KSK

First Flight (Chapter 102 - Telegraph Road)

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So after looking over this page, I have only this to say:

We need a Old-Kerba dictionary.....

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19 hours ago, Madrias said:

That just rung alarm bells and made me search through the thread for something I thought I saw mentioned earlier.  And I think I found it.

 

That half remembered scene is what spurred my original train of thought. Thank you for finding that again. :) 

 

15 hours ago, KSK said:

Oh man - that fits. That fits! THAT FITS! I honestly wish I could claim it was premeditated but as @CatastrophicFailure would say - that moment when you realise your readers are making connections within your story that you never even realised. And that is one heck of a connection. Wow.

14 hours ago, 0111narwhalz said:

You know what this is like?

This is like when you're playing with dimensional analysis, and suddenly you realise that those two unrelated things there -- they're the same. You would have never thought of it that way if you hadn't thrown those units around, but you did. And it was worth it. Because now you understand something deep. Something that, perhaps, few others understand. Something with implications.

I remember Stephen King writing that story is not something you make, it's something you find along the way. And I think the above is a big part of that. If you put in the work, if you take the time to understand your characters and your world, things will start to click together of their own accord. It doesn't matter if it's a fortunate turn of the language, an abandoned watch tower or even a flying piano. Be true to your story, and it will find you.

The truth points to itself. :)

And on that note. . .

 

1 hour ago, DarkOwl57 said:

uh........ help. What's this all mean?

Whether you're a reader or a writer, you have to be willing to do the work. Start at the beginning Darkowl. . .you'll be doing yourself a massive disservice if you don't. :wink:

 

15 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

It's all this guy ----> @Ten Key. Genius, I tell ya. :cool:

:blush:

I wish I had half of the drive and self discipline you and KSK have shown over the last year. "I'll do it tomorrow" is not a statement-- it is an epitaph. :(

 

15 hours ago, KSK said:

You folks are the best! Thank you!

First Flight had me a little confused when I first started reading it. My general feeling is that the best stories are character driven, and while the characterizations in First Flight are good none of them really pop out at me. . .they serve to drive the story forward, but do not always stand up well on their own.

That would make First Flight a plot driven story, but it really didn't feel like it. It is engaging in a way that plot driven stories rarely are, even though there really didn't seem to be any main characters. And then it hit me.

First Flight is a character driven story where the world itself is the protagonist. That is an incredible feat of story telling, and one I don't think I've ever seen done before. 

This story is something special KSK. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us. :)

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9 hours ago, DarkOwl57 said:

So after looking over this page, I have only this to say:

We need a Old-Kerba dictionary.....

I thought so too, so I made this document for what there is until now:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0eDcf2dWf6_HwHZTgiDGwFXxOZ7Qxv-LyD2Jgpj8u0/edit

BTW: Could everybody please just read this, It's the 4th or so time I put this in the thread, and soon I'll be banned for spamming!

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Yup - @superstrijder15 is doing a sterling job in pulling together all the Old Kerba we've discussed so far. I should also say he's doing an even better job in coming up with pointers and suggestions for building on what we've got so far!  Verb forms, tenses, all that good stuff that a language needs. :) If anyone wants to join in the conversation, just drop me a private message.

@DarkOwl57 - if you do have the time, the story really does make more sense if you start from the beginning. There's plenty of spaceflight and more recognizably KSP parts in there as well as all the stuff about the Kerm. :)  I can't really give you a good answer to your question without including huge amounts of spoilers but then again, it's quite a long story now and if you just want to dip into it to read the parts about the war, that's cool too. So - crying 'spoiler' and unleashing the forum tags of hiding - here's a quick summary.
 

Spoiler

 

Even on Earth, plants fight and co-opt animals of various species to spread their seeds and help them compete. The same is true on Kerbin with the added twist that both the dominant plant species (the Kerm) and the dominant animal species (the kerbals) are both intelligent, although barely so in the case of the Kerm.  Kerbal civilization began with the discovery that if you took cuttings from a Kerm tree and planted  them close together, they would form a network - and that the networked Kerm were far more intelligent than the sum of their individual trees. Kerbals were able to subvert the aggressive instincts of the Kerm and turn all the various biological tools they'd developed for fighting other Kerm into tools for enormously efficient agriculture. Knitting is the process by which the individual Kerm cuttings grow together to form that network.

