THE NULL SOLUTION = Episode 118
…We have sunk too much into this operation to merely turn back with our tail between our legs…
They traveled past and through mountains, valleys, sea and plain, no problem. Now with a clear path to their objective, it is no dice.
With no other choice, Gus makes a 360° loop around the massive structure, determined to find a way in. Fuzzy math still stands in their way. Unfortunately, there was no way of knowing this outcome in advance.
Whether by land or by space, it’s solve the damned riddle or else.
“Instead of driving all the way back to the landing sight, let’s call the drone over to this side and drop it down closer to the surface. We need to think a bit, talk to Crip, and plan our next move.” What else is there to do? “I’m getting hungry and all the good food is on the drone.”
Reconstituted ham will have to do for dinner. The King Ranch Easter egg hunt 2055 will go on without Marscie’s daddy. That he misses this April 18th Sunday was planned. What Roy Crippen has in mind may jeopardize Thanksgiving.
“We cannot afford to scrub another mission to Mars, Gus. You’re not flying a SEx sortie all by yourself at SOL+++. We have sunk too much into this operation to merely turn back with our tail between our legs. We need water samples, surface and ground, a complete atmospheric profile and one of every plant species you and Rick can lay your hands on.” This is not what this McKinney was built for. “Put your education to work, son. This is the meat & potatoes of space exploration.”
“I prefer champagne and caviar.”
“You can’t afford it… you forfeited your mission hazard pay, remember?”
“So it’s vacuum beakers and freeze-dried horticulture?”
“Yes…, but you can also scan the hell out of that building! It has to have some other purpose that we’re not aware of.”
“Not without solving that damned riddle first.”
The riddle; it all comes down to bad math and its unsubstantiated quizmaster.
A year that once held promise for positive change: for the Null of Eridanus, for the pilgrims aboard Collapsar Axis or for amateur cryptographers everywhere, time has slowed to pace of a snail.