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 O 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 O , 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 O .

“I did see O 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 O,   but it did drive them into silence.

The term: O  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 49

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 49

…Obviously there are others who wonder about the meaning of life…

“By what cosmic law is that possible?” Skaldic cannot explain the strange machinations of the silvery sphere.

is indeed a uniquely personal experience, whether in this galaxy or the next. Funny thing is, nobody but Skaldic and Sammy Mac makes a big deal about it.

“If it is alive, how does it travel 64 parsecs in the time we walk through a door? Maybe it’s not an individual. There might be a bunch of them, a fleet of shiny bowling balls whizzing around, muting Seljuk outposts and turning your Gifted into pillars of salt.”  Sam references the Holy Bible and tenpin sport in the same paragraph. How foreign these notions must be here on Eridanus, without an overt “god”. “If O had malicious intent, it/they could have destroyed those planets and turned Eridanian minds into mush. You told me that the Gifted are whole and I can attest to an alliance that was allowed to form between 4 scattered civilizations. I’m telling you Skaldy, we are not alone in the Universe.”

“Where did all the stars in the sky come from? Was there only emptiness before they came to be? And why are there so few planets with intelligent life, like you have been telling me?”

The back and forth has taken a philosophical turn. How can an Earthling convey his belief in the existential? Obviously there are others who wonder about the meaning of life.

“I can only speak for me and my family. Those on our planet, who are of the same opinion, believe that there is one true God, a creator of all things; every star and planet, comet and asteroid, bird and animal, male and female.”

“We call that middle star  {middle star}, the star that caused all the rest to appear.”

“Okay, I get that,” Sam drinks that in. “We have an instruction manual for that, written about and by the greatest man who ever walked upon our world. It begins by telling the story about how our God created the Universe.”

“You have told me, that your planet thought it was alone in what you call the Universe, that Eridanus is the first contact you had with any others.”

“True enough, man. For 66.67 % of my life and probably to this day on Earth, we thought we were the one and only beings.”

“Did not your book tell you about the rest?”

“Not in so many words, but I’m sure the answer is somewhere in there. Not until Celeste and I stumbled upon the NEWFOUNDLANDER did we have proof. Otherwise we had no way of knowing.”

“Just like we know not what O is or what purpose it serves.”

“That is a real barn-burner my friend!” Sam uses another idiomatic phrase.

“What is a barn?”

They will get to that new word and other subjects in time. The many mysteries of life will remain.


THE NULL SOLUTION

“Mystery” Artwork by Anton Kononov

Episode 49


page 52

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.

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THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 39


page 44

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 28

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 28

…A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back to Earth Too by Gus McKinney…

Now Playing on a Spacecraft near You:

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The recounted story of a youngish astronaut and the strange things that keep happening to him after he reaches the speed-of-light threshold…

In the relatively short time it takes to return to Earth, by way of the Sun, Gus McKinney explains it to his wife this way:

He is hesitant to share his story with NASA; “I’m telling you Mindy, after I saw that metallic planetoid disappear into a wormhole or something, I put SEx on cruise control, you know, at a reasonable numerical factor of SOL 1 and headed back, as Roy ordered … everything was going fine. I had Venus in my side view when it happened again… ” for fear that they would think him crazy.

 The Story behind what happened aboard Stellar Explorer this very day:

What he was not prepared for was an in-your-face dose of déjà vu. Mamma Celeste {the person, not the famous pizzeria in NYC} was getting bored and when mamma is bored, stuff happens. After all those parsecs logged, meeting a brand-new alien race and eavesdropping on the conversation between a Null and the pilot of her TSF ride, Celeste decides to take a peek at Gus’ timestem. In 2052.51 she picks up his saga as he passes Venus’ orbital path. Mamma knows that she only has a short window to work with, before Gus decelerates for his rendezvous at Galveston.

Only there is one huge/B-I-G difference between her current plan and the one that produced Gus’ vision previously. This time she brings along her firstborn for good measure. He has quietly graduated from telepathy to hyperphysical transmigration, the long-distance version of teleportation.

Stellar Explorer {SEx} is a two-seater. The lack of a support crew dictates that there is a redundant pilot… normally.

It was in the 1st seat that Deke McKinney had phased-out {at the Pluto turnabout} in 2051; horrific/traumatic.

It is in 2052 that the phasing image Deke McKinney appears in the 2nd seat, as that same ship approaches Earth orbit; terrific /baffling.

 

“Good job Gussy!” the image speaks.

His brother Deke has been missing for the better part of a year or more. It was at that same time that the image of their mother was present to calm & reassure.

“Where have you been, you SOB?” he waits for an answer from Deke, to the number one 64-_illion {fill-in-the-blank} question of this corner of the Milky Way.

“We are all together.” It’s hard to keep the Space Family McKinney down, but timestem constraints keep Deke from going into specific details, just enough to intrigued and confuse. “Mom is with me. Dad and our sister are back in another corner of the galaxy.”

“We don’t have a sister. You cannot be real!”

Celeste pops in, beside Deke, once again to calm & reassure.

“We are not able to stay much longer. Listen closely. Our Galaxy is danger. You must convince your stepfather to stay vigilant. Keep an eye on the NASA mainframe. Some new defensive tools are on the way.”

“What?” too little and too much info to process in a single apparition.

“Deimostra is your sister and the Seljuk are your friends.”

They phase out just as fast as they phased in.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 28


page 32

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 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 7

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 7

…all of a sudden every Eridanian in the tower stopped dead in their tracks…

Father & Son discuss the finer points of space travel.

“Tell me again why they never used these things?” Deke points at a dozen idled prototypes.

