The NULL Solution = Episode 112

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The NULL Solution = Episode 112

…Celeste is convinced that her husband is not the master of malapropisms; he just doesn’t give a hoot…

After an adjustment period, Cerella readapts to and her son is introduced to a world without livestock, barbeques and droughts.

In the short time it takes to make a TSF roundtrip, Eridanus’ security status has changed. The bigger news arrives from the Triangulum Galaxy via Chasonn; Collapsar Axis has passed by and it is headed to Epsilon Eridani’s system, in the middle of Orion’s Belt.

Letter writer to the Earthlings, Celeste McKinney and former Null, Skaldic have been holding down the fort, the latter becoming fixated not by his Giftedness or the looming gargantuan, but rather the riddle that continues to stump everyone and everything.

“Chasonn seems to think we are in danger, Sam. Take a look at the images of that Ÿ€Ð dreadnought…, inside and out it looks like trouble.”

“It’s also moving like a slug, Cel, for crying out loud! Don’t we have our hands full with little Joyner or even O?”

“I believe I am close to solving the riddle,” Skaldic interjects.

“See? Even Skaldy isn’t concerned about that planet on wheels.”

“What is it about the unattainable that is so attractive to you men?”

“Cerella has told Deke that NASA has given O a name – Lorgan – is what they call it. That means they know it may be connected to that riddle. Don’t you think Gussy and Roy are hard at work on solving it? Maybe it’s not the Selljunk’s business. ”

“I give up.” He cannot keep alien names straight.

“Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye out for that Collapsed Axle.

Collapsar Axis and those friends of ours are not the Sell Junk!” Celeste is convinced that her husband is not the master of malapropisms; he just doesn’t give a hoot. “I thought you liked Chasonn?”

“He’s okay… a little jumpy, but okay.” Sam yields.

“Then you better respect his judgement. When he says jump, you better.” Celeste is solemn in projecting her resolve. “And you will leave Deke alone for a cycle? He needs time with his family.”

“I hear you Cel. I’ll keep an eye on that intrusive slug and Skaldy will work on the “Harmonica Query”.  Harmonica-Harmonia, what’s the big diff? “And yes, if you can keep him tethered in Cerella’s tower, Deker can get to know that little firecracker of his… Joyner sure seems to have the McKinney smarts.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 112


page 111

The NULL Solution = Episode 96

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The NULL Solution = Episode 96

…Prez Roy sees the situation getting out of hand in a hurry, “We are lucky that China is too proud to admit failure.”…

CHAPTER NINE

Phantasmic

 

Related image

Golden Age of Space

“It is getting to the point where I cannot trust what I am seeing anymore.”

Even in this new golden age of space, the human eye is still the gateway to what the rest of the body considers real and true. With life expectancies rocketing past 100, the complexity of vision is a barrier to the fountain of youth. Squinting, blinking, rubbing and untrusting; those are the choices when, seeing is not believing.

“I am 98.797 % sure I saw another spacecraft snooping around Mars. That other 1.30 tells me I’m wrong, because it is gone.”

“That would be 1.203 Crip,” corrects Fletcher Fitch.

“See, now it’s my math that’s going south!”

“Are the Chinese still out there?” Gus McKinney wonders. He has been too busy lately to notice.

“Yes and none too happy I hear.”

“Thanks to our SOL Nonproliferation Policy!”

“Yes. We do not need them zooming about, doing what they do best.”

“Copycats?”

“Copy that Gussy.”

“Were you able to get a fix on the bogie?”

Fitch fiddles with the long-range sensors, “No. It wasn’t Lorgan though, that’s all I know.”

Prez Roy sees the situation getting out of hand in a hurry, “We are lucky that China is too proud to admit failure. Their curiosity gets the best of them… about that jumbo building I mean. They had the same view as us, but they have their cheapo space telescope.”

“Speaking about cheapo telescopes, you don’t need much of one to see that the Red Planet is turning an earthly shade of green.” Gus parrots the buzz on the street.

“Damn that RONCO 3000! Every amateur astronomer has one.”

“3 easy payments of $39.95… but the naked eye can see the difference in hue… well maybe not yours Crip.”

“What do we tell the “Bassett Hound”? She and her lapdogs are panicking bigtime. Election Day is next week and even the Republican candidate is screaming for answers.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 96


page 97

The NULL Solution = Episode 89

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The NULL Solution = Episode 89

…Speaking of those blasted spacenuts, rumors are spreading about Deke McKinney, nobody has seen him lately…

“Is it just me, or is Roy Crippen a threat to national security?” Harper Lea Bassett asks.

“It’s pretty much just you… and a fundamental sectarian cult the hills of Tennessee. What gives?” Chief-of-Staff Dane Shriver compares his boss to a group of hillbillies who think that if it isn’t found in the Holy Bible, it can’t be true. She just does not get it.

“It seems like NASA is a military drone without the remote control.”

“But Prez Roy is a folk hero and NASA comes in under budget every year… and he wears a white cowboy hat!”

“I wore a white hat on Easter last year!”

“But somebody found it had feathers from an endangered species of bird on it.”

