The solid fuel chemist

Year 312-chapter 17-Do Not Go Quiet

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chapter 1

 

 

Get out of your bunk. Get dressed. Climb the ladder through the hub to the kitchen. Call dibs on the next cup of koffee. Say good morning. Report to Gene. The feeling in the air of the Zephyr Kerman was always a little tense on a landing day with the rookies alway suprised by the lack of constant work to do and the veterans looking as if this was just another day on the job. But today was different for the veterans. Jeb took a quick look around and found the same expression on both Bill and Bobs faces. A grimace with just a hint of a smile, no doubt caused by the fact that they were completing the kerbaled exploration of the solar system today. But when he got to Val, he found that she was already looking at him. They both smiled, and Jeb felt the little square container in his pocket press against his leg. He remembered being caught by Gene when he shoved it in his duffel bag on launch day. That sure had been a interesting conversation. His thoughts were disturbed when the centrifuge spun around to face Eeloo, the rock that would launch Jeb the other orange suits into kerbal history as the first kerbals to set foot on every celestial body in the system. Joining them where rookies Mayzee and Anzer kerman. The message came from the KSC, they were go to start pre-landing procedures. The rookies were exited by this and leaped to the lander, only to find the assigned checklists containing "make sure all of this importand stuff is on" The rest of the crew headed to the lander except for Bob, who headed back to the lab to transmit the last points of science. Suddenly, The kerbs at the lander heard Bob scream in terror. "OH KRAP OH CRAP OH KRAP OH KRAP!" The entire crew rushed to the lab to see what was wrong. Bob was frozen, his eyes fixed on the window in front of him. He was staring at Eeloo, and at first Jeb coudent make out what was so scary. but then he started to make out edges. Edges of gaint chunks of ice, and no doubt a shotgun blast of tiny ones, the results of a cryovolcanic event that would change Eeloo's surface forever. Headed strait for them. "EVA SUITS! NOW!" Jeb cried.

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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chapter two

 

The entire crew was in the airlock, throwing their suits on as fast as they could. Jeb was done first, and started to make his way towards the bridge. If there was any hope of the crew surviving, Jeb needed to get the Zephyrs giant LV-N  transfer stage facing into the onslaught. he put the gimbal coordinates into the computer and started firing the engines. they had to reduce the relative speed as much as possible. The ejecta was on them in seconds. The engines were the first to go, and the hypervelocity hail started eating its way into the Mk3 tanks at the rear. SAS was doing all it could to hold orientation, but the monoprop tanks were already heavily perforated and were loosing fuel fast. jeb had sealed all the internal doors, and from the bridge spotted the rookies Anzer and Mayzee finally making their way back from the airlock. It was at this moment the the airlock lost pressure. jeb looked on in horror as Anzers faceplate was hit from the side, removing almost all the glass from his helmet. the venting air put him in a violently fast backflip and the entire crew heard Mayzee screaming over the common band. Mayzee was trying take cover behind some life support equipment in  the corridor, but this was soon penetrated and Mayzee kerman was hit multiple times in the body, and the penetration of her pack fuel pushed her past Anzers dead body and out a broken window into space. When her suit turned around, all Jeb saw was a red splattering on the inside of her faceplate. Jeb wrenched his eyes of his fallen comrade, and looked around at his ship. He did not like what he saw. He watched a section of the centrifuge separate from the rest of the ship and float away. he listened in on the comms, and heard both Bill and Bob yelling back and forth, but no Val. Jeb panicked for a second, but then switched to the band 657, the secret channel that only he and Val knew about, and sure enough Val was already there, breathing heavily. "Val? are you alright?" jeb asked into his mic. "Jeb!" Val cried. "i'm in the lander. I can see the entire ship from here and Jeb, its really bad. The entire transfer stage has almost been completely slagged, Jeb. The hail is gonna get to the reactor soon. You need to get Bill and Bob out of the lab before it goes!" Jeb relayed this information to Bill and Bob, and then brought up the module map of the ship. He dispatched the same orders to the prospector rovers, the manned rover, and the survey sat. He armed the docking magnets and preformed a final power down of the ships bridge. "its been a pleasure, sir." Lenny, the ships AI said as Jeb signed off. He met Bill and Bob in the main corridor. "I have a plan. We all need to get to the lander." Jeb switched to 657. "Val, can you confirm the undocking of all probes?"   "Uhh, yes. But what are you doin-ohhhh.im arming th-" "I already did. just wait for us and lets get out of here before the reactor is hit." The trio was almost to the lander when a stray hail cloud slammed into the tunnel. Jeb saw blood splattered on the wall. Between the pressure from the hail hitting the rear and the now weakend tunnel the hallway broke into two and the lander started to drift away slowly from the rest of the ship.

