THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 101

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 101

…Chasonn had been fiddling with this mode of transportation ever since he witnessed the ease of which the Eridanians use hyperphysical transmigration…

— The Plan:

… Chasonn’s plan to discover what makes Collapsar Axis tick, where it is headed, what or who is it looking for.

To do so, he must disguise himself to infiltrate. He cannot utilize one of his planet’s space vehicles. Who opens the door for a stranger anymore, even in a colossus full of strange?

Like the technology he shared with Earth {via the Eridanian branch of McKinney Clan}, though not offensive or defensive, he and his scientists have envisioned a particle-beam transporter.

Beam Dynamics: Model the particle beam using the KV envelope equations. In the two-dimensional steady-state case these equations model a uniform density beam with elliptical cross-section. Let X(z) and Y(z) represent the beam envelope semi-axes in the x and y planes, respectively. This system may be described by the system of coupled differential equations

It may sound complicated, but it is much more problematical. He had been fiddling with this mode of transportation ever since he witnessed the ease of which the Eridanians use hyperphysical transmigration. He also admired their TSF, but that would be unattainable without their help to adapt to his fleet.

Besides, he only needs to go from here {his shuttle @ manageable distance}, to there {Collapsar interior}. That is like going from one room to another.  Unpretentious and undetectable is the goal that he is close to achieving.

To that end, a goodly number of Seljuk’s most irredeemable criminals have been designated to be laboratory subjects for the final transporter tests in lieu of the normal “death-by-black hole” alternative;  no doomed Seljuk soul has lived to tell the tale from the other side of that penalty, that the penal system knows of.

Soon & therefore, without the aid of any planetary sub-species or willing participants, a particle-beam transporter is the latest Seljuk invention; a product of necessity. Disruptors are too disruptive and deflector shields are offputtingly rude. Now this is an invention worthy to hang his helmet on. It will not be long before he can board Collapsar Axis, when it surely passes this way.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 101


page 102

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 100

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 100

…Chasonn has tracked Collapsar Axis as it hopscotches its way from one sentient culture to the next…

Image result for hopscotch gif

Some societies have better things to do than solving inane riddles, even if it does concern a neighboring planet. The Seljuk, specifically Chasonn has a more urgent challenge to resolve. While Earth wrack their brains over word games and Eridanus digs into its long gone past, Chasonn has been watchful, ever vigilantly monitoring the progress of what he has come to know as Collapsar Axis; the sum total of once was the Ÿ€Ð home world.

The wily leader of all things Triangulum, has long since stopped wondering by what means this hulking mass {10 M cubic cubits} is propelled. Chasonn estimates that it may be the single largest object in the known Great Expanse, which is not a planet. Unlike a planet, this Ÿ€Ðian creation is not held back by any particular gravitation.

Lumbering best describes its movement. Questionable are its intentions.

Of all the technological challenges he has faced in the past, none is more daunting than the plan he is hatching.

There is a rooting self-interest in the inexorable Ÿ€Ð progress. He has tracked Collapsar Axis as it hopscotches its way from one sentient culture to the next. Whether it is a primal culture or one dipping its toe in the mighty ocean of dark matter, the colossal colony is scrutinizing each one of them, without fail.

Lumbering is more than slightly misleading. It may take the faith of a powerful God to move a mighty mountain one foot, but only days to bring Collapsar Axis from one star system to the next. Like a predator on the hunt, so does it prowl.

There is one distinct difference in the Ÿ€Ðian approach to space travel this time around. Gone is the divide & conquer mentality of Chasonn’s father’s day, when the Ÿ€Ðian marauders stripped away leaders, to weaken a potential foe… or what they perceived as a future threat to their territory.

Not so, in this time and space. They are looking but not touching.

{It must be quite an unsettling sight: imagine a stone-age people, hunting for their next meal, seeing Collapsar hovering above. Would that not cause them some considerable pause?}

…It is on to the next… and on and on and on they go.–


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 100


page 101

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 92

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 92

…That leaves me with a handful of nothing…

Kiddo & Daddio will make a good team!” Sampson lobbies for his son.

