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Isis changed her mind about not using the Pegasus to make time jumps. Even though the Pegasus was not ready for maximum power operations, and they were very far from any black hole to give them an extreme acceleration boost, she would still be able to take short excursions at very high speeds to allow the "past" to go by more quickly. After ensuring each of her colonies was well established and prospering, she had John prepare the vehicle for high-speed operations. John was curious himself so he naturally agreed. Isis being aware that she could possibly be gone for a few months had her Amazons prepare for a ceremony in each colony to honor her departure and eventual return. The Pegasus would make an aerial display above each of the colonies with intentions to impress the natives. Each colony had a high priestess, which prepared eighty-four males for sacrifice. Isis would descend from the Pegasus to culminate each ceremony. The primary function of this display was to impress the natives so much, that they would not dare to revolt against their Amazon mistresses. The Amazons would also make public executions if the natives got out of line. There were not very many executions once the humans learned the consequences of disobedience. 


John used his Box now and then to assist Isis in her projects, and she started to respect John's autonomy. The children were developing quite well and showed an amazing aptitude. After four years, John managed to repair the gravitational field control unit and the stasis field generator. John had to make extensive use of the Box to make this repair. 


On their first trip, the Pegasus performed perfectly. Isis asked John if he could manage a short jump forward in time. John stated that it would have to be the old- fashioned relativistic shift, and those on earth would be aging more rapidly than she. Isis wanted a twelve-year shift so that she could see how her crossbreeding experiments were going. John mentioned that this would require a few days of experienced space travel. John still was having a problem with the decision about the children, but Isis herself sensed that she had blundered and something indeed was very wrong. "John there is something that disturbs me about these children. They do look very much like myself and Jim. I am having very bad feelings."


John encouraged Isis to say more. "Something disturbs me too about your own history. Antiope and Helen told me that I brought you children to the palace from an undisclosed location, and I don't remember ever doing that. These are the only twins that I have ever fathered, and they are by you my only daughter."


Isis shrieked. She realized the implications immediately. "Why that's impossible! It can't be! No, babies... It can't be; it just can't be!"


Isis became uncontrollable and her own hysteria overwhelmed her. John held her very tightly as he shared her shame and sorrow. What had they done, but it had happened. How could they ever even have thought such possible?


Isis cried uncontrollably for many hours while John held and comforted her. The hours turned into days as Isis fell deep into sorrow. Finally she asked John, if he had any comments.


"What precisely is bothering you, Isis?" He asked.


"Don't call me insane John, but I have the terrible feeling that these children are myself and Jim. Is that possible?"


John looked at Isis, but expressed no surprise at the thought. "Can you give up your children?"


Isis understood. "What do you mean?"


"I'm here to return them to the future where they belong."


"You've known all along?"


"Not really. The knowledge crept up on me. I had absolutely no idea until Antiope and Helen told me when I first met Jim. Then I didn't fully understand."


"John, can you promise to come back to me, if I ask you to take my children to Artemis? You know full well, when. Will you promise?" 


"Yes, I shall promise you this wish, my dearest; but I can't be your consort for future births. Perhaps you and Jim can make peace."


"Well that is sort of difficult at the present. Maybe you can think of a workable solution."


"The solution may take thousands of years."


"You have the Box, Jim, and time takes on new meaning with that in mind."


"Yes, it seems that it does."


"My children, John. You must take them now. I can't bear to live with the pain knowing that they must go. Give them to my mother, and don't let her know. Please don't let her ever know."


With that she called for her children. She cried as she remembered herself leaving her mother. Her memories never distinguished the difference between Aphrodite and herself. The royal line had been broken because Aphrodite never had a son by John, and now she was returning to Aphrodite a son to continue the bloodline, and herself as a child so that destiny could be fulfilled. She listened in unbelief as John told her that the paradox would be satisfied if he could time the drop off correctly. Isis mentioned that if his Box was anything like Jim's Genie, that it should have no problem of landing in the right place at the right time. John resolved to make the journey after he landed the Pegasus back on earth. He really didn't trust Isis with the Pegasus, but the children were more important at the moment, and he would have to deal with the rest of the problem at a later time in his own event space.