There are two major drawbacks to this which the kerbals learned to their cost. 1). You can only knit 37 Kerm trees. Any more than that and the network becomes sentient - and destroys itself in the process. 2) A knitted Kerm requires space - if another Kerm intrudes on that space they will fight, with disastrous consequences for nearby plant life - and crops. These are known as the Law of 37 and the Law of Territory and place a strict upper limit on the Kerm population on Kerbin although fortunately, Kerm only produce seeds every few hundred years.

Much of First Flight deals with the start of a new Seeding - and the kerbals realizing that Kerbin does not have enough space for it. This basic fact drives most of the story and is the reason for the ongoing wars over territory. The part you asked about deals with a land grab by Wakira (one of the six major kerbal countries) and the need for a second country (the Spierkan-Forseti Confederacy) to claim that land for themselves to plant their Kerm. The problem is that Wakira already planted a Kerm on the disputed territory and unless the Confederacy acts fast, it will knit and become effectively immobile. No kerbal would deliberately uproot a knitted Kerm - it would be worse than murder.

 

Hope that helps a bit!

Edited by KSK

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ah ha! So they are trees! When I first saw that, I thought it was like a type of kerbal or something. How silly of me :rolleyes:

6 hours ago, superstrijder15 said:

I thought so too, so I made this document for what there is until now:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r0eDcf2dWf6_HwHZTgiDGwFXxOZ7Qxv-LyD2Jgpj8u0/edit

BTW: Could everybody please just read this, It's the 4th or so time I put this in the thread, and soon I'll be banned for spamming!

hahahahaha That's awesome! *adds to favorites tab*

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Well, I finally got the new pdf out! STUPID REAL LIFE!!! WHY WON'T YOU LET ME GO!!! PLEASE I JUST WANT TO BE FREE!!! forget I said that.

Here it is: First Flight.pdf

CAUTION! DOWNLOAD SIZE IS 3.66mb!

changing to pdf made it larger... at least people can't screw with it now!

EDIT: damn typos

Edited by Plecy75

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16 minutes ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

So... 'long as I'm here doing research for something else... MOAR plz?

Working on it as we speak. :) 

Possible mild spoiler inspired by the last couple of pages of comments. Not 100% sure it fits yet hence the 'possible'.

Spoiler

A murmur of agreement rippled around the table. “Veiidan ebda balsathona,” muttered the Forseti deputy Chief Ambassador under her breath. 

Chadwick sighed. “If you're going to insist on demonstrating your erudition in Council, Madame Ambassador, might I suggest you read an Old Kerba grammar first? I have many excellent examples in my personal library which you would be welcome to borrow.” He flicked a glance at Aldwell’s deputy, now blushing dark green. “I believe the expression you were searching for is ‘Veiidan ebda beldasathona.’ Whilst the Veiidan Council are indeed bureaucratic to a fault, I would hesitate to describe them as useless items.”

 

Edited by KSK

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The more Old Kerba I read the more I want to hear it spoken softly and dramatically by Hugo Weaving in a silly wig. :D

 

Also, if anyone's looking for a good linguistic mind flarp, check out the flick The Arrival, it's got some really fascinating concepts in a fridge-logicy way.

KSK, now we need an alphabet writing system. 

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1 hour ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

The more Old Kerba I read the more I want to hear it spoken softly and dramatically by Hugo Weaving in a silly wig. :D

 

Also, if anyone's looking for a good linguistic mind flarp, check out the flick The Arrival, it's got some really fascinating concepts in a fridge-logicy way.

KSK, now we need an alphabet writing system. 

:D 

Totally agree about Arrival - and the book is even better in many ways. Still fridge logic but with less fridge and more logic. And one of those books that leaves you wondering just how the flarp anyone can come up with a story like that. 

You might like the rest of Ted Chiang's stuff too.

As for a writing system, I know - or knew, he/she seems to have left KSP behind now to its great loss - just the person for that job. Not quite sure how I'd approach it to be honest, although I'm wondering if Old Kerba might have two distinct scripts: a formal one which is almost two-dimensional with multiple layers of superscript to lay out all the case markers and a transliteration of that into a single string of syllables for reading aloud or speaking.

Edit:  Not too dissimilar to Pinyin in fact.

