Geschosskopf

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

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EPISODE 19: Nutbush City Limits

Spoiler

 

(with a couple bonus tracks which make you wonder how Tina Turner couldn't compete on the US scene with folks like Cher, and decided to move to Europe.....)

Last time, I forgot to show where SLOP-1 had gone, so here's a short recap of its journey.

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While all this Laythe stuff was going on, the initial steps of a mission to Pol were taking shape in the form of PE-1 SPLAT (Scientific Pol Landing ATtempt).  This was pretty much a replay of the ill-fated BLAHS-SLOB mission to Bop, with the lander going out first to make sure it would actually function, and the crew-hauler only sent once the lander was in Pol orbit. This time, however, the crew transfer was intended to be via a docking thing, to see if the stock Clamp-o-'Tron would work in places other than Kerbin orbit.  Despite being a bit shaky, PE-1 SPLAT made it to LKO and and is now awaiting the next window to Pol.

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Then it was time to unleash SLOP-2 as sun had finally risen over the location of the Laythe anomaly.  To make sure of good visibility at the target area, LE-1 waited a bit until the anomaly's position was basking in mid-morning light.  Then LE-1 SLOPJUG cast SLOP-2 adrift.  SLOP-2 came down somewhat west of the anomaly to see some other equatorial real estate.  It all looked much the same as SLOP-1 had seen in similar climes.  There was a surprising absence of trees.

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After crossing a couple of large islands, a few bays, several lakes, and finally a wide stretch of ocean, all without seeing a single tree and getting only a few bug splats on the camera, SLOP-2 eventually approached the the location of the anomaly.  It was reported as being up on the hill to the left.  So Jack and Adaid kept on until they reached the beach to see if there were any good landing spots in the vicinity before turning SLOP-2 up the big hill.

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But as they made the left turn over the beach, the cameras picked up what appeared to be structures built near the beach.  And some other stuff.  And this wasn't even quite where the anomaly was supposed to be.

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The cameras were quickly zoomed in but, alas, the resolution wasn't that great.

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SLOP-2 was already committed to going up the hill towards the anomaly so the glance at the the beach stuff was only fleeting.  Then the anomaly itself came into sight, easily visible because of the continued absence of trees.  The anomaly proved to be a Monolith, only with a strange green tint.  And beyond it, more of the unexpected.

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As the hilltop structures were directly ahead and SLOP-2 was already heading that way, it got a reasonably good look and them, too.  And again, the low-res zoom was employed.

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Naturally, once at the top of the hill, Mission Control ordered Jack and Adaid to turn SLOP-2 around and make another pass, ignoring the commonplace Monolith and instead focusing on the things that appeared to be structures.

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And it was apparent, even at the low resolution zoom, that there were, in fact, Laytheans wandering around near the things that really were, in fact, structures.  Everybody, both in Laythe orbit and Mission Control, was at a loss for words.  Or of any reaction except to run far, far away while letting the implications sink in.  Tool-using, fire-making, structure-building and, thus, seemingly intelligent life on Laythe.....  It was just too big to take in.  Thus, everybody involved tacitly agreed not to discuss it for the remainder of SLOP-2's flight, and to continue that as if nothing strange had happened.  So SLOP-2 continued on its planned course to the north pole.

(As an aside, I have no idea why there were no trees on the hill around the Monolith.  They were there when I set all the Laythean stuff up....)

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Anyway, after leaving the vicinity of the Monolith and the unsettling revelations around it, SLOP-2 continued north up the large island all that stuff was sitting on, which should have had trees all over it but didn't.  Then it crossed a narrow sea and came to the southern edge of the northern-most landmass.  This area had a "Volcanoes" biome and the rim of the caldera could be seen from a long distance away.

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The caldera's rim was quite steep, but inside all was cold and long dead.

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Continuing mostly north and crossing a small bay, SLOP-2 next came to another volcanic area.  This seemed even older and deader than the previous area, without the incredible steepness of the caldera rim.

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Pressing on ever northwards, SLOP-2 eventually found a place where the northern ocean was frozen over, with a chaotic glacial mass ahead.

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Laythe's north pole proved to be a crater-like depression with many radiating ridges.

