The NULL Solution = Episode 191

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The NULL Solution = Episode 191

…When Celeste tells of the 2 light-year-about-face of NEWFOUNDLANDER, Fortan gives Ekcello the same treatment she is authorized to dispense to anyone else…

“Perhaps we have proven to be a worthy adversary. There is no sign of black ⃝    . Wherever that hole leads has to be better than this.” The Ÿ€Ð can only hope.

They may be disconnected from their previous dimension, but as distant as the beacon may be, at least it can be seen at all. The stars look to have heat and there are no visible boundaries.

Without knowing or admitting so, they have learned a lesson. The Collapsar collective will find their way… eventually… in about 10 lifetimes with just as many Župzïð’s to come. The Harmonia beacon will always be a reminder to mind their manners.

Celeste bypasses Ekcello in favor of Fortan, the mother who had put her reservations about Cerella behind her. She is honestly ignorant of her mate’s mischief. The days of transcendent knowledge has dissipated like the morning fog. She did not think Ekcello would act on his frustrations. That he should not be able to do anything like this on Eridanus, no matter of his status, is currently moot.

When The Earth woman tells of the 2 light-year-about-face of NEWFOUNDLANDER, the new Supreme Elder of the New High Council gives Ekcello the same treatment she is authorized to dispense to anyone else.

“What you have done is inexcusable. You must return with Celeste and restore that ship to its original path. It is the will of the people that decided the fate of our daughter, notImage result for caught red handed you.”

“I do not possess the skills to do so Fortan.”

“Then who does?”

“It is Skaldic {who was following orders BTW}. He reconfigured the navigation.”

The Null, particularly Skaldic, do not own hyperphysical capabilities. Fortan is aware of the quandary.

“You will help Celeste unlock the deepest Gifted skills in him.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 191


page 185

The NULL Solution = Episode 186

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The NULL Solution = Episode 186

…Oh for the days before the McKinneys arrived….

It is Stardate 2059 before you know it. However 2060 cannot come soon enough for those aboard NEWFOUNDLANDER or say, Earth. For some 2057 shaped up to be the worst arrangement of events known; particularly on Eridanus.

If losing two prominent citizens were not bad enough, this democracy thing is proving more difficult to administrate than advertised. It turns out that without the McKinney’s example, the rest of Eridanian society descended into disorganized individualism. Strong leaders are necessary if not required; both leading candidates for that position are otherwise occupied: Skaldic with Harmonia and Ekcello with postpartum depression.

Unfortunately elections are not about to squelch the thirst for one segment of the planet’s population. The Null voting bloc will require 100 cycles to rival Gifted numbers, thus rendering the system ineffective. There may be no turning back, while forward progress is going to be too slow.

Fortan is chosen as Supreme Elder of the New High Council, not the purest form of nepotism, but really close. The sheer unoriginality of her title is evidence of the weighted anchor any progress. Elders will always be, forever the guiders of all things.

Fortan is not Ekcello, Ekcello is not himself, thereby neither is Eridanus.

The Nulls are not so much bent on revolution as they are restless. The Gifted will always have that something-something {extra}. It will take a 1000 cycles and extensive interbreeding to tip the scales toward genomic equality.

The Gifted feel like they have given multiple appendages in an effort to relinquish their stranglehold. If that is not enough, only their slow-moving history will tell the story.

For Ekcello, he can hardly stand the changes that mount like the afternoon humidity of his water-laden world. If only the evaporative moisture could satisfy the longing he is feeling.

Oh for the days before the McKinneys arrived. In the big picture, it has not been all that long ago that begat their immediate impact. Sammy Mac, with his brash grip on Earthly ties, had beguiled a previously sedate planet, whose course had been so steady, as in gone.

As the days of the “departure” approached, Ekcello’s behavior was most curious. Never before had he displayed such interest in the spaceships of the Expository, specifically NEWFOUNDLANDER.

While the humans sleep, the Gifted meditate and Null dream, he spends time there under the auspices of checking every circuit for reliability. His supposed reasoning is that even a mothballed hunk of exotic alloy can degrade over time. That segment of hard physics is universal.

But he would always be there alone… exploring the dark corners of his existence…


The NULL Solution =

Descending into darkness by Des-Schatten-Schelm on deviant art

Episode 186


page 180

The NULL Solution = Episode 155

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The NULL Solution = Episode 155

…All the unending speculation about may be coming to an end…

Skaldic and Sam are impatiently waiting, when Chasonn and Deimostra finally do get back.

“Let’s get this show on the road Chase! We have a planet to save or a code to crack… doesn’t matter in which order we do it.” Sampson McKinney has been waiting for an escapade like this for many a cycle. “Forget that old hookah stuff, Skaldy, I have some grog for you to try. This is going to be fun!”

