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One day, after Jeb's rocket nearly killed him again for the 57th time, Jeb had had enough. Flying his personal jet home and crashing it beside his house, he decided it was time for a vacation. Frustrated, he gathered up his friends Beranna and Corry and took them to the local party shop. A few hours later they left, carrying a 2-ton rock with hundreds of party balloon strapped to it. They went to work, strapping balloons to every inch of exposed metal on the remaining bits of the plane's fuselage during the night. Finally, it was done. "Hop in!" Jeb said, rubbing a piece of paint off the fuselage. Corry was waiting beside him, while Beranna was trying to sneak off the premises. She didn't get too far, however, when a errant jet of water leaking out of a fire hose shot her back towards Jeb and his rig. "so, what will we name it?" Corry asked, attempting to stop Beranna from punching her way through the thin metal of the cabin. "How about... hmmm... J.S.S. Pourquoi-Pas?" Jeb suggested. "Sounds pretty fancy, right?" "Yes, but what does J.S.S. stand for?" Corry replied, covering a small hole in the wall with a piece of duct tape. "I don't know." Jeb said, pushing up the throttle. "And I don't care!" Corry pried a half-frozen taco out of the icebox. "Did you bring a microwave?" he asked, eyeing the taco hungrily. "Nope! I do have a RTG though." Jeb answered through the hatch."It should be under your chair." Jeb gunned the engine, a recycled Kessna-18 motor Actual Chapter 1: 5 minutes later The grass below them slowly darkened, as the ground rose higher. The foothills of the great western mountains and the towering K-2 loomed in front of them. A particularly high hill rose in front of them, momentarily blocking their views. "PULL UP!" Beranna shrieked, and in the process smacking the taco out of Corry's hand. Corry's eyes reddened, and a deep guttural growl emanated from within him. "I HAVE BEEN AWAKENED! I AM TACTHULU, DESTROYER OF INTESTINAL TRACTS!" "Pipe down back there!" Jeb said sharply as he pulled back the stick. The feeble Kessna-17 engine shook, but it held on. Suddenly, another hill appeared. Jeb and his friends smashed into it, at velocities exceeding R18, which is definitely much too fast, especially on a road trip, causing the kerbals and their vehicle to rapidly assume the form of a crushed tin of mint jelly. But luckily that was in an alternate universe where due to a billion years of erosion said hill had formed. In this one, a slight change in the soil composition denied the hill from ever forming, while the slightly improved Kessna-18 engine that the real Jeb had managed to pull them clear. In this universe, Jeb and his friends were still alive and relatively well, though a bit harrowed. "Take us higher, Jeb!" Corry said, gasping. "Good idea." Beranna stated, perfectly calmly, to everyone's shock. Jeb reluctantly turned off the innovative Mk-122 Rapid Cooling Pump he had stolen from a random rocket in the VAB. Some of the condensed gas began to evaporate back into the balloon. They slowly gained altitude, until finally they were well above the tallest of the foothills, passing a small field of "houses", which were in reality painted on outlines of actual buildings. "What are those for?" Jeb wondered aloud. Corry answered. "I'm not sure if I should tell you this, but they're supposedly fake buildings to attract enemy bombers. "Bombers? Is there a war going on?" Beranna piped in. Corry was about to answer, but he was cut short by a burst of static. The KR-7 Communication and Television disk that Jeb had installed had tuned itself into a station. "And welcome back folks, to a brand new edition of Fort Munderdale News! Traffic accidents along highways 23 and 42 are attributed to a passing meteorite shower, causing some fragile circuits in the radio of those cars to short out. The drivers apparently stopped their cars in the middle of the road to change the station. In other news, airship flying near heavily populated areas are now required by law to deflate their balloons before flying near them. This is due to concerns that unruly disposal of certain types of garbage over cities is attributed to literal @#$%storms. This has been FMN Hourly news. Tune in next hour for our executive interview with the Kerbal Space Center public spokesman *crkkkkk* -erman. Have a good evening!" "Ok guys, I think this was a pretty good test. Get plenty of sleep tonight. We leave for real tomorrow morning!" Jeb said, turning the blimp around. "Beranna, I promise it won't be as boring as your desk job." Beranna growled. And a classic Jebediah landing: Next morning, after a quick bit of welding and duct-tape, Jeb and Corry carried large cases of alcohol and deep-frozen tacos onboard. Nearby, Beranna sat, looking at Jeb pushing a trolley full of beer cases with contempt. "Do we really need that much alcohol?" She asked, with obvious distaste. "It's mainly for you!" The reply came from behind the blimp. Corry and Jeb both laughed. Beranna sighed, and stood up, carrying a small bag of clothing and her service pistol, which she had kept after her 2-month patrol a few years back. It was an absolutely deadly weapon, which could almost break a sheet of paper at point blank range. She packed it anyway, just in case. A few minutes later, they were finally prepared. Jeb settled into his pilot's seat, popped open a cold one, and turned the ignition. The Kessna 18 engine sputtered to life, filling the rear compartment with an oily black smoke. "Everyone have their toothbrushes?" Jeb asked "Oh s-" Corry started "Great!" Jeb shouted, with a manic grin. He gave the anchor a good tug, and off they went, into the glorious summer skies. Jeb climbed out of the cockpit, forcing Beranna to move into it, and sat on the newly installed chair on the top of the blimp. Pulling out his guitar, he began to strum it, singing off-key. The bright morning sun shone on the spinning propeller. And for the first time in the last two years, Jeb felt relaxed. -T O B E C O N T I N U E D-