The NULL Solution = Episode 8

Leave a comment

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 = Recap/History of THE RETURN TRIP

Leave a comment

The NULL Solution = Recap/History

…Off to parts unknown – History of THE RETURN TRIP…

The McKinneys are whisked off Mars {Star Date 2031}

“It appears we are going for a ride family!”

“Where are we going,” Celeste wonders?

“I’d like to know, who is driving?” He tries get the feel for some sort of helm, but it seems to be fruitless. “Let’s hope that it hasn’t forgotten the way to Earth, if that’s too much to ask.”

NEWFOUNDLANDER liftoff is smooth and with the exception of the anticipated g-forces, they were soon out of Mars’ loving embrace and headed… headed… unfortunately headed away from the sun, which at this point in planetary alignment, is in the opposite direction of Earth.

The McKinneys spot their destination

As the enlarging emergence of Epsilon Eridani and the heightened anticipation it is producing, Sampson’s demeanor stabilizes; finally a goal is in sight. There aren’t stars around every corner. In the coming of a new orange sphere, he can sense the warmth internally, even though an Earthly comparison would be like spotting the Rocky Mountains from the east while driving an automobile. What seems like a day later, you first get the sense you are going uphill.

The End is in sight

The NEWFOUNDLANDER continues to hurtle toward the planetary system which must surely be their final destination {that would be a muffled please, please, please?}. The ship with a remote control mind uses all the right moves on its approach, like it had done this very move before. A skilled navigator himself, Sam sincerely hopes so, because he is beginning to feel uneasy with the speed at which they going at this late stage. That scary mega planet is looking large and larger, its red-hot surface churning like the gates of hell…..and they have barely dipped below SOL.

The McKinneys arrive at their destination {Star Date 2036}

As NEWFOUNDLANDER shimmies into its pre-destined parking place, something occurs to Sampson’s astronautically trained mind, “Could it be that these people have abandoned space travel? I mean, did you see a fleet come out to escort us in? Have any of us seen any shuttle traffic, weather satellite or space station anywhere on the way here?”

Before Celeste can agree, the closing of the 100 foot tall doors distracts her and once again they are left to wonder what happens next. The enclosure now adds a claustrophobic slant to their rampant speculation. Confinement is a stark certainty, after over 5 years in the vastness of deep-space

Unease, doubt, apprehension: all these begin to consume Commander Sampson McKinney, formerly of Space Colony 1, recently employed NASA astronaut and previous inhabitant of Earth. It is all he can do to merely stand still and wait. The waiting is the hardest part.

An historic chapter of Earth’s history is about to be written.

The folks on Planet X (Eridanus) are in for a surprise of historic proportion.

This concludes our “catch-up” of THE RETURN TRIP

Tomorrow begins The NULL Solution = Episode 1


The NULL Solution

Recap/History


pages 5-6

 

The NULL Solution = Prelude/Recap

Leave a comment

The NULL Solution = Prelude/Recap

…Background scenes from the last book/Where THE RETURN TRIP leaves off…

Book One – The Return Trip – Excerpts

 The Space Family McKinney has been splintered into fragments, flung here and there by forces, some that they control and others they do not.

Back on 2051 Earth

January 9 2051 ending of book one – THE RETURN TRIP

“President Crippen! Stellar Explorer is back on our screens. It made the Pluto turnaround!” The crew of the SLAV revises their previous report. “There is no way they could have made that turn at Sol x3, but they did, Crip!”

Roy Crippen crumples in a heap, relieved beyond measure at this turn of events. He could not bear the loss of more family, adopted or otherwise. “Thank you my dear Lord,” is all he can say.

The entire SOL Project Mission Control, led by Braden King erupts in applause when they hear the voice of Gus McKinney, “Lovell Space Center, this is Stellar Explorer… we’re heading back to Earth!”

Francine Bouchette-Crippen and Mindy McDonald melt into an embrace, as women who love test pilots do.

