The Three of Swords
"You have no memories of Artemis, do you, my son?"
"Of course, I do father. How could anyone ever forget the royal sendoff from the Egyptian pyramids, and then visiting them again a few thousand years later. I remember your ladies Antiope and Helen, and I remember my brief stay on Artemis before mother took us to the past on the Pegasus."
"And how much were you taught on Earth while you matured?"
"Mother always kept in touch. She would often invite us for Pegasus jumps so that we wouldn't age as the general population. We would have ruled until the twenty-first century had you not had crashed the Pegasus systems. That was the only way that Mother's efforts could have been stopped, evidently."
"I might have been able to find another method, but she does tend to forget my will at times. Your mother is no goddess, my son, yet she expects to be treated as one."
"Well, she certainly is effective and efficient in her ways, father."
"Well do not think that the universe is in any mood to pander to your will my son. It takes great discipline and humility to be able to master this form of travel, and your free will is your worst enemy. Never forget that. It will tempt you to do other than the correct way, which is very often not the obvious solution. It takes much discipline to align your thoughts to the way of nature, my son. Your mother feels the power of my control over nature, because I do understand the forces of nature, my son. Yet she does not surrender her secrets willingly, and would always stand opposed to our efforts to master the environment. Nature and your mother are very much alike, my son. At times, I cannot tell the difference. We certainly must recognize ourselves as natural manifestations. Our will to interact with the environment can have both positive and negative impacts on our past and future lives. By not imposing our will, by leaving nature free to act, we will not create undesirable paradoxical involvement's. If we were to involve ourselves to impose our localized will, then we would run that risk of paradoxical involvement. Your involvement in Earth past is somewhat of a paradox Xuang, and perhaps it would be best if we avoid future reference to that stay, especially on any future Earth trips. Understood?"
"Perhaps it may be best, if I don't involve myself with Earth, but only with Artemis then?"
"I don't know what to tell you for now. I don't know what I've been doing half the time anyway. For me it is all discovery. What I tell you are thumb rules that I've learned to obey. When I designed the Genie, I did not anticipate that I had created the ability to time travel. I thought time travel to the past was impossible. That is not entirely true, I had suggested to Genie that it was theoretically possible. I simply did not believe that it was possible. It is with only the greatest of caution that I attempted time jumps, and Genie knows much more than I concerning the topic since it has to tend to navigational details and not I. It seems that I have forgotten much, Xuang, and I really don't believe I have the knowledge to build another unit. I have forgotten much."
"Don't berate yourself so father. It just seems a great task now, because you must try to sum up in one lesson all that you have learned. I know this cannot be done. And believe me, you don't have to repeat yourself concerning revealing Xiang the secrets. She has already proven herself too be a little too ambitious in my sight."
"Don't criticize your sister too harshly, my son. You are going to have to spend your life with her. Tradition has it that you are to be her consort, and Artemis will have it no other way."
"Well it doesn't seem that mother has a very strong hold on you."
"Her hold is strong indeed, my son. I shall never be free of her. I love her strongly even now. You must be aware of how powerless you feel when you are around them, aren't you?"
"How can I ignore their belittling of me. Xiang knows full well how much that annoys me."
"See, she is already aware of her power over you, and they will never relinquish that control over you. It is in the blood, my son. They can inflame you to heat with just a whim, and you are young and prime genetic material."
"Well then father, where are we headed?"
"We must return the same way we left."
"Then my time line shall continue in tact?"
"We are meeting John."
"What did you last do on Earth, Xuang?"
"Mother sent us to Attica to visit the Greek king. We went as her representatives."
Jim's heart hesitated. Isis had magnified her son on Earth. This was not good. His children had played out more roles than simply founding the Chinese empire. Isis had sent him alone to continue her dominion. The Greek mysteries could be attributed to goddess worship as well. His son had fulfilled his mother's ambitions. This old way was soon to be superseded by the truth. Had his son been Bacchus? Evidently it seemed so. "You didn't by chance seek the Greeks how to make wine, did you, son?"
"As a matter of fact I did, father."
"I can not take you back son to that time. You are no god, and I don't want you being remembered as such."
"I never made any such claim."
"History makes the claim for you, son. You are remembered as such, and now you must account for the folly that such beliefs have created. We must deal with a twenty-first century Earth that has been led astray by our past interference. And how may I ask did Isis present you to Egypt?"
