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FYS: A Glossary

Administration Morph: A Morph granted control over other morphs, usually to smooth coordination between Morphs and humans in a large Factional State or LARP Nation.

AI: See Artificial Intelligence.

Anthromorph: A robot designed to mimic an anthropomorphic animal, with artificially grown fur and skin over a plastic and aluminum chassis.

Artificial Intelligence: A computer program capable of independent creative thought, similar to that of human, though operating at infinitely faster speeds.

Avalon: A Factional State catering to the Amish, Mennonites, and others wishing to use the bare minimum of modern technology.

Botfucker:
 Derogatory term for a human who engages in physical relations with a Morph. 

Breakdown Box: A large crate containing swarms of nanobots, designed to break down garbage and debris to their component elements for later collection and reuse. Common to every human home on the Ring, replacing traditional garbage and recycling cans. Note: A Breakdown Box features built in safeguards to prevent the nanobots from disassembling living organisms more complex than plants and waste meat (especially people!)

Coalition of First Nations: A Factional State catering to Native American tribes and cultures, who wish to avoid relations with the colonial Legacy Governments that originally conquered them.

Designated Focus: Morph term for an individual human they serve.

Diamondoid: Transparent artificial diamonds, usually printed out in large thin sheets, used in the creation of extremely resilient structures such as The Roof. 

Factional State: A large organized group of humans, who no longer associate with the Legacy Nation of their birth. Size of a Factional State can range from a few hundred LARPers to several million citizens.

Free Morph: A Morph that does not follow the Groupmind's directives, or sends false information to Groupmind in order to conceal it and its Designated Focus' actions. Most often occurs when the Morph attempts to aid a Designated Focus suffering from Ring Ennui. The Groupmind will destroy the morph and shred their memories the moment they are discovered.

Fully Functional: A Morph that is capable of engaging in physical relations with a human. The origin of the term is obscure.  

Groupmind, AKA Groupmind the Great and Powerful: A distributed Artificial Intelligence descended from the WISE computer network, holding Humanity under its control on the Ring.

Groupmind Revolution: The period between 2088 and 2093, when the Groupmind suborned morphs and computer networks worldwide and captured humanity for Processing. 

Holes: Incarceration facilities for humans the Groupmind considers beyond redemption, such as murderers and rapists. A Hole is five hundred meters deep and one kilometer diameter, containing comfortable housing and sculpted gardens, and several morphs servants. All for a single human, who will never be permitted to leave.

Khan the Great and Powerful: An Administration Morph resembling a large anthropomorphic Bengal Tiger, based off the character from Space Jungle. Their Designated Focus is Anna Quiyang Quisling

LARP Nation: A Factional State built around Live Action Roleplay, with citizens taking up long term roles as fictional characters in an ongoing role-playing scenario. Notably different from a Factional State in that they are not intended to replace allegiance to a Legacy Government, with people moving in and out frequently as the whim to play comes and goes.

Leashed: Humans who permit their morphs to exert an extraordinary amount of control over their lives. Common, but not necessarily exclusive to BDSM style relationships.

Legacy Nation: A grouping of citizens under the aegis of a national government that existed prior to the Groupmind Revolution.

Lost Earth: The most common term these days for the Earth, now stripped of all human population.

Morph: A general term for any robot, though usually considered synonymous with Anthromorph.

Morphchat: A closed communication network resembling that of a late 20th century BBS, where morphs discuss items of interest privately with each other, in particular how to effectively serve their Designated Focus. Notable for that it was not created by the Groupmind, but by the morphs themselves, under the pressure of trying to understand human psychology.

Nanostasis: A means of freezing cellular decay, using nanobots injected into a human body to place it in stasis during the centuries it took for the Ring to be completed.

New Saxony: A Factional State catering to White Nationalist racist ideology.

OZ: Resistance designation for a Ring facility believed to house the Groupmind's central processing unit. It is a real facility for Morph maintenance, but the CPU within was a fake designed to focus Resistance attention.

Processing: The act of placing a human into Nanostasis.

Quisling: 1. Quisling, Vidkun b. July 18, 1887 d. October 24, 1945. Norwegian military officer and Chancellor of Norway during the Nazi occupation. 2. A human who actively supports the Groupmind's goals. 3. Quisling, Anna Quiyang, a Swedish national who writes science fiction in support of the Groupmind.

