The NULL Solution = Episode 147

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The NULL Solution = Episode 147

…Once upon a time, he moved Heaven and Earth to warn a then pre-President Roy Crippen that his Talibanistani and the United Korean Peninsula governments were up to no good…

“Lorgan is back,” Fletcher Fitch has found a reason to live after the death of his wife, above the love of his daughters and beyond the purview of just about anybody else on planet Earth. He has been assigned the task of tracking activity around Mars. Just as when he designed the Sang-Ashi Probe for supposedly peaceful purposes, he keeps a vigilant watch.

Once upon a time, he moved Heaven and Earth to warn a pre-President Roy Crippen that his Talibanistani and the United Korean Peninsula governments were up to no good. He watched in horror as Space Colony 1 was erased from its high Martian orbit. He has been an essential part of all things Mars ever since.

“It showed up about an hour ago, smack dab over Harmonia,” he relates the latest news from Milky Way’s hotspot-with-a-bullet.

The building {not the innocuous “structure” as they would like you to believe} is not getting shorter, nor does it stand vacant of improvements. To anyone who will listen, he declares, “There is a portal forming, approx. ¼ of a mile in diameter directly onto the top of the spire.”

In the absence of hydroelectric or coal-fired plants or nuclear reactors, energy is flowing into the imposing, yet fascinating edifice. A lighthouse-like topper appears. What is the purpose?

“Ten thousand megawatts/hr.!” Fitch is measuring crazy-mad numbers.

“That is enough to run NYC for a year,” Crippen marvels, “for what, Fitch… a planet, without a single soul on it?”

“It appears Lorgan is expecting guests.”

“… With a stupid riddle to keep everybody out?  We just had two astronauts there. At least have the courtesy to have Gus McKinney pull the switch!” Roy has resorted to a simplistic approach.

The NULL Solution =

Simplicity by kuzy62 –

Episode 147

page 145

The NULL Solution = Episode 146

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The NULL Solution = Episode 146

…The world-wide public cannot get enough; so intriguing, so foreign to those with the least bit of an astronomical leaning…

Astronomy Picture of the Day – NASA

“If I can interrupt, my favorite moment was when we drove Solution into a river. What a kick to see how she handles underwater!”

It certainly was a kick, just not quite for the reasons he described. He leaves out the juicy parts, like the actual force field enforced by a riddle-master; a two-way closed door that is stuck shut. AND that, in everyone’s qualified opinion, he is back with his family and Rick is back tending to his nuts, is a flat-out miracle.

“Let’s take a look at the pictures your drone took, after you men were safely inside the drone and on your way back to Earth. I hear you named it the Martian Mule.

While she speaks, the director in the control room is showing file footage. That “structure” is visible in the distance, as will be the ash plume that rises just as high, without strong prevailing winds to spread it out.

“We were happy to have Mars in our rearview mirror,”… that and an alien behemoth {Collapsar Axis}. No footage of that though. This is a time for celebration not worry.

Pistachio Growers Association Incorporated. PGAI

“Lt. Commander Stanley, Prez Roy tells me you have officially retired?”  People want details and Randi Gilbert II delivers.

“Yes, I bought a little pistachio grove in California. A few cattle, some chickens and a small herd of quarter horses too.”

“Sounds like that will keep you busy.” She turns, “What about your plans Gus McKinney… with your time off, I mean?”

“Well, my daughter Marscie is growing like a weed. I think I’ll watch her develop, teach her about space stuff, maybe do a little sky watching on the side.”

“Aren’t you tired of looking at stars?”

“There’s more out there than stars and planets Randi …”

Bzztt… Fresh pictures of the Green {formerly red} Planet abruptly pop onto the broadcast. The public cannot get enough; so intriguing, so foreign to those with the least bit of an astronomical leaning. It seems someone in the studio control room was afraid that Gus may be referring to approaching unmentionable alien fortress.

RG II thanks her all-star guests and signs off from this exciting and informative new episode of Good Morning Mission Control.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 146

page 144

The NULL Solution = Episode 140

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The NULL Solution = Episode 140

…the Null spread out into the general – towered population; thriving, multiplying family units, what a radical notion that turns out to be…


Eupepsia Dreaming

While his brother is winging his way back to a hero’s welcome, after performing an act of daring-do on Mars, Deke is knee-deep in controversy. More a subject of curiosity than hero worship, this McKinney, mate of the 2nd or 3rd highest ranking Gifted citizen on Eridanus, has morphed into the polar opposite of his bodacious father, and his celebrated sibling.

While Sampson McKinney is best buds with the hottest commodity on the planet {Skaldic the Null}, Deke has taken up the larger cause of Skaldic’s kind. Partially because he is the parent of Joyner, who is decidedly as mixed as racial can get, the plight of the longsuffering Null is where he plants his moral flag.

Neither will Joyner be a member of the ruling class, nor should he be looked down upon because of his partially human derivation.

