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Alternis Kerbol Travelling Circus -- Episode 34: Over the Hills and Far Away

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EPISODE 26: Won't Get Fooled Again



SLOP-5 continued to monitor events in its vicinity.  Shortly after being dragged ashore, 6-8 identifiably unique Laytheans came up close to SLOP-5 and looked at it with varying shades of curiosity and hunger.  While in frame, a few pulled out stone knives and tried slicing various parts of SLOP-5 to no avail.  The natives seemed to curse and then gnawed on their knife edges to resharpen them before stalking away.  None of the newcomers said anything intelligible to SLOP-5's microphone.  Eventually, everybody left except the individual Mission Control identified as L1, it of the powder blue skin and orange.....growth on its head.  This one just sat cross-legged on the beach staring unblinkingly into the camera lens with what could only be a war club lying across its knees..  Once again, the BUNGLErs cursed they had no way to speak to this being.

Laythe was just as tide-locked to Jool as Kerbin so its days were shorter in proportion to its shorter orbital radius, but still of inconveniently long duration.  It was mid-afternoon local time at Monolith Point, so Mission Control decided it was time to send the First Ambassador down while there was still light enough to land by.  It was either that or wait several days for the next local sunrise.  Best get first impressions out of the way in daylight so the night would be at least a semi-known quantity.  Thus, the Drone Controllers at Mission Control took up their stations and soon LE-2 FORLORN HOPE was doing its de-orbit burn and shucking its transfer stage.  This had enough fuel remaining to return the crew to Kerbin in a worst-case scenario---now this was being thrown away and the gliding rover had become a pawn of gravity and aerodynamics with no means of getting airborne again.  The crew of FORLORN HOPE noted this event with mixed emotions.



Just then a flash transmission to Geoflan arrived from Mission Control:

Y2 D369

Yesterday, SLOP-5 ditched just offshore of the native settlement near the Monolith.  Two natives came out to it in water vehicles, attached ropes and nets to SLOP-5, and towed it to shore near their buildings.  During this process, SLOP-5 obtained video and audio recordings of the natives and their behavior and equipment.  Analysis of these recordings by the branches of Mission are summarized below.  These findings do not alter your mission objectives but will likely affect how you proceed in accomplishing them.

The natives so far encountered appear to be few in number and primitive both technologically and socially.  This by no means rules out the possibility of a large, more advanced native civilization underground.  You must continue to investigate that possibility but shall make initial contact with the known natives near the Monolith as planned.  Perhaps they can lead you to the others, if they exist.  Before leaving the landing area, however, you shall try to determine whether the natives live near the Monolith by chance or deliberately, whether the Monolith has any meaning to them, and whether this Monolith differs from those on Kerbin.

Exercise extreme caution when you make contact with the natives.  They have the tools and probably the temperament to kill you if they decide to.  This would be quite inconvenient due to the expense and time required to replace your mission.

The most important finding so far is that the natives speak a language closely related to an archaic form of Modern Kerbish combined with other, now-dead Kerbal languages of similar and older vintage.  We have already made substantial progress in translating what the natives said when near SLOP-5.  A full transcript and preliminary analysis is attached.  Familiarize yourself with this prior to making contact with the natives.  As per your previous orders, wear the 2-way glasses and headsets at all times so that we can help you during your conversations with the natives.

At present, there is insufficient data to reach any conclusions about native social structure and laws.  Be very careful and restrained in your dealings with them, lest you inadvertently violate an unknown taboo.

The natives are bipedal, bilaterally symmetrical creatures with about the same size and proportions as Kerbals.  Their heads are very different, however, and they appear to have a variety of skin colors.  It is possible they possess sensory organs unknown to Kerbal biology and might communicate by means other than vocal.  Always assume they are communicating behind your back.  Obtaining a living specimen of the intelligent native race for study and eventual return to Kerbin is of highest importance.  Failing that, at least obtain a tissue sample.  Same goes for all living things you encounter, but the priority is on the intelligent natives.

The discovery that the natives speak a language akin to our own, and their physical similarities to Kerbals, makes it highly likely that there has been some contact between Kerbin and Laythe in the past, perhaps even fairly recently.  Discovering the nature of this contact, if any, is of paramount importance.  We have many competing theories for how this could have happened, with large wagers at stake.

Native technology encountered so far appears to be Stone Age.  They have fire, can shape natural materials, and appear to have pottery.  However, their engineering skills exceed our own in some ways.  For example, they have vehicles that can traverse the water, something that had never occurred to us.  Learn all you can about these water vehicles and any other novel technology you come across.  It would not hurt to investigate their primitive technology as well.  That might p;rove very useful when the revolution com----ACK! (thud)


