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10 Minutes earlier...

Colonel Jorfen's office...

 

Jorfen paced up and down, his patience long gone and his voice rising in timbre and tone.

"You can't endorse the Civil Authoritiy's response!  We've been through this, their way will only lead to us not being prepared in time!  And YOU are forgetting everything that is at stake."

"No Jorfen, its you that is forgetting what is at stake," spoke her cool cold voice.  "Our Civil Liberties, our faith in Freedom, and our dismissal of the thousands of years of autocracy you represent.  I was entrusted as the Space Program's Civil Authority, and thanks to the revelation that there is a real, desperate need to know what is Out there, we will no longer have to worry about funding or motivation.  Kerbin's future in space is assured, and your foolhardy and vastly more expensive plan is only destined for ruin-"

"Listen-"

"And, Jorfen, you no longer hold anything over me.  ...I'm having my 'taxes' done by an expert now.  ...You have played your last card.  Goodbye Jorfen."

Click.

Jorfen pulled the phone away from his face and stared at it, then looked at the two guests.  The second D-Magic Rep stood behind the chair which held the first, with his hands folded behind his back.  The first D-Magic Rep sat with an open briefcase on his lap, staring at Jorfen.  They both wore sunglasses.

The first closed the brief-case.

"I think that settles things Jorfen.  You are no longer of any use to us."

First and Second regarded Jorfen indifferently for the briefest moment, then just as Jorfen drew a breath to speak they deliberately turned and saw themselves out.  The click of the door when it closed seemed to Jorfen to echo like the sharpest report.

He stared at the door, then absently turned to gaze out his window, across the tarmac to the hangar where their huge space-plane that had never made it to space would soon be stripped for scrap.  The thousands of men at his command would soon be transferred to other jobs, the lucky ones landing at KSC.

Jorfen gritted his teeth.

He sat down at his desk, and opened his laptop.  Several swift keystrokes and the screen was where he needed it to be.  With a sly smile he picked up his phone.

...

Mort sat in his office, looking at the projections his staffers had done about the increasing revenues the Program would receive.  It wasn't the money that Mort cared about, it was the margins, and they were delightful.

His phone rang.

Reaching for it, he almost answered it without noticing who was calling-  but he did.  He raised an eyebrow, and answered.

"Mortimer."

"Mort, my dear, dear friend.  How are you today?"

Mort could hear the smile in his voice, but furthermore he could tell it was genuine, and that more than anything in years caused a small chill of fear to rush up his spine.

"...Just fine Jorfen.  What about you?  You seem pretty chip-"

"Oh you've no idea Mortimer."  His voice smiled with a wicked warmth.  "You've no idea.  So, things must look rather fine from your office now eh?  Everything is looking rosy?"

Mortimer needed to hear no more, and as swiftly as possible while concealing his movement completely he rose and ghosted through the halls.  No one in the Admin building had ever seen him move so quickly, but with the grace which accompanied those movements he was downright frightening.

"Things are just fine Jorfen, as you probably know."  He would have added 'now that we're going to be getting your space budget', but something told him that he had already said too much with his first reply.

"Oh, yes, I know very well Jorfen."  The sick smile invaded Mortimer's very soul, the smile of a cornered animal that realized it had nothing to lose.

In the time it took to speak these sentences he had reached the parking garage.  He muted his phone as he kicked his Kerbaratti to life and left a cloud of tire smoke as he accelerated to 100 by the time he'd climbed a single level and cornered the street.  The guards stood slack-jawed in awe at the spectacle.

Mort opened it up, dashing flat out for the Air Force base that on a good day was 45 minutes away.

Jorfen began to type a single word into his computer, with slow, delicious deliberation.

...K...

"What do you think you'll do with all that money Mort?  All that delicious Funding."

...E...

Mort triggered noise canceling to obscure the wind and engine howl.  "I am sure the PCA will give a fine direct-"

"Oh, yes, Of Course.  Madame Program Civil Authority herself.  Yes, I'm sure she will."

