KSK

First Flight (Chapter 103 - Coming Home)

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Hey Musicpenguin - thank you - and thanks for stopping by to comment!

Everyone else - no comment I'm afraid, in case of spoilers :)

Next chapter is up.

We all build them - We all fly them

The master alarm warbled in Wilford's ear as he stared in sudden horror at the constellation of warning lights on his instrument panel. Multiple failures across different unconnected systems, no obvious cause that he could see or feel - it just didn't make sense. C'mon Wilford, he told himself, you know this capsule. Figure it out. He toggled his microphone.

“Control, Moho 3. I've got a serious problem here. Check that - serious problems."

The radio hissed in his ear. Wilford went pale as yet more warning lights flickered on, indicating failures within the communication systems. Frantically he scanned the control panel, trying to find somewhere - anywhere - to start. He could feel the G forces wrenching him sideways against his seat and he knew the Moho 3 was tumbling out of control.

“Control - I hope to Kerm you can hear me. I'm dropping the main stage to restore command authority."

Unbelievably the radio crackled into life. “Negative, negative, Moho 3. Mode 1 abort! Mode 1..."

It was too late. Auxiliary engines ripped off the sides of the booster, pinwheeling away into the sky and leaving ruptured fuel lines and torn mountings behind them. The main fuel tank creased and then crumpled under the offset forces, setting off a catastrophic series of explosions that raced up the booster towards the capsule. Wilford just had time to feel the flames licking against his legs before everything went mercifully black.

Wilford sat bolt upright in bed, heart pounding and sweat pouring off him. For a moment he just sat there, shaking as the last minutes of the nightmare flashed before his eyes. He glanced over at the clock and groaned. Too early to be awake, too late to get back to sleep. Resignedly, he climbed out of bed. Might as well grab a cup of something hot he thought to himself. Hope nobody finished off the djeng sachets because this really is not the time for caffeine. He pulled on his clothes and padded down to the canteen.

“Morning, Wilford"

Startled, Wilford spun around to find Jeb regarding him knowingly from the corner of the room. “Jeb?" he exclaimed in bewilderment.

“Worrying about the flight?"

Wilford decided that this wasn't exactly the best moment to admit to having nightmares about the flight. “Yes," he admitted reluctantly. He opened the cupboard to look for a mug, glad that the cupboard door was hiding his face. “You want a cup of djeng too, Jeb?"

“Just a black coffee for me if you don't mind." Jeb yawned. “Better make it a strong one too."

The spoon clinked against the side of the mug as Wilford stirred his drink. He cautiously sipped it and added a dash more water, before topping off the coffee and carrying both mugs over to Jeb's table. Jeb swept his papers together and dumped them unceremoniously onto the chair next to him. Wilford caught a quick glimpse of an eclectic mix of pages from the flight plan, engineering notes and diagrams of various components of the Moho booster.

Wilford took a long slow drink of djeng as Jeb watched him sympathetically. “It's going to be fine," he said firmly. “You're an excellent pilot, Wilford - heck I saw your simulation scores for manual re-entry and they were better than mine." Wilford blinked as he looked up from his mug. “Plus you'll have the entire team watching your back during the flight." Jeb smiled wryly. “Speaking from personal experience, there's nothing quite as reassuring as Genie's voice in your ear telling you 'we're working this but you're still Go', when you've got a panel full of lights telling you the exact opposite."

Wilford still looked troubled. “I know, Jeb - I saw the flight control team in action and they were great. There's just not much they can do about..."

Jeb interrupted him gently, “an exploding booster, cracked heatshield or stuck parachute?"

Wilford nodded dumbly.

Jeb took a swig of coffee. “All I can say is that everyone building the Moho 3 is sweating the details at least as much as the flight control team." He looked at Wilford thoughtfully. “I was watching Ribory and Seanan building the heat shield for Camrie's flight. Everything looked fine to me but Ribory had obviously spotted something. She drilled out the entire section of shield that she'd spent the last two hours on, picked up that caulking gun and just set to work again." Jeb swirled his mug absently as he went on. “I saw Ordun machining the mounts for the wiring looms for the Moho 3 and they were a work of art. Then he polished them just to make sure. I was curious because these were loom mounts for Kerm's sake - there was no need to make them to those tolerances, never mind shine them up to the point where you could use them as a mirror. Ordun just looked at me. 'There's a bunch of things that could go wrong with this machine, Jeb' he said 'but I can tell you that none of them are going to happen because of parts that I've made.'"

