The Seven of Pentacles
Failure: Giving It All Up
"Well, I'm so glad to see you could finally separate yourself from your machines and give me a little time. I am enjoying the adventure immensely." She smiled at him.
"So glad you are, my dear Antiope. I do not believe Medea will be willing to subjugate herself to you. She is not destined to join your Amazon tribe with you as leader."
"Why not? The others have."
"I must take her to Greece. You take charge of the Amazons and live in peace for a while. I will fetch you after I've slain your bull for you."
"What are you going to tell the rest of the tribe, Jim? How am I to explain your absence?"
"No need to explain anything, my dear. I have a reputation for slipping away without a trail to follow."
"Well I trust you are still to spend a few days with us? Jim, you must simply not abandon me. You can use that infernal Genie of yours to visit me every night, can't you my love?"
Jim was unable to deny his ability to do just that. The common man easily understands the drudgery of hopping into his automobile to displace himself to his working environment each day, as well as the pleasure of hopping into that same auto and return to the happy nest with the wife waiting. She thought that it would not be much different for Jim with his Box.
"I shall see what I can do, but we can never let the natives gain wind of this ability of ours. My time with you is governed by Jason's excursion."
"We can enchant Medea to fall in love with Jason, my love, and you can stay with me. Turn invisible and assist Jason in his tasks, then come back to me when you're finished. See if you can kill a bull for me there as well, my love, and you shall own my heart forevermore."
"You said ‘we’, Antiope. I have no knowledge of any enchantment that will make Medea fall for Jason."
"Jim, I anticipate a certain desire in you to spend some time with Medea. I don't think I would like that at all, and if that is your intention, I would like you to take me back to Artemis right now."
It is somewhat odd how Jim's predicament with Jason, Medea, the fleece and the rest was all solved in a split second by the will of a jealous Amazon queen. Jim would be forced to cancel his fantasies with Medea.. She would have to follow the fleece wherever it went. The puzzle as to how Medea would fall in love with the mortal Jason also became quite apparent. Jim was pleased with Antiope. She had provided him with a workable solution which Genie could resolve. He silenced her with a kiss. "That is a great idea, Antiope. I expect that you will take care of enchanting Medea for me."
"You stay invisible and help Jason, and I'll do my part, sweetheart." She returned a bigger kiss.
Somehow Jim sensed that Genie had already known the flight path but once again had protected him from knowing the explicit details so that the events could unfold in a natural manner. It was better this way. Jim would never meet up with Jason again, and word quickly passed around the land about a certain Hercules who had failed and was indentured to an Amazon queen. The stories were somewhat inflated so that the Argonauts would not think poorly of Jim. It was no coincidence that Antiope was in charge of the fable weaving. Jim would scold her for lying. She would retaliate by threatening to tell the truth instead. This would usually settle the argument.
It was also settled concurring where Jim would set up home base.
Eventually the day came when it was time for Jason to arrive at Colchis. Helen was to accompany Jim to Colchis. He was disguised as her servant. A small troop of Amazon guards accompanied her. Persephone, Cassandra, Hecate, and Circe were their names. The local population greatly feared or revered these priestesses to Isis. No one questioned their right to demand an audience with Medea.
Jim slipped off into the shadows shortly after the group arrived, which somewhat vexed his guards. They gave up the search after a short while, fully realizing that they would never find him again until he desired to be found. He intended to visit Medea.
With Genie to assist him, Jim easily rendered himself invisible and made his way into the court of King Aetes where he discovered Medea to be his royal advisor. There she was, just as beautiful as ever and Jim found himself still drawn to her. Medea being of royal blood sensed Jim's presence but could not see him, so she was slightly confused. She smiled to herself regardless and excused herself from the king's presence and exited to her private chamber where she expected to recover from this apparent spell of confusion that she was experiencing. Jim uncloaked himself shortly after she obtained privacy and kissed her on the neck from behind.
She smiled as she accepted his kiss. "I knew it was you, my Lord Qblh. Too long have I waited for you. I take it that it is time to leave?"
"Not yet my love." He paused, and thought for a second. She was extremely enchanting under the moonlight, and perhaps there was just a slight fragrance of ambrosia in the air.
He considered playing the role of Aegeus and having Medea as his queen, but he resisted the temptation. The path seemed to easy and he would be playing a role for which he knew his future. He chose instead the path with an uncertain future. He preferred to give the Genie maximum flexibility. Medea would find her Aegeus. Although Medea enchanted Jim exceedingly, he had no intention of committing himself to her for so many years. Now was not the time to return Medea to Artemis. He would do that after he had concluded his adventure with Antiope. Perhaps it would be best for now if he played along with the will of his sister Amazons, and acted in accordance with their wishes.
