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From a Childhood Dream (Latest chapter: Part Six)


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Part one: Seed of an idea


This is a story about what might have happened before the founding of the KSC. I hope you will enjoy it.

We start a long time a go, with some kerbal youths, playing in a park near Kerbin City:


Jebediah Kerman: "This is going to be awesome!"


Bob: "Guys, I'm really not sure this is safe. I'm really not sure we should be doing this."


Bill: "I still say we should stick on my gyroscope. These fins, too, for better stability."


Jeb: "That's just gonna weigh it down! Come on, let's just do this! Who's got the matches? Harv?"


Harvester Kerman: "Over here!"



Meanwhile, a short distance away:


Wernher: "Did you hear? Some astronomers are saying the Mun is a moon, like those dots that move around the wandering stars."


Gene: "The Mun? Oh, that new sky circle thing you were telling me about. Sure."


Wernher: "Some think that there is a whole world up there, and the stars big objects, separated from us by vast amounts of empty space. That could be it. The Mun could be a big ball. It looks like it is a ball."


Gene: "Yeah, right. I don't believe it. The stars, the clouds, they're all intangible, and changeable.. they might as well be pictures on a screen. "


Wernher: "Well, I am going to prove that there is something up there! :sticktongue:"


Gene: "And how do you plan to do that? By jumping?" :P


At this point, they were interrupted:


Wernher: "I have an idea..."



Wernher got up, and followed the rocket.


* * * * *

Next time: "A meeting of minds."

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A teaser for the next part. Didn't think I could find one without giving away too much detail, but then I realised:


*Update: Actually will be the part after that.

Also, anyone got a better idea for a title? The current one is a little "meh".

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Hmmm, maybe 'Before the Orange Suit' ?


Doesn't give away major plot points, speaks to what the story is about, could link to something that will happen down the track... Yes, I like it.

"The Kerbal Space Program- An origin story" may be exactly what is says on the tin, but it's not particularly punchy as a title.

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Trivia time! As a teenager, Earth's Wernher Von Braun tied two SRB's to his wagon and tried to ride it. He lost control and bailed out, the cart spun, with flames and smoke, all across town, panicking residents, and the police arrested him for scaring everyone. The space program was born.

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Trivia time! As a teenager, Earth's Wernher Von Braun tied two SRB's to his wagon and tried to ride it. He lost control and bailed out, the cart spun, with flames and smoke, all across town, panicking residents, and the police arrested him for scaring everyone. The space program was born.

I bet he would've liked KSP. Ooo, there's a potential Doctor Who episode...

But "Before The Space Suits" was going to be the title of my origin story! I've been writing it for a week so far, and I only saw this today!

Guess what! It's your lucky day. I came up with an even more suitable name, as I was drawing on the train tonight. This time, I think it will stick.

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  • 3 weeks later...
This one is neat. Are you doing all the artwork?

Most of it, but Rhyunix provided the tree, and the base layer for the rocket, and also is doing few things for the next part. Backheart612 is doing an image for the third part.

Art does take time, and it wouldn't be fair to pressure people to hurry when they're doing this for free, hence the long time between updates.

If anyone else is interested in helping tell this story, and has reasonable drawing abilities, they would be more than welcome.

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  • 6 months later...

So, I have decided to revive this as a pre-0.90 sort of thing. Might continue post release a little. If any one is interested in contributing a drawing, you'd be most welcome (linework only is fine).


Part two: A meeting of minds.


Bob: "Someone's coming! I knew we'd get caught!"

Bill: "Quick! Hide!"

They dived beneath some bushes.

Harv: "Bill? Bob?"

Harv started to turn around.

Someone behind him: "Was that firework yours?"


It was another young kerbal, only a few years older than himself.

Image by TW1, with tree by Rhyunix

Wernher: "It was very impressive. I'm Werhner."

Bob: "It wasn't Park security. Phew."

Bill: "It was ours. :)"

Wernher:" Your rocket, it inspires me. Do you think you could build one bigger?"

Jeb(Covered in dirt, bruises, and soot): "Oh yeah! Let's make a bigger one! Bigger is awesome!"

Bob: "But Jeb, we don't have any money left!"

Wernher: "I think, that if we made one big enough, we would be able to reach the Mun."

Bob "Wait... you mean you can actually go there?"

Wernher: "I think it is so."

Bob: ":0.0: Just think of what we might find! ..... Bill! Jeb! I can get us more money. Let's do it!"

* * * * *

Next time: "Plans"

I have decided to update this one in small bite size chunks, as an experiment. Each bit might not stand so well on its own, but we'll see how it goes.

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Part three: Plans



Later that Evening, in Jeb's lounge room...


Bob: "Ok. I've called my Uncle, and if you guys help me clean his garage this weekend, he will pay us quite a lot."

Jeb: "Awesome! Thanks Bob!"

Bill: "The Mun must be quite high up, I'm not certain we can build one that big. It might come apart when we try to launch it."

Jeb: :(

Werner: "What if we made several smaller ones, and joined them together? They could fire one after the other, the first ones lighting the next, pushing Jeb for longer."

Bill: "That might work :)

Jeb: "Wernher, you're a genius!"

Bob: "Umm, guys? How's he going to get down?"

Jeb: "I can borrow my Dad's parachute!"

Bob: "Parachute?"

Jeb: "It's a big flappy thing that stops you from falling! Dad uses it for jumping of cliffs and buildings. It's awesome!"

