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The domed room was enormous.  The mirrored walls were projected with stars representing the 42 planets that Isis had conquered.  At the
top of the dome, in its center, floated a large silver sphere.  This was the symbol for the planet Artemis.  This orb also served the purpose of
being the light source for the room.  Directly beneath it were fountains constructed of fabulous jewels and workings of gold and silver.  There was one silver door located at the front of the room and the other, a golden door, in the rear, left portion.  The floor was made of gold, inlaid with silver combined with stunning, jeweled mosaic patterns.  As one entered the silver door, they were forced to walk upon a pure white silken carpet that stretched from the room's front, through the fountains and toward a large prism-like stage.  This person was to be dressed in their appropriate court-room attire.  This supposed guest would remove their shoes and ascend the eight stairs to a small landing.  There were also stairs to the right and left of the landing.  It was here that the guest would be greeted, from the left, by the queen's Prime Minister and state their case.

Directly in front of the guest were ten more stairs leading to a platform upon which sat the great thrones of Isis and Jim.  Jim was seated to the right of Isis, for he was her right-hand man.  These thrones, as were everything else, were constructed of gold and saturated with many
jewels.  The seats were covered with white velvety cushions made of the finest and most delicate feathers in the queen's entire galaxy.  Behind
and in the center of these thrones, arose a large pedestal upon which was perched a 20 foot marble statue of Isis that was painted and adorned.

"Guards!  Arrange for the procession of our guests!," shouted the Prime Minister.  "I have already discussed these cases with our great queen and she will be ready to commence court.  Signal for her arrival!"

Suddenly and unexpectedly the Sphere of Artemis began to spin relentlessly.  The stars on the mirrored walls glowed as they began their
intoxicating dance while the room darkened.  The fountains spouted blue flames and the room began to fill with a thick, white smoke.  The guests, aligned just inside the silver door, began to tremble.  Abruptly, the door slammed shut, filling the room with an enormous thunder.  And then, complete silence.  After what seemed like eternity, the room then began to seduce its occupants with the softest and sweetest music ever heard.  A heavenly and gentle voice began to proclaim her everlasting love:


"But to love me is better than all things:  if under the night stars in the desert thou presently burnest mine incense before me, invoking me with a pure heart, and the Serpent flame therein, thou shalt come a little to lie in my bosom.  For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whosoever gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour.  Ye shall gather goods and store of women and spices; Ye shall wear rich jewels; Ye shall exceed the nations of the earth in splendour & pride; but always in the love of me, and so shall Ye come to my joy.  I charge you earnestly to come before me covered with a rich headdress.  I love you!  I yearn for Your love!  Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you.  Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendour within you:  come unto Me! TO ME!  TO ME!  I DEMAND YOU TO ME!"


With an equal amount of pomp, smoke and glitter, Jim walked on-stage and seated himself next to the great Queen Isis.  The smoke began

to subside, the sphere gradually began to regain its normal position and the room was filled with a bright light.

"Court is now in session," announced Sophia, the Prime Minister. Send our queen, the Great Isis of the Venetian Empire, our first guest."

A very young, blond and beautiful Amazon maiden approached the landing.

"Queen Isis," said Sophia.  "I would like to introduce to you, Godiva, from our very own planet Artemis.  This young girl is charged with the crime of draping herself in your Highness's beloved color of white. She was found haughtily displaying herself outside your private brothel,
tempting  and enticing those poor male Amazons."

"Well," said Isis.  "Little girl, you are very much aware of all my loves. My love for white and also the love I feel for those men.  Did you not learn those things in your school teachings?"


"Yes, your highness, I have," replied Godiva.

"Have you ever been accused of any other crimes, my cute little Godiva?" asked Isis.

"No, your majesty, I have not."

"Well then, considering that this is your first offense and you happen to be such a cute little thing, I will go easy on you.  Sophia, transport this girl to the Experimental Breeding Center.  Maybe she can give birth to a cute little experiment."

