November 15, 2011

Atlantis 12

          Akula and Hokum were both thinking on how to find a way. “Why don’t we attack and subdue the Gods and then force them to tell us?”  Hokum suggested. “The Gods are not that strong and we possess a vastly numerical advantage.”
          “Do you know what makes power?”  Akula said in response to Hokum.
          “A mighty army?”  Hokum answered. Akula shook his head.
          “Knowledge,”  Akula said. “Knowledge is what makes power. The Gods may not be great warriors on the battlefield, but they do not need to. All they need is their knowledge and when it comes to knowledge, the Gods do not have their equal. So in that sense, the Gods are the most powerful force in the world.”  Hokum had to agree with the logic of Akula. “Remember,”  Akula said. “The pen is, and always will be, mightier than the sword.”
          “What about Zhuk?”  Hokum asked again.
          “What about him?”  Akula responded. “Well, didn’t you tell me he possessed a Wishstone?”  Hokum said.
          “Of course!”  Akula shouted. “Why didn’t I think of it myself? Karna gave Zhuk a Wishstone for saving his life. With the Wishstone, I can make any God tell me what I need to know.”  Akula was delighted at the prospect of having his problem solved.
          “There is just one problem,”  Hokum interrupted. “Zhuk is not stupid. He will not give away his Wishstone for no reason. He will want to know what you want to do with the Wishstone. And when he finds out what your intentions are, he will never give up his boon, even if that means your defeat. As far as he is concerned, you should not have started the war in the first place.”
          “Do not worry about my son,”  Akula said. “I know him and I guarantee you, he will cooperate. There is nothing that will stop me from becoming ruler of Atlantis..........not even my own son, Zhuk.

          As usual, Zhuk was out in the forests hunting. Suddenly, a herald approached. He seemed to be very upset. “What is wrong?”  Zhuk said.
          “A tragedy,”  the herald answered. “Akula and Hokum were just about to leave the castle to speak to you, when Akula’s horse suddenly and unexpectedly jumped. Akula fell from his horse and injured himself severely.”  Zhuk was told to return to the castle, because they feared for his fathers' life.
          Zhuk and the herald were well on their way, when they encountered Hokum. “Hokum,”  Zhuk said. “How is my father?”  Hokum just shook his head.
          “Be strong,” Hokum said,  “for I bring bad news.” “The injuries suffered by your father were too much for even one as strong as your father........I’m afraid that Akula is dying.”
          Even though Zhuk did not agree with Akula’s aggressive ways, he did love and care for his father. “There has to be something that we can do to help my father,”  Zhuk said, “there just has to be.”  Zhuk thought about it for a moment. “You are a skilled healer, Hokum,”  Zhuk said to Hokum. “You have fought many battles and therefore you have seen many wounds and injuries. Tell me, is there anything we can do for my father?”  
          “Alas,”  Hokum replied. “I have seen this kind of injury many times before and it requires knowledge we simply do not have. There has never been anyone who has lived to tell about it.”  Zhuk felt hopeless and bowed his head.
          Suddenly Hokum said: “Or, it would never work.”
          “What is it,” Zhuk said.
          “I was thinking,”  Hokum said. “Maybe ordinary people like us don’t have the knowledge to heal Akula, but the Gods do. If I had the right information, I might be able to operate Akula and save him. But the Gods would never do anything that might save Akula.”
          “In that you are wrong,”  Zhuk said. “I have never told anyone about this, but one of the Gods, Karna, has given me this relic, which will force the Gods to help me. It’s called a Wishstone and with it, the bearer can ask any God for one wish.”
          He handed the artifact to Hokum. “Here take it and now go,”  Zhuk said. “Use it to help my father.”
          Hokum took the relic from Zhuk and said with a sinister smile: “Oh, I am very sure it will help Akula.”


 Click on Part 13 for what happens next in this series.

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