The Two of Pentacles
Growth and Creation
"Medea likes neither of us, Jim. She is jealous of both myself and Antiope, not to mention Hatshepsut, because she knows that you love us. Medea claims to have had a bout with you in the Pleasure Dome or so we have heard. Did you encounter her while you were making your flashback romances?"
"Yes Jim, I have also heard many of my warriors mentioning flash sessions in the Pleasure Dome. Quite a few claimed to have actually been on Artemis, yesterday? Is this true?"
"Now girls, please. You know I'm living on borrowed time and have a score pad to turn into Isis. When it is full, the clock runs out and we all have to be on Artemis with this Earth adventure of ours terminated. Remember we only have a couple of days to experience this adventure of yours."
Antiope laughed. "Certainly you jest, Jim. We have been here over several dozen Earth moons and you keep referring to the fact that all this is occurring in less than two days Artemis time."
"The passage of time is an indeterminate when you cross the event horizon, sweethearts. Yet the rules of science require me to return you to our time from exactly where we left. When we return to the twenty-first century, we will be on the Flying Dutchman just southeast of Cyprus, and all this will seem almost as a dream, yet it will not have been a dream, but a real experience. To others, however, it will appear as a dream, but unfortunately the paradox avoidance system will leave you unable to prove that we altered history in any manner. "
"So where to now Jim?"
"We are going to arrange for the removal of the tribe after they attack our city which we rule together, Antiope; and we are going to send Helen to Menelaeus to be the High Priestess of Sparta. You and I, Antiope are going to get married in Athens. How do you like that?"
"That sounds wonderful, Jim. Yet what of the Amazons once we have deserted them. They will attack our city and regard us as traitors. I promised them a return to Artemis."
"And so shall they be returned. At the time of dying on the battlefield, they shall not die, but I shall employ Genie to return them all to Artemis at that time, for that shall be the end of the Amazons as far as Earth legends are concerned."
"And leave those egocentric male barbarians to rule the Earth? I've seen how they think, Jim. Men are so stupid. They will undo all the good that we have done. I can't trust a single chieftain. Every time they see us, they send a few men to abduct us only to find corpses, and then they hate us and revile us. I don't know what you see in these men, Jim, but I believe Isis is right. They certainly will make a mess out of ruling. Why do you feel you have to sort out the mess Jim by yourself, when Isis is all too willing to help these men in her own successful manner. You may not approve her tactics, but we have essentially ruled Earth for the past two thousand years."
"Your subjects have been getting to you, eh, Antiope? You know I don't like to hear that, and you also know that Isis would love to have heard you tell me that. Yet I have always warned you of the risks of involving yourself in this adventure and you must learn to trust me. I do know what I am doing, believe it or not......and don't forget, I'm a man too."
"So when can I announce our betrothal?"
"You can't tell them that yet, Antiope. They will certainly rebel if you take me as your spouse. For you to marry their Qblh would be treason or sacrilege or worse, and they would declare war on us and our Greek allies. Didn't your simulation tell you that?"
"Well I thought that was the plan."
"Yes but now is not the time, as you should well know."
"Just teasing, my beloved. Don't get jealous, Helen dear. I am somewhat envious of your adventure as well. You get to go down in history as the world's most beautiful woman. You should feel flattered."
"Yes, but I don't get married to my hero. I am stuck with an old feeble king who will hardly keep my interest."
"Why Helen, Meneleaus was the most famous king of Sparta."
"Yes but he did not have the courage to go after me himself. Instead he sent his gorilla brother. It seems that I shattered their male pride when I decided to live with who I really like."
"Now Helen. you shouldn't be talking of these things in the past tense. They are your future."
"And if I decide not to cooperate?"
Jim smiled. "So you would rather stay with that feeble old king than be carried away by this white knight."
"Jim you were such a coward. Why do you intend on running away from the fight that you could have easily won."
"We really don't know what happened yet, Helen, and by the way, I am forbidden to take any life, so there will be no way that I can win a fight to the death with the human mortal. It may be imperative that I retreat, as history shows. Yet in our version, Helen, you are not going back to Sparta. The Greeks shall be permitted to destroy Troy, and that shall be their reward, but you're leaving with me. Your time in the past shall have ended. Yet that is all still a little way off, my dear Helen."
"I'll pass up being your maid of honor, if you don't mind, Antiope."
"Oh please, Helen. It is nothing personal. I don't love you any less. It is just the marriage itself is essential to act out our role with the Greeks."
Antiope frowned. "I don't know if I should marry you, if it doesn't mean anything, Jim."
Antiope and Helen both stared at Jim, wondering what he would say in response.
"I thought it was your wish Antiope, and we both know full well our marriage on Earth will not be recognized on Artemis as legal.. Isis would annul it."
"Must you return to her?"
"I don't believe I can avoid it."
"You love her, don't you Jim?"
Jim didn't answer them. Instead he retreated to his own tent to consult with the Genie. He couldn't deny the fact that he was very much in love with Isis. Yet his devotion to his God exceeded the instinctual desire for the female of his species. Jim was more than a simple man, a procreating beast; he had conquered time and space and could essentially be anywhere he wanted to be at any time. His devotional approach to the truth of scientific reason had given him mastery of the universe, but as its master he was nothing more than its most dedicated student, eagerly grasping any new knowledge that he could acquire. Isis, of course, realized that he had this talent, and always wanted to be the first to take advantage of his new discoveries. Antiope and Helen would never realize the complexity of his mission.