Celeste, Deke, Cerella, Deke, Joyner, Ekcello, Fortan {and Deimostra} are there to give them a proper Eridanus sendoff. Sammy Mac may be treating it lightly, but this mission is a big deal. Anytime you place the guy anywhere near the Terran system, apprehension cannot be far behind. Even in the company of {over}qualified chaperones, on a ship he is not piloting, the proximity of Earth is low-hanging fruit. ‘Just drop me off at that continent to the starboard,’ would be such a tempting request. ‘Secretly, Gus was always his favorite’, would be the reason most often guessed.

With a Seljukian at the helm and an Earthling as a backseat driver, it is the ex-Null-cryptographer who is the star. All his computations have passed muster, as McKinney-centric as they are. The how & why, is McKinney related. The what, where & who have been assigned to Lorgan; the probable author and gatekeeper.

Irrespective of NASA and Earth’s vested interest, this is going to be an Eridanian show, a story that Skaldic can tell his children about – if he ever has them.

All the unending speculation may be coming to an end.

It turns out that journey over to Mars is worth the price of admission. The weight of intergalactic peace hangs in the balance of what amounts to 3 good old boys on a quest for adventure. Chasonn certainly, Sampson yea and Skaldic absolutely have something to prove to themselves; or perhaps someone else.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 155


page 152

The NULL Solution = Episode 148

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The NULL Solution = Episode 148

…When it comes down to it, Deimostra is not spoiled for choice…

Illustration by Byron Eggenschwiler

Speaking of simplistic, that is the very essence of Skaldic the Null. With all the changes coming about on Eridanus, among, about and in between the populated towers with all their social shuffling, the man behind it all matriculates still, in the original Null Tower, albeit in the lofty penthouse.

He also remains a true friend to the other outcasts, namely the Space Family McKinney. While Gifted Cerella works on the nuts & bolts, he remains properly concerned for the earthly visitors and the dark cloud that approaches their true home.

Skaldic has grown particularly close to Deimostra McKinney. It began with him noticing her rapid maturation into an incredible woman and has accelerated at light speed once he solicited her help in solving the Harmonia Query.

With age being a relative term on Eridanus that she became a viable target for his potential affection is not so farfetched. Here is the way aging works on a planet where immortality is a near reality:

  • An individual comes into biological existence
  • 95% of physical growth takes place in 20 Cycles
  • The final 5%+ takes place in the mind
  • The finished product continues with only marginal aging

In the case of Deimostra, she has grown to the equivalent of an adult in her prime, in her own time. She will remain just so, just as it is with the rest of her family. There is something about the excessive humidity that preserves the organic. It slows the metabolism for all. Deimostra is definitely organic and Skaldic has noticed.

Turn around. A chronologically, but not all that emotionally advanced Eridanian is “falling” into that something-something which defies all sense of time/space. When it comes down to it, the Earth woman is not spoiled for choice. Certain erudite mature men have let their curiosity slip out from time to time, but nothing that particularly tickles a girl’s fancy.

As a tag-team problem solving tandem, the divergent pair simply works at every level. They are equals in intelligence and social stature. They have spent one cycle after another attempting to unlock the door to a planet, that neither Skaldic has been to or even care about. He has long viewed Collapsar Axis as the greater issue in theory, but now he cannot minimize the riddle.

The human heart is not nearly as complex. The female protagonist in this tale is impressed with the Null beyond the bounds of logic. She had always doubted the devotion of his friend Offingga even when she {herself} did not factor into the immediate equation. Unable to explain her envy, Deimostra did ignore her… and him for that matter. He was a chum of daddy’s after all. That was then. This is now.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 148


page 146

The NULL Solution = Episode 142

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The NULL Solution = Episode 142

…The very notion of change has the entirety of this previously serene planet, well, verklempt…

Eupepsia at Night

The Tower Eupepsia used to be revered, to the point of near cult status. Ekcello and Fortan and Cerella reside there, as does most of Eridanus’ eldest heritage; the very essence of a proud and refined planet. For endless cycles they have been a model society, one that should be copied wherever else. Eupepsia was deified, as were its occupants.

That did not change, even with the addition of the McKinney clan, with 20 of their Terran years having passed.

The tally of fledgling Joyner has amended that cherished concept. Many of the tradition-strapped-minority, views the youngster as the means to water-down a society that did not need diluting.

If there were actual streets, instead of skyways and byways, those same John Q Eridanians would cross to the opposite side. ‘At least the Nulls look the same,’ is the comparison, that is, once they were allowed to wear the flowing white robes that obscure the illusion of those onerous feet.

Not only does Joyner don footwear, he actually runs… like he is in a hurry; just like those frenetic humans whose feet surely must be on fire.

