Zack: Left Eye returns to the firehouse with her purloined tuning fork. The one you bit a dog to steal.
Steve: Do we have a lab?
Zack: You have a table, a computer, and a miscroscope. I guess that qualifies.
Steve: Taking that fork to the lab.
Zack: Further examination of the fork reveals a mechanism almost like a gyroscope concealed in the base. You can’t determine what it does though and the fork doesn’t respond to any noises you make. So it doesn’t even really seem to work as a regular tuning fork.
Steve: What was it called? That guy that kept calling Left Eye a darkie said a name for it.
Zack: Liebekunst called them Zladislavsky forks.
Steve: I am going to computer research that and if I can’t find anything on the computer I’m going to go to the library.
Zack: On the BBSes you turn up some references to a Russian inventor named Ivan Zladislavsky. He was a compatriot of Nikola Tesla. There are some references to an invention, something about transferring matter with sound, and to his forks and the fact that his invention never worked and he disappeared in 1899.
Steve: What about the library?
Zack: There is a copy of a rare book called Mad Inventors of the Impossible. The only copy is on loan from Providence to Seattle’s library, but according to the worker at the library it has been checked out for almost a month.
Steve: Who checked it out?
Zack: The librarian resolutely refuses to tell you that.
Steve: Flash her the ghoul eye.
Zack: One, you’re talking on the phone to her, and two, librarians are immune to evil eyes. That’s their power.
Steve: And there is nowhere else for Left Eye to get that book?
Zack: Not unless Chilli or T-Boz have a copy.
Steve: Fine. Calling up the Wolfman. Giving him the info I’ve dug up on these Zalad forks.
Zack: “Hmmm, so whoever left that weird body behind is doing something with tuning forks. Well, the DNA came back on the corpse, and it seems to be African American DNA, male, but that’s about all we can tell. It’s mangled. As if the DNA is just as half-formed as the corpse.”
Steve: So this guy was trying to transfer from one point to another using the forks, but something went wrong. Like the fly in the teleport machine. He must have had some friends who started the fire. They know what’s up.
Zack: Wolfman doesn’t have any leads.
Steve: Maybe I could try using the tuning fork. I would guess the ritual or whatever is in that missing book. But maybe I could sort of get it to work.
Zack: Wolfman mentions those star charts that were burned. “You said Zladislavsky disappeared in 1899. What if there was something about the stars that makes using the tuning forks possible? If it happened in 1899 then maybe it’s happening now.”
Steve: Good idea Dude Who is Talking for the Keeper. Thanks for your tip. I’m going to look up star charts and 1899 to see if there are any weird things happening now that happened then.
Zack: Yes! There is a direct view of a star called Aposopheran near the Pleiades. The view is only unobstructed for five days once every 47 years. That would mean this year and 1899 were both years when it was visible.
Steve: “Gotta go try this out, Wolfman!” Gonna find out what time of night this Aposopheran thing is at its apex or whatever and then deploy the fork.
Zack: Are you going to say or do anything in particular?
Steve: No, just set it up and watch from a folding chair. And make sure I’m in a wide open area and I have my flamethrower ready.