THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 45

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 45

…You went and shot the gosh-darn thing, Gus! What the hell were you thinking?…

The number of interested parties is increasing by the minute, with Lorgan remaining the wildcard.

But, that SEx is coming and going like a family transport is not a secret that can be kept. That the Terran system doorbell has been rung cannot be silenced.

The Ÿ€Ð automaton is now proceeding at a reasonable pace, having slowed from the frenzy of intergalactic travel. From space-consuming monster to obstacle dodging snoop, it approaches the fourth planet like it has been there before {perhaps} and it is there that Gus and his souped-up SEx will meet. The Ÿ€Ð operators are not expecting that sort of company.

As a matter of fact, when Gus pops onto their sensors, the interlopers from Galaxy Sexta A  bring their drone to an abrupt halt, like it was pretending to be invisible.

Gus has a front row seat to the maneuver. He is at a loss for what to do. Because the technology for instantaneous communication has not caught up to SOL, he must rely on his instincts. When a bright red light on his sensing instruments shows red, he depresses one of two new choices on his navigation panel. The other selection is the untested deflector shield… which means Gus has unleashed the previously untried disruptor. The already stationary target is rocked. What Gus does not know is that there are no operators on-board.

After several minutes, undoubtedly stunned by the underestimation of the rudimentary Earth ship, the Ÿ€Ð cruiser makes an about-face and dashes away much faster than whence it came.

“That was easy, SOL Control! Whatever it was wasn’t prepared for a fight.”

A minute later, Earth’s response reaches SEx, “You went and shot the gosh-darn thing, A Trap So Devious that Even Admiral Ackbar Missed ItGus! What the hell were you thinking?

“It was going to shoot first… sensors picked up an energy surge… why didn’t it blow up?”

“There is an intensity adjustment he doesn’t know about,” Fletcher Fitch tells Roy.

“Why didn’t it blow up? That is not the message we want to send to extraterrestrial visitors, McKinney! Whoever sent that thing can’t be happy.”

“The who in this case turns out to be nowhere near as advanced as Lorgan.”

“But it did come from a place we’ve only seen through Hubble’s eye. That means they have been flying very fast for very long. We will be lucky if we haven’t started an intergalactic war.” There is a measure of perspective in Roy’s voice. “Nukes are flying back & forth like 4th of July fireworks… we just avoided World War III and now this? We may be biting more off than we can chew.”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Hubble

Episode 45


page 49

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 40

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 40

…Cerella had hoped for an unabridged Ekcello…

Cerella slams the door on the increasingly uncomfortable exchange by changing the tenor of the conversation. She musters up enough decency to concede his reality. She is aware that Skaldic is not your run-of-the-mill Null.

“What is the planetary status, Skaldic?”

“I have completed a census of the Gifted and you are alone in your normalcy.”

“Ekcello?”

“He is in his tower. Like all the Gifted, his essence is functioning. That is all I can tell.”

This news is of little comfort to the Heiress to the High Council. She had hoped for an unabridged Father.

Skaldic continues his report in the 3rd person, like it is his “job”, “Skaldic did see a O stationed near the olde home world,” which is still in volcanic upheaval, “before I could identify it, it was gone.”

After Cerella translates O for the McKinney elder {Sampson}.

The patriarch’s interest is piqued. “A perfectly smooth silvery moon that moves in its own dimension, right…? We spotted that beggar over in Selljunk territory!”

“What is beggar?”

Deke McKinney translates, “… a tramp or wanderer.”

Cerella refines wanderer, “Wanderer.” She ignores Sam’s butchering of the spooked-civilization-from-the-galaxy-next-door, but picks-up on his “own dimension” phraseology. “Your perception is enlightening, Sammy Mac. O operates separately from our timestem. O may be the cause of other occurrences.”

Celeste M. explains the concept of O, as expressed among those in the know:

  • the recently Gifted like her and Deke
  • the always Gifted like Cerella
  • the fringe Gifted like Skaldic
  • Sammy Mac
  • Offingga is definitely not Gifted and thusly clueless.

There is a consensus among them all, every one; they would wise to keep an eye peeled for that perfectly smooth & silvery shiny meddler with questionable intent.

The lone overhanging issue will require a combination of luck and a prayer. If there is a way to fathom/neutralize O {Lorgan}, will it become obvious to them in time?


