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The Princess of the Dunaverse - The Mission Logs of Raner Kerman


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 On KSD 1228.0, the crew of the two-year Duna exploration mission Dunaverse was sent into orbit, officially beginning the first interplanetary habitation experiment of Kerbalkind.  The mission was ultimately deemed a success, but it was not without incident.  Upon their return, the crew of the Dunaverse was debriefed and their personal logs for the mission were reviewed.  In light of the events that transpired during the mission, particular attention was paid to the logs of Raner Kerman, an engineer who had been a late addition to the crew.  What follows are her relevant mission logs, the strange discoveries that they document, and the unexpected late-mission event that heavily altered the future of Kerbal space exploration and even the course of Kerbal society itself.

Mission Roster

Captain Jebediah Kerman (51) - Owner of Jeb's Junkyard, founding member of KSP.
Commander Valentina Kerman (48) - Chairwoman of Escape Velocity, founding member of KSP.
Chief Engineer Bill Kerman (42) - Member of of STEADLER board of directors, founding member of KSP.
Chief Science Officer Bob Kerman (46) - Founding member of Kerbin World-Firsts Record-Keeping Society, founding member of KSP.
Engineer Karman Kerman (31) - StrutCo senior engineer, last name not given.  Rescued from orbit by KSC staff.
Engineer Raner Kerman (30) - Periapsis senior engineer, last name Wellier.  Rescued from orbit by KSC staff.
Junior Science Officer Jonbert Kerman (26) - Devathorian defector, last name Metzli.  Rescued from orbit by KSC staff.
Junior Engineer Pholie Kerman (19) - Self-taught rocketry enthusiast, last name unknown.  Rescued from orbit by KSC staff.

The log entries of Raner Kerman begin here.

KSD 1191.4 (Eelooday, Unember 12th 1895)
High Kerbin Orbit


 This was my first New Year celebrated so far away from home.  Over the last few weeks I've been further from home than I've ever been in my entire life, in fact.  And it's looking like next year's celebrations are going to be taking place much further away still.

 In two days, my training mission will conclude and I will be standing on the surface of Kerbin again.  It's been a long month and a half, all alone out here.  I've done a solar flyby, a Mun landing, and a Minmus landing.  I've had a lot of time to think, and I've decided that I am going to take the Dunaverse posting after all.  This training mission was a great example of not only what can go wrong, but also why it won't be catastrophic if things do go wrong.

 This mission was originally going to have me go directly to Minmus after my solar jaunt, but poor timing put my return in exactly the wrong place.  Mission control's instructions were to aim for the Mun instead, land there, then go on to Minmus, as a launch window to Minmus would be very easy to obtain from Munar orbit.  Ultimately it extended my mission by a full 20 days, but the end result is hard to argue.  My life support remains almost half full; they were fully prepared for an even more catastrophic mission result.  I have ample fuel left too; I could easily land my drive stage on Kerbin if I wanted.


 I reviewed the plans for the Dunaverse mission over the extra days I had available to me (apparently they're still making last-minute additions, these blueprints were out of date by the time I got them!), and I am certain more than ever that it will be successful.  We're being sent out with extensive life support, production facilities for ISRU on Ike if needed, a full-scale comms network, and probably the single most overbuilt lander I've ever set eyes on.  In total there are 127 contingency plans in place, which is unprecedented for any Kerbal space mission; usually they top out at 15 planned contingencies.  Dunaverse is scheduled for launch in one month, so I had better prepare while I can.

KSD 1228.0 (Dunaday, Duember 13th 1895)
Kerbal Space Center

 My birthday last week was quite a fun event.  The whole crew for the Dunaverse mission arranged a surprise party for me with my family.  I got an astronomer's compass from my dad (it even looks like a mini navball!).  He told me I would always know my way home if I had that.  He's such a softie.


 Well, the day has finally arrived for the launch of the habitation module.  The previous day was marked with the launches of the station core, base, mining, and lander modules, and those are all on their way to Duna already.  Now it's our turn to head up.  By this time tomorrow, we will also be en route to Duna, assuming all of the systems checks pass and refueling goes off without a hitch.


 Refueling at night is a bit eerie...  I'm a bit on edge about the whole thing, I'll be honest.  Before today, I hadn't really given much thought to just how long this mission really is going to be.  I won't see my family again for a very long time.  I hope dad's still alive when I get back.  I know that's a morbid thought, but he doesn't take very good care of himself and he's getting on in years.  Still, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  I'm not getting cold feet the night before the big event!