 

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Chapter 3

 

Coldness.

 

That was all there was, just coldness. Simple, Easy to understand. Coldness and nothing else.

Then, a blur. details arose from the blur. Blackness above, whiteness below. Then, a tug, Was that... Gravity?  the smell of dried sweat. Of course, that made sense, Jeb had been sweating like crazy during the-  .....Everything rushed back. the screams, the death, the terror. What had happened? Why hadn't Jeb made it to the lander with the rest of-...His crewmates! Oh what had happened to them?! Jeb felt the little square box in his pocket and his heart painged in his chest. Forever trapped in his jumpsuit pocket, inaccessible through the material of his suit. Destined to haunt him forever of the life he could have had. Jeb got up. Somehow, miraculously, He had landed safely on the surface of Eeloo. He noticed a new email sent to his suit. Upon opening it, he found a video file of Gene. He was in mission control, and was looking very somber. "This is a message to any survivors of the Zephyr Kerman. We have been looking for you guys for over a year now and Well, as horrible as this sounds, We cant afford to look anymore. The public all thinks your all dead, and there pressuring us to move on. Mortimer is already mad and if i continue to spend any more on rescue efforts he can take emergency control of the program. But the guys in RnD came up with a last-ditch plan to save you if your suits take you out of medical hibernation.. first they developed the tech to provide this one way communication with any EVA suits in the general area that we point the dish at that we are using to talk with you right now, then sent a K-OS program that would land you on the surface. This message should get to you a few seconds after the program kicks in. Were hoping that when the program throws you into the snow, the temperature will put you in cryosleep so we can come back to look when we have more funds. I'm really sorry, guys. I wish we could have done more. I wish I could have done more... Gene put his head in his hands. We were so close. Kerballed landings on every celestial body without a single loss of life. I guessed we just pushed the frontier too hard. If you wake up.... Well then I guess we failed. The video suddenly cut out. Jeb tried to process what he just saw. It was too much. Cryosleep? But how long was he-Oh no. Oh no. Jeb had just glanced at the mission clock in the upper left corner of his helmet and he didn't dare look back up there. but his eyes betrayed him. He Had to look again. and when he did, Jebediah Kerman frowned for the first time in his life.

 

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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There's a lot of stories out there. You need to make yours stand out to make sure it gets read. Large swats of continuous text do not look particularly appetizing. So, how to visually improve your story (without criticizing the content):

  • Images. People love images. And it's not like they're hard to make!
  • Short sentences. They read easier. For every comma you type, ask yourself: “could this be a period instead?”
  • Paragraphs. Split your large text up in several bite-sized pieces. Most restaurants serve courses, not the entire meal in one go.

These are actually good skills to pick up for anywhere in life, not just here on the forum. If you work in an office environment, being right is not even half the battle—getting right is the real challenge. Engineers are generally furious that reports and memos are judged on how they look, not on what they contain. But the reality is that you can only convince people of something if they start reading what you wrote in the first place.

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ill try not to spoil the story, but lets just say this leaves the realm of whats possible in  KSP In a few chapters, so pictures are not going to be a thing, per say.

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8 hours ago, The solid fuel chemist said:

ill try not to spoil the story, but lets just say this leaves the realm of whats possible in  KSP In a few chapters, so pictures are not going to be a thing, per say.

Right now we can't land on Mars and yet my wife is watching this "Mission to Mars" thing on Nat Geo. Just because it ain't real doesn't mean you can't make pictures of it. Even in KSP!

