Geschosskopf

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

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On 1/1/2018 at 11:19 AM, OrbitalBuzzsaw said:

Damn. That's an origin story and a half there.

And it gets worse.... :)

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

EPISODE 29:  I Eat Cannibals

Spoiler

 

EDIT:  Now has translations of the Laythean after each pic.

During the Laythean night, which of course did not match the Kerbals' sleep cycle, much discussion went back and forth between Laythe and Kerbin.  The upshot was that it seemed more likely than not that the natives' origin story was true.  It explained the physical and linguistic similarities without other Kerbals having been to space before the Circus.  But OTOH, it relied on the Monoliths being more than curious landmarks and that invoked high-tech aliens and all that.  As yet, none of the Monoliths, despite much study, and ever been more than just inert blocks of rock.  Still, there was an unexplained disappearance from one of the surface exploration expeditions a few years back.  It had just been some random worker who just didn't show up for work one morning, so nobody had paid much attention.  More research was needed there.  In the meantime, Mission Control insisted that it was more important than ever that Geoflan and crew get a good look at the Laythe Monolith.

Of course, other things were going on as well.  For instance, the Circus had just developed a new family of engines, some of which might be useful for getting Geoflan's party and, more importantly, their data and perhaps a native, back.  Thus, much testing was required.  Sadly, nothing exploded.

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The natives seemed wired for Laythe's diurnal cycle so nothing was heard from them until the morning, when Renbo Das, Pinki Pai, and Rareti showed up.  The former 2 had unfinished business, the latter was just along out of curiosity.  This led to complications with the crew's plans.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  Look Pinki Pai, the haus of the green kerbs still exists.  You owe Geoflan 10 crabs.

Pinki Pai:  I'm surprised.  Why didn't the termites eat it (the Pathfinder base) ?

Geoflan:  Thank you, Pinki Pai.  This haus isn't made of wood.  The termites didn't want it.  Now let's all eat the crabs!

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  Now Geoflan, shall I give you canoe lessons?

Geoflan:  Thanks, but maybe later?  We must see the Monolith.

Renbo Das:  Y'all will go in the rover?  I want to go in the rover!

Rareti:  I want to go in the rover, too!

 

So it was that Alice stayed behind to mind the fort make sure the base was fully operational and help pick up the mess the previous evening, while Renbo Das and Rareti accompanied Geoflan and Lizeny to the Monolith.  This led to more complications.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  I think the rover is like the drone, it doesn't need a Kerbal to move, yes?

Renbo Das:  But the rover goes in a different manner.  It's quiet and doesn't stink.

Geoflan:  Yes, but the rover needs a Kerbal to steer it. 

Geoflan:  You will see.  Climb up with me.

Rareti:  I don't understand.  I don't have spirits talking inside my ear like you do.

Renbo Das:  Silence!  This we do not speak of.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  I'm sorry about Rareti. She's got no manners sometimes.  However, you see that us Laytheans have big ears.  We've been hearing the "spirits" talking in your ears.

Renbo Das:  Don't worry, Geoflan,  I know spirits don't talk to you.  I think the "spirits" are Kerbals on Kerbin.

Renbo Das:  Y'all came across space, yes?  You didn't appear at the Monolith, yes?  Thus, I think y'all can talk across space.  It's easy logic!

Renbo Das:  However, we Laytheans agreed not to speak of this.  Thus, I apologize about Rareti.

Geoflan:  I'm sorry about Lizeny.

Renbo Das:  Don't worry, Geoflan.  I wish all the previous green Kerbals who appeared before y'all had been able to talk across space.  Now, this rover is AWESOME!  Show me what it can do!

 

On the bright side, this merely confirmed something that had been rather obvious all along, that the natives knew more than they let on.  And Geoflan remembered his brief about the natives possibly having additional senses and alternate means of communications.  He resolved to be more careful around them in the future.  Still, Renbo Das seemed to think his link with Mission Control was a good thing, for greatly accelerating their ability to communicate.  So, the Kerbals took the natives' stance on the issue of the glasses and headsets, and decided "this, we do not speak of."

And so the trip began.  The direct route from Wara Place to the Monolith looked too steep for comfort so Geoflan drove inland on a lesser slope, then curved back around towards the Monolith.  The 2 natives seemed to really enjoy the trip.  Rareti especially.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  AWESOME!  Geoflan, go faster!

Rareti:  WOOHOO!  I must learn all y'all know!

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Spoiler

Rareti:  This (rover) is like a canoe that goes on land, yes?  I can do this!

Lizeny:  We Kerbals always like whatever help you can give.

Rareti:  Funny thing.. I was afraid of y'all at first.  But y'all are kerbs just like us.  Y'all just have nicer things.

Rareti:  Yes, my name is Rareti and I'm the best cook on Laythe!