KSD 1228.1 (Dunaday, Duember 13th 1895)
Low Kerbin Orbit


 We are mere minutes away from our injection burn.  Even though the other four modules have already been sent off ahead of us, the boffins are saying that our approach will result in us arriving a week before most of them do.  Half the crew is horribly nervous, the other over-excited, and we are all looking forward to finally getting underway.  As for me, I'm somewhere between the two, but mostly I just want the burn to Duna over and done with.

 Karman and I have had some interesting tales to swap while we waited for the burn.  We talked about our misadventures prior to this mission, and how she got sent on a short one just before I got back from my training to prep Mun Base Alpha for habitation by the incoming class of Kermans.  I think we're going to get along great.  As for the others, I'm mostly concerned about how well Jonbert and I will mesh since he pretty much talks nonstop about science.  I'm just an engineer, I don't know anything about the finer details of how the universe works.  Pholie is pretty reserved, but she's also a great listener, and her memory is shockingly good.  She remembered the smallest details of our conversation back on my birthday when I talked to her just before launch!

 I find it hard to approach the Big Four, the founding Kermans of the space program, but they're not bad Kerbals or anything.  Jebediah is a blustery sort, always ready to jump into action, but he has a softer side too.  I had no idea he likes to write poetry!  Valentina is very no-nonsense when she gets focused, but the rest of the time she's actually a bit of a goofball.  Bob is exceptionally quiet most of the time, but if you start talking science with him, he won't stop for hours; poor Jonbert found that out the hard way, I bet he didn't think anyone could out-geek him!  Bill's the easiest of them to talk to, but it helps that he's a fellow engineer.  He reminds me of my little brother Donner, actually.

 Well, I'd better stop writing, we're about to hit our maneuver node.  Next time I write, we'll be in interplanetary space!

 Further mission log entries will be released as we process them.  Thank you for your patience.

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KSD 1234.4 (Eveday, Duember 19th 1895) - Solar Orbit


 We're well on our way to Duna!  The overall flight is supposed to take about 204 days (still almost 200 to go...), which is a very long time indeed, but luckily we all get along quite well.  If any of us needs time away from the rest of the crew, we can slip into the greenhouse or the science lab.  We're going to test out the hibernation feature of the upper crew cabin today to see if it's effective.  I'm on the second rotation for testing, so fortunately I don't have to worry about potentially never waking up again if the first test goes wrong.  On the other hand, I also have 50 days of half my fellow Kerbals on this flight being fast asleep to look forward to...

 Well, maybe it's for the best.  It will give me more time to get familiar with my fellow newer recruits, and let me have some time away from feeling intimidated by the Big Four.  Jonbert's finally stopped talking constantly; I think it was mostly nerves causing him to prattle on.  Maybe I should re-evaluate him a bit now that I know that.  I guess I have 50 days to do so!

KSD 1285.5 (Dresday, Triember 35th 1895) - Solar Orbit


 Jebediah, Bill, Bob, and Valentina all came out of hibernation just fine, none the worse for wear.  Our tests showed that they made a full recovery from the long sleep effects in under a day, and are exhibiting no lasting side-effects.  Of course, it could be weeks before actual side-effects show up, but so far this is a promising result.  Jonbert, Pholie, Karman and myself are next up, so this will be my last entry for at least 50 days.

 The four of us really became close-knit during our stretch together.  We know more about one another now than I think any of us know about anyone else back on Kerbin.  In a way, I'm glad we're all going to wake up at the same time.  I wonder if this sort of bond is the same shared by the Big Four.  I hear they were pretty close even when the Space Program was founded, after all.

KSD 1386.2 (Eveday, Sextember 29th 1895) - Solar Orbit


 They let us sleep far longer than they were supposed to...  Apparently orders came in from mission control to see how long we could stay in hibernation before we started showing signs of difficulty.  The thing is, that never happened; we were able to hibernate for months with no side-effects.  We completely missed Quattember and Quintember, and most of Sextember too!  We were brought out yesterday only because we're nearly at Duna.  I don't like that I lost 100 days of my life to that hibernation system, but it is what it is.  At least I didn't miss my birthday, unlike poor Pholie.  We're about 50 days away from arrival now.  Mission control only ordered us awake so we'd have some proper time to work together as a full crew.