His first order of business was to encourage the spread of the Null out into the general, towered population; thriving, multiplying family units, what a radical notion that turns out to be. For a planet where misplaced intentions had precluded thoughts of propagation, these Null have actual offspring and the promise of intellectual renewal.

“Stale,” is the word that Deke uses describe the social climate.

“Order,” is how Ekcello describes it.

“Change,” is good.

“Disorder,” is risk.

“Rejuvenation,” is promise.

“Revolution,” is Deke’s conclusion.

So goes a simple exchange concerning a complex situation.

The only problem that Deke sees, with the integration of the Null, lies in communication. Back when in his King Ranch childhood, before his multilingual secondary education, he always wondered what many of the ranch hands were saying, right there in front of him, unaware or uncaring that the gringos didn’t understand most of it. “Lo que es para el almuerzo.” “Senorita Francine la carne de cerdo y frijole”.

It all sounds like Speedy Gonzales to him.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 140

page 138

The NULL Solution = Episode 137

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The NULL Solution = Episode 137

…On a remote corner of King Ranch is an undistinguished home, 7/8ths of which is below grade, facing eastward and has prairie grass and cacti for a roof…

Over in the purported Mr. Lorgan’s Neighborhood, silent preparations are being made for Collapsar Axis’ arrival. Fletcher Fitch has been assigned the task of his long life; install the global force field that the inventor-race-deluxe, Seljuk bestowed upon them. While he is at it, beef up the disruptor array aboard SEx.

Fitch was the scientific whistleblower who exposed the United Korean Peninsula for the Space Colony 1 destroyers that they were. That they were in league with his country of Talibanistan made him a marked man for decades to come. What he does not know, is that there is still a hefty price on his head and fortune hunters out there willing to pursue the bounty.

Texas Sunrise | by DustDevilDiver (Briley Mitchell)

On a remote corner of King Ranch is an undistinguished home, 7/8ths of which is below grade, facing eastward. It has prairie grass and cacti for a roof. It has sheltered the traitor/scientist for many Texas sunrises and provided a haven for his wife and two daughters. The daughters had departed the underground nest years ago, leaving Fatima and the former Aldona Afridi to live out the rest of their lives. Once you are a friend of the Crippens, always a friend.

Up until now, his association with Galveston Launch Facility was viewed as benign. He is just one of a thousand other geek-types that work there… until he was recognized by the single “looter” who managed to elude death the other night. It seems that King Ranch booty may have been secondary to a greater Muslim cause.

It turns out that rogue goon-squad fishing expedition has accidentally spotted a Big Fitch.

But this Fitch is heedless in respect to any danger. He is flush with the excitement, like a kid in a candy store. Molecular stabilizers, force fields and disruptor arrays replace sugar plums and squirt guns. He is on top of the cutting edge technology pile and he relishes the view.

And his daughters have returned to the nest to help celebrate science, in addition to his 75th birthday. With life expectancies exceeding 100, his ¾ share of life {26 clear of his ties to Talibanistan} is well-worth celebrating. But a glitch in the ranch power grid has forced the party to move to Crippen/McKinney territory. However, Francine and Mindy’s culinary skills are lacking when it comes to Near-East cuisine, so Fatima must ferry his favorite foods from a mile away.

“Where is Fatima? I swear that woman doesn’t sit still for one minute!”

“She went back for the Harissa, forgot it in the blackout, back on the counter.” The dish made from semolina is a treat from the old days, unknown to local restaurateurs. Fletcher seldom asks for anything Arab. “Come dance with me my daughters!”

The NULL Solution =

Image result for arab dance gif

Episode 137

page 135

The NULL Solution = Episode 132

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The NULL Solution = Episode 132

…”Everywhere and nowhere at the same time, yeah, that is the refrain I keep hearing.”

“The question and the answer…”

Everywhere and Nowhere by Chris Brandell

Believe it or not, the state of affairs on Mars holds more promise than that of Earth.

Entrapped, yet empowered by planetary laws of volcanism, Roy is completely aware of the latest Hail Mary being tossed by Gus McKinney, Champion of Mars. Being able to announce the tiniest of space successes may be able quell the chaos at home.

He just won’t spill the beans about the two astronauts being held without their will.

“If we get out, tell the world that we will do everything in our power to save the day!”

“You may have to Gus. The upheaval is showing no signs of slowing down.”

“Is it as big as I’ve heard?”

“Bigger.” Crip is not prone to superlatives. “But we have to get you into space first. When is Olympus going to erupt, Rick?”

“Any time Roy. The magma is tracking up a fissure, big enough to drive your wife’s car through. We have used laser blasters for a primer.”

“Do you have enough power left to counteract the downward G’s at liftoff?”

“Barely… but heat does rise and the thermals created by the eruption should be heavenly.”

“Have you seen our friend Lorgan lately?” Roy doesn’t want to be the last to know.

