The NULL Solution = Episode 60

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The NULL Solution = Episode 60

…The Ÿ€Ð commander of the Epsilon expedition ship has the bright idea to kidnap that female offspring of Ekcello the Halfhearted…

— In the foreseeable present, the last 3 remaining Ÿ€Ð cruisers {left in one piece} set out on their missions, one for the Triangulum Galaxy and two to the Milky Way. As sure as a star is born, one of the three will locate the culprit, that one that destroyed what is left of Ÿ€Ð once feared prowess.

One ship wings its way straight for Epsilon Eridani. They need go no further than Orion’s Belt to find a people capable of taking down the meat of their fleet. Leave it to the quiet kids on the block to suddenly change their reclusive ways and take out the competition; competition for one of the garden spots in all of creation – Earth. {No more a habitable place can be found. If it were not so distant, a flotilla of Ÿ€Ð colonizers would have barged their way in long ago}

Just what they really know about the Eridanians is debatable. The last they heard, Ekcello the Halfhearted {their harsh nickname}, had shrunk away in the wake of Ÿ€Ð intimidation – some time back. That makes them an easy target.

But…

Rumors are flying about a royal birth, a female no less.

There are rumors about the presence of Earthlings on Eridanus.–

The commander of the Epsilon expedition ship has the bright idea to kidnap that female offspring of Ekcello the Halfhearted. A well-timed transporter beam should do the trick.

“We have detected a warp deceleration,” Deke McKinney of the Space Family McKinney is on duty, the job of looking out past the mist encapsulating Eridanus.

“That is not good news. Chasonn would have given us a heads-up,” Sampson McKinney speculates. “Send out a warning.”

An Eridanian warning comes in the form of an audible deep-bass disruptor in the key of B#. It will awaken the dead and confound the living, regardless of the specie.

This cosmic occurrence is simultaneous to a pow-wow concerning ⃝    . Hopefully, think-tanking will add a measure of understanding.  Ekcello, Cerella, the McKinneys and Skaldic meet regularly to discuss ideas, both old and new.

“It looks like they are just cruising through, heading away passed the Olde Home World.”

“Ÿ€Ð.” Ekcello’s tone is one of deep disgust. He can smell them a mile away.

Such attention is paid to the passing spacecraft that not one of them notices anything else thereabout, “The sphere!” Sammy Mac spies the enigmatic sphere of much wonder. “Never mind it’s gone.”

The cruiser from Galaxy Sexta A is nowhere to be seen either/anymore; the scene is chaotic.

Without fanfare or tangible despair, Cerella, Heiress to the High Council of Eridanus has vanished… along with her unborn child.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 60


page 62

The NULL Solution = Episode 55

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The NULL Solution = Episode 55

…“Give that man a cigar!” Never mind that smoking has been banned for three decades…

“Ahhh, I see your point. Who’s going to blame a darn ball for deflecting back a nuke to its sender?  We are grateful that United Korea won’t be a deterrent to world peace anymore.” Fletcher Fitch gets it.

“Galactic peace, for that matter. We are no longer dealing with just our planet… or moon… or even the fourth planet from the sun.” Leave it to a former President to have a wide-minded outlook.

Gus McKinney is always eager to learn. He has the security clearance required for everything, other than Roy’s Red Phone and seeing he is the guy who has engaged in the solar system’s first know firefight, his input is expected, if not required; allegories in each instance.

“Galactic peace, Dad? What am I being blamed for now? I only winged that bogie, you know that.”

“Take it easy Gus, I wasn’t blaming you for anything,” Roy rarely passes up the chance to hug certain people these days, drawing Gus in tight, “Come closer and take a look at that,” he fingers a specific bright spot on a monitor filled with them.

“What about it?” Upon closer contemplation, Gus realizes, “That’s not outside our system, is it?”

“Give that man a cigar!” Never mind that smoking has been banned for three decades. {Cigar smoke-easies are the new secret refuges for those with connections} “That Hubble image is almost too hot to touch!”

