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*Old Banner. Will be changed*

Kerbal-kind has always been intrepid and willing to blaze trails. An incident stopped this behavior for a long, long while. However, with a little help, the Kerbals are ready to blaze a trail to the stars...

This fan work is the first time I've ever written something that is not a short story. Feedback on my writing methods and other things are highly encouraged. Also, Starstuff will avoid spoilers for the upcoming KSS storyline. Do not fret. :) 

Thanks to the KSS Team and Supporters for inspiring me to do this. Check out the mod HERE!

 

Prologue: This Post.

Interlude 1: Clever Advertisements - HERE

Interlude 2: Werhner Takes a Break - HERE

Interlude 3: ABC, KGBFOAM - HERE

Chapter 1: Spirits - Waiting on KSS 0.8

Chapter 2: Coming Soon...

 

 

PROLOGUE

Spoiler

"Greetings, President Halwise Kerman of Kerbal-kind." 

"Likewise, Representative." 

The large flat-screen projector flickered softly as it began its video transmission, accenting the light coming from one small ceiling lamp. Alone, a Kerbal sat inside the small room on a comfortable armchair, talking at the subtly glowing screen.

"I hope I haven't intruded upon you at a queer time. You may very well know that our sleeping hours are not quite synced. Not at all." The strange creature displayed on the screen spoke in an accent as foreign as its visage. While Halwise formulated a proper response, it found the time to preen a patch of its feathers. 

"I would imagine not." The Kerbal finally responded. "Hence the reason I have the Union's Sibek representative contacting me an hour before dawn. What is it you need?"

The non-Kerbal representative blinked all four of its eyes and clacked its beak in consideration. It had obviously not expected to be talking to a Kerbal as grumpy as Halwise. 

"Yes, right. For that, I apologize. The subject at hand, I assure you, is quite exciting indeed! Perhaps it'll get your vascular organ moving with a bit more enthusiasm.  Pardon my memory, by the by; I can't quite look back on what you Kerbals christen it." 

Halwise raised an eye-bulge at the Sibek's strange speech. He'd told himself before that he'd never really understand alien speech even with that translation implant embedded in his skull. 

"Enough elaboration." Halwise was beginning to lose his patience, "If it's that important, then tell me the news. With
haste. Being a President is a demanding job." 

"Why of course, Halwise Kerman. Leadership is an onerous task..." The Union representative abruptly halted his train of thought to avoid going on a tangent, and continued, "The... Gift, as I believe the general Kerbal populous named it, has arrived at your Kerman Station in Low Kerbin Orbit. As we, or I, speak, the transport craft carrying your Self-Contained Oscillating Other-level Propulsion Drive is, with a reasonable likelihood, maneuvering to dock with Kerman Station. I consider honest that it will all go as predicted." The television screen quickly transitioned to the view of a camera. From what Halwise could tell, the camera was indeed pointed toward the kilometer-wide Kerman Station, and it was slowly growing on the monitor. 

"This is great news, indeed. I hope the Stellar Union knows what we are using it for." Halwise replied, "As to avoid confusion." 

The display reverts with haste back to the live feed of the Sibek, revealing once again that it was tending to its feathers even when Halwise couldn't spot any irregularities. Such strange critters... He thought. 

"Naturally!" The Sibek answered whilst its beak retreated from its arm, "You intend to build a... successful interstellar vessel with it. You know, the Erraverians hold you in high respects for adapting to your circumstances after the end of your big political incident. They share more of your wanderlust than you may muse! By the by, what do you scheme on calling the ship? I find myself chuckling upon witnessing some of them and I am eager to witness this one!" The Sibek's mouth near its beak curved to form a smile, no doubt thinking about the more eccentric names Kerbal-kind has evidently imagined. The I Over E Except After C was one of the stranger ones on the representative's mind, no doubt.

The President of Kerbal-kind, without any shortage of hidden embarrassment, looked down to his desk to search for a document detailing the vessel. Oh, how he hated his desk! One would think that in an age ruled by the electronic, his workspace would be free of invasive objects. 'Twas the opposite: Many piles of documents littered the desk and other important trinkets like a phone and a copious amount of paper-weights took up even more space. Nevertheless, he was able to locate the brief document about the new Initiative. But it was brief. On it, there were many details about the new vessel in jargon he didn't understand, and it all surrounded a complex diagram of the project. The header in the top left simply read The Kerman Initiative.

Not even a name on the entire sheet of paper. 

