While Helen and Captain McCoy were en-route to Honolulu and over the Pacific just a few hundred miles from the islands, Isis made her strike at earth satellites. The flight crew informed Captain McCoy of the new problem. Captain McCoy insisted that it was imperative that they continue on their flight to Honolulu. Unfortunately for Captain McCoy and Helen, both, a pair of Amazons managed to produce some weapons and took control of the airplane. Captain McCoy was disarmed and bound. The two Amazons advised Helen that they were awaiting orders from Isis, and that no harm would come to any of the passengers. The flight captain was advised to maintain course until new directions were specified.

 

In the meanwhile, the nation was in complete panic. The market had dropped very rapidly and all trading had been halted. The Amazon strike units that had taken out the satellites now proceeded to assume local control. Units were dispersed worldwide and in many different nations. Most of the strike units encountered no resistance as they assumed control of their local regions. Strike teams within the US met limited resistance. The major setback was the inability of the Amazon teams to deal effectively with the US Forces. Air Force jets proved themselves capable of dealing with the ground units as frequent kills were reported, as casualties were taken on both sides. 

 

As suddenly as it all started, the activity quieted out completely. Several missiles had been launched. The US government was divided as some still desired not to capitulate to Venetian demands.

 

Antiope and General Armstrong were concentrating on the activity which was occurring on board  the Aphrodite. Within minutes after her rendezvous with the Aphrodite, Isis had ordered the attack. Antiope was quite successful at associating viewed activities with the events as they happened. She became very concerned when John was thrown in the ocean. Commander Rickover looked on as Antiope tracked the Aphrodite as it made its way off towards another location. 

 

General Armstrong was also watching as the boat stopped, and weighed anchor. The Aphrodite then proceeded back to where John was swimming and retrieved him from the ocean. The Aphrodite then proceeded back to the spot where it had just left. 

 

Meanwhile Jim after several iterations managed to locate the fleet's flagship. He directed Idiot to transfer him to within the interior of the flagship and provide him with invisibility. Within minutes he found the portal controls. He materialized and immediately rendered the portal useless by having the Box overload the portal's control circuits. As a result ship electrical systems caught fire and a matter anti-matter paradox started to spread through the ship like a cancer, progressively voiding mass as the instability spread to all local mass within immediate space. Amazons on board the vessel became quickly aware of the plight, as all scrambled to try to get free from the craft. Jim ensured the destruction was final before he reentered the Box to leave the dying ship. Once free from the craft, the Box reappeared maintaining very minute external dimensions. The Venetian craft could barely detect his presence, but they were able to see the tracks left from his energy discharges as he shifted forms. The Venetians found these tracks not very helpful since they would only reveal where he had been and not where he was at that instant. Energy traces were popping all about the fleet with no apparent purpose or pattern. With each relocation Jim was depositing a drone. Each drone had the appearance of a very small meteorite. The drone had a small power plant and drive contained which would allow for minor course corrections. The drone also contained a very elaborate sensor system which would relay the position of individual fleet cruisers to the Box's receiver networks. 

 

Antiope advised Jim through their elaborate communication system that Isis seemed to be up to something with John, and they think they know where the Canopus may be submerged. Jim reviewed the information while he was releasing drones. He agreed with Antiope concerning the apparent probability that the Aphrodite had indeed moored in the immediate vicinity of the Canopus. She was probably receiving a briefing concerning his current activities with the fleet. He directed Idiot to reshape the Box into the form of a star cruiser as he continued to harass the fleet. He transmitted an ultimatum to the fleet for them to turn back. He promised to destroy them all if they persisted in the invasion attempt. 

 

Isis directed the fleet to stall Jim and keep him occupied. She then relocated to Artemis and the Canopus would then relay her directions to the fleet. Jim while engaging the fleet and releasing drones was also carefully watching the activity of the Aphrodite.

 

The Amazons on board the flight to Hawaii directed the flight captain to land in Hawaii and not Honolulu.. When the plane landed, the Amazons got off the plane taking Helen with them. The flight captain was then instructed that he would be permitted to continue on to Honolulu soon. The passengers were ordered to stay on the plane. Refreshments were served to the passengers while the aircraft was refueled for another takeoff.

 

On the ground, Helen was escorted to a room by her captors. She was then bound and imprisoned and locked within the room. The counterfeit Helen had been waiting there for the aircraft to arrive. She had just recently flown in by saucer. The real Helen was then taken to the small ship under guard and kept isolated. Isis was notified that the switch had been pulled.