“What on earth is going on here? That are some serious pyrotechnics, where… out at Uranus’ orbit?”

“Farther than that. I hope good old Planet Nine had a heat shield!”

“By the by. Why haven’t we named that planet yet?” A rhetorical question from a new/old fashioned sky watcher.

“We have estimated that this happened yesterday.”

“No s**t. There has to be a dozen smaller flashes within that debris field.” Which leads him another bright idea, “I could take SEx out for a look.”

Oh no, no, no you don’t. Under no circumstances are you to fly SEx without permission, right?  We are not going to stick our noses into something we don’t have a good read on.”

“Are we in any danger? I don’t think the entire Air Force could defend the planet. Should we call this “The Planet 9 Affair”?”


The NULL Solution =

by 3RDAXISDesign

Episode 55


page 58

The NULL Solution = Episode 51

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The NULL Solution = Episode 51

…The Gifted wish to project themselves as mythical; today the jig is up…

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As far as ⃝    is concerned, Ekcello learns that Cerella and the McKinneys had spotted it in another galaxy. To fully comprehend every side of the subject, he subjects himself to that menagerie of beings over in the Spaceflight Expository, the escaped Null included. That a Null is the only Eridanian to have seen ⃝    , he is deeply disturbed.

Out of learned respect, Skaldic bows. He is a crowd of one, of those Null having stood in the presence of the Supreme Elder to the High Council. A representative image of Ekcello, looking nothing like this, would appear on their screens whenever any planetary information was to be shared with the isolated tower. #Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain#

The Gifted wish to project themselves as mythical; today the jig is up….

Skaldic is the Null most feared in the eyes of the Gifted. His story {history} is well known. That he dare choose to let his gifts to languish is stuff of legend.

“Can I assume that the rest of the Null are under your control?” That Ekcello concedes Skaldic’s authority is reciprocal respect.

Skaldic relates the story, “With their own eyes they have seen the world of the Gifted. But the hookahs did pose a threat to our stability and I was forced to restrict the rest to the Null Tower. But they have tasted and they have seen. The status of the Null Tower is an issue that will need to be discussed in the future.”

“You are to be commended Skaldic. Self-restraint is a necessary quality in any leader. I recognize you as the Supreme Null,” Ekcello proclaims.

“Is that like being the tallest midget?” Sampson whispers to his daughter-in-law.

“You are witnessing history in the making, father to Deke,” her assessment of this newfangled collaboration is accurate.

This is big – Eridanus big.

Ekcello reaches out for Skaldic’s firsthand observation of ⃝    .

“I did see ⃝    next to our former home world, but only for the shortest of time. I do not know how long it had been there. It did not show itself on our sensors,” Skaldic relates.

“Three cycles, it appeared three cycles past. It is the cause of our neutralization. We know not what it is.” Ekcello cannot relate.

What the Gifted do not know is impossible to quantify. It’s like, ‘You’ll know it when you see it.’ They didn’t see ⃝    ,   but it did drive them into silence.

The term: ⃝    is now common in their 4 separate lingoes; not a word, more of a foggy notion.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 51


page 54

The NULL Solution = Episode 48

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The NULL Solution = Episode 48

…“Skaldy”, the moniker that Sammy Mac has bestowed on the lead Null, has much pent-up energy to let out, himself an island of squandered talents…

Not surprisingly, Sammy Mac and the Null named Skaldic get along famously. The Earth/Null Mutual Admiration Society declares Stardate est. 2052, the Year of Galactic Unrest. The preceding retrospective editorial is neither an official declaration nor formal organization, but it is an apt summation of the now strong bond forged by men of like minds.

His other fault{s} aside, Sampson McKinney embraces the normality of the only normal being {other than his family} he has had company of since leaving Earth 20 years ago. {That Chasonn dude was cool, but he speaks yet another strange language and he may never see him again}{Deke is Deke, his married son who spends more and more time with his mother}

In Skaldic, on the other hand, it gives him a fresh foil with which to bandy theories and concepts. “Skaldy”, the moniker that Sammy Mac has bestowed on him, has much pent-up energy to let out, himself an island of squandered talents.

