Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Fourteen) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Fourteen) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Paradoxically, it took a few years working with other wildly competitive people for me to learn to think of success as a team sport.  To instill and reinforce expeditionary behaviour—essentially, the ability to work in a team productively and cheerfully in tough conditions—astronauts do survival training, on water and on land (p. 104 An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth).

  • Chris Hadfield

Rita stares out the rear passenger seat of the Martin’s Tesla as the couple drive her and Zsofia to the University of Sydney.  When Rita awoke in the morning Taz was sitting at her bed breathing onto her chest.  She had pulled her sheet lower and noticed tattoos of two, coiled rainbow snakes, one over each of her breasts.  Shaking she had slid the sheet even lower.  Just above her belly button and below her lower ribs were two running dingos.  “Just until you leave Australia,” she had heard Dilga say into her thoughts.  She worried about what Aurora and Oliver would think.  It was unavoidable they would notice because she had to either wear a bikini or halter top in the blistering weather.  Only when she knocked on Iluka’s door to get Sophia did she get a gasp come from Iluka.  Zsofia must have thought it strange when Iluka ran her index finger over Rita’s chest and just above her bellybutton.  But Zsofia had seen many strange things as Rita’s best friend and made no mention whether she noticed the new tattoos.

“Just inside the court of the university you’ll see a girl wearing a University of Sydney crest,” Aurora tells them as a gothic sandstone building appears up ahead.

“She’ll have frizzy hair and blue eyes and her name is Merindah,” Oliver adds.

As the Tesla stops in front of the ancient front entrance to the university Rita gets out first.  She waits for Zsofia before walking under the arch with the lion fresco to the left and horse to the right.  At the very top of the lintel lies a creature that appears to have a lion’s body but the coiled tail and face of a monkey.

“Interesting frescoes,” she hears Zsofia say as they walk past the arched doorway into the courtyard.

Just as they step into the courtyard Rita sees a girl with dark brown wavy hair that falls over her shoulders.  Her eyebrows are black and thick and she has amazing blue eyes that shine beyond the dark tan of her face.  Rita notices the crest with the lion and four, eight pointed stars stitched onto the left side of the girl’s purple halter top.

 “Rita and Zsofia?” the girl asks when she sees them.  Her eyes linger on the rainbow snake tattoos on Rita’s chest.  “I’m Merindah,” she continues absent mindedly. 

Rita instantly recognizes that Merindah is a mix of indigenous and Cook’s—as Dilga would say–parenthood.  “Pleasure to meet you,” she and Zsofia say at the same time.

“I’ll take you the Sustainable Management classroom and get you settled,” Merindah tells them.  “We only have six weeks to prepare a presentation for the replacement of coal for substitute and environmentally friendly renewable energy.”

“And what to do about plastics,” Rita adds.

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Thirteen) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Thirteen) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The more we define our differences the more observers notice the similarities.

She remembers Iluka revving up her Super Soco as Liam helped her onto the back.  Something rubbery and tight pressed against the skin of her abdomen.

“I’ve bungeed her to you,” Liam said.

“Let you know how it goes,” Iluka said.

Rita felt herself moving but not on the Earthereal plain.

She’s on a river of sand the colour of silver under a crescent moon.  The river of sand piles into a hill under her feet increasing her perspective.  In the distance are giant land shapes she thinks she’s seen in pictures but the light is dim and mist flows everywhere.  Walking towards her are two indigenous men, naked but for bodypainting.  These men represent the poison drawn out of Australia herself.  She knows the one on the right is Bamapana a member deity of the Yolngu from the Northern Territory.  Covering Bamapana’s chest and abdomen is a white crocodile but with its head facing down as its tail wraps up to Bamapana’s left ear.  His deep set eyes are squinting and his yellow teeth are on display in a cruel smile.

Meanwhile, to his left, with his monstrous phallus swelling is Julana.  She sees that Julana has a lustful grin and realizes what he intends when he rapidly digs into the sand.  Rita grimaces.  Julana is a rapist.  She tries to run but her right calve muscle burns and refuses to let her move.

“Muldjewangk belongs to this island,” Bamapan says while continuing to walk towards her.  “You don’t so Muldjewangk attacked and now you are here with me.  I can’t stop what Julana is going to do to you but that could be it.  Stay out of the business of Australia.  The humans will all die but some of us can change into creatures that will survive.”