“Yes to a co-pilot. No to Deke.”

Ekcello places limits on his magnanimity.

“Deimostra then; father and daughter can dance through the stars!”

“Not from the seeds of your loins –

  1. Deimostra needs the companionship of her mother
  2. Deke will serve as a sentinel to monitor your progress to Earth from here on Eridanus. 

– I call him a “sentinel” because Deke views the Great Expanse with a reasonable eye, not merely focused on Earth.”

“That leaves me with a handful of nothing. Can we build a robot in such a short time? I prefer something that lives, breathes and likes to go fast!”

“Skaldic the Null,” he prescribes plain and simple.

“Skaldy?” Sam had not given his new-ish pal a thought. He likes the way Skaldic thinks for sure, but the day “Gifted Daddy” gives him the keys to the family car, well this will go down as a red-letter day. “Yeah, Skaldy has been itching to experience TSF, or anything to get out of this quagmire you call an atmosphere.”

“I have instructed Deke to preset a heading into Defender’s triangulation. You will not be able to stray more than .0000005° off the designated route. Your purpose is to locate both Cerella and her child and transport them home, where they belong.”

“So, Deke was in on this before you even asked me? He didn’t so much as give me a clue what he was doing in the navigation array… said he was checking on the details of our trip out to the Selljunks, the rascal!”

“It is Seljuk and they are our ally.”

“I know, I know. That Chasonn is an alright dude; a little paranoid, but alright for an alien.”

“It is you, Sammy Mac, who is the alien. We have known of them long before you showed up at the Spaceflight Expository.”

“Touché old man, we are new at this space travel thing, but we’re fast learners, not to mention “good aliens” to have as friends.”

“Skaldic the Null will join us soon. He is also a fast learner, as you say. You will show him the way of space. And remember, you must go undetected on Earth, excepting the ones for which you care for most, the ones you speak of incessantly.”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 92


page 93

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 88

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 88

…Like a cat on a hot tin roof, some 20 billion beings, as disparate as the birth of a star is to a black hole, are longing for the days of old…

… out where Eridanians fear to tread, a coalition of another sort is serves its purpose in the form sharing current events. There is currently no exchange of ambassadors between allied cultures, so traditional forms of communication are vital for the well-being of all concerned.

Seljuk is pleased to learn {from Eridanus} that their disruptor ray and force-field are being put to good use by Earth. They are grieved to hear the news about Princess Cerella’s kidnapping and her eventual medical emergency on Earth, of all places.. They are pleased to know that Ekcello and the rest of the Gifted have been restored to their former giftedness.

…as they say.

In all the news that is fit to print from Seljuk, leader and raconteur Chasonn has some news of his own to share; both bad and good variety.

The bad news is that a gigantic planetary refuge/ship has been launched by the Ÿ€Ð.

The good news is that the entire population were able to escape Ÿ€Ðian home world before it was rear-ended by a sister world.

More possible bad news: they are on a course for Earth.

More possible good news: Chasonn and his people are poised along a path that leads from Galaxy Sexta A to the Milky Way.

No news would be better news.

Chasonn is a peaceful sort on most days, but he has done some scouting of his own and by the looks of Collapsar Axis, nothing good can come of its plodding progression through this greater Great Expanse neighborhood. Of the major civilizations in this sector, Chasonn’s steadying influence has resulted in intergalactic concordance. Nothing bad ever happens over this way, until he lost those three major outposts. And even though no lives were lost, a security blanket has been yanked away from them.

Misplaced security is the common thread intertwining nearly all parties concerned lately. In no particular order, but curiously serendipitous nonetheless, you have the Seljuk incident, the Eridanus episode, the Ÿ€Ð displacement and Earth on pins and needles.

