This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Song Title: Climb upon the Breadnife
M usic: Scomber Acoustic Guitar & M andolin : M irko M ichalzik Additional Samples: Subliminal, onlymeith Didgeridoo : Afrit Arrangement /Production/Remix : Scomber Lyrics: Scomber/BoHeart Vocals: Scomber Backing Vocals: BoHeart = Download
Chapter 3 Drawn to the Bread Knife
Sidings Springs is situated 18km from the small town of Coonabarabran indland New South Wales. Fifteen million years ago the normally stable continent of Australia floated over a hot spot in the Earth’s interior and caused a cataclysmic event as the pressure penetrated the soft crust. A shield volcano, 200 kilometres in diameter spewed relentlessly for 400,000 years. The result was a chunk of Earth lifted 800 hundred metres above the surrounding plain and dotted with numerous dykes and fissures. These are long since extinct, the softer ground around eroded away and today the mountain range sits high and proud over the western plains of New South Wales, a ragged scar on the grassy plains. The Observatory stands elevated and clear, reaching into the dry air off the desert plains stretching to the west. This is Charlie’s land. Sacred land. The Warrumbungles. His father and his fathers before him had carved their existence amongst the basalt spires and winding rivers. Kangaroos and
emus by the thousand, the streams full of fish and tortoises. Charlie remembered the stories that his grandfather had told him as a child. The aboriginal Australians saw themselves as part of the earth. Land, body and spirit as one. Everything around you had an explanation. It was the Dreamtime, when the Earth was created, and the rainbow serpent carved its way through the rocks to form the valleys and rivers . Time was a transient thing, held in suspension by dreaming and the means with which a soul progressed along its journey, eventually completing the circle to the place it began. Charlie remembered how his grandfather would explain the stars. “They are pebbles tossed across a flowing mantle. Like flowing rivers, across the night sky, determining our fate and our fortune.” The Kamilaroi clan of Aborigines had belonged to the Warrumbungles for close to forty thousand years. Now they have scattered to the cities, lost to their homeland. Charlie felt a dull ache in his heart as he realised he was one of the few remaining with a daily connection to his homeland. It was getting dark as Charlie climbed the steep track that wound its way along the eastern edge of the canyon. The moon hung low, ready to set, with just a thin crescent rimming one side of the disk. Short and sharp thunderstorms carved narrow paths through the canyon. In fading light, Charlie saw the last golden outline of the rocky peaks and walls to the west. He remembered coming out here with his father and grandfather. The path they chose may have differed but there was only ever one destination.
A one metre by 30 metre basalt spike towering above the thick hakea bushes. The breadknife. They might walk up via the river and through the canyon or over the high plateau but they would always reach the breadnife. It was a place to complete something of importance. Tribal elders had once held court there, exacting punishment and making peace with neighbouring tribes. Charlie knew this country well. As a child Charlie's extended family would often refer to him as "Walooga", the single child. It wasn't until much later in life that Charlie discovered that the name was really just meant for him. Though the translation was difficult, not just in words but in context, it basically equated to the western concept of "prophet". For years Charlie felt angry with his father for not fully explaining how he was "Walooga" and what he was supposed to do with this burden. Was he supposed to have kept his people on the land? How could you be a prophet if there is nobody left to enlighten? Charlie also knew enough about history to know that prophets generally appeared when there was a need for one and worse of all, were generally dead and buried long before anyone realize their significance. In the emptiness around him he wondered if anyone would ever hear his sermon on the mount, let alone what he would say when he got there. It was getting increasingly difficult to negotiate the steep slope as he wound his way through the scrub over the last boulders before the plateau. The darkness was playing tricks with his eyes and the constant shrill of cicadas and crickets made it harder to concentrate on the washed out track. He thought about Corey, and how he would hope to begin to
explain his theory on the Mars data. But he still had some thinking to do. He hoped that Ray had sent Corey the latest data. Take a look in the mirror Corey could hardly believe his eyes. After restoring his software, he checked his email and was pleased to see a new data set of Mars that he could compare to those of the lost probes. He sat down, coffee in one hand and keyboard on the other and lined the data up. It didn't matter that he didn't have the older data anymore. All he had to do is run the data through his algorithm, print out a matrix and then take a look, something like an ink blot. After studying the patterns of numbers and letters he noticed the new matrix did not have a bulge at the end of each wave like his original data. At the speed of light (zero on the matrix), time seemed to have been slowed by approximately 3.14 seconds in the disaster data. Assuming the speed of light is constant, this placed the point of disturbance at 1200 kilometres beyond Mars' orbit. Yet the "disturbance" seemed to be well defined and sat in a perfect geostationary orbit, which any first year student would tell you was impossible at this altitude. It was then Corey noticed that there were footnotes with the data. Ray had included a note that read; "We checked the magnasphere around Mars again, and there seems be a thousand fold increase in activity on the far side of Mars. For the next six months Earth is chasing Mars in its orbit towards opposition and we don't really get a look at about 40%
of the surface and the space behind it. The Mars Surveyor probe is ten years old and on its last legs but reports no major change to the Martian surface in the last eight years it has been orbiting. Something big is happening. Either Mars is somehow ready to change her orbital tilt on a massive scale - something we don't quite understand, or there is an object the size of Manhattan, weighing about one sixteenth of our moon hiding from us on the other side. Be careful Corey. I'm sure we're not the only ones to have noticed it... Ray Phillips." Corey repeated the words, "an object the size of Manhattan and one sixteenth the weight of the moon." It occurred to him that such an object, real or just electromagnetic, could feasibly act as a mirror, bouncing back a radio signal. This might explain how his mirror theory fits in. At light speed, three point four one seconds is about double the distance between the Martian upper atmosphere closest to us and the phantom on the other side. The earth had known for the last hundred and forty years that Mars has two so called "moons". Deimos, a 35 km long potato shaped piece of rock and its little brother, Phobos, a much lower orbiting chunk, hurtling in a perilously close path around Mars. It encircles the planet twice daily rising in the west and setting in the east. It is so low that it is not visible from all parts of the planet. In a mere 20 million years it will crash into the Martian surface. It suddenly dawned to him that if a phantom object existed with that mass it would surely be seen in rather large change to the orbit of these moons. He picked up the phone to Siding Springs and dialed the number.