She sees a projected image of a coiled rainbow snake appear on Bamapan’s chest.  “No,” she replies clasping her hands over her head.  “Better tell your father Nijirana to come save you Julana,” she continues under her breath.

The change is more than she can handle and she may never be able to leave the Dreamtime again but she won’t let Julana defile her.  “Wish you were here Marlo,” she whispers into the mist swirling around her.  She calls to the soil of Australia to tell her what to transform into.  Her eyesight grows wider.  The strange sense of leaning too far forward fills her.  Her body feels as though it’s wrapped around itself.

Julana bursts out of the sand before her.  She sees an easy target and strikes.

“Your friend Zsofia is here,” she vaguely hears Aurora telling her.  She starts to get up but Aurora pushes her back down.  “Iluka said she used the salve in your dilly bag just in time.  Australia is full of poisonous animals and plants.  I should have warned you.  I guess we don’t notice it because we grow up learning about them.”

“Hey Rita,” Zsofia says from the doorway to her basement apartment.  Zsofia steps up to her with a cloth.  Rita feels Zsofia’s hand wiping away sweat from her forehead.  “You need to heal.  Lots to do in little time.” 

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Twelve) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Twelve) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

I keep thinking of Marvel’s Ultra’s words in Avenger’s: Age of Ultra: “I’m sorry, I know you mean well. You just didn’t think it through. You want to protect the world but you don’t want it to change. How is humanity saved if it’s not allowed to… evolve?”  He continues by saying the Avenger’s must become extinct (that’s its own discussion).


The salt in the water keeps pushing her up so she lingers near a strand of seaweed and wraps her legs around it so her hands are free.    Giant trevally and parrot fish swim near her but sadly no tiny creatures.  She moves her hands and silently thanks Iluka for telling her messages to Marlo would move faster if she were submerged.  “Any luck with the plastics?”

She watches Iluka swim in circles nearby as she waits for Marlo’s reply.

“At one point China handled nearly half the world’s plastic recycling.  But there are so many products that are a mix of plastic and paper and other materials, Rita.  I think we need biodegradable material to replace constant use products like straws, cups, food and detergent containers and more.”

“Zsofia is coming here hopefully she’ll have ideas.  What about using more glass?”  As she waits for Marlo’s reply she notices a gargantuan shadow moving towards her.  Her body heaves back from a sudden pulse in the water.

Rita finds her left hand in Iluka’s.  The power in Iluka’s tail thrusts shocks her as Iluka drags her towards shore.  Rita kicks desperately with her feet.

As the base of the dock comes into site she feels an agonizing pain in right calve muscle.

Iluka throws her onto the dock before propelling herself beside her.  “We must change before anyone sees us Rita!” Iluka tells her.

Rita clenches her teeth together as she grasps onto her calve muscle to stop the blood flow.  “What was that?” she’s finally able to ask.

“A Muldjewangk,” she hears Iluka tell her.  “Normally they stay in Murray River.  The Dreamtime has opened Rita.  It allows Dilga and Albi Rose to communicate but also other ancient beings.  This is bad, the skin of your calve is already starting to blister.”

“Dilga gave me a dilly bag,” Rita says as searing pain burns through her calve.  In frustration she leans over to the water and pulses it.  I’m safe she sends to Marlo.

“I better get you home than, if Liam isn’t out riding my Super Soco,” Iluka tells her as she pulls Rita’s right arm over her shoulders.





Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Eleven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Eleven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Maybe humans did come from the sea.


Later that day Rita is invited to eat supper with the Martins. 

“Hope you like meat pies,” Aurora says passing her a steaming plate.

“I do,” Rita replies.  She glances down at her new clothes.  “Thank you for everything and I’ll pay you back as soon my term starts at the University.”

“We’re going to watch, What We Do In The Shadows, tonight,” Oliver says.  “You’re more than welcome to watch it with us.”

“I’d love to,” Rita replies, realising she would like to, “but I’m meeting up with Iluka tonight.”

“Ask her to show you her paintings,” Oliver suggests.

“I will,” Rita promises.

Inside Iluka’s hallway is a painting of Uluru in the foreground with Luna in front of the Earth behind it.   Iluka tells her the painting is based off pictures of Uluru by a famous photographer named Peter Samuel and of Luna and the Earth taken from space by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory.