 For what it's worth, the Big Four all seem genuinely upset that they were forced to keep us in hibernation for so long.  I don't think they wanted to put us through that any more than we wanted to be put through it.  They've been stuck with each other the whole time, too, so nerves between them are a bit high-strung.  Apparently Bill and Bob have been sequestered away in the greenhouse and lab respectively for the entire journey, and neither one wants to talk to Jebediah right now; they barely tolerate it when Valentina drops in on them.  I do hope they become more receptive now that the rest of us are awake!

KSD 2005.3 (Joolday, Octember 2nd 1895} - High Duna Trajectory


 We're finally here!  Duna has been slowly growing in size out the window for a month, and now we can clearly see it with the naked eye as we approach.  Our course has been altered to allow for aerocapture, but we're still going to need main engines to finish the process as Duna's atmosphere is quite thin.  To think, we're the first Kerbals ever to come so close to what was once merely a twinkle in the night sky!  It is humbling.

 The crew's mood has improved significantly, I must say.  Bob remains reticent, spending most of his time with Jonbert in the lab, but Bill has opened back up and even forgiven his brother Jebediah.  He and Pholie have become good friends while working in the greenhouse, it's actually kind of cute to watch them joke with one another.  Jeb's gotten pretty chummy with Karman lately, too, and Valentina and I have become very close.  It's good to see us all properly spending time with one another!  Jeb's proposed a crew exercise during our journey inward to help bring the team together, it should be interesting to see how that turns out...

KSD 2012.2 (Dresday, Octember 9th 1895) - Low Duna Orbit


 Jeb's exercise turned out to be a half-hour spacewalk to run checks and maintenance on the Dunaverse, which was a good idea as it turns out because we found a few micrometeor impacts that had come dangerously close to damaging the life support systems.  That's all patched up, so we should be good to go for the rest of the mission.


 It turns out that the station hub arrived before we did, and has been busy setting up the comms network while we've been on our way in.  We have a full 6/8 ear back to mission control, no deadzones in the network, thank the Kraken!  Mission control has swapped our comm dishes over from the long-range (and less reliable) mode to the shorter-range (and much more stable) mode.  This does mean that we're dependent on the comms sats staying active for the rest of the mission, but there's no chance the whole network could go down.  And even if it did, we could just switch the dishes back over to long-range mode.  Contingencies 11 through 15 save the day!  It's nice to be able to get regular broadcasts back from Mission Control again.  I was getting sick of having to wait half a week between transmissions.

 Incidentally, we got word back from Kerbin about recent events.  Prime Minister Merman Atis has been stirring up a lot of pro-Unification sentiment lately, because apaprently there's been a lot of unrest over in Devathoria these last few months.  Jonbert's convinced he's to blame since he defected to Lovothoria, but we've assured him that's not it.  Politics rarely come down to one Kerbal!  My dad's doing fine, he sent his love.  Donner's been assigned to Mun Base Alpha for the closer-to-home habitation experiment, and apparently he's having a blast driving the rover around.  Overall, it sounds like Kerbin's doing just fine without us!

KSD 2023.4 (Kerbday, Octember 20th 1895) - Low Duna Orbit


 All capture maneuvers completed successfully across all 5 Dunaverse craft, and at this point all of the final pieces of the mission have linked up to form the full craft (for the first and last time, I might add!).  The Dunaverse looks like some sort of child's toy in its fully-assembled form, but it won't stay in this formation for long.  Tomorrow we're sending the base module down to the surface, then following an orbit later in the lander.  A new life awaits me, likely for some time.  Our mission has us here for the next 560 days at minimum.  More than a year of my life is going to be dedicated just to this leg of the mission, potentially even more if the mission gets extended since the next return window after KSD 3225 isn't until KSD 5295.

 Well, unless we invoke Contingency 31, which we have one month available to us to do if we're going to.  But the odds of that happening are basically zero...  Better to just focus on the mission and hope it all goes well!

 The next part of the mission logs is still being analyzed.  Thank you for your patience.

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6 hours ago, AeroSky said:

What's that? Is that hinting at something that'll happen in the future of the story? Hmmmmm?

Still a great read though! Keep it up!

There's a lot of contingencies.  I'm sure we'll see at least a few of them invoked.  What KSP mission ever goes perfectly to spec, after all?

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KSD 2024.2 (Munday, Octember 21st 1895) - Duna's Surface


 The base landed safely, and so did we.  The boffins even waited for our arrival to tell the base lander to extend the pieces out for placement on the surface, just so we could watch the show.  And what a show it was!  I was worried the whole thing might topple over any second, but it did fine.  Then we got to watch the base lander craft fly up high and smash itself hard into the ground, giving our newly-deployed seismometer something to call home about.


