Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 31

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance…

The letters F M are scrawled on the reflective glass, using a bar of soap.

F M —- F for what? Fanny? Then what does the M represent.

The meaning of the 2 letters is secondary to the fact that Fanny is nowhere to be seen. She scampers to the order counter. “Have you seen a skinny redhead about my tall?”

No.

Connie gallops out to their empty car. She sprints back inside to report on the mysterious happenings to the guys, who fan out to cover more ground.

“I’m thinking that our close call was no accident,” Eddie concludes.

The day manager of the restaurant blocks public entry down the restroom hall, allowing Martin to legally enter to women’s facilities. “F M, frequency modulation? Not likely.” Using his other senses, he wonders, “That smell, I know it….. CHCl 3, chloroform or dichloromethane.”

“That was used as anesthesia in early surgical medicine. Doc Campbell used it at his hospital back in Florida.”

“Correct and it is the fastest way to render someone unconscious, against their will.”

“She’s been kidnapped, hasn’t she.” Constance shivers at the thought. “How in God’s name did whoever know we were stopping to eat? Were we being tailed Eddie?”

“No! We’ve only gone 2 miles since we left the nunnery and we weren’t followed there or here.”

“In the world of cause and effect we have this: unknown device and missing woman. We must have a track-able gadget locked it in the trunk and we didn’t figure that out?.”

Hindsight always provides the best view, Constance.”

“But I allowed us to let our guard down and Fanny is gone!” That is no ordinary woman to her. Fanny Renwick is her housemate and partner in crime.

“Don’t think the worst, Con,” Eddie, while beside his self in worry, has to maintain a clear head; he is driving.

“If she’s still alive, there are four million people here-about – about being 2000 square miles,” Eddie then proceeds to bring up the worst.

“I get the feeling that Fanny may be a pawn/bargaining chip in this widening mystery. They may be contacting us sooner than later.” Martin draws a daunting comparison.

“Like your friend, Libby?”

“Let’s head back to the house and sort through the goodies we have. Just think, in oneRelated image secluded meeting we have a famous Evangelist in Graham, an incomparable scientist in Fermi, leading Catholic figures outside Rome, not to mention Willard Libby.”

“Don’t leave out that government guy, Wolfgram. If the US State Department or FBI is involved, who knows what is going on?”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 30

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 21

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 21

…Someone(s) in the secret workings of the federal government is keeping an eye on the U of C scientist…

Back at 6137 Kimbark, there is a treasure trove of information to sort through.

Martin suggests that they work with the University’s new wieldy mainframe computer to expedite the process of information gathering. “It is like having 20 Eddies traveling at 20 different directions at once,” as Martin puts it. “Let’s get to it, girls.”

“Martin, you look into the telegraphs. Fanny, see if you can find out anything about those FBI agents. I’ll work the telephone records.” Three people doing three different things at once. “If you find something, write it down and we will compare notes.”

Connie’s notes-to-self, concerning the numbers that stand out amongst the litany of telephone activity out of the Argonne extension dedicated to Willard Libby:

  • To: Who is Billy Graham? Place a call to Northwestern Bible College where the man is affiliated.’
  • From: Tolentine Friars? Is that a restaurant or a place for Monks?’
  • From: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. It figures he would be a bookworm,  interesting.’
  • To: The United Nations? Wow, this guy shoots high.’
  • From: Vincent Wolfgram, a single call on 12/10, the day Willard goes missing. That is huge.’
  • To: The FBI, New England office?’ Why did he contact them? And why did they nose around in his business, before he disappeared.’

As for the other two within earshot of Connie’s mumblings, their digital digging bears fruit as well. Each in turn offers some of what they have stumbled upon.

“Those FBI agents work out the Chicago office exclusively,” offers Fanny. “Yet you tell us he calls the Massachusetts office and those two Chicago boys comes a calling, why?” Fanny discovers extensive government files under his name. Someone(s) in the secret workings of the federal government is keeping an eye on the U of C scientist. In this era of Communism fear mongering  and accusation, having a file on you is not a good thing.

Martin Kamen finds out that Willard was in regular communication with Vatican City. What does their stance about the theory of evolution have to do with radiocarbon dating?


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 20

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 3

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 3

…Private investigation pays no mind to holidays, sleep or any other aspect normal life…

Fanny Renwick, walking tall and proud after being out for the morning, returns with her not-so-subtle Polaroid & its “electric eye” hanging from her neck and 5 crisp $100 bills (+ a $5 for interest) in her hot little hands.

“Our mister Simms saw me taking pictures and accused me of working for his ex-wife. Boy he sure is paranoid, perhaps a tinge of guilt no doubt about his overdue bill?  He couldn’t reach for his wallet fast enough and you should have seen the moths fly out!” As a rule, Fanny personifies unfettered child-like joy.

