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Chapter LXXVI

The Prince of Pentacles

New Beginnings

Reliable, Competent and Steadfast



Helen and Persephone




Isis found her day in the past much to her liking, but she did prefer Artemis to Earth.  It seemed to her that she had spent more time on Earth than Artemis itself. Her two brief excursions Artemis time had encompassed almost ten thousand Earth years.  Only a brief time of that had been shared with her beloved.  She also could not divorce herself from her interest in Earth either.  Before her first trip to Earth, she knew nothing about it.  She was only continuing in the tradition of the Venetian royal dynasty.  Earth had only been discovered less than forty years Earth time ago.  She was a little more aware now of the potential danger of tampering with time, and was extremely grateful that her brother had rescued her.  She was also grateful that he would be returning the rest of the Amazons to the current time.


Yet Artemis itself was suffering some gravitational instabilities still.  Jim was still in the Pleasure Dome charming the Amazon royal relations.  He was also elsewhere in time as well, and she knew it.  Somehow Genie was active maintaining a simultaneous existence of Qblh now and in the past as well.  Jim was extremely clever to accomplish this, and Isis found the whole idea quite fascinating.  She loved her brother enormously and would spare no expense to grant him any assistance that he would ever need.  She enjoyed the rivalry even more.  She incessantly teased him and loved to frustrate his plans.


Time travel was more than she had ever imagined it would be, but it was very risky and she knew it.  She had no intention of releasing the technology for public use.  She also sensed that Jim had an excellent understanding concerning the dynamics of time travel.  She remembered the portal that she had set up in Earth's past.  It would be triggered when the fleece was moved from its resting place.  Since   now in Earth time is the twenty-first century, she would be need to activate a link to the past and reach Earth using that hyperspace link.  It would be possible for Jim to return back to Earth using the same link without violating Earth local continuity.  She delighted in the prospect of being able to see Jim within a matter of moments.  Accordingly she made her way to her chambers to make herself appropriately presentable to arouse his passion and desire.


Isis summoned Merlin and requested information concerning the whereabouts of Qblh.  The computer acknowledged her request.  "He's with Persephone."


"Excellent, she said.  Have Gemini bring Persephone now.  Have her here in fifteen minutes.  Bring Qblh as well. Execute my instructions, Merlin."


"Acknowledged, my lady."


Jim may very well be off romping in other times in between ladies she now realized.  She could not doubt that he had Genie fully operational.  She also knew that he could and would not reveal to her what he was secretly up to.  She would play along with the game. As long as she pretended not to notice, she knew that he would be easily able to maintain his existence in the two lands.  Yet she missed him intensely.  To the court, it appeared that he had only been absent from her presence for a few hours, but to her it had been as many lifetimes. Jim could be downright stubborn at times though, and in order to secure his cooperation, she would take Persephone with her through the portal to the temple  of  Artemis within the kingdom of Colchis

The Argonauts were on their way to the temple of Artemis to retrieve the fleece. The Amazons escorted the Argonauts as well. The men were in remarkably good spirits. None had yet sampled the promised love that each hostess had promised her man. Each man, however, was certain that his Amazon hostess would reward him with a gift which rivalled the fleece itself. They were all under the influence of the ambrosia, and the Amazons would see that they stayed under the influence until the sacrifice.


Jason was annoyed with Theseus. The scoundrel had left with Helen to meet Hercules. Jason considered them both scoundrels. She had also taken Castor and Pollux.. Jason felt betrayed, but Medea comforted him so that he would forget. Helen, however, was in command of the mission now apparently, because it seeemed that both Medea and Theseus took directions from her. It didn't seem unusual to Medea because both Helen and Antiope and Helen were extremely powerful Venetian nobles, who answered only to Isis. By choosing three Argonauts to escort her to Sparta, Helen would be able to dissolve any suspicion by Medea that Theseus was Qblh.


Jim intended to aid the Argonauts in their quest for the fleece, but he did not wish to reveal his abilities to the Argonauts any further. He needed them to find the courage in themselves to live not depending on Venetian aid. Man would need to divorce himself from his juvenile notions of gods and goddesses, and learn to find within himself the ability to conquer the unknown. Isis had introduced this notion of her divinity to primitive man, and he needed to outgrow it. Man would have 3500 years to prepare himself for the day of judgment when Isis would once again return to reclaim dominion of Earth. Remembering his sister's challenge, Jim had given the response that man would be able to live independently with self-determination. The game was now on, and Jim had no intention on losing his wager with Isis.


Castor and Pollux were initially exremely irritated that they were not fortunate enough to make the temple love-in, and Helen had also quite clearly communicated to them that they were not going to get to sample the fruit of any Amazon other than her, and she would only be bride to the most powerful man in Sparta. Owing allegiance to Meneleaus, Castor and Pollux understood that perhaps their gift to their king would be greater than Jason's gift. Theseus assured them both that Helen was even a greater treasure than a dead golden ram's skin.


