Geschosskopf

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

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23 minutes ago, GregroxMun said:

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:

Heheh, good theory :)

While you're at it, can you add some smoke and fumes to the volcanoes, too?

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Just now, Geschosskopf said:

Heheh, good theory :)

While you're at it, can you add some smoke and fumes to the volcanoes, too?

I wish I knew how.

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1 minute ago, GregroxMun said:

I wish I knew how.

Oh.  I thought they'd just be another type of cloud.

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3 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Oh.  I thought they'd just be another type of cloud.

You know that's not a terrible idea.

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5 hours ago, GregroxMun said:

It would be so simple to do it too, but the one PQSMod I need to do it is unavailable right now.

"If you don't have the tool you need, create the tool you need!"

-The Code Of The Modders, Section 3A, Paragraph 5

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1 hour ago, KAL 9000 said:

"If you don't have the tool you need, create the tool you need!"

-The Code Of The Modders, Section 3A, Paragraph 5

Or you and I could just be patient and wait for the KopX update to come out.

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22 hours ago, GregroxMun said:

Or you and I could just be patient and wait for the KopX update to come out.

What's this "patience" you speak of? :wink:

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On 1/17/2018 at 8:11 AM, Geschosskopf said:

Oh.  I thought they'd just be another type of cloud.

Sounds good on paper, works weirdly in practice. It’s what I did with Stock Laythe, but it took a bit of tweaking to:

1) get the volcanic clouds anchored correctly, 

2) have the clouds “roil”, as stationary clouds look weird,

3) get them to be thick enough without murdering my PC.

Definitely a workable option. 

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10 minutes ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Sounds good on paper, works weirdly in practice. It’s what I did with Stock Laythe, but it took a bit of tweaking to:

You did those volcanoes yourself?  Very good job!

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16 minutes ago, Geschosskopf said:

You did those volcanoes yourself?  Very good job!

Thanks! They were 2-layers per altitude, one for steam and the other for yellow/sulphuric gasses, with three different altitudes depending on the “volcano” (thus the performance hit).

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3 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Thanks! They were 2-layers per altitude, one for steam and the other for yellow/sulphuric gasses, with three different altitudes depending on the “volcano” (thus the performance hit).

Very interesting.  Perhaps you and @GregroxMun can compare notes and come up with something for Alternis Laythe that's not such a performance hit.

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EPISODE 31:  I'm Ready

Spoiler

 

This episode has been delayed by some very bad things happening around here.  And I'm pretty sure it sucks as a result as I'm still in a fairly dark mood.  But life goes on and I've been banging away at this little by little as time has permitted, as an escape.   The episode title was chosen because I was planning to end it with 2 large interplanetary flotillas all ready to go, but BARIS didn't quite let that happen.  Still, close enough.  But now it also means I'm ready to face the changes the recent unpleasantness has necessitated at work.

Spoiler

This episode, typos and all, is dedicated to the memory of my good friend and long-time coworker Deputy Chief Russell Achord, KIA on 17 January 2018.  He had a wife and 2 kids, one of whom was there and saw it happen.  It was a very bad day.

 Anyway, on with the show.

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

A few days after the volcanic eruptions on Laythe, on Y2 D378, the 1st Circus ship to leave Jool's SOI intentionally did so.  This was the Eve-Jool SENTINEL bound for a solar orbit just outside of Eve's for a lucrative contract.  It had about 200 days ahead of it before settling into the specified orbit.  While there, it will also serve as a relay.

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When the sun came back up on Kerbin, Mission Control was pleased to see that Jool was back in its proper place on the western horizon.  There were a bunch of parts that needed more testing.  The Boffins had thought they'd done enough of this, but the projected reliability of a very expensive ship using some of these parts was quite questionable, so they did more testing.

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The Circus also took some time to eliminate quite a few obsolete and/or broken spacecraft and debris.  One of the first to go was the Bop ConSat uselessly circling a place the Circus never intends to revisit.

