THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 77

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 77

…These are not ordinary times ahead for Earth or Mars…

In the time it takes to make it back to GLF and eventually Houston {they actually gain 5 hours}, there is much to discuss and even more to speculate.

— On the popular viral video show “Back from the Dead”, people are reunited with the recently resuscitated or presumed dead. Most all of the concerned parties are usually thrilled with the outcome.

— On reruns of the early century show/website Ancestery.com, folks discover their family tree, long lost relatives or relatives they didn’t know they had. Once again and most of the time they are thrilled about it.

— Like a tried and true recipe, a little of this and a pinch of that can make for a tasty result. Here is a questionable list of ingredients Gus & Crip come up with concerning a possible reunion:

  • How long would it take SEx to get to Mom & Dad?
  • Can we send a signal, now that we know what star system to look for?
  • Do you think Deke will come looking for Cerella?
  • How did she get to Earth and who brought her here and why?
  • Does the recent Lorgan sighting have anything to-do with this?
  • Can Cerella teach us the tricks her to hopscotch around the galaxy?
  • How do we break the news to whom and when?
  • Do you know what Mindy is cooking for supper?

The pair fights the Polar Hadley prevailing wind on the way back to Texas, so they choose a lower altitude to reprise of their path from southern Europe. The haste with which they came is tempered by the challenges they will soon confront.

These are not ordinary times ahead, as they find out after they land at GLF and Fletcher Fitch fills them in on the latest.

“This is the latest image from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter 3.0 … and this is the one from 10 hours ago.”

“Is that a stratus cloud deck passing through?”

“Stratocumulus I am told and it contains .16 inches of evaporative moisture. There is even adiabatic cooling going on.”

“By “it”, do you mean atmosphere? Those levels would mirror what its climate was like – like before it lost “it”.”

“RR1 indicates it could be raining on the other side of the planet.” A team of Cal-Tech students sent Red Rover–Red Rover One to Mars as a prank 5 years ago. No one is laughing now.

“That’s a real blast from the past. Why is this happening now?”

“Unless Mother Nature has moved her headquarters, my guess is that Lorgan may be behind it,” Fitch surmises.

Roy remains a skeptic, “Why don’t we credit Lorgan with the Big Bang while we’re at it?”

Causality Roy, I’m a firm believer. Lorgan shows up at the same time you are leaving for Switzerland and there just happens to be rain falling on the plain of Xanthe?”

“He’s right Crip. Look for yourself. Lorgan is still parked at 200,000, and stationary I might add. That means the damn planet is spinning and Lorgan is looking down like it is a toy top. ‘Dumb-de-dumb – look at Mars go round + round – dumb-de-dumb.’ I can almost hear that thing laughing.” Gus isn’t laughing.

The concept would be delightful if it were not so maddening.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 77


page 78

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 74

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 74

… Jean-Luc Picard? You have to be bleeping me! How does a crackpot with a fake name get through to me?…

–Dripping with sweat and exhausted to the bone, Jean-Luc walks out of Surgical Suite #3. He is still not sure what is going on with this alien’s backstory, but one thing is sure, the baby is human – mostly. The mother is definitely not, but does manage to pen the letters M_C_K_I_N_N_E_Y   D_E_K… on the paper provided her, and then passes out.

“McKinney… McKinney… why does that name ring a bell?” While his patient{s} are in Recovery, he dashes back up to search that name of Irish origin. “The damn Space Family McKinney, that’s who I was thinking about!” He does a Wikipedia for detail to augment what he already knows. “Gus M., an astronaut living in Texas – his parents disappeared from Mars in 2030, his brother in 2051. They were adopted by none other than a president of the US – Roy Crippen now of NASA fame.”

It may be a longshot, but Dr. Picard manages to track down a secure line to King Ranch, Waller County Texas…

The last time Roy Crippen took a call such as this, it was some {alleged} lunatic scientist from Talibanistan {aka Fletcher Fitch}, claiming that he knew about a plot to blow up Space Colony 1. He better take this one seriously, just to be safe. “Doctor Jean-Luc Picard? You have to be bleeping me! How does a crackpot with a fake name get through to me?

After explaining the subject matter of the strange call, Roy decides to vet the good doctor, with the vast technical resources at his beckon. “And the woman that you describe as an alien wrote the word McKinney?”

“… With the letters d, e & k at the end.”

“Could that be Deke? No that is impossible. Deke McKinney has been missing for 15 years or more! You’re way over in Switzerland you say? Aw hell, give me your address and we’ll over in… what time is it here? 4A makes it noon by you. We will be there before 4P your time.”

“Speaking of impossible…”

“We, that would be Gus McKinney and I, have the fastest plane on the planet, Jean-Luc – like warp 4.”

Picard indeed…’ Roy shakes his head and gives Gus a wake-up call he won’t soon forget.–


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 74


page 76

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 73

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 73

…Philanderers philander and physicians spring into action, in this case J-LP pulls a double shift…

“Any Visitors?” asks Dr. Picard of his receptionist.

“Non,” The response of “no” is the same in any {most} languages.

