The NULL Solution = Episode 150

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The NULL Solution = Episode 150

…Deimostra has gone from talking love with her mom, to crunching numbers with the object of her affection…

“I’ve been tossing around the numbers,” the infamous Skaldic postulates. “I have made a Image result for juggling numbers gifmap…” he points, “… that is Earth, this is the planet Mars and way over here is our star system.” The graphics are scary lifelike. “At each location I have made a list of your family members and when they were there. I was working off the list you gave to me.”

“Yep, that is pretty much it.” Deimostra can only guess/wonder about Related imagea brother, sister-in-law and niece she has never met. “When you lay it out this way, it makes it seem like we’re all together.”

He can see that she is tearing up, moving closer to comfort her. She lays her head on his shoulder. The moment freezes.

She composes herself, “How about the NEWFOUNDLANDER? That is Image result for juggling numbers gifwhere I was born.”

“Ah, good point! That is where I have been going wrong!” He adds an image of the ship that brought the McKinneys to Eridanus. He adjusts the figures to fit the equation:

2 + 1 = 6

6 – 2 = 9

0 – 1 = 0

“You will have to stick with me on this, Deimostra.” He enters the following data:

**2 + 1 = 6 – (Sampson Celeste + Deimostra) in space = (Sampson, Celeste, Deimostra, Deke, Cerella, Joyner) on Eridanus. “2 + 1 = 6”

**6 – 2 = 9 (Sampson, Celeste, Deimostra, Deke, Cerella, Joyner) Eridanus minus (Cerella, Joyner) = Sampson, Celeste, Deimostra, Deke, Cerella, Joyner) Eridanus minus (Cerella, Joyner) would be a McKinney family reunion. “6 – 2 = 9”

**0 – 1 = 0 (Null minus Skaldic) = Zero. “0 – 1 = 0”

“That makes my head hurt, Skaldic.”

“All the numbers add up. Each represents some connection to your family… it also explains the flawed mathematics.”

Related image“Except the zero segments, 0 minus 1 is negative 1.”

Does not the word “null” mean “without value” or “zero”?”

“Okay, I’ll give you that. But what does null mean in your language?”

“The word “Null” is a designation, not a description. It is Earth’s meaning that makes it a derogatory term. The riddle maker has framed its solution with the Terran system as a foundation,” he concludes. “I can no longer consider myself a true Null.” He faintly laments having to be lifted to Gifted status, in order to restore the essential ancient Null Spirit in the TSF capability of the ship Defender.

 “Six McKinneys on Eridanus, nine McKinneys all told in the universe and my separation from my society satisfies the zero result.”

It is as easy as 1-2-3, maybe 4.

“My head still hurts.” She has gone from talking love with her mom, to crunching numbers with the object of her affection. Love = Headaches. Perhaps that is amalgam she should come away with.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 150

page 148

The NULL Solution = Episode 149

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The NULL Solution = Episode 149

…Have you talked to Deke about this, he is the expert on extragalactic relations you know…

Skaldic the Null is no longer considered a black sheep in these parts, even less so, now that her brother’s mate/wife has managed to integrate an entire world. ‘It works for Deke. Why not me? I think he likes me. He is so much like my father; bold not overbearing, adventurous not reckless, smart not smarmy and not too hard on the eyes either.’  She is comparing notes from the experiences related to her by Mamma Celeste, recounting the circumstances that created the person Deimostra is today – the original Earth-child-of-space.

Of course she has that “talk” with her mother. “In case you don’t remember the story, I met your father back at the Space Academy. I always thought he was a bit arrogant, one of those hotshot pilots who think they are the bulletproof. So here I am, space-sick to the max, in a lift-off simulator and this joker is pretending to be a doctor of all things. He takes me to the infirmary… very convincing, but I knew who he really was. He was just trying to get to know me at the time but that didn’t matter. I could never get that guy out of my mind.

“To snip what is a much longer story, when the Space Colony 1 project was being staffed, we got to spend more time together and not long after that we were married. As it

World Space Consortium

turned out the Space Colony Global Coalition or World Space Consortium or INDEPENDENT FOUNDATION FOR THE OCCUPATION OF SPACE or whatever they call it now, was looking for a married couple to go to Mars… and you know the rest of the story.”

“Yeah you couldn’t keep your hands off each other and here I am!”

“I was marooned, pregnant and hijacked, not necessarily in that order. How’s that for a merry 2030?” Celeste can tell her daughter is serious about a “boy”. “Does Skaldic know… Related imageit is Skaldic right… does he know that you have the hots for him?”


“Well you wouldn’t be grilling me about the love of my life unless you were having similar notions. Have you talked to Deke about this? He is the expert on extragalactic relations you know.”

“He still considers me his kid sister. I am not going to ask him if he knows anything about Skaldic’s physiology.”