“But I told him I would have him castrated if he didn’t give us the money,” Unfettered joy meets Constance’s unforgiving reality.

“Ouch Connie, that’s hitting below the belt.”

“We have the dough, don’t we Fanny?” She often brings her friend down hard, just to balance out the woman’s default sweetness.

“While you were out, we got a telegram from Chicago, must have cost a small fortune, reads like a book… Somewhat cryptic, I must say. This guy wants us to come and look for a missing scientist.” The glazed strawberry blonde Caraway whisks her long hair back away from her face. “Here, what do you make of this.”

Dear Fanny, no really, dear Fanny looks at the half-crumpled paper, struggling to read the choppy text. “What is a.s.a.p.”

“Always say a prayer.” Not true. “That is short for RIGHT Damn NOW!”

“But it’s Christmas Eve Connie! Do we have to work?” Private investigation pays no mind to holidays, sleep or any other aspect normal life. “And that’s an awful long drive and the car is at Sam’s Garage.”

“We’ll fly to Chicago… they have Christmas too you know and maybe even real snow!”

“Oh snow, swell.” Fanny loves it. “Hey, isn’t Manhattan in New York, not Illinois?” Fanny points out upon reading the word ‘MANHATTAN in the wire from Chicago’.

“The atomic bombs that took out Japan, ending that stupid war, were developed by scientists working for the government; top secret stuff.” She proceeds to connect a few dots. “Manhattan Project, project, get it? Remember that spy case we were working at the end of the war?”

The light bulb goes on above Fanny’s scattered little brain, but still cannot connect the dots. “That was in New Mexico though,” she points out.

“Yes,” deep breath, “but the spy was traced back to the Manhattan Project at Argonne National Laboratory, which is out west of Chicago.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 5

The NULL Solution = Episode 191

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The NULL Solution = Episode 191

…When Celeste tells of the 2 light-year-about-face of NEWFOUNDLANDER, Fortan gives Ekcello the same treatment she is authorized to dispense to anyone else…

“Perhaps we have proven to be a worthy adversary. There is no sign of black ⃝    . Wherever that hole leads has to be better than this.” The Ÿ€Ð can only hope.

They may be disconnected from their previous dimension, but as distant as the beacon may be, at least it can be seen at all. The stars look to have heat and there are no visible boundaries.

Without knowing or admitting so, they have learned a lesson. The Collapsar collective will find their way… eventually… in about 10 lifetimes with just as many Župzïð’s to come. The Harmonia beacon will always be a reminder to mind their manners.

Celeste bypasses Ekcello in favor of Fortan, the mother who had put her reservations about Cerella behind her. She is honestly ignorant of her mate’s mischief. The days of transcendent knowledge has dissipated like the morning fog. She did not think Ekcello would act on his frustrations. That he should not be able to do anything like this on Eridanus, no matter of his status, is currently moot.

When The Earth woman tells of the 2 light-year-about-face of NEWFOUNDLANDER, the new Supreme Elder of the New High Council gives Ekcello the same treatment she is authorized to dispense to anyone else.

“What you have done is inexcusable. You must return with Celeste and restore that ship to its original path. It is the will of the people that decided the fate of our daughter, notImage result for caught red handed you.”

“I do not possess the skills to do so Fortan.”

“Then who does?”

“It is Skaldic {who was following orders BTW}. He reconfigured the navigation.”

The Null, particularly Skaldic, do not own hyperphysical capabilities. Fortan is aware of the quandary.

“You will help Celeste unlock the deepest Gifted skills in him.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 191


page 185

The NULL Solution = Episode 190

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The NULL Solution = Episode 190

…Leave it to Župzïð to make the most of a bad situation….

Bad situation! by ptmutant on deviant art.com

Once the human heart is set on something, especially a McKinney beat-repeater, there is nothing you can do deter it. Returning to Earth has been irretrievably etched in the four 100% human souls, the 50% soul of a boy born to both worlds and the sole 100% Eridanian soul being used as a pawn in a selfish game.

Cartoon by Mickey Bach

The best of intentions oftentimes go astray. So it is with the alternate dimension that Lorgan created and Collapsar Axis was banished to. Merely being moved to a new space with likeminded miscreants was not such a good idea and had unintended consequences. The self-contained Ÿ€Ð outpost has gone on to dominate that chunk of space and time, dominating being a bad thing.

Leave it to Župzïð to make the most of a bad situation. You could call him the worst of the worse. What was meant to be a purgatorial realm for those not buying into the Harmonia formulae has turned into a romping free-for-all, one without proper supervision. Yes there is nowhere to go, but it is getting there fast.

Lorgan’s hand is being truly forced for the very first time. It is one thing to encourage cooperation among the reasonable, but quite a can of worms is now unleashed. Caged marauders are still marauders. Apparently hell cannot extend deep enough.