THE NULL SOLUTION

Overhanging Issue by Mizzi

Episode 40


page 44

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 39

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 39

…You can knock Cerella over with a single solitary puff of misty air. Not in all her upbringing had she ever had contact with the Null…

Of all the inhabitants of Eridanus, the heretofore shunted Null are nearer to humanity, in contrast to the others. With no robes, with visible legs to stand on, they are not whitely colored – rather individually so. On top of that, they are downright approachable.

Skaldic and Offingga see the Defender slide through the massive opening of the Spaceship Expository and they are there to be the official welcoming committee. They stand tall & confident in their newfound independence. Surely they would not be punished for any acts of insolence.

You can knock Cerella over with a single solitary puff of misty air. Not in all her upbringing had she ever had contact with the Null. Now, and that covers considerable Eridanian cycles, she does, not knowing where to look, how to act or what to say.

The youngest McKinney snatches the honor, “I do not believe we have been introduced; my name is Deimostra Samantha McKinney. I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”

‘What a dry fresh breath of air are these people of Earth,’ Skaldic thinks, not expecting such simplicity. “They call me Skaldic the Null and my companion is Offingga {translation: the jabberer}.” 

That spontaneous Null irony whizzes past without notice.

“How is it that we haven’t met before now? We {she points to Mom, Dad, and Deke} landed on your planet many cycles ago. Surely we should have crossed paths.”

“The Null tower is on the empty side of Eridanus.”

“There are others like you… so where are they?”

“Many more and it is best that they stay in our tower.”

“You act so different than Cerella and her father Ekcello.”

“We do not possess the ability to communicate with our minds.”

“I can teach you. If my brother can learn, certainly you can.”

“We are inferior beings in the eyes of the Gifted, unfit for interaction.”

Cerella slams the door on the increasingly uncomfortable exchange.

Door Slamming GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 39


page 44

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 27

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 27

It appears that the Null were not affected by the light…

“It must have been nothing after all.” Sampson McKinney is confused by the confusing incoming communication.

Not so fast.

Equal to nothing, is null. Skaldic the Null is equally surprised to get a signal from one of the many gadgets currently at his disposal.

#DEFENDER RESPONDING ERIDANUS.#, what on the Ice Moon does this mean?” He will not get help from Offingga, who knows but dribs & drabs of the Olde Language. “There must be a translator here somewhere.”

He fingers a section with similar symbols.

DEFENDER RESPONDING ERIDANUS comes in plain as day.

His Olde Language is passable. “Well I’ll be a one legged qaaf {derogatory term}! Let me see… I will speak my name: #skaldic the Null.#  Just a little off-key.–

— After a bit of a wait, the Defender’s audio jumps to life. “Cerella, this thing is lightingRelated image up like a Christmas tree.”

#skaldic the Null#

“Skaldic the Null,” she converts to Earth English.

“Sounds like a Viking warrior to me.” Yes it does.

She brushes past that obscure Sammy-ism.

It appears that the Null were not affected by the light. I should have checked on them before we left.” The Gifted feel responsible for the Null. “I’ll explain the “Null” label later.”

Cerella, the Heiress to the High Council of Eridanus is speaking with the insignificant, suddenly not so, #who is with you?#

“Who is with you?” she repeats to keep the McKinneys in the loop. —

#who is with you?# repeats Skaldic for his interested party.

It takes Offingga longer to process the Olde Language. She nods her head, like he needs her approval to answer. But who she is, is not as important as clarifying intent.

#we are the Null. Is there anything we can do to help you?# 

”We are the Null. Is there anything we can do to help you?” comes a singing, again, a sour note with a positive message.

Responding in a message too long to chronicle, Cerella explains where they are and why they are consorting with the Seljuk. She informs him that they will be back on Eridanus very soon, instructing Skaldic to keep the lines of communication open and not to do anything of consequence without her approval.

What she does not tell him is that Defender has been transformed into a battle cruiser thanks to the Seljuk. The concept of militarization would fall flat upon the ears of an Eridanian, Gifted or not.

Music: Lior Porat Lyrics: Rachel Arenstein & Avraham Roos


THE NULL SOLUTION

Concepts

Episode 27


page 31

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 26

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 26

…In the earnestness of the moment, Skaldic inadvertently runs his hand across one of the instrument panels…

Instrument Panels

“That’s it!”

The timestem on the replay screen then advances in increment of cycles, while Skaldic considers the possibilities. In a short while, he glances back at the monitor, where he witnesses the cinematic version of Defender’s previous escape from this very Expository.

