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VelocityPolaris

Space Wars - The Snack Time Space Program versus the evil Beehive aerospace

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The Snack Time Space Program has been a leader in the peaceful exploration of space since Kerbalkind learned what the term "look up" meant. However, this may soon change as an evilly evil company decides that the Snack Time Space Program is unfit for the duty of exploring space and decides to take matters into their own hands. The result? A war that is not simply confined to Kerbin, but reaches beyond the thermopause to the depths of space. It is in times like these, that, when alien spacecraft are out on exploration of the galaxy and pass by this particular solar system, they look the other way and hope to find a less explosive civilization. Join me for an epic battle, with pictures this time, and the unwieldy promise that it will not simply complete one chapter then stop, the Space Wars!*

*Space sold separately.

*Wars! also sold separately.

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Space Wars Episode I - KSS Predictably Damaged

Bill and Jebediah Kerman are sitting in a crowded mess hall, trying to snack and talk at the same time.

Bill: So, the reporter is out looking for wild kurdunkeds, he climbs up a hill, and what does he see?

Jeb: Why are you asking me? You're the one telling the story!

Bill: I dunno. Anyway, he sees a big smoke trail, looks up, and there's a freaking huge rocket going up, not eight KM from the wildlife refuge!

Jeb: Whoa. I didn't know anyone else was doing launches.

Bill: I know, right? So, anyway, he's a smart fella, and plugs up his ears pretty well, but the sound of it almost bowls the poor guy over! Manages to get a good look, and according to him that thing isn't using any parts he's ever seen, some sort of reactor, and some giant fairing! Wanted to take a picture, but he wasn't about to uncover his ears. You of all people know how a giant rocket sounds.

Jeb: Yep I do. So what sort of rocket was it? Who launched it? Did we find out?

Bill: He saw a pretty obvious logo on the side. Beehive aerospace. Of course, we called them up and asked them, but the HR guy there said that it was probably stuck there by some other company to direct the spotlight away from them. Besides, the launch center is a continent or two out of their jurisdiction. Old unclaimed Space Center, used to be used by Insular Aerospace. Can't remember who built it. As for the payload, nobody knows. One of our geosats detected a big ship on an escape trajectory, the same one, but the fairing was on. Still, based on the speed it was going at it had to be headed for one of the outer planets.

Jeb: What about transfer windows?

Bill: Ah, the guys at the astronomical society tried that, but there were windows for Dres, Jool, Duna, and Eeloo all there the time of launch! Freaking rare coincidence, and the only time we could use less transfer windows

Jeb: That, was an awesome story. And this is an awesome chocolate bar. Hows your coconut cookie?

Bill: All gone, and it was delicious. Oop, looks like the director is calling.

Bill Kerman walks over to a blinking panel on the wall and presses it.

Bill: What's up, Gene?

Gene: You two are due to launch in an hour. We're sending up a prototype cruiser, so don't be late!

Jeb: A cruiser! You mean, like an armed ship?

Gene: Precisely. With all of this talk about unclaimed rockets and secret launches, we want to keep a guard dog in orbit. You'll be flying the 'KSS Predictably damaged' for orbital weapons testing.

Bill: Predictably damaged? That sounds a little bit like a Space Shuttle that crashed some years back.

Gene: Ran out of names. Well, there was the "Widow Maker', but that was just grim.

Jeb: Do we have to wash our hands before we leave again?

Gene: Yeah. It was that, or a check-up with Doctor Neillo. See you by the launch pad!

A few minutes later, the crew are standing by a rather sleek looking cruiser, with structural panels surrounding the fuel tank and two extremely streamlined capsules.

Jeb: Whoa. That is one awesome looking battlecruiser.

Bill: Hold on. If i'm right, then these SpacePlanesPlus capsules. can hold four. Why isn't Bob coming?

Gene: Still in recovery after the Dres mission. I can imagine it was rather traumatic to see the ground fall from under him.

Jeb: And they said there was no seismic activity on Dres.

Gene: Yeah, the seismometers on that mission even had that result! The Sciencers down in R&D are stilling scratching their heads about that. Your guess is as good as mine.

Jeb: In that case, an evil space kraken ate some of the ground for snack. It was going to try to eat Bob too but he hadn't bathed since they left Kerbin.

Gene: Heh heh, space kraken it is then.

Bill: So what are the weapons on this?

Gene: Glad you asked. It's got 4 bullets, and 8 guided torpedoes.

Jeb: Are those footballs over there?

Gene: er… Those are the bullets. Found a warehouse full of footballs, and for some reason 4 of them had decouplers on them.

Jeb: Good to know. I like the SRB's, by the way.

Gene: uh… me two?

Bill: Guys, we should get to the launch before they decide to leave without us!

Jeb: Righty ho. See you soon, Gene!

Gene: Best of luck, if we can find some we haven't used!

Bill: Comforting words, dear Geneney.

Gene: … :blush:

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Space Wars Episode II - Enemy Fighter Inbound

At least half an our after the previous chapter, we find our heroes in a big battlecruiser about to be launched into orbit, because Jeb would not have it any other way.

In the mission control room

Bobak: Coms check with Predictably Damaged. Commander?

Jeb: Locked and loaded, Capcom.

Bobak: Roger that. Pilot?

Bill: That coconut cookie did not go down well, but otherwise I'm go for launch.

Bobak: Flight, Predictably Damaged is go to resume countdown.

Gene: Roger that. Alright everyone, give me a go/nogo for launch. Capcom?

Bobak: We're go, flight.

Gene: FDO?

FDO: Go.

Gene: Prop?

Prop: Go.

Gene: Science?

Science: Go!

Gene: Eecom?

Eecom: No hurricanes yet, we're go flight. Gah, I hate my job.

Gene: uh… P-com?

P-com: Go.

Gene: Janitor?

Janitor: All clean!

Gene: Righty ho, Predictably Damaged is go to resume countdown.

Bobak: Copy that, we are T - 9:00 and counting.

Science: Is all equipment safely stowed?

Bobak: Commander, is all equipment safely stowed?

Jeb: How should I know?

Bobak: Uh… Commander says yes, all equipment is safely stowed.

Science: Good to know.

Bobak: So, you guys ready to go into space on this giant fireball?

Jeb: YeeeHaaaaw!

Bill: Ahh, my ears.

A short time later…

Prop: We are T-10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5.

Bill: It's rumbling! Is it supposed to be rumbling?

Bobak: For the 47th time, yes, it's supposed to do that!

Prop: 3. 2. 1. All engines running, and we-

P-com: -Have liftoff, of the first orbital cruiser, which will hopefully not crash like it's namesake!

Gene: Keep the comforting thoughts down to a minimum, would ya?

P-com: (Sigh) Yes, Flight.