"You still have several moons before I return you to Artemis. I need you to take the fleece to Greece for my friend Jason. Once there. I shall find you a fine king to provide for you."
"That is Ayesha's domain.. I can not violate her jurisdiction. Isis forbids it."
Jim smiled. "Ayesha is no longer. I will deal with Ariadne whom you would fear in her place. When you see me again, your time here will be spent."
"Then I shall govern at Delphi, is that it?"
"Yes, Xiang and Xuang, they went by other names as directed by our queen, their mother."
Jim asked no further questions. He could easily guess the names that his twin children had assumed. He felt an extremely uncomfortable jolt of forbodding. He did not like to be the one responsible for establishing pagan sets of beliefs which Yaohushua would undoubtedly find displeasing. Jim started to feel exceedingly guilty. How could he disassociate himself from his pagan relations? Isis was responsible, not he. He kept reassuring himself of this belief. It was her will that this acts be done, not his. Why should he feel responsible. He was a time traveler. He could act to change history. Jim snapped himself away from self-doubt and temptation. He would not change any course of history as he knew it, and he would not be responsible with history tampering either. Yet he was tampering with history in his determination to destroy the Cretan bull for Antiope. He himself had suggested it out of thin air. He was then proposing an impossible possibility to Antiope. He had promised to take her back in time and create history as a whim. She had taken his dare, and the adventure had begun. Yet this apparently innocent dare seemed to have immense side effects. There could be no doubt that he was in dire danger every second that he existed in this past. If he perished, then what would happen to the future of his past future self. What would be the fate of those that depended on him? History could easily view him as a murderer if he failed to restore any one individual to her proper time, and he had vowed to never destroy another individual. Time was certainly confusing at times.
"Yes, Medea. You are now to govern at Delphi. Jason will take you there. He will want you as his own, but you must refuse him. Entice him until you are near Greece. Antiope will have a troop of Amazons invade and overwhelm the Argonauts and carry you away. They will never admit to being overwhelmed by you, heroes as they are. Let them keep the fleece.
With that treasure in hand, they will certainly not let it be public that a half dozen women overwhelmed them."
"Hold on, Qblh. Give me some free will. Let me play my life the way I choose, be I here and now or then and there. Even Isis gives me free will to act. Who are you to tell me whom I shall love or what I shall do? I will not feign affection for this mortal Jason just because you command me to do so. Even though you are the Qblh of my beloved queen, don't expect me to be subservient to your commands if they are not in compliance with the wishes of our lady Isis."
Jim held back any retort. Now was not the time to have any future dispute with Medea, so he decided to make love to her instead, and she cooperated.
Jason and troop eventually discovered the port of Colchis and successfully moored the Argos. The Amazon priestesses quenched the desire of the population to turn away the visitors by showing an intense interest in these unannounced guests. With the authority of Medea, Helen and troop greeted the Greek heroes to escort them to the palace of King Aetes. Medea being ageless was considered by the court as the king's daughter. She had managed to convince him that he was the daughter of one of the priestesses he had whored with. By doing this, she could thwart any advances of the king, which would otherwise prove fatal to him. In Colchis, as most other cities of the time, the priestesses of Isis were not questioned lest they prayed to their dread queen and she reaped her vengeance on the wayward community. Lightning from the heavens was no difficult to arrange, and more often than not the simple emission of a carefully vectored energy beam from the starship to the ground was sufficient encouragement to bring into line any straying community of significance. Isis had several names which she allowed to be used to satisfy the mythology of each local subject community. It was quite often the privilege of the local priestess to refer to her queen by a local name for the benefit of ther local community. Medea would eventually be responsible for transferring to the Greeks their belief in Demeter, although by that time Isis would have been returned to her own time.
It was Castor and Pollux who first saw Helen after the Argonauts arrived in port. They both rather fancied her, and when she greeted them with her sweet smile the guard of the entire crew dropped.
"Greetings Argonauts, we have been expecting you. Your friend has been entertaining our queen and is presently in her employ performing various impossible labors quite successfully. His friend Theseus will accompany you back to your home after you have finished your task here."