Transcript and Preliminary Analysis of Laythean Native Speech
Laythean Analysis
Yu tingim dispela bikpela binatang i gutpela kaikai? You think this big ??? (is?) good ???  BINATANG is likely some small, flying native lifeform perhaps akin to the bugs splattered on the SLOP cameras.  KAIKAI almost certainly, based on the rest of the context, has something to do with food and/or eating.
Ating, o em i kaikaim yumitupela.  Lukaut yu no go klostu em tumas! ??? or it will (eat?) the two of us.  Be careful not to go too close to it.  ATING might mean something like "maybe".
Hmm, em i no binatang.  Em i no gat ol lek. Hmm, it is not a (bug?)  It has no (legs?)  VERY preliminary, based on an obscure use of "all" as a plural marker in Late Middle Indokerpean and LEK being a cognate of "leg" in various languages descended from LMIKP
Na em i stingem.  PHEW!  Em i wanem samting? (And?) it stinks.  (universal expletive when encountering funk) It is what something?  NA seems to mean "and" based on other context.  WANEM is probably "what".  Thus, especially based on the next line, EM I WANEM SAMTING? almost certainly means "what is it?"

Mi no save.
I don't know.  This is directly from Middle Porkerblese, word for word.
Yumi wetim na lukim long em, sapos em i mekim samting. (We?) wait (and?) look at it, (in case?) it (makes/does?) something.  YUMI seems to be a combination of "you" and "me", meaning "we" in this context.  However, given the use of other, apparently more descriptive, pronouns below, YUMI probably has a contextual meaning we don't yet understand.  Be careful with native pronouns.  SAPOS is probably cognate with "suppose", contextually meaning "in case" or "if".  MEKIM probably has a meaning akin to "does".
Orait, yumi wetim inap long mi kauntim long wan handet.  Wan, tu, tri, foa, faiv, siks (etc.) Alright, (we?) wait (until?) I count to 100.  One, two, etc.  Most of this is straight Early Modern Kerbish.  INAP appears to have multiple meanings depending on context, but in this case it seems to mean "until".  Note that the natives have a numerical system that goes at least as far as 100.
Orait, em i mekim nating.  Mi paitim em nau long pul bilong kanu. Alright, it (does?) nothing.  I (hit?) it now with (thruster?) belonging to (water vehicle?)  PAITIM and PUL BILONG KANU is translated only in the context of the native immediately striking SLOP-5 with the implement it used to propel its water vehicle.  This assumes that KANU is the native word for water vehicle and implies that there are PULs belonging to other things, hence the generic "thruster".
Hmmm, mi no laik kaikai dispela.  Em i bagarapim tif bilong mi! Hmm, I don't (like/want) to (eat?) this.  It (will?) (destroy?) my teeth.  In the context of a wooden weapon bouncing off a metal drone and the reference to teeth, BAGARAPIM seems to be cognate with "bugger up", which is Early Modern Kerbish but still common today.
Ating em i gat abus insait long sel strong olsem kuka? (Maybe?) it has ??? inside a strong (shell?) (similar to?) ???  ABUS likely means "meat" given the maritime context and SLOP-5 being impervious to the water vehicle's thruster, provided SEL means "shell".  There is no known cognate of ABUS, but SEL works with Late Middle Derbish.  OLSEM seems to derive from "all same".  KUKA is probably some native hard-shelled marine creature that the natives eat.
Nogat, mi tingim em i no samting tru. (No?) I think it is not (real/natural?)  NOGAT translates as "don't have" from Early Middle Kerbish but contextually seems to mean simply "no".  SAMTING TRU likely means "natural" in the context of the on-going native debate about whether SLOP-5 is edible.  Especially given the next line.
Husat i wokem em, a?  Em i ausait long save bilong mi... (Who?) made it, eh?  It is outside of my knowledge.  HUSAT is modern slang, as in HUSAT GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS?  but it derives, like the whole modern slang sentence structure, from Early Modern Frankerbais, "who is that?", translated word-for-word into Early Modern Kerbish.  This implies multiple layers of kreolization in the native language slimilar to those in Modern Kerbish.
Mi no gat tingting.  Mi laik go bek long ples nau. I have no (thought/idea?)  I (like/want) to go back to ??? now.  With TINGIM likely being "to think", this reduplicated version probably means "idea" in this context.  PLES appears to be cognate with "place" and likely means something like "home" or "settlement", given this native seemed more afraid of SLOP-5 than the other.
Mi laik kisim em i go bek long nambis. I (like/want?) ??? it back to ???  We have not yet found any cognate for KISIM.  It is probably of local origin.  Given the context (both audio and video), it might mean "to capture".  NAMBIS is definitely a place, different from PLES.  Given that the natives dragged SLOP-5 to the shore, that's as good a guess as any.
Sapos em i kaikaim yu? (Maybe?) it (eats?) you?  Nothing further to add given the above analysis.
Em i no gat maus.  Yu helpim mi i pulimapim em i go bek long nambis. It has no mouth.  You help me (pull/tow?) it back to the (shore?)  This adds support to translating KAIKAIM as "to eat" and KAIKAI as something food-related if not food itself.
Orait, orait!  Tasol sapos em i stat long kikim, mi larim yu na mi ranawe kwiktaim! Alright, alright!  ??? (maybe?) it starts to kick, I ??? you (and?) I run away quickly!  In context, TASOL SAPOS seems to mean "but if"  LARIM would then mean "leave" or "abandon".  This was spoken by the more timorous native.
Wanem nau?  Dispela i olsem ston.  Yumi no gat naip inap long katim em. What now?  This is (all the same as?) stone.  (We?) have no knife (up to?) cutting it.  See above, nothing really new here.
Yumitupela bai wetim.  Em i lukim long yumitupela.  Ating em i toktok. (We two?) ??? wait.  It is looking at (the two of us?).  (Maybe?) it talks.  YUMITUPEL was spoken once the natives had SLOP-5 ashore, near other natives, as opposed to YUMI when it was only the 2 of them out in the water.  Both seem to apply to the same two natives in different contexts.  We need more examples of native pronouns to come to any meaningful conclusions.  BAI, in the context of at least one native waiting patiently in front of SLOP-5 for hours after it said this, perhaps is some sort of indicator of future tense.


