Genie spotted the jets and alerted Jim. Jim knew that they would be fired upon. He instructed Genie to destroy any projectiles launched from the aircraft midway between the jet and the boat. Within a minute, the aircraft appeared and they were locked on as targets. Genie notified Jim as to when they were to be targeted. Jim instructed Genie to issue a large burst of energy up the aircraft radar circuits as soon as armament was launched. The missiles were then fired. With extreme accuracy, Genie took out the weapons and the aircraft fire control system. As the aircraft flew over, the pilots realized not only had they missed the target, their missiles had been destroyed, and they now had no defensive capabilities. They signaled home base that they were returning and the mission had failed. 

 

The second wave was equally fruitless for the Air Force. The little Mermaid persisted in her northerly course.

 

General Needhymen started to sweat a little. He was beginning to sense that Project Gold Alien was very hot indeed. He immediately ordered off all efforts against the trio. He ordered a jet for Washington to consult with the President. Project Gold Alien was immediately upgraded from Top Secret to Dire Emergency Eyes Only, and all watch-standers were ordered quarantined until he had privately consulted with the President. He also ordered the cutter and the crew to be quarantined until they could be debriefed. In the meanwhile, he sensed the networks were still being scanned as numerous reports of system problems flooded his desk. The operational method of the scan was effective and predictable. Circuits would go dead and then they would reactivate again as if nothing had happened. Whoever this guy was, he was good. He was very, very good. General Needhymen read the Internet message again. He would have to take this Jim very seriously. 

 

"Colonel, do you have any explanation for what happened to our jets?"

 

"The boys in the lab are certain that he used an Electro-particle beam to destroy the missiles and he must have shot a load of energy somehow up the aircraft fire control radar circuits. He apparently plucked the signal code when we had locked on to him. Just like we do to the bad guys."

 

"Yeah, only he's better at it. We're about to implement our own beam and he demonstrates that he already has it. Who is this guy?"

 

"General, we're trying hard to get a background on this fellow, but as you can see they are going through great lengths as to not identify themselves. I'm willing to bet that their identity is their Achilles heel."

 

"If you're right, then they will not give us any proof of their identify. Have our boys see if they can come up with any idea where this guy and his associates are from. Also fly that Coast Guard captain and one of his enlisted men who had a front row seat to Washington as well."

 

Another attaché approached the General. "Permission to speak, General"

 

"Proceed, Major."

 

"Your transportation is ready, if you'll follow me."

 

"Right away, Major. Colonel, call General Armstrong to relieve me while I'm away at Washington. You are in command here until relieved."

 

"Thank you, sir."

 

Indeed, the general was partially right. Jim had interfered with the missile and aircraft guidance systems. Once the aircraft had locked onto the Mermaid, Genie was able to reciprocate on the electromagnetic source. Idiot's defensive system then simply analyzed the radar source and then disrupted the aircraft internal communication system. In each case, the pilot had to resume manual control of his aircraft, because of Idiot's precision counterattack. Jim was aware that this technology would be a known weapon to the earth's generals, so they still would not be convinced that he was an extraterrestrial. He knew they would be suspicious that perhaps he could be extraterrestrial; but it would be somewhat easier for them to preserve a belief that he was of human origin. Interestingly enough, Jim wondered why a nation which banned good industrial solvents on the premise that it would destroy the ozone layer, would at the same time be constructing an energy beam capable of altering the earth's ozone layer. Jim knew perfectly well that the beam could be controlled and with the right knowledge, do great benefits. The beam technology was the first step towards understanding the workings of geometrodynamics. Earth natives would not have the capability to emulate his Box for thousands of years, if ever. He was aware of a problem they would have with mineral resources. Perhaps all it would take to awaken this sleeping world would be to demonstrate the possibilities. Apparently, there was a lot of doubting Thomas' on earth that stifled creative efforts with their own conjectures of what can or cannot be. It became clear that all he had to do was to stimulate this hope that man indeed would be able to explore the other worlds. Isis and her colonies are sufficiently far enough away, than it would be those same thousands of years for the earthmen to ever encounter her colonies.

