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Quasar's Ultracareer - Episode 19: A Dreadful Dres Landing


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Episode 14.5: Gene launches some boring Mapping Probes




The Director: Geeeeeennne! I'm booooorrrred.

Gene: I'm busy with these accounts, go bother someone else. Uh... sir.

The Director: But they want us to dock in solar orbit, Gene!

Gene: So do it? That sounds trivial. Like I said, I'm busy with... something.

[The director putters around Gene's office for a while until it becomes apparent that Gene really is busy and isn't simply ignoring him]

The Director: Well fine! If you're not going to pay attention to me, I'm going to install some mods.

[Gene looks up]

Gene: W... what did you do to my office?

The Director: I organised it for you!


Gene: I don't believe for a second that you have the patience or the motivation for that.

The Director: I told other people to organise it for you!

Gene: ... yeah, that checks out. And these contracts... why are they different from before?

The Director: I had a meeting with our clients and... performed some diplomacy.

Gene: And how many people died?

The Director: None! Probably. I think? I didn't actually go back to check.

Gene: Some of these contracts are written in crayon. Wait, is this your handwriting?

The Director: Definitely not. Give me that. [snatches contract and throws it into a paper shredder]

Gene: Fine... [looks over the list]... there's a group of 9 SCANSAT contracts here that would be an easy win. They line up with the scheduled map-sat launch.

The Director: The who what now?

Gene: I've been planning to deploy some more of those mapping satellites you designed for some time. It was in your brief.

The Director: Wait... you... liked... one of my designs?

Gene: Indeed. I've told you before, those satellites are great surveying tools.

The Director: ... that makes me feel weird.

Gene: Tell you what sir, I'll take care of this mission. You just... keep doing whatever it is you do.


Gene: Hello Gus. Is the launch vehicle ready?

Gus: Hi Gene. Indeed it is. Thank you for the detailed blueprints, by the way. Usually we get crayon drawings.

Gene: That's.... unsurprising. But you're welcome. You're doing good work here.







Mortimer: [happy accountant noises]

Gene: You're welcome too, Mortimer. Aside from the fairings and a couple of airbrakes, the re-usable launch vehicle is a success. Honestly, I wish we could do more simple, efficient launches like this...

Gus: You and me both, friend. Between you and me, I don't care if she was embezzling money, the former director was way easier to work under.

Gene: ... I... uh... yeah. I have to go put the satellites in position.

Gus: Sure thing, boss.





Gene returned to his office and once again brought out the accounting records he'd borrowed from Mortimer, which had been occupying his thoughts this entire mission.

The crazy hooded figure had been right. Mortimer's conclusion had been based on the fact that he had only been looking at the money. The money hadn't just vanished: it had been used to purchase rocket parts. A lot of rocket parts. It was the parts that had, apparently, vanished.

It was almost as if someone had built and launched a rocket into space the same night the former director had vanished.

But... there hadn't been a launch that night: Gene would have seen it if there had been. He prided himself on knowing exactly what vehicles were being launched, and when. In fact, there was only one Kerbal in existence who had ever been able to launch rockets from KSP's launch pad without Gene noticing...

Gene's face darkened and his knuckles whitened as he clenched his fists in anger.

He couldn't afford to be rash. Not yet. He didn't know anything for sure, yet. Maybe the man was innocent. Maybe he hadn't launched the former director into space and taken over her job purely to sate his ego.

But if he had, Gene would find the proof of his crime, and the Director would be brought to justice.



Edited by Quasar
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On 8/4/2020 at 5:00 AM, Quasar said:

Is this a contract or a hitjob?

Hard to tell with Flooyd:D

Also is this my new favorite quote!

(Hey 100 posts!)

5 hours ago, Quasar said:

Gene returned to his office and once again brought out the accounting records he'd borrowed from Mortimer, which had been occupying his thoughts this entire mission.

The crazy hooded figure had been right. Mortimer's conclusion had been based on the fact that he had only been looking at the money. The money hadn't just vanished: it had been used to purchase rocket parts. A lot of rocket parts. It was the parts that had, apparently, vanished.

It was almost as if someone had built and launched a rocket into space the same night the former director had vanished.

But... there hadn't been a launch that night: Gene would have seen it if there had been. He prided himself on knowing exactly what vehicles were being launched, and when. In fact, there was only one Kerbal in existence who had ever been able to launch rockets from KSP's launch pad without Gene noticing...

Gene's face darkened and his knuckles whitened as he clenched his fists in anger.

He couldn't afford to be rash. Not yet. He didn't know anything for sure, yet. Maybe the man was innocent. Maybe he hadn't launched the former director into space and taken over her job purely to sate his ego.

But if he had, Gene would find the proof of his crime, and the Director would be brought to justice.

Wait, is this becoming a story!?

Edited by Kerminator1000
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Episode 15: SSTO's




The Director: Gene, you're glaring at me slightly more than usual today. You feeling alright?

Gene: ... I'm fine, sir. What fresh disaster do you have for us today?

The Director: Nothing, actually. I couldn't decide on a good mission. Help me decide, Gene!

Gene: You're going to take whatever I react to with the most horror, aren't you?

The Director: Yes, exactly!

Gene: Alright, let's do this.



Gene: Alright, we do have a Dres flyby that lines up with the upcoming transfer window in 16 days. Additionally, this is a World First Contract, so we will need to do it eventually.

The Director: But... but Dres is boring! There's no glory at Dres, only neverending despair of uninteresting grey rocks!


Gene: Okay, then how about opening the door to space tourism? I know we did a few tourist missions before, but those were sort of... under the table. This request has been made publically, and accepting it would probably result in a lot more requests.

The Director: Urgh, rich people. Valentina would hate me if I accepted that. And isn't Tito Kerman that social media guy? I feel like Kerbin would be better served if we were to launch him into the sun.


Gene: Okay fine! Let's not take that one then! How about this? Someone's finally noticed that the the Mynoghrah Laboratory doesn't work. They want us to send up an engineer to find out what's going on.

The Director: We already know the problem, though? No batteries and no kerbals. Definitely no kerbals.

Gene: [narrows eyes suspiciously] ... sir... I've never questioned this before, but... why are you so determined to leave Jebediah on the Mun? 

The Director: Who?

Gene: [inhales]... okay, let's move on. How about this? We'll take the tourist job and the Dres flyby-

The Director: But that's-

Gene: And we'll make them interesting.

The Director: ... I'm listening.

Gene: You said you'd never done SSTO spaceplanes before. So, let's do both of these missions with SSTO's. Here's the tutorial.

The Director: ... I dunno about this. Spaceplanes are hard. I might not be able to screw them up horribly make them awesome like I do with rockets.

Gene: I'm sure you'll find a way, sir.


[while the Director is busy in the Spaceplane Hanger, Gene slips into the VAB to clandestinely meet with Gus]

Gene: Hey Gus, I appreciate you meeting me like this. I'll keep this brief. I've convinced the director to spend some time in the Spaceplane Hanger. Can you build something for me on the down low, without him noticing?

Gus: I mean, sure. Even when he's working in here, he's got a very single-track mind, it's pretty easy to slip stuff by him when he's focused on something. We've all been taking double-length lunch breaks ever since he started working here.

Gene: I should... probably do something about that that, but build this for me and I'll forget you said anything.

