Saving Jebediah

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Posted (edited)

After purchasing Kerbal Space Program, 1st thing I get into is the tutorials....

I worked my way through the tutorials while running a parallel game in science mode trying out that which I learnt from the tutorial.  After some fun with suborbital and orbital flights, I do the "to the mun - part 1" and think that sounds fun so go into my science mode game with the idea of making a rock to duplicate the tutorial only to find that I haven't unlocked enough science to have all the required parts, so start making rockets with the science module Jr, and thermometer and barometer to collect science, and think why don't I go to the Mun and collect science in orbit.

So, I create a ship to send to the Mun to go into orbit, as I don't have landing struts at this stage, and Jebediah volunteers for the mission.

I get Jebediah into orbit, and perform a trans munar burn to intercept the Mun.  I now proceed to set up a maneuver node for a Mun orbit injection burn, and wait for the maneuver node to approach, and then I hit the "z" key...

I'm watching the burn timer and wondering why it isn't decreasing as fast as I would be expecting  ... still too new to KSP to recognize all the markings on the nav ball, so I did not understand what was happening...

Suddenly, Jeb is shouting at me "Kill the thottle! Kill the thottle! you forgot to select the maneuver node on the SAS!"  I hit the maneuver node button, instead of killing the throttle and the ship spins around in the direction it should have been going, but the damage has been done, and Jebediahs ship slips out of Kerbins sphere of influence and into solar orbit.

Having exited the game and returned later, I discovered that you can't revert a flight after you've left a ship to it's own devices, so Jebediah is now stuck... 

So I have set myself a mission... 

To rescue Jebediah...

From this point forth, the entire Kerbal Space Program has dedicated all its resources to figuring out how to rescue Jebediah.

Valentina has been volunteering for as many missions as possible as she does not trust any of the other pilots in the space program.  It has been Valentina's tireless efforts that is driving everyone in the space program to continue their efforts to rescue Jebediah.

Since Jebediah has some precious science points on board, the Kerbal Space Program Committee tasked with returning Jebediah decide that they need to mount a rescue that enables Jebediah to fly his ship home and re-enter Kerbins atmosphere so that Jebediah can emerge triumphant from his ship.  To this end, it was decided that research must be done into newer technologies to enable bigger and faster rockets, so a delegation was sent to the research center to ask about fast tracking some research into newer technologies.  The delegation came back with a report stating that to discover new technologies, science would need to be collected to expand understanding of the universe.   So new missions were devised to  collect as much science as possible.

A smart-allec scientist suggested sticking a thermometer out the window of the research facility, to which a team of engineers immediately set to to build  a rover to drive around the Kerbal Space Complex to see if there was a difference between all the different buildings.  Due to limited technologies, this rover looked somewhat like a stubby jet plane .  The scientist and pilot assigned to drive around the Space complex thought they would show the researchers how dumb the idea was, and how stupid the science rover looked, and collected samples from all the buildings, and even planted a flag on top of the Fuel depot.  Upon returning with all their data, they were shocked that research staff were over the mun with excitement with all the data that was brought in, and their jeers were turned to amazement as the researchers produced landing struts that looked like a glimmer of hope for actually landing on the mun.

So, moved onto the next lot of tutorials to learn how to land on the mun and return.  Back to the Science mode game, and now Valentina has been able to declare "Thats one small step for a Kerbal, one giant leap for Kerbal kind  rescuing Jebebaby"

Now that I can land on the mun it seems like a good idea to visit all the biomes for science.  So I built a lander for collecting science, however, it doesn't have enough fuel to do one maybe 2 landings, so building a space station seems like a good idea.. somewhere that I can refuel before returning to Muns surface to get more science...

Of course, the Rescue Jeb Committee decide that if we are going to build a space station in Munar orbit, we 1st need to build a space station in Kerbin orbit... so Whack a couple of Rockomax X200 tanks together with a 4 radial clampotrons (only Jr version available at this stage... and a PPD12 Cupola Module at one end and another clampotron jr at the other.

Will need a source of monopropellant on the space station, so a stack of monopropellant tanks attaches to one of the 4 radial clampotrons, and a couple of lander cans and a hitchhiker module whacked together make a "living quarters"

ok so now I have my Kerbin orbit space station (haven't yet figured out how to insert images in this forum...) time to build a space station for the mun...

Extra science has now unlocked the Rockomax jumbo, so make the mun station components with the Rocomax jumbo tanks rather than the Rocomax X200, so launch the LFO module, monopropellent and habitat modules into kerbin orbit, and string them together like a long train.  then send up a big rocket to push the lot to the Mun in one burn.

so perform the Trans Munar burn, and start heading towards the mun...  do the usual "warp" to get there faster... oh bugger! warping such a long ship is not a good idea... kracken pulls the whole lot apart and it ends up looking like a space ship grave yard...

Ok, so individual module transfer and build in munar orbit.... 

That worked... now several refueling trips later, the fuel station is full and ready for business.  (pro-grade orbit)

so so now I put my lander on top of a ship that has a science storage container, and send it up to the mun.

I dock my lander on the docking port on the end of the fuel tanks and the ship that pushed the lander up goes onto one of the remaining 2 radial docking ports.  I transfer fuel to the lander to prep it for traveling down to the mun. and then undock...

whoops, the pilot and scientist are still on the space station... and no control of the lander... I shouldn't have played chess with the kerbals moving them around their new quarters :D 

so time for some EVA practice... Valentina goes EVA and successfully boards the drifting lander, and re-docks with the station so the scientist can board.

(to be continued... running out of time to relate the rest of this story tonight...)






Edited by TanDeeJay
Fixed spelling of Valintina
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Awesome!!! I love that you're turning it into a large scale rescue mission!

I look forward to seeing how you get Jeb home!  :cool:

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Posted (edited)

didn't get shots very early on, but here is the initial Fuel station the Jebediah Rescue Committee comissioned as their test around Kerbin



And here is a ship docked on the way to the mun.  Everyone on board jumped out for the photo.  The lander attached to this ship was a failure as the engine I used was an Ant and I didn't know how to make use of Kerbal Engineer, and there simply was insufficient thrust to decelerate when trying to land...