...R.B...

"And what do you think you'll do when her Directives involves probes and satellites which you no longer have contact with Mort?"  The sweetness this question was asked with was nauseating.

Mort blinked, then re-muted the phone and deftly sent a one-finger text old-style to Linus; SHUT DOWN THE TRACKING STATION NOW

He clicked back to Jorfen.

...A.L...

"Why would that-  how can you think you have a valid motivation for such an act Jorfen?  You were lucky to survive the Coup, if you were to do such a thing no-one would forgive you this time."

Mort knew that those in the Coup Cabal hated when it was called a "coup" and not a "war", but even this ploy netted him nothing.  Jorfen was too far gone to care.

"Oh, no doubt you're right Mort."

...I...

"They would forgive a private who was just following orders, but I know an officer would have the Holy Book of Jool thrown at him.  But then, I have nothing left to lose, do I Mort?"

...S...

Mort gritted his teeth, then let his foot off the gas, and slowly began to coast to a stop.  He could tell his pursuit was vain.

"I know.  Because you're in the corner I prepared for you."

Jorfen grinned, but with not quite the mirth he had previously had.  Mort was right, and he hated knowing that was going to be one of his last thoughts.  He opened his drawer, and Mort heard a well known metallic sound.

"Enjoy that Mort, whatever it does for you.  Cheers."

...M.

>bootstring_alphaBlock;standby_Kill;KERBALISM_execute.

vzzzzt.

 

...Mort let the echo of the final round from Jorfen rebound around his mind, and braked the car to a halt.  He looked up from the convertible into the sky, wondering what he had done, but knowing it had been catastrophic.  Mort sat there, staring at the sky as the sun slowly set, knowing his victory was now a failure.

Edited by GarrisonChisholm
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On 7/17/2018 at 10:27 AM, GarrisonChisholm said:

he kicked his Kerbaratti to life and left a cloud of tire smoke as he accelerated to 100 by the time he'd climbed a single level and cornered the street. 

Hmm.. I don't think that a Kerbaratti could be bought with the salary of a government servant??

Mort!!! You are 'diverting' funds for the space program to your own pocket! Bad Mort!! :D

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4 Months Later...

D-Magic Science Hall, Private Conference

 

Linus stepped to the podium, settling his portfolio before him.

"Good morning.  In the last four months we have completed our inventory of in-flight hardware, recovering all that we could.  This is the final list."

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"The malicious software code activated by Colonel Jorfen, that was unknowingly embedded in all flight-ready Space Program geiger counters, was hideously effective at its job.  On craft that had fuel, it ordered an orientation and burn to cause it to plummet into the gravity well being orbited, or in the case of landed probes to lift straight up and then crash back to the surface.  On craft with no fuel, it seems to have baked all the electronics, as those craft are as equally unresponsive as the destroyed ones we have telemetry on.  As you can see, the surviving probes and satellites are very limited.  Though our 4 deep space relay satellites were thankfully spared, the 3 deep space probes we had in service are not, as well as the Duna Radar Mapper and all 3 of our successfully landed probes."

"However, the Radar Mapper did quite thankfully have the time to transmit a complete anomaly map before it was lost."

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"Given our previous discoveries, this does not exactly surprise us, but it does very assuredly give focus to our efforts.  Following the recorded energy surge seemingly focused towards Duna after we first approached the Munolith, obviously a detailed first-hand exploration of Duna is critical."

"Originally we would have proposed a systematic survey by probes, not only of the Duna monoliths but also those of Mun and Minmus.  However, the revelation to the public that the Shaman Stones are likely not of kerbal manufacture and that indeed one had been found on the moon has lead to an explosion of demand for exploration at the highest levels.  A 'complete confidence' briefing was held for senior CA lawmakers, and their opinion was unanimous.  The Program Civil Authority has been given the directive by the Civil Authority to, at first opportunity, land a kerbal at the highest priority site on Duna and investigate first-hand."