“Once in a while we think we see something shimmering up there, but that bugger looks like a mirage to me. I’m not sure what I seeing any more,” admits Gus.

Everywhere and nowhere at the same time, yeah, that is the refrain I keep hearing.”

“The question and the answer…”

Gus may be closer to the truth than he knows.

The NULL Solution =

Episode 132

page 130

The NULL Solution = Episode 122

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The NULL Solution = Episode 122

…”Alley Oop – Betty Boop – puppy poop, it’s all the same to me,” Stanley & Gus have agreed to sneak inside the Harmonia


A new plan of attack was hatched…

Not only is Solution hermetically sealed from the vacuum of space, it makes a dandy submarine, except it will use its wheels for propulsion. The thrusters would kick up too much red mud.

“I guess we don’t have anything to lose? I can use some excitement. This botany duty is for the birds!”

“Now there are birds?” That would be show stopping news, would it not? They will need to settle for a pristine source of water flowing into Harmonia. “Have you noticed that the creek goes in, but it doesn’t come out?”

“By golly, you are correct Stanley. Not only do you have 2 first names, you don’t miss a trick! That gives us an even a better reason to swim on in.”

“Here’s another riddle for ya, ‘What goes in, but doesn’t come out?’”

“Good question. I believe I want to find the answer to that.”

Gus guides Solution into moving water, several hundred yards upstream for good measure. As they approach what is expected to be a thwarting thud, they slow the manned rover to a crawl. No need inflicting another blemish, like the boo-boo on the bumper when they unsuccessfully drove in the first time. The one constant about invisibility, is that it’ is hard to see.

“Well here we go. What the hell!” he screams while holding his breath. “Are we in? We’re in… we’re in Roy!”

Galveston Launch is awash in high-fives. It turns out that hunches still have their place.

“Rather than swim with the fishes, I’m choosing popping out before we can’t get out.”

“Trout or Topeka Shiner?”

“Me and Ricko are the only fish in these waters. Here we go… alley-oop!”

“Did you know that Alley Oop was a comic strip in the 20th Century; a time-traveling caveman.”

“That describes our Gus for sure!” Rick lets slip.

“Oh yeah! Crip is old enough to remember when newspapers were made of paper.”

“I was merely providing historical context to your live-action metaphor.”

Alley Oop – Betty Boop – puppy poop, it’s all the same to me. I’m taking us to the front door.”

Water has barely stopped dripping from Solution, when they pull up to what is referred to as Harmonia. An ant at the foot of NYC’s Freedom Tower would be ratio-based comparison. Neither man has ever not been able to see the top of any object – that is until now. It is a daunting edifice, no matter whatever its purpose is.

The NULL Solution =

Photo by @cpplunkett

Episode 122

page 121

The NULL Solution = Episode 117

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The NULL Solution = Episode 117

Not very good fishing I’m afraid,” Gus complains as Solution glides across the largest such sea on their route…

Mars Surface After Terraforming by Victor Habbick Visions

As far as the horizon stretches, on the backside of every rise, one new vista replaces the last. It could be Precambrian Nebraska or Missouri or the Dakotas, if it were not for the more distant, thus smaller sun above those hills and mountains. Due to the thickening atmosphere, Mars is able to trap more and more of the heat generated by the star, some 150 million miles distant.

“This must be how it was for Lewis & Clark.”

“Minus the indigenous Native Americans.”

Stanley & Gus discuss the perilous journey that lasted from 1804-06. The current incarnation is commissioned by President Chasin Hedley not Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson wanted to establish a presence in the American West before European powers would lay claim to it. That had to be in the back of Hedley’s mind, when he authorized this expedition.

Solution is undaunted, with Gus at the controls. Sure there are mountains to scale, but none the height of the North American Rockies. Yes there are oceans of water, but none the depth of the Challenger Deep, in the Earth’s Mariana Trench.

Tectonic tranquility is the best way to describe modern Martian geology. Active volcanism or continental drift is absent.

Non-potable describes the water, at least that standing on the surface. What falls from the sky is essentially pure, but what contacts the dust from eons of stale sedentary soil, renders it unfit for human consumption, at least without some simple filtration. By every definition it is good ol’ H2O though, found to be far more plentiful in the Universe than previously thought.

“Not very good fishing I’m afraid,” Gus complains as Solution glides across the largest such sea on their route.

“By my reckoning, we should spot the tip of Harmonia any time now.” That is their prime directive.

2 + 1 = 6? Eat my shorts! Gus taunts. “Never underestimate good old NASA ingenuity, whoever the hell you are!”

His bravado lasts as only long as Martian frost after a gorgeous sunrise. With Harmonia in full view and every available sensor trained on it, the rover that got them here from clear on the other side of the planet, stops dead in its tracks; really dead.

“What did we hit?”

The NULL Solution =

Martian Sunrise

Episode 117

page 116