Like a cat on a hot tin roof, some 20 billion beings, as disparate as the birth of a star is to a black hole, are longing for the days of old, i.e. Stardate 2029 when:

  • Chasonn had worked selflessly to make the Triangulum Galaxy a model cluster of stars.
  • Ekcello had the Gifted right where they wanted to be.
  • Earth was poised to colonize Mars.
  • Life was good.

Two decades later, all these feet are being held to the fire.

So what gives?


THE NULL SOLUTION

Coals in a Fire – photo from Mongkol Chakritthakool (footprints added)

Episode 88


page 89

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”?” Fitch asks.


THE NULL SOLUTION

by 3RDAXISDesign

Episode 55


page 58

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, O 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,O 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 52

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, O 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 Celeste 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 51

The Crusades – The Real Story

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Facts About

the Crusades

At some point, slightly over a millennia ago, the entire civilized world decided to collectively go nuts. European armies rampaged through the Middle East, Islamic armies rampaged through the Balkans, and a whole lotta people died in a crazy religious war. Known as the Crusades, this state of affairs lasted the best part of 200 years.

 Since then, the Crusades have taken on an almost mythic resonance in both cultures. Everyone knows them… or at least thinks they know them. But the history we’re sold of the Crusades isn’t exactly the full version. In fact, go digging through the tall tales and mountains of propaganda, and you’ll uncover a whole lot of information suggesting the Crusades were even crazier than you ever thought possible.

10. They Weren’t Totally Unjustified

The standard image of the Crusades is one of opportunist European mercenaries trashing the Middle East under the guise of ‘religion’. While there’s plenty of evidence that individual crusaders didn’t care much about spreading Christianity, the same can’t be said of their commanders. According to historian Rodney Stark, the decision to launch the first crusade was both religiously motivated and totally justified.

Before the Franks started devastating Asia Minor and the Levant, the Islamic Empire had undergone a crazy period of expansion. Mohammed had turned his tribe from a minor group into a global power, and they’d moved out of the East and into Europe. Spain, Sicily and Southern Italy had undergone extreme wars of conquest, and Seljuk Turks were threatening Christian Constantinople. In Stark’s view, Pope Urban III’s call to the First Crusade was an example of Europe getting its act together to defend itself from an expansionist superpower.

On a personal level, too, some of the crusaders had justifiable motives. Many knew relatives who’d been killed on pilgrimages to Jerusalem, and signed up to fight to avenge them. Popular history may say the Crusades were an unprovoked attack, but Stark’s reading suggests otherwise.

9. The Arab World Hasn’t Held a Grudge All this Time

Osama bin Laden used the Crusades as justification for 9/11. Islamist terror groups use them to spread an ideology of vengeance. Even mainstream Arab politicians consider the Crusades a dreadful historical wrong that should be taught in schools. Way to bear a grudge, right?

Not exactly. See, the idea that the Arab-Muslim world has stewed over the Crusades for a thousand years may sound plausible, but it’s anything but. Until the mid-19thcentury, Arabic didn’t even have a word for ‘Crusades’.

By the 18th century, most Arabic societies had long forgotten about the Crusades. They were wars that had happened centuries ago; about as relevant to their lives as the 30 Years War or the Battle of Agincourt are to yours. The only reason they came back into the public consciousness is because early-19th century French scholars ‘rediscovered’ them at around the same time France invaded Algeria. Suddenly, these 800-year old battles were being used in Paris as justification for the current ‘civilizing’ war.

But the real trigger came with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. As European powers gobbled up Turkish territory after WWI, Arab scholars searched for a historical analogue for their present suffering. They seized on the crusades, and they’ve stayed in people’s minds ever since.

8. They Weren’t Just about Christianity vs. Islam

In our current, troubled, times, the desire to look back on the Crusades as an epic clash between Muslims and Christians is strong on both sides. To be sure, the majority of battles did take place between those two groups. But all of them? Not even close. An integral part of many of the Crusades was the elimination of everyone from Jews to pagans.