Most in the room had had an inkling of this decision, but none-the-less there was a stir and murmur in the room.

"This, of course, has been Wernher's life-long dream and objective, so we should not be surprised that he had plans and mission necessities roughed up already.  So the question is now - how do we proceed?  Fortunately this decision has one major boon.  A great influx of resources which had previously been allotted to the Air Force Space Project are now ours.  This amounted to just under $9 million Funds, and the accumulated data from all the flights of the Air Force Space Plane."

"Not to mention, the pilots themselves."

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Spoiler

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Captain Jorfen Kerman, and Chief Aerodynamics Scientist Mautrix Kerman.

"This is a tremendous boon, and affords us the luxury of attempting Wernher's preliminary plan as is."

"The plan, if executed as it currently stands, would be to launch directly to the Duna surface with the largest rocket yet conceived."

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"The Duna Universal Space Transport would carry with it a large base that will be left behind near the anomaly, which is automated but could also be comfortably manned.  Due to the long day cycle of Duna, the craft would only spend 1 period of daylight on Duna's surface, both for reasons of battery life due to the expensive magnetic shielding used on the craft, and to minimize the chance of outright failure of a key component that might leave the crew of 2 stranded on the surface.  After returning to orbit, the crew would observe and study the planet remotely before returning at first opportunity."

"It should be pointed out that due to the cost of this mission, it is not likely to soon be repeated.  It will be critically important to maximize the efficacy of our in-situ investigations.  Follow-up missions if necessary are likely to be purely by automated probe."

"It should Also be pointed out that while we are virtually convinced that we were visited 17,000 years ago by space-faring beings, we are also soundly convinced that these beings are no longer present, and indeed most of our think-tank work concludes that they must no longer be extant.  Therefore, there is ample thought that must be directed towards the conventional search for life in the solar system, as at this juncture we must determine how life has evolved in our own system if we might eventually encounter life from another system and expect to understand it."

"Therefore, in consultation with our management staff, the PCA has laid out our objectives in this order."

"1.  Explore first hand the key anomaly on Duna."

"2.  Explore and monitor the other anomaly sites that have been discovered."

"3.  Return to Jool and Sarnus with orbiters which can assess the very interesting moons discovered there."

Linus closed his portfolio.

"Wernher estimates that, barring last minute changes, the DUST vessel will be ready by the next transfer window.  If anything does change, the Program Office will send out the appropriate information.  Now, I will spend some time discussing the state of the satellite relay network..."

The meeting dragged on, as the state of operations was discussed, but none could easily focus on such minutia - they were going to send someone to Duna.

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April 15, '64

1 year and 12 days after the PCA Duna Directive.

 

Gene waited while the ground controllers from the morning's launch filtered into the room, some numb, some sheepish, some clearly scared.  Gene had just unwrapped a second cigar, as the first had been chewed to pulp.  Some bold early arriver had delicately slid a waste bin over towards his chair, but judging by the floor Gene had clearly not cared whether he hit it or not.

The last person into the conference room shut the door behind him, the latch klicking to locked.

Gene managed to stare at everyone at once.

"Alright.  DUST is in orbit right now.  The most expensive rocket we have ever built.  ...I want someone to tell me how we could have BORKED this so Badly!!!"

No one was eager to say anything.  Finally Aaron Kerman cleared his throat, only to immediately be shut down by a "From the beginning!" from Gene.  Everyone looked at Wernher, who in turn seemed to be surprised anyone was looking at him.

"Zee design vas quite sound Gene, zere vas nothing wrong with construction.  Zee build went through 5 iterations, each one simulated until it failed, each one improving upon the previous design.  Zee final build vas approved by the simulations team, and the plans sent over to the VAB.  ...After construction it was in storage for 80 days awaiting zee launch window.  She vas rolled to the pad and fueling commenced."

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Gene looked at Linus.

"The simulations were successful obviously, and the craft performed all required functions or it wouldn't have been ordered to build."