Poor Offy {Offingga} feels like she is being squeezed out these days, retreating to the familiarity on the Null Tower.

Like new lab partners in chemistry class, there is palpable excitement about the next combination of compounds.

Skaldy has thoughts concerning recent Eridanus events.

Sammy Mac shares his thoughts on that +plus+ Seljuk, ⃝    and Earth.

Those thoughts lead to a productive collaboration.

Skaldic is a sponge, sopping up every last drop. In between drops, he plants an original thought on Sampson, “ ⃝    moves like it is alive.”

“I never looked at it that way. When I saw it, all I could think of was a silver bowling ball without finger holes… never mind that bowling bit.”

“Did not you and everyone else see their reflection in it, like it was this close?” he points to a shiny surface not far away. “By what cosmic law is that possible?”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 48


page 51

The NULL Solution = Episode 47

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The NULL Solution = Episode 47

…Skaldic has chosen his own path, he chooses the Null way…

CHAPTER FIVE

Null Not Void

 In times of doubt, when what she sees does not compute, Deimostra McKinney will pursue it to the point of understanding. Just why the Null are labeled as inferior eludes her. And why do the so-called Gifted have the right to lord over them. As far as she can tell the Null she has met are as pleasant, maybe even more genuine than their counterparts.

It is time for Cerella to finish the subject she hurriedly brushed aside when the Null first met the Space Family McKinney. At the time, ⃝    was the topic that dominated any discussion that shed light on the Null and their secluded Tower.

That Deimostra is a societal infant and that she can identify injustice is telling for sure.

“It has always been so Deimostra. It has never been an issue. They are not intuitive of the mind. They are inferior. They are well cared for. They lack for nothing. They are Null.”

“And yet Eridanus’ welfare has been in Skaldic’s capable control until the time we got back,” she takes exception to inferiority.

Skaldic has chosen his own path. He chooses the Null way.

“Then why weren’t we banished to our own tower or the Null Tower when stepped off the NEWFOUNDLANDER? You must have thought us to be less-than-nothing. Stowaways on your precious property… that’s what we were.”

“It was Celeste who convinced us that you were intelligent beings. She communicated in the Olde Language and you were not considered a threat to us.”

“There, don’t you get it Cerella? Why can’t the Null learn what we learned? Or why do they even need to?”

“We have the left old behind and have embraced the new. The Null have no interest in the ways of the Gifted.”

Celeste is near, picks up on her daughter’s argument discussion and adds her perspective. “On Earth, we had people we called slaves. They were savages from the wilds of the continent Africa. They were bought and sold like a commodity… the Null are not slaves.”

“But until The Gifted fell silent, the Null were not allowed out of their tower, like they have some strange disease. They aren’t slaves, but there is a distinct separation going on here.”

Mother raises both arms and shrugs, “She has a good point Cerella.”

Defeating centuries of perception is like running into a brick wall; the inexorable force meets the immovable object.

“All but Skaldic and his attendant will be permitted outside the Null Tower.”

And that, is as they say, is that.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 47


page 50

The NULL Solution = Episode 46

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The NULL Solution = Episode 46

…All suspects are present and have been accounted for; excepting ⃝   …

— The offended {fired upon by one Gus McKinney} Ÿ€Ð weren’t prepared for anything that offensive.

A perceived harmless bug bite turned into a nasty inflammatory welt. Ÿ€Ð controllers retreat to regroup. Their original objective was to find out whom or what was responsible for ⃝    , but instead they run into this, seemingly chaotic and overly defensive world.

But it is not the only unmanned probe that was sent out. The other {distinguishable/known} worlds in this end of the Universe have been scoped-out with varying results.

Suspect #1: Those quiet Eridanians are not merely quiet, but downright silent. On the list of possible suspects, they were the first to be visited and the least likely to produce something such as ⃝    .