“Look at what they’ve just done with this whole deal with Gus and you. Never once did your Mother, yes, your mother, travel in a clunky spaceship… it’s so yesterday, right?” He contradicts his own instincts. “Actually, by the time the Ekcello and the other scientists agreed to the TSF program, some of the other Elders were united against physical space travel. That is why they used the auto-recall feature to retrieve the NEWFOUNDLANDER.”

Explorer, Dad.”

“Right, I cannot get used to their name for the ship we spent almost 5 years on… I remember their expressions when they found us on board!”

“How come they didn’t know you were in there, after all that time?”

“Because they weren’t looking… or didn’t bother to check inside, inside their last big disappointing failure. You know, like when we don’t eat anything that your mother cooks anymore.”

Sampson receives a rap on the back of his head for that ill-timed analogy.

“I didn’t hear you complain, actually any time after I learned how to program the food replicators on NEWFOUNDLANDER.” Celeste’s hearing is transcendental. She also uses their name for the ship.

“And look how healthy I turned out Dad,” Deimostra Samantha McKinney, 1st Earth-child of the stars, adds another voice joins this earthly reminiscing chorus.

“Aren’t you supposed to be studying the Olde Language, Sammy?”

“I was, but all of a sudden every Eridanian in the tower stopped dead in their tracks.

“What do you mean,” asks Celeste, who is taken by surprise for the first time in 200 cycles of Epsilon Eridani. She exits the cavernous Spaceflight Expository only to confirm her daughter’s observation. Down to the last individual, Eridanian society has come to a complete standstill; like they have been switched off by a mysterious force.

“What’s the deal Cel, did you have a brain freeze?”

She had been so tuned into family stuff, that she had lost track of the never-ending Eridanus chatter.

“I have never seen anything like this… scary stuff, I’m shut out.”

“So is Cerella,” Deke speaks for his Eridanian mate. “She’s on her way over, claims to know something about what is going on.” —


The NULL Solution =

Brain Freeze by DanvenKY – deviantart.com

Episode 7


page 13

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 226

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 226

…Sammy Mac, that pretentious Earthling, has mastered the art of changing the tone of a conversation with the Supreme Elder of Eridanus on a dime…

At times like this, Celeste will listen; merely listen for positive signs of sanity in her man.

Out of a combination of boredom and sarcasm, Sampson starts whistling the slow, soulful, deep-south 19th Century slavery tune, Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.

Ekcello must have been snooping, whisking in behind Sampson’s rendition of yet another strange sound from a likely strange source.

#What is that curious music you produce Sampson McKinney? I did not know you could musically communicate#

“It’s called whistling Ekcello old man. If it tickles your ears, well if you have ears, then your senses, I have a million more like it…” He jumps into the, Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey”.

Sammy Mac, that pretentious Earthling, has mastered the art of changing the tone of a conversation with the Supreme Elder of Eridanus on a dime, before it has a chance to start. Whenever he did this, the Eridanian man of meditation’s expression takes on #Now where was I?# look, extremely unsettling for one of such intense concentration.

On track once again, Ekcello emotes in his lyrical style, #You have two male offspring#

“Yes, Deke & Gus,” Celeste steps in to address an issue never far from her heart; quickly and longingly in her audible voice.

#The High Council has begun to journey back to your Earth and its yielded disturbing revelations concerning their future#

Suddenly Sampson grasps Ekcello on Eridanian terms, “Are they in some sort of trouble?” he wonders aloud.

#Only in the sense that they are in the forefront of a flawed space vehicle propulsion project#

“They haven’t abandoned The SOL Project!” A proud papa speaks of children he never had a chance to see grow up. “I knew my boys would become astronauts!”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 226


page 205

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 222

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 222

…The physical appeal of these Eridanians is an acquired taste… much like oysters on the half-shell or a shot of MALÖRT liquor is for the uneducated palate..

An Acquired Taste by Johan Potma

There is a meeting of two worlds, 9 light-years apart in The Milky Way and a light-century apart in societal progress…

Light-Years-Away-feat-DBX1From the tiptop of this whimsical Eridanian structure to the place where the NEWFOUNDLANDER has come home to roost, whatever lay beneath is marginally visible. Intermittent banks of mist-laden clouds do not help visibility, although the cool condensed water vapor is oddly refreshing to their weary spirits.

About the time when Sampson’s headache minimally abates, Ekcello breaks the silence. He knows that Sampson McKinney is the head of this Earthly family, but is frustrated by not having an acceptable method of two-way communicating. With each successive go ‘round it gets better, but an apt comparison would be, having a productive conversation with a pet or coffeemaker.

#We have decided to extract your background information from your mate. How long she is needed depends on her ability to recover from our sessions.#

#You and your offspring will be given our best accommodations, to meet the requirements of your human form. We endeavor that you acquire the skills needed for prompt communication. Please feel free to ask for your maximum needs#

On a similar wavelength as Ekcello, Deimostra takes her father by the hand. He is not exactly feeling like his confident “Sammy Mac” self.

Another robed figure, an overtly feminine specimen unlike preceding procession of “male” figures, appears out of nowhere when they step off that drastic elevator experience. The physical appeal of these Eridanians is an acquired taste… much like oysters on the half-shell or a shot of MALÖRT liquor is for the uneducated palate, but this “woman” has a look of elegance and grace, an Eridanian version of beauty.

Ekcello’s parting statement to them accounts for this observation, #As Deimostra is to Sampson, Cerella is to me. She is heiress to the High Counsel. She will assist you in getting you settled for now and when the time is correct, she will take you on a tour of the planet that will forever be your home#


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 222


page 201