Linus nodded.

"Of course Gene.  After each build the mission was simulated, corrections and improvements made for each bloc."

Gene made a note on his pad.

"After each simulation.  So what was the improvement for the final Bloc V?"

"The battery capacity was increased about 42%."

"Right...." Gene nodded.  "And of course it was simulated after this improvement, yes?"

Linus flinched slightly.

"The improvement was tiny Gene, there was no nee-"

"Right, not tested.  So, Gus, the plans were received and put into fabrication.  Were there any build issues?"

"No, no issues Gene!  The new engines were received and mounted with no issues."

"Good, good on the new engines.  So had these 'new' engines ever been fired before?"

Gus chuckled.  "Of course not Gene!  They were simply scaled up versions of engines we'd flown before, tweaked so-"

"Engines not tested... right.  So, Griffon, what happened after the rocket was loaded on the pad."

Griff Kerman was nominally Gene's peer, so he too seemed a bit miffed about Gene's tone, but he answered.

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"Very well Gene.  Bill and Bob boarded the rocket.  It was immediately noticed that our telemetry was not loading, so we did a few computer start/re-starts until we had our engineering feed."

"The countdown then commenced, and we had a good launch."

Spoiler

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"The first set of boosters were jettisoned without issue at about 6km."

Spoiler

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"The second set at about 45km."

Spoiler

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"Immediately following booster 3 & 4 sep, we starting getting a mounting roll in the craft, presumably from trying to steer prograde.  When it got bad enough we shut down steering, then after the oscillation damped out continued to steer."

"Whether from the oscillation or a slightly different launch program," at which Gene raised his eyebrows but said nothing, "we found on MECO that we would need quite a bit of Dv from the Duna Departure stage to make orbit, on the order of 380, vs the expected 150.  This deviation was significant enough that after talking it over with the front row, we elected to have the ship complete an orbit before burning at Apo, dipping back down to about 67km.  Because of this the crew was instructed to not deploy their solar panels yet."

Spoiler

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"When the core stage was jettisoned though, due to our altitude concerns we erred and fired up the DDS sooner than we should have, and the inter-stage was ejected into the main."

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"And, ... it was on planning the final orbital insertion burn that we realized the most grievous glitch- the fly-by-wire hub was not working, as we discovered the ship could not align along its needed burn-node.  However the ship is in orbit successfully now."

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Gene looked back and forth across the faces of his team.

"We have less than 300 Dv for Duna insertion.  I'm not sure I would call that a success folks."

Many pen clicks followed while Gene controlled his temper.

"Alright, it looks like we have only done 3 things wrong that could doom the mission, and we're in a quite 'successful' 110x77km orbit."

Gene sighed.

"Linus, you have 4 hours to simulate Duna insertion as-is or I'm aborting.  After that I want to know why our launch was so inefficient and why the Fly-by-wire is non-functional.  And then I want at least 1 hour without seeing any of you or someone is going to get a pencil in their neck, probably me."

Gene closed his folder with a snap and briskly left, heading to his office and a big list of "Most Important, Call Me" notes from about 50 CA officials.

Edited by GarrisonChisholm
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Nice! I want to see how angry Mort gets when he hears this!! :D

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3 hours ago, Nivee~ said:

Nice! I want to see how angry Mort gets when he hears this!! :D

Hah!  Mort may have a reaction, but I'm not sure its his 'job' to get angry yet.  It is an in-flight mission, and Gene will get quite angry enough for everyone.  If it aborts (or fails), then Mort will have a coronary for sure.  Right now, it hasn't cost the program any money.  :]

edit-  check that, losing the mains meant they couldn't be recovered of course, but 4/5's of the stage recovery was successful, and that doesn't always go perfectly so I'm willing to call that 'unfortunate' but within typical norms.

Edited by GarrisonChisholm

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25 minutes to Duna Injection Burn...

 

Everyone was seated again in the conference room, and Gene looked directly at Linus for him to take the floor.

"We can't do it Gene."

