The NULL Solution = Episode 130

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The NULL Solution = Episode 130

…Alf Quigby produces t-shirts, collectible buttons and a monthly newsletter, all out his parent’s basement…

CHAPTER TWELVE

Facts and Other Fibs

 

Accounting for the best of intentions, the avoidance of truth is going to catch up to you. One thing leads to another, etc. and there you are, wishing that you would have found a way to clarify instead of classify.

Keeping the wool pulled over the world’s eye is tougher every year.

At NASA, it started with Lie #1.

Deke McKinney did not come back with his brother, like everybody who’s anybody claimed back in 2050. Granted, at the time the space agency was searching for an answer that was not available to them. The inept solution to that dilemma was to allow speculation to run wild. The wildest such rumor: he was considering a presidential bid. In the ensuing six years they still cannot produce a living, breathing Deke. Some nosy kid in Texas {below in Lie #2} called them out on it.

And the world knows {but then again they don’t} because beloved Prez Roy cannot tell the world that he is alive & living on a world 10 light years away; Too Much Information.

Lie #2 is a one of omission.

Joe/Josephine

Current events are nearly impossible to keep from prying eyes. Every “Joe/Josephine Human” on Earth has a video/still device at the ready. Competition to be the 1ST with news is fierce, to the point of neutering traditional reporting outlets. 9 times out of 10, a story goes viral before the next lungful is exhaled.

Previously obscure individuals are the superstars of news making/reportage.

A Houston-area teen named Alf {Alfred} Quigby has been obsessed with NASA operations for a longtime, which in his case are 3.5 of those perplexing adolescent years. He is president & founder of the Space Family McKinney Fan Club. He produces t-shirts, collectible buttons and a monthly newsletter, all out his parent’s basement. He has going-on 152 million followers of his fan club website, ranking him second only to the Taylor Swift tribute site, where millions mourn the passing of the music icon.

Alf Quigby

When no one else bothers to look, Alf notices that Gus McKinney has not been seen for months. If Gus McKinney, so much as, sneezes, he makes sure that the world hears about it. He has suspected that his hero was aboard that drone, which was towed by a SLAV that headed for space earlier in the year. Neither the man nor machine has yet to return to GLF.

Alf is the same kid who tried to expose the Deke McKinney ruse.

Since his last sensationalizing claim, in attempt to control the message, young Alf is hired as an intern in the office of Francine Bouchette-Crippen. His younger sister, Alfina, serves as interim webmaster & editor of Space Family McKinney Fan Club. Alfred still takes all the credit.

Coincidences and questions persist. Explanations are shallow.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 130


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The NULL Solution = Episode 129

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The NULL Solution = Episode 129

…Who says a watched pot doesn’t boil…

“You look like you’re having fun.”

“While you were out scoping out the Olympus Mons, I noticed something going on with the seismic sensor. I think it one of its peaks may be ready to pop.”

“That may explain the ambient temperature rise I recorded, Gus. Gravitational increases may be causing the core to heat up again.”

“The last volcanic activity here petered out while the dinosaurs were still kicking on Earth. I think we should keep a closer eye on that sector.”

“Why risk being too close to the Tharsis area? The ash will surely be red and probably bust through the stratosphere… which is at a lower altitude than Earth’s.”

“Precisely. When she blows, you will drive the drone out of the newly created hole in that pesky force-field.”

“You are hoping it will cause a rift, no guarantee when that will happen.”

“I’m betting it will. I’m also betting that the power-that-is, did not anticipate this event – shoot, the mountain is nearly scraping sub-space as it stands now. We can ride right out with the rest of the debris. It will be perfect cover!”

“It is sheer craziness, but it’s worth a try.”

“My daughter is growing up without me and you have that peanut farm to go home to.”

A Gus can hope, can’t he?Image result for pot boiling gif

“Pistachios.” Rick has not lost hope either, “What if we use the laser drill to stir up the magma?”

Who says a watched pot doesn’t boil!”

It will be so written in the bylaws of Cryptomaniacs Anonymous {Milky Way Chapter}:

No member shall be bound to a riddle, if there is a logical way around said riddle; which may result in temporary loss of membership. Reinstatement is not guaranteed.

… It is so recorded on Stardate 2056.64 from the planet Mars of the Terran system in the Milky Way Galaxy.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 129


page 127 (end Ch. 11)

The NULL Solution = Episode 128

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The NULL Solution = Episode 128

…In the realm of cause & effect, the McKinneys seem to be the lowest common denominator…

Skaldic has been there for the briefing. He breaks his silence with words of comfort for his friend, “With that menace out of our way, let us concentrate on solving that brainteaser that has vexed us so.”

