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

Nearer to Heaven, Closer to Hell

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Noël Coward

“I don’t know what Chicago’s coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.”

― Noël CowardCollected Sketches and Lyrics

Tall Buildings

“Mr. Coward actually used London as the city in the queet–my editorial meddling.”


33 North LaSalle, a Devil of an Address (Ch 3 pgs 45)

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33 North LaSalle, Chicago

Eddie, for his part, escorts his road warrior brother back out to his truck, “My cousin Jimmy drives for England Trucking, part of the million mile club, but he drives forth and back to New York twice a week. Do you drive in Ohio? Make sure you watch out for the speed traps……”

Once the initial shock of discovering Fanny safe and sound, the requisite debriefing are out-of-the-way, Constance leaves her in Martin’s care for the remainder of the day. The excitement meter needle needs to return to normal levels.

Eddie is re-gathered for the task of taking her to 33 N. LaSalle St. She is going to see what she can find out about World Agnostica. What is their deal?

“That building at 33 LaSalle is one of the last skyscrapers built before The Depression. I don’t get many fares from there, bankers are cheapskates.”

“That’s a bank building, interesting?”

“I don’t know if you know, being an outsider, but 39-whatever means you’ll be going to the 39th floor?”

“Thanks for the tip Eddie,” she looks up at the top of the building. “If I’m not back in 30 minutes, call the Coast Guard.”

“The Coast Guard is another name for the sissy’s navy. I don’t think they have guns on their boats……..”

“I was only kidding. Instead of waiting, let’s park the car and you come in with me. I may need the back-up, but stay 20 feet behind me.”

“If anyone asks me what I’m doing, I’ll tell them I’m here for a mortgage on my house.”

“Meet me on the 38th floor and don’t talk to anyone.”

He visually zips his mouth shut.

“You’ll need a lock for that.”

The right elevator takes Constance up to the #39 she had pushed, noticing that it wasn’t as worn as most of the others. After several stops and starts on the way, she alone disembarks at the final floor of the building. She steps out into an incomplete level, without form or function; no carpeting, no paint, no lighting and not a single non-believing soul to be seen.

She begins looking into each of the six doors on the floor starting with 39660. Empty. 39661, empty. 39662, 39663, 39664 + 39665 all empty, yet spotless, floor to ceiling. Before she gains access to the last, Eddie pops out the left lift. “They saved on furniture!”

“Nothing here, but I feel like I’m being watched.” She looks back at where she’s been. “Look at my footprints, they last for three seconds then disappear.”

“Footprints, do you see the water vapor coming out when you speak?” Eddie is getting the creeps.

“Do you hear that,” she asks reacting to the sound of whispering?

“Hear what? I had a grenade go off inside a building at the Battle of Verdun. Didn’t see the kraut who tossed it, but it bounced into another room, my ears still ring some.”

“It’s like a half-dozen people came up with you. The chatter is non stop, but I can’t pick out any single words. It’s babbling.”

“I’ll take your word for it. Can we leave?”

“I have one more office to check.”

“With Fanny safe at Martin’s house, Constance & Eddie D. tackles a building that may give up some clues……or something else???? The Devil?”