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And that's where SLOP-2 ran out of fuel.  So Jack and Adaid turned it around and glided back out over the ice sheet, the only flat terrain around.  They wanted to get the drone back to open water to ditch it but couldn't stretch the glide that far.  The landing attempt on the ice sheet did not go well.

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Thus ended the epoch-making flight of SLOP-2.  It had made the most amazing discovery that Kerbalkind was ever likely to have, plus had explored a fair amount of Laythe's more mundane terrain.  And not a single part of it survived for eventual display in the Museum of Great Kerbal Achievements, which the Circus found rather depressing.

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All this post-Anomaly stuff served to kill time while the movers and shakers in and behind the Circus hastily assembled to discuss recent events and how to deal with them.  The meeting lasted a long time without coming to a decision.  In the end, everybody hit the bar and got thoroughly smashed, and agreed to reconvene in a day or 2 once they'd gotten over their hangovers.  In the meantime, the crew of LE-1 was ordered to stand fast and monitor Laythe for any reaction by its natives from having been buzzed by SLOP-2.

 

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:

ALIENS!

That's definitely what the Laytheans are saying.  The Kerbals are going NATIVES! :D 

Edited by Geschosskopf

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images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3OYO5fuyoU2Q0CY1YX-3

Memes aside, this is truly a momentous discovery. 

Kerbelles and gentlekerbs, we have witnessed the most important moment in the history of our species, and once and for all settled one of life's great questions:

We are not alone.

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No doubt the Laytheans saw the aircraft and are freaking out. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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I love those Laythean shacks! :)

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On 11/5/2017 at 12:46 PM, KAL 9000 said:

Memes aside, this is truly a momentous discovery. 

Yup.  The Kerbals haven't faced an "us and them" situation since the Unification Wars way back in the Bronze Age, when the imperial dynasty* was founded.  Thus, they've pretty much forgotten how to deal with other cultures and ideologies.  But they're still pretty good at working deals between themselves, so maybe they won't put their feet too far down their throats.  Wait, we're talking about the Circus.  Never mind :) 

I can already hear you saying, "But wait, Gesch, how can your asexual fungi Kerbals have 'dynasties'?!?!?!?"  Simple.  Different rules apply to different castes.  That's the whole point of having a stratified society, after all :)  

 

14 hours ago, Angel-125 said:

No doubt the Laytheans saw the aircraft and are freaking out. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

I hope not to disappoint :D

I've seen a number of stories where Kerbals meet humans in various contexts but here Kerbals are meeting Laytheans, about whom neither humans (save 1) nor Kerbals know anything.  There are a bazillion tropes for such situations and the hardest part of all this has been to pick one (or a mix of several) to go with.  From the start, it was obvious the Kerbals couldn't play the part of the "greys" because instead of poophole probes, they'd be doing their standard debriefing/dissections.  Then it would be more about dumping body parts in orbit (if not eating them) than the further adventures of UFO abductees.  And while I thought it might be hilarious to have the Kerbals, especially the BARIS-infested Circus Kerbals, try to pass themselves off as whoever built the Monoliths and try to go all 2001 on the Laytheans, there are too many logistical problems there.   So things are going to rather less interesting, I'm afraid, although the chosen solution does raise more questions.

 

8 hours ago, Just Jim said:

I love those Laythean shacks! :)

Thanks!  I rather like them, myself.  I think my sojourn in Planet Coaster the past year helped me there.

Edited by Geschosskopf

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EPISODE 20: Dazed and Confused

Spoiler

 

While the government of the Glorious Kerbal Empire attempted to come to grips with the existence of the Laytheans, tried to figure out what to do about them, and meanwhile anxiously awaited any possible reaction from them, the Circus had a few others things to do.  First among these was to finish launching PE-1.  The PE-1 SPLAT lander was already in parking orbit; now, up went PE-1 SCRAPER (Scientific Crew Reattachment At Pol and Expedition Return) with the jolly crew of BM3 Trilock, SM3 Shelbas, and artificersmate striker Harbree.  Their mission was to go to Pol, dock with SPLAT, land, and return to Kerbin, grabbing whatever Science! they could find along the way.  But first, they were just going to wait a few days in LKO to make sure SPLAT actually got to Pol in a functional state, and also to make sure SCRAPER didn't immediately fall apart.  As it happened, SCRAPED had a few glitches during launch but the crew, with the help of St. Crisdous, was able to handle them and continue the mission.