Sadly, Geoflan had precious little time to read, learn, and inwardly digest all this due to the immediate start of his entry into Laythe's atmosphere.  Still, he gave it his best shot in the relatively peaceful intervals allowed.



To complicate matters further, there was a change in plans at the last moment.  A storm front was moving in from seaward and its outer bands completely covered the whole coastal strip from Monolith Point south.  Back at Mission Control, the Drone Controllers decided their only option was to penetrate the clouds by homing in on SLOP-5's  known location, then turning towards the landing site 10km south.



This naturally caused LE-2 FORLORN HOPE to make a more dramatic appearance than planned.



The ceiling under the clouds at SLOP-5's location was so low that LE-2 FORLORN HOPE could not glide the full 10km away from the Laythean settlement as planned.  Instead, it only made it about 4km.



However, the change in landing site did not affect the landing.  The beach-ish mudflat-ish terrain was the same fur the full 10km.  LE-2 thus came down perfectly fine, only losing its lower vertical stabilizer during the landing flare, but that had been the plan all along.  Besides, all aerodynamic surfaces were going to be discarded once on the ground anyway.




LE-2 FORLORN HOPE drove away from its jettisoned appendages, did a U-turn, and stopped for the obligatory propaganda photo.  The standard-issue selfie drone (truly one of Kerbalkind's greatest inventions) failed to record the thoughts of the heroic trio.



Once their eyes had lost the retinal after-images of the flash, Geoflan had is crew set about the immediate post-landing chores.




With this accomplished, Geoflan jutted his chin in the most Neo-Socialist Art manner possible and gave the order to move out.



Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.

Edited by Geschosskopf
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1 hour ago, obney kerman said:

FORLORN HOPE reminds me of the OPTC's BATHMAT, discarding the wings immediately after landing.

Yup, same idea.  I stole it from some crazy pre-WW2 ideas for airborne light tanks, which struck me as utterly Kerbal.  In real life, the idea never really worked and it was easier just to make a big enough conventional glider to put the vehicle inside.  But in the infamous words of XKCD, "it works in KSP" :D , at least sometimes.  I find it convenient in certain situations.

The 2 requirements are that the air be thick enough to fly in without needing a ridiculously big wing (so you can launch the thing without too much fuss) and re-entry can't be so brutal that exposed parts burn off.  Alternis Laythe meets these criteria because the Alternis Kerbol system has a built-in version of "Realistic Atmospheres".  This means the atmospheres have normal pressure at the surface and fade smoothly to nothing at the top, whereas in stock the atmospheres don't thin out as much with height and then just go suddenly to zero, as if they've been decapitated.  The result is that in stock. you hit thicker air at higher velocity and re-entry is much harsher than it really should be.  In Alternis, OTOH, the thinner air has a chance to slow you some before you hit the thicker part and the transition is smoother, all of which results in less-intense fire.  I doubt this would work on stock Laythe.

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50 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Yup, same idea.  I stole it from some crazy pre-WW2 ideas for airborne light tanks, which struck me as utterly Kerbal.  In real life, the idea never really worked and it was easier just to make a big enough conventional glider to put the vehicle inside.  But in the infamous words of XKCD, "it works in KSP" :D , at least sometimes.  I find it convenient in certain situations.

Reminds me of something I'm doing as part of an Eve rescue mission. It includes two small rovers which have wings that jettison.

Great chapter as usual! Can't wait for that first conversation!

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This mission report just went from "Exceptional" to "Groundbreaking."  Thanks man!

(Though my personal hypothesis is that the Laytheans are perfectly normal, modern*, underground-dwelling Kerbins**; this bunch are just a fringe group devoted to the Monolith and some weird cosplay fetish.)

* biologically modern , that is

** I of course meant "Kerbals"

Edited by boccelounge
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On 12/18/2017 at 11:04 PM, Geschosskopf said:

As Geoflan would say, "Jolly good show!"

Also, Episode 25 was last time :P

17 hours ago, boccelounge said:

(Though my personal hypothesis is that the Laytheans are perfectly normal, modern, underground-dwelling Kerbals; this bunch are just a fringe group devoted to the Monolith and some weird cosplay fetish.)