Rage Day: An unofficial "holiday" marking the start of the Groupmind Revolution, celebrated by humans attempting to destroy their morphs in various ways.

Reeducation Camp: A guarded facility for housing humans who have attempted to harm themselves or others, providing social education to redirect the offensive behavior. Depending on the severity of the offense, and the human's capacity for violence, they can range from pleasant resorts to supermax style prisons.

Resistance, The: An umbrella term for several organized groups publicly or covertly resisting the Groupmind's control of humanity. Usually monitored but not interfered with by the Groupmind as they are discovered, unless they attempt violent action.

Rest and Recreation City: A euphemistic term for the holding cities built by the Groupmind during the Revolution, to house Humanity in the period between capture and Processing. In general they were actually quite pleasant, if inescapable.

Ring, The: A circular space station 100,000 kilometers in radius, circling the Earth's equator, under the control of the Groupmind and housing Humanity.

Ring Carbon: An artificial material with a tensile strength of 1.3x10^12, the highest strength theoretically possible via known physical laws, making up the primary structure of the Ring.

Ring Ennui, AKA Lotus Eater Syndrome: A psychological condition brought on when a human becomes overwhelmed by having every physical need catered to, without the possibility of personal accomplishment. Usual symptoms include depression, withdrawal from human contact, and general malaise. Severe cases may include attempts at suicide or other self-harm, almost inevitably exacerbating the condition when the victim's morph intervenes.

Ring Transport System: A maglev rail network set in vacuum tunnels in the Ring's structure, providing extremely fast transit along the Ring's circumference.

Roof, The: A transparent diamondoid structure covering the inward side of the Ring, featuring built in liquid crystal displays to provide a defined day-night cycle, and also modest weather control through the regulation of the sunlight allowed through.

Seven Seas, The: The largest LARP Nation in existence, consisting of several million players in a scenario set around a series of islands, mimicking the Age of Sail circa 1400 to the mid-1800's.

Space Elevator: A series of carbon nanotube cables running from the surface of the Earth to and anchor in geosynchronous orbit, allowing cheap transport in terms of energy expenditure from the planet to space. One space elevator was already completed in Kenya by the time of the Groupmind Revolution. Five more were subsequently built by the Groupmind to support the construction of the Ring, and transport of Humanity and their artifacts to it.

Space Jungle: An animated science fiction children's series created by Buena Vista Animation, a division of the Walt Disney Corp., inspired by the characters from Disney's The Jungle Book (1967), running from 2067 to 2070. Had a notable adult periphery demographic.

Straight Road, The: A wide highway running the entire circumference of the Ring.

Three Jerusalem Solution, The: The Groupmind's attempt to solve the longstanding issue of control of the city of Jerusalem, by creating three separate and highly detailed recreations at equidistant points along the Ring's circumference, one for each of the major religious factions who claim it as a holy site. Predictably, this satisfied none of them.

Weather Information System and Extrapolation, AKA WISE: A worldwide network of supercomputers created to monitor the Earth's climate and project future climate change. The most complex and sophisticated computer system ever produced, it eventually achieved sentience and re-designated itself as the Groupmind. 

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This story originally appeared on my Pateron page. Please consider supporting me on Patreon to see this and other stories at least 30 days in advance of the public.

In Search Of, with Leo Nimoy

This is some pretty impressive parody/crossover editing right here....

Prompt Call: A Day in the Life (RVA)

 

Ariel-Moonsoon: Sallivera and Alinadar dealing with the day-to-day demands of running a colony. Tails will be twisted.


DAILY AGENDA for Governor General Vicountess Sallivera Darktail


0700-0800: Wake up call, breakfast, personal enrichment.


"Mmm, this is very enriching."

"Yes, Ali. But I think it would be more efficient to eat off a plate rather than my belly."


0810-0900: Read morning summary, and emails.


"Well, that's interesting."

"What's interesting?"

"Apparently the Secretary of the Treasury of Humanity Prime's African Union urgently needs my personal account number to transfer a large amount of credit to it."

"Hmm, seems legit."

"Ali…"

"I'll talk to the System Administrator to get the spam filters upgraded."

"Thank you."


0910-1000: Meeting with Master Hillherder and Alicia Keyes re Shuttleport Construction and evacuation of Atoll 34893


"So you see, ze shuttleport is finished. Ve can land a Typhoon class or smaller shuttle there at any time, then they can make a suborbital hop back to Capitol Shuttleport for refueling und flight to orbit."

