THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 45

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 45

…You went and shot the gosh-darn thing, Gus! What the hell were you thinking?…

The number of interested parties is increasing by the minute, with Lorgan remaining the wildcard.

But, that SEx is coming and going like a family transport is not a secret that can be kept. That the Terran system doorbell has been rung cannot be silenced.

The Ÿ€Ð automaton is now proceeding at a reasonable pace, having slowed from the frenzy of intergalactic travel. From space-consuming monster to obstacle dodging snoop, it approaches the fourth planet like it has been there before {perhaps} and it is there that Gus and his souped-up SEx will meet. The Ÿ€Ð operators are not expecting that sort of company.

As a matter of fact, when Gus pops onto their sensors, the interlopers from Galaxy Sexta A  bring their drone to an abrupt halt, like it was pretending to be invisible.

Gus has a front row seat to the maneuver. He is at a loss for what to do. Because the technology for instantaneous communication has not caught up to SOL, he must rely on his instincts. When a bright red light on his sensing instruments shows red, he depresses one of two new choices on his navigation panel. The other selection is the untested deflector shield… which means Gus has unleashed the previously untried disruptor. The already stationary target is rocked. What Gus does not know is that there are no operators on-board.

After several minutes, undoubtedly stunned by the underestimation of the rudimentary Earth ship, the Ÿ€Ð cruiser makes an about-face and dashes away much faster than whence it came.

“That was easy, SOL Control! Whatever it was wasn’t prepared for a fight.”

A minute later, Earth’s response reaches SEx, “You went and shot the gosh-darn thing, A Trap So Devious that Even Admiral Ackbar Missed ItGus! What the hell were you thinking?

“It was going to shoot first… sensors picked up an energy surge… why didn’t it blow up?”

“There is an intensity adjustment he doesn’t know about,” Fletcher Fitch tells Roy.

“Why didn’t it blow up? That is not the message we want to send to extraterrestrial visitors, McKinney! Whoever sent that thing can’t be happy.”

“The who in this case turns out to be nowhere near as advanced as Lorgan.”

“But it did come from a place we’ve only seen through Hubble’s eye. That means they have been flying very fast for very long. We will be lucky if we haven’t started an intergalactic war.” There is a measure of perspective in Roy’s voice. “Nukes are flying back & forth like 4th of July fireworks… we just avoided World War III and now this? We may be biting more off than we can chew.”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Hubble

Episode 45


page 49

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

Related image

Episode 44


page 48

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 30

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 30

…“I seem to remember your mom & dad telling me about a shiny moon O that they spotted right after leaving Space Colony 1

“Wow that tops your last tale by a bunch!” Prez Roy wraps his brain around this newest tall tale from the prodigious storytelling talents of his remaining star astronaut.

“The Sun trumps Pluto every time,” Gus would know.

It is not just about Deke, Celeste and their cryptic warning.  It is that vanishing sphere that merits close attention.

Roy suddenly has a flashback moment, “I seem to remember your mom & dad telling me about a shiny moon O that they spotted right after leaving Space Colony 1. The excitement of their landing Tycho threw us off that trail… soon after that the colony was destroyed. The rest is history. Let’s see if we can make a connection.”

Image result for wormhole gif“You’ll see what I mean about that jazzy dealeo. It should be all over my visual array, hell, for over a minute… then poof it’s gone into a wormhole!”

“You do know that there are no recorded wormies this close to the Sun. Out past Uranus, yes, we have detected some crazy stuff.” What mankind knows about deep-space pales in comparison to what they do not. “We’ll be looking for volunteers to go through a worm in the future Gus, how about it?”

“That is a one-way road this boy won’t be going down!”

With SOL technology in hand, going around them is the prudent choice.–

–So… it is off to merge Stellar Explorer’s video with the lander Tycho’s Colony last moments in the Mission Visual sector of the mainframe, for that closer look at the largest alien made object in the greater Earth/Mars neighborhood; what it is, who may have made it and what its purpose is {or was} or is still.

Roy Crippen’s experienced eyes have never seen such a thing. From bogies in his flying days, to too many episodes of Star Trek, the object he is zooming in on is as out-of-place in the solar system as any single item. Judging from the greatest magnification, it is flawless in sheen.