Edited by KSK

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Does anybody know anything in Old Kerba with a V in it? there is nothing in my database. I managed to translate all but veiid:

Spoiler

you totally sure?

Spoiler

ok, here we go:

 

The expressions

Veiidan ebda balsathona

veiidan ebda beldasathona

have been given in a spoiler for first flight, let’s dissect them!

veiidan: an = exclusion

ebda: they are eb=is, da is the inflection for they

bal: means by which … accomplish

belda: they who accomplish

sathona: sath = task on=independence of a= multiplier independence of the tasks

 

so they mean: 

veiidan ebda balsathona:  excluding veiid they are the means by which being independent of the tasks is being accomplished

veiidan ebda beldasathona: excluding veiid they are they who accomplish being independent of the tasks

 

 

Indeed the thing the second guy said sounds more logical.

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1 hour ago, superstrijder15 said:

Does anybody know anything in Old Kerba with a V in it? there is nothing in my database. I managed to translate all but veiid:

  Reveal hidden contents

you totally sure?

  Reveal hidden contents

ok, here we go:

 

The expressions

Veiidan ebda balsathona

veiidan ebda beldasathona

have been given in a spoiler for first flight, let’s dissect them!

veiidan: an = exclusion

ebda: they are eb=is, da is the inflection for they

bal: means by which … accomplish

belda: they who accomplish

sathona: sath = task on=independence of a= multiplier independence of the tasks

 

so they mean: 

veiidan ebda balsathona:  excluding veiid they are the means by which being independent of the tasks is being accomplished

veiidan ebda beldasathona: excluding veiid they are they who accomplish being independent of the tasks

 

 

Indeed the thing the second guy said sounds more logical.

I'm loving this - we're having a rational conversation about the nuances of translating my fictional language. If you could see my smile right now... :)
 

Spoiler

 

Your translation isn't quite right although that's entirely my fault. And thinking about it, I need to correct my own grammar!

Veiid is actually the name of one of the six Regionalities. Not at all obvious in the context of that mini-spoiler, not least because it really hasn't been mentioned very much in the story so far. Certainly not compared to Kolus, Firesvar, Wakira... um every other Regionality in fact. :blush:

So a Veiidan in context is simply a kerbal who lives in Veiid. I should also have used the plural Veiidana ebda... which would translate to 'Veiidans are...' which makes more sense.

After that your translation is pretty much spot on, although I intended beldasathona to  translate as 'persons whom they do not depend on to accomplish deeds'. (It's possible I need to check my grammar again!)

Or more colloquially - a disparaging term for bureaucrats - people who don't get anything done. Balsathona then becomes 'a thing on which I don't depend to accomplish tasks', or a useless thing. I haven't thought much about adjectives yet but I guess you could get a beautiful useless thing or a decorative useless thing, in other words an ornament of some kind.

 

 

Edited by KSK

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Ok, still reading your post, and it's great, but shouldn't it be veiidol: from veiid? like kermol from the kerm

Edit: or anveiid, though that seems to me more like including veiid. like a sentence like the continent blabla has many areas, anveiid(including veiid)

Edited by superstrijder15

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Ah, man. I remember Deadweasel.

Also, Veiidan would mean "apart from Veiid," right? So Anveiid ("within Veiid") would be more appropriate, no?

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@0111narwhalz yeah, what i thought. basically -an is the english way of saying it(american, african, asian...) @KSK just took that over, while doing was probs inappropriate. Veiidan would mean excluding veiid, and anveiid would mean including veiid. Just like Kerman went away from the kerm, veiidan would be people emigrating from veiid.

That's why I would take an alternative, which would be veiidol according to me, as when Kerman came, the rest of people called themselves Kermol. Although -olia means defender of(quick thought, veiidolia would be the veiid military!), -ol might mean something different. I've added it to the dictionary for now.

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Hah - hoist on my own petard! 

@0111narwhalz and @superstrijder15 - you're absolutely right. The 'an' suffix to signify a citizen of a particular Regionality makes no sense in Old Kerba. I'm not even terribly consistent: we have Firesvarn from Firesvar, Wakirans from Wakira and Doreni from Doren.

I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction was simply to handwave this away as a difference between Old Kerba and Modern Kerba. But that's cheap - you folks deserve much better than that.