Just a few minutes later.

Jeb: We're in SPAAACE!

Bobak: I can confirm, We have space.

Bill: We're not in orbit yet, try not to enjoy yourself too much.

Jeb: Meh, no such thing. ooh looky, Apoasis in 2 minutes 4 seconds.

Bill: Roger, and… We have an anomaly. Anomaly in the Avionics bay, Capcom.

Bobak: We see it Predictably Damaged. Standby, we're working on it right now.

FDO: What's wrong?

Bobak: AV bay anomaly.

FDO: geep, why is it always the AV bay? This seems to happen every launch. Uh, did they try pressing the ACK button on their keyboards?

Bobak: I'll ask them to try.

Bobak: Uh, hey guys? Try hitting the ACK button.

Bill: okay, but I don't see what that would do… and… It worked? Anomaly went away!

Jeb: Out of curiosity Capcom, what exactly did hitting ACK do?

Bobak: Tells the computer that it was a sensor failure. Oldest one in the book after the good old RUD.

Jumping to after the orbital insertion.

Bill: MECO imminent.

Jeb: And… We survived the takeoff! Amazing!

Bobak: We confirm. Good job orbiting this clunker, Predictably Damaged!

Gene: And good job Mission Control, you guys all deserve a round of applause. Or better yet, drinks. Cola for everyone!

Clapping can be heard in mission control as a delivery guy arrives with a wheelbarrow of cola bottles.

Jeb: Sounds like they're having a party down there.

Bill: What, without us? Anyway, better arm these things.

Jeb: Ugh. Weapons in space make me sick…

Bill: Me two, but it was a sensible idea putting this up here. Lots of room in this cabin!

Amidst the drinking and cheering, one of the mission controllers glances at his panel. What he sees does not look good.

Eecom: Uh, guys?

*Random cheering and more drinking*

Eecom: GUYS!!!

Bobak: What?

Eecom: There's an unidentified rocket launching from the western continent. One of the Geosats is getting footage.

Prop: I see it. Looks almost exactly like a design from the Kerbin Aerospace Tech Exposition.

Gene: Can you get us a picture?

Prop: Of the design from the exposition, sure.

Gene: That'll do. Put it up on the big screen.

?ui=2&ik=d8653bedb2&view=fimg&th=146eed76a007d03f&attid=0.2&disp=inline&realattid=f_hx2ceg4a1&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ9kWWTMA6kUeX5Xv0Vhprd96zpiEitMPlLSqLe_4iKX_-wd_U9lu2dKkj1Eka4DDlPpPlmRS7dOIvTXxeGzv55BkiapAN_0bmLq0_vz7MVun4K9EJsRW3tfgPY&ats=1404182833938&rm=146eed76a007d03f&zw&sz=w1895-h944

FDO: That looks like a space fighter for sure.

P-com: Might have been dispatched against our cruiser!

Gene: That does look ominously spiky. Capcom, warn Predictably Damaged… Warn them that an unidentified space fighter might try to attack them.

Bobak: Right. And after that?

Gene: We wait and see what happens.

Bobak: I'm all over that.

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Space Wars Episode III - Close encounters of the explodey kind

We rejoin our heroes in a battlecruiser named ’KSS Predictably Damaged’, preparing the spacefaring warship for battle. At the

moment, Jeb is outside, adding some struts.

Jeb: okay, that looks like the last one.

Bill: It had better be, there’s no more in the emergency compartment.

Jeb: I can hardly believe someone forgot to check to make sure the armor was actually attached to the rest of the ship at more

than one point.

Bill: Yeah, someone down there is getting the old yelling. You can stay out a few more minutes to marvel at the planet if you want.

Jeb: Okey dokey, I’ll do just that. There’s the ground, there’s my legs, and there’s a long way in between.

Suddenly a light starts blinking on Bill’s console.

Bill: oh no. Jeb! Get in now! Incoming vessel at 10 km and closing FAST! Estimated 18 seconds until closest approach!

Jeb: I’m in, I’m in! What ship is it?

Bill: Our little friend. He’s killed relative velocity and is hailing us.

Jeb: This is Commander Jebediah Kerman of the experimental vessel Predictably Damaged, state your intention.

Fighter Pilot: Lieutenant Lunard Kerman of this here swarm fighter. Surrender your vessel and prepare to be boarded.

Jeb: You know I can’t do that, Lunard.

Lunard: Then you’ll die. Only one of you has to buy my way down. Goodbye.

Jeb: What does he mean by buy his way out?

Bill: No heat shields or parachutes on that thing. And, he’s closing, 2km, 1.2, 1, he’s slowed to 1 m/s. He’s put powering up a missile.

Jeb: There goes negotiation. Fire the bullets.

Four footballs are fired from the cruiser at pathetically low speeds, all missing the fighter.

Jeb: That went well.

Bill: He’s firing! Full thrust!

Jeb: It missed! Prepare a Torpedo!

Bill: The recoil pushed him back a bit, but now he’s closing even more. Torpedo ready.

Jeb: Fire!

A cylinder detaches from the cruiser, takes aim, and heads right toward the fighter, which dodges it with an RCS burst.

Jeb: A miss? Darn.

Bill: He’s 600 meters and firing two more, brace-

An explosion rocks the hull.

Bill: uhnnn!

Jeb: Oof!

Bill: We survived... he hit... the armor. No serious damage.

Jeb: firing another torpedo!

Bill: an explosion! That’s a hit!

Jeb: Crud, we only hit a solar panel!

Bill: He’s firing again!

*BOOM*

Sparks fly everywhere as the room shakes and debris is spewed everywhere.

Bill: Gaaah!

Jeb: Ahhh!

Bill: Unngh...

Jeb: Erf! He hit the crew cabin square in the face, tiling is holding at thirty percent!

Bill: ...

Jeb: Bill? Crud. You are gonna pay for that, Lunard! Firing another torpedo!

Jeb: Killing relative velocity. Just try to escape this one!

In Lunard’s fighter...

Lunard: Where’s your next torpedo? I saw it detach. Never you worry, I’ll find it- Oh Frak!

*BOOM*

Lunard: Arghhh!

[FighterComputer]: warning, monopropellant tank breach. Hydrazine leaking at 10 units per second.

Lunard: Frak, my RCS! Target their inner structure, computer!

Back on the Predictably Damaged...

Jeb: Bill, can you hear me? I need you here!

Bill: unhhh... still here... commander...

Jeb: Good to know. You’ll be fine, we just have to - crud, another missile.

*BOOM*

Jeb: Ack!

Bill: ugh!

Jeb: grmmf... port armor penetrated... He wrecked the ASAS, some debris destroyed a Torpedo. Firing another.