It is with that spirit of a common end that Skaldic first expounds a theorem that has dogged him {and just about every semi-intelligent creature and A.I. in the Great Expanse} for some time. In the realm of cause & effect, the McKinneys seem to be the lowest common denominator.

“I am not exactly sure how, but I think you and your family figure into the Harmonia Query. If I understand the timeline correctly, it was not until you and your mate arrived here, that galactic normalcy began to tilt…”

“Being dragged ten light-years away from Earth was not exactly in our family plan. We would have been content colonizing Mars, as opposed to star hopping to parts unknown. We prefer to be closer to family and friends, you know, that kind of thing.”

Time for a Null analogy:

Image result for dominoes gif“You taught me the game of dominoes, remember? After I defeat you again and again, you line up the pieces in a winding row and seem to get excited watching the dominoes topple each other one-by-one.”

“I let you win. What’s your point Skaldy?”

“You represent the first domino Sammy Mac. Do I need to tell you what happens next?”

“Yeah, I get up and watch the mayhem. Are we having fun yet?”

“Consider the Harmonia riddle as the last domino. It still stands tall and straight,” Skaldic makes his point.

What on earth do the McKinneys, a double nine set of dominoes and a Cryptomanic Null have to do with finding the key to Intergalactic Unity?


The NULL Solution =

Episode 128


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The NULL Solution = Episode 127

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The NULL Solution = Episode 127

…The Ÿ€Ð are looking for something to blame, whether it be their planet’s demise or that failed expedition to your system…

Blame_by_Bryce_Nanez

— So it is… that the two highest ranking Eridanians transmigrate over to that plodding mass of immortality, cycles before its inevitable arrival. Explaining away any possible involvement in the destruction of the Ÿ€Ð 12 ship taskforce is simple and evidentiary. That they were remotely connected to the crime is rooted in folly.

Župzïð the Last will not have any of it, “You harbor fugitives from Terran system. Our ships vaporized. Give them to us, we will be go.”

“We can prove that the Earthlings on Eridanus were nowhere near the Terran system at that precise moment.”

“Ekcello the Halfhearted is duped. Terrans solve problems with weapons.”

“They came to us in peace and so in peace do they live with us today.”

“Vouch for homeworld, can you?”

“My daughter and I come to your new world with assurances as to our intentions.”

Ekcello might as well be speaking to a wall of reinforced titanium.

“Terrans responsible for ⃝   . ⃝    mocks us. Cursed. It appears, bad happen. Eridanus spies?”

O is a mystery to us also. We have seen it as you have; without reason or known purpose.”

“Humphhh,” Župzïð is not easily convinced. “We go to Terran system. Numbers grow. Answers come. Traveled far. Conclusions ours.”

Ekcello might as well be speaking to a wall of titanium. The contingent returns to Eridanus with exactly one-half of their objectives met. —

“So you just let them go on their merry way?” is all that the current spokesperson for Earth {Sam} can ask.

Cerella was there for the exchange of policies, “Father did his best to put their minds to rest. We were powerless to persuade the Ÿ€Ð from their goal.”

Sam wants clarification not platitudes “What kind of weapons are they packing?”

It is a moot point.

“Rarely do I subscribe to speculation, but I think your Lorgan may have disturbed them into a pensive posture. They are looking for something to blame, whether it be their planet’s demise or that failed expedition to your system.”

“No Sampson, you cannot do what you are thinking,” Ekcello bolsters what Cerella has preached.

He hates that they can read his mind.

Skaldic has been there for the briefing. He breaks his silence with words of comfort for his friend, “With that menace out of our way, let us concentrate on solving that brainteaser that has vexed us so.”

Yeah, if we can help Crip out with that, we may not have to pay any heed to that planet with training wheels!”

It is a well-known fact that a busied Sammy Mac makes for a more peaceful Universe.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 127


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The NULL Solution = Episode 126

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The NULL Solution = Episode 126

…like an unlucky coin, you and your people turn up around most of the turmoil in this galaxy…

The Ÿ€Ð haven’t ruffled any feathers so far,” Sampson observes.

“If you mean being overly aggressive, they have not. Sure, they may have conscripted a few folks, but not a shot has been fired.” Skaldic ponders some more. “They have lost their home world, a fleet of ships and much of their identity. They may be looking for someone to blame.”

“Are you looking at me or Deke? We’ve been a couple of choirboys lately!”

“Choirboys?”

“Hey, you Eridanus guys are the music-majors in this man’s army. A choir on Earth is comprised of the very best singers… at a house of worship… church… which means they are always on their best behavior.”

“Your galactic reputation does not match that description. You are a stowaway gang from a planet that nearly destroyed itself and you seem to be bent on procreating & colonizing wherever the spacewinds blow.” So much for that fan club thing.