“A Golden-cheeked Warbler, how could I forget?”

“There were only 500 nesting pairs left and they are only found in Texas… and where is our legendary former president from?”

“Okay, alright, but it’s the milliner’s fault. He told me the yellow feathers would bring out the brown in my beautiful hazel eyes.” A scant 51% of Americans would agree, the rest would side with the blue-eyed Republican who ran against her three year ago. “If I have him fired, what would be the big whooped-y-do? He’s old and he should retire to that ranch of his.”

“There is still the McKinney factor. They are equally big or bigger heroes as Crippen and that voting block is as loyal as hell to him”

President Bassett is wearing a path into the pink Oval Office carpet.

“Speaking of those blasted spacenuts, rumors are spreading about Deke McKinney, and they say that he a severe case of radiation poisoning… nobody has seen him lately.”

“I heard he is on location in Morocco shooting a movie.”

The the funny thing about rumors & gossip; both lack accuracy as well as credibility and spread faster than a norovirus on a overbooked cruise ship.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 89


page 90

The NULL Solution = Episode 80

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The NULL Solution = Episode 80

…The baby name-game goes on…

“Have you decided to name your boy?” asks Doctor Picard of his improbable patient.

“Name?”

Yes. You – Cerella, you – Jean-Luc, me and your prodigy is ____ who? You fill in the blank. He needs a name, because I have to know what to yell at him when he’s hogging my computer! He cannot speak yet, but he can perform a Craniotomy.”

“Yes, a name.” She understands. Joineroftwoworlds

“Pardon moi?”

“It is olde Eridanian for “Joiner of Two Worlds”

“Tré longue,” he realizes that he slipping into a language barrier, “it sounds lovely but very long, too long as a matter of fact. How about Joyner with a y instead of an i?”

Spelling is inconsequential on Eridanus.

“Joyner with a why?”

“Not why – the letter Y.”

The baby name-game goes on. But who’s name is it anyway?

“We can call him Joyner for now. Suisse, dear Suisse will be his birthplace on his certificate, how about it?”

Sacre Bleu by ACM00 on DeviantArt

Cerella gazes out the window at the snowcapped mountains of the Alps. Natural beauty is universal. Dr. Picard joins her, pointing out the peak where he skies. As they turn around, he sees what he believes to be a ghost.

Sacré bleu! He is in need of a strong cognac or a good long nap.

It takes but a brief second for Cerella to recognize the visage of a friend, Celeste McKinney.”

“Do you know ghosts? Ghosts don’t exist, only at the cinema!”

This is a friendly ghost, one that lovingly strokes the head of her new grandchild. Because of their proximity, Celeste is able to telepathically communicate with the missing Princess. Many questions and answers are exchanged by the two women.

Joyner.”

“Joyner, I like that.”

Celeste came for a peek at what was going-on on Earth, with no idea about what she would find. She can return to Eridanus with a song in her heart.

Cerella seeks a way home, but remains on Earth, comforted by a familial face.

As suddenly as Celeste appeared, so does she depart.

Jean-Luc opens a drawer to his desk, and pulls out a bottle of André Petit X.O he was saving for a special occasion. It was part of his great-grandfather Picard’s estate, left to him before he reached drinking age {7 yrs. old in France}.

He pours it into a Baccarat crystal snifter and leans back in his high-backed chair and sighs, “Just another day in the life of a baby-delivering ghost-hunting cognac-drinking brain-surgeon.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 80


page 82

The NULL Solution = Episode 72

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The NULL Solution = Episode 72

…Jean-Luc has broken three Rossignol skies, ten poles, one ankle and beaucoup hearts.

CHAPTER SEVEN

SCIFI

 

The country of Switzerland continues to be a bastion of neutrality to this day, even halfway into the 21st Century. That nonalignment usually keeps their nose clean, despite the trillions in dirty money and ill-gotten gains stored in financial institutions within their borders.

Tucked in the middle of the European Union, perched mostly in the Alps, officially named the Swiss Confederation, it has strong sense of identity and community and is founded on common historical background. Its linguistic diversity is representative of the people.  Svizra, Svizzera, Schweiz, ʒviːtsrɐ and Suisse are national labels attached to it; pick your flavor.

SCIFI chooses Suisse; hence the Suisse Conjoined Institute of Fetal Integrity which is to say that it specializes in separating babies joined by some body part. Dr. Jean-Luc Picard is a world-renowned authority in the cranial niche. When babies share a skull, he is the surgeon who untangles them. He is the only Frenchman doing it – he is the only human doing it.

Considering how rare such births are, Jean-Luc has a lot of time on his hands. Dust accumulation is the biggest threat to the sterility of his office. He is an avid skier and hiker, so St. Moritz is where he calls home. His operating room is wherever a patient is.

2052 has been a slow year for the cranial conjoined. He does do other surgeries, though some of his critics believe he would make a better doctor to ghosts than a brain surgeon. Consequently he is breaking no records for productivity; however he has broken two Rossignol skies, ten poles, one ankle and beaucoup hearts. He is a handsome man, as they say in France.

