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Chapter LXV

The Ace of Pentacles

The Pureness of Earth




Once in the Black sea, Qblh and our Argonauts would not be permitted to relax for long.


A power boat approached.  On board were Amazons.  The men were terrified and claimed they were witches with a dragon in their boat.  Jason permitted the visitors to board.  Saying nothing they went straight to Jim and bound him.  He did not resist.  The men were speechless to see their hero rendered powerless by women.   Swearing instead that they were witches and had enchanted Hercules, they powerlessly watched as Jim was carried away and prayed to their gods that he would be disenchanted and find his freedom to assist them once again.


Jim was rather happy to see Helen once again, and was more than happy to let himself be taken her prisoner.  Helen was on the shore waiting for her love as her warriors brought him ashore.  Yet Jim openly did not admit his willingness to be captured, and it was not long before the Amazons realized just who it was that Antiope had ordered to be brought to her camp.


"You think you're so smart, don't you sweetheart. You gave yourself away when you blasted that boulder.  We were both curious when we heard tales of a defiant ship of foolish heroes which refused to pay our tribute.  My heart skipped a beat when I saw you on the ship's brow.  Antiope is waiting in camp for you.  You are right, it is just as the Genie showed us in Chicago.  This is a most marvelous adventure Jim, but we have missed you.  Why spend the next few days sailing to Medea with those men, when you can spend that time with us.? We would rather take you ourselves.  Surely you do not seek the company of men over ours."


The other Amazons showered Jim with attention as well, for now they recognized Jim as their Qblh.   Jim was drowned with their chatter, and found himself incapable of getting a word in edgewise.  He, of course, found himself doing magic for them, entertaining them in the manner which they loved.  Several dozen remembered him from the Pleasure Dome and asked from him the gifts that he had promised.


Jim was somewhat at a loss, for he realized that he would necessarily be making excursions back to Artemis just so he could find out what he had promised these nymphs.  Helen's ambrosia immediately enchanted him and she chose not to wait a single hour to re-exert her power over him.  "For now you are mine," she told him, while leading him to her tent which had been well-prepared.


Alone with his lover, Jim undressed her and tasted her fragrance.  He buried his face in her hair as she guided his hand over the silky softness of her supply, curved body.  Keeping him close to her, she pulled him down imprisoning him within her charms, as their un-consumable passion for each other performed its damage,.  Her tears bound him, as she begged him to cease from his labors and spend more time with her.  Being unable to promise an eternity, he did agree to the next few days while Argos continued on to Colchis.  The ship made extremely slow sailing, and it was quite easy for the Amazons to match an entire day's worth of sailing with only a few hours by horse. 


The next day Antiope joined the little caravan, at which time it grew into an army with the arrival of the main Amazon troop.   All were somewhat curious as to when Qblh would be taking them back to Artemis, as promised.  Riders were sent ahead to Medea so as to prepare for the reception.  Medea was delighted that Jim was on his way to see her.  She made preparations to leave with him, but the king was somewhat disenchanted with the thought of Medea leaving, and vowed to destroy the temples if she did.  Medea, in turn withheld the royal concubines in an effort to starve the king's forces.  The army became somewhat rebellious when the temple maidens would not perform services, and the king reluctantly withdrew his threats, but began another plot against Medea anyway.  The news that a foreign ship would soon be arriving distracted the king as well.  He promised to give his son Medea in marriage, if he could prevent her from leaving with any of the newcomers.  The doomed prince accepted the challenge.


Jim activated Genie and requested a transfer to Artemis soon finding himself lost in an Amazon orgy where he was not even aware much of the time as to which planet he was on.  For several days, Jim would be totally under the influence of ambrosia, and he actually made love to the same woman, quite frequently, on Earth as well as Artemis.  He made a game of seeking each in the Pleasure Dome immediately prior to an Earth date, or sometimes afterwards.  Antiope and Helen declined an episode in the Pleasure Dome, but most of the Earthbound Amazons loved the experience, even though they were somewhat dazed and confused by the implications of what had been experienced.  Yet Idiot permitted the episodes, allowing Jim  to acquire at least an additional fifty golden pegs during the excursion.


Helen did not particularly care for  the "necessity" to preoccupy so much of his time with the other Amazons.  Yet his efforts did seem to quell the rebellious spirit within Medusa, and it soon became quite apparent that he had persuaded them all to be extremely nice to Antiope and Helen.  Jim had also learned a great deal concerning the current news, since the women had a lot to say.  Antiope and Helen were not entirely neglected. He  spent each night with both of them..


