The NULL Solution = Episode 62

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The NULL Solution = Episode 62

…The place where Cerella finds herself:

It is neither light or dark – It is neither hot nor cold – It is what?…

“There is no use chasing ghosts, Deker,” Sampson reasons. “Even the most hopeless circumstance can work out; your mother and I, and your sister for Pete’s sake, are living proof.”

“Were you sucked into thin air? Don’t give me your survival speech again! That’s not the woman you love out –— there,” Deke flails his arms out of frustration.

Skaldic relates a relevant revelation, “There is no ion trail that suggests that Princess Cerella ended up on that maverick ship. In fact that ship’s warp signature is off our system grid.”

Ekcello, the single individual whose panic should pale all others, offers his lucid view, “Skaldic is correct. My daughter’s essence endures. However, I sense that she is alone, absolutely alone.”

“I concur, Ekcello.” Celeste casts her lot. “Should we be surprised whenever ⃝    decides to show itself?”

A compassionate Deimostra draws her brother into a warm embrace. That simple act is the most effective of all. Nothing can replace physical contact for consoling the inconsolable.

Question: What would space be like without the stars?

  • It would be darker
  • It would be colder
  • It would be lifeless

If a spaceship explodes in space and there is no one around, does it make a sound?

That is precisely the sensation Cerella is experiencing, wherever she might be.

  • It is neither light or dark
  • It is neither hot nor cold
  • It is what?

Everywhere is somewhere

  • She speaks but cannot hear
  • She has comfort
  • She feels her baby stir

Everywhere & Nowhere – Frida B, Austria

Even solitary confinement has its own brand of sensation; the smell of one’s own body, or the feeling that air is moving around you, or that a distant light offers hope for escape.

The place where Cerella finds herself has none of these.

If she were not so cerebral a being, her thoughts would lead her straight into a mental abyss. An abyss is what you make of it.

The wee life within her own body is crying out for answers, obviously the McKinney DNA at work.

‘I know not,’ she meditates.

What she can confirm, if she can trust her sense of optics, is that she inhabits a holographic reality. She is helpless to change her circumstance.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 62


page 65

The NULL Solution = Episode 61

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The NULL Solution = Episode 61

…22 years later Sampson feels that same ~~~ immediate rage!…

Rage by Sarah Goodyear

A pall has been cast and no one on Earth can explain what it is exactly.

“I cannot help but feel bad about whomever, whatever, wherever those ships came from,” is Gus’ pilot lament.

“Even though they may have been on their way here to say, wipe us out?” Prez Roy always considers the worst case scenario.

Fletcher Fitch pipes in, “I am only 3 weeks from acquiring enough juice to power the planetary force field!”

“That is comforting to know, but it would have been too late old friend.” Pragmatism is required to spearhead planetary policy. “And no Gus, SEx would not have helped either.” He isn’t through, “Please tell me that Lorgan…” he asks FF.

“… Yes, it was there.”

“Of course!”

Roy Crippen and his merry spacemen are only aware of a 1/4 fraction of the entire scope. How would full knowledge of Lorgan’s clout affect their posture?

“Just be thankful you can go home to Mindy at the end of the day.”

Deke McKinney’s gut reaction to the apparent loss of his mate, is to start sprinting for Explorer, as if it were a horse and he was a one-man posse determined to chase down a bank robbing gang.

Daddy Sam musters enough footspeed to run down his son. He sees so much of himself in the fleeing new father. Just what wouldn’t he do if he were in the identical shoes? What was his own reaction after witnessing the destruction of Space Colony 1? He wanted to jump back into Tycho, the clunky Martian lander and chase whatever was responsible for marooning them. 22 years later he feels that same~~~~

{Mars 2030In the moments following that breathtaking {not in a good way} flash of light high above the Martian atmosphere, several seconds elapsed before the ominous explosion could be felt. It was as thunderous as any blastoff of an old Atlas rocket.