 

 

Along the way, Renbo Das suggested stopping at Diwai Ples, the village on Monolith Hill, first.  This native was obviously the respected elder of the area and de facto leader of Wara Ples, but Diwai Ples and, by extension, the Monolith, was the turf of Twailait Spak, and it would be rude to intrude without spaying respects.  Mission Control thought this was a good idea.  Along the way, Lizeny gathered some botanicals.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  I say this:  we (all) should go to Tree Village before we go to the Monolith.  Tree Village is close to the Monolith.  If we just show up at the Monolith, maybe all the kerbs of Tree Village will be afraid.

Geoflan:  You talk good sense.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  We Laytheans make rope out of this grass.

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Spoiler

Geoflan:  Is this what you call the "Picture Stone" ?

Renbo Das:  Yes, but Tree Village is not far now.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  See, there is Tree Village.

 

Twailait Spak was cool with this (and rather unimpressed with the Kerbals) and agreed to accompany the crew.  It wanted to walk to the Monolith, however, which was just as well as there were no more seats inside.  So Geoflan idled LE-2 FORLORN HOPE along behind Twailait Spak for the few hundred meters to the Monolith.  While at Diwai Place, the Kerbals felt the ground constantly shaking slightly.  It was really weird but the natives took it in stride.  (The green mossy texture in this area slops back and forth like water.  Strange).

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Spoiler

Renbo Das: This area belongs to Twailait Spak.  You talk all nice to (Twailait Spak), right?

Geoflan:  Twailait Spak, we have come to see the Monolith, alright?

Renbo Das:  Kinda good....

Twailait Spak:  Alright, I'll come with y'all.

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Spoiler

Geoflan:  Is the ground shaking?

Twailait Spak:  Yes, the ground shakes here close to the Monolith.  It's normal here.  Don't you worry about it

 

Soon, they all got to the Monolith and Lizeny ran all the instruments.  Among other things, this made it plain that the Monoliths did in fact do something.  Strange signals were picked up by the Circus relay network and a team of Boffins and Scientists immediately started digging into them.  But back on Laythe, there wasn't much to see, except some food on the ground.

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Spoiler

Lizeny:  (Why is there) food on the ground?

Twailait Spak:  We put food here in case another green kerb appears at the Monolith and he's hungry.  But, y'all didn't appear at the Monolith.  Still, y'all can take this food.  It will go bad before much longer.

Renbo Das:  I agree with Twailait Spak.  I'm hungry after our journey.

 

After taking readings that would have to be analyzed later and eating the slightly stale food, Geoflan decided there wasn't anything left to do at the Monolith today so they all went back to Diwai Ples.  There, Geoflan had to ask Twailait Spak about previous Kerbals, and Twailait Spak dropped a bombshell....

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Spoiler

Geoflan:  You've seen green Kerbals before, yes?

Twailait Spak:  Oh yes, in this area, green Kerbals grow on trees.

Geoflan:  Say what?

Twailait Spak:  Yes, it's true.  Come and see.

Renbo Das:  Oooooo..  I forgot about this....

Geoflan:  Alright, show me.

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Spoiler

Twailait Spak:  You see?

Geoflan:  I don't have words

Renbo Das:  I'm sorry, Geoflan.  All green Kerbals are always surprised by this.  However, this is a fact of life on Laythe.  Laythe gets inside the sprauts and they become Laytheans, and green Kerbals get into Laythe and the trees come up with the heads of green Kerbals....

 

So the Geoflan and Lizeny bid an awkward good-bye to Twailait Spak and LE-2 FORLORN HOPE headed back down the hill in even more awkward silence.  Eventually, Rendbo Das tried to rationalize things.

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Spoiler

Renbo Das:  It's no big deal, Geoflan.  All life is akin.  We don't eat Kerbals.  A trees is a tree, not a Kerbal.

Geoflan:  You are right, Renbo Das.  I don't think...

Renbo Das:  It's OK, Geoflan.  It is what it is.

 

Mission Control was willing to roll with this and Geoflan really had no choice.  Lizeny didn't seem to be bothered at all, which bothered Geoflan more than his own disquiet.  Upon arrival back at Wara Ples, Renbo Das and Rareti went back to their own affairs while Lizeny started analyzing all the samples they'd collected.  And Geoflan had to explain things to Alice, she with the barely controlled Missionary Zeal....

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Oh well, the Laythean day was still young.  And Renbo Das had promised to give him boating lessons.  Geoflan decided that would really help take his mind off things.  How did his life suddenly become so complicated?

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

Meanwhile, back on Kerbin, the Roid Sniffer Mk2 was wheeled out and launched to give this episode its obligatory explosion.  This thing is bound for a Class C rock, one of Jool's Trailing Trojans, just to give it the once over.

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

And let me know if you need a translation of the above...