And here is the Mun orbit fuel station as finally commissioned.  This shot has a Mk II Science lander docked at the end, and the return ship docked in the middle between the habitat and monopropellant modules.  The lander carries about 3500m/s DeltaV


Much science has been collected with this lander, racking up stops in 9 biomes.  It has a science module jr, a goo canister, a thermometre, and a barometer.

Here is the most precarious landing yet (and yes, someone broke one of the solar panels... Valentina was not happy when the ship came back minus a solar panel...):



The crew manning the Mun station and lander found that their experience meant they had problems if they tried to collect data from any more than 1 biome.  After 2 attempts to collect from a second biome before returning to the space station both of which ended up running out of fuel when trying to adjust their orbit to match the space station, resulting in the other ship docked with the station being sent on a rescue mission... they decided it would be best to only collect from a single biome and return to the space station to refuel before attempting more biomes.  In this fashion, data was collected from a total of 9 biomes before the stations fuel was depleted - much to the embarrassment of the pilots and crew on the station.  The Kerbin based engineers who designed the space station had assured everyone that the station contained sufficient fuel to completely explore the Mun, so to run out, meant someone had to fly the return ship back to Kerbin with their hat in their hand and ask for more fuel.

Much discussion was held aboard the space station as to who would head back to Kerbin.  Then Megwin spoke up to say that if instead of asking for more fuel, they should ask for a rover to drive around.  That way they could veil their need for fuel in a request for data collection mechanism with a reduced risk to Kerbin lives.  Everyone immediately thought this was a brilliant idea and that Megwin should return to Kerbin with their request.

The KSP flight director was surprised when the tracking station reported that a ship had left Munar orbit and was returning to Kerbin.   According to calculations, there was still days before all the biomes had been visited, so there was much discussion about the reason for this premature return.  There was a strange silence from the Mun station.  The Kerbinauts on the Kerbin Space station claimed they knew nothing, so everyone at the Kerbal space station was hanging out to find out why a ship was now on its way back from the Mun ahead of schedule.

Mathematicians in the tracking station plotted the course of the returning vessel and determined probable recovery zones, and dispatched recovery crew to the most likely touch down locations.  After successfully recovery of the command pod, Megwin Kerbin was brought before the Jebediah Rescue committee to explain this unscheduled flight.  The committee's questions came in thick and fast. Had they collected all biomes faster than expected? was the Mun made of cheese? was there a Mun space program run by Munbles? to which Megwin had to answer 'No', 'No', 'No'... Valentina was livid! why were they wasting a trip to Kerbin when they should be out there collecting science for Jeb?

Just as everyone was feeling like they would never rescue Jebediah, Megwin pulls out a Science storage container.  At that moment, you could hear a pin drop.  It was clear that the container was not empty.  There was something in it. It moved in a way that an empty science container shouldn't. Megwin began to speak.

"11 years ago to this day, the great Space Pioneer, Jebediah Kermin, set forth by sheer luck on a voyage of great significance!  No one could have predicted the effect on progress that one single journey could have.  One journey beyond the Mun! One Journey around the Sun! By sheer dint of forgetting to press a button, Jebediahs inaction has brought together the greatest minds in all Kerbal history, and pushed science far beyond the bounds of imagination!  Without a common goal to unite us, to drive us to higher orbits, we would still be stuck flying peashooters into suborbital flights.  We would have a ring of flags around the Kerbal Space Station showing how far we could never go.  But now, thanks to Jebediahs epic journey, we have a ring of flags around the Kerbin Solar system because we are united with one voice, one program, and I present you ONE science container.

"Within this science container there are reports, gauge readouts, and surface samples! this is precious information that has traveled millions of meters and I present it to you, the Jebediah Rescue Committee, to analyse and study for we need new technologies to enable the safe collection of additional valuable scientific data which in turn will enable discovery of additional new technologies and in so doing, we will forever move closer to the ultimate goal of sending out a rescue mission to bring home our Geatest hero Jebediah!  Jebediah!  JEBEDIAH! JEBEDIAH!"

At the last "JEBEDIAH" the entire room was on their feet shouting "JEBEDIAH"    The atmosphere was electric.  Everyone wanted to know what Megwin and the Munar crew needed.  Valentina, as the head of the rescue committee, came forward and looked Megwin in the eye and said "what do we need to do?"

Megwin replied, "We need a vehicle the likes of which have never been seen before! A vehicle capable of traversing the vast grey landscape of Mun.  A vehicle able to store more of the precious data that is within this container.  A vehicle that can travel from biome to biome without having to burn fuel and oxygen.  We need wheels, we need a way to dock vehicles on the ground.  I hereby challenge the research facility staff to take this container and study it and invent ways and means to produce a vessel that will ensure fewer kerbin lives have to be risked with orbital manouvers to collect more science.  We need a rover!"

Edited by TanDeeJay
Fixed spelling of Valentina
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I really like this :D but isn’t it Valentina rather than Valentine?

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6 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

I really like this :D but isn’t it Valentina rather than Valentine?

Whoops! Thanks for that! Luckily this forum doesn’t have a timelimit on editing. Fixed.

i need to take more notice of my Kerbals. After all isn’t that how Jebediah got into this predicament in the first place? I wasn’t paying enough attention? :D

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Posted (edited)

"... We need a rover."

Everyone in the committee started talking at once.

"A rover"

"Thats brilliant"

"Let me get my hands on that science"

"Why didn't anyone think of that before?"


After Megwin's rousing speech there was a fresh excitement in the air.  The committee decided to appoint a sub-committee to build a rover.  Valentine thought they should see if the research department could provide parts needed to launch a direct attempt to rescue Jebediah, to which the committee replied "your the head of this committee, go ahead and build a ship if you want, but it must be un-kerbaled.  We can't risk having more Kerbals in solar orbit outside of Kerbins sphere of influence"  Megwin was shockedwhen he was overlooked as a possible candidate for the Rover Sub-committee, and decided he would recruit some of the quieter committee who he saw were sympathetic towards him.  He was determined to provide the means for fuel to his friends and fellow Kerbinauts who were waiting for a way to refuel their station without incurring the wrath of the committee.

