Isis determined that she would first try to seek Jim out before she commenced her assault. She also would spend a little time studying this planet, looking for weakness. She released Helen but did not reveal the location of the Canopus to Helen while doing so. Helen was to be followed very closely while she was permitted her freedom. The counterfeit Antiope and Helen were returned to Artemis until needed.
Helen did not remember much from the night before. She was back on earth, but with Isis. Now she was free, and most probably being watched closely. She was confused as to what to do. Isis had released her, but with no resources. If she could find John, Jim or Antiope she would have all she wanted. It was quite clear that Isis expected her to lead her right to him. Jim was quite clearly capable of dealing with Isis. Helen felt that she had no other choice but to do as the queen wished. She could always have her recaptured and dealt with her under charges of dereliction of duty. Helen understood the queen's wishes as her duty. She was not betraying Jim. She would love nothing more than to be freed by him. The carrot at the end of the stick forced Helen to seek Jim out.
"This shouldn't be too hard," she thought. When she had awakened that morning, she had found herself in a motel room just off US 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She saw no Amazon anywhere as she stepped outside the room. She asked the motel clerk who had checked her in. The clerk responded saying that his girlfriend had, and the room had been paid for. He also commented that she must have been at one great party.
She stepped out and looked at the highway, and walked to the road and stuck out her thumb. Within seconds, a car had stopped. She left a few corpses in a motel room the next day and drove off with his car, credit cards and cash. She managed to buy a laptop computer with one of the cards, and logged on to her accounts. She found her Hawaiian bank account and discovered that someone had just deposited a few million extra in her account. That didn't sound like Isis. She was also surprised to discover that the credit cards still worked even though by now the police had obviously known about the owner's demise. She was being tracked and she knew it, and she was getting nibbles. She attempted to buy an airline ticket to Honolulu and had no problem. The ticket agent smiled at her as he handed her the ticket. "Aloha, Helen."
The next thing she knew she was escorted to first class even though she only bought a coach ticket. Before she knew it everyone was smiling at her. A rather distinguished looking gentlemen sat next to her and introduced himself as Captain McCoy. It seems that he had received a rather urgent communication concerning the necessity for him to escort her to Pearl Harbor. "It seems that Honolulu would be more than happy to have you return to their isles. We have word that the Flying Dutchman is en route to greet you."
"Captain, it's a trap. Isis is using me to lure Jim out of hiding."
"And our command wants to know where Isis is hiding, and you are then saying that she is back on earth."
"Yes, that's why she released me. She intends me to lead her to him."
"It seems rather odd that you are telling me this. By the way those four you left dead had a record longer than I care to say, and all had been previous rape suspects."
"You say I'm doing you a favor by putting an end to their miserable existence. I had no premeditated desire to kill them. It was, as you say, self-defense. I presume that is what led you to find me."
"Well we do have nationwide APB's issued to report any evidence of Amazon behavior. My orders originate from someone named General Armstrong. I trust that you know him. He is going to greet you in Hawaii."
"He mustn't. Isis wants him as well."
"Well, it's not like he's going to greet you at the airport as we all get off the plane. Excuse me but I do have to make a report back to my superiors. I'll do it with you here, I am instructed to ensure you are aware of any communications I have with you. Also please take these. He handed her a pair of oak leaves. It seems that you're a lieutenant colonel."
By now they were in the air. Captain McCoy took Helen to the cockpit. Captain McCoy requested a radio transmission and showed the flight captain his authorization. The flight captain instructed all his crew to leave and then told the CIA operative that he could place the plane on autopilot if he needed the privacy. Captain McCoy accepted the offer.
Colonel Greene took the call and asked for confirmation of the presence of Isis on earth. Helen confirmed the presence of Isis and the existence of the portal, but admitted she knew nothing about the location of the Canopus. The colonel thought about the Canopus. That name seemed awful familiar. Where had he heard the name? The sub
tender which serviced the Abraham Lincoln had that same name. Such a coincidence, he thought. "Welcome back, Helen," was all he said.
Jim received the word that Isis had indeed returned. Antiope was already aboard the Abraham Lincoln. John took his briefcase, and chartered a yacht to Bimini. The Amazon women immediately recognized him, and Isis was advised that John had chartered one of Shady's yachts. The queen was not very happy with the sudden appearance of John so close to her home base already. Just yesterday she had him captive on the Pegasus, and now he seemed to be snooping a little too close to home. Apparently Jim was a little more successful at finding her than she him, but John would do. Isis signaled to Shady to reroute the yacht so that Isis could have a word with John.
As soon as Colonel Greene had confirmed that Isis was indeed on earth, John was free to come out of hiding, and Jim proceeded into deep space with Idiot to find the fleet. General Armstrong would take Helen to the Flying Dutchman which was moored in Honolulu and release her the boat. In effect Helen was being led up a blind alley, but would find herself back at home on the yacht. Isis worried about letting her on the yacht. Jim had a portal there, but it didn't seem likely that Jim would leave the portal to only cause more problems.
Jim was still hiding, and she had a finger on John. She resolved to trigger the assault, threaten destruction of cities, take out the satellites and demand surrender all in one blow. Jim would have to surrender.