Edited by Geschosskopf

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OMG... Laythean Soylent Green-trees!!!  :0.0:

 

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2 hours ago, Just Jim said:

OMG... Laythean Soylent Green-trees!!!  :0.0:

Yes, I think @GregroxMun deserves an award for inventing the creepiest trees ever :cool:.  And you can blame these trees for this whole absurd Laythean thing.  With my take on Kerbal biology, I've often speculated what would happen if their spores fell on fertile ground.  The I saw these trees and had my answer, and everything went downhill from there :) 

The current thinking amongst the Scientists is as follows:

  • Life on Kerbin and Laythe has a common origin, a "pansporia" thing.  Whether it started on Kerbin or Laythe, or whether both places were infected from somewhere else, is as yet unknown and really doesn't matter.
  • Life on Kerbin and Laythe is dominated by fungus-analogs (this includes Kerbals) that reproduce by spores.  The spores remain viable essentially forever and swap genetic material around like bacteria do here on Earth.  Inter-species gene-swapping is possible if the species are related closely enough.
  • Apparently most of the vegetation on Laythe is closely related to Kerbals, so the trees grew some Kerbal-like features, while the Kerbals became Laytheans.  There's also Kerbal KNA in the various bugs and shellfish but not much and it doesn't seem to have made any noticeable difference.

This is about all the Scientists have been able to cope with so far.  The full implications of all this are still unknown, but potentially disturbing....

 

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22 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

With my take on Kerbal biology, I've often speculated what would happen if their spores fell on fertile ground.  The I saw these trees and had my answer, and everything went downhill from there :) 

I'm actually reminded a lot of Brian Lumley's vampires. If you're not familiar with him, Brian Lumley is one of my top-5 favorite horror authors, and in his Necroscope series, he thought very carefully about vampires, and took them to a very weird extreme which I loved.

Warning, before I go any further, the Necroscope series of books is amazing, IMO... but NOT, I repeat NOT for the faint of heart. They are very hardcore horror,  and most people I've lent them to don't get past the first few chapters of the first book.

Now, having said that... and back to why I mention it, is Lumley's vampires are almost impossible to kill off completely, and if you don't totally destroy the body by fire, and I mean totally, and just a few drops of blood hit the ground,  they can respawn later on as weird mushrooms... These mushrooms will then release... yup, you guessed it... spores, that can infect a victim, and start the whole vampire cycle over again...

 Spores can be quite an interesting thing, if you really think of all the possibilities... 

Edited by Just Jim

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I like the story a lot but.... while the idea of Laytheans speaking laythese is really cool, it is personally for me a bit hard to read. So I miss about half the story. Its not a bad system, just not one I'm used to and not one I'm particularly a fan of.

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18 hours ago, Just Jim said:

I'm actually reminded a lot of Brian Lumley's vampires. If you're not familiar with him, Brian Lumley is one of my top-5 favorite horror authors, and in his Necroscope series, he thought very carefully about vampires, and took them to a very weird extreme which I loved.

Hehehe, that sounds pretty cool.  And also sorta the same idea here, I guess.

 

15 hours ago, qzgy said:

I like the story a lot but.... while the idea of Laytheans speaking laythese is really cool, it is personally for me a bit hard to read. So I miss about half the story. Its not a bad system, just not one I'm used to and not one I'm particularly a fan of.

Thanks for the feedback.  So here's what I'll do.  From now on, I'll put translations of all speech within pics in spoilers immediately after those pics.  And if I do a block of text dialog, I'll put interlinear translations..  In fact, as soon as I get done type this reply I'll go back and edit Episode 29 this way.  As for earlier episodes, it's like this:.

  • Guide to Reading Laythean (between Episodes 25 and 26).  ** Greatly revised and expanded **
  • Episode 25 (the 1st with Laythean speech) is almost fully translated in the early text of Episode 26.
  • Episode 26 had no Laythean speech.
  • Episode 27 has fairly complete translations within the pics, in the BUNGLErs' text bubbles (gray with purple border and zig-zag lines coming down from the top edge).  This is what the folks back home were whispering in Geoflan's ears during the conversation.  They did a pretty good job.  This was intended to be a sort of simple puzzle for interested readers.  But if it's unclear, let me know and I'll go back and put in spoiler translations.
  • Episode 28 (with the Laythean origin story) is fully translated in 1 big spoiler at the end of the episode (plus various on-the-spot translations from BUNGLE).  If you prefer, I can go back and do it frame-by-frame, too, as I'm about to do Episode 29 (which also has some on-the-spot translations).
  • Episode 29 et seq:  Shall have frame-by-frame and/or interlinear translations.

In addition, there's a pretty good online English <--> Tok Pisin (1 click to change direction) dictionary here:  https://glosbe.com/en/tpi/  This is where I get a lot of the words I use.  I got the grammar mostly from the "Tok Pisin Practice" course on Memrise, of which I'm only about 2/3 through with lesson 1 of 2 (but can now claim to know about 750 simple phrases). 