Jeb looked intently at Wilford. “You know this already," he said “because you're no different. Everyone building these ships has that same attitude and it's a big reason why I - and probably Camrie too - climbed into that capsule."

“We all build them, we all fly them," murmured Wilford.

“Exactly," said Jeb. For a moment there was a faraway look in his eyes. “And it's because of that that I honestly believe that we'll get out there one day."

Wilford saw the expression on Jeb's face. “To the stars?" he asked quietly.

Jeb snorted gently. “Not unless somebody re-wrote the laws of physics whilst I wasn't looking, “ he said. “No, I was just talking about the planets. Duna, Jool, even Eeloo - we'll get to them all eventually. He grinned. “Just the planets? Trust me - there's plenty to keep us busy in the Kerbol system for now, without needing to find other stars to explore!"

Wilford twisted his fingers together anxiously. “I want to see them too, Jeb, I really do. That's why I dropped my name into that basket. It's just that closer we get to launch day, the more the reality of how to get there has been weighing on me."

Jeb nodded. “I'm not going to lie to you," he said, “At the moment, it's still a risky business. But when the recovery team fish you out of that capsule tomorrow and haul you up onto the boat, I'm going to be there asking you just one question; were the risks worth it? He looked at Wilford reflectively. “I think I already know the answer to that but right now, it might surprise you."

Wilford was silent for a moment. “Jeb," he said tentatively, “Suppose we do manage to re-write the laws of physics one day. Would you climb on board that first starship?"

“In a heartbeat, Wilford, in a heartbeat."

Wilford pushed his chair back and got to his feet. “Thanks, Jeb. I'm going to take a shower and think things over."As he walked over to the door, a thought struck him. “By the way - how come you were down here this early too?" As he pushed the door open, Jeb's voice floated quietly across the room.

“Why, for the same reason that you were, Wilford - for the same reason that you were."

-------------

Wilford barely noticed the rapping on his helmet but managed a determined thumbs up as Bob squeezed his way out of the Moho 3 and sealed the hatch. He took a deep breath as he glanced round, making particularly sure that the abort handle was well within reach. Actually, after the hours spent he'd spent in the simulator, the entire capsule was remarkably familiar and Wilford was confident that he could pick out any control on any panel with his eyes shut. He steeled himself and flicked on the radio.

“Moho 3 to Control. Hatch sealed, requesting primary comms check, over."

Geneney's reply came back promptly. “Receiving you loud and clear, Moho 3. Please switch to backup antenna and repeat, over."

As they worked through the pre-flight checklist, Geneney was reassured to hear the clipped radio messages from the Moho 3 become gradually less and less tense. That's it, Wilford, he thought, Just treat it like another sim and you'll be fine.

For his part, Wilford was thinking the same thing. The interior of the Moho 3 really was almost like the inside of the Whirligig, the cool air blowing over this face from the environmental systems was at the perfect temperature and he knew from the relaxed tones of the flight control team that the countdown was going well. He could almost persuade himself that this was just another simulation.

Almost.

Then Geneney's report over the public address loop broke the spell.

“T minus five minutes and counting. We have transferred power to the booster and the transfer is satisfactory."

A shiver ran down Wilford's spine and he could feel his pulse begin to climb. Reflexively he checked the position of the abort handle again. C'mon Wilford, he told himself, “if you were going to duck out of this, you had your chance when you were talking to the boss this morning.

“T minus two minutes and counting. Guidance control and launch sequencing transferred. Tank pressures nominal. Moho 3 - all systems are Go."

He could hear the thumps and rattling outside as the umbilicals disconnected from the booster. He braced himself as the final moments of the countdown raced past in a flurry of systems reports.

“T minus 40 seconds - we have launch commit. T minus 20. T minus twelve, eleven, ten, nine..."

Wilford braced himself against his acceleration couch.

“Ignition!... and lift off!"

“Tower clear!" He could barely hear Geneney's voice over the noise of the engines but the instrument panel was reassuringly free of warning lights and the booster didn't seem to have bumped into anything. Wilford checked the readouts for the LV 905s but everything looked nominal. The familiar thunder of the LV-T20 filled his ears and the g-meter swung upwards as the pressure on his chest built up.

