After rising, they decided to meet for lunch to discuss their plans. Antiope and Helen were of course, pretty much in the dark, and had made their position to John and Jim that they deserved to know a little more. The men hinted to them, that they would be enlightened as much as possible that day.
The four checked out of the motel and went to a Denny's just a bit down the highway.
"Antiope, Helen, you must be aware for your own protection, that there are facts that we must withhold. My father forbids me to reveal where he has been and what he has done up until now. He feels that eventually the three of us must return to Artemis. This is not our planet and we do not belong here. I explained to him that the only reason why I'm here is that it was my concern that the queen's plans for this planet were for her interests and not the locals. There is something of greater concern here though, so he warns me."
John went on to explain. "Both of you have just experienced the ultimate joyride in space travel. Jim has not explained to you how this feat was accomplished. You both now understand that he and I are of Amazon royal blood and, that you as servants of the queen, are bound to us by oath. It is well understood by you both that you are to die protecting our secrets and it would be high treason for you to betray us to the earth's locals. Equally, Jim's gold is of the royal treasury. You, therefore, would face inappropriate punishment from Isis if you violated both her and our precepts. We understand we are putting you in a very bad position and you are bound to have conflict of interests. Furthermore, we are not holding you responsible for conflict of interests. Jim here, is a grown man, and he is perfectly capable of defending his ground when you may feel he is wrong. The royal family, as you realize, is at present, a house divided against itself. You must remain neutral for that reason. We at times may go too far, as you may observe. We also understand, that since you must eventually face Isis, you risk her punishment if you violate her rule. Bear in mind, that you are Jim's bodyguards. You are his servants before her. You will face Isis along with Jim. You will still be his bodyguards. Jim will not be vanquished when he faces her. Jim will be as the equal of Isis and the lives of you two will not be negotiable. No treaty between Jim and Isis will be possible, especially if she insists on dishonoring you both, unless, you betray us. I am not telling you ladies where I am based at, nor am I revealing to you anything more about myself than you already know. You know about my car and my briefcase; that is too much already. Furthermore, all of you tell me that I returned to Artemis with Jim and Isis when they were only infants. I don't ever remember doing that and this disturbs me greatly. We have a serious problem here and I'm not sure what this is all leading up to. Now, it does seem apparent that Isis must ultimately have something to do with this. We suspect future treachery. Do you understand this?"
Antiope asked, "How can you not remember giving the children to Aphrodite?"
Jim responded quickly, "Time travel, sweethearts."
John interceded, "You haven't done this Jim or have you?"
"I'm afraid to try."
"What do you mean try?"
"I believe that I have the capability."
"You're aware of the problem with paradoxes?"
"Well, apparently we have one."
John cleared his throat. "Jim, I don't have time travel capabilities."
"Why not? My design is based on your plans."
"There's no way I can get to Artemis in eight hours and it's obvious that Genie can get you there in an even shorter period of time."
"The energy required isn't worth the expense or the time saving."
"Well then, how do you time travel?"
"I'm not sure. Genie mentioned that it could do the job. It didn't spell out the navigational details to me."
"Well, apparently, Jim, I'm going to need those details. I need all of you to do a detailed study of earth history and to check for clues to this time travel problem of ours. Antiope and Helen, you are going to have to check for odd events in earth history to give us a clue as to where we may start."
"And how do you suggest we go about doing that?", asked Helen.
"Jim is going to buy a few earth computers and we will set up some communication channels and you will proceed to hunt. I will introduce you to the Internet. It is easier than going to libraries. Genie will also be able to hook in."
"What, no fun on our visit?" inquired Antiope.
"How about that shopping spree I mentioned?" asked Jim. "I have bottomless pockets as you should well know."
Helen gave Jim a hug and kissed him on his cheek. "Why Jim, you're such a doll. Have we ever told you how much we love you?"
"Jim," interjected John, "you are going to have more of a problem shopping than you think. Let us not forget our problem with unmarked gold bullion with the local authorities."
"Well what do you suggest?" asked Jim.
"You will have to be an outlaw in this world!"
"You and your girlfriends are in this country 'illegally'. You cannot lawfully tell anyone in this country who you are, and because of that, you must live outside of the law."
"As if we can conform to these stupid laws," Helen complained.
"Well, the laws of Isis could be regarded as equally ridiculous."