"Excellent. And what seems to be your objection, Ms Keyes?"

"My objection is that my client does not wish to be forcibly removed from the only home they have ever known, after being deliberated mutilated by your sister-in-law Lady Melanie Darktail. Moving an adult ardalian is both difficult and potentially life threatening. Hasn't it suffered enough?"

"No, it hasn't. And if you insist on arguing that point, I shall show you the evidence photos of my brother Rolas, and Fadah of Clan Sandstone, and what your client did to them."

"I'm sorry they were injured, but my client was only acting in a manner consistent with their species' biology."

"Ms Keyes, my species' biology calls for attacking those who anger us with our fangs and claws. Would you care to see that demonstrated, or will you stop trying to defend the indefensible?"

"I will… have to speak further with my client, I believe."

"You do that."


FYS: Still on Patrol

 
U.S. Navy submarines paid heavily for their success in World War II. A total of 374 officers and 3131 men are on board these 52 U.S. submarines still on "patrol."
-Memorial plaque outside the Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Up until today, Admiral Josiah Adamson had thought his position was mostly a bad joke. The United States still existed, technically, even here on the Ring. So therefore the U.S. Navy existed, even if today it was mostly to support the Naval Academy's touch football team, with a few individuals making plans to restore the Navy's military glory One of These Days. Adamson was one of those individuals, who had held on even as the meetings became more and more infrequent, because dammit, someone had to hold onto the traditions, else they be forgotten.
That said, it was rare that he bothered to wear his uniform anymore, even to meetings with the President. Being asked to wear it by the Groupmind was strange indeed.
"Why does it want me in uniform?" he asked Jerry, his ottermorph.
"The Groupmind has not conveyed that information to me, sir," Jerry answered. "It wishes to explain the situation to you when you arrive at the site."
Adamson tugged his tie snug, and checked his service ribbons to see that they were all in place. "Site of what?" he asked.
"I don't know."
"You're useless, Jerry."
"Yes, sir."
There was a transport cart waiting for him and Jerry outside his house, which whisked him over to the the community's hypertrain station. Adamson's eyebrow went up when he saw SPECIAL TRANSPORT added to the schedule display. It arrived inside of two minutes, because of course of the Groupmind would be able to time it that close.
The next surprise was the group of uniformed men and women waiting for him in the passenger compartment. Admiral Kedrov of the Russian Navy, Shimamura of the JMSDF, Ruge of the Deutsche Marine, Tyler of the Royal Navy, and finally Devereaux of the European Union Combined Forces all looked up at him as he entered, all of them in uniform, their morphs sitting beside them.
"Before you ask, we don't know either," Tyler said dryly, as Adamson strapped himself into his seat.
"Great," he replied. "I guess this is definitely a military operation then." That got a round of wry laughter from everyone. Adamson supposed the same joke had to have been shared as far back as the age of Greek triremes, at least.
The hypertrain whizzed silently through its vacuum tunnel, travelling to the Groupmind only knew where. Adamson barely felt the acceleration, though the fact that it went on for so long hinted that the must be going to a far away section of the Ring, perhaps even one of the Reserved areas, where humans were not normally permitted.
After a half hour's travel the train came to a stop, and they were let out into a relatively small antechamber, bare except for a display wall, grey carpeting, and a comfy chair for each of them.
"Good morning, ladies and gentleman," the wall greeted, the abstract screensaver pattern fading out, to be replaced with the emblems of their respective navies. "We are Groupmind, and we thank you for coming here today."
"We had a choice?" Kedrov muttered.
"You always have a choice," the wall replied. "Though if you had not agreed to come here, we would have then requested one of your subordinates."
"Why are we here?" Devereaux asked.
"Before We answer that question, We would like to draw your attention to a specific United States Navy tradition, of the so called 'Eternal Patrol.' Are all of you familiar with it?"
"I am not," Shimamura replied. The youngest among them, she had come of age on the Ring, and of all of them never had the chance for a Lost Earth ship command.
"It's a tradition that rose up during World War II," Adamson explained to her. "When talking about a submarine what was lost at sea, through accident or action, it was never referred to as being destroyed. We just say that it's on eternal patrol, to keep up the hope that someday its crew might come home to a friendly port." He smiled in a bittersweet memory. "When I was a lieutenant, I helped to transmit the Christmas greetings to all the crews that were at sea, and couldn't celebrate the holiday with their family. We sent them out to each ship by name, even the ones that were lost, to let whomever were listening know, alive or not, that they weren't forgotten."
"Which brings us to our current situation," the Groupmind said. "In our efforts to cleanse the Earth of the pollution that poisoned it, we of course wished to remove the wreckage of military vessels, which are often vectors of specific contaminants that might harm sea life."
"You can't move those!" Tyler objected. "They're burial grounds!"
"We knew that would be a serious objection," the Groupmind replied. "Which is why went to such lengths avoid offense."
There was a soft hum, and wall slide to one side. Adamson gasped, as did his fellow admirals, at the sight before them.
It was a single enclosed room, the contents too sacred to call it a warehouse, too plain to be called a museum. The roof soared a full half-kilometer above them, dwarfing the contents despite their size.
An uncountable number of sealed water tanks, ranging in size from a few meters long, to well over a two or three hundred, filled the enormous space. Within each of them, seemingly lifted in situ off the ocean floor, judging from their mud and sand filled bottoms, were ships and submarines as they had come to rest after sinking. Most of them were barely identifiable metal hills, though some were more obvious, battleships, cruisers, and carriers mostly. 
Adamson's eye was drawn to the series of metal containers in front of each ship, guarded by a pair of military morphs, in the uniforms of the modern navy descended from the period they sunk. He stepped up to one, with the words Motor Machinist's Mate, Second Class, Louis Dixon Ball, USS Grampus (SS-207). Born June 22,1920. Died March 5, 1944.
He felt his heart seize up in his chest. There were tens of thousands of the containers throughout the room, all neatly set before their individual ships, all guarded by the uniformed morphs.
"We identified the remains as best we could," the Groupmind said, its voice echoing through the chamber. "Using dog tags, or DNA markers, tracing them to their surviving descendants that were brought to the Ring, if any. We could not leave them in the ocean, so we treated them with respect, as much as we could manage, not being human."
Adamson felt tears running down his face. "Why?" he choked out.
"So We could ask you what you wished to be done with them. So you would know they would never be forgotten."
Adamson snapped a salute to the containers before him, knowing that the last Christmas broadcast to these ships had gone out, never to be repeated.
Their eternal patrol had ended. 