“He and Cerella figured it out, honey. I suggest that you let nature run its course; Que sera, sera.”

The NULL Solution =

Episode 149

page 147

The NULL Solution = Episode 148

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The NULL Solution = Episode 148

…When it comes down to it, Deimostra is not spoiled for choice…

Illustration by Byron Eggenschwiler

Speaking of simplistic, that is the very essence of Skaldic the Null. With all the changes coming about on Eridanus, among, about and in between the populated towers with all their social shuffling, the man behind it all matriculates still, in the original Null Tower, albeit in the lofty penthouse.

He also remains a true friend to the other outcasts, namely the Space Family McKinney. While Gifted Cerella works on the nuts & bolts, he remains properly concerned for the earthly visitors and the dark cloud that approaches their true home.

Skaldic has grown particularly close to Deimostra McKinney. It began with him noticing her rapid maturation into an incredible woman and has accelerated at light speed once he solicited her help in solving the Harmonia Query.

With age being a relative term on Eridanus that she became a viable target for his potential affection is not so farfetched. Here is the way aging works on a planet where immortality is a near reality:

  • An individual comes into biological existence
  • 95% of physical growth takes place in 20 Cycles
  • The final 5%+ takes place in the mind
  • The finished product continues with only marginal aging

In the case of Deimostra, she has grown to the equivalent of an adult in her prime, in her own time. She will remain just so, just as it is with the rest of her family. There is something about the excessive humidity that preserves the organic. It slows the metabolism for all. Deimostra is definitely organic and Skaldic has noticed.

Turn around. A chronologically, but not all that emotionally advanced Eridanian is “falling” into that something-something which defies all sense of time/space. When it comes down to it, the Earth woman is not spoiled for choice. Certain erudite mature men have let their curiosity slip out from time to time, but nothing that particularly tickles a girl’s fancy.

As a tag-team problem solving tandem, the divergent pair simply works at every level. They are equals in intelligence and social stature. They have spent one cycle after another attempting to unlock the door to a planet, that neither Skaldic has been to or even care about. He has long viewed Collapsar Axis as the greater issue in theory, but now he cannot minimize the riddle.

The human heart is not nearly as complex. The female protagonist in this tale is impressed with the Null beyond the bounds of logic. She had always doubted the devotion of his friend Offingga even when she {herself} did not factor into the immediate equation. Unable to explain her envy, Deimostra did ignore her… and him for that matter. He was a chum of daddy’s after all. That was then. This is now.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 148

page 146

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 269

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 269

…on Earth we have something called a courtship period…

Leave a tender moment alone. He passively offers his hand, waiting for her to seal the deal.

Graphic details aside, Cerella coaches her would-be mate into achieving an unconventional union. One may say it is mutually satisfying. She must have thought long and hard on the mechanics of it all, but if effort is the gauge, she gets an A+.

planetary orgasm

“Orgasmic Physics”

Words are scarce, hardly needed, though she did leave out one minute little small tiny detail, #You are now my mate for life#

Suddenly, talk turns to telepathy and he passes this off as emotional overreaction, until the next thing crosses his mind.

#When our offspring is born, I would like to break with Eridanian tradition and cohabitate, of course only after a public ceremony heralding that the heiress to the High Counsel has taken a mate#


“Unconventional Conception”

#How do you know that you have conceived a child?# Expressing thoughts this way comes hard for Deke, who manages to project, #And do I have a say in the matter?#

#I believed you to have feelings for me#

#I do, but on Earth we have something called a courtship period#

#Were you not paying attention Deke McKinney? The Eridanian female mates once and for all time and our law offers no dissolution clause. The child forming in me is your approval of this coupling#

#To death do us part?#

#Death is irrelevant. Are you pleased?#

Thoughts to himself are not, ‘..but I wanted a big family’.

Lies from Mother –

#I can conceive but once, I am sorry#

#It is going to take some time for this all to sink in#, he does kiss her tenderly as not to confuse the issue, #and this will be a big surprise to my mother#

#I do not think so, Deke. Before you arrived on Eridanus, Celeste McKinney told me that we would be perfect mates# Her honesty is refreshing, her intent quite clear. —


Episode 269

page 312

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 268

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 268

…the possibility of intimacy, even to the point of conception, never daring it to cross his mind… well maybe once…

The fair Cerella has piqued Deke’s interest.

There are only two block of rooms atop the towered city known as Eupepsia and it is the place where the McKinneys reside, somewhere down below. You could call them penthouses or you zerocould call them pinnacle palaces, just call this one as Cerella’s; the other being Ekcello’s.

The null-number-zero represents the number of anyone who has ever been at the top of Eupepsia, in the three Earth centuries of Cerella’s young life.