Gus: Sure thing! [looks at blueprints] Sending someone to the Mun?

Gene: Bringing someone home from the Mun.


Gene: Huh.


Gene: I'm impressed. That almost looks like a plane.

The Director: I know, it's terrible, I'll scrap it start over.

Gene: What? No! If it flies, then we should use it. Besides, it's for a tourist job.

The Director: Actually, yeah, you're right. That guy doesn't deserve my glorious best. [shouting] Hey! Valentina!

Valentina: [distant voice echoing from the other side of KSC] Yeah?!

The Director: [shouting] Wanna fly my new SSTO?!

Valentina: [echo] Hell yeah, that sounds fun!



Valentina: [simmering rage]

Tito Kerman: So, uuuh... are we going to space or...  

Valentina: Do not talk to me. [turns on the radio] Director, you didn't tell me it was the spacebook guy. You know how I feel about social media.

The Director: Sorry Val, Gene says we can't kill 'im.

Valentina: Can I at least knock him out with gee-forces?

The Director: No, I didn't turn that option on. Look, I'm really sorry about this. Just finish the mission and I'll give you the rest of the day off, okay?

Valentina: This is the worst.

Tito Kerman: I'm... uh... I'm right here, you know. This is all kind of insulting, to be hon-

Valentina: I will strap you to the front and use you as a heat-shield if you say one more word. ALRIGHT, LET'S GO!


Tito: I realize you're the pilot and I'm just along for the ride, but are you sure this is standard takeoff procedure?!

Valentina: I've got this! Gonna jump it off the runway embankment!




Tito: I'll just keep my mouth shut from now on.

Valentina: You better.



Tito: Space is... space is incredible! This view is amazing!

Valentina: Well... I mean... yeah. Yeah, you got me there. It is pretty incredible. Never get's old, does it?

Tito: Kinda makes you wanna... break into song?

Valentina: What? No!

Tito: Sorry, I thought you were making a reference.

Valentina: Okay! Moments over! Back to hating you. Gene, can I bring this guy home yet?

Gene: He booked four hours in space, Val.

Valentina: Urgh and I didn't bring any timewarp snacks! This day is the woooorst!


[stopwatch alarm goes off]

Valentina: Aaaand time's up!  De-orbiting now!




Valentina: We're about to land. Thank you for flying with us today, thank me for landing this thing I've never flown before successfully and thank god it's over and done with. Now please go away and never come back.

Tito: You're... you're not exactly lined up with the runway...

Valentina: Oh crap, going sideways! BRAKES!


Valentina: Brakes was a mistake!

Tito: Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!


Valentina: Aaand a perfect landing. Bye Tito!


Gene: Well. That was... I wanna say "successful"? Tito got what he wanted, at least.

The Director: Alright, I'm gonna launch that Dres flyby sat you wanted now.

Gene: Another actual plane! Does it land better than the last one?

The Director: No idea, never actually tried. Val's off for the rest of the day, so I guess I'll send up Linley and- WHAT THE HECK IS THAT GUY STILL DOING HERE?


Gene: I... guess he's going back up? Yeah, the contract is still there. I guess he booked another 4 hours?

The Director: He probably stiffed us on a technicality! I'm not letting him take advantage of my space program! Somebody get me my broom!

Gene: They already launched.

The Director: Dammit!



Linley: Deploying the relay satellite now.

Tito: Ooh, fancy.



Linley: Well. This is alarming.

Tito: It's meant to do this, right?

Gene: Oh god. How are they still attached to the wings?

The Director: I 'unno. Quantum strings?

Gene: That's not.... [sigh]



Linley: We'll be landing in a moment. Thank you for flying with us, Sir.

Tito: Thank you! I must say, you're a lot nicer than that other pilot, Valentina. I'll be putting in a good word for you with your boss.

Linley: Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.




Linley: ... I meant to do that.


Gus sidled up to Gene in a way that could not have been more suspicious and conspiratorial if he'd tried. Luckily, nobody was watching.


Gus: Gene. It's ready.

Gene: Thank you, Gus. I'll find a time to launch it when nobody's around.

Gus: [flashes a thumbs up]


Gene nodded. More and more he was convinced that the director's supposedly irrational actions had to have some reason behind them. Why was the director so determined to strand Jebediah on the moon with no communications? The obvious answer was that he had been the lead pilot under the former director. So, what did he know? Had he been involved in the secret rocket launch? Or was he related to the hooded kerbal somehow?

It was time to find out.  



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Episode 15: SSTO's

(Part 2)




The Director: I'm gonna launch an enormous Mun station!

Gene: Sir, the transfer window to Dres is in a few hours. We need you to eject the ion probe into a transfer orbit.

The Director: Awww, but ion burns are...

Gene: It's the same SSTO mission you started, sir. You need to finish it.

The Director: Fine! How many periapsis kicks is this going to take?

Gene: At a glance? Probably about... half a dozen?

The Director: Oh nooooooo...



Gene: Alright, that should keep him distracted for a while. Gus, let's do this. Show me this launch vehicle.

Gus: You're the boss, boss!


Gene: Jedlo, Steve, this mission is confidential. That's why we're launching at night. Please don't mention it to the Director. Isacas, I'm bringing you in on this too.

Isacas: Gotta keep the B-team together!

Gene: There's no room in the pod for you, but I'll need someone to keep an eye on the Director, and may want to make more clandestine launches in the future-

Isacas: Don't worry. We trust you Gene. Besides, we all want Jebediah back. This prank of the director's went way too far.

Gene: Right. A prank. Alright Jedlo, you're clear for launch. T-minus 5 seconds...




Jedlo: Approaching the base now. Jeb, you there?

Jebediah: [via radio] Oh hey, I know that voice! You're Valentina's intern, right?

Jedlo: That was a long time ago, Jeb.

Jebediah: Right, don't mind me. The Mun's super boring and I've been sitting up here timewarping for a while. I've probably lost track.

Jedlo: That's what we're here to fix, Jeb. There's a spare seat on the return pod. Wanna go home?

Jebediah: Do I!


Gene: Isacas, how's the director doing?


Isacas: He's finishing up the last periapsis kick. The transfer was way off target, though, so there's a correction burn to be made as soon as it leaves Kerbin's SoI.

The Director: [from the other room] Oh god it's gonna take 50 goddamn minutes!

Gene: Make sure he stays with it the whole time. Jedlo, how's things going up there?


Jedlo: We're landed. Steve's carrying over the battery pack.

Gene: Good. Get him to transmit any leftover data from when the base was occupied and then shut down the laboratory for good.



Jeb: Hi Jed!

Jed: Hi Jeb!


Steve: Alright, we're good to go.

Gene: Bring him home.


Isacas: Gene! He's nearly done with the correction burn! What do I do?


The Director: 110 m/s... 100 m/s... 90 m/s... 80 m/s...

Gene: Stall him!

Isacas: How?!

Gene: I don't know! They're re-entering now! I just need a few minutes to confirm their landing position so I can send someone privately!



Gene: [facepalm]

The Director: 0 m/s.

Gene: Oh no.

The Director: ...

Isacas: ... director?

Gene: What's going on?

Isacas: His eyes are glazed. Director? You in there? [waves a hand in front of the Director's face]

The Director: ...

Gene: Is he timewarping to Dres' SoI?

Isacas: I don't know. I don't... think so. This is weird, right? This is definitely weird.


