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Voyage - The Final Warning (Interlude III - A Brief History of Galactus The Cow)


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I now realize that I was two chapters behind on this wonderful epic! Anyway, I'll give some of my key thoughts as I read the last chapter...

On 9/23/2019 at 11:12 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

Exactly. Comfy, has it's own temperature regulation system, tailored to you, repels dirt, what's not to love?"

Clearly the most unbelievable part of the story. Hospital clothing that one actually would want to wear?

 

On 9/23/2019 at 11:12 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

"Son of a Kraken!"

This is my new favorite exclamation. 

 

On 9/23/2019 at 11:12 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

. Goodbye

Well, the other comments gave me a feeling of what might happen, but still... Cheng... 

 

On 9/27/2019 at 9:29 AM, Kerballing (Got Dunked On) said:

*slight tears*

Take a virtual like from me @Ultimate Steve

 

On 9/29/2019 at 9:27 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

The endgame will begin soon.

 

Dun dun dun...

As far as the Photoshop request, that person would not be me, but hopefully, you'll find someone! Also, I hope your Homecoming went/will go well! Maybe one day someone will ask me to one...

I look forward to more of this great story in the future!

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  • 1 month later...

Chapter Twenty-Six - A Fateful Decision

Spoiler

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Low Laythe Orbit, Orbit 9. The Emerson will take several days to get here because solar charging takes forever out here.

I could have saved him.

I don't know, but I could have.

 

========== Star Ethan's Private Journal

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"So, can I ask you something?" asked Evelina.

"Sure," said Dafsil Kerman, a Kerbal that had been rushed over to act as our security guard. He was to accompany us all the way from Illasticonia to Kerbin. We had already been rushed up their space elevator (WAAAAY more spectacular than Kerbin's!) and onto a transfer ship, but it was night so there wasn't much to see. Plus we were being interrogated by another official looking alien, this time a mustard yellow blob-like one I think.

"What exactly is a neutron bolt? Seeing as we're about to use it."

"Ah, the Neutron bolt! It is an evolution of the Tauquantum Gate, which was originally conceptualized by the Draftignarians, Ziquunodians, and (unintelligible clicking and screeching sounds) at the same time independently. The first one was built by as a Galactic effort back when there were less than thirty or so planets that were members. The evolution from Tauquantum gates to Neutron bolts took many more decades." There was a clunk as the pod we were in detached from the massive machine.

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"It promptly exploded during its first test, but several years later there was another attempt, and it worked. It would be several more years before there was a companion launcher to make the whole system point to point capable though, and - "

"This is entertaining and all, but a brief overview of what it is would be better than a history lesson right now."

"Right, of course. A Neutron bolt is a practical application of -+2e*sqrt(tau/i)quantum gate technology, also called Tauquantum Gates, although that is a very casual inaccurate name."

"Simpler please," I said.

"Of course, sorry. In one particular quantum spectrum, specifically the +-2e*sqrt(tau/i) quantum spectrum, matter exists as a type of quantum matter wave, and can travel at insanely high speeds unobstructed by matter if given enough energy. As an object moves through this, for lack of a better word, dimension, it interacts severely with the spectrum's field itself. It's a bit like re-entering an atmosphere. All ships going through this spectrum must have an extreme amount of shielding, by the way, which is why our ship is designed like it is. Better shielding is in the works, but its been in the works for a long time."

"A lot of shielding, but standard glass windows," I muttered.

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"Reinforced and shielded windows that are not exposed to the Field Stream unless something seriously wrong happens. As ships travel through the spectrum, they decelerate and lose energy exponentially with velocity, although the energy itself continues with far less resistance. This limited Tauquantum gates to very short ranges, as once you drop below the minimum speed needed to maintain a proper field barrier you are converted back into matter and placed back into the real world, really far away. Fortunately, you can recapture the energy spent with a catcher. A catcher can also absorb energy from the craft if designed well, greatly reducing energy cost, and can take you out of the spectrum at a fixed point. Even without a catcher, accuracy is now at the point where you could drop into the sphere of influence of a particular planet, but not any more than that. If you were aiming for a Moon, God help you... In the early days, though, you were lucky to get in the right star system."

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"However, one day a clever Seiu theorized for reasons too complicated to explain that neutron stars interacted with this field. It took a long time to prove, but basically Neutron stars are extremely polar and oscillate nearly unpredictably in this particular spectrum. They are also good at absorbing energy and pouring it back into anything that passes through it. It took a long time to accomplish and even longer to perfect, but you can predict how a neutron star will osculate out a few seconds. If you point your Tauquantum gate in the right direction, and we're talking exact, you can fire a ship into a neutron star, which will capture the lost energy, redirect it to the ship when it gets there, and shoot it out another direction based on which way the neutron star is pointing at that given moment! The stars aren't perfect, but can extend the range of Tauquantum gates by a few orders of magnitude if used correctly. You can go across the galaxy in just a few minutes if you need to."

"Half of those words made sense on their own," Evelina said.

"So... A chained hyperspace gate basically?"

"I guess you could call it that," said Dafsil.

"High speed transport, giant gate thing?" I gestured to the massive space station, which I now knew to be a "Tauquantum Gate" that was before us.

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"How precisely does this thing have to be pointed?" I asked nervously.

"Oh, probably to within a few planck units." I must have looked really alarmed because right after that he said "Oh don't worry, we can be a few dozen off and still make it on target."

"How many neutron stars are we going through?" asked Evelina. Perfectly normal question, nothing to see here.

"I believe 13 on this route."

"And all of those oscillations have to line up?"

"Yes. It happens several times a second, at this scale though. Nobody in their right mind would need to synchronize a hundred neutron stars unless they were going for a record or really needed to book it across the galaxy... But there are better ways of doing that. Realistically, we are more limited by traffic than oscillations. Only one ship can be on a route at a particular time usually."

"Attention. Prepare for Neutron Bolt Activation. Estimated time to Kerbin: Seven seconds. Activation in ten seconds."

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"Where exactly does the energy for - "

"Five." Various things began to light up.

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"I'd close your eyes if I were you."

"Four. Three. Two."

"Close my eyes? What do you - "

"One."

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"AAAAAAA!" The acceleration was instant, but nearly imperceptible. There was a bright flash of white light during the initial acceleration, which quickly wore off. A fraction of a second later there was a sudden flash of red.

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As soon as it happened it was gone, but everything was bright.

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This quickly wore off again.

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Then there was another sudden color inversion.

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The whole cycle repeated several times. Then everything got brighter.

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And brighter.

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And brighter.

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The tunnel became exponentially more overwhelmed with light, peaking at pure white.

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All of a sudden, there was a jolt.

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"You have arrived at Hub 9, of the Kerbol System. Trip duration: 7.279 seconds. Average Equivalent Dimensional Velocity: 65 Billion C. Maximum Equivalent Dimensional Velocity: 9.2 Quadrillion C."

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"Hmm, seemed a bit less intense than usual," said Dafsil.

"Can we do that again?" asked Evelina as I rubbed my eyes, the spots refusing to go away.

"The Neutron Bolt is a very exclusive transportation system available for only high paying individuals, high profile individuals, high priority cargo, and occasionally for PR purposes. For example, very high achieving schoolchildren sometimes get free trips."

"Wait... We're actually that high profile?" I asked.

"No," replied Dafsil. "For the sake of the galaxy, we need to debrief you more. In order to give us the most time possible to do that, we're moving you to safety as fast as possible."

"Oh," I said.

"Wait. You said that was a bit less intense than usual," Evelina responded. "Are you both a political figure and a security guard?"

"I am the Mandaluvian Ambassador. The Kerbin to Vya route is one of the few neutron bolt routes that can run in a loop rather than just point to point, so much more traffic can be pushed through than usual. I usually travel there via bolt."

"That must be a really cool job."

"Says the people who got to fly with Jebediah for an extended period of time."

"Point taken."

"When is the next time you will go to Mandaluvia?" asked Evelina.

"It's Vya. Not all species are named after their planets. That would be like calling you Earthians, or calling Earth Hum."

"Right, sorry."

"I'm going back as soon as I'm done with you two. I need to help coordinate the evacuation. Vya doesn't have much time left."

"Ah."

"Now let's get you to the shuttles. You two have a duty to the galaxy to tell us everything you remember from your encounter."

"Right. No pressure or anything."

 

==========

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About an hour later, an old recreational SSTO craft departed from an out of the way space station in medium Kerbin Orbit.

"Seriously, Jeb?" asked Dafsil. "You know the rules about Representatives not flying their own craft!"

"Since when have I paid attention to that rule? And I have clones."

"Evelina does not! I do not!"

"Right. I'll be careful. No loop the loops." Another Jebediah had come up in what he described as his "old sports spaceplane" to pick us up.

"Why the plane?" asked Dafsil.

"Recreational space traffic doesn't go on record. Nobody but us four knows we're here. We show up as a tiny dot among many on the radar record. The less obvious we are, the less chance we're picked up by The Species."

"True. Why not the elevator though? Much less obvious."

"This is quicker. If we took the elevator, we'd have to go from the base of the tower all the way to the holding area we built at the KSC. That would take time."

 

==========

 

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"I'm flying in antique spaceplane on a secret mission with the two most important living humans and Jebediah Kerman himself!" thought Dafsil enthusiastically. "Don't let them know you're enjoying this so much. Don't act unprofessional."

 

==========

 

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"You're overshooting the runway," I said.

"I know," said Jebediah.

"Don't crash! This thing is antimatter, isn't it?" asked Dafsil.

"Fueled by antimatter, yes," said Jeb dismissively. "We'll be fine." A loud noise began to emanate from the bottom of the plane.

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"Wait, this is a VTOL?" I asked, surprised. "Nice one, Jeb!"

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The plane (I never thought to ask the name of it, sadly) cancelled its horizontal velocity and gently set down on the helipad of the administration building.

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"Welcome back to Kerbin," said Jebediah. "Dafsil, please escort Ethan and Evelina downstairs. Evelina and Ethan... Please stay out of trouble. Answer the questions they give you. And specifically Ethan, do NOT wander around the space center talking to people! You wandered off last time and look where we are now!"

"I wandered off. We picked up Evelina, leading to us overstressing the K-drive, having our ship explode, getting a bigger ship, going to Earth, and then defeating a Species ship, giving us valuable information. We only have this information because I wandered off."

"Touché. Don't do it again." By that time, we were all out of the plane.

"Jeb? Will I see you again?" asked Evelina.

"If you do, it will probably be from far away."

"Oh." Jebediah hesitated.

