THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 29

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 29

…Prez Roy is back in the swing of ‘retirement’, cleared by his physicians and bolstered by the best meds and nanotechnology available…

Nanotechnology

Gus is dealing with the startling revelations presented to him by a family –  he did not know still existed.

“What do I do with “this”, Mindy?”

Mindy McKinney has been waiting patiently for their date-night. “You do as your mother says.

What is there to lose? Keep an eye on the secure NASA database and hope the other geeks don’t miss something important.”

“I have a sister that I never met,” Gus was blown away by the other “this”. “And how do I present this information to Roy? He was 2 ticks from dying and now he hears another of my visions?”

“He trusts you Gus. He didn’t poo-poo your last story. In fact, didn’t he tell you that he smelled Deke’s cologne inside SEx?”

THE END of: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back to Earth Part Too

The first rule of maintaining a good marriage is listening to your spouse… and doing as they say.

Gus McKinney is wise; Roy Crippen, not so much.

“It hasn’t been 12 hours, Roy,” the former Francine Bouchette and First Lady raises an obligatory objection to his debriefing of the last SOL mission. For all she knows, God struck him down for lying to the current President of The United States. Surely there will be a Senate Select Committee appointed to investigate on who-knew-what-when. “Why didn’t I marry that TV executive in Houston?”

The lady doth complain too much.

Despite of his rocky episode, Prez Roy is back in the swing of ‘retirement’, cleared by his physicians and bolstered by the best meds and nanotechnology available. Ex-presidents are kept alive at all costs. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush {#39 and #41) were sustained until their 90s, but that was then and this is now. If you do not live to 100 these days {2052}, you were victim of one of the following:

  • Fast Food
  • Accident
  • Murder
  • Suicide
  • Starvation or living on the United Korean Peninsula {the same thing}


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 29


page 33

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:

Related image

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 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 11

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 11

Chapter Two

Free at Last

…“Yahoo!!!” What is this excitement all about? It’s only the absolute biggest thrill, EVER…

“There is something about the fresh air of deep space.” Sammy Mac cannot contain himself.

“There is no breathable air in space Father McKinney.” Cerella still hasn’t mastered the subtleties of obtuse human references.

“That’s the trouble with your spacecraft design… not enough windows! I like to see where I’m going.”

“You are going 15° mark 7.” The mismatched trio is about to shift gears, so-to-speak.

“We are skirting the Orion Nebula, Dad. You may want to sit down and close your eyes when we engage the TSF, I know that I am.”

Time-Space-Fold technology will scramble the most stable of molecules. In order to traverse light-year chunks of open cosmos, one needs to challenge the fabric of time itself. It is one thing to increase speed by a nearly infinite factor, it is another to compress the future, like the bellows of an accordion.

Even the Eridanian Princess is displaying signs of anticipation. It’s not like she has piloted a 1000 year old machine before. She is as tense as her refined race will allow her, yet experiencing excitement. What is this excitement? It’s only an ancient contraption after all.

Sampson, on the other hand, has reliable memories of spending 5 years aboard a 4500 year old Eridanian pre-TSF craft. “Yahoo!!!” What is this excitement all about? It’s only the absolute biggest thrill, ever!

“This is cool Dad!” The Defender may not have many windows to see out, but it does have real-time sensors that give the sensation of motion. Deke McKinney is aware of how rare an experience this is.

“It will take us a cycle or two before we reach the Seljuk. In the meantime, we need to scan all parsecs for extraordinary activity of any kind. Do not rule out anything, especially any sign that we are being targeted by long-range sensors,” Cerella points to the array of lights to the left of navigation.

“We are moving so fast, I don’t see how we could be tracked.”

“The opposite is true Father McKinney.”

In a static universe, other than the unremitting expansion, they represent a fleeting wisp in the corner of the eye of anyone who has them open.