While at sea, a small fishing vessel encountered the yacht that John was on, and Isis came on board. Immediately, the crew confronted John as Isis greeted him. She found it odd that the ambrosia had worn off and she had no psychic control of his emotions. This she was quite unprepared for. She signaled for the assault to occur and immediately at a thousand different locations her assault units destroyed all of earth's satellites. Earth communication systems immediately were disrupted. Isis then congratulated John for surrendering peaceably. Shady handed Isis his briefcase. He was then searched and stripped. John said nothing to Isis all the while. She then had John's briefcase thrown in the sea.
The President was then advised that Isis wanted to have a chat. The President immediately apologized to Isis and admitted that she had been having some problems with renegade generals who had been misleading the people with a false sense of security. Isis asked about the Test and the meaning.
It was then that Isis was notified that her fleet flagship had been attacked and the crew was abandoning ship. It seemed that Jim had boarded the ship and destroyed the portal. Isis was furious but she had John captive. Communications confirmed that Jim was still involved in combat and was therefore a few million miles away currently and powerless to help earth, and she was holding John naked. She immediately threatened to destroy New York City as a retaliatory move, to force America to surrender.
Antiope and General Armstrong still had some of the satellites that Jim had recovered and were prepared to track the Canopus if it emerged from the ocean depths. Jim would be back soon, once his business with the fleet had been accomplished. Isis was not prepared for the loss of another portal and it became quite clear to her that the Canopus was the next intended target. Furthermore, John had all but surrendered himself to her. Then she recalled Jim's previous escape from her. Angrily she threw John overboard. She returned back to the Canopus and then to Artemis.
John would have to swim a few miles to get back to Florida.
Back in Xanadu she directed Shady to fish John out of the ocean and send him to Xanadu using the portal on the Canopus. Safe in her palace, Isis was invulnerable to harm and with the ability to use only one window now to return from Earth, she was in no mood to be stranded on Earth. The US President seemed to be having a problem with some form of military revolt. Each time a military base felt threatened by her forces, it launched all of its missiles into empty space and surrendered. Each time the President ordered a base to close, the base would launch its missiles. General Armstrong apologized that the fail-safe mechanisms had been activated. The President was furious. She had ordered no fail-safe action. General Armstrong apologized again stating that he was unaware that Colonel James had implemented these systems in the missile control network. The President ordered General Armstrong to override Jim's fail-safe systems and disarm all remaining weapons. General Armstrong apologized again stating that he was locked out of NORAD missile fire control systems. The President was furious. She didn't trust General Armstrong and did not believe him. The President was convinced that her cooperation was sparing her cities from attack. Isis in a teleconference from Xanadu showed the President the greatness of her palace, repeated her specific demands for water and men for breeding purposes. The President found her terms agreeable. She also referred to the outcome of the summit. Isis went along quite well with the American president but then asked why Jim had received so much support. The President expressed that it had been the will of the people. Isis laughed at her." Announce to your people also that there will be no more elections either. As subject to the Venetian empire my word shall be your law. I will have my warriors round up your rebels. These men should provide us with an ample supply of male hostages to keep the less meddlesome of your people free from having to be sacrificed. My warriors will enforce my law in your land. Announce this to your people and I shall spare your cities from widespread destruction. Within a month my fleet shall arrive and I will show you my majesty."
Shady confirmed that she had John. He was bound. They all also had their way with him and he was very weak from the effects of the ambrosia. They had him well secured and were prepared to rendezvous with the Canopus. Checking with the fleet now required using the Canopus as a relay station. Couriers informed Isis that Jim seemed to be involved in odd maneuvers in the vicinity of her fleet. His means of getting around confused them considerably. His vehicle was so small that it was hardly detectable, and it was reported to be releasing very small objects that were close to impossible to detect. No confirmation was available about the number being released, or what in fact those objects were. Isis concluded that they were some form of tracking insect that Jim was infecting her fleet space with. She then related the missiles with these machine insects. She had no ability to track where those missiles were headed, but she had an idea. The significance of the Test now seemed all too apparent. She ordered John bound in a sack and a trunk and delivered to her.
Twenty-five minutes later, the trunk containing John was brought to her palace and opened. It was empty and in his place was one hundred eighty ponds of gold dust. The Canopus portal window then changed color. No further communication from the Canopus was received from then on. Jim had won. She smiled at Helen. Her counterfeit Helen was now on the yacht. She ordered a shuttle from the Canopus to make transit to Hawaii to arrest Helen, and install the counterfeit in her place. The counterfeit Antiope had also been sent back to Earth. She was instructed to find and execute Antiope, and then to take her place. Isis was still in the game. Her Helen would seduce Jim into a trap and bring her the Genie.
Isis was now out of communication with her fleet. Helen reminded her of the communication transmitter on board the Pegasus. It was capable of instantly communicating with any fleet ship, Jim had shown her how to work it. Isis was delighted with Helen. Isis then had a change of heart about recalling the fleet.
Helen remembered what Jim had said to her about her value to Isis while she was alive. Helen felt better convinced that Isis would treat her well. She feared for Antiope, but was certain that Jim had her well protected. It bothered her deeply when she thought about the counterfeit Helen and how Isis was using her. She hated Isis. It was such cruel torture for Isis to have given her freedom, allowed her to build up hopes, only to be a prisoner again with the knowledge of the queen's trap for Jim.
Yet she smiled. What if the other Helen tried to steal Jim's belt? Would it still instantaneously transfer Jim, the belt and the perpetrator to the Pegasus? Helen wanted to be there when that happened.
Isis Strikes Again