To that end, they happen to immediately precede the return of the McKinneys + Cerella to Eridanus, came and went without a trace like shadows passing in the dark. So back it goes.

Suspects #2-3-4 etc..: There are several habitable systems that need to be logged for progress, but none have progressed beyond elemental physiology; plant, animal or sentient. All in all, the empty goldfish bowl remains so.

Prime suspect: The Seljuk are another matter. Before galactic peace, they and Ÿ€Ð imperialists had a healthy squabble over a cluster of Class M planets, which were in free space and ripe for colonization. It got so ugly that it left a bad taste for both groups. Fleets were decimated, billions of lives lost and in the end.

Without a clear-cut victor and not enough incentive for either party to bother continue hostilities, withdrawal to respective galaxies was in order.

Reconnaissance from Seljuk territory yields a disturbing find. The system’s sentinel outposts are electronic wastelands, short-circuited stations of no use to the builders. The force that caused this damage had to be fearsome, prompting yet another prober to head for home. They arrive after Defender leaves. It is just as well, for had they bumped into each other, blame for Seljukian misfortune would have been unduly assigned.

All suspects are present and have been accounted for; excepting ⃝     which they endeavored to clarify most.

The Ÿ€Ð are a reactionary bunch. IF there is a next time, they WILL send out attack crews.

“Are yea friend or foe?” That question has yet to be answered.


The NULL Solution =

Friend or Foe Album Cover – Menomena

Episode 46


page 49 (end ch. 4)

The NULL Solution = Episode 44

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The NULL Solution = Episode 44

…Asteroids do not exceed SOL, nor do they weave their way through the busyness of the Kuiper Belt…

A lone Ÿ€Ð cruiser has entered Earth’s solar system, their initial venture in search of ⃝    , or whomever set them on their {large} ears by the atmospheric disruption of their world.

Barebones, yet armed to the hilt, the Ÿ€Ð cruiser has automation as its guide. The collective authority that rules them, does not view Earth as a threat, but do not leave a single known civilization/rock unturned. And as it so happens, this watery blue planet appears to be on the verge of destroying itself by thermal-nuclear mutually-assured suicide.

For as expansive that infinity is, the number of developed star systems can be counted on one hand {with as many fingers available to the one who counts}. The oldest of these do track the progress of the fingerlings, like goldfish in a bowl. If not for those recent warp signatures, the Ÿ€Ð would not even bother to look into this seemingly insignificant parsec of the aquarium.

–That very Ÿ€Ð blip shows up on the Terran long range surveillance system.

With SOL capability, comes the need to peer further out in the neighborhood. Every direction of the compass, upside-down & sideways, there is a record of all things on the move, if for no other reason than any threatening asteroidal activity. Tracking Stellar Explorer is the modern-day priority purpose.

It is a lackluster job but somebody or something has to do it. That something suddenly makes enough hullabaloos to wake up the man-in-the-moon. The last time the warning system went off, was when a tumbling unbalanced planetoid came close enough that it singed the Man in The Moon’s whiskers. That it did not make a direct hit saved a catastrophic chain of events.

The whole of GLF is now aware that there are Bona Fide bogies loose in the Solar System. Granted, this one is not Lorgan, but it ain’t no asteroid either. Asteroids do not exceed SOL, nor do they weave their way through the busyness of the Kuiper Belt; they plow.

“How long would it take to get SEx off the pad, Fitch?” Prez Roy is thinking out of the box, typical Commander-in-Chief Modus operandi.

“You’re not thinking…”

“Oh yes I am. I want Gus to go out and take a close look at that ship.”

“But I’m not finished with the deflector shield array.”

“Turn it on anyway.” He turns to Gus, “Aren’t you game, my boy?”

Gus McKinney is the boy in question and the Prez’s stepson. Facing down possible intruders is not in the Astronaut’s Handbook. “I really like the way she handles! She flies more like an F-49 than a deep-space shuttle.”

“Is that a ‘yes’?”

“That’s a ‘hell yes’ Crip!”


The NULL Solution =

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Episode 44


page 46