Forty seconds into the flight, the Moho 3 went supersonic. Everything went suddenly quiet as the spacecraft raced ahead of the noise from its own engines. Wilford could hear the status reports from Mission Control, athough he could barely manage a grunt in reply as the rocket tore through the atmosphere.

“Moho 3, your trajectory and guidance are Go."

Inwardly, Wilford agreed. The booster was performing beautifully. The pitch and roll program had started right on schedule and according to the 'navball' attitude and direction indicator, he was right on course. Even the acceleration wasn't all that bad. In fact, compared to Tomcas's centrifuge, the real thing was positively benign. Slowly but surely, the tight knot in the pit of Wilford's stomach began to unwind, although he made a mental note to thank Geneney later for keeping everything businesslike and not filling the comms loop with excess chatter.

“Moho 3, standby for LV9 shutdown and detach."

Wilford tensed. This was where Jeb's flight had gone wrong, although he knew that Bill and Richlin had been working hard on redesigning the decoupler systems, particularly the synchronising trigger circuit that had failed during Jeb's flight. Everything had worked for Camrie's flight aboard the Moho 2 but even so, he was relieved when the sudden jolt and four sharp explosions from outside signalled the departure of the four lateral boosters.

“Control, this is Moho 3. Clean shutdown and detach."

Wilford was certain he could also hear a note of relief in Geneney's voice. “Copy that, Moho 3. We read all four boosters gone."

Several long minutes after the lateral boosters fell away, there was another sharp crack from above, as the protective shroud over the capsule was jettisoned. Sunlight poured in through the window and Wilford got his first glimpse outside.

“Hey it's getting dark out there!"

Geneney chuckled. “Yep - you're starting to run out of atmosphere Wilford. Stand by for staging."

Despite himself, the knot of tension inside Wilford was slowly turning into a knot of excitement. Only two other kerbals in history had even had a chance to see what he was about to see. He was suddenly very glad indeed that he hadn't ducked out of the flight and more than a little humbled at the thought of all of his friends and colleagues on the ground who had devoted themselves to giving him that chance. Especially when he hadn't done anything special to deserve it other than having his name drawn out of Jeb's old waste paper basket. As the last litres of fuel drained out of the main tank, he glanced over at the abort handle, silently praying that he wouldn't need to use it after all.

The vibration from the LV-T20 disappeared as the first stage shut down. Wilford mentally crossed his fingers, as he watched the indicator panel. Then, suddenly, he sensed the explosion far below him as the main decoupler fired and the last but one light on the panel winked out. He jerked forward against his harness, only to be shoved firnly back into his couch as the second stage engine lit."

“Control, Moho 3. Second stage ignition confirmed."

The Moho 3 soared out of the atmosphere, now flying almost along the curve of the horizon as it climbed up to orbit. Inside the capsule Wilford barely noticed the long push from the LV-905. His attention was wholly focused on his instruments and the mission clock as the engine roared silently in the almost vacuum. Sunlight washed through the capsule window, throwing distracting, jagged shadows over the interior surfaces. For a moment Wilford was almost tempted to take manual control and roll the Moho 3 to one side. Something to bring up with the flight control team when I land, he thought to himself.

“30 seconds to loss of signal, Wilford. Good luck."

“Thanks, Gene. Everything's looking good up here. Better than good in..."

Static buzzed from the radio as the Moho 3 flew over Barkton's radio horizon. Wilford switched it off and turned back to his instruments. Velocity was right on the calculated flight profile, fuel reserves were looking good, capsule attitude was holding steady. Then, with one final crack of pyrotechnic bolts, the second stage shut down and separated from the capsule. The final light on the indicator panel winked off as the automatic systems fired a burst from the RCS thrusters to pull the capsule safely away from the spent booster. Wilford blew out his cheeks in a great gusty sigh.

He was in space.

For a moment, he couldn't see a thing. Then the guidance system pitched the Moho 3 into its nose-down orbital attitude and Wilford 's breath caught in his throat as he got his first glimpse of his homeworld from orbit. Not even the pictures that Jeb and Camrie had brought back from their flights could compare to the real thing. The thin glowing line of the atmosphere around the edge of the planet seemed like a terribly frail barrier between his home and the harsh vacuum of space. And no cartographer's map or kerbonaut's camera could ever hope to capture the sheer iridescent colours of Kerbin so vividly.

