John reviewed his failure. It would have been better never to leave earth space at all to pursue the fleet. Jim had originally intended to base himself on earth and subtly pull a surprise attack on the fleet. Now she was on earth and apparently already had a fair grip on earth's vulnerability. Antiope and Helen would have not been captives now if he
could have been a little more patient.
His immediate objective back on earth would now be to find and eliminate any portals that Isis would have on earth. These portals would most probably be ships based. She had captured Jim and was now taking him to a portal to return him to Artemis. He calculated the most likely destination for the Flying Dutchman would be to rendezvous
with her ship.
He would not destroy the craft if he found it until after she left Earth for the Pegasus. He would be able to do this upon a successful communication with friendly forces on the yacht. A successful link with Genie would tell him the time to act.
In the meantime, he tapped into earth's communication networks again and kept an eye on things while he searched for the ship. The defensive networks had caught onto the fact that Isis was not monitoring their systems the way Jim had. In fact there were many plots besides his own for trying to destroy the space cruiser. Government plans were seriously flawed and would never work, but at least the thought was there.
The Amazons had not yet made any more demands on world governments. An uneasy peace had settled in. Earth felt powerless against these beautiful invaders, and some reasoned that perhaps things wouldn't really be that glum after all. Artemis ambassadors exemplified the qualifications of Isis, and Earth would be treated no different than all the other known inhabited planets, which she ruled. The President and his staff were somewhat dumbfounded by Shady and her revelations about the true origin and purpose of the cruiser.
All agreed the general population would not take too kindly to slavery. Shady emphasized that there would be no slavery. A tribute would be requested. The tribute would be non-negotiable anyway. Shady then disclosed the nature of the tribute and the means by which the men would be gathered. The entire proposal seemed outlandish and none of the staff would agree to the idea of such slavery. They refused to go along with the idea of cutting these individuals off from their past.
Shady re-emphasized that the tribute was non-negotiable. Then in strictest secrecy she told the President and the staff what really happens, and why it would be required to never allow the men to realize that they were to be sacrificed. The entire staff urged the president not to give in to such demands.
Shady leered at the President, and said, "She can squash you like a fly and permits you to live only because she knows that you will make the correct decisions. To go against the will of the American people may cost you your next election. To go against her, will cost you your life. He refused the offer. Shady signaled her guard, and the President was dead. She then asked the vice-president the same question...Eventually; a new leader had managed to answer Shady correctly.
The public accepted their new leadership with casual disinterest. The Amazons would not have sex with the humans as Isis forbade it. Essentially, nothing new was in order and the Venetians very subtly started to acquire and exercise power. Jim was nowhere to be found. Only one of the trio was reported as being held, and she was putting up no resistance.
Within minutes after Helen left, Antiope immediately stowed all in the safes and camouflaged the portal. She then accessed her electronic defense system and cast the Dutchman free of the moorings. In the night she slipped away, hoping not to be followed.
Five miles out to sea she noticed another boat rapidly approaching her. It was another Coast Guard cutter. Antiope knew she couldn't outrun the authorities. Genie wasn't in control. He killed the engines and waited to see what they wanted. She had nothing to hide.
The cutter told her to wait for a few minutes while they received instructions.
Antiope silently waited. She did not like the wait, and she had a very bad feeling. She suddenly realized how alone she really was. She started to think about the portal, but then that would leave the portal in earth's hands. She couldn't let that happen. She didn't notice the silent shapes that had slipped on board her yacht.
The Coast Guard announced their intent to board the yacht. Antiope complied and gave permission. A narcotics officer and an intelligence officer came on board. They showed a warrant to search the boat. Antiope did not discuss the legality of such a search, and there was no reason provided. She showed them around the yacht and they turned up nothing.
Isis was waiting for Antiope as she returned topside. The authorities then charged Antiope with at least a dozen murders. As terms of the treaty between Earth and Artemis dictated, they released Antiope to the Venetian government. The government officials then reboarded the cutter, and Isis and her guards remained on board the Flying Dutchman.
Isis looked at Antiope. "Darling, I'm so happy to see you. We have a lot to talk about."