Ray answered the phone in his typical laconic manner. "Hi Ray, its Corey, I've got to get in touch with Charlie. There's something funny going on with Mars.” "Don't worry Corey, I'm on top of it. But I wish that Charlie would have told me what was going on. I guess you're going to ask me about the orbits of our two little Greek friends; Terror and Fear. "Well let me say that poor little Phobos as changed his apogee by about 10 kms and its orbit has become much more elliptical. I've never seen anything like it in all my life, but then again I've only been alive sixty one years. I wish Charlie had involved me earlier. Charlie's Manhattan theory seems to be the only plausible explanation. If the body is purely magnetic, an aurora gone crazy, it should have a gravity effect no where near what we are seeing. Mars just doesn't have the mass or the magnetosphere to create a magnetic storm of this magnitude. Yet the effect looks so strong at a single point that its possible that good old Newton's laws breakdown under such conditions. Time is bent and matter can transform freely with the energy around it. A total flux where energy is the natural state and matter is just a fortunate consequence. As a parabola in four dimensions, this may explain your pye, Corey." Corey responded, "but how does the mirror fit in? and then began to answer his own question. “Surely the last few seconds of the Mars probe is clearly an image of the previous 3.14 seconds. I watched a couple of guys playing pool the other night at the local bar, and looked at their reflection in the wall mirror behind me. The right handed player now looked left handed but he was still positioned at the
same end of the table. The positional data corresponding to the last few seconds of the transmission is completely reversed. The right handed player not only looks like a lefty but is playing his shot from the other end of the table. What we are seeing is therefore not a mirror, at least any kind that I know of, but more a fresh image. It's like when you face a person, your right is their left and your left is their right. If you have ever raced one of those remote controlled cars towards you you'll know what I mean. We could be looking into the back end of some kind of black hole and being a shown a different version of ourselves". Ray leaned back in his chair and was surprised that Corey hadn't already asked him to take another look at Mars. "You know Corey, it wouldn't be a bad idea to focus our attention squarely on that patch of space on the far side of Mars. I've got 24 hours to get it done before the rest of the guys get back from their Christmas break and then I'm stuck behind a desk again." I have already spoken to my mates down at Stromolo and over at Parkes and they are willing to give me 40 minutes air time at eight o’clock this evening. We have positioned the three radio telescopes in an array, so effectively our combined dish is 400 km wide. What ever this object is we should get a fair look at it. Corey could feel the hairs stand up on the back of his neck. "Can you call me right away if you find anything new?" He said vaguely, his mind already racing towards a thousand possibilities. "Oh, and I can tell you that Charlie's OK." The flying doctor guys spotted him camped on the very top of the Breadknife this morning burning a small fire. Dammed if I can understand the attraction. If I did that they would arrest me but if you're Kamilaroi its OK. I hope the old bugger doesn't slip and get himself killed."
“Walooga” Charlie had fought his way through the hakea scrub to reach the breadknife that evening. It was about eleven o'clock, the moon had set and the stars above shone as brightly as they could. The breadknife was the eroded remains of a volcanic dyke. Lava forced through a weak point in the sedimentary rock long since weathered away. Now only a jagged bony blade. Charlie located the meeting stone and sat down on it. From his small pack he pulled out a number of 35mm film canisters. He then removed his clothes. His fingers felt the rock in the darkness, walking across its surface like his ancestors had for the last forty thousand years. They brushed across the smoothened surface until he found four shallow wells in the rock. He opened a couple of canisters and poured out the powdery ochre paint base into one of the depressions. He then patiently mixed his powders with water, one the brilliant ivory white of crushed pyrite. He looked up fixing his gaze skyward, and began to apply the paint to his torso and face just like the last time he had done this, 30 years ago. The last time, at his ailing fathers urging, he had sought council with his homeland, a confused young man. On that occasion he was led out of the wilderness with a plan to rescue his life from the cycle of alcohol and petty crime his childhood friends were caught up in. He put the last of the ochre mix onto his forehead and fixed his gaze on the Pleiads; the seven sisters, a cluster of stars, nothing more than a faint smudge in the city, but here a brilliant clutch of pearls. The brightest star Alcone, aligned perfectly with the top of the spire towering in front of him.
With purpose and reverence he rose to his feet and began to climb the breadknife, his fingers and toes searching and finding the cracks in the granite face. His aging body now seemingly fit and pliable, he reached the top and surveyed the view around him. Total darkness except for the dazzling ferment above. It was too dark to see the land and horizon and it gave him the feeling of being elevated above the Earth, just that little bit closer to the stars above. The actual summit of the bread knife is of a flat topped wedge of granite about one by three metres at the top and forming the start of series of other jagged fingers of granite each lower than the last. It certainly doesn't look like a breadknife when you are close to it. More like a cathedral. Charlie sat down, his legs crossed and limp, in the way his people had before him. He slowed his breathing, and descended into a deep sleep.
END CHAPTER 3