Looking back on his flight, Wilford would ruefully admit that it was just as well there were no flight plan objectives for that first orbit. He turned off the cabin lights and just sat transfixed as the familiar oceans and continents sailed past underneath him. As the Moho 3 sped towards the terminator, the colours of the landscape shifted subtly as the sky faded into twilight. Wilford watched in awe as the lights came on across Kerbin, from the faint but regular glow of the Kerm groves to the brilliant but scattered jewels of the larger kerman towns. Then, as his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he realised that the stars were coming out around him, first in their thousands and then in their hundreds of thousands.

For an all too brief time, Wilford floated serenely above the world as the Moho 3 raced around the night side of Kerbin. Then the stars began to fade and the first tentative fingers of dawn reached out across the sea. Moments later, a brilliant flare of light heralded Kerbol's emergence over the horizon and the ethereal beauty of an orbital sunrise shone through the capsule window. Wilford could just make out The Crater drifting past beneath him, the dawn light casting mountain sized shadows over the sea. He shook himself. If that was The Crater then he should be coming back into radio contact with the Space Centre any moment now. He clicked the radio on and Geneney's voice filled the capsule.

“Control to Moho 3. Come in Moho 3."

“Moho 3 to Control. Receiving you loud and clear, Control."

“Good to hear you, Wilford. How's the ship?"

“Perfect, Gene, just perfect." Wilford was silent for a moment. “Umm, I don't know if Jeb is in the bunker at the moment but you might want to tell him that the answer is a definite yes."

“Ahh copy that, Wilford. Whatever that meant it sure put a big smile on Jeb's face. You might also want to keep your eyes peeled for a large thumbs up heading up to orbit."

Geneney blinked in surprise as Wilford's laughter echoed over the radio. “Sounds like the perfect time to try out the RCS then, Gene, if I'm going to be making evasive maneuvers any time soon. Right - I've got the flight plan and checklists here. Rotation and attitude holding tests first. Switching to manual control."

Neling keyed her microphone. “Looking good, Flight. SAS override is in, RCS on manual, point two clockwise roll initiated."

“Wheeeee! Hey, Control this is super!"

Geneney frowned and quickly flicked through to a separate channel on his console. “Flight to Capsule Systems. I need an atmosphere check Ribory."

The reply was prompt. “My thoughts exactly, Flight but oxygen partial pressure is normal. I think we just have a very happy kerbal up there."

“Thank you." Geneney switched back to the air to ground loop in time to catch the end of Wilford's comment. He still sounded elated, although thankfully, the slightly manic tone had disappeared.

“Say again, Moho 3. We're getting some transmission noise here."

“Copy, Gene. Roll thrusters performing nominally and I'm seeing zero offset rates on pitch and yaw. Cancelling roll now!"

Wilford fired the anticlockwise roll thrusters, watching the navball and rate indicators closely. As the direction indicator showed him returning to level flight he deftly applied a tiny burst of additional thrust and released the controls.

“Roll cancelled, Flight. Residuals are damping nicely. SAS to HOLD."

“Understood. Proceed with pitch and yaw tests."

The Moho 3 spun slowly through space, first about one axis then the other, before returning to its original orientation. On board, Wilford was jubilant. The RCS was performing far better than he had expected and his little craft was crisp and responsive to the controls.

“Flight, this is Moho 3. Rotation and attitude hold tests complete. No problems moving between SAS modes either - whatever Bill did to the guidance system seems to have worked. Pass on my thanks to the Booth Crew too - this is a breeze after flying the Whirligig!" There was a pause. “My panel is clear, Control. Ready for orbit raising burn at next periapsis?"

“Confirmed, Moho 3 and good luck. We're seeing all systems Go and forty seconds to loss of signal."

The Moho 3 flew into darkness again but Wilford was too busy to look out of the window on this orbit. Deftly he worked the RCS controls, swivelling the capsule around with delicate bursts of monopropellant. Satisfied at last, he let the automated systems hold the spacecraft in its new orientation and waited for the clock to tick down.

“Three, two, one and burning!"

He pushed the handgrip firmly forwards, settling gently into his seat as all four RCS thrusters fired. The velocity indicator started to climb, as the Moho 3 pushed itself out onto a new orbit. Wilford kept the translation control pushed forward, one eye watching the velocity indicator, the other scanning the attitude rate indicators for any sign of trouble.

