SaturnianBlue

The Kerbin Escape: The Journey to Space Settlement (Chapter One)

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THE KERBIN ESCAPE:THE JOURNEY TO SPACE SETTLEMENT

Introduction

Over an year since the original idea, and five months since I wrote the first lines, the first chapter is finished.

Escaping Kerbin will follow an organized effort to colonize space in the KSP universe. The story is intended to cover the many factors, trials, tribulations, and outcomes of the space colonization, before a backdrop of a world slowly tumbling into chaos. The story will rely on modern technology at the beginning, with gradual technological advancements becoming available. In the context of this series, space colonization and settlement refers to Kerbals living permanently off Kerbin—this report seeks to go further than small, scattered habitats, and instead hopes to go one step bigger to structures such as rotating space stations, and extensive mining bases by the end of the series.

A few notes:

A motivation that will warrant space settlement is very much lacking in our universe, but I hope that this series will find one that can justify the effort.

While I will be playing a career mode save, The Kerbin Escape will likely rely on... Other sources of income to begin.

The Kerbin Escape will use a slowly increasing amount of mods, of which I will make a list of below.

The Kerbin Escape borrows certain elements of the world from the Asteroid Sentinels but it is intended to be a stand-alone.

Feedback is greatly appreciated. I hope to use it in order to improve your reading experience. 

Enjoy!

INDEX

Chapter One

The Space Settlement Drive (SSD) Act

 

 

 


A thousand kilometers away, the thunderstorms of wasteland and war began their creep across the ochre dust clouds that now smothered the Kertoussa Highlands. Yet at the Kerbal Space Center, the waves of the Sea of Serenity lapped at the peninsula as usual. The harsh light of an equatorial Kerbol shined as it always did, but with a faint reddish glow, on the day when the tree to the stars were planted, and the day when Kerbalkind was one no longer.

l325VP6.png

Bill and Valentina

A red flash darted across Bill’s news panel, his rounding eyes chasing the bold, highlighted words that flickered by. His shoulders sank as the sound of defeat seemed to escape out of his mouth.

“Never in a thousand years would I have ever expected this to happen.” Bill’s head sank.

su3Wsgo.png

Sitting on the chair across from Bill, Valentina was staring into the seventh edition of What Could’ve Been, the same way one would look down into the supposed Mohole. She set the book aside and directed a scowl at Bill. “What?”

“The googly-eyed missile kerbs! They’ve actually done it. The leader of that ironically-named Real Deal Front over in Kertoussa has just gone rogue, and is attacking Kerbal Union bases!”

Valentina’s head cocked forward. “What?!”

“I know, right! This world just seems to get more and more chaotic. First the freaking asteroid blows down the coastline of Kertoussa, Jebediah Kerman disappears into the night with no known quote-on-quote ‘foul play’ involved, every little province out there is hammering at the knees of the KU and on top of all that… the KU being a typical KU, fails to address the kerbanitarian crisis in Terketia—”

Valentina cut him off sharply, saying, “Bill, the world is degenerating into chaos each day, but it won’t change much to complain about it. In the meantime, there’s this ‘super surprise’ at the administration building in 10 minutes, and they brought a lot of aerospace executives, so we should get going.”

“Oh. That’s what the security is about?”

“Bill, how did you not know about it?”

“I don’t read the daily dispatch, Val.”

“Of course you don’t,” Valentina muttered.

“It’s not shocking, I admit. So what’s the super surprise part of this meeting?”

“I haven’t been able to figure out. Any ideas?”

“The security seems more than the typical waiting-to-bash-some-RDF-hitmen tight, more Secgen of the KU is coming tight—” Bill grinned.

“Ah-ha! That might be it. Maybe the Secgen is coming! That’s the apparent surprise!”


AzTOATd.png

    The Administration Building in the Kerbal Space Center that now lay before Valentina reminded her of the appearance of an old Spark I rocket—a few pre-constructed components hastily bolted together, and built to the standards of those 60’s era Kertoussa housing complexes, which is to say, usually stable. Gus insisted that it was a phoenix rising from the ashes, but while it sure shared the similarity of having its old form turned to ash, the hatchling that replaced it was hardly impressive.

    It had been the opposite, of course—a clean-cut lawn, a superpool, and a helipad fit for a Secgen once adorned a sharp, sleek building with not one, not two, but three press rooms! It was a shame that on the fateful night of the Announcement—the same night the RDF was truly born, it blazed like bombed K-42s.

    Valentina and Bill cut their way through the dense mass of fellow astronauts and KUBS, AR, and INA reporters that had coalesced around the entry door.