"Hatshepsut was one of my consorts, father. She knows me as the son to Isis, but keeps that secret from her people of course, and she is as Pharaoh to the land. Her half-brother desired the throne but was not of royal blood. It is mother's will that her blood rule the land of the Pharaohs. The bloodline is passed through the mother . She knows me only as her priest and lover.
I had another consort Anat, not quite Egyptian but our son Saladin rebuilt Heliopolis to prosperity. She also had an older bastard son not mine, Dagon, who was to be heir to the throne, but he died in the eruption that destroyed Atlantis. Saladin took claim to the throne and almost took all of Egypt, but I curtailed his ambitions.. "
"Well from our point of view, the eruption has not yet happened. Are you aware of a Hebrew child that any consort may have raised."
"Why yes, there was Tiye number two, who fished him out of the river shortly before her step-father died of a heart attack. She raised and loved the child as her son. He fell into disfavor for murdering one of her step-brother's priests. He could not face her judgment and fled. Tiye was heartbroken. She loved the child greatly, even more than Amenhotep whom the court had spoiled to be completely misguided. He believed his phony religion."
"How did you pursued the Pharaoh to believe Hatshepsut and others to be her daughters when they are quite clearly from Artemis?"
"Mother made all the arrangements. I know not her methods. She has been doing this for centuries. The Pharaohs never questioned her."
"Perhaps you will have to pursuade Hatshepsut to return to Artemis and surrender the throne."
"That is not going to be easy."
"I talked Ayesha into leaving."
"Dagon's Amazon? She had no love for him, I assure you."
"If Hatshepsut does not abdicate and make herself scarce willingly, my son, I shall have to dispose of her myself. That would be a shame, because I am slated to be with her in the Dome or so Isis tells me. Her dynasty is over."
"And leave Egypt to her idiot half-brother. He wants to continue his father's insane policies of enslavement of all. He wishes to create a multitude of new gods and perform all sorts of ridiculous insane acts. The man is a madman."
"Well then, he shall bring Egypt down in his folly. Either way, Hatshepsut does not need to see the end. You can tell her that she is being called back by the queen."
"Father, are you asking or telling?"
"You have no choice. I am destroying the old gods and goddesses. Would you oppose me?"
"How can you destroy conjectures of the imagination, father?"
"If they are conjectures, but no more, they are but illusions of reality. Man must learn to distinguish between reality and illusions. Your mother has given them illusions."
"How can you judge her that way?"
"I am not time-trekking for the fun of it only. You have much to learn. But this I tell you, pursuade your Egyptian ladies to leave when Genie makes your pyramid “drops”. It shall stage your arrivals and departures. We are going to rematerialize a few years after Thera erupts and I shall drop you off in one of your secret chambers. Here is a beacon."
Qblh continued. "Do the same and bring your Lady Tiye and exit the same way. Bring your ladies to a designated spot that you have set aside for this occasion and activate your beacon. Idiot will find the signal and advise me to transform location. Moses will be on his way back to Egypt and it does not fare well for Egypt. "
Xuang gulped, for then he knew that it was urgent to constrain Venetia's influence on Earth. Paradox avoidance was critical. It would not be proper for Tiye to stand between the God of her young prince and her mistress Isis. Instead she could be spared the fall from grace and live instead on Artemis. Xuang knew he would not be able to pursuade Hatshepsut on his own. Even though he was Qblh's son, he did not have Qblh's powers. When he summoned his father, he knew that she would willingly return to Artemis. As much as she loved Egypt, Hatshepsut loved Isis even more.
The few days that Xuang would spend entertaining Hatshepsut would give Jim the time he needed to accomplish his mission with Antiope and Helen. Jim double-checked the timing of the events with Genie. Genie gave Xuang the intercept windows and reassured Jim that the sequences were ready to run. Jim smiled at his son. "We're ready to go. Take a breather and review your thoughts. You will be in Egypt in thirty minutes our time. Then I must leave you."
"And no gadgets?"
"No magic devices to impress the natives, and no more Pegasus for backup. You will see how quickly Egypt will turn away from their queen and back to their old gods, once you cease performing tricks for them.. You may find yourself fleeing for your lives and find my arrival to be your rescue."
"Understood father. I shall beware of her step-brother. He will undoubtedly pounce upon this chance to seize power."