• Member Since 12th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 18 hours ago

Kris Overstreet

Convention vendor, compulsive writer. I have a Patreon for monthly bills and a KoFi for tips.



Now available in print format, thanks to our Kickstarter supporters!

It turns out that the magical land of Equestria is not a flat plane covered by a bowl of stars after all. This is big news to Queen Chrysalis. If the moon is actually a place, then she can travel there, claim its magical energies, and finally get revenge on Celestia, Twilight Sparkle, and everypony else.

Of course, there are problems. One problem is that everypony else is also rushing to get into space. Another problem is that Chrysalis really has no idea how to do it. Fortunately a certain earth pony with a taste for cherries is willing to help... provided she gets to fly the ship, and provided Chrysalis keeps the space program honest and open and legal.

Together, Chrysalis, Cherry Berry, and a horde of brave-but-dumb changelings will make world history... or, more likely, they'll make a lot of really big explosions.

Inspired by Kerbal Space Program. Current cover art by Jason Meador aka texasuberalles.

TVTropes page here! Thanks to GymQuirk for making it!

Old cover art (and Changeling flag) here:


1-21-2017 Included in The Goodfic Bin's High Quality Fics! Thanks! Review here: https://www.fimfiction.net/group/206510/the-goodfic-bin/thread/173558/submissions-folder-decision-thread-v2#comment/5750494


Chapters (24)
Comments ( 2088 )

I never knew how much I needed this story until it was written. Tracking.

At first, I was wondering how anyone was making rocket fuel. Then I realized they were trying to fly to the moon manually. I guess Twilight hasn't puzzled out how the atmosphere works yet... or no one believes her.

Bonus points for how you worked in Jebediah. Heaps of bonus points for "Warner von Brawn."

Heh. Cherry cordial pod. I wonder who else has that kind of effect on them.

Definitely looking forward to more. I can only imagine the bidding war for the rocket scientists. After all, there's only two of them to go around.

I can see it now, the two primary manipulable digit races working together with Changeling resources to build workign test vehicles, models are sent to Twilight for patent application as working protoypes,a nd Spike is all there playing with them, and Twilight ignores him because its not magic or wings or anything from ponys.

Meanwhile, Occupant makes a new freind who becomes the mascot for the location?

Skunk. :yay:

Welp. Looks like this one is definitely going to need keeping a close eye on.

Resceduling for Daily Overflights, with Chase Discretion.

These guys are Crazy. :pinkiecrazy:

I take it KSP doesnt include Hyperion rocket sled launch, Orion pulse drive, Colombiad, HARP or V3 cannon launch, Boeing SSTO, etc etc?

I mean. Lawn chair? you put the lawn chair in a paddling pool of water, on top of two trampolines leg to leg, with a sprung matress with an oak front door and a boiler plate from the railway. Then you put all the fireworks below that. I mean, what you have there might have worked for Gadget Hackwrench, but shes a mouse and a genius.

These guys are more Wile E Coyote. :twilightoops:

7181169 Twilight Sparkle is not stupid. This will be a genuine space race. However, blind spots for an entire world where rocketry is nothing more than a sci-fi term for "magic carpet ride" are to be expected. Much more so for an entire species which, heretofore, has lived entirely as a parasite on another species, not just for food but education and culture as well.

And Cherry Berry is not a mascot, unless Alan Shepher, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong and John Young were also mascots. She's going to be the one who sets the entire direction for the CSP. She is the original steely eyed missile mare.

I won't be updating daily. As Michelangelo told Pope Julius II, it will be done when it is done. I've been working on the first two chapters off and on for the last couple weeks, including three times when lightning strikes took out large parts of text that had to be rewritten.

KSP does not offer rail accelerator or cannon launching systems. They do have space planes, but the player has to build them from scratch and fly them manually, both of which are HARD!!! Building a SSTO spaceplane in KSP is well beyond my current skills or patience, so this story is going to focus exclusively on conventional capsule-controlled rocketry. (In advanced stages there IS a nuclear drive, but it's not Orion so much as a matter-anihilation drive.

And changelings with the silly knob turned up to eleven is as close as MLP:FiM offers to kerbals, who... well, let's just say the game seems to encourage learn-by-failure on a massive scale.

7181025 Twilight is being careful and working with what she knows. And Cherry Berry really, really loves cherries.

This can only end well.

