“All the while Bahar was shedding tears with Shahrazad. Then she asked Shahrazad in disbelief: ‘You mean you’re still living on this planet, but a force has been holding you up in the air?’ Shahrazad took a closer look at R7, as if she was starting to get suspicious. She asked: ‘Are you really an iron creature? How can you talk? Maybe you are one of them!’
“We didn’t understand what she meant. Bahar tried to win the woman’s trust in herself and R7. She tried to make her understand that we lived on earth and we were talking with her via R7. She said to Shahrazad: ‘That’s a highly sophisticated machine which helps us to see you. I guess there weren’t such things in your time.’
“Shahrazad said: ‘A machineis no good when there are demons, genies, and magic. They are able to do everything.’ Then she pointed to herself and sighed. She said in a hoarse voice: ‘Time has stood still in here and I have been a captive in this room for years.’
“Bahar asked: ‘Are you the witch?’
“Shahrazad looked embarrassed. She hung her head and said: ‘Is she so ugly and horrible?’
“Bahar answered: ‘She seems to be a dangerous creature.’
“Shahrazad sprung to the witch’s defense: ‘No, no, she is harmless. But people must think she isn’t.’
“Bahar asked: ‘How did you turn into a witch?’
“Shahrazad said in her sad voice:
When that ominous thing happened and such a disaster struck our country, I didn’t know the truth yet. But the sultan knew everything and believed the fortune-tellers were right, because he had not followed their advice to kill me. And so, because of his disobedience, people were all punished.
The sorcerers and fortune-tellers who had survived the storm went to the sultan again and warned him that the next time they would certainly be destroyed, and that they would have no rest until I was dead. When the sultan asked them why, they said:
“Shahrazad will tell a story which will awaken the peoples of the world if they hear it. They will know how demons and evil people have taken the whole world in their clutches and taken it captive. Demons entertain people through their advanced means. They make them greedy, covetous and indifferent, until human beings begin to destroy themselves and their planet with their own hands. But if they hear this story at the right time, they’ll rise up against the demons and criminals, and they’ll free themselves from captivity. Many of them will die for their noble aim and this will make them to join forces and ask for help from the Unseen. It will happen if the story is told and heard.”
The sultan was restless. He didn’t want to lose me. He was curious to know the story which was so important to abominable, evil forces. The astrologers of the palace told the sultan that the stars were in a particular position that warned them against a great danger. We had to get ready for a war. The fortune-tellers knew they were still on the earth, but didn’t grasp how they could stay in the air while nobody ever saw them.
One day, the sultan discharged his entire harems and I was left alone with him. He asked me what the story was that had made me so dangerous. But I had no idea what he was talking about. I swore I knew nothing. Then he told me everything and made me give him my word that if I ever wanted to tell a story, I would tell him first. The sultan looked at me differently and I knew he wasn’t convinced, because he has held me imprisoned in this room since then.
And then one day he came here with one of his fortune-tellers. The sultan took my hand and said he liked me so much, but he had no choice in the matter. Then the fortune-teller handed him a potion which they wanted to force me to drink. I knew they intended to kill me. I pushed his hand away and tried to escape. They opened my mouth by force and poured the potion down my throat. As I gulped it down, I had a burning feeling in my whole body. Day and night I screamed in pain. The sultan visited me every day and told me that he had done it for my own sake. I realized I was changing. Every day I looked at myself in the mirror carefully.
My hands had become large and hairy. My teeth and jaws were getting bigger and bigger. I was in pain and screamed, but no one came to my aid. One day the sultan ordered to take all of my things, even my mirror, out of the room. Instead, they brought these animal bones and skulls. Then I fell unconscious in pain for the last time. When I woke up I saw something that made me shout and cry. I touched my face and wanted to see myself in the mirror, but they had taken the mirror away. I understood they had achieved what they wanted. After that, Shahrazad died and the witch was born. I couldn’t talk, and I even began to think like a witch. They had taken not only my body but also my mind and soul.
When the sultan came to my room, I attacked him. He was scared of me. His men came and put me in chains. Deep inside I was sometimes Shahrazad and sometimes the witch. I didn’t want to be the witch. I wanted to destroy both myself and the witch. I hit my head hard against the wall, and I didn’t eat, but it was no good. The witch was stronger than me and wanted to stay alive. Over time, I got used to my situation. God was my only friend because I knew He was always with me.