Castor examined Helen's form again gor the thousandth time. "Tell me, Theseus, if she is such a great prize, why not take her for yourself?"


"I understand it not," replied Theseus. "It is not as if I hadn't offered, but it seems that her queen Antiope has need of me. I find Helen to be much more attractive, but it is not the privilege of a man to choose which Amazon he may have. These proud warrior women choose their own men always, and I assure you both that Helen will reward you both well by giving you any woman of your choice once back in Sparta, Helen will assume control of the throne with your Menelaus as nothing more than her stooge."


"Surely you jest, Theseus. Our father would never yield his throne to a woman, even if she were an Amazon as you say." Pollux was unwilling to admit that one woman, even Helen, could simply walk in and take control of Sparta.


"You saw how easily Medea controls Aetes, did you not?"


"Aye, yet Aetes is a king, and a poweful one on that. Else why are we running from him?"


"Helen will allow Meneleaus to rule as king. She and her priestesses will rule you nonetheless. Medea will rule Athens and Helen will rule Sparta. "


"Theseus how can you betray your fellow Argonauts to the rule of the Amazons?"


"Do you regard Helen as a tyrant? What is there about her that you don't like? Would either of you be reluctant to take her as a bride? I know I wouldn't. And if you are willing to take her as a bride, don't you think you would find yourself subject to her rule?"


Castor quickly retorted, "Of course we would be willing to take her for a bride, but we would tame her soon enough. She would soon understand her function as a wife."


Jim snickered. "Yes, I'm sure you would find it quite easy to tame Helen. Let's hope that your king Meneleaus doesn't try to tame this woman. I would wager that she would break any man, before he would break her. Tell me Castor. Tell me Pollux. I wager that Meneleaus will never control Helen even be he king and her husband."


"Nay." replied Pollux. "I would launch a thousand ships against any man who would dare attempt to steal her affection from me."

"Attempt or succeeeded? If Helen chose to leave with another lover, would not your Spartan king be insulted and demand the head of the offender?"


"Why most, certainly! If a man can not rule his own house, how can his subjects expect him to rule the kingdom? No Spartan king would tolerate Helen abandoning the vows to her husband."


"You don't think so?" replied Theseus. "See how angry Aetes becomes when Medea leaves with Jason. Without Medea, he will not be able to keep his kingdom. Medea was the force behind Aetes. Do not underestimate the Amazons."


"Well how are we helping our home by bringing these women back with us. We would have been better off by never beginning the quest."


"And Jason would never be king and you would never be heroes. I didn't mean to say that Meneleaus, your father and king, is to automatically be her husband. She might demand a contest for her hand. I have the utmost respect for your father as the most cunning and fit of all the kings of Greece, and couldn't imagine him being bested by anyone but myself or Hercules. Unless you can best your father in combat, though I can hardly see you as having his wisdom. Even if you did, he has wealth and power and you don't. No, I just can't seem to see Helen settling for anyone less than the king of Sparta, can you? Besides neither of you seem to have hit it off with Helen."


Castor and Pollux didn't care much for such teasing and they both jumped him in an attempt to shut him up, but Theseus was a little too agile for the both of them. "Oh come on fellows, I am just teasing. Helen likes the both of you, else she wouldn't have chosen the three of us. She likes us all, and she doesn't trust Jason to have sense enough to find his way back home. We can travel with her free from any harrassment from any Colchisian soldiers."


"So we are to return to Sparta hiding under a woman's dress. Is that it?"


"Well, if you wish. I'll tell Helen you don't wish the honor of being her escort. I however am going wherever she wants me to go. Do you want to tell her now? You still have time to go after the fleece and I am certain that Helen can find you each a priestess to guide yiou there."


Castor and Pollux looked at each other and almost decided to join Jason, until Helen returned provocatively dressed. "You are all such wonderful boys! I am so fortunate to have heroes such as you to escort me to a land of heroes. You don't mind if we stop now and then to enjoy the hospitality of my homeland on the way to yours? I can certainly make it worth your while." She then gave each of the men a very nice kiss loaded with ambrosia.


From that point on, it would be impossible to separate Castor and Pollux from Helen's presence unless she ordered it so. A simple kiss each day were all the wages that Castor and Pollux received from their Amazon mistress as they made their way to Sparta. Helen would make the men do al the work. She even quit hunting. Persephone was one of the Amazons who accompanied Theseus, Castor and Pollux as they went their separate way from the Argonauts. Jim still had a few more golden pegs to retrieve and he would take advantage of the next few days to do so with Persephone.


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