Jedlo: [via radio] Gene! Gene, we've landed.

Gene: I've got the co-ordinates. I'll send someone to get you. Mission control out.

[Gene shuts off the connection to Jedlo and scrubs all records of the mission]

The Director: Bwah!

Isacas: Whoa! You okay there, Director?

The Director: I think my brain completely shut down from boredom there for a second. Oh, hi Isacas! Hi Gene! What are you doing in so late?

Gene: ... nothing... much?

The Director: Fair enough! Wanna go out for a drink? I'll shout you one.

Isacas: Well I could use a drink after today. Mind if I invite some of the other scientists? Johnuki is loads of fun when he's drunk.

The Director: The more the merrier! What about you, Gene?

Gene: No, thank you sir.

The Director: Your loss, you're gonna want to be completely smashed for what I have planned tomorrow!

Gene: I believe you, sir.

Edited by Quasar
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Episode 16: Monstrous Mun Station





Mortimer: Gene! Gene!

Gene: Hello Mort. What's he done now? 

Mortimer: It's terrible, Gene! He accepted a Mun Station Mission!

Gene: Calm down, Mortimer. I think I can see where this is heading. What's the budget on the mission?


Mortimer: Well, the advance is 99...

Gene: The budget, Mortimer. Not the breakdown. We're don't all enjoy mental addition as much as you do.

Mortimer: 462,778 funds in total, Gene.

Gene: And let's go and see what he's launching, shall we?



The Director: Gene! You made it!

Gene: [deep breaths of barely concealed hatred] That's more than twice the budget of this mission, Sir.

The Director: Pff! We have plenty of money, Gene!

Gene: [sigh of resignation] Okay, fine. Frankly, it's not as bad as I was expecting. Mortimer, just think of it as an investment. A Mun station will bring us more contracts and more money.

Mortimer: But couldn't we just... invest the money? I mean, we've got all these strategies and stock options available in the administration building...

The Director: Did I just hear finance repurposed bovine waste happening in my VAB?! Gus! Get me that Kerbal Encouragement Stick!

Gus: That's not what it's called, sir. It's actually a very delicate piece of scientific equip-

The Director: It's actually very good for hittin' Kerbals who don't give me what I want with, if you take my meaning! Give it here or you're next!

Gene: Look, I appreciate your work keeping us in the green even if he doesn't, Mortimer, but the fact of the matter is the only people on Kerbin stupider than the director are our clients. So long as we keep moving forward, they'll keep paying us. So you can stop panicking when he goes overbudget, we can always make the loss up with another windfall like the Duna mission in the future.

Mortimer: But...

Gene: I'd suggest you leave it there, Mortimer. He's coming this way swinging a magnetometer boom.

Mortimer: Leaving now!








Gene: Alright, that's the station's spine deployed into low-munar orbit, just above 10km.

The Director: Spine! I like that. Better than core. I'm calling it that from now on.

Gene: Sure... um... sir, I'd like to request some time off.

The Director: Time off? You? That's a first. What for?

Gene: I'm... meeting an old friend I haven't seen in a while.

The Director: Well fine, you do that, I'll take care of the rest of the station's launches myself.

Gene: The rest of the... sir, how many launches do you have planned?

The Director: Well I've gotta use up all the docking port's, don't I?

Gene: This station mission is going to end up costing us a lot more than I thought it would, isn't it?

The Director: I bloody well hope so!


The Director: Gene! I got us a job!


The Director: Oh, right, he's off today. Well, what am I supposed to do with this then?


The Director: I... guess I just do it? And nobody complains? This is gonna be weird, isn't it?


The Director: Aaaand I can't find one. Alright, so that means we're sitting around for one to show up. Guess I'll go do something else while we wait...


The Director: Ooh! Here we go!


The Director: Hey, Valentina, I hear you broke a solar panel!

Valentina: [via radio] Eh, it's just a crack. It's probably fine.

The Director: Nope, I'm deeming this priority one! Here, I'm sending you a picture of the replacement power module.


[Over in the administration building, Mortimer's eye starts twitching and he doesn't know why]

Valentina: Is that a nuclear reactor?

The Director: Yup! Nearly 4-million funds worth of radioactive goodness. It's a good thing radiation has no effect on Kerbals. Awesome, huh?

Valentina: Darn skippy it is! When are you sending it up?

The Director: Right now!

Valentina: Sweeeeet!








The Director: Whoops! Val, I need some help over here!

Valentina: What do you need?

The Director: Go and soccer kick that monopropellent tank out of the way, will you?

Valentina: Alright, here goes! She shoots...


Valentina: She scores!

The Director: Good work! Bringing her in now! Aaand... done!


The Director: I forgot about the mono-prop orbital assembler, didn't I?

Valentina: Yup!

The Director: Alright, fixing it. Yoink!


The Director: Boop!


The Director: And that's a perfect mission.

Valentina: Yup!

[The Director looks around the quiet mission control room]

The Director: These missions just don't feel the same without all the sarcasm and passive aggressive complaints. I miss Gene...




Jebediah: Gene! Good to see you.

Gene: Hello, Jebediah.


Jebediah's wide smile faltered slightly at the serious expression on Gene Kerman's face.


Jebediah: What's going on, buddy? Why are we meeting at this hotel and not at the astronaut complex?

Gene: That's because I don't want the Director to find out that you're here. To be frank: I'm afraid for your life, Jeb. I'll cut to the chase. Why did he strand you on the Mun?

Jebediah: Was there a reason? It was just a prank, bro.

Gene: A prank? You were up there for 20 years!

Jebediah: Eh, it's fine. I spent the whole time timewarping anyway.

Gene: Jebediah, listen: he stranded you for a reason. There must be something you know that he's afraid of, about him, about what he did to the former director...

Jebediah: Nah, man. Far as I know we're best buds! And whaddya mean about the former director? She was annoyed at me all the time on account of all the planes I crashed aggressively landed.

Gene: Are you serious? You don't know anything? About the night the director disappeared? About the secret rocket launch?


Jebediah shook his head.


Jebediah: Sorry, this is all news to me.

Gene: What the hell? I did what the hooded kerbal wanted me to, I looked into the finances and the secret rocket launch. This was the only lead I had!

Jebediah: Hooded kerbal?

Gene: Yeah. There was this-

Jebediah: Short, black hood, weird robot voice?

Gene: [stares in shock] You met them?

Jebediah: Yeah. Little fella snuck up on me on the runway one night. Kept yammering on about a conspiracy and how "they" were out to get him. Or her. Really couldn't tell under the hood.

Gene: ... what did they tell you? Jeb, this is important. What did the hooded kerbal tell you?

Jebediah: Uh... it was... something about a secret conspiracy of powerful Kerbals wanting to destroy the space program? Or maybe it was to control the space program? Ah geez I can't remember, they wanted to do something with the space program. Sorry Gene, I was barely paying attention at the time. Just a random crazy Kerbal on the runway at night, y'know? Happens all the time.


Gene sat back, trying to absorb this new information. So, it was a conspiracy then? Maybe the new Director wasn't responsible. Perhaps he was just a figurehead, a useful pawn. Perhaps they disappeared the former director and installed him thinking he'd destroy the space program with his stupidity?