"Helen, this is going to be fun . I just feel it."
Jim smiled, "After spending all those years outfoxing Isis, earth has got to be easy. In fact, I feel that I am going to have to handicap myself to make the game fair."
"I wouldn't be that overconfident, Jim. You know how overconfidence can lead to fatal mistakes."
"I thought our primary concern here was money, cash. Why don't I just duplicate their notes of tender?"
John objected, "Please Jim. We must have ethics. That is classified counterfeiting. That is too easy for you. At least, if you make the gold, you are giving the locals something of true value."
"But am I limited as to how rapidly I can convert this gold to cash?"
"The government will be notified as to cash transactions of $10,000 or better. That's only 8 gold pieces."
"Pieces of eight! Oh boy. This sounds very inconvenient."
"And as soon as people see your gold, they will be keeping an eye on you. It is going to be somewhat difficult to maintain a low profile."
"So tell me, John. What's your secret?"
"I don't reside on earth. I have my home base elsewhere. That way, I'm not disturbed. I have a few influential earth friends."
"Are you suggesting that we base ourselves on the Pegasus?"
"It is not a bad idea. After all, it doesn't take too long to get here from there."
"I don't know, John. The women are looking forward to being terra based and I did promise them."
Antiope approved. "Attaboy, Jim. We want a nice penthouse downtown. We'd prefer a private top floor, with a heliport, of course."
"Well, guess what John? I think I've solved our problem." Jim smiled. "My girls are extremely resourceful. I'll just let them figure how to convert this gold to cash. Shall we head downtown? Do you think you ladies can find some gentlemen who will eagerly exchange $425 per gold piece?"
Antiope laughed. "Is this a contest?"
Jim smiled. "I'll hang around looking tough, like your pimp. You bring me the cash and I'll give you the gold. If anybody gives you any trouble, give me a holler."
John laughed. "You mean you intend to peddle this gold off anyway?"
"Yes. We shall prowl the streets of Chicago trying to sell the gold."
"Well, if that's not going to draw out the flies!"
"John, you can go watch us from afar; from wherever you're based. I'm sure by now you trust me, and if you have any problems, you know how to hail me. Besides, I thought you wanted to take the Pegasus for a spin. The girls and I will need to interact with the streets to establish a reputation. Antiope and Helen sort of have me glamorized as an Al Capone type, because, after all, this is Chicago and they want to live like his best girls. Can you blame them? And the first crime that we shall flagrantly commit is income tax evasion. I believe that neither of you women is good looking enough to raise 10 million in gold sales?"
"And how many gold trinkets is that?" Helen asked.
"1,250 each. 8,000. Might want some bigger coins." Antiope retorted, "And where are you hiding all this gold Jim?"
Jim pulled out 100 gold pieces and gave them to Antiope. He then pulled out 100 one ounce gold pieces for Helen. Again he pulled out another 100 for Antiope and another 100 for Helen.
"How is that for starters? That's about 12 1/2 pounds each. You now each have $250,000. I can give you gold indefinitely, and in a larger amount if yo need. They'll kill you for less."
Antiope laughed. "Maybe they'll rape us first. In which case I'll keep the cash and the gold. Oh, Jim, I can't wait! Let's drop off your fuddy duddy dad and go out on the town."
John replied, "I guess I can tell when I'm not wanted."
"Oh dad, can you do me a favor? I need a star-gate between earth and the far side of the moon for the ladies. We have one on the Pegasus, so we really need a portal on earth as well. Do you know or can you specifically tune a portal for the Pegasus bridge?"
"OK Jim. I'll provide you with and also guard your earth portal."
"It's for Antiope, Helen and myself. We'll want a portal between our penthouse and the Pegasus. I can tune it for the Pegasus if you can construct it."
"A heliport, Helen? We're trying to be inconspicuous and I don't need a helicopter."
"Well, we do. How do you expect us to get around; walk?"
"Son, I'm off. I see you have your hands full with these two. Try to stay out of trouble."
John picked up his briefcase; Jim tossed him a transmitter out of one of his belt pockets. "I'll keep in touch."
John left, shaking his head. A few moments later they noticed John riding away on a Harley-Davidson.
"Now where did he get that?" Helen asked, "and where's his briefcase?"
"Are we ready, ladies?"
"You bet, Jim. Take us for a ride."
Chapter Nine - Aliens Abroad