Bill: urf... I’ll guide it in... dead lock achieved... he’s closing to 120 meters. Near point-blank range.

Jeb: Fire!

Back on Lunard’s ship...

[FighterComputer]: Warning! Incoming torpedo on fatal trajec-

*KABADOOSH!*

Lunard: EARGH!

Lunard: hull breach. Thanks for saving me, little suit. We’re out of ammo, the cabin’s wrecked, and we’re out of RCS with the tank

destroyed. Computer, radio the Predictably Damaged... that I surrender.

[FighterComputer]: Negative. Situation protocol calls for a collision course. Plotting.

Lunard: WHAT!? A suicide ram!? Computer, override!

[FighterComputer] Negative. Ramming trajectory plotted.

Lunard: No! Let me out!:0.0:

[FighterComputer]: Negative. You signed the employee agreement form. Beginning burn.

Lunard: But I didn’t read the fine print - aha, the hatch is open!

[FighterComputer]: Collision immine-

*KABOOM*

Lunard: GAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!

A few moments later.

Lunard: Haha, I am ALIVE! Being nearly dead never felt so good! Let me just get my bearings, and... crud. 12 kilometers away!? Gah! And... nope, can’t slow down. Looks like I have to ask them to rescue me.

About half a minute earlier, onboard the Predictably Damaged...

*KABOOM*

Bill: What was THAT?

Jeb: Sounds like a bird hit the window!

Bill: Nope, it was the fighter. Rammed us full tilt.

Jeb: Frak! Damage report!

Bill: Heh, it hit the armor. We lost a docking port.

Jeb: Oooh, that was expensive.:D How about the fighter?

Bill: Totally annihilated when it rammed us. I don’t think anything survived - wait, I’m getting a distress beacon from twenty

kilometers away - what. It’s Lunard!

Jeb: He must bailed, then the shockwave knocked him away. So do we rescue him?

Bill: Yeah. He might have tried to kill us, but we can’t let a Kerbal in need die. Besides, we could use what he knows.

Jeb: Alright. Burning towards the guy. Ima have to start turning right away, we’re down to secondary gyroscopes. Two minutes till

closest approach.

Bill: You could have warned me before burning! Mind if I take a look outside?

Jeb: Sure. Make sure to take a picture, in case somebody at home thinks we’re dead.

Bill: Righty ho. Just gimme a little to get this suit on.

Jeb: Make sure only to decompress the airlock.

Bill: Don’t worry, I’m out.

?ui=2&ik=d8653bedb2&view=fimg&th=146eed76a007d03f&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_hx2ceg390&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ87JbPp9p52gfXeT_CsVyskIG1sCgWhDOqiNOxUiHRqECOS8beYrOCuKaPdL2TgFROYP6mXAqkOa_uB51EoCT3tN93d86GJNPSxAHzMq9a_G7I6jU2vwLM7jqs&ats=1404231370783&rm=146eed76a007d03f&zw&sz=w1895-h944

Bill: Looking good, looking good. This thing is pretty much okay, Jeb!

Jeb: Great. Now come back in so I can flip this around.

About one minute later…

Lunard: You… You actually came. To help.

Jeb: And don't you forget it. Come on in to the back where we can keep an eye on you.

Lunard: Thank you.

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Bill: Why didn't you just ask us for a ride home?

Lunard: It's not our way to beg for mercy unless it's the only way to survive. Ahhh, fresh air.

Jeb: Your's wasn't?

Lunard: Nope, canned air, only would last me a few more hours, even in the fighter.

Bill: Why would you work for a company that did things like that to you?

Lunard: I failed to read the fine print in the employee agreement form.

Jeb: Whoops. Anyway Bill, call KSC. We need repair, refuel, rearm, and find a way to get this guy down.

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Attention please! I'm afraid I "Landed" the Predictably Damaged when it appeared too damaged to easily repair and I was too lazy to resupply. The crew is fine, but now the ship lived up to it's name. Anyway, as an excuse, the next chapter will take place far in the future. Comment if you have any suggestions for the next chapter :D

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Attention please! I'm afraid I "Landed" the Predictably Damaged when it appeared too damaged to easily repair and I was too lazy to resupply. The crew is fine, but now the ship lived up to it's name. Anyway, as an excuse, the next chapter will take place far in the future. Comment if you have any suggestions for the next chapter :D

Ahhh, I'm talking to myself again aren't I? Hello? Anyone besides me here?

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Some criticism, there should be more actions and stuff, not just all dialogue. Otherwise, I think the idea is pretty good.

Good luck! :wink:

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Some criticism, there should be more actions and stuff, not just all dialogue. Otherwise, I think the idea is pretty good.

Good luck! :wink:

Thanks for the crit. By action, I hope you mean pictures, because there's going to be a geep of a lot of pictures in the next chapter. :wink:

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Oh, no not pictures, even though pictures would be great, but more actions with words, and more description.

When they are at the KSS Predictably Damaged, you should explain more about what the facility looks like, if it's open, inside, or whatever, or even if there are more ships around it.

Or something like this.

Gene: Glad you asked. It's got 4 bullets, and 8 guided torpedoes.

(Jeb looked around the hangar, and found what looked like a large ball beside the stash of torpedoes.)

Jeb: Are those footballs over there?

But you can write your story however you want. :wink:

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Okay, this makes sense. I will make these changes to chapter IV. In the meanwhile, enjoy a little eye candy.

?view=att&th=147127e85436d588&attid=0.10&disp=attd&realattid=f_hxc8fotv9&safe=1&zw

Any advice is appreciated!

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Chapter IV: The Scout

Over a year ago, Kerballed spaceflight was decided too dangerous and scrapped after classified orbital debris was found of a spacecraft identified as "Swarm Fighter". The "Predictably Damaged", was ordered to return to Kerbin to prevent the crew from developing kataracts from radiation. Since then, no Kerbal been in space.

Gene: Until now.

Bobak: I think that's your cue, Jednard.

P-com: Gotcha. (Jednard walks to a small projector and presses the power button, and an arrow key.)

?ui=2&ik=d8653bedb2&view=fimg&th=147127e85436d588&attid=0.7&disp=inline&realattid=f_hxc8forx6&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ_vSOhC0TQvnFYoqPJoNdAivXaNy-MSJaKC7g5gDF3U-rzpLBH1znB18dxCjyMVkfT4aNlGXeMPKdAb4yMpnotMVsbMglrZHBFBidfbkJqHS3FLgyC74OC4pNQ&ats=1404766130215&rm=147127e85436d588&zw&sz=w1895-h944

Several Kerbals: Whoa. What is that? Is it another Space Fighter? Space Station? Really big bird? Who launched it? Who took the picture?