"Evelina... It was an honor flying with you. Ethan, likewise, but I will see you again on Voyager. I know we broke many protocols, rules, and regulations... And don't tell anyone this... But it was an exciting adventure. I forgot how good that can feel. Thank you for reminding me. Thank you for the adventure." Evelina stepped forwards and shook Jebediah's hand.

"No, Jebediah. Thank you."

"Not to leave you out, or anything, Ethan," said Jeb.

"Group hug?"

"I can't believe I'm doing this... But yes." The three of us hugged through the hatch of the spaceplane. Evelina began to tear up.

Dafsil cleared his throat.

"Right, time to go," said Jebediah.

"I wish you good luck at the council meeting, Jeb."

"Right, that... I will do my best. Do not get into any trouble, friends!"

"Friends?" Evelina asked.

"I, uh," Jeb panicked. "Acquaintances. Colleagues. It is incredibly unprofessional for a Galactic Representative to be forming bonds with members of a species currently under an acceptance test."

"Accepta-"

"Bye." Jeb slammed the door of his plane.

"I'd back up if I were you, quickly," said Dafsil. We all scrambled down the stairs.

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Jeb's engines quickly spooled up as he launched into the sky and flew dramatically away.

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"Friends with a Galactic Representative... Cherish that title, few bear it."

 

==========

"No. I can't. I can't admit that. I can't feel that. Not now. I need to focus everything on the war. It would be a stretch even if there wasn't a war going on... And if it lasts? I have to watch them grow old and die. I don't know if I could do that again."

"You hypocrite. Saying you need to focus on the war while personally escorting your "friends" around in a sports plane."

==========

I didn't show it that much, but I was fairly elated to be back on Kerbin. The fresh air, the normal colored sky... I wasn't allowed to talk to them, of course, but there were more than a few humans within a mile of me for the first time in a long time.

After we got into the building, we were told to disable our disguises. We obliged. They put us in what appeared to be a standard office room and locked the door. "Stay here," they told us. "We're still getting your proper rooms ready. Don't think about running away, not that you would. We will have guards in the hallway just in case. If you need anything you can talk to them through the intercom!"

"I need some rest," I said.

"It's probably been less than two hours, maybe even one, since you snuck out of your hospital room in Illasticonia not being able to sleep."

"Well it's been a very full two hours."

"Not our fullest."

"True."

"So... Are we going to do anything?"

"What do you mean?"

"For the sake of argument, maybe run off?"

"Um, why?"

"Maybe we could get back into space and help somehow, and it would also extend the adventure."

"That's a bad idea. A terribly bad idea. I hope I don't have to explain why."

"Yeah." We stood around for a few  seconds. "Explain why anyway. It might help us think of something."

"We'd be two teenage humans walking straight into a meeting clearly set up to show how powerful The Species is in comparison to our galaxy. Walking straight into a trap. You're proposing suicide. By all logic, we shouldn't even be alive now! This isn't a movie. While our luck may make it seem otherwise, there is no writer, no director to save us. We can't just keep on throwing ourselves at danger and expect to be caught at the last minute." She was silent for a few seconds.

"Unless..." she said.

"What?"

"Why are we still alive?" she asked, with an intense yet ponderous expression on her face.

"Sheer dumb luck?"

"No. There may not be a director, per se, but there are equivalents."

"Oh."

"Namely, God or Gods, and The Species. Both are possible, I guess, but focusing on the latter... We've heard from Jeb that The Species are incredibly methodical with everything they do. Conquering the universe as efficiently as possible. They are probably manipulating a whole bunch of stuff behind the scenes to make it easier for them."

"And they attacked us with two ships several times more advanced than ours, with pulsed warp or whatever, lasers, and who knows what else. We had four comparatively primitive nuclear weapons. We shouldn't have survived."

"Yeah, no kidding. We fell into a gas giant, and only survived due to several things lining up perfectly."

"So you're saying that it was The Species who almost killed us and purposely let us live?" I didn't say it, but I was slightly deflated at the prospect of my miraculous piloting of the Wyvern having been partially if not fully a farce.

"Possibly. You're probably the most important human alive right now, with far reaching fame and deep connections behind the scenes. We're both alive despite the numerous near death experiences we've had. We've been through more than many people would have in a thousand lifetimes... And we are alive. If they are any bit as strong as they claim to be, then they are keeping you and I alive for a reason. Nudging us towards something. Something that will benefit them."

"If that is true, then we are nothing more than gamepieces in their master plan."

"Maybe."

"If we are, then I can't imagine this ends well for us..."

"Assuming its The Species and not a coincidence or God or something... Then yeah. If their goal is to run the universe in the most efficient way possible, once we've served our purpose then I'd imagine they'd likely do away with us."

"That implies that we have a purpose in their plan. The question becomes, what is our purpose?"

"No." she turned around to face me again and grinned. "The question becomes, how do we mess up their plan as much as possible?" It clicked. My eyes widened.

"Evelina, that's genius... But I can't see that ending well for us either."

"You're right. But if there is a fraction of a fraction of a chance that we can shift the situation even slightly in our favor, it is our duty to try."

"Wow. Dramatic."

"Because it is."

"So why would they do what they did to us in that specific way? What benefit could dropping us into Jool and having us miraculously survive have for them?"

"Good question. Inflating our egos so we try something risky later? Making us into heroes to thwart later on? Giving us, and the rest of the galaxy, a false sense of hope that we could actually beat The Species?"

"Valid... Although our exploits would have to be made public for us to be heroes."

"That can't be too difficult. You're already pretty famous for the Voyager mission."

"Yeah... Never, until it happened, did I think that the Voyager mission would actually take a back seat to something else."

"Anyways... Assuming we are being used for something, we should make it our priority to get into another precarious situation and throw a major wrench into the works."

"All fine and dandy... But what if they wanted us to have this conversation? What if we're supposed to do something which we think will hurt them but will actually help them?"

"That is a very good point... So once we get to a point where we can do something important, we do the most random thing we can think of."

"Hypothetically at least. There's a lot more we need to do, though."

"Like what?"

"Well, its not like we can go up to Jeb and ask for a spaceship and fly it to the center of the galaxy."

"We'd definitely have to sneak off. We do still have the disguises, though."

"And don't forget. We need to clone you this time."

"We should clone you too, Ethan. If we do it right, and our clones get back in time, they won't even know we left. Then we can do both Kerbin's plan and our plan."

"Good idea. Slight problem."

"What?"

"There would be three of me. Two is hard enough on the other me."

"True... Could you do recombination of consciousness?"

"It took the Jool incident for me to get it the first time. Almost no chance of me doing it again without either a lot more training or another experience similar to Jool. 

"True. The galaxy is at stake here, though."

"Right. Before I know it there will be a dozen Ethans..."

"More chances to mess with the Species I guess?"

"Ignoring that, say we actually decide to do this. How would we? How would we get to that meeting at the center of the galaxy?"

"These Kerbals don't bother with security much, because why would they? Their crime rates are probably near zero. It should be fairly easy to get around as long as we maintain our disguises."

"True, I guess. We would be stealing a spaceship though."

"Yeah. So?"

"So?"

"Never mind. If you haven't noticed, we've sort of been locked in here."

"Oh no, a scary office door with a lock!"

"They really want us to stay here. It may not be much by human standards, but they cared enough to give us quite a bit of security by their standards." Evelina walked over to one of the room's windows and opened it effortlessly. She gestured to the outside.

"Yup. Quite a bit of security," she said. She stepped one foot out of the window.

"Wait. We're not actually doing this, are we?"

"I thought we were."

"I mean, we have some points, but I thought it was all hypothetical! We can't actually steal a spaceship and fly towards possibly the greatest assembly of power in the galaxy to attempt to disrupt the Species invasion!"

"Why not?"

"I would like to not die, thank you very much!"

"I would like for the galaxy to not die, thank you very much!"

"True... But Evelina, this is madness. If we have any chance of saving the galaxy, the Species will have calculated all of it. Maybe they even calculated this! Maybe this is what they want us to do!" She stopped for a second.

"True. Maybe they are influencing our thoughts right now."

"And we have no way of knowing which way is the correct way."

"So we're going both ways."

"Which means that The Species might be guaranteed to get what they want."

"Okay... Agh. Why can't there be a clear path forwards?" I slumped down in defeat. Evelina came back inside and closed the window. We sat there for a short while. "How badly could we mess this up?" she asked me.

"You mean mess our chances up or theirs?"

"Ours."

"If they are as powerful as they claim to be, they wouldn't let us."

"But if we went, what are the chances we'd do more harm than good?"

"How am I supposed to know?"

"Ethan, whatever we do, we're going to need to make a decision soon." She stepped up and opened the window again. "All those stars out there. I don't know how many of them have life around them, but some of them do. They don't have much time left. We may not have much of a chance at all, but if there is a chance, no matter how small, to save them, we should take it." She stepped out of the window and looked up.

"Only if the chance of us helping is greater than our chance of hurting."

"If we hurt everyone, then what's the loss? It's enslavement and death one way, or enslavement and death the other way." I stepped out of the window, sitting on the edge.

"Well... It's a point. It only makes sense if we are, in fact, in a unique position where we are so important that our chance is worth jeopardizing all of the galaxy's chances." I looked upwards, in the process hitting my head. I lost balance and fell forwards out of the window. "AAA!" I fell diagonally but headfirst on top of Evelina. I felt a sharp pain in my neck. "AAA!" I shouted again, this time from pain and not surprise. There was a click as the door to our room opened.

"Hey, Ethan, Evelina? We're ready for you!" a Kerbal called. Evelina clamped her hand over my mouth, muffling my cries. "Hello? Are you in here?" The Kerbal opened up various compartments looking for us. "Huh. Weird. Arfpod must have taken them to the interrogation room already." We heard him walk around. Somehow, he didn't notice us, or the open window. Then, we heard him walk away and close the door. Evelina spoke first.

"They are going to be after us in a few minutes when they realize we aren't in there. We could make up an excuse, and the Kerbals might believe it, but Jeb won't. Not right after he told us not to wander off."

"MRFF!" I screamed.

"Oh, sorry!" She released her hand.

"AAAAGH! Something stabbed me!"

"Oh my goodness, are you okay?" I came up to a kneeling position. There was definitely a cut in my neck. "Oh no!" She was extremely concerned and began examining the cut. I looked down. Evelina's Swiss army knife was on the ground, the largest blade opened up halfway, slightly bloodstained. 

"Evelina, the knife." She looked down and picked it up.