At that declaration of success, Gus McKinney glances over from the co-pilot seat, to check on how brother Deke McKinney came through the intense G-Forces of the turn screaming, “We did it man!!!!”

The pilot seat is empty ______________

Back on 2030 Mars – History of THE RETURN TRIP

 

Sampson and Celeste discover another spacecraft

January 2030

The very mound they had originally detoured to investigate has been cleared of its dust-cover, swept clean by ill-fated winds of change. It would seem that they are not alone on Mars, as one would assume, as a large spacecraft has appeared alongside and it is not of Earth. For all to see: 50 meters of shiny out-of-this-world metal.

And judging by what is left behind, of the soil/dirt that is, it was like it had been covered in mud; Mud? It sits in a dry creek bed, for what has probably been thousands of years maybe more.

Celeste has already donned an infrared magnification enhancement and focuses in on what are markings, to the left of what is most likely an entrance. The insignia are not decipherable, but judging by the size of the entry, there is a strong possibility that the creators of this presumably interstellar ship were not midgets. It looks like Sampson could pass in without so much as stooping.

There are vertical slits, perhaps windows, placed at various points along its angular lines. Using his naked eye, Sampson swears he sees blinking lights through the largest such window, which Celeste dismisses as a silly notion, that it can only be the reflection of the midday sun.

“I wonder which one of us would be considered the UFO,” Celeste muses.

They find the dead crew of a failed Eridanian expedition

After traversing 2/3 of the rectangular vehicle’s exterior, they find themselves at what appears to be the threshold of the apparent entrance, if it has such a thing. Assuming that nobody is home and the door is locked, gaining access should prove to be futile, with no knife to jimmy the door. The 4 foot wide notch in the ship’s wall runs several feet into its 150 foot expanse. It is away from the sunlight, which does not make all things bright in these parts, as dark as Celeste’s native Sweden during its sunless winter swoon.

“Damn,” Sam galumphs into spread-eagle prostrations. “Maybe we should be using the helmet lights,” he taps the side of his head to do so, to light their way and expose the upright-cancelling offender.

“Whooaa,” he springs to his feet like a wrestler scoring 2 points on a lightning-quick reversal {and low gravity}.

Celeste would have laughed had she not popped her light on, fearfully recognizing the cause of Sam’s fall, “That is a body!”

They discover what the Eridanians were doing on Earth

“Does this remind you of museum storage room, where incomplete dinosaur skeletons wait for missing pieces?”

At the precise moment they near some items, mostly likely activated by a motion sensor, pre-focused shafts of light appear.

“Fourth Dynasty Egyptian.”

“Are you serious,” Sam asks?

His versatile wife numbers Egyptology as an educational pursuit during her college career. “Khufu,” she single out a solid gold bust!

“God bless you.”

“Cheops to you Sam.” He was not making fun, merely his lack of similar expertise. “There are references to this bust, but no one has ever seen it……4500 year old solid gold.”

Another shaft of light is cast upon, “And what is this?”

“Another piece of the Palermo Stone, I don’t think this one has been catalogued. Do you see the similarities between Egyptian writing and the newfoundlian scrpit?”

“English grammar is confusing enough.”

“That is the Code of Hammurabi,” she points to the writing on a Diorite stone tablet, nearby, “Cuneiform writing for damn sure!!!!!!”

And though he is not as versed in Egyptian antiquity, in the manner and scope of his encyclopedic partner, he is not completely devoid of ancient historical knowledge. “The Code of Hammurabi is from 21st Century B.C. Babylon, kind of a wage scale and social

ranking for old-time Near East lawmakers.”

“Very good Sammy Mac and here I thought that space had vacated your unrelated memories; there is more than SOL and time travel up in that brain of yours.”

He is used to her deriding his seeming lack of culture, not that she is entirely wrong.

“The pristine state of this stuff leads me to believe that they are the originals, not poached from a crypt. Whether Egypt or Mesopotamia, these have not seen the harsh exposure of the centuries since.”

