The Amazon queen was primed and ready for battle. Within half an hour she was in communication with Xanadu. She moored the Pegasus, and had the Pegasus outfitted with a portal. She directed that when the construction is complete to have an elite crew and a full complement of invasion supplies. The ship would then be sent towards Cygnus at maximum speed. Her scientists calculated that the Pegasus would be inaccessible to portal transportation after six months until re-materialization. At that time, she would be able to transport to the Pegasus before it accelerated far into the future as its velocity increased in order to reach Cygnus. She was warned of the time problems associated with entering the black hole. Meanwhile she would tend to her current invasion plans. She used a portal and initiated an inspection of her invasion fleet. She had to make plans now to deal with earth, Jim, and John. She signaled to the flagship to prepare for her arrival.

 

No one on board on any of the fleet cruisers had ever seen the Pegasus before and had been relieved to discover that they were no longer subject to its attack. The fleet had been most concerned when their long-range sensors detected the craft. They were equally perplexed when the Pegasus disappeared from their screens. They were amazed to discover that their queen had been on board and now she was giving orders from Xanadu. How had the Pegasus moved so quickly? They were delighted to find that Isis was the starship's mistress. The fleet expressed exuberant morale when the queen announced her intended visit. Invasion was two months away, or so they thought. Isis would take Helen with her. All wanted to hear Helen's tales by now. Everyone would want to hear her tales about Jim's Genie.

 

Isis wanted Jim's genie. Helen had informed her on its responsiveness to voice command. John's box had shown its capabilities, but he didn't use voice command. It had appeared to be more of a trap than a tool. She knew that the men's magic would be useless to her. Assuming now that her fleet could maintain its attack, she turned her attention back to earth. She had three portals by which she could return. She would need to get a progress report from her general staff on earth. Couriers were sent through the portals in accordance with her commands. One portal was open but two had been cutoff. Access to the yacht was now prohibited. A full guard was now placed on that portal. She remained attuned to the fact that Jim could slip through undetected if the portal activated. But if the portal activated she would send her own small army back through the portal before it could close.

 

She was devastated by the news of the cruiser. A cruiser and its portal had been destroyed. Most aboard had managed to escape to safety back through the portal while the ship was breaking up. John had actually deliberately destroyed the ship so as to allow the crew to escape alive. He figured they would all return to Artemis while the ship was dying. 

 

The remaining cruiser and portal were still active, but were remaining immobile and undetected. Earth was to be blamed for the destruction of the cruiser. Isis was infuriated. The President had assured her that she would take no action against her forces. She blamed Jim for the episode. Apparently he had taken that infernal submarine and used it to destroy the cruiser that she would have used to send him back to Artemis. She discounted the Dutchman as being back in his hands. She was wise for the two cruisers. The backup, she had kept secret and undetected. She used this portal to return to earth.

 

The second cruiser was off the coast of Florida. It had hit earth's atmosphere disguised during its unpowered decent by the glow created by the heat of its decent. It "crashed" into the ocean many miles from land. It then made its way underwater to its Florida base while it waited her directions. A land-based contact had been established between it and the other crew. The first crew had the responsibility of making physical contact while the other ship with the Antiope and Helen doubles were held back secretly in reserve.

 

Shady had the pleasure of being the Florida expedition leader. Her function was to set up a secure line of supply between earth ground forces and Artemis. Through a series of boats, air craft, and other means she maintained a physical communication link between an earth base and the reserve ship.

VENETIA

Chapter Twenty-Three 

Isis Back On Artemis

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

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