Perhaps it would be important to remind the reader that the Amazons do not age as rapidly as the Earth humans.  Isis would also warp in and out of earth local space while exerting her influence from her Pegasus inertial frame of reference.  during these materialization episodes, her priestesses could be transferred to or from  their Earth assignments.  Many of these maidens with which Jim mated could then be considered hundreds of Earth years old, not to mention the fact that they could be in a sense viewed as not having been born yet either.  Yet Jim was actually traveling back to the future to meet them and depositing seed after they had completed their journey, or is it before?  Time is meaningless here, and because in each case the duo passed through a singularity in order to conceive, the actual sequence of events can appear to violate causality.  The physics is also somewhat impossible to explain.  The net result amounts to the fact that all the Amazons were just impregnated at that point in Jim's timeline, and the incubation period had just begun.  It may be odd to imagine how Andromeda was impregnated in the Pleasure Dome before she made her trip into the past, and then to live many years in the process, only now to have the child in her womb to commence growing.  Yet it was only just now that the child was conceived.  Amazon births have not always been the easiest to explain.  Idiot would later attempt to detail the operation to Jim, but he asked for the nightmare to cease within five minutes after Idiot commenced the explanation.  Results are easier to accept than explanations.  Jim had less than thirty Amazons waiting within the Pleasure Dome, and Idiot still demonstrated greater than ninety-nine percent certainty of mission success.  Each and every Amazon would eventually find herself back in the Pleasure Dome remembering the entire Earth adventure almost as if it were a dream, but their collective memories would convince them of the reality.


The Amazon caravan proceeded on a parallel course with the Argos.  They intended to return Jim to the boat just prior to its arrival at Colchis.  Antiope would then retreat to their sanctuary at Lesbos to await on her Theseus and her Hercules.  The Amazons preferred to isolate themselves from the human men not because they didn't love them, but it was because they couldn't with out destroying their lover.  Even if somehow the man could survive, it would be difficult for him when he realized that she didn't age.  Very few realized this secret, and the priestesses usually rotated locations before anyone noticed their ageless features.  Some of the Amazons were regarded as goddesses by the primitive locals.  They were not permitted to die on an Earth assignment, and by the power of the "stone",  the Pegasus could always relocate  to safely retrieve the injured individual to allow life saving techniques to be applied.  Lately it had been noticed that the Pegasus was no longer available. As a result the earthbound Amazons had no alternative but to turn to Antiope and Helen for leadership.  Antiope and Helen had been outfitted with an Idiot designed and extremely well-camouflaged defensive system.  It was the same system which was linked to Helen's moonstone and Antiope's girdle.


When Antiope arrived, Jim was with Helen in her tent, but that did not prevent Antiope from bursting in. Helen held no jealousy concerning this invasion of her privacy.   Helen  was somewhat tired of Qblh for the time being and assisted Antiope into the appropriate mood by removing her girdle.  She assisted somewhat more in the undressing and Jim soon found himself  subject to a double barreled load of ambrosia.


"Would you like to meet your daughters, Jim?" 


"No sons?"


"We weren't that fortunate.  Perhaps the next time."


"What of those boys I see running around?"


"Those are miraculous mutations Jim.  Will not Isis be delighted with these semi-human male offspring?  They are not my sons nor are they Helen's.  Besides we would prefer not to raise our sons in this time."


"How do you like your adventure, Antiope?"


"Believe it or not Jim,  everything is proceeding in line with what Genie suggested in Chicago.  I am truly amazed.  I don't know how you designed that thing, Jim, but that Box of yours is the most incredible invention of  civilization, but who invented it?  You or John?  For the life of me, this time traveling confuses me as to which one of you can claim the credit, but what does it matter?  I still feel uncomfortable living in the past, and would feel relieved to return to our own time, yet our adventure has only just begun.  Yet death is real enough, and we are all afraid of dying in the past and never returning to our own time.  You have done this before Jim, and our queen seems to have no fear of such adventures and she doesn't even have a Genie to help her.  We find this to be most refreshing however, my love, so don't be discouraged.  Your gift to me has to be the most marvelous gift than any woman has received, and if not is more than enough for me."


"No biggie," Jim lied.


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