"OK, ease off. I get the picture. You have my support. Who are you, may I ask?" "No, and this is where I need your help. Jim and I need to assume command of an entire fleet of missiles. We have less than sixty days to retrofit and post over 200 projectiles for launch against her fleet. Jim has successfully linked his system to your own and will be able to mediate control of these hybrid craft. You will provide the shell, the warhead, at least 10 megaton, and support electronics. Jim has a list of missiles that he has determined can easily be converted. He has gone through an extra effort to prepare an interface for your Tridents. He does need to know a few more particulars though. He wants to modify the controls of your multiple warheads a little. Since you may presume the enemy is still about, then you may understand the need for security safeguards. Bear in mind, Jim is sending the captives back to Artemis now because of the absolute secrecy that must be associated with respect to myself and my ship. Isis, herself, has seen this submarine on the high seas, and I'm sure you remember now that this is the same one that Jim escaped to from the Dutchman. Isis is now en-route to Artemis. As you may have surmised by this great banquet hall inside this submarine and also by the notorious Mermaid/Flying Dutchman, to which we are moored, there is much more than meets the eye to our capabilities. Welcome to your brave new world, General. I'm afraid from now on things will never be the same. Jim and I are not going to tell you our secrets. Your own curiosity and ingenuity will allow you to discover our methods over the centuries. Jim and I will both be gone as soon as our business here with Isis is done, but she will always be our concern. I do have to tell you one more thing."
John went on. "Seat yourself, General."
Already General Needhymen was amazed by this stranger's story. These visitors from the stars certainly had livened up his life recently. With all of these spectacular revelations, he wanted him to seat himself for the shocker. John went on. "I'm not sure how I am going to do this, but my launch time is soon. I am going to have to go back in time to your past to retrieve Isis from your past. It seems that she is going to invade you in your past. She doesn't seem to care too much about paradoxical results that she may create. She is determined to invade, and we are determined to stop her. While we hold each other in check, Jim and I prevail, and you have your freedom. Jim doesn't know as much as I. He shouldn't bear the knowledge of my voyage alone. Both your world and his existence stand in the balance. So as you see this is a two front war, now and the past.
"The details are yet to unfold so I really can't tell you much more."
General Needhymen was totally astonished. "Do you mean that she is, ... she is…no…it can't be.... Can't? Isis?...You're kidding me?.... You're not? You mean the ancient goddess Isis is she? "
"No, she is not the goddess, "Isis', of your mythology. The legend of her may have created those same myths however. We do know that her influence ended at the time of your Noah. I'm not certain of the details, so I'm going back to find out. In the meanwhile, I must ensure that I avoid creating paradoxes. Believe me General! I know what I am doing by telling you these things. It seems that you as a military man would greatly desire to have one tenth of our technical capabilities. Bear in mind that when I have succeeded in my mission. Mind you, I said when and not if. When I have succeeded in my mission, I want you to bear in mind that she will not be dead, she will just let you be, as in accordance with my wishes. Jim and I are trying to convince her that the galaxies are big enough for her empire and a tiny little free lance world such as your own.."
"Now let me show you my boat." John took the general to the submarine elevator. The General shot John a very strange glance as the elevator door opened. Forty-two stories? John laughed at he General as he pushed a button and all indications of floors went away. The door opened, and the General found himself inside a rather conventional looking submarine.
"What form of trickery is this?" he asked.
"A trick, which shows that there is much, more to life than the eye can behold or your mind can understand. It is not a trick. It is my time machine and it can change its spatial dimensions quite easily. This is a requirement for a hyperdimensional displacement unit. As you may have gathered, it is disguised as a submarine. Let that remain our little secret, general. Antiope, can you entertain the General with some stories about Artemis. I must tend to a few things on the boat."
John returned about an hour later with a laptop computer and handed it to the general. "General Armstrong is calling, my gift to you, and don't waste your time trying to clone the system."
John handed the General the computer. General Armstrong was on the screen. General Needhymen recognized that John had opened up his personal communication files and provided them to him on a wireless laptop. The computer had the same capabilities as his NORAD office machine. John ensured him that it had a secure communication channel. The computer had an eye, which it used to recognize the general. When he typed in camera display, the general saw himself on the video display. It was not unlike a mirror, but the motion appeared backwards in comparison to his own reflection. John pushed a few extra keys and the image inverted to a mirrored display. John then programmed the display to show the general with a mustache, long blonde hair, and cross-eyed. General Needhymen laughed and expressed a great deal of gratitude to John for the gift. He assured him that he would convince his superiors to cooperate with Jim to the fullest extent. With Jim and John, apparently quite a few odd things were possible. General Armstrong was pleased with General Needhymen's preliminary report. He also expressed thanks to Jim for his remarks to the public. It seems that curbs had to be put on trading again. The Dow had recovered 400 points.
Finally Jim came on board. John reviewed with Jim that the information with which he had briefed the General. For the next few hours they discussed means by which they would be able to accomplish their planned objectives. Jim remained obscure about his plans, and didn't say much to General Needhymen at all.