“There is a portal on the perimeter Supreme Leader,” alerts a Collapsar commander. “I can see the beacon from here.” A sight for sore eyes?

“Where does it lead?” wonders Župzïð. “Do not waste your time finding out. I tire of this place.”

“Did you answer the riddle Supreme Leader?”

I am the how & why that blocks your way

Prove your worthiness and the light will show the way back


The NULL Solution =

Episode 190


page 184 (end Ch. 20)

The NULL Solution = Episode 189

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The NULL Solution = Episode 189

…“We are reversing course Dad!” Deke is keenly aware that autopilot was not programmed for this…

One question that will remain unanswered is, what role will they will play in the future of life on Earth?

The question should be, will they ever get there in the first place?

1/8th works for pizza, but not when traveling 10 light years, not nearly far enough toward their goal – suddenly NEWFOUNDLANDER reverts back to its days on Mars, when it makes a dash for home.

“We are reversing course Dad!” Deke is keenly aware that autopilot was not programmed for this.

“Is there something in our path, a comet or something that we had not planned for?”

“Nope, we have come about to a course leading straight back to Eridanus.”

Every good spaceship has a main viewscreen.  It is a virtual forward looking window to what is outside the hull. Sometimes it acts as a message board for communications with whatever. The command deck is looking at a starfield that they had already passed, while half-expecting to read a joke or riddle or something that would explain their reversal… nothing. Not even a fresh riddle from Lorgan.

“We have lost control of the helm. I’ve tried everything I know.”

“Try unplugging and plugging navigation.” A reboot is a sure cure for balky electronics.

In inimitable fashion, the visage of Ekcello appears to them, the “them” now comprising one & all onboard. It appears that he has come undone.

“I could not allow my daughter to leave Eridanus. Some things are not up for a vote. Upon returning, we will discuss continuing your journey.”

“Can he hear us?” Sam wonders if Ekcello can hear their reactions.

“No, this is not a complete transmigration,” Cerella is taken by surprise.

“The coward sabotages NEWFOUNDLANDER and he doesn’t have the guts to appear in person?”

Right on cue, he goes on, “There is nothing you can do to undo our work.”

“OUR work, does that mean he had help in this fiasco? I thought your father was a man of his word, Cerella?”

“Let me go back and talk him out of this.” Celeste still has the ability to go hyperphysical. “He has been exhibiting signs of instability for almost an entire cycle. My guess is that not even Fortan knows about this.”

“Somebody did and I predict that someone is Skaldy. I thought he was acting fishy. If I get my hands on him, there will be one less Null in the universe.”

“A negative Null will not solve a thing, Dad. Let Mom go and talk some sense into them.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 189


page 182

The NULL Solution = Episode 165

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The NULL Solution = Episode 165

…And so it is, that an opportunity lost decides the fate of a fledgling civilization…

Not everybody is buying what Harmonia is selling. Župzïð, for one, is used to calling the shots. Anyone who constructs his own world and is labeled “the Last” is not easily swayed into blind cooperation. It is obvious that they came all this way for nothing. Earth did not vanquish his fleet and if this ⃝ did, what kind of omnipotent being would unilaterally destroy his 12 ships and crews?

This all could be a masterful trick, a ruse intended to minimize the impact of such a magnificently independent world as Collapsar Axis. The Great Expanse has yet to see such a creation.

“We are leaving,” emptyhanded and skeptical, Župzïð is not called “the Last” for no good reason.

“Where are we going Great Leader?”

“Where we are allowed to be our own – to chart our own way.”

And so it is, that an opportunity lost decides the fate of a fledgling civilization. The Ÿ€Ð and their conscripts are allowed to depart Mars; the shuttle is allowed to return to the mothership, which slowly turns to go.

Image result for poof gifConversely, before it can attain cruising speed, the massive mass disappears into the same vacuum as did their fleet of twelve previously. On the other side and in a strange arrangement of stars, Collapsar Axis is reunited with the answer they searched so hard for; the twelve ships once believed to be lost.

“Where are we Great Leader? None of these stars are familiar.”

Župzïð the Last got his wish, a place where they can decide for themselves. There are consequences with a caveat; misguided and lost on the universe they had known, in favor of an alternate dimension.

Suddenly the landscape of Harmonia morphs. The four satellite buildings surrounding it decreases by one. A troika triangle replaces the quadratic square of moments ago. It appears that choices matter in this new world order. Geometry is constant, no matter which dimension you reside.

The recent configuration change is witnessed by the other interested party’s’ leadership. It seems that individual factions are replaced with the visionary goals of all 3.


The NULL Solution =

Digital Art by Louis Dyer Art & Design

Episode 165


page 161