TH NULL SOLUTION

Episode 11


page 17

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 NULL SOLUTION = Episode 6

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 6

Sammy Mac, of Eridanian repute, has an eager partner in restarting the mothballed fleet of starships, namely Deke McKinney…

“Did Gussy make it back in one piece?”

There is nothing more one person, sitting on the sidelines can do, but to ask obvious questions. The day that Sampson J. McKinney experiences hyperphysical transmigration, the Universe will collapse upon itself. Unlike his star-crossed bride, he has crafted a niche of his own, more in the line of two hands on a steering wheel.

“Of course Sam, we knew that he would,” she addresses the concept of taking a peek ahead in any given timestem – without meddling of course.

Sammy Mac, of Eridanian repute, has an eager partner in restarting the mothballed fleet of starships, namely Deke McKinney of left-behind {and mate to Cerella/Princess Heir} fame. He has done his best to temper his father’s skepticism of this planet’s time-traveling ways.

Digital Clock With Hover Animation – CodeMyUI“You have to trust that Ekcello has a firm grasp of Gussy’s timestem.”

“Okay Deke, I’ll give you that, but everything that happens to him back in 2051.25 will have an effect on us here in 2052.50.”

“Think about it Dad, right now Crip, Fitch & the gang are trying to figure out how Stellar Explorer tripled SOL, not to mention me not returning from the mission. I bet that Fitch has pulled out whatever hair he has left. Can’t you hear him trying to make the numbers match up? {‘The SOL crystals must be more responsive to the cooling inducers than we thought.’} It will take him months to decipher the Eridanian modifications.”

“Yeah, baffled, befuddled & bewildered for sure, but SOL x 3 is peanuts compared to the TSF Drives of the Eridanus prototype we have our hands on, right here in the Expository. These babies haven’t even been out of the atmosphere and I can feel the speed; passing by stars like they are so many streetlights.”

“We may never get the chance to experience TSF.”

This is the rundown of Sampson’s understanding he used to describe this advanced method of physical space travel to his son:

“Time-Space-Fold travel is an original concept, at least in this end of the “Great Expanse”. For the sake of comparison, let’s use a $1 dollar bill, of the long-dead paper currency used on Earth, as an example:

  1. Lay it out in front of you on the desk. It measures roughly six inches from end to end.
  2. Fold it in half. Now the distance from Point A to Point B is practically nothing, if not fractional: 6” to mere milli-measurements.
  3. Even at a snail’s pace, Points A&B are really close.

“Now let’s translate that to space:

  1. When that currency is folded once it is close.
  2. When it folded multiple times, ironically, it is closer. The fabric of space is compressed even more.
  3. The speed-of-light is expanded exponentially with each and every fold.


THE NULL SOLUTION

ORION

Episode 6


page 12

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 2

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 2

…Deke is gone and SEx {ÊS ÊX, its demonstrative nickname} is off-the-charts fast, with a reinforced hull and a molecular stabilizer that we didn’t even know existed…

–It is currently 2051 and much has transpired in the intervening two decades:

  • Mars has been visited by 17 probes and landers from numerous countries, but remains unoccupied by any human being

    World Space Consortium

  • Thanks to the New Mayflower’s rescue attempt and ultimate exploration, a plethora of firsthand insights about The Red Planet have been executed
  • The World Space Consortium has disbanded due to the distaste of human lives being “lost”
  • There have been 3 more Commander-in-Chiefs since Prez Roy, all of whom have a vested curiosity about the SOL Project

“What about the cabin security? What do those cameras show?”

“Nothing after you guys lit the fuse, Gus, nothing until you made the Pluto turnaround. The funny thing is, we could not access that video feed until after you landed. Either way the result is the same,” Roy recaps, “Deke is gone and SEx {ÊS ÊX, its demonstrative nickname} is off-the-charts fast, with a reinforced hull and a molecular stabilizer that we didn’t even know existed – isn’t that right Fitch?”

The man formerly known as Aldona Afridi tries unsuccessfully to mask his humiliation. Back in Talibanistan, they and the Koreans would have banished him to the rugged winter mountains for his lack of explanation. “We never considered the change in molecular structure of the human body as it crosses the SOL barrier.  I only calculated g-forces. How could I overlook molecular structure?”