Luckily, the comedy tag makes changeling carapaces permanent damage resistant.

Oh god, no wonder Chryssie is so irritated most of the time if this is the brain trust she has to deal with.

Mmm, cherries.

7183167 The planned title for Chapter 4 (which will have the first actual launch) is, "Trashcan Full of Boom."

7183702 I either highlight the surrounding paragraph and scroll down to find the note and then back up. Or use find (ctl+f) on the number to scoot down to the note and back up to the mark.

This will make for most amusing reading in the future of changelings. I smell some "the martian" comming.

7186283 Well, "The Martian" is what has recently been called "competency porn." This story is liable to lean more towards "incompetency porn."

Well, this is going to be a wild, and probably very fiery, ride and I eagerly await the next stage.

This thing is absolutely hilarious, especially if youve seen the history of rocket flight, and not played the game, because the dancing thing was captured on film.

Solid boosters are good for just going straight up effectively gurenteed, but its when you start using liquid fueled engines that the crazyness really gets going.

That cardboard will be back again. Soaked in changeling goo, compressed flat and formed into a layer about 6 inch thick and you should have a good starting point for your ablative reentry heatshield.

Im trying to remember if the guy I used to game with some years back was a KSP coder as he had one heck of a setup. Sigh. How many years ago. :pinkiesad2:

What was teh classic method of toy rocket parachute deployment? Something about, when its sat there at launch, its under 1 g, bu shen its in ballistic flight, its at 0 g, but has air drag. Therefore at the top of flight, its in 0g free fall, and 0 air drag, so internal spring or parachute pressure pops the nose off?

Wouldnt with rockets, mainly, the main ting required would be strength to weight ratio of material, because the stronger it is for a given weight, the larger volume and so weight of fuel it can store for a given weight of ship. But, performance is log mass ration, but linear exhaust velocity, so the faster you can exhaust, but thats square or cube depending on whats used, oh dear.

If speed is a ratio of mass, but drag is a function of area, the the more volume over area you have, the faster an atmosphere launched vehicle goes, the bigger the better?

Inspired by Kerbal Space Program.

Friendly word of advice, link to that story.

7187680 It's a game, not a story.

If someone made a changeling mod for KSP, I'd buy it in an instant.

Huh, Chryssie is actually getting the program together. And it's nice that Celestia actually wants them to succeed too.

That test launch.

Oh boy. There is no way describing a pressure suit to changelings as "blown up kind of like a balloon" is going to end in an ideal prototype...

Hmm. The close association between Cherry Berry and Chrysalis's richest alter egos is probably going to degrade the quality of their identity protection against Celestia, assuming she doesn't already know.

Ah. So that's Celestia's plan. It's certainly... optimistic. Also, I'm very intrigued to see what Twilight has devised for life support.

I see Cherry Berry's spent some interesting time with Zecora.

I like Ad Astra. It's like if Lovecraft genuinely enjoyed what he dreamt up.

Heh. Chrysalis has really catalyzed the space race. Heck, it might have withered and died without her providing patronage to Goddard and von Brawn.

This was great fun, but you're going to want to put in a few more section breaks. The transitions from Goddard to von Brawn and from the return to the test flight are very abrupt. Still, definitely looking forward to the next launch.

You're going to need to coordinate with Luna to fly to the moon. Otherwise she might move the thing while you're in mid-flight.

Needs scene breaks. Here:

“Mmm,” Chrysalis said, not really agreeing. Old habits died hard, and secrecy was a good habit for changelings anyway. “Anyway, let’s go see this von Brawn meathead.”

“You’re how much in debt?” Chrysalis gaped. The numbers on the ledger in front of her were almost entirely red, and the bottom one had too many digits for her liking.

And here:

And in any case, considering what was likely to happen with that cardboard box and one of the brain-bulls’ money sinks, she didn’t want the princess around to gloat at the upcoming humiliation. It’s bad enough, she sighed, that the pony from Canterlot who signs prize checks will probably be here before we’re ready to launch…

The pony’s name was Ad Astra. Her planet-and-star cutie mark fairly floated on her teal-coated flank. Mauve eyes peered out over little square glasses with a no-nonsense attitude. Her dark mane, shot through with gray, was done up in a bun above and behind her horn. Despite the heat of a desert afternoon, she wore a cardigan sweater and showed no signs of discomfort.

Good show otherwise. Looking forward to more.