He turns to his 2nd, his most trusted compatriot, Offingga, who for better or worse happens to be a female of the Null variety. “Did you see that, Offingga?”

“It appears that one of these ships has gone off-world.” None Null has ever gotten a close look at this spaceship museum of sort.

Skaldic has studied all he could about it. He has also paid attention to the rumor that some aliens had stowed away on that fifth starship on the right. The legend of the Explorer {NEWFOUNDLANDER} bounces off the lofty towers of Eridanus. It has always fascinated him, yet the facts are illusive.

“It may take one-quarter of a cycle, but I think we should do a census of the Gifted. Perhaps one or more of them may be on the ship they call Defender.”

“They will not be going anywhere,” Offingga fails to connect the dots.

“If there is a Gifted who was spared the light, we must know. If it is the strangers of which I have heard, we should know that as well. It would take me one hundred cycles to learn how to make one of these ships fly.” Skaldic is seriously solemn in resolve. “We are currently the hope for all of Eridanus.”

In his earnestness, he inadvertently runs his hand across one of the instrument panels.

“I’m receiving a signal from home,” Sampson formerly of Earth, must be confused. Home is where your heart resides. “I mean Eridanus guys… don’t mean to confuse anyone.”

The collection of explorers from Eridanus has decided to stay aboard what they know {Defender} as opposed to what they do not {Seljuk home world}, for now.

Cerella is the one with the most at stake on this mission: Ekcello is her father. Her father, her people are out-of-order. If they have snapped out of their funk, that would be the best news. She rushes to the communication area to lend her translation skill. #njfurhwwgqfqloda#

She is disappointed and shows it.

“This comes from the Spaceflight Expository. It looks like device-to-device nonsense.”

“Wait a minute Cerella. It may be garbled, but wouldn’t someone have had to initiate it?” Celeste asks a pertinent question.

Cerella goes to doing what she does best – she thinks.

“On the off-chance that it’s intergalactic crapola, why not return the signal, just in case.” Sampson is an expert in dispensing crapola. “And why not make it an audio daily-double?”

“I will do that Sammy Mac.” She is fond of the Earthiest man she knows. She has even learned the subtlety of his euphemisms.

In a fashion all her own, she fires back the following: DEFENDER RESPONDING ERIDANUS#

It is all Greek to Sam. After several minutes, “It must have been nothing after all.”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 26


page 30

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 24

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 24

…With the Gifted, white-cloaked & motionless, shut down like some many windup toys, the initial Null reaction is to help themselves to the things reserved for the Gifted…

Wind-up Toy Set – set of mini still life oil paintings by Marilyn Fenn

Much to Skaldic’s dismay, the only period of time resembling this one, was while Eridanian explorers were still roaming far into space. There is even a vague reference to a ship that was lost forever. Much music was composed in the spirit of grief. In a language comprised of melody and tuneage, the collective sigh of a civilization is there for all to hear… but no details, just an untold cycle gap between tragedy and enlightenment.

Just what happened during those many cycles? Nothing, that they were willing to make an accounting of.

So like bees fleeing the hive, the Null come out from their restricted tower. Most every one of them was born non-telepathic. Some were afflicted by a brain short-circuit. All are rejects.

Skaldic the Null, however, chose to be this way; no good reason, he just chooses 100% verbal. Rumors claim him to have a tin ear, which would make it hard to communicate with anyone at all, though he has managed and actually excels to this Related imagemoment.

With the Gifted, white-cloaked & motionless, shut down like some many windup toys, the initial Null reaction is to help themselves to the things reserved for the Gifted, aka personal possessions, food and hookahs. Hookahs are the strange devices the Gifted use to expand their limits.

Hookahs would not help the Null cause whatsoever.  The effects would send their minds past the edge of reality. Skaldic categorically forbids any use of said devices. Looting too is halted posthaste. There may be hell to pay if/when the Gifted revive.

He goes about the process of forming a coalition of trusted Nulls. Though acquainted with most, he counts those he can rely on, on one digit.

This situation requires equals, not peons. The majority of his kind has settled for the status quo, secure in the knowledge that they are taken care of. ‘Why should we struggle to attain anything greater?’ has been the mantra for untold cycles, going back to before the times that Skaldic is looking into.-


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 24


page 28

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 19

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 19

…Back on Eridanus, they have their suspicions, but eventually choose to quit the space exploration business…

Quitting the Race by Melody Greenlief

It had been a fruitful mission to the Blue Planet, with a brief stopover at the Red Planet. This was going to be their last trip to hunt for and gather representative artifacts from this very young, yet developing civilization. The primitives worship their star, chart the other stars in the sky and they are developing some form of fundamental science. They are/were worth watching, which is easily done from either above or nearby.Related image

It is a form of spying, harmless and stealth. But it is time for Explorer {NEWFOUNDLANDER} to head back to Eridanus.

