The NULL Solution = Episode 38

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The NULL Solution = Episode 38

…I thought I saw my reflection in that shiny object…

The Eridanian ship Defender is hurtling back home with TSF dexterity. The experience with The Seljuk is fresh on every one of the five minds aboard, now being shared amongst those who care.

“Daddy – what has happened to make a nice man like Chasonn so paranoid?” spoken by the 1st Terran-child of space, who has yet to experience many “human nature” concepts.

Sampson McKinney happened to have a pow-wow with the leader of the Seljuk, man-to-man, heart-to-heart, just when it seemed that the man was questioning the motives of the Defender crew. The pair swapped history lessons about their respective planets and discovered that they had more in common than not.

“Long ago Deimostra, when Chasonn was away at their place of higher learning, every Seljuk leader was whisked away, including his father, never to be seen again… it took almost two centuries for the Seljuk to recover.” It is not customary to sit a 21 year old girl on his lap like he is doing, but some wisdom needs to be handed down not discarded. “Trust is something that is earned, not given. And they have kept to themselves ever since, not unlike Eridanus, right Cerella?”

“After we have been far and wide and seen the whole of the Great Expanse, there comes a time when keeping private is the logical choice. Until you people of Earth were brought into our keeping, we had no need to borrow the trouble that lurks on the other side of this and other galaxies. Chasonn and his people made the same choice… and then here we are charging directly into their renewed chaos.”

“On top of that, our arrival came right after they lost communication with their sentinel outposts, as well as the appearance of that phantom planetoid – like the one we spotted on the way in.” That shiny unknown still bothers brother Deke.

“How can anything that flawless do any harm? It’s just like the pictures you showed me Daddy, what you called a Christmas ornament. There were blue ones, red ones, green ones and silver ones. In fact, for a moment, I thought I saw my reflection in it.”

That gives some others pause.

“I saw my reflection too!” Celeste admits.

“I thought the same thing,” Sammy Mac confesses. He thought he was the only one seeing things.

“That is impossible. We didn’t get within 250,000 miles of that thing, before it vanished that is,” Deke tries to be the voice of reason – he saw his reflection as well without admitting it.

In the time it takes for Eridanus to complete one cycle, Defender is back in the berth reserved for it in the Spaceflight Expository, after its mission to the Triangulum Galaxy. At first blush, nothing has changed in the meantime; not a single Eridanian figure had moved.

But in the excitement of recent exploits, they forget about the Null, specifically Skaldic.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 38


page 43

The NULL Solution = Episode 35

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The NULL Solution = Episode 35

…On a normally ugly, smelly day, early in the year StarDate 2052, the Ÿ€Ð are thrown for a loop by the critical combination of an unsolicited trespasser and fate…

(YouTube Snippet)

CHAPTER FOUR

Friend or Foe

 

The Definition of an Alliance;

An alliance is a pact, coalition or friendship between two or more parties, made in order to advance common goals and to secure common interests. It can be a political agreement between countries to support each other in disputes with other countries, making them allies.

Alliances on a planet are pretty straightforward. Separated only by borders {ocean, river or imaginary}, they are leagues fashioned through philosophical similarities.

  1. On Earth, certain countries align themselves together {distinct factions}.
  2. On Eridanus, the many towered cities are filled to the top with people connected by brainwaves {except the Null}.
  3. The Seljuk can be called “reclusive”, preferring to keep things private {but things change}.
  4. The Ÿ€Ð are the Ÿ€Ð, an alliance unto themselves {whatever that means}.

The 4 planetary systems are separated by 64 combined parsecs {ea. 3+ light years}. They are 4 civilizations that could not be more dissimilar. 4 fates are being tethered together by an uneasy, unidentified, unwanted, unaware or unwittingly urgent alliance.

Choose a lane or it will be chosen for you.

The Ÿ€Ð {#4 above} have always been a wildcard in this corner of infinity. They are unsightly in the eyes of 95% of known species and revolting to the rest. To make their palatability worse, they carry an odor that would offend a Venusian Wasteworm.  Add to this unsavory list, Ÿ€Ð do not possess a shred of decency. They assume the worst in all things and act accordingly.

3 Planets by ENDESGA on DeviantArt.com

No good things can come of things, which they do not understand. Such is their attitude when an intruder dare enter their space without permission. On a normally ugly, smelly day, early in the year StarDate 2052, they are thrown for a loop by the critical combination of an unsolicited trespasser and fate..