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Soon enough, PE-1 SPLAT was on its way to Pol.

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Meanwhile, the last functional antenna on the Kerbin SCANsat failed, rendering the thing nothing but junk.  Of course, it had never been able to produce a usable map of Kerbin anyway, so it was no great loss.

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After a trip of only a day or so, PE-1 SPLAT arrived at Pol.  It entered a conveniently low orbit, then separated from its transfer stage.  Said transfer stage had its own probe core and some small relay antennae.  It boosted itself into as high an orbit as Pol's pint-sized SOI allowed, thus being ready to maintain communications with the lander.

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About this time, both crewed vessels, LE-1 CLOD at Laythe and PE-1 SCRAPER in LKO, both had some glitches, but their experienced crews were able to deal with them without needing even to EVA.

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With PE-1 SPLAT and its relay safely ensconced at Pol, it was now time for PE-1 SCRAPER to head that way.  It had a few glitches during the transfer burn but Harbree, who had now spent a couple days watching instructional videos and had been promoted to AM3, was able to kludge things together.

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The other Circus side project was Tylo Expedition 1.  This was composed of a contract probe to go into an equatorial orbit of Tylo and contract magnetic survey probes for both Tylo's moons Dres and Duna.  And to make sure of communications despite Jool frequently getting in the way, the Circus wanted to put some big relays in huge, highly inclined orbits around the Jool system, similar to how they'd placed the Jool MagSat (which was still doing its long-term survey).  As it happened, the 1st of the Jool UberRelays was ready first.  Unfortunately, it suffered a fatal gyro failure shortly after launch and did a nosedive into Scrap Metal Bay.

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The Des MagSat, however, managed to get up safely.  It then left Kerbin's SOI to take up station between it and Mun, there to wait on the window to Tylo, which was still a couple months away.

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It had now been 2 weeks since LE-1 SLOP-2 had discovered the Laytheans.  None of the many ships orbiting Laythe had noticed any reaction at all.  No radio transmissions, no lights, no launches, no nothing.  The Glorious Kerbal Empire had, meanwhile, formulated the broad outlines of a plan.  But first, it needed more intel, such as trying to find more Laytheans.  Therefore, LE-1 CLOD was ordered to send down SLOP-3 to scout the southern hemisphere, staying well away from the known Laythean settlement near the Monolith. 

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So SLOP-3 came down in about the same place as SLOP-2 but took a different route, running along the terminator heading S and SW.  It was hoped that by flying in the twilight, it might spot campfires.  But instead, SLOP-3 found rather lumpy terrain.

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And a lot of clouds with rocks in them.

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Eventually, SLOP-3 reached a large volcanic caldera, long dead and heavily eroded.  There were plenty of trees all over this area, too, but no sign of any Laytheans.

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Then it was a lot of low flying in the dark over hilly terrain and often through clouds.  It was very nerve-wracking and challenging, but Jack and Adaid managed to keep SLOP-3 from flying into the ground.  The flight continued to another smaller, and much more eroded volcanic area that was really hard to tell from the surrounding terrain.  But for all this, still no Laythean campfires.

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SLOP-3 had been following a peninsula SW and eventually this led it back to the sunshine.  Jack and Adaid were pretty well played out by this point but Bill was able to revive them with a wee dram of homebrew grog.  Having found no more Laytheans, the Circus ordered SLOP-3 to see if it could reach the south pole, and Jack and Adaid were now ready for further adventures.

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SLOP-3's route to the south pole was mostly over land, and there were no ice caps.  Eventually, the area of the south pole loomed on the horizon, a cluster of low hills.  But upon reaching them, SLOP-3 discovered they were the rim of a huge, deep crater.  The bottom of the crater was lost in the gloom, which had to some extent returned.

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Having had enough of flying in the dark, and needing a place to land as the fuel was now nearly gone, Jack and Adaid aimed SLOP-3 towards the sun for the trip back north.  This caused SLOP-3 to come up on the other side of the world from where it had been.  In this area, the polar region was surrounded by ice sheets.  The tanks ran dry while still over the ice but Jack and Adaid were able to stretch the glide just far enough for SLOP-3 to ditch safely just past the ice.