This is a really fun story. It's so fun, in fact, that I downloaded it to read it offline when I had more time. But the downloaded version of this story doesn't include the footnotes, since they're in the Author's Notes instead of in the story proper. I was left footnoteless and bereft!

Reading this makes me want to go back and play that game again. ...so many dead kerbals.
I look forward to the next misadventure.

This is wonderful and deserves all my likes. And the reader count is shamefully low, this deserves a lot more attention.

Interesting chapter. I sooooo hope the changelings will win.

Again, if there was a changeling mod for the game, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Kinda hoping that Chryssie will actually use this opportunity to establish peaceful relations with other species.

Woot! It didn't blow up! It didn't blow up! Oh, and it flew too.

Ah. So it's spelled Mun, not Moon. That means the changelings can still get to Minmus first if they get beaten to the Mun. Also, I've just done a quick search for any way to help with documentation, and found an auto-screenshot mod. Still need a Bill and a Bob remember.

You've got to markers for footnote 44.

7194085 Ah, I forgot to write that footnote the first time around. Well, that just means BONUS FOOTNOTE FOR YOU!

Edited, and thanks for the catch.

Wow. No wonder Twilight's a bit behind. Sometimes the most constructive test you can perform is one that you know will fail, but that you don't know why. Granted, it's expensive and looks bad, but it can still offer a wealth of data.
...and she's going for a reusable design? Dang. Ambitious, I'll give her that.

I do love the explanations for the MMU fuel and supplies... though I don't see how dehydrating food will keep it molecularly stable. I suppose they'll fix that bug at some point.

Oh, Dash. She just doesn't understand. I'm honestly not sure if she can.

Yeah, that "not my department" joke was pretty much inevitable. :derpytongue2:

:rainbowlaugh: Magnificent "Up Goer Five" reference.

Yup. Twilight's being... well, Twilight. Perfection or nothing. And with rocket science, she'll be getting a whole lot of nothing. I hope she'll learn to compromise as the CSP continues making steps forward while she's trying to pole vault without a pole.

Hmm. If the buttons are all in hoof's reach for Chrysalis, how well will they work for anyone else?

Another great chapter. Looking forward to more.

7194284 I very nearly deleted the first footnote #35, and remembered what I'd intended to put there only because my web browser was glitching. I hope I've got the footnotes all fixed now...

7194716 The dehydrated food doesn't get teleported. You dehydrate the meals, pack them by hand (hoof?) on the ship, then use the teleported water to reconstitute it (somewhat). If memory serves it was experimented with during the early space race, but eventually abandoned because it really didn't save all that much weight or space. Also, the astronauts all detested the stuff. Bad for morale.

In our world, we had to haul the water (or the stuff we used to make water) up from the ground anyway. If Houston or Baikonur had had magic-savant unicorns to make magic crystals for them, the astronauts would have had to complain a lot louder about the food... or smuggle more corned beef sandwiches up.

As for the switches... well, in real history early astronauts were limited to fighter pilot restrictions on weight and height, 5'2" to 5'10". I expect there's a little bit of room to adjust the seat mounting inside the capsule for that range. It won't be an issue until and unless somepony starts having a Bad Day.

Neighing Mantis... She's not a reference to MGS4's B&B Member, Screaming Mantis, is she?

7194971 No reference in her case. I just wanted a bug name and didn't want "preying" in it. Besides, she's had her joke and probably won't be back.


You know, seeing the rocket sat there, it looks just like a solid snake, but fat and short. Like Mantis.

Only 7 g on the first launch? Wow, they were being careful, or just lucky. Then again, that was peak acceleration as the fuel mostly burnt out.

I dont know if KSP allows staged solid fuel or if its one of the options, but I was considering the idea at school for a three stage strap on solid boosters first stage launch operation, then the liquid thing only kicks it at speed, altitide and distance. Simply put, solid rockets are increadibly reliable, and launch pads are extremely expensive, so when the liquid fuel thing goes boom, it is nice to have it far away so it doesnt cause any damage. That and you can have it pointing in a general direction as well. The reason for useing 6 sets of boosters? when one fails you jetison it and its opposition if the RCS and aerodynamic controls can handle the offset?

the problem with the teleporting mana crystals has been looked at many times in various ways in scifi over the decades, the current physical version being the laser and microwave beamer, as in the power is on the ground, in orbit, L1 etc, but then the effect of transmitting that power to the rocket causes the thrust. with even water, all someone has to do is break the toilet and have it constantly flush, and there is water ejecting from teh rocket, which is thrust, which if linked into a pressure vessel with external vet on the rocket, and the source is the bottom of the ocean, you are going to get a lot of thrust indeed. Currently, Im going to say for the amount of supplies available through magical teleportation, you will be able to tank up the RCS, EVA and maybe get some ion drive class propulsion.