Once inside his Institute’s fourth floor sanctuary, he checks a few patient charts, while elevating his leg, which is sporting a cast that does not have space for another Sharpie signature.

By the time 7 O’clock rolls around, he has had enough of business, or so he thought. Before he can leave the room, out of nowhere, a very foreign-looking woman appears behind him. She is apparently in some distress.

“How did she get in?”

She is dressed like she comes from another planet and sounds like a harp when she speaks. Other than that she looks like she needs medical attention, specifically an OBGYN.

Dr. Picard takes her hand and has her stand inside a full-body scanner, an absolute necessity for any 21st Century medical office. Obviously she is with child, the child is in distress, but her anatomy does not match any he has seen before. There is no recognizing this from that, other than a very large child whose umbilical cord reaches the up to the base of her regally poised skull.

“What on Earth? If we deliver that baby and cut the cord, there may be serious damage to both of you.” Philanderers philander and physicians spring into action, in this case J-LP pulls a double shift. He calls down to the surgical suites to accommodate this unsolicited patient. “I need the most experienced nurses available… and I need a gurney on the 4th floor, STAT.”

Cerella, Heir to the High Council of Eridanus, has been deposited to the single solitary person on Earth…, nay, in the galaxy, who is qualified to deliver her & Deke’s child, not-to-mention the near-impossible task of preserving the cognitive functions of both mother & child.

10 light years away, the father waits and worries.–


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 73


page 75

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 71

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 71

…For most of these eleven months, Cerella has had the luxury of letting nature take its course….

“What is the duration of gestation for a birth in these parts? Do you know what I mean?” Celeste McKinney needs some Eridanian insight if she is to understand the direness of Deke’s unborn {they believe} child..

Ekcello needs a very good memory for this. No birth has taken place here for… forever. “I have no way of knowing that answer.  Our longevity negates the need for a new generation. As a civilization, we procreate outside the physical body, although tales of old are told about the times before our home planet vulcanized. We were going to research the subject soon. Poor Cerella will be discovering the birthing process all alone.”

Just like anxiety, empathy also falls fresh on his spirit.

Momentum Into Nothingness by Cristina Velina

It has been eleven Earth months since she conceived. For most of that time Cerella has had the luxury of letting nature take its course. After all, she controlled her own environment and whatever happened was okay. Deke was there.

Deke is not here.

Nothing seems to be here.

And yet her needs are being met; out-of-the-black, not down nor up and without asking. Something or someone seems to have her best interest in mind.

Nothing used to be here.

So, there in the quiet of her aloneness, she discovers that she is indeed not completely alone. During this dark time, in fits and spurts, she would be overrun by a chorus of the Olde Language. Like a blast from the past, cogent songs of life and love ooze into her consciousness. Simple, yet complex; new, yet old; content, yet anxious, something inside her was pleading, ever politely.

It was the new life inside her.

No more does the mystery of an Eridanian female carrying child go unsolved. The process is nearing completion, but among the sweet melodies, a sour note is struck. There was a human being, an Earthling involved. Deke’s genome, the interspecies germination, has manifested itself in the body of his mate for life, Cerella.

The resulting lifeform needs to come out, but it is not an unpretentious or prescribed sequence. Mother and child are alone. They are together. They are in trouble.

Apprehension and despair abound in the Milky Way.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 71


page 74 (end ch. 6)

THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 70

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 70

…“A needle in a King Ranch haystack would be easier to find, Dad.” Deke had already pondered the available options to finding his wife, he with the largest stake in the game…

To say that Eridanian clan of the Space Family McKinney is worried is likely the understatement of all-time, whether time is artificially altered or not.

In the same way, Ekcello is experiencing real anxiety for the very first time. Never before had a circumstance arisen that his reasoning could not overcome. That he allows the continuing “stasis” of his Gifted members, including his wife-mate Fortan, is proof enough. “What they do not know will not hurt them,” is his justification.

Skaldic the Null has a vested interest in Princess Cerella, her having treated him more fairly than he could have ever hoped. Exactly how her absence will affect the Null cause is the primary issue. Secondarily, he personally has his opinions about Cerella, O and other galactic goings-on, but he will keep those possible resolutions to himself. Suppression is a stigma for a reason.

Nevertheless, the concerned parties convene for an impartial pow-wow pity-party.

“She has been gone for many cycles and we are still sitting on our hands!” If Sampson had sole command, he would have Explorer out in space, hounding the ionic pathways of anything created, invented or manufactured.

Sammy Mac is not in charge this time.

“A needle in a King Ranch haystack would be easier to find, Dad.” Deke had already pondered that option, he with the largest stake in the game. “Cerella is the most resourceful being I know, well female anyhow… and other than you, Gus, Roy, Fitch and maybe Mom.”

“Now that’s one hardy endorsement, Deke,” Celeste allows. “Place me in the column of trusting that my daughter-in-law and our unborn grandchild are going to find their way back to us.

“You have been quite calm in the face of this crisis, mother of Deke,” Ekcello’s tone is almost envious.