We can only hope that not all of them are My Little Pony look-alikes...

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21 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Reminds me of something I'm doing as part of an Eve rescue mission. It includes two small rovers which have wings that jettison.

Great chapter as usual! Can't wait for that first conversation!

I look forward to seeing how this concept works on Eve.  Thanks for the support :wink:


17 hours ago, boccelounge said:

This mission report just went from "Exceptional" to "Groundbreaking."  Thanks man!

(Though my personal hypothesis is that the Laytheans are perfectly normal, modern, underground-dwelling Kerbins; this bunch are just a fringe group devoted to the Monolith and some weird cosplay fetish.)

I'm quite flattered, although I think that if this story breaks anything, it's wind :)

I like your theory very much.  It is, in fact, very the 1st one I put on the list of possibilities when I decided to have intelligent life on Laythe to go with the trees .  Sick minds hallucinate alike :)   But I ultimately decided on something...   weirder.


3 minutes ago, KAL 9000 said:

As Geoflan would say, "Jolly good show!"

Also, Episode 25 was last time :P

Thanks!  Fixed the title.

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EPISODE 27:  Second Rock from Jool



And so LE-2 FORLORN HOPE, in its true rover form, set out from its landing site in the general direction of SLOP-5 and the natives who had commandeered it.  The Emperor wasn't too concerned about that yet but it didn't pay to risk his displeasure so, even if the natives ran away at its approach, LE-2 FORLORN HOPE had at least to go check out SLOP-5.  However, it didn't get far before problems arose, distracting Geoflan from his study of the native language.





GEOFLAN:  "Ah yes, there we go.  Got it in the tweezers.  Nasty-looking creature.  I wonder if its kind are responsible for the orange or the brown splats on the windshield?  That's an exercise for you, Lizeny.  Here, put this thing in a jar for later study.  You shall have the honor of describing the first alien species encountered by Kerbals.  Which means you get to name it.

LIZENY:  Oi'll name hit after Alice, Sir.  Af'erall, she discovered hit.

GEOFLAN:  Jolly good!  I can see it now, Laythebugi alicii or some such.  Yes, that's a jolly good name.  Congratulations, Alice!  You already have immortality of a sort, more than most can hope for.

ALICE:  Aw, shucks, Sir.  Thankee, LIzeny!  I'll try an' return the favor.

NOTE:  I tried using Transparent Pods but it just crashed my game over and over.  The see-through views of the Buffalo windshield are from the stock internal view button as @Angel-125 applied it to Buffalo, which gives the same effect.  But only when the Buffalo itself is the active vessel.  Thus, the windows will be fogging up regularly in what follows, depending on I'm focused on.  But hey, this is Laythe the Jungle Moon and the Buffalo cab really doesn't have any windshield wipers, so.... :D

Anyway, with this little misadventure taken care of, LE-2 FORLORN HOPE continued until it was about half-way between where it landed and the native beach houses.  At that point, about 2.5km out, it crested a slight rise in the beach/mudflat and the jolly crew got its first look at the native settlement.  There, Geoflan called a halt with LE-2 FORLORN HOPE skylined at the crest of the ridge to be as visible as possible, to assess native reaction.  On the plus side, no anti-tank rounds came their way.



Geoflan took the opportunity of the halt to practice counting to 100 in the native language.  In the meantime, nothing happened.  So he held an impromptu council of diplomacy.






GEOFLAN (trying hard to control his reaction to his shipmate's evident infection with Missionary Zeal):  OK....  Noted, Alice.  But Kerbin doesn't Care.  That's His whole thing.  That's why we have saints.  I suggest you turn your thoughts to St. Pestula, Our Lady of Miserable Suffering.  I'm pretty sure both we and the natives are in her jurisdiction. 

ALICE:  ........  Um.....  Yer roight, o' course, Sir!  Wot was Oi thnkin', Sir?

GEOFLAN:  No worries, Alice.  You just need your meds adjusted.  Which reminds me, the logbook says you both owe me a tot.  So let's splice the main brace.  Might be our last chance, after all, and another drop of grog wouldn't do us any harm.  To the Empire!  (clink)

MISSION CONTROL (in Geoflan's earpiece):  Well played.  We've taken the necessary actions.

A bit later........

GEOFLAN: Alright, lasses, here's the plan.  We will advance slowly and slightly off line towards the native huts, keeping towards the inland side, and we stop at 500m if nothing happens beforehand.  Once stopped, me and Lizeny will get out. Lizeny will stand 10m behind me, acting as bodyguard.  Lizeyny, you say nothing and do nothing, don't even try to look intimidating.  Only shoot AFTER I'm dead, got it?  Right.  Alice, you stay in the driver's seat and be ready to roll at a moment's notice, in case we have to beat a hasty retreat.  If I go down, drive  to the beach of the North Bay and await rescue there.  Right?  OK, let's do this.

And so LE-2 FORLORN HOPE moved forward again, at walking pace, and stopped about 500m away from the native huts.  Then Geoflan and Lizeny disembarked and took up their assigned positions.  Pretty soon, they observed a group of natives walking towards them.