If the cornea-singeing light and the eardrum-piercing sound were not enough, the shock wave that swept down to the surface got Tycho to rockin’ as if it were a 150 yr. old oak tree in a tornado. Sampson had all he could handle in stabilizing the lander during the 20 second maelstrom.

Even after these unpredictable twist and turns, light and darks, the real scope of their predicament does not sink in until after the dust settles. It is Celeste who verbalizes the obvious, “My dear God Sam, we are castaways!”

She prevents her husband from throttling up for a wasted chase.}

~~~~immediate rage!


The NULL Solution =

Episode 61


page 64

The NULL Solution = Episode 52

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The NULL Solution = Episode 52

…Parsec after parsec blows by and not an Antaran inch is gained…

Reticence and restraint are not a qualities that the Ÿ€Ð possess. Distrust and distress however are present in spades.

Instead of lying back among the comets and asteroids, they panic at the next sighting of ⃝   . The unmanned recon spacecraft are replaced by a warrior filled squadron, not seen in these parts for eons.

During this sighting-turned-encounter, ⃝    does not just vanish into thin air. Nor does it dash off at blinding speeds. What it does do is toddle off to a certain distance then maintains that distance. As hard as the Ÿ€Ð paddle, all available paddles in the water, they cannot catch up.

The commander of the 13 unit Ÿ€Ð fleet feels like he is being taunted. Parsec after parsec blows by and not an Antaran inch is gained. The only way to bridge the gap is with the weapons that are normally used to terrorize opponents, generally to a bad end for the hunted.

But even when armed and lethal, the orders to fire are on ice. Perhaps there are questions about their weapons at great distance. Or perhaps such a prolonged sighting has them mesmerized.

Either way, the chase goes on.

And then the fleeting object slows below the speed at which light goes from here to there. Herein lies that all-important time, the critical time when crucial decisions are made and cannot be taken back. There is an itch that induces a twitch… that leads to irrevocable series of events.

The flagship of the Ÿ€Ð contingent causes the dominoes to fall, one by one all manner of ordinance are hurled at ⃝   , which has driven them to wits end. Had they knowledge of what happened to the Koreans, surely they would have chosen to give up the chase and chalk the experience up to a lack of understanding…

…But it is too late for regrets.

The entirety of the Ÿ€Ð pursuers are vacated from the space they had occupied, just inside Terran territory; vamoosed like they were never there at all. History will know it as “The Planet 9 Affair”.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 52


page 55

The NULL Solution = Episode 49

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The NULL Solution = Episode 49

…Obviously there are others who wonder about the meaning of life…

“By what cosmic law is that possible?” Skaldic cannot explain the strange machinations of the silvery sphere.

⃝    is indeed a uniquely personal experience, whether in this galaxy or the next. Funny thing is, nobody but Skaldic and Sammy Mac makes a big deal about it.

“If it is alive, how does it travel 64 parsecs in the time we walk through a door? Maybe it’s not an individual. There might be a bunch of them, a fleet of shiny bowling balls whizzing around, muting Seljuk outposts and turning your Gifted into pillars of salt.”  Sam references the Holy Bible and tenpin sport in the same paragraph. How foreign these notions must be here on Eridanus, without an overt “god”. “If ⃝    had malicious intent, it/they could have destroyed those planets and turned Eridanian minds into mush. You told me that the Gifted are whole and I can attest to an alliance that was allowed to form between 4 scattered civilizations. I’m telling you Skaldy, we are not alone in the Universe.”

“Where did all the stars in the sky come from? Was there only emptiness before they came to be? And why are there so few planets with intelligent life, like you have been telling me?”

The back and forth has taken a philosophical turn. How can an Earthling convey his belief in the existential? Obviously there are others who wonder about the meaning of life.

“I can only speak for me and my family. Those on our planet, who are of the same opinion, believe that there is one true God, a creator of all things; every star and planet, comet and asteroid, bird and animal, male and female.”