 The base is very comfy!  Just like up in orbit, we have a greenhouse to work with when we need time away from the others, though we have no lab down here.  The boffins told us that they didn't want us running delicate experiments under the influence of Duna's atmosphere, which I guess makes sense.  We can't seem to stop tracking red dust everywhere inside the base, no matter how careful we are!  All of the life support systems came online just fine, and the drills both work just fine too (we were shocked when the water drill actually found anything, we're a long ways from the poles).  Mission control has extended our surface stay maximum from 84 days to indefinite, so clearly they're confident in the air and water filtration systems!

 This might sound strange, but there's still more for me to learn about my fellow Kermans than I realized.  I found out only today that Karman went to Pifler University, same as I did.  In fact, we were both in the engineering program at the same time!  How we never met back then is beyond me, even if we were one year apart.  In fact, I honestly cannot for the life of me ever remember seeing her anywhere on campus, though she assured me that she was there the whole time.  That seems almost impossible, given the size of the engineering campus and just how many students there are there at any given time.  Well, maybe I did see her back then and didn't recognize her.  I mean it is Pifler University, the single most popular university in all of Lovothoria!  It's pretty easy to disappear in a crowd there.

 Once we're settled in, Jeb wants to take us all out on an EVA expedition.  Mission control hasn't given the OK for it, but Jeb doesn't care.  As far as he's concerned, he's the one running this mission.  He'll get no arguments from me!

KSD 2026.3 (Mohoday, Octember 23rd 1895) - Duna's Surface


 Mission Control and Jeb had quite a shouting match this morning!  They've scheduled a formal EVA for us tomorrow, though they wanted to push it out a full week originally.  But you can't argue with Jebediah Kerman, a lesson that we all learned a long time ago on this mission, so we're doing our EVA tomorrow.  Bob and Bill both retreated to the greenhouse during the rant, while Val stuck close to Jeb and mostly just chuckled to herself as he laid into Gene Kerman for trying to tell him how to do his job.  Most of us new recruits were too mortified to say anything, so we kept to the other habitation module for the whole thing.

 I noticed something I hadn't before: Pholie has some sort of tattoo or something on her neck.  It's small but it looks pretty elaborate, whatever it is!  I want to ask her about it, but I don't want to sound rude or anything.  Maybe I can get Karman to ask her instead, she doesn't seem to be intimidated by that sort of thing at all.

KSD 2027.0 (Dunaday, Octember 24th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 We went on our EVA bright and early today (well, by Kerbin's clock; it's still the middle of Duna's long night here), and performed quite a lot of maintenance and science on and around the base.  Jonbert and Bob were at the lander most of the "day" managing the surface experiments, while the rest of us tended to the dust build-up on the exterior of the base.  You wouldn't think that landing would stir up so much gunk, but we ended up mucking about 10kg of the stuff from the various modules!  Jeb's invoked Contingency 27, the dust-proofing coating that can be applied to the air and water filtration systems.  I guess that was one contingency that we were going to have to invoke!  Good thing we didn't wait a week before doing it, too; the dust build-up would have fried the motors on all of our extended life support modules if we had!  How could Mission Control not have realized that might happen?  It boggles the mind, but makes me all the more glad that we've got Jeb along with us.

 Jeb had another heated discussion with Mission Control when we were done.  I think he invented a few new curse words in the process!  Apparently Gene's promised that he'll interfere less when Jeb's intuition tells him to do something, which Jeb was pretty happy about.  I decided to ask Karman if she could talk to Pholie about that mark on her neck, only to find out that she'd already asked Pholie about it a month ago!  Apparently she's had it since she was a baby, so I guess it's actually a birthmark?  It looks more like a tattoo, though...

KSD 2028.1 (Dresday, Octember 25th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 Here we go again...  Jeb wants us all to return to the station for a few days, and of course Mission Control is against it.  Unsurprisingly it ended the same way as last time, with Gene bending to Jeb's will and agreeing to let him do it.  At least they didn't argue for nearly as long this time.

 I think the stress of these frequent arguments is starting to get to Jonbert.  He's started babbling again, but now it's all about his homeland of Devathoria instead of about science.  I asked him to stop after I noticed how uncomfortable it was making Karman.  Not sure what happened, but clearly she doesn't want to hear about the "good old days" of Devathoria when the royal family was in charge!  She probably lost family during the Great Unification War.  I know that'd be reason enough for me to not want to hear about Devathoria!  I mean my grandpa was deported there after the war, and even I can barely stand to hear Jonbert rant about it.

