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

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Everyone.... calm... don't poke him, please...

If you look at his current location, it says on vacation until 6/11... that's still 2 days from now.

He'll be back.

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On 6/9/2017 at 7:59 AM, Just Jim said:

Everyone.... calm... don't poke him, please...

If you look at his current location, it says on vacation until 6/11... that's still 2 days from now.

He'll be back.

Can I poke him now?

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Woah, hold your horses! :D I appreciate your desire for more of the story and I will do my best to ensure part 8 comes out at the end of the week at the latest.

However, I've got a lot on my plate right now:

  • Unpacking
  • Mowing our huge lawn that has been growing for eleven days straight
  • Hanging up all my artwork for real (It's a ramshackle arrangement right now, I got home from vacation, and a lot of it had fallen off of the wall)
  • Tons of other small stuff
  • Getting a job. I've been selected for this awesome concert band Europe trip but the cost is somewhere around ~$8000 and I need to make that money by this time next year. Not really looking forward to my first job...


So, I'll be back eventually!

@Just Jim when I read your post I thought of this:


Image result for i'll be back



Edited by Ultimate Steve
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NOTE: This chapter contains EVA Kerbals who are supposed to be humans. At the time I did not have (and I still don't) have any mod that changes skin color, so for now all of the humans look exactly like Kerbals. Just imagine them as their human counterparts and go with it!
NOTE2: (after I finished writing it) There is a bad storm right outside and I have internet problems and word processor problems and Chapter 8 will not have been through a thorough proofreading.
NOTE3: The storms getting really bad, there will be no proofreading until sometime tomorrow. Read at your own risk!
Chapter Eight - Ground Control to Major Tom Ethan

"Hey, Jeb?"

"Yes, Ethan?"

"Are there other species on Kerbin besides Kerbals, trees, grass, and cacti?"

"Not on Kerbin. Under Kerbin. Remember, we crashed a giant nuclear powered spaceship here, and the surface is still uninhabitable due to the radiation. We cannot walk on the surface without spacesuits. Your species, however, is resistant to the radiation and will be perfectly fine provided you don't stay more than two of your decades."

"Do you have anything like giraffes?"

"I'm pretty sure we don't."



It certainly has been a while. We had an incident with one of the Whack-A-Kerbal spheres taking out a window. We had to wear spacesuits until it was fixed. I'm told this stuff happens pretty often with the Kerbals.

So, where was I? I was onstage just told that I was going to get to explore an alien planet and its five moons on board a ramshackle ship that isn't even finished yet - and I was launching in just a few hours.

So, naturally, I fainted.

A while later I woke up outside, lying in the grass (is it laying or lying? I have no idea). I remember opening my eyes and seeing the stars thinking I was still on Earth. Still half asleep, I subconsciously tried to locate the big dipper. When I couldn't find that, I thought to myself "That's odd," and then tried to find Orion. I failed, and then tried to locate Venus. Obviously, it wasn't there. I started to wonder why I was outside. And why the moon was so freakishly big. And why there was a giant building to my left. And why there was a strange girl who looked oddly familiar - 

"Hey, you're up!" said Evelina. Suddenly, I remembered why the stars were so weird.

"Did I dream that?"

"Which part?"

"Well, I got selected to go into space, and then a giant purple squid attacked the space center and Harry Potter defeated it with his magic wand..."

"The space part is real," she said with a giggle, "But the purple squid was probably a dream."

"Did I miss anything?" I asked as I sat up.

"Well, besides the fact that you're going to Jool and everyone on the planet - including me  - wishes they were you."

"If I could take everyone along for the ride, I certainly would."

"Aww, you're too kind. So, what exactly should I be doing right now?"

"According to the instructions Jeb gave after you passed out, you should report to that weird arc-shaped building - the "Astronaut Center" or something. You need to get a spacesuit, and a whole bunch of other things. You launch in less than two hours, so you should get going. Oh, and also, you should call your parents." Right. I had completely forgotten about them. Stupid me. Whose parents would let them go to another planet at the age of fifteen?

"Do you want to show me the way there?"

"Sorry, Ethan," she said. "I was voted in as Capcom for the launch. I have to report to mission control in negative five minutes. If I could I would."

"Well, I guess this is goodbye, then," I said to her.

"For a few years at least," she replied.

"Well, I look forward to the day when I see you again, Evelina!"

"Me as well, Ethan!"

"If we were on Earth," I proceeded nervously, "This would be the time we would exchange numbers. However, I don't think that applies as I'm going to be on a spaceship and you're CAPCOM." She chuckled.

"Well, I will surely miss you! Godspeed, Ethan. Bring me back a moon rock!"

"Which moon?"

"Oh, any old moon will do." she moved forward - and she hugged me.



If you're one of those popular jock kids, then you're probably saying "So what? I hug and kiss hot girls all the time." But, hey, my name is Ethan Edwards. I am the biggest nerd in my entire town, and to date I have only ever been hugged by four girls, including Evelina. Never been to a dance, never been on a date, never kissed a girl. According to my guidance counselor, I have low self esteem. 9 times out of 10 when I walk past girls I like in the hallway I open my mouth to say something and then never say anything. Then as soon as I round the corner I facepalm and mutter "coward" and "idiot" under my breath. When it comes to that sort of stuff, I am utterly pathetic.

So, this is big for me. Unfortunately, I would not see her for another few years. Coward. Idiot. I should have done more.

Sorry. I completely derailed my thrilling outer space adventure story to tell a sad love story that is only relevant to one person. My hand hovers over the "delete" key. I have already tried to write this part once before and, in my opinion, neither of them turned out well.


Oh, who cares. I'm leaving it in. I spent a good hour and a half writing that.


Anyway, back to the story.


After I said goodbye to Evelina, I walked over to the astronaut complex. The Kerbals there were very kind and considerate. My spacesuit was made quickly, and they stuck me in a centerfuge for a few minutes.

The interesting part was the packing. I was allowed a few personal items on the trip. The Kerbals sort of scanned my brain for what I would want most (even though I could have just told them) and ten minutes later they presented me with the coolest synthesizer I've ever seen. Because mass and volume were limiting factors, you couldn't take an actual bulky synthesizer... so, in the space of ten minutes they designed and 3D printed a super thin one with a touch-screen keyboard that would roll up into the space of less than a paper towel roll. It also had over 9,000 sounds loaded into it... I can't imagine needing that many, ever! My synth back home had only 200!

Ideally, I would have an actual grand piano installed in the ship, but, let's get real. That's never going to happen.


The rest of my time spent in that building flew by quickly. It's sort of like when you realize "OH MY GOODNESS THIS IS ACTUALY HAPPENING." Everything became a blur and I don't remember much of that part clearly.

Do you know that one part in every space movie where the astronauts are dramatically walking out to the launch pad in slow motion? Well, I finally got to do that for real! I barely remember that part, however. As I have stated before, it was all a blur.

Suddenly the blur stopped as I found myself with this view:


This is what the rocket looked like from the outside:


As you can see, it has a command pod and two two-person "crew cans." Valentina Kerman, another Kerbal sent to oversee the mission, was in the command pod. Marie and Alonya were in one module, and unfortunately I was stuck in the other one with Cheng.


"Okay, this is Capcom, testing, testing. Can you all hear me?"



"Loud and clear, Evelina!"


Guess which one of those was Cheng?

"I've received an update from the Kerbals. You're not going to like this - you see that you each have a joystick in front of you?" Everyone checked. There was, indeed, a joystick right in front of me. "Okay, um, remember the Kerbals' policy on manual piloting? Well, uh, you four have to pilot the ship."

"I nominate Ethan!" announced Alonya right at the same time I announced "I nominate Alonya!"

"Hold your horses, let me finish!" said Evelina, the Capcom. "Your control inputs will be averaged out and the rocket will be controlled by the average."


"And of course they didn't tell us until now."