Just one more thing: the Elder council had determined that the mission should include a closer look at that red/dry planetary neighbor. It seems like the prudent thing to do.

And so they do.

The crew, numbering 50 intrepid space veterans, does not discover anything spectacular there. All the usual universal elements are present, with signs that this harsh planet may once have had a life-sustaining atmosphere and plentiful water. Hindsight forensics pays few dividends after millions of years. There are no cities or thoroughfares left behind.

Without alarm, a bright wave of light suddenly sweeps across the Plain of Xanthe,  , is draining the life from every single Eridanian soul.

No one knows if it is caused by a storm indigenous to this planet or something else?

Back on Eridanus, they have their suspicions, but eventually choose to quit the space exploration business. They now fear the unknown. They ground their fleet in favor of provinciality. Perhaps then they will be left alone.

 In the Triangulum Galaxy

Sammy Mac & Son are shut out of the action for now.

Brain-to-brain is the best way here of communicating with Chasonn and his Seljuk brain trust. It is the only way they can assure secrecy and Cerella will take matters from here.

#My people have been deactivated. I cannot be sure if it is all their doing#

#The Ÿ€Ð#

#Perhaps. If Ekcello has withdrawn the population, then he senses impending danger#

#Why are you not affected#

#The younger human is my mate for life#

#Outcast?#

#Different. We came here to warn you. It appears we are too late#

#Not if you confirm that the Ÿ€Ð have changed their tactics. We know they do not condone space travel, but killing has never been a method they use#

#That is not true. Deep in our past, someone terminated one of our expeditions. And then there is

#We have been wondering about that, that and the recent return of that ship to your home#

#It has resulted in an indirect alliance between my people and the planet Earth#

#Is Earth of any use to us in our combined efforts to thwart the Ÿ€Ð or #

#That you reactivated your fleet and included the humans demonstrates your level of concern#


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 19


page 23

 

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 17

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 17

…The McKinney contingent is/has contracted the prevailing paranoia that is gripping the region and the moment…

The Paranoia is Real – by eddiebadapples

Whether Seljuk eyes are peeled or not, 4/5th{s} of the Space Family McKinney {with an Eridanian princess sprinkled in} is cruising into their neighborhood.

“There are signs that something wicked this-way-came.” Sampson is a Ray Bradbury devotee and it occasionally bleeds into his speech.

“We have entered Seljuk territory. Their outposts have been rendered useless,” Cerella expresses concern.

“And what is that gleaming very, very large object off in the distance?” is Deke’s remote observation. “At 3° port, 250K out… oh, never mind, whatever I saw is not there now.”

“Who or whatever did this, knew what they were doing,” Cerella adds.

Without expectation or invitation, the natives in this nape of the neck reach out to the occupants of the Eridanian Defender. It must drop out of TSF in order to align the two timestems thereby allowing real-time communication.

The message they are receiving? “COME TO THE SELJUK HOMEWORLD AND SHUT DOWN”

Once again, there are no buts about it.

“We must allow them to take control. The Seljuk can be trusted. We came here to get answers, not the reverse.”Related image

The McKinney contingent is/has contracted the prevailing paranoia that is gripping the region and the moment. “We are completely disengaged, but we don’t like it.”

Like a fish on a nylon line, Defender is being reeled in to the biggest planet in a group of twenty, most following each other in orbit, but none closer than 50 million miles from their yellow giant furnace. Like a cosmic carousel, so spread out are they that their collective gravitational pull offset each other.

“It appears we’re about to hop onto this train.”

Like interstellar hobos.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 17


page 21

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 16

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 16

…The last time something bad happened in this sector was when a younger Chasonn was studying to be… well he didn’t know what he wanted to be…

William Blake, The Good and Evil Angels 1795–c.1805.

The Seljuk have their hands full their own selves.

A man named Chasonn takes it personal.

Not only is Chasonn the inspirational head of this stalwart star system, he is old enough to remember the hard times; when the Triangulum Galaxy was not such a peaceable piece of their quadrant.

His current concerns are more than justified.