"I'd love to give you more detail, Representative," Halwise finally looked up from his paper to speak, once again catching the representative preening, "But I'm not one to understand this scientific jargon that my legislation sent me." The representative warmly smiled with understanding and nodded his head at Halwise. 

"Very well, dear friend. I shall be humored when the title of the, may I include, highly anticipated spacecraft is released to the rest of the Galaxy. Or I shall not. We'll see, right?"

"Yes, right..." Halwise looked away from the screen for a moment. He'd known well before the Gift arrived that the entire Union, no, the entire Galaxy would have very high expectations set for Kerbal-kind to actually complete this mission. To them, interstellar travel was easy at best and mildly annoying at worst. Kerbal-kind was the minority. He looked back to the monitor, back to the representative's eager face. Or what he thought was eager. It could've been any emotion. It could've even been an emotion that he didn't know existed, for all he knew! 

Halwise sighed. 

"Anyway, Representative, I have no doubt that the vessel's official design will be released by the Initiative's executive sect soon enough. From what I can ascertain from this document, it would seem that they took great care in the design process." 

"I have no doubt, Halwise. None at all. Most of the Stellar Union doesn't. Some may have doubt but don't let that get into your head. Or whatever you christen it. Actually, the multi-species regiment I attended early this cycle detailed Kerbal-kind's excellent track-record for casualties in space. None for the first 79 Kerbin years of spaceflight. Incredible, may I say! Kerbals even surpassed the moon incursion record set by Humanity, time-wise at the very least. Have faith in your comrades." The Sibek, for a short moment, broke through the professional veil of the conversation to give this pep-talk. It didn't help much. 

"Many thanks. As much as I appreciate your update on the Gift, I must be going," Halwise butted in before allowing the Sibek to speak more. He aimed to end the transmission as soon as possible. "A lot of the major population is about to awaken and I must stand by my duties." 

"Very well. Until next time, Halwise. I'll report this transmission to the rest of the Union and let them know of your awareness of the delivery." The Representative's avian smiling face finally faded away from the monitor as it sank into idle blackness. The small ceiling lamp returned to its full duty just as the President of Kerbal-kind had.

Halwise sighed.

Those scientists better know what they're doing with this mission... He thought whilst rubbing his tired eyes, They MUST know what they are doing...

This Initiative cannot end like the last one did.

2
2
 

 

Edited by Gyrfalcon5
Now with extra Titles! (tm)
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1 hour ago, KayZiomalek said:

Thinkerino looks decent.

Oh hi there, Kay! Fancy seeing you here.

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STARSTUFF INTERLUDE BONUS-FEATURE 1!

To help break up Starstuff's absence while KSS 0.8 is in the works, 3 Bonus-Features will be released to keep y'all entertained! Each will give you a little information about the Starstuff universe as well! Happy reading! Special thanks to @Cortwade for being the inspiration and a major contributor of this Bonus-Feature!

Spoiler

The television flickered to life with a press of a cheap, polymer button.  At this time of night, the Kerbal didn't really expect anything interesting to be showing. The Kerbs, Who's Kerbal Was it Anyway, Wack-a-Kerbal, it was all just reality TV shenanigans. In fact, the Kerman was certain that no one actually enjoyed these programs.

When the television reluctantly received the droves of mass media garbage, a round of Kerbal Chef was just ending. Thank the deities! That show had no actual feeling. According to the producers, apparently, the only way to rack in viewers was to stage everything into obscene scenarios.  From what the Kerbal could tell from those last few moments, the chefs had received a challenge to replicate a non-Kerbal meal. Of course, corny action music and dramatic facial expressions dominated the screen. The Kerbal welcomed the commercial break. They'd never be able to make what they called a "pizza," not in a million years.

The next advertisement, however, actually peaked the Kerbal's interest... 

