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Antochi: The Sirius III Files [WIP]


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IMPORTANT CONTEXT

This takes place in the universe of the NationStates Kerbin Region, which is a modern-day, geopolitically diverse collection of nations inhabiting the planet Kerbin and based on Kerbal Space Program in the online browser game NationStates. However, Kerbal physiology is... weird, to say the least, and as such they have such been replaced with humans. A bunch of little green aliens with comically large heads isn't exactly conducive to the tone of this fairly serious story, and I'm not going to stick K's in front of every word or name everybody Kerman. While some of you may have a problem with that, I have this to say to you: that's kringe. While the name "Kerthenia" is used by my nation, there is no association with TAPE Gaming, TheBeardyPenguin, or Kollaborative Warfare. I just went with the name a few years ago because it sounded cool and I am unoriginal as heck I couldn't come up with my own, and have since gotten quite attached to it.

I. PROLOGUE

The year is 1985, and the worlds of the heavens are for the first time within reach.

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The year is 1985, and among the heavens, tragedy has struck.

Sixteen sols after the Sirius III landing, as millions around the world watched the astronauts of Sirius III on an extravehicular activity in Duna's Great Canyon, an unexpected rockslide completely buried Flight Engineer Nathaniel Moreau and crushed the left leg of Mission Specialist Kassandra Tzetes on live television.

Contact with Moreau's suit telemetry was lost almost immediately and he was declared Killed In Action. While the astronauts attempted to clear the rock pile to retrieve Moreau's body, events would transpire forcing them to abandon the effort.

Tzetes' leg was broken, and while her counterpressure suit had thankfully not punctured, she was suffering from a significant degree of internal bleeding, jeopardizing her life. Flight Surgeon Dr. Scott Miller was forced to amputate and tourniquet Tzetes' left leg at the Habitat Module in an extremely improvised and completely unanesthetized procedure, but she was unable to be completely stabilized with the limited resources groundside and would likely need a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, the only universal donor aboard the mission had just been killed in action. The presence of a better-equipped medical bay in the spin-gravity section of the Duna Transfer Vehicle and its stock of O- type blood prompted Mission Commander Kevin Ochoa to perform a medical abort of the Sirius III mission.

Public support for the Kerthenian Space Agency was only barely beginning to form. A failure to secure early, high-profile victories in the Space Race due to the KSA's long-game, interplanetary-focused approach to its development resulted in a public opinion of them as sluggish bureaucrats at best and dangerously incompetent idealists at worst. The explosion that destroyed their fifth Mun landing mission, Arcturus V, and killed all three souls aboard with the eyes of the world watching did not help their case, and the accident board convened after only narrowly cleared the KSA as an institution of responsibility for the accident. This was largely due to the Congressional testimony of astronaut Michael Shepard, who during the Arcturus V hearings gave a fiery, impassioned speech that became legendary across the country and who would later would go on to become the first man to walk another planet.

The public was furious about the Sirius III incident, demanding the KSA tell them what had transpired even as the Agency was only just getting the information themselves.

Unlike the military space programs of the defeated empire of Dolfiklund and the two Communist powers of Anderia and Blorbs, the Kerthenian Space Agency is entirely civilian in nature. Both their successes and their failures have been completely within the view of the public eye. This civilian program almost never came to be, but after the Great War ended in 1934, the 1940s-1950s saw a renaissance of space research and the beginning of the ongoing Space Race. During these two decades, the KSA competed against the Navy's Naval Space Command and the Air Force's Extra-Atmospheric Flight Technology Development Center for control of the space program. Miraculously, the KSA won, and authority over the flagship space program of Kerthenia was transferred to it. All military astronauts joining the KSA Astronaut Corps would temporarily resign from their commissions, and the KSA would venture forth with open arms rather than martial armaments.

Antochi means "endurance" in Greek.

The Sirius III disaster has caused an existential threat to the future of Kerthenia's civilian space program, the only one of its kind.

Antochi: The Sirius III Files will follow the story of the people on the ground and in space working to save not only the life of one person, but the future of many millions more, and to ensure that the dream of peace would endure.

This is the story of the brave people who dared to go, not by force of arms, but by trust in peace.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Edited by njmksr
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Chapter 1: Public Relations

A series of internal memos between Markos Zina, Deputy Director of Public Relations for the Alexander M. Stavros Space Center, and Jessica 'Jess' Holden, Director of Public Relations for the KSA Manned Spaceflight Directorate, immediately following the morning of April 17th, 1985, the day on which the catastrophic rockfall occurred.

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Edited by njmksr
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26 minutes ago, billbobjebkirk said:

I love these graphics! Takes a lot of work to make meterial that looks this authentic.

Thanks! It certainly took a bit too much time out of my day... But I have it down to a pretty quick cycle now with the Form 7274 memos. Those are around 10 minutes max now that I have a template/format for them. I made a PowerPoint template for them and do a little bit of postprocessing in Paint.NET to add ink/graphite smudging (Jess' memo for example... she's left handed, under a ton of stress, and wrote that memo with a really bad pen, though I definitely oversmudged that doc) and photocopier static.

Edited by njmksr
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  • 2 weeks later...

Chapter 2: Paying Respects

A memo from Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Anthony Taggart, the Kerthenian Congressional Republic Navy's Chief of Navy Space Operations, to the KSA Astronaut Office inquiring about the remains of one of the Navy's own. Had the KCRN's Naval Space Command been selected to lead the Kerthenian manned spaceflight initiative rather than the KSA, Taggart, then a KCRN Naval Space Command Astronaut Candidate, would have been the first Kerthenian in space.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Anderia's Comrade Premier Kosynko, the Executive Committee, and the Party Politburo are undoubtedly paying close attention to the situation!

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On 5/28/2020 at 5:10 PM, Andem said:

Anderia's Comrade Premier Kosynko, the Executive Committee, and the Party Politburo are undoubtedly paying close attention to the situation!

That's... a good topic for the next post, perhaps?

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On 6/2/2020 at 1:21 PM, MarsBy2024OrBust said:

What did you use to make this?

Microsoft PowerPoint and Paint.NET. Abusing PowerPoint combined with image editing is a surefire recipe for realistic-looking (and properly-proportioned) documents. The KSA Form 7274 memos are based on a style of Confidential document I saw in the NASA Graphics Standards Manual and the KCRN memo is based on, well, real-world United States Navy memos.

Edited by njmksr
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Chapter 3: Looking Into It

A copy of the National Post, a Kerthenian Dolphik-language newspaper, reporting on the formation of a Congressional inquiry into the Sirius III disaster, the Harrison Commission, headed up by former KSA Astronaut turned Senator Earl Harrison, among other things.

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On 5/28/2020 at 5:10 PM, Andem said:

Anderia's Comrade Premier Kosynko, the Executive Committee, and the Party Politburo are undoubtedly paying close attention to the situation!

Oh damn Andem it's been a really long time since I've seen you. Good to see that you have returned for the time being. :)

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On 6/9/2020 at 5:53 PM, Lo var Lachland said:

Oh damn Andem it's been a really long time since I've seen you. Good to see that you have returned for the time being. :)

Funny thing— we first met each other on the forums, then both joined the same NationStates region, and this story actually evolved out of that world that we've both been working on for a few years now.

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41 minutes ago, njmksr said:

Funny thing— we first met each other on the forums, then both joined the same NationStates region, and this story actually evolved out of that world that we've both been working on for a few years now.

Did somebody say NationStates

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21 hours ago, Lo var Lachland said:

I just find the realistic page creases and stains to be very convincing and well-done. Excellent work.

Thanks! Multiply layers work wonders.

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