One of the 1st items produced by the research department following the injection of data provided by Megwin, was an advanced grabbing unit.  Valentina knew this was just what she needed on the ship she would build.  A ship capable of reaching solar orbit and matching orbits with Jebediah's ship to refuel, so that Jebediah could maintain his dignity and fly home under his own power.  The small team of engineers she had recruited to assist her were driven mercilessly despite complaints that they were being pushed too hard, and construction of the JR Mk 1 began.  Complaints were made and ignored that there simply wasn't enough time to properly calculate fuel requirements, and no-one seemed to notice that this "unkerbaled" craft had a Mk1-3 command pod at the top.  The crafty Valentina had discuised the pod with the advanced grabbing unit.  No-one had ever seen such a configuration before, and it simply never occurred to anyone that this ship wasn't quite to specification. 

Before the Rover Sub-Committee had even finished ground tests of their 1st rover prototype, the JR Mk 1 was ready for launch



No-one noticed that Valentina was missing from the Command Centre during the launch.  The engineer sitting at the remote control panel noticed a slight delay between his commands and the response from the ship, but it never occurred to him that the delay was caused because Valentina was on the ship madly trying to respond to the engineers commands making it look like there was a remote control unit onboard.

The countdown approached 0... "5...4...3...2...1...Lift off"

All the years of practice doing manual lift offs in the early years of the Space Program really paid off for Valentina as she effortlessly guided the rocket along a perfect gravity burn as she took the ship into orbit.  The engineer at the remote control panel  felt rather pleased with himself as the rocket seemed to take a path far closer to the perfect liftoff than he had ever been able to achieve in all his years in the space program.  He felt sure the kerbinauts would accept him more now, even though he had never been in a rocket before. He was quite shocked when Valentine's face appeared on the video feed on his control panel. That panel only lights up when activated by a pilot on the launching ship... but that means..."Chief! Abort! Abort! the rocket has a stowaway!" the chief replied - "Abort authorized" but when the engineer pressed the abort button, Valentina grinned mischievously, and said "you don't think I thought of that when my team built this ship?  I'll be back"

There was nothing anyone in the control center could do now but hope and pray,  The JR Mk 1 was in the hands of their most experienced pilot.  The engineers who built the rocket, however, were concerned.  They had not had sufficient time to properly calculate deltaV requirements, or to calculate optimal transfer nodes.  they could only hope that their calculations scaled to solar orbit distances.  Of course such a flight would take time, so they had plenty of time now to perform proper simulations and find more accurate data for all the required burns. 

Meanwhile, the Rover Sub-Committee continued to design rovers and were quite successful with their prototype


Mk II had the grabbing unit added to the front and a much larger antenna.  With a sky lifter connected via a docking port, the rover was ready to launch.

Megwin was assigned flight status for the transport of the rover as he was the voice instrumental in invigorating the space program to build a rover.  This meant he had to leave his  team secretly building a mining ship to their own devices.  So the rover was transported to the mun and landed on the Mun surface near the equator about 50k's west of the North west crater.  WIth a scientest and pilot abord, the rover headed towards the North West Crater collecting science at lowlands and midlands along the way.  The journey was tedious as the rover became unstable above 15m/s.  after collecting science in the north west crater, the 2 intrepid kerbins headed north across the crater aiming for the polar crater.  Along the way they experienced a solar eclipse as never before witnessed by kerbinkind



From the polar crater, they headed further north to the north pole.  finding the terrain on the pole very mountainous, they decided to go no further than necessary to collect the science data, and then headed west to find a highland crater that scans had shown.  Upon arriving at the highland crater, they found a steep decent to the bottom would be required.  Megwin was carefully monitoring their progress from the space station and radioed down that he did not consider it safe to take the rover down the steep slope, but the 2 kerbins on the rover had been driving for hours on end and were feeling reckless.  They felt they had a far better understanding of the rover than anyone else... afterall none else had driven it on the Mun surface.

They decided to drive down the bottom despite the crew on the station advising against it.  Valentina would never have permitted such a reckless trip, but she was somewhere on the otherside of the solar system attempting single handedly to do what the committee was so slow to attempt... 

Edited by TanDeeJay
Misspelt Valentina's name again
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Just for fun, jebs orbit should have a orbital resonance with kerbin, so if yoi wait long enough...

Anyway, nice mission report. Good luck.

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<WARNING: The following story may be distressing to some Kerbals>

The decent into the crater began with Megwin shouting over the radio "NOOO! Don't do it.  Don't risk your lives! Don't risk all that science data!"

But Megwin's plea's fell on deaf ears as the two adrenaline filled kerbals in the rover drove over the crater rim to begin the slow decent into the crater.  What slowly became apparent was that the lights mounted below the deck were so close to the surface of the mun that any bump in the crater wall cast impenetrable shadows beyond the bump, making it impossible to gauge the condition of the slope... did it drop off to an impossibly vertical angle? or did it continue at the same angle?

Suddenly their idea of ignoring Megwin's advice seemed foolhardy!

Could they turn around? could they reverse? did they even have enough power in their rover wheels to climb back out?  Reversing out did not seem possible as they had no rear mounted lights to be able to see their path back out, and they had not followed a straight line as they were trying to follow the shallowest contours.  Attempting to turn around, they almost flipped the rover and only just managed to keep the rover the right way up by turning hard into the direction of the flip which stabilized the rover, but suddenly they were moving much faster than they had intended and the next bump sent the rover high into the air slowly rotating in an inevitable death roll.

High above in the space station, the crew could do nothing but listen in horror at the frantic words of the two Kerbals as they fought their ineffective controls "ARGH! If only we had some decent reaction wheels or RCS thrusters, I'd be able to stablize this!  Try reverse throttle! Try reverse throttle!  It's not working! We're going to land upsidedown!  ARGH..." then the radio went dead...

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2 minutes ago, Pretorian28715 said:

and in the words of @Just Jim: -

dun dun dddduuuuuuunnnnnn

gotta leave you in suspense ;)

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We interrupt this broadcast with some distressing breaking news. Two Kerbinauts, Gary and Frank, today lost their lives in service of the Saving Jebediah foundation. The two Kerbinauts were well loved by their peers, and weren’t afraid to go anywhere or do anything in their tireless effort to collect science for the sake of rescuing their beloved hero, Jebediah. These two fine young Kerbals performed above and beyond all they were asked to do. The circumstances of their deaths is still being investigated, but it is understood by our corespondent, that the brave young Kerbinauts were attempting a dangerous science mission when their craft lost control as it was being manoeuvred into a crater. Several low fly overs have confirmed no survivors. A recovery mission will be scheduled once a suitably experienced pilot can be located. This is a major setback to the Jebediah Rescue program. And questions are being asked about whether we can continue to risk further lives for one.

