THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 122

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 122

…”Alley Oop – Betty Boop – puppy poop, it’s all the same to me,” Stanley & Gus have agreed to sneak inside the Harmonia

A new plan of attack was hatched…

Not only is Solution hermetically sealed from the vacuum of space, it makes a dandy submarine, except it will use its wheels for propulsion. The thrusters would kick up too much red mud.

“I guess we don’t have anything to lose? I can use some excitement. This botany duty is for the birds!”

“Now there are birds?” That would be show stopping news, would it not? They will need to settle for a pristine source of water flowing into Harmonia. “Have you noticed that the creek goes in, but it doesn’t come out?”

“By golly, you are correct Stanley. Not only do you have 2 first names, you don’t miss a trick! That gives us an even a better reason to swim on in.”

“Here’s another riddle for ya, ‘What goes in, but doesn’t come out?’”

“Good question. I believe I want to find the answer to that.”

Gus guides Solution into moving water, several hundred yards upstream for good measure. As they approach what is expected to be a thwarting thud, they slow the manned rover to a crawl. No need inflicting another blemish, like the boo-boo on the bumper when they unsuccessfully drove in the first time. The one constant about invisibility, is that it’ is hard to see.

“Well, here we go. What the hell!” he screams while holding his breath. “Are we in? We’re in… we’re in Roy!”

Galveston Launch is awash in high-fives. It turns out that hunches still have their place.

“Rather than swim with the fishes, I’m choosing popping out before we can’t get out.”

“Trout or Topeka Shiner?”

“Me and Ricko are the only fish in these waters. Here we go… alley-oop!”

“Did you know that Alley Oop was a comic strip in the 20th Century; a time-traveling caveman.”

“That describes our Gus for sure!” Rick lets slip.

“Oh yeah! Crip is old enough to remember when newspapers were made of paper.”

“I was merely providing historical context to your live-action metaphor.”

Alley Oop – Betty Boop – puppy poop, it’s all the same to me. I’m taking us to the front door.”

Water has barely stopped dripping from Solution, when they pull up to what is referred to as Harmonia. An ant at the foot of NYC’s Freedom Tower would be ratio-based comparison. Neither man has ever not been able to see the top of any object – that is until now. It is a daunting edifice, no matter whatever its purpose is.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Photo by @cpplunkett

Episode 122


page 121

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 107

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 107

…Either we bring down the veil of the Gifted or the Null are lifted to Gifted status…

A segment of Eridanian society had seized the opportunity to lift & separate from the rest of the population; to be Gifted, with all the privileges that they built into it.

The Null had been intentionally stunted, the details of which may never be admitted.

“Holy donkey dung!” back to Sam’s brass tacks. “”I bet you need the “Null inside you” to make TSF work, am I correct?”

“The Null possess the spirit of ingenuity. In order to repress the urge for exploration, the Gifted have lost their way. “

“But you guys can do that transmigration thing.”

“Hyperphysical transmigration is all in the mind. It is not rooted in the tangible physics required to be anything other than an apparition.”

“But you went to Earth and fixed the Stellar Explorer. That molecular stabilizer took hands-on doing…”

“That work was done outside the timestem. We cannot exist in real-time while utilizing our minds.” The nuts & bolts of space-time are complicated. “There are two possible solutions to TSF problem. It is apparent that I cannot be the final judge of which will come to pass. Either we bring down the veil of the Gifted or the Null are lifted to Gifted status.”

“I have a perfect solution, a lucky silver coin that my granddad gave me, an 1873 Liberty dollar,” he produces it from the pocket where it is always kept. “I can flip it; Heads the Null win. Tails you lose.”

“Intriguing concept, but this is an Eridanus issue. It will be settled between respective leaders. What say you Skaldic?”

Skaldic is a practical individual. Deep down, he has regretted spurning his Giftedness, not for any good reason other than a longing for fairness. Now that he has been around Gifted-land and is witness to its failings, he is not sure who is truly better off. Just as, in the case of his stance on Null access to hookah, he must make the proper decision for the people he represents. They trust him.

Likened to the transcendent state that is derived from the hookah, he comes to the best conclusion.