“Look at that,” Gus points, “you can see the reflection of SEx!”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 30


page 34

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 21

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 21

…the mystery sphere suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin…

Gus McKinney is pondering on where God lives or where in the infinite Universe this relatively tiny round intruder comes from.

Stellar Explorer was never meant to be anything but a point-to-point prototype. Here and now he is being asked it to be a scout cruiser. To complicate matters, he has lost communication with Mission Control. He won’t be speaking with them until he comes from around the bright stationary furnace.

The “dark” side of the Sun never used to be a hazardous place, seeing that at any given time, about ½ of the solid solar system contents lay on opposite sides of the glowing anchor. That the mystery sphere he is spying seems to be concealed contradictory to Earth cannot be a coincidence.  If it were completely stationary, it would have been seen by someone by now.

No human has ever laid eyes on this thing. Even Messenger, the NASA made probe designed to give the world a close look at Mercury and then meter solar flares & such, had not found it because the people who control the cameras weren’t looking for anything else.

Gus’ eyes are young and just fine. His fleet ride’s sensors aren’t attuned to analyze anything other than those related to navigation. “Jeepers creepers, if that isn’t the damndest thing!”

Not only that, it is moving away from Stellar Explorer like it has seen a ghost. The feeling is mutual.

Not only does it move, but it suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin.

“Now that is downright impolite.” Out of sight – out of mind, there is no reason to linger. He expresses his suspicions to himself, “I wouldn’t know a wormhole if it bit me in the butt, but that is where that puppy had to go!”

Borrowing trouble is not on today’s to-do list. Roy’s instructions were to do a sun flyby and come back to Earth when Harper Lea Bassett was on her way back to D.C. So, with a wry smile on his face, and the love of a good wife in his heart, Gus McKinney guides Stellar Explorer from out behind the yellow dwarf star.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 21


page 25

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 20

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 20

…Deke, is quietly blown away by how alliances are formed out here, where civilizations are separated by parsecs of naught…

Being and Nothingness No. 4 by Yong Sin

Chasonn is quintessential Seljuk. He and his race are closer to human than is Cerella. For better or worse, they rely on emotion more than logic, which includes a healthy dose of paranoia. Their systemic suspicion is not rooted in delusion, when reactionary retaliation may be warranted. Many of his kinfolk are stranded on those three isolated outposts.

Cerella speaks aloud, in the language of her husband, “We need Sampson McKinney’s instincts and his knowledge of offensive tactics.”

Now that the conversation is out in the open, Chasonn must avail a universal decoder to contribute, “You will need to add weapons to the Explorer. We have a disruptor that should integrate with your sensor array.”

“Great, but do you guys own the patent on a good old fashioned deflector shield?” Leave it to Sammy Mac to get to the heart of matter. “That light wave those blokes use sure does a number.”

“Blokes… I assume you refer to the Ÿ€Ð?” Setting aside his lack of trust, he takes the question seriously. The Seljuk are an inventive sort. “We do possess that technology.”

“Now we’re talking turkey, Chase!” Sampson takes the news one step further. “While you leave the dirty work to us, why don’t you guys work on a jumbo deflector, big enough to protect a planet?”

“We will equip the Eridanian vehicle with disruptors and a deflector shield for now. My historical genii will delve into your prudent suggestion. We do not know how far the Ÿ€Ð, if it is indeed the Ÿ€Ð, will take their aggression.”

The dealmaker in this group speaks. “It is not in my nature to condone offensive hostility.” Cerella makes eye contact with Deke, who is quietly blown away by how alliances are formed out here, where civilizations are separated by parsecs of naught(ness).

No reason for dissent from him, “These are extraordinary times, requiring greater measures of response.”

Cerella ponders making decisions in the stead of the established wisdom on Eridanus.

Sam & Deke McKinney cannot help but ponder the safety of Earth itself.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 20


page 24

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 19

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 19

…Back on Eridanus, they have their suspicions, but eventually choose to quit the space exploration business…

Quitting the Race by Melody Greenlief

It had been a fruitful mission to the Blue Planet, with a brief stopover at the Red Planet. This was going to be their last trip to hunt for and gather representative artifacts from this very young, yet developing civilization. The primitives worship their star, chart the other stars in the sky and they are developing some form of fundamental science. They are/were worth watching, which is easily done from either above or nearby.Related image

It is a form of spying, harmless and stealth. But it is time for Explorer {NEWFOUNDLANDER} to head back to Eridanus.

