Jim and John had deliberately scheduled the banquet to allow for VIP's worldwide to be flown in. At Jim's request an ambassador from each nation was flown to Honolulu. In many cases the actual head of state made the trip. Never had security in Hawaii been so tight. The very short notice complicated matters somewhat. Top generals from all the world's superpowers were en-route.
Jim and John were also directly involved in providing security for these dignitaries. Genie hooked into the airport scanners and used other exotic surveillance tactics. The Honolulu police had never been so active in rounding up so many criminals at one time. Jim had made a public announcement suggesting that he was imposing Venetian martial law in Hawaii, and everyone was subject to being searched. Unlike the local police, Jim would only use these extreme surveillance strategies at moments of dire need. He respected deeply an individual's right to privacy.
The authorities managed to capture seven Venetian agents along with their 1572 lackeys whom they had recruited. Enough armament had been discovered in the most obscure hiding places to successfully storm the US bases in Hawaii. The prisoners had revealed a very well planned plot, and the name of Canopus had been mentioned once or twice. Follow-up interrogations yielded no further results. Jim ordered the 1572 lackeys publicly executed. He released a public statement stating he would show no sympathy for an earthling who would betray his own people. The 7 Venetians he returned to Artemis. The manner in which Jim conducted security shocked the public greatly, but it did provide the international leaders in Hawaii a very strong feeling of security. The local crime activity also mysteriously plummeted abruptly. The local authorities were very curious as to his techniques, but Jim was very tight lipped. He really didn't like taking such extreme measures, and he really took an intense distaste for the executions. Yet all these individuals had been recruited as soldiers for Venetia, and as soldiers, they were subject to the rules of war. All these individuals were soldiers out of uniform and had been caught red handed committing acts which were punishable by immediate execution in wartime. General Armstrong had advised him that a law was on the US books which permitted the death penalty for such actions. He disposed of the "right to fair trial", because his methods of apprehension were unknown to humanity. This grounds for reasonable search and seizure could not be argued without revealing secrets vital to national security. Regardless of what the public thought, Jim felt that the executions were necessary, and being necessary he made them public. He told the condemned, "Let the Venetian's do their own dirty work, they don't need your help to kill your kind."
Antiope was pampered with VIP treatment as Honolulu dignitaries fell over each other trying to do favors for her. She received two dozen offers of free accommodations, countless offers of complementary dinners for two. The mayor also gave her the key to the city. As she was driven through Honolulu, or anywhere else, her driver had to fight crowds of people trying to get a glimpse of this lovely and friendly Amazon. The local news network had her flown to the studio for an exclusive three-minute interview for the six o'clock news, which everybody watched. The newscaster was thrilled with her chance to discuss far away Xanadu, space ships, and galactic empires. All seemed to have a fantastic infatuation with these friendly strangers. It became quite apparent that America loved these new aliens. When Antiope described the power of the space cruiser, and how she herself had been en-route to the cruiser under arrest with a very uncertain future, the press found itself sitting on top of a scoop very much too its liking. Three minutes was not enough for the news, but it was all Antiope allowed. The media spent the next 48 hours unceasingly elaborating on what had been revealed in those three minutes. When asked what was to be discussed at the summit, Antiope mentioned that Jim would reveal to the world the serious nature of the upcoming invasion, and how it was absolutely necessary for earth's people unite against a common enemy and to preserve the planet's right for self-determination. The media loved this idea, and Antiope was hailed as the speaker for this very shy and dangerous Jim. When asked about future plans, Antiope could not elaborate, and it was there that she ended the interview.
Back at the harbor, John and Jim made plans for the summit. John insisted that he remain unknown and out of the picture. If the Venetians still had a portal, then Isis may learn about his paradoxical presence. John disguised himself as a marine. The two original marine guards, John recruited for submarine duty. They had been the only others who had seen him. General Armstrong had the transfer orders prepared. The two marines had bogus id's created and a new identity and past were carefully prepared for these individuals. False records were then carefully sifted into the network.
All this time, John stayed out of sight. John knew the earliest time that Isis could possibly transport herself to earth using any possible portal possibly still existing. He did not want her to find out that he had traveled into the past. Within his private quarters, John was well situated to conduct surveillance for any signs of Venetian activity. All attempts to determine the location of a second Venetian craft yielded nothing. With a little makeover, it would be very easy for any of the Amazons to meld within American society, or any other. There was no information that revealed the exact number of Amazons that may have been released into the environment from the Atlantis before it was destroyed. Generals Needhymen and Armstrong were advised that even the President was not to be advised.