“I will join the ranks of the Gifted on one condition; that the status of the Null will not be set aside, as it has been conveniently ignored for too long.”

“It seems we lack the life-force that only you can provide. Should you agree, the NULL will become part of us. The path of Eridanus will be made whole once again.”

“Geez, Skaldy, bite the bullet and join the party. If you can breathe life into Defender then do it!”

“Time is a wasting, right Sammy Mac?” Skaldic picks up on the spirit of this moment.

“Now we’re cooking with gas Ekcello!” Sam’s idioms have that old-fashioned feel to them. For those not of Earth, well…..

The compromising Eridanian eldest of all elders will never fully understand Sampson-speak/lingo; yet another skill only Skaldic has mastered. —


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 107


page 107

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 78

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 78

…The Eridanians were raiding the pyramids right after they were built and no one knew…

Dad & Deke are discussing the current state of affairs.

“I’m in favor in going out and searching for Cerella. She should show up on our long-range sensors.”

“And in a few short {million} cycles or so you may find her Dad.”

“Then I vote for taking Defender back to Earth. Without Cerella, why should we stay out on a world where we don’t fit in?”

“It is you who does not fit in! The rest of us have adjusted nicely… even Deimostra is light-years ahead of you.”

 “If you ask me, it’s a lot more dangerous here. Have you ever seen any Selljunk or Yud anywhere near Earth?”

“It’s Seljuk and Ÿ€Ð and how would we know? Personally, I don’t think we’ve been paying close enough attention to know whether they’ve been by this way or not. The Eridanians were raiding the pyramids right after they were built and no one knew.

“Without NEWFOUNDLANDER, we would not have even passed Mars’ orbit yet. There were supposed to be 1000 colonists at Mars City right now.”

Sam cannot help but long for what might have been.

“Maybe there are now. We don’t know because we are so worried about messing with history. Right now I would trade this foggy dump for a deep-space shuttle ride back to Earth.”

“You wouldn’t settle for anything but TSF, would ya, come on tell the truth?”

“If we didn’t know Eridanus from Uranus, I wouldn’t care.”

“But it is too late not to care! Without the NEWFOUNDLANDER, you & Mom only had a tinker’s chance of being rescued by the Mayflower.”

New Mayflower. I almost forgot about ol’ Rick Stanley… good astronaut that boy.”

“Yes. Did I mention that he was the backup pilot for the SOL project? He would have died because the Eridanians would have had no rooting interest in its success or failure. The only… and I mean only reason we are together as a family is because of Ekcello.”

It’s all water-over-the-dam.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 78


page 79

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

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 144

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 144

…Before we get sidetracked by sonic overload, I was trying to tell you – that I think I could fly the NEWFOUNDLANDER back to Earth…

Sonic Overload by Caleb Brown

“Your title as Commander is hereby revoked. We are on an alien spaceship and you cannot make anything work around here without my help.”

“That is true, but the rent is paid off ‘til the end of the year and the groceries are free.”

“Money for nothing and the chicks for free.. and the music IS free, that’s right, the slightest gesture sets off some out-of-this-world sounds.” What humans refer to as musical notes and reverberations, the Newfoundlians use a form of communication. “I really miss my Justin Timberlake Collection.”

“You do have a sexy back, but I do not miss that guy… Galactic Static is more my taste.”

“How did we ever stand each other’s taste in music, long enough to get married?”

“Before we get sidetracked by sonic overload, which we can’t turn off, I was trying to tell you that I think I could fly this thing home.”

“And pass up the rescue mission without them seeing us? And when we land, if you can land it, can we convince our own people that the NEWFOUNDLANDER means them no harm,” she teases. “We would probably be shot down by air defenses, thinking we were an incoming Korean bomber.”

“But Korea is harmless, remember what President Sanchez told the world?”

“The New Mayflower expects to find us more than half-starved and happy to see them, so lets let them be half-right.”

“Good point Lt. Cmdr. McKinney, but I still may try to fly it back just to prove I can.”

Try is the operative word Sam. You are light years from understanding their technology and probably 20 light years from the folks who do.”

“I hate it when you’re right.”

“Always right and when did you finally come to that brilliant conclusion?”