"Oh my. I wasn't messing with it. It was closed! Inside my pocket! Ethan, I swear! I'm so sorry!"

"I can barely get some of those attachments open on a good day. They couldn't just pop open, could they?"

"The chances of that would be really small. I'm no medical expert, but from what I can tell, the blade didn't do any major damage. The cut is fairly shallow. I'll grab something to wrap it with." She stood up and peeked in the window. "You're very lucky. That could have easily killed you." I was slightly relieved at this but also concerned. A thought struck me.

"It wasn't luck," I said. "It was a threat from The Species." Evelina froze.

"How can we be sure?"

"We're discussing how we're going up against them and then I'm taken to within a fraction of an inch of death in a scenario that shouldn't have happened. This almost can't be a concidence."

"So it's a threat? Like "Do not do anything to stop us or we'll kill you?" A message like "We control you?" or something?"

"Maybe. But you know what they just did?"

"What?"

"They just revealed that I am a threat, but they need me alive for something." Evelina turned back around to look at me. "If I wasn't a threat, why threaten me? If they want me dead, they would have done it right there."

"So they need you alive, for now, but you could easily do the wrong thing."

"So by that logic, we should go to the galactic center and try to mess something up."

"But what if they only almost killed you to make us think we should go there? Knowing we would come to that conclusion?"

"Well what if they wanted you to say that so would decide against going?"

"Well what if they wanted you to say that so we would decide to go?"

"This is like playing chess against a computer," I declared. "Um, can we get my neck wrapped up now?"

"Oh right." She turned back to the window. "There's stuff in there we can use." She hopped back in.

"Careful or they will see you!"

"Ill be careful!"

"I'm coming back in with you." I climbed back into the room, trying to keep my hand over my neck. By then Evelina had found some fabric.

"Alright. Hold still," she said as she came near and began cutting up the fabric with the knife. Then, suddenly, the door clicked. We froze. A Kerbal opened it.

"Podrue, they can't just have vanished from a room!" He said very annoyed. He turned to face us. I was backed up against the wall, a cut in my neck, Evelina holding out a bloody knife. The Kerbal's face went pale. Our eyes widened.

"This isn't what it looks like!" Evelina said. The Kerbal panicked and ran off, shutting the door.

"Guards!" shouted the Kerbal, muffled by the door.

"Oh no," I said. Evelina quickly applied her makeshift bandage to the cut and made for the window. "Where are you going?"

"Do you think they would believe the truth?" she asked. "That you just fell on my knife that happened to be open?"

"We can explain it to them!" I shouted. Evelina was now out of the window. I followed her trying to convince her.

"How?"

"Hide the knife! Say it was something else! He was in here for a few seconds, maybe we could make him think he mistook something else for a knife!"

"Right," she replied. "Quick, help me bury it!" I hopped out of the window, in the process accidentally kicking it, so that it fell and partially closed. We both started digging into the ground. We heard the door open again and froze.

"Arfpod, nobody is in here!"

"Podrue, I swear I saw them! Evelina was holding a... a..."

"A what?"

"A knife!" The people in the room gasped. "And she was threatening Ethan! She had cut his throat!" More gasps.

"Arfpod, are you sure of what you saw? I was in here a few minutes ago and they weren't in here! They aren't even in here now!"

"I mean... Maybe the stress is getting to me... Maybe I just hallucinated the whole thing."

"Nobody took them down to the more secure location," reported one of the others in the room.

"Hmm. Did they run off?"

"They should know better."

"Yeah, why would they run off? Maybe they were kidnapped!"

"Guys? We literally just lost two of the most important humans on this planet, and they haven't even been here for fifteen minutes! We need to find them!"

"But she has a knife! What if she killed Ethan?"

"We don't know that for sure, but we need to be safe. I want all of our security personell equipped with shieldplane generators and tasers."

"Tasers, sir? Is that amount of force necessary?"

"Only if they try to attack and nothing else can be done."

"But sir!"

"I want every available person who knows about how significant these two are to help us search. They can't have made it far in ten minutes. And chances are it's nothing malicious... But then again, we must be prepared."

"Yes, sir."

"Guards, we start now. If we don't find them within an hour, we will notify both the general KSC population and higher authorities. No sense escalating this over something that could easily be nothing."

"Wait a second," said one of them. "The window is open!" He walked over to the window. We sat as still as possible.

"Oh, I must have left it partially open by mistake," said another Kerbal. "This is my office. It got pretty warm so I opened it a tad. I probably forgot to close it before Ethan and Evelina got in here."

"Oh okay." The Kerbal closed the window and walked away, having not seen us.

They briskly walked out of the room.

"An hour," Evelina whispered. "We have an hour."

"Well, probably a minute until they walk around the side of the building and find us!"

"Is an hour enough to get us cloned and two of us back here?"

"I don't know how accessible cloning machines are!" I harshly whispered back. "I'm fairly sure my cloning wasn't exactly typical!"

"If we don't find them in half an hour we turn back, alright?" she asked.

"Alright, fine. And if we do get cloned, and try to do anything, we come back at the first sign of trouble."

"Sure." She turned her Kerbal disguise on.

"Are we actually going to do this?"

"We can debate all day or we can try to do something."

"Well... If we get caught, this was your idea, alright?"

"Deal." She stood up. I turned on my Kerbal disguise. "They won't have a cloning machine at KSC. It's both a Kerbal and human area. They aren't stupid enough to house that sort of tech within our reach. We need to get out of here."

"Aren't there trains? Like, hyperloop style maybe?"

"Yes, but where would those go? Likely more human cities."

"We need to go somewhere where only Kerbals can go."

"The airport," she said. "I worked mission control here for months. There are regular Kerbal-only flights out of here."

"Do you know where they go?"

"Probably some place without humans."

"Seems like a good bet. Could we get back here fast enough though?"

"Probably. Their planes are crazy fast." Evelina began running towards the spaceplane hangar, with several Kerbal airliners already there like always.

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"Aaaand, were running off," I muttered. I looked at her, running away. I looked back to the window, then back at her and back at the window again. I flip flopped a few more times, having second thoughts before settling back on her. "Oh whatever. Here we go again," I said, and I ran after her.

 

==========

 

By now, Jebediah had been through several meetings with his top advisers. One of his clones, likely clone 3 or 8, would attend the meeting. He would attend in a low tech, yet slim and durable spacesuit that had no computers to be hacked, with a slim backpack carrying several Illasticonian crystals, a quantum distress beacon, and significant stores of oxygen and water.

He would make the journey in a high profile ship outfitted with as much scanning equipment as possible. Beforehand, the council chamber would itself be fitted with as many sensors as possible to learn as much about The Species as possible. The ship itself would park low around a nearby star and listen in. Jebediah would approach and dock to the chamber in a small, fast and nimble spaceship that could seat eight Kerbal-sized beings, one of the smallest ships that one could fit the right engines in -  the engines necessary to orbit a black hole at functionally though not literally several times the speed of light. The chamber had devices to allow normal ships to dock, but if something were to happen to those devices, Jeb needed to be able to escape.

A second ship with similar but different technology would be piloted by one of the most skilled pilots Kerbin could find - not necessarily a Kerbal. Both would dock to the station, the second ship would serve as a backup.

Although it was heavily debated, none of the Kerbal ships would carry weapons, but the flagship would carry armor and shields.

All across the galaxy, the remaining members of the Galactic Council formed similar plans with as much redundancy built in as possible. The Illasticonians, at the start of a planetwide evacuation, did not have many resources to spare, but managed to come up with a similar plan. Representative Xanth came from a less prominent world, far less rich than Illasticonia. He would hitch a ride in with the Diek representative, with their superior planning. The Jslan representative was also coming in on borrowed technology, as were many others. The Ziquunodian representative would dock in his huge flagship in an intimidation attempt... And as a large distraction in case time was needed for other representatives to escape.

Galactus the Cow was extremely annoyed at having to cut his last trip around the galaxy short. He took his fastest ship and had it modified specifically for the mission. Extra stealth technology and more escape options were the primary concerns.

Several of the galaxy's species had turned to warfare, and began to station as many weapons as possible around the black hole. Governments quarreled at whether or not they should trap the station or station troops there. Ultimately it was decided by the race that contributed the most to the station's construction. They decided no, but weapons on docked ships were fair game.

Ziquunodian days were shorter than Earth days, but longer than Kerbin days. Only 2 and 2/3 days remained.

The Species watched, waited, and coldly calculated as the Council assembled.

 

Kerbin's secret factories on Duna continued manufacturing cloaking devices and ships for the intended last ditch attempt at an escape. Several other planets did the same thing, with as much secrecy as possible. Only a few representatives knew of this plan, and they all were equipped with devices that would teleport them away, or kill them, if they even came close to uttering a single revealing word.

In mere weeks, the ships would be done. In a matter of just a few carefully choreographed minutes, hundreds of billions of beings would be whisked away into these ships and shot out of the galaxy as fast as possible in all directions, cloaking devices engaged. At a minimum half of the ships would fly right back into Species controlled territory, and would likely be destroyed, but in that time, some of the others would hopefully make it far enough that it would not be practical for The Species to destroy them.

At least, that was the hope.

 

Ethan and Evelina were not alone. All across the galaxy, people were succumbing to the realization that The Species may be controlling more than it may seem. It was driving them insane.

How much of their hope was real, and how much was an illusion created by The Species?

Did they have any hope at all?

 

 

 

 

 

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The whole idea of the species being able to control anything and everything is really scary. How do we know they aren't controlling Jeb? Evelina? The Voyager? Cheng? Galactus the cow? Is anyone not under their contro

Edited by obney kerman
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  • 2 weeks later...

It's way too late and I have a few reasons that I really need to be done with this one ASAP, so this one hasn't been proofread yet, minor things may change in a few days. Enjoy!

 

 

Chapter Twenty-Seven - Running Off Again

 

Spoiler

"This is madness."

OXww9Bz.png

"Correct, but so is everything else," she said.

"Wait, that's their plane?"

"Yeah."

"It looks like a normal airliner."

"Yeah. So?"

"...So the whole "Rocket powered accidental SSTO Airliner having wings rip off and splashing down upside-down into the ocean" thing isn't typical?"

"That was an exaggeration they put on for the humans, presumably. There are craft like that in use, but in most cases, I would assume that economics and safety outweigh the sense of childlike wonder."

"And you know that why?"

"I've worked here as a mission controller for months, did you forget that? I told you that less than five minutes ago!"

"Right. What is our plan if they ask for identification?"

"We'll think of something."