Gene: Ahem. Quiet down please. As I was about to say, this was taken by a KPN (Kerbal Planetary News) Station up on Overview mountain. This was the same launch site as the last Space Fighter, so the KPN network has kept an eye on it.

Wernher: What is it?

Gene: I was getting to that, Wernher. Anyway, we've asked Lunard about this, and he says it matches a Beehive Aerospace design for an armed Space Station. If you look really hard at the booster stage, you can start to see their logo, so we've got no reason not to believe him. Our geosats did pass within 400 KM of the thing and managed to record it's speed. Bob has done some math and says it's going to the Mun, presumably orbit. So there you have it folks. We have a Space Station, armed with self guided torpedoes, in Mun orbit. Now to the reason I brought you here. What do we do about it?

Wernher: We must not take hostile action. I recommend we send a probe to spy on it from a distance.

Gene: Not very classy, but I suppose it could get the job done. Any other suggestions?

Bobak: We could use a RADAR cloak of some sort. They've been used in fighter planes, we should be able to put one in space.

Gene: Good idea! Anyone else?

Jeb: To Krakensville with the probe. Bill, Bob and I will go up, take some pictures, and come back home.

Wernher: We haven't done any flights with Kerbals in zem for a year. Where would we get ze launch vehicle?

Jeb: We could use the Kerbal X. Pop a few cameras on, and it'll do just fine. Maybe a couple of missiles two, in case things get hairy.

Gene: I thought the Kerbal X didn't have the fuel to go to the Mun and back?

PROP: That was land and return to Kerbin, Sir. It might be able to make orbit, rendezvous, and return, but it'll be a geep of a squeeze. I haven't done the math yet, either.

Gene: You go do that. Jeb, get your group ready. Wernher, get a Kerbal X in working order and add the modifications Jebediah requested.

Wernher: Zir? I must advise against risking Kerbals in zis operation.

Gene: Sorry, but you picked a bad time.

Wernher: And what time might zat be, zir?

Gene and Jeb:SPACE COWBOY TIME!:cool:

Wernher: (walking off) :sigh: I hate space cowboy time...

Gene: Oh, and one last thing, Capcom. See if you can call anyone in Beehive. Ask them about this.

Meanwhile, above the Mun…

Beehive Control:Deorbit burn of final stage confirmed. Third person cameras are active, bring them up on your screen.

Maller: Roger that Control, we see it.

?ui=2&ik=d8653bedb2&view=fimg&th=147127e85436d588&attid=0.8&disp=inline&realattid=f_hxc8fosc7&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ-NxVI5h2YHOZ0uFH0ueTxbb0vK2nQRkJAAJxa86RPYvrXCvLD9o2GIMPxg0vB5gpsY4pbmEmPyrhDrffxqeMfrdp5blejQf3vNcdU2e06GUVwYPVxq2h8Akgo&ats=1404766130215&rm=147127e85436d588&zw&sz=w1895-h944

Lunfrey: How do we get a third person view of a spacecraft without something on the side to take a picture?

Beehive Control:What was that, pilot?

Mallen: He wants to know how the third person view works, control.

Beehive Control:I'm sorry, that's classified.

Mallen: Uh… Why is it classified?

Beehive Control:We have no idea how it works.

Mallen: Enlightening. Oop, and, we have Impact. If all goes well, the Spectrometer shouldn't pick up any Mun dust.

Lunfrey: Roger. Can we get a third person view of the station?

Beehive Control:Sure, go right ahead. Just remember, no pictures or other information may disclosed.

Mallen spams a button above his head, causing another picture to appear on a screen in front of the window.

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Lunfrey: That sure is a nice station. Any further orders or instructions?

Beehive control:Yeah, just one. Head over to the Greenhouse and start setting everything up. Mallen, since you are both in space, you can open the gray package with your mission's purpose. The Mun will be cutting us off in a minute or two so get to work. Oh, and keep in mind that you can only access the RADAR and torpedoes from the Greenhouse. Good luck.

Lunfrey: Roger. Mallen, after you.

One at a time, they push themselves through a narrow access tunnel to a site of wonderous green dots, known as GMO plants.

?view=att&th=147127e85436d588&attid=0.9&disp=attd&realattid=f_hxc8fosw8&safe=1&zw

Mallen: What exactly do these... GMO plants grow?

Lunfrey: Uh... food. Tastes like milk chocolate, but it's a little bitter. So, I'm anxious to know what I'm doing in low Mun orbit...

Mallen: Oh right, the package. (Unwraps some grey wrapping paper to reveal a piece of paper.)

Lunfrey: What's it say?

Mallen: "Crew of Mun Station Alpha, you have two tasks. One is to analyze the surface for a magnetic field, and another is, to use an expression, hold the keys to the Mun. With your torpedoes, and the fighter that will be sent up in a few days, nobody will be able to conduct any activities in Mun orbit or on surface without your permission, leaving Mun safe for passive exploration by companies that have objectives besides defacing the surface for resources." That's it. Computer, do we have any messages?

Lunfrey: ...

Mallen: What!?

Lunfrey: We don't have an AI.

Mallen: Oh. Well, back to work. Help me unclog this vent.

Back in KSC, we join our heroes in a Kerbal X, on the Launch pad.

Bobak:Guys, it might interest you to know that Beehive Aerospace has claimed the launch. Their official explanation was that they launched a small probe to study previous volcanic activity on the Mun.

Bill: A good cover-up. Interesting.

Bob: So we're in the Kerbal X again. Still makes me nervous.

Jeb: Don't worry, this thing is just about our most reliable rocket. Besides, they worked out most of the bugs.

Bill: Most!? What did they miss?

Jeb: Turbopump for the mainsail. It gets a bit jittery sometimes.

Bill: Oh no...

Bobak:Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven.

Bob: Retracting primary umbilical.

Bobak:Five. Four. Three.

Bill: e-engines to 75% throttle.

Bobak:Three. Two. One. We have liftoff, good luck guys.

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Bob: urf... I hate... the g's...

Bill: Same here. Out of curiosity Jeb, did you get any g-force training before you became a pilot?

Jeb: I rode a roller coaster...

Bill: Nothing else?

Jeb: Nope. I'm a SPACE COWBOY! YEEEHAAAWWW!!!:D

Bill: Gah... shut... shut up Jeb...

Jeb: Can't stop the SPACE COWBOY! YEEEEE-ow!

(Bob brandishes his fist, A feat only slightly less difficult then punching someone while under 3 g's of acceleration.)

Bob: No more... no more or I eject you.

Jeb: fine.:mad:

A few minutes later...

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Bobak:MECO in 10 seconds.

Jeb: That's a Roger, CapCom. Gentlekerbs, brace for space.

Bob: Does he mean microgravity? Oh, no...

Bill: Barf bags are standing by. Gee, that ride was tough.

