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The trip went without incident and the trio used their time wisely to research earth culture. Jim seemed particularly disturbed about something he discovered about earth's past. He consulted Idiot about future projects. He queried of Idiot what would happen if Isis got hold of a hyperdimensional unit and managed to successfully travel to the past. The answer shocked Jim.


"My database indicates that there appears to be evidence that Isis did indeed travel to the past. Conjectural programming indicates highest probability at time bordering earth's earliest history. It would be possible to envision how she would fit in earth's past. Research on goddesses yields your answer."


"Can you get a navigational lock to get us to intercept her there?"


"I need a time and a geographical location specified. "


"Can you get a time lock on when she may have gotten there."


"I won't be able to follow her till after she has left."


"Please explain."


"A hyperspatial displacement would require two ends. We are trying to find the end in the past which is the result of a future occurrence."


"I would have to wait until she actually committed the deed before we could follow her."


"So, in order to follow, I would have to wait until she has made the trip which is sometime in the future."


"Does she need a hyperdimensional unit such as yourself in order to go back in time?"


"No, there are other ways but they are uncontrollable and unpredictable."


"Such as?"


"Suppose she flies Pegasus into the black hole of Cygnus and manages successfully to exit again. She will have exited in the past. Her trajectory would be currently unobservable, but she would be capable of emerging just about anywhere. Your own ability to traverse space virtually instantaneously follows this same principle."


"Well for her that would involve Cygnus."


"If I remember correctly, I can detect her dematerializing in the proximity of the black hole as she gains the energy to go back to the past. Her re-materialization could be at will just about anywhere. If she is on the Pegasus, she will be able to program the flight computers with pin-point accuracy."


"That is if we're correct about the ability of the Pegasus to enter and reemerge intact."


"Besides the Pegasus, can any other machine available to Isis permit her to do what we are discussing?"


"Other vehicles can skirt the hole and bounce instantaneously to just about anywhere as we have already done. They however will disintegrate if they try to cross the event horizon. Pegasus, on the other hand, is designed to cross the event horizon. Displacement beyond the event horizon is actually a transition into pre-causality and reemergence then would occur not in the future, not in the present, but in the past. John's unit, Pegasus and I are the only means of transporting biomatter into the past. If she used the Pegasus, she just would never have the precision that I have, but she would be able to navigate free space quite effectively. That technique better land you in free space, as there is a very wide margin of error for rematerialization. I, on the other hand, take all into account when I materialize. You won't ever catch me missing my target by a single angstrom or nanosecond." 


"Can I enter a contingency flight plan that would take over if such were ever attempted? The way I see it, I am destined to lose control of either you or the Pegasus, unless father gives his box to Isis for her birthday."


"Affirmative. May I suggest the time of the 1st Dynasty of Egypt.?"


Jim paged John to see if he was available.


John immediately responded querying why he had been left out of the fun. He applauded the show, and with a few exceptions, felt that Jim had done well. He was invited on board the yacht. John said to give him a few minutes and he'd be there.


Jim checked Genie's scanners to see how he would arrive. After a few minutes, Idiot detected underwater activity coming from around an underwater ridge. The underwater unknown surfaced within fifty yards from the Flying Dutchman. Antiope and Helen, aroused by Jim's sudden interest in the waters of the port bow, followed him to see the submarine surface. John signaled to Jim that he was on board. Jim reasoned that this submarine was another form that John's Box may have acquired. He motioned the women to go below decks. They objected, but he pulled rank and ordered them below.


When he saw that they were out of sight, Jim signaled John, who transformed the submarine into a dingy as he made his way towards the yacht. Jim permitted the women to return to the weatherdeck, and they saw John making his way towards them. Jim explained that John insisted on secrecy concerning his submarine, and that they had already seen way too much. Antiope and Helen both pouted a little, but Antiope was glad to see John again.


They both kissed him warmly as he came on board. He greeted them and said, "Glad to see you're still alive. Nice yacht and it's even real. Jim, I'm amazed at your ability to teleport large objects."


He went on. "You promised me a spin in the Pegasus. I was afraid you had forgotten."


"No, I haven't and besides, you promised me a portal."


"How about one on this yacht? You seem to have it pretty well defended."


"Ask Antiope and Helen where they would like it. Advise them it's to the Pegasus only, and nowhere else."


"Very well. You wouldn't mind if I indulge if they insist?"


"No, go ahead. It'll take some of the burden off my shoulders."


"Let me fold up the dingy." John folded up his "box" and strapped it around his wrist as a watch- like instrument. "Do they know how to fold these devices?"


"No, but they do know they can go inside and that once inside we can travel great distances in a very short period of time." 


Antiope remarked, "Like father, like son. We would expect nothing less from you John, and would wonder why you don't have a Genie like Jim. We see you have one, but haven't heard you call its name."


Jim warned them, "Watch your manners. I'm not sure if I can trust you in port. Would you mind staying on board and seeing this boat into harbor, while I go show my father how to drive Pegasus? Antiope, do you think you can steer this boat to harbor?"


She snapped back, "Don't insult me, Dutchboy. I can park this on a dime, and I even know all about the boat's equipment. We don't need you. Scram! We can manage Hawaii quite well on our own...thank you very much!"


With that comment John went ahead and assembled the portal, while Jim researched earth's database some more. Jim recalled Genie back into the belt form. He instructed the ladies that they were now without Genie backup. Hence, no magic, and they were on their own. Over the next three hours, Helen brought up her concern about inconveniences. Water, electricity and fuel were now being depleted in a normal fashion. Jim reminded them that this was what their money was for: to buy more when Genie wasn't around to produce. The portal was masked behind a panel below decks. The key to the portal was a coded button selection routine. Two specially designed safes were prepared by Genie for the women's valuables. By the time the portal had been finished, the yacht had been converted into a secure home base. Antiope and Helen could see the islands in the distance now. They were quite ready for the men to leave.


Chapter Eighteen  Dutchman at Sea

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