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21 hours ago, Kerbart said:

Right now we can't land on Mars and yet my wife is watching this "Mission to Mars" thing on Nat Geo. Just because it ain't real doesn't mean you can't make pictures of it. Even in KSP!

problem no.1

never done any 3d modeling of photoshopping  in my life.

problem no 2

this would severely affect the rate at which i could produce chapters.

problem no 3

If you have any screenshots that show bop-sized asteroids turned into giant spaceships or ring systems around believable looking kerbal planets, please contact me at notelling@gmail.com.

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1 minute ago, The solid fuel chemist said:

problem no.1

never done any 3d modeling of photoshopping  in my life.

problem no 2

this would severely affect the rate at which i could produce chapters.

problem no 3

If you have any screenshots that show bop-sized asteroids turned into giant spaceships or ring systems around believable looking kerbal planets, please contact me at notelling@gmail.com.

I'm not saying you should be modelling or shopping. You can build things in KSP that are not what they seem to be. To show a scene in a room you don't need to build a house. Two panels at a 90° angle are enough to suggest the corner of a room. Those kind of things.

Making an asteroid look big is a matter of perspective. And if you're having a scene on the surface of that asteroid... Who can tell it's really Bop. Or Dres?

  • Scene 1: A spaceship flying over Kerbin
  • Scene 2: Said spaceship approaching an asteroid. It's impossible to tell distance in space in real life, let alone in KSP
  • Scene 3: The spaceship landing on the surface. At this point, why would the viewer assume it's not the asteroid—even when it isn't?

Sidenote: if you get the chance to take a workshop on movie making, take it. Movies are the ultimate deception and there are so many Jedi mind tricks you can learn about tricking your audience into seeing something else than what they are really seeing.

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I took the liberty of reformatting your first episode. Doesn't that look more inviting to read already?

 

Get out of your bunk. Get dressed. Climb the ladder through the hub to the kitchen. Call dibs on the next cup of koffee. Say good morning. Report to Gene.

The feeling in the air of the Zephyr Kerman was always a little tense on a landing day. The rookies were always surprised by the lack of constant work to do and the veterans looking as if this was just another day on the job. But today was different for the veterans. Jeb took a quick look around and found the same expression on both Bill and Bobs faces. A grimace with just a hint of a smile, no doubt caused by the fact that they were completing the kerbaled exploration of the solar system today. But when he got to Val, he found that she was already looking at him. They both smiled, and Jeb felt the little square container in his pocket press against his leg. He remembered being caught by Gene when he shoved it in his duffel bag on launch day. That sure had been a interesting conversation.

His thoughts were disturbed when the centrifuge spun around to face Eeloo. Eeloo! The rock that would launch Jeb and the other orange suits into kerbal history. The first kerbals to set foot on every celestial body in the system. Joining them where rookies Mayzee and Anzer kerman. The message came from the KSC, they were go to start pre-landing procedures. The rookies were exited by this and leaped to the lander, only to find the assigned checklists containing "make sure all of this importand stuff is on" The rest of the crew headed to the lander except for Bob, who headed back to the lab to transmit the last points of science.

Suddenly, The kerbs at the lander heard Bob scream in terror. "OH KRAP OH CRAP OH KRAP OH KRAP!" The entire crew rushed to the lab to see what was wrong. Bob was frozen, his eyes fixed on the window in front of him. He was staring at Eeloo, and at first Jeb couldn't make out what was so scary. but then he started to make out edges. Edges of gaint chunks of ice, and no doubt a shotgun blast of tiny ones, the results of a cryovolcanic event that would change Eeloo's surface forever. Headed strait for them. "EVA SUITS! NOW!" Jeb cried.

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Chapter 4

 

271 years.

That's how long Jeb had been asleep. Everyone he knew, with maybe the exception of his crewmates, was dead. It was a terrible feeling. All of his friends, his family, for a second, Jeb didn't want to believe, but then he looked up. Eeloo had formed a beautiful ring system, perfectly formed. It would have taken decades for that to distribute itself along its orbit. Jeb was forced to confront this harsh reality. His old life was over.


One step at a time. Constantly support your comrade. Check the screen you salvaged from the crashed bridge. Tell him that we're getting closer. Probably just over this crater rim. Increase your pace. Hope their alive. Hope their alive. get over the rim. See two little red stripes way out in the middle of the crater. Their moving. Point it out to Bob. He Smiles.