Jeb: MECO imminent.

Bob: Hold on, I'm not read - hurghlurmf! Bleh!

Bill: I got it in the bag! Bob, you need another?

Bob: ...

Bill: Hold on, he's not breathing! Bob!

Bob: (inhales sharply) I - never get used to floating. Mind if I stay in my chair?

Bill: Sure, have a book. I'll just head down and get some snacks before Jeb eats them all.

Bob: Thanks - BARF BAG!

Bill: Here, got it! I'll leave a few fresh ones with you. Want anything?

Bob: No, I'm not hungry.

Bill: Suit yourself. (floats downstairs, almost grabbing the ladder.) Anything left, Jeb?

Jeb: Twenty-one days of snacks? No, I can't imagine sparing any for you. Heh, take what your taste buds want, Bill. How's Bob?

Bill: Inner ear imbalance. The poor guy can't leave his chair.

Jeb: (winces) poor guy. You know, I had that once.

Bill: What!? The great Jebediah Kerman was disoriented once?

Jeb: Yeah. as a little Kerblet, I decided to ride the Skyshot ride at the fair.

Bill: I remember that.

Jeb: Yeah. It flings you up at four g's for five seconds, then you're weightless for eighteen. The first time I was weightless, my ear was wringing like the Kraken, and my vision was blurry. I got off never wanting to ride that again... so do you know what I did next?

Bill: Uh... no?

Jeb: I rode it again. And again. And then I went on the centrifuge.

Bill: Wow. I didn't know the story of Jebediah Kerman was so... awesome.

Jeb: I know, right? Anyway, we have to get to work.

Bob: (comes downstairs, not that there are any stairs.) Hey guys. Mind if I grab a snack?

Jeb: Sure, check the shelf.

(Bob rifles through several drawers, finally pulling out a candy bar.)

Bob: Ah, Ike delight. (Like a Mars bar)

Jeb: Got over your little bout of spacesickness, eh?

Bob: My inner ear is still doing barrel rolls, but my appetite is back. The problem is, if a I change my perception of down, I throw up. I'm sort of okay though.

Jeb: Great. Eat up, then get to work, because we've got a lot to do before we reach the Mun.

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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ESA Transfer vehicle launch today!

P.S. This thread isn't dead, I just am waiting to get a comment to post the next two chapters.

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Chapter V: Skirmish over the Mun

In Mun orbit, we have our three heroes sitting in a tin can, talking.

Bill: Bob, you've been in space longer than any of us, right?

Bob: Don't remind me...

Bill: Granted, the Dres mission wasn't the smoothest operation, but still-

Bob: NOT THE SMOOTHEST OPERATION! I WAS STRANDED IN A LITTLE TIN CAN FOR 4 YEARS WITH A CLAUSTROPHOBIC ASTRONAUT AND ALL YOU CAN SAY WAS "NOT THE SMOOTHEST OPERATION"?! HONESTLY! I WAIT 2 YEARS TO STRETCH MY LEGS, AND THEN WE RUN INTO A QUAKE! IN THE MOST UNLIKELY PLACE IN THE FRAKKING KERBOL SYSTEM!

Bill: Ow, my ears...

Jeb comes up from his post, looking dazed.

Jeb: Guys, there's all sorts of vibrations buffering my ears downstairs! I think the ship is going to tear loose of the service module!

Bob: That was just me shouting.

Bill: Indeed. Anyhoo, as I was saying, why do YOU always develop space sickness out of us three? You're body should be used to going in and out of free-fall.

Bob: I have absolutely no idea. Maybe it's genetics.

Jeb: Hate to interrupt guys, but we're burning to rendezvous now.

The engine suddenly fires to match velocities with the approaching space station, throwing Bill and Bob against the wall.

Bob: Owch!

Bill: Gah! JEB! Only YOU would do that! NO engine checks! No coolant calibration! No Turbopump stirring! And worst of all, NO WARNING!

Jeb: Yep. :cool:

Bob: Relative velocities matched.

Bill: We dipped into the night side, and we're jamming their radio signature across a wide area. With any luck, they'll mistake it for a burst of Galactic Cosmic Rays.

Jeb: Can we get a picture?

Bob: Hold on... ok, camera no. 2 has it.

Jeb: On screen.

And with that, a picture appears on one of the monitors.

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Jeb: Can you get a zoom-in?

Bob: Nope. Didn't bring a telescope.

Bill: Shoot. That's a bit of a design flaw.

Jeb: Well, then we'll get a closer look!

Bob: Afraid not, sir. Don't know if we have the fuel, and they might see us.

Jeb: In that case, I'm going EVA. And don't call me that.

Bill: What!? No! Get back here!

Jebediah swims down to the bottom level and seals the hatch.

Bob: Actually, that could work. We'll get the data we need.

Bill: What if they see him? He's a goner! Don't let him out!

Bob: He can handle it. Personally, I don't like the idea either, but he's already out.

Jeb: Alright, I'm out. I'm going in.

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Bill: Alright Jeb, just be careful.

Jeb: When am I not careful?

Bill: ...

Bob: ...

A few minutes later...

Bill: This is taking too long! Jeb, get back here!

Jeb: pshh, fine. I'm heading back with some pictures.

Bob: Too late! We're over the day side of the Mun!

Bill: Hurry, Jeb!

Meanwhile, on the eeeevul space station:

Mallen: We have a blip!

Lunfrey: Nonsense, the plants are spotless - wait, the radar?

Mallen swims over to a console in the greenhouse.

Mallen: It's a Kerbal! One hundred ten meters and closing!

Lunfrey: What. Do your robot thing!

Mallen: This is an uh... automated message recorded for your convenience. This uh... suspiciously large research probe has no particular value. Uh... nope, nothing interesting here. Go away, please.

Jeb: I don't buy that for a second, you know? You're violating international law by arming a research vessel!

Lunfrey: (turns microphone off) Shoot, he called our bluff! Don't let him transmit the information he's gathered about us, shoot him down!

Mallen: Already powering up the first torpedo.

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The probe on the torpedo orients towards Jeb and fires it's engine. Jeb dodges with a burst of EVA propellant.

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Lunfrey: Gah, stop moving so we can shoot you!

Mallen: It's ok, we've got fuel for another pass.

The torpedo turns around and fires, missing another time.

Lunfrey: Frak, again!

Jeb: Guys, I need some help!

Bill: Stand by, Jeb! So Bob, hydrazine is incredibly corrosive, right?

Bob: Yeah, but how does that help us?

Bill: Jeb, give the probe core a flash of your monopropellant. It might be enough to corrode the circuit.

Jeb: On it! Come here, you probe you!

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With that, all signal with torpedo no. 1 is lost.

Mallen: Frak, he somehow disabled it!

