After Jim and Antiope disappeared from the limelight in Hawaii, no one but military crews saw them and knew something about who they were. After the Lincoln, Jim's visits only involved an hour or two. On some days Jim refitted as many as four submarines. Once finished with the sea-based arsenal, Jim had to work on the land based weapons. His retreat was located not far from Pikes Peak, Colorado. Colonel James and Lt. Colonel Antiope would transit to and from the various scattered command centers for training and indoctrination of Air Force officers. He was outfitting the new jets with a powerful laser cannon which could fire a tightly focused high energy beam well over one million miles. New software was being made available to fighter flight control to allow synchronization of laser cannon fire as Idiot tracked each jet. Idiot would establish a closed loop wireless link with the fighter's navigational control system when the pilot released the jet to automatic control. Idiot would signal the pilot when his jet was within a firing region. Idiot would have a two-fold reason for striking at the fleet's flagship in local space. First of all, the portal will have been destroyed. Secondly the fleet will have been physically located and Idiot will be able to get a lock on all the fleet's ships. Several small drones would then be released to keep a plot on these ships as they continued on their way through space. From that moment on, Idiot would be tracking each and every one of the Venetian ships. The aircraft would be used to illuminate the fleet ships as the missiles that had been launched locked in on them. Once a fleet cruiser was illuminated, the fleet cruiser knew it was being targeted. Even though the laser could do no major damage to the ship, the missile with the payload headed in that direction would. Control of the missile would then be extremely precise because the laser would give Idiot a very stable location of the target. Once under laser lock, it would be impossible for the target to disengage itself due to the dynamic nature of the laser feedback. Idiot could track much faster than its target could move. Enough warning could be given before the fleet's destruction for them to reconsider the assault. The Air Force was totally amazed at the dynamic targeting feature he had introduced in the missiles. The missile could be programmed and reprogrammed indefinitely in flight. Jim reminded the generals that Genie was performing the coordination, and as such don't expect to keep this technology. Jim was somewhat secretive about his missile modifications.
Air Force command had a good grasp on Jim's strategies. A few land based ICBM's were retrofitted as well. Antiope loved those trips, because she would get to see some more of the beautiful land. For the next few weeks, Jim and Antiope flew all over America under strictest secrecy. Antiope would always insist on flying herself and she loved her helicopter. Jim had made some modifications to make it a little less noisy. He allowed the Air Force to copy his technique.
Jim was ready for her to strike at the satellites. Jim's surprise for Isis would be the fact that he didn't need the satellites at all to see her ships. Like fleas on the pack of wolves, his drones would tell him all he needed to know. He would have a response for her with the destruction of her flagship.
With its new arsenal very rapidly developed and implemented, the US Air Force and Navy felt ready to take on the Venetians all by themselves, with a little help from Idiot, while Jim watched. The President was not very technically minded, and it was very easy for the Pentagon to coordinate the activity secretly under her very nose.
After the Test, no more information was released publicly. Every now and then, the public would lose faith and wonder if Jim had abandoned them, but Jim would always make that gold so that Antiope could buy more stock. Antiope found that she had a knack for the market and she really enjoyed making millions by looking for bargains. Antiope plainly instructed Jim that she had absolutely no desire to go back in time, besides...she was pregnant...with twins. Jim advised her that she was going to have to make a lot to pay Isis for the Class I stud service that she had received. Antiope punched Jim out, while he rolled around laughing. "Well you better go fetch Helen, stud, because I
don't need you any more, and I'm making plenty of money on my own now." By now Jim was really laughing. "Good!" He said, "I like my women hard to get and independent, just like you." With that he approached Antiope and they passionately embraced each other and played quite actively. Antiope loved Jim dearly and she never wanted to face Isis again.
Antiope wanted her children to live on Earth. She asked Jim what were the possibilities. Jim advised her that it would be better if he could arrange for peace between the two worlds. That way the children could receive a Venetian education but still enjoy earth's pleasures. "This is not our world, Antiope. We must go back to Xanadu. I shall always have to go back to Xanadu. Xanadu is our home. Be not afraid of Isis, your children shall be very special to the Venetian race, and I am most certain they will be accepted as the Venetian ambassadors to earth after you have retired. This is your new royal position, so designate I. If you would like to, you may call the President at any time and tell her, but you should wait until after I've dealt with Isis."
"Jim, you don't have to do anything. Don't you have control of your future?"
Antiope was not very happy with the thought of Jim going back to Artemis and resuming his role as the Consort of Isis, but she understood that was a necessary condition if peace were ever to be established between the two worlds. She may give up earth, but never Jim. Then again, she never knew what was going through his mind and he was somewhat unpredictable, and she had his son. Jim didn't have any sons yet. Most certainly he wouldn't be quite as pure blooded as Jim, but it did qualify her for Sophia's position as high priestess if she so desired and she would be second only to Isis in rank. Jim reminded her not to sweat the load and that she had it made whether on earth or
Artemis. He called for John to see how he was doing.
John informed Jim that he was scouting Florida waters, and reminded him that there was only seventy-two hours left before Isis was likely to return. He had some strong leads and was enjoying watching the ladies in Ft. Lauderdale. He was currently investigating a suspicious network of charter boats. He advised Jim that he may need some assistance, but it would be more prudent to destroy the other portal first. He also told Jim that he felt the other cruiser was somewhere off the coast of Florida.
"What do you think, Antiope?" asked Jim. "It seems, I'm going to have to go into action soon. We've managed to keep our location secure. Where would you prefer to stay for the next 96 hours?"
"And I suppose, I don't get to use Genie at all while you're gone, and John is going to be busy as well?"
"And I'll be one of the top three on her hit parade?"
"I want to hide."
"I can set you up on the Flying Dutchman."
"I've tried that one before with no success."
"You can stay here in the mountains. We've kept this location secret."
"I don't know Jim. I've been seeing strangers in the hills now and then, and I'm sure we've been spotted several times. With you around, I don't feel threatened. Alone, I'll be looking at everyone with suspicion."
"Come on Antiope, you're being too timid. This is our land. Why don't you hunt the strangers who trespass on your land. Make a game of it."
"OK! I'll be lonely and I don't want to sit by myself with this war going on all about with me sitting on the sidelines."
"OK Antiope. What do you want?"
"Well, Jim, Isis is still looking for a submarine. John is obviously not using his Box as a submarine if he's checking the women out at Ft. Lauderdale. I think it would feel better if I were on the Abraham Lincoln with Commander Rickover and his crew."
"Excellent idea, Antiope. I am sure the crew would be more than happy to accommodate you. And I want to stay informed on your progress. I'll have John's two 'jarheads' be your personal guards."