"That's not a plan."

"Yes it is. I can talk our way out of this, I think."

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"Evelina, we need to think this over some more. Do we need tickets? Do we need money? Do we need - "

"We have fifty-five minutes to get cloned and back here."

"Evelina - "

"Are you coming, or not?" She started up the ramp. I took a deep breath and followed her.

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We saw the last few people board the plane. What appeared to be a flight attendant was scanning their K-pads (which have an official name but it's easier to call them K-pads) and waving them into the plane. A few seconds later it was our turn.

"Oh hey!" said Evelina.

"Hello there," said the flight attendant. There was a slight pause.

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"Your tablet, please?"

"Right, of course," said Evelina. "We ran into a bit of an issue at work today... Our tablets were irreparably damaged in a freak accident."

"A freak accident? What sort of accident?"

"An elevator accident, they got dropped, the doors closed, and they got smashed when the elevator went on its way." Evelina's story seemed decently plausible but I could tell she was struggling a bit.

"What? How did that happen? There are supposed to be many safeguards against that sort of thing!" Evelina began to falter but I stepped in.

"I know, it's really odd! They are examining the elevator to see what happened... We're as surprised as you are!"

"Oh. Okay then."

"We should be getting replacements soon, but in the meantime we have important things to do, so we can't wait that long."

"I guess I'll have to track you by your suit then." She stepped forwards and scanned our suits.

bvbaq2j.png

"Wow. Nearly brand new and rated for space?"

"Yeah... It's for a test we're doing."

"Interesting. Where are your normal radiation suits?"

"At home," I said, right at the same time that Evelina said "In the VAB."

"Err, hers is in the VAB and mine is at home," I said.

"Oh, so you came here in your suit today?"

"Yes."

"And left with it yesterday?"

"Yes."

"Hmm. One of us probably would have noticed... I guess we were just pretty distracted. Alright, let's not hold this up any longer, I trust you, so let's be off!"

"Wait, we don't have to pa-"

"Eth...ikiel, it's time for us to go!" Evelina put her arm around me and dragged me through the hatch. "Don't question it," she harshly whispered to me. "Maybe it's paid for by the government, but who cares."

"Oh, Ethikiel, what a unique name!"

"Yeah..." We were in the plane now. We turned down the aisle and looked for seats. Interestingly, the cockpit was in full view of the passengers. The Kerbal who I thought was the flight attendant was actually the pilot.

"There's two seats," Evelina said.

"I can't believe that worked," I replied.

"It worked, because in the eyes of a Kerbal, why would we lie?"

"I mean, well - "

"Passengers, this is Govways flight 117, departing from the Human Spaceflight Center for Tower 6." The engines turned on.

bSa8QiQ.png

"Human Spaceflight Center?" I whispered out loud, confused.

"That makes sense," Evelina Responded. "They probably have several spaceports of their own, and this is the only one the humans use."

"Tower 2... That almost has to be one of the space elevator towers, doesn't it?"

"Yes, that's what I was thinking too! We just need to sneak onto an elevator car... And weren't the cloning machines supposed to be in that junction between the tower and the rings?"

"Yes, I think so!"

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"Passengers, we are cleared for takeoff. Our flight will take approximately 14 minutes, maximum speed expected is around Mach 3. Enjoy your flight." The plane finished turning around, and the two engines at the rear of the craft spun up even more.

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I took this opportunity to buckle my seat belt, knowing how crazy Kerbal flights could get.

wEU1RCV.png

And then, we were in the air.

Like in human airliners, there was a pocket in the seat in front of me with a few information cards... Unlike human airliners, there was actually a decent amount of legroom.

I took out the cards. There were a few about safety and one about the aircraft. That was the one that interested me. It was a Keroma N-19 (whatever that meant) with a capacity of 128 passengers and 6 crew, and the passenger compartments could be switched out to cargo, or mixed. It was powered by two tail mounted nuclear engines, which explained the speed... It also meant that the aircraft rarely had to be refueled. The engines were closed cycle and heavily shielded, so they posed no threat to the Kerbals, who are usually very susceptible to radiation. All in all, it was a very interesting read.

"Attention, we have reached our cruising speed."

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"Are you actually reading that?" asked Evelina.

"It's interesting, it's about the aircraft."

"You were the one that said we needed to plan."

"Well yes... This is also calming me down."

"Well, whatever works, I guess. But let's see what else back." She sat back and slipped her hand into mine, giving it a squeeze. I squeezed back and smiled.

"Well, on second thought... Let's work on the plan."

 

==========

 

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A few minutes later, the plane had slowed and was approaching the Tower for a landing.

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There was no main runway, but instead four large aprons for various forms of transportation to connect up to the tower. One could see planes, trains, and cars departing and arriving constantly.

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Our plane gently touched down and pulled up to the tower. It was around this time that it hit me just how big it was.

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"Whoa," I whispered in awe.

"Attention, passengers, you may now disembark."

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"Illasticonia's was bigger," said Evelina.

"Yeah. But we had company then. We're on our own this time."

"We have each other."

"Yes, but you know what I meant."

"Alone together."

 

==========

 

"Your tablet, please," said the elevator attendant, for a lack of a better title. It sounds like it would be the most boring job ever, but then you have to consider the size of the elevator.

"Oh, unfortunately they were destroyed earlier today in a freak accident," said Evelina.

"Oh. That stinks. Do you have an Allotment Card?"

"No, sadly."

"Cash? It's been a while since I've done a cash transaction."

"Hold on..." Evelina fished around in her pockets. "Ethekiel, do you have my wallet?" I made a show of checking.

"No I don't. I haven't seen mine either."

"Why don't you have them? Did you manage to lose your tablets, cards, and cash in one day?" I had an idea.

"Oh, what if the humans stole them?" The attendant's eyes widened.

"Oh, those vile ways... How dare they... Crimes like this never happened before the humans came here! Not that they are completely terrible... They are... Doing better than I expected. I am so sorry that happened to you two. I will report this potential crime to the authorities. I hope you get your identification back soon."

"Thank you."

"However, I'm afraid I cannot sell you a ticket if you cannot pay."

"Can you scan our suits or something?" asked Evelina. He looked at us strangely.

"I mean, for transportation tracking, sure, but they aren't connected to any account."

"Ah. Sorry."

"No, I'm sorry. I hope it works out for you."

"Right. Good day, sir," I said. I turned away. "Well, we tried. Back to the space center."

"Hold on just a second. We didn't come all this way for nothing."

"What are you suggesting?"

"We need a distraction."

"Drop your knife on the ground, wait for someone to notice, and in the ensuing panic get past the booths?"

"Right. I would prefer not to lose my knife, though. I do quite like it."

"If one of us causes a distraction then the other could get past."

"It should be you," she said. "You have the most experience. I'll go pretend to be hurt or something maybe? I'll talk to an attendant and you'll walk through? I could try flirting with an attendant I guess. Although I don't know how Kerbal flirting would work or if it's even a thing."

"Hold on... I think I have a better idea."

"What?" I walked over to the exit gates and up to an attendant.

"Hey there," I read the nametag, "Jorfell! I was with the group that came through a while back, I think I left a, uh, suitcase in the bathroom! I'll be back in like, uh, a few minutes, alright?"

"Oh, sure, go right ahead!"

"Thank you, Jorfell!" I walked through.

"I'm with him," said Evelina.

"What, are you going to go into the bathroom and help him look?"

"Uh..." we realized our mistake.

"It has medication in it that I should have with me at all times, or near at least, and I ran out in my personal stash, and you never know, ya know? I would hate to act up in the next few minutes when I don't have it on me. That would be tragic."

"Alright. What do you have?"

"What?"

"What condition?"

"Scralekondosis."

"Never heard of it."

"It's really rare. There have only been a few cases in recorded history, I guess I just got unlucky."

"Oh, I'm so sorry for you! Go on through!" She passed through as well. This time it was her turn to say "That worked?"

"They wouldn't expect anyone to lie maliciously, at least not a Kerbal... This is going to be easier than we thought."

 

==========

 

==========

"DS-28 to Laythe Outpost 4."

"Laythe Outpost here, go ahead."

"We have found a piece of the John Cena."

"Really?"

"I believe so."

"Finally. What is it?"

"It appears to be a section of fuel tank, kept floating by a pocket of air below it. We just winched it into the dropship and are doing analysis."

"Is there a serial number on the piece?"

"Yes, there is."

"What is it?"

"HAT-FL-T200-03-007."

"Hold on... Yes. That appears to match our records. We can confirm that the piece is most likely from the John Cena."

"We have marked the coordinates."

"Roger. Keep looking. We will reroute the other dropships, ships, submarines, and airships."

"We only have maybe fifteen minutes of hover time left before we have to return to base."

"And the other dropships will have similar levels... Keep searching. We will refuel and try again."

"We're going to hit our radiation limits before too much longer."

"True. We will rotate all crew out."

"DS-28 out."

"Roger."

Laythe Outpost 4 was Kerbalkind's largest permanent presence on Laythe, which wasn't saying much. Laythe remained largely uninhabited due to the Kerbals' low radiation tolerance. Laythe Outpost 4 was built primarily underground. All surface features had several meters of shielding. The purpose of the outpost was mainly scientific, although it was occasionally visited by some of the more thrill-seeking tourists... Standard tourists would usually go to the dedicated tourism outpost.

As the outpost was all but a dead end in almost every way, it suffered from outdated equipment. Many of the vehicles still ran off of fossil fuels, including all of the dropships, which were most of the few aircraft that could hover. Some aircraft were nuclear powered, and could fly rapidly, but could not hover. There were solar powered airships, but they were slow, and, of course, the base had plenty of ships and submarines, but they were also slow. The outpost did, in fact, possess a few helicopters, but their range was not very good.

The base had halted most of its scientific operations when Cheng had crashed. Most of the craft at the base had been quickly fueled to head towards the crash site. There was very little chance that he was still alive, and if he was still alive the humans couldn't know, but they had to try.

The high speed aircraft got there first, but had failed to spot anything other than the debris from the launch, but that was at a known location. The dropships got there next, but as mentioned, they could not stay there long. The airships would get there next, and after that, the boats and submarines. Reinforcements from Kerbin would arrive last.

At the very least, the team hoped to find a body to bury.

All of a sudden, there was a beep in the main office of Laythe Outpost 24. A light flashed.

"Control, this is the weather station."

"Go ahead, weather station."

"Hurricane Mejelon is a Planetwide Conditional Megavorticial Storm."

"No. Really?"

"We are 85% sure or so."