At .999999C, the Pegasus traveled a little less than four days while earth aged twelve years. Upon landing, Isis reviewed the results of the crossbreeding and was happy with the progress of the Amazon-human females. They were indeed fair and almost indistinguishable from their human sisters.


Before the twins were to leave, she showed them off to her people and told the Amazons that John had agreed to take the children home to Artemis. A great celebration was ordered and feasts and sacrifices were prepared. Isis may have been sorry for her time travel blunder, but she was not going to change her nature. John had to bear with weeks of festivities and celebrations and thousands of sacrifices before he was scheduled to be sent away. For his departure, Isis requested that he leave from the great pyramids that were under construction and return in the same chamber that he had left from.


She would have her human workers carve the story in stone for generations to be aware of. John resolved not to argue with her, but just allowed history to play itself out as he tried to minimize any interference. He was intrigued at the way things were proceeding. Isis didn't know earth's history, but she was making it. Yet there were other things about earth's history and he didn't intend to cause any more paradoxical events. John knew too much and he couldn't live any more in the past without disrupting it. Yet, he promised her that he would be back. One step at a time he thought, as his mind raced trying to deal with each crisis on a case by case basis. Yet he was comforted by his memories of Idiot, how he recalled that it had known, and the two Boxes seemed to know how to give just the precise stimulus needed for the moment. The purpose of his mission remained inviolate. With the knowing, came the responsibility to make the proper decision.


Isis was not quite ready to give up her children without making one more jump in time. She wanted to complete the great monuments to mark this event in time. She had her high priestess take the Pegasus for another jump while she and John stayed on earth and prepared for the departure of the children.


Isis already had a colony established where John was having his Sphinx constructed. She made a comment that this monument would be dedicated to her son the greatest of all the Amazon hunters and his magic belt. Three pyramids were constructed to symbolize three stars of his belt. Isis closely supervised John as she had him construct the monuments. John cooperated only because he would use the opportunity to teach man the principles of finer building construction. He used the same techniques to make the stone monuments that he had used in the Andes. 



In the meanwhile, Admiral Andromeda was given the command of the Pegasus as she was instructed to do a ship shakedown. Andromeda hand picked a crew and prepared the navigational plans for the next jump. Isis wanted Mars and Venus surveyed, and had the children taken along to enjoy the benefits of another time jump while the humans built her monuments. John had the responsibility for installing the sculptured stones once they had passed the scrutinizing inspection of the Venetian mistresses. The Amazons privileged the greatest of the stone masons with honor for a full year before they were eventually sacrificed. The Amazons had their reason for selecting these individuals. They reasoned that these would produce the more intelligent offspring.


The natives were informed that the son of Isis was to be a great king and he had to go back to his place in the stars to claim his throne. Being from the stars herself, as were all the Amazons, she did not have a very difficult time convincing her humans to believe whatever she said. Isis would forbid the women to be involved in the menial construction labor. It was her intent that they stay at home and receive nourishment from the labor of their mates. There she would be able to provide shelter for her children. 


Eventually the structures were completed, and as scheduled the Pegasus returned. The ceremony for the departure required the presence of every Amazon on the face of the earth. Second and third generation Amazons were present. A few lesser males were also present. One of these son's had also been conceived in earth's future. He was the child of Helen's double and Jim.


Once the Pegasus landed, John and Isis took a shuttle to get the children. John had the Box with him. Over three hundred thousand humans were present on the plateau that day. All were eager to obtain a glimpse of these children that did not age. Legend had it that these children left as babe's fifty years in the past. Almost two generations had passed, yet the Amazons did not age as quickly as the humans. The Amazon-humans aged a little slower than their human counterpart, but they didn't have the half the life expectancy of an Amazon. 


Isis had managed to stall John from returning the children twice, each time complaining that the monument wasn't ready. John read into the hidden meaning and redoubled his ingenuity in compounding the intricacies of the pyramids in time for the next return of the Pegasus. As much as he felt that the pyramids really had no real function other than to impress, he wasn't much concerned with the design or the time taken to build these structures. However, his increased effort gave him the reward of her approval. He was glad that Idiot had fed his Box the plans for these structures.


Chapter Forty-One

Pyramids and the Sphinx

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