted the guy with the rocket launcher.

"Hey dude? That was unnecessary!" shouted the secretary.

diwUdP6.png

"S.A.M. Kerman, head of the Experimental Engineering Division."

"I thought you were a myth! Is it true you're designing a fusion reactor? And that you have a secret Mun base? And that you're developing ray guns?"

"That information is classified. I need to know which way Jebediah Kerman went."

"He came in here just now, he went that way!" she pointed towards the door. "Old guy in an old spacesuit!"

"Thank you, ma'am." He abandoned his Tui as it would not fit through the door.

"What are you doing out there, it got really loud!"

"Routine weapons testing!"

"Wait! Do you want a baguette?"

"No." S.A.M. touched the doorknob before jumping back, shaking his hand. "OW! It's hot!"

RLGhw07.png

The people in the room were doing one of four things - running, taking cover, preparing to roast marshmallows, or asking for directions, the last one being Jeb, as he had not walked through this building in a very long time. Right as he got the answer he was looking for, the SRB burned out and S.A.M. managed to break through the door.

"JEBEDIAH! I NEED TO TALK TO YOU!"

FsEHLUW.png

S.A.M. saw Jeb running through a door. He aimed his ruined blaster, and tried to fire it above Jeb, and it made some sparks but nothing more. The guy with the missile launcher took this as a sign to fire at him.

RZHDCdX.png

"Idiot!"

"You were firing at him!"

"To stop him, not to kill him! I just need to talk to him for half a second!"

yXwICVx.png

"We need to repair the astronaut complex again, don't we..."

XdUkH5g.png

Jebediah ran down the ramp to the station. He was extremely out of breath. "Hey, you!" he asked one of the guys there. "When is the next train to the Spaceplane Hangar?"

"A few minutes, I guess, it's the center track!"

"Thank you, sir!" He ran past, towards the middle platform.

6qhpxoq.png

"JEBEDIAH!" shouted S.A.M. Jeb ran faster, but if the train was not timely he would be captured. One rolled into the station on the left platform. He ran that way instead, to get out as fast as possible.

The train screeched to a halt and several Kerbals in full flight suits ran out, apparently on a mission.

hiD9FSQ.png

Jeb paid little mind to this as he jumped on board as fast as possible with two others who were waiting. "GO!" shouted Jebediah to whoever was driving it. The train did not go, and S.A.M. had caught up, out of breath, panicking and babbling.

Zc61Bn8.png

"JEB! Okay, you're right!" the train began to move, S.A.M. running along the platform to keep up with Jebediah's window.

xMMQxdw.png

"What?"

"Get out of the train and I'll stop the test! You're right, Project K is too much! I'll make the call and - HEY! STOP THE TRAIN!" He ran towards the front, trying to get the attention of those in the cockpit, but forgot that the platform was finite, ran into the end, lost his balance, and fell onto the train, where he was pressed between the edge and the wall of the tunnel, spinning, shouting.

i1kUAlg.png

"S.A.M.!" He struck the landing gear and fell to the bottom of the tunnel. Jebediah could not see this, but he was not moving - he had been knocked out by the impact because he was not wearing a protective helmet.

GQcdJXE.png

"S.A.M.! Hey, you!" He stood up and banged his fist on the door to the cockpit. "Stop the train!"

"Hey, what was that about?"

"Oh my goodness, you're the real Jebediah Kerman!"

dl465P9.png

"Uhh..."

"Can I get your autograph?" asked the two girls in the back of the train car at the same time.

"Sure, I guess."

"What's project K?" asked the man.

"Oh, uhh, classified."

"I am the second in command of the KSC ground forces, Doodgun Kerman!"

"It's EED stuff."

"Whoa, EED stuff! Cool!" Jebediah passed out autographs.

"Listen, Doodgun - wait, why are you called Doodgun?"

"Because I'm a big dude with a big gun. It's a code name."

"I need you to get in contact with someone who can stop this train! I need to talk to that guy, S.A.M.!"

"Sure thing, I'll just get my radio out here..." He turned on his radio.

"ATTENTION ALL UNITS! JEBEDIAH KERMAN HAS TURNED! CAPTURE ALIVE AT ALL COSTS!" Doodgun looked at Jeb.

IbJhtu4.png

"It's not like that! It's a long - "

O7xoN0P.png

"AAA!" Jeb ran through the door to the cockpit and shut the door behind him, getting as much stuff between him and Doodgun as he could. And he turned around, and he could see now - there was no driver. It was all robotic.

8PYqnOG.png

"Okay, Doodgun, how do you like this?" He shoved the throttle to full and began turning the ship like crazy. The entire car accelerated and rocked back and forth several times.

0vFVEN4.png

"AAAAA!"

iKM1RlJ.png

"JEB!" Come out of there!" Jeb saw a light approaching in the tunnel - it was a station. Too bad for the people waiting.

PXRPRAq.png

The train tore through the station, ripping up part of the platform as it traveled past more than five times faster than it was supposed to. This was the station beneath the VAB.

C2CCLtf.png

"JEBEDIAH! OPEN UP OR I'LL SHOOT!" In response, Jebediah turned the craft again.

"STOP SHOOTING AND LET ME TALK AND I WILL COME OUT!" Shots rang through the cockpit, shattering the far left window and damaging a few circuits. Jeb kept spinning. He saw another light in the tunnel - this one another station. The last station on the line.

RCxx6vy.png

He barely had a second to slam on the brakes after seeing the barrier at the end of the tunnel.

w164SPJ.png

For the second time that day, Jeb braced for impact.

O8LMGRA.png

The craft slowed massively, and then continued accelerating down the tunnel - literally down.

"AAAAA!" shouted Jebediah as the tunnel - obviously an older one - turned sharply downward, nearing vertical.

sROtzyl.png

The craft pulled up. The lighted section of the tunnel ended. They were now very far underground. Jebediah was now braking at maximum. Doodgun was bouncing around. The two women were terrified. There was a light at the end of the tunnel - illuminated only by the train's lights. It was another barrier.

RmduHDH.png

As with the last one, Jeb had no time to react as the train plowed through this one with ease, continuing onward off the tracks, before colliding with something else and finally coming to rest.

aOX3Lof.png

The shock was immediate and final. Everything got quiet after that. Jebediah, after checking to make sure he was intact, exited the vehicle and ran behind it.

vnSxx4Z.png

He was in a strange room, deep underground, filled with... really, really old craft. He passed an old groundstation, used for the first munar probes, on his left. And more rockets!

b42kD7n.png

He recognized the first ever solid fueled flyback booster and an Agesis 1B, which launched the first Mun probes. He looked around in amazement - and he realized, this was an old unfinished museum! He didn't know when it was built, but obviously it was and was forgotten! So much history in here! The capsule from one of the early station missions! Above him THE Aeris! The original! One of the first aircraft the KSC built! It had to be over a hundred years old by now! He stopped to examine the object to his right - it was a replica of an early one man spacecraft connected to the actual Archangel I Space Station! It had been recovered from orbit as a historical piece!

hID8zor.png

"Jebediah, you are a manic!" Put your hands up!"

"Doodgun, there's no time to explain. The world could end in - " He checked his watch. "One hour and thirty-one minutes. I need to get in touch with someone from the EED!"

"Ah, so you are stalling and you are going to nuke us!"

"What? No! Come on, help me! We need to find a way out of here, I'm not climbing back up that!"

"How about you come peacefully and we can interrogate you." Jebediah ran past a very old sounding rocket - He had forgotten a lot of the past. It was one from right after he had first launched into space, making it nearly a hundred years old.

"Alright then, if that's how it's going to be!" yelled Doodgun. He opened fire on Archangel Station.

hcug9Z4.png

"THAT IS A PRICELESS HISTORICAL ARTEFACT!"

"And unless you tell me how we can stop your nukes, they will all be incinerated!"