"Well, we were long overdue for one... It has been several years."

"We recommend preparing the base for the storm and recalling all active vehicles. We should also evacuate the tourist outposts and outposts 8, 5, and 2. We should maintain a skeleton crew at Outpost 7."

"We can't recall all active vehicles. We need to find Cheng's body before all of the wreckage is washed away!"

"That's a negative."

"How soon until the storm gets here?"

"A day and a half, two days? To the crash site probably later."

"How intense do we expect this storm to be?"

"Planetwide coverage is expected in three days, expected duration one to two weeks at maximum intensity. Average wind speed of 30 meters per second, sustained winds at their most intense will be over 100 meters per second. Gusts may become supersonic. Waves will be far too intense for our ships to safely operate, and freak waves of greater than 100 meters are expected."

"We can keep the dropships searching and some of the faster boats, at least for the next day."

"Probably, but if I were you I would not take the risk."

"Noted, but overruled. Thank you. I will sound the alarm."

 

==========

udIJqO1.png?1

The trip up to R7 took only a few minutes, as we accelerated and decelerated very rapidly. Our car was an express version, with seats on the roof, so we could slow down quickly. Finding a way to sneak onto the elevator car without a ticket took longer than the actual trip. If you're curious, we blended in with a larger group where one person paid up front. They counted us and noticed the discrepancy but the attendant thought she must have miscounted... The car was leaving soon, so she just waved us through.

At the large hub at the top of our tower where it met R7, it was easy to find a cloning machine... Almost too easy. There was a giant sign that said "CLONING CHAMBERS." Getting in was quite a bit harder... Cloning was reserved for high risk activities, individuals of significant cultural importance, and notable leaders and politicians. They weren't going to let us in without proper identification, and that wasn't going to be easy to obtain.

Sneaking through the entrance, however, was scarily easy. Who knows how little the Kerbals' more important machines were protected... A society built completely on trust that everyone is altruistic would be terrifyingly easy to take down.

Unfortunately, the machines needed to be turned on by the attendants as a precaution. So we watched for a bit. Three well dressed Kerbals were readying themselves for cloning. An attendant booted up three chambers and authorized the cloning, before walking away.

"Hey, you three!" Evelina shouted. They turned their heads. "You're the," she got up close and tried to subtly read their nametags and briefcases, "ambassadors to Erdwa, correct?"

"Yes, that's us," said one of the Kerbals.

"Someone was asking for you out there earlier, it's urgent!"

"Just me, or?"

"All of you. They sounded anxious and a bit panicky. I don't know what it was about, but you should probably check that out."

"Thank you for bringing this to our attention," he said. "I'll bet they are talking about the Zawee projects..."

"What are you here for?" asked one of the others, as he walked past. Evelina faltered for a second before I spoke.

"We mine Illasticonian Crystals."

"Wow. Why do you do that? Isn't it mainly Illasticonian Robots now?"

"Yeah, mostly. They have a small unit trying to diversify, just in case."

"Right, carry on! I wouldn't want to get stuck with that job, but I have respect for you. The worlds turn because of jobs as dangerous as yours." The three briskly walked off.

"Alright, let's go." Evelina opened the door to one of the chambers and I opened the door to another. "Wait!" she said.

"What?"

"How does this work?"

"If it's the same as on the Memories, you'll get injected with a whole bunch of new material and growth stimulants, and somehow your cells will duplicate and you'll split in two. But with pain medication this time, I'd hope."

"I knew that, but, you know... Does it duplicate the spacesuit?"

"Interesting... I mean, I guess I'd never thought about... Did it on the - "

"Does it duplicate clothes?"

"I... Oh. I mean, it did on the Memories. I think."

"Oh okay. Let's hope these work the same." We both entered our cloning chambers and closed the door. There was a screen and I was prompted with a choice of Species. I blinked. Would human even be on here? How many times had a human even been cloned? If it was just me then there wouldn't be an option.

Thankfully, human was on the list. The next prompt was, however, "Warning: Insufficient information on target species. It is recommended to remove all garments as they may present obstructions to the cloning process."

I searched for an option to clone the clothes separately. If there wasn't, it would not only be a lot of embarrassment, but a disaster for the plan... If the spacesuits were not duplicated, which pair of clones would get them? The ones going to the meeting, or the ones staying on Kerbin? Same for the clothes. And for the disguises, too!

I searched frantically for an option. I didn't see any.

"Agh!" I clenched my fists. Those three would be back shortly. I heard the whir of Evelina's machine. I made up my mind, I would attempt the cloning fully clothed. It wasn't preventing it outright, so it must be safe to some degree, right? And I was cloned just fine once with clothes on.

I pressed next on the screen. A table rose up from the base of the chamber, angled. The screen prompted me to lay back on it. I took a deep breath and pressed start. There was a green light, presumably the machine scanning me. The door closed. The machine began to whir. Then I remembered what happened the last time I was cloned, and briefly said something out loud.

"Whichever clone ends up on the left goes back to Kerbin."

"Please expose veins, injections currently obstructed," said an automated voice. The machine's whir slowed and went away. Of course. I felt so stupid. How could I be injected with tons of stuff if I had a spacesuit on? "Suit will be duplicated separately, place suit within chamber." Oh, okay. It could have told me that earlier! I took off the spacesuit, rolled up my sleeves and pants, laid back, and pressed start again.

The whir started back up. The green light passed over my body again. I felt the stabbing pain of a needle in each of my limbs, which quickly dulled. Suddenly, dozens more appeared and stuck themselves into me, but I did not feel any pain. The noise intensified and a brilliant blue light flashed on and intensified. I closed my eyes and clenched my muscles as my body expanded, bubbled out, and...

*plop*

"Oh hey," both of us said. "Um... Left? Wow, um..." Instead of left and right, we had popped out one above the other. We were facing each other. "Oh no. Um, top talks first I guess?"

"Oh okay. Um," I stood up and turned away from me.

"Wow does the back of my head really look that weird?"

"Shut up, Ethan!" Bottom Ethan stood up.

"Do you feel weird at all? Hopefully the clothes didn't make a difference.

"Nope.

"Okay, good, me neither. Spacesuit time!"

"Wait, which suit do I get?"

"Does it really matter?"

"I don't know, maybe."

"Rock paper scissors?"

"We can read each others minds, Ethan!"

"Haha!" remarked Space-Ethan from Laythe Orbit inside our heads.

"Just take the closest one. Now, a bigger issue... I'm more left of the main hallway from the way we entered? And we said left Ethan goes back to Kerbin? So the bottom Ethan goes back to Kerbin?"

"You're just saying that because you are having second thoughts and want to go back to safety."

"Uh, yeah you got me. First number we can find in here, if it's odd you go home, if it's even I go home."

"Right. Let's see..."

"Hmm..."

"Four. Right here."

"Okay... Aww... Now I kind of want to go..."

"Oh boy, adventure time." I began getting into my spacesuits in two separate instances.

"You know that would have been incredibly awkward if we had to completely take our clothes off," thought Star-Ethan.

"Don't think about it," the other two thought.

"Wait, what are we calling ourselves now?" asked bottom Ethan. "We can't both be Star-Ethan."

"I'll be Star-Ethan, You'll be Kerb-Ethan, no, Home-Ethan? Ground-Ethan? I don't know."

"I'll stay Space-Ethan."

"Guys who cares about names. I'll be Kevin for now for all I care, we need to go! We probably have under half an hour left!"

"Right. Sorry."

"This is going to get confusing."

"Space-Ethan, I say this in the most polite way possible, shut up please."

"Yes sir, mister polite." By this time, Star-Ethan was in his spacesuit and Kevin was in his clothes, getting his suit on. A few seconds later, Kevin was ready as well. we took a deep breath(s?) and pushed the door open. The Evelinas were waiting for us.

"Whoa, this is so weird!" said the one on our left.

"I know, right!" The one on the right stuck her hands out through the open visor of the one on the left. "My face feels so weird without my own touch feedback!"

"Oh let me try!" The left one grabbed the cheeks of the right one.

"Okay," said Star-Ethan, after clearing his throat. "We decided that I am going to the meeting, and Kevin is going back to Kerbin."

"Wait, what?" said both of the Evelinas. "Kevin?"

"Oh no," said Kevin. "We're not actually calling me that, are we?"

"Kevin?" they both giggled.

"That's besides the point. We should get going. We don't know when those three will get back."

"Kevin? Nice!" The Evelinas both fell backwards onto the door of their chamber. "Wait a second," said the Evelina on the right, "It's locked!"

"Hmm. They must lock after we exit," said Left Evelina.

"What if they can tell we've been here? They would be able to tell!" said Kevin.

"We should use and lock the third chamber on something so it's all uniform," suggested both Evelinas at once.

"Right!" exclaimed Star-Ethan. I ran over to the third chamber, but it too was locked. A screen displayed the message "Machine inactive, has been idle for too long. Contact an attendant for assistance."

"Oh," said Left Evelina. "That's good!"

"Aah!" said Star-Ethan as he tripped over a briefcase, which spilled open. "Ow! They left a briefcase here!" On the floor was an extremely baggy looking dress suit in a Kerbal style. "Interesting." I picked it up and looked at it.

"What are you doing? We don't need it! We have about 27 minutes to get back down," said Left Evelina.

"Right." We heard voices growing louder around the corner. I panicked and tried to fit the suit back in the briefcase.

"Odd, we couldn't find those people who wanted to talk to us..."

"Yeah, I hope they get ahold of us eventually, it seemed urgent."

"Speedwalk away. Don't look suspicious," said Right Evelina.

"The suit! It won't fit back in!" The Evelinas tried to stuff it back in with me but it wouldn't fit. We saw the shadows of those three Kerbals about to round the corner to the chambers. Evelina grabbed the briefcase and tried to conceal it with her body. We all speedwalked off, eventually breathing sighs of relief when we passed the exit. We were back in the main hub area of the orbital ring. It was still night where we were, but that didn't diminish the wonderful view we had of the planet below.

"So which one of you two are going home?" Kevin asked the Evelinas.

"And today on this round of choose your girlfriend," joked Left Evelina. The right Evelina laughed along.

"On the left, Evelina. On the right, Evelina," she said.

"We're probably down to 26 minutes."

"Right. It's me," said the one on the right. "I'm going back, sadly."

"I wish we had more time together," said Left Evelina.

"Me too."

"Hug? Wait, no."

"Group hug." The four of us all hugged, probably longer than we should have."

"And Kevin is coming back, right?" asked Right Evelina.

"It's a temporary name!"