Eventually, four natives came close enough to be recognized from SLOP-5's footage.  In the lead was L1, the one who had been most forward in dealings with SLOP-5.  L2, its more timorous companion, brought up the rear.  In between were L3 and L4.  They came within easy speaking distance, which was also easy attacking distance, and halted.  Then L1 spoke, and this historic first face-to-face conversation between Kerbals and intelligent natives of another world raised more questions than it answered.  Things almost got out of hand.




But the initial misunderstandings were soon overcome and the selfie drones recorded the eventual rapprochement for posterity.



With this diplomatic faux pas swept under the rug of history, things continued long gutpela taim in peace.





And so things have tipped slightly over the razor's edge towards the non-violent side.  It had been a near-run thing and no telling what would happen in the immediate future.  But at least for the moment, Kerbals and Laytheans were on a first-name basis.


Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.

Edited by Geschosskopf
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5 hours ago, obney kerman said:

Good, they're not cosplayers. (Puts away weaponry)

Yes.  The universe was not ready for that :) 


2 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

Oh, good show, Geoflan! I can't wait to see them all having a gutpela taim together, stret?

Well, they're in a perfect spot for a luau.  We'll have to see :) 



This also clears up something I was wondering: how do you pronounce Geoflan's name? Is it Gee-oh-flan, or more like Jeff-len? Renbo Das' reply seems to suggest the former.

Unfortunately for Geoflan, he's a member of a literate, educated caste.  Thus, his peers have always mockingly translated his name as Kerbin (geo) Custard (flan), so the poor bastid's been stuck with the nickname "Mudpie" all his life.  He's quite sensitive about it but, fortunately, he doesn't have any peers in his current situation so this hasn't been a distraction :D 


Edited by Geschosskopf
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11 hours ago, OrbitalBuzzsaw said:

Well, given that the name of the diplomatic corps is BUNGLE... 

There is much debate here on Earth about the bizarre coincidences surrounding Kerbal acronyms.  Kerbals make their acronyms the same way we do, with the 1st (and sometimes a few other) letters of each word.  But of course, the words they use are Kerbish, not English, so they end up with a completely different set of letters in their acronyms than we get when we translate the Kerbish words making up the acronyms.  And, due to differences in sentence structure and grammar between Kerbish and English, the (different) letters we use for the same words are in a different order, and there is also often a different number of letters in total.

The Kerbals, just like us, carefully craft their acronyms to end up being at least catchy or memorable, maybe even inspiring, when read in Kerbish.  They often seem to form the names of various deities, mythological creatures, and even cool types of natural Kerbin wildlife, same as us.  Of course, most of these names are totally untranslatable into English because we don't know what they refer to.  But the strange part is, EVERY time the Kerbish words underlying an acronym are translated into English, the resulting acronym is rather disparaging when read in English.  This has happened so many times over the years that human linguists have lost much sleep over trying to figure out why this keeps happening.

Anyway, suffice to say that BUNGLE, FORLORN HOPE, EPIKFAIL, and all other Kerbal acronyms used in this and other tales mean something very different to the Kerbals :wink: 



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EPISODE 28: Love Shack



EDIT:  Added frame-by-frame translation of the Laythean in a spoiler at the bottom.

After everybody had been introduced, the one called Renbo Das continued its apparent ritual by offering food.  And at this point, the crew of LE-2 FORLORN HOPE finally noticed that only Renbo Das was armed.  The other natives were carrying what was apparently food.  As the mission of LE-2 FORLORN HOPE was of indefinite duration and had only so much room for supplies, it had always been the plan for the crew to switch to local produce at some point, so might as well get it over with.




And so the "Travelling Circus", more properly known as the Trading Company, made its first trade.  It had taken many years, supernovae, and changes of universe, but it had finally happened.  And with this exchange of food (which both parties found quite yummy), Renbo Das put away its warclub and raised the issue of the lateness of the hour.  This led to a moment of awkwardness.



And so Alice drove slowly to a spot near the native huts while everybody else walked along beside and Geoflan attempted to explain what was about to happen.  About all the natives got out of this exchange was that LE-2 FORLORN HOPE was a type of thing called a "rover" but they remained curious as to what the newcomers were going to do.  So while Lizeny still maintained a bit of a relaxed guard position and Geoflan continued to explain things, Alice set to work building the crew's new home.  Which really, at the bottom line, wasn't any different from the natives building their own huts, so they weren't terribly impressed.  In fact, they didn't think the Pathfinder base would last the night.  However, it at least lasted long enough for the Circus to cash a check.




Once the base was complete, the natives invited the crew over to a cookout once it got dark.  And Renbo Das and Geoflan had many things to discuss.  So Alice and Lizeny went off with the other 3 natives to learn what they could and help as they might, while Renbo Das and Geoflan strolled down to the shore.  All weapons were put away.


NOTE:  The daylight pics below were all taken in a later game session than those above.  And for some reason, most of the Laythean's Pro Props vanished in the meantime.  I didn't realize this until the sun was about down and it was too late to retake the pics after cheating in a resupply of props.  So pretend the natives are NOT walking around naked.