Just one more thing: the Elder council had determined that the mission should include a closer look at that red/dry planetary neighbor. It seems like the prudent thing to do.

And so they do.

The crew, numbering 50 intrepid space veterans, does not discover anything spectacular there. All the usual universal elements are present, with signs that this harsh planet may once have had a life-sustaining atmosphere and plentiful water. Hindsight forensics pays few dividends after millions of years. There are no cities or thoroughfares left behind.

Without alarm, a bright wave of light suddenly sweeps across the Plain of Xanthe,  , is draining the life from every single Eridanian soul.

No one knows if it is caused by a storm indigenous to this planet or something else?

Back on Eridanus, they have their suspicions, but eventually choose to quit the space exploration business. They now fear the unknown. They ground their fleet in favor of provinciality. Perhaps then they will be left alone.

 In the Triangulum Galaxy

Sammy Mac & Son are shut out of the action for now.

Brain-to-brain is the best way here of communicating with Chasonn and his Seljuk brain trust. It is the only way they can assure secrecy and Cerella will take matters from here.

#My people have been deactivated. I cannot be sure if it is all their doing#

#The Ÿ€Ð#

#Perhaps. If Ekcello has withdrawn the population, then he senses impending danger#

#Why are you not affected#

#The younger human is my mate for life#

#Outcast?#

#Different. We came here to warn you. It appears we are too late#

#Not if you confirm that the Ÿ€Ð have changed their tactics. We know they do not condone space travel, but killing has never been a method they use#

#That is not true. Deep in our past, someone terminated one of our expeditions. And then there is

#We have been wondering about that, that and the recent return of that ship to your home#

#It has resulted in an indirect alliance between my people and the planet Earth#

#Is Earth of any use to us in our combined efforts to thwart the Ÿ€Ð or #

#That you reactivated your fleet and included the humans demonstrates your level of concern#


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 19


page 23

 

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 15

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 15

…“But that unusual signature is coming from Earth’s general direction.” Any happening over toward “home” is a cause for Sampson McKinney to pause…

–In a cruel twinkle from a faraway star, instead of Gus being late for a date, he mysteriously drops from the near-solar grid. —

From Earth’s angle, there is no tangible sign of the fastest spacecraft this side of the Orion Nebula. It’s hard to trust the raw physics and the unfamiliar position of Stellar Explorer; there is no dark side of the Sun.

This cannot be happening. The Space Family McKinney is an enigma bound by misfortune.

Once again, Roy Crippen is left grasping for a handful of nothing.

“I’m picking up an odd object signature,” sensors on the Eridanian craft wouldn’t lie to Sammy Mac.

The fuss that a space vehicle makes, hurtling at multiple the speed of light, is quite noteworthy. In comparison the fastest recorded asteroid travels at the relative snail’s pace of 68K miles per hour. There is no such thing as skulking about unnoticed, as it slices thru time and space.

“Odd how?” asks Deke .

Though a quick, study Sampson is a SOL newbie and some of Defender’s instruments make his head hurt, “It’s phasing in and out. I would consider it an illusion, if it weren’t Image result for tick tock gifso darn consistent… and then it isn’t.” Tick tock, “Now it’s gone.”

“We cannot linger with that now. We must contact the Seljuk as soon as we are able.” Laser-like focus is an Eridanian attribute. Cerella’s civilization is paralyzed, the answers they seek are logistically polar opposite in this quadrant and they are gobbling up space in that civilization’s own ship.

“But that unusual signature is coming from Earth’s general direction.” Any happening over toward “home” is a cause for pause.

“Did you think that Crip wouldn’t test out their new SOL technology, did you?” Deke is keenly aware that his younger brother would likely be piloting any SOL vehicle from his home planet… unless those Koreans got hold of {ripped-off} the tech. They’re at a loss to explain.

They don’t see what Gus is seeing from with a bird’s eye view.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Bird’s Eye View by Kyle L. Poirier,

Episode 15


page 19

 

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 14

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 14

…there is a shiny spheroid here, close enough to the Sun that it should be melting to its core…

… as a propaganda video put together by Bassett’s people is keeping everyone occupied, Roy is getting unexpected feedback from back in SOL Control…

“Gus isn’t making the turn.” a tech warns.

