The NULL Solution = Episode 138

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The NULL Solution = Episode 138

…Our military is to blame, got the bright idea to attach bombs to a remote-control plane…

The sound of tablas, tamburs, ghichaks, and rubabs echo throughout the Crippen family room. Not one soul can belly-dance a lick, though Mindy and Marscie join in regardless of skill level. Before long, everyone is in the spirit.

The decibel level is just loud enough to drown out the sound of a passing drone, not that patrol drones are unheard of here, just not in the evening.

During her heyday, Fatima Afridi had avoided death threats on her harrowing overland trip to Istanbul. She endured Florida Panhandle culture shock in her efforts to blend in. She has successfully in raised 2 beautiful and smart daughters, all the while supporting her Aldona.

Her sweet loving and important husband has made it to 75, when he had cheated death 30 years earlier… Back then he swam to safety amid a hail of gunfire and rode The New Orient  Express to Paris.

Today he dances.

The dancing stops when a ground shaking thud staggers the party, rocking the knick-knacks and trophies off their perches. Many a strange noise can be heard around these parts these days, but none like this.

“You take the four-wheeler Fitch, I’ll bring the Hummer,” Roy leaps to action.

They arrive to find a smoldering crater where the Fitch house used to be.

 Gus McKinney has finished his book collection, moving on to streaming 1 of the 120 old-time movies he brought along for the trip when Roy interrupts him with news from Texas Earth.

“I was just watching Murder on the Orient Express, a classic 1974 British mystery film. Spoiler alert: everyone on the train is guilty.”

“How ironic is that? Afridi took that train to meet his wife in ’29 or ’30,” reflects Roy with depressed undertones.

“Yeah, I can’t wait to see the old bugger… less than a month now you know.”

It is time for cold hard facts. “Fatima is dead.”

As if prolonged space travel doesn’t make you pale enough. The loss of a family friend leaves Gus speechless.

“The bastards must have found out where he was living, bombed his house… the rest of the family was at our house celebrating his birthday.”

“Did you catch ‘em?”

“It was a damned drone, snuck in under the no-fly defenses!”

“The inventor of the remote control should be losing sleep right about now.”

“I have a feeling that Nikola Tesla died with a clear conscience. Our military is to blame, got the bright idea to attach bombs to a remote-control plane.”

“How is Fletcher taking it?”

“His life is a pile of smoldering rubble. He will be staying in your room until you get back, that’s if he ever leaves GLF. He’s working on that global defense stuff, which by the way is hush-hush. I had to quash an amateur stargazer pic of that alien ship the other day. The planet would be up for grabs if that leaks out, for all the chicken littles to see.”

“We’ve been watching it in our rearview mirror. That ain’t no ordinary spacecraft.”

“Damn straight! You better have Stanley step on the gas,” even though they are already maxed out.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 138

page 136

The NULL Solution = Episode 137

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The NULL Solution = Episode 137

…On a remote corner of King Ranch is an undistinguished home, 7/8ths of which is below grade, facing eastward and has prairie grass and cacti for a roof…

Over in the purported Mr. Lorgan’s Neighborhood, silent preparations are being made for Collapsar Axis’ arrival. Fletcher Fitch has been assigned the task of his long life; install the global force field that the inventor-race-deluxe, Seljuk bestowed upon them. While he is at it, beef up the disruptor array aboard SEx.

Fitch was the scientific whistleblower who exposed the United Korean Peninsula for the Space Colony 1 destroyers that they were. That they were in league with his country of Talibanistan made him a marked man for decades to come. What he does not know, is that there is still a hefty price on his head and fortune hunters out there willing to pursue the bounty.

Texas Sunrise | by DustDevilDiver (Briley Mitchell)

On a remote corner of King Ranch is an undistinguished home, 7/8ths of which is below grade, facing eastward. It has prairie grass and cacti for a roof. It has sheltered the traitor/scientist for many Texas sunrises and provided a haven for his wife and two daughters. The daughters had departed the underground nest years ago, leaving Fatima and the former Aldona Afridi to live out the rest of their lives. Once you are a friend of the Crippens, always a friend.

Up until now, his association with Galveston Launch Facility was viewed as benign. He is just one of a thousand other geek-types that work there… until he was recognized by the single “looter” who managed to elude death the other night. It seems that King Ranch booty may have been secondary to a greater Muslim cause.

It turns out that rogue goon-squad fishing expedition has accidentally spotted a Big Fitch.

But this Fitch is heedless in respect to any danger. He is flush with the excitement, like a kid in a candy store. Molecular stabilizers, force fields and disruptor arrays replace sugar plums and squirt guns. He is on top of the cutting edge technology pile and he relishes the view.

And his daughters have returned to the nest to help celebrate science, in addition to his 75th birthday. With life expectancies exceeding 100, his ¾ share of life {26 clear of his ties to Talibanistan} is well-worth celebrating. But a glitch in the ranch power grid has forced the party to move to Crippen/McKinney territory. However, Francine and Mindy’s culinary skills are lacking when it comes to Near-East cuisine, so Fatima must ferry his favorite foods from a mile away.