Gene harrumphed slightly.  "Is it close?"

"If we aerobrake low enough to enter orbit, we lose all the primary solar panels.  If we aerobrake far enough up to preserve the panels, we can't enter orbit.  If the primary solar arrays fail the secondary panels can maintain operations, but only if we shut down 4 of the 8 Active Radiation Shields.  However most of that secondary power comes from the Duna Departure Stage, which is designed to remain in Duna orbit as a supplementary relay satellite; they have to decouple it to land.  That would leave only bare minimum solar panels for nominal life support, with no active shields."

"We can't do the mission as planned.  We see 4 options Gene."

Gene nodded, "Go on."

"One.  We refuel the Departure Stage in orbit.  We have 2 Lustre's in storage, we could launch 1 in 4 days, rendezvous, dock, pump all the remaining fuel in and still catch the tail end of the departure window.  The bad news is that the involved docking ports were never meant to be mated, both are on sloped facings of the capsule leading to a terribly difficult maneuver.  And we would have to do it twice with ungainly vehicles not meant to maneuver on RCS."

"Two.  We send up a Lustre, disembark Bill and Bob, bring them home and build a purpose built refueler to refuel DUST in orbit and delay departure until the next window."

"Three.  We proceed using the low aerobrake at Duna, then we remain in orbit until 2 days before our departure.  If we delay the landing that long, then the crew will only be without radiation protection for roughly 250 days.  They could make it; though of course a single solar flare would kill them."

"Or, ... four.  We reprogram the ship, set all the parachutes on one trigger, leave the departure stage in orbit, and try to land the whole thing on Kerbin, recovering greater than 80% of the whole flight's expense.  Then we have access to those funds for another try."

Gene tapped his pen several times and then just shook his head.

"Wernher, from the outside looking in someone would ask how this ever worked at all!"

"Gene, zat is unfair.  We completed multiple successful insertions and landings in simulation.  No previous iteration has ever had this difficulty.  It was wholly unexpected."

Gene looked at Linus.  He wanted to tell him that the data on how massive the battery change was must have been hogwash, but Linus knew that already, and Gene was sure that in the sim team's final report he would admit that.

"Alright.  Option 4 is dangerous, but it would mean plenty of time to test it because we'd be under no time crunch.  Option 3-"

"Bill and Bob both favor option 3 Gene."

"Well bully for them but it is still insane.  I'm sure the CA would be tickled if Kerbin's heroes came back microwaved and glowing some unwholesome color."

"They wouldn't actually be micro-"

Gene bounced a swiftly crumpled paper off Linus' nose.

"Two makes little sense.  If we're not launching for this window, why preserve an imperfect craft.  We could recover, redesign and build again.  As for One, I seriously doubt our first attempted docking should be with two very large craft not intended to dock with one another, and racing against the clock at that."

"No, it is Option 4, or we simply have them return if 4 cannot be proven safe.  Questions?"

No-one said anything.

"Alright.  Linus, get to work, prove we can do it.  Griff, tell them to skip their departure routines.  And tell them not to get any funny ideas.  Mort would take it out of their paychecks."

Someone chuckled, but no-one would later admit to it.  Everyone rose, though Gene exited out to the Admin wing.  He needed to get up front with this one, and hopefully the news that most all the Funds would be recouped would soften the blow.  Gene arrived outside Mort's door, raised his hand to knock, then paused.

Spoiler

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Edited by GarrisonChisholm
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There are fish in Kerbin? :D How do they look like? 

And pretty weird for Mort to skip work.....

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42 minutes ago, Nivee~ said:

There are fish in Kerbin? :D How do they look like? 

And pretty weird for Mort to skip work.....

Maybe he's up to something...    :wink:

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1 hour ago, Nivee~ said:

There are fish in Kerbin? :D How do they look like? 

Haven't you ever heard of the RatSquirrelFish?

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Ah yes RatSquirrelFish is very tasty when done with CucumberPineapplePotato.