"THERE ARE NO NUKES!"

mH5NIFL.png

Jebediah had run past an early Mun rover, an early SSTO plane, and an early science lab, and was now running through the Crew Access Arm that had allowed him to board the first mission to the Mun, a hundred years ago. To his right was a Kerbal X, an early workhorse rocket. He was still having trouble dating the museum.

"JEBEDIAH! SURRENDER OR I'LL BLOW UP SOMETHING ELSE!" Jeb ran through a collection of engines, looking desperately for something that would get him out of the museum. And then he saw it - a ventilation shaft in the ceiling. And how to get there?

aPGt2BJ.png

He saw the space capsule and recognized it immediately - the Moho 5 mission, the first Kerbal to be saved with a launch escape system. It had been Bob. The LES had been recovered, refurbished, and reattached.

"THREE! TWO! ONE!"

6qxVv3w.png

Doodgun shot up the Kerbal X. Not that big of a loss, it was replaceable and they were in museums everywhere. But the entire rocket crumpled in on itself, and a bullet ricocheted upwards into the Ultron III launch vehicle suspended on the ceiling - developed to launch modules for Space Station Epic V. It collapsed, the fairing coming crashing down on Jeb's escape capsule, flattening the Launch Escape system before rolling away and coming to rest at a diagonal.

MYyZ4TY.png

0Pr0zj6.png

Jeb now had the cover he needed. He grabbed the machine gun he took earlier, aimed at the blocked ventilation shaft, and fired.

koFhFD5.png

Instantly he dropped everything and ran towards the capsule, it taking only a few seconds to reach. He hopped in and slammed the door shut.

"Jebediah, what are you doing?" asked Doodgun. "Don't think I didn't see that, I just destroyed the abort tower."

"Hey, I think I know how old this museum is!" responded Jeb, buying time. The capsule's batteries were long dead. He opened his suit and tried to plug the power supply in. It didn't work, the capsule was too old, the suit too new. He cursed under his breath.

"Oh, really?"

"The Ultron III was launched only for the construction of Space Station Epic V, and this was a museum highlighting that. And it was never finished because being the stupid idiot I am, I destroyed the station setting off a supervolcano causing a giant famine!"

"Jeb, I can tell you are stalling."

"So they sealed off all of the entrances and exits! Who wants a museum glorifying a continental disaster?"

"Jeb - "

"And then I had to spend nineteen years in space on Octavius to restore funding! Thank the Lord for Cloneus!"

"Jeb!"

"So this museum is about Ninety years old! Amazing, how we were able to go to other planets, build massive space stations, and moon bases in ten years starting with nothing more than a backyard space program!"

"Jeb, come out. You are surrounded." Jeb had managed to hook up the power. The ancient computers sprang to life, slowly. "And I flattened the LES anyway, you would not have been able to escape."

"The LES was empty anyway! It was used in the launch!"

"I'm not following you. Step out!" The computers were up. Jeb decoupled the capsule from its pedastal.

"And because this capsule was never in orbit," said Jebediah as he pressed a button - 

FHvepwQ.png

The capsule shot up through the roof, surprisingly fast, with a large amount of noise, expertly guided by Jebediah through the ventilation shaft, breaking through two weak barriers, and into the air, above the surface.

QEA0S4I.png

"The de-orbit motors were never used!" The motors burned out. The museum had been directly under the tracking station, which the capsule had crashed through with ease. Jeb concentrated on where he was headed - directly over the VAB. He righted the capsule, detached what the LES had been attached to, and deployed the parachute.

"WOOOOHOOOO!"

0eQvfoi.png

And then the parachute snapped off. Jebediah was shocked for a few seconds. He should have known - it was nearly a century old. How could he have counted on everything to work right?

He jumped out of the capsule right before hit hit the VAB.

Esgkp0v.png

And hit. Hard.

Very hard.

And bounced.

YzJz3e0.png

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

Jebediah's screams of agony could be heard for kilometers. He had shattered both legs on his landing, and broken one of his arms, not to mention all the rattling that had gone on in his head. Or the disaster that was his chest. He had only felt pain like this a few times before. The times he had died and been regrown, and when the Kraken made him watch the murder of his friends for years on end. Whimpering, he attempted to put his head up. He was alive. That fall was usually deadly. The movement made the pain ten times worse.

Oh, how he wished he would instantly heal.

Wait.

No.

Bad choice of words.

"NO!"

"NO! I DIDN'T MEAN THAT!" Jebediah's bones magically fused back together to Jebediah's shock. The severed blood lines reconnected, and the pain momentarily flared and went away. His body was rapidly healing - at the expense of his dwindling supply of magic.

"CANCEL! CANCEL!" The healing stopped. His left leg was the only thing that still hurt. He was shocked, he had carelessly used up much of his remaining power. He could get up now without passing out, but -  he checked. He did not have enough magic left to perform a quickload. Maybe a short one, but nothing useful.

"NO!" Jebediah got to his feet, wincing as his left leg could still barely support any weight. He walked towards the helipad hoping something was parked there. Then, all of a sudden, to doors burst open and a group of about a dozen soldiers with guns came through.

"There he is!" one of them shouted.

41XshYX.png

Jebediah ran. He didn't know where he was running to, but he bore the pain and ran.

"Jebediah, put your hands up!"

aWqobYJ.png

He did not. He ran further, beneath the helipad. He could not do the stairs. He turned to his right and set off that way hoping to find something, but shortly after he collapsed from the pain.

YTeykIG.png

So he crawled, just trying to get away from them. Trying to find a vehicle, any vehicle, that would get him to Polar Base 8 to stop Project K. There were none. And soon, he could not go forward. There was no point in going right or left.

0rNSG6f.png

"Jebediah Kerman!" said the man in front. "You are under arrest for attacking KSC forces, plotting to bomb the KSC, blowing up a fuel tank, burning the astronaut complex, destroying a train, oh hey, this is a long list. You get the point!" The man walked forward.

"Has S.A.M. Kerman cancelled the Project K test?"

"What the Bop is Project K?"

"If it happens in  one hour and 28 minutes it could blow up the planet!"

"Nice try, I've heard that one before."

"I'm serious!" said Jebediah, panicking. "I need to speak to S.A.M.!"

"You ran S.A.M. over with a train! He's in the operating room undergoing surgery! He's broken his neck in places! We're lucky he's alive, no thanks to you!" Jeb gasped.

"I didn't run him over! I need to speak with someone, anyone from the Experimental Engineering division!"

"They all left two days ago, and S.A.M.'s weird friends just flew out."

"I need to radio them!"

"Whatever for?"

"To cancel Project K!"

"You think we know the codes they use?"

"Say it's me! And I know them, I just need to use one of your antennas!"

"And this nonsense Project K thing!"

"It's not nonsense! It's just classified! For a good reason!"

"Enough of this," said the man, stepping forward with handcuffs.

7KEP53Z.png

If S.A.M. was truly in surgery, and he could not contact any of the people from the Experimental Engineering Division for a while, and he would be arrested and interrogated for staying... Jebediah's options were extremely limited. Very few people at the KSC could help him, and even fewer would, as they believed he was now an enemy. He peered over his shoulder - it was a fall to death, especially with his leg. Regrowth was an option, but he was an old man, his odds at surviving with regrowth couldn't be 30%, and he was pushing his odds having been regrown several times already.

He couldn't reduce his velocity enough with his magic. He couldn't teleport in anything. He couldn't make a shield. He couldn't send his own radio signal. The pitiful supply of magic that the Kraken and he had shared was nothing but fumes now. There was nothing he could do with it. But if there was a chance he could do something to make these guys think he was completely serious...

"Please, I need you to take me seriously! Tell them to stop Project K, whatever the cost!"