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The mood in the Kerbal Space Center was sombre.  Two Kerbals had lost their lives, Valentina was millions of miles away on a crazy rescue mission, and Jebediah was still stuck in space.  This was a low point for everyone.  There would be an inquiry, and all further work on the program would be halted until the findings from the inquiry were released.

During the inquiry, it came out that the Munar station was out of fuel, and that a mining operation was being planned by Megwin.   It was determined that too many corners had been cut trying to rush through missions.  A new rover should be designed with additional stability.  The Mining operation should be endorsed and made an official part of the Kerbal Space Program, after all, having a station around the Mun that could refill itself sounded like a great idea, and was a boost to the morale of everyone in the space program.  After the months of the inquiry, activity started up again at the Kerbal Space centre.  The Kerbals in orbit around the Mun breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Their future was no longer in doubt.

The staff kerbaling the tracking station got back to work to see where Valentina's flight was.  One of the mathematicians remembered that Valentina had requested them to recalculate the orbital transfer nodes and burn data for the Jebediah Intercept burn.  After several late nights and many calculations, he worked out that the initial rushed calculations were within 1% of the correct values, but at solar distances that would leave Valentina more than 1000Km away from Jebediahs craft.  Unfortunately, the correction burns should have been made 6 months ago in the middle of the inquiry, and Valentina was due to rendezvous with Jebediah in about 5 days.  Valentina would have only enough fuel to return home, and would not be able to correct her course.  He grabbed his calculations an ran as fast as he could to the tracking station to request an urgent transmission to Valentina.

After her launch, Valentina knew the burn calculations were not as accurate as they could be, but she was confident her hand picked mathematician would have the time to calculate more accurate orbital maneuvers, and more importantly, have time to feed the new calculations into the KSP simulator program to confirm the updated data.  She was unconcerned, as it would be a year before she needed to perform the 1st burn.   This was going to be a long journey, so she pulled out her favourite book "Harry Kerman and the philosophers stone".  the plan was simple... Get into solar orbit, adjust orbit to be inside Jebediah's, lots more waiting... burn to intercept Jebediah... more waiting (and wishing real life had a warp mode like the KSP simulator..)  then retrograde burn to intercept Jebediah, Then grab Jebediahs ship with the advanced grabbing unit the research centre had produced, and then transfer fuel to Jebediah's ship and then for all to return home safely.

What could go wrong? There was plenty of time for the updated burn data to be transmitted.  If only these rockets had bigger onboard computers, she would be able to re-calculate that data herself.  In the early days, they had loads of paper in the craft and they would have done the calculations themselves, but these days, the builders were so confident with the simulator calculations that they left out any mechanism for manually performing calculations. If only she had Jebediah's ship.  His was of an era that was well stocked with all the necessary log tables and work books for manually performing all the orbital mathematics.

As Valentina approached the 1st maneuver node with no updated data from Kerbin, she made another request in her daily transmission to Kerbin for the updated data.  The reply back was that there was no updates to the flight plan.  there was no indication at all of the upheavals occuring within the space program back on Kerbin.  Valentina performed the burn as planned and then went back to her daily routine of passing the time.

Again Valentina was approaching the maneuver node that should put her ship on an intercept course with Jebediah, and she put in the same request as before for updated data, receiving back the same reply.  anyone could have thought there was a robot at the other end as the response was word for word the same as for the approach to the previous maneuver node.  Valentina could not believe that the initial calculations were still valid, and she was sure there was something wrong, but without the means of performing the calculations herself, she had to trust the data she had, so she performed the burn as planned, and then sat back to wait again.

Finally, Valentina was approaching the point where she needed to perform the retrograde burn to bring her to a complete stop relative to Jebediah.   As she begins the burn as planned, a voice breaks into the cabin over the radio.  For half a moment she hoped it was Jebediah, but she knew he was unaware of this rescue attempt, and was not likely to be wasting his power transmitting.  The voice was one she had not heard since before she left kerbin.  It was the voice of the mathematician she had charged with confirming her maneuver data. "ABORT ABORT ABORT"  The call that no kerbinaut wanted to hear, especially after spending several years traveling somewhere and then being within a stones thow of your destination.

"This is KSP to Valentina Kerbin, ABORT ABORT ABORT.  By the time you receive this transmission, you should be slowing down relative to Jebediah Kermin.  The original calulations are wrong.  You are still over 1000km away from Jebediah. you don't have sufficient fuel to make the necessary corrections and then return safely home.  ABORT ABORT ABORT.  Included with this transmission is all the maneuver data required for your safe return to Kerbin."  The transmission then proceeded to relate to Valentina everything that had occurred since she had left.  Valentina realized that leaving Kerbin was a mistake.  Without her at the helm, the Jebediah Rescue Committee was incompetent, and she needed to get back to Kerbin as quickly as she could if there was any hope of progressing the rescue effort.  So she programmed the updated maneuver data into the onboard computer, for the long journey home.

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The atmosphere in the Kerbal Space Centre was cautiously optimistic.

The optimism generated by word that Valentina was on her way back to Kerbin was dampened by the news that the rendezvous with Jebediah did not happen.  However, everyone knew that the Jebediah Rescue committee was incompetent without Valentina around, and they were all looking forward to sanity being restored to the Committee.
Megwin’s Mining team were finally ready to launch their mining ship and ore conversion module.  So the Committee scheduled the launch in the hopes that they could show they could achieve things without Valentina around, and they managed to prepare the Mun Station for the mining program:


to try and justify their progress in the absence of Valentina, they also launched a Rover MK III to see if they could visit the rest of the Mun before Valentina returned, and managed to get the rover into high Mun orbit, before the committee got bogged down in deciding who to man the rover.


As is the way of committees without strong leadership, they excelled in their committeeishness and successfully managed to fail to decide on the rover crew by the time Valentina returned.

The Mining team successfully landed on the Mun and filled their ore tanks with ore, and in the rush to satisfy the committee with full Munar station fuel tanks launched in the wrong direction and after attaining low mun orbit, they ran out of fuel trying to correct their orbit in preparation for docking with the station.

