May 23, 2017

Astro Zaki and the Enchanted Necklace of Saturn

Published Feb 26, 2006
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Zaki was doing his math homework. He had a test the next day and due to his busy space crime fighting schedule, he hadn't had a chance to practice division. Luckily, math was his favorite subject and he was having no problems. Just then, his video phone monitor turned on and he saw the "Space Crime Fighters Unit" chief Jumbo Jon.

Chief Jon looked quite somber. But what Zaki found strange was that Chief Jon was in an office that was not his own. First of all, the office was quite small in comparison to Chief Jon's office. In fact, the office was so small that it looked as if the chief was forcefully squeezed in it. Secondly, every thing in the office was pale yellow. From the walls and the ceiling to the furniture and carpet, everything was yellow. The only distinguishing factor between the articles of the room was that each yellow was of a different shade. Astro Zaki knew of only one place in his galaxy where everything was yellow, and that was on Planet Saturn.

"Zaki, I am sorry to bother you, but something grave has happened here on Saturn," said Chief Jon.

"What is it chief?" asked Zaki.

"You do know that Saturn still has a monarchy system for its governance, meaning that it has an actual king who rules the planet," the Chief asked.

"Yes I am familiar with Saturn's ruling system, Chief. I did my history project in it," replied Astro Zaki. His curiosity was growing by the minute as to what had occurred that was so grave that Chief Jumbo Jon himself, who seldom left the "Space Crime Fighter Unit" headquarters, had to travel to the planet Saturn.

Zaki's curiosity was soon satisfied as the Chief told him the whole story. According to the Chief, Saturn had a unique way of choosing its rulers. Whenever the King or Queen had lived their life and were in their final years, the Enchanted Necklace of Saturn was brought out and put in the ruler's room. It would stay there for six days and seven nights and on the morning of the seventh day, it had a name on it. This name was of the person who would be the next ruler of Saturn.

The necklace was stored in a secret dungeon deep beneath the royal palace and was protected by magic spells and anti-theft gadgets alike. But while it was in the ruler's room, there was not much protecting it except the guards outside. These days, the necklace had been in the present King's room. In fact, today was just the second day it had been out. But when the King had awoken this morning, the necklace was nowhere to be found. Since then, the biggest wizards and magicians in the country had been using their spells to locate the necklace. To be on the safe side though, the King had also called upon the "Space Crime Fighters Unit" to help out.

Zaki hung on every word. The story seemed like something out of a fairy tale, what with kings and dungeons, enchanted necklaces and powerful magicians. But then he started to concentrate more on the facts and less on the fairytale aspect of what the Chief had just told him.

"I'll be there right away, Chief," said Zaki.

"I knew I could count on you, Astro Zaki," replied the Chief, in a noticeably calmer tone now that he knew Zaki was on the case.

As Zaki flew towards Saturn in his Astromobile, he ran a search on the Enchanted Necklace on his computer. Almost everything was the same as the Chief had said except that the Necklace was the only object on Saturn that was not yellow. Instead, it was blue. The person's name that appeared on it on the seventh day though, appeared in yellow. But that was not the only new thing Zaki found.

Also, if the Necklace was in any one but the ruler's possession, it seized to work. If a situation like this were to occur, the Necklace would have to be kept in the nectar of Saturn flowers. Incidentally, this nectar was also of a blue color and it weakened the Necklace's power. When the power was the weakest, the owner could force the Necklace to display his name, and thus making him the next ruler of Saturn. The people couldn't deny him being the ruler as the Necklace had displayed his name, despite having done so when it was weak.

"Now that seems like a very good motive for someone to have," said Zaki as he told Chief Jon what he had learned when he reached Saturn. "I am certain the thief is someone who stole the Necklace to become the ruler. I am also quite certain that this someone is very powerful as he has successfully swiped the Necklace and has so far eluded law-enforcement authorities."

First Zaki and Chief Jon headed towards the royal palace. Like everything else on the planet, the palace was also in different shades of yellow. In the main hall, a lot of wizards had set up camp and were using all types of spells to locate the Necklace. Just then one wizard let out a long gasp and everyone else in the room made a circle around him.

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