The NULL Solution = Episode 182

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The NULL Solution = Episode 182

…Deke McKinney can sympathize with Prince Hamlet, having his own Ophelia, the love of his life…

Ophelia by Arthur Hughes

In the end, Ekcello & Fortan decide to put the issue up for a vote… what? Yes, a vote is going to decide whether the Eridanian princess and her half-human son will be permitted to leave. This will be the first referendum to be ever voted on by the entire planet, and the Nulls are included! This is first and sole tally, for a consensus to be reached on the McKinney/Cerella issue.

From autocracy to democracy; no small step.

Well not everyone is happy with the process.

Deke McKinney is uncomfortable with the consequences, as it applies to him. Does he leave his new nuclear family behind for the green hills of Earth or does he stay, leaving him as the lone human, that is the question; ‘Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them.’ He can sympathize with Prince Hamlet. He has his own Ophelia, the love of his life, who just happens to be out-of-this-world.

As the day of reckoning draws nigh, at a Space Family meeting, he bemoans the cruel anticipation, “I was snatched away from Stellar Explorer and now I may have to choose between my families. Talk about unfair!”

“The Eridanians have seen how human Joyner is, with all his McKinney-ness.” Celeste is the calming voice. “They will not vote to force them to stay.”

Them… like I don’t matter.”

You are not central to the issue. Do you realize that when we leave Eridanus, we, all of us, will start aging at our normal rate?”

“Not until we drop out of SOL,” Sampson amends.

“That’s right Sam. Cerella, like the rest of us, will be giving up the virtual immortality we have enjoyed on this planet. That is a huge sacrifice.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 182


page 177

The NULL Solution = Episode 178

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The NULL Solution = Episode 178

…What began as a like-minded alliance has morphed into a freighter of regret…

i regret everything by NintendoVii

Not long after Collapsar Axis’ exit from its native dimension, the residents, old of the Ÿ€Ð homeworld or the new gypsies picked up along the path to perdition, become restless as rumors spread like a firestorm. There has not a dictator made, that can squelch an entire population when those people have a mind to squawk.

Like a noisy squawk box, they harp in unison at the realization that they are going nowhere in an unfamiliar somewhere. What began as a like-minded alliance has morphed into a freighter of regret. The promise of roaming free rings hollow, when the roaming lacks purpose.

“We want to go back to our worlds!” is the common cry heard throughout. Eternal regret was not what this divergent group bargained for. They are paying the price for throwing in with a cross-eyed visionary.

And the emergence of unwelcome company, in this living hell, does little to soothe their savage souls.

“Great Župzïð, our battle cruisers have been engaged!” Collapsar Axis has gone from being the fearless big dog in the neighborhood, to just another malcontent. Entire fighting forces are being added to the mix; those that were roving the “real” Great Expanse with bad intent.

“Contact their flagship. I would like to speak with its leader.”

The front-running ship’s commander breaks off his attack to speak with Župzïð, “You have hijacked my ships. We will fight you to the death.”

Collapsar’s sheer size makes it the likely culprit.

“It is not we who brought you here. We are the confederation called Collapsar Axis. We belong to a galaxy far from this one. We have lost our way.”

That is a Freudian slip if there ever was one. He meant to say, “We are lost,” lost in translation.

“We were engaging a sphere that looked like it was threatening our world,” admits the attacking commander. “Now we find ourselves among strange stars and being asked a ridiculous question. Are you the source of that message?”

That had been the exact mistake made by the Ÿ€Ð fleet back in the day and compounded by Župzïð’s ignorance to this very day.

“We are not the builders of ⃝    . We are victims as well.”

The would-be combatants share a bond of serendipitous proportions.

“Have you seen the beacon of light originating in the Terran system?” Collapsar’s builder asks.

“Yes. What does such a primitive species have to do with such a thing? We disregarded that message as well. It smells like a trap… all that talk of universal peace is for the weak!”

There is a pattern developing. When a certain choice is posed, the proper response is expected.

“Have you seen the beacon in this place?”

“No,” is the simple answer, asked and answered by both men.


The NULL Solution =

Pattern Party by Brianne burnell

Episode 178


page 174

The NULL Solution = Episode 176

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The NULL Solution = Episode 176

…In the bigger picture, you are seeing what Lorgan wants you to see…

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Two Sides to a Mirror

A pane of glass is meant to look through not at. When you coat one side with a layer of silver and other coatings, you can no longer see through it. Instead you see your reflection. Needless to say, only a fool looks at the backside of a mirror.

