The NULL Solution = Episode 21

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The NULL Solution = Episode 21

…the mystery sphere suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin…

Gus McKinney is pondering on where God lives or where in the infinite Universe this relatively tiny round intruder comes from.

Stellar Explorer was never meant to be anything but a point-to-point prototype. Here and now he is being asked it to be a scout cruiser. To complicate matters, he has lost communication with Mission Control. He won’t be speaking with them until he comes from around the bright stationary furnace.

The “dark” side of the Sun never used to be a hazardous place, seeing that at any given time, about ½ of the solid solar system contents lay on opposite sides of the glowing anchor. That the mystery sphere he is spying seems to be concealed contradictory to Earth cannot be a coincidence.  If it were completely stationary, it would have been seen by someone by now.

No human has ever laid eyes on this thing. Even Messenger, the NASA made probe designed to give the world a close look at Mercury and then meter solar flares & such, had not found it because the people who control the cameras weren’t looking for anything else.

Gus’ eyes are young and just fine. His fleet ride’s sensors aren’t attuned to analyze anything other than those related to navigation. “Jeepers creepers, if that isn’t the damndest thing!”

Not only that, it is moving away from Stellar Explorer like it has seen a ghost. The feeling is mutual.

Not only does it move, but it suddenly disappears from the scene completely, with not so much as a goodbye, how do you do, or clue as to its origin.

“Now that is downright impolite.” Out of sight – out of mind, there is no reason to linger. He expresses his suspicions to himself, “I wouldn’t know a wormhole if it bit me in the butt, but that is where that puppy had to go!”

Borrowing trouble is not on today’s to-do list. Roy’s instructions were to do a sun flyby and come back to Earth when Harper Lea Bassett was on her way back to D.C. So, with a wry smile on his face, and the love of a good wife in his heart, Gus McKinney guides Stellar Explorer from out behind the yellow dwarf star.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 21


page 25

The NULL Solution = Episode 15

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The NULL Solution = Episode 15

…“But that unusual signature is coming from Earth’s general direction.” Any happening over toward “home” is a cause for Sampson McKinney to pause…

–In a cruel twinkle from a faraway star, instead of Gus being late for a date, he mysteriously drops from the near-solar grid.–

From Earth’s angle, there is no tangible sign of the fastest spacecraft this side of the Orion Nebula. It’s hard to trust the raw physics and the unfamiliar position of Stellar Explorer; there is no dark side of the Sun.

This cannot be happening. The Space Family McKinney is an enigma bound by misfortune.

Once again, Roy Crippen is left grasping for a handful of nothing.

“I’m picking up an odd object signature,” sensors on the Eridanian craft wouldn’t lie to Sammy Mac.

The fuss that a space vehicle makes, hurtling at multiple the speed of light, is quite noteworthy. In comparison the fastest recorded asteroid travels at the relative snail’s pace of 68K miles per hour. There is no such thing as skulking about unnoticed, as it slices thru time and space.

“Odd how?” asks Deke .

Though a quick, study Sampson is a SOL newbie and some of Defender’s instruments make his head hurt, “It’s phasing in and out. I would consider it an illusion, if it weren’t Image result for tick tock gifso darn consistent… and then it isn’t.” Tick tock, “Now it’s gone.”

“We cannot linger with that now. We must contact the Seljuk as soon as we are able.” Laser-like focus is an Eridanian attribute. Cerella’s civilization is paralyzed, the answers they seek are logistically polar opposite in this quadrant and they are gobbling up space in that civilization’s own ship.

“But that unusual signature is coming from Earth’s general direction.” Any happening over toward “home” is a cause for pause.

“Did you think that Crip wouldn’t test out their new SOL technology, did you?” Deke is keenly aware that his younger brother would likely be piloting any SOL vehicle from his home planet… unless those Koreans got hold of {ripped-off} the tech. They’re at a loss to explain.

They don’t see what Gus is seeing from with a bird’s eye view.


The NULL Solution =

Bird’s Eye View by Kyle L. Poirier,

Episode 15


page 21

The NULL Solution = Episode 13

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The NULL Solution = Episode 13

…Speaking of supposed-to-be’s {what-ifs and cold days in hell}, President Harper Lea Bassett is closing in on the would-be festivities…

“Take it easy, Fletch. While I was poking around in there last night, I discovered that SEx can achieve escape velocity on its own. The reinforced hull, along with the molecular stabilizer, will allow Gus to take that baby out solo.”

The youngest McKinney {that Earth knows about} is suiting up as he speaks.

“Somebody please inform our President about the change in plans, after the fact.”

“But…”

“I know what you’re thinking. We are going to show file footage of the boys inside the SEx. Nobody will know the difference.”

Related image“But what about taking off without a piggyback? Somebody is going to notice.”

“Gus is going to be past the moon before anyone knows he’s off the pad. We’re all supposed to be on the receiving stand, isn’t that correct.”