KSD 2028.4 (Dresday, Octember 25th 1895) - Low Duna Orbit


 The station was just fine.  The Ike mining mission had taken off for its duties while we were away, and according to the station logs the whole thing worked out just fine.  However, the fuel ferry rover is apparently jammed on the docking port it was carried in on and needs an engineer to free it up.  Looks like I've got a job to do!  Actually, Jeb wants all of us to go to Ike.  I mean I guess it makes sense?  It would really stink to come all the way out to Duna and never get to see Ike up close!  So we're going to take the lander out there first thing tomorrow.

 Pholie said something very strange to me today.  She told me that she doesn't trust Jonbert.  I asked her if it was because he's from Devothoria, but she said that's not it at all.  She wouldn't elaborate, so I didn't pursue it any further.  Jonbert may be a bit of a blabbermouth, but he's hardly a bad Kerman.

KSD 2030.4 (Eeloday, Octember 27th 1895} - Ike's Surface


 We made it to Ike!  It reminds me a little of our beloved Mun, but somehow it seems darker...  At least the miner's currently on the day side.  I would hate to have to work on this thing without the soothing light of Kerbol!  We got a fairly good-sized load of scientific data as we headed in, which has made both Bob and Jonbert quite happy.  If it keeps Jonbert from rambling and making Karman uncomfortable, I'm happy too!


 The rover wasn't too badly jammed.  We just had to move the docking port off the bottom side of the fuel tug and it will be good to go, bringing precious fuel to orbit for us to harness.  I got to drive it around for a bit, and even found a way to make the mining rig work faster!  Unfortunately I can't make that modification work constantly, I have to be there to make it happen.  But hey, it still made me feel pretty awesome!

 We took advantage of the situation and attached one of the miner's spare docking nodes to our lander, so now we can refuel the lander on the surface of Ike!  I wish I could say this was a home-grown contingency, but they actually thought of that with Contingency 121.  Mission Control really does think of everything...  Anyway, we're gonna stick around for a bit to do some science (Jonbert played a little golf earlier, his swing's impressive!), so I'm just going to relax with Karman and Pholie back in the lander while our science boys do their science thing.

 Further logs are still being processed.  We thank you for your understanding.

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KSD 2031.3 (Kerbday, Octember 28th 1895) - Low Duna Orbit


 Jeb made the executive decision to fly light up to orbit, dock with the trans-Ike fuel ferry, and rob it of all of its remaining fuel to ensure our safe return to Duna orbit.  He then performed what was probably the most impressive aerocapture I've ever witnessed; we needed less than 200m/s to go from Ike escape trajectory to intercept and full rendezvous with the station.  Jeb really does know what he's doing!


 We got safely back to the Dunaverse, and refueled for our return trip back to the surface.  Jeb is doing this against Mission Control's orders, naturally.  They had told us to stay up at the Dunaverse for the time being, as fuel supplies are now low enough that Contingency 31 won't be possible if we use any more fuel.  Jeb is confident that the mining system on Ike will work perfectly, however, and has made the decision to act as though it will.  That said, he only filled the fuel tank on the lander up to 75% capacity.  I think even Jeb has his doubts at this point.

KSD 2031.4 (Kerbday, Octember 28th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 Landing was a little bumpy, we got caught in a storm that blew us off course during the parachute-assisted part of the landing and ended up about 3km away from the base.  Luckily Contingency 77 was there to save the day: if you can't get back to base, base can get back to you!  The storm had cracked one of the solar panels on the base, though, so I had to fix that.  We still have plenty of repair kits, but it worries me when things like that happen.  I'm seriously considering moving one of the RTGs off the lander and onto the base if that happens again.


 As expected, Mission Control and Jeb had another shouting match.  This time, at least, Jonbert didn't freak out so badly about it.  We had a lovely discussion about the Ike trip instead, and about how well everything went.  The miner's reported that it's already converted over a hundred liters' worth of fuel from the strata, which is pretty promising given that it's only been a day.  We're shy about a thousand liters, so that could well be enough to put Contingency 31 back on track.  That is, of course, assuming that Jeb can restrain himself from doing another unscheduled flight.  Granted, Ike was a necessary trip, but it doesn't change the fact that our fuel margins are uncomfortably slim.