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By now, the sun was shining over SLOP-1 and Crater Lake, so the Circus decided to see if SLOP-1 could take off from the water and get there on the little fuel it had left.  Somewhat to everybody's surprise, SLOP-1's engines still worked despite having been adrift in salt water for several weeks.  However, the remaining fuel was only sufficient to get about halfway to Crater Lake.  There it ditched just offshore.

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Thus ended the tales of SLOPs 1 and 3. 

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There's still SLOP-4 available up in orbit but there's still some debate about what to do with it.  Should it be used to visit Laythe's remaining biomes, or should it return to the known Laythean settlement and scout it and the surrounding area more thoroughly?  And there's also PE-1 and TE-1 to deal with.  How did things get so complicated?

 

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

Edited by Geschosskopf

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maybe have slop 4 visit the island chain where the latheans were found as well as the grey biome to the south

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2 hours ago, insert_name said:

maybe have slop 4 visit the island chain where the latheans were found as well as the grey biome to the south

Yeah, the Emperor has pretty much concluded that SLOP-4 should be expended making a thorough survey of Monolith Island.  There don't seem to be any Laytheans elsewhere (at least on the surface.........) and there's the Monolith there as well.  So seeing how many more are on that island and scouting out a good place to land an embassy at a polite distance seem to be the highest priorities.  The Science! from the other biomes can wait.

As to biomes, I'm afraid the gray spot SE of Monolith Island is a saline inland sea, same biome as the ocean.  The only 3 biomes left (at least for the instruments on the SLOPs) are Crater Lake, its central island (center left edge of map), and the mountains of the northern hemisphere (the pink spots in the upper left quadrant of the map).  SLOP-4 could hit all of these on its fuel but wouldn't then be able to get back to Laythean territory.

 

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19 hours ago, insert_name said:

maybe have slop 4 visit the island chain where the latheans were found as well as the grey biome to the south

I agree. We need to know about the Laytheans so we can exploit their technology get more Science!

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I propose Operation DEATHTRAP: 

We send in a crewed spacecraft, with seven crew. Besides a bosunsmate, artificersmate, and sciencemate, we send in two of Kerbin's top diplomats and two of Kerbin's best linguists, to translate the Laythean language and establish friendly relations.

The mission will be one-way, of course.

Edited by KAL 9000

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9 hours ago, KAL 9000 said:

The mission will be one-way, of course.

Sick minds hallucinate alike :D   Really, I've been considering a very similar mission, especially the part about it not having a means to get home.  That way, the envoys can't bring Laythe Plague back to Kerbin, and the Laytheans can't commandeer the ship to come to Kerbin themselves.  Of course, assuming the envoys survive long enough for things to be considered safe, a rescue mission might eventually be arranged.

BTW, I didn't recognize you at first with the new look avatar :) 

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3 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Sick minds hallucinate alike :D   Really, I've been considering a very similar mission, especially the part about it not having a means to get home.  That way, the envoys can't bring Laythe Plague back to Kerbin, and the Laytheans can't commandeer the ship to come to Kerbin themselves.  Of course, assuming the envoys survive long enough for things to be considered safe, a rescue mission might eventually be arranged.

BTW, I didn't recognize you at first with the new look avatar :) 

what would keep them following orders? If the latheans have a similar food source  and kerbals can survive down there they would have everything they would need, and with no return planned, they wouldn't worry about ties to Kerbin being broken. I could easily see the envoys going native or even worse, helping the natives reverse engineer the circus's tech

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23 minutes ago, insert_name said:

what would keep them following orders?

Well, the Circus has had pretty good luck with intensive, Clockwork Orange-style indoctrination reinforced with shock collars.  But in this case, there might be other motivations as well.