Lunfrey: No problem, fire another.

Another torpedo is fired, this time hitting Jeb in the back and sending him flying.

Jeb: Eeyooowch!

Mallen: Hah! Sucker!

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Jeb: Huh. I'm still alive! Not that I can control anything. The thruster pack won't work and with

it hurts to move my arms and legs.

Bill: Frak, they got Jeb! Fire!

The two missiles on the Kerbal X miss completely, due to a malfunctioning targeting computer.

Bill: Frak.

Lunfrey: You are going to die, my friends! Hee hee hee Mwah ha ha!

Bob: I hate to do this, but - Ramming speed!

Bill: We'll both be killed! Abort!

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Bob: The capsule should survive. Besides, they'll kill us if we don't, so it's not like we have a choice!

Mallen: I can't get a lock, they're moving too fast!

Lunfrey: Just point and shoot!

Mallen: Powering u-

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At that point, The Kerbal X smashes into their greenhouse, eliminating the Kerbals and causing an explosion.

A few minutes later...

Bill: Bob? (cough) still there?

Bob: (coughcough) as lively as can be, (cough) Bill.

Bill: remarkably little damage on our part. We lost the parachute... we ain't going home. But the space station... they're dead. We killed them.

Bob: We did what we had to. They would have killed us if we hadn't killed them first.

Bill: Yeah... Inspect the wreckage, see if they have data cores or something we can use.

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Bill: There! Battery ring. There's got to be some memory there. I'm going EVA to see what I can retrieve.

Bob: Are you sure that's wise? One of those bits of debris could be a torpedo.

Bill: Hopefully the blast fried it's circuits. Anyway, I'm going. Plot a course to rescue Jeb.

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While Bill floats around on EVA, Bob is typing on his monitor so forcefully that he floats up and bumps his head on the ceiling, forcing him to find a bungee cord.

Bob: Delta V... come on... mass... if we dump the monopropellant... external science racks... Frak!

Bob: Come in Bill.

Bill: Bill here. I removed some rods that I hope are big flash drives and am heading back. What's up?

Bob: Not enough delta-v to come home on. Even if we dumped everything we didn't need and threw out the furniture, we still don't have enough to come home on.

Bill: Frak... Jeb?

Bob: Just about. He doesn't have any control over the thruster pack, but we can brush really close and he can grab the ladder.

Bill: Sounds like it'll take some sharp shootin'.

Bob: Yep. As a measure, I'm going to remove all unneeded parts and monopropellant.

Bob begins opening emergency access panels, pulling out important-looking equipment, and placing it in the airlock.

Bob: Load one is away!

Bill: Hold on, I'm not-oof!

a gyroscope and some monopropellant tanks hit Bill in the face

Bob: Whoops, sorry.

Bill: I'm okay. Are you sure we didn't need that gyroscope?

Bob: We have the emergency one. While you're out there, can you please unscrew those ladders and toss them clear?

Bill: I'll have to drop these... thingies off first.

Bob: Okay, airlock is unlocked and depressurized.

Bill places three long rods in the airlock, careful not to give them any momentum, then begins yanking off ladders and throwing them behind him.

Bill: Okay, that should be the last rung, I'm coming in now.

Bob: Okay, two minutes until rendezvous burn.

More than two minutes later...

Jeb is floating in space, spinning slightly, as a dark Kerbal X approaches gently.

Jeb: Well, you took your time, didn't you.

Bob: Welcome back. There's something you should know...

Jeb: (grabs built in miniladder) what, are we out of fuel?

Bill: Down to three liters. Sorry, Jeb, but we're stranded.

Jeb: (hefts himself into airlock) Well, save the fuel in case we have to make a break for it.

Bob: (presses repressurize button) If someone attacks us? I doubt it'll get us far. Anyway, I called KSC. Apparently they have a rescue ship in storage, the Avocado mk IV, and they're scrambling the restoration.

Jeb: (removes helmet) Unused, old ship. Perfect. Wonder why we never used it?

Bill: There was never any need for a rescue ship until now.

Jeb: Okay. How's the science going?

Bob: We figured out what the station was for.

Jeb: (swims into cabin) Well?

Bill: Two jobs. One, obviously, was to help "secure" Mun orbit in preparation for a war. The next, was to analyze a superdense magnetosphere they found in the Mun's great crater.

Jeb: Have you transmitted what you learned?

Bob: If we did, the signal would leak across Kerbin. And then seeing that aerospace corporation not being able to deny things, we'd have a war on our hands.

Jeb: Alright. Nothing to do but sit and wait for rescue, I guess.

Bill: Just like old times.

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Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Hi readers, I'm sorry this post isn't a chapter, but I'll cut right to the chase here. I've uploaded the past chapters using my kindle, but a new update to the mobile version of the forum refuses to let me post pictures. In short, I can post chapters, but not pictures. Any writing advice is appreciated as I am not the best of authors.

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In mission control, Gene Kerman calmly sipped coffee. He always did this, but now his powers of calmness were nearly stretched to the limit as he stretched his legs across his desk, although that was certainly not the cause of his anxiety. You see Incindia, his home continent, was at war with a powerful corporation. Once the attack occurred over the Mun, Beehive Aerospace found itself thrust into the spotlight, and was trying to fight it's way on top. He glanced at some freshly printed trajectory sheets, grimacing at the cold reality of their situation. He would have to tell them himself. Gene gestured to a Kerbal sitting at a desk in front of and below him, one of only a few in the surprisingly quiet room.

Gene: Bobak, patch me into Kerbal X.

Bobak: Of course, sir. (Switches channels) Jeb? Gene wants to speak with you.

Jeb: We're all here, what's going on?

Gene: We tried to launch the rescue as soon as we could. Unfortunately, they have an unidentified craft headed to rendezvous with you, and they launched a clear half hour before us. The rescue pilot, Phil, put on all the speed the rescue ship could handle, but he could only manage to stay eight minutes behind. See if you can distract the ship for that long. Surrender if you have to, but take your time.

Jeb: Got it. Anything else?

Gene: Nope. KSC, over and out.

Bobak: Channel closed.

Gene: He took it well.

Bobak: He's Jebediah Kerman. He'll find a way to muddle out of this.

Gene: I hope you're right -

Gene is interupted by an a Kerbal at a console near the wall.

Kerbalatconsolenearwall: Sir! Objects detected at 60 Kilometers headed for this general area!

Gene: Can you identify them, Erbal? How many?

Erbal: At least a dozen rods sir, there might be more! Looks like a strike from space, sir.

Gene: Bobak! Air raid siren! Contact ICBM defense... I think they have a 707 airliner on the job every minute.

Bobak: KSC to Incindia missile defense! We have an emergency!