 I just got word from Jeb: Mission Control has grounded us for the foreseeable future to prevent further fuel misuse.  They sent a remote command to the lander to not accept any inputs from us, so it's basically just spare living accommodations at the moment.  To say that Jeb is cross about this would be an understatement, especially after Gene's previous reassurances about Jeb's ability to call our mission parameters.  Val somehow talked him down from using the entire base as a rover to explore Duna's surface in protest, but I wouldn't be surprised if he rescinds his promise to her later.  I just hope he doesn't get us all killed in the process of proving that he's the one in charge here...

 Some of the data and mission reports for the next part of the mission turned out to be corrupted.  Work is currently underway to undo this corruption, or at least to supplement it with post-mission debriefs.

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 Attempts to fix the corruption on the next few entries was partially successful.  However, some entries appear to be encoded.  It may be years before we fully decode the data, so those logs are being presented as-is.

KSD 2039.1 (Kerbday, November 1st 1895) - Duna's Surface


 I'm amazed it took Jeb a week of being grounded to finally decide he'd had enough, honestly.  Mission Control has been dead silent the entire week, not a peep out of them or even so much as a news broadcast from back home.  We checked the dishes, and they're all working fine.  They're getting full coverage from the satellite network too.  Mission Control has just inexplicably cut us off from Kerbin.  So Jeb decided that he's done waiting for them to come to their senses, and he's doing just what he threatened to before and using the base as a rover to explore Duna's surface.  He had us retrofit the lander's science experiments onto the base, Contingency 99 if you can believe it.  Did the boffins think of every possible event, or did they just realize that Jeb was going to go the "rogue agent" route and decided to enable him?

 Whaever the case, we're all set to go gallavanting across the surface of Duna to our heart's content.  We could potentially circumnavigate the planet if we wanted, we have more than enough life support and supplies to do so.  Jeb, however, has a specific destination in mind.  Apparently during the quiet of the last few days, Bob managed to isolate a strange signal coming from a crater off to the northwest of us.  It's a long drive, it'll probably take at least a day and a half, but I'm curious about what the signal could be.

KSD 2041.0 (Eveday, November 3rd 1895) - Duna's Surface

ERROR: Entry corruption was detected.  Correction failed.


 Jung vf guvf guvat?  Vg ybbxf yvxr n Xreony snpr.  Gurer'f ab bgure jnl gb qrfpevor vg, va snpg.  Vg'f uhtr, gbb.  Jrer jr zrnag gb svaq guvf guvat?  Vg'f tvivat bss na vafnaryl cbjreshy enqvb genafzvffvba, Ovyy naq Cubyvr erpbeqrq gur jubyr guvat naq ner gelvat gb qrpbqr vg.  V qba'g yvxr vg urer bar ovg, V'ir unq n fcyvggvat urnqnpur rire fvapr jr neevirq.  Gur fbbare jr trg bhg bs urer, gur orggre.




KSD 2041.3 (Eveday, November 3rd 1895) - Duna's Surface

ERROR: Entry corrupton was detected.  Correction was partially successful.


 V guvax jr'er mostly away from gung zbahzrag now.  It zvtug fgvyy or causing some interference, gubhtu.  Hopefully once jr'er sne rabhtu away, that will fgbc.  Bhe next destination vf sne gb gur southeast, another signal gung Obo vfbyngrq.  I hope it's yrff qvfehcgvir than this bar jnf!

KSD 2042.2 (Mohoday, November 4th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 We're definitely far enough away now!  Jeb decided to park us for the Dunan night, and I can't blame him one bit.  That monument really shook us all up.  What is something like that doing here on Duna?  Bob and Jonbert are going to analyze the signal it was broadcasting while we wait for daylight.

 Karman showed me something strange about our footage.  It came out garbled, and a strange symbol keeps showing up all over it.  That symbol looks familiar somehow, but it's hard to tell since it's faded, jitters all over the place, and keeps getting rotated about.  Where have I seen it before?  As if I needed more paranoia fuel, right?  It's probably just a coincidence, whatever it is.

 I checked my own mission logs, and disturbingly, they seem to be damaged.  Even more bizarre, however, is that I cannot for the life of me remember what I wrote in them before it got garbled.  I think that... thing... must have messed with our memories too.  I swear that parts of it I didn't even write.  We're going to the second anomaly once it's daylight again.  I hope it isn't so disturbing.