"Alyona, take away Marie's controller. She is not qualified - "

"Shut up, Cheng."

"I have a point! You two have flown rocket modules and I'm a fighter pilot! Marie isn't -"

"I was a military engineer, thank you very much!"

"Guys, quit your bickering!" demanded Evelina. "So, this means that if one person pushes the stick all the way to the right, the rocket will turn right at 25% control authority. SAS will only be on if three people put it on, and three people must stage for the rocket to stage. However, anyone may fire the abort system at any time. Huh, that's weird... anyone may also jettison the LES at any time..."

"Everyone, take your hands off of the abort levers!" said Marie.

"We are now at around T-minus two minutes."

"Like, exactly?" I asked.

"Actually, two minutes and twelve seconds," replied Evelina. "There's literally a countdown clock on your console."

"Can you do me a favor?"

"That depends on the favor."

"A few years ago I promised myself that if I ever went into space I would play "The Final Countdown" so it synchronized with the liftoff. If you could start the song at - "

"Sorry, no can do. The Kerbals had the planet vote on a song and they chose "Space Oddity" by David Bowie."

"Oh. Well, that would have been my second choice." The song began playing over my headset.

"Oh, please, turn this stupid song off!"

"Cheng, why do you have to be so negative?"

"Literal millions of people like this song!"

"Some guy named Chris performed this in space!" Nevertheless, Cheng ripped off his headset.

"Uh, Cheng? We sort of need to communicate to get into orbit."

"I'm not going to be bossed around by a ten year old," said Cheng as he slipped his headset back on.


"Thirty seconds," said Evelina. How had it already been a full minute? I tried to concentrate on two things: Making the moment count, and trying to fly right. I let the music fill me ears and closed my eyes. I dramatically placed my right hand on the control stick, engaged SAS, and placed my left hand over the staging button.

"Three... Two... One..."

"This is Ground Control to Majo-"


"Alright, who didn't stage?"

"Wasn't me!"

"Oh, sorry. My fault!"

"Take two!"

"Three! Two! One!" The engines at the base of the rocket roared to life as the rocket began to vibrate. I was slammed into the back of my seat. I could no longer hear the song in my ears over the sound of Liquid Oxygen and RP-1 exploding beneath me.


"WE'RE TILTING!" I screamed.


"SAS MAKES IT WORSE!" exclaimed Marie. We all realized that the SAS was indeed causing the sideways oscillation to increase, and turned it off. lots of screaming followed. We slowly gained altitude, fighting over the controls. Somehow, we managed to make it to booster separation without crashing.


"EVERYONE PRESS STAGE!" Everyone did press stage. Except me. We were shaking around so hard that my hand slipped onto the non-functional RCS button.


That is when the problems started.



"WE ARE FLIPPING OVER!" screamed a terrified Alonya.

"HARD LEFT!" I shouted.

"NO, HARD RIGHT!" shouted Cheng.

"WE'VE PASSED THE POINT OF NO RETURN! LEFT!" I replied, accurately. With full right gimbal we were still turning left. If we could swing around, we could still make it back to prograde - and maybe orbit.

The rocket whipped around insanely fast and my eyeballs nearly came out of my head. We had almost gotten back to prograde, but our spin rate was dropping.


We were too draggy up front. There was no way that we would make it back to prograde. Wait... "anyone may also jettison the LES at any time..." I made a split second decision. My hand found its way to the LES jettison switch. There was a tremendous "BANG!"

Image result for bang

The yaw rate meter approached zero... and then, somehow, we made it back to prograde.



"SHUT UP, CHENG!" Shouted Alonya.


"Cheng?" interrupted Alonya. "If you hadn't noticed, we are not in your home country of North Korea. We're not even on Earth any more. We're not even on Kerbin any more, for Pete's sake! We are nearly in Outer Space!"

I'm pretty sure it was quiet for a few seconds after that. I couldn't see anyone's faces, but I'm pretty sure everyone was either weirded out by Cheng or stifling laughter.

Well, he had asked if I would like to declare anything...





Valentina Kerman sat inside her capsule above the four humans piloting the spaceship. She had enjoyed the rollercoaster of a launch (although she'd been in better) and was fairly surprised they hadn't crashed. But then she had heard Cheng's exclamation. Although she had concluded it was indeed somewhat hilarious, one of the points of this mission was to eliminate political boundaries. Hence, stick the most politically and racially diverse people in a capsule and see if they can work out their differences. This outburst was the opposite of what was supposed to happen. The Kerbals themselves had a policy to completely ban anything related to negative aspects of politics (Section 2.2B of the Official Laws of Kerbin) and it was a rare time that Valentina got to witness anything like this. After later research into human politics, she concluded that it had the potential to be more toxic than unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine, which was saying a lot.





After that, Evelina burst into laughter so loudly that we all had to rip our headsets off. The second stage fired well, but it had no gimbal (why did they choose an aerospike?) so we were constantly trying to keep it from flipping. I'm glad the real Soyuz isn't that dangerous.


We managed to get through the second stage burn without any mishaps. The third stage burned well, and we were in space at that point.



When the third stage engine cut off, I shouted "I AM IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-" and then I was cut off when Cheng vomited. "Eew!"

"What happened?" Asked Alonya.

"Nothing!" proclaimed Cheng. "Nothing at a-" and then he vomited again, this time into the microphone.

"Cheng, did you drop your microphone?" asked Marie.

"I'm about ninety-nine percent sure that's not possible in zero-G," replied Alonya.

"That reminds me of a story I heard," I began. "This one astronaut kept dropping stuff after he got back to Earth, including - "

"BLEAUGH!" vomited Cheng.

"Cheng, at least do it into a bag! It's floating around the cabin!" I said, annoyed and grossed out, but also fairly intrigued by how liquids acted in zero-G.

"You vomited, Cheng?" said Marie. "Hey, Alonya! I won the ten dollar be-BLEAUGH!"

"Two down," I said.

"Wait, so, which way is the spaceship?" asked Marie.

"While you two have been vomiting, I've plotted a maneuver node to the station. Everyone, press stage, set throttle to full, and aim for the blue thing."

"Roger," said Cheng and myself at the same time.



"Sorry!" replied Marie.

"It's not rocket sci - oh."

"Next time, specify which blue thing."

After a few course corrections, a lot more vomiting, and a few tense seconds after I accidentally almost de-orbited us, we ended up at the spaceship.


"Okay, this is the hard part," said Alonya.

"We're just now getting to the hard part? I thought that was when this idiot almost flipped us over," said Cheng.

"Well, we don't have RCS to dock with, and nobody here except for Valentina has any forward facing windows," observed Marie.

"Hey, VALENTINA!" I shouted. "Can one of us switch spots with you?" No response.

"Looks like we're on our own," replied Marie.

"Okay, we can pick a star that's a certain number of degrees away from the docking port, mark it on our navball, and turn that number of degrees. I vote ninety degrees for simplicity."

"Or we could just target the docking port and aim for the pink thing."


"I read up on the Kerbal docking systems. It's really simple, Cheng, the docking ports are literally giant electromagnets. We just have to get within two meters or so and the ports will do the rest."

"Oooh, roasted!"

"No comment."




"They're here!"

"I can see that, Jeb."

"Now, this is the annoying part. We can't talk to them until we exit Kerbin's SOI."

"Wait, what?"

"Yeah, I didn't hear about this!"

"Well, it's true."

"Maybe you could have told us about this sooner?"

"Sorry. It was specifically in the plan that I not tell you until now, Bob."

"Does Val know?"

"Yes, Bill."

"Oh, they've docked!"

"Goodbye for a few days! Don't accidentally say anything!"


So, then the Kerbals didn't talk to us for a while and we were left to work the ship by ourselves. It was a bit weird, four aliens sitting there, not doing anything except watching our every move... sort of like the Mona Lisa. That reminds me, neither Kerbals nor the Mona Lisa have eyebrows.