And Deke McKinney is powerless to alter such perceptions. The very notion of change has the entirety of this previously serene planet, well, verklempt. Most of his time is consumed with concern, not with his family’s status, rather that the citizenry have become obsessed about who is who and what is what.

There is a peculiar inbred in their midst. The youngling can sense the censorship.

“I am treated like a stranger,” Joyner complains to Deke.

“Well you are in a sense, son. You haven’t been here for long and you weren’t born here. That makes you more like a McKinney and less like them. To them, you are different and that makes them wary… it’s not that they don’t like you as a person.”

“They like Deimostra better and she is human!”

“They have watched your Aunt grow up around them. What they know is easier to accept than what they do not. Just be yourself. Do that and I wager that you will be the most popular kid in Eupepsia?”

Deimostra arrives late to the father-son exchange.

“Hey Joyner, do you want to go over to Skaldic’s tower? He has started a puzzle contest; you are good with puzzles… I bet we can win!”

“What is the prize?”

“A ride on one of the spaceships.”

“It is I who will win, Deimostra, but you can help.” A little acceptance goes a long way to bolster his spirits. And chumming with a popular relative does not hurt.

“Go ahead kids and behave yourselves!” grants the senior adult. “Make sure you’re back for the evening meal.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 142


page 140

The NULL Solution = Episode 136

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The NULL Solution = Episode 136

…My money is on my pal Skaldy; none of that lofty nonsense is going on inside his brain, just good old-fashioned deduced reckoning…

Deduced Reckoning

Zoot Suit © 1978, Ignacio Gomez I Smithsonian American Art Museum

Sampson skepticism is festering – his frustration is the norm. “How is it that you can get inside the mind of that Zoot Suit guy, but when it comes to Lorgan, you don’t have a clue?”

“Make that Župzïð, Dad and take it easy on the Eridanians. It’s a big bad universe out there and no one can have all the answers.”

“Whatever. Speaking of answers, my money is on my pal Skaldy. None of that lofty nonsense is going on inside his brain, just good old-fashioned deduced reckoning. He seems to think that confounded riddle has to do with us McKinneys.”

“You think everything revolves around the McKinneys when it does not. We are just a speck in the universe’s eye. And what makes either of you think that the riddle and the sphere are linked?” Deke reasons.

“I give up. How else do you explain something that makes no sense? We’re thinking that everything adds up to Lorgan, right Skaldy?”

Not Ten cycles ago, who would have guessed that a Null would be included in Eridanian policy discussions? It does not hurt his stature that Skaldic has become the adopted blood brother of Sampson J. McKinney.

“I have compiled a plot of ⃝   ’s chaos signature. It has spent more time in the Terran system than anywhere else combined. It makes sense that it is responsible for the rebirth of an entire planet, therefore perfectly capable of construction a response-based entrance barrier.”

If you had been volleyballed back 10 light years like a ping-pong ball, why wouldn’t you make that connection?

“Make sense of the senseless and the Null shall be praised for their contribution to our galaxy.”

Ekcello has not mastered the art of subtle superiority. If Skaldic were not so used to the highhandedness, he would have been offended.

“We will do that!” exclaims the spokesman for the underestimated few.

They have +/- 56 Earth days remaining.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 136


page 134

The NULL Solution = Episode 109

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The NULL Solution = Episode 109

…A modicum of equality will have to do for now…

CHAPTER TEN

Snail’s Pace

Promises are meant to be kept.

Some are deferred.

Skaldic the Null willingly added his Null-ness to the Gifted, with the promise of parity for his people. Ekcello had done his level best to bridge the gap between the Gifted and the Null. However he has not the final word in the matter.

For cycles immemorial, never the tween did meet. The Null had their tower and that was that. Their needs were met more than adequately. And life was good – just happens to be better for the Gifted majority. As in most societies, the majority rules and the majority of Eridanian Gifted believe elevating Skaldic to Gifted status is quite enough. An extra portion of special grog is appropriated for everyone else. Certainly that will do.

Skaldic does not partake in grog, just as he has resisted the temptation of hookah. His judgement is sound and his commitment to his people is as clear as his new robes are white. You can lavish the emperor with new clothes, but you cannot water down what is underneath.

As a small concession, the Null are allowed to roam the planet at certain times in a cycle, not that there is anything fantastic to do outside their tower, but they are allowed to mingle and observe the Gifted way; an unwritten code of conduct unenforced at Null Tower. Little things, like bowing out of common courtesy, not worship and not speaking in the Olde Language, especially not out of tune, are expected behaviors.

In exchange, the Gifted have been instructed to respect the Null and aid them in the indoctrination. Most family units actually have ancestors among the Null population. The difference between the two cultures is esoteric.

A modicum of equality will have to do for now. The Towers were not built in a day.

Just as some riddles are meant to be solved. Some are not.

 


The NULL Solution =

Episode 109


page 108