"Oh Great Queen Isis!  I beg of you!  Please don't send me there!," pleaded Godiva.  "It was just a joke.  I meant no harm!"

"Well, my little Godiva, this punishment is my joke.  I also mean no harm.  I am only using you for the benefit of Amazon technology.
Lawbreakers like you, are a rare yet useful breed. Even they have an important role in my great society. Without the efforts of someone such as
yourself, our advances in genetics would never be as great as they have been. Please, my dear, accept a compliment when you receive one.  Sophia! Away with her! And send in our next guest immediately!  I have very important plans for this evening so don't dilly dally!"

At that, Godiva was whisked off the landing and escorted through the golden door to her new asylum.  The next guest approached the landing.

"Oh Great Isis, Queen of the Venetian Empire, I now present to you, Medusa, yet another of our own.  This women is a renowned member of
the Social Elite and a life-long member of the Politically Correct," said Sophia.  "She is accused of the crime of  Amazon Maleslaughter."

The courtroom gasped in disbelief.  Some of the men in the royal stable could cost as much as two years earned credits for just one stud
service.  Destruction of the thoroughbreds could not be forgiven. Everyone knew that this act meant a fate worse than death for Medusa;
perhaps slavery to some inferior species for mineral concessions or some other political trade.  There were certain monsters in the galaxy who
savored the beauty of these women above all else and they were quite ready to swap any number of their own subjects for just one Venetian beauty. Inevitably the new "master" would force himself on the "hostage", die as a result, the hostage contract would be terminated due to a "death" clause and Isis would reclaim ownership of the "hostage".  One way or another, Isis would win and still be able to keep the original payment.  The "hostage" would be re- appropriated and confined to an enclave where a pool of hostage candidates would effectively be imprisoned.  In this manner, Isis could exploit great wealth from her criminal system.  Quite frequently she would use hostages to extort huge sums of valuables from her enemies.  Unfortunately for her enemies, the scam was not discovered by the victim until Isis had the goods and the girl.

"Your majesty," Medusa pleaded, "There's been  a mistake."

"I'll say you made a mistake!  One that is going to cost you very dearly."

"Your majesty, please let me explain."

"There can be no explanation."

Jim interceded.   "Let her explain.  He was one of my brothers."

Isis retorted,  "Silence, Aladdin.  It is your role to remain silent." To Medusa she smiled.  "Of course, you may explain.  Proceed."

"Your majesty, I agreed only to a Class III  purchase which was not supposed to be an off world humanoid."

The bystanders in the court room became disorderly.

"Silence." She commanded. "Sophia, this is a very serious crime. Can you please see that all off worlders are removed from the court and
also see that there is a media blackout effective immediately."

Within a few minutes the courtroom was cleared in accordance with the queen's wishes.  "You may continue," she instructed to Medusa.

"Your Majesty, I have the papers to verify that this was a Class III purchasing agreement.  I was obviously sent a Class IV rental and was
therefore, not aware that he was to perish when I used him.. I was charged Class III by mistake as well, your majesty."

"Indeed.  Let me see the documents."

Upon review of the documents, Isis could see that the accused had a valid point.  "You are indeed correct, my dear, but unfortunately for
you, a crime has been committed. We'll make every effort to minimize such unfortunate reoccurrence in the future."

"Sophia, Enroll Medusa in the hostage exchange program for life."

"But your majesty!", screamed Medusa.

"Silence.  Take her away!"    

Very quickly and forcefully, Medusa was escorted from the court chambers.

Isis yawned.  "Sophia you may recommence the festivities and bring our guests and the media back inside.  Everyone make ready."

At that, eighty-four very happy, robust and extremely attractive young men were paraded into the court room.

Isis smiled and only Jim noticed her underlying sarcasm.

"Sophia!, commanded Isis, "Get those media cameras rolling and let us get on with our weekly broadcasting exhibition."

Those already in the palace took their places first before outsiders were let in.  One's seat in the court essentially was the rank of the noble.  Sophia held the highest seat. She was high priestess to Isis. 




Chapter Three Part I

The Palace of Isis

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