Not to mention that it doesn't even work particularly well. As seen in the story so far, all kerbals speak a common tongue - Modern Kerba or simply Kerba for short. Chances are that Modern Kerba gradually evolved from Old Kerba. Also, because I haven't pinned down the timeline that precisely, we don't know what language was been spoken at the beginning of the Age of Sail although we do know that the kerbals had started grouping into proto-nations by then. And last but not least, belonging is such a basic concept that however the idea of being part of a country was expressed in Old Kerba, it would probably survive as a part of Modern Kerba in the same way that kerbalkerman and kermol (after a fashion) have.

So I've been thinking. Using an as a prefix would be simple and grammatically speaking it would fit, an being a case marker for belonging or inclusion. So we get:

Andoren, Anwakira, Ankolus, Anveiid, Anfiresvar, Anforseti and Anspierka for our nationalities. That's not too bad, although Anfiresvar and Anwakira are a bit clunky to my mind.

Next option - olia, shortened to ol, in the same way that kermolia truncated to kermol at some point in history. At first I wasn't too thrilled with the military connotations that @superstrijder15 pointed out. Thinking about it though, as mentioned previously, olia can also be used in a general sense of defending an idea, opinion or principle. So calling a citizen of the newly formed nation of Wakira, a Wakirol, could have rather patriotic overtones, as in 'upholder of the values and principles on which Wakira was founded'. Truth, Justice and the Wakirol way if you like. And that sort of appeal to patriotism would likely be an important part of founding a new country.

So that gives us:  Dorenol, Wakirol, Kolusol, Veiidol, Firesvarol, Forsetiol and Spierkaol. I've gotta say - I aint too thrilled with any of those. They mostly sound like prescription medicines or cleaning products.

I was a bit stumped at this point but then I thought - why not use ad? As in the inflection for 1st person plural:

Dorenad, Wakirad, Kolusad, Veiidad, Firesvarad, Forsetiad, Spierkaad.

That doesn't look too bad - and it sort of translates to 'we Doren', 'we Wakira' etc. which more or less fits. Plus I like double 'a' words. :) Reducing Firesvarad to Firesvard for easier pronuniciation also seems like a plausible linguistic shift. So there we have it:

Dorenad, Wakirad, Kolusad, Veiidad, Firesvard, Forseti-Spierkaad.

Thoughts? I'm definitely open to other suggestions if you folks have any!

 

Edited by KSK

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....and promptly after this @KSK's head exploded. Like I said, Tolkien-level linguistication right here.

Tho for my two pennies, you may want to be careful with anything that sounds like Andoran, a certain curly-haired Aes Sedai queen might start meddling.

And yes, Dorenol™, the coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, how-the-flarp-did-I-get-on-my-bathroom-floor? medicine.® From the makers of Kolusol™

So yeah, my vote's for -ad. Because double a's. :cool:

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I think the -ol suffix is linguistically and culturally a better fit, though I also share the association with Terran medicine .

-ad sounds good, though if Dorenad is to be interpreted as 'we doren' it doesn't fit when discussing a third party. You'd need another suffix for 'they doren'.

 

12 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Tho for my two pennies, you may want to be careful with anything that sounds like Andoran, a certain curly-haired Aes Sedai queen might start meddling.

Nah, she's busy keeping her mischievous twins in check.

I'd worry about getting invaded by short-tempered blue-skinned aliens with funny antennae. (Andorian, but they don't let that get in the way of a good fight).

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Dammit, I leave for a few months to deal with real life shenanigans and @KSK's already built a functional Kerbal language that even accounts for sociological/historical factors and that might even give us a clue to the greater way of thinking of the Kerbals (like in, to my understanding, the ambiguity of Kerba's "negative-statement" constructions leaving room for them actually meaning "superseding/exceeding/surpassing-statement," which basically embeds possibility and hope in parsing the meaning of every expression - a quintessential Kerman characteristic if any). You the man =D

Also, my vote goes for -ad, if only because Firesvarad reminds me of Nagyvarad (Oradea), my currently favourite city in the world, Hungarian, and its agglutinations (which language inspired Old Kerba grammar anyway?).

Absolutely love the terrible territory the Kerm and Kerbals are plowing through now, Jeb's desperation at the best of Kerman not being able to offset the worst of Kerman, and Val's being so bloody smart she can figure out how to defeat infrareds using the sun even though she hasn't seen seeking missiles in her life. Cannot wait to see where we're going now that the war's really burning.