“But, but, but… with me and a crew of three, I think I could get us back to Earth!” Right now, he would be 1.5 short of that.

“Let’s just concentrate on studying these beings, their technology, and find out where they came from. We have the time to have a complete dossier prepared, in the 2-odd months we have left. We can ‘present it as a present’, this incredible discovery, to the world; Perhaps the greatest contribution to the world since the wheel or fire.”

“I was thinking the microprocessor, but you are right, let’s get to work.”

She was right again. They have all the time in the world; the difference being that Mars is currently their world and the word “time” means different things to different people.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 144


page 136

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 139

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 139

…’Talk to me Tuesday’ continues, as Francine begins to reel in the illusive astronaut.

In the course of a 3-course cattle-country lunch, Roy lays out his vision, Francine’s upfront role as his Press Secretary. “I never was any good at suffering fools, so dealing with worldwide media is not my strong suit. I mean you can’t teach physics to a preschooler, can you?”

“I’m not so sure anymore, from what Gus was telling me, they already have the necessary education to go straight into the astronaut program.”

“Gus is also positive that Earth has been visited by beings from another planet and that they have been doing since before Jesus Christ was born.”

“B.C. meaning Before Cleopatra?”

“Right, and A.D. means After  Dinosaurs. God bless him for his imagination, but for all our science, we have yet to confirm anyone’s evidence on any alien incursion.” {He could be wrong about that, right?} “Getting back to my need for a media maven; we seem to be able to work extremely well together, you can put words in my mouth and then I can focus on the important things.”

“I thought you did a good job handling me and the other scoops. I had to force my way into your insulated world.”

“Insulated… good word, but I would describe me as “in a zone”, with all the chaos going on around me. That pre-launch stuff, they have made movies about, but the difference is, I had no script to follow…and I don’t like having to explain my decisions.”

“No one can blame you for appearing myopic. I think you require the visage of The Great and Powerful OZ, while you do your thing behind the curtain.”

“Well there you go; the Wizard of OZ needs another full complement of senses to help me out.”

“I’ll give you that OZ and Dorothy raises you mine,” she tosses tortilla chips onto the breakfast nook table like she is kicking in poker chips to the pot.

“I ‘call’,” he answers as he pretends to turn over, “2 pair… Kings and Jacks.”

“Three 10s and a pair of queens… full house, I win!”

“Yes you do,” he pushes the chips over, swallows hard and then out of the blue he ups the ante, “I am not sure this is the right time, but here goes nothing: As sure as a black hole devours light, Francine Bouchette, you have captured my heart.”

All this while they have been having their adult conversation in plain sight of their two tablemates, Deke and Gus McKinney, who do a fist bump, a high five and a pinky-link, having seen Francine’s hand reach across the table, a tear trickling
down her cheek.

Deke proclaims, “Is that the best you can come up with Uncle Roy? Black Hole, that’s so cornball.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 139


page 131 (end chapter six)

THE RETURN TRIP -Episode 138

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 138

…Roy Crippen’s 3-2-1-0 plan is already as obsolete as Sputnik…

3. Elucidate his concept of Francine employment,

       c) to her and NASA.

2. Clarify the status of the McKinney boys care,

       b) as neither he or Braden can do it right now.

1. Describe his feelings for her,

       a) when he doesn’t fully understand them.

Oh. Pray that she feels the same about him,

       No) now that he has left himself open for a huge fall.

PEMS

1. It doesn’t hurt to pray.

2. She must have quit her job or she wouldn’t be here now.

3. She has the whole ranch eating out of her hand.

“I am impressed Francine! For a city slicker, it looks like you have taken to life out here very well,” Roy kisses her on the cheek, just as if he has been doing it for years. There is something about assumed affection that is good for building a solid relational foundation…. he thinks.

“I like it out here,” she kisses him back, “and forgive me for wondering why you don’t have a house of your own on the ranch?”

“That happens to be on my “someday” list of things to do, but there never seemed to be any hurry, with me eating, living, and breathing Space Colony 1.”

“And I guess you will be doing the same with Space Colony II?” Francine is fishing.

“Things are happening, even changing so fast that I may have to make some mid-flight adjustments. Like right now, for example: If I could, I would head for the sawmill shed and start picking out lumber for that house. Trouble is, I’d be borrowing bits and pieces from everyone else’s life to make something out of mine.”