“Where is Fatima? I swear that woman doesn’t sit still for one minute!”

“She went back for the Harissa, forgot it in the blackout, back on the counter.” The dish made from semolina is a treat from the old days, unknown to local restaurateurs. Fletcher seldom asks for anything Arab. “Come dance with me my daughters!”

The NULL Solution =

Image result for arab dance gif

Episode 137

page 135

The NULL Solution = Episode 56

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The NULL Solution = Episode 56

…Mamma Celeste McKinney never requires much of an excuse to hang around those crazy kids…

“I am not feeling well.” Ordinarily that isn’t a problem. But this is spoken by an Eridanian, specifically from Cerella who never complains about anything. She directs her concern in the direction of Deimostra McKinney, the closest thing to a contemporary she has on Eridanus.

“You haven’t been eating Deke’s cooking have you?”

“I have, but I am used to that.”

“You didn’t get too close to Skaldic? You don’t want one of those nasty viruses from a Null, right?” The 1st Earthchildofspace is being sarcastic.

“No Null contact.”

“I don’t have a clue and seeing there are no real doctors here, I’m going to ask my mother.”

Mamma Celeste never requires much of an excuse to hang around those crazy kids.

“You do look a little worn down Cerella. Have you been taxing your mind lately?”

“A tax is a form of monetary penalty. I do not see the relativity.”

“Okay, my mistake. I thought the Earth colloquialisms had left me.”

“Sammy Mac has them all.”

“So true,” for no other reason she puts her hand on the place a human stomach would be. A pleasing vibration emanates to her palm, in the key of A. “I don’t know much about Eridanian physiology, but I’m detecting something “extra” inside you.”

For all the perceptiveness at her disposal, the patient doesn’t get the “extra” reference.

Related imageAfter exchanging quick forth & back glances, Celeste and Deimostra start dancing around like they have ants in their pants. There are no ants on Eridanus, but there is one pregnant Princess.

For those in the know, there are few secrets on this world. Deke takes the news right from the top of his blood relatives’ thoughts. His wife is pregnant with an intergalactic reproductive miracle. This is not a run-of-the-mill ordinary new life brewing.


Back on Earth

“What are you smiling about all of a sudden?”

Prez Roy sees no reason for Gus’ suddenly unexpected joyous countenance.

“I don’t know, something just came over me.”

The NULL Solution =

Episode 56

page 59

A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 2

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A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 2

…They gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…

Strictly coincidental {we think}and a day off in the Stardate of 2052.91, the Space Family contingent out on Eridanus in the Epsilon Eridani star system {as seen from their home planet in the constellation Orion’s Belt}, they too have fashioned a Thanksgiving feast – as near as possible that is.

Like many of the holidays those wacky Earthlings celebrate, it is mostly lost on the Eridanians. But doesn’t stop Sammy Mac from including his in-laws, Ekcello & Fortan {if she were not in a state of suspended animation}, in the festivities.

Much has happened in the last Earth year {yet to be reconnoitered with an Eridanian Cycle}. Though separated by 10 light years, the McKinneys have had contact with Crip and Gus, somewhere around “home” and that is ample reason to be thankful.

Ekcello should be thankful for having snapped out of his temporary funk, even though the rest of conscious Eridanus is dominated by the Null.

Skaldic the Null is invited as well & appreciates much. “Skaldy” as Sampson refers to him, has embraced each & every solitary slice of life ever since his rise to Eridanus prominence. His contribution to this day is one of the few wild animals on the planet {far Null side}, a nasty predator that when properly prepared tastes like chicken {what?}

Deimostra has thoroughly researched the Thanksgiving holiday and has made the proper connection between man-alien and the God of the Great Expanse.

“I am thankful for Ekcello for making us feel at home – to Skaldic for providing the protein for our meal…”

“Real meat!” her father interjects.

“… and for the hope of perhaps seeing Earth for the first time in person and meeting my brother Gus.”

Celeste McKinney has had firsthand experience with seeing Earthly-loved-ones by way of hyperphysical transmigration and hugs the 1st child of space for all she’s worth.

As a group, the Space Family McKinney has a laundry list of gratitude:

Deke McKinney gives the blessing, “Thank you Dear Lord for my wonderful family, our hosts here on Eridanus… and is that you inside   ⃝      ?

On a planet where music is king, they sing:

A Space Family Thanksgiving =

Earth/Eridanus Part 2

A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 1

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A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 1

…They gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…

To say that the Space Family McKinney is spread out as far as the eye can see is a monumental understatement. King Ranch is Texas big, but even there, you cannot see from one end to another… as compared to wherever in God’s Universe the other Mckinneys are.

Braden King, the Crippens: Roy & Francine and of course the McKinneys: Gus & Mindy are all together, which is rare considering their considerable reach among the planets of the Terran System.

The reason: the commitment to preserve one of the most overlooked holidays that ever was… having been trampled by a herd of goblins & ghouls and that jolly red man in the red & white suit… Thanksgiving.Related image

That very day, a fresh tom turkey had been secured by one Gus M., not with a laser rifle, but an old fashioned double barrel 12 gauge shotgun. The East woodlot is teaming with the large wild birds, though getting close enough to actually bag one is not an easy feat.