As a planet, not known for their extravagances due in part to lack of covertness’, this level of Eupepsia is dichotomous. No museum or gallery of fine art contains finer material. Deke tries not to gawk at the unparalleled beauty he is seeing… and the girl ain’t bad either.

Things are a tad awkward for a minute or two. As a polite guest, he would ask about this or that and Cerella would skirt the subject, preferring to hone in on their anatomies, specifically how they compare. He has to wonder what the purpose of this social call is.

“As far as I can tell Cerella, everything is in the right place. Do you have a self-esteem issue?” She has him scratching his head, seemingly fishing for compliments, when words like those supposedly mean next-to-nothing to her people.

“I sense that you find me pleasing, correct?”


“Have you ever fathered a child?”

“… Probably not.”

“Would you like to father a child with me?”

He loved everything about Cerella, yet the possibility of intimacy, even to the point of conception, has never dared to cross his mind… well maybe once

“Would you come, to where I rest, to discover if our bodies function together in that way?”

Leave a tender moment alone. He passively offers his hand waits for her to seal the deal.


Episode 268

page 311

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 267

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 267

…A little thoughtful investigation, sprinkled with a pinch of feminine intuition and you have the recipe for a romantic ambush…


Idle speculation is tantamount to a worry-overdose for Cerella, of the tower Eupepsia, and she is not going to have any of it. It is time to be proactive, get even closer to her work, shape the future before it shapes her or take the bull by the horns. She moves to act on her own, to secure the future of the Earth people she has grown to love.

Step one in her plan, to cement the McKinneys into Eridanus history involves a cultural custom which is exercised but once in a female’s lifetime.

A little thoughtful investigation, sprinkled with a pinch of feminine intuition and you have the recipe for a romantic ambush.

Deke had been busy studying the Olde language under the tutelage of a historian, perfecting the tones of his diction… when Cerella silently shuffles into the room, nervously placing stray strands back where they belong. Absent is the long silken robe of her day-to-day look, replaced with two wispy layers of blue voile, previously reserved for the privacy of her quiet time.

She continues her “waiting to be noticed” pose until the dialectal tutor gets the hint and excuses herself, giving way to her Heiress – the cat chasing the canary, “You have a visitor, my honored student.”

Her appearance shocks him off his guard, “I hope you don’t mind me learning the Olde Language. It takes up some of my free time.”

She verbalizes her response, “The Olde Language is not forbidden, merely ancient and sacred. It is good that you are taking interest in my culture, these skills will benefit us in the future.” {Us and my, are possessive references}

“Wow, don’t you look like an angel?”

“What is an Angel,” she asks.

“In your case: a heavenly body in a heavenly place,” when in doubt, flatter.

“It occurs to me that you have never seen my individual suite Deke McKinney. There are some treasures from the Mother Planet I thought you might want to see.”

“I would like that,” he admits, unaware of any ulterior motive.

“I also have an important matter to discuss with you, as it applies to how we relate.” She could not allow herself to entirely deceive him, without letting the Cheshire cat out of the bag.

“You have piqued my interest.”


Banksy Triptychs

Episode 267

page 310

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 259

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 259

…Celeste uses her new psychic skills to accurately predict the near future, “We are about to have a guest…

Image result for psychic gif

Their first glimpse of John Q. Eridanian, other than the exceptionally humanoid Cerella, comes while on the way to some McKinney family-space. Deke & Gus try not to stare, but subtle double-takes take place from on either side of the alien fence.

“They aren’t all that different than us,” Deke admits in the privacy of the family lodging.

“If you disregard the fact that their feet don’t touch the ground, then yeah.” Gus adds.

“Most of their physiological dissimilarities are organ related,” Celeste tells them. “The greatest difference is inside their minds. They communicate telepathically, although when they chose to verbalize, it is musical in nature.”

“Yes I picked up on that music stuff, but none of the telepathy.” Gus proves he is the real Gus and a McKinney male blockhead to the core. “You sure seem to have it down Mom… and all that time-bending too!”

Celeste uses her skills to accurately predict the near future, “We are about to have a guest.”

Whoooosh, on cue and never looking more striking, Cerella glides in, after doing the intuitive equivalent of knocking.–

Related image{In cartoons, when a cartoonist wants to illustrate what love looks like, he may draw hearts for eyes. And love Isn’t  just in the movies.}

Having had time to digest their first encounter, Deke taking note of this native princess, who has had enigmatic feelings for him ever since seeing this wayward McKinney passed out and vulnerable on the other end of The Milky Way.

In the moment, the others in the room do not exist.

#My name is Cerella, heiress to the High Counsel of Eridanus#

“I believe we met “out there somewhere”,” he recalls.  {not “Somewhere Out There”}

She speaks to Deke alone, who takes her hand and kisses it gently, like it may fall off in his hand.


Episode 259

page 302

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