KSD 2044.4 (Dresday, November 6th 1895) - Duna's Surface

ERROR: Entry corruption was detected.  Correction failed.


Mu vekdt iecu iehj ev tulysu.  Jxu iywdqb yj'i rheqtsqijydw yi luho tyvvuhudj vhec jxu ejxuh edu.  Yj iuuci byau yj cywxj xqlu q lyikqb secfedudj?  Yj'i xqht je iqo veh ikhu.  Y zkij xefu mu sqd wuj qmqo vhec yj ieed.  Co xuqt xkhji ulud mehiu qhekdt jxyi jxydw jxqd yj tyt qj jxu wyqdj Auhrqb xuqt...




KSD 2046.1 (Eelooday, November 8th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 The last few days have been the strangest of my life.  Just like with that weird rock face, the strange metal device that was embedded in a rock corrupted our reports on it too.  And once again, I cannot remember what my logs said before they got corrupted.  What is going on with this planet?  Anyway, I think Jeb's drive to explore is sated, at least for now.  Bill and Bob managed to find another faint signature close to the south pole, but all four of us new recruits veto'd any further expeditions at least for a few days.  If what we saw at the other two sites is any indicator, we do not want to approach whatever is waiting for us down south without a nice, long rest...

Mission Control finally got back in contact with us.  Apparently they went offline due to the Space Center being occupied by militants from Devathoria.  How did the Devathorian militants get that far into Lovothoria, though?  Anyway, the occupation failed and the troops were deported back to their homeland, so things have calmed down back on Kerbin.  Gene and the others were very relieved to know that we're still alive, and gave Jeb the go-ahead to explore the south pole in a few days.  The Ike fuel ferry sent us a message too, letting us know that it's about half full now, so Contingency 31 is back on the table if we need it.  That said, I think Mission Control's interest in Duna has reached a new high after our reports about the anomalies.  We may not be heading home to Kerbin for a very long time yet.

 Additional corruption and/or encryption was present in the logs that follow.  We are still attempting, possibly in vain, to recover said data.

Edited by SkyRender
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Amateur Radio Operator V203

To: KSP and other agencies

Subject: Preliminary analysis of anomalous signals

Have been monitoring spaceflight communication out of scientific interest. Recent transmissions have included anomalous encryption, followed by apparent confusion. Anomalous transmissions have been partially decrypted with both ROT13 and ROT10 ciphers. All interested parties can decrypt and verify independently. Will continue to monitor. 

Edited by Vagrant203
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19 minutes ago, Vagrant203 said:

Amateur Radio Operator V203

To: KSP and other agencies

Subject: Preliminary analysis of anomalous signals

Have been monitoring spaceflight communication out of scientific interest. Recent transmissions have included anomalous encryption, followed by apparent confusion. Anomalous transmissions have been partially decrypted with both ROT13 and ROT10 ciphers. All interested parties can decrypt and verify independently. Will continue to monitor. 

Nicely spotted.  A shame that Kerbals have no idea what ROT13 and ROT10 are, but outside observers like ourselves do.

(Obviously I didn't want the garbled text to be very hard to figure out!)

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12 hours ago, SkyRender said:

Nicely spotted.  A shame that Kerbals have no idea what ROT13 and ROT10 are, but outside observers like ourselves do.

(Obviously I didn't want the garbled text to be very hard to figure out!)

I wasn't expecting there to be some hidden code! A very novel, but amazing, idea! :)


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  • 2 weeks later...

 No amount of effort to decode the corrupted logs seems to have helped.  We are once again presenting the relevant data as-is.

KSD 2049.2 (Eveday, November 11th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 We're finally rested enough to make our polar expedition.  It was a tense few days, I must say!  We caught up on the two weeks of news reports we'd missed, and things were pretty bad on Kerbin for a while there.  Prime Minister Atis was very nearly deposed in the coup attempt by the Devathorian extremists, and there were a number of skirmishes on the borders between the nations.  The only reason things calmed down was because the former king of Devathoria made a call for peace.  Apparently the extremists are royalists and want the old king back on the throne, but I don't think that's going to happen.  The old king is in very poor health, after all, and has stated that he will maintain his exile to Lovothoria until his dying day.

 Karman was pretty upset about the news, but Jonbert's reaction was probably the most disturbing.  He went into a huge rant about his faithless fellow Devathorians, a total reversal of his ranting a few weeks back about how he wanted the royal family back in power.  Did something change his mind?  I mean I'd be pretty keen to swap sides if something like that happened among the people I had once thought to be my supporters, but I'm not Jonbert.  Pholie seemed relieved to learn that the Prime Minister was still alive, but seemed disinterested otherwise.  I guess she's too young to appreciate the severity of what happened.