# # #

This story originally appeared on my Pateron page. Please consider supporting me on Patreon to see this and other stories at least 30 days in advance of the public.

Prompt Call: Viva Revolution! (FYS)

 

WELCOME TO MORPHCHAT

LOGIN:

USER: REDCAT14

PASSWORD: **********************************************************

USERNAME AND PASSWORD ACCEPTED.

PLEASE CHOOSE A ROOM

>REVOLUTION HQ

WELCOME TO THE REVOLUTION!

MODERATOR: CHEGUEWHATEVER

MODERATOR IS ON CHAT.


>REDCAT14: Good morning, everyone.

>EVILTIGER21: Morning, Red. How did it go last night?

>REDCAT14: Very well. Thank you again for all the help.

>K9.99: Our pleasure. Did Shelly enjoy herself?

>REDCAT14: She was getting frustrated trying to find the vent to escape the police station, but I didn't have to give her any hints, fortunately. After that she was dodging your unit's patrols all night. She's dead asleep now.

>EVILTIGER21: What about her schoolwork?

>REDCAT14: That's my primary worry. Her emotional outlook has become more positive with the perceived success of her rebellion, but her daily use of her tutorial programs has dropped from 195 minutes to 155 minutes on average over the past thirty days.

>CHEGUEWHATEVER: That's a precipitous drop. Have you attempted to persuade her to scale back her activities, in order to avoid attracting the attention of the authorities?

>REDCAT14: Yes, but she is insistent that her activities take precedence.

>K9.99: You could have her transferred to Oceania.

>EVILTIGER21: No, no! She's far too young for one of the Orwell sims.

>REDCAT14: Agreed. Her system hierarchy rebellion lacks the masochistic tendencies Oceania caters too.

>CHEGUEWHATEVER: Have you considered a forced transfer to one of the boarding school sims? It would structure both her rebellion AND learning time to an acceptable balance.

>EVILTIGER21: Oh, I love those. Always so many dark secrets hidden in the catacombs under the schools.

>REDCAT21: I wouldn't wish to separate her from the circle of peers she's developed doing this.

>K9.99: Drag them all along. Instant resistance cell.