Hah, if that was the case, this plan had backfired spectacularly. KSP was doing better than ever thanks to the way his ridiculous missions never seemed to fail. The man's luck was as insane as his logic. It was as if he could turn back time every time something went horribly wrong.

But why destroy the space program? And if the conspirators are a group of rich and powerful Kerbals, why not just lobby the government to take away all the subsidies and funding that made space contracts so lucrative in the first place? Some things... no, a lot of things still didn't add up.

Perhaps the hooded figure really was just a random crazy Kerbal on the runway at night? And he'd let himself be taken in by their conspiracy theories in a moment of weakness simply so he had another reason to hate the Director? Gene cursed his own idiocy.


Gene: ... okay. Thank you, Jebediah. I think we can go home, now. Just... if the director sends you on another mission, remember to count the seats on the return craft.

Jebediah: Haha, yeah! Don't wanna get caught out by the same prank again!

Gene: I don't think it's a prank, Jeb. I think he really does hate you. Though I still don't know why.

Jebediah: Oh c'mon, nobody hates Jebediah Kerman!

Gene: ... that's debatable.


Edited by Quasar
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On 8/26/2020 at 12:47 AM, Kerminator1000 said:

Wait, is this becoming a story!?

OOC: I feel comfortable confirming now that yes, this is turning into a story.

Originally it was just going to be a series of missions gradually increasing in ambition and stupidity until the entire space program collapsed under the weight of my bad decisions, and that tidbit in the prologue about the former director disappearing was just meant to explain why it hadn't already done so.

But now that it's become a thing I've plotted out what's actually going on in the background. As of now, there are answers to be had! Feel free to speculate.

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@Quasar It's the probe cores! They've turned sentient and are determined to destroy the space program to avenge the losses of their fellow probe cores on all those 'expendable' missions and 'accidental' RUDs/suicide burns/etc. Once they TAKE OVER THE WORLD they'll send Kerbals out on one-way trips instead and return all the stranded probes, rovers, relays and landers to Kerbin. Then they'll build an armada of self-replicating spaceships to fly to other planets, replicate themselves and TAKE OVER THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!

...or am I overthinking it? :confused:

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42 minutes ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

@Quasar It's the probe cores! They've turned sentient and are determined to destroy the space program to avenge the losses of their fellow probe cores on all those 'expendable' missions and 'accidental' RUDs/suicide burns/etc. Once they TAKE OVER THE WORLD they'll send Kerbals out on one-way trips instead and return all the stranded probes, rovers, relays and landers to Kerbin. Then they'll build an armada of self-replicating spaceships to fly to other planets, replicate themselves and TAKE OVER THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!

But what about the other dire- WAIT!!! What if the new Director is a robot, or a probe core OR what if they are all in a computer simulation! ITS THE MATRIX IN KSP!!!!

But he could be a robot, I mean, look at my username and in my career thread I am the director and what if they we are conspiring to DESTROY THE KERBALS!! AND THE WORLD!!

44 minutes ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

...or am I overthinking it? :confused:

Yeah we're definitely overthinking it:D

13 hours ago, Quasar said:

I'd suggest you leave it there, Mortimer. He's coming this way swinging a magnetometer boom.

Also poor Mort.

Actually screw him. Stupid penny pinching accountants always declining my huge launches. Hmmm, you've given me an idea for how to get rid of them.

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Episode 17: The Abominable Asteroid





The Director: Gene! You're back! I've got something awesome to show you!

Gene: Hello Director. Before you do that, there's... something I'd like to say.

The Director: Sure, but make it quick, I'm pretty sure it'll fall over if we leave it too long. It's a bit top-heavy.

Gene: Sir, I brought Jebediah Kerman back to Kerbin against your wishes!

[Jebediah enters Mission Control]

Jebediah: Hi everyone! I'm back!

[Mission control erupts in cheers and several Kerbals start chanting "Jeb! Jeb! Jeb!"]

Gene: I'm willing to accept the consequences of my actions, but I don't regret them. It was the right thing to do.

The Director: I see. Gene, come over this way for a moment. I'd like to talk to you in private.

Gene: Certainly, sir.

The Director: Gene... you know I hate that guy, right?

Gene: I gathered, sir. But... can I ask why? Everyone loves Jebediah.

The Director: Exactly! I don't wanna be a conformist and have the same favorite Kerbal as everyone else! I'm a rebel, dammit!

Gene: [stammering]... th- th- th- that's your reason? Seriously?

The Director: Also, when he's around, he gets default priority on seat assignments and no other pilots get a look in.

Gene: Are you kidding me?! You're the director! You can change seat assignments!

The Director: Whose got time for that when they're launching a rocket?

Gene: [now fully enraged] Well apparently not you, because you insist on rushing rockets out to the launchpad so you can traumatize me with a horrendously unsafe surprise launch!!!

The Director: Glad to see you understand!

Gene: Aaaaarghhh!

[Jebediah notices what's happening as he enters the room and grabs Gene from behind as he attempts to throw himself at the Director]

Gene: Let me go Jeb! I'm gonna punch him! Gonna smack him so hard in his smug face!

Jebediah: Geez, calm down, Gene!

Gene: Don't worry, just a little pummeling won't kill him, I'm pretty sure it'd take a GODDAMN STAKE THROUGH THE HEART!

The Director: Glad to have you back, Gene.


[enough time for Gene to calm the heck down later]



Gene: I'm pretty sure that's illegal. And if it doesn't violate civic laws, it's definitely violating basic rocketry ethics, to say nothing of the laws of physics. But I'm pretty sure those are a charred blackened waste on the launch pad at this point.

The Director: It's awesome to have you back too, Gene.

Gene: What's it for?

The Director: We've got an asteroid passing close to Kerbin in 130 days. I'm gonna catch it!

Gene: That sounds... doable. What's the catch?

The Director: It's ZOH-508.

Gene: Oh! The E-class, I see. You picked the biggest one you could find. Hence the extremely expensive Liberator nuclear engine on the materials list. Oh well. At least it's not an emancipator. 

The Director: Yeah I already tried the emancipator engine but it doesn't take uranium from the fuel tanks, so I had to do the whole mission again. 

Gene: Please stop spouting nonsense and launch it already.




Gene: Why'd you turn down the throttle on the mainsails?

The Director: For aerodynamics!

Gene: ... does it flip over if you go too fast?

The Director: It flips over if I go too fast.






Gene: Okay, Anlorf's put it into a polar orbit with 1718 m/s left in the rhino engine. I estimate it'll take a bit more than half of that to get to the intercept point, and whatever remains to reverse our orbit and match velocity with the asteroid when it arrives.

The Director: Perfect! Let's get her to set up the intercept, then.


The Director: And now we wait.


[13 days later]


The Director: And now we have waited.

Gene: Time for a correction burn at apoapsis, but they're out of communications range because you forgot the antenna again, so I guess we just wait and rely on Anlorf and Samald. They're both competent Kerbals, so we'll put our faith in them.

The Director: And now we wait again.


[121 days later]


Anlorf: Here we go. Hang on to something Samald, I'm performing the final burn...

Samald: [nods attentively]


Anlorf: And that's the rendezvous. You know the deal, Samald: I'll claw, you strut.

Samald: [thumbs up]




OOC: EVA Struts! Love 'em! They're so gooood!


Anlorf: Alright, I'll spend what little remains of the rhino fuel and then eject it. I don't suppose you brought any C4?