“None of us did, Fletch, no need to beat yourself up.”

“What would have happened without a molecular stabilizer,” Francine is cautiously curious, “one body, two bodies or no bodies?”

She turns to Roy, “Look dear, we’ve got Gus and we’ll have to guess the rest.”

His mother by any other name, she hugs Gus McKinney as tightly as she can. He will have to do for now. Deke McKinney is formally considered MIA, however unexplained.

The rest of the world cannot know the puzzling outcome of mankind’s first jaunt to the edge of the Solar System, at least for the time being.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 2


page 8

THE NULL SOLUTION = RETURN TRIP Recap/History

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The NULL Solution = TRT Recap/History

…Off to parts unknown – History of THE RETURN TRIP…

…It all began on Mars…

The McKinneys are whisked off Mars {Star Date 2030}

“It appears we are going for a ride family!”

“Where are we going?” Celeste wonders.

“I’d like to know, who is driving?” Sampson tries get the feel for some sort of helm, but it seems to be fruitless. “Let’s hope that it hasn’t forgotten the way to Earth, if that’s too much to ask.”

NEWFOUNDLANDER liftoff is smooth and with the exception of the anticipated g-forces, they were soon out of Mars’ loving embrace and headed… headed… unfortunately headed away from the sun, which at this point in planetary alignment, is in the opposite direction of Earth.

The McKinneys spot their destination

As the enlarging emergence of Epsilon Eridani and the heightened anticipation it is producing, Sampson’s demeanor stabilizes; finally a goal is in sight. There aren’t stars around every corner. In the coming of a new orange sphere, he can sense the warmth internally, even though an Earthly comparison would be like spotting the Rocky Mountains from the east while driving an automobile. What seems like a day later, you first get the sense you are going uphill.

The End is in sight

The NEWFOUNDLANDER continues to hurtle toward the planetary system which must surely be their final destination {that would be a muffled please, please, please?}. The ship with a remote control mind uses all the right moves on its approach, like it had done this very move before. A skilled navigator himself, Sam sincerely hopes so, because he is beginning to feel uneasy with the speed at which they going at this late stage. That scary mega planet is looking large and larger, its red-hot surface churning like the gates of hell…..and they have barely dipped below SOL.

The McKinneys arrive at their destination {Star Date 2036}

As NEWFOUNDLANDER shimmies into its pre-destined parking place, something occurs to Sampson’s astronautically trained mind, “Could it be that these people have abandoned space travel? I mean, did you see a fleet come out to escort us in? Have any of us seen any shuttle traffic, weather satellite or space station anywhere on the way here?”

Before Celeste can agree, the closing of the 100 foot tall doors distracts her and once again they are left to wonder what happens next. The enclosure now adds a claustrophobic slant to their rampant speculation. Confinement is a stark certainty, after over 5 years in the vastness of deep-space

Unease, doubt, apprehension: all these begin to consume Commander Sampson McKinney, formerly of Space Colony 1, recently employed NASA astronaut and previous inhabitant of Earth. It is all he can do to merely stand still and wait. The waiting is the hardest part.

An historic chapter of Earth’s history is about to be written.

The folks on Planet X (Eridanus) are in for a surprise of historic proportion.

This concludes our “catch-up” of THE RETURN TRIP

Sunday February 21 The NULL Solution = Prelude/ TRT Recap


The NULL Solution

Recap/History


THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 276

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 276

May you all live long, laugh often, love hard, with the hope that our paths will cross again someday…

Could anyone possibly trace this comportment back to the root of Gus’ discontent?

Yes. Ekcello and the other members of the High Counsel are collectively aware that Gus is saying goodbye to his family. The young man is conflicted, yet resolute and his hosts have willfully supplied him with the means to leave Eridanus. He is supplying the will to do so.

