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I'm running a Vimscript that retrieves the result of a message and redirects it to a vimscript variable. When the contents of the vimscript variable are displayed, it has a ^@ in it. What does that represent and how can I get rid of it?

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^@, if you look at man ascii, is the ASCII NUL character. And from the help:

Technical detail:               *NL-used-for-Nul*
<Nul> characters in the file are stored as <NL> in memory.  In the display
they are shown as "^@".  The translation is done when reading and writing
files.  To match a <Nul> with a search pattern you can just enter CTRL-@ or
"CTRL-V 000".  This is probably just what you expect.  Internally the
character is replaced with a <NL> in the search pattern.  What is unusual is
that typing CTRL-V CTRL-J also inserts a <NL>, thus also searches for a <Nul>
in the file.  {Vi cannot handle <Nul> characters in the file at all}

You should look at eliminating it from the source. If that's not an option, do, using <c-@> as given in the docs:

:s/^@//g

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