Edited by lunardog15
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12 hours ago, lunardog15 said:

Ah yes RatSquirrelFish is very tasty when done with CucumberPineapplePotato.

You ATE a RatSquirrelFish?

I'll miss you.

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De-Orbit...

 

Linus' sim-team had given the go-ahead, so Bill and Bob prepped the ship for the wholly unplanned for event of bringing the Duna Descent Vehicle down on Kerbin.

First the DDS was jettisoned on a sub-orbital trajectory to drop into the ocean.

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Then the craft was prepared for re-entry.  It had been determined that it would be possible to pump fuel from the Duna Return Stage into the Landing stage to break re-entry, so the needed valves were prepped and then the craft brought into alignment.

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As soon as the heat threshold was reached for the folded-away solar arrays, the engines were fired.   Now the consumption rate was slightly greater than the pump rate, but re-entry was never-the-less managed without a single part being lost.  Every chute was opened, and the engine set to recover the ship in the far highlands.

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However, at contact it was discovered that the break rate was just a bit too high, and a brief and alarming cascade failure initiated;

Spoiler

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A landing leg fails at 6.5 m/s on the 8* slope, and a ripple of shock progresses up the craft, incredibly culminating in the decoupler for the re-entry vehicle.

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Shaken free of the toppling craft, Bill and Bob descend on the fortunately still inflated primary chute, which none-the-less cannot provide enough drag for the still attached final stage motors, which detonate upon contact.

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However, those components serve as crash buffers, and Bill and Bob alight not so gracefully on Kerbin next to a gratefully non-conflagration, as the massive craft settles mostly intact next to them.

 

Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief, and nearly 3 million in Funds were recovered.  The world was of course disappointed that their greatest ever enterprise was delayed, but all were thankful that the software errors in the fly-by-wire hub were discovered before the crew had left orbit.  Work was enthusiastically begun on a final upgrade for the design before the next launch window 2 1/2 years away.

In the meantime, there were contracts on the books to mind.  Crewed missions would be cancelled pending the completion of Duna, however there exists a simple part test that could be easily accomplished.  To test a decoupler on solar orbit, QuickCom was built for the modest sum of 10,000 Funds.

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Following a Lunar fly-by, the mission was easily accomplished, and the craft later inserted into an inter-Kerbin orbit to potentially support Eve missions.

Spoiler

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Work at the KSC progressed, though Gene was puzzled to find that the assistant finance officer was taking over the signing-off of expenses, and no-one could identify precisely why Mort was not on campus...

Edited by GarrisonChisholm
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Oktober 1st, '64

 

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Mortimer sat at a mechanic's desk in the Air Force space-plane hangar, the large craft itself now nearly half disassembled.

It was easy to see why it had never made it to orbit, even to him.  It had clearly been designed by someone who thought the only answer to drag was "moar power", and the pilots had been told that a "standard" re-entry included the phrase, 'when the uncontrollable tumble begins immediately deploy the chutes or you may not regain consciousness to do so before impact.'  Comforting.  Parts were even now being cataloged and deemed 'store' or 'dispose' by KSC technicians, and then loaded on the  appropriate trucks.  Mortimer was itemizing the parts that would be disposed of and calculating the expected remuneration they'd get back.

Since the 'complete confidence' lawmaker's briefing, Mortimer's primary job had been complete.  He had originally been brought in to ensure that the KSC survived its spartan early funding period, and with the CA decision to divert half of the last year's Air Force space-plane budget to the KSC there would be so much cash that even Gene would be hard pressed to spend them into ruin.  That being said, there was no reason it had to be Mortimer sitting here doing part notations in an unheated hanger on a chilly morning.  He could have sent his assistant.  However Mort was trying to find an answer to a larger question.