“I guess that this explains which direction they were heading?”

“Perhaps, but it seems that they have been going forth and back for a minimum of 5000 years.”

The 1st Earthchildofspace is Born

Deimostra Samantha McKinney was born almost two weeks premature, paradoxically so on April 1st 2030. Deimostra {Deimos} is certainly an uncommon name for such a cute blond-haired blue-eyed baby girl, so named for one of Mars’ reliable, if not fickle moons; Phoebe {Phobos} would have been too easy. As one would guess, her middle name is the feminine form of father Sam, an everyday tag she will carry as “Sammy”, the affectionate term she has already responded positively to.


The NULL Solution

Prelude/Recap


pages 1-4

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 261

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 261

…Gus peers out of the pink sky, wondering exactly just which star out there has that one certain blue jewel in orbit around it…

A loving father cups Gus’ face with his hands, massaging his cheeks, wiping away the tears. “I want you to know that it took me a very long time to realize that my {Freudian slip}… I mean our, return would do more harm than good. If we go back now, with everything we have learned, we will screw up everything, every timeline, and we would be using technology that the world cannot properly handle.

“Gus, it took a monumental effort to cooperate enough to colonize Mars and even then the Koreans were compelled to screw things up. How can we be trusted to crisscross the galaxy?”

“Now, that you know the secrets, why the hell not? We could use the improvements to SOL, fix all that molecule crap and take it from there. You are selling mankind short, aren’t you?” He is expressing the hope of the current generation.

“No, no Gus, you’re not getting it. These Eridanians lost fifty of their astronauts, just like that,” he snaps his fingers. “The very NEWFOUNDLANDER that saved our lives was lost and abandoned. But they learned from that screw-up, four thousand damned Earth-years ago. No other planet or galaxy gave them the technology for that ship, they built it themselves. Trial and error is a Universal precept.”

“Earth-years Dad? You sound like they have you brainwashed.”

“Did I not mention that they brought you back from the dead? Don’t be a pudknocker!”

Gus peers out of the pink sky, wondering exactly just which star out there has that one certain blue jewel in orbit around it.

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, you bet….” Not entirely true.

But life goes on.-

-Back at the pleasant, earthly living quarters for the first such of the specie to inhabit the sextet planetary system of Epsilon Eridani {two stars-two planets-two moons}, once again are emptied of McKinneys, as is their custom to dine with the native Eridanians, who are enamored by those totally wacky Earthlings and their stimulating company.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 261


page 304

Contents TRT

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 257

…I knew Crip would come after us…

“This is the ship we named NEWFOUNDLANDER, they call it Explorer here. Your mother and I stumbled on it, buried in 40 centuries of Martian dust and it came from these people,” Sampson points out.

“”Without it,” Celeste adds, “I hope you realize that we may not have lasted long enough to greet the New Mayflower.”

“And we had to step over Cerella’s dead ancestors to get in….”

“Sampson McKinney!” Celeste warns. Cerella is amused at their interaction.

“Sorry Queenie,” he continues, “but once we got in and found out life support was still operating, we had it made in the shade; air, water, food {well their version of it}, everything we needed to wait out the rescue mission. I knew Crip would come after us.

“Do you know what happened to Colony?” Deke wonders why the issue had not been broached.

“Frankly it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“A Korean killer satellite.”

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Whether mischief-maker or meteor, no differences Deker, but it definitely was an ‘oh-shit’ moment!”

“We just had one of those, Dad,” Gus recounts.

“I bet you did Gussy, I bet you did! Hey, let’s take you on a tour of Explorer, our home away from home for the first 5 years of Sister Sammy’s life; a month or so on Mars and the rest on our way here.”

Fingering the perpendicular/parallel lines, just as she had done on Mars twenty-two years ago, Celeste ushers the group in. It looked lived in. The signs that she, Sampson, and Deimostra had indeed spent considerable time here were all over, including Sammy’s (Deimostra) first attempts at art.