"Come here, Jebediah, I just need to - "

4FQbOtX.png

EJukYgI.png

 

The Story of ProjeProjeP̵̲̫̉̈͂̈͠͝ŗ̷̢̦̣̤̮̳̜̘̝̦̎͋o̷̧̢̮͕̹̥̥̳̍ǰ̷̠̱̝͕͚̺̲͇͕̼̘̒͆͊̈̔̌͘͠e̴͔̮̭̣͛̋̅̓w̶̧̖͙̭̌3̵̛̝̦̆͒͂̅̂̏͑̉̑̍̈́̋͠͠ ̶̨̱̥̲͈̱̜̟̋̈͠9̷̡̥͕̠̙͉̙̟͎͕͔̇̅͠n̴͈̪̞͓͙͇̮̙̥̗͕̝̑͋̈́͐̚ț̴̬̤̉͌͐̎͛̉̆́͌͐͘͜͠͠͠͝r̷͎̜̙̉̋̎̒͋̌͋̎̆͘͝ͅě̴̛̖̣͙͉͑̋͐̓8̷̨̰͉̈́9̴̡̡̡̝̙̰̫̭̹͔̲̠̫͎͖̽͐̆͑̔̕͠h̴͚̟̱́̔̈́́3̸̨̝̲͚̙̓̓̈͂͂̂͝9̸̗̜̭̌̈͗͊̀̀2̴̡̜̰͉͙͓͇͓̙̺͑̀́̀̅̿̈́̍̈́̓̔̕̚̚̕ͅh̶̢̨̥̏͌̏̈̾͒̚̚͝͝9̵̢̨̜͙̞͍̬̦̌̐̽͛̀͋͊͝͠ĥ̵̖̺͎̖̲̻̻͍̀͠ͅ ̸̪̯̻̯̊͑̑̇͛̏̀̏ͅ ̷̡̡̟̣̖̯̰̦͙̳̱̳̠͆͌̐̒̈̀̆͛̄͌̀̚ḥ̶̨̛̟̣̪̲͍̖̰͓͖̮̉͛̑͊̀̚͝H̴̡̨̱̖̪͚̜̓͂͒̔̒͆̀̈̒͌̌̀́̈́̕H̷͕͇͉̘̆̆͆̍͒̿͜͝͠C̶̢̫̯͕̦̔̃̚͠ő̸̡̟͉̺̺͍̞̍́̃͋͊̂͑̾̔̚͜i̷̢͓̳̝͙͓͕̜͙̲̣̋̿́̌̋̕͜͝e̶͓̾ơ̵̙̱̲̿͊̎͒̌w̵̢̛̙̞͇̩̬͖͚̎͆̾̂̅̂͂͂̀̉̇͂ͅ.̵͔̱̤͙͓̙̪̻̦͌͗͐́̕͜3̵̫̙̽̕̚͝.̶̡͉̟̞̦͉̤̟̲̦͖̣̺͗͝3̸̢̡̢̹̟̺̮̺̻̹̝̿̽̍̑̀͜

 

 

Edited by Ultimate Steve
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/25/2018 at 2:53 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

[Spoilers]

  Hide contents

 

4FQbOtX.png

EJukYgI.png

 

The Story of ProjeProjeP̵̲̫̉̈͂̈͠͝ŗ̷̢̦̣̤̮̳̜̘̝̦̎͋o̷̧̢̮͕̹̥̥̳̍ǰ̷̠̱̝͕͚̺̲͇͕̼̘̒͆͊̈̔̌͘͠e̴͔̮̭̣͛̋̅̓w̶̧̖͙̭̌3̵̛̝̦̆͒͂̅̂̏͑̉̑̍̈́̋͠͠ ̶̨̱̥̲͈̱̜̟̋̈͠9̷̡̥͕̠̙͉̙̟͎͕͔̇̅͠n̴͈̪̞͓͙͇̮̙̥̗͕̝̑͋̈́͐̚ț̴̬̤̉͌͐̎͛̉̆́͌͐͘͜͠͠͠͝r̷͎̜̙̉̋̎̒͋̌͋̎̆͘͝ͅě̴̛̖̣͙͉͑̋͐̓8̷̨̰͉̈́9̴̡̡̡̝̙̰̫̭̹͔̲̠̫͎͖̽͐̆͑̔̕͠h̴͚̟̱́̔̈́́3̸̨̝̲͚̙̓̓̈͂͂̂͝9̸̗̜̭̌̈͗͊̀̀2̴̡̜̰͉͙͓͇͓̙̺͑̀́̀̅̿̈́̍̈́̓̔̕̚̚̕ͅh̶̢̨̥̏͌̏̈̾͒̚̚͝͝9̵̢̨̜͙̞͍̬̦̌̐̽͛̀͋͊͝͠ĥ̵̖̺͎̖̲̻̻͍̀͠ͅ ̸̪̯̻̯̊͑̑̇͛̏̀̏ͅ ̷̡̡̟̣̖̯̰̦͙̳̱̳̠͆͌̐̒̈̀̆͛̄͌̀̚ḥ̶̨̛̟̣̪̲͍̖̰͓͖̮̉͛̑͊̀̚͝H̴̡̨̱̖̪͚̜̓͂͒̔̒͆̀̈̒͌̌̀́̈́̕H̷͕͇͉̘̆̆͆̍͒̿͜͝͠C̶̢̫̯͕̦̔̃̚͠ő̸̡̟͉̺̺͍̞̍́̃͋͊̂͑̾̔̚͜i̷̢͓̳̝͙͓͕̜͙̲̣̋̿́̌̋̕͜͝e̶͓̾ơ̵̙̱̲̿͊̎͒̌w̵̢̛̙̞͇̩̬͖͚̎͆̾̂̅̂͂͂̀̉̇͂ͅ.̵͔̱̤͙͓̙̪̻̦͌͗͐́̕͜3̵̫̙̽̕̚͝.̶̡͉̟̞̦͉̤̟̲̦͖̣̺͗͝3̸̢̡̢̹̟̺̮̺̻̹̝̿̽̍̑̀͜

 

 

Dunno what happened in that last post but I'm back.

Also, WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!?!?

Edited by Starslinger999

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Starslinger999 said:

Dunno what happened in that last post but I'm back.

Also, WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!?!?

Me being somewhat clever, I guess. :)

Also can you do me a big favor and edit your post so it does not contain the entire chapter? Even in a spoiler I think it takes time to load and with the amount of pictures in this chapter (and comment rate on the story) I think it's best not to clutter up the thread too much.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so might not be extremely relevant, but STORY TIME!

The acronym ESREP has been in my head a long time. I was actually going to use that for a mission to Eve at some point, a mission called Eve and beyond, which would have originally been a total ripoff of Kuzzter's Eve: Order Zero graphic novel. It even featured its own dipperkraft. And Evestation.

if6l409iWq3dM5ZZV_z-YaX6gOscAn3eGhn-2bvvceOXspxbayaFuAxDQhiJRSEwsAbAIr_bFm0wFNj56rLyRPkTDtIaUGRLy0FwYnwD1ACJJ6-X5rHuh54RBcH7Pm3rrNZhvZgnWg

_IqvXuswVobBCniQVtajRXB8tP3C7jyboeKyu6ttqZ45FSgPGfxNcHq5FtACjSrl3Ma2Q3TqyZEwBpLPDhm-5AAp1CJwixZ2WOyszmjioNA00uc6ntFqDBdoIfHb8d7nDFhEAsUfRA

Then I thought better and decided to run the mission myself without posting it as a total ripoff. I also shrunk it, no ESREP. Or Eve polar glider probe. Both of which were recycled into Project Intrepid.

 

So the tiny bit of the graphic novel I did make was in a google slides presentation created on August 21, 2015, and I found a planning sheet from somewhat earlier, And I remember that I had thought of the acronym while I was in the lazy river at my local pool.

