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Mystery May
Disappearing Act - The Anasazi, Part 3



Disappearing Act - The Anasazi, Part 3
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   2.97

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    accelerator, alloy, blocky, capsule, conjure, destabilize, dubbed, kiva, knowing, mistaken, pointed, prunella, shaft, shard, shatter, vibes
     content words:    Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, United States, Star Wars, Han Solo


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Disappearing Act - The Anasazi, Part 3
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Caption: A picture of the ruins of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon (New Mexico, United States); shown is the complex's great kiva.
 
2     Rusty had already figured out the odd noise as we landed. A small piece had worked itself loose from the framework of the capsule. The bad news, he told us, was where the piece of metal had ended up.
 
3     The metal shard had been thrown through the workings of the MTP. It had cut through lines and broken off pieces. We were lucky we'd come out of transport mode just a little sick, Rusty said. In fact, we were lucky we'd come out at all.
 
4     Prunella had asked the question we were all thinking. "How are we going to get home?"
 
5     "I can fix most of it," Rusty said. What he wasn't so sure about was rebuilding a shaft and gear in the clockworks. He'd need metal to do it with.
 
6     Now, after working for hours, Rusty took off his helmet. "I got the wires and simple stuff," he said. "I even built up the shaft so that it fits where it has to turn. It's not perfect, but it'll hold till we get home. What I can't do is conjure up metal from thin air to make another gear. Mr. S. used some sort of homemade alloy. It's got special properties. It has to withstand the force of the matter accelerator."
 
7     "Really tough stuff?" I asked.
 
8     "Yes," Rusty replied, "but flexible. It takes a huge amount of force to make the MTP spin fast enough to enter the time warp."
 
9     "Like the jump to light speed in Star Wars?" Rocky asked. Rocky wants to be Han Solo in his next life.
 
10     "Even faster," said Rusty. "For time travel, we have to go faster than the speed of light. The gears in the capsule have to be able to take the heat and vibes. Anything too hard would shatter."
 
11     "Maybe Meli's people have something we could use," Prunella said. "What about the copper they get from Mexico? Would it work?"
 
12     "Well," Rusty said slowly, "copper's flexible. It's also a great conductor of electricity. I don't know about the heat. But maybe..." He jumped up. "We've got to get going on it now, though. There's no telling when the time warp might destabilize."
 
13     We decided we couldn't wait for Meli. It had been dark for a while now. We hoped to see her again, but right now, we had to go into the city on our own.

Paragraphs 14 to 27:
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