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"I suppose it's time to get going." Jim yawned as he energized the magnetic tractor drive as the Pegasus gently detached from her moors and gracefully lifted up further from the floor of the hangar-dock. Ground control de-energized the guard shields, which protected the ship while she was parked. Within five minutes the ship would be expected at the palace.


"I made a few improvements in artificial gravity stability. Ladies, tell me what you think."


With that, Jim flipped the anti-gravity on full force. All were immediately weightless.


"Perhaps that's a little too much. How much would you girls like to weigh?"


They giggled at him. They found this latest toy of his most amusing. This was just one of the major reasons why the Amazons so loved their king. He always came up with the neatest little toys and gadgets and he was so prolific.


"Watch this ladies!"


Abruptly, Jim stopped the ship. They felt nothing.


"How's that for a smooth stop?"


"Amazing Jim! How did you do that? Now that was indeed a smooth stop."


''Twas nothing. Now watch this." With that, he blasted full power away. 


21 seconds to go:

The blast occurred. The guards were in shock for a couple of seconds and were partially awestruck from the visual effects off the takeoff.


20 second to go:

Jim realizes that the guards may not do much for the first few seconds as they trident make some sense as to what was happening.


19 seconds to go:

Antiope said, "Jim this is very impressive but totally unauthorized. Stop this flagship immediately!"


18 seconds to go:

Jim turns local gravity up to 8g. "Sorry babe, but I've got other plans. Try not to interfere too much and I'll relax the g-force a little."


16 seconds to go:

Jim eased the g-force so that Antiope and Helen would not pass out. "Just give me a few more seconds lieutenants and I'll explain what I have just accomplished."


"Isis will have our heads. You'll never get away. Nothing can penetrate the stasis field, not even this ship, and you know that. Isis will kill both Helen and me, and you will just be scolded. How can you be so cruel Jim? This isn't funny at all."


8 seconds to go: 

"Just watch, Antiope. Isis will be pleased with what we have just demonstrated. We are rapidly approaching light velocity at a rate previously unheard of. Look, we're almost .7C already."


"Antiope, look at what's ahead! A giant cube with an open door and we're headed right for it! Jim what is that?" asked Helen.


The initial blast did not go unnoticed on Artemis. It was immediately detected and identified as unauthorized. Planet security directed immediate action and the authorities were alerted at once. The queen, enraged, commanded an immediate update. She was notified that the Pegasus was identified to be leaving the surface of the planet at a very high rate of speed. She commanded activation of the stasis field effective immediately. This required planet-wide red alert and all vehicles within the region of the stasis field had a chance to be identified and field adjustments could be made. Stasis field control reported all clear and concurrently activated the stasis field power up. Fifteen seconds had elapsed from the occurrence of the blast, to the queen's notification, to her decision and response, to command reception and implementation. Within 10 seconds the field would be activated and Jim would be trapped maintaining his current pattern of acceleration which was amazingly high, yet predictable.


Isis shrieked: "Wait till I get my hands on that jerk. Antiope and Helen were such good guards. I cannot tolerate this sort of behavior. They must have been a little too lax. Jim caught them off guard and took advantage of them. Sophia, arrange for court-martial procedures on Antiope and Helen as soon as the Pegasus is retrieved and arrange for a Pleasure Dome fiesta with Jim. We'll see that he pays dearly for this little escapade of his."


Sophia responded, "I don't know what happened Isis. The Pegasus just disappeared from the screens and now the field is on. Jim disappeared one second before the shield activated. There was no explosion. He just vanished."




"Not impossible. See for yourself."


"Drop the shields, check for tracks and anything unusual."


The queen was dumbfounded. How could he do this? Simply vanish? Unheard of! Nothing in the known universe could do that. He had certainly kept the lid on this one. Isis realized that she had a definite problem. The computer records showed that similar situations occurred when Jim's father left the planet, but he had left from the planet surface with his space/time-machine which was not mobile on its own. Disappearance in free space of her finest ship certainly had more profound overtones.


Infuriated, she amused herself as she watched the captive men frolic with her girls in pure lust. She watched intensely as the pleasure overtook their bodies. She watched their pained expressions as they lost control and proceeded to pass slowly away. Certainly they had died with pleasure proceeding with excruciating pain as they realized now that they would die. She mercifully offered to decapitate their heads to end their pain. No one volunteered to die that way of course, so she had the very sick men carried away to the hospital where they would eventually die. Within an hour they would all be dead. From these seven dozen men, she could expect perhaps 200 pregnancies. They certainly had a good time, she conceded. They must have had at least five women each. What a spectacle to watch, as they were technically gang raped by the Amazons. The men themselves were amazed that they had the strength to hold up so well. The secret would be learned too late. They would all inevitably discover that this same drug which gave them so much sexual prowess would also kill them when it wore off.


Perpetuation of the species and 200 children were far more important than 84 alien men were. Nothing would stand in the way of survival of the species. Survival of the fittest was the natural law, which entitled her to rule the galaxies. Isis felt that her species was indeed the master race of the universe and it was her right to rule; she being the fittest of the fit.


"That's our door to another world, Antiope," said Jim.


He was relieved to see Idiot had arrived. He was amazed that Idiot had been able to expand the Box to the observed dimension. Within a second, they were inside. The lid closed instantly as the Pegasus entered the Box. Jim turned the Pegasus drive systems off as they were no longer needed and disabled the outside display, as Genie slipped the party safely out of range of the stasis field.


