The year is 431 AFR. The Republic, ruled by their benevolent Lord Protectors, are now at the first step to reach for the stars: the "Nationale Ruimte-organisatie" or NRA has been formed. With plans to send their first probe next year. The combined strength of the people of Overius, they will succeed everywhere. The ingenuity of the Seaners, the workmanship of the Brabandish and the resources hailed from Limbers mines, they will construct powerful rockets. And they will be shipped to the massive launchpads in Fryska. From there, they will launch some of the greatest engineering in the history of the Overius people. It will begin with the Cornelius program.
The Cornelius was named after the name-wise first King of all Braband. It will mark the first probes send out for research into weather patterns, geological study and atmosphere composition. Cornelius I, scheduled for next year summer, will be the first to launch, and mark the first man-made object in space for the Overius. The project is led by Willem Janssen, a pioneer in rocket engineering and expert in rocket systems. He will be the one to lead the project to success, or so is hoped. The probe will be launched from IJsmeer station, on the small island of Flevo.
This is a new dawn for the Republic. Lord Protector Herman Vanderwaal will be pleased.
" I assure you that the monorail tracks will be finished on time, my good senators. All workers are in place and all constructions are in order. Tommorow begins the building of the stations and rails, beginning with the Amrodam - Den Brendan line. I thank you for your time." Said Minister Sophie Vossenaar of Infrastructure. " And what of the Midburgh - Endhof line? There have been problems with the workers before, what is different now? They strike and refuse to work. They want more payment. What can we do about that?" Asked Senator Willem Dam of Midburgh. Minister Sophie was a bit overwhelmed with these comments. " I am sure they will not cause any trouble. It will be done on time." answered Minister Sophie. " Thank you Minister. Now, if all questions have been answered, than I hereby close this meeting."Said Speaker of the senate Johannes Vlaardingen. And all Senators bowed with their hand on their heart, as was tradition, towards the Speaker and his clerks.
" Well spoken, Sophie. We must make sure that the Senate remains united, especially with the Cornelius Program." Said Senator Gerben Veenstra of Heerven, a city in Fryska. " I have to keep the senate in place. But I am not in charge of the space program, Lord Vanderwaal is. Remember that." Answered Sophie. " Now, if you excuse me, the Lord's speech is on television. Fancy a coffee? We'll drop one in the Koffiehuys." Gerben thought of that. " Yeah sure." He answered.
IJsmeer Station, Flevo, Fryska " This is Dirk Vliet live from IJsmeer Station, where in a few minutes the Lord Protector will give a speech regarding the status of the Cornelius Program, the Overius'first attempt to launch a satellite into space. Cornelius I, the first in the series, is bound to be launched later this afternoon on top of a Serie 3 rocket here on Flevo. A big group of supporters and space-flight fanatics have gathered around here today, to watch this historical event with their own eyes. We will be right back to you when Lord Vanderwaal. This is Dirk Vliet for OFTN, live from IJsmeer Station."
" Milord, it is time." said a bodyguard. " Indeed it is." answered Vanderwaal. He walked up to the press podium, with number of microphones on it. The people cheered at his sight. He waved to them and smiled. And he called upon silence. And he spoke: " Today, we begin a new era. A new time where we will for the first time, reach for the stars. Today, we launch our first satellite. Who knows what will follow. The first of our people, a space station, and what more. For now, let us cheer for this magnificent event. Cheer for Cornelius I, our first object in space. Long have I dreamed of a time where we would launch our first probes, and explore the universe. Today marks the first beginning. Cornelius I will launch in 30 minutes, and may he be blessed with a good journey. Long may live our Glorious Republic, and Long may live Cornelius I. Proost!" And the people cheered and applauded. " Thank you all." Vnderwaal concluded and waved, and after that walked off the podium. The press came towards him with questions like " Do you believe he will make it?" and " Can we be sure he even reaches space?" To which Vanderwaal only answered: " I am certain that the people in the command station are well equipped and well knowledgable to accomplish this." And he walked back to the Lord Protector's limousine.
Cornelius Command Station, Utreg " Beginning all preparation sequences. Checking all go's." Said Commander Willem Janssen. " First and second boosters ignitions?" " Go." " Short-band radio signal." " Go." " Long-band radio signal." " Go." " Abort protocols?" " Go." " Separation modules A and B?" " No go. I repeat no go. Module B4 is not responding. Rebooting systems...and we have a response. We have a go on Modules A and B." " Copy that. Continuing go procedures. Main Fuel Tank?" " Go." " Back-up Fuel Tanks?" " Go." " Main Power Supply?" " Go." " Backup Power Supplies?" " Go." " Main Probe Computer?" " Go." " Backup Computers?" " Go." " Tower Control?" " Go."