These guys weren’t just accidentally caught up in the crossfire. They were the targets of the Crusaders themselves. In the First Crusade, for example, Count Emicho switched the Levant for the Rhineland in modern Germany, where he laid siege to Jewish towns and massacred their inhabitants. The Albigensian Crusade of 1208-29 took place in France itself, and only targeted members of the Albigensian-Christian minority. Then there were the Baltic Crusades of 1211-25, which went after pagans in places like Transylvania. For those involved in these wars, seeing even a single Muslim or a patch of desert was as likely as you seeing an escaped rhinoceros on your way to work.

Across the whole Crusader period, significant battles were being fought with nary a Muslim in sight. And, while we’re on the subject…

7. The Crusaders Totally Sacked Christian Cities, Too

If anyone out there still believes the main goal of the Crusades was a clash of Islam and Christianity, we invite them to explain the Fourth Crusade. Called by Pope Innocent III, it started with Christian armies marching off to invade the Levant… and ended with the Crusaders sacking the Christian city of Constantinople and massacring its inhabitants.

At the time, Constantinople was the beating heart of the Byzantine Empire, an Eastern offshoot of the bygone Roman Empire that had traded pagan worship for Christian. No other city on Earth was so central to the spreading of Christianity about the world. And still the Crusaders declared it a target and destroyed it. On April 12, 1204, they entered the city and massacred thousands of their co-religionists.

There were semi-logical reasons for this course of action, related to the split between Western and Eastern Christianity and the internal politics of the Byzantine Empire (most of which is too complex or confusing to go into here). But the result was still one of the nastiest Christian-on-Christian massacres of the entire Crusades. Not the sort of outcome you’d expect if you truly believed this was a holy war between Allah and God.

6. Islamic Commanders Spent More Time Fighting Other Muslims than Christians

Given all this infighting and confusion in the Christian lands, you might expect to hear the Islamic commanders took advantage of it to portray a united front. Well, you’d be wrong. Just like the Crusaders themselves, the Muslim forces weren’t into this whole clash of civilizations narrative. By which we mean they spent almost as much time fighting other Muslims as they did the European invaders.

 Seriously, just look at the story of Saladin. A Muslim commander famous today for standing up to the Crusaders, Saladin was way more two-faced than his reputation suggests. Between 1174 and 1187, he spent most of his time beating on other Muslims, netting his family a vast dynasty that stretched all the way from Aleppo to Mosul, via Damascus. During this period, he even made truces with the Crusaders to free up his forces to fight his fellow Muslims.

Nor was he the only one. Saladin’s teacher, Nur al-Din, spent the time between the Second and Third Crusades riding into Egypt to whup Shi`ite Fatimid butt, ignoring the outposts of Christendom all around him. If these two were motivated by a hatred of all things Christian, they sure hid it well.

5. No One Realized for Ages that the Crusades Were Meant to be Religious

The First Crusade started way, way back in 1096. It was remarkably successful. By 1099, Jerusalem had been captured, Christian states had been established at Tripoli, Antioch and Edessa, and the Levant was no longer purely under Muslim control. With such a blaze of religious violence, you might have expected everyone to see the Crusades as we do now. But that simply wasn’t the case. According to history Professor Jonathan Phillips, no one realized the Crusades were meant to be religious for ages.

You gotta remember that the medieval period wasn’t a nice one to live in. Empires were constantly clashing, raiding parties routinely massacred entire towns, and pirates dominated the coastlines. So when a bunch of Europeans swept through the Levant, toppling Islamic governments and killing Muslims, most locals simply shrugged and decided they were just another raiding party.

It wasn’t until the First Crusade had ended that anyone realized there was something deeper going on than mere opportunism. Rather than sack Jerusalem and run off with its riches, the Crusaders stayed around, ruling their new territories as part of Christendom. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until 1105 that conquered Muslims began talking about waging a jihad in response, and it wasn’t until 1144 that anyone actually agreed to do so.

4. It Wasn’t Just the Catholics

It’s an undeniable fact that the First Crusade was called by the Pope, at a time when most of Europe was Catholic. As a result, many still fervently believe that the Crusades were carried out entirely by Catholics. However, this version of events misses some pretty fundamental truths about religious alliances in the 12th and 13th centuries. Far from going it alone, the Catholics were often joined by members of the Orthodox Church.