These brave men were rather speechless to be greeted by such beauty. Circe easily enchanted them all with a fine ambrosia perfume which she was wearing. Meekly they followed her as she charmed them with illusions awhile she prepared them to be witness to an impossible dream. Cassandra suggested the illusions to the men and then Hecate would coordinate the illusionary effects and make suggestions.. The Argonauts also eagerly accepted the fine drink which the Amazon priestesses offered. Helen ensured each Argonaut drank his dosage in full. In this manner, Helen avoided immediate confrontation between the rival male powers of Aetes and Jason. Aetes normally welcomed no visitors, but Circe was serving some rather merry wine, so he couldn't help but be pleasant. Medea was unavailable at the time to give him counsel when Persephone so sweetly threatened the vengeance of her mother the high queen lest Aetes extended some welcome. Aetes fearing for his bumper grain harvest dared not anger this child Persephone, nor dared he invite the wrath of her mythical dark lord, who rumor had it was entertaining Medea at this very moment. Medea's chambers were currently impenetrable with some very strange magic, and some guards who dared to venture near the demon firewall swore they heard her talking with a stranger who never entered the chamber. Hearing this and seeing the beautiful Persephone, Aetes could only guess as to Medea's shadowy visitor was. Fearing to invite the wrath of these inhuman forces, the king granted the Amazon troop his authority to greet the new strangers from the west and escort them to his court.
The fleece belonged to the Amazons. Legend had it that the Qblh of Isis would retrieve the fleece and return all the Amazons to their beloved Artemis. The local men interpreted the legend in a slightly different fashion. To them the fleece belonged to the greatest king, and it was accordingly a symbol of power and held as a great treasure. Were the representative of another king able to appropriate this artifact it would upset the reputation Aetes as the world's greatest king. He would also lose the advice of Medea. Some would consider the reason for Aetes eventual decline from power after the looting of the fleece to be due more to the loss of Medea's influence rather than the loss of the fleece itself. Aetes would respond in a rather obsessive manner once the fleece would be taken, but that comes later.
Castor was curious about which friend Helen was referring to. " Our friend, Hercules, abandoned us to this dangerous journey so he can entertain women. He is not our friend."
"Hercules owes a debt to our queen. He escaped long enough only to encourage you brave heroes to go on this legendary journey of yours which will be remembered by your sons for generations to come. How can you consider him in such bad light when he will make heroes out of you cowards."
Castor did not like such an insult from this Amazon, but dared not strike her fearing her reprisal lest she ward his blow. To be bested in combat by a woman in front of his friends would not be good for his reputation. Helen wore only enough leather to save her modesty. Her beauty would always be a distraction to any man who dared combat with her. She also carried her moonstone ring which gave her staff the ability to electrically charge whatever it touched. She could even increase the potential of the staff to create laser effects. The moonstone was not actually the power source itself. It simply channeled demanded power through its hyperspace link with Jim's dimensional controller. The controller would ensure the moonstone potential was always the same no matter how much power was demanded. All Box linked items received power on demand, and Genie's reactors would always automatically increase power output to achieve energy balance, irregardless of the spatial-temporal displacement between itself and the load. The principle by which this worked was well beyond the understanding of Anatolia locals, and they respected such power only as magic. Jim needed Helen to be invulnerable from any danger while she resided in the past. Idiot would always be aware of how the power was directed and was always capable of performing an interrupt routine in case Helen abused the power. Idiot would not completely interrupt Helen's magic; it would redirect the power in accordance with Jim's overriding instructions. A simple example would be the automatic reduction of a lethal order to a non-lethal order. Instead of killing the opponent the staff would render the target unconscious. Helen when confronted with a multitude of opponents would ask for a shield which would be provided, and then she could selectively pick her targets. Idiot could provide semispherical shielding which prevented material penetration from the outside. Antiope was protected in a similar manner.
Castor returned to Jason and suggested they accept the hospitality which the Amazons were extending them. Having nowhere else to go and being forced to accept the questionable tidings concerning Hercules or Theseus. Jason gained heart and followed the ladies to Colchis.
The gates to the city amazed the Argonauts. Knowing nothing about steam power, the Argonauts viewed the twin furnaces which constantly provided potential closing power to the massive bronze gates as well as heat to the palaces and Medea's chambers with extreme wonder. On each side of the gate, exhaust was vented to the exterior of the city walls through the mouths of the bull-headed shaped incinerator towers. Not far in the distance could be viewed an odd looking construction which also had the appearance of two fire breathing bulls. It was harnessed to an enormous plow which could plow several furrows simultaneously. Colchis was the grain capital of the Eastern sea and this marvelous plow was meant to impress the visitors, but it was plagued by frequent breakdowns since few understood the principle by which it worked and the Amazon priestesses did not know how to satisfactorily explain thermodynamics to the humans, nor would Isis allow the humans to be taught out-of-time technology. Whether it was out of respect for Qblh's wishes or because of her own remarkable intuition, the reason for this withholding of technological information can not be ascertained.