A modified Koeing 707, flying at the edge of the troposphere, replies.

707 pilot: IMD here. I see them, and I'll try my best, but I won't be able to get all of those.

Gene: good luck, pilot. Bobak! Patch through to the intercom! Tell everyone to get to the bunkers than get out of here yourself! (Looks at Erbal) Same for you, FDO!

Several Kerbals are sitting in cubicles, going through as much work as they can, when a air raid alarm blares and a Kerbal shouts on the intercom: ALL HANDS EVACUATE TO BUNKERS! In shock, they leap up from their offices and desks and cubicles, form a line, and begin speedwalking out of the buildings.

Meanwhile, at the tropopause, anyone caring to listen would hear a whoosh as dozens of flaming rods streaked down toward the space center. A lone Jet rotated a small ball on top, firing a powerful laser, melting it's target from kilometers away, and then rapidly switching to another.

It wasn't enough. The Debris was coming in too fast, and there was too much of it, that the pilot simply couldn't do anything about it. At least seven separate pieces of debris raced down, down past the Jet which had put itself into a dive to try to catch up with the rods, down through the clouds, and down toward the buildings of the KSC, and the scurrying green dots below.

The first rod crashed into the grasslands near the space center, admittedly not the most admirable shot. The second struck the mission control building by the front side, ripping windows to pieces, buckling and collapsing bulkheads, and sending escaping Kerbals flying from the shockwave. Fortunately, many of them were far enough from the blast, and all of them, being Kerbals, sprang upright, dazed but unharmed. The third struck the side of the tracking station hub, which survived surprisingly intact. The fourth hit a bridge in the R&D complex, collapsing it and crushing Kerbals under the wreckage. The fifth shot hit the top of the VAB, causing parts of the roof to collapse, destroying the floor of the large hanger inside and the many Kerbals escaping through there. The sixth rod hit the windows on the western side of the VAB, smashing glass everywhere throughout the Kerbals attempting to get out and the many who remained at their posts.

The final rod raced down toward a road which was crowded with scores of Kerbals racing down toward the bunkers. Many of them heard the sonic boom and looked up, realizing that their promising lives had come to an end. However, in the few seconds before their inevitable demise, they looked to the side and saw that Bobak Kerman was in the crowd about to be struck and killed. They felt comforted by the fact that recurring characters rarely die, and never when it fails to enhance the plot. Though they soon realized how ridiculous that thought was and braced to die. But behold! In a maddening race to save lives, the 707 had barely penetrated the cloud layer by the time the sixth missile had hit. But the pilot was a quick shot, even in a 90 degree dive, and a laser beam melted the last missile roughly fifty meters above the ground, sending scalding debris across the road but it was better than a rod of death, and only two Kerbals were lightly burned. The plane itself pulled out easily but still passed uncomfortably close to the ground, causing the survivors to fling themselves to the ground lest it crash into something.

The survivors cringed, expecting more rods, but after cringing for about ten minutes they realized that the entire strike was over.

Not that it had not been an effective strike. Dozens of Kerbals were wounded, trapped in wreckage, or panicked. The front side of the mission control building was half torn-off, and several rooms were filled with broken glass. The tracking center had partially collapsed, and all sorts of plumbing was leaking, including a hydrazine coolant for the dishes, causing the area to be evacuated. The R&D was cluttered with debris, and many laboratories were destroyed by the shockwave. And the VAB... it was history. The entire roof had collapsed, ripping apart the hangar, and the shockwave had knocked away the supports connecting all four walls. And for afters, rod number six had wrecked the west wall, which collapsed into small chunks, knocking down the Eastern wall and tearing up the other two. Medical teams hurried into broken buildings and rubble, hospital helicopters landed and took off as fast as they could load patients, and at least threescore were carried into the overcrowded sickbay where Doctor Neillo, some volunteers, and paramedics were treating Kerbals as quickly as they could. Erbal, whom Bobak assigned to work with Neillo while he tried to free more survivors, gasped a little as he brought in two especially badly cut-up patients. They were Gene and Wernher.

Edited by VelocityPolaris

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Ok everyone, if anyone still visits this thread, I want you to know that I've procrastinated a lot and had a lot of other things to worry about, but the next chapter is soon to come. It will finish this story but I am sure of making a continuation.

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Far above the Mun, a tiny white dot dashed by, powerless but locked in a loop by it's own speed. Inside, three Kerbals crowded in a small compartment around a radio.

<I>"-suborbital attack - casualties threescore and eight so far - no fatalities - return strike in planni - ontrol out -"</I>

Jeb clicked the radio off.

Bill: That sounded pretty bad. It's amazing no one died.

Bob: You Kerbals seem able to survive normally lethal situations with ease. It's intriguing, really.

Jeb:... you Kerbals?

Bob: Slip of the tongue. sorry.

Jeb:... ok.

Bill: Uh, guys? RADAR shows one contact on an intercept course.

Jeb and Bob rush over to the panel Bill is looking at.

Jeb: Yup. Looks like an enemy fighter of sorts.

Bob: No doubt about that.

Bill: Well, what are we going to do about it?

Jeb: What I always do.

Bill: OH FRAK NO!!! Bob, grab him!

Bob pushes off of the wall towards Jeb, but it's too late. Jeb shuts the airlock door behind him with his friends banging on the door and yelling at him to get out.

Bill: Why do you think that'll accomplish anything? GET BACK IN HERE!

Jeb (Begins depressurizing the airlock): Ima buy us some time. The rescue ship is only a few minutes behind.

Bob: Hurry up, they're four kilometers away and burning to slow down!

Jeb slides the door open and pushes himself outside, spare spacesuit and all.

Jeb: Right. Now, here's the plan: act casual. we haven't done anything wrong, got it?

Bill & Bob: umm... Got it.

At that point, Jeb looks to his left and sees a shimmering light getting closer and closer. with two puffs of EVA propellant, he faces the shiny thing and thinks as quickly as he can.

After forty seconds and a lifetime of holding their breath, the shiny thing becomes clearly visible as a heavily armored pod with two trusses coming off of the fuselage, and a pair of solar panels on the side. The trusses themselves were spiky to a sinister degree, with three Solid Rocket-encased rods on each side that doubtless were designed as makeshift missiles. Slowly approaching Jeb's stranded spacecraft, it flipped about and released a bit of propellant as to not accidentally ram them. as it did this maneuver Jeb noticed two things:

1: It had an LV-909 engine, an ancient orbital maneuvering rocket renowned for it's high ISP and the ease with which it could be operated.

2: The maneuver to kill it's relative velocity resembled a dart.

Flipping back around, the pilot inside focused it's weapons on both Jeb and the orbiter behind him, then hailed them via radio.