 

23 minutes ago, insert_name said:

If the latheans have a similar food source  and kerbals can survive down there they would have everything they would need, and with no return planned, they wouldn't worry about ties to Kerbin being broken. I could easily see the envoys going native or even worse, helping the natives reverse engineer the circus's tech

Or maybe the envoys get dragged captive down to the Laythean salt mines, or eaten, or succumb to the environment, in which case it hardly matters if the mission planned to return or not :) 

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On 11/14/2017 at 7:30 PM, Geschosskopf said:

BTW, I didn't recognize you at first with the new look avatar :) 

Thanks! @0111narwhalz made it for me!

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Just now found this somehow. I got to part 13 but I really shouldn't stay up much longer... A few things:

1. AWESOME.

2. I need to find time to read all of these, I know there was at least one other similar story you made (OPM travelling circus).

3. I'm totally going to start putting flags around the flagpole like you do.

4. You're making me want to do a career with BARIS/a different planet system.

 

Absolutely loving this!

 

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9 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

*snippety snip*

BELIEVE IN STEVE

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On 11/19/2017 at 11:17 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

Just now found this somehow. I got to part 13 but I really shouldn't stay up much longer... A few things:

Thank you very much!  I'm quite flattered.  I hope not to disappoint.

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

EPISODE 21: The Tempest

Spoiler

 

(this episode's theme song is IMHO very fitting for the Circus in general, not just what happened this time :D )

While work began on what to do next at Laythe, Tylo Expedition 1 was still in the BARIS integration pipeline and no new stuff could begin until these ships were out of the way.  The next ship to complete was the TE-1 Duna MagSat, identical in all but name to the TE-1 Dres MagSat.  Like its sproutbedmate, the Duna MagSat carried a few extra gizmos beside what it needed for its contract, most notably a medium-sized relay antenna.  TE-1 Duna MagSat got up no problem and immediately left Kerbin's SOI to sit in Jool orbit between Kerbin and Mun with the rest of the TE-1 ships.

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Meanwhile, word came from the continent on the east shore of Scrap Metal Bay, where the pitiful last remains of the failed Bop MagSat Mk 3 had lain unburied and unrecovered for 406 days.  The last functional part to have survived the re-entry and crash, the radio antenna, finally packed it in.

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But then true disaster struck.  Contact with LE-1 CLOD in Laythe orbit was suddenly lost in the middle of Bill sending the routine daily report on the ship's status.  The signal just cut off.  That happened periodically due to the whims of planet and commsat orbits, so the intern manning the tracking station yawned and, just out of force of habit, idly checked the positions of the relays at Laythe.  And suddenly he was no longer bored.  After a few seconds of shock, he sounded the alarms as specified by a new Mission Control protocol laid down in the days following the discovery of the Laytheans.  Klaxons sounded throughout KSC.  Goon squads rolled out of their bunks and grabbed their slug-throwers instead of their stun guns.  Boffins and Scientists quickly chugged the last of their cocktails and staggered as fast as they could to the command center.  PE-1 SCRAPER was the first unit to report itself kerbed and ready at battle stations, not surprising given that the crew couldn't get out of their seats in the Mk 1-2 pod anyway, but Trilock had blown the bosun's pipe anyway.  And far, far down below grade, in the Emperor's quarters, a red telephone rang.

The reason for all this excitement was that the Tracking Station reported that all ships previously in orbit around Laythe had disappeared without trace.

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That kinda makes the question of what to do with SLOP-4 moot, doesn't it?  Everything in Laythe orbit was gone.  The SpySat, the SCANsat, the relay, LE-1 SLOPJUG with SLOP-4 still aboard and, of course, LE-1 CLOD with Jack, Adaid, Bill, and Bob aboard.  The Glorious Kerbal Empire immediately suspected foul play, which is why it had created a protocol to bring the full might of Kerbin to a war footing should anything bad happen at Laythe.  Not that the Circus was in any position to respond, but the home defense forces were on full alert.

With all eyes focused on Laythe, it was several hours before anybody noticed that the missing ships hadn't been vaporized, but merely thrown out of their orbits into Jool's SOI.  And not just at Laythe but at Minmus and Mun as well.  All ships, even spent boosters, were accounted for, except LE-1 CLOD and its jolly crew.

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The fate off LE-1 CLOD remains unknown.  However, the crew's biomonitors were all flatlined so they were apparently dead.  Given that LE-1 SLOPJUG was seen to be on a collision course with Jool (and it only had about 15m/s left in the tank so doomed), the Circus assumed that LE-1 CLOD had been flung into Laythe or Jool.