"Any questions, Lieutenants?"


Helen spoke first. "Now what?"


"Good question, let me ask my Genie." With that Jim walked over and grabbed a lamp from a table and proceeded to rub it, loudly exclaiming, while he switched on the ship's radio broadcasting system, "Oh, Genie, Genie, appear to me and do the will of your Master."


Idiot immediately responded. "What is thy will, master?"


"Well, first Genie, appear in a puff of smoke from my magic lamp."


"In what form should I appear so I don't shock your guests?"


"Since we're going to Earth, how about appearing like an Earth genie?"


Suddenly, with a puff of smoke, a genuine facsimile of an earth genie appeared. Antiope and Helen could say nothing, but their mouths were quite open.


"Genie, I wish us to be on earth in eight hours," said Jim.


"Your wish is my command and where on earth do you want to go?"


"Helen, Antiope. We have a problem. What am I to do with you both?"


"You mean to tell me that we're going to be on earth in 8 hours?" asked Antiope.


"Well, you don't have to go. I could drop you off on one of the queens colonies." 


"So we can tell her that you're going to be on earth in 8 hours because some genie whisked you there? Isis will skin us alive if we tell her that. Jim, you can't be level with us...Can you?" questioned Helen.


"Well what rank would you prefer me to call you ladies?"


Antiope responded, "Lieutenant is fine, as long as you don't dump us."


Helen's response was the same.


"But Jim, you know she'll track us down. She will find us on earth when she takes control of the planet," said Antiope.


"Who says she's taking the planet?" asked Jim.


"Jim, you have to be kidding. How are you going to stop all of her armed might?" asked Helen.


"With the will of earth's population," said Jim.


"Jim, that's treason!" cried Helen.


"My father directed that this planet was not to be invaded. I directed that this planet was not to be invaded. Isis was well aware of both our feelings. I simply disagree with the queen; this is nothing more than a minor sibling quarrels. It is not treason."


"But to kill your own kind?" questioned Helen.


"I'll try to avoid that as much as possible; perhaps a clean victory. No casualties."


"I will consider the possibility of surrendering myself if and when she calls off the invasion; if I could trust her. But I have yet to see her not attempt to take control of a civilized planet."


"Do you mean you are challenging your divine right to rule?," asked Helen.


"I have no divine right and neither does she."


"Well, someone must." said Antiope.


"I don't like her running my life. I can halfway sympathize with a planet which may not want her to run their lives either," said Jim.


"But our civilization is the foremost of the universe! We can provide much help for the humans once we redirect their cultural inadequacies," said Helen.


"No, Helen. I don't agree whole-heartedly there. I prefer to exercise my mind free of the illusions of Isis. If I believed all the malarkey that my schooling taught me, I would have never been able to show you Genie here."


Antiope said, "Jim, that's not a real genie. It can't be. Genies don't exist."


"Genie, do you exist?" responded Jim.


"I don't know master. What does it mean, do I exist? How am I to answer that question? If Antiope doesn't believe I exist, then maybe I don't. Seven hours and fifty five minutes to earth and I still don't have a precise landing point specified. Where are we going?"


"Genie, can you make a nice landing dock for us so that we may exit the ship and send us up some magic carpets?" asked Jim.


Genie said, "Get real Jim; I can't make anything that hasn't been invented."


"OK Genie. I'll use one of our on- board shuttles. Genie, are you able to assume control of the Pegasus?"


"I will need you to interface and provide necessary passwords and access clearance."


"Very well. Lieutenants, would you care to escort Genie around the ship and show him everything you know? If you would like, perhaps you can come up with some ideas for our travel destination. Also, I am instructing you to answer every question Genie asks as well as you can. Genie will notify me of any problems. Please don't make me kick you out the door."


"Jim, we decided that we will both protect you with our lives. Oddly enough, we trust you," said Helen.


Genie objected, "I need a hard interface. Parlor tricks are great for illusions, but we need to get the work done."


"Enough, say no more," said Jim. Genie, if I switch on the external viewer, what will I see?"


"I have you enveloped in a space time bubble; you will not be able to see anything. No external light sources other than my own transmissions are present."


"Can I leave this ship right now?"


"I can transport you to my control console from where you are now. You are within my local space time field. You will then be able to select and program a medium for communication between myself and the Pegasus."


"I want you to set up an optolink with the Pegasus. You can modulate the light and I'll have this ship's artificial intelligence go into learn mode. This will permit the Pegasus to learn how to communicate. Remember ladies, you both should have some basis for mutual understanding; considering your origin."


"Only an idiot would think a genie can learn how to operate a starship," Helen commented.


"Do you hear that Genie, they're calling you an idiot. OK Idiot, establish a command link with the Pegasus. I want voice activation control of all of Pegasus' systems through you as well as Pegasus local control."


"Affirmative, Master. I have achieved link and am transceiving. Link successful. Limited control should be established in approximately 42 minutes. I will need password clearance reinserted to access secure memory so as to assume complete command capabilities."


"OK Genie. The parlor tricks do have to go. I just wanted to see you perform this little trick. I may have a future need for that same illusion." 


With that, the facsimile of a genie disappeared with a puff of smoke. Jim gave the lamp to the ladies. He laughed as they vainly tried to rub the lamp to make the genie appear; mimicking Jim the best they could.


"I'm the Master of the genie, girls. Don't you forget that."


Chapter Six 

Launch to the Stars

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