"Right. I know we'd all love to say goodbye more, but we really have to go," said Left Evelina.

"Right. Good luck, you two."

"You two too!" We hugged again and waved goodbye, turning our backs on each other.

 

========== Star Ethan (with Left Evelina)

 

"Wow, that was weird," she said.

"We should get this suit back in the suitcase and leave it in the hall."

"Right, good idea. We don't really have a time limit any more, unless we are found out..."

 

========== Kevin (with Right Evelina)

 

"Wow, that was weird," she said.

"Yeah. I know."

"Do you ever get used to it?"

"To a certain extent, but not completely."

"Alright then. Elevator time."

"You think we can just sneak in again?"

"Probably. Hopefully there is a flight back to the KSC... Err, HSC in time." We both made for the elevator. In next to no time, we were descending with 24 minutes left.

 

========== Star-Ethan

"That was a weird suit! It was like automatically adjusting and stuff! I wonder, would it have changed to fit me?"

"Interesting."

"But that's besides the point. So, what's next?"

"Well, we need to... obtain... passage to the council chamber, somehow. We could sneak places, or we could find a suitable ship and steal it."

"Stealing a spaceship is a whole level above sneaking onto a space elevator."

"Yeah... But you know... We do know someone who happens to own a lot of spaceships?"

"Oh... Do you remember where he lives?"

"I reread my diary entry on it a few days ago... If memory serves me correct, Ring 5, Berth 3361? 81? Somewhere in there."

"So we're going to steal a spaceship from the person that saved our lives?"

"Unfortunately, maybe."

 

========== Kevin

After a rapid descent through Kerbin's atmosphere, we were at a loss for how exactly we would get back to the space center... The airport was huge. It took us several minutes to find the schedules and stuff, and several minutes longer to get to the right gate. We under fifteen minutes left at this point, we were cutting it dangerously close. We got to the gate, snuck through, and... No. Nonononono. It was the exact same pilot as before! We couldn't pull the same trick twice!

So you're not really supposed to sneak into a cargo bay in human aircraft especially, but we had spacesuits on. What could go wrong?

I mean, a lot. But we were in the plane, on the way back to the space center, and that's what counted.

 

========== Star-Ethan

8bPpo2c.png

The ring transfer car glided smoothly to a stop on its rails after a harrowing magnetically confined journey between rings 7 and 5. It was now Ring 7, not Ring 5, that disconcertingly flew past at a relative velocity of over two kilometers per second.

We recognized the docked ship and we knew we were in the right place. There was a click and a hiss. The hatch between the transfer vehicle and the ring opened and we floated through. A bit of slightly confused meandering later, we had arrived at the entrance to Samley's residence. There appeared to be an intercom-like device. I pressed the button.

"Hello?" I called out. "Is Samley Kerman, Spaceship Collector here?" There was a pause.

"He's not home, is he?" asked Evelina.

"Maybe not. I could be working this thing wrong." the door clicked and swung open.

"Hello, there! Samley Kerman here, at your service! You two look strangely familiar, have we met?"

"Yes, Samley, we are Ethan and Evelina," said Evelina. "You rescued us and Jebediah a while back after our spaceship exploded while on a suborbital trajectory."

"Oh, right! It has been so long! That was a fun day. I'm happy to see you again! What can I do for you?"

"Well, we were just thinking about fast spaceships," said Evelina. "We know a bit, of course, but since we were up here, we thought, hey, we know of a spaceship collector, why not ask him?"

"You want me to show you my ships?" he asked.

"If it wouldn't be too much trouble," I replied.

"Trouble? Oh, no! None at all, it would be a great joy to present my collection! Please, come in! So, speed? Are you thinking atmospheric speed, warp speed, sustained speed, or what sort of speed?"

"Well, hypothetically, if we needed to cross the galaxy as quickly as possible, how fast could we do it?"

"Oooohhh. Well, I have a warp ship designed in the 32nd generation of Erindunqui development, which is capable of an extremely high sustained velocity, and could complete the trip in just a few days, perhaps! Oh, and I have a quantum drive I have been working on! No ship at this point, but it could cross the galaxy even faster, though not by much! It has begun to show its age, sadly. Oh, and I have something else!" Samley giddily led us towards his hangar and workshop, bubbling over with information about the various ships he owned.

 

========== Kevin (I need a new name)

 

bSa8QiQ.png

The aircraft slowed to a stop. Hiding behind some various cargo and luggage, we waited for the door to open. Time was up. We had been out for too long. We heard the click of the door opening and peered out of our hiding spot. There was a single Kerbal unloading the luggage.

"Excuse me, sir," I announced, standing up, "We're from the department of airworthiness and this has been a surprise routine flight inspection."

"Department of airworthiness? I've never heard of that!"

"We are a relatively new organization," said Evelina. We both began to briskly move towards the door.

"Hey, can I see some ID by any chance?"

"Thank you for your cooperation, we would but we have to catch our next flight for inspection!" I yelled over my shoulder as we ran down the cargo ramp. We immediately began sprinting towards the administration building. "How long ago were we supposed to be there?" I asked Evelina.

"Three minutes."

"Drat. Is anyone following us?" We turned around.

OXww9Bz.png

"Nope. Run!" A few precious minutes later we were at the front door of the administration building. We took a deep breath and looked at each other.

"How believable will this be?" she asked.

"Not believable enough, but, well, the longer we take the less believable it is going to be. Maybe they haven't alerted everyone yet."

"Maybe. Here goes nothing." We walked forwards, pushing the doors open.

"YOU LOST TRACK OF THEM!" shouted Jebediah Kerman, in front of the desk.

"We're putting out a wider search order as we speak."

"DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I STRESSED THEIR IMPORTANCE?!?!?"

"Uh, hi," I said. Jebediah Kerman and the person at the desk.

"WHERE IN THE WORLD WERE YOU?"

"Outside," I said.

"YOU RAN OFF!"

"We got bored and went outside to stargaze."

"YOU'RE BOTH PANTING AND YOU THREATENED HIM WITH A KNIFE!"

"What are you talking about?"

"THEY SAW BLOOD! ON THE KNIFE!"

"Are you sure?" Evelina took out the knife. Every Kerbal in the room except for Jeb backed away in fear as she popped out the blade... A different one, a clean one. "No blood here, I don't know what you're talking about." She quickly put it away.

"But... But... Alright. We searched outside. Where were you really?"

"The window shut and we couldn't get back in. We tapped on it for a while, but we couldn't get back. We went up to the roof after that to sit around and talk, you know. And we realized we'd been gone some time so we ran back, that's why we were panting."

"We searched the roof."

"Obviously not when we were up there."

"Aaaagghhhhh... I don't believe you. I'm sorry, but I don't. Who did you talk to? Where did you run to? Did you talk to your friends, Evelina? The mission controllers? That piano Kerbal? That Australian guy from the construction process?"

"No, we were on the roof, sitting, talking, stargazing, breathing in the fresh Kerbin air," I said.

"For an entire hour? Without letting us know? Through the panic, and guards shouting, walking around the building with flashlights and megaphones?"

"We were next to the air conditioning unit, it was pretty loud and our view was obstructed It would have been pretty easy for us to miss them, and it would have been pretty easy for them to miss us."

"You're hiding something, I know it!" shouted Jebediah, now up in our faces. "You two have been nothing but trouble and you'll never cease. Tell me or else we're going maximum security! Copying a human prison! You'll never be out of our sight and you'll never see your friends again!"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jebediah!" I protested.

"Well, um, actually..." Evelina looked at her feet and nervously fiddled with her hair.

"What?"

"We weren't just talking... We were..."

"What?"

"We were making out."

"Making out?"

"Um, yes." She looked down in her feet and her face reddened. "I guess that's why we didn't hear you, we were... distracted."

"By Moho, for Bop's sake, oh my freaking Jool!!! Now? Now???"

"Well we didn't on the Legacy II because we thought we weren't going to see each other for a long time and thought it would ruin things," I said, trying to feign nervousness, embarrassment, and guilt. Wait, actually I had all three already, but for different reasons, so it wasn't that difficult... "But, you know, stuff happened, and now we're going to be together for quite a bit longer." I looked over at her and sheepishly smiled.

"And that was pretty much the first time we've been alone since we've seen each other. Not counting the five minutes in the hospital... But that was much too soon, of course."

"I've wanted to kiss her for what, how many months now?" I walked over to her and grabbed her hand. She exaggeratedly pushed her head onto my shoulder.

"For Jool's moons, cut it out!" shouted Jeb. "Dilfrei, get these two to the proper holding chamber in the debriefing complex, I don't care whether it is ready for them or not! Get them tracking devices! If they mess with them, make them implants! If they have to be transported I want ten of our best Kerbals surrounding them! Don't let them out of your sight for ONE MOMENT!"

"Even when they're making out, sir?"

"Especially when they're making out! And you two! I will not say this again. DON'T. RUN. OFF! I came all the way back from an important information session with the planners for the m... Important thing... Because I thought you two had decided that your senses of adventure were more important than the information you can give us!"

"We're sorry, Jeb," I said. "We let you down. What we did was stupid, and we weren't thinking straight."

"Sorry doesn't save the universe."

"For what it's worth, Jeb, I'm sorry too," said Evelina. "Extremely sorry. We shouldn't have done that."

"Get them down there. Now." A few Kerbals walked over to us and gently guided us towards a staircase.

"Jeb, we let you down. I'm sorry. I will do my best not to do it again." Jeb grabbed my shoulder and forcefully turned me around.

"You weren't even supposed to be on the Voyager mission in the first place. The original person's mother was injured. The only reason you were on the Voyager instead of Isabela Jeanette, who we carefully calculated would be an amazing astronaut, or even instead of Noah Brown, who was supposed to be a replacement, is because I decided on a whim that the younger generation would need some more inspiration. I only knew of you because you RAN OFF in the middle of the night and taught a Kerbal piano! And then you found me orbiting above Pol, ready to try to save the universe, because you RAN OFF! The only reason we had to abandon the Memories was because I overstressed it trying to escape from that homecoming party. I wouldn't have had to spend all that time looking for a new ship, potentially blowing my cover, I wouldn't have had to go to Earth, I wouldn't have gotten into that battle over Jool in the first place, I wouldn't have had to deal with Evelina, her knife, your obstructive romance, and who knows what else if you hadn't RAN OFF when we landed back on Kerbin! And now you RAN OFF again, causing a panic among those that know of what is coming, just to suck face! Just think, had you humans not rioted and rebelled all over the planet, Isabela Jeanette's mother would not have been injured, and she would have gotten the trip of a lifetime who would have not RAN OFF, instead of an obstructive, selfish, clumsy, clown!"