ALSO NOTE:  The Pro Props headgear don't work on female Kerbals. So just pretend Alice and Lizeny are wearing glasses and headsets just like Geoflan, and thus have BUNGLErs prompting them in their conversations.



Meanwhile, Renbo Das and Geoflan both wanted answers to the major mysteries as they each saw them.  Both were somewhat suspicious of each other, however, so the information exchange took the form of a game, with each taking turns asking the other questions.  Renbo Das went first, asking about SLOP-5.  However, Geoflan, not being up on all the technology since his undergrad days, couldn't provide much.  Plus, of course, he was under orders not to disclose much about Kerbal technology.



Then it was Geoflan's turn.  He asked about previous visits by Kerbals to Laythe and was shocked when Renbo Das admitted to having met 2 Kerbals before.  Unfortunately, both were now dead.  Before Geoflan could find out how they'd died, Renbo Das changed the subject.



Renbo Das wanted to know how Geoflan and company had gotten to Laythe.  Apparently they had no arrived the same way as those before.  So Geoflan gave the rough outlines of how they'd flown across space from Kerbin (which was visible in the sky at that moment through a hole in the clouds), culminating the the landing Renbo Das had just witnessed.  Renbo Das seemed to think this very strange and not quite believable.  Then it was Geoflan's turn again.  Sensing Renbo Das wasn't going to say much more about the other Kerbals, Geoflan asked about the "water vehicles" instead, as they were right there.  They proved to be dugouts with outriggers for stability.  Geoflan couldn't resist the urge to try driving one himself.  Somewhat to his surprise, Renbo Das easily agreed.



And so Geoflan became the first Kerbal ever to paddle a canoe, and he did it on another planet.  Strange how things work in the KSP universe.



Geoflan, being a total subterranean landlubber, also soon became the 1st Kerbal ever to fall out of a canoe, too.  And of course, he couldn't swim.  Fortunately, however, the water wasn't over his head.



By the time Geoflan and Renbo Das returned to the huts (which the natives called "Wara Ples"), it was getting dark.  The others had, meanwhile spun up a fire and had the food cooked.  Just then 4 more natives appeared, 2 adults and 2 sprouts.  These had come from "Diwai Ples", another cluster of huts up on Monolith Hill.  So there was another round of introductions and welcomes.



Renbo Das had, meanwhile, asked Geoflan more about LE-2 FORLORN HOPE and it was Geoflan's turn again.  So this time he asked for the origin story of the natives because some  BUNGLEr suggested this might be an appropriate story for a campfire.  But Renbo Das insisted they eat first.  The native food was surprisingly delicious.  It was various fruit, roots, nuts, and various types of bread made from them all.  Plus various shellfish and spicy sauces.  The natives even had a type of beer that, while lacking the hops of the Circus daily ration, really hit the spot after the various excitements of the day.  The Kerbals, OTOH, were very surprised to see the natives digging into the standard Snacks! "junk" they'd brought to the cookout.




When the food was nearly all gone, Geoflan produced a bottle of whiskey and passed it around in hopes it would loosen Renbo Das' tongue.  By now, he wasn't surprised at all that the natives were also familiar with whiskey, which they called "fire water".  But at least it had the desired effect.  After a few swigs, Renbo Das kicked back and launched into a long story about the previous Kerbals on Laythe.  But it took Renbo Das a while to get started (I just thought that as long as I had a campfire, I might was well do the whole show with it).





Finally, the actual story began, and a strange tale it was....




The Kerbals, both on Laythe and on Kerbin, were completely shocked.  If what Renbo Das said was true, the natives weren't Laytheans after all, they were just mutated Kerbals descended from those unlucky enough to have somehow triggered the Monolith.  It was just crazy enough to be true.  It seemed too weird for them to have just made up.  Only a tissue sample could confirm the story, however, and now didn't seem to be a good time to acquire one.  So Geoflan had to content himself with asking a few questions to clear up a few details and be sure the translation was correct.

By then, everybody had a fully belly and a good buzz so it was the end of the opportunity to get reliable intel.  And the long Laythean night had just started.  So the party broke up and the crew returned to their base, with Pinki Pai teasingly calling after them "Yupela i no larim ol binatang i kaikaim!"  Once back home, the 3 Kerbals sat around their table and tried to make sense of things.




Yes, it turned out that binatangs had been a key ingredient in one of the sauces slathered over steamed shellfish.  And it HAD been a wonderfully spicy sauce.  There might be a market for that back on Kerbin....  


But enough of all this touchy-feely "Love Shack" stuff.  Laythe wasn't the only iron the Circus had in the fire.  And there hasn't been a single explosion in this whole long episode. So here's a nice one.  This is the Eve SCANsat probe which will sit in a parking orbit between Kerbin and Mun for a month or 2 before leaving.






RAINBOW DASH:  Ya'll must be hungry after your journey.  We brought food for
y'all.  Y'all will like Laythe food!  It's very good!