 

Consequently, Jim felt that he would do two things. The first being to demonstrate the wonders that can really be performed. The second to discourage the fleet. His problems with the US Government were far from over, but he was certain that they wouldn't try any further obvious attacks.

 

Jim went one step further. He mind linked through Genie to earth's defense systems. He issued a simple statement: 

 

"It is possible for me to consciously control your machinery through my own telepathic efforts, if I make the effort." 

 

This would leave them a lot of gray matter to consider. The intent of this message may not be clear immediately, but it did suggest that the US would never be able to determine how he accomplished his miracles. The same rules held here as on Artemis; Jim was not going to give away his secrets.

 

He still had one more act to perform, or perhaps series of acts. Jim had a problem with the US nuclear policy. For the sake of national security, so as to keep technology out of the hands of terrorists, technology is kept secret. His concern became that this information, then being privileged, would keep the simple, honest people in the dark as well. In order to be trusted with the knowledge, humans would necessarily conform to the arbitrary rules of their masters. Those individuals that showed the slightest hint of desiring to think for themselves were dismissed as unreliable. Creative efforts allowed the truth to seep through to the general population anyway. The parable has its place even today. Jim knew the evil that can result if government was ever able to control the truth to meet its own desires; yet all governments attempt to do this.

 

The greatest joke of all is when the emperor indeed discovers that he has no clothes.

 

Jim was not going to confine his activities strictly against the US He simply needed access to the US defensive networks for his own applications. He would be more than willing to share the network with the owner.

 

A limousine pulled up to the marina. Three "suits" exited, accompanied by two generals. The merchant knew he would be the one to whom these men wanted to talk to. He did not want any trouble with the government. He had honestly sold the boat. Who wouldn't?

 

"Sir, what did you observe the three take on board the Mermaid?"

 

The merchant replied very simply. "They had no luggage, not even a cooler. The two women had their enormous handbags of cash only. They still had a lot after they paid me."

 

The G-men looked at each other in total confusion. "No luggage? Then how to explain the jet incident without any Equipment?"

 

They asked the merchant, "How fast is that yacht capable of going?"

 

"25 knots top, but I could have sworn it was doing better than 25 knots when I last saw it."

 

Again they were confused. The Coast Guard reported the yacht as doing better than 60 knots during the chase incident. 

 

"Sir, if you don't mind, will you come with us to talk with the President."

 

"President, me? I don't know anything."

 

"If you're telling the truth then there's nothing to worry about, but our bosses will not believe us if we tell them what you told us."

 

"What's so unbelievable about me selling a boat? They were in a hurry to test drive the boat. The fact that they had no luggage led me to believe that they wouldn't be gone long. It just seemed to me that they were in such a hurry to buy the boat, that if I didn't sell to them they would find someone else who would. My only regret is that I only got $7 million from them. Now it seems that perhaps I could have received the full $8,500,000."

 

"Who did you sell the boat for, and do you have the plans for the boat? We need to know everything about that boat."

 

The merchant went on to explain all that he knew. He became even more comfortable that these were not taxmen, and he was even more at ease when they criticized him for not selling the boat for $10,000,000 as they would have done. "By the way, did they give you any gold?"

 

The merchant showed the G-men a couple of the one-ounce coins. The G-men marveled at the apparent purity and the craftsmanship. Anyone that had an eye for money could tell the pieces were pure gold and that the coin was perfectly minted with absolutely no markings. The Chicago brokers were not stupid when they quickly realized that these coins were indeed gold of the purest quality, and could easily be sold at a higher price as jewelry.

 

Of greatest interest to the G-men was the fact that the merchant was the best eyewitness they had found who had seen what Jim looked like. They were also confounded by the disappearing van trick. It seemed once again they could find no

evidence of the van, which their satellites had so effectively tracked. Was there a fourth conspirator who drove the van away while no one was looking?

VENETIA

Chapter Fourteen 

Project Gold Alien

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