Edited by lindemherz

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On ‎25‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 10:02 PM, lindemherz said:

Dammit, I leave for a few months to deal with real life shenanigans and @KSK's already built a functional Kerbal language that even accounts for sociological/historical factors and that might even give us a clue to the greater way of thinking of the Kerbals (like in, to my understanding, the ambiguity of Kerba's "negative-statement" constructions leaving room for them actually meaning "superseding/exceeding/surpassing-statement," which basically embeds possibility and hope in parsing the meaning of every expression - a quintessential Kerman characteristic if any). You the man =D

Also, my vote goes for -ad, if only because Firesvarad reminds me of Nagyvarad (Oradea), my currently favourite city in the world, Hungarian, and its agglutinations (which language inspired Old Kerba grammar anyway?).

Absolutely love the terrible territory the Kerm and Kerbals are plowing through now, Jeb's desperation at the best of Kerman not being able to offset the worst of Kerman, and Val's being so bloody smart she can figure out how to defeat infrareds using the sun even though she hasn't seen seeking missiles in her life. Cannot wait to see where we're going now that the war's really burning.

Thanks! Good to see you back on the thread and sorry for not replying sooner - real life has been getting right in the way these last couple of weeks. Those are some interesting observations on Old Kerba too - another excellent example of folks seeing more in it than I ever imagined!

Thanks also to @TheKosanianMethod   for dropping by with a generous sprinkling of likes!

As for that terrible territory - more to come on that in the next chapter before we take another brief digression into spaceflight. :) Rough cut of the next chapter is about 2/3 done, so I'm hoping it will be done by Sunday if I can find more than a couple of hours to string together at a time. Don't hold me to that though. For now, I can definitely say that a lack of writing time doesn't equal a lack of thinking-about-the-story time, and I've finally figured out one of the remaining missing links in the Kerm story arc!

Edited by KSK

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Quick question: Have you built any of the craft that fly in this series? I know I'm (sorta) a non-follower in that respect, but if you have built some of the planes in the series (i.e. The plane that Val flew last chapter (non-exploded of course)) I'd love to try to replicate it. 

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14 minutes ago, DarkOwl57 said:

Quick question: Have you built any of the craft that fly in this series? I know I'm (sorta) a non-follower in that respect, but if you have built some of the planes in the series (i.e. The plane that Val flew last chapter (non-exploded of course)) I'd love to try to replicate it. 

Fraid not. Way back when I started the thread, I originally intended to build them all and post screenshots for folks to build at home and maybe play along with the story. That didn't work out for a variety of reasons, not least because I'm no great shakes as a builder - my craft tend to be fairly utilitarian and dull. Also, the First Flight space program hasn't actually progressed beyond crewed missions to the Mun, a good handful of probes to Duna and a couple of probes to Jool - which in gameplay terms is really rather boring!

I'd be interested in seeing your version of Val's plane though if you'd care to give it a try. Most First Flight fighters are basically racing craft modified for light air-to-ground or air-to-sea attack missions (Val's aircraft at the Battle of Humilisia could carry a grand total of one torpedo), or perhaps fitted with a single cannon for air-to-air combat. So, single engine, built for speed and maneuverability, very lightly armed.

As we've seen, Firesvar are starting to field more effective warplanes, equipped with 1st generation infra-red guided missiles. Those are probably the first purpose built jet fighters on Kerbin but will be equivalent (at best) to 60s era Terran fighters.

 

Edited by KSK

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Hi @KSK, I'm a long time lurker who has been following your story since early 2014. I just wanted to say that it's a great story, and you have an impressive gift for world building. I've been particularly enjoying the recent discussion of Old Kerba. Keep up the good work! :D

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On 3/3/2017 at 3:01 AM, AshleyBB said:

Hi @KSK, I'm a long time lurker who has been following your story since early 2014. I just wanted to say that it's a great story, and you have an impressive gift for world building. I've been particularly enjoying the recent discussion of Old Kerba. Keep up the good work! :D

Glad you've been enjoying it and thanks for de-lurking to let me know!

I can't quite thank you by posting the next chapter I'm afraid. It's all written but I want to do the re-reading and editing with a clear head. 

Cheers,

KSK.

Edited by KSK

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