Next up was the launch of Proton with the "Dragons" module, the one containing the three nuclear engines.


Thankfully, nobody installed the accelerometers upside-down this time.


It was a bit weird, watching a launch happen from space, so far away you can't do anything about it. It seems... distant. Significant, but at the same time, not.

"It's funny how some distance... makes everything seem small..."

Oh, great. Now I have that song stuck inside my head.


The launch team bent the rules a little by firing the payload engines at the same time as the third stage engine. Hopefully we won't get too many "points" taken off from that... Man, I wish the Kerbals would tell us more about the "Point System."

Ahh, the Emerson.


Which, if you'd forgotten, is the ion tug/emergency escape pod that we hope we'll never have to use.


It also made it to orbit fine.



And then, Antares launched.




Then, Shavit with it's anomaly scanning package.





Then, my parents called.



"HOW DARE YOU GO INTO SPACE WITHOUT TELLING US!!!!!!11!1!!!!ONE" was somewhat how it went, as was to be expected. The families of the other astronauts (well, we have an astronaut, a cosmonaut, a koreanaut, and an africanaut, but for simplicity I'll call them all Astronauts) also rallied together in protest as to the short amount of time and sudden goodbye. Soon, everyone's friends' friends' friends were lined up out outside the space center protesting.

Since the final launch (Pegasus) had been delayed due to one of the Kerbals accidentally putting Liquid Fuel in the Oxidizer tank (not the humans' fault - so it doesn't count against us) it was decided that the Kerbals would send up an SSTO so that the families and friends of the astronauts could visit briefly.

We were all sent lists of people who had said "Oh, yeah, I know him! We're best buds!" and had to tell ground control if we actually knew them and if we wanted them to come up.

When you become a celebrity, everyone suddenly says "Oh, yeah, I know him! We're best buds!" including the school bully, Nile McTriston, who claimed to the Kerbals "Oh, yeah, I'm in his band!" For your information, I do have a "band" but I'm the only person in it and I've only released one song (and that was the aforementioned one that I played to Obbury a few chapters back - and I released the version without lyrics. I can't sing and I don't want everyone finding out I wrote the world's cheesiest love song).

I received 1842(!) requests. I was told I could accept 32 (How big exactly is this SSTO?) and honestly, I've never heard of some of these people. Even the President asked to come see me, but the Kerbals look at relationship, not political status. Plus, I sort of want to keep the President out of this. Which, was a decision made in vain, because Marie ended up inviting him anyway (but he got sick with the measles).


Oh, yeah, and they literally took a Hype Plane and said "Oh, hey! This thing has 3.4km/s of Delta-V! Let's send a hundred people into orbit on an untested SSTO!"


So, that happened.



It was a bit disappointing to see that giant thing next to our spaceship. It was a bit like this:

Humans: Look at this giant spaceship we designed in a week!

Kerbals: Look at this bigger spaceship that can SSTO with 129 people and we can prepare for launch in ten minutes!



The people on the plane had to EVA over. First off, the pilot fastened a rope of sorts between the craft and everyone was hooked on. Then the people were sent over in groups of eight-ish at a time. The spaceship was pretty small on the inside.

Cheng did not have anyone come up at all, except for a person who appeared to be another North Korean pilot. Marie had invited her closest relatives (third cousins) for a lack of anyone else to invite (remember, her family died).

Alonya brought in a whole score of people, as the Kerbals had allowed her to fill some of the 15 seats Cheng did not use. Oh, yeah, and a lot of them vomited (fortunately in the SSTO and not our spaceship).

And, then there was the ones I had invited, my mom, dad, sister, 5 of my friends from school, Andrea and Winter (I mean, our conversation in the theater was cut somewhat short, I was busy coming up with the most ridiculous thing I would do the next day, which was riding a bicycle while eating a sandwich which was only somewhat relevant to the conversation but who cares), Elon Musk, Brianna (because if the head cheerleader asks to come into space you say yes), all four members of Wintergatan (Martin, Evelina (not the same Evelina), David, and Marcus), Joey Tempest (the guy who wrote The Final Countdown), and Obbury Kerman.

And it progressed as you'd think it would: My mom and dad alternately yelling at me and hugging me, my sister asking Jebediah "Hey, are you considered a plant?", my five friends laughing and talking with me, Andrea and Winter joining in the conversation, a lot of floating around near the windows.

Martin Molin was absolutely thrilled and kept doing backflips. David tried to but banged his head on a beam and was out cold for about two minutes. I had the entire crowd (including Wintergatan, Elon Musk, and Joey Tempest) autograph my spacesuit. Elon Musk sat, transfixed at one of the windows, probably thinking up a way to launch a Tesla to Mars.

Eventually Wintergatan broke out their instruments and played Starmachine 2000 for me. It was the best performance of a song I'd ever heard. Obbury showed me a recording of the song he was working on. It was progressing very nicely, in my opinion.

Now, Evelina, unfortunately, could not come, much to my disappointment. She had been the very first person on my list. Apparently, she was required to stay in mission control as Capcom for some time. That stunk.
I'm having a weird issue with my word processor. Every time I press "delete" the program reloads. So, it looks like I may have to cut this one short; like for example I tried to delete that semicolon over there three times. It kept reloading the page. It's weird. I made eight errors in that previous sentence (I'm a terrible typist) and it didn't happen. So, it's really weird... oh, well...
Brianna tried to come up with a cheer routine doable in zero-G, but when she was just about to get it, the Kerbals said it was time for them to leave. I said goodbye to everyone, and everyone said goodbye to me. And then, I was alone again. Out in space... Staring at the alien world below me...
So, you may have noticed that Jack is not here yet. Four people in the rocket, yet five people referenced in Chapter One. Hold on, I'm getting to that!

Chapter 8B - All The Way (Believe In Steve)


This was (supposed to be) the launch of Team 13's Jool Entry Probe. The... extremely oddly configured stratolauncher lifted off with the power of four jets and two high thrust rocket engines.

"Alright, Golf-Two-Niner, pitch over a bit."

"Roger, tower. Pitching to Four-Five degrees."


"Golf Two-Niner prepare for RATO Jettison."

"Roger that. Tower, is it even considered a RATO any more? These boosters are comparable to the engines used on the space shuttle."

"Golf Two-Niner, the astronaut Capcom has kindly requested that you to shut up and fly the plane."

"This is an air command mission, those Capcom people don't matter to us! Tower, was that the exact quote?"

"No, if I said the exact quote we would have to put it in one of the mission transcripts. We don't want a repeat of Apollo 16, here."

"Sorry, clarify, Tower?"

"Golf Two-Niner, don't you watch Vintage Space? Amy sure explained it pretty well. Check it out sometime."

"Is that an order, Tower?"

"Correct, Golf Two-Niner."

"Yes, sir!"

"Golf Two-Niner, be advised you are now supersonic."

"I noticed, Tower."

"Prepare to drop the package."

"Prepared. Drop mechanism armed. Is our pilot in Control ready, Tower?"

"Affirmative, Golf Two-Niner. Prepare to drop package in ten seconds. Launch code is eight zeros."

"Eight zeros? Isn't that a bit easy to crack?"

"It was the nuclear launch code for twenty years straight in America."


"Dude, don't you watch Today I Found Out? You really do have no life, Golf Two-Niner."

"Confirmed, tower. Dropping package in three... two... one..."


"Hey, tower? Who is piloting that thing?"

"Golf Two-Niner, some guy named Sean with an accent on the "A.""

"So he's in control?"

"Our reports say he didn't show up."

"Odd. It's obviously being piloted, Tower, as I have visual on stage separation."

"We copy, Golf Two-Niner. I wonder where he is..."

"Second stage separation confirmed."

"Third stage has ignited and - D'oh! It's tumbling end over end!"

"May I make an observation, Tower?"

"Go ahead, Golf Two-Niner."