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On 11-12-2016 at 5:35 PM, The solid fuel chemist said:

Point it out to Bob

Did Jeb go even crazier? I don't recall any Bob with him, not for 271 years at least...

Also, way better formatting on that chapter :D

Will definetly be following this!

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chapter 5

 

Jeb was staring at the stars. 271 years, not a single one had changed. So far away. So far from all the events of life. Almost no chance that they would ever be explored. And yet they were somehow content with this arrangement. Living out their pointless lives, known only as a dot millions of light years away...

ZZZZZZZZZ...

The radio static broke the silence like the explosions those insanely delicate fuel tanks at the KSC made. Jeb didn't understand at first, but a second later he realized with joy what this meant. he scanned the crater rim, and sure enough, not two, but four red stripes stood out on the ridge. Jebs first impulse was to fly over, but with a quick opening of the resource tab he realized all the fuel in his tanks had evaporated. It would be several minutes before Jeb made it to Bill and Bob, and upon reaching them, They all exchanged hugs, and Jeb's spirits were heavily lifted that cold day on Eeloo, day 80, year 311.

 

Spoiler

that answer your question, @superstrijder15?

 

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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18 hours ago, superstrijder15 said:

ooh, I think you switched perspective without telling anyone. Am I right?

yes, I did. Be aware that this is not just Jeb's tale. Either I will state the perspective has changed or for story reasons ill make you think a little. (such as we know that jeb is alone, and this "new" character is with Bob, and both Anzer and Mazee are very likely dead, so this leaves Bill and Val. And seeing as salvaging the bridge is a very "engineer" thing to do, This would leave the more sharp-minded among you correctly presuming that the mystery kerb is Bill.) 

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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Just found this thread but consider it followed! Intriguing start and I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

I have a couple of thoughts on getting readers if that's OK?

You've already beaten me to the most important change - paragraphs! The first three chapters were pretty good when I sat down and read them but as @Kerbart said, the big walls of text didn't make that easy. Another thing you could consider is updating the thread title whenever you release a new chapter, even if that's just changing "Year 312 - A kerbal space program. Chapter x" to "Year 312 - A kerbal space program. Chapter x+1". It's something I should probably do myself - letting people know there's something new to read is a big part of getting them to read it. :) Ideally you'd depend on people following the thread but that doesn't always work.

I have some thoughts on the writing itself if you're interested but I'm happy to take those to private messages or this thread, rather than derail the main story thread.

Regarding pictures - @Kerbart is correct in that they are very popular. Personally, I prefer text only so I'm very happy with the way this story is going. :)  I also agree with you that pictures can be limiting, no matter what smoke-and-mirror tricks you use. At the end of the day, KSP parts are (unsurprisingly) focused on spaceships and aircraft. If your story moves outside of those areas then KSP screenshots aren't going to help much. For example, a lot of my own story is set on Kerbin and describes some quite mundane events around day to day life outside the space program. They're important to the story but illustrating them using KSP screenshots wouldn't really be possible. 

If you do end up using screenshots, I recommend reading anything that @Just Jim has to say on the matter. He has a lot of helpful advice on choosing and presenting shots which really add to a story.

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Chapter 6

Jeb almost fell in the hole.

one second he was walking, the next he was awkwardly hanging on to Bill with one foot still on solid ground and the other out over a cliff. Bill heaved Jeb back over the rim, and all three kerbals stared at the sight in front of them. 

It was a huge cube shaped pit. 

Jeb strained to see the other end, even in Eeloos little to no atmosphere. Was this some sort of gargantuan mining operation? A weapons test? Jeb had absolutely no idea. There where hints of either one scattered all over the place. The nearly flat sides of the pit hinted that the ice had been cut over a period of time by machines, but there were bits of metal and scorched areas everywhere. there was even a wreck of a large 4 tracked vehicle with corroded bits that looked suspiciously like guns sticking up. The trio walked over to investigate. Bob, who had been hit in the leg during the hailstorm (He got his patch kit out in time) and couldn't walk very well, found two suitably bent pieces of metal and used them as crutches. Property of Duna security force, Some stenciled letters read behind where the seat must have been. "Huh" was all Jeb had time to say, before he was grabbed from behind and something very narrow was poking under his helmet collar.