So when Valentina walked into the Kerbal Space Centre after returning from her mission, she was not happy to discover the state the committee had managed to get things in… 2 more kerbals stranded without fuel, a rover in orbit with no pilots… She was not happy!  The committee sheepishly assigned the committee leadership back to Valentina in the hope that she would be able to restore order to the chaos they had created.  One look at the plans for the mining ship, and Valentina could immediately tell that it would require hundreds of trips between the mun and the station to fill the stations tanks, as the ship would require most of the fuel it generated to be able to make the next trip, so she ordered a bigger ship that could create its own fuel.  One terrified junior communications officer was too scared to report a nutter who had been using KSP radio frequencies claiming to be Jebediah.  After all, on Jebediahs last known orbit, it would be several years before Jebediah was due to be close enough to Kerbin to make radio contact.

Valentina insisted that she be the pilot to fly the new Mining ship to the Mun as she was still furious at the lack of progress while she was away, and was not inclined to trust anyone.  The committee were still terrified of Valentina since they failed her so badly, so they let her have her way, and soon the Mining ship was on its way and landed on the Mun with its teeth sunk into the surface.


Valentina was impressed with the Convert-o-tron that had been included in the ship, but the engineer with her reported that he could not run all 4 conversion programs at once.  3 concurrent programs was the limit it could handle before the operating temperature started to rise above the optimal operating temperature.  Still, the fuel tanks were filling, and soon the ship would be full of both fuel and ore ready to return to the station.

The return to the Mun space station was uneventful, but Valentina found the ship maneuvered  like a cow and it took longer to dock than she had ever taken before.  Once docked, both convert-o-trons were activated while Valentina called a meeting of the crew who had been manning the station.  She found they were very likable and were full of ideas.  These were Kerbals who had been away from the committee since they had come to the station.  They remained free of their influence.  They had ideas.  Their ideas were good!

They wanted to do the science collection with a hopper that could get in and out of each zone on the mun.  But to do it efficiently they wanted to change the orbit of the space station to a polar orbit.  This would reduce the need to do inclination burns to get to each zone, also a smaller ore transport that didn’t have to carry the weight of the convert-o-tron if it could be designed with a fuel tank big enough to lift off from the mun with a full load of ore, and then return to the mun without needing to refuel before it left the station, it could refuel from the mining ship which could be left on the mun to continue to mine and create fuel.  The crew could be rotated so that no one got complacent being stuck in the one job for too long.
Trust began to build between Valentina and these valiant kerbals.  Valentina decided to allow one of them to pilot the ship back down, but 1st they would change the inclination of the station to a polar orbit.  The 1st stop for the mining ship on its way back down was to the 2 Kerbals stuck in orbit to refuel them so they could return to the space station.

Valentina called the Kerbal Space station to relay their requirements for a new lander/hopper with additional science collection experiments. And was surprised when told “there is someone here who’d like a word…”

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Jebediah's Story...

The lift-off from Kerbin went almost exactly as planned, and and there was only a minor inclination adjustment that needed to be made. Jebediah calculated the burn required for the Munar transfer burn just as the mathematitions had instructed him, and fed the coordinates into his SAS computer.  if his calculations were right, this would put him within 200km of the Mun.  Closer than any Kerbal had ever been.  The excitement level was very high both in Jebediah's rocket and also in the control center. Jebediah aimed his rocket in the direction that his calculations indicated and sat back and waited for the burn countdown timer to expire, when he hit full throttle.  This would be quite a long burn and no one had ever tested the SAS systems ability to maintain stability over such a long burn.  He carefully counted down the seconds until he had to cut the throttle, then checked his new orbit, to confirm that he would pass within the desired distance from the Mun.  He requested confirmation from the Kerbal Space center of his new orbit, and they confirmed that he was within acceptable margin of error.

Jebediah then proceeded to calculate another maneuver node required for the Munar Injection burn, and programmed the coordinates into the SAS system.  He now had a long wait before anything else needed doing, so he explored the ship that the engineers had built for this epic journey. He wasn't quite sure what the engineers had in mind when they had stocked one of the store cupboards full of orbital mechanic textbooks, and note paper, and even the full specifications of the ship he was in and an operations manual.  Did they think he would forget how to fly? or maybe they wanted him to write down every last thing he observed so that someone could write an epic space opera about "Kerbals in Space".  Yeah! Jebediah liked the sound of that.  So he spent a good part of the next day thinking about who could be part of the story.  He had just got to imagining Kerbals having to perform a space rescue to the Mun because someone had forgotten to top up the tank before lift off, and his ship ran out of fuel on touchdown on the Mun, when his manouver alarm sounded draging him back to reality.  It took him a moment to remember what the alarm was for and suddenly remembered the Munar Injection burn so he pounced on the control pannel and hit full throttle.

"That was close," thought Jebediah, as he sat back and watched the burn timer slowly count down the seconds to the end of the burn.  At 1st, he thought it strange that the countdown timer was counting down so slowly.  Did time move at a different speed this far from the Mun?  perhaps gravity afected reality? as the timer reached the halfway point, it seemed to slow even further.  When the deltaV indicator started moving the wrong direction, Jebediah started to realise something was wrong.  Had he missed a step? he carefully did a mental walk through of everything he'd done.  Suddenly he realised that he'd forgotten to press the 1 button that would align his ship for the Munar Injection Burn. He was firing his rocket in the wrong direction.  In a panic, he stabbed the maneuver node selector button, and he felt his ship jerk as the reaction wheels kicked in to rotate his ship by nearly 90 degrees, but as he looked at his fuel guage, he realised he had let the rocket burn for far too long, and suddenly there was nothing more he could do.  The guage was reading empty, and he just heard the roar of the rocket engine die.

There was a deathly silence in the cabin. Suddenly the radio burst to life "Jebediah, the tracking station just reported that your ship was mis-aligned when you started the Munar Injection Burn.  Are you ok?"

"I just ran out of fuel and you ask 'am i ok?'" no im not ok, I've no idea where I am, and I have no fuel, its my own fault, I got carried away thinking about a space opera I could write, and forgot to select the maneuver node button."

"Don't panic!  We'll work out what to do."

Jebediah then spent the next few hours reliving the past day.  Trying to see if there was someone else he could blame, but he could not escape the truth.