July 16, 2015 is when Kuzzter's comic was first posted, meaning the acronym ESREP (Evian Self Refueling Exploration Plane) was thought up between July 16 and August 21st, and is over three years old! My, how time flies! I'm glad I finally built it!

The original ESREP was going to be a 2.5m probe version as I had not yet brought people back from Eve, according to a vague sketch on the planning document, and it grew into what you see in the story.

 

Just thought it was interesting, and I wanted to share it with you!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my concepts don't get further than the drawing board, so good job making yours a reality!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapter 53 - The End.

 

Spoiler

========== Part I, The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never The end is never 

b7J9Ml1.png

Jebediah Kerman died on impact. Everyone was extremely confused for the next hour and a half as to why exactly he would do this, and everyone wondered what the implications would be if if his ramblings were true. The KSC still sent their force of jets out to the desert area, finding no nuclear warheads or evidence of aggression. At the end of the hour and a half, Project K was tested. The scientists had miscalculated by several orders of magnitude. The particle tendrils rapidly grew out of the containment device, burning the planet with merciless intensity, although nobody felt much pain, as it was all over in a fraction of a second.

uLSfd0K.png

And for a brief moment, Kerbin shone brighter than a thousand suns.

sHYOJgl.png

 

And then it was gone. The Mun and Minmus were baked by the radiation. The few Kerbals on the moons that managed to survive did not live for very long. The remaining Kerbals in the system tried to go to Laythe, where they survived for a while, but ultimately died out due to lack of supplies before the system could impact the black hole. The monolith offered his promise of the portal in exchange for the surface samples, but as nobody had thought to bring a sample of Kerbin, the portal was impossible to build.

And Kerbalkind perished.

 

The Story of Project Intrepid is Over.

 

The end.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a PM from @kerbalstar, released with permission:

Quote

 

@Ultimate Steve, I was just browsing the Mission Reports forum, and I saw that Project Intrepid was on The End chapter. Not having read more than 4-6 chapters, I clicked in to see what the end was (I have a bad habit of doing that if I'm unsure of the ending, and I thought I had stopped doing that, but I guess I just had a feeling...), and after scrolling past many lines of 'The end is never. The end is never. The end is never...." I read the end.  Oh. My. Goodness.  A bit dark isn't it? May I ask why you chose that ending? Also, please, oh please, promise me that Voyage doesn't end that way.

All I can say is... Gotcha!

 

 

Chapter 54 - Terms and Conditions

 

Spoiler

No.

 

NO!

 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

 

I didn't mean to jump! That was me panicking and acting impulsively! I shouldn't have done that! What if S.A.M. had woken up early? What if I could talk someone into listening? What if Project K will succeed? Linus even has a combination to a safe with contact details for the EED for this sort of occasion! And look at me, jumping off a building to prove a point! I regret all of that!

I regret a lot of things, actually... I wonder... How many people have I messed up along the way? How much is there to regret? I would never, ever kill another Kerbal on purpose... But how many Kerbals could I have saved that I let die? How many deaths am I directly responsible for? How many Kerbals gave their lives for mine?

There are probably people that think of me as evil. And in a way, I guess I am... I think I made the world - well, worlds - better places by existing. I have done more good than bad, right?

Well... If we didn't have me, we would not have space exploration. No space exploration, no great war. No great war, no mass death. But no space exploration, no chance of escaping the system before it falls into the black hole... But also no Project K.

Assigning blame is complicated. I shouldn't use up my last precious seconds blaming someone for the end of the world. I guess the idea that time slows to a crawl when you are about to die is true... I wonder, will my life flash before my eyes? Will it flash by in order, or in reverse?

I've been to the Mun. Minmus. Duna. Ike. Gilly. Moho. All five moons of Jool. All five moons of Sarnus, including Eeloo. I was the only Kerbal to ever walk on Slate and Tetko. The only places I haven't been in the Kerbol system are Eve and Dres. I've lived a full life. I became famous. I never had a serious relationship, though... I dated a bit, a long time ago, but then it got political and I spent most of my time trying to prevent war.

And I still don't remember what my parents looked like. I've seen the pictures, but I do not recognize them. That terrible natural disaster... Why were Val and I among the few survivors?

And what now? Will there be an afterlife? Will I feel pain as I die? Will I just cease to exist? What happens to the Kraken? If he is alive, can he have another apprentice?

I don't even know if I'm scared of Death or not... I haven't thought of Death ever since I realized I could use my powers to never die.

I've had my eyes closed. I no longer hear the sound of wind, yet I still feel the fall. How much longer until I stop existing? One... Two... Three... Four... Five... Six... Seven... Eight...

 

 

 

 

...Two hundred and thirty five. Two hundred and thirty six. Am I going to be here forever?

 

Jebediah Kerman opened his eyes.

 

QrLKLKH.png

 

"Hello? Is anyone there?"

"Greetings, Jebediah Kerman," said a strange voice, coming from nowhere.

"Greetings, strange voice... Um... Are you God?"

"God-like, but certainly not God."

"Who are you then?"

"That is not important."

"Where am I?"

"Also not important."

"...Why am I here?"

"That is the right question. Jebediah... Normally we would not go to such lengths for one being. But we have calculated that you surviving is in the best interests of your planetary system... And potentially, systems beyond that. The chances of you saving your species even if you survive the fall are still slim, but better than none."

"So you brought me here to tell me that you're going to save me?"

"No. We cannot save you. Only you can save yourself, but we can show you how. We can, however, fix the rest of your leg."

"If it's important for me to live, then show me!"

"Do you think you are worth saving, Jebediah?"

"...That's a complicated question."

"Really? How so?"

"How many hundreds of people have I wronged? How many have died because of my actions? How many people died in the great Sixty Minute War?"

"A total in the millions. But did it ever occur to you that something worse than the War could have happened if you hadn't existed?"

"Something worse than that?"

"I have seen atrocities magnitudes worse than the Great Sixty Minute War in my time."

"So you're saying -"

"You are an amazing Kerbal, Jebediah. You are worth saving by most metrics." Jebediah became aware of a mass of faces penetrating the void around him, too many to count.

"Who are those?"

"Don't you recognize them? Those are the ones who you have caused to die, and those that have died for you." The voice was right. Some faces were blurry and distorted, unrecognizable, but angry. But the closest faces were the ones Jebediah knew - Redfrod, the one who drew the short straw for the last seat in the escape pod. Ganney, who had been on board Space Station Epic V when he accidentally vented the atmosphere, dooming half of the crew. Daisy, whose house was crushed by a fragment of the station. And David and Marie, the two who had swooped down out of the sky to catch the Dragonhearted return capsule after its parachutes had failed, ushering in a new era of space exploration. Countless others were in the background, far away, possibly victims of the Sixty Minute War. The closer ones seemed to be more direct deaths, like early space program fatalities and ground crew members...

And there was the Deep Space Kraken. The only intelligent being he had ever killed on purpose.

"He's not really dead, you know," said the voice. "Just temporarily. He's weird like that."

"This is a lot of people."

"Indeed, Jebediah. But the number you will save if you do everything correct?"

"Yes?"

"I cannot tell you. It is more than you think."

"More than all of the Kerbals on Kerbin?"

"Spoilers." The Kerbals who surrounded Jebediah vanished and was replaced with a vast number of brilliant white dots, more numerous than stars on the clearest night. It was impossible to count them all.

"Are those... Stars?" asked Jebediah.

"Who knows... Maybe they represent souls. Maybe atoms. Maybe galaxies. Maybe you're seeing things that aren't actually there. Maybe you are dying for real. But you have an incredibly small chance of being able to save the world. So let me ask you again... Do you believe you are worth saving?"

 

 

"...Yes."

 

 

"Alright, then. You have just enough magic to trigger the next Era."

"Triggering an era? How?"

"It's been waiting for a long time. The next era has something that could potentially keep you alive. And now it's balanced on the edge, it just needs a tip... And someone to sign away your universe."