    “...I apologize, but we just don’t have the seating in there! You’ll have to ask questions through the KSP Reporter’s virtual site!” shouted Mortimer, grizzly and uptight as usual.

    Valentina and Bill finally broke through the crowd, repeatedly exclaiming “Sorry," and “I apologize for the inconvenience,” along the way.

    “There you are!” Mort called out, singling them out with a jab of his finger. “You two are late! Passes?”

    Valentina flipped through her categorized tabs on the terminal and out popped up her Astronaut ID card, still marked by the picture of a haunted young pilot returning from the bombing runs on her own homeland. “Here you go.”

    With the tenth defeated sigh of the day, Bill sluggishly threw up the ID of a naive engineer with a devious grin. “Have a look, Mort.”

    “Of course. Enjoy your time in the shack,” Mortimer grumbled, waving them off.

    The crowd behind them seemed to get more than a little upset at their entry, but the sound was drowned out as the protester and reporter-proof door slammed shut with a hiss, replaced with the waft of fried safut.

    “Ah...If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s the food,” Bill said, pulling a strip of safut and popping it into his mouth.

    Valentina’s boots made a consistent clop as they struck the runway-like floor. Consistent, until they stepped into the din of the austere press room and trampled onto a fellow astronaut’s boot.

    “Oops!” Valentina looked up. “Oh! Hi Bob!”

    Bob stretched a forced grin. “Hiya?”

    Valentina spun her head around the room. “The chairs are filled up, so do you want to stand with us?”

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“I mean, we can’t exactly sit,” Bob said.

“True.”

    The trio squeezed along the wall to make way for some rather large executives from the C7 Kerbodyne Aerospace Company.

    “Isn’t the speech or whatever supposed to begin in a minute? Kind of strange they haven’t started. I always miss these by a bit, since they always seem to start five minutes early—”

    At precisely noon, the stage bloomed into a light like a sunrise, and only a silhouette—that of Secgen of the Kerbal Union Hudcas himself.

    Well, I guess this building has a second thing going for it—a light show, of all things, thought Bill, as the beaming Secgen stepped out onto the stage, and the lights dimmed…


Secgen Hudcas

      The Secgen swept his gaze across the room, packed with Kerbals sitting on haphazardly arranged chairs that looked vaguely like the ones from the school he visited earlier in the morning.  With a grin as far as Kerbally possible, the Secgen bellowed out, as always, “Helloooooooo fellow Kerbals!” Only this time, the sound system was unable to take the sound, and a horrific whine projected across the room.

    “Ah! Sorry, everyone! I suppose I won’t be using this little thing today,” tossing the microphone towards the backstage at some poor intern.

“So where was I?” He shifted his eyes every so slightly at the glossy teleprompter, which shouted in bright yellow text, “GET TO THE POINT! WHY WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT AND ALL!”

“You may wonder what this security and all is about. I know I would.” He cleared his throat. “My fellow kerbals, it is all to reveal a bright hope in what has seemed like our Union’s darkest hour. This bright hope shines like the South Star above us!”

He paused. So far, so good. “This hope is the dream. The dream that will be Kerbalkind’s greatest leap yet. A leap to the stars, and you, all of you! You are here for a reason! To build that trampoline that’ll send Kebralkind sky-high!”

The Secgen breathed a sigh of relief, as he heard a few chuckles from the audience.

Not the most cringe-worthy thing a Secgen has ever said, considering what Halski said last Munth, thought Hudcas.

SIsXOkt.png

“I have a vision for the Kerbol system, a thousand years from now. In this vision, there is Kerbin, flourishing from unbroken peace and from the resources of distant worlds, where hundreds of millions of Kerbals live. In this brave new Kerbol System, we will not see others as Terketians or Tacakrans, as Dunans or Laythians, but as Kerbals, united in peace and prosperity! And who will have gotten them there? All of you, in this room, sitting or standing right now. We begin the journey to the stars, and the journey to elevate Kerbalkind to a higher state.”

    Cheers rippled forth from the audience.

I never exactly got to why we were here, but the crowd is excited, thought the Secgen.


Bill, Bob, and Val

At the back of the room, Bill, Bob, and Val were doing their best to dodge the clapping hands of suit-cladded executives.

“Peculiar. He didn’t exactly tell us why we were here, did he?” Bill asked Bob.

“Seems like the Secgen is talking about some kind of space settlement program!” Bob shouted over the din of the room.

Bill paused for a few seconds before saying, “Well, now that I think about it, that sounds about right. This new Secgen has promise.” Bill beamed at Bob. “A real forward-thinker, the Kerbal Union could use a lot more of them. A real shame he came at the worst time to be forward thinking.”