Numerous authors here have used various devices to convey in text what their characters would sound like if you could actually hear them.  That's all I'm trying to do.  By and large, Tok Pisin/Laythean sounds much like English except with a bunch of "-pela" syllables thrown in, and a slightly different sentence structure.  The main difference is that what are mostly straight-up English words are spelled differently (although with much more consistent phonetic rules than English), and sometimes these English words don't quite have the same meaning in Laythean/Tok Pisin as they do in English.  And there are enough non-English words to spice things up.

At the same time, I'm trying to put the reader in the shoes of the poor BUNGLErs having to learn an alien language on the fly, in real time, with the fate of worlds hanging in the balance.  Thus, I"m deliberately being a bit opaque and introducing some misunderstandings that would be inevitable in this sort of situation.  The Kerbals are very lucky in that the alien language is so similar to their own. But I'm also trying to leave a bit of it as an exercise for the interested student.  At least 1 person here (me) likes puzzles and, as I try very hard to judge others as I judge myself, I assume this is a fairly common trait amongst the KSP community  :D   But I'm usually wrong in such assumptions, because I seem to be rather weird.  Thus, I apologize for any inconvenience :) 

Edited by Geschosskopf

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16 hours ago, qzgy said:

I like the story a lot but.... while the idea of Laytheans speaking laythese is really cool, it is personally for me a bit hard to read. So I miss about half the story. Its not a bad system, just not one I'm used to and not one I'm particularly a fan of.

The Guide to Reading Laythean has been GREATLY revised and expanded.  It's now probably one of the longest posts in this thread.  Which makes me realize how much I was asking of folks to try to figure it out themselves.  Sorry.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Sorry.

Thank you very much for this. Also, I don't think its your fault (that the language is hard to understand at first glance). You yourself while writing this spend probably hours reading and or writing it, so the language system makes sense to you. I think the main problem on my end is a lack of remembering how the vowels sound (again, not complicated, just something I'm not used to) . But thank you very much for the improvements to the accessibility of Laythean.

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1 hour ago, qzgy said:

Thank you very much for this. Also, I don't think its your fault (that the language is hard to understand at first glance). You yourself while writing this spend probably hours reading and or writing it, so the language system makes sense to you. I think the main problem on my end is a lack of remembering how the vowels sound (again, not complicated, just something I'm not used to) . But thank you very much for the improvements to the accessibility of Laythean.

Glad you like the changes.  I spend maybe 10-15 minutes with Memrise per day, but I've been doing that for a couple months now I guess.  Not that much time, but it's enough to keep the spelling conventions in my head.  That's really the whole trick to it, as the underlying words are mostly English, just spelled differently.  If you remember the pronunciation rules, you can sound out the words and immediately know what most of them mean because they sound like words you know.

This works even when trying to read real Tok Pisin street signs.  There's a huge lack of standardization in spelling but even so, I can usually figure them out.  Note in the 2nd pic that "kaikai" is spelled "kai2" :D 

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29 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

Glad you like the changes.  I spend maybe 10-15 minutes with Memrise per day, but I've been doing that for a couple months now I guess.  Not that much time, but it's enough to keep the spelling conventions in my head.  That's really the whole trick to it, as the underlying words are mostly English, just spelled differently.  If you remember the pronunciation rules, you can sound out the words and immediately know what most of them mean because they sound like words you know.

I think it's awesome that you've gone to all this trouble to develop a language for your characters. I've been having a lot of fun trying to understand the dialect of the Laytheans, and I can get the gist of what they're saying most of the time. But we're both native English speakers. This may not be the case for a significant proportion of your readers, who may have no problems reading plain English, but will struggle with this rather weirdly written phonetical version of it. Case in point: "No ken drin bia." Sad.

So... thanks for the subtitles. Just, please don't overdub the Laytheans with celebrity voices. That would be too much. :wink:

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2 hours ago, UnusualAttitude said:

I think it's awesome that you've gone to all this trouble to develop a language for your characters. I've been having a lot of fun trying to understand the dialect of the Laytheans, and I can get the gist of what they're saying most of the time.

Thanks!  And I'm glad you like the puzzles :) 

I've been having "ol grinpela kerb bilong Kerbin" struggle with the native language in their text bubbles.  Spelling the sound-alike words in English instead of Laythean, but cluttering the whole thing up with "ums" and ellipses.  I intended this to serve 2 purposes.  First, it would show realistically Geoflan's unfamiliarity with the natives' language.  But second, it would be a clue to the reading of the Laythean.  However, this puts 2 languages/spelling conventions in the same pic, and sometimes 3 if Alice and Lizeny say something in their cockney-esque "Subservient Worker-Speak" dialect.  The Rosetta Stone had 3 languages in 3 scripts and it was a net benefit overall,  But in your opinion, does this help or hurt in the context of this story?

 

Quote

But we're both native English speakers. This may not be the case for a significant proportion of your readers, who may have no problems reading plain English, but will struggle with this rather weirdly written phonetical version of it. Case in point: "No ken drin bia." Sad.

Asples bilong me i no stap Inglan.  Olsem, mi no gat tok bilong Inglan :D  I speak a heavily Amercanized creole.  Still, I get what you're saying.  The quality of the English typed here by so many who learned it as a 2nd or 17th language often makes me forget that.