Oh, that broken ankle? It has compelled him to spend more time at his craft. As for those broken hearts, one is seated at the reception desk of his SCIFI office building. “Good afternoon, Charlize. Do I have any messages?” English is his language of choice.

“Oui, deux,” hers is not and she passes 2 pink pieces of paper his way. It was only last month that she caught him with another girl. She didn’t believe it was a cousin of his for a single moment.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 72


page 74

The NULL Solution = Episode 58

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The NULL Solution = Episode 58

…I have a disease that the there is no surefire cure…

“I don’t know, ever since these visions I’ve been having, I seem to get these flashes. Today’s flash must be happy,” Gus describes his state-of-mind to his stepfather.

About that time, his personal device tries to vibrate off his handy-dandy utility belt. It is hard to stay in the present, when your mind may be 40 trillion {unknowingly} miles away. The present is very persistent.

“Would you please respond to that? NASA devices do not exceed one alert, unless it is important, like when you are on the other side of the Sun.”

“It’s from Mindy. I’ve got to get back to the house.”

“I never thought I’d see the day when Gus McKinney is a henpecked husband!”

“You had the whole country henpecked for eight years,” that not-so-obscure reference to Francine Bouchette-Crippen is sufficient to silence the critic.–

— Moving at Earth-speed is so boring… until it isn’t.

“Do you remember our date night, the one after you returned from the Sun?”

“How can I forget? That movie we saw… wasn’t it Notebook: The Cure? Incurable diseases are so yesterday.”

“Well, I have a disease that the there is no surefire legal cure.”

She sounds serious enough for him to take notice. Do Earthmen really roll with the flow?

“We have access to the best doctors in the world Mindy. We can fight this!” which begs the question, “What exactly are we fighting?” His concern deepens.

You cannot be married to a McKinney male without having a sense of humor. “What has 4 limbs grows tall & strong and is destined to bear fruit?”

“A lemon tree?”

“Aren’t you sweet?”

“An apple tree?’

“You’re getting warm Adam.”

“I’m Gus.”

“Do you give up?”

Not in the McKinney dictionary.

Does this riddle have anything to do with his previously contented bliss?

“Does your riddle have anything to do with my good mood, before you turned it into a quiz?”

“Time is up!”

Mindy McDonald-McKinney holds up a doctor’s prescription for prenatal medication.

What do you think the expectant father does first?

“Mindy is pregnant, Dad!” He rings up Roy to share the news. Then he ponders her quiz, “4 limbs blah, blah… bear fruit? Does that mean it’s a girl?”

Parents on this side of Stardate 2031 do not get a choice about getting a surprise or not. Oh sure the pregnancy may be, but not the xx or xy factor.

Over on Eridanus

“You look doubly content, Deke,” Celeste notices.

Long after getting his baby news, something washes over Deke McKinney.

“I don’t know…, but I am feeling happy about something else, can’t explain it.”

Outside the Null Tower

“Are things ever going to change for the Null?” Offingga asks Skaldic.

“They already have.”

The future of the Null is NOT void.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 58


page 60 (end ch. 5)

A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 2

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A Space Family Thanksgiving = Earth/Eridanus Part 2

…They gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing…

Strictly coincidental {we think}and a day off in the Stardate of 2052.91, the Space Family contingent out on Eridanus in the Epsilon Eridani star system {as seen from their home planet in the constellation Orion’s Belt}, they too have fashioned a Thanksgiving feast – as near as possible that is.

Like many of the holidays those wacky Earthlings celebrate, it is mostly lost on the Eridanians. But doesn’t stop Sammy Mac from including his in-laws, Ekcello & Fortan {if she were not in a state of suspended animation}, in the festivities.

Much has happened in the last Earth year {yet to be reconnoitered with an Eridanian Cycle}. Though separated by 10 light years, the McKinneys have had contact with Crip and Gus, somewhere around “home” and that is ample reason to be thankful.

Ekcello should be thankful for having snapped out of his temporary funk, even though the rest of conscious Eridanus is dominated by the Null.

Skaldic the Null is invited as well & appreciates much. “Skaldy” as Sampson refers to him, has embraced each & every solitary slice of life ever since his rise to Eridanus prominence. His contribution to this day is one of the few wild animals on the planet {far Null side}, a nasty predator that when properly prepared tastes like chicken {what?}

Deimostra has thoroughly researched the Thanksgiving holiday and has made the proper connection between man-alien and the God of the Great Expanse.

“I am thankful for Ekcello for making us feel at home – to Skaldic for providing the protein for our meal…”

“Real meat!” her father interjects.

“… and for the hope of perhaps seeing Earth for the first time in person and meeting my brother Gus.”

Celeste McKinney has had firsthand experience with seeing Earthly-loved-ones by way of hyperphysical transmigration and hugs the 1st child of space for all she’s worth.

As a group, the Space Family McKinney has a laundry list of gratitude:

Deke McKinney gives the blessing, “Thank you Dear Lord for my wonderful family, our hosts here on Eridanus… and is that you inside   ⃝      ?

On a planet where music is king, they sing:


A Space Family Thanksgiving =

Earth/Eridanus Part 2