Corky said, “Mike’s already taken video depositions from all of us civilians for hisdocumentary, as well as from most of the top NASA specialists. ” “He hasn’t told me yet.” An amused grin crossed Corky’s lips. “How the heck is NASA planning on getting the meteorite out? Norahhad simply aimed the laser beam downward, melting through the ice until the beam hit themeteorite. ” Rachel asked, pointing to several orange highway conespositioned around the tower at what appeared to be random locations. That’s short for ‘step hereand break ankle.’“ She picked up one of the pylons to reveal a circular bore hole that plunged like abottomless well into the depths of the glacier. “Wedrilled holes all over the glacier for a structural continuity check. Each looked like a translucent telephonepole and was marked with a bright orange tag.And I’ll bet my National Medalthat you’re next on his list.” Rachel turned and eyed him. “You’re a White House intelligence liaison who dealsin clarification and authentication of data, right? Sexton,” Ming chimed in, “a deposition from you would give thisdocumentary a whole new dimension of credibility. The stone, being too dense to be melted by a laser, began absorbing the laser’s heat,eventually getting warm enough to melt the ice around it. Rachel had seen similar conesdispersed around the dome. As in normal archeology, thenumber of years an object has been buried is indicated by how deep beneath the surface it’s found. “Those ice cores are a frozen geologic record.” Sheled Rachel over to the tubes.
The melt water accumulating over the meteorite simply seepedback down around the edges of the stone to refill the shaft. So when an object is discovered under theice, we can date that object’s arrival by how much ice has accumulated on top of it. The layers varied between paper thinto about a quarter of an inch thick. “Yeah, she’s amazing.” “And for the record,” Tolland nodded, “Dr. NASA came upwith the exact same year of impact well before we even got here. Mangor drilled her own cores,ran her own tests, and confirmed NASA’s work.” Rachel was impressed. Through the swirling fog, the hulking shape rose out of the ice. Threaded through the winches, iron cables banked upward over a series of pulleys atopthe tower. Beneath the tower, several winches had been screwed into steel plates affixed to the ice withheavy bolts.Tolland threw another piece of ice into the water, but nothing happened. I think they died. They were murdered, Norah scoffed. I realize much of your icedating data is built on the premise that the glacier is a solid block, but Premise? Ill take a proper water sample, and show you this water contains no saltwater plankton‑living or dead! Somethings got to be wrong with this refractometer! Were showing a three percent saltwater mix in the meteorite shaft, which contradicts the glaciology report that the meteorite was encased in a pristine freshwater glacier. He paused. According to NASAs density scans, the ice sheet was rock solid. In addition, Ekstrom was saying, Dr. The Easter Bunny swam in and ate them. Corky glared at her. Men lie. Yeah, about sleeping with other women, but never about bioluminescent plankton. Tolland sighed. Rachel and the others looked on as Norah used a sterile pipette on a string to harvest a water sample from the melt pool. Theres also plankton present. Ekstrom looked almost angry. Hundreds of feet of frozen glacier on all sides of the meteorite. And yet as Rachel imagined how density scans were taken, a strange thought occurred to her . Mangors core samples confirmed the solidity of the glacier. Exactly! Which leaves us no explanation whatsoever for the salt and plankton. Actually, Rachel said, the boldness of her voice surprising even herself.