"Jeb - "

"I called you my friend, but now I realize you've been a thorn in my side this whole time. If you say you won't let me down again... Prove it, Ethan Edwards." He let go of me and stormed out the front door. Everyone in the room stared at the door, shocked.

"That's the maddest I've ever seen him," one Kerbal remarked.

"Is he okay?" asked another.

"We need to get him a therapist."

"He's so busy right now though!"

"Is someone so angry fit to be our leader?" The concerned comments continued as we were marched into the basement. We passed several secure checkpoints, and several heavy doors. I was put in one room, and Evelina was put in another. I only had a few minutes or so to wallow in my concern before there was a knock at my door. They didn't wait for a response before opening it.

"In an hour or two, the mind extraction machine will be ready."

"Mind extraction? Are you going to take my brain out?"

"No. It simply reads all of your memories. It can be accurate at times, but it isn't perfect, so we will still interview you often and attempt to stimulate memories. The machine will be a good start, though."

"Oh. Okay. Thank you for letting me know."

"We have time, though. Your first questioner is here. A Hiuun psychologist. I'm here to take you to the interview room."

"...Right. We're calling it interviewing now, not debriefing, interrogation, or - " a thought struck me. "Wait. The machine. Does it read all of your memories?"

"Well, it can, but we'll probably just read the sections surrounding the battle."

"Okay." I was internally relieved. If they decided to read everything, they would know about everything that happened in the past hour and a half... About how we ran off... About what really happened... About how I, again, let Jebediah down.

 

========== Star-Ethan

 

4XJTgZs.png

"And that's how you work the RCS."

"Wow, this is very interesting, Samley!" said Evelina as Samley docked the craft back to the ring.

"I'm very proud of this one! It was piloted by the great Marcney Kerman, in the great Galactic League, back when it was still up! In this very ship, he won two Galactic Cups!"

"So this is a racing ship?"

"Precisely! For this league, contestants would start on an atmospheric planet, and would have to race to space. Once there, they would activate their jump drives and race to a planet around a mid-range star, which would have properties unknown to the racers before the race... It could be a rocky planet with a station you needed to dock at to receive the codes necessary to find the next jump target... Of course, in these ships, refueling isn't really necessary unless you are doing some insane travel, but the option is there and for early races it was required... But that's besides the point. It could be a rocky planet with a space station. It could be an atmospheric world with a runway. It could be an aerial refueling platform above an atmospheric world... It was varied, and each planet would have unique challenges! Oh, in a later league, Galactic League Plus, they made the worlds more extreme! Ocean, lava, mountains for VTOL, gas giants, low above stars, neutron stars, it was crazy!"

"Wow. I wish all races were that epic!" I said, genuinely in awe. I wanted to hear more.

"And after a certain number of planets were flown to, there would be one last planet, or even planet system, with an elaborate flying course and finish line!"

"So, uh, these jump drives," cut in Evelina, trying to bring back the conversation to details about the ship. "How do they work, exactly?"

"It's understandable that you don't know, they aren't really used much any more... A quantum crystal, distantly related to Illasticonian crystals, is decomposed, and can propel the ship through a specific quantum space at extremely high velocity, as long as the engine is always firing. The quantum paths are attracted to a specific type of energy, which can be emitted from beacons, which were what was used for the races. You could fly without the beacons, but not in this ship."

"Why not?"

"It has to be as bare-bones as possible for the races. Every gram counts. This ship really doesn't have the equipment for navigating in deep space, only for low and medium orbital flight, atmospheric and non-atmospheric flight, and jumps between beacons. Oh, and also each jump can only be so far... The fuel cartridges deplete after each jump and can't be swapped out mid jump. They automatically swap after, though."

"How many cartridges does the ship carry?" asked Evelina. "And how far will that much get you?"

"Oh, we have about 200 left I'd think? Not very many were made originally, as they are custom for this ship. This whole ship is ridiculously custom. It was terrible trying to find replacement parts for even the simplest things! More than enough to go across the galaxy and back if you use them efficiently. It doesn't matter how far the jump is as long as it is below maximum, it will use up the whole cartridge."

"Are those beacons still there?" I asked. "Like if someone wanted to go across the galaxy in this thing, could they today?"

"Of course! The technology is derived from general identification beacon technology. A lot of stars have them!"

"Cool! So how would one pilot the ship to one of these beacons?"

"I've only done it a few times myself, but I'd be happy to show you!"

 

==========

 

"I'm so stupid," thought Jebediah Kerman. "I blew up. I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't have said that. I overreacted. What was different this time? Why am I so... so... angry? So unleaderlike? So non-Kerbal? So... So... So... Human?"

"Should I apologize? Am I sorry? I don't even know what I think now..."

 

==========

 

"This is all so fascinating, Samley!" said Evelina enthusiastically.

"I'm glad I can make you happy!" something on Samley beeped. "Oh. It's a client. I'm sorry, you two, but I'm afraid I have to go."

"Aww."

"It's a shame, I was going to let you fly the thing around with RCS for a bit."

"Really?" I asked."

"Yeah. Sadly, though, I'm afraid we don't have time."

"Aww. Ethan has flown ships on his own before. Can he take it out? For just a few minutes?"

"Oh, you have, Ethan? That's great!"

"Thank you, Samley! It would be interesting to jet around for a bit."

"Well... I guess you can. But bring it right back, okay? And don't get outside the excursion radius! If you go out of that, you could hit a tower and the whole ship would be destroyed, and you with it! Fortunately, there are barriers, shields, and diverters so you don't take out the tower, and the entire orbital ring system... That would be a true disaster."

"Are you for real, Samley? You're really going to let me fly it? You're telling the truth?"

"Do I look like a human to you?" Ouucchhhh.......

"Aww, sweet! Thank you so much, Samley!"

"No problem, Ethan! Anything for a friend of Jeb!" I winced a little at that statement... But I tried not to show it. In seconds, Samley had exited the craft and closed the hatch.

"Well," said Evelina. "That was... easier... than I expected it to be. By a lot."

"He's letting two people he has only met twice fly a valuable antique spaceship. Unattended. I get altruism, but that's stupid."

"Well, we'll take what we can get."

"Here goes nothing," I said as I undocked the ship.

4gyrNRc.png

"Okay, it looks like we have enough range to reach a star called SK-Q4-3A-72D-261. Rolls right off the tongue. That is in the right direction... We should be near the center of the galaxy in a few dozen jumps, by the looks of things if I'm looking at this right." Evelina loaded the information into the targeting computer.

"Right, then." I turned the ship to face the star. I didn't have to be exact, but I had to be very close.

foRVngV.png

"Okay, maneuvering thrusters look good, main forward fine maneuvering engine looks good, main engine looks good... Powering up the jump drive."

9BKV1dh.png

"I'm so sorry, Samley," I said.

"Thank you Samley," said Evelina.

"We're actually going to do this... We're actually stealing a spaceship."

"Yup, looks like it. Did he ever tell us what it's name was?"

"No, I don't think he did. Got any ideas?" The drive began to warm up and glow purple.

vhJYGnT.png

"Hmm, let me think..."

xvlmTVV.png

We emerged from the shadow of the rings.

"We are ready to jump," I reported.

"Hold on..."

"Here goes nothing... Geronimo, maybe?"

"No." I commanded the docking port to close.

mEGYnrV.png

I pressed the jump button.

"How about..."

"Initiating jump in 5... 4... 3... 2..."

"Abracadabra!"

uKTK4Cw.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Ultimate Steve
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  • 4 weeks later...

This better not die. Not yet! It's too amazing to die! :D So I'll bump this up to front page (if it isn't already, I found this by clicking your signature).

@Ultimate Steve , good luck with finishing the story-- there are so many ways I can see happening! 

(And also, just so you know, the more recent chapters have been h u g e. They don't have to be as big, if it's easier to split them up.)

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Hey sorry for not responding as quickly as I should! Life is busy.

On 10/6/2019 at 6:17 PM, Kerbalstar said:

That’s a good looking corsage @Ultimate Steve! Glad you had fun! 

Me too! A few weeks ago we had a winter dance. Sadly I didn't have time to make a successor.

On 11/17/2019 at 12:43 PM, obney kerman said:

The whole idea of the species being able to control anything and everything is really scary. How do we know they aren't controlling Jeb? Evelina? The Voyager? Cheng? Galactus the cow? Is anyone not under their contro

How do we know The Species isn't controlled by The Species??!?!?!/11/!1/!/1?

On 11/30/2019 at 12:54 PM, The Minmus Derp said:

THIS
IS
AMAZING! 

This should be made into a feature-length film/series!

True, I have thought of this, and I have already set certain chapters to specific songs in my head. However, if it ever happens, it will be long after I write the final draft (this is the rough draft, I decided that when I reread the first few chapters and saw so many inconsistencies and plotlines I never developed, many of the characters are fairly flat, etc), and it certainly wouldn't be just me doing it if it happened. I can't even be bothered to download/make all of the planet packs needed for the next chapter so it will be mostly text, so if I can't do that then I certainly can't make a quality film.

On 12/23/2019 at 10:09 PM, LittleBitMore said:

This better not die. Not yet! It's too amazing to die! :D So I'll bump this up to front page (if it isn't already, I found this by clicking your signature).

@Ultimate Steve , good luck with finishing the story-- there are so many ways I can see happening! 

(And also, just so you know, the more recent chapters have been h u g e. They don't have to be as big, if it's easier to split them up.)

Thank you for the positive feed back and wishes! I hope I finish this as well. My goal was to finish it this year, but that sadly won't happen. My goal is now to finish it before summer starts. If it somehow slips to after college starts then it may never get finished...

I will see about shortening the chapters.

23 hours ago, Kerbalstar said:

Once again I was two chapters behind! Keep up the great work @Ultimate Steve!

Thank you!

 

 

I wish to do one more chapter before break is over, but unfortunately all of the college applications are due REALLY SOON and I'm really behind the game on that. Also I've been working on a castle:

2019-12-25_17.55.15.png?width=1189&height=655

Completely survival except for a few items spawned in by admins, but those aren't really that important, stuff like beacon base blocks and overpowered enchanted tridents. I've been working on and off on it for a bit over a year, and the exterior of the castle is over half done at this point. There are going to be a few smaller towers, a walled entranceway with a drawbridge, a lower enclosure (in the back) and a giant watchtower on the mountain on the right. Also dungeons and details.