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Disappointingly, the Science! instruments and probe core survived, bounced back up at escape velocity, and soon got into an orbit rather similar to Bop's, thus defeating the whole purpose of crashing this probe.  This required the Tracking Station to unlimber its Deathstar beam.  But before this happened, the tumbling wreckage noticed a Monolith on Bop, which had been unknown beforehand due to the inability of SCANsat to map either Bop or Kerbin.  This Monolith did NOT send a signal to KSC like the one on Laythe, so wasn't nearly as interesting and created absolutely zero desire to go back to Bop.

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A better result was had when de-orbiting the Kerbin ConSat, which burned up spectacularly in a fitting Viking funeral.  This probe had been the 1st commercial venture of the Circus and had since been repositioned several times, thus being about the most profitable ship the Circus has yet built.  There were too many other such things to bother posting them all, but suffice to say the number of active flights declined sharply.

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Then launches and orbital maneuvers of recently launched stuff continued.  Next on the agenda was the Tylo SCANsat for the 1st Tylo Expedition.  This might have enough dV to map both Duna and Dres as well.  It got up no problems and was soon in the parking Jool orbit between Kerbin and Mun, with the rest of the TE-1 and also the 1st Eve Expedition.

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Meanwhile, the recently launched Mun SCANsat Mk 2 arrived.  It had several better instruments than its tempest-tossed (and recently eradicated) predecessor.

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Then it was time for some interplanetary infrastructure with the launch of the Jool UberRelay Mk 3-3 (the 1st having failed on launch and the 2nd already being on station).  Like the Mk 3-2, the Mk 3-3 would eventually take up a polar orbit of Jool slightly outside the orbit of Pol.  Between the 2 of them, BARIS willing, there should be no problem talking from Kerbin to other planets.

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Next on the agenda was the departure burn of the Roid Sniffer Mk 2.  In a few weeks, it would become the 2nd Circus ship to leave Jool's SOI intentionally.  It was bound under contract to one of Jool's Trailing Trojans.  Its trip should take the better part of a year.

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Then it was time to launch TE-1's UberRelay, intended to take up a big polar orbit around Tylo to link to the UberRelays in the Jool system.  Unfortunately, the Mk 1 broke up during its circularization burn and had to be replaced.

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The 1st Eve Expedition will consist of 4 ships:  a SCANsat, a carrier with 2 probe landers, a carrier with 2 relays, and an orbital Science! SpySat.  This is the launch of the EE-1 Eve SpySat, a derivative of the Laythe SpySat Mk 2.

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BARIS also swatted the EE-1 Eve Relay Carrier Mk 1.  Its transfer stage and one of the relay probes all failed in getting to orbit so there was nothing for it but to junk it and try again.

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Soon the replacement TE-1 UberRelay Mk 2 was ready and got up with no problem.

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The EE-1 Probe Lander Carrier also got up OK.  The idea with this is to capture into an inclined orbit so as to have a wide choice of where to drop the landers.  The carrier vehicle will remain in orbit as a short-range relay to the main polar relays.

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So things were starting to shape up for both expeditions.  However, due to the 2 recent launch failures, production was halted for a week to double-check things.  This wasn't decided by Mission Control but by the Imperial Government, which had become spoiled by the previous long run of success.  There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Mission Control at this, due to schedules being thrown out the window.  Several especially stress-out middle-management Boffins followed the old schedules out the broken windows.....