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Despite the havoc wrought by this space tempest, quite a few things weathered it unphased.  Everything already in Jool orbit, such as the TE-1 ships and the Kerbin SENTINEL, plus PE-1 SCRAPER and the Jool MagSat, never noticed anything amiss.  And everything that had been in Kerbin orbit since the 1st failed launch was still there, too.  And even PE-1 SPLAT and its transfer stage cum relay commsat were still in Pol orbit.  Also, the landed stuff at Laythe was still there:   the Laythe Hydrometer, SLOP-1, and SLOP-3.

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After a few more hours, the Emperor ordered a standdown.  The Boffins and Scientists at Mission Control had been running all sorts of tests and had decided this was just a natural space fart.  Thankfully, not a common occurrence by any means, but a well-known natural phenomenon.  A tempest, not an act of aggression.  Still, it had provided a useful surprise drill for the plans to defend Kerbin from space attack.  Many lessons were learned and protocols updated over the next few weeks.

But before any of these realizations had happened, the memorial service for the crew of LE-1 CLOD had already happened.  The Hearse rolled out and its somber crew planted 4 new flags.  The poltergeist activity continued with Melfurt's and Wilnie's flags.  The flag-bearers were glad that their duties were carrying them further and further away from that area.

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And then it was back to business as usual.  The next ship related to, but not part of, TE-1 was the Jool UberRelay Mk 3-2.  Which really, given the recently scrambling of Laythe and Mun relay commsats, was somewhat unnecessary now.  Regardless, it was intended for a wide, circular orbit around Jool, as opposed to the highly eccentric orbits the other relays had been thrown into.  So one way or another, the Circus was going to be able to talk around Jool to other planets.  BARIS, apparently sated from feeding off the scraps of the work done by the tempest, didn't bother this ship.

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The Jool UberRelay Mk 3-2 was launched into an 85^ inclination around Kerbin.  2 days later, its orbital plane pointed at Jool so it burned away from Kerbin, trying to get as much inclination relative to Jool as it could in the process.  It will need a few more tweaks to assume its final circular orbit inclined as much as possible to the plane of Jool's moons, but it's got the fuel for that.

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By then, it was time for TE-1 Duna MagSat to circularize between Kerbin and Mun.

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And by then, finally, despite all that had happened while it was en route, PE-1 SCRAPER with the jolly crew of Trilock, Shelbas, and Harbree, was finally approaching Pol.

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By the whim of the Uncaring Gods, PE-1 SCRAPER happened to arrive at Pol in essentially the same plane as the orbit of PE-1 SPLAT.  It was suffering from a loose fairing between the heat shield and the OMS decoupler, which worried both the crew and Mission Control.

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But before the units of PE-1 could meet up, Mission Control had to divert its attention to getting the Minmus Magsat back into Minmus orbit.  This was the only tempest-wracked probe to still be in an essentially circular orbit.  All the others were highly elliptical and many were on escape trajectories from the Jool system.  Anyway, Minmus MagSat has just barely enough dV left ot get itself back into orbit.  Although Jool and Minmus both looked strangely cut off on the left side.  This was assumed to be an aftereffect of the recent tempest.

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With that out of the way, PE-1 SCRAPER could rendezvous with PE-1 SPLAT.  And this turned up another problem....

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It turned out that each ship of PE-1 was designed by a different team of Boffins.  Each thought the other was supposed to include the RCS.  Needless to say, the middle managers responsible were purged.  Meanwhile, the jolly crew of Trilock, Shelbas, and Harbree EVA'd over to SPLAT.  PE-1 SPLAT then took some low-orbit Science! readings and Shelbas carried the results over to PE-1 SCRAPER before returning to PE-1 SPLAT.

Then PE-1 SPLAT began its historic descent.  The Circus had only attempted a landing on 1 other world, Bop, and that had resulted in the deaths of Handin, Jenmon, and Lenski due to a crack in the sky.  Pol also had highly irregular terrain, so for starters PE-1 SPLAT was ordered to land on top of one of the big lumps (which turned out to be part of the "Lumps" biome---who'd have expected that?)  Mission Control thought that cracks in the sky were less likely there.  If things went well, SPLAT could then try other areas---it had beaucoup fuel.  But it also had beaucoup glitches.  Harbree was kept busy the whole way down fixing one part after another.