A simple ‘What?’ will not do. He flees the stage like the prune juice he had for breakfast had suddenly done its job. He commandeers a security hovercraft to hasten his presence where it counts most. Is Gus incapacitated? That’s his stepson out there about 80 million miles + rising. The possibilities are endless.

Once at the interspace communication cube, he tries to get some answers. “Are you there, Gus?”

After a few agonizing minutes, an answer:

“Yes Roy, I’m here. This thing seems to have a mind of its own.  I checked my heading and it wants to go to other side of the galaxy or somewhere thereabouts.”

“Override the auto-nav. Even at SOL you’re in no man’s land. This mission is over, get back here STAT.”

There are multiple factors at work here.

“I am exactly on the other side of the sun… and there is a shiny spheroid here, close enough that it should be melting to its core!”

Mercury by Maddy P. from Palmcrest Elementary

“Could that be Mercury, we haven’t looked at it much since Messenger back in 20-teens?”

“Negative on Mercury, I passed that hotspot in a flash 5 million miles ago.” Human beings are so adaptable. “I’m back in control of SEx, slowing down to get a closer look. I can tell you one thing, somebody made this thing. It ain’t no run-of-the-mill planetoid.”

“Make sure you get some selfies of that thing and head back,” That is the good news. The bad news, “I know it’s a bitch, being Saturday and all, but land over at Osceola AFB instead… I got them believing Deke is with you.”

There is no response from an astronaut who is anxious to get back to wife Mindy and a carefully planned, long overdue date-night…


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 14


page 19

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 5

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 5

…If the moon is made of Swiss cheese, the fabric of the Solar System is held together by Good & Plenty candy…

the taste of heaven by hannelin

— For a 24/7 operation the SOL hangar has to come to a complete standstill and it  is quite eerie.

  • The LED lighting has been minimized.
  • The only sounds are generated by the ambient hum of idling electronics.

Of the five human senses, Roy Crippen is prepared to utilize all of them. He prowls around Stellar Explorer without an agenda; stalking it, sizing it up without outside distraction.

The first thing he detects is the “smell of space”, the real smells of reinforced titanium having sliced through zero-gravity at 3x SOL. He talks to himself, ‘So that is how dark-matter smells.’ Just what that odor resembles resists tagging, but he’ll tuck it away for future reference regardless.

As he approaches the crew ladder, it finally hits him, “Licorice,” he concludes. If the moon is made of Swiss cheese, the fabric of the Solar System is held together by Good & Plenty candy.

He climbs the stairs as if they will crumble under his 200 lbs. Each of the 15 rungs holds-up reliably so, though the squeaking from his rubber-soled shoes seems out of place. When his eye level reaches floor height, rather his nose, he detects the faint smell of cologne strikes him, as does the fact that Gus McKinney doesn’t use fragrance. Deke McKinney does – Giorgio Armani.” He should recognize it since it was his Christmas gift to the elder stepson.

It is amazing what a person can sense when they filter out the unnecessary noise.

Once inside the fairly cramped crew cabin, there is a faint zephyr that seems to pass thru his thinning white hair. Out of the corner of his eye he is positive he saw an opaque flash.

Image result for wavy line gif

#What can I leave in the cabin to reassure our friend# asks Celeste of Ekcello.

#Your voice#

Image result for wavy line gif

Roy… ”

Roy hears just, “Roy” , no other word.

The CSI-Galveston investigator freezes. Just like the smells of licorice and Armani, this barely audible note has a familiar ring to it. Five minutes later it comes to him, albeit dubious, “Celeste?”

Related imageIt has been over twenty years since he had heard that voice; the day in 2030 when she and Sampson McKinney announced that they were departing Space Colony 1, which would be for the final time.

On top of that, he remembers what Gus had told him about the final seconds of his mission recollection, that Deke said he saw something or other of their mother.

Out of the blue, an aura of peace comes over Roy Crippen, much like that exhibited by a suddenly fully orphaned Gus McKinney.

Image result for wavy line gif

#That is sufficient Celeste McKinney. We must vacate this timestem#


The NULL Solution =

Five Senses of Humans by Seshadri – Expressionism

Episode 5


page 11