The interior probably will never be finished. Until recently many of the floors didn't even have proper staircases.

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AND SPEAKING OF INCONSISTENCIES....

I have been using the terms Ziquunodian Crystal and Illasticonian Crystal interchangeably... Ziquunodian was the original, but I've been using Illasticonian recently. It would be too much work to change every Illasticonian to Ziquunodian, so I think I'll change the Ziquunodian to Illasticonian.

This does present one problem, the Ziquunods and the Illasticonians are supposed to be equals in the galaxy, but the story has referenced the Illasticonians many more times.

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15 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

 

On 11/30/2019 at 10:54 AM, The Minmus Derp said:

THIS
IS
AMAZING! 

This should be made into a feature-length film/series!

True, I have thought of this, and I have already set certain chapters to specific songs in my head. However, if it ever happens, it will be long after I write the final draft (this is the rough draft, I decided that when I reread the first few chapters and saw so many inconsistencies and plotlines I never developed, many of the characters are fairly flat, etc), and it certainly wouldn't be just me doing it if it happened. I can't even be bothered to download/make all of the planet packs needed for the next chapter so it will be mostly text, so if I can't do that then I certainly can't make a quality film.

I have too many CDs of useless extra ambiance music which I could use for backgrounds of specific types of films (mainly Stranger Things music). I'm not good at animating, or recording, or directing, or anything like that, but I can be an audio expert, creating sound effects and assigning dramatic music to special scenes!

Maybe I'm hoping for too much, but I certainly think I can do my part well enough. I have a good knowhow of music, sound effects, sound editing, and other things. I'm 80% sure this idea will never, ever happen, but I'm certainly game for trying.

What I'm trying to say, is I have a special KSP community project for all of us to help out on.

@Ultimate Steve , are you willing to help us devise a non-profit community Voyage film/series?

I know this'll probably fail, but no harm in trying, right? So, the best idea for video is probably animating, right? Maybe hand-drawn pictures instead of film, to save time.

I regret this decision since I'm going to come off as hopeful, immature, and naive, but this might just be something awesome here, if we all pitch in and really try...

Edited by LittleBitMore
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11 minutes ago, LittleBitMore said:

I have too many CDs of useless extra ambiance music which I could use for backgrounds of specific types of films (mainly Stranger Things music). I'm not good at animating, or recording, or directing, or anything like that, but I can be an audio expert, creating sound effects and assigning dramatic music to special scenes!

Maybe I'm hoping for too much, but I certainly think I can do my part well enough. I have a good knowhow of music, sound effects, sound editing, and other things. I'm 80% sure this idea will never, ever happen, but I'm certainly game for trying.

What I'm trying to say, is I have a special KSP community project for all of us to help out on.

@Ultimate Steve , are you willing to help us devise a non-profit community Voyage film/series?

I know this'll probably fail, but no harm in trying, right? So, the best idea for video is probably animating, right? Maybe hand-drawn pictures instead of film, to save time.

I regret this decision since I'm going to come off as hopeful, immature, and naive, but this might just be something awesome here, if we all pitch in and really try...

I appreciate the spirit but I would strongly advise waiting until at least the rough draft is done before doing anything like this, and I would even prefer to wait until after revision if that ever happens. It can be hard to set something up without knowing the ending, and it's good to rewrite stuff to better fit that ending once you have it.

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2 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

I appreciate the spirit but I would strongly advise waiting until at least the rough draft is done before doing anything like this, and I would even prefer to wait until after revision if that ever happens. It can be hard to set something up without knowing the ending, and it's good to rewrite stuff to better fit that ending once you have it.

I can see why, but I'm also a little upset about waiting that long. I don't know when it'll end, or when revisions will end, and this worries me because I don't know if this will ever finish, and if there'll ever be a chance to start this project. I really hope this'll survive, but I'm not sure-- you don't profit from this, so it's not one of those things people normally feel extreme motivation to complete. In fact, I think it's likely that you drop this project in the future, before it's ready. I really hope that doesn't happen, even though I'm doubtful it can go another way.

I could go on for some time, but long story short: I'm paranoid about this never being in a state where it can be film/series-ified. Which is why I'm slightly uncomfortable with the "wait to do it until that very, very distant point of time", because that very, very distant point in time might not ever happen.

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17 minutes ago, LittleBitMore said:

I can see why, but I'm also a little upset about waiting that long. I don't know when it'll end, or when revisions will end, and this worries me because I don't know if this will ever finish, and if there'll ever be a chance to start this project. I really hope this'll survive, but I'm not sure-- you don't profit from this, so it's not one of those things people normally feel extreme motivation to complete. In fact, I think it's likely that you drop this project in the future, before it's ready. I really hope that doesn't happen, even though I'm doubtful it can go another way.

I could go on for some time, but long story short: I'm paranoid about this never being in a state where it can be film/series-ified. Which is why I'm slightly uncomfortable with the "wait to do it until that very, very distant point of time", because that very, very distant point in time might not ever happen.

True, and your concerns are valid. If you really want to go ahead with this then I can help but be aware that the beginnings of the rough and final drafts will be different, not in any major ways, but in many small ways.

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1 minute ago, Ultimate Steve said:

True, and your concerns are valid. If you really want to go ahead with this then I can help but be aware that the beginnings of the rough and final drafts will be different, not in any major ways, but in many small ways.

I think that I'll try waiting, but if you don't post a chapter for long enough, I might take it as a sign of "oh no, the story died, time to go make it a series". However, now might be a good time to assemble a cast, such as voice actors, directors, and animators.

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I might be able to help with music...

but we would have to do the entire story again because you weren't recording, just taking screenshots here and there. 

But hey, now we can use Spectra!

 

 

can someone make Illasticonia with Kopernicus?

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2 hours ago, The Minmus Derp said:

I might be able to help with music...

Sure, you can help with music, but it's probably easier of we're all working on different parts of the series. If you want to help with the music, that's totally fine, but it'd probably organize better with only one person working on a category of things at any time (excluding voice actors, of course).

2 hours ago, The Minmus Derp said:

but we would have to do the entire story again because you weren't recording, just taking screenshots here and there. 

I was thinking we'd not do screenshots or recordings, but instead animations or drawn pictures instead of KSP footage. KSP footage will be too lengthy and annoying for whoever's recording it. Plus we'd have to do it without the HUD, which the recorder would have a super duper fun time with.

2 hours ago, The Minmus Derp said:

But hey, now we can use Spectra!

can someone make Illasticonia with Kopernicus?

*searches up Spectra*

No, we're probably not going to need visual mods if we decide on not using footage and instead animating. But if we do decide on using footage (which, for the recorder's sake, I hope we don't), that sounds like a good visual mod.

And as for Kopernicus, I once tried to make some planets with Kopernicus. There was Pinbod, a tiny asteroid orbiting Tylo which I gave up on once I realized it was somewhere between Dres and Duna and exploded anything that entered its SOI. There was also an unnamed purple gas giant orbiting outside of Eeloo's orbit, which had an atmosphere like a brick wall and a nonfunctional texture, neither of which I managed to fix. So don't hire me for that job.

Also, what do you all think of making a topic for this, so we can assign cast members and stuff?

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@LittleBitMore, @The Minmus Derp, personally, I think we should wait, like @Ultimate Steve wants, but... once it’s done (which I guess this serves as more motivation to), I will be happy to be a voice actor for the movie. I can’t do anything else, but I don’t have a half bad voice. :) Anyway, let’s wait until this gets finished and @Ultimate Steve tells us what he wants to revise. Movies always go better when the author works with the creators though. Ie, Harry Potter Vs. Percy Jackson movies.

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1 minute ago, Kerbalstar said:

@LittleBitMore, @The Minmus Derp, personally, I think we should wait, like @Ultimate Steve wants,

I'm game for this, since I'm pretty sure this was already the plan.

2 minutes ago, Kerbalstar said:

but... once it’s done (which I guess this serves as more motivation to), I will be happy to be a voice actor for the movie. I can’t do anything else, but I don’t have a half bad voice.

Who will you voice audition as?

3 minutes ago, Kerbalstar said:

Anyway, let’s wait until this gets finished and @Ultimate Steve tells us what he wants to revise. Movies always go better when the author works with the creators though. Ie, Harry Potter Vs. Percy Jackson movies.

So, that's what's wrong with the Percy Jackson movies.

I agree. I think, when the time is right, a fitting role for @Ultimate Steve could be the director, and help make sure everything's going as planned when it's supposed to. However, it's his choice and not mine. Whatever he chooses, I really, really hope he supports this once it's ready.

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Just now, LittleBitMore said:

I'm game for this, since I'm pretty sure this was already the plan.

Who will you voice audition as?

So, that's what's wrong with the Percy Jackson movies.

I agree. I think, when the time is right, a fitting role for @Ultimate Steve could be the director, and help make sure everything's going as planned when it's supposed to. However, it's his choice and not mine. Whatever he chooses, I really, really hope he supports this once it's ready.

Voice audition? I don’t know, any male character, I guess. Whoever our fearless director thinks I would work best as. I agree about @Ultimate Steve being director though!

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Some notes:

In my head, a Voyage movie/series would be a mixture of live action and ksp gameplay (or animation if we have a huge budget, but well done KSP sets may be faster), involving well animated Kerbals and lots of green screen. Unfortunately this involves having actual actors in the same place and probably sets. And we would have to deal with zero gravity. The KSP of course would be loaded up on visual mods. Not quite nassault level but better than stock. And also we'd need spacesuit costumes.

Unfortunately we don't have any budget whatsoever.

Full animation could also work but I'd imagine the style would probably have to be a quicker and non photorealistic one if we ever want to finish it.

If we get serious about this, I don't know if I would be doing scripting or not, especially with college coming up, but if I don't I would like to at least consult on the script, as there is a lot I would change. This is less necessary if we wait until revision.

There are some parts that would probably be taken out to make the story flow better and to reduce runtime.

Not directly movie related, but an example of something that was in the first chapters that has changed: The council chamber has have been overhauled and is now completely different from it's description in the prologue. The council room is more or less the same but the station is way cooler and way bigger.

Started work on chapter 28 last night. Can't say what the total will come out to be, but we are in the last quarter. Can't say when 28 will come. Not this year, as there are a bunch of application deadlines and I'm going way too slow. Plus new year's and stuff.

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I think this is an awesome idea! If we are using KSP footage a mod like YARK-MFD would help quite a bit, it allows you to put flight data on a second monitor. I have helped develop that project and would be happy to add any features you think would make it better.

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