"Sign away my universe?"

"Yes, Jebediah." Immediately a scroll appeared, covered in verbose phrases, several meters in length. A button appeared as well, marked "I AGREE."

"What is this?"

"The new agreement of existence. Your solar system was bound by one of these, far too long ago for you to have seen it. It has since been updated. Have a read."

"End User Licence Agreement... Privacy Policy... Terms of Service... What? What does all of this mean?"

"In short, a bunch of higher ups in charge of your section of universe are free to do whatever they choose. They can delete it any time. By reading it you are partially bound to it. You don't really have any rights. Anything you make isn't really yours."

"Does it list anything positive for me in this?"

"You get to temporarily exist if you follow all the rules."

"Which are?"

"Too numerous and verbose to list."

"And who are they? Why haven't they showed up?"

"They won't, and they never will. You're overthinking this, Jebediah. Accept and you will get a chance to save your species. Deny and everyone dies."

"But - "

"After all this is over, you will not remember me. You will not remember any of this. You will be completely unaware this happened. You have thirty seconds, Jebediah. Goodbye." And with that, the voice left.

"Wait! Who are you? Who wrote this? Why do they have the right to force this? Why are there different eras?!?! This makes no sense!" He yelled for a few more seconds, before realizing that he did not have the time to yell at the void. He considered the predicament he was in...

Whoever had made this agreement in the first place had never shown up, or exercised any the powers listed, in all of known history. Jebediah had access to the Kraken's memories. The Kraken had no idea any of these people existed. If they truly did not matter, then why would they suddenly start to now?

And he would forget this anyway... Was that a good thing, or a bad thing?

 

"Whoever you are, I thank you for this chance. I hereby bestow unto you these rights, and I trust that you will never use them. Take care of the Kerbals, they mean everything to me. And... Goodbye."

 

*click*

 

Terms and Conditions accepted.

Downloading KSP-win64 from www.kerbalspaceprogram.com.

Extracting files.

Downloading CKAN.exe.

Copying CKAN.exe.

Updating CKAN.exe.

Downloading mods.

Installing mods.

49 mods installed successfully.

Transferring universe.

Universe transferred successfully.

Fixing errors.

No errors detected.

Detecting plot holes.

11 plot holes detected.

10 plot holes repaired.

ERROR: INCONSISTENCY DETECTED IN EVECLOUDS.CFG.

Developing believable excuse.

Excuse 38% believable.

Continuing.

Loading.

Loading.

Loading.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Kerbal Space Program Version 1.4.5!

 

 

 

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"UJTdJ2t.png

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!"

IK6cJAZ.png

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!"

ugxvtIP.png

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!"

Z5NkVCl.png?1

*Fwump*

ZSPZU84.png

"AAAAaaaaayyyyYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!"

BqarDJv.png

"WHAT?" shouted one of the Kerbals on top of the VAB.

"Holy - "

"Jeb!"

"There is no way he was wearing that a second ago! Where in the world did he get that?"

"We just started issuing them a day ago!"

"I don't even have one yet!"

"He's so badass!"

"That was awesome!"

"Idiots! GET HIM!"

"Right!"

"YES SIR!"

 

Jebediah himself was wondering what in the actual Moho had just happened. Where did the thing - he looked upwards - a parachute, interestingly, come from? He should be falling! He should be dead! He tried to remember exactly what happened and got a clear picture for an infinitely short moment. He only got one thing out of it - that he had been saved by someone, somehow. But by who? And why?

The last part was obvious. He needed to save the world. He didn't have any time to think about what happened, nor any magic left to do any mistakes over - and an hour and a half to stop Project K.

Hl0Bysx.png

"ALRIGHT! THINK! What do I need... I need to get to the north pole. Fast. And I need a plane for that. Where can I get a plane? Over at the hangar... But they could be locked..."

LMtTSdN.png

"But the pilots are coming out of the station at the complex..." Jebediah swooped downwards, somehow knowing how to control this strange device despite having never seen one before. He spotted a spread out group of recruits leaving the astronaut complex, presumably for their aircraft. He wondered why they weren't going to the aircraft hangars.

emO5zqY.png

"HEY, YOU!" he shouted.

0mYWoQ1.png

zWttuUx.png

Jebediah swooped by, and much to the astonishment of the three recruits, he managed to grab a keyring out of one of their hands.

S7EROCb.png

"THANK YOU!" he yelled back, pulling up. "Okay, what do I need next..." Jeb scanned the KSC area. "I can't do this alone... Let's see, the interrogation room, if it's still in the right place will be..."

MAv0Hpq.png

g7wohTo.png

 

"Middle window on the left... First floor above the ledge!" Jebediah dived, and at the last minute threw his feet forward less than a second before he crashed through the glass, his parachute automatically retracting to prevent entanglement.

0SKQNu8.png

 

========== Five seconds earlier...

"I wonder where Jeb went," asked Bill.

"Yeah, he was supposed to follow us," remarked Gidrien.

*CRASH*

T779vwt.png

"OOF!" shouted Bob and Valentina, who were the ones who had been hit by Jeb.

"No time to explain!" shouted Jebediah, even as he lay on the ground.

8KlwX2G.png

He stood up and got on top of the table to make his point.

"Hey, Jeb! Where have you been, we were just talking about - "

"Shercott, I need you to be - "

"That entrance was unnecessary," said Gidrien as she looked down at her sandwich, now covered in glass shards.

"QUIET!"

d9OJRWB.png

"Where did those agents go?"

"They interviewed us and left," said Bill.

"Did they say where or give contact information?"

"No," responded Bob.

"Drat. Valentina, do you have a way to contact the Experimental Engineering Division?"

"I've been busy sleeping on Duna," she said.

"Right, then. Guys, I need your help. The world is ending."

"We have 197 years, Jebediah," said Gidrien.

"We have one hour and twenty-eight minutes." There was a collective gasp.

7IpgxLe.png

"But how?" asked Bill.

"Project K," said Jebediah.

"No!" responded Valentina, shocked, as she jumped on the table as well.

"Yes. A partial assembly, but an unnecessary test. We need to contact the division, which means getting to the testing location."

"Where are they testing it?" asked Valentina.

"The north pole."

"WHAT?" shouted Valentina again, who was the only other one in the room who knew what Project K was.

"I know. And you know why we need to go."

"Bill!" said Jebediah. Bill jumped onto the table.

"YES SIR!"

"Spread disinformation as to our current position."

"Hold up, what is Project K?" asked Gidrien.

"It was a top secret project a long time ago," began Jebediah, talking very fast, "that aimed to harness the power of negative gravioli particles to create a hyper-efficient high thrust propulsion system. During its first and only test, we blew up a massive space station, and if we had tested it on Kerbin, even those on the Mun would have died." More gasps emerged.

"WHY?" asked Gidrien as she jumped on the table as well.

"And why are you acting so rushed?" asked Bob.

"Well... I panicked and accidentally started a battle."

"JEB!" exclaimed Bob as he hopped onto the table as well.

"So that's what all the explosions were," remarked Shercott.

"And everyone is after me. If they catch me, I have to explain that I am not trying to nuke the KSC, and that I need to get to the pole... They won't trust me immediately, not in an hour and a half!"

"So you can't get caught," said Bill.

"Right. This is all top secret... So  -" Jeb was interrupted by the sound of Shercott jumping on the table.

"Why did you do that?" asked Gidrien.

"Well, we're all on the table now," responded Shercott.

v7SM4k0.png

"You've got to be... No matter! I'll explain the rest along the way!" shouted Jebediah as he ran for the door to the room.

"WAIT!" shouted Shercott. "So the world could explode in 88 minutes?"

"87 minutes!" Jebediah opened the door and ran out into the hall.

vGNKHYR.png

"HEY!" shouted one of the guards.