“I believe that all we were brought together… here for a reason, something bigger than just surviving the loss of Space Colony 1. Ever since we arrived, I have had this deep-down feeling that, and I’m speaking for myself, that we are ambassadors to Eridanus Related imagefrom Earth.”

“I agree Mother. Everything you taught me about the sovereign God, Divine Creator of the Universe, makes perfect sense to me now.” If that is not the case, Deimostra certainly hopes so.

“It’s all about faith, Sammy,” However, Mother Celeste needs more information about the state of Eridanian physiology though. “What is the duration of gestation for a birth in these parts Ekcello? Do you know what I mean?”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 70


page 72

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 O   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 60

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 60

…The Ÿ€Ð commander of the Epsilon expedition ship has the bright idea to kidnap that female offspring of Ekcello the Halfhearted…

— In the foreseeable present, the last 3 remaining Ÿ€Ð cruisers {left in one piece} set out on their missions, one for the Triangulum Galaxy and two to the Milky Way. As sure as a star is born, one of the three will locate the culprit, that one that destroyed what is left of Ÿ€Ð once feared prowess.

One ship wings its way straight for Epsilon Eridani. They need go no further than Orion’s Belt to find a people capable of taking down the meat of their fleet. Leave it to the quiet kids on the block to suddenly change their reclusive ways and take out the competition; competition for one of the garden spots in all of creation – Earth. {No more a habitable place can be found. If it were not so distant, a flotilla of Ÿ€Ð colonizers would have barged their way in long ago}

Just what they really know about the Eridanians is debatable. The last they heard, Ekcello the Halfhearted {their harsh nickname}, had shrunk away in the wake of Ÿ€Ð intimidation – some time back. That makes them an easy target.

But…

Rumors are flying about a royal birth, a female no less.

There are rumors about the presence of Earthlings on Eridanus.–

The commander of the Ÿ€Ð Epsilon expedition ship has the bright idea to kidnap that female offspring of Ekcello the Halfhearted. A well-timed transporter beam should do the trick.

“We have detected a warp deceleration,” Deke McKinney of the Space Family McKinney is on duty, the job of looking out past the mist encapsulating Eridanus.

“That is not good news. Chasonn would have given us a heads-up,” Sampson McKinney speculates. “Send out a warning.”

An Eridanian warning comes in the form of an audible deep-bass disruptor in the key of B#. It will awaken the dead and confound the living, regardless of the specie.

This cosmic occurrence is simultaneous to a pow-wow concerning O. Hopefully, think-tanking will add a measure of understanding.  Ekcello, Cerella, the McKinneys and Skaldic meet regularly to discuss ideas, both old and new.

“It looks like they are just cruising through, heading away passed the Olde Home World.”

“Ÿ€Ð.” Ekcello’s tone is one of deep disgust. He can smell them a mile away.

Such attention is paid to the passing spacecraft that not one of them notices anything else thereabout, “The sphere!” Sammy Mac spies the enigmatic sphere of much wonder. “Never mind it’s gone.”

The Ÿ€Ð cruiser from Galaxy Sexta A is nowhere to be seen either/anymore; the scene is chaotic.

Without fanfare or tangible despair, Cerella, Heiress to the High Council of Eridanus has vanished… along with her unborn child.


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 60


page 63

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 O 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 O 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 48

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THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 48

…“Skaldy”, the moniker that Sammy Mac has bestowed on the lead Null, has much pent-up energy to let out, himself an island of squandered talents…

Not surprisingly, Sammy Mac and the Null named Skaldic get along famously. The Earth/Null Mutual Admiration Society declares Stardate est. 2052, the Year of Galactic Unrest. The preceding retrospective editorial is neither an official declaration nor formal organization, but it is an apt summation of the now strong bond forged by men of like minds.

His other fault{s} aside, Sampson McKinney embraces the normality of the only normal being {other than his family} he has had company of since leaving Earth 20 years ago. {That Chasonn dude was cool, but he speaks yet another strange language and he may never see him again}{Deke is Deke, his married son who spends more and more time with his mother}

In Skaldic, on the other hand, it gives him a fresh foil with which to bandy theories and concepts. “Skaldy”, the moniker that Sammy Mac has bestowed on him, has much pent-up energy to let out, himself an island of squandered talents.

Poor Offy {Offingga} feels like she is being squeezed out these days, retreating to the familiarity on the Null Tower.

Like new lab partners in chemistry class, there is palpable excitement about the next combination of compounds.

Skaldy has thoughts concerning recent Eridanus events.

Sammy Mac shares his thoughts on that +plus+ Seljuk, O and Earth.

Those thoughts lead to a productive collaboration.

Skaldic is a sponge, sopping up every last drop. In between drops, he plants an original thought on Sampson,O moves like it is alive.”

“I never looked at it that way. When I saw it, all I could think of was a silver bowling ball without finger holes… never mind that bowling bit.”

“Did not you and everyone else see their reflection in it, like it was this close?” he points to a shiny surface not far away. “By what cosmic law is that possible?”


THE NULL SOLUTION

Episode 48


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 O  …

— 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 O, 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 O .

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 O 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 50 (end ch. 4)