For an untold and incalculable period of time, anything that faces Lorgan sees a reflection no matter at what distance. Just how that squares with the logic of physics remains a mystery. Are you staring at reality or some measure of perception, i.e. what you want to see? In the bigger picture, you are seeing what Lorgan wants you to see.

Just what did Collapsar Axis see the moment it decided to pull out of Harmonia? Župzïð the Last saw nothing but yawning darkness, before his cosmic caravan was dispatched from the timestem, unceremoniously so. Other of his followers saw tranquility or rest, but they were not in ultimate control of their fate.

Collapsar finds itself in a place with few stars, easily counted from any angle or field of view. Have they been shrunk to the size of a speck of space dust? Have they traversed one galaxy after another only to be reduced to a lonely habitat in a finite dimension?

Even the reunion with their lost fleet of twelve ships is surreal. Surely, the fleet must believe that they have been rescued from this empty place, only to be regarded as insects in a jar to Župzïð.

“What corner of the Great Expanse is this?” he pleads to the captain of the lead cruiser of the 12, who has been wandering aimlessly for months.

“Not a single parsec is recognizable Supreme Leader.”

Supreme Leader “insists” on positive responses.

We will return to Sexta A and reassess our strategic position.”


The NULL Solution =

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Episode 176


page 172

The NULL Solution = Episode 175

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The NULL Solution = Episode 175

…When one door closes, another one opens…

Deimostra McKinney has some explaining to do.

“I will tell you what I told Chasonn. I am not ready to make any long-term commitments to a world that is not my true home. I may have been born in space, but I have a brother, that I have never met, on Earth.” His head drops. “And I am not sure that I would be accepted as your mate. I am a social minority here on this planet, but not in a Null sort of way. From what my brother tells me, the Gifted threw a fit when they found out he and Princess Cerella were going to wed.”

“The Null believe what I tell them to believe.”

“That doesn’t work with a McKinney. Have you ever seen Sammy Mac do what he is told, at least the first time? Or my mother… she leads Ekcello around by the nose, if he had one I mean. And what about that rascal Joyner, they need to put that boy on a leash. I wager that he is in the NEWFOUNDLANDER with dad as we speak. He is every bit a child of Earth.”

“Do you prefer Chasonn to me?”

“This must be my lucky day,” two marriage proposals in the young hours of one cycle.

“What is luck?”

“Luck is an imaginary condition that relates to good fortune.”

“Then I am lucky for you?” She is confusing the man.

“I am lucky to have made your acquaintance, yes, but…”

The word “but” is an opposing proposition, not a positive conjunction in any language. Skaldic sees the writing on the wall, “I choose not to test my good fortune. Perhaps Offingga is the better choice for me after all.”

“You are pressing your luck Skaldy ol’ boy. My daughter is not for sale,” insists Sampson who is back from serving as doorman for Chasonn’s melancholy exit from the Spaceflight Expository. Now he rebukes the efforts of another suitor. Predictably, he has a rambunctious youngster in tow.

“You are fortunate to have such a loyal daughter Sammy Mac. She will make some Earthling a worthy mate.”

“Or drive him to my distillery. She is child of space; born to wander and free to make her own decisions.”Related image

Ekcello joins the group. He searches out the Null for a specific reason: to ask Skaldic if he would serve as Eridanus’ representative to Harmonia, not an insignificant gesture for the Gifted patriarch. When one door closes, another one opens.

That completes the roster of charter representatives to Harmonia, making the peacekeeping multinational officially complete. It is a bona fide hit in the Terran System, celebrated on Eridanus and accepted by the Seljuk, but will it play in Peoria?


The NULL Solution =

Episode 175


page 171 (end Ch. 17)

The NULL Solution = Episode 174

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The NULL Solution = Episode 174

…Skaldic happens to show up… him and his convenient home-field advantage…

“Do you prefer Skaldic over me?” Seljuk Chasonn asks.

“You certainly don’t beat around the bush.”

“What bush?”

“An imaginary bush; the unadvertised issue of my affection,” she needs to speak clearly, when diverse customs can be misunderstood. “My brother Deke has taken an Eridanian mate, but they have had years to get to know each other. Skaldic was hid from my sight until recently… and you… you are dashing and smart, but that is not enough for me to judge your character.”

“You are wise for one so young. I could take you to Seljuk, to meet my people.”

“I need to meet the people of Earth first. Do you understand?”

“Chasonn and Skaldic could prepare a contest to prove we are worthy of Deimostra.”

“What is the rush Chasonn? You must have a female on your world that will provide you an heir to your throne.”

She need not hit him over the head with a hammer. She has declared as unavailable. It is time to leave.