APPLEJACK:  I give you bread made from the fruit of the trees on Monolith Hill.
 It's my favorite!

RAINBOW DASH:  Ya'll brought food from Kerbin?!?!?  Great!  We have always
wanted to try Kerbin food!  Thank yo, thank you!


RAINBOW DASH:  Night will come in a short time.  We all should go to Wara Ples
(village).  Ya'll can sleep in one house and we'll sleep in the other.

RAINBOW DASH:  You speak truth?!?  We must see this!


RAINBOW DASH:  Ah, I understand now.  Alice is simply building a house.  I was
thinking your rover was a house that moved.

RARETY  Still, this kind of house is sorta cool.  I suppose....


PINKY PIE  Hey Applejack, I bet 5 crabs the termites eat this house before

APPLEJACK:  Great!  I bet 5 crabs the termites eat this house before sundown.

RAINBOW DASH:  Great!  I agree with what Geoflan said.  Geoflan, in the
morning, the 2 of us will see if the termites have eaten your house, eh?


RAINBOW DASH:  When night comes, we'll have a cookout.  Y'all will come to the
cookout, yes?  We will cook all the food of Laythe.  Y'all bring all the food
from Kerbin, right?  All the kerbs from this area will be at the cookout.  The
cookout is for y'all's arrival on Laythe.

RAINBOW DASH:  Good!  Now Geoflan, the 2 of us have much to discuss.


PINKY PIE  Your speech is all wrong.  I'm not clear...

PINKY PIE  Oh, I understand now.  The termites can't climb the house legs.

RARETY  Great!  Thank you!  Cooking all the food for the cookout is a huge
amount of work!

APPLEJACK:  We stash all the food in the storehouse.  The termites can't climb
the storehouse legs.


RAINBOW DASH:  Alright, Geoflan, this... thing... belongs to y'all, yes?  What
is it?

RAINBOW DASH:  Drone?  Canoe?  Is its kerb inside it, like y'all were inside
the rover?

RAINBOW DASH:  No kerb?  How does it move?


RAINBOW DASH:  Yes, I've seen 2 green Kerbals.  One was long ago, when I was a
sprout.  The other was 4, maybe 5 years before now.

RAINBOW DASH:  They popped.  The 2nd one popped 4, maybe 5 months ago.  Now
it's my turn.  Geoflan, how did y'all get to Laythe?


RAINBOW DASH:  This is a canoe.  We make them from tree wood.

RAINBOW DASH:  You use a canoe paddle in the water.  You row and the canoe

RAINBOW DASH:  Alright, I'll help you get it in the water.


RAINBOW DASH:  Great!  You're doing good!


RAINBOW DASH:  HAHA!  Geoflan, tomorrow I'll teach you about canoes.  Now you
come back to the beach quickly.  Salt water has many big fish and they're


RAINBOW DASH:  These 2 adults and these 2 kids are from Diwai Ples (village) on
top of Monolith Hill.

OTHERS:  say their names.

PINKY PIE  Hey Applejack!  The sun has set and the Kerbals' house still exists.
 You owe me 5 crabs!

RAINBOW DASH:  HAHA!  True!  Pinky Pie, you can't eat the crabs yet.


RAINBOW DASH:  Later, Geoflan.  First, we all eat and drink.  We all are having
a cookout!  The food is all ready!

OTHERS:  Green kerbals from Kerbin, we welcome y'all to Laythe!


OTHERS:  This food from Kerbin is SOOOO sweet!


RAINBOW DASH:  WOW!  You have firewater!  That's the BEST!  Thank you!

OHTERS:  Firewater?!?!?  GREAT!!!!


RAINBOW DASH:  Alright Geoflan, Alice, and Lizeny.  Now I tell the story of the
green Kerbals who came to Laythe before y'all.  This story and the story y'all
told me are very different.  We don't understand y'all's story.  When y'all
hear the story I tell, maybe y'all can teach us.

RAINBOW DASH:  I want more whiskey.  This is a long story.


RAINBOW DASH:  I tell this story to y'all the same as the kerbs from long ago
told it to me.  The Laythe kerbs and the Kerbin kerbs both told the same story.
 Thus, we believe this story.

RAINBOW DASH:  Good.  Please give me more whiskey.  Thank you!  Now where was
I?  Yes, the beginning.....


RAINBOW DASH:  Long, long ago, a green Kerbal found a Monolith on Kerbin.  
Something happened and POOF!


RAINBOW DASH:  The green Kerbal appeared at the Laythe Monolith on the hill
behind me.


RAINBOW DASH:  After a long time, another green Kerbal appeared at Laythe's
Monolith.  Over time, maybe 10 or 12 green Kerbals appeared on Laythe.  More
whiskey, please.  Thank you!

RAINBOW DASH:  Over time, the green Kerbals popped.  But their spores sprouted.
 And these sprouts weren't green Kerbals.  They were a different kind of kerb.  
After a while, they became Laythe Kerbals.  They became us!




Tune in next time for more of the slow spiral into damnation.