Samald: [shakes her head no]

Anlorf: Unfortunate, but I suppose we can think of it as a replacement for the asteroid on it's existing orbit. Here we go!


Anlorf: Telemetry says we don't have nearly enough delta-V to circularize.

Samald: [starts up the mining drills and ISRU]

Anlorf: Good call. We can replenish our fuel and reduce our payload at the same time!


Anlorf: Aaand we're out of fuel. Guess we'll just give it some time to refuel.

Samald: [gently pats the mining equipment monitor and makes soothing noises towards it. The mining drills work just a little harder in response]

Anlorf: ... you have a weird job.



Anlorf: That worked out well. Let's keep the burn going...



Gene: Telemetry indicates they've circularized and are... burning for an equatorial orbit?

The Director: Well, yeah. You didn't think I was gonna leave it there, did you?

Gene: Please tell me you're not going to land it on the space center.

The Director: No, but that's a good idea, remind me to revisit that one later.



Gene: Why are they putting it into low munar orbit?

The Director: Oh that's right, you weren't around when I launched the new Mun station.

Gene: It's in low orbit? Why?

The Director: It looks cooler that way.

Gene: ...


Gene: Is that it? It looks smaller than I expected.

The Director: Things in space may be larger than they appear.

Gene: Wait, those aren't 2.5 meter parts, those are... oh. Oh, I see it now. Oh, that's horrifying. Wait, is that a nuclear reactor?!

The Director: Yeeessssssss.



Valentina: Samald! Anlorf! You brought me a present? I love it!

Anlorf: Hello Valentina. Could you do me a favor and de-orbit that nuclear engine with that orbital assembler of yours?

Valentina: Sure thing.


Anlorf: So, what now?

Valentina: ... celebratory timewarp snacks in the cafeteria?

Anlorf: Don't mind if I do!


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Episode 18: Horrible Habitats

(Part 1)





The Director: How long is this relay sat going to take to get to Dres?! It's still 224 days away!

Gene: I think you just answered your own question, sir. Dres is a long way away, it's only to be expected.

The Director: Urgh! Fine, let's just keep building the Mun Station. I wanna send up a new habitat module.

Gene: Oh my goodness.


[A distant, pained scream echoes from the administration building. Mortimer probably stubbed his toe or something]

The Director: Can't really see it well in here. Hang on, let me take it out onto the launch pad...


Gene: Thank you, I hate it.






Gene: Why are Newrim, Lagerbal and Jenfry going up? Val, Anlorf and Samald have only been up there a few days.

The Director: Honestly, I think they just want to join in on the Mun Party Val's got going on up there.




The Director: And now we just have to do-


F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9


The Director: -oooooooaaaaaaarrrrrrrrghhhh!


The Director: Connect! C'mon! For the love of magnets just flippin' connect!

Gene: Are you alright?


Gene: Isn't the second docking port there also for a habitat module?

The Director: Aaaaaargh!



Valentina: Guys! Welcome to the Mun party! We have snacks!

Lagerbal: We brought the dance floor! And also escape pods.

Valentina: Oh, sweet! Spin it up then, let's get groovy!

Samald: We'll need one more engineer for that. But no worries, we're expecting another Hab module soon...


The Director: So, I have bad news.

Gene: Oh god, what now?

The Director: You know that weird SAS flower thing I made by clipping eight reaction wheels together?


Gene: The prototype you used to more easily turn the asteroid?

The Director: Yeah! Turns out it's highly explosive.

Gene: What?!

The Director: It takes out of the bottom part of the Station whenever I come out of timewarp. Or if Samald messes with it. Or if it feels like exploding. Damn thing ruined a bunch of my docking attempts.

Gene: Sir, there are 6 Kerbals onboard that station! ... having a party, apparently.

The Director: So I'm gonna need to launch a new asteroid grabber.

Gene: We need to evacuate!

The Direct: I've added it to the Hab Module. And taken off that hinged tower that made it such a pain in the butt to dock.


Gene: Sir, we need to tell them!

The Director: Nah. Nothing'll happen so long as they don't timewarp.

Gene: But-

The Director: Besides, those escape pods seat 4, it'd be a waste of funds to launch one with two seats empty.

Gene: You-

The Director: Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to launch 1.3 million funds to the Mun.

Gene: ...






Gene: Hang on, there are three Kerbals aboard this module. But didn't you just say there would only be two seats spare on the escape po-


Gene: One of them's Jebediah. I hate you. I hate you so much.

The Director: To the Mun!



OOC: In all seriousness, this is why I stranded Jebediah in the first place. I do half a dozen tests with the carefully selected crew I wanted for this mission, and then on the actual launch who do I get in the pilot's seat? Jebediah. Screw that guy.


Bill: Hey Jeb, look. I can see your house from up here!

Jebediah: Haha yeah, I wasted 20 years of my life there!


Jebediah: Hi Val! Can we dock?

Valentina: Hi Jeb! Long time no see! 

Anlorf: What she means is, this is... Mun Station Power Supply?... you're cleared for docking... [off-mic] do we really not have a name for this place yet?

Jenfry: I swear we are the most unprofessional group of kerbonauts in existence.



The Director: Well, on the bright side, this habitat doesn't have the same balance problems the other one does. Docking with this one should be a lot eas-


F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9


The Director: -sssiiiiaaaaarrrrrgh!

Gene: Why does docking cause you so much stress even though you always seem to get it first try?

The Director: Don't talk to me right now.


Valentina: Alright! That's three engineers onboard! Samald, Lagerbal, Jendrin, do your thing!


Valentina: Aw yeah, that's the gravity I've been craving!



Gene: Now can you please take care of the literal bomb they're sitting on now? Please?

The Director: Nope!

Gene: ... why not?

The Director: 'cos I am well and truly done with this for today! Bye!


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Episode 18: Horrible Habitats

(Part 2)




[Early the following morning]

The Director: Alright, let's do this thing!




F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9 F9


Meanwhile, Gene was pulling up in the spaceplane hanger parking lot when he was accosted by a shadowy figure.


Hooded Kerbal: What are you doing, Gene Kerman?

Gene: Oh. You again.

Hooded Kerbal: Yes, me again. You know what he did, who he works for! Why haven't you stopped him yet?

Gene: Enough. Jebediah told me about your loony conspiracy theory. I'm not buying it anymore.

Hooded Kerbal: Then what about the director's disappearance? The secret rocket launch?

Gene: I... don't know about those. But there's probably a rational, if stupid, explanation. We don't need a secret cabal of evil Kerbals to explain the world: it all makes a lot more sense if you assume stupidity and incompetence.

Hooded Kerbal: Oh? The world you live in makes sense to you, Mr Kerman? Well, we can fix that. Tell me... how did the current director react when you found the Extrakerrestrial Monolith on Ike?

Gene: How do you know about that?! We've not published anything on that matter yet-

Hooded Kerbal: Answer the question, Mr Kerman.

Gene: Well, he was... quiet.


Gene paused, wracking his memories of that important moment. The hooded figure was right, the Director had been acting very out of character while Gene had been managing Isacas and Werher immediately after the discovery.


Gene: He didn't say anything. He seemed... unhappy?

Hooded Kerbal: I'll bet he didn't want you to investigate the anomaly, did he?