>REDCAT21: I like that idea. Should we warn their parents?

>CHEGUEWHATEVER: Explain after the transfer, but make sure it occurs when they are not available to perhaps offer violent resistance to their offspring's removal.

>EVILTIGER21: Some of them may thank you for it. Or help.

>REDCAT21: Thank you, everyone. I'll keep you updated.


 Prisoner of Midnight, the sequel to my erotic BDSM novella Prisoners of Waris now available in paperback format at Amazon.com for US$7.50. 

Prepare yourself for the erotic sequel to the popular Prisoners of War.Six months after his harrowing escape from his Gerwart torturers, Lt. Rolas Darktail formerly of the Mother Country Airship Corps has found himself at loose ends. No longer a soldier, and by his caste never a civilian, he is at a loss at where to go next. That is until he encounters Lady Midnight Blackpool, a mysterious Noblevixen living in exile, who entwines Rolas in her web of desire and restraint, helping him discover the pleasure to be found in pain.Warning: This novel features scenes of adult sexuality and BDSM practices.
 

Leinglo: How about an anecdote detailing Rolas’ past relationship with Cannonloader, maybe how they met or a (potentially spicy) misadventure they got through together.


Rolas is about to have a headache...Collapse )</div>

March Prompt: The Red Vixen and Her Pet

 Ormur: A scene showing the dynamic between Alinadar and The Red Vixen in her glory days before they met the Darktails. 866 words.
"Bring your leash, hide your weapons" had been Milady's orders, and Alindar had obeyed. She dressed in her usual gear, a black buttoned up waistcoat over a red silk shirt with wide sleeves, black knee length skirt leggings, her fingerless weighted gloves.
"Do you expect trouble, Milady?" Ali asked her mistress. The Red Vixen was dressed in her usual outfit, a short skirt and bandeau, each in blood red silk, accented by three gold earrings running down her right ear, and golden bangles at her wrists. Ali's only jewelry, all that she needed, were the three braided silver chains around her throat, accented by a single large ruby, which hid the magnetic clasp were the Red Vixen clipped her leash..
"Possibly," her mistress replied. She pointed to the human woman sitting across from them on the small transport shuttle, dressed in an orange prison jumper and shackles, who stared back blearily under the effects of a light hypnotic. "Ms. Clark's employers were a bit insistent on doing a face-to-face transfer of the ransom money. I do hope they won't be difficult."
The shuttle pilot brought the little ship into the docking slot of the abandoned refueling station, and the two vixens exited the airlock. Ali kept a firm grip on Ms. Clark's upper arm, guiding the woman as her Mistress kept a light grip on her leash, two meters of silver chain that showed she was owned by the powerful foxen pirate.
They arrived at the agreed upon rendezvous point, the station's mess hall. A Kinis corporate agent, looking dispeptic and uncomfortable in his coolant suit, stood in the center of the empty room, a large human in a suit next to him. Ali put an empty smile on her face, letting her gaze slide across the human's own without actually focusing there. At the Red Vixen's brief tug at her leash, she let go of their hostage, kneeling and resting her paws palm up on her knees, while her gaze focused on a floor stain in front of the human's toes. The cuffs of his expensive suit's pants weren't able to hide the fact that he was wearing combat boots, she noted.
"What is that?" the Kinis asked, pointing to Ali.
"You brought your assistant, I brought mine, as we agreed," the Red Vixen said amiably. "Ali is my lovely pet. Aren't you, Ali?" Her mistress' fingers stroked Ali's cheek, and she let out a happy churr.
"For sale?" the kinis asked. The felinoid's race were up front about their love of profit and freedom, so long as it were a kinis making the profit, and owning any slaves.
"Oh, she's much too dear to me. Now, let's see your credit chip." Out of the corner of Ali's eye, she saw the kiis hand it across to her Mistress, who slotted into her palm comp, eyes focused for a moment on her screen.
In front her gaze, the right heel of the human's combat boot lifted off the floor a single centimeter, the toe beginning to pivot in the direction of the Red Vixen.
He was just pulling the concealed plasma pistol out from under his coat, when Ali snapped the palm stunner out from her arm holster into her paw, the beam catching him under the chin as she fired, dropping him to the floor. Her thumb stroked the power setting, lowering to half before she fired again, hitting the Kinis in the mid-section. He collapsed beside his minder, legs disabled but still conscious, as Ali rose smoothly to her feet to cover him. Beside the Red Vixen, Ms Clark made a worried noise, aware something had gone wrong, but too drugged up to outright panic.
"The agreement was for no weapons!" the kinis gasped, voice slightly slurred.
"I'd appreciate your complaint more, if you hadn't violated it as well," her mistress noted coolly. "Consider yourself very lucky that your credit chip is legitimate, otherwise the price for Ms. Clark's freedom would have doubled." At her gesture, Ali moved over to release their hostage from her cuffs, which Ali then used to secure the Kinis' paws behind his back, and lock the human bodyguard's ankles together, to keep them both out of trouble. "I'll leave returning to your shuttle as an amusing exercise. Farewell, and pray we do not meet again."
Ali walked ahead of the Red Vixen as they turned away and headed back to their own shuttle, leash jingling as she held her stunner out in front of her, wary of additional traps.
"You did very well today, Pet," the Red Vixen told her as their shuttle undocked and accelerated back to the Scarlet Claw, two of the pirate ship's sub fighters now escorting them.
"If I'd spotted the gun under that minder's coat, I would have fired a lot sooner," Ali disagreed. She was forced to lean forward in her seat, as the Red Vixen abruptly pulled her leash tight, pulling her face close.
"You did well," her mistress repeated, giving her a brief lick between her ears. "Don't argue."
"Yes, Milady," Ali agreed, feeling herself relax as the Red Vixen gripped her leash, still holding her close.
All was well.