Everyone thought I was dead. The sultan and his entourage forgot Shahrazad very soon. They held a carefree celebration and indulged in their debauchery as if nothing had ever happened. Then one day, a black cloud covered the sky of that small land. Fiery spears poured down and caught the soldiers by surprise. They were speechless with horror. In an instant, the evil forces pierced through them and left their lifeless bodies here and there. Then, like shadows, they went to the sultan’s celebration and appeared before him. He was busy drinking and enjoying himself when he saw them throwing the corpses of his soldiers at his feet. The abominable, evil forces were dressed in black from head to toe, and they asked only one thing: “Where’s Shahrazad?” The sultan, already drunk, laughed out loud and said: “Shahrazad? There’s no Shahrazad. She died many years ago.” The harems were trembling in fear. Those black figures gathered all of the women and searched every room and corner in the palace. They brought even the ladies-in-waiting to the celebration. And finally they found me. The man who came to my room saw me and then transformed again and again until he became like me – a wizard. Perhaps I was one of them, because he treated me kindly. He caressed me and then left the door open for me. Then he turned into a shadow and disappeared.
I left there in fear, passed through dark corridors, went down dusky stairways and reached the palace at last. However, I didn’t dare go inside. Through a window I saw the hall of the palace. The women there were being brutally attacked by some creatures. The harems begged them to be let go, but those creatures in black were so cruel and asked them angrily: “Which of you is Shahrazad?” They all said in chorus: “She is dead”, and became silent again. The leader of those creatures took on the form of a strong, tall man who was dressed like the sultan and appeared in front of him. He said: “You can’t let her escape our clutches. All of you are under our control.” Then he went toward the women and put his hand on their heads. They all fell down. The sultan and his men didn’t dare to speak. The black figures killed some of the women and disappeared. Now many years have passed. They often come here and search everywhere. And now I know the sultan was right. He did it to save my life.
As time went by Shahrazad came back to life in me and, deep inside, I felt more like Shahrazad; however, I didn’t know whether or not I would remain the witch forever. I tried to find a way to break the spell. Day and night I thought about the story I was supposed to tell, but it was no use. I used to tell a story for the sultan every night, but now I couldn’t find a story to break my spell. I gave up hope.
Then one night, I dreamed I was in a cave. It was hot and stuffy. I looked at myself. I wasn’t the witch anymore. I was overjoyed. I heard some children playing in water. I ran towards them. First I watched them cautiously. They weren’t like ordinary children. Two of them had wings; another one was sometimes among them and sometimes disappeared. One of them poured down like rain on them and then assumed a human shape once more. Another one boiled like something molten and turned into a child again. Astonished, I was of two minds about talking to them. At last I took the plunge. They were so wrapped up in their games that they didn’t see me. They caught some colorful fish that glowed like lamps and jumped up and down, and then released them. I went closer and greeted them in a loud voice. They didn’t see me. They got out of the water and, in my dream world, I followed them. They flew upwards and I went after them. It was so charming that I lost track of the children. I looked at the sky. It was full of beautiful lands hanging in the air. They reminded me of the sultan’s land. I was tired and couldn’t go any farther. I slumped down on a cloud. It felt great. Suddenly, the cloud changed to something like a cave. I went into it out of curiosity. A red light brightened the whole cave. It came from a shining stone. I walked toward it and, unconsciously, picked it up and closed my fist. I had an odd feeling. I was going to leave there as quickly as I could when suddenly not only my palm but also my whole body started to burn with the warmth and energy of the stone. I was afraid. I tried to open my hand, throw the stone away and escape from there, but I couldn’t. The stone was penetrating my whole being with its warmth. I called the witch and shouted for help. If I were the witch, I would be stronger and I could survive, but it was all in vain. I struggled and prayed to God to be back in my room. I was still struggling with myself and the stone when I heard the iron door of my room open and the guard throw my food into the room. I opened my hand, half awake, to drop the stone, but I found myself in my room: I was still the witch and what I had seen had been just a dream.
As time went by, I had the same dream every night. Once, when the moonlight was shining into my room, I went to the opening in the wall and stared at the moon. Then I fell asleep. Before long I woke up with a terrible burning sensation in my palm. I looked at my palm. All at once a light streamed out of it – a light in which I could see my dream. Before my very eyes, I saw the story I was meant to tell other people. It was the forbidden story that I was to retell. I saw it and repeated quietly what it said so that I would memorize it word for word and line for line, because I was going to relate it to everyone.
“Shahrazad looked approvingly at R7 and continued: ‘Yes, I received their story and their message.’