"No ken drin bia" is indeed sad.  What's the world coming to?

BTW, funny thing, but the English in that sign is ambiguous.  Where I live, when it says "No chewing" right after "No smoking", the chewed thing is assumed to be tobacco (a common vice hereabouts in which I partake). But the Tok Pisin makes it clear that's not it,  Instead, it's betel nut, the local name for which is "buai".  So, being a savvy traveller who's learned a bit of Tok Pisin, I could still chew my tobacco and maybe sell some to the natives who are having to forego their buai :) 

 

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So... thanks for the subtitles. Just, please don't overdub the Laytheans with celebrity voices. That would be too much. :wink:

I'm sure there are 2 or 3 generations of women who already consider them celebrities in their own right.  I googled it and the whole MLP franchise has been around since the 80s.

Edited by Geschosskopf

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2 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

I'm sure there are 2 or 3 generations of women who already consider them celebrities in their own right.  I googled it and the whole MLP franchise has been around since the 80s.

And I had to google "MLP Franchise" to figure out what the Kell you and @UnusualAttitude were talking about...  and now I know.  Thanks for nothing, guys.  :huh:

But seriously, as others have said, thanks for all the work with the Laythean tongue, and double-thanks for adding the translations.  I too enjoy puzzles, but... sometimes I just want to a) read a good story, and b) know what is actually happening in said story. :wink:

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24 minutes ago, boccelounge said:

And I had to google "MLP Franchise" to figure out what the Kell you and @UnusualAttitude were talking about...  and now I know.  Thanks for nothing, guys.  :huh:

Well, if it's any consolation, the Kerbal Space Ponies mod's Spacedock page doesn't mention the MLP franchise, either.  Instead it says "Friendship is magic" or some such rot.  Thus, I myself had to travel that same dark path to learn where they really came from :)   I vaguely remember buying some MLP toys for young neices back in the 80s or early 90s but hadn't thought of them since.

 

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But seriously, as others have said, thanks for all the work with the Laythean tongue, and double-thanks for adding the translations.  I too enjoy puzzles, but... sometimes I just want to a) read a good story, and b) know what is actually happening in said story. :wink:

Thanks for your feedback.  I hope to do better in the future.

BTW, how do you pronounce that part of your handle relating to throwing wooden balls at each other?  Boh-CHAY, BAH-chee, or what?  I even own a set of such balls but refer to them as "that Italian-sounding game where you throw wooden balls at each other".  Which, now that I think about it, is about what a Laythean would call it, only with different spelling :D 

Edited by Geschosskopf

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10 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

BTW, how do you pronounce that part of your handle relating to throwing wooden balls at each other?  Boh-CHAY, BAH-chee, or what?  I even own a set of such balls but refer to them as "that Italian-sounding game where you throw wooden balls at each other".  Which, now that I think about it, is about what a Laythean would call it, only with different spelling :D

BAH-chee.  Pronounced similarly to the name of the guy that used to date Richie Cunningham's little sister... And though it is in fact a reference to Italian lawn-bowling, it is coincidentally pronounced the same as the language Luke Skywalker's aunt insists their new protocol droid speak*...  I've been using the handle online for... IDK... twenty years or more (probably pre-dating the "WWW" as such) but the origin is lost to time, and/or too boring to recount (hint: it's the latter).

BTW and back on topic, your "hope to do better" comment was entirely unnecessary; I didn't mean my last comment to indicate any unhappiness with the mission report.  I admit, I would like to see the rest of Alternis and your efforts to explore it despite BARIS's best efforts to thwart you...  but I'm fully on-board with the current storyline (as freaky as those non-cosplayers are). :)

*That's from a really old movie I loved as a kid... hope the reference still holds up... :wink:

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10 hours ago, boccelounge said:

BAH-chee.  Pronounced similarly to the name of the guy that used to date Richie Cunningham's little sister...

Wow, we're really dating ourselves here, you mentioning this and me knowing what you're talking about (and the Episode IV thing, too) :wink:   But thanks for the clarification.

 

10 hours ago, boccelounge said:

BTW and back on topic, your "hope to do better" comment was entirely unnecessary; I didn't mean my last comment to indicate any unhappiness with the mission report.  I admit, I would like to see the rest of Alternis and your efforts to explore it despite BARIS's best efforts to thwart you...  but I'm fully on-board with the current storyline (as freaky as those non-cosplayers are). :)

Thanks!  

I also want to see more of the Alternis system (I've got 2 scouting missions on tap outside of Jool's system already) so don't plan to get too bogged down with the Laytheans.  After all, there's really not much to them and we already know most of that.