"The Jool Entry Probe is symmetrical. There is no off-center mass in any of the parts. That spaceship should not be tumbling. We have an anomaly!"

"Somebody tell Sean, wherever in the world he is!" There was a brief pause.

"Uh, Tower? I do not believe Sean is currently in the world."

"Evidence, Golf Two-Niner?"

"The fairing has separated."


"He didn't!"

"Oh, yes he did, Tower!"


"You realize he can't hear you, right?"

"Shut up, Golf Two-Niner."

"Space Force One, this is Golf Two-Niner!"

"Wait, is that actually my callsign?" I replied.

"No, I made it up. You're not the president, although at this point you're probably more famous than him."


"Be advised, Pegasus is going for a direct rendezvous. Prepare to receive the cargo through the hatch."

"The hatch, sir?"

"Uh yes."

"Isn't it supposed to - "

"Long story, Space Force One."



I felt a bang on the hatch and looked over to see a man with green hair in a spacesuit. He nearly scared me half to death.


I mean, what else was I supposed to do? I opened up the airlock. A minute later, the strange figure entered the spacecraft and said:


"Top of the morning to you laddies, my name is Jacksepticeye and I AM IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-"

"Sorry, what?"

"Well, my real name is Sean, but you can call me Jack!"

"How the heck did you get in here?" demanded Cheng.

"Well, it was fairly simple - I simply bribed the - "

"Nevermind, save it for the jury, we're sending you back down to Kerbin this instant! You have violated the rules!" Cheng screamed for a good two minutes as the other members of the crew gradually floated into the module. Eventually, someone cut him off.

"Uh, Cheng?" said Alonya. "I am as shocked as you, but you do realize that it would technically be an even bigger violation of the rules to send him back down? I studied them in my spare time. Sending him up only violates sixteen sections, sending him back down would violate twenty-six sections, in addition to the sixteen we have already violated. I'm sorry, but it looks like mister Jack stays."

"Oh, come on! Can't we right a wrong and subtract those violations? Come on, honestly, how many of you idiots agree with Alonya?" Every single person and Kerbal in the ship besides Cheng raised their hands. "Figures."

"Well, it looks like you're staying, Jack."

"WOOOOOOHOOOOO!" shouted Jack/Sean/Jacksepticeye. "I've always wanted to be an astronaut!"

"What kind of a stupid name is "Jackspeticeye?" It sounds like there is sewage coming out of your face."

"Says the person who vomited eight times on ascent."

"Shut up, Ethan."

"Well, it's just technically my YouTube name, so - "

"What the heck is YouTube?"

"Cheng, how do you not know what - oh, that's right. You don't have YouTube in North Korea."

"Okay," announced Alonya. "It's fun to watch everyone fight and all, but we should be turning the engines on for the Jool burn in a few seconds. Cheng, Ethan, in the cockpit with me. Marie, to the forward hitchhiker. Jack, stick with Marie and don't break anything."

"Roger that!" said Jack as he broke off one of the switches.

The engines burned for the first kick burn. An hour later, after we had sorted Jack's situation out with mission control, we began the second kick burn.


"Ethan, are you ready?"

"Alonya, stop asking me that!" Sheesh, the truth was, the only reason she kept asking me that was because she was so nervous herself.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, Alonya!" I really hope that she will stop. I mean, I am going to spend the next two-ish Earth years (About 6 Kerbin years) stuck inside a tin can with Alonya, Marie, Cheng, Jack, and, of course, Jeb, Bill, Bob, and Val. And the last four hadn't said a word to me yet.

Cheng began the countdown. "Second ejection burn starting in three. Two. One."



My name is Ethan Edwards. I guess you're all caught up now.


So now, the real story can begin.



















(I've been waiting a whole month and a half to say "THIS ROCKET HANDLES LIKE A PIECE OF WET SPAGHETTI!")

Edited by Ultimate Steve
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Hyyyyyyypeeeeee! (I haven't read it yet, but I know it's going to be good)

Edit: Brilliant again! Wet spaghetti :D and JAAAAACK!

Edited by Skylon
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Who let Jack "I don't know how to fly" SepticEye be a mission controller?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On ‎6‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 5:18 PM, 53miner53 said:

That was the best chapter of the story so far!

Fixed that for you!

Interlude - A Brief History of Whack-A-Kerbal



I'm back. It's certainly been a while. As in, I launched from the surface of Kerbin exactly 100 days ago (400 Kerbin days). It must be something, all ye schoolchildren, beginning school while the sun is rising at 6:00, watching the sun set at 9:00 through the windows of your skyscraper schools, going onto the balcony for lunch at 11:30, watching the stars swirl by, entering the school as the sun rises again at 12:00, and riding the elevator back home as the sun sets dramatically.

I mean, that must be really cool. Unfortunately, you have all seemed to take it for granted and kept attacking each other and the Kerbals instead of trying to, you know, GET ALONG!

Shame on you.


Not all of you. No matter how much evil is in the world (or across multiple), there must always be some good (I'm looking at you, Martin Molin).


Anyway, I got a lot of questions about the game I mentioned back in, what was it, chapter 5? 6? I don't remember. But, anyway, you could have just looked up the Kerbpedia entry on "Whack-A-Kerbal," but since you insisted, I'll explain it here.


The first ever game of Whack-A-Kerbal took place onboard Duna Expedition Seventeen, when one of the docking ports broke during the transfer from Kerbin to Duna. Pilot Johnbury Kerman went on an EVA to retrieve the faulty magnets while replacing them with new ones. As he entered the airlock, he accidentally hit his head on a beam, spilling all of the magnets around the cabin. Most of them stuck together, or to the walls, but after the dust cleared, in the center of the ship, two magnets were spinning around each other. The other crewmembers were like "Oh, that's cool!" and then Podfred took a magnet and a paperclip then made the paperclip orbit the magnet.

Two hours later, the crew of three were taking turns throwing paperclips, bearings, and various other metal objects at a cluster of docking magnets (that formed a "star") trying to make them orbit it. Some sources say that almost 45 objects orbited that first star before Harfurd tossed a spoon into the mix, which hit a few paperclips, knocking them out of orbit, creating a chain reaction which destroyed the system.

After they had the mess of paperclips stuck to the walls cleaned up, they arrived at Duna and completed their mission, not really thinking about the game they had created. When they were back on the return journey, however, Harfurd cannibalized the lander's engines (which were an experimental prototype using weird magnetically driven turbopumps) and stuffed those magnets inside of a ransom stayputnik lying around (I still don't get how you would have a random space probe lying around) and made a large "star." He set this inside the cockpit of the lander, which he had stripped of all magnetic material. He brought the other spherical docking magnets into the room, and three boxes of paperclips (red, blue, and silver). At that point he invited Podfred and Johnbury into the room.

*Note: The following is my own wording of the events. For the actual transcript, check the Kerbpedia entry.

"What the Moho did you do to the lander?" asked Johnbury.

"I made a game!" replied Harfurd.

"But we were going to give the lander to the space museum of Kerbin!"

"Oh. Oops. We may as well play the game now!"

"Okay, how do you play, Harfurd?"

"Okay, Podfred, you are red, Johnbury, you are blue, and I will be silver."

"But I hate the color red!"

"Shut up, Podfred. It's literally in your name. PodfRED."

"So, what do we do?"

"See this pile of nine docking magnets? These are the planets. Everyone take three. Good. Now, we will take turns setting them into orbits around this stayputnik thing here." It took several tries to get them all into stable orbits.

"Okay, what now?"

"We take turns throwing these paperclips into the system. If you get three paperclips on a planet, you win that planet. The goal is to win as many planets as possible. I'll sta-"

"But I want a moon!"

"Yeah, why don't these planets have moons? And why are they all so huge?"

"Bro, I made this in under an hour. You want moons? Go get those bearings!"