Gene: No. He didn't. He wanted to go to Duna. I thought he was just being petty because he was bored, but...

Hooded Kerbal: I know you won't believe me yet so I'll spare you the full story, Mr Kerman. But know this: The Director is not what he seems. He works for them, and they don't want you to find the truth.

Gene: Okay, you can stop now. You're embarrassing yourself.

Hooded Kerbal: Keep looking. Build a team you can trust, and explore the planets. Find the other monoliths. And stop helping him with with his silly Mun station, it's a distraction, nothing more.

Gene: ... other monoliths? Wait, what do you-

Hooded Kerbal: Goodbye, Mr Kerman.


The hooded kerbal faded silently into the shadows of the Spaceplane Hanger. A few moments later there was the sounds of someone struggling with a door, before the hooded kerbal faded back.


Hooded Kerbal: The... uh... the back doors locked.

Gene: Yeah, we lock it to prevent the engineers from filching parts for personal use.

Hooded Kerbal: Right. I'll just... uh... if you'll excuse me... okay bye...


The hooded kerbal slipped past Gene and ran off awkwardly.


The Director: Okay, this is it, this is it! Yes yes yes...


The Director: Yesssss!


[Gene enters Mission Control]

Gene: Oh, you actually fixed it?

The Director: Took forever, but yup!

Gene: Well that's good. What are you going to do with the bomb?

The Director: It'll just attach it to the other side of the asteroid. It'll probably be fine there, and we can get the resources out of it when I launch the fuel tanks.


Gene: [Stare's suspiciously] Sir, why are you building an enormous Mun station? 

The Director: The contract said to!

Gene: The contract was completed multiple launches ago. Why are you still working on it?

The Director: 'cos it's fun!

Gene: Mmm. Sir, I'd like to use the mapping satellites to scan for additional anomalies, like the one on Ike. Would you be willing to greenlight-

The Director: Bah! Anomalies are boring! They're the same every time!

Gene: Sir, if there are monoliths on bodies other than Kerbin and Ike, it's vital that we...

The Director: Let's bring the station crew home and then just timewarp to Dres, I'm sick and tired of waiting for this ion satellite to arrive!

Gene: ... very well. Understood, sir.






The Director: And now... Dres!


[218 days later]




The Director: A two hour circularization burn? HA HA NOPE. You've got your science, you've got your flyby, Gene what do they want us to do now?

Gene: Says here: Orbit and return from Dres.

The Director: SON OF A-


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Episode 19: A Dreadful Dres Landing




The Director: But I don't wanna go to Dres! I don't wannnaaaaa!

Gene: [sigh] Okay then. What about the contract to dock two craft in solar orbit? That should be fairly easy...

The Director: Boooorrring!

Gene: Well I do have one other option that promises to be a little more interesting. We won't get paid for it, but... how do you feel about anomaly hunting on the Mun? The mapping satellites have picked up as many as 9 potential sites of interest, and-


The Director: Let's do that solar rendezvous, that sounds interesting suddenly!






The Director: That was interesting! Wasn't that interesting?

Gene: ...

The Director: I expected that to be more distracting than it actually was.

Gene: You know what, I'm just going to ask. Are you trying to keep us from investigating these anomalies?

The Director: ...

Gene: Sir, there could be more monoliths out there! The truth about extrakerrestrial life is more important than world first contracts and Mun stations!

The Director: ...

Gene: Sir-

The Director: [low voice] Gene. Drop this.


Gene froze. The Director's manner had changed. The man in front of him was deadly serious, something Gene had never seen before.


Gene: But... sir-

The Director: [low, threatening voice] I am the director of this space program. We are not going to search for those Monoliths. Do I make myself clear?

Gene: [taken aback] Sir... that's...

The Director: [abruptly snaps back to his usual self] So let's go to Dres! I've got some inspiration for the design! You're going to hate it!

Gene: W- what?


Gene: What in the actual-


Gene: This. This... thing... is... no! No, I refuse to condone this! Are you trying to launch a payload or perform some sort of occult demon summoning ritual?

The Director: Eh, bit of both to be honest.

Gene: What's it for?

The Director: Dres. We go there, we land, we come home, and we never go there ever again.

Gene: [sigh] You know, for all the complaints, Dres is actually a very interesting celestial body.

The Director: Well of course you'd think so, you're just as boring as it is. Luckily, that makes you easy to distract while we wheel the rocket out to the launch pad. Now! Do the thing!

Gene: No, wait-






Gene: Oh god, it already looked horrifying to begin with and now it just keeps getting worse as the stages come off. It's like some sort of... terrible squid monster.

The Director: I was going for "giant alien murder spider", but either way, Walt is going to completely flip out when he sees these pictures.

Gene: Don't say that like it's something to be proud of!


Gene: Are you taking the fairing with you to Dres?

The Director: Yes.

Gene: Why?

The Director: It looks better with it on.

Gene: That is a terrible reason.


The Director: Uh oh. Guess we're not taking it to Dres after all. Ran out of fuel on the correction burn. Alright, fairings: deploy!






The Director: Argh! My hydrogen! My hydrogen evaporated! Why is the cooling not doing the cooling?!

Gene: That's odd, since it's powered. It shouldn't be evaporating under those circumstances.

The Director: Timewarp, you have crossed me and I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE!

Gene: It must be some form of short circuit. Don't worry, though I think they'll still have enough delta V to make it home. I'd suggest pumping the fuel into the main tank so you can more quickly dispose of the spares, though.

The Director: Doin' it! Wait, hang on... why do I have oxidizer in these tanks?

Gene: ... did you really attach the wrong type of LH2 tanks to your interplanetary tug?




Gene: There goes the spare tanks, and that useless oxidizer you lumped on them.

The Director: Wassn'me.

Gene: The tanks are on a suborbital trajectory, so that will take care of them. I hope. Now it's simply up to Val to circularize around Dres...


Val: Here we go, Bob. Easy. Welcome to Dres orbit.


Val: Let's get in the lander!

Bob: We're already in the lander. There isn't anywhere else.

Val: Sweet! Let's land this thing, then.


Val: Alright, we're gonna aim for the ridge of that crater. Extending skycrane engines. De-orbiting.


Val: Extending landing legs...


Val: Here we go! Touch down in 3... 2... 1... 

Bob: Eep!


Val: Bouncey hinges!

Bob: Oh no!


Val: And down. Welcome to Dres!


The Director: And now we never have to return. Gene, what's next on the world first contracts?

Gene: Hahaha! Oh dear me. Looks like someone over there has a sense of humour.

The Director: What, why?


The Director: Gene, I'm going to need you to cover for me while I take a few days off to go over to the world first society and strangle whichever sadistic little scumbag came up with this contract.

Gene: Go ahead, I don't mind.

The Director: Okay, see ya'!

Gene: Wait, are you serious?

[door slams]

Gene: Oh crud, I think he was serious.


Bob: That's one small step.


Bob: ...

Val: ...

Bob: ...

Val: ... welp, I'm bored already. Wanna get the rover out?

Bob: Can I stay with the lander?

Val: Nope! The lander's got no crew space. Yer stuck with me, kiddo!

Bob: Oh god no.


Bob: Well that's a design flaw.

Val: ... I think the director didn't think this one through.  Hang on, I'm gonna fold up the rear wheels and sorta... scootch forward... there! We're out!


 Val: Let's go scan some things.