“And shut down. RCS to auto. SAS override off."

For a minute, Wilford wondered what he was doing, talking to himself over the far side of the world. Then he shrugged. Nobody was going to hear him after all and if it helped with the checklists then so be it. He checked the controls again. Everything looked fine but he would need to wait another forty minutes for the proof. As the Moho 3 raced into daylight once more, Mission Control were ready with the good news.

“Nice burn, Wilford. We're tracking you in a 180 by 350km orbit, no change in inclination."

“Not precisely what we had in mind, Gene," Wilford replied cheerfully, “but what's a couple of kilometres of apoapsis between friends."

“Either way you've just set a new altitude record."

Wilford laughed. “I suppose I have at that, although hopefully it won't be a record for very long. Oh wow - it's high enough to make a difference though! I'm seeing way more of Kerbin from up here. I hope the camera is working because this is spectacular!"

“Well the good news is that you can enjoy the view for an orbit or two. Given that the RCS seems to be working so well, we've got a small experiment that we'd like to try. The flight dynamics teams are just running the numbers now."

-----------

“OK, Wilford, we've got an unscheduled change for the flight plan. Ready to take this down?"

“Ready and waiting, Gene."

Wilford's mind raced as he jotted down the numbers. It was a straightforward attitude change but it would leave the Moho 3 in a slightly odd orientation in space. Shrugging slightly, he switched the spacecraft back to manual control and set to work.

“And attitude hold. Not sure what I'm supposed to be doing here, Gene. Hang on a minute though - that's a pretty bright star..."

Wilford blinked hard and peered intently at the blue-green speck floating in the middle of the capsule window. Then everyone in Mission Control heard the dawning realisation in his voice.

“Ohhhh. That's no star, Gene! Minmus, repeat - I have Minmus!"

In the background he heard the cheering from Mission Control and even over the radio he could sense the grin in Geneney's voice.

“That was the plan. You've just made the flight dynamics team very happy indeed! So what does it look like from up there?"

“Just a small greeny-blue dot to be honest, Gene. But dammit - Minmus. I can't believe I'm seeing it with my own two eyes!"

----------

Many hours and many orbits later, Wilford stretched, rolled his shoulders as best he could in the confines of his harness and pushed himself back into his couch. The flight had gone better than he had dared to hope, the capsule systems were holding up well and every objective on the flight plan had been neatly ticked off. Inclination changes, altitude changes at different orientations to test the RCS translation along different axes and best of all that naked eye observation of Minmus. There was just one task left to do.

Working with practised ease, Wilford brought the Moho 3 into position for the final burn. He glanced at the navball one last time and carefully checked the periscope display, nodding in satisfaction to see Kerbin lined up neatly along the manual orientation reticle. Then once again, it was just a matter of waiting for the right moment.

As the retrofire sequence began, Wilford smiled peacefully up at the window, taking in one last glimpse of the stars before they faded our behind a lambent curtain of ionised gas. He had just been where only two kerbals had ever gone before, he had seen things that no kerbal had ever seen before and now, he knew, he was going home.

But he would be back.

-----------

Several minutes later Jeb watched from the deck of the recovery boat as the familiar orange parachutes blossomed into the sky. “Good flight, Wilford," he murmured to himself, “good flight."

 

<< Chapter 16  ::     Fan Art>>

Edited by KSK

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Wilford the nervous comes out as Wilford the brave! The description was gripping to say the least, and that made it even more exciting! Great chapter KSK!

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I had the feeling something would go terribly wrong any moment but luckily it did not. :D

Great chapter. Thanks KSK for keeping this great "novel" alive <3

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Thanks everyone!

Exsmelliarmus - the serenity of space is just what I was aiming at so I was really happy to get that comment.

It's funny how things work out though. The idea behind that chapter was very much to explore the perspective of an apprehensive pilot who really 'gets it' when he finally makes it to space. I didn't set out to make it particularly tense, although I guess if the opening paragraph involves a catastrophic explosion.... :)

Tonight is going to be a planning night I think. I've got the two main storylines worked out quite a way ahead but I need to break that down into chapter sized pieces, put the pieces in some kind of sensible order and then figure out what I need to do with sub-plots and different points of view. I may even get around to sketching out summaries of each chapter.

Not saying more than that but I can promise you that I'm looking forward to writing up the rest of Project Moho!