"Okay, then." Five minutes later, five of the planets had moons. There was also three dwarf planets because some of the bearings missed. One other planet had been knocked out of orbit by one of the "moons."

"Okay, now can we start?" asked Harfurd.

"Sure!" said Podfred, throwing one of his red paperclips into the solar system. It curved around the third planet, before hitting and sticking to the first planet. Then, Johnbury threw one of his. It slingshotted out around the ninth planet and left the system, bouncing off of the capsule wall.

Harfurd then took his turn. He nailed planet four with his paperclip right away. The play continued for about three more cycles, the astronauts thoroughly hooked. Then, Johnbury's paperclip hit the moon of the third planet.

"Wait, can you capture moons?"

"I don't see why not." Gameplay continued until Harfurd had captured Planet Six. The next turn, Johnbury, who had two paperclips on Planet Six, landed a third.

"Wait, who gets Planet Six? We both have three."

"Hmm. Interesting question. Maybe it should be whoever has the most?"

"Then the game could go on forever."

"Well, uh, what if we remove the planet once someone gets it?"

"But it's so satisfying to watch the planets orbit!"

"Okay, what if, uh, I don't have any ideas. If we put a light and computers in each planet and moon - "

"Computers the size of a baseball? That will never happen!"

"Okay, whatever. For now, let's of whoever gets it first."

"But what if I was to steal it?"

"Careful, words of war will get you kicked out of the space program, Johnbury." The trio continued to argue for quite some time before settling on the placeholder rule that whoever had the most on each planet at the moment that each planet was won would be the winner of the planet. Johnbury ended up winning, controlling four of the eight planets, and two of the moons, and one of the dwarf planets. Unfortunately, one planet and two moons were left unclaimed because the crew ran out of paperclips.

"That was interesting! What should we call it?"

"Hmm. Space Conquest?"


"Kerbol Space Program Race?"

"Huh, all good names. None of them feel right." All of a sudden, the ship's computer beeped and startled Johnbury, who jumped out of his seat (metaphorically. You can't really sit in zero-gee) and slapped Podfred in the face.


"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry , Podfred!"

"You just whacked me in the face!"

"Hehe. You "Whacked-A-Kerbal.""

"Hehe. Why does that sound so fu - Wait a minute... That's it! Let's call it "Whack-A-Kerbal!""

"That's a bit of an odd name, but I think it would work."

"Hmm. It does have a nice ring to it. Whack-A-Kerbal it is!"

"So, what do we do with the solar system now?"

"I have an idea!" shouted Podfred as he grabbed a spare docking magnet and hurtled it into the system. It threw several of the planets out of orbit, and one moon went into a retrograde orbit before smacking into another moon and then into Harfurd's face. One of the planets was thrown alarmingly rapidly out of the system - and through the hatch connecting the lander to the command section. A shattering sound was heard as Planet Four hit the forward cupola window.


The crew spent the rest of their mission without the luxury of being able to exit their spacesuits.


When they finally got back to Kerbin, they met with the Board of Space Exploration, who gave them the go-ahead to take a more refined version into space for Harfurd's next mission to Space Station #30. Rather than paperclips, small metal balls were used (about the size of a BB). The spheres of the planets also varied in size. A simple resource system was added, meaning players could launch ships at any time, removing the turn-based nature of the game. This led to more exciting and dramatic gameplay. Later that year, Podfred joined the crew with a new planet that contained a battery and motor - an electromagnetic planet. This could be used to vary the gravity of the planet or adjust the position and orbit of the said body. A miniaturized version was used in a few games as a colony ship, until a version was made where, using radio, the user could alter the shape of the magnetic field produced by the object, leading to accurately movable planet sized mass.

At the beginning of the year after that, a version was sent up which included advanced maneuverability in all of the planets and moons. This system was computer controlled. Unfortunately, the calculations took so much processing power that 95% of the station's computers had to be used for a single game. One day, some genius decided to see what happened when you set the global gravity multiplier to SQRT(-1).

For totally unrelated reasons, Space Station #30 experienced a rapid unplanned depressurization that same day. Whack-A-Kerbal was not played again for a few decades.

After this hiatus, a millionaire had heard about the game and wanted to play it for real. His name was Emperor Pennyroyal. Yes, that was his actual name. He was not an emperor, but his first name was "Emperor." He was one of the last Kerbals on Kerbin to not use Kerman as his last name.

Emperor Pennyroyal contacted a lot of engineers and told them about the game and how he wanted it to be played. By this time, computers had been miniaturized to the point where they could fit inside of a marble-sized object.

The modern version of Whack-A-Kerbal consists of the aforementioned spheres, ranging in sizes from basketball-size to BB-sized, any number of control panels (one per player), and an accurate laser grid system. The grid system is basically a collapsible square or circle that fits on a table (or floor) that shoots invisible lasers out (or with a slight red tinge for coolness) of its entire area as to pinpoint the positions of the planets, moons, and ships. All of the spheres marble-sized or larger were fitted with a microcomputer, magnet (some electromagnetic, some just magnetic) and a tracker to further pinpoint position. They also light up to represent the owner or the status of the celestial object.

Now, the ships are represented by the BB sized spheres. They are just metal that can be affected by magnetism. They each have an electronic tracker and a light, however. The way ships are steered is by networking all of the other planets' computers together with the ship's main computer. Within miliseconds of a control input, the computer can calculate how to manipulate the magnetic fields of the planets to have the desired effect on the orbit of the "ship." another feature Pennyroyal added was the ability to launch ships from planets and moons.

Pennyroyal played it in space and then was rendered unconscious when he was hit by a planet.

The rules have changed very little from then until now. If there was an instruction book in English, it would go something like this:


Give each player a control panel and place the laser grid on the playing surface. Make sure there are no strongly magnetic objects near the playing area. Do not insert face into the laser grid at any time. This may result in blindness due to the fact that the laser grid is a non-deadly laser. Also, you probably don't want to get hit in the face by a baseball sized chunk of metal.

Now, you may set up the system you are playing in. there are two ways to do this - using a preset, or creating your own system. To play with a preset system, simply select one from the game menu on a control panel, lay out the stars, planets, moons, and asteroids needed onto the laser grid, press the ARRANGE button, and watch as the computer controlled electromagnetic spheres arrange themselves into a stable system.

Also, each player chooses a color to represent their ships.


There are many ways to do this, but the most common way is to first take the star, or stars, set their name and gravity using the control panel, toss them onto the laser grid, and adjust their orbital parameters with your control panel until satisfied. Then, select the number of planets and moons you would like to play with, and place them into the desired orbits manually. You may name these worlds using your control panel.



Your control panel is the interface through which you influence the game. The exact layout varies based on which model you have, but they all in general have a few display screens, several action buttons, and a control stick to steer and launch ships.


Whack-A-Kerbal is a real-time game in which the goal is to eliminate the other players from the game and conquer the entire gameboard. You accomplish this by launching various ships, either by hand, out of your control panel, or off of planets, to arc around other planets. Each celestial body has a certain amount of resources, and you can build mines on each body (as well as other buildings) to gather these resources. These resources may be used to build said mines and ships. Some ships destroy other ships, some are missiles, some are anti-missiles, ETC.


(I'm going to snip this, because it is VERY extensive. There are about 50 "stock" ones, and thousands of modded ones. You can make your own using the control panel system. Onboard the ship, we play with about 150 more modded ones.)


As planets run low on resources they turn gray (or grey. It can be spelled both ways). Your resources can be spent on ships, buildings, and research.


...Is a feature used by the stock game to unlock new ships and buildings. Resources and time yields new technologies. (Note: We have a few mods installed which involve using technology to move planets via the power of the Deep Space Kraken.)

*A bunch of other stuff you can look up on Kerbpidia that I'm snipping*


You win when all of the other players have no ships left in play.