“Bahar and I were astonished by what we had heard and seen. Bahar said to Shahrazad: ‘What you said is still too strange and weird for me to believe. But when I give it a second thought, it seems that we’ve involuntarily followed a path that was planned in advance.’
“Shahrazad said: ‘You were chosen too, to help me along the way and spread this story to everyone across the globe. When you succeed, my spell will be removed.’
“Bahar said: ‘I’m sure they’ll kill you if they discover your secret. They’ll stop you from revealing the story.’
“Shahrazad, who considered R7 her savior, looked at it kindly and kissed it. She said: ‘If, with the aid of this flying machine, my story reaches the ears of all mankind … then I’ve fulfilled my duty, and I don’t care whether I’m dead or not. I won’t give up. And I’m happy I’m not alone anymore.’
“The moonlight was getting dimmer and dimmer. Bahar and I saw that Shahrazad was transforming again. Bahar asked her to put R7 in a safe place so that the witch couldn’t damage it. Shahrazad did as Bahar had asked and then lay on the black stone. Now we both looked at the witch’s sad face which wasn’t unfamiliar to us anymore, and we cried quietly for her. And then we were restless, especially Bahar. She wanted to do her duty well. She hoped the story would reach the ears of everyone and save Shahrazad from the spell – before it was too late. Then everyone would hear about the things that were going to happen soon.”
“That’s awing,” Wolfgang said with a bowed head. “Your skills and knowledge helped you to find such a story, and now you can change the future. I’m proud of you.”
“Bahar was very afraid,” José continued. “I said to her: ‘From now on, we must be very careful when we are at the Institute. They have certainly suspected us. You must keep your cool and behave normally. Do you understand? Now we know they’re looking for Shahrazad’s story. You must send Shahrazad’s story to those you really trust, and then you have to leave here immediately. You must promise me. Do you promise?’
“She wiped her tears and said: ‘I do promise.’”
It was difficult for Wolfgang to digest the things he had heard. He was confused. He looked at José. “So, did you get Shahrazad’s story completely?”
“Bahar secretly divided everything she received from R7 into many pieces, like a puzzle. Each piece is secured with a secret code. Then she sent them to her online friends around the world. This way, no one had the whole story. Then she asked them to crack the codes after receiving each piece to get one part of the story. They had to put the pieces together to complete the story. Bahar did this to unite the peoples of the world and inform them about the story. Wolfgang, I hope Bahar is somewhere safe now.”
“Why do you doubt that? Is anything the matter?” Wolfgang asked.
“I hadn’t heard from Bahar for some days. So I went to her home. Her mother opened the door and, as soon as she saw me, she burst into tears. When I went in, I saw the house was in a mess and all of the computers were crushed. Her mother asked me if I knew where Bahar was. I said I didn’t know. The last time we said goodbye, Bahar insisted that I delete everything from my computer. She was topsy-turvy, you know. I haven’t seen her since then …” José hesitated. “Tonight we’ll leave here for a while, too.”
Wolfgang panicked. “We can’t. We have to go to the Institute first and delete everything – they mustn’t get access to our data.”
José got closer to his friend and whispered in his ear: “I wanted you to be far away from the Institute. I’ve already thought about it. I programmed the computers in a way that by midnight, everything will be deleted automatically. Don’t worry. They won’t find anything.”
Wolfgang was relieved. He drank his glass of water, took his jacket, and said: “So, what are you waiting for? I’m at your service.”
The next morning, when their co-workers went to the control room, the chairman of the Institute was waiting there for them. He announced that Mr. Wolfgang Koch and Mr. José Gonzales had passed away in a car accident.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “we have to go on without them.”
They looked at each other in disbelief. Neither of them had read about it in the newspapers, nor had any news agency reported it. They were all saddened by the news.
As soon as Wolfgang and José’s coworkers turned on the computers, they faced a black screen. All of their data was gone. When Mr. Chairman saw this, he went to each of the computers like a wild animal. He pushed anyone in his way away so that he could check them himself. It was no use. José had had it all planned out. And he had made it work.
Shahrazad is the story of a newborn being which is the last survivor from its destroyed planet. The destiny of this baby has been determined in advance. It is raised in the fifth and sixth skies by the angels who are preparing it for the mission of saving the Earth. It must travel into the past, back to its planet where it grew up once more and find out why those creatures destroyed its home. The being’s mission on Earth is to make its inhabitants aware of a terrible danger: Those who demolished its planet can do the same to theirs. It has been prepared in the heavens to help human beings save the Blue Planet.