“We call that middle star  {middle star}, the star that caused all the rest to appear.”

“Okay, I get that,” Sam drinks that in. “We have an instruction manual for that, written about and by the greatest man who ever walked upon our world. It begins by telling the story about how our God created the Universe.”

“You have told me, that your planet thought it was alone in what you call the Universe, that Eridanus is the first contact you had with any others.”

“True enough, man. For 66.67 % of my life and probably to this day on Earth, we thought we were the one and only beings.”

“Did not your book tell you about the rest?”

“Not in so many words, but I’m sure the answer is somewhere in there. Not until Celeste and I stumbled upon the NEWFOUNDLANDER did we have proof. Otherwise we had no way of knowing.”

“Just like we know not what ⃝    is or what purpose it serves.”

“That is a real barn-burner my friend!” Sam uses another idiomatic phrase.

“What is a barn?”

They will get to that new word and other subjects in time. The many mysteries of life will remain.


The NULL Solution =

“Mystery” Artwork by Anton Kononov

Episode 49


page 52

The NULL Solution = Episode 46

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The NULL Solution = Episode 46

…All suspects are present and have been accounted for; excepting ⃝   …

— The offended {fired upon by one Gus McKinney} Ÿ€Ð weren’t prepared for anything that offensive.

A perceived harmless bug bite turned into a nasty inflammatory welt. Ÿ€Ð controllers retreat to regroup. Their original objective was to find out whom or what was responsible for ⃝    , but instead they run into this, seemingly chaotic and overly defensive world.

But it is not the only unmanned probe that was sent out. The other {distinguishable/known} worlds in this end of the Universe have been scoped-out with varying results.

Suspect #1: Those quiet Eridanians are not merely quiet, but downright silent. On the list of possible suspects, they were the first to be visited and the least likely to produce something such as ⃝    .

To that end, they happen to immediately precede the return of the McKinneys + Cerella to Eridanus, came and went without a trace like shadows passing in the dark. So back it goes.

Suspects #2-3-4 etc..: There are several habitable systems that need to be logged for progress, but none have progressed beyond elemental physiology; plant, animal or sentient. All in all, the empty goldfish bowl remains so.

Prime suspect: The Seljuk are another matter. Before galactic peace, they and Ÿ€Ð imperialists had a healthy squabble over a cluster of Class M planets, which were in free space and ripe for colonization. It got so ugly that it left a bad taste for both groups. Fleets were decimated, billions of lives lost and in the end.

Without a clear-cut victor and not enough incentive for either party to bother continue hostilities, withdrawal to respective galaxies was in order.

Reconnaissance from Seljuk territory yields a disturbing find. The system’s sentinel outposts are electronic wastelands, short-circuited stations of no use to the builders. The force that caused this damage had to be fearsome, prompting yet another prober to head for home. They arrive after Defender leaves. It is just as well, for had they bumped into each other, blame for Seljukian misfortune would have been unduly assigned.

All suspects are present and have been accounted for; excepting ⃝     which they endeavored to clarify most.

The Ÿ€Ð are a reactionary bunch. IF there is a next time, they WILL send out attack crews.

“Are yea friend or foe?” That question has yet to be answered.


The NULL Solution =

Friend or Foe Album Cover – Menomena

Episode 46


page 49 (end ch. 4)

The NULL Solution = Episode 33

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The NULL Solution = Episode 33

…It is either a weather balloon or an incomplete mirror ball from Dancing in the Stars…

2052 has been a welcomed, quite a quiet year to this point. Other than the Middle East, where little has changed in the last 500 centuries, conflicts are few, economies thrive and life expectancies shoot past the century mark.

Typhoon Maemi In The Western Pacific Photograph by Stocktrek Images