Speaking of supposed-to-be’s, what-ifs and cold days in hell, President Bassett is closing in on the would-be festivities. Few things are more important to a figurehead than advertised appearances. There was a “leak” a week back {not weak back} about her welcoming the heroes of hyperspace in person. She has long since laid claim to bringing SOL technology to the light of day, when in fact it is only her pen and the insistence of her political backers that are truly responsible.

“Where are our men-of-the-hour?” is the most asked question.

“This guy Shriver is being a leaky O-ring,” is how Francine Bouchette-Crippen describes him, for everyone in the inner circle with an earbud. She is not as cranky as her husband, but at their station in life, they don’t suffer fools lightly.

All Prez Roy does is point to the unique contrail left behind by the Stellar Explorer. He makes up a non-treasonable explanation, “There they go, Madame President. We wanted to give you a live demonstration. How will that play in D.C.?”

To support his elaborate smokescreen, he summons a video of Gus and Deke waving to the camera, curiously resembling the one from their original roundtrip to the fringe of the solar system – and back – mostly {before Deke vanished}. The screen behind the reviewing stand is innocently playing that recording and another showing long-range footage, which elicits rousing applause from all the space-geeks and political freaks who would not know the difference between an asteroid and a comet.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 13


page 19

The NULL Solution = Episode 12

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The NULL Solution = Episode 12

…We’re going to take Stellar Explorer out for another demonstration run, to the Sun and back…

Roy Crippen needs to brush-up on his tap-dancing moves. President Harper Lea Bassett has landed at the Galveston Launch Facility with personal glory on her mind. She has been lucky enough to be elected leader of the ever morphing “free world” during the debut of honest-to-goodness viable space travel. Gone, or shortly so, are the days when it takes 4 months to get to Mars. Folks from around the globe are falling all over themselves to line up for the forthcoming Mars City outpost.

Whether she deserves a gram of credit is going to be history’s business.

Her lapdog right-hand-minion-lackey, otherwise known as Chief of Staff Dane Shriver, had been sent ahead to orchestrate a credit taking – made for satellite – must see spectacle, with Madame President playing the part of maestro. He thinks he has done just that.

But Prez Roy has other plans.–

No Deke McKinney is a real problem. Real American heroes are destined to be propped up for their insatiably adoring public, people who are used to living life with the immediacy of their hand-held device lifelines; where they see what happens, nearly as it happens.

Deke McKinney is otherwise indisposed.

Roy Crippen has his hunches, but hunches will not cut it here and now.

He has a plan.

We’re going to take Stellar Explorer out for another demonstration run, to the Sun and back… anywhere but around this town.”

Fletcher Fitch is the first to raise his hand. “The SLAV crew isn’t ready to go. They have been furloughed to Palm Springs.”

“Really, Palm Springs, really?” Roy is playing dumb. He’s the one who sent them there… purposely for such an occasion as this. “We don’t need ‘em!”

Is he nuts? Engineer Fitch is thinking just that. No SLAV, no go.


The NULL Solution =

Image result for are you nuts gif

Episode 12


page 18

The NULL Solution = Episode 6

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The NULL Solution = Episode 6

Sammy Mac, of Eridanian repute, has an eager partner in restarting the mothballed fleet of starships, namely Deke McKinney…

“Did Gussy make it back in one piece?”

There is nothing more one person, sitting on the sidelines can do, but to ask obvious questions. The day that Sampson J. McKinney experiences hyperphysical transmigration, the Universe will collapse upon itself. Unlike his star-crossed bride, he has crafted a niche of his own, more in the line of two hands on a steering wheel.

“Of course Sam, we knew that he would,” she addresses the concept of taking a peek ahead in any given timestem – without meddling of course.

Sammy Mac, of Eridanian repute, has an eager partner in restarting the mothballed fleet of starships, namely Deke McKinney of left-behind {and mate to Cerella/Princess Heir} fame. He has done his best to temper his father’s skepticism of this planet’s time-traveling ways.

“You have to trust that Ekcello has a firm grasp of Gussy’s timestem.”Related image

“Okay Deke, I’ll give you that, but everything that happens to him back in 2051.25 will have an effect on us here in 2052.50.”

“Think about it Dad, right now Crip, Fitch & the gang are trying to figure out how Stellar Explorer tripled SOL, not to mention me not returning from the mission. I bet that Fitch has pulled out whatever hair he has left. Can’t you hear him trying to make the numbers match up? {‘The SOL crystals must be more responsive to the cooling inducers than we thought.’} It will take him months to decipher the Eridanian modifications.”

“Yeah, baffled, befuddled & bewildered for sure, but SOL x 3 is peanuts compared to the TSF Drives of the Eridanus prototype we have our hands on, right here in the Expository. These babies haven’t even been out of the atmosphere and I can feel the speed; passing by stars like they are so many streetlights.”