When the Argonauts arrived at the court of the king, Medea had a feast already prepared to receive them. Jim was nowhere to be seen. A Babylonian representative was at the court as well. He especially was untrusting of these new visitors. He was visiting Colchis to gain support against the warring Hittites. Aetes, because of Medea, held an uneasy peace with the Hittites. The Hittites in turn were governed by the Amazon priestesses and honored the goddess. The introduction of a male supreme deity greatly angered the Amazons and as a result a state of war existed between the Old Babylonian kingdom and the Hittites. Marduk of the Babylonians represented a direct threat to the dominion of Isis over Earth, and there wasn't even such a being to begin with. Marduk was an artificially created god, invented by Semiramis Subsequent kings had elevated this concept so that the male could dominate over the female. Isis could have easily obliterated the Babylonian insurgents with her starship on many occasions, but she preferred instead to contain them. She did not wish to be associated with any new myths these creative minds would concoct in direct violation to her ruling principles.. The Amazons naturally resented any such rule. It was such a race of beings which nearly exterminated the Amazon race many Amazon generations back. Those demons existed no more because the Amazons did succeed in exterminating the devils in a retaliatory counterattack, and completely exterminated them but bound their leader in a hellish prison to be tormented forever.. They showed no mercy because only a handful of Amazon males managed to survive the plague. The eastern Hittites were especially loyal to Medea, who all but ruled Colchis. Medea despised Babylon. Colchis was recognized as its own kingdom, because of Medea's status.
The Greeks enchanted Medea, so she desired to enchant them. These uncivilized savages were not united under a single empire, but were from a disorganized array of tiny provinces which amounted to nothing more than a few fortified villages claiming a few hundred square miles of domain each. To be given a chance to rule the western lands would excite Medea to no end.. What would she tell her dear Aetes, who was this very second plotting treachery with the Babylonian ambassador? She didn't care. The arrival of Qblh meant the end of her involvement with Colchis and the end of Aetes's kingdom as well. She knew he would pursue her relentlessly if he left. He still desired to lay with her, and she seemed to promise that one day she would give him that opportunity. She would renege on that promise and seek her fortune elsewhere. The golden fleece would also go elsewhere.
Aetes became even more inhospitable when he noticed the fondness which Medea showed Jason. Hecate was serving the drinks. The drinks were drugged with the finest herb mixture she could concoct. The drinks were heavily spiced with a non-fatal amount of ambrosia. This seemed to put the men somewhat under the control of the Amazon gathering. Aetes was distracted by Helen. as Medea made her moves on Jason.
Jim, after he had finished with Medea, shifted to ghost mode. He intended to visit Egypt again to see how Hatshepsut's successor was faring. Being in ghost mode, it would be relatively easy for him to fade in and out of Colchis local time in between his warps elsewhere.
The final eruption of Thera would bring the beginning of the end to the Minoan dominance in the region as well as the decline of its ally Egypt. It was Jim's impression that this would be the best time for the Hebrews to stage the Exodus, and he of course desired to witness the event.
Being in ghost mode it was possible for Jim to simultaneously exist at the same time in two different spatial locations, although there could be some argument as to whether being in ghost mode counts as existence since there is no material trace, which is the meaning of ghost mode. So whether Jim was really at the palace or ever even witnessed the Exodus could be a matter of opinion since he never materialized in bodily form on either occasion, but that remains yet to be told. Still, there can be no doubt that Jim witnessed both events since his time-traveling escapade granted him awareness of the facts while he witnessed the events via "Idiot's interfacing", or so he thought..
That night, Jim flew to Egypt and discovered Moses at the burning bush again along with his Visitor. The nature of the time warp which brought him to this time also made Jim aware of his previous self as he collided with this time zone, only to bounce back a few years previous to materialize. This time, being in ghost mode, Jim relived the event, but this time he was on the same local time and lived through the occasion again bearing witness to this momentous encounter between man and his God. Being invisible and having no true body form, some could consider that Jim too was in communion with this Holy Spirit which Moses trembled before. Jim held the same reverence and was trembling a little himself as well, in the spiritual sense, since he had no body to speak of. He also realized that a multitude of spirits was present, each apparently from a different time as well, just like himself. It would even be possible that there would be several versions of himself visiting at that moment. Jim tried not to confuse himself too much with the dynamics involved; he just gave due respect and felt privileged to be a witness.