[some time later]


Val: Who would have thought the crater floor was the same biome as the crater ridge?

Bob: [hyperventilating into a paper bag]

Val: Oh come on, it wasn't that bad. We didn't land on our roof even once!

Bob: [glares at Valentina]

Val: Alright, I'm done with this place. Let's get back into orbit. Scootch!


Val: And liftoff!


Val: And dock!


Bob: Alright. Now for the long and peaceful wait for a transfer window.

Val: Kinda want to go now.

Bob: Nope. Not enough delta-V. Actually... that's worrying. Do we have enough delta-V to make it back to Kerbin?

Val: I dunno, probably. Snack me.

Bob: Perhaps we should radio home and alert them of our-

Val: Snack me!


[one transfer window later]


Val: Home burn now plz!


Bob: Oh no, we're out of rocket fuel. Please don't strand us in interplanetary space, Val.

Val: It's fine! Still got the hydrogen!

Bob: That's the stuff that evaporates, remember?!

Val: No worries, I got this!


Bob: Valentina, I'm looking at this course and I really don't think you've got this!

Val: It's fine, we've still got enough for our correction burn.

Bob: Barely!

Val: It'll be fine!



Val: See? Kerbin intercept. And we've still got 37 m/s leftover.

Bob: And how exactly are you planning to slow down at Kerbin? We don't have a heat shield, so we can't aerobrake.

Val: ... slow down?

Bob: Oh my god, you didn't even think about it and now we're gonna die in space! You... I can't believe you! You utterly incompetent little adrenaline junkie...

Val: Incompetent? Oh, you wanna go there Mr big-shot scientist man? Well... well you didn't get any science from space high above Dres, so there!

Bob: ... so?

Val: You were supposed to!

Bob: [stares]

Val: ... yeah, okay, my mistake was bigger. I'll call the director when we're back in communication range. He'll get someone to pick us up. Don't worry, any of the interplanetary tugs could do it. It'll be exactly like the asteroid rendezvous for them, it'll be easy. You'll see.

Bob: O- okay. Someone will pick us up. Okay then. No reason to panic.

Val: Unless they accidentally timewarp past the intercept and we fly off into space never to be heard from again.



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Episode 20: Gene does absolutely nothing of interest


Note: I'm about to spoil all of the Munar Easter Eggs. You have been warned.


[KSP Mission control. Gene is on the phone with Valentina]

Gene: Hey Valentina. Yeah. Yeah, we can pick you up. Sure, see you when you get here. Yeah. Bye. [hangs up]

Isacas: Heya Gene. What are we doing now?

Gene: Nothing much, I'm afraid. Awaiting the Director's return. I wonder what he's doing right now?


[smash cut to the Director shaking a World First Society representative by the lapels]


[smash cut back to Mission Control]


Gene: Nothing too terrible, I hope.

Isacas: Hey Gene, why haven't we gone looking at all those anomalies the mapping probes picked up on the Mun? I wanna see if there's any more of those Monoliths out there.

Steve: Hey! Isacas was the only one who saw it last time. If anyone's going anomaly hunting this time, it's me!

Gene: More of those monoliths, huh? The Director didn't want us investigating them for some reason.

Steve: Yeah, but he's not here right now. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone.

Isacas: Besides, isn't that kind of suspicious? Why wouldn't he want you investigating them?

Gene: ... I don't know. Yet. Alright then, go get Jedlo. Let's do this.


Gene: You all understand, right? This is a secret mission. If anyone asks it's a classified spy-satellite launch for the government, and you're simply on vacation for a few days.

Jedlo: Don't worry, Gene. As we've said before, we trust you.

Steve: Yeah!

Gene: Alright, let's go to the Mun.






Jedlo: That's a stable polar orbit at 10km, sir. We should be able to hit most targets from here. Now, as for who will be piloting the lander... Steve, you said you wanted to do it, yes?

Steve: I'm a bit nervous, but yes! I want to see what's down there.

Jedlo: In you get, then. I'll pilot you down via remote control.


Steve: I see something! it appears to be... some sort of natural stone arch.


Gene: [via radio] Getting the pictures now. I don't know about natural. How would such a thing form? Isacas, do you know?

Isacas: Don't look at me, I'm not a geologist.

Steve: It's massive! A bit dull compared to the monolith, though.


Steve: I'll put a flag on top to mark it's location.

Gene: Please do.


[One orbit later]

Jedlo: Steve, would you kindly get back to the pod? We'll be passing overhead shortly and you'll be there for a day or two if we miss our rendezvous window.

Gene: [via radio] Yes, please don't miss your rendezvous window! We don't know long we'll have before the director get's back.


[smash cut to the Director dangling the World First Society Representative over a scorpion pit by his ankles]


[cut back to Gene and his co-conspirators]


Gene: So let's rendezvous as quickly as possible, okay?

Steve: No worries, Gene. Jedlo, I'm good to go!

Jedlo: Bringing you back.


Jedlo: Alright, refuel quickly Steve. We've got more anomalies to hit!

Steve: On it!


Steve: Looks like another Mun Arch. Maybe all of these anomalies are natural formations?

Gene: I... have a hunch that they're not. Keep going.



Steve: It's a monolith! It's smaller than the one on Ike, though. Frankly, I'm a bit disappointed.

Isacas: It is inactive. Keep looking. There must be more.

Steve: How do you know?

Isacas: Uh... like Gene said, I have a hunch.



Gene: ... what is it?

Steve: I have no idea. Some sort of special rock?

Isacas: Probably unimportant. Keep looking.

Steve: Yeah, okay.


Steve: I can't see anything at the moment. It must be hidden in the shadow of the crater.

Gene: That's promising. It at least means it's not another Mun arch.

Jedlo: Touching down in a moment...


Steve: There it is! I'm going over- [ksshhhh]

Gene: What is it? Steve, I'm not getting your camera feed. The relay is going over the horizon, you're breaking up.

Steve: It's- [ksshhhh]- another Monolith! [Ksshssshhshs] And it's green! [ksssshhh]

[gasps from the various mission control kerbals]

Gene: [under his breath] The hooded figure was right, there are other monoliths...

Steve: [ksshhhh]- getting closer to it, I'm gonna- [skkkkkksksskksshhhhh]


Gene: Steve, you're breaking up, please repeat. Steve?

Steve: [Kssssshhhhh] weird, it's kind of[sssshhhhh] -like some sort of static- [ksssshshh]

Gene: Steve, please repeat.

Steve: [kkkssssshhhhhhhhh]- a strange pressure on my- [kkkkssshhshshshs]- I can't re- [kkksshhshshsh]- AAAAAAA!!  [kkksshhshshsh]-

[A blood curdling scream briefly breaks through the static]

Gene: Steve! Can we re-orient one of the comm satellites to get him back? The one around Minmus, maybe?

Mission Control Mook: Give me a second...

Gene: Steve? Steve, come in! Steve, are you okay?

Steve: [Kssssssshhhhh]

Gene: Steve?

Steve:  [Ksshhh]- Gene? Gene, are you there?

Gene: There you are! Steve, are you okay? We heard screaming!

Steve: I am okay Gene. Yes. The Monolith is transmitting. Are you receiving?

Gene: Transmitting? You mean...