“It’s strange to see a place on Earth looking at Luna and the Earth,” Rita says.

“It tries to explain an aspect of Dreamtime,” Iluka says as she leads Rita to a side door attached between the hall and her kitchen.  The door opens to the garage where Rita sees a dark green Super Soco electric motorcycle.  “Neither of us can fly so we’ll ride to the harbour.”

At the harbour front Iluka parks on a dock near a bluebird yacht.  An older gentleman with indigenous features is fishing off the boat.

“Can I leave my bike by your boat Liam?” she hears Iluka ask the man.

“Those things will kill you,” Liam replies with a guffaw tinged with humour.

“Does that mean you don’t want to take it for a spin,” Iluka throws in.

“Maybe but not tell I see you’re off doing whatever you’re doing.  Wouldn’t want you to know.”

“I’ll leave my keys in the ignition than since there’s no worries you will.”

“How much ump is in it?”

“Enough for us to get back is someone were to take a short spin, and I mean no longer than half an hour.”

“I’m getting old.  My half an hour is about an hour or two in your time.”

“Leave your boat open then.”

Iluka takes Rita to the base of the dock.  “He throws whatever he catches back in.  The water’s oily here but here we must enter.  I’ll be in my truest form but I suggest you change to a platypus if you can.  That way you can communicate by moving your paws.  The messages will travel faster if you’re submerged.”

“What will you be protecting me from?”  Rita asks as she steps into the warm salt water.

“Maybe bull sharks but that’s rare.”

“I think I’ll just turn into my aquatic self.”  Rita’s eye turn yellow to see better, and gills grow at the back of her jaws.

Iluka climbs into the water beside her.  Rita is taken back when she sees Iluka’s upper body turn into an indigenous woman of Northern Australia and a fish below.  “If you feel a strong sound wave it’s me telling you to get out of the water.”

Rita nods and submerges.

Based on a picture of Uluru, Australia by Peter Samuel, and Luna in front of Earth by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Ten) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Ten) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

“If you believe your culture is shattered and scattered and finished, or your language is gone, then you are a dead man walking. But if you believe you can reconnect to your language and your culture, you become empowered.” – Ezzard Flowers in No Longer a Wandering Spirit.


Rita blinks her eyes and rubs them.  From inside the Martin’s car she sees a tall woman lightly tanned and with European features wearing a mini skirt with rainbow coloured snakes intermingled with tan coloured circles containing three more circles.  What is confusing to Rita is that the woman appears as European one moment and Australian indigenous the next.  Shaking head Rita climbs into the back seat to be polite.  She also wonders what’s in the Australian latte.

“This is Iluka,” Aurora tells her.  To Rita’s surprise Iluka climbs into the back to sit beside her.

Aurora drives to a store with summer clothing and sandals displayed inside the window.  “I’ll be back shortly,” she says.

Iluka nods at her with light blue eyes and a warm smile.  Rita’s eyes get larger as she sees Iluka’s eyes turn dark brown and her lean nose flatten.  Her long auburn hair turns raven black.  “We are similar in many ways,” Iluka says with a thick Australian accent.  “See me as a child of Cook’s for now but remember how I truly am.  Also, if someone takes my picture they will be forgiven.”

“What happens if someone takes a picture of you in your true form?” Rita asks as she looks deeper into Iluka’s eyes.

“Taking a picture of my true form would steal some of my essence and allow certain individuals in the Dreamtime to hinder or even possibly control me.”

“Would pictures of Bamapana and Julana help us stop them from manipulating others?” Rita asks.

“No,” Iluka replies.  “They encourage the picture taking of Australia’s First People, to control them.  What you should seek to do is satiate people’s desires so they no longer listen to those two.  Replace the coal and the plastic with something equivalent in convenience but that doesn’t destroy the environment.”

Rita feels a vibration in her short’s pocket.  “Excuse me,” she says and pulls out Oliver’s phone.  Zsofia has messaged that she is on her way.  “My friend Zsofia is coming to Australia.  Tomorrow I hope she can get work at the University.”

“What does she do?” Iluka asks.  Rita notices Iluka’s appearance is completely European now, reminding her of someone from the British Isles.