" Okay. Go procedure is now complete, setting the timetable to -00 09 00 ETL." Said Flight Manager Angus Marks. " Copy that Angus. Double check Engine and Flight sequence safety protocols." " All is in order, no weather conditions are endangering. In the clear, Cornelius is clear for launch." " Copy that. Countdown initiated in 3...2...1 countdown iniated. 9 mintues to launch." " T minus 9 minutes and counting."
IJsmeer Station " This is Mark Vliet. Flight Control in Utreg, a mere 90 km from here has confirmed Go procedure is completed and countdown has been resumed, with now only 8 minutes to launch."
Cornelius Command Station " This is Booster Control. Pressurization of the main boosters will iniate on my mark in 3...2...1 and pressurization initiated." " T minus 7 minutes." " This is Tower Control. Nose Gripper will disengage in 3...2...1 and disengaged. Launch is cleared. Removing other grippers in 3 minutes." " T minus 6 minutes." " Radio Control here. Checking Radio signals and all broadcasts are responding. Radio broadcast is in the clear." " T minus 5 minutes." " Booster Control here. Engaging Fuel flow in 3...2...1 and fuel flow engaged. Pressure seems normal, all fuel flows activated. No errors. Fuel Flows are in the clear." " T minus 4 minutes." " Activating Main Power Supply and Backup Power. All Modules respond, no errors occur. Power Supply is in the clear." " T minus 3 minutes." " This is Tower Control. Disengaging remaining Fuel Lines in 3...2...1 and disengaged. Beginning Tower separation protocols." " T minus 2 minutes and counting." " This is Flight Command. Please confirm all Controls are in the clear." " All confirmed, no errors occurring. We have a go, I repeat Cornelius is set for launch." " T minus one minute." " Checking last Electrical protocols...all clear. Launch is cleared and confirmed." " 30...29...28...27...26...25...24." " Activating Second boosters in 3...2...1 and second booster ignited. All systems normal, launch is cleared." "15...14..13...12...11." " Clearing remaining Tower lines in 3...2...1 And all separated." "5...4...3...2...1...and go." " Boosters engaged, Cornelius is rising."
IJsmeer Station " Wow, look at that. Cornelius has finished countdown and is rising. And it seems to be working. This is truly a astonishing event. This is Mark Vliet for ONTN, reporting from the Cornelius I launch."
Cornelius CC " Lift-off, he have a lift-off at 11:41 am. The clock is ticking. All is looking good." Said Willem Janssen. " Copy that flight commander. Beginning atmospheric reading manoeuvres now. Okay, Thermometer is underway, pressure-meter is in the green. We will control the data for you." " copy that research control. Tower control, you may begin post-launch procedures now." " copy that. Fuel sensors are online. Nothing wrong. All is green." " copy that. Booster control, what have we got." " all is in the green, commander. Speed is accelerating to 5000 km/h . 28 km to go for first stage separation. Counting down from 27 km." " this is launch control. 25 seconds and counting." " 23 km." " Pressure is decreasing to 0.95Stat(Standaard atmosfeer). De-pressurization is 0.1 per 2000 metres. All is okay." " 3 km to separation." " 40 seconds and counting." " 1st stage separation in 3...2...1 and break!"
IJsmeer Station A sudden bang was heard from above. First people feared the rocket exploded, but soon they saw the second stage ignition. " Here we see the first stage separation.g from the rocket, and the second stage will fly the probe into orbit. Well, it seems for me that the launch is over. Back to you Sandra!" Said Dirk Vliet. " And cut." He concluded. " Well the next time we see him again will be when we come with Cornelius II." Dirk joked. People laughed. And that was when the launch was truly over.
Amrodam, het Koffiehuys " Well this is amazing." Said Sophie. " Indeed." Answered Gerben. " We could use that." " What do you mean?" Asked Sophie. " Well, do you not see? The senate is divided. The speeches of Dewild makes him popular, especially with the young senators. But they do not see his radical ideas. We need something like this to boost us." " You speak of taking advantage of a media event. Is that right.?" Sophie posed. " I am not speaking of right or wrong, I am speaking of our goals. This monorail has been blocked for to long. The senators now it is their own fault. They are taking those risks. It is up to you to deal with them." " What do you suggest?" " Use me." " You? What can you do? No offence." " I may not be the most important, but I know someone who is. Senator Brand from Gronin." " Brand? But he has always opposed my ideas." " exactly. That is why we are gonna recruit him. Into our triumvirate." " Triumvirate? Oh no, no no no. I will have say in that." " Why not/ If you want your plans to move forward, I suggest you begin forging alliances." Continued Gerben. " Is this an advice, or a threat?" Asked Sophie " Make of it what you want, I am offering you this." After a long pause as Sophie put a lot of thought into the matter, she finally said: " Okay. I will do it. But on my terms only." Gerben chuckled shortly. " As you wish."