"It's him! Get him!" The trio raised their guns. Jebediah turned around and closed the door.

"Change of plans!" he yelled as he ran through the room. "You all have these new parachutes, right?" he asked.

"Yes!" said Bob. "We were issued them not fifteen minutes ago. Where did you get yours?"

"I have no Bopping clue, but we're going to use them!"

oZO2c39.png

"GERONIMO!"

7Lbd3nn.png?1

"Oh. Right." Jebediah felt rather stupid for forgetting the ledge literally two feet below the window. "Everyone, follow me!"

"Do you have a plan this time?" asked Valentina, the first to follow Jebediah.

"I borrowed a pilot's keys, so we should have a plane," replied Jebediah.

"Do you know how many six seater planes there are?"

"No. But maybe we'll get lucky!" Jebediah jumped off of the ledge to ground level.

bor6mD0.png

Jebediah then looked closely at the keys. "Uhh... Moho. We have a problem."

"What?" asked Bob who was a bit scared to jump.

"These aren't plane keys! Plane keys are larger!"

"Drat!" shouted Shercott as he jumped.

"These are the keys to some sort of land vehicle!"

"How fast would it have to go to get to the poles on time?" asked Bill.

"Well, assuming a circumference of 3770000 meters, divided by four, and one hour and twenty minutes, our average speed would - AAAAA!" Gidrien had pushed Bob off. He deployed his chute just in time. "HEY!"

"You and I both know you weren't going to jump!" said Gidrien as she jumped herself. They were now all on the ground, following Jebediah.

"The answer is 196 meters per second, if you care!" responded Bob, slightly angry. "More because we're going up and down mountains!"

"Double Moho. We'd be lucky to get anything that can go 50! And 200? That's what, 400 miles per hour?"

"438.44," responded Bob.

"We need something fast. Like a Paladin G2M!" said Valentina.

"They are fast, but not that fast! And besides, where are we going to find a Paladin G2M?"

"Maybe over here," suggested Valentina, pointing towards a conveniently located Paladin G2M.

"What? How did you?"

A4RDJ0v.png

TXI1t8y.png

Jebediah approached the Paladin and tried the key. By some miracle, the lock clicked and the hatch sprang right open.

"Well, then. It might not be fast enough, but we can say we tried. Who wants to try to save the world?" asked Jebediah as he hopped in through the right side hatch. The Paladin G2 was a very fast exploration vehicle manufactured by Popcorn Industries, and dozens had been purchased by the Kerbal Space Coalition shortly before the war and modified to be able to carry eight troops and four guns rapidly to the site of a battle, for locations where it was impractical to station aircraft.

Within thirty seconds, everyone was properly strapped in. The screens had been turned on, and Jebediah was trying to figure out how to start it.

"Jeb?" asked Bob. "Are you sure you remember how to do this?"

"I've driven vehicles on more worlds than almost anyone has ever been to!"

"But you last drove a year ago on Duna, and probably haven't driven besides that for decades. Your licence is probably expired by now, just saying!"

"What are they going to do? Arrest me for supposedly plotting to nuke the world and for driving without a license? Aha! Here it is! Engine ignition!"

"Wait, aren't wheels electr-AAAAAA!!!"

KUrzo4X.png

The roar of twin jets filled the cabin as the Paladin burst forward with surprising acceleration.

PmbfYOB.png

"JEB! TURN OVER!"

"I'M TRYING!" The vehicle rolled over once before skidding around on one set of wheels for a few seconds and stopping quite a ways down the runway. The crew concluded that it was surprisingly durable.

0AgvViN.png

"Well, then. To the north pole we go!" Jeb pointed the craft in a northwesterly direction and pushed the throttle forward.

"Why in the world does this thing have two giant jet engines?!" asked Bob.

"ATTENTION ALL AIR UNITS," announced a voice over the KSC's loudspeaker. "ALL SQUADRONS, ATTACK THAT CAR! OR JET! OR WHATEVER IT IS!"

"Triple Moho!" shouted Jebediah, willing the throttle to go further forward.

prTXBNY.png

"CAPTURE THE OCCUPANTS ALIVE IF POSSIBLE. LETHAL FORCE IS AUTHORIZED IF NECESSARY!"

"That would be a quadruple Moho!" shouted Shercott. "What weapons do we have?"

"Uhh, we've got four chain guns on the Paladin!" said Val, who turned to the resource monitor. "But no bullets!"

"Great! I've got a fancy smartphone that can't do anything!" said Gidrien.

"And I've got two one hundred year old pistol bullets and a baguette," said Jebediah.

"Where did you -"

"I've got a grappling hook!" shouted Valentina.

"Where did you -"

"I've got throwing cards!" said Bob.

"Where did you -"

"Well, uhh, mulch."

"To say the least!"

XzxYVbl.png

"Alpha Squadron taking off!"

"Alpha one, reporting for duty!"

"Alpha two, my interceptor was not fueled in time."

"Alpha three, blastAAAAAAA!!!"

"Alpha 4, ignition!"

"Alpha 5, also not enough fuel to do anything useful. We were supposed to have another 45 minutes to prepare our invasion!"

"Alpha 6, takeoff!"

bN89Zsi.png

mNMG4XY.png

"WE'VE GOT COMPANY!" shouted Jebediah as bullets began to ping off of the surrounding terrain.

"I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR THIS!" shouted Shercott.

7qF4EVF.png

"ALPHA-1, hits scored!"

"Alpha-3, coming in!"

PyUsvr9.png

hL54usz.png

"Alpha 4 and 6, we have observed the boosters crash. Also the runway appears to be broken."

"Ahh, whatever! We'll use the grass!"

"ALPHA 1, MAYDAY! OUT OF FUEL! AAAAAAAAA-"

"Use the parachutes!"

TxrpXE5.png

"Oh, hey, I didn't die!"

"Alpha-3 returning to base, my fuel levels are also concerning."

"Alpha 4 here, fuel levels also concerning."

"Alpha 6, can confirm. We left right as final fueling began for the invasion!"

"Attention all units, get fuel and then go. Not in the opposite order."

===

"Bill! We've got a short break! They need to fuel up! Pit stop!"

"Okay, on it!" Bill quickly unbuckled and hopped out of the hatch, running around the Paladin repairing the three wheels that had already broken in record time.

d93hXyW.png

"Alright, we're done!" he said as he jumped back in. "GO!"

OAO47Rr.png

"Minor armor damage to the top panel has been sustained! We've also lost two of the useless guns!"

"Top speed is about 80 meters per second staying safe!" reported Bob.

"Then we'll have to get extremely unsafe or extremely clever!" said Jebediah as the Paladin rocked back and forth like a Pendulum in 10g gravity.

KXVFv63.png

"Beta squadron and Mallard A reporting in! Bombs away!"

"WEAVE!"

VZzyeVg.png

AiHYWlE.png

"Mallard A, you have missed."

"Yeah, I noticed, Einstein! And these bombs are rubbish! 24 cluster bombs, but they all just went "POOF" instead of "BOOM!"

"Maybe because 50 years will do that?"

"Do explosives have a shelf life?"

"Mallard A returning to base, my guns have jammed and I am of no use!"

"Seriously? You used all of your bombs in one run?"

"Beta 1, Bear Ground Attack, missiles away!"

Cf7Ob9P.png

"And I missed."

"Those are literally laser guided missiles! You just need to point in the right direction!"

"If you haven't noticed, the target is moving at 60 meters per second! And weaving! Firing remaining missiles!"

0fw4hId.png

"AAA! What happened to him?"

"DEFECT!" shouted Jebediah as he struggled to keep the Paladin upright as it traversed the many hills of this region. "Sometimes a missile will hit the plane it launched from!"

"Is he dead?" asked Gidrien in shock.

"I sure hope not!"

===

"AAAAAA! BETA ONE TO BETA TWO, DO NOT FIRE YOUR LAST MISSILES!"