:wink:

Edit: Just spotted Marcus's fan art. That's awesome! :blush: Heck there's even a strangely bright star in the view out of the window...

 

<< Chapter 17 ::     Chapter 19>>

Edited by KSK

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Oof. After that little exercise, I seem to have enough outline material for another dozen chapters. That's going to take a while but given that I just tried to log in as KIS rather than KSK, I think I should probably put the story down for tonight!

KSK.

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which "AAR to jool and back"?

AAR - After Action Report. A story based around an in-game mission. For example Jool of Kerbol System or There-and-Back-Again :)

No story updates I'm afraid. The last couple of weekends have been pretty hectic so I havn't had many chances to sit down and write. Also I finally figured out how the final chapter to Part 2 was going to work, so I've skipped ahead to work on that whilst the details are more or less fresh in my mind. It's a pretty big chapter plot-wise and should answer at least one question from this thread!

In the meantime I highly recommend (assuming you havn't already) searching the forums (or YouTube) for anything and everything by Nassault630. Beautifully crafted short (and not so short) KSP films that will make you smile, laugh and probably shed a tear or two as well.

Don't hold me to this but I'm hoping to take a few days off work - possibly around the beginning of November to coincide with the start of NaNoWriMo and get some solid writing put in on First Flight. I'm not planning to enter it as a NaNoWriMo project but that just seemed like an appropriate time to take some writing leave. :)

Cheers,

KSK

Edited by KSK

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If I wanted meaningless, arbitary targets that create as many problems as they solve I'd join the civil service, but if that's your idea of a good time then good luck.

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If I wanted meaningless, arbitary targets that create as many problems as they solve I'd join the civil service, but if that's your idea of a good time then good luck.

Heh - speaking as an ex civil servant, at least NaNoWriMo doesn't involve having the Treasury breathing down your neck. I'm certainly not planning to do the whole 50K words in a month thing though. Taking time off around then was more for the company - I have a couple of friends that'll be taking some time off themselves to work on their own stuff, so I ought to be able to scrounge some tea and couch space somewhere :)

But taking a few days off work (which I need to take anyway - I can only transfer so many days onto next year) to bash away at First Flight, does sound like fun in an odd sort of way.

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Hmmm. A cogent point. At any rate, I've tried it a couple of times, but the results have generally required so much work to rewrite into something passable that I'd have been better off writing a third as much per day, and that's on the occasions when some unlikely disaster hasn't prevented me from getting anything done at all.

Besides, my caffeine tolerance is so high these days that I can't actually drink enough of it to keep myself going for whole weekends at a time anymore.

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In your own art, which is words, I would say that you are every bit the equal of our celebrated directors.

Patiently but eagerly awaiting more.

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Hmmm. A cogent point. At any rate, I've tried it a couple of times, but the results have generally required so much work to rewrite into something passable that I'd have been better off writing a third as much per day, and that's on the occasions when some unlikely disaster hasn't prevented me from getting anything done at all.

Besides, my caffeine tolerance is so high these days that I can't actually drink enough of it to keep myself going for whole weekends at a time anymore.

I can believe that. Last I checked, First Flight has just about scraped over the NaNo target and I've been plugging away at it fairly steadily since June. Trying to cram all that into one month - yeah. Or rather - no. Not for me at any rate. I can't honestly claim any actual knowledge here having never tried it but it seems to me that NaNo is partly a wake up call, as to quite how much text goes into a novel and partly about the discipline of sitting down and banging out the words. Editing comes later if at all, unless you are really quick at getting the words down and have time to edit as you go.

Caffeine tolerance - ouch. I was there or thereabouts at one point with coffee (thank you all-night lab sessions) but decided I'd better cut back for various reasons, the kidney pains being something of a hint. Mind you, the coffee in question was courtesy of a mate in the next lab along. This was the guy they'd send all the visiting Turkish and Middle Eastern professors to, so that they could get some real coffee rather than this suspiciously liquid stuff that was the only other thing on offer. So relying on it for caffeine and hydration probably wasnt a smart move in retrospect (although I suspect Bob would approve :) )

Anyhow - back on topic. Thanks for the patience Commander! No ETAs as yet but its all moving on.

Edited by KSK

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Wow. That doesn't do this story justice, but it's all I got. :)

I found this story last night and just finished reading it. Rather unsurprisingly, I will be looking forward to the next chapter. :D

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