With that yellow dwarf star {and the blue planet that orbits it} circled on his star chartsescape route and no one manning the security shielding that prevents escape velocity or unauthorized reentry, the new and improved Stellar Explorer is pointed at the other end of the galaxy.

Erroneously believing he needs to be surreptitious, he had positioned the Stellar Explorer in such a way for a rapid route of escape. Everything was set up correctly, except for one nagging detail: Deimostra, his sister had left the party early, exhausted from the excitement, so he had not been "My dear sister Sammy"able to see her before leaving himself.

Dare he risk being found out because of a sentimental lapse? No, she and he had shared in his restlessness privately, though how was she to know how serious it had become. He decides to leave his personal flight recorder behind, with his smiling image and the following message:

My dear sister Sammy;

I’ve only known you for a short time, but I think we bonded over our mutual interest Earth, our home planet, well you know what I mean. It piques your curiosity, but it nags at me to no end. Tonight, I am taking steps to return to Earth, at any cost, because that is where I belong, not here.

May you all live long, love hard, with the hope that our paths will cross again someday.

All my love,

Gus

He places the device in a place he knows she and she alone will find it, alongside her copy of his engagement picture to his dearest Mindy… as he sets his plan in motion.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 276


page 245

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 275

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 275

…feeling alone, even though he is among his closest ties, Gus tries to hide the hurt he works so hard not to show…

The whole Cerella/Deke event itself is a big to-do: #First comes the marriage, which will happen without fail – next comes the child: an Eridanus fairy tale #Image result for magic eight ball gif

Just when that is going to be, is up for much discussion, on both sides of the equation.  Because this conception is a product of two different species, it seems even the most experienced physical physicians cannot accurately predict the final outcome… #It could be tomorrow or ten cycles from now#

“Let’s start a pool on when the Cerella actually delivers and another buck on the sex. Two guesses per person, two bucks a throw and winner gets the entire pot,” why not make good sport of it all, Sampson.

Ekcello thinks, somewhat correctly that a buck is an Earthly animal and ignores Sam like he often does, #The child should be forever known as “Crettano”, heir to the heiress of Eupepsia# believing he gets the honor of naming rights.

“We were thinking along the lines of “Reggie”,” Sampson weighs in on the baby name game. “Reginald Braden McKinney, child of the stars, heir to intergalactic exploration,” should be his lengthy Earthly moniker, being positive that it will be a boy and he will win the pool, “… or Regina in the unlikely case that I am wrong.”

Fortän and Celeste make mind-to-mind contact, each deciding to relinquish their respective control over the matter, secure in the knowledge that, from this day forward, the intertwining of the two worlds is irreversible. What was once thought as impossible…?

Standing alone and inexplicably feeling alone, even though he is among his closest ties, wondering just how he had been spirited away from the love of his life, Gus tries to hide the hurt he works so hard not to show.

  • Where was HIS “Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet the next Mrs. Gus McKinney.” moment?
    • The day when Mom’s hug would choke a grizzly bear
    • Dad would shake his hand until his arm falls off
    • And how they would accept Mindy McDonald into the family, every bit as joyfully as Cerella

None of the above is on the long-range radar right now and the pressure inside his irresolute mind is building, a crescendo not to be ignored. The abstract notions that flash in and flash out at an increasing rate, cause him to seek out the parents he has rediscovered. He tells them each, “Just what it has meant to see them again and be a part of their lives”. They are flattered by him sharing, but cannot imagine what has brought this on at this, his private pivotal moment.

Gus McKinney has something cooking in his brain and he lavishes his heartfelt affections toward brother Deke, which is not a stretch, because Gus is an emotional guy. It’s the timing and intensity of that affection that is.

As for his interstellar acquaintances, who have become accustomed to emotional outpourings, they equate him to his father; one and the same, cut from the same cloth.

Could anyone possibly trace this comportment back to the root of his discontent?


THE RETURN TRIP

The Cloak of Discontent by Margo Schopf – Johannesburg, South Africa

Episode 275


page 244