"Are you okay, Beta One?"

"Yeah, I'm fine... I'm glad we invented personal parachutes just for this mission! They should be standard issue! But I can't hear a thing!"

"Any advice?"

"No, I'm not fat!"

"No, I said any - "

"What did you say about my sister?"

"FIRING MISSILES!"

mcwl3kR.png

 

7bwn311.png

"FIRING HYDRAS!"

ocee5QN.png

"FIRING CANNON!"

"You haven't even hit them y-"

"DIRECT HIT! HAHA!"

Lqb08Ht.png

"Missiles aw-AAAAAAAAA!!!"

iOUxU6m.png

"Mayday, Mayday! I flew too close to the impact zone!"

"BAIL OUT!"

QRMMCuG.png

"Ow. Too late!"

"Jebediah, score 10, KSC, 0."

"That's not counting the tank battle!"

cCNKLCM.png

"I don't even know what squadron this is any more, but we're coming!"

"Let's call it Red squadron! Red one, standing by! I'm the Thunderbird!"

"Red two here, the Raven."

"Red three, the Ravenspear!"

"Repeat, please."

"I'm in the Ravenspear Mk3!"

"You're using the Mach 4 bomber on a small moving vehicle?"

"I had enough fuel to go, so I went!"

"Attention all other Ravenspear Mk3 pilots, DO NOT DEPART, we can use you later if necessary!"

ByqLhWZ.png

"Reds 1 and 2 beginning attack run!"

yQeCDj7.png

"Thunderbird is go! I'll get them from the front, you take the rear!"

"Got it!"

"I'm going to go in low for increased accuracy!"

"How low can you go?"

"Good question!"

"Red Two, pull up, you're very low!"

"I know what I'm -"

*BANG*

tYxJCaZ.png

"Well, that's not good. Wait, he's coming straight at me!"

rfuvB9k.png

===

"JEB! HE'S IN FRONT OF US AND SHOOTING!"

"AAA! Full throttle, straight ahead!"

"Why would - AAAAA!"

gMUfJis.png

The Paladin had pulled up just in time to avoid the damaged Raven, and was now flying through the air. Jebediah struggled for a few seconds before setting it back down on the ground.

"Wait, this thing can fly?" asked Shercott.

"Yes, but no," said Jebediah. "We're much better off on the ground, as we can more effectively dodge, and our motion is less predictable. Plus, they cannot attack from underneath."

WRO0MCH.png

"But once we've dealt with these planes, we can - "

*BANG*

SmoGQN5.png

"AAAAA!"

"Oh, hey, we've got a window now!"

"We've lost most top armor because someone was distracting me!" said Jebediah.

"Sorry!"

"I'm not angry at you, I'm just panicking trying to keep us from dying!" shouted Jebediah in a very angry, panicky tone.

"We've lost our forward right wheel for good, and out engines are exposed! Guys, scoot over, I'm out in the open!"

xlkjIvX.png

"Red Three, bombs away!"

dhHqh9h.png?1

ROlsDO4.png

"MULCH!"

"MOHO!"

"BOP!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!"

"One more hit like that and we're toast!" shouted Bob, who was actually the closest to the one armor panel they had left.

"Full afterburner! Forget north, to the mountains where we can get some cover!" shouted Valentina.

"That's what I've been doing!" said Jebediah as he went once more to full afterburner. But then, another round of bullets came down from above, sparking a fireball from a pool of fuel that had leaked out of a tank.

dLpNS2H.png

"AAAAAAAAAA! WE ARE ON FIRE!"

"Just a long explosion, no need to panic!" said Jebediah. "More company!"

b8Or1nE.png

"I've forgotten the squadron!"

"I'm pretty sure we're Theta, but just in case, Purple squadron 1, checking in! I'm the X-27!"

"Purple 2, here, the DU-3E!"

"Purple-3, an X-29!"

"Purple 4, uh... I accidentally grabbed a non-weaponized Ravenspear Mk3."

"SERIOUSLY?"

"Uhh, I'll be a distraction! Didn't we have more X-27's and DUs?"

"Well, we launched early so ONLY HALF OF THE PLANES ARE FUELED! And those that are fueled are mostly empty!"

Nnh3WHx.png

"X-29 going in!"

jRK0DOY.png

"X-27 going in!"

kuMFnuX.png

"DU-3E going in!"

And so there was chaos. The planes emptied their missile racks, the Paladin managing several talented dodges, but at the cost of many minor parts. The guns were fired for another minute or two before the pilot of the X-27 had an interesting idea.

QH9mAK7.png

"JEBEDIAH!" he said over his loudspeaker. He very carefully landed his plane on the ground, keeping pace with the Paladin despite the rough terrain. "Purple squadron, hold your fire!"

"X-29 returning to base due to fuel concerns."

"Following in formation!"

"Hey, you have no guns!" said the pilot of the DU. "Don't get in the way!"

"I won't, I promise!"

yAKXBxv.png

"Jebediah Kerman!"

"Speaking!" he said as he tried to speed up. The plane matched his speed.

"Please, turn yourself in and tell us what you are planning so we can stop it!"

"There are no nuclear missiles!" said Jebediah. "But we need your help! The world is going to explode in 81 minutes!"

"Haha, likely story... Maybe at the hands of you. Last chance, tell us and -"

"Please, just listen to me! I'm not crazy! Why would I nuke the world?"

"He's right!" shouted Gidrien. "Jeb's a sweet, talented, badass old man!"

"Well, I guess that describes him!"

"Sir!" shouted Valentina. "Please patch us in with Linus! He has an emergency contact line to the EED, he can stop it! The channel information is in the safe behind his desk! The combination can be found behind the - "

"Stalling! Alright, pull over or my friends behind me will shoot!" Pull over, thought Jebediah. Wait a second...

O5DtxaT.png

"Alright, sir," he said grabbing Valentina's grappling gun, and aiming and firing in one smooth motion. The grapple wrapped around the forward landing gear. Jebediah jammed the gun end between two panels on the Paladin and steered left, then right. "PULLING OVER!"

9ot38kQ.png

The two vehicles collided and bounced off each other, the Paladin faring much better than the X-27.

"AAAA! No! I SHALL AVENGE YOU!" shouted the pilot of the DU-3E.

"ME TOO!" shouted the pilot of the unarmed Ravenspear.

"Aiming... AIMING! FIRE!"

"AAAA!"

5SM8Dru.png

"I told you not to get in the way!"

02PCmt6.png

"Correct, but BRO! You blew up my plane! Not cool!"

"Firing miss-"

FYtpIKH.png

"Ahh, there goes my plane! JEB! COME BACK! I NEED TO APPREHEND YOU!"

"TELL LINUS ABOUT THE CHANNEL!"

hYyN9dt.png

"Well, then. That's me out. Hey, Ravenspear guy, X-27 guy! How about a nice game of chess?"

xIQxNij.png

"Avocado Squadron, status?"

"Avocado is NOT a color! We had major problems with takeoff!"

"Avocado 3 here, we had 5 Bryntrolls, which have a low fuel load to begin with! One wasn't fueled, one ran out of fuel shortly after takeoff! I'm beginning my attack run, I'm running low on gas! And, yes, Avocado is a color!"

"Avocado 2, halfway to the battle! I have just enough fuel to make it there, I'll land!"

"Avocado 5, also low on fuel!"

"Avocado 3, engaging missiles!"

"No, don't turn while firing - "

k1v845r.png

"AAAAA! mayday, second missile destroyed aircraft! I can glide and get them with my guns, though!"

"Avocado 2, still a minute out! Also, nice shot!"

OQWQCoS.png

"Is everyone okay?" asked Jebediah.

"Bill here, I'm fine!"

"Bob here, I got flung a long distance."

"Valentina here, glad for the helmets."

"Shercott, a bit woozy."