Pilot:<I>"This is a warship of the Beehive Syndicate. Surrender and prepare to be boar-"</I>

Jeb: Jebediah Kerman of the Voyager space tourism company. We're here to get some nice brochure photographs!

Pilot:<I>"Um, this is restricted spac-"</I>

Jeb: Ah, but we're mapping the Mun! We're finding all the nice flat spots, so in a few years we can a bunch of tourist bases! Do you have any idea how much money that will earn?

Pilot:<I>"I, uh-"</I>

Jeb: Say, how 'bout we get a nice shot of your ship right above the Mun! I'm sure it'll make a nice souvenir photo!

Pilot:<I>"I'm not falling for that. You're an Astronaut at the KSC!"</I>

Jeb: You must have made a mistake, this is the wrong address. How about you come inside and we'll talk?

Bill: We have Snacks!

Pilot:<I>"Hmm, snacks... well, I suppose... what kind?"</I>

Bob: Lemme see... ok, we have chocolate minty bars, Ike cream, Minmus delight, and Caramel Sandwich Swirl.

Pilot:"<I>Mmm, Ike - NO!!! You dare think you can simply bribe me away? Come out and prepare to surrender!</I>

Jeb: What's wrong, are you afraid of coming aboard? Chicken! Chiiicken!!!

Pilot<I>"ARGHHH, KEEL YOO!!!"</I>[CHANNEL CLOSED]

With that, the unreasonably enraged fighter pilot discharged several rockets at the spacewalking Jeb, who dodged the first three with small bursts of EVA fuel. The pilot then paused briefly as his fighter, which had drifted to twenty meters away from the recoil, released a small amount of fuel in order to slow down. Jeb glanced toward the Mun to see if the rescue ship had arrived yet, and was rewarded by a small glimmer in front of the shiny rock they were orbiting... and punished by a rocket to the face. He looked back and saw it coming in time to try to veer off with his rocket pack, but due to the speed of the thing it grazed his helmet, surprisingly not puncturing it but ripping his radio transceiver off, along with his head light. Spinning out of control and stunned, he used his thrusters to stop spinning and looked down to see the battle fading away as he was flung several kilometers away. Amazed to be alive, he rocketed back as quickly as he could.

Meanwhile, Bill sent messages for surrender, all which went unheeded by the smug pilot who aimed straight for the capsule window. In a desperate bid for time, the service module was thrown at the fighter by an explosive decoupler. Unfortunately, it did little but to annoy the fighter pilot, who took maybe ten seconds to throw the thing away by pushing it with the nose of the capsule and to aim right at the window. The Pilot's trigger finger did it's work, and a rocket flew straight at the window as Bill and Bob hugged each other in fear.

Fortunately, ten seconds was just enough for the dedicated pilot of the rescue ship, who zipped by at forty meters per second as the Kerbal X was shielded by the bigger hull of the rescue ship, which took the missile impact but only lost a solar array which luckily acted like a whipple shield and slowed the rocket too much to damage the hull. Right away, the rescue ship started burning to slow down, as the fighter pilot blinked in surprise.

Bob: Glad you could join the party, Phil!

Phil:<I>"Not too late, am I?"</I>

At that moment, the fighter began rocketing towards the new arrival, taking stock of it. The Fighter Pilot found it to be relatively simple in design, two lander-cans and a couple of NERVAs. he also saw two rod-missiles, and rushed to lock on to the capsule before it did the same. The fighter, built specifically for combat, got the first target lock, and he jammed the large red fire button, but nothing happened. Surprised, he looked out a tiny side window to see his last missile slowly drifting away, and a smiling Jeb holding up a wrench and waving. With a sense of patriotic fatalism, the pilot waved back, then rocketed his ship back to the Kerbal X capsule, pressed his craft's nose to it's heatshield, and fired his engine for the last time.

Phil saw what he was doing, and with Jeb following, tore after them with as much thrust as he could muster, and fired both rockets. The first missed altogether but the second was straight and true, and the fighter's engine was torn into little pieces. The pilot, recognizing that all was lost, pulled his oxygen pipe out and hoped that he would die before hitting the pointy rocks below him.

Inside Phil's Lander-can2, he glanced over at a beeping indicator by his feet. Frowning, he called Bill and Bob.

Phil: Guys, you're sub-orbital. EVA over and I should be able to get us back into not-crashing mode.

Bob:<I>"Yeah. Make sure to open the airlock, We're coming out."</I>

Phil tried to call Jeb, but could not as Jeb's EVA radio was broken. Instead, as Jeb floated next to his window, he signaled by jabbing a finger in the prograde direction. Jeb activated his rocket pack, accelerating away. He sees a beeping indicator as Bill and Bob come inside, so he reaches over and opens the hatch to the Lander-Can below him.

Bill: (drifts in with Bob close behind) Thanks for the lift, Phil.

Phil: Glad to be of service. Snacks are in panel L5, in case you're interested.

both Kerbals tear a panel above them away and begin hungrily tucking in to their first meal in over half an hour.

Bob: (pauses eating briefly.) say, we're still suborbital - let's get outta here!

Bill: What about the pilot? We should at least try to help.

Phil: Hmm, you're right. (presses several buttons on his headset) fighter pilot, please respond.

Bob: He might be dead. Oh, and hurry up, we have six minutes until a rendezvous with the ground!

Bill: Hmm. Phil, try a gamma thingy scan. That should tell if he's still alive.

Phil: That also might kill him.

Bill: No, the space we're in has more dangerous radiation.

A gamma ray passes through the crippled fighter.

Phil: Well, he's dead.

Bill: ...War sucks.

Bob: Indeed it does. (glances out of window) guys, I can start to pick out individual boulders, let's get strapped in please.

Bill and Bob float back down the hatch as Phil swings the ship 40 degrees back onto the prograde marker.

Phil: Everyone ready? I'm burning.

They feel a light tug towards the perceived floor as the craft accelerates.

Bob: Well then, get a fire extinguisher!

Altogether: Hahahahahahaha-

Jeb:<I>"I thought there weren't any inside jokes in space. Oh, and can someone please pick me up?"</I>

Phil: I take it you fixed your radio, Jeb?

Jeb:<I>"Nope. Turns out there's a spare. Clever engineers."</I>

Bill: We'll see if we can catch up to you. (glances out window) We're getting pretty close to the ground. Rescuer out.

Phil: Ok, we have a periapsis a few meters above the ground... I'm going to try and get us a bit more height - (everyone is jolted toward the ceiling) crud.

Bob: What? Oh no, don't tell me...

Bill: Now I know why Wernher wanted to replace those NERVAs so badly. How high did we get our periapsis before the engines went off?

Phil: 200 meters.

Bob: Alright, I recommend we take a deep breath now, because in a few seconds we'll be holding them.

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