For days his ship traveled further away from the Mun, and for days, the space center kept telling him they would figure out something.  Just as his radio was starting to get to the limit of his range, he heard Valentina's voice saying to him "Don't give up Jebediah! I'm <crackle crackle> team that will work out how to <crackle crackle crackle>....." at that point Reception dropped out, but hearing Valentina's voice had given him hope.

What could Valentina do? Here he was stuck in a ship with empty liquid fuel and oxidizer tanks, and a nearly full RCS tank.  And what could he do with RCS thrusters? They were designed to allow maneuvering but what if he could harness the monopropellant? Could he funnel it somehow into his main rocket engine? How much thrust could he get out of it? Would it provide him enough deltaV to return to Kerbin? He pulled out the spaceship operations manual and started to flick through it until he found the part about maneuvering.  As he had never performed any docking maneuvers in space, he was somewhat unfamiliar with maneuvering, and was pleased that his thrusters had directional operations that might be able to be used to perform any orbital changes... great! But he had no information on how much deltaV he could hope to squeeze out of his monopropellant.

So he found he had 2 tasks that would occupy him for some time.   He had to calculate his current orbit, and figure out how much deltaV he had available.

Accurate orbital calculations would take some time as he had to do everything with pen and paper, and initially, he had to triangulate his position.  Everyday he took readings to locate his position, and each day, the new position readings enabled him to improve the accuracy of his orbital calculation.  It was 3 months before Jebediah was satisfied with the accuracy of his orbit.

He then spent the next 6 months trying to calculate an orbital change maneuver that would bring him within the atmosphere of Kerbin, he finally found a location where the required deltaV was low enough to fall within the capabilities of his RCS thrusters.  It was going to take 14 years to get to his calculated maneuver node.  Jebediah earnestly hoped that Valentina could find a way to get him back sooner, but without radio contact, there was no way he could find out what they were up to, nor could he let the space centre know of his own solution.

The next few years were un-eventful except for 1 incident when early one "morning" Jebediah's radio burst to life "This is KSP to Valentina Kerbin, ABORT ABORT ABORT..."

Jebediah thought "What?!?" Then it occurred to him, that Valentina was somewhere in this region of space trying to rescue him.  He immediately jumped up and started scanning the sky trying to find Valentina, but as he listened to the rest of the radio transmission, he realized she was still too far away for him to be able to see.  He didn't even know what direction to point his antenna to send a signal to Valentina.  As he heard the end of the transmission telling Valentina to return home, he knew that his plan was the only one that was going to work.  But if the space centre had a transmitter powerful enough to reach him here, why hadn't they been transmitting to him all along?  The answer to that question would have to wait until he got back.  Jebediah was determined to make his plan work.

Upon reaching his calculated maneuver node, he carefully aligned his ship with the maneuver marker, pushed on the RCS thruster control for the calculated time, and then took more position calculations.  it would take a few more readings to confirm his orbital change, but from this moment on, he was outside of KSP's ability to rescue.  He had changed his orbit, and unless the Space program had improved their tracking station, they would not know of his new orbit, so if they sent any more rescue missions, they would not find him where they expected.

Calculations taken in the following days and weeks confirmed for Jebediah that his RCS burn had him targeted to within the atmosphere of Kerbin.  He still had sufficient monopropellant that he could adjust as he got closer if needed.

16 years after departing Kerbin, Jebediah was finally within radio range of Kerbin, so he put in a call "KSP, KSP, KSP, this is Jebediah Kerman checking in"

"Who are you? Please get off this channel, this is a private channel," came back the reply.

Jebediah was shocked. He checked his radio to make sure it was transmitting on the correct channel, and tried again; "Kerbal Space Center, Come in Kerbal Space Center."

"This is the Kerbal Space Center.  You are transmitting on a private channel, please stop.  We could recieve a transmission from any of our Kerbinauts currently in space, and we need to keep this channel clear"

"I am one of your #@&!* Kerbinauts currently in space.  I've been here for 16 years.  I was flying planes before you were born.  Put me onto Valentina"

"I'm sorry Valentina is not available at the moment. She is off planet.  Now please stop transmitting on this channel.  Jebediah's current orbit does not put him in radio range of kerbal for another 5 years, you can't possibly be Jebediah."

"I am Jebediah, and when I get back on Kerbin, I'll be having words with your supervisor."

Jebediah threw his hands up in exasperation, and decided he was just going to have to land and make his own way back to the space center.  He was just hoping his parachute was still functional after 16 years.

Several days later, there were many reported sightings of a ball of orange light in the sky.  The Kerbal Space Centre claimed an uncharted meteorite burning up on re-entry.  Some fisherkerbals who were out on the high sea trying to catch a fabled kraken noticed a command pod hanging below a parachute falling towards the sea, and cranked up their engines to try and get close enough to the pod's landing to be able to witness the recovery of a ship returned from space.  By the time they reached the touchdown location, they found that there was no recovery crew, only a single command pod with Kerbinaut sitting on top waving at them trying to get their attention.

Rather than sitting back and witness a recovery, the fisherkerbals realized that the kerbinaut was calling out to them, so they approached, and the kerbinaut announced "I'm Jebediah Kerman, back from around the sun.  Thank-you for picking me up, can you take me to the Kerbal Space Centre please"

Upon arriving at the Kerbal Space Centre, Jebediah went straight to the Administration building, and knocked on the door to the Directors Office.

When Jebediah entered the office, the Director said "Jebediah? Is that really you? How did you get back? We haven't saved you yet!"

"I couldn't wait... Used my monopropellant... Sorry, it took a while for my orbit to be favourable to an RCS thruster burn.  I tried radioing as I approached, but the dimwit in tracking station didn't believe me."  replied Jebediah.

The director said; "Lets go over there right now.  I'll have words with the Tracking station staff right away, and you can contact Valentina.  She is currently in orbit around the Mun overseeing the mining operation. We were trying to cut down on the number of refueling trips for science advancement, so that we could save you."

Jeb replied; "Well, don't stop advancing science just because I'm back now!"

Jebediah had an idea, "Hey Director,  don't go too hard on the young comms officer.  But can I have a little bit of fun with him?  Can you get me a two-way radio, and then walk up to the Comms officer while I hide in this room with the radio."

The director smirked as he realized what Jebediah wanted to do, and agreed to the plan, and found a radio for Jebediah.