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At last it was time to launch the main section of the new Kerbin BIGBY Station, which is what had necessitated all the testing of parts.  This thing was intended to farm Science! better than the old Kerbin MOLE 2 station, which was still abandoned.  The BIGBY Core Module was the 1st thing the Circus had sent up on a 5m lifter.  Despite all the testing, however, it still only had a 69% reliability when it lifted off and immediately ran into problems.  Given that these involved the entire starboard SRB assembly and also the main lifter engine, it appeared that this would be a short flight.  Fortunately, though, these glitches were just minor fuel leaks.  Nothing exploded so the somewhat over-engineered stages, designed from long habit in the expectation of some leakage, retained enough dV for the job.  And the main lifter engine, while weakened, was still plenty strong enough, again due to over-engineered safety factors.  Thus, to the great rejoicing of Mission Control, the Kerbin BIGBY Core Module reached its intended 700km orbit.  This module contains a D2 Centrifuge for habitat and also to support various experiments, plus a SkyLab and solar panels.

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Mission Control then attempted to expedite construction of the Kerbin BIGBY Docking Module, the other half of the new station.  However, immediately upon giving the order, the incomplete module and the 50 workers slaving away on it were all eaten by the Kraken, disappearing instantly from this universe.  A brief ceremony was held at the VAB Memorial to mark the occasion.  The next result was the delaying completing the BIGBY station by 7 days and tying up one of the bays that long after the crew-delivery vehicle finished integrating.

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However, this delay allowed time for the EE-1 Eve Relays Mk 2 to get up OK.

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And by then Jool UberRelay Mk 3-3 had reached the point to go polar, so as to provide, along with Mk 3-2, uninterrupted interplanetary communications.

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At last, the Kerbin BIGBY Docking Module Mk 2 was ready to go and got to orbit no problems.  In fact, it got all the way to the Core Module and successfully docked, thus completing the basic station.

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So there we have it.  The 1st Eve Expedition (EE-1) of 4 ships is all in orbit and they will be leaving within the next 26-31 days.  The 1st Tylo Expedition is not yet complete but won't be leaving for about 60 days so this isn't a concern.  The Kerbin BIGBY station is complete and now just needs its crew, plus maybe another couple of special parts.  And back on Laythe, Lizeny is grinding through all the samples LE-2 has collected so far, sending a steady stream of Science! back home, while Geoflan, Alice, and the natives are attempting to salvage what they can from LE-1.5 SLOP-5.  Soon, LE-2 FORLORN HOPE will likely head south to explore the other biomes of Monolith Island.  Tasol SLOP-5 em i olgeta bagarap.  Olsem na, ating ol i no ken kisim samting long em.  (But, SLOP-5 is totally ruined.  So, maybe they can't get anything from it.)

 

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

Edited by Geschosskopf

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I am so sorry about what happened... :(

As for the chapter, I loved all the beautiful ka-booms!!!

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12 hours ago, Just Jim said:

I am so sorry about what happened... :(

So am I.

Anyways, nice chapter!

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EPISODE 32:  Grindhouse

This episode has very little action but lots of pretty pics of excellent mod parts.  I love @Angel-125's IVAs....

Having now gotten the new BIGBY station up, it was time to send up the crew so they could start grinding out Science!  The Boffins had cobbled together a massive new crew-hauler, the Shift Change Mk 3, capable of seating about 20 Kerbals.  However, for this trip, it only had 12 aboard, and only 10 of them, the sciencemates and artificersmates, would be staying.  The Circus' 2 newly shanghaied bosunsmate strikers would be coming right back after a bit of seasoning in orbit, to test the re-entry capabilities of the Shift Change Mk 3.

So, the full roster:

  • Bosunsmates:  Strikers Fergar and Hilhat on their first trip to space.
  • Sciencemates:  SM2s Shelbas and Billy-Bobford, SM3s Hudlong, Jean, and Beany, and strikers Wildous and Fredlong.  All the ratings were veterans of MOLE 2, Shelbas had landed on Pol, Hudlong had skimmed Mun, and Billy-Bobford had been to Bop.
  • Artificersmates:  AM2 Harbree and strikers Loton and Derbin.  Harbree had also been on Pol.

Anyway, the flight was almost a disaster but quick work by verteran AM2 Harbree saved the day and Shift Change Mk 3 reached orbit safely. 