Skaldic happens to show up… him and his convenient home-field advantage. His shared experience with the Seljuk leader had brought them close, but only for a while. He would be happy to see him leave for home.

They do a manly exchange of pleasantries, knowing that they would not be seeing each other for a while; a neighboring galaxy is like not having a neighbor at all. Like a relative who lives on another continent on 19th Century Earth.

His cruiser is near the expository and after bidding Sampson farewell, it appears he is edging his way toward it.

“I guess Chasonn has another invention to work on?” Skaldic guesses wrong. The scorned foreigner will have plenty of time to repair his pride.

“Maybe,” Sampson says of his friend as he walks away… back to polishing up the NEWFOUNDLANDER.

“He is an interesting man,” Deimostra has unique insight, “I hope to see him again.”

Feeling like he has a clear path to victory, Skaldic tries his hand at furthering his own cause. “While we were gone, I had a chance to think about my future on Eridanus. I believe there is room in my life for partner, a mate who completes my assent as foremost Null.” His pride is evident, but premature.

“What about Offingga? You two make an awesome team.” Her hammer comes out again.

He thought he had made himself clear. Deimostra McKinney is not usually careless with her words.

“Offingga is like a sibling to me, certainly not a mate. I would be honored if you were to be by my side, to bring Eridanus into a new era, like Deke McKinney has with Cerella.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 174


page 170

The NULL Solution = Episode 172

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The NULL Solution = Episode 172

…the  who’s-whos and so and so’s are currently too numerous to mention…

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Will it Play in Peoria?

 The planet Earth is one huge medium-sized dysfunctional family. It has more individual country/states than makes sense. Getting a majority to agree on anything is asking too much. So when it comes to making decisions for the planet as a whole, the global superpowers take it upon themselves to hash out policy for the whole.

Earth gets but one delegate to Harmonia, as it is for Eridanus and Seljuk, or what could have been for Collapsar Axis, had they decided to play nice with the rest of this dimension of space-time. {It is not about Earth; or that Earth itself is so perfect, just as it is not that Collapsar Axis was so bad. Harmonia is all about choice}.

But it IS all about Earth, for the purpose of this story. All the other who’s-whos and so and so’s are currently too numerous to mention. There is one star system, from the fringe of Harmonia’s beam {if there is one}, which is particularly anally retentive and not a Grand Hall favorite, yet welcomed nevertheless.

Close but not quite anally retentive, Gus McKinney is not appointed as Earth’s Harmonia rep. He has become preoccupied with finding out what is going on with the Epsilon Eridani wing of his family. He is on record, in favor of a retrieval mission to Eridanus, never mind the 4 year roundtrip.

That idea has not played well over in Waller County Texas, where Mindy shoots down such an idea, “You aren’t some unattached lab rat anymore, Gus!” A drone attack at the ranch, having a bomb fly past their limo and a close encounter with an alien invasion has soured her stomach for bold new projects, especially ones that will add gray hairs to his stubble.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 172


page 168

The NULL Solution = Episode 169

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The NULL Solution = Episode 169

…Once a troubling tormentor, the tenacious Sampson has managed to unleash Ekcello’s inner adventurer…

“We need to run the idea of us leaving past Ekcello. His wisdom has been invaluable in the evolution of our family,” insists Celeste McKinney.

“But that was back when contaminating Earth’s timestem was the stumbling block. The Milky Way has been turned on its ear by change. Heck, aliens are not what we’ve cracked them up to be,” counters Deke.

Just like water, there is a common innate thread that runs throughout time and space. Sure some are more comely than others, but like H2O, the similarities diminish the differences.

Ekcello has been conveniently monitoring this conversation. It is not eavesdropping in his mind, seeing his mind in is tune with his entire world. He knew that this day could come, one of these cycles. He is tiring from having to hold the McKinney’s leash, such is the outward tug.

The Supreme Elder of the High Council does not have the pull he once had. The Nulls are on the loose and displays of Giftedness are falling out of favor. Those nutty Earthlings have grown on him, but their leaving will not change having known and loved them. They will always be only a whisper away.

Once a troubling tormentor, the tenacious Sampson has managed to unleash Ekcello’s inner adventurer. The thick Eridanian atmosphere used to be a ceiling, now it resembles a revolving door.

“The Seljuk spacecraft will be arriving soon,” Ekcello senses. There once was a time when the term “spacecraft” {or the Eridanus equivalent} was a banned 10-letter {or so} word. “I so look forward to Sammy Mac’s version of the Harmonia expedition.” Irony has crept its way into his vernacular.

“Let’s give the heroes the key to the city.” Deimostra summons the new Eupepsia spirit.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 169


page 165 (end Ch. 15)