They turned back to the stage as the applause died down. “As the new Secgen of the Kerbal Union, it has been in the interest of the whole KU for me to review the issues and changes of our deeply interconnected world—”

Bill shifted back towards Bob. “When I said forward-thinker, I didn’t also request a guy who underplays the urgency of the current situation. If he’s no idiot, he has to see the KU as peeling open at the kerpato bag!”

“Well, I’m sure he’s no idiot, Bill. He’s probably just trying to keep the upbeat mood around here.”

The Secgen continued, “In my review, I recognized one part of the Kerbal Union we were overlooking. The space industry. Here, for 60 years, the freshest and bravest minds on Kerbin have been hammering away at a way to sail the stars, but they’ve only gotten kerbs as far as Minmus! And of course, there was the asteroid that—”

This was quite the sore spot for the audience, whose groans rippled through the room.

“Anyway, Kerbals have the unique capability to get back up and fight harder than they did before. Today, I announce the Kerbal Union’s pledge to make sure that never again will asteroids threaten Kerbalkind, for sentinels will stand guard. Today, I announce the true beginning of the quest to send Kerbalkind into the Final Frontier. Today, I announce to you all the groundbreaking of the road to space!

The crowd thundered with applause, and the Secgen basked in the light of camera flashes.

“In order to kickstart this journey, we will provide a one time grant of 20 million funds to develop space in a profitable manner that’ll encourage space colonization! Not just that, we plan on further awards, provided select milestones are achieved. In order to lead this endeavor, the Kerbal Union will be creating a new organization that’ll provide long-term leadership for the best results!”

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“Hang on a sec—a new organization?” Bob thought out loud, “What happens to the KSP and everyone already there?”

“Can’t say I know, Bob,” Valentina conceded. “At the very worst, this might be the end of the KSP as we know it.”

"And at best?" Bob asked.

"I don't know. We'll have to wait and see till we know more."

Until next time...

End of Chapter One

Edited by SaturnianBlue
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Hey @SaturnianBlue you’ve been doing great on your IKAF thread and I can tell this is going to be brilliant too!

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20 million funds? There's a lot you can do with that!

This will definitely be exciting. 

Are you planning on using life support mods and something like SimpleConstruction?

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Posted (edited)

@MatterBeam Considering that the colonization plan is meant to become mostly self-sufficient monetarily once that's spent, I'd imagine it'll drain quicker than the Kerbals were hoping. Additionally, I might adjust it a little later on, if it proves to be too much.

I'll probably install some sort of life support mod—that'll make the series particularly interesting. A construction mod will be useful, especially once industry starts to get well-established.

Edited by SaturnianBlue
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On 7/24/2018 at 4:29 AM, SaturnianBlue said:

@MatterBeam Considering that the colonization plan is meant to become mostly self-sufficient monetarily once that's spent, I'd imagine it'll drain quicker than the Kerbals were hoping. Additionally, I might adjust it a little later on, if it proves to be too much.

I'll probably install some sort of life support mod—that'll make the series particularly interesting. A construction mod will be useful, especially once industry starts to get well-established.

If you start off with the construction and life support mods, then you can start building your own rocketships and setting up supply chains for 'free'. They can as simple as a mining station 20km away from the launchpad and a truck to carry fuel to and fro (20km for render distance).

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I would like some input on how to proceed from the first chapter to the next. The main choice I have to make is whether to proceed to the first launch of this program, or work through the process of the colonization initiative being set up. The first option means that the rocket-launching action begins more quickly in the story. On the other hand, I will still have to work on figuring out the colonization initiative, so the other option will let me post more quickly.

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16 hours ago, SaturnianBlue said:

I would like some input on how to proceed from the first chapter to the next. The main choice I have to make is whether to proceed to the first launch of this program, or work through the process of the colonization initiative being set up. The first option means that the rocket-launching action begins more quickly in the story. On the other hand, I will still have to work on figuring out the colonization initiative, so the other option will let me post more quickly.

How about scientific 'prospection' missions to determine the ore locations and concentrations around the different bodies?

 

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@MatterBeam That does seem like a good choice for the colonization initiative, but for the most part the "choice" between skipping to the first launch or setting up the colonization initiative (as in the process of the KSP being split, and awarding the private companies to help build the first missions).

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Posted (edited)

The next chapter(s) will take a while, so in the mean time, I have written up a "paraphrased and cut" version (because writing full-length would be worth less than the time spent) of the act that forms the organization that the Secgen announces at the end of the last chapter, that will be the basis for the missions carried out by the kerbals in the story.

