• Published 20th Feb 2014
  • 2,512 Views, 37 Comments

On A Falling Star - Ash19256



On a night unlike any other, the stars seem to fall, and reveal something amazing: Ponykind is not alone in the universe. And the neighbors have just come calling.

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Chapter 6: A Brave New World

All hands, blue alert. Prepare for undocking of base modules one through forty-eight, and the launch of shuttles one through twelve.” The blaring of the alert klaxon echoed through the Endeavour. “Set condition 3 throughout the main habitation module.”

“Commander, all crew in transfer shuttles 2 through 12 report that they are in undocking configuration. Confirmed, all personnel in shuttles ready to deploy,” B9k announced. “Operations Phase 2 is ready to commence at your orders sir.”

“Well, no putting it off any longer I suppose. Make sure the Endeavour doesn’t blow up or something while we’re on the surface, okay B9?” Jeb replied.

“Acknowledged sir. Stationkeeping thrusters are on standby, just in case something happens during deployment. Undocking commands sent. Have a pleasant flight, sir.” A dull clunking sound echoed through the structure of the ship as the 48 modules and 12 shuttles of the initial base undocked and commenced their synchronized maneuvers to carry them to the chosen landing site.

Jeb smiled as he heard the sharp clunk that indicated their shuttle, shuttle number 1, had undocked. He recalled how the landing site had been chosen. Initially, the mission planners had planned for them to find a spot to set down near their orbital plane, leaving it to B9k to find an appropriately interesting spot.

Their discovery of native, intelligent life had changed that.

Now, the mission planners had them doing something far less boring than studying rocks and algae. They wanted them to set down just over 10 kilometers away from a native settlement, and land in a relatively loud manner. They would then set up an observation post on a nearby, relatively small mountain, and observe the settlement to see if there was a reaction to their landing.

If there was, Jeb, Bill and Bob were to peacefully intercept the investigative party and leave a package containing, of all things, a number of language neutral math problems, the idea being that they would let them convey the message that they wished to communicate with the natives, and were also intelligent, while also covertly determining the intelligence of the natives. Jeb was already predicting that the math problems would backfire in some manner.

Of course, these landings had only taken place after over a month of covert observation, both from orbit and on the ground, plus a few encounters both planned and unplanned to “test the waters” to use the terms used by mission control back on Kerbin.

“Confirmation, all modules guidance computers locked in, glidescopes and ballistic flight trajectories calculated. Maneuver timers set. First burn in t- minus 60 seconds and counting,” B9k announced. “All personnel, please ensure you are securely strapped in.”

“Hey B9, mind putting on some background music? The wait is killin’ me!” One of the other astronauts shouted.

You could almost hear the eye roll accompanying B9k’s reply. “Of course sir. One round of background music, coming right up.”

After this, a very familiar melody began to play over B9k’s comm channel to the shuttles. Cheers began to ring out amongst everyone who could hear it, being reminded of one of the most famous and popular science fiction shows of the late ‘10s.

“Commencing maneuvers,” B9k announced, as the astronauts were shoved back into their seats by the force of the orbital maneuvering engine in the tail of the shuttle. The roar of the engine wasn’t deafening, but it was loud, and it was consistent. Jeb smirked as he remembered how a few cadets who had been sent on the mission to “gain experience”, as it were, had complained about the noise. They had promptly been told to suck it up, because there wasn’t anything that could be done about it. Spaceflight is a noisy business, and anyone who didn’t like that should go home.

The roar cut out as the engines ceased firing around 30 seconds later. “Initial maneuver complete. Preparing for next maneuver,” B9k announced shortly afterwards, sending the commands to the shuttle’s maneuvering thrusters to have them flip the shuttle over 180 degrees to prepare for a deorbit burn. “T-minus 30 minutes, 58 seconds, mark.”