Jim returned and discussed the next course of action. John asked Jim what he planned to tell the earth authorities. Jim, being a fiercely independent individual, would have preferred not to reveal anything and fight the fleet completely on his own. John then reminded Jim of the continued possibility of a local Venetian threat. On or after July 27, Isis could possibly arrive on earth using a portal. Anticipated arrival date for the fleet would be late August. John would use his resources to try to find another Venetian portal. It would be nice if Jim could sneak back to Artemis to discover if there is another portal on earth.
Jim thought about it for a few minutes and agreed. He would need to develop a cover to convince the Venetians that he was still on earth.
John smiled at him. "Well you could be commanding a hunter killer submarine military command center playing exotic war games. This will certainly keep any UFO's very shy. As long as Xanadu thinks their last earth base is being hunted by you, they will never suspect you as visiting Artemis."
"And you will play me on this submarine. Then I should get another of my own to use as my gate."
"You will have to hijack the submarine, Jim. We can't let her know there's two of us."
"I should use a secret second ship strategy. Now why does that sound a chord? Then should I take the Dutchman out and catch myself a nuclear submarine?"
"Now how are you going to do that? I have a better idea. There just happens to be a submarine alongside the Canopus here in Pearl Harbor at the moment. Why don't you use your invisibility sneak on board, let them go to sea, and take over command? Reprogram the onboard missiles and show our Venetian spies how well you can shoot those birds. This will also encourage our friends here to trust us a little more."
"We don't need any of our friends getting to her. Let her make the decisions though. We mustn't let her feel too restricted. I will need her for ground base communications, though. Well she does have the Flying Dutchman, $40 million plus, and
our communication support. I believe General Armstrong will see that the US Navy, Army and Air Force will come to her rescue if she needs help."
"Also Genie will advise me if she is ever threatened. We have given her a panic button which she will activate giving us her whereabouts."
"So what are you going to tell earth authorities?"
"They need to be alerted regarding the Venetian threat. I need to evaluate their will. If Earth expresses a desire to be subject to Isis or chooses to do so in the future, there will be no point in providing defense assistance,"
"So you are formally going to request them to tell you what they want or expect?"
"Yes. My research indicates that man and woman will prefer to choose free will over enslavement."
"Yes. Free to make the wrong choice."
"Who's to say what's wrong? Isis would say we're wrong for interfering."
"Yes, but we're her equals. By ancient law his or her veto could kill a Venetian administrative action. My veto and yours are legal precedents for stopping the invasion. We could argue in a Venetian court that Isis is violating Venetian law. She's wrong, and that's that. The only reason why we're able to cross the event horizon is to maintain stability of the continuity of the space-time infrastructure. The structure of space-time is not an object of our free will. We can only control these fields, because we have disciplined ourselves against her nature which Xanadu tried to breed into us. They can't understand our machinery because of Xanadu's obsession with forcing the will of Isis on the universe."
"If Isis wins, then what? Or if I surrender the Box."
"Jim, your instinct tells you not to do that because you correctly surmise that the universe as we know it would end if she were allowed complete control of Genie. She would create paradoxes indiscriminately without considering the implications. She wants it all, earth, power, you, and Genie."
"Well our guests are due to arrive within the hour. I suppose I'll go out to the hall and greet them as they come on board. Genie has an interesting audio-video to show our guests."
"What is the base for your strategy, Jim?"
"I'm not sure. I make it up as I go along."
"The ultimate reactionary, and you claim she's too impulsive."
General Needhymen and General Armstrong were the first to arrive. With them they brought the guest list and had at their disposal a well-established communications network, which John was monitoring in the back room. Jim wore his belt, while John maintained the hyperdimensional interior stability of the great hall within the submarine. John had provided an air-conditioned inflatable enclosed walkway which linked the hall with the dock. From the outside it looked like a very long elephant trunk extending from John's submarine over the yacht and to a receiving area on the dock. Marine guards thickly populated the yacht, the submarine deck, and the perimeter of the walkway. Access to the walkway was restricted to the guests and the staff of escorts.
The walkway itself was an extension of John's box. Subtle interior shifts were incorporated to make it very unclear that they were entering from what appeared to be outside...a submarine, but from the inside it looked like anything but that. As a result the guests were really not aware as to whether they were on the water or on land.
Eventually all had arrived and were seated. Antiope welcomed them all and introduced Jim. All were curious as to what this Jim looked like. He wore no special attire as he addressed the group.
"In approximately three months your planet will be subject to attack from a fleet of 400 star cruisers. Each of these cruisers is very much like the one that destroyed the Norfolk base. The craft within which you are currently to have dinner is actually the most potent weapon on this earth. Once we located the submerged starship, onboard weaponry was able to use a non-nuclear weapon to destroy the starship. I shall not discuss the armament nor displacement characteristics of this submarine."