Are his eyes-to-the-skies watching what is going on over in the Milky Way, that relatively primitive galaxy that looks to be on the rise, with all its impactful goings on? – Hardly.

Three Seljuk outlying planetary outposts are now incommunicado, but not before reporting a wave of bright light.

Complicating the situation is the sighting of a single shiny planetoid O which seems to position itself wherever it pleases. Could it have anything to do with recent bad happenings? A quick check of planetary logs reveals that it has been here before. But before anyone can get a clear fix on it, it decides to vanish.–

The last time something bad happened in this sector was when a younger Chasonn was studying to be… well he didn’t know what he wanted to be. One thing for sure, he had no intentions of following in his father’s footsteps. There is no reward in being a political figurehead in these parts. In fact there is peril his family’s altruistic efforts.

He was away at university when every Seljuk leader was whisked away, never to be seen again.

Who would neuter a people-group by taking away their governance? The Ÿ€Ð, they would come to find out. In a heretofore unheard of tactic, the Ÿ€Ð strategy of conquering, a particularly insipid one, centers on removing the wisdom of their targets and they are good at it.

But in the centuries since, the Seljuk successive hierarchy has instituted measures to defeat that particular tactic. Chasonn’s present stature is testament to simply filling a void, an essential need for his people.

In Chasonn’s mind, there are no buts about it, this has Ÿ€Ð fingerprints all over it. In his subconscious is the hideous taste left behind in their criminal wake. It took 150 years for the Seljuk to literally grow up new leaders, but the goal of comprehensive exploration of the Great Expanse came to a cruel halt. Without long-range vision, they were coerced into provinciality; the Ÿ€Ð like it that way.

The easy thing to do is to blame the usual suspects. The hard thing will be determining the truth. And the truth is out there.–


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 16


page 20

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 10

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 10

…We are not searching for where, we are searching for what…

Searching by Ralph Harlow

–Just what would a caged animal (let’s say a lion) do when it manages to break out of the confines of zoo’s enclosure? You best get out of the way, because Mr. Lion is going to head for the nearest open country and the sense of freedom.

As pleasant and accommodating as the Eridanians have been, one Sampson McKinney represents that captive lion. On one hand, he has the Universe laid out before him, while on the other, all those planets, stars and galaxies are nothing but raw meat he cannot sample. It feels like a lion’s lifetime since he has tasted the sweet essence of autonomy.

Up until this point in time, Stardate 2052.50, the Defender has been sitting in the Spaceflight Expository certainly appreciated but absolutely unused. It was designed by a long-gone previous generation on Eridanus, when getting somewhere meant something; to an exploratory people that has since waned and the security of the Milky Way Galaxy was not an issue. On Earth, Jesus Christ had yet to take his first step.

Barnard’s Loop

The Space Family McKinney is poised to see what’s up on the other side of Barnard’s Loop.

Much to their dismay, it is Cerella who will pilot Defender once it escapes the gravitational influence of their “home star” Epsilon Eridani.

“Are we headed to the Pinwheel Galaxy, oh wise daughter-in-law of mine?” That would be one guess, Sammy Mac. She shakes her head “no.”

“How about Andromeda X, at zero point 4 degrees,” yet another suspicion from Deke is shot down.

We are not searching for where, we are searching for what.” Judging by her blank stare, she is not entirely sure. Leading up to this unauthorized expedition she has had a chance to study the ancient/taboo texts that refer to an unknown force that has before upended the Eridanian applecart and that has done so once again. “When we have passed the Orion Nebula, as you call it, I will engage the time-space-fold drive. It is with that invisible impunity that will begin our search.”

“Oh swell. This is like getting a driving lesson, but you’re not allowed to touch the steering wheel!”

Too bad.

“Relax and enjoy the ride Dad,” Deke has 100% confidence in the real driver. “What can we do my dear mate-for-life-wife?”

Cerella decides to concede some control, “Sampson McKinney, please plot a course 15˚ mark 7 to the Triangulum Galaxy.”

“Now you are speaking my language! I love it when you talk navigation to me.”

“Isn’t that the Seljuk neighborhood?” Deke surmises.

“We must check on their safety before we proceed further,” Cerella clarifies.

Sammy Mac cannot resist asking, “And why do you care about them?”

“They are our friends.”

“… the kind of friends that you haven’t talked to in how many years?”

“The passing of time is a relative measurement.”

 

Perception is 90% of reality.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Perception & Reality by Cameron Holmes

Episode 10


page 16 (end ch. 1)