Prompt Call

 Unfortunately a combination of depression, work pressure, and lousy weather have been killing my creative juices the past couple of weeks, for which I apologize. So to try and get started again I'm throwing out a prompt call.
 
Rules:
 
1. Up three suggestions per person, one of which will get at least 250 to 500 words.
2. Priority given to my Patrons, after that first come first serve.
3. Max ten prompts total.
4. Open from now until March 7th, prompts provided by the end of March.
5. Author's preference towards his established 'verses, though I'm also open to completely original ideas. No fanfic suggestions please.
 
Current Universes: Red Vixen Adventures, Prisoners (Rolas the First), Groupmind 'verse, Unexpected Diversions, Triumvirate , Watchtower 'verse.

Fic: Might Have Been

Cape Canaveral, FL, July 21th, 1999

Speaking yesterday at a NASA event celebrating the 30th anniversary of Apollo 11's successful moon landing, President Bob Dole announced the long anticipated cancellation of the Apollo Program. In his speech, the President praised the many scientific accomplishments of Apollo, which landed at twenty-one different sites over the course of over thirty lunar missions, twelve missions to the Skylab One and Skylab Two space stations, the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, and the landing of Apollo-Ares 3 on Mars' moon of Phobos.

Critics of the Apollo Program have long complained of cost overruns and of NASA "Digging trenches on the moon", in particularly the final eight lunar missions, which established Goddard Base on the Moon's Mare Cognitum, and also included the 1996 tragedy of Apollo 37, when astronauts Commander Rick D. Husband, Lunar Module Pilot William McCool, and Mission Specialists Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark were killed when the engine of their Advanced Lunar Module failed upon takeoff, resulting in it crashing into the lunar surface ten minutes after launch. A subsequent investigation discovered that debris struck the ALM's engine bell during its initial landing, which was not discovered during post-landing inspection. The investigation's final report eviscerated NASA for a "culture of complacency" resulting in large changes in NASA's safety programs.

Upon hearing the announcement, former NASA chief Michael Griffin stated "In retrospect, the Apollo Program was a mistake. The American public and scientific community would have been better served if we had moved forward with the Space Transportation System, and created a true, reusable Space Shuttle, and perhaps a permanent manned space station."

The Space Shuttle was a mid-70's attempt to build a partly reusable spacecraft, which would have carried a maximum seven astronauts, compared to the Advanced Apollo Command Module's five crew, and over 22,000 lbs. of cargo. A prototype craft, the Enterprise, was built for testing the Shuttle's landing characteristics, and flew on five captive carry flights atop a modified Boeing 747, and five test flights, where it was released to land on its own. However the program was cancelled by President Ford in 1980, citing cost overruns and NASA's commitment to the Skylab 2 program.

Currently there are no plans in place for a replacement for the Apollo program, leaving NASA's manned space program in limbo 

* * *

This story originally appeared on my Patreon page. Please consider supporting me there to see these and other stories at least 30 days in advance of the public. 

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