In real life, I don't see finding life on other planets as a big deal.  Unless we find hostiles who are a credible threat, of course.  But otherwise, meh.  This is because I fully expect we'll find at least pond scum all over the place.  So suppose in real life we found something like the Laytheans.  They themselves are no big deal, really, a curiosity for a few scientists and perhaps and economic opportunity for a few entrepreneurs, but otherwise just some quiet neighbors who'll have zero effect on the lives of the masses.  They'll probably drop out of the news in a few weeks.  

The really interesting thing is the Monoliths.  Figuring out how they work could be very, very useful to everybody.  Figuring out where they came from is even more important, because that might lead to hostiles who are a credible threat.  So to me, the important thing is to push onwards and outwards due to the Monoliths, not do a bunch of kerbthropology studies on Laythe :) 

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1 minute ago, insert_name said:

Will we see trade with the latheans? How would that work in game?

Good questions.  I've been asking them to myself :wink: 

The Laytheans don't have a whole lot to offer Kerbals.  There aren't enough Laytheans to be a viable retail market for Kerbin products.  The Laytheans can't manufacture in quantity and all they can make are stone tools, carved wood, and pottery anyway.  So, the most likely scenario would be Kerbin just exploiting Laythe's resources, most of which would probably be food.  Fruit from the "Soylent Green" trees or something.

There's no in-game mechanism for this sort of thing.  But I could at least build the infrastructure to pretend this sort of thing is going on.  This would likely involve the new Pathfinder mass-drivers.

All in all, I think the most lasting impact the Laytheans will have on Kerbals are the following:

  • A few Laytheans become token diversity hires in the astronaut program.
  • A number of Laythean words become enshrined as astronaut jargon.
  • Socio-political consequences in the form of worker-caste Kerbals becoming jealous of the freedoms the Laytheans enjoy.  This will likely be a problem with the LE-2 crew, some of whom were quite OK with being marooned.

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Oh my Kraken... It's even WORSE than cosplayers. 

PURGE THE MUTANT! BURN THE XENO! 

NUKE IT FROM ORBIT NOW! 

THIS! IS! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Edited by KAL 9000

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On 1/4/2018 at 12:48 PM, KAL 9000 said:

PURGE THE MUTANT! BURN THE XENO! 

Now THAT's the KAL 9000 I know :)  And this option is still on the table, of course.

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

EPISODE 30: Volcano

Spoiler

 

So time passed on through the long Laythe night, which was shorter than the even longer Kerbin night, and in neither case was tuned to the biorhythms of troglodyte Kerbals to whom the whole day/night thing was only a recent discovery.  So, the crew of LE-2 FORLORN HOPE burned the midnight oil as their 6-hour diurnal cycles dictated.  Lizeny was busy describing new Laythean species.  Being illiterate, she did all this into a microphone and the example below (one of many) is due to voice-to-text software.

 


Scientific Name:  Laythebugi alicii
Described by:  Lizeny Kerman
Date Described:  Y2 D376 o' the Kerbal Space Program
Common Name(s):  Alice Kerman's 'Airbug
Taxonomy:  Waitin' return o' specimen ta Kerbin
Description:  'Bout 3 fingers long.  'Ard shell coverin' 2 wings.  8 legs wit' 6 join's each.  Big 'or'zontal jaws wit' many spikes.  Grey color all over 'cep' wit' woit jaws an' 6 green eyes 'roun' its 'ead.
Distinguishing Features:  Flies aroun' fer no 'paren' reason.  Loiks ta lan' in Kerbals' 'air.  Makes orange splats on win'shiel's.
Other Observations:  Tastes bitter.

 

But then things got interesting.  The ground began to shake more than usual in proximity to the Monolith....

39664590232_08cf41e947_b.jpg

 

What was happening?  It didn't take long for Laythe SpySat Mk 2 to figure it out, and for Mission Control to rejoice.

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The SpySat soon pinpointed the new hotspots in the known, and previously-thought-to-be-extinct, volcanic biomes.

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In the middle of this excitement, a number of junior Boffins rushed into Mission Control touting their latest invention. This being of no foreseeable merit, they were quickly purged.  Their last words were that that well-travelled Jool Moons Probe, which had been rotting in LKO for quite a while now, was starting to disintegrate.  But Mission Control had more pressing issues so this did not save them.

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Meanwhile, back on Laythe, Gioflan was noticing all wasn't right.

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But there was nothing to be done about it until the sun came up.  Meanwhile, back on Kerbin, an improved SCANsat for Mun was going launching.  The Boffins had decided that if there was ever going to be sustained, 2-way trade between Kerbin and Laythe, Mun was the best available source of fuel.  Thus, it needed to be studied in more detail.  This launch revealed a major change in the sky.

39664587802_2b3fa80280_b.jpg

 

Eventually, the sun rose on Laythe and Geoflan and Alice went out to inspect the damage.  It seemed that during the night, the sea had come up a bit further up the beach than LE-2's base, and had moved things around.

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The Pathfinder base, being inflatable and not anchored to the ground, had weathered the event no problem, except for its modules now being closer to the sea and reoriented.  Things had not turned out so well for stuff closer to the normal shoreline, however.  SLOP-5 and the 2 native water vehicles were now much further inland and upside down.