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While waiting to sync up with the BIGBY station, the crew had a chance to appreciate all the extra elbow room of the new ship.  In fact, they enjoyed it a little more than they should have thanks to a field modification Shelbas performed.  The Circus was not amused but does cut its more salty hands a bit of slack, due to their having been institutionalized.

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Both the "Estonian" capsule and the D2 Briefing Room are 2-deckers with full amenities.  The crew really liked the "Estonian" having some insulation on the walls, especially in a soothing blue color.  The older pods had been rather drafty and depressingly industrial inside.

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The Briefing Room was also quite comfortable and was set up for LAN parties as a break from monotonous training videos.

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But all too soon, thanks to the BIGBY station being in a 750km orbit and Shift Change Mk 3 at 120km, the ships synced up.  Fortunately, by then the air scrubbers had broken the nitrous oxide back down into its more necessary components and the jovial mood passed.  In an hour or so, the rendezvous was completed and the crew got its first look at their new home.  The veterans of the old MOLE 2, who had been horrifying the noobs with tales of its privations, were favorably impressed.  However, another glitch in Shift Change Mk 3 nearly ruined things.

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The most senior sciencemates all piled into the Skylab and got to work on the 8 experiments that were pre-loaded.  Some of them were so carried away by having SO MUCH ROOM that they started bouncing off the walls before realizing they could in fact run around them.  They also were happy to note that although the Ice Cream Experiment was only 1/8 of their work, they had ample stocks to repeat their tests numerous times, just to be sure.

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Meanwhle, the artificersmates and junior sciencemates checked out the centrifuge, which would be their bunk room.  They found the gravity useful for pouring drinks but the view out the windows was strange.  The stars were going down rapidly to the left, up rapidly in the right, and slowly rotating around the kerb at the head of the table.  After consuming their grog rations, they found they had more trouble than usual staying upright.

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With the BIGBY crew all settled in, Fergar and Hilhat wasted no time in shoving off.  They had no desire to be stuck on a station indefinitely.  Much to everybody's relief, the docking ports unlocked with no problem.  However, capsule again wanted to explode.  Fortunately, Fergar had by then learned enough to apply the necessary duct tape.

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Shift Change Mk 3 at this point at a little over 500m/s left in the tanks.  From prior experience, Mission Control knew it took about 250m/s to de-orbit from low orbit in the standard, smooth descent profile.  Getting into that position, however, would take all the remaining fuel if done with just the engines.  Therefore, Mission Control decided to try aerobraking, using the new TRAJECTORIES software, rather than descending straight from high orbit.  After some early bad experiences with attempts at aerocapture and aerobraking in the uncooperative atmospheres of Alternis Kerbol, ships had been designed not to need either.  But that was long ago in the dark ages.  Mission Control therefore decided it was time to try again.

Things did not go as planned.  Rather than aerobraking, Shift Change Mk 3 ended up entering the atmosphere for keeps.  Having the OMS stage still attached complicated things.  But no harm was done, other than the thing landing far away and in the ocean, and Fergar and Hilhat were soon undergoing their first debriefing / dissections.

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Meanwhile, marshaling the TE-1 flotilla continues apace.  This mission is beginning to suffer from bloat, but transfer windows in Alternis Kerbol are few and far between, so it's best to make the most of them.  Besides, a trip to Tylo is a trip to 2 regular-sized and 1 super-sized planets, so there's a lot to see and do there.  And I really want to know what I'm getting into before committing a crewed mission there.

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

Edited by Geschosskopf

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Centrifuge shenanigans again... I made the footprints on the lockers after watching a video on the Skylab astronauts running around. :)

Edited by Angel-125

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12 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

Centrifuge shenanigans again... I made the footprints on the lockers after watching a video on the Skylab astronauts running around. :)

Yeah, that's a nice touch, even though the Skylabs don't rotate.  The actual centrifuge shenanigan is the problem with the external view of the IVA, as noted in the DSEV thread.