In-between the technicians jogging up and dropping off slips of paper, Mort was going through the construction and concept documents for the Munex Initiative.  The space plane had been born of a desire to ferry cargo frequently to space, and also rationalize the programs co-existence with KSC from a gross horizontal/vertical launch perspective.  The Munex Initiative had been born out of a classified briefing given by D-Magic to the CA which highlighted the threat to civilization of asteroid collision.  What was most interesting though is that it was not the CA that decided to base asteroid intercepting missiles on the moon, that scheme had been pitched by D-Magic themselves.

The more he read the memos though, the less convinced he was that D-Magic really cared about executing the plan.  They seemed far more interested in establishing and ensuring frequent travel to Mun.  Frequently they passed off design decision making or even suggestion opportunities to the Air Force, but always offered a firm opinion whenever that would support more numerous cartage trips.  He was particularly interested in specifics of the plan that they argued most vociferously for, namely radar observatories at both poles.  And every time the question had been raised which pole to start at, they had insisted the north...

Mortimer paused to gaze across the tarmac to the black car that the D-Magic team had arrived at the admin building in.  He suspected they had come to collect the box of documents he was currently sorting through.  Funny that, that it was here with him rather than over there waiting to be picked up.  "I bet they're disappointed" he thought.  A kerb in a dark suit wearing dark glasses turned and gazed across the runway towards the hanger before getting in and being driven off.  Mort waved from the shadows of the hanger, then went back to work.

'meanwhile...'

 

Linus walked into Gene's office, where he and Wernher had been having a heated 'heart-to-heart' about his Duna Universal Space Transport.  Gene looked up and waited for Linus to speak.

"It is just as we suspected Gene."  He looked at Wernher with obvious sympathy.

Gene didn't say anything, having been already convinced, but Wernher spoke sharply.

"Can you truly be sure?!?"

Linus nodded.

"The sun is entering a stage of significant sun-spot activity, such that the astronomy department predicts there will be no period of quiescence lasting the required  2.2 years for at least a decade.  As you both know, our radiation shielding can make a single solar flare survivable, but not two.  There is no way to fly to Duna with the current spacecraft."

Gene asked, "How many active shields would we need?"

"70."

Wernher said something undoubtedly foul in Kerman and slumped in his chair.  Gene spoke.

"Ok, that settles that Linus, thanks.  We will need to come up with a new technology solution to fulfill the CA's mandate.  I'm sorry Wernher, I know that design has been your baby for far longer than we have had a KSC.  It just won't cut the mustard now."

Wernher didn't speak, but his attitude seemed be one of begrudging acceptance.

"Wernher, we'll need to wait until after Linus' team comes up with a radiation solution before we can enter a new design stage.  In the mean-time, that means all our "local body" transport rockets will need to be reworked.  We can't take a risk on even a Mun shot now."

Both Linus and Wernher appeared demoralized.

"Get going guys!  Our problems won't fix themselves!"  And Gene immediately pulled out a yellow pad and started writing an inter-office memo.

Spoiler

Good evening all.  This is just a note on my future game-play.  I have spent 4 months trying to get Kerbalism to be stable, and every time I get it so I think it is right something else fails.  It is to the point that designs that can fly in a Sandbox year-1 start will not load in year 15+ of my career save, so there is clearly not only an active flights issue but a time-clock issue.  The last straw was getting a test vehicle into Duna orbit, but every time I 'switch to craft' the PC would literally reboot.  Not CTD, not lock-up or crash, but black-screen & then the typical boot-up display.  So, with much regret, I was faced with either losing Kerbalism or losing my game.

Kerbalism is great for the early game and Kerbin-system flights, it adds so much to the game, but I just can't endorse it for anything involving further aspirations.  I have loaded USI life-support, as I think that's the one that I enjoyed using before, and I will continue the game.

As the story is no longer being flown with Kerbalism however, I am not sure it qualifies as "interesting enough" to maintain a chronicle of.  Many people have gone to Duna with stories/reports, and it isn't uncommonly difficult without Kerbalism.  I will maintain notes on my next steps however, and if I get enough feedback I will continue to chronicle the game here.

 

Edited by GarrisonChisholm
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