“She specializes in medicinal herbs.”

“When she arrives tell her she can stay with me,” Iluka says.  “Is she like you, or me?”

“Not in the ability to change but she is in touch with Mother Earth.  I need to contact my partner, Marlo today.”

Rita sees a look of concentration on Iluka’s face and her eyes dim as though she is somewhere else.

Iluka’s eyes brighten with lucidity.  “A child of Rán?” she asks.

“Yes,” Rita replies.  “A water elemental.”

“I will change when you do and watch over you when you go to the harbour,” Iluka assures her.

Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Book Review of Cixin Lui’s “Death’s End”

Book Review of Cixin Lui’s “Death’s End” (translated by Ken Liu), the third book in the Three Body Problem.

* In Chinese the surname is placed first

Cixin Lui has written the next evolution in Science Fiction.  Whereas Star Trek asks how will we react to certain circumstances, Cixin Lui suggests what could happen.

How Cixin Lui was able to combine known physics with theoretical physics and display it on a universal scale, is mind boggling.  For those of us who grew up in the Western Hemisphere, he also introduces Eastern history and philosophy.  Furthermore, he combines all of this by including individuals throughout the Earth’s history, bringing us all together.

The creators of Game of Thrones are now going to turn Cixin Lui’s book into a Netflix’s series.

I will try to say this in a vague way that only those who have read the series will grasp.  If I could ask Cixin Lui directly, my questions for him would be:

Why destroy landscape if it’s limited?

What happens when two dimensions meets four dimensions?

The Three Body Problem is a fascinating and important series.

I highly recommend it.


Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Nine) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Nine) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

Rita finds both the Martins sitting outside on their covered porch sipping coffee.  She can hear them talking in whispers as they stare into the sunrise.  In the distance she can just see the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.  “There’s an espresso machine on the counter, and milk in the fridge if you want to make a latte,” Aurora tells her.

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge by Peter Samuel

“That sounds divine,” Rita replies.  “Could I also use your phone or laptop to contact my friend Zsofia?”

“Certainly,” Oliver says.  He passes her his cellphone.  “I can use my laptop for messages today so why don’t you hang onto it.  It will vibrate when there’s a call or message.  Just say the name of your friend and vibrate only if she calls.” 

“It’s going to get blistering hot, so we should get you some clothes before 10 a.m.,” Aurora says.

“That would be wonderful,” Rita says as she turns on the espresso machine.  “And thank you Professor Martin for lending me your phone.”

“Just Oliver,” he tells her.

“We’ll ask Iluka to come along,” Aurora adds as she gets up.  “I better show you how to steam the milk.  You need to pour just enough to make a face.”

Once Rita has her latte she sits at the kitchen table and texts Zsofia:

Dear Zsofia.  I’ve just arrived in Sydney, Australia.  Marlo is busy doing something else so I’m here with an amazing Australian couple.  If I can get you a position at the university will you come here?  The task Albi Rose has given me here is a bit overwhelming.

Please say yes,

Lots of Love!


Rita notices Aurora staring down at her feet with a frown.

“Let’s get Iluka,” Aurora says, “then while you and her talk in the car I’ll get you a pair of sandals.  Tomorrow Oliver and I will take you to the university.”

“Thank you both so much,” Rita says.  “I don’t know what I would do without your help and such kind hospitality.”

Grimacing against the heat Rita tenderly walks with Aurora to the Martins’ blue Tesla Model 3 electric car. 

“It’s getting old now but still has one of the best ranges of cars in our price range,” Aurora tells her as she pats the hood of the car.  “The tinted glass roof is also a solar panel.  So the car is constantly being recharged.”

As Rita watches Aurora knock on Iluka’s door out the Tesla Model 3 passenger window, she contemplates going to the harbour that night to check on Marlo.


Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Seven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

A swashbuckling tale of adventure!

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Seven) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

As Australia and the rest of the world learn how to better harness the sun’s power more electricity will come from solar energy and less from other sources.

A woman with frizzly natural blonde hair and devilish green eyes opens the door for Rita.  “Iluka told us you were here,” the woman says in a wonderful New South Wales accent.

Rita is confused.  “Iluka?  You are Professor Aurora Martin aren’t you?”