One of the most-famous was Patriarch Heraclius, who fought alongside the Crusader nobleman Balian during the Siege of Jerusalem. Another was the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, who got the Crusades kick-started by appealing to the Pope to save Constantinople from Turkish hordes (eventually leading, ironically, to the sacking of Constantinople by those same Crusaders). On a lower level, there were Greek Christians involved in various crusades, alongside Armenian Christians and even some Russian Orthodox.

In short, many different branches of Christianity got involved, and the same was true on the Muslim side. Sunni, Shi’ite and various sub-divisions all piled in, creating a multi-faceted campaign where no group was obviously pulling all the strings.

3. The Mongol Conquests Were Much, Much Worse

Pretty much everyone agrees the Crusades were bloody. There’s a reason groups like ISIS love to bring it up as an example of Christians beating on Muslims. But the idea that they were unprecedented is, frankly, nonsense. From an Arab perspective alone, the Crusades were far from the worst calamity to hit the region. The Mongol Conquests were much, much worse.

If the European invasion was like having a gang of masked men ransack your house, its Mongol counterpart was like having your house torched while you’re still tied up inside it. The Mongols swept across the Middle East, laying waste to everything in their path. When they sacked Baghdad in 1258, over 200,000 people were put to the sword, and the Caliph viciously beaten to death. This followed on from their total destruction of the Sunni Muslim Khwarezmid Empire, which had seen around 1.25 million slaughtered in less than three years.

It’s impossible to state how much the region suffered under the Mongols. From 1240 to 1300, various Khans laid waste to Aleppo and Damascus, and conducted repeated raids into the Levant. Unsurprisingly, it was these super-massacres Arab historians tended to remember, rather than the less-violent Crusades.

2. One of the Great Muslim Commanders Wasn’t Even Religious

A lot of this article has dealt with how our beliefs about the Crusades and religion are kinda misguided. Well, prepare to have your minds blown all over again. It wasn’t just the Christian side that had a great big mixed bag of religious viewpoints. One of the greatest commanders of the Muslim armies, Zengi, wasn’t even religious at all.

In a 2010 article for History News Network, Professor Johnathon Phillips claimed that Zengi was a “secular individual.” This is pretty shocking, as Zengi was one of the great commanders of the Muslim fightback against the invaders. In 1144, he captured the major Crusader city of Edessa, inspiring Saladin to get involved in the wars, which led to Christians being driven out of many areas. Yet all available evidence shows Zengi wasn’t really interested in religion at all. When he wasn’t retaking Crusader strongholds, he was busy sacking Muslim cities, as part of his personal crusade to (presumably) get rich or die tryin’.

1. The Crusades May Have Led to the Discovery of America

The Ninth and last Crusade ended in 1272. Columbus discovered America over 200 years later, in 1492. In temporal terms, he was as distant from the rest of this article as you are from the Napoleonic Wars. So how could one possibly lead to the other? To answer that, we’ll have to hand over to cultural anthropologist Carol Delaney. In 2011, Delaney published a book on Columbus’s motives for discovering the New World. Rather than a thirst for adventure, or a desire to enrich himself, she maintains that Columbus was secretly hoping to find enough gold to finance a Tenth Crusade.

At the time, Jerusalem had been in Islamic hands for centuries. According to Delaney, Columbus considered this an affront against his religion. So he set off to collect the funds needed to raise an army and take Jerusalem back for Christendom. It was while on this mission that he accidentally stumbled across America.

 If true, that would mean that everything from New York, to the Brazilian football team, to Eva Peron and Simon Bolivar, to this very website are all a historical accident caused by the inconclusive end to the medieval Crusades. Now there’s a weird thought.

The Crusades

The Real Story

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 46

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 46

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

— 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 O, 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 O .

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 O 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 50 (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 O , 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 48