“Alright boys and girls, now that we have about half an hour to avoid being interrupted by engine noise, let’s go over the plan,” Bob spoke up, B9k dampening the sound of the music to background levels. “We’re in the first deployment wave, meaning we get all the hard work done before Bill and the rest of his boffins come down here and start doing science. Engineering teams, you’ve already been given your assignments, the second we land, get your helmet on and get to work. Security teams 1 through 3, you’re on force recon. Once we touch down, get your helmets on, activate your adaptive camo system and get us more solid intel on this forest we’re setting down near. Orbital sensors weren’t able to get a solid look through the canopy. Remember, we have no clue what’s in there, so make sure to bring at least one drone, preferably three, and all of your equipment. That includes your SR-09B. That gun will save your life if you take care of it.”

Bob didn’t normally harp on things like that, but Team 3, also known as Section Icebreaker, was composed of one experienced officer and 7 privates fresh out of boot camp. Bill knew what happened when rookies forgot to take care of their SR-09Bs, and it was never pretty. He shuddered. Considering the bad feeling he and just about everyone in orbit had about that forest, something told him those rookies were going to need all the help they could get. He continued.

“Security teams 4, 5, and 6, your job is making sure the engineers are covered. Take 12 of the AGL-80 attachments, if something goes horribly wrong you might need the firepower while we wait for evac. Our entry was timed to coincide with a local meteor shower, so we should be able to land without giving our position away too badly, but for all we know now we could be dropping in on a fancy party that got set-up during entry.”

Here, Jeb took over briefly. “Remember, if everything goes to hell in a handbasket, the plan is to drop everything and run like hell. The self-destruct charges and field overload systems will take care of making sure our tech stays out of the wrong hands, or hooves if you want to use what the natives likely use. Thus, your job is to make sure you stay alive and get the hell out of range of anything they can do. In the event that we have to utilize these contingency plans, B9 will be using the asteroid deflection system to provide orbital fire support. Hopefully, things don’t come to that.”

Bob resumed from where he had left off, right as B9k switched to a different piece of background music. “Right. Security teams 7 and 8, you will be accompanying me, Commander Jeb, and Specialist Ramirez to Site Beta, where we will be assisting Ramirez in setting up the observation outpost that is intended to go there. Feel free to take only your basic SR-09B, we shouldn’t be running into any major altercations with the wildlife.”

Bob started checking his gear, while he delivered the closing to their little speech. “Teams 9 through 12, you remain on stand-by. And by stand-by, I mean helping the engineers with anything they ask you to help out with. Any questions?”

“SIR NO SIR!”

“Good! Now then, B9, please give us an update on time till -” Bob was cut off by the roaring sound of the engine making a return. “Never mind then! B9, if you’d put on Ride of the Valkyries, followed by the 1812 Overture I think those would be good tracks to finish on!” Bob shouted.

“Acknowledged sir. Starting now." B9k’s comm link began to belt out the orchestral beauty of Wagner’s masterpiece as the shuttles initiated their descent, followed closely by the modules that had been silently trailing them in their voyage across the black. As the massive, 50 meter wide wedge shaped objects that were the shuttles decelerated, followed by the equally massive, albeit in a different manner, modules, each weighing over 85 metric tons, the formation descended, slowly. Following the formation was a cluster of space debris, detritus left over from the planet’s formation. It was following a slightly steeper course into the planet’s atmosphere. This, combined with the smaller and weaker nature of the debris, meant that while the Kerbals and their magnificent flying machines would make it to the surface, the debris would not.

And as they descended, they had no idea that they were flying straight over a very rapidly destabilizing situation......


Gryfinholm, Gryphon Empire
11:32 PM Gryfinholm Mean Time

“What is the meaning of this?!” snarled Emperor Eagle-Cobra, ruler of the Gryphon Empire. Currently, however, he wasn’t really ruler of anything, seeing as he was on the wrong side of the dungeon cell’s bars.

“Simple. Bit of a coup d’état going on. I’m just solidifying my rule over yours, you old fool,” replied the new, very smug Emperor Iron Talon, who had formerly been known as General Iron Talon. His coup had been unexpected. However, seeing as he was on the outside of the cell, wearing all the regalia his new position afforded him, he had clearly gone public with it. The fact that none of his successors had deposed Iron Talon shortly after his attack made it clear that they were either dead or captured.

Eagle growled. Iron Talon’s forces had stormed his throne room, executed his court, and hit him with something that knocked him unconscious. “How do you expect to fool the Council of Stewards into believing that they don’t need to intervene?” Cobra asked, analytical as always.