“There is nothing like a fresh turkey, Gussy! Thank you for taking time out from shooting disruptor beams at aliens ships to provide us with this wonderful treat.” Francine Bouchette-Crippen has commandeered the kitchen from the ranch chef for the day, who gets to cross the border to celebrate a Mexican version of Thanksgiving, likely involving a pig w/an apple stuffed in its mouth.

“He still smells like gunpowder Francine. He refuses to take a shower because he might miss the kickoff of the Houston Texan’s game!” Mindy McDonald-McKinney bemoans the New World Football League, though she secretly roots for the London Royals because she thinks Prince Harry’s oldest son is cute.

Prez Roy bemoans something entirely unrelated to the holiday, “Harper Lea Bassett has taken down the NASA exhibit in the West Wing. What will that **%@!g woman do next, convert the Oval Office into a hair salon?”

“Roy Crippen! You forgot to re-calibrated the convection oven! It’s still 25 degrees shy of reality, so it looks like we’ll be eating at 5:00 instead of 3:00.”

That was intentional on purpose. The football game would not be over at 3 o’clock.

He and Braden King do a fist bump.

Gus McKinney just sits back and laughs. He gets a kick from the “old” guys.

The fact of the matter is that the Earth will keep on spinning regardless of the exact time of their dinner. Another fact is that they are truly missing a huge chunk of the family in the persons of Sampson, Celeste and Deke {they have yet to meet Deimostra}.

Some facts must be kept in perspective, like the annual celebratory dinner aptly named Thanksgiving. They have each other and a God who deserves the recognition.

The Texans lose in overtime.

Gus McKinney gives the blessing, “Dear Lord, thank you for this wonderful meal, my loving family… and is Lorgan really YOU in disguise?”

Together they sing:

A Space Family Thanksgiving =

Earth/Eridanus Part 1

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 274

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 274

…Whatever the season, whatever the reason, this is a joyful moment in the extensive history of Eridanus…

… Back at the wedding “party” and ever the prankster, Sampson insists Fortän judge the liquidLoudmouth Soup refreshment that has loosened the collar of more than one celebrator. She liked it so much that she requested a whole glass and when the brew hit home, it would be hard to get a word in edgewise.

She is quite lucid, in an entertaining sort of way, allowing a real personality to shine through. Mental perfection is quite a narrow path to take and sometimes it takes a little lubrication to expose one’s humanoid-ity.

Whatever the season, whatever the reason, this is a joyful moment in the extensive history of Eridanus {which spans countless millennia} and an untold story for a planet {Earth which is an infant by comparison} which could use some good news for a change —

— Having Ekcello wrapped around her pinkie finger, Celeste has a major role in arranging the ceremony that sets the cements her son and his daughter for all time… which to her surprise is Weddingdirectly, yes sometime BEFORE childbirth. She does not question the time-honored Eridanian ritual rather she injects as many tasteful Earthly touches as possible, for the comfort of her clan.

Probably the most enduring custom, that of having a Maid-of-Honor and Best Man, is a lock-down must. On the guy side, Gussy is the obvious choice, with Sampson a close second. Cerella chooses another heiress, from a towered city on the other side of the planet, who is as close to a best friend as things go here. She and Zina were born in the same century and as personal contact goes, their minds seem to be tuned to the same tune. —


Episode 274

page 318

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 271

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 271


…It is also a day for reminiscence, particularly for The Space Family McKinney, as they hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear on Earth…

Excitement, joy, good times, and good old family love abounds this day, in the year {as close as they can agree on a stardate} 2055.005. The McKinneys are gathered outside the spiraling towers for a celebration: the public acknowledgement of Cerella of Eridanus-Eupepsia and Deke McKinney of Earth-Texas as mates for life.

All the ingredients for a grand time are present, with the unusual lifting of the pink mist, mystery pizza aplenty, and an ingenious alcoholic brew that Sampson has managed to replicate.

The unexpected upward visibility allows for the viewing of the “test run” for the new-improved Stellar Explorer, so there are ample choices for one and all to be festive; where you have both a “wedding” celebration and a beggar’s chance to see something traveling really fast.

It is also a day for reminiscence, particularly for The Space Family McKinney. Hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear on Earth. For one, Deimostra McKinney loves to hear about the planet she never knew, even if those stories seem chaotic and illogical.

“Do you remember the time Braden decided to go to Mardi Gras alone?” Sampson has a sack full of stories about family friend Braden King. “He was going to find himself a woman in New Orleans, good or wicked!”

“Yes and we got a call from a Louisiana jail asking us to come and bail him out,” Celeste recalls vividly.

Solicitation of a Prostitute was the charge. He goes looking for a girlfriend and he finds a hooker instead!”

“What is a hooker?” asks Deimostra.

“Never mind.”

Gus remembers an alternate childhood version, “But you told us his car was stolen.”

“At the time, that was all you kids needed to know. He made us swear never to tell anyone, as long as we lived.”


Family Stories

Episode 271

page 314

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