 

The guards returned to the aircraft escorting "Helen". A ground conflict was then staged as "Helen" escaped back to the jet as her captors were "killed". Minutes later the aircraft was airborne again and back on its way to Honolulu. Everyone appeared to be pleased with the outcome of the foiled hijack, and Helen was showered with welcomes after she re-boarded the plane. She freed Captain McCoy. A few minutes after the aircraft left. Helen was flown back to Bimini. The small saucer, actually a shuttle, was quite capable of very high speeds and it intercepted the Canopus just prior to the return of the Aphrodite with John on board. The Canopus was awaiting the shuttle as the portal was ready to be used to send both John and Helen back to Artemis.

 

Immediately upon arrival, Helen was hurried to the portal and sent back to Artemis. Isis had directed that once fished from the sea that John be bound and blindfolded , and sent to her, inside one of her boxes.

 

John was bound and placed inside a trunk. The trunk itself was placed inside a special stasis field vault which would interfere with any transmissions that he may wish to relay. He had been stripped and shaved to minimize his ability to communicate with any one. No one wanted John to know where he was when he was taken on board the Canopus. Underneath the Aphrodite, was a saucer docking bay. These shuttle saucers could navigate in the air as well as beneath the waves.

 

Antiope was tracking the saucer from Hawaii and saw the saucer enter the ocean at the suspect point near Bimini and confirmed the location to Jim. She advised Jim also that the Aphrodite would be at the site within fifteen minutes.

 

Jim responded that he would be shifting his location back to earth to Bimini within fifteen minutes. Antiope said that is good because Isis just threatened to destroy New York City in twenty minutes. She would then accept the world's surrender. She told Jim to hurry. The President was being pathetic. Isis claimed that the destruction of New York will be punishment for open rebellion by the US Armed Forces. Jim promised Antiope to not fear and every thing was going as well as could be expected. General Armstrong reported that he had less time. Apparently his own forces were being overwhelmed and he expected his office to be back under Presidential control within ten minutes. Jim directed the General to cease all resistance and surrender. He would deactivate the missiles to standby immediately.

 

General Armstrong objected. "How can you deactivate the missiles we fought to defend just as she is striking our country?"

 

"She will never strike New York City."

 

"She says otherwise."

 

"Surrender and watch."

 

The Aphrodite weighed anchor. Shady's crew transferred the trunk from the Aphrodite to the shuttlecraft. The shuttle then whisked John to the mother ship. Somehow a dolphin also managed to swim inside the Canopus as well. The crew thought not much of the matter. Sea life would often become trapped within the docking chamber when a shuttle would enter or leave.

 

Jim was inside the Canopus and Genie was providing him with a protective shield. The dolphin disappeared beneath the water's surface and an invisible Jim left the water. In "ghost" mode, he drifted to the vicinity of the trunk which contained John. He heard the discussion concerning the orders to immediately transport the trunk to Artemis. The trunk porters quietly carried the trunk towards the portal.

 

Jim asked Idiot to get him inside that trunk with John.

 

Idiot asked if he would rather him rescue John from the trunk and send him to his own Box on the Flying Dutchman. "Can you do that?" Jim asked.

 

"If you wish."

 

"Send Isis John's weight in gold dust. I don't want the porters to feel a weight change." Meanwhile the trunk was about to be passed into the portal. Sentries reported that the coast was clear. The Canopus was still submerged.. "It's now or never, Idiot. Do it!"

 

The trunk was passed through the portal. "You failed me Idiot. He's gone."

 

"John is on the Flying Dutchman. Should we destroy the portal now?"

 

"It is time. As I materialize, Idiot, merge into the ship's control system, override and burn out, and then commence system shutdowns, so as to force the crew to abandon ship. It would be nice if the Flying Dutchman could be waiting for us at the surface. Implode the shift, once every one is clear."

 

Upon materialization the Amazons recognized their master only to see their own portal disappear as Idiot immediately shut the system down. He advised them that he'd be pleased to talk to them on the surface, because he had already commenced a destruct sequence on the Canopus, and it is time to escape for their lives.

 

In spite of their differences with Jim, each Amazon had more concern for her own life. It didn't take much to realize that Jim wasn't bluffing with alarms going off and electricity blackouts spreading like wildfire. The Amazons being of superior strength were each well capable of swimming the thousand feet to the ocean surface. The escape chambers were functioning efficiently enough to facilitate an orderly escape. The cooperation between Jim and the Amazons was unusual considering the fact that Jim and they were technically still each others enemy, and Jim was in fact destroying the Canopus. However, Jim's mercy to his enemies was legendary. He would always quite effectively disarm the warriors and then would send them home.

VENETIA

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Jim Strikes Back

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Site Last Updated July 2015

(Author's note: QBLHis a continuation of Venetia. QBLH ;Copyright 1999/2015; Lazarus Cain (G.T.King)) All rights reserved)

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