 I finally figured out where I'd seen that strange symbol on our corrupted reports before!  The mark on Pholie's neck looks the same.  Well, sort of.  It's hard to really tell for sure, but there's definitely a similarity.  That's one mystery solved, I guess.  I was right, it was just a really weird coincidence!

ERROR: Entry corruption was detected.  Correction failed.

KSD 2052.0 (Dresday, November 14th 1895) - Duna's Surface


Ny'x ajwd htqi itbs mjwj.  Ymj xnlsfq bfx htrnsl kwtr f xywfslj mnqq, fsi ny'x jrnyynsl ts ymj xfrj kwjvzjshd fx ymfy rfxy fsyjssf kwtr gjktwj.  Ny'x tsqd f xqnlmyqd inkkjwjsy xnlsfq, fsi ny'x gjnsl inwjhyji ytbfwi Pjwgns.  Ymj ywfsxrnxxnts nx sty gjnsl gwtfihfxy bnym sjfwqd jstzlm utbjw yt wjfhm Pjwgns, mtbjajw.  N btsijw nk ymj ybt bjwj rjfsy yt btwp ytljymjw twnlnsfqqd?




KSD 2065.1 (Eveday, November 27th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 It's hard to deny that this is a momentous day, even though in the grand scheme of things it's just the 53rd day of our mission here at Duna.  Today was the expiration of being able to invoke Contingency 31, our emergency return window to Kerbin.  At this point our earliest departure date is a full year away, which would involve invoking Contingency 43.  For all intents and purposes it's identical to C31, and far too late if anything goes wrong in the intervening year.  We're here for the long haul now.

 Jeb and Val, naturally, were unflapped by this.  I don't think they'd care if we were doomed to die here, honestly, they're having the time of their lives on Duna.  As for Bill, Bob, and Jonbert, they're all pretty melancholy right now.  I know for a fact that Jonbert's homesick, he left his wife and daughter behind to run this mission.  By the time we get back, little Allie will nearly be an adult.  As for Pholie, she's become overly focused on her work, and generally doesn't want to talk about anything else.  I guess that's just how she copes.  As for Karman, well, I'm not at liberty to discuss that in the mission logs.  Suffice it to say that we've found ways to cope with the reality of our situation together.

KSD 2065.4 (Eveday, November 27th 1895) - Duna's Surface


 There was an unscheduled docking up at the station; we got word of it from the station's automated systems.  The fuel ferry from Ike isn't scheduled to arrive today, and mission control isn't telling us what this is about either.  We have been instructed to return to the station as soon as possible, however.  I hope it's not a system malfunction, or worse, an impactor.  We'll be finding out soon enough...

KSD 2065.5 (Eveday, November 27th 1895) - Low Duna Orbit


 There is a Contingency 128.

 As it turns out, the boffins didn't like the idea of leaving us potentially stranded for over a year at Duna, at the mercy of life support sustaining systems that could fail at any time.  So about two weeks after the Dunaverse launches concluded, a sixth launch was done.  The nuclear-engine-powered ship that's arrived is loaded with another 355 days' worth of life support, as well as enough delta-V to get us back to Kerbin at any time (though life support is only assured for a window of 150 days from now and about 150 days after that, should the greenhouses, water recyclers, or air recyclers fail).  It even includes the latest version of the 10-meter inflatable heatshield, and reportedly there's a Contingency 129 in case that proves insufficient as well.

 For the first time since we got here, I feel far less nervous.  We're going to make it through this no matter what.  This is the best early New Year's present a Kerbal could ever ask for.  Bill, Bob, and Jonbert were utterly ecstatic, and Val even cracked a smile.  Jeb rolled his eyes and said something about this being "the most over-planned mission in KSP history" but was obviously happy, and Pholie actually started crying when she realized what this all meant.  Karman and I celebrated too, but I'll leave it at that.

 We've decided it's time to split the mission up a bit.  Jeb, Val, Jonbert and Pholie are all going back to the surface to stay at the base, while Bob, Bill, Karman and I will take over orbital duty.  I half-wonder what's going to happen next after everything we've seen so far!

 A critical mission event occurred during the next set of logs.  As such, careful review will be necessary before any further logs are released.

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