Disappearing Act - The Anasazi, Part 4

"Wait!" Rusty said, excited. "Didn't we read that the Chaco Canyon people traded for copper bells from Mexico?"

"Yes!" Prunella confirmed. "As far as we know, they were used as ornaments. Let's get the bell into the light and make sure it's copper!"

We had to get back to the capsule. I took the lead up the stone stairway. As I was scrambling up the steps, someone rose from the stairs just above us. After my heart started pumping again, I realized it was Meli. Sheesh! She didn't just scare me into next year. At the moment she stood up, I could have self-transported into the next millennium!

Meli went with us. We dashed to the MTP and went inside. I was glad to see we had lights. The power source was working fine. "It's copper!" Rusty crowed as soon as we could see the bell. He grabbed it and vanished into the inner workings of the transporter.

Meli hadn't been looking so good. Her eyes went wider still as she gazed at the inside of the capsule. Prunella sat Meli down and put an arm around her shoulders. She spoke quietly to her.

"Sometimes it helps to know someone cares," Prunella said, "no matter what language you speak." Meli listened, her eyes full of sorrow. Whatever was going on, that was one unhappy girl. She seemed to cling to Prunella's words of kindness.

I filled mugs with steaming water from the coil that circled the power source. We all had hot chocolate. I set a foamy mug beside Rusty's legs. In a moment, a hand reached out and snagged the cup. We heard slurping from the innards of the ship.

Meli seemed calmer as we sat and sipped. She began to talk. We didn't know what the strange words meant, but we knew she was pouring out her heart. With gestures, Prunella asked some questions. Who were the people at the meeting? Why was one man kept in bonds?

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