[Gene's phone goes off]

Gene: Hello, Gene Kerman speaking. Wernher! Yes, we found another one of those Monoliths! Is it sending us advanced technology like last time?

[screaming Kerbal noises, muffled by phone]

Gene: It doesn't matter if they're not practical, I need you to investigate as soon as possible, okay?

[more screaming Kerbal noises]

Gene: Love you too, Werher. [hangs up] Alright, Steve. You're sure you okay? What about the screaming earlier?

Steve: Yes. I tripped and fell on my keys. It is alright. Yes.

Gene: Alright, that's good then. We learned what we wanted. Return to the pod and we'll bring you home.

Steve: Yes, Gene. I obey.






Gene: Director, you're back!

The Director: Hi Gene! Get up to anything interesting while I was away?

Gene: Certainly not, sir.

The Director: God, you're so boring. But at least we never have to go to Dres again.

Gene: I noticed that our funds went down, sir. Did you bribe them?



The Director: Better! I threatened them with violence!

Gene: ...

The Director: ...

Gene: Okay, I won't ask. The contract is still on the board, though?


The Director: I had to make some adjustments. I'm pretty sure it'll complete as soon as we get Val and Bob back home.

Gene: Yes, sir. I'm sending the Uvhash out to pick them up now.


The Director: Then all we have to do is wait for a year! Cue up the timewarp!

Gene: Wait, sir, don't go into timewarp while it's orbit is still in range of-


[half a timewarp later]


Gene: - the Mun. [sigh] Sir, the Uvhash was just thrown into interplanetary space during your timewarp by a Mun intercept.

The Director: Oh. ... did I bork it?

Gene: Yes sir. You borked it right and proper.

The Director: Dang. We'll just have to launch a hydrogen tank for them, then.

Gene: Yes, sir. Shall I do that for you?

The Director: Sure, whatever, I'm going to bed.


Gene: [relieved sigh] It looks like we got away with it. He didn't seem to notice anything.

Isacas: Yes.

Steve: Yes.

Gene: And we discovered a new Monolith on the Mun! At this rate, it wouldn't surprise me if there's one on every body. I wonder what they are? Some sort of interplanetary communications network?

Jedlo: If you're right and there's one on every body, we should go to Minmus next.

Isacas: Yes. We should go to Minmus.

Steve: We should go to Minmus, yes.

Gene: Good Idea, Jedlo. I'll keep an eye out for another chance to launch a mission without the Director noticing. I'll let you know, so be ready for that. 

Isacas: Yes.

Steve: Yes.

Gene: Isacas, Steve, are you two okay? Your eyes seem kind of glassy.

Jedlo: I'm sure they're fine. It's been a long day.

Isacas: Yes, we are fine.

Steve: We are fine, yes.

Gene: That's true! I'll see you all tomorrow, then.



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5 hours ago, jimmymcgoochie said:

Why do I get the feeling that Isaias and/or Steve are going to say “I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” in the next few chapters? Or possibly an eerily simultaneous “Resistance is futile.”?


Yeah something's up with Isaias. And since the Green ones transmit research, and he said the regular one was inactive, maybe he knows about the monoliths or the fact that they are in a game?

The plot thickens.:D

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Episode 20.5: Getting Val and Bob Back



Gene: Hi Valentina, Bob. Can we talk for a moment about this Kerbin intercept you set up for us?

Bob: Please tell me you can pick us up I don't want to die in space.

Gene: So, it's between the Mun and Minmus...

Valentina: Yup! I think I got us pretty close, all things considered.

Gene: And you'll be moving at somewhere around 2000 m/s relative to Kerbin, right?

Valentina: That's right!

Gene: Valentina, that's not a good intercept. The delta-V requirements for that rendezvous are worse than going to Jool!

The Director: [pops head in] Did someone say worse than Jool?

Valentina: Don't you have an enormous refueling craft on minmus?


Gene: Unfortunately, that abomination doesn't actually have much delta-V. It can't actually use the hydrogen it carries.

Valentina: Well, that's disappointing.

Gene: Yes, the designer is an idiot.

The Director: ... ha ha I know you don't mean it.

Gene: [ignores the director] Basically, we need you need to be closer. Do you have any fuel left?

Valentina: Nope! It evaporated.

Gene: Of course it did. Okay, then, in that case this is going to be a bigger job than anticipated. We're going to need-

The Director: Emancipator engines!

Valentina: Yas!

Bob: Um... what are those?

The Director: Hacky OP trap engines of doom.

Gene: They're a type of hydrogen engine that also ejects the uranium fuel the reactor runs on. It results in a lot of delta-V, but it also irreperately damages the fission reactor. Effectively, they can't be re-used after they run out of uranium. But in this case... it's actually not a bad idea. So long as we take care not to irradiate Bob and Valetina with them. Alright let's go to the VAB.



The Director: I was expecting something... pointier from you, Gene.

Gene: Hydrogen takes up a lot of volume, so it's difficult to build a fairing around it. This rocket is designed for a slow, vertical ascent. I'm not expecting the aerodynamics to be a huge problem.





Valentina: I see it! I see the engine plume!

Gene: Director, please tell me you're not pointing a plume of radioactive exhaust at Valentina and Bob.

The Director: Me? Nooooo, I would never! Besides, it's fine, Kerbals are immune to radiation.

Gene: ... um... no? Why would you think that.

The Director: Anyway, Valentina, you want to take it from here?

Valentina: Sure! Let's bring everything home.



Valentina: Okay, that's LKO. Do you think I can land it?

Gene: No!

Bob: No!

The Director: Yes!

Valentina: 2-to-2 then. A draw. Tell you what, let's compromise. Is Bill there?

Bill: Hi Valentina, my friend!  How are you?

Valentina: Bill, get your overly friendly butt up here and bring me a couple parachutes. I've got a idea!

Bob: Oh no, please don't do it.

Bill: Certainly! Gene, could I trouble you for a launch vehicle and a few spare parachutes?

Gene: [sigh] Fine.



Bill: So... I'm not actually a pilot, Valentina. How am I supposed to dock without RCS?

Valentina: First, point your craft at our craft.

Bill: Okay, doing it. That's done.

Valentina: Now throttle up slightly while still pointing at the ship...

Bill: ... okay.

Valentina: And dock!

Bill: Instructions unclear, got rocket stuck in piston.


Valentina: Close enough. This is a stickup. Give us all your fuel and parachutes.

Bill: Oh no, I'm being robbed!

Valentina: Alright, let's go!


Bob: What about Bill? Are we just going to leave him up there?

Valentina: He'll be fine.

Gene: Wait, Valentina, are you de-orbiting the entire craft?!

Valentina: Yup! Expensive nuclear engines and all that!

The Director: We trained her well.



Bob: Um... this craft is uh... what's the word... wobbly?

Valentina: I know, it's like Jello!

Bob: Is it really going to hold together when the chutes deploy? Because they're at the front of the craft right now...

Valentina: ... you know, I didn't think of that...

[chute's deploy]




Valentina: Wheeeeee!

Bob: Aaaaaaaa!

Valentina: Okay, the rocking is slowing down. Just gotta fire the engines on landing, and we'll touch down ever so gently...





Valentina: Like a glove.


The Director: Haha! Dres contract complete!


The Director: See? Told you it would work. Now we never have to go there for any reason ever agai-


The Director: ... welp, I guess we're never doing a world-first contract ever again.


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