"Welcome to the A.R.K. Initiative, or "Artificial Remote Kolonizer." Today, we will be discussing the layout of our large and fascinating vessels. Let's begin with the Engine Section. At the top of the vessel sit two large fusion engine pods, ready to fire us towards our location, going large fractions of the speed of light. These pods usually have several large radiators attached to them, in order to alleviate the large amounts of heat generated as a by-product of nuclear fusion. Above the engines normally sits a miscellaneous piece of equipment, such as a laboratory or Stellar-Storm shelter. Next, we have the command section. A large 3-meter diameter cupola sits atop a large control station that monitors the actions around the A.R.K. Below that we have a Hostel-Class crew cabin, for the pilots and engineers during burning hours. Below the command section, two centrifuges, one "Mercury," and one "Pilgrim," allow for comfortable habitation during the long years between stars. Below these two centrifuges sit another Hostel-Class habitation module, filled 3/4 with scientists, and 1/4 with engineers. Below the habitation modules sit the Engineering section, not to be confused with the engine section. Here, we have rocket part storage for up to 240,000 parts, enough to build a colony drop in-situ. Below the part storage is the workshop itself for building the vessels and an orbital dock for when they are completed. Finally, new A.R.K.s will be fitted with an experimental S.C.O.O.P. drive - the design as generously provided by our benefactors - will alleviate the need for the two engine pods and allow for much faster transit on the scale of 1-5 hours, rather than 5-10 years. And so ends our tour of the A.R.K.s. Sign up today to join our team to colonize the Kelnis system and beyond! For Kerbin, For The Future!"

The Kerbal shook its head and chuckled at the cliche female announcer voice and scripting. Cortwade Kerman and Co. would never be able to pull this off. Not in a million years. 

1

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2018 at 4:07 PM, The Minmus Derp said:

DO MOAR!!!!!!!!

Don't worry! KSS 0.8 is closing fast!

Next bonus feature will release sometime at the end of May.

Edited by Gyrfalcon5

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5 minutes ago, The Minmus Derp said:

OK. Use the Kompatible Plernert Percks as well. @Gyrfalcon5

Hmmm... I don't see a reason to use them. That'd just be an unnecessary performance hit. :/

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STARSTUFF INTERLUDE BONUS-FEATURE 2!

This was originally going to be the third Interlude, but the strawpoll experienced a nuclear holocaust. So here we are.

Spoiler

"Attention all passengers: The CFV Not Here Nor There has terminated declaration action. Please remain seated until docking maneuvers and idle gravity transition procedures have been completed."

A resounding thump reverberated throughout the Fusion-Vessel as the drive system ground to a halt, and the motors whirred as the hab-section moved to its idle position.

Werhner Von Kerman, despite being detained by his harness, strained to peer out the tiny window he'd been assigned. As the hab-section began to spin up, he was able to catch a glimpse of his destination: An Estrlui Starliner. A glimmering object of technological bliss and luxury. 

He'd traveled for two full weeks across the Kerbol System to get to the Starliner. This was not because it was the only parking spot; The Council of Kerbin still didn't like the idea of multi-thousand-ton ships, each with the capacity to accelerate to 5% the speed of light without refueling, hanging around in LKO. Of course, Wernher knew that Majesty V's were time-tested and reliably designed spacecraft. He differed from his leadership in that respect.

While centrifugal gravity slowly returned to his cramped excuse for a cabin, Werhner quickly snatched his copy of Beginners Guide to Galactic Customs and skimmed over what he deemed relevant enough to review. Mannerisms,  etiquette, and most importantly, greetings. He budgeted some time to practice his first impressions with no one in particular; If someone would have been watching him, it'd look quite silly. Werhner handshook, bowed to, and touched foreheads with some invisible entity with no fear of embarrassment. 

When the time came, the punctual Kerbal undid his glorified seat belt and began to enter the long corridor embedded into the spine of the ship. It was nothing sophisticated, just a hallway you'd expect to see in any Fusion-Vessel nowadays. Werhner had one word for this: economical. 

"Attention all passengers: the CFV Not Here Nor There has completed docking action with the Color of Wanderlust. Please exit the Fusion-Vessel in an orderly and timely fashion. Any lost items will not be returned, so please ensure that your bags are secure and within reach. Upon exiting, please orient yourself towards the Color of Wanderlust's floor panels as to avoid gravity-induced injury. Thank you for flying Stratzenblitz Spaceways. Have a nice day."

Moving - or floating, more rather - with the other passengers, Werhner bumped and scooted his way past unruly Kerblets and grumpy parents. The mass of people in front of him prohibited his vision, but he could hear a plethora of gasping and thumping ahead. /i/What is going on up there?/i/ He mused internally. Werhner clutched his bag's strap a little tighter in anticipation. Or angst. Or both.

As the line grew shorter in front of him, however, he found that his angst was unjustified. He was able to catch a glimpse of the source of the noise; A lone Kerbal had walked across the threshold between ships, only to be pulled toward the floor! Werhner slowly floated his way toward the threshold, becoming more and more transfixed by the panels. /i/How does it work? What powers it? Is it black magic? The work of the deities, perhaps? Why does it-/i/

Werhner's runaway train of thought was halted as he unknowingly stepped through the aperture of the intertwined docking rings. The panels - which were, luckily, underneath him - did their work and pulled his shoes to the floor with a muted but sharp *CLANG.*

And he stood there, mouth agape and glasses askew. Instinctively, his arms had shot from his sides to maintain balance in the sudden gravity, leaving him in a position with the likeness of some sort of exercise.