The director walked up to the comms officer while Jebediah called on the radio "KSP, KSP, KSP, this is Jebediah Kerman checking in"

The office turned around and saw the director.  "Director, there is an idiot claiming to be Jebediah on the radio again."

"Let me handle this," said the director.  The director takes the radio, and presses the local transmit button saying; "Jebediah, welcome back to Kerbin! Come on down!"

At this queue, Jebediah stepped out of his hiding space and approached the communications console. "Director", said Jebediah. "Jeb," said the director, and they hugged like two friends who had not seen each other in years.  The poor comms officer looked on in confusion and embarrassment. Here was the kerbal with the voice he had heard over the radio, and the Director knew him?

"It's Ok, son," said the director.  "Anyone could have made that mistake.  Can you please put in a call to the Mun Station, and get Valentina on the line".

"They are due to report any second now Sir!  I was just waiting to receive their daily report."

"Excellent, then we'll wait."

A few minutes later, the radio crackled to life with Valentina's voice "This is Mun Station to KSP we have a request for additional equipment."

The comms officer pressed the transmit switch and said "This is KSP, Valentina, can you please hold that request, there is someone here who'd like a word..."

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Posted (edited)

"There's someone here who'd like a word."

Valentina was somewhat surprised.  Who could possibly want to speak to her urgently enough that they would interupt the daily report?  Surely this could have waited until the report had finished.  So she replied "Whats gone wrong now?"

"Hi Val, it's me," announced Jebediah.

"Jeb?" replied Valentina in confusion.  "Is that really you?"  Suddenly her head was so full of questions that none of them could get out her mouth.

"Val, it really is me!  I'm back!"  exclaimed Jebediah.

All of a sudden, the questions started to poor forth. "How? When? But you're orbit doesn't collide with Kerbin for another 3 years! But I'm supposed to save you! Why didn't you radio ahead before you got here? Then I could have been back on Kerbin, but now I'm up here and you're down there..."

As soon as there was a break in Valentina's gush of questions, Jebediah managed to squeeze in "I've missed you Val!"

Valentina responded "Hold it right there Jeb! Don't go anywhere! I'm coming!"

At that, Valentina launched out of the radio operations seat, shot through the corridors of the space station, entered airlock M#1, and climbed through the docking port to MunSci Mk1.  She then hit the refuel leaver, and watched as the fuel gauges slowly moved up.  Oh how slow this fuel transfer happens.  She wanted to get undocked before anyone on the station comprehended what she was about to attempt and overrode the docking port lock, but she needed the fuel tanks to be absolutely full, as this ship she was about to steal was not designed for a Kerbin re-entry, and she would need to get her orbital speed low enough before touching the atmosphere if she had any hope of landing safely.  with luck she might be able to dock with  the Kerbin Station for a final top-up before attempting re-entry.

Finally the needle reached the full mark, and Valentina disengaged the refueling system, and undocked faster than she had ever thought possible.

As Valentina drifted away from the station, she turned on the radio, to hear frantic calls "Valentina, what are you doing?  Come back!  This is an unauthorized launch."

But it was too late.  Valentina was turning the ship to a prograde orientation in preparation for a trans-Kerbin burn.  Unlike the ship Valentina tried to rescue Jebediah in, this one did have an onboard Orbital calculation system, so it only took Valentina a few minutes to calculate an orbital manouver that would bring her within 400k's of Kerbin.  Having been heavily involved with the design of the Kerbin orbit space station, Valentina knew that the older station did not have the same docking system as the Mun station, and it would be easy to dock and refuel without interference from the crew on the Kerbin station, as there was no manual docking port overrides on the older station.  That had been a design enhancement which was included when the Mun station was built.

The crew on the Kerbin orbit station wern't surprised when Valentina radioed requesting to dock with Docking port K#1.  They had received instructions to allow her to dock, and that she would need to wait for a re-entry vessal to be sent up.

After a successful docking maneuver by Valentina, the Kerbin orbit station were not surprised when Valentina refused to enter the airlock, and chose to remain on the MunSci Mk1.  Afterall, she had spent the past 16 years trying to save her "Jebibaby" and to find out he was back, of course she would need some time alone to think.  One of the engineers on his rest period noticed a faint humming sound that he hadn't heard in a while.  It had been so long since any ship had docked with the Kerbin station, that it took him a while to realise the fuel pumps were operating, so he raced up to the command module to see what was going on.  He radioed to Valentina to see if everything was ok, and Valentina replied that she was just transferring unneeded fuel to more appropriate tanks.  The engineer thought thats ok then, that explains the fuel pums.  So he watched the fuel gauge to see how much fuel Valentina transferred to the main tanks.

"Valentina, there's something wrong.  The fuel is going the wrong direction.  Can you check your fuel transfer valve?"

Valentina responded, "Checking now...Nope, my transfer valve is set the right direction.  I'm showing the fuel flowing where it's supposed to be going"

"Well, you'd better shutdown the transfer. There might be a leak somewhere.  It's been a long time since we've used that fuel transfer system."

Valentina replied, "Hold on, shutting down now."

Valentina watched her fuel guage reach full for the 2nd time that day, and then shutdown the transfer. Then radioed back to the engineer.  "All shutdown now. how is your situation now?"

The engineer replied "The fuel loss has stopped now, but you won't be able to transfer anymore fuel until I can examine the entire system.  Let me get the rest of the crew to assist, this will take some time"

With the Kerbal Orbit Space station crew distracted looking for a non-existent leak, Valentina took the opportunity to undock and prepare for the riskiest maneouver she had ever performed.  She was going to try to land as close to the Kerbal Space Center as she possibly could, and her ship did not have any heat shields or parachutes, so she would need to slow down enough to safely enter the atmosphere within the safe confines of the ship, and then abandon the ship and use her own parachute for the final decent.

Valentia carefully lowered her orbit to 90k, and was thankful that the Kerbin Orbit station was in a prograde orbit, she would not need to change her orbital plane to meet the Kerbal Space center.  Never having attempted a rentry like this, Valentina was not totally sure of when to begin the final decent burn to land her on the space centre, so she started the retrograde burn at her estimated point.

With full power on, Valentina watched her orbital speed decrease as her altitude decreased, and she hoped her calculations were correct and that by the time she entered the atmosphere, her speed would be low enough.