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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Chapter 7

Jeb was thrown into the corner of what he assumed was a rover, seeing as they hadn't noticed the structure before. His now dark spray-painted helmet was stripped off and he was met by a young kerb with a messy black mop of hair and holding a very deadly looking pistol. "What did you come for this time? Is it more of our ice? Cause sometimes it seems like everybody just thinks this entire bloody rock is one big quarry. First the damned Dunans, Than the Belters, soon it'l be the Eveians, even though they claim to be allies. SO WHAT DID YOU COME FOR THIS TIME, HUH? The kerb spat on the floor. Jeb stared at him coldly, then reached under his suit and ripped off his velcro wings and name tag and offered them to his captor. he read the patch, then stared back at Jeb.

To say the kerbs jaw dropped would be an understatement. 

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chapter 8

 

Bill was the first to see it. Looming over the horizon like some gargantuan sports stadium, the city was a stark contrast to the white ice. "By Kraken, its only been a few generations. How is this possible? 

"Qubes" their driver said, as if that explained everything.

"whats a qube?" Jeb asked before anyone else could.

"around year 113, a young scientist found a way to combine the best parts of both classical and quantum computers. the result was somthing so revolutionary it sparked a period of history known as the accelerando. within seconds of coming online, the first qube solved the problem of nuclear fusion. It then proceeded to revolutionize space travel, explained in detail the optimal way to terraform every terraformable body. Duna was officially recognized as a individual political state only a few years after. Eve soon will be too, although for now it remains a mess of kerbin affiliated colonies. Dres is a glorified shipyard, its business is creating terrarium. And anywhere else isn't really worth mentioning, but you can take a guess. A few cities, a grand plan, and some people willing to do anything to achieve it. Eeloo is one of those places, just without the plan. we have the means to grow the economy, our ice is in very high demand. We just need to find a way to stop people from stealing it. War in space is a very finicky thing, at least on the surface anyway. It becomes a more possible in orbit where you can have navies, essentially. But the smaller you go, the more brutal it gets. on kerbin you can eject if your going down. in space, the highly explosive fuel that your ship runs on will do that for you. for infantry, a flesh wound becomes a death blow. And tanks... Best not to talk about those. But the that's the reason that Eeloo remains a minor planet anyway." The rover drove into a gym-sized airlock with 3 other rovers and was released into the city streets. Their driver dialed some numbers onto a keypad, had a brief conversation with a kerb on the other end, and Jeb and his crewmates where rushed away by a group of kerbs in suits with official looking badges and earpieces. 

 

 

sorry no updates in awhile.

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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chapter 9 part one

Jeb was taken down a long series of hallways with many twists and turns. After about five minutes of walking Jeb, Bill, and Bob were taken to a door. One of their escorts checked inside for somthing, and then motioned for the three to enter.  

It was a very lavishly decorated office. It did not take a detective to guess that the kerb sitting behind the equally fancy desk was of great importance. But Jeb did not care about any of that at the moment. For rushing towards him with a huge smile on her face, was Val.

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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chapter 9 part two

It has been said that the kraken is a two sided being. One side of him is the better known one, the one that ravages and destroys ships. The side that makes spaceflight dangerous. But this part is constantly being checked by the other, the creator. When the destructive side strikes, it is said that the creator always steps in in some small way. Maybe the ship was only crippled, and can still make it back home. Perhaps the crew is unharmed and can be picked up by a rescue mission. Or perhaps it simply took pity and let the crew live.

        Creator or no, Jeb said a silent thank you in the direction of Jool as Val proceeded to squeeze all the air out of him. "cant....breathe!"  

"Oh, sorry"

"sup" Bill added. 

"hello" Val said to Bill and Bob, which created a more than a little awkward situation. "how did you guys get onto the surface?"

"To make a long story short, you can thank Gene and Wherner." 

"Ahem." The kerb sitting behind the desk cleared his throat.

Edited by The solid fuel chemist

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