It was almost ten o'clock in the morning but Astro Zaki was still in bed. He had been up late studying for an exam the night before. Zaki looked at his bedside clock just to make sure once more that it really was ten.
"Oh well, I better get up now", he said to himself.
He turned on his radio and started to cook himself an egg. Suddenly there was a news bulletin.
"The National Space and Art Museum in the planet Mars capital, Mars City, was broken into this morning. At this point, the police don't know who did it," the news caster was saying. "When the curator opened up the museum in the morning, he found that the lock on the front door had been removed very expertly. Even the slightest tampering with the locks can set off alarms, so the thief seems like a professional."
"Interesting," Zaki thought to himself.
The news caster went on, "The surprising thing is that nothing seems to have be taken away. Even the famed 'Mars Mystic Rocks', which were on display, were left behind. This has left the Mars police baffled."
"This is suspicious," Zaki thought to himself. "I better check this out..." And with that Zaki took the last bite of his egg sandwich and raced towards his Astromobile. Within seconds, he was flying towards Mars.
Zaki landed his Astromobile next to some police cars at the entrance of the museum. As soon as the curator and police saw that it was Zaki, they came running out to talk to him.
"Thank God you're here Zaki," said the Martian police inspector, Mac Marti. "This case is really baffling."
"Let me look around a bit, Inspector Marti." Zaki replied. "I want to inspect everything myself before saying anything."
Zaki spent the next couple of hours looking at everything in the museum searching for any clues.
"Mr. Curator, did you inspect the security cameras. Maybe you could see someone entering in the tapes," Zaki said.
"Actually, it's very strange. From 1:45 AM to 2:10 AM, the security tape is all fuzzy," replied the curator. "For the life of me, I can't say why it's like that. The crime was most likely committed during this time frame."
Zaki searched around some more. Then he came to two conclusions. One, that this was an inside job. And the other, that the 'Mars Mystic Rocks' had been stolen.
"But Astro Zaki, how can that be?" asked the curator. "The rocks are still on display!!"
"Well, it's interesting," Zaki replied. "If you turn off the alarms from around the rocks, I'll prove it to you."
When the alarms were turned off, Zaki moved his arm towards the rocks. Only, instead of him grabbing the rocks, his hand passed right through them!!
"See, I've always been a good student of history," Zaki said. "The 'Mars Mystic Rocks' are worth a fortune because their dust can turn normal stones into gold. But one other quality they have, which is always overlooked, is that they can disappear from one spot and appear on the other, like magic. That's what makes them mystical."
"But for the stones to do their vanishing act, they have to have someone command them to do so," Zaki went on. "Though there is one problem. That person has to have some sort of entry point in the building. He can do the magic commands from anywhere, but his spell has to enter the building from an open door or window."
Both the inspector and curator were looking at Astro Zaki, utterly baffled.
"What I think happened here, sir, is simple," Zaki said. "Somebody from your museum staff deliberately broke into the museum last night. Then he performed the magic command to get the rocks. In the end, he just left these holographic images of the rocks to fool us."
It all made sense now. The museum employee did not have a key, but he could get into the museum without setting alarms as he was an employee. The museum curator immediately ordered all the employee records brought before him. Astro Zaki, the curator and Inspector Marti divided up the records and searched them. Soon, they came across Dim Dum's file, an employee, who had a minor in 'Martian Magic' in college.
"Got him," said Astro Zaki. Soon they were flying in the Astromobile towards Dim Dum's house.
Dim Dum lived outside the city. He had a small cottage off the main highway. It was a dark cottage that had weeds growing all over the garden.
"The house is definitely shady," observed Inspector Mac.
No body came out when they rang the bell. They waited a couple of minutes then went to the back side. The back door was unlocked. The three of them entered the cottage cautiously. It seemed like nobody was home. But just then they heard someone unlocking the front door.
"Somebody's home," whispered Astro Zaki. With that, all of them hid behind a large sofa in the living room.
Dim Dum wasn't alone. He had a big fat man with him who was wearing a wizard's hat and robes.
"That's the Wizard of Boz," said Inspector Mac. "We've been looking for him for a long time."
From the conversation between the Wizard and Dim Dum, the trio gathered that Dim Dum was trying to sell the rocks to the wizard, but they couldn't agree on a price. Suddenly the conversation grew heated and it looked like they would start to get in a physical fight.
In a fit of rage, the wizard hit Dim Dum with a spell that rendered him unconscious. The Wizard then turned around smiling. "Now to get those rocks," he said aloud.
"Not so fast," said Astro Zaki as he came out of his hiding place.
Before the Wizard could fully understand what was happening, Astro Zaki delivered a flying kick in the Wizards stomach. The Wizard went flying back. Then Zaki took his Astro-Rod out and stunned the Wizard.
The rocks were hidden in the Dim Dum's top chest drawer. Zaki retrieved the rocks as Inspector Marti called up more officers to take Dim Dum and the Wizard to jail.
"I don't know how I can thank you, Astro Zaki," said the curator.
"Don't thank me, sir," said Zaki with a smile. "Thank my history teacher!!"