One of the important comedic elements of the game is, as you are about to do something impressive, you shout "WHACK-A-KERBAL!" very loudly, then perform the impressive action. After the action has been completed, the rest of the players vote on how impressive it was. If it was extremely impressive and game changing, then the player may be granted a 1.5x resource multiplier. If he/she manages to de-orbit a star, then a 5x multiplier may be awarded. If the action fails, then their multiplier will be reduced.


Have fun, don't be afraid to make up new rules, and fly safe!



Oh, and the modern version of the game has gone through many revisions. Here are some of the funny patch notes I found digging through the (really extensive) changelog:

You may no longer build buildings on the sun.

Disallowed players to have a gray team color, as to distinguish players planets from resource-depleted planets.

Ships now are considered "destroyed" after impacting the sun.

You can now have more than the 32-bit integer of resources. I'm not sure how you could ever need this much, but apparently someone did.

Fixed negative resource multipliers.

Recolored Black Holes to white with swirling purple, as the LED's cannot emit black light and were confused by the color request, resulting in rainbow static appearing.

Removed the Jool System from the Kerbol System preset, as within a few orbits four of the five moons are ejected.

Re-added the Jool System to the Kerbol system preset with forced electromagnetic constraints on the moons so they do not exit their orbits.

Planets landed on the sun are now marked as "destroyed."

Updated Jool system stability code. Now you can visit Jool without your ships orbiting erratically due to the forced stability.

Changed the Duna preset slightly. You can now orbit Duna without Ike getting in your way 95% of the time.

Planets are now destroyed when they are touching a planet that is touching a star.

Planets are now destroyed when they are touching a planet that is touching a planet that is touching a star.

If any celestial body is touching a planet that is touching a chain of planets that is touching a star, that planet is destroyed. SRSLY WHO IS DOING THIS?

If a star is touching a star a solar flare is sent out destroying most of the planets. This should stop those annoying people building bases on stars for good.

We have discovered "Planet Earth." Added "Death Star" ship to the game as an official mod.

Fix for Death Star being easily defeatable.

Removed Death Star fix, as it was working as intended.

Fix for an odd glitch where any celestial named "Europa" would destroy any ship attempting to land on it.



So, why haven't there been any updates from me in over two months, you ask? Well, I was playing Whack-A-Kerbal, and Planet JUEkfHW#Rh9 hit me in the head.

Yay, me.

I blame Marie, as she simply slams her face into the keyboard to name her planets (she ran out of creative names after the fourth game).

Just kidding, it's not really her fault. For some reason I stuck my head into the laser grid...


Also, we did our course correction burn a few hours ago. Now, off to go play Whack-A-Kerbal some more...



That was really fun to write! If I ever get to go into space, I'm going to fill my pockets with magnets and paperclips.

(It would be SOOOO cool if an astronaut actually did this!)


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7 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Fixed that for you!

Interlude - A Brief History of Whack-A-Kerbal


That was really fun to write! If I ever get to go into space, I'm going to fill my pockets with magnets and paperclips.

(It would be SOOOO cool if an astronaut actually did this!)


You're right. That was the best chapter so far!

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  • 2 weeks later...


Chapter Nine - Any First Words?



Slowly floating through the void,
Hoping I won't be destroyed,
Wondering how things came to be,
I close my eyes and count to three.


That green speck so far away,
But closer to me than the final day,
What I am doing, I do not know,
And I do hope that time will show.




Jebediah Kerman was inside the Laythe lander's command pod, conferencing with representative Xanth. They were talking about a topic of utmost importance.

"Representative Jebediah, I have an announcement to make to the council. Unfortunately, as you are nearing phase two of the testing of the humans, you will not be able to attend. I thought I'd share the information with you beforehand."

"Go ahead, representative Xanth."

"The Galactic Observatory has discovered evidence of another species." Jebediah jumped out of his seat in surprise. Not a good idea in zero-gee. He hit his head on the window of the Mk1 command pod.

"WHAT? So soon after the last species? This is fantastic!"

"You haven't even heard the amazing part. We cannot accurately scan to find this species' home world. As you know, our observatory's scanners are limited in scanning distance. We can scan in the electromagnetic spectrum and resolve planets to a great detail from about a million light years out. However, that has the drawback of seeing the planet as it was a million years ago. We have been scanning in the fourth quantum spectrum, which, as you know is not bound by the speed of light. However, it can only scan a tenth as far."

"I fail to see how that is a problem. Our galaxy has a diameter of 100,000 light years. Even if the observatory were at the edge, we should still be able to resolve planets at the other edge without fail."

"That's because the signal we picked up did not originate in this galaxy." Jebediah Kerman sat up and banged his head again.


"I know, Representative Jebediah. This is a first for us - the signal was, as far as we know, a high energy gamma-tachyon beam in the negative eighteenth diquantum spectrum."

"A what in the what spectrum?"

"That's exactly what I said. The Dranotizans are good with this sort of theoretical stuff. However, nobody has studied the negative eighteenth whatchamacallit enough to know how to send a signal in it. Plus, it's gamma-tachyons. Normal tachyons travel faster than light. However, these travel faster than even information in the quantum spectrum! According to some theories, they can cross the universe in negative time, even from the perspective of a user of the quantum spectrums!"

"So, we have no idea what we're dealing with, here."

"Correct, Representative Jebediah."

"So we have every reason to assume that they are, in fact, more intelligent than us?"


"Are we attempting to contact them?"

"Yes. However, we may not be noticed. We don't even know where they are! Gamma tachyons seem to converge from all directions, for some odd reason. We are beaming a message in most of the quantum spectrums at every star system within a billion light years."

"So, from their perspective, it would be like someone sending them a message via horseback when they could just send a text message?"

"I do not understand the humans' analogies."


"So, how's the human test going? Have you had any ideas for the mystery implementation?" asked Representative Xanth. Jebediah looked down at the copy of "2001: A Space Odyssey" he held in his hands, a human sci-fi classic.

"A few of them."

"Fantastic. Begin implementation immediately, you're almost to Jool."

"Roger, Representative Xanth. Representative Jebediah out."


Besides Whack-A-Kerbal, science, chatting, ignoring Cheng, EVA-ing to reset our antenna, and fixing everything every five minutes (wait let me restart)

Besides normal spaceship activities, sitting in a tin can for a year gets slightly old after a while. I filled the remaining time by producing music, sending video messages, receiving video messages, seeing how many backflips I could do before I got sick, and editing my video message conversations (which took place over a multi-hour or day period because of light speed delay) into one continuous video.

Normally everyone would think I'm a loser if my only social interaction with people my age would be through edited video conversations. Now everyone thinks I'm a superhero or something (spoiler alert: I'm still a loser sometimes).


Wait, where was I going with this? Oh, right. We're at Jool now.


I mean, you heard it all on the news, of course. But here's my perspective and semi-official mission transcript of the events leading up to today (Note: I had to use the surface transcripts as I wasn't actually on Vall at the time):


First off, we got a gravity assist from Tylo to get into an orbit of Jool. One correction later, we had an encounter with Laythe, which we would attempt to use to get us into a lower orbit.



It is a really humbling experience seeing a moon of an alien world pass below you. If you ever get the chance to go into space, take it, all ye people on Kerbin.

After that assist, we were on a trajectory that took us right above Jool's atmosphere, so we released the entry probe.



It performed perfectly, until it was crushed by Jool's atmosphere as expected.



I spent nearly the entire time staring out the window, awestruck by the alien worlds which passed below me. After our low Jool pass we managed to snag three more gravity assists.


My head hurts just looking at that picture. I mean, it's not rocket science or anything, but...






Eventually, we found Vall.


Because we had been drifting for a month or two snagging gravity assists, we agreed that going to Vall orbit would be the best course of action, seeing as the burns would only total a few hundred meters per second of Delta-V.

I mean, Cheng wanted to wait for the Tylo encounter that would have happened in another two months, but he was (thankfully) outvoted.


"But we did not go to Tylo first! I am entitled to land on Vall!"