And he stood there some more. For a long while, actually. So long, in fact, that one of the ship's personnel had come to check on him.

"Excuse me, little one." A non-Kerbal spoke to him in an unusually maternal tone. "Are you alright? If you are frightened, we'd be glad to help guide you aboard." 

A slight tap on his shoulder managed to shake Werhner out of his trance-like state. Standing up straight and realigning his spectacles, he turned to examine the employee. From what he remembered from his books, the non-Kerbal appeared to be an Estrlui, a race of endothermic reptile folk. 

Werhner was immediately intimidated.

 The Estrlui easily towered over him at well over 7 feet tall, and from what he could tell, it probably weighed a proportionally massive amount. Digitigrade legs ending in splayed, taloned feet and hands adorned with six clawed fingers accented his concerns.  A maw filled with many small but sharp teeth peeked through its pure white, half-smiling snout. This proved to be an objectively threatening sight.

"N-n-no sir- uh... ma'am? I'm fine, t-thank you." stammered Werhner, mustering his wavering confidence.  

The alien cocked its head in response. A swath of chromatophores atop its snout shifted to a deep purple, and the copious amount of jewelry it wore jingled against one another. 

"No, you say? Well, little one, I beg to differ. You seem new to interactions like these, are you not?" inquired the alien. Werhner shivered; He'd really hoped that it wouldn't respond. Without warning, the Starliner employee kneeled down heavily to a position that placed Werhner face to face with the beastly being. 

"I can smell your apprehension, little Kerbal. Do not fret!" The alien got ever more uncomfortably close to Werhner's face. Its breath smelled strangely of lavender. "Just think of us as fat, fancy, sleepy snow lizards. It is not too far from the truth, I say." 

Werhner was taken aback by the strange mixture of polite and immodest attitudes. The following awkward silence allowed him to examine the Estrlui further and validate a few things.  Even though the loose and uncomplicated uniform it wore, he could tell that it was quite corpulent indeed. Probably more of an adaptation than a condition. Werhner concluded. 

At a second glance, he also confirmed the second notion. Anywhere jewelry could possibly be, it resided. Gold, silver, shiny, and jeweled; There was enough to set up three Kerbals for life! And this must be a cultural quirk.

These thoughts made Werhner feel much better about his situation. Of course, he'd just remembered that he hadn't used any of the etiquettes he practiced. Nonetheless, he was just glad to not have been eaten or eviscerated.

"Are you calmer now, little one?" mused the Estrlui as it backed slowly away from Werhner, jewelry chiming. "Our mission aboard the Color of Wanderlust is to ensure that our passengers are as comfortable as possible, no matter the origin. Go along now! You wouldn't want to miss acquiring your complimentary blanket, now would you?" 

"Uhh... I guess not. Thank you...?" Werhner replied uncertainly. 

"The pleasure was all mine." The employee bowed down and gave his expansive forehead a tiny lick and sauntered away, nearly hitting him in the face with its thick, sweeping tail on accident. A typical Estrlui farewell, unfortunately. 

"Well, non-little one, you failed your mission." He grumbled under his breath whilst wiping the stray saliva from his forehead

Werhner Von Kerman sighed as he waddled deeper into the luxurious interior of the Color of Wanderlust.

This is going to be a looooong cruise.

 

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This is so awsum.

On 5/4/2018 at 2:16 PM, Gyrfalcon5 said:

*Old Banner. Will be changed*

I like it though. @Gyrfalcon5

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1 hour ago, The Minmus Derp said:

This is so awsum.

I like it though. @Gyrfalcon5

It is, however, the wrong star system. The plans have since changed and the banner needs to be modified accordingly. Sorry about that. :P 

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STARSTUFF INTERLUDE BONUS-FEATURE 3!

Here's the final Interlude before 0.8! This was originally going be the second one, but I though this one would be better as a final Interlude. Enjoy.

Spoiler

"Okay, class!" The MentorKerb attempted to instruct over the multitudes of blithering Kerblets, all of which had their own ridiculous conversations among themselves and their friends. 

"Do 'ya think that Matnie will play Ker-ball with me on the playground today?"

"I-I-I heard that Humans have 10 whole fingers! Daddy told me so!" 