The SAS sonds like they only have basic PID if that with a fixed k function because they havent modeled the variation accross the flight envelope as yet, ebcause they havent blown enough launches up to find out where the flight eenvelope does very, intresting things, to the vehicles passing through.

Why didnt CSP get awards for vehicle speed, height and being the first non Dash pony to make a sonic Boom, amongst others?

Between Dashs ego, thank you todays episde, and Fluttershies fully expected and reasonable paranoia, Id think Twilight would be months behind at least.

Ah, that was it. carbon based fuels emit a lot o energy when passed through the link? Reminds me of the only UK space launch system. High Test Peroxide and I think Keroscene, or maybe just Peroxide and Catalyst. Apparently the thing was sat on the launchpad down in Woomera, Australia (Booster in Aboriginie, short stick for throwing spears further) with Prospero satelite on it when they got told to wrap up, the program was canceled. they launched it anyway. Supposed to still be in 450 mile orbit. the program was canceled because the system could only launch a relatively useless LEO. As far as I currently understand.

I take it, Chrysalis got a real good deal on a whole load of swamp infested hurricane hammered beachfront property down Florry Hay way? :trollestia:

7195568 Yes, KSP can stage solid rocket boosters... eventually. It's not something you start out being able to do. More to the point, any particular solid booster is of the "once you light it, you're just along for the ride" variety; the only way you can throttle them is if you pre-set a less than 100% thrust before launch (think of it as a smaller vent, I guess). You still want liquid fuel rockets for the ability to throttle, shutdown, and restart.

By the time Equestria gets to ion propulsion (which is a fairly late-stage development in KSP's tech tree) Twilight will probably have her magic zero-fuel drive worked out, at which point it's a small step to pony starships. For the time being, though, it's fuel plus oxidizer and In Thrust We Trust.

Mission Two was much faster and farther than Mission One, but not enough so to hit the Royal Astronomical Society's next benchmark in either, so no special award. (Translated: no milestones when I flew that mission through KSP.)

Finally, since you mention swampland, allow me to refer you to the Chapter 1 footnotes.

Fun chapter, I enjoyed it. Looking forward to more.

Maybe going through all that will mellow Chryssie out a bit.

A swamp... Thank god for mosquito-resistant carapace.

The Changelings are moving to the swamp.

Princess. We have Bugs.

Meh, Whats Up Doc. :pinkiecrazy:

But I wanna ride the eggbeater.

Im not sure if all KSP flights have to be crewed, but the prior method, for sounding rockets, was to replace th capsule with a complete smaller test rocket, and if that was big enough, to stick the smallest testrocket, little more than a firework, on top of that? Especially if it happened to be able to lift a camera to take randomly aimed photos?

7197151 In KSP unmodded, you can't launch a rocket without a pilot until your research unlocks space probes. Roughly speaking, that happens about the time you can achieve orbital flight reliably.

That is a fantastic battle cry, especially in a language that can express it so quickly.

I really enjoyed this chapter. I appreciate a Chrysalis with some character depth that still stays true to the source material. Plus, the launch was hilarious.

Meanwhile... In a certain orchard clubhouse...

"This here tree sap is as good as a weld if I do say so mahself..."

"Think we can sell it?"

"If we convert it intah pads and connect them with the stuff... It'll harden into easily shapable bars."

"Twilight wouldn't buy that..."

"What about the changelings?"



7201609 Be patient. Our heroes(?) are still fiddling around with the Flea, and still are as of the chapter I've half-finished. That's not enough ship to require struts, not even close.


Depends on version number and/or mods installed. :) Also, remember FTL Egg?

7201769 I know of it, and I presumed that by the current version that glitch had been sealed in Tartarus along with the Space Kraken.

(Memo to self: must find a place in the story for legends of the Space Kraken, Devourer of Rocket Ships Since Eternity Even Though We Didn't Have Rocket Ships a Year Ago.)

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