The Ÿ€Ð star system is a simple one; three planets, of incremental size, in orbit far enough apart as not to exert gravitational influence on the others. Only one of these is suitable to sustain their species {not too warm, shrouded by dense clouds, extremely humid}{as opposed to Eridanus which is equally muggy but much warmer}. The clouds are an artificial blanket that covers over them, like a drapery over a window, so no one can see in.

One can imagine the horror that ensues when a shiny smooth ⃝ takes up an orbit beneath that protective security layer. They frantically scan and analyze in the brief time they have. Before a strategy can be formulated, a bright illumination clears away their synthetic security. For the first time in eons, the Ÿ€Ð are exposed to the harsh ultraviolet radiation of their star.

They are forced to make the proper environmental measures to ensure inhabitability of their world.

If there is one Ÿ€Ð-ian credo, it is “Attack first, ask questions later”. Galactic harmony has gone on too long for their taste. Their leaning would be to exact a measure of revenge.


The NULL Solution =

Galactic Harmony

Episode 35


page 39

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

The NULL Solution = Episode 23

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The NULL Solution = Episode 23

Chapter Three

The 64 Parsec Question

…Though Skaldic the Null is equivalent to zero by title, he is the most excellent negative of all the other zilch’s…

Superior Group & Inferior Group by luminita taranu

Maybe it is just as well that Sam & Deke McKinney do not know the goings on back at their home world #one.

Adoptive home world #two is a completely separate issue.

Equally spared and even more in the dark are the people of Eridanus. Their thought-embargo is nearly complete.

The only citizens exempt from mental paralysis are those who are mentally incapable of the Eridanian form of telepathy. As lost souls, they are even more lost, not knowing what is going down and left to fend for themselves for the first time in their immortally deficient lives…

… But even among misfits, there are leaders and so it is with Skaldic the Null. Though he is equivalent to zero by title, he is the most excellent negative of all the other zilch’s.

The others look up to him, mainly because his cube is on the top floor of the misfit tower; the erudite Eridanians call it – well, nothing aloud, but the name “Nulls” is bandied about. They all think of it as a separate colony, not to be a part of the Eridanus experience. After all, the Null are not telepathic.

But what Skaldic lacks in intuition, he makes up for with guile. He would be the elder of the misfit tower, if they were allowed a seat on the High Council. Such is the respect he has among his peers.

Now that the Gifted of Eridanus are silent, it is Skaldic that fills the leadership void. If you clothed him in white robes, you would think he was Gifted. Such a small difference at atop of his body sets him apart, but not in a beneficial way. He and the other Nulls are grossly underrated.

The first thing he does is to check the historic records, those he has access to, for any similar chronicled occurrence in the long and storied past of the Gifted… oh and those others, like him.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 23


page 27

The NULL Solution = Episode 21

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The NULL Solution = Episode 21

…the mystery sphere suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin…

Gus McKinney is pondering on where God lives or where in the infinite Universe this relatively tiny round intruder comes from.

Stellar Explorer was never meant to be anything but a point-to-point prototype. Here and now he is being asked it to be a scout cruiser. To complicate matters, he has lost communication with Mission Control. He won’t be speaking with them until he comes from around the bright stationary furnace.

The “dark” side of the Sun never used to be a hazardous place, seeing that at any given time, about ½ of the solid solar system contents lay on opposite sides of the glowing anchor. That the mystery sphere he is spying seems to be concealed contradictory to Earth cannot be a coincidence.  If it were completely stationary, it would have been seen by someone by now.

No human has ever laid eyes on this thing. Even Messenger, the NASA made probe designed to give the world a close look at Mercury and then meter solar flares & such, had not found it because the people who control the cameras weren’t looking for anything else.

Gus’ eyes are young and just fine. His fleet ride’s sensors aren’t attuned to analyze anything other than those related to navigation. “Jeepers creepers, if that isn’t the damndest thing!”

Not only that, it is moving away from Stellar Explorer like it has seen a ghost. The feeling is mutual.

Not only does it move, but it suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin.

“Now that is downright impolite.” Out of sight – out of mind, there is no reason to linger. He expresses his suspicions to himself, “I wouldn’t know a wormhole if it bit me in the butt, but that is where that puppy had to go!”