Meanwhile, on the Kerbin Orbit Space station, everyone heard the distinctive clank as Valentina disengaged the docking clamp.  What was Valentina thinking?  Her ship had no way of re-entering the atmosphere.  so an emergency call was put through to the Kerbal Space Center notifying of the situation.  The Tracking station immediately when into action to determine Valentina's orbit.  They watched as her orbit was lowered to 90k.  Suddenly, Jebediah said "I know what she is attempting! She is going to try to re-enter using her rocket engines to slow down, and then to use her own parachute to safely reach land.  Where is she going to come down? we need a recovery crew!"  But no-one knew the flight plan so they didn't know where to send any recovery crews.  All they could do was watch and wait.  Everyone in the Space Centre croweded into and around the tracking station to watch events unfold

Soon, the tracking engineer anounced that Valentinas ship was changing orbit again.  The rate of orbital change indicated her rockets were firing at full power with the ship in a retrograde attitude.

The director shouted "She'll burn up on re-entry! what does she think she's doing?"

There was silence for about a minute, when a voice piped up "No! I don't believe it! Jebediah's right! I've just done the math, and at her current burn rate, her velocity will be below 600m/s by the time she hits the atmosphere."

Another voice piped up "I hope her parachute was packed correctly!"

"Where's she going to land?"

"30-40km due west of the Space centre"

Jebediah said "Is there a rover in this center?"

Somone said "yes, there is a Rover Mk3 in the space plane hanger waiting for a test run"

Jebediah bolted!  Valentina would be on the ground before he could get there, but he was determined to be there for Valentina.


Valentina's fuel ran out while she was still at 25k.  She looked out the window and could see the lights of the Kerbal Space Center on the horizon.  Damn! she was going to be about 40k's short.  It would be a long walk back to the Space Station.  She was wishing now that she had organised for someone to pick her up.  No matter, there was nothing she could do about that now. She watched her air speed reduce, and when it reached 245m/s that the ship was at terminal velocity, and it was time to abandon ship.  Oh well, this boat was due for decomissioning anyway.  At least it got to go out with a bang.

As Valentina opened the airlock, the air rushing past the opening sucked her out into the atmosphere.  The sudden change in velocity shocked Valentina for a while, but the space suit she was wearing protected her from damage.  Once she got her bearings again, she activated her parachute, and headed towards the lights of the space centre.



 She was definitely going to miss by about 30 - 40 k's but at least she was going to land in the grasslands east of the mountains, and she would not have to mountain climb to get to the space center.

On touch down, Valentina found that her spacesuit was stocked with the standard issue flag, so she did what she had done every time she had returned from space.  She planted a flag.


 As it was night, Valentina decided to rest until morning.  no point getting lost in the dark.  At ground level, she could no longer see the space centre.


Jebediah raced to the Space Plane Hanger, and found the Rover.  There was no-one around to stop him, as everyone had gone over to the tracking station as the story of Valentina's reckless return, so he jumped in the rover, powered it up, and headed out the door.

His plan was simple... head west, find Valentina.

Jebediah was impressed with this Rover.  The engineers had incorporated reaction wheels in the design which seemed to provide a surprising level of stability.  It was night as he headed away from the Kerbal Space center, did this rover have headlights?  Jebediah searched the control panel and found a button marked "Lights". He hit the switch, and was pleasantly surprised when 3 lights under the front edge of the rover lit up and illuminated his path.



 How fast could this thing go?  How fast did he dare travel at night?  The sun was due to rise shortly so that would make his search for Valentina easier, as it would be daylight before he reached the nearest possible location of Valentina.

As the rover bounced across the countryside at 35m/s, there was one moment when 1 particularly large bump tipped his rover foward to the point where he thought he was about to flip, but as his front wheels touched the ground with the rover tipped forward at 60 degrees, Jebediah pulled back on the control stick and found the reaction wheels recovered the angle, and he managed to get all 4 wheels back on the ground.  Unfortunately, the steep angle the rover had been at when the wheels touched the ground had ripped all the lights off the rover.  However, with the aproaching dawn, the increasing light gave Jebediah courage that he could continue without having to wait.  Not wanting to flip the rover at high speed again, he backed off his speed to about 30m/s.


As the sun was rising, Valentina prepared to set off towards the Kerbal space centre.  This shouldn't be too difficult.. just head towards the rising sun... rest at midday, then head away from the setting sun.  She should be there tomorrow.
As Valentina took her 1st steps away from the flag she had planted, she thought she could hear a noise that could not possibly be produced by the nature around her, so she stopped to listen.  She couldn't believe her ears! that sounded like a rover, but it seemed to be traveling at a much higher speed than she had seen the engineers trialing it at.  The sound was coming from the direction of the rising sun.

Valentina waited and the sound seemed to be coming closer.  Was that a shadow that passed before the sunrise? she could faintly make out the shape of a rover against the morning sun. But she could not see who was driving.  She started waving to catch the attention of the rover driver, but it soon became apparant that the rover driver knew she was there, and was headed straight for her.... well she hoped they knew she was there, otherwise if they didn't stop, they would run over her...




Jebedia was scanning the horizon and the ground in front of him.  Somewhere out here was Valentina trying to get back to the Space Centre.  The sun was rising directly behind him so he should be able to see Valentina soon.

As he crested a hill, he saw in the distance a smudge of colour.  As he got closer, he could see a figure in a space suit, next to a flag.  He decided he should start braking to ensure he stopped in time.  100m away he could tell it was Valentina.  The rover came to a stop 20m away, and he jumped down, and ran towards the lone kerbal shouting "VALENTINA"


The silouetted rover came to a halt 20m away, and a kerbal jumped down, and started running towards Valentina.  Valentina's heart gave a leap when the kerbal silouette shouted "VALENTINA!"

It was her Jebediah! The one she had set out to rescue 16 years ago, had come to rescue her.




Edited by TanDeeJay
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On 7/27/2018 at 7:02 AM, TanDeeJay said:

Valentina would never have permitted such a reckless trip

I find it unfailingly funny that everyone seems to think Valentina is the level-headed one.

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5 hours ago, Zhetaan said:

I find it unfailingly funny that everyone seems to think Valentina is the level-headed one.

Maybe thats because Jebediah, being the 'default' pilot, most often gets stranded due to new players inexperience? :D

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