"Uh, Cheng," replied Alonya, "You are not entitled to anything, really."

"You blatantly refused my desires to explore the moon of Tylo!"

"Tylo would have meant we wait another two months - "

"I can be patient!"

"...And going to Vall actually gives us a quicker ETA to Tylo."


"Plus, we have the fuel to land four of the five of us on Vall."

"Shut up."

"I will if you will."

"I will if you give me your spot on the Vall landing."

Alonya thought for a bit and said, "Sure. I'm already doing Laythe and probably both small moons. But you must not utter a negative comment towards anyone in the next month."


"So, uh," said Jack, "Who is going down first?"

"Current schedule is You and Marie, followed by Ethan and Cheng."

"Wait, you mean I have to settle for being the THIRD person on an alien moon?" asked an incredulous Cheng.

"Cheng, remember what I said about not saying anything negative?" Half an hour later, against Cheng's protests, Marie and Jack undocked from the Voyager.




***Author's Note***

Yes, the humans appear as Kerbals. Please ignore this minor inconsistency and enjoy the story.

-Ultimate Steve



"Wait, why doesn't this thing have any solar panels, or anything to recharge the batteries?" asked Jack.

"Don't ask me, ask whatever team built it," I replied. At the moment, we were in a really elliptical orbit around Vall (to save fuel in the mothership).

"After the de-orbit burn, set the probe to "hibernate." Okay?" requested Alonya.

"Got it. I have no idea what I'm doing, so, uh, Marie, can you fly this thing?"

"I.. think so?"

"Great! How soon are we landing?"

"In a few hours, I guess."

"Wait, a few hou-"

==========================A few hours later=========================

"Okay, Valliance! You are go for a landing on Vall!" said Alonya.

"Wait, my name is Jack! Not Valliance!"

"No, Valliance is the name of the lander!"

"OOOOOooooooh. That makes sense. I think."

"Remember the two l's. It's supposed to be a pun, as we're landing on Vall," I added.

"Okay, Marie?" said Alonya. "Remember what we told you. You only have one shot at this and we weren't allowed to use the simulator. Get into a low orbit with your first burn, then zero out your horizontal velocity, and sort of hover down to the surface."

"Got it," replied Marie.

"And remember to twist the stick twice as hard as you need to, as your control input will be averaged with Jack's, and he won't be flying."

"Okay. What about throttle?"

"Hmm. Jack, can you move the throttle lever when Marie tells you to?"

"Uh, sure?"

"Great. Initiate landing burn, about uh, wait. Five seconds ago?"



"WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!" shouted Jack.

"This is the most gravity I've felt in six months!" exclaimed Marie.


"Actually, we're slowing down, so..."


"Okay, yeah, I get it! Can you stop shouting?"

"I'M LANDING ON ANOTHER PLANET! I CAN SHOUT ALL DAY LONG! WA- Wait. I'm landing on another planet."


"It just got real." Jack began hyperventilating. "I could die at any instant! The gigantic bomb beneath us could explode right now!"

"Calm down. If anyone should be panicking, it's me. Everyone on Ea - I mean Kerbin - is watching me right now."

"Hey, don't forget about the three other people off of Kerbin!" I said.

"Yeah, no pressure at all!" said Marie sarcastically."


"Okay, altitude about four kilometers."

"Don't panic, Marie," said Cheng, which was probably (unfortunately) one of the nicest things he'd ever said to any of us.


"Great, I'm going down to the surface of an alien moon in a spaceship piloted by a panicking - "


"Marie, breathe. You're pitched a bit too far down. You are at two kilometers up now."


"What does this button do?" asked Jack.

"That is the button that toggles our only reaction wheel. Whatever you do, don't press it," I replied. Unfortunately, at that moment, a burst of interference came through, conveniently blocking out the "don't."

"Roger that, pressing the button."


"Aaaand, I have no roll control! AAAAA-"


"I can't find it!"


"Altitude two hundred."

"Is it this one?" Jack pressed the button marked "Precision controls."


"Marie, abort to orbit!"


"Why is there a "Brakes" button? I don't see any wheels on this thing."


"Altitude fifty. Forty. Thirty. Twenty."



There was a loud "CRUNCH" as the landing legs hit the icy surface of Vall and slipped backwards, causing the lander to tilt to the horizontal. Marie's helmet hit the surface half a second later, followed shortly by the front docking port. The lander skidded and spun around horizontally (while also rolling) for quite some time amidst a whole lot of screaming and swearing.

Eventually, the lander skidded to a stop.


"Ow," said Marie.

"Ow," said Jack.

"Well, I'm not dead."

"Hooray for that!"

"My head hurts. It sort of slammed into the surface."

"Well, is anything broken?"

"I don't think so. I've got a few bruises, but I think that's all. You?"

"I'm just fantastic! I'm on an alien moon!"

"Okay. This is Valliance to Voyager. Are you there?" There was a pause.

"Hmm. Maybe they exploded?"

"Uh, Jack? I'm pretty sure that they think we exploded. Are they below the horizon?" There was a pause as Marie looked toward the sky and saw a moving white dot. "Okay, I see them. Strange. It's moving... north?"

"Probably because you're still sideways."


"Wait, was that the first thing you said on the surface?"

"Yes, why?" asked Jack. Marie facepalmed.

"You mean to tell me - that the first words spoken on the surface of Vall, an alien moon orbiting an alien planet, were "Probably because you're still sideways?" Oh, great."

"Wait, I said the first - oh."

"That sentence is going to be engraved on hundreds of plaques, written on thousands of websites, on your personal Wikipedia page if we get back to Earth, and probably at least four statues will bear those words. I mean, at this point, even "Top of the morning to you laddies, my name is Jacksepticeye and WE'RE ON VALL!" would have been better!" Amidst the angry outburst, Marie stifled a giggle.

"Well, do you think I did better than Harrison Schmitt?"


"Harrison Schmitt. The twelfth guy to walk on the moon."

"Why, what were his first words on the moon?"

"His first words on the moon were, and I quote, "Why don't you come over here and let me deploy your antenna?" It's a little bit weird, people spend billions to send you to the moon, and your first words are a completely ordinary but odd statement because you forget to say something dramatic. But, knowing me, I'd make the same mistake. Oh, look! I already have!"

"Wait, antenna? That's probably why we can't talk with them! The antenna must be out of alignment!" Marie lifted her head and tried to sit up. Eventually, she managed to stand and tried to walk to the back of the lander.

"Woah, this moon is pretty slipper-OOF!" Marie slipped and fell over on the icy surface of Vall. "Ow."

"And speaking of first words." A few minutes, and a few jokes later, they had re-oriented the antenna so it faced towards the sky. The radio cut into the conversation midsentence.

"-Dead! We failed the te-

'Valliance to Voyager, we are, in fact, alive." There were three simultaneous sighs of relief, and some cheers, followed by Cheng yelling at Jack.


"Here we go again," said Alonya.


"Ahh, that's better."

"Agreed." A few minutes later, Marie re-attached the antenna.

"-AND SO DO YOU, JACKSTINKYFACE!" Cheng could be heard panting, trying to catch his breath after the outburst.

"Are you done?" asked Alonya.

"My voice is. But my soul is not."


"Did we miss anything?" asked Marie.

"Other than everyone on the ship - and Earth - thinking you had exploded?" I replied. "Nothing much. We are all glad you two are alive." Cheng rolled his eyes.

"Well, I can confirm that we are, indeed, still alive," said Jack. I unrolled my synthesizer and began playing "Still Alive," just because I could. Cheng didn't protest, although he rolled his eyes again.

"So, what did we miss?" asked Alonya.

"Well, the lander is sideways, the surface is slippery, and our first words were a disaster."

"Oh, really?" I asked.

"To quote Jack, "Probably because you're still sideways?" And, to quote me, "Woah, this moon is pretty slipper-OOF!" I think it's a certifiable disaster." Everyone either facepalmed or giggled.