“We may never get the chance to experience TSF.”

This is the rundown of Sampson’s understanding he used to describe this advanced method of physical space travel to his son:

Time-Space-Fold travel is an original concept, at least in this end of the “Great Expanse”. For the sake of comparison, let’s use a $1 dollar bill, of the long-dead paper currency used on Earth, as an example:

  1. Lay it out in front of you on the desk. It measures roughly six inches from end to end.
  2. Fold it in half. Now the distance from Point A to Point B is practically nothing, if not fractional: 6” to mere milli-measurments.
  3. Even at a snail’s pace, Points A&B are really close.

Now let’s translate that to space:

  1. When that currency is folded once it is close.
  2. When it folded multiple times, ironically, it is closer. The fabric of space is compressed even more.
  3. The speed-of-light is expanded exponentially with each and every fold.


The NULL Solution =

ORION

Episode 6


page 12

The NULL Solution = Episode 4

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The NULL Solution = Episode 4

…How about the old shell-game… they’re there, no they’re not here, they’re in the air… do you see where I’m headed…

“I just got word that the President is on her way Roy, should arrive in the morning,” Francine Bouchette-Crippen gives her husband the news.

“She doesn’t take NO for an answer, does she?” His best efforts to control the message are about to be neutered. “Do you have any suggestions on how to handle this? She’ll want to congratulate the newest space heroes and Deker will be conspicuous by his absence.”

How about the old shell-game… they’re there, no they’re not here, they’reRelated image in the air… do you see where I’m headed?

That strategy will have to do.

Until Harper Lea Bassett’s untimely arrival, Roy needs to rehash some of what he knows, in an attempt to crack the vexing missing Deke McKinney mystery.

To that end, he must remove emotion from the equation and get down to the nuts ‘n bolts: the Stellar Explorer {SEx} itself. To do so, he goes as far as to kick Fletcher Fitch away from his obsession of dissecting the differences between the old ship and the new mysteriously improved version. There will be plenty of time for that later.–

— Any machine made by man’s hand has a “feel” to it, an intangibility that may defy conventional acumen. With all the interior lights glaring or the busy busyness of the SOL hangar at the Galveston Launch Facility {GLF} it is difficult to separate the mental from the metal.

“I want this hangar cleared. Everybody go home, come back tomorrow and when you do, please wear your official NASA SOL polo shirts, the President is dropping in for a visit.” Former President Roy has a way with his underlings, an assertive manner that inspires, not inciting. As he addresses the semicircle of men and women, he looks directly at each and every one of them, “And when the topic of the McKinneys comes up you don’t know nothin’, which if you are like me, is not far from the truth.  I’m telling you to fib for the good of the program. Our honesty policy will be back in effect the day after tomorrow. See you at 0500 hours.”


The NULL Solution =

Episode 4


page 10

The NULL Solution = Episode 2

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The NULL Solution = Episode 2

…Deke is gone and SEx {ÊS ÊX, its demonstrative nickname} is off-the-charts fast, with a reinforced hull and a molecular stabilizer that we didn’t even know existed…

–It is currently 2051 and much has transpired in the intervening two decades:

 

  • Mars has been visited by 17 probes and landers from numerous countries, but remains unoccupied by any human being

    World Space Consortium

  • Thanks to the New Mayflower’s rescue attempt and ultimate exploration, a plethora of firsthand insights about The Red Planet have been executed
  • The World Space Consortium has disbanded due to the distaste of human lives being “lost”
  • There have been 3 more Commander-in-Chiefs since Prez Roy, all of whom have a vested curiosity about the SOL Project

“What about the cabin security? What do those cameras show?”

“Nothing after you guys lit the fuse, Gus, nothing until you made the Pluto turnaround. The funny thing is, we could not access that video feed until after you landed. Either way the result is the same,” Roy recaps, Deke is gone and SEx {ÊS ÊX, its demonstrative nickname} is off-the-charts fast, with a reinforced hull and a molecular stabilizer that we didn’t even know existed – isn’t that right Fitch?”

The man formerly known as Aldona Afridi tries unsuccessfully to mask his humiliation. Back in Talibanistan, they and the Koreans would have banished him to the rugged winter mountains for his lack of explanation. “We never considered the change in molecular structure of the human body as it crosses the SOL barrier.  I only calculated g-forces. How could I overlook molecular structure?”

“None of us did, Fletch, no need to beat yourself up.”

“What would have happened without a molecular stabilizer,” Francine is cautiously curious, “one body, two bodies or no bodies?

“Look dear, we’ve got Gus and we’ll have to guess the rest.”

His mother by any other name, she hugs Gus McKinney as tightly as she can. He will have to do for now. Deke McKinney is formally considered MIA, however unexplained.

The rest of the world cannot know the puzzling outcome of mankind’s first jaunt to the edge of the Solar System, at least for the time being.


The NULL Solution =

Episode 2


page 8