“Simple, I have a specialist who should be arriving shortly.” The look on Iron Talon’s face could only be described as sadistic glee.

“Here I am boss. You zaid you needed my expertise vor somezing?” a strange, heavily accented voice made it’s presence clear from the doorway.

“Ah, there you are Doctor Trotsky. I believe now would be good time to start the procedure on the former emperor, wouldn’t you agree?” If the grin on Talon’s face got any wider, it would decapitate him.

“Ah, yes. Mental shock does decrease ze efficiency of ze procedure, und Eagle-Cobra should haff gotten over most of ze shock of beink removed from power.” As the speaker moved into the light, Eagle and Cobra got their first look at them.

What they saw infuriated them.

Eagle snarled. “Equestrian coward! Of course you weaklings would be behind this!”

All the mysterious “Dr. Trotsky” did in response was laugh, in a manner most would consider insane. “Bwahahah! Oh, so you zink Eqvestria vas behind zis? Ahahah, zat is ze funniest zing I haff heard all veek!” His laughter died down. “For your information, dekadentskoy durak, I do not associate mit Eqvestria’s scientific community. Zey complained about my experiments, somezink about zem beink, “immoral”, I zink.” He shrugged. “I merely do not let zese zings normal ponies call “morals” interfere mit my progress.”

Cobra looked more worried when he spoke up. “Who are you?”

“I am Doctor Victor Trotsky, visionary bio-engineerink specialist. Specialisink in ze manipulation of bodily chemistry und genetics.” Now the unicorn was fully visible, his white lab coat obscuring most of his body. All that could be seen was that he had a blood red coat, a dark brownish-red mane, almost appearing to be the color of dried blood. His green eyes shined malevolently.

And he was grinning in a way that would have unsettled even Discord.

“I also specialize in ze manufacture und maintenance of high-energy containment spells.” The insane unicorn chuckled darkly. “Self-powerink, high-energy containment spells.” His horn lit, glowing a terrifying dark crimson, so dark it was nearly black.

As his horn glowed, it almost seemed as though the room started to grow darker, from Eagle-Cobra’s view behind the bars. Then, he felt something that made his heart truly know fear.

He felt his magic draining.

“What?! NO!” He charged the bars, hoping to break through them with his superior strength, only for him to be blown backwards by a bolt of energy lancing through him the second he touched them.

Then he collapsed, his strength ebbing as his magic left him.

The last thing he heard was Iron Talon and Dr. Trotsky laughing like madmen.

Author's Note:

So. This is it, then. As you all are likely aware, this story, and every other story I have written, are cancelled. This is something that I don't like, but frankly, I can't work up the effort of doing anything with these stories, and even if I could, I have nothing I can think of to write for them.

For this story in particular, it's a very bitter pill to swallow. This, out of all of the stories I've written, is my favorite. And it's the one I'm saddest to realize would be better off with a different author. So, I'm going to be handing off the stuff I've designed with this to a friend of mine, Meep the Changeling. If they want to do something with it, cool. If not, then I'll post the link to view the design document here.

Comments ( 5 )

6622712
So it’s not dead. If so, use the hiatus tag instead due to the demotivational properties of the cancelled tag.

8801076
Really, this story is probably dead. In practice, odds are Meep will likely either make a new story, or fold the stuff I thought up for this one into one of their stories. Either way, this story probably won't have any more chapters added to it.

8801081
Please I ask this not as some one who reads but as a brony and a kerbal rocket scientist please continue this it is an increadable story that makes me think up new ksp missions to Duna and Layth(#bestmoon) so please finish what you started.

Awww.... Just discovered but dead nonetheless by cancellation in 2018.

Well crud. Some parts seemed simplistic the base idea and story was sound.

9094390
It's a case of me feeling that I can't really deliver on a proper story. I may revisit this in the future, but it would be a definitively different story from this, if nothing else because it wouldn't be a KSP crossover, but in all honesty that would just turn into a ripoff of AdmiralTigerclaw's excellent story Arrow 18 Mission Logs: Lone Ranger, except with closer to RL tech and fewer challenges because they don't show up unprepared for alien life and without just sending a single person.

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