“That is harsh Skaldy. I thought you were my friend.”

“I am, but like an unlucky coin, you and your people turn up around most of the turmoil in this galaxy.”

“I can appreciate the “bad penny” reference, but if it weren’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t have any at all. 1st our space station blows up, stranding us. We find a ship to survive on, only to be hauled all the way out here, without our permission. Sure the McKinneys have made a couple babies along the way,” Sam looks Deke’s way, “but we also helped out a few new friends here and there. Spread some new technology around. Can you think of any harm in all that?”

“Your planet was close enough to smell the debris from those Ÿ€Ð cruisers. All I am proposing is to contact them before Eridanus can be blamed.”

“I would be honored to accept the position of Ambassador to the Axis.”

“We want to prevent conflict, not start it. Ekcello and Cerella are contemplating hyperphysical contact without delay.”

You needn’t hit old Sam McKinney over the head with a hammer. —


***please note that the BAD PENNY BLUES predated certain songs by the Beatles i.e. Lady Madonna


The NULL Solution =

Episode 126


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The NULL Solution = Episode 125

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The NULL Solution = Episode 125

…The mover and shaker, the man with a hot hand and a plan to match is Skaldic the Null…

While Gus builds a signal fire and Rick constructs a raft, his far-away brother, father, mother, sister and “Gifted Null” Skaldic continue to take the five-pronged approach to problem solving. One more Earth-year has passed and only Collapsar Axis is closer to Eridanus. Eridanus appears no closer to solving “Harmonia Query” than any of their far-flung confederates.

The peaceful people of the Epsilon Eridani system are blissfully unaware of Gus McKinney’s plight, lest Sammy Mac try charging in, astride his legendary white horse. That would only serve to strand an un-rethinkable 2 McKinneys on Mars, along with 1 unfortunate Stanley.

Any prospect of a family reunion, in any way, shape or form, will have to wait.

The mover and shaker, the man with a hot hand and a plan to match is Skaldic the Null. Here on the new & improved Eridanus, Null and Gifted mingle like they’ve been doing so since the cycles of the ancients, instead of just lately. It took some doing, but the inbred attitudes and subsequent prejudice has slowly fallen away. Skaldic’s resulting role is what legends are made of.

Always the forward thinker and the president of the Sampson Mac Fan Club, he is no shrinking violet, especially when it comes to global strategy. Yes, he has his opinions concerning the looming Ÿ€Ð “threat”, “It is my thinking that we should make the first move. If Collapsar Axis has bad intent in store for us, we must find out why. What could we possibly have done to provoke them?”

“We exist, therefore we are,” Sam states bluntly. “If you bother to trace the path they’ve been taking, a house call has been made to every single known species and it looks like some peeps even you guys didn’t have marks on the map for. They haven’t discriminated against anything so far.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 125


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The NULL Solution = Episode 124

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The NULL Solution = Episode 124

…Once again, a member of the Space Family McKinney is stranded somewhere where he/she/they do not necessarily want to be…

“Let’s blow this juke joint!”

Rick understands the unusual Texan dialect used by his cohort. He also supports the sentiment by plying his skill to raising them up and out, “We will be taking leave of Mars’ gravitation in 2.5 minutes.”

“I think I’m going to tap into that NY Times Bestseller collection I brought along,” Gus proclaims. “Two books a week. I bet I can knock off 20 books before we get back.”

2 minutes later, it turns out Gus will be able to read a library’s worth of fiction. The Martian Mule comes to full stop, stranded on the threshold of space, like an ornament on a Christmas tree, sans a string or explainable cause.

Once again, a member of the Space Family McKinney is stranded somewhere where he/she/they do not necessarily want to be.

“Step on it Rick, what’s the deal?”

“If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say the Harmonia shield has now extended planet-wide.”

Roy Crippen and Fletcher Fitch, who have been on pins & needles, are currently faced with the ultimate conundrum.  Every single monitor at Galveston Launch reads the same bothersome image:

“I regret to inform you that the “Harmonia Query” is hereby & now a swinging door, boys.”

“We were afraid of that Crip. Shit and two equals eight!”

“No, 2 plus 1 equals 6. I know it’s a pain, but until we can solve the riddle, you have no choice but continue cataloguing the Mars environment.”

Fitch has estimated that they have enough food for a year. It appears that H2O will not be an issue, “The good news is that you can shut down the urine re-processor.”

“I suggest you work on that ^%@#&*g quiz as well. Maybe you can see some mathematical association we haven’t. It seems Watson III cannot get past the arithmetic.”

“I can’t get past the fact that we fell into some sort of trap!”

“We’re all in this together. We all made the same mistake.”

“But y’all aren’t castaways.”

“Tom Hanks made it back, so will you.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 124


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