Space art

2nd Grade Painting, Aylana Wray, The Classical Academy – Central, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

For a while, when they were allowed, the guys are preoccupied by the mechanics of curiosity; looking at every instrument and device and discussing possible theoretical function, among themselves like kids in a candy store. Sampson has the expertise to correctively intervene, dispelling excusably errant notions from these SOL newbies.

As they tour the more boring lower sections of the Eridanus Explorer, Deimostra takes her turn as tour guide, “This is the room I was born in.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Rockwell

Episode 257


page 300

Contents TRT

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 255

…the McKinney boys thought that they had just nodded off a bit…

Old Woman Dozing Over a Book by Nicolaes Maes

“Wait a minute Gussy… I think we are leaving out something in all this. Forget about seeing our long dead/gone/whatever parents on this bizarre planet. I seem to remember thinking that we were phasing in and out of reality right after we lit the SOL fuse.”

“That’s right! I was trying to engage the emergency decelerator and my hand could not reach the console,” Gus recounts his frustration.

“At the time I was thinking we had had it, lab-rat hell, how about you?”

Image result for fist bump gifthey reach across and bump their fists; someone had to do it and this is what we signed up for…

“It did not look good did it bro?”

“And that’s about where we stepped in,” Celeste inserts the current time-stem into their recollection of events.

“Are you telling us that we died and you changed history? That is a bit bizarre?” Deke is coming to grips.

That is when Cerella needed to add the perspective of the time-space angle, #You did expire, right after the point when your molecules destabilized#

time_travel_subway_by_necrania_art

“Shit Deke, I told you this was a dream!”

#But we noticed that your presence in the 2051.025 timestem was no longer and after consulting with the High Counsel, we decided to save your lives, for the sake of your mother and father#

“I’m a big fan of the space-time continuum, but I’m pretty sure you have messed with Earth history.”

 

#We have not Gus McKinney. Earth has continued on its path, steeped in the knowledge that you expired in space aboard your version of the Explorer#

“Our version… you talking about SEx?”

#Yes, the other ship named Explorer, Sammy Mac has called it NEWFOUNDLANDER, is in the berth next to yours#

It isn’t long before Deke notices that Gus is discussing time-travel with a very different looking girl.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 255


page 298

Contents TRT

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 225

Leave a comment

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 225

…“If you tack another 5 years on for a return trip, we may just be aliens on our own world, an irrelevant leftovers from the past…

“Somewhere, deep in their youthful existentiality, they must have a basal need, an outlet for all their buried emotion.”

“You are really into their minds aren’t you?” Sampson is actually jealous, but doesn’t show it. Their relationship is still sound, for a human marriage, but there is always that nagging fear of her losing her humanity, in favor of these alien attitudes. “You’re not thinking about ditching me, are you Celeste?”

“Now that is a silly notion Sam,” she barely recognizes an insecure Sammy Mac. “Where did that come from?”

“Well you are so close to these people and I really think they have accepted you as one of their own… and then there is old Sampson McKinney, that Neanderthal caveman from Earth, a  pain-in-the-ass, word speaking fool.

“Sometimes I think that if weren’t for you, they would banish me to that prison tower they are hiding, or better yet, hand the keys of the NEWFOUNDLANDER over to me and give me a map back to Earth.”

“There you go, that’s what you really want isn’t it?” The question is rhetorical.

“For a long time that is all I could think about. What has it been, 9 years since we’ve seen Earth?” It has actually been 15 (2045), but the slowing of his body clock has made time passage moot. “If you tack another 5 years on for a return trip, we may just be aliens on our own world, an irrelevant leftovers from the past. Not to mention that we will have missed the prime years of Deke & Gus’ lives… and Braden, How old is he now?

“Not to mention being debriefed by Crippen until we turn green. I bet he is the president of some private space-travel agency by now: Roy’s Rockets.

At times like this, Celeste will listen; merely listen for positive signs of sanity in her man.


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 225


page 266

Contents TRT