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Spoiler

 

Renbo Das:  Hmm, your drone has capsized like one of our canoes.  We can upright the canoe but this drone is very heavy!  Maybe we can't upright the drone.

Geoflan:  Don't worry, Renbo Das.  Maybe the drone is also broken.  But what capsized the drone?

Renbo Das:  When the ground shakes, after a short time the sea climbs the beach.  Mulch happens.  Welcome to Laythe.

 

 

 

39664586002_96cc728396_b.jpg

Spoiler

 

Geoflan:  This has happened before?

Renbo Das:  The kerbs from before said that the sea can climb the beach sometimes.  Thus, we build our houses far from the tidemark.  However, I've never seen the sea climb the beach before.

Geoflan:  The Kerbals back on Kerbin speak of volcanos...

Renbo Das:  Yes, the kerbs from before spoke of volcanos.  What are volcanos?

Geoflan:  That's a long story....

 

So Geoflan tried to explan, as best he could with the help of the BUNGLErs back home, what volcanos were.  It didn't help that Geoflan himself really didn't know what they were.  But eventually, the potentially dire situation got through to Renbo Das.  Geoflan then indicated what was probably their main problem.

39664585472_7b59fdf27a_b.jpg

Spoiler

 

Geoflan:  The big volcano closest to us is to the southwest.

Renbo Das:  I see nothing.  Some other kerbs live on another island over there.  I hope they're OK.

Geoflan:  Me, too.

Renbo Das:  Thank you.

 

 

But the Circus had other fish to fry.  Such as, UberRelay Mk 3-2 had finally reached the point where it could go polar to the entire Jool system.  It would henceforth circle outside the orbit of Pol and should generally give communications to the numerous interplanetary missions the Circus had on tap.

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By now it was finally daylight over the big volcanic area SW of LE-2's position.  With SLOP-5 olgeta bagarap (all messed up) as the natives would say, (and as the d100 Dice of Destiny dictated), there was nothing for it but to expend SLOP-6 to reconnoiter the potential threat.  The SLOPs' de-orbit stage only had about 250m/s which was not enough to get that far south from an equatorial orbit, but it came close enough for Circus work.  SLOP-6 thus tried to stretch its glide by going nose-first after the initial entry flames had died away, instead of staying belly-first throughout.  This resulted in more fire but no harm done and SLOP-6 ended up closer to its target area than initially expected before having to burn any fuel.

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Soon, SLOP-6 was heading SE towards a big crater visible from orbit.  Mission Control initially thought this was the as-yet-unsampled Crater Lake biome but soon realized that was nearly half a world away.  It turned out to be just a very deep volcanic caldera with a lake in the bottom.  While this caldera wasn't glowing from space, it was steaming a lot, although SLOP-6 did not record a higher temperature there than in its surroundings.

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SLOP-6 continued SE towards one of the "hot spots"  seen from space.  As the drone approached, the caldera ahead glowed orange.  That there were still "Eyeball Trees" around its rim wasn't really a surprise, given that the eruption had just started and that Kerbals really had no idea what to expect anyway.

24827059867_39da360994_b.jpg

 

Even so, it was somewhat surprising to find the trees still growing unscathed on the glowing floor of the caldera and to record temperatures, pressures, and atmospheric gases no different from when SLOP-3 had flown over this same area months before.  Still, Kerbal volcanology was in it's very earliest moments of infancy so the Kerbals had no reason to think this was abnormal.  In fact, the odds favored it being normal in their universe.

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After leaving Southland Caldera 2, SLOP-6 turned NE towards Southland Caldera 3, the 2nd hotspot in this area visible from space.  During the approach, Caldera 3 appeared similar in all ways to Caldera 2.

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It was also the same inside, the the ground glowing orange but the trees seemingly unbothered and the drone's meager instruments still reading the same as if nothing was happening.

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Still, Mission Control was suspicious.  So they turned SLOP-6 due east towards the closest bit of ocean and ditched it far enough offshore to hopefully be safe from future episodes of solwara i go antap long nambis (the sea climbing up the beach).  There, it might be available for future missions.  It still has 3/4 of its fuel.

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For those keeping score at home, here's the path of SLOP-6.  SLOP-3 already went this way (in the opposite direction) although it did so in the dark looking for native campfires.

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In a few days, the Circus' first INTENTIONAL interplanetary craft will leave Jool's SOI.  In a couple of months, a probe will depart for Eve and a 4-ship flotilla will head for the interesting Tylo system.  In the meantime, the crew of LE-2 has much data to massage.  They have nothing better to do, being as the Circus still hasn't developed a way of getting them back.

 

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

Edited by Geschosskopf

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22 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

In a few days, the Circus' first INTENTIONAL interplanetary craft will leave Jool's SOI.  In a couple of months, a probe will depart for Eve and a 4-ship flotilla will head for the interesting Tylo system.  In the meantime, the crew of LE-2 has much data to massage.  They have nothing better to do, being as the Circus still hasn't developed a way of getting them back.