"Gidrien... GIDRIEN! WHERE ARE YOU!"

"Ow... Under the vehicle!" she said, faintly.

"Great. Are you okay?"

"Maybe. I don't know."

"Darned Bird Trolls."

"Bird trolls?"

"Bryntrolls, an amazing attack aircraft. There will be more, we suffered a direct hit from a missile. We've lost two seats and the port side Jet!"

"Drat!"

"Everyone, get on! We need to move!" There were two more Bryntrolls, or as Jebediah called them, Bird Trolls, approaching. Jebediah leapt into the pilot's chair and reversed off of Gidrien, and drove around picking members of the team up. This cost them about a minute.

O0fZk9f.png

"Avocado 5, running on fumes! Scoring hits with guns! I'm going to stay as long as possible!"

"I'm almost there, 5!" said the pilot of Avocado 2.

"Coming around for another pass, I'm going to try to - oh. I'm out of fuel, but I am going to try something clever!"

"What?" asked Avocado 2.

"Watch me!" said Avocado 5. The sound of a gun cocking could be heard over the microphone.

"What are you doing?"

5cwdebj.png

T4HogiD.png

"I'M COMING FOR YOU JEB!" There were several bangs from the gun.

4hMZRiY.png

"YOU IDIOT!" shouted another pilot. "They have a higher top speed than you, they just took off!"

"Well, then. Uhh... I think I'll take that guy up on the chess game."

"And you just THREW AWAY a perfectly good aircraft!"

"Well, uh, I - "

"Avocado 2, conserving fuel to try to make it back to base. Beginning first and only attack run!"

EYOH9uN.png

"Hits confirmed! They can't keep going much longer!"

Wdb3aDx.png

"Oh, great, there goes our last shield!" shouted Bob as aerodynamic forces tore the shield off of the left side of the vehicle, leaving only one wheel on that side.

"Problem!" announced Jebediah.

"Another one?"

"We're at 20 percent fuel and dropping fast!"

"Great! We should have just turned ourselves in, now they can charge us with destroying and stealing vehicles, making our explanation even less believable!"

jVKzoWT.png

"This is Black Squadron leader, standing by."

"Roger. Black 2, standing by."

"Black 3, ready to rumble!"

"Black Panther, here to fight!"

"Wait, black panther?"

"Uhh, yeah. Didn't you see me sign up?"

"Are you in that plane in the back?"

"Yup! A fighter 3, manufactured by the Kerbin Mining Corporation."

"Haha, funny! Mining corporation! Leave this to the professionals, please!"

"Oh, I thought it meant 3 fighters, not "Fighter 3." Odd name for a plane."

jn7cjhp.png

"Direct hits!"

"Okay, I take it back. Please help us fight!"

"...Nah. Black Panther does not fight with a rude squadron. Black Panther out!"

1yADUSz.png

"AAA!" screamed Bob. "That's our last port side wheel! We're doomed!"

"No, we can still move!" said Jebediah. "But not fast! Everyone duck!"

UO5xnbv.png

"Shark III number one, attacking with guns. But I'm low on fuel, returning to base!"

"Shark III number two, I have a very limited flight time, remaining as escort! Better get them quick, they are almost in the mountains!"

mFKhMp9.png

"SkyFortress 9, Black Leader, BOMBS AWAY!"

 

===

 

"AAA!" shouted Jeb. "BRACE!" The bombs were on a direct impact trajectory for the Paladin, if it could even be called a Paladin any more.

izAJ6h6.png

"Oh, hey, we aren't dead!" shouted Shercott.

"Ha!" shouted Valentina. "The bombs blew each other up along the line! Like dominoes!"

"ATTENTION," said the pilot of the SkyFortress. "SURRENDER, JEBEDIAH AND COMPANY!"

"You need to listen to me!" shouted Jeb.

"He can't hear you!" said Bill. The paladin was now ascending the steep slope of the mountain range.

"WE HAVE A LASER!"

"Well, we have a mirror!" shouted Jebediah. "We have a mirror, right?"

"The rear view mirrors broke off a few minutes ago," reported Shercott.

pqH1XVw.png

"WAIT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE LASER IS BROKEN? OH, SHOOT, DID I SAY THAT INTO THE MIC?"

"This would be funny if that giant turret wasn't pointed at us!" yelled Gidrien.

"10 percent fuel!" reported Bill.

IVULRLb.png

"WE ALSO HAVE A GIANT TURRET! AND CLUSTER BOMBS! AND MISSILES!"

"So did the others! We get your point!"

"Jeb! 9 percent and falling!"

"They are shooting at us!"

2QLuUB7.png

"AAAAA!" shouted Bill.

"BILL! Are you okay?" panicked Jeb.

"MY SHOULDER!" Upon closer inspection, Bill had indeed been struck by a bullet in the shoulder. Valentina turned her attention to Bill and attempted to gauge how serious the wound was.

I7Djggp.png

"WE HAVE THREE TURRETS POINTED AT YOU! WE ARE GIVING YOU TO THE COUNT OF FIFTEEN TO STAND DOWN!"

"Captain, we're going to hit the mountain if we go any longer!"

"I know, that's why we're giving them fifteen seconds!"

R7iDL3q.png

"There goes the last of our armor!"

"FUEL AT FIVE PERCENT!" shouted Bob.

"Bill will be okay, for now at least!" shouted Valentina.

"Remember when I said we needed to get extremely unsafe or extremely clever?"

"TEN. NINE."

"Yes?" said Gidrien. Jebediah went to full afterburner one last time.

TLPzkmO.png

"EIGHT, SEVEN, SIX,"

"Pull up now, captain!"

"ONE!"

OGCdwXV.png

n7xBQjm.png

"Well, WE'RE DOING BOTH!" shouted Jebediah.

"No, you can't possibly - Jeb, you could never make that!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

"NEVER. SAY. NEVER!!!" The ground ended as the mountain peaked, and the Paladin continued along its trajectory.

79RWKgQ.png

H21kvin.png

a7nH7s6.png

"Fuel levels, 0 percent," reported an extremely shaken up Shercott Kerman.

Rwk2Ft2.png

And perfectly on cue, the one remaining engine on what used to be a Paladin G2M flamed out.

 

===

 

OaFFaue.png

"Question."

"Yes?"

"Why were you carrying a giant chess set into battle?"

 

 

 

The Story of Project Intrepid will Continue...

 

 

@Earthlinger in particular may want to see this... @53miner53, @ZLM-Master, @qzgy, @Thor Wotansen, and @dundun92's crafts also get used. There will be another part where they get used as well.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say, from a later PM is:

Quote

Haven't finished reading the chapter, but HAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH! Will, you got me(and everybody else reading, I'm sure) good! That is truly the mark of a good author! Now if only I could do something like that! 

 

I hope somebody else was as much of a sucker as I was. And all of you people who say, "It says Chapter 54: Terms and conditions," or whatever: It said Chapter 53: The End., when I read it! :) 

P.S. OMG, page loading times for this thread!

And,

Spoiler

Sorry, you cannot add any more reactions today!

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, kerbalstar said:

 

P.S. OMG, page loading times for this thread!

Ya, that's a big problem, and why I'm:

1. Trying to make the chapters shorter (and failing)

2. Making as many slightly unnecessary comments as possible to get the thread to the next page!

Hmm, I wonder if there is a slightly hacky way to only load some posts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Ya, that's a big problem, and why I'm:

1. Trying to make the chapters shorter (and failing)

2. Making as many slightly unnecessary comments as possible to get the thread to the next page!

Hmm, I wonder if there is a slightly hacky way to only load some posts...

1. Yeah, at least you're trying!

2. I'll help with that!

I don't know, can you maybe move the chapters all to one post?

@Snark should know if it's possible. Right, @Snark ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm loving the action sequences. How many models did you create for the building interiors in part 53?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now