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1 hour ago, Angel-125 said:

Centrifuge shenanigans again... I made the footprints on the lockers after watching a video on the Skylab astronauts running around. :)

Please snip your quote.

2 chapters in 2 days? I'm in heaven.

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Another chapter already? I just read the last one though!

I have to say, having been under nitrous oxide, I don't remember it being that great. Its made me all nice and light headed and woozy in a bit of an unpleasant way. But I was at the dentist so that might have had an impact.

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6 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

They found the gravity useful for pouring drinks

but not the coriolis effect

10C2MoH.gif

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10 hours ago, DAL59 said:

but not the coriolis effect

Still works better than zero gravity :)  You just have to lead the target a bit.

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13 hours ago, obney kerman said:

2 chapters in 2 days? I'm in heaven.

Well, the 2nd was simply 1 flight.  Not much to it, but I felt like showing off the wonderful IVAs.

 

12 hours ago, qzgy said:

I have to say, having been under nitrous oxide, I don't remember it being that great. Its made me all nice and light headed and woozy in a bit of an unpleasant way. But I was at the dentist so that might have had an impact.

Dentists and nitrous always makes me think of "Little Shop of Horrors"  :D  Interestingly, nitrous was commonly used/abused recreationally for about half a century, starting in 1799, before its medicinal uses were explored.  Used to be, the upper classes would hold "laughing gas parties" where they'd have the gas flowing into the general air of the the parlor for everybody to inhale.  And these were the folks who could afford the best wine and whisky, so they must have seen advantages in nitrous :)   In fact, this still goes on today in a number of places, such as in dance clubs.

My own experience with nitrous, however, is also limited to the dentist.  In my case, when I was having my wisdom teeth pulled, first off they gave me a good whiff of nitrous before knocking me out with other stuff (including curare, believe it or not).  I LOVED the nitrous.  It was a buzz like having drunk a sixpack only without the full belly or bladder, or any sleepiness, or inability to think straight.  IOW, it was a lucid buzz that also brought euphoria and that made it easy to laugh at trivial things.  Then they knocked me out.  Over the next week or so, as my jaw ached and I even got a dry socket, I still thought it was all worth it for that bit of nitrous up front :) 

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Having grown up in a family of smoke eaters I know losing a coworker can be like losing family. It’s never good news and never easy. My condolences on your loss. 

 

Centrifuges - I’m about to start using those in a build too. :wink: Nice parts with very nice IVAs. 

I’m not sure what’s up with Trajectories. I’m guessing it isn’t happy with Alternis Kerbin’s new atmosphere. It’s never really worked perfectly in the “new” stock atmosphere, but once you learn its nuances it can be used as a decent estimator. Probably needs a config tweak for the planet packs. There’s some voodoo math involved, if I recall correctly. 

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4 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Centrifuges - I’m about to start using those in a build too. :wink: Nice parts with very nice IVAs. 

This is just the old one.  I haven't tried the new, deluxe version, which is a full wheel divided into quarters.  But Angel posted a bunch of pics as he was making it.  So it's got a bunk room, a lab, and something else, I forget.  But the last quarter is a disco lounge with all the lights and even a functioning jukebox :) 

 

4 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

I’m not sure what’s up with Trajectories. I’m guessing it isn’t happy with Alternis Kerbin’s new atmosphere. It’s never really worked perfectly in the “new” stock atmosphere, but once you learn its nuances it can be used as a decent estimator. Probably needs a config tweak for the planet packs. There’s some voodoo math involved, if I recall correctly. 

Yeah, Alternis Kerbol has what is effectively Real Atmospheres.  I've found Trajectories works acceptable well with winged vehicles in this system, such as landing everything so far on Laythe.  But it doesn't seem to work well with non-winged things in this system.  Oh well, lesson learned.

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Sorry for your loss ;.;

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Those last two episodes were great, though :cool:

Edited by KAL 9000

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