Borrowing trouble is not on today’s to-do list. Roy’s instructions were to do a sun flyby and come back to Earth when Harper Lea Bassett was on her way back to D.C. So, with a wry smile on his face, and the love of a good wife in his heart, Gus McKinney guides Stellar Explorer from out behind the yellow dwarf star.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 21


page 25

The NULL Solution = Episode 8

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The NULL Solution = Episode 8

…If there is one thing that can be said of the McKinneys is that they are possibility thinkers…

Possibility Thinker

“I have heard stories about something like this happening just before I came to be. I am told that it went on for many cycles. There was a distant civilization that began to act in an aggressive manner.” Cerella describes the potential intrusion/incursion, which was the beginning of the current culture of cynicism.

“It sounds to me like they got spooked.” Sampson has a way of cutting to the chase.

Cerella does not dispute that analogy, considering the voracity, the staying power of the old stories and the present introversion of her contemporaries. “I am lost,” is the cry she hears in her heart.

The McKinney men shrug, Celeste and Deimostra hug.

Sampson tries to help, “Who were these jokers?”

“They were not funny, father to Deke. Back then, our spacecraft were running into temporal roadblocks. The Elders were unable to resolve the problem to their satisfaction. We now know that Explorer/NEWFOUNDLANDER was a casualty of some outside force.” Cerella would know.

“Wow Cel, think about it! We thought they died from sort of space-bug or something.”

As it turns out, the ill-fated crew in and around the ship that became the McKinney’s salvation, were victims of an infective force in their timestem. In Earth terms they may have caught a bad cold.

“That is a frightening thought,” Celeste makes eye contact with her family. “Fifty vigorous individuals… might that happen to Earth?’

“Well it was enough to scare an entire planet into seclusion.”

If there is one thing that can be said of the McKinneys is that they are possibility thinkers. Deke, of that Earthly clan, has been thinking way ahead of the past, as it relates to the present.

“As far as I can tell, the atmospheric restriction has been suspended. There is nothing preventing us from taking THAT,” Deke points to the most advanced of the ships they have been drooling over, “out for a mission.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 8


page 14

The NULL Solution = Episode 5

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The NULL Solution = Episode 5

…If the moon is made of Swiss cheese, the fabric of the Solar System is held together by Good & Plenty candy…

the_taste_of_heaven_by_hannelin

— For a 24/7 operation the SOL hangar has to come to a complete standstill and it  is quite eerie.

  • The LED lighting has been minimized.
  • The only sounds are generated by the ambient hum of idling electronics.

Of the five human senses, Roy is prepared to utilize all of them. He prowls around Stellar Explorer without an agenda; stalking it, sizing it up without outside distraction.

The first thing he detects is the “smell of space”, the real smells of reinforced titanium having sliced through zero-gravity at 3x SOL. He talks to himself, ‘So that is how dark-matter smells.’ Just what that odor resembles resists tagging, but he’ll tuck it away for future reference regardless.

As he approaches the crew ladder, it finally hits him, “Licorice,” he concludes. If the moon is made of Swiss cheese, the fabric of the Solar System is held together by Good & Plenty candy.

He climbs the stairs as if they will crumble under his 200 lbs. Each of the 15 rungs holds-up reliably so, though the squeaking from his rubber-soled shoes seems out of place. When his eye level reaches floor height, rather his nose, he detects the faint smell of cologne strikes him, as does the fact that Gus McKinney doesn’t use fragrance. Deke McKinney does – Giorgio Armani.” He should recognize it since it was his Christmas gift to the elder stepson.

It is amazing what a person can sense when they filter out the unnecessary noise.

Once inside the fairly cramped crew cabin, there is a faint zephyr that seems to pass thru his thinning white hair. Out of the corner of his eye he is positive he saw an opaque flash.

Image result for wavy line gif

#What can I leave in the cabin to reassure our friend# asks Celeste of Ekcello.

#Your voice#

 Image result for wavy line gif

Roy… ”

Just “Roy” Roy hears, no other word.

The CSI-Galveston investigator freezes. Just like the smells of licorice and Armani, this barely audible note has a familiar ring to it. Five minutes later it comes to him, albeit dubious, “Celeste?”

Related imageIt has been over twenty years since he had heard that voice; the day in 2030 when she and Sampson McKinney announced that they were departing Space Colony 1, which would be for the final time.

On top of that, he remembers what Gus had told him about the final seconds of his mission recollection, that Deke said he saw something or other of their mother.

Out of the blue, an aura of peace comes over Roy Crippen, much like that exhibited by a suddenly fully orphaned Gus McKinney.

Image result for wavy line gif

 

#That is sufficient Celeste McKinney. We must vacate this timestem#


The NULL Solution =

Five Senses of Humans by Seshadri – Expressionism

Episode 5


page 11