Space Settlement Drive (SSD) Act—Paraphrased and Cut

       1. OUTLINE CONSIDERING the situation that has arisen from “The Fall”, there has been a growing cognizance by members of the 46th Kerbal Union General Council that regardless of the certain perceptions that may cause separation among colleagues, a plan to further the development of space is generally agreed upon bilaterally, as an important key step towards a persisting stability of life on Kerbin. The SSD aims to further the fulfillment of these primary objectives:

1. Ensure the relative safety of Kerbin from Near Kerbin Objects that have the potential to cause significant levels of structural damage and collateral harm.

2. Providing significant opportunity and reduction of risk to private enterprises in the various growing and emerging space industries, and encouraging significant innovations to forward technological and economic progress.

3. Laying the groundwork for long-term inhabitation and infrastructure beyond the immediate vicinity of Kerbin, be it on planetary bodies or in free space, by reductions in current barriers, in a way that will encourage sustained space development, even with a change in the general situation.

4. Encourage public perception and participation in regards to space initiatives.

5. Especially given the current situation, the creation and expansion of strategic space-borne facilities to aid in the overall security situation of the Kerbal Union.

       2. LEADERSHIP In order to achieve the following goals, a new organization will be established to lead the colonization effort. Of course, the role of the currently-existing Kerbal Space Program must also be realigned in order to prevent overlap. The role of the Kerbal Space program will primarily be relegated to the following:

1. The operation of facilities at the primary Kerbal Space Center site, including refurbishment, expansion, inspection, safety, and security oversight.

2. The operation, planning, and assembly of unkerballed spacecraft primarily focused on the collection of scientific data for applications in research, including those involved in planetary, Kerbin, astronomical, and Kerbolar studies.

3. The continued support of innovative developments for aeronautical applications.

4. Efforts in development of kerballed deep-space excursions, which will work together with the resulting infrastructure of the Space Settlement Drive.

    SECTORS

The organization that will lead the colonization effort will be known as The InterKerbin Association for Space Development (TIKASD). The organization shall consist of the Primary Council, an Administrator of Operations, and various sectors of operation.

The Primary Council will be involved in decision-making and vote on the budget that has been allocated to TIKASD. Decisions will be approved by a simple majority.

State membership will rely on a contribution to the TIKASD, which will grant each member state one voting representative.* Aside from the states initially promoted, the method in which a member state can be promoted to the status of a major contributor and thereby being granted a second voting representative will be through a two-thirds majority by the members of the Primary Council. The conditions for losing a seat (and membership, if there is only a single representative) is if a vote of no confidence against the member state as approved by a two-thirds majority results in a two-thirds majority vote against the member state, at which point the more senior (or only) member will not be eligible for re-election by the member state. Each representative serves a term of 15-year** term, with one-third of the Primary Council up for election every 5 years.

The Administrator of Operations will be selected once every fifteen years by the Primary Council, with confirmation (and dismissal) through a two-thirds majority vote. The AoO will be responsible for regular operations of the TIKASD, along with their staff and advisors.

       3. REVENUE The TIKASD will receive twenty million funds, as a part of the Kerbal Union budget. After a five-year period, the member states of the TIKASD will contribute a lower level of relatively consistent funding, barring emergency circumstances, defined by a two-thirds majority vote in the Primary Council. If deemed necessary, the TIKASD is authorized to borrow to secure funds. In the due course of time, it is in the best of interests that the TIKASD will become monetarily self-sufficient, through duties and fees on services and operations in space.

       4. ROLE AND DUTIES Roles that are to be relegated from the KSP to the TIKASD are the following:

1.The operation of spacecraft in the vicinity of Kerbin.

2. Research and development into innovations and technologies tied to overall space development.

3. Oversight of public-private partnerships.

In addition, the TIKASD will:

1. Help syndicate the space industry in an effort to accomplish the goal of space settlement.

2. The duty of settling disputes, enforcing regulations

3. Awarding contracts and prizes for private enterprises to encourage private participation in the endeavor***

4. Fund components of the SSD if they cannot be fulfilled by the private space industry

The TIKASD will pursue these goals:

1. Inexpensive access to space

2. Sustained development of infrastructure and permanent habitats in space

3. Rapid development towards achieving overall resource and monetary self-sufficiency of space-based operations

4. Emergence and expansion of profitable in-space commerce

5. Reliable detection and interception of dangerous asteroids

*Either a state of the Kerbal Union, or possibly an independent one if the circumstance arises in the future

**For reference, the term of a Secgen is 10 years

***It is seen that this will considerably boost the progress of the SSD, given the significant overlap of the goals for the TIKASD and the vision of the leadership in aerospace manufacturing and space transportation service companies.

 

5. AMENDMENTS

 
 
Edited by SaturnianBlue

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