"Ewww! Laise is eating dusty bunnies!" 

"Class! Quiet down please." 

Most of the more compliant Kerblets swiftly ended their conversations and turned their eyes toward the MentorKerb. Of course, most still fidgeted around, giggled at silly faces, or in one case, continued to eat dust bunnies. This was about as coherent as it would get, nonetheless.

"Alright, Kerblets! Today for the Near-End-Of-The-Day-Extravaganza, we are going to watch a video!" The MentorKerb tried her best to sound as enthusiastic as possible despite a long day of herding wily children, but the cheering her unfinished statement received lent a hand in boosting her resolve. 

"Hooray! Hooray! I want it to be about rovers!" 

"I r-really hope it's not about non-Kerbals. I do not like them very much." 

"Laise! Stop being gross!"

The Mentorkerb whistled loudly to grab their attention. And grab attention it did. She inhaled deeply before continuing,

"Today... the video will teach us about exoplanets in the form of the alphabet! Does anyone know what 'exoplanet' means?" The MentorKerb surveyed the room for raised hands for a long while before one meekly raised from a desk near the front. "Yes! Gracine, what does 'exoplanet' mean?" 

"Exoplanet means...uh...means..." The Kerblet almost instantly lost her train of thought, but before the MentorKerb could intervene, she answered, "uh...a planet not around Kerbol?" 

The MentorKerb clapped her hands and made an effort to veil the fact that she was quite annoyed with the Kerblets with a smile, "That's right! You see, Kerblets, the planets we have in our Solar System aren't the only ones out there! There are lots and lots and LOTS of planets around other stars!" 

The little Kerblets that were paying attention, which was a minority, had eyes that lit up with wonder in response. Lots and lots and lots meant just as much as billions or trillions, despite the lack of meaning behind the words. 

"This video we are about to see will tell us about really cool exoplanets both near us and really far away! However, we need to be very quiet during the video and save the questions for later, okay? Are we all ready?" The Kerblets, anxious to do something that didn't require brain power, all exclaimed in unison, drowning each other out and creating a homogeneous blob of 'YES.' 

"Okay! Here we go!" The MentorKerb reached for the remote and gently pressed one of the buttons, the likes of which started the video on the large television stationed beside her desk...

"Hey Kerblets! Let's learn about planets far, far away; each with their own face and feeling! We'll go in line with the alphabet. Ready? 'A' is for Avor, a planet with an atmosphere as thick and hot as soup! 'B' is for Blalo, a home away from home! 'C' is for Cuel, a planet far, far away but not alone! 'D' is for Dunem, a planet with sandy dunes and red skies! 'E' is for Earth, a planet covered pole to pole in cities and skyscrapers! 'F' is for Ferno, a burning world that got a little too close! 'G' is for Glacen, a planet that really needs a coat! 'H' is for Hilio, a planet that hugs its star tight! 'I' is for Ilo, the perfect world to have a home that's just right! 'J' is for Jove, a planet with not one ring but two! 'K' is for Klip, a planet with a partner to dance with! 'L' is for Laevo, a world with life in the clouds! 'M' is for Mesmo, a planet with lots and lots of moons! 'N' is for Nelvem, a world made entirely of water and ice! 'O' is for Ora, a world whose animals love to hide! 'P' is for Port Bravo, a world where big warships are made! 'Q' is for Qylis, a planet with dancing birds of awesome beauty! 'R' is for Rilna, a planet that has a cold! 'S' is for S'iom, a world where big baddies roam! 'T' is for Telim, a planet with an icy atmosphere! 'U' is for Umbra, a world around a black hole, not a star! 'V' is for Vael, the first exoplanet to ever be found! W is for Weirton, a planet where everyone gathers to chat! 'X' does not have a planet, but maybe someday it will! 'Y' is for Yttria, a world with radioactive dirt! And finally, 'Z' is for Zios, a planet where all the trouble-makers go. Those alphabet planets are only a few of the many that are out there! Go out there and explore, Kerblets, and maybe YOU will find some new places to learn about! This educational segment was brought to you by the Kerman Initiative"

Thank the deities, it's over. The MentorKerb said within the confines of her head. *Sigh,* lay it on me, Kerblets. What have you got to say?

 

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Nice! Not exactly my taste... but anything with KSS (as long as it's not a Star Trek-like thing) is good enough for me! Nice job.

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2 hours ago, HansonKerman said:

Nice! Not exactly my taste... but anything with KSS (as long as it's not a Star Trek-like thing) is good enough for me! Nice job.

I like it too.

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