:D

Does that mean we can finally break out Holst's The Planets? I feel like some classical background music for the next few episodes, but that might be just me.

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2 hours ago, KAL 9000 said:

Does that mean we can finally break out Holst's The Planets? I feel like some classical background music for the next few episodes, but that might be just me.

You don't like Jimmy Buffet? :D  Seriously, this "Volcano" episode only happened because the latest update to Alternis Kerbol added volcanic glows to Laythe.  I had intended to leave Laythe alone for a month or 2 but, because I'd already flown over these volcanos before they glowed and had made a point before that of noting no lights on Laythe, I couldn't just ignore this.

I still don't know what to do about the same update having rotated tide-locked Kerbin about 60^ west, so that Jool now hangs near the zenith instead of on the western horizon.  Only the Circus personnel on the surface saw this, but surely every Kerbal down below felt that jolt.....  Also, the area always under Jool is no longer the vast desert but KSC itself, which has dire implications for the future.

Anyway, I plan to leave Laythe alone for a while.  I need Science! to get the LE-2 crew home, and I have to go find that somewhere.

 

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How are there trees in a volcanic caldera?! 

Um... Okay, maybe... 

[KAL_9000.exe has suffered a fatal error. Reboot (Y/N)?]

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On 1/14/2018 at 10:23 PM, Geschosskopf said:

the Circus still hasn't developed a way of getting them back.

hmm... maybe stock propellors?  

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17 hours ago, KAL 9000 said:

How are there trees in a volcanic caldera?! 

Here is the official answer from the Scientists of the Circus:

These are, after all, the creepy mutant "Eyeball Trees".  It is a well-establish scientific fact that Kerbals don't melt, they sublimate, and this happens quite suddenly once they reach a critical temperature, with no visible scorching beforehand.  These trees are part Kerbal and the rest of them is very closely related, so presumably they're the same way.  Evidently the rock, despite glowing visibly even in daylight when seen from space, it's not quite hot enough to sublimate the trees.  But on the other hand, SLOP-6 detected no rise in air temperature over the calderas, so maybe the glow is caused by some process other than heat.  Still, we're pretty sure it's heat based on other evidence.  This just shows how little we understand this whole volcanism thing.  We've only been studying it for a couple days so far.

It could also be that @GregroxMun simply forgot to remove the trees when he lit off the volcanos.  But I'm cool with them still being there.  I view the KSP universe as completely different from ours down to the level of the fundamental forces and the resulting forms of matter, so I can happily consider this sort of thing perfectly normal under the laws of physics as they function in the KSP universe.

 

10 hours ago, DAL59 said:

hmm... maybe stock propellors?  

No, that's not an option.  No magic in this game.  Besides, if I was going to cheat my way out of this, I'd use the ladder drive instead.  No moving parts, much lower part count, and considerably more elegant to my aesthetic tastes :).  But I'm trying to be serious here, so I'm only using the ladder drive "realistically", as a way to make the oar-powered native boats actually move.

The preferred option for regular service between the surface and orbit of Laythe would be a spaceplane.  However, spaceplanes are quite difficult in Alternis Kerbol.  The jets conk out at a considerably lower altitude than they do in stock, so you need correspondingly more rocket fuel.  So much, in fact, that the jets have great difficulty in getting it high and fast enough.  I haven't QUITE found the proper balance there, at least to get off Kerbin with enough seats, docking ports, and all that.  I'm beginning to think I need to tweak the jets' altitude and thrust curves which I really don't want to do because, again, that's kinda cheating.

Then there's the SSTO rocket lander.  I think my latest tech advances have finally given me a way to do this in a manageable form, but it's a rather clunky and imprecise solution on an atmospheric world.  Still, this is probably what's going to happen eventually.

The Pathfinder mod now has mass drivers to handle flinging stuff to orbit, but unfortunately right now this only applies to resources, not Kerbals.  But that would be cool :)

Edited by Geschosskopf

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9 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

 

It could also be that @GregroxMun simply forgot to remove the trees when he lit off the volcanos.

Laythe used to have active volcanoes on land instead of only in the nice, impossible to disprove ocean. No predator (or even herbivore) would ever go near the molten caldera because, well, it's a volcano. When the volcanoes began to die out, some plants evolved to mimick the orange-red glow of molten rock for minutes at a time. When one plant started, the others would follow. Any herbivore wanting a feast would be discouraged. But the trees didn't get discouraged because trees can't get discouraged. So they grew around anyway.

Until the next update for Kopernicus Expansions Rekerjiggered comes out, I can not remove trees from Laythe's volcanoes. It would be so simple to do it too, but the one PQSMod I need to do it is unavailable right now. If you ask me the official Alternis Kerbol Developer's explanation is that there aren't any trees there and never were. :wink:

Edited by GregroxMun

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