And thanks for 10,000 views.  I'm quite flattered :D 


Edited by Geschosskopf
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2 hours ago, Just Jim said:

Oh, this is getting good!  And I love the fire-pit!!!  :D

Thanks!  I used Surface-Mounted Lights to make the glow that doesn't go too far from the fire.  I've got Engine Lighting going, too, but the little Spark engine at 1/3 thrust didn't cast enough light by itself.  I think the effect came out pretty good.  Maybe a bit too much red in the light, but OTOH maybe that's just the color Laythe driftwood burns?

This is the 1st time I've tried to do such a large, complex scene with all the props and Kerbals.  Wow, that's a lot of work (not to mention all the picture editing and sometimes a fair amount of writing), even with the wonderful tools of Easy Vessel Switch and Vessel Mover.  And the result:   3 full episodes covering just about 4 hours of gametime, during which 1 ship landed, 1 flag got planted, and 1 rover moved less than 5km.  I'm going to have to cut back on this sort of thing if I ever want to do anything else in this game :)   So I imagine in the morning, Geoplan and crew will go check out the Monolith, and then will be assumed to be conducting detailed research in the background while I fly some rockets.

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Just now, Angel-125 said:

That campfire is awesome! Now I wonder if the Laytheians will be introduced to a disco bar... :wink:

Thanks!  And yes, the plan eventually is for 1 (or more, for redundancy given BARIS) Laytheans to run away and join the Circus.  Kinda like Queequeg in Moby Dick.  So it's possible one might end up in the awesome DSEV disco bar.  I've got a couple candidate missions where a DSEV would be useful, but I have a LOT of tech to unlock before then.  In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to fly your tilt-rotors, although I've had little success so far.  You got a tutorial on that somewhere?  I couldn't find one.

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NOTE:  Updated the guide to reading Laythean with a Venn Diagram of the pronouns.  Also added a link to the guide itself to the table of contents in the OP.

If anybody's having trouble reading Laythean, feel free to ask for help.  Mi yet mi no save gut long Tok Pisin (I myself don't know Tok Pisin well), and Laythean isn't even straight Tok Pisin, so I'm sure I'm typing total gibberish.  However, my INTENT is clear so I can at least explain that :)  

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2 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Thanks!  And yes, the plan eventually is for 1 (or more, for redundancy given BARIS) Laytheans to run away and join the Circus.  Kinda like Queequeg in Moby Dick.  So it's possible one might end up in the awesome DSEV disco bar.  I've got a couple candidate missions where a DSEV would be useful, but I have a LOT of tech to unlock before then.  In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to fly your tilt-rotors, although I've had little success so far.  You got a tutorial on that somewhere?  I couldn't find one.

The easiest way to make a tiltrotor work is to point the engines up in the VAB/SPH and turn on center of mass and center of thrust displays. Then line the two up. There's a sample tiltrotor craft that comes with the Buffalo mod (it's the Rio Grande from my K.E.E.P. story).

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17 hours ago, Angel-125 said:

The easiest way to make a tiltrotor work is to point the engines up in the VAB/SPH and turn on center of mass and center of thrust displays. Then line the two up. There's a sample tiltrotor craft that comes with the Buffalo mod (it's the Rio Grande from my K.E.E.P. story).

I've tried that but I find the interface with the CoM and CoT markers insufficiently precise.  The thing always flips forward or backwards.  One option is to build a quad-copter and use Throttle-Controlled Avionics to keep it stable, I suppose.

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I pity you, @Geschosskopf. You had to watch My Little Pony to find out their names.

On another note, I still don't trust the Laytheans. I still think they're cosplayers.

If they are, we'll have to do a... um... what's the Laythean word for "nuclear strike"?

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9 hours ago, Just Jim said:

Oh cool! He was my favorite character!!!  :D

Well, first I have to figure out how to get off of Laythe.  Sure, plagues and possibly hostile natives are the OFFICIAL reasons why Geoflan et al were marooned, but actually at the time I couldn't actually make a viable return ship for them.  Now, with a fair amount of better tech at my disposal, I'm still finding it rather difficult.  The original plan was to unlock dual-mode engines and build a spaceplane.  However, I mentioned above that Alternis Kerbol atmospheres thin out more realistically than stock.  This means that jet engines conk out about 10km lower than they do in stock.  This is causing such problems that I'm about to give up on this and see what I can do with a conventional lander using aerospikes (which I also now also have).


4 hours ago, KAL 9000 said:

I pity you, @Geschosskopf. You had to watch My Little Pony to find out their names.

On another note, I still don't trust the Laytheans. I still think they're cosplayers.

If they are, we'll have to do a... um... what's the Laythean word for "nuclear strike"?

Fortunately, no program-watching was necessary.  The names of the Laytheans are available by right-clicking them :wink: 

I'm surprised you're not screaming "PURGE THE MUTANTS!!!!!"  :D    The Laytheans don't have a word for nukes, bombs, or such things, but something like "Dropim bikpela bikpela paia long ol!"  (Drop great big fire on them!) would probably get the point across.

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