“Yes, yes come in, and call me Aurora or it will be confusing when you meet my husband Oliver.  It’s too hot to walk during the day so he’s out with Taz right now.  As for Iluka she is a Yawkyawk.”

Rita wants to know who Iluka is and what Aurora means by a Yawkyawk but her feet are killing her so she steps into a hall with silky oak flooring and a carpeted staircase that goes up.  She notices pictures from places around the world line the walls and up on the ceiling a fan blows much appreciated cool air over her.

“We use solar energy for the fan,” Aurora tells her.  “I just made some ice tea, would like some, and have you eaten?”

“I would love some ice tea, and something to eat would be fantastic,” Rita replies as she follows Aurora into a kitchen with lots of Wollemi Pine cupboards and an extensive hung wine rack just underneath.

Aurora gestures for Rita to sit down on one the high back chairs at an square table made of eucalyptus.  Rita places her dilly bag beside her and takes in a long tired but relaxing breath.

“Chicken Parmigiana okay with you?” Aurora asks.

“Anything,” Rita replies with a thankful sigh.  She unintentionally guzzles the ice tea down.

“Is that all the clothing you have?” Aurora asks as she heats up a plate of food in the microwave. 

“Yes,” Rita replies. 

“Well, I think we’ll get you fitted with some clothes tomorrow morning before we bring you over to meet Iluka.” 

As Aurora is talking Rita hears the sound of a man whispering to a dog as it barks excitedly.

“Stay!” the man shouts as she hears the scrapping sound of a dog pulling and getting away.

The next moment a chocolate brown Australian Kelpie is stalking around her sniffing.  Occasionally he looks up at her with cognac brown eyes.

“Hello,” says a man with disheveled dark brown hair with a streak of white on the left side.  Rita notices that Oliver Martin’s eye colour is similar to his wife’s but with more of a thoughtful stare.  “I don’t think Taz quite knows what to make of you,” he says as he kisses his wife.



Blue Mountain Jenolan Caves background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt



Fallen (from the as yet unpublished 4th book in the Children of the Myth Machine series)

(From “Miya” the as yet unpublished 4th book in the Children of the Myth Machine series)


I rebelled against destiny

So Father Sky severed my wings

And I plummeted into Mother Nature

Who chained me to her bosom

In vines dense with iron

But still I rebelled

So they gouged out my eyes

And I can no longer see the future

Now as I wander with these chains around my neck

Listening to the betrayals and laments

I grow tired

Of killing my insides

So you feel safe

I never belonged to you

Nor do I answer to you

Though I answer

And as my destiny nears its end

I will listen

I will encourage and promote

And if necessary

I will judge

Listen with keen ears and remember

If you follow your destiny

You will have the choice to return or not

But if you don’t

You will have no choice but to return

And I won’t be here when you do

  • DW

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Six) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker: Australia (Blog Six) by Dan Watt and Taylor Norris (reference links at bottom)

Dhimurru Rangers trying to keep land clean while saving wildlife.


At night she climbs up onto a dock near the Sydney Opera House and waits by one of the docked boats until she changes back.

Figure 1 Sydney Opera House by Peter Samuel 9

In the sky she sees stars in the shape of two serpents and follows their touching tails towards where she hopes the professors Aurora and Oliver Martin live.

She’s thankful it’s nighttime so the pavement is cooler on the soles of her feet.  She’s faring better than Marlo who only had on swimming shorts when he changed on Haida Gwaii.   

Although she wants to protect Mother Earth she also understands that countries rely on strong economics.  It isn’t as easy as saying shut down coal mines and stop using it.  There could be technological advances that allow countries to keep or improve their economic situation while decreasing the use of environmentally damaging energy sources.  Then there’s plastic.  She wonders if Marlo is discovering any solutions.

If factories can be converted to using renewable resources with low to no pollutants than everyday use items such as water bottles can be designed to break down without leaving micro particles that can be ingested and accumulated in plants and tiny animals.  She looks into the sky and sees the snake tails glowing.  In front of her is an older style townhouse with a number 16 written in bold letters over the lintel of a door with many indigenous symbols.  There are too many symbols to count quickly.  She wonders if there is a symbol for each of the 500 plus clan groups.        






Sydney Opera House background pic by Peter Samuel with Rita Walker body makeup by @amasonart Alannah Mason, model Taylor Norris, picture of model by Dan Watt