Indeed Hatshepsut, no longer ruled and her stepson true to form was being a very nasty tyrant. What transpired afterwards is history to some an apparent myth to others, but Jim would know the facts and would be able to base his judgment now on facts and not hearsay. 1200 BC would be a bad time for tyrants. It seems that a clean sweep was about to be made and Jim was still responsible for returning all Amazons back to Artemis and bringing to a close the domination of goddess worship.
In the ghost mode, the passage of time is greatly accelerated and Jim soon found himself well into the future of his last body state. He had limited success in marking the dates of the primary events. In this way, he hoped to be able to determine the correct time to visit Minos and Crete.
After witnessing the future of Earth's past and by not interfering in anyway, Jim would make some navigational corrections, because of this new data. The eruption of Thera would create a power vacuum because of the end of Dagon and Minos. Ramees enraged by the disappearance of the Israelite slaves would rage on into Canaan and hunt them throughout his lifetime, but he would never find them. Other nations would suffer his range as he relentlessly made new conquests for Egypt. Unfortunately after Tiye there were no more Amazons and the long bloodline of the Pharaohs came to an absolute end. Thutmoses and Rameses were not true Pharaohs. He had no Amazon blood in them. It was for this reason, Isis preferred Hatshepsut to rule. All the available hybrid-Amazon males died on the Passover, so there was no possibility of any true blood pharaoh to rule after Moses left. Queen Tiye clearly had the right to create a crown prince, and she had planned on having this child by Xuang. Isis clearly had extended her blessing for such a union. Unfortunately, Jim intercepted Isis and Xuang before such occurred. Hatshepsut had declined all human partners to create the next pharaoh and clearly Xuang had been the intended father. By some trick of circumstance Isis had even considered giving the throne to Tiye's foster son, Moses, but he had betrayed the goddess and murdered an Egyptian slavemaster. Rameses's conquests would not hold up. He would simply loot his conquests and concentrate his new wealth by defacing Hatshepsut's monuments in an attempt to magnify himself.
The remainder of the evacuees from Thera which did not cross the Atlantic with Jim would return to the Eastern Mediterranean region after the smoke cleared and begin to invade the coastal lands to find new homes.. Foolishly Egypt preferred not to negotiate treaties with these former allies and instead made enemies with them as they did with all foreigners. Egypt constantly harassed them by invading and looting their coastal acquisitions. It was the Egyptian hatred for foreigners after the decline of the Hyksos which brought this fate upon Egypt. The Hebrews tired of being treated as lesser citizens, as slaves in fact, were only too glad to be rid of Egypt's yoke. These Phoenicians or Philistines would flourish in spite of Rameses continuous warmongering.
Yet for decades the children of Israel would be concealed from Horemheb until he died. The conquests of his successor Rameses never amounted to a thing, because they had confronted the Living God and Egypt had been humiliated by mere slaves and had lost their influence on the eastern Mediteranean coastline to the sea people, the Philistines, allies of the Hittites. Pharaoh was no god and all knew it, and neither were any of his sons nor success sors. Egypt's state religions were proven phony and the pharaohs would have greater difficulty proving their divine right to rule. Horemheb and Rameses tried in vain anyway to reinstitute the old religions to spite the memory of Akhenaten and his monotheism. We must remember the primary influence to Akhenaten’s monotheism was from his alleged mother Queen Tiye, Xuang’s priest and lover. The people also would always rebel as soon as he withdrew his armies. He made a tremendous effort to conceal all traces of this embarrassment the losses northeast of Egypt so that it would never show upon Egyptian records. For the forty years after Moses departed, Egyptian scribes and artisans were vigilantly at work erasing records of the Israelites, Akhenaten and Ay, While Xuang had been involved with Quen Tiye and knew Moses as almost a son, Horemheb proved to be a strong adversary who gained the throne by default after the departure of Xuang and Tiye. Hormeheb’s son died from plague when Moses returned so Rameses became the commander and vizier and the eventual successor to the throne. However, Rameses, like Horemheb, were not educated in the arts and sciences of Heliopolis, but were simply military minded and concerned about power only. Rameses ruled a very long time , but weakened by the loss of a divine right to rule, he failed to win the hearts of his subjects.