"You know," said Jebediah, "My first words on Minmus were "Kerbin, I can confirm that the surface is not made out of ice cream. I'm now going to try and - AAAA!" followed my me slipping, falling backwards, and almost kicking the lander over*.


"Yep. Those words are engraved into thousands of plaques all around Kerbin. Jeb grinned. Soon, everyone on the ship (except for Cheng) was laughing hysterically.

"Wait," I asked, "Has our transmission of the first words reached Kerbin yet?"

"Not yet," responded Jebediah.

"Oh, man! The reaction video of our first words is going to be so hilarious to watch!" exclaimed Jack.

"Alright," announced Alonya, "We've had our laugh, but we have a mission to complete. Valliance, we are about to pass over the horizon. Remember your mission. Your battery limits you to one orbit of the Voyager, so, work quickly! Remember the flag, and stuff as may rocks as possible into your pockets. And, whatever you do, always - " The communication feed cut out abruptly as the Voyager passed beneath the horizon from the point of view of the two astronauts on the surface.

Marie looked up at the sky, just in time to see the bright white dot vanish. She also saw another strange dot - similar to the first - strangely moving north. "Odd," she thought, and dismissed it as an old piece of debris.


And so, Jack and Marie completed their surface mission.


The science experiments on the lander were performed.


They slipped on the icy surface (many hundreds of times).


Jetpacks were used.


Rocks were poked.


And Marie became the first human to witness a sunset on an alien world, followed shortly by Jack (as he was a little bit taller than Marie).


Also, Marie tried to make ice skates using a few parts of the lander that had broken off (Who needs those parts anyway?). They didn't work that well...


As the Voyager rose above the horizon, Marie ran diagnostics on the lander, reviewing the settings and making sure nothing major was broken.

"Jack, promise me that this time you will not press any buttons unless someone tells you to."

"Okay, got it. Man, I'm going to miss this place."

"No kidding. And Marie - try not to kill us on the ascent."

"Nah, this bit will be easier than landing, remember, I helped pilot the Soyuz to orbit." Jack boarded the lander and Marie talked to Alonya, who was aboard the Voyager.

"Okay, Marie, any time you're ready. Say something dramatic!"

"Ascending from the world of ice on a column of fire, in three! Two! One! Ignition!"



"That is quite a jolt!"

"No kidding!"

"I'm pitching to eighty degrees now."


"Now can I say it again?"

"Go ahead, Jack."


"And, engine cutoff!"


"Okay, now we wait for nine minutes. Don't fall out of your seat, we don't need another repeat of the way down."

"Roger. My seatbelt is in position!"





"It's a seatbelt!"


"A harness is just a really cool seatbelt!"

"A seatbelt is just a really dumb harness!"



"Jack, call it a harness. It sounds more professional."

"Since when have I been a professional rocket scientist?"

Three hours, three minutes, and thirty-two seconds later...





"No! I will not wait!"

"I'm serious. I can't turn this thing."

"What?" said Jack. Marie began to panic slightly.

"Oh. Jack, we forgot to turn the probe core into hibernate mode. We're out of electricity."

"Wait, then how are our suit radios still working?"

"Good question. I think the power supplies are separate."

"I was wondering why we hadn't gotten any updates from Voyager in the past two hours." There was a short pause.

"I found out why we can still talk to each other."

"Wait - it's not because of the suit batteries?"

"Nah. Those are still on, but they have switched to life support only to conserve power. Our radios are off. The reason we can still talk to each other is that we are both touching the ship and sound can travel through it."

"So that's why you sound so weird. So, are we basically dead?"

"No, I have a feeling that our crewmates will figure something out." As if on cue, there was a flash of RCS thrusters coming from the location of the Voyager.


"Hooray, they're coming to save us!"

"Wait, isn't that the missile?" thought Marie out loud.


"It's the missile that we attached to the klaw device."

"Wait, they're shooting at us?"

"No, they are not shooting at us."


"Jack! They are probably just trying to grab us with the klaw."



"Okay, you can stop screaming now!" shouted Marie.




"Voyager to Valliance, are you alive?"

"Uh, yeah. We just had a mishap with the battery levels."

"Phew. That's the second time today that we thought you were dead!" replied Alonya.

"We're certainly getting that a lot now!"


"Stop screaming, Jack! We're safe now!"

"It's not that! When the power came back on, my seatbelt retractor overloaded! My arms are pinned beneath the chest strap! I can't move my arms! It hurts! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-"

"Okay, I'll get you out of it if you call it a harness." There was a long pause.

"Alright, fine. Can you help me out of my se - I mean, harness?"



As Marie jetted over to the airlock, exhausted (and hungry, you can't really eat when you're on EVA), she spotted that weird dot on the sky again, still moving northward... "Hey, does anyone else see that weird moving white dot?"

"Yeah, I saw it too!" I replied. "It's probably just an old piece of debris. Hey, Jeb? Can you tell us what that moving white dot is?" Jebediah paused for a second, apparently looking up a debris registry on his phone.

"Well, we turned all of the stations, bases, and stuff invisible so you could complete this mission without any interference. We should have gotten everything, but we must have forgotten a few pieces of old debris. I'll check with the DTO."


"Debris Tracking Office. It's probably nothing notable."


"Representative Xanth, I am absolutely certain that anomaly 37 is not a piece of debris left over from early exploration of Vall."

"It's not that I don't believe you, representative Jebediah, but given the anomalous nature of this... anomaly... we need to triple check everything."

"We've scanned the anomaly in the electromagnetic spectrum, all of the practical quantum spectrums, and even the first diquantum spectrum! It simply does not show up anywhere besides a short part of the electromagnetic spectrum! It only emits visible light, and we cannot detect the object emitting the light on any spectrum. We've even sent a probe to it - it phased right through the point of light and is missing a chunk in the middle."

"We're in the process of shipping a scanner that can detect objects from the negative eighteenth diquantum spectrum to your system as we speak. To determine if this anomaly has anything to do with the new species, I mean. It should arrive in about three days. We could have it there instantly, but hyper-warp does not support invisibility."

"Roger. We will prepare to receive the package. Hopefully this anomaly isn't anything too terribly scary."

"Yeah, remember Anomaly 8? That was wild!"

"Yeah, like, everyone almost died that day!"

"It sort of reminds me of what happened two hours ago!"

"Wait, representative Xanth, what happened two hours ago?"

"Oh, nobody told you? All of the stations are invisible! The Voyager nearly flew through one of your Vall stations! They had to move out of the way, and only barely made it! The Voyager literally flew through the artificial gravity ring!"

"Do you have the video?"

"Of course I have the video!"

"Okay, send it. I'm just going to make a few changes," said Jebediah as he downloaded the Benny Hill theme.



*This actually happened on my first ever Minmus mission.


Also, I was re-reading some of the older chapters and I discovered that I am a really terrible proofreader. So, if you find a mistake, please PM me about it (both so I can fix it and not to clutter up the main thread). Thank you!

EDIT (because posting would be doubleposting): I'm at the point, gameplay-wise, where I have to jettision a bunch of stuff in order to have enough Delta-V to get home. No spoilers, but it's REALLY HARD to determine what to keep and what to throw out

The conversation inside my head: "Okay, if I throw this out, I might have enough fuel to get home, but it would limit the storyline a little bit. This one I can get rid of no problem. I really need this one... Why do I even still have this thing? Gah, I need to get rid of this but at the same time I know the next part will be really hard without it! AAAAH!"

Edited by Ultimate Steve
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Oh, Whack-A-Kerbal is an RTS featuring orbital mechanics? 

And the Vall part was awesome. 

And the aliens part was creepy, but cool.

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  • 2 weeks later...
45 minutes ago, Shadow Wolf56 said:

*speaks in slow mo*


Image result for borg cube

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

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  • 2 weeks later...

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