"John, General, if you don't mind, I don't take that kindly to your local customs, and I would just as soon not have my whereabouts be a matter of constant public record. I will be pulling out of Hawaii tonight after the banquet. All that I ask, is that the General refrain from using me for target practice, and to allow me to use his electronic surveillance network that I have already tapped into. As you will see I will maintain a 24-hour communication link with you through Genie, my computerized network. I would also like to point out to you and your government how easily Isis was able to manipulate your government to do as she wished. You have no effective defense against her. It is my intent, General, to thwart my sister's misguided efforts to add you to her collection of subject planets; whether you like it or not. Your people have a God and I don't need to get on His bad side. It is impossible to travel through hyperspace the way I do without being aware of His Kingdom. I know how to make shortcuts through space to allow less enlightened people to travel. It seems to me that you people on Earth have quite a misconstrued notion about the nature of your soul. Your ignorance as a full adult rivals the ignorance of our children. Your race must be given sufficient time to adapt to your environment in an optimal manner. You are on the brink of overpopulation and poisoning yourself to death. This encounter with Isis may be nothing more than a wake up call, once the ordeal is over. Isis has approximately four hundred cruisers headed your way. I shall need 1200 of your long-range missiles refitted to the specifications that I have on this disk. When they are converted, I have another test routine, which you may run on each missile, once the refit is accomplished. You will ensure each missile is provided with at least twenty megatons of nuclear explosive. I am requesting also as many of your MIRV's as possible. In fact, I want them all. Don't worry, general, about wasting your precious nuclear weapons. You weren't going to use them for any constructive purpose anyhow. I'm sure your president may have some resistance to my idea, but I'm sure ultimately she'll be convinced."
General Needhymen protested. "Now you really are asking too much. I can't imagine Washington ever going along with your idea of taking all our missiles and bombs, launching them into space, and blowing them up."
Jim responded, "General, I don't really care whether Washington likes it or not. These plans that I'm handing you aren't exactly lightweight technology. Your engineers are going to be pretty busy for the next few decades discovering new applications for these routines. I would put an estimated worth of these two disks at $5.6 trillion. You ask your boys at MIT and Harvard how much that info is worth. To be brief, General, I'm giving you a propulsion and control system, which will make a trip to the moon nothing more than a Sunday drive. Mars will also be easily accessible. This will enable you to extract resources worth hundreds of trillions from your neighboring planets. Additionally, these ship systems will allow biohazardous manufacturing to be conducted off world. Most important of all, I have a very simple device for the wireless transmission of power, which is another gift for you. If you refuse my offer, General; you'll still get a chance to travel in space. Isis will probably have you taken there for your execution."
General Needhymen twitched uncomfortably. He really would have preferred it if he had never heard of Jim, John or Isis. He had no training to deal with this situation. "Very well, Jim. Are there many more demands that you are going to make?"
"Maybe. But just bear in mind, that I wish that I didn't have to know you. This whole ordeal on Earth is too much like work, and I'll be just as happy as you are when the threat of the fleet has passed and we can go our separate ways. I'm in no mood to baby-sit your civilization. Isis, on the other hand, would be more than happy to take care of you. So General, if you want to get me out of your hair, then it may be a good idea to give me what I want now. If you don't, then she will be our new boss, and you'll never be rid of us. I've wasted enough words. It's time for action. I suppose you need to get back to base and arrange for a few meetings. Incidentally, there is no way any of your weapons could have ever hurt my yacht. Genie could have protected us from a ground zero 200-megaton blast by applying my hyperdimensional unit's capabilities to absorb the entire blast. We would have absorbed the energy and stored it as mass. I could have returned your blast in such a manner." Jim reached into his money belt and tossed the general 10 gold coins. "Here's some souvenirs. The gold that you now have did not exist until I reached for it. The power source of this belt created this gold by converting energy from the power plant contained within the belt into the golden mass that you now hold so dearly. Isis will do anything to get this belt, as would your own government. Let me draw you a picture. Genie transform my belt into a lamp."
The belt was transformed into a lamp. Jim rubbed the lamp and Genie appeared.
Antiope went hysterical. "Oh Jim, you know I love your Genie. Can I have a wish?"
Genie spoke. "General, Antiope wants the murder charges dropped. Those men forced her to have sex with them, or so I am told. It will hold up in court, believe me those men wanted sex with her. Whether or not it was murder. That may be impossible to prove either way. She wishes for amnesty."
As the General looked straight at the Genie, he nodded at Jim. "I get the picture. You are the master of the lamp, and the Genie belongs to the master of the lamp. We have many legends about the necessity of the lamp not falling into the wrong hands. Thank you, John, Jim and you my lady. I understand you completely, and I shall do my best to advise my superiors. Besides, we don't have any proof as of yet that a man that sleeps with an Amazon woman will die. We have no witnesses linking Antiope to the crimes as of yet but hearsay concerning this myth about ambrosia from Amazon women. We don't know for sure what ambrosia is. How can we link that unknown chemical found in those stiffs back in the morgue with this legendary ambrosia. The order to arrest Antiope was based on a statement from Isis which we had no alternative but to follow. As the chief arresting officer, I'm freeing you, and I think I may be able to get a magistrate to dismiss the charges. Until then I am leaving you in the custody of Jim who is himself an officer of the Venetian empire. My respects to you, Colonel James. With these birds, comes a social security number, identification papers for your self and Lt. Colonel Antiope. You will find these identities which we have created for you to make it easier for you to conduct normal business in this nation. You will now have all the rights of American citizenship. Wear these birds with honor at the request of General Armstrong. General Armstrong is taking extensive liberties bestowing you this rank. It is our means of honoring you Jim and it was a surprise that the General Armstrong wished to bestow upon you himself. "
With the discussion ended, the General left the submarine. He advised the marines on duty that they were not allowed to leave their post by as much as three feet except to use the designated latrine on the yacht.
Chapter Twenty-Eight Part II
Generals Meet Jim