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Fortunately, as hoped, PE-1 SPLAT found nothing but empty space on its way down.  The crew put this down to the intervention of the shades of Handin, Lenski, and Jenmon, especially Bad$ Lenski.  The descent took a LONG time.  Due to not having RCS, especially jets pointing up, the descent was extremely slow, even worse than at Gilly in the stock system.  Orbital velocity from where SPLAT started was was only about 15m/s at 25km.

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Hours later, during which several rockets completed integration and tempest-tossed probes left Jool's SOI, PE-1 SPLAT finally touched down on Pol.  And it bounced.  And bounced.  And bounced.  Finally, minutes later, it came to rest.  Any future Pol lander will have KAS harpoons.

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On the way down, PE-1 SPLAT had gotten low orbit Science! from Pol.  Thus, the 1st order of business once landed was for Shelbas to go out and gather all that Science! up, then run the surface Science!.  But while Shelbas was outside, rookie Harbree, trying to get a better view out the single window of the Lithobrake 3-seat lander can, accidentally kicked Trilock's joystick, causing the reaction wheels to grind around.  This caused PE-1 SPLAT to bound upwards with Shelbas hanging on for dear life.  Once this unexpected thrust stopped, Shelbas was able to crawl back inside, at which point Trilock pointed the SPLAT straight down and fired the engines to abort their unplanned ascent to orbital altitude.

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Once PE-1 SPLAT was had again come to a stop after several bounces, the surface Science! was obtained.  Then the jolly crew all went out for the obligatory flag-plant picture.  Walking on the surface proved utterly impossible, the Kerbals kicking themselves into high suborbital trajectories.  Thus, this pic was only possible if they were all using jetpacks.  For some reason, their space suits had morphed into the retro stock type instead of their Cetera's craft line specials.  How that happened is still a mystery as they had their Cetera's suits before and after being on Pol.

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PE-1 SPLAT had beaucoup fuel so could have hit other biomes.,  However, given its lack of both RCS and harpoons, Mission Control decided this was more trouble than it was worth.  Besides, the Emperor REALLY wanted to get a crew back alive from another world.  So rather than struggle through more prolonged landings and bounces, and risk finding a crack in the sky, PE-1 SPLAT went back up to PE-1 SCRAPER, whose fairing had in the meantime slipped back into its proper place.  Shelbas carried all the Pol Science! over to SCRAPER.

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That done, PE-1 SCRAPER boosted into a slightly different orbit than PE-1 SPLAT and settled in to wait 10 days before its window back to Kerbin.  That trip will take another 8 days.

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While this had been going on, the Circus had been trying to pick up the pieces after the tempest.  The whole Laythe infrastructure needed to be rebuilt.  So to start on that, the Laythe Relay Mk 3-2 was launched.  Unlike many of its predecessors, it got up OK.

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And there things sit at present.

 

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

Edited by Geschosskopf

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Huh. Space fart.

I don't care. 

1zrf1z.jpg

Edited by KAL 9000

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Many years ago, back before they moved the Control Center, I used to plant flags in honor of all my lost kerbals in front of said control center. Then after some update all of the flags were teleported *inside* of a craft I had just placed on the launchpad, destroying that craft and killing its crew. 

I don’t plant memorial flags anymore. 

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6 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

I don’t plant memorial flags anymore. 

I agree, it is a dangerous thing to do. Various glitches happen.  But in this particular save, I'm embracing glitches.  Rather than getting frustrated by them, or hitting F9 and pretending they didn't happen, I'm just going with them as they make things interesting.  Thus, I don't mind inviting a few more :) 

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6 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

I agree, it is a dangerous thing to do. Various glitches happen.  But in this particular save, I'm embracing glitches.  Rather than getting frustrated by them, or hitting F9 and pretending they didn't happen, I'm just going with them as they make things interesting.  Thus, I don't mind inviting a few more :) 

Never, ever let a good bug go to waste!  :)

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