All were aghast. It was true then, a remarkable new weapon had indeed destroyed the starship, and it was like nothing that they had ever imagined.
"All of you wonder how is it that we're larger on the inside than the outside. I apologize that I can not take the time to explain to you why this is so. This submarine is my spaceship. I show you the interior as an expression of good faith. It is my sincere wish that your children of many generations from now may somehow be able to live an abundant life. In
order to do this, you must be able to properly harness the forces of nature. This requires the proper knowledge of the laws of the universe. This also requires your world to live free from illusions. What you see is no illusion. I am actually applying the laws of physics and am using an onboard computer to carefully regulate 'surface boundaries'. I wish to free you from your superstitious mistrust of the unknown. The unknown is to be made known. Be not afraid to hide your face from reality, once you have discovered you may have been wrong in your assumptions. I bring you here and show you what you can not believe, so that you may give the proper regard for the potential threat from the Venetian fleet. She will demand my surrender, or attack mercilessly. Each and every one of your nations will lose sovereignty rights as a condition for surrender. You will be allowed to retain your rank, but she will command. By so doing she will minimize any bloodshed, and will promise to spare lives. I don't believe I need to elaborate too much as to what she will do to those that oppose her. I am advising you that I can stop the fleet by using your rockets and your nuclear explosives, I will be able to destroy the fleet while it is still several thousands of miles from earth. I intend to destroy all incoming cruisers."
A great deal of concern seemed to be coming from the less developed nations. Many seemed to be willing to accept Isis as a new ruler. The current major world powers seemed to be very unsympathetic with the concerns of the more impoverished nations. The hall broke into a disordered array of argument as the nations began to take sides. Jim could see the first poll was not going to be unanimous. Even though General Armstrong and General Needhymen were very much in favor of this noble fight, not all seemed to share the same faith.
The President wavered somewhat, and was unable to show the resolve to back Jim one hundred percent. Instead she criticized Jim for the execution of the prisoners without granting a fair trial. The leaders voted to reject Jim's offer of help. Rather than to try to fight off these powerful aliens, perhaps it would be better to live in cooperation with them.
Jim sulked as the debate went on, and he saw himself rapidly losing support. Jim was asked instead to surrender himself to Isis upon her return. Instead of receiving support for his plan to give earth freedom, he found himself being criticized as the nations seemed all too willing to accept Venetian authority. Furthermore he could not explain to them the paradoxical implications of their expressed opinion. He was not completely without support. The American delegation seemed somewhat divided right along party lines. The President however was commander-in-chief, and would be in power when the fleet arrived. She preferred not to put millions of lives in jeopardy. If only two ships got through and managed to find the ocean depths, then all earth could be subject to random attacks of terror.
The national leaders exercised their right to self-determination and chose not to oppose the fleet. Jim then asked if the nations if they wanted to surrender to the Amazons so readily, why not just call them back out of the woodwork.
Much of the resistance was due to lack of faith in Jim's abilities. John was correct. He would have to demonstrate wonders again and steal a submarine and demonstrate his abilities. He whispered to Antiope a few words. He then appeared to start to speak, but instead disappeared in plain sight of all.
Antiope then took the microphone and announce that the summit was over. Dinner had long been finished, so it was taken as a signal for the guests to leave.
Antiope sensed Jim's disappointment and she herself viewed the authorities with a certain disrespect. How easily they would sell their generations to enslavement.. Yet she also questioned Jim's intents. It seemed that he hadn't yet given up. It was most unusual for Jim not to offer a counter-argument. Instead he said nothing but vanished. He had told her to get all the guests off John's submarine, since he was ready to get underway. The generals gave no new orders to the marines ordered attached to John's submarine. They both felt that Jim wasn't going to give in that easily. The disappearance was attributed as a simple magic trick by many of the conference attendees. Many said they had seen better vanishing acts performed elsewhere.
Within an hour all the VIP's were gone. John had the two marines stay on board. Antiope returned to the Flying Dutchman. Jim was waiting for her on board.
"I thought you were going to steal a submarine," she said.
"I planted a transmitter on the boat. We will be able to follow the submarine, and I will be able to use Genie to get on and off while it is submerged. The portal on board the Dutchman will be our gate to the boat while its submerged."
"You can do that?"
"Yes, but I need a transmission link in order to do that."
"Well the summit was a little disappointing. I thought they would back you Jim."
"It was really not that much of a surprise to me. It seems that her few days on earth were quite effective in aiding her conquest."