For the rest of the afternoon, they talked over the details of construction, and launch. Imagination took them further, and they began to speculate what a rocket launching facility might look like.


Image by TW1, sub-images by TW1 and Rhyunix.

Harv: "Right. Once we have the money, Bob and Bill will go to the shops, and get the firepowder. Jeb and I will visit the Junkyard, and look for more parts. "

They continued into the evening, only leaving when they realised they would miss their dinners.

Wernher: "It was nice meeting you all."

Harv: "Cheers!"

Jeb: "See you all tomorrow!"

A few weeks later, in Bill's garage:

56haqpR.pngImage by TW1, with bits originally done by blackheart612.

To be continued....

* * * * *

Next time: "To the Mun?"

GregroxMun said:
These are surprisingly accurate illustrations of the shape of Kerbals. How do you do it? Do you trace anything?

Yep, I've been tracing them from the game and kerbaliser to get the shape, then modifying as necessary. It looks good, and is reasonably quick, too.

I chop up the underlying image to reposition hands, etc, if they aren't where I want them, modifying with a perspective transform and iwarp. I draw in GIMP, with a wacom graphire4, and a mouse. Digital drawing is something I want to get good at.

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Holy Kraken! I'm really happy to see that this is back. This was thread was actually one of the first things I ever saw that came from the ksp community. Its actually one of the reasons I bought the game.

Oh wow! It's always hard to tell if many people are reading, (thread view count and imgur stats only tell you so much,) so this is great to hear! Thanks!

Not sure when the next one will be, as I do them and the drawings on a when-I-have-time-and-feel-like-it basis, and don't want to rush fellow forumers also drawing for it.

So far, I have blackheart612 cooking up something for the next one, and maybe a later one.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Crap, this thread's gone quiet again =/

Yeah, that happens. I draw and write for the fun of it, so the scedual ends up a bit like when I have time, and when I feel like it.

I was drawing a bit today for this actually but These things, take time(link included 'cause I can't really sing that bit over the internet so well)

But, have this montage of inconveniently zoomed and cropped WIPs as a little preview/teaser!


Also, this next part will probably be about the halfway point of the story, unless I decide to extend it.

(I could not find a way to split this next part without loosing the desired effect.)

Edit: I am very happy with this next bunch of drawings and almost cant wait to show them.

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Part four: To the Mun?



A few more weeks later...


The rocket had been assembled. Fuses painstakingly measured to make sure each section would light at the same time.

The five kerbals lugged their creation to the park, and waited until the Mun was right overhead.

Werner: "It is time!"

Harvester: "Go Jeb!"


(Looks like Bill finally got his way with the fins.)

Jeb pulled himself into position, slipping his arms into the straps. He kicked the ladder, knocking it clear.

Bill: "The fuse is almost at the ten second mark."

Bob: "I really hope we got everything right. " :blush:

Werner: "Let us count it down from ten."

























Werner: "It's working!"

The rocket leapt upwards, rapidly burning through its first stage.

It was soon visible to kerbals all over the city.

Bill: "First stage almost gone!"

Image by blackheart612 and Tw1

Werner: "Second stage, it is lit!"

The faces of spectators below the flightpath turned from curiosity to terror, as the flaming debris began to drift down.

Some ran to their phones, or fire extinguishers, while others ran about in panic.

Those were his prize kamellias.

Jeb continued upwards, shifting his weight to keep the dwindling rocket on course.
He went higher, and higher, yet the Mun never seemed any closer.


On the ground, the other four saw the rocket burn out. Jeb continued upwards for a while, then slowed, and began to fall.

Bob: "Use the parachute! Where's the parachute?" :0.0:

Jeb let himself plummet, waiting 'till the last possible moment, then triggered the parachute just above the treetops.


* * *


Gene: "Well? What did you think was going to happen?"

Kerbal hands are really hard to draw.

Gene: "I told you, cool as travel to the planets might be, it's just not possible. Didn't you read my note?" 

Werner: "I read your note. It was practically a whole essay. I still disagree with you though."

Gene: "You'd need far too much fuel to stay up and keep moving."

Werner: " Yet Jeb continued to go upwards for some time after the rocket expired. I'm not convinced it works that way. It must be possible. It must be. "

* * *

That night, each of our wannabee rocketeers had a visitor.


Being young, they were all let of with a very a stern warning, and told what the consequences would be if they ever again tried launching oversize fireworks.
They remained friends throughout their school years, and stayed in contact through college, despite going into different fields.

Jeb took over his family's junkyard business. Werner and Bob studied science, and Bill engineering.
Harvester went into the relatively new field of computer technology.


To Be Continued.


* * * * *

Next time: "I quit!"

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  • 2 weeks later...
KSK said:
Great chapter - for some reason this one just made me smile!

Thank you. BTW, the "kerman" sign on that door makes me think of how you used the word in your own First Flight (which I'm about 1/3 through). Considering where the characters live... intertextuality? Or do Kerbals just label doors with their common last name?


VelocityPolaris said:
Loved it! Good on ya, mate!

Thank you.


VelocityPolaris said:
...He lost control and bailed out, the cart spun, with flames and smoke, all across town, panicking residents, and the police arrested him for scaring everyone.

This earlier comment was almost a spoiler. This story may not be based on Earth's space history, but many details are intended to allude to the real lives of people some Kerbals are based on.

This last chapter also contains an image provided by blackheart612, so go check out some of his mods maybe.

I will go back to smaller sporadic updates after this, hopefully, (if I get my computer back from repairs), there will be one more bit in a little while.

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