The entire world is currently transfixed by the appearance of a large {90 km}, perfectly smooth, polished ball suspended over the United Korean Peninsula, floating at the uncomfortable altitude of 10K meters.  Even a rare spring typhoon cannot move it from its mark. Not that the Koreans are paranoid or anything.

But smoke signals rising from the region indicate that the ruling Jong-Un Family is beyond squirrely over the situation. Few things make the Jong-Uns squirm.

 So, that the Koreans seem to be the object of the object’s focus is of little concern for the rest of the world. The mere stubborn nature of these people will not allow them to reach out for outside help or consultation, not even from Talibanistan.

They could reach out until their arms get sore.

In the rarified air percolating at the Galveston Launch Facility, a select two or three are watching the Korean’s predicament from an acute angle. Gus McKinney and Prez Roy Crippen know much more than they are letting on {albeit without many specifics}, with a 3rd in the person of lead NASA engineer Fletcher Fitch.

The obvious reactions to this event, which has global ramifications, have since played out. Fletcher Fitch has been briefed about Lorgan and he has provided his assessment as to its purpose. “It is obviously a curious sort,” is all he can add to the already sparse perceptions.

“Thank you for that incredible insight, Fletch.” Gus was expecting more. “While we’re at it, how did the SEx go from warp capability 1 to 3 without your knowing?”

“Never look gift camels in the snout,” quips the man of Arab lineage. “Seriously Gus… You have had a front seat to all these things and what clarity have you provided? ‘ Weird S**t Happens’ is all you can say!”

It is either a weather balloon or an incomplete mirror ball from Dancing IN the Stars. You watch that viral show on the Galaxy TV don’t you?” Gus can be serious – seriously sarcastic.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 33


page 37

The NULL Solution = Episode 31

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The NULL Solution = Episode 31

…”Lorgan it shall be,” which is how Roy labels it in the spacelog, Stardates 2030.09 and 2052.50…

Gus points at the video recording, “You can see the reflection of SEx!”

“That doesn’t make sense. Telemetry puts that thing at just under 500,000 kms away. The only reflection should be the Sun,” reasons Roy.

“Take a look at Tycho’s spacelog shot of Mars’ magnetosphere, there is Deimos in the background.”

“That thing is 5x bigger!”

“Higher.”

“10x?”

“90 km. What reflection do you see?”

Tycho.”

“Exactly!”

“Now that is freaky. We should be seeing the moonIt seems our “friend” defies physical conventions.”

To that end, a thoughtful Gus gives it a name, “My dad would call it, Lorgan.”

“Please use that in a sentence.”

“I’ve made it a noun. As a Scottish Gaelic verb it would be ‘leaves a mark’.”

Lorgan was also a bad-guy-slave-master in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, if my memory serves, but we’ll go with your heritage language version. And when did you take that up, by the way?”

“I have my Aunt Sassy McKinney to thank for that.  Me & Deke spent a summer learning it, as punishment for heading for the hills every time she came to visit.” He hearkens back to a much simpler time, when they were a nuclear family; together & grounded.

Lorgan it shall be,” which is how he labels it in the spacelog, Stardates 2030.09 and 2052.50For what is worth. Who knows where or when it will ever turn up again?”

“For what is worth, Lorgan is weightless. It doesn’t register on the density sensors. Is it real or our just a figment?”

“What we see with our eyes or with Cameras and Spacelogs cannot all be wrong.” Roy decides to bring another set of experienced eyes to the party. “I want Fletcher Fitch to take a gander. He knows more about satellites than anyone on this planet.”

The engineering wiz obliges.

“So do you think it’s a satellite?” asks Roy.

Gus may have given it a name, but falls short of defining it.

“I’ve got nothing.” Fitch has nothing.

Neither does Roy. “I don’t have a clue what Lorgan is or isn’t, but we are going to keep this under our helmets, okay? For now, let’s take a look around the solar system before we shut things down for the day.”

What a day it has been. Gus is back and safe. Roy himself is not confined to a hospital bed, while hearing yet another story about 2 of the missing McKinneys.

Tonight is Triple-fudge Delight ice cream night at the Crippen residence.

Life is good to them… so far.


The NULL Solution =

The Good Life by Jean Groberg

Episode 31


page 35