“Did you ever stop to think that that is how it is done?” Francine is setting the hook.

“Well, I guess I should start by delegating more at work…”

“You can start by coming into the house and talking to me. I think we have some new ground to cover.” Francine begins to reel him in.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 138


page 130

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #40

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #40

…Willy looks at the hands of the school teacher and concludes, “Get yo hands dirty for the morrow, least you’ll look like you worked a day in yo life…

Who is waiting for Willy at the gates of Fort Sumter South? It is the head overseer himself. Affectionately nicknamed, Pigface by his workers, this man is as ugly on the inside as he is on the outside. If his resemblance to a swine weren’t bad enough, he is a nitpicking all the day long.

His beef this day is tardiness. “Campbell Nigger! You were supposed to be back before sundown! I have a mind to throw you into the Hole!” The Hole is just that. Not a good thing.

“The horses needed water, Pig–uh, Master.” A name earned but never used near his presence.

“What about the pigs…? They ain’t got nothin’ to do with you bein’ a half hour late!” he grouses. “And I don’t see that barrel of molasses I asked you to get from the mill!”

Oops, there is an untimely oversight.

“I swear you ain’t worth the dirt you sleep on these days, heckfire, most of a month now.”

“I can go back for it, probably still on the dock, Master,” Campbell cowers. “I was thinkin’ you said meal, conemeal… got 2 sacks.” More correctly one sack meal and one sack of trembling bones.

“Put those poor horses away, before I kick your dumb ass from here to Quincy! Their day has been long enuff. Molasses, meal, how ignorant can one nigger be!” The pompous people pusher himself embodies ignorance, however unaware he is of his own condition.

It’s best if he gets to the stable and don’t spare the horses. All is nearly lost before it can get started. He has a special guest to care for.

“You best stay in the hay loft ‘til the mornin’. I’ll sneak you some supper later, when things settle down—you like grits and gravy?”

Jacob Haley, freedman, is no position to turn away Campbell hospitality, even though gravy and his bowels are not close friends, but then again, how can they be any looser than they already are.

“You gonna need yo strenth to pick you a bale of cotton.” Willy looks at the hands of the school teacher and concludes, “Get yo hands dirty for the morrow, least you’ll look like you worked a day in yo life.”

No insult intended, none taken.


Alpha Omega M.D.

The Overseer

Episode #40


page 38

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #28

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #28

… members  of GCASS come from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds and beliefs; eager, everyone, to join a band of principled folk heroes…

Anti-slavery organizations have been in existence since before the War Between the States. This one in Gadsden County Florida is sneaky, if not low-down & dirty. They are so smart and clever, that nary a person in the Panhandle knows who’s in and who isn’t. Without fanfare, credit, glory, honors they provide dignity, sometimes one person at a time; faithfully for more than two generations.

And it certainly does not hurt to have your members come from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds and beliefs. Eager, everyone, to join a band of principled folk heroes; understated champions of humanity, who happen to risk their lives in the process.

Jacob Haley is the present president of this 19th century band of merry men. He has the lead role as Robin Hood, but doubles as the superintendent of the Quincy Consolidated Schools. It is the kitchen of the Stonewall Jackson Middle School that, not only hosts this month’s meeting of the Gadsden County Anti-slavery Society, but feeds them as well. These men will be absent from their respective dinner tables.         

“School food has improved since most of us were kids, right guys?” Haley both asks and states his case.

“What are these brown things?” quizzes Jacques Francois, with his apothecary’s curiosity for ingredients.

“You mean next to the noodles? Well, I’d guess meat, but I’ll check the menu about what they are calling it–here it is, Barn Yard Surprise. No, I’m kidding. We do have a dietary aid on staff, so whatever it is, it’s nutritious.”

“Nutritious and delicious!” offers another member.

“Eat more peach cobbler, if you have to. And remember, next month’s is at Smithy’s Livery… I believe hay is on the menu.”

“Now, if we can get down to work, we’ll all be home in time to kiss our kids good night,” a gavel-less call to order.

There are plans to be made and a job to be done.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #28


page 27