Some Friendly Advice
His Friend smiled and said, “Go now, the Idiot will remember this time.”
Jim was back in his cell waiting for his executioners. He couldn’t die. He was on a mission from God, and this Chicago Blues Brother would make sure that his promise to Antiope made over pizza would be fulfilled. He was going to kick some Golden Bull’s ass. He checked with Idiot. “Where were we?”
“That is a stupid question, Jim. We just left Egypt, and Pharaoh promised to kill all of the Hebrew’s first born sons, unless Moses calls off his God.”
“What is our current time in comparison to Pharaoh’s promise?”
“Perhaps three hundred years, local time.”
“Hmmm…time certainly flies when I’m having fun.”
“Oh yes, I also have the solution to that equation. It seems that we could use that portal anytime, Jim, but it is closed to life forms other than your own. It seems your friend does not wish you to bring uninvited guests. We can undergo transportation with individuals being contained by the Box, but they cannot be brought to consciousness in that designated region. I still am unable to identify your Friend in that zone, Jim. Who is He?”
“I am afraid to say, Idiot. Let us just leave that field be undefined for the present, shall we?”
“Affirmative. Jim, I can say that individual may have the ability to interfere with my circuits. I may have been tampered with already, and not know it. I just wished to let you know that my integrity may have been violated.”
“Or upgraded. Don’t let your memory banks concern you with that subject. My friend has full authorization to use all of your circuits.”
“Well thanks for letting me know. It would have spared me a few circuit headaches in the past trying to defend against the interference.”
“As you would have spared me a headache, if you could have materialized me a little closer to shore.”
“Point taken. I hear the gatekeeper now.”
Jim’s cell had two doors. One was the one by which he had entered; the other led into the labyrinth. Jim boldly entered the maze. To appease Ariadne, he secured one end of the thread to the door hinge, and unraveled the spool as he went on his search. Idiot mapped the labyrinth as backup. The Box was not going to trust the fate of this venture to a piece of thread. Those who would live to tell the tale would say that the thread was used. Jim had the advantage of all the modern conveniences, and was never even close to being lost in the simple maze.
There were snakes everywhere in the labyrinth, mildly poisonous ones at that. It was not a pleasant place to be. None of the snakes could kill a man immediately. The nature of the labyrinth was not to kill the man by snakebite, but only to weaken him, intimidate him, enhance fear, and cause him to experience hallucinations. By the time the Minotaur would find his victim, the individual would be too weak to fight, confused, and usually hysterical.
Jim hated snakes, and did not hesitate to squeeze the life from each creature that attempted to bite him. The trail of dead snakes gave him a better sign of where he had been than his almost invisible thread.
Eventually he found a region where the snakes did not seem to be. They seemed to be shy of the ring of torches that protect access to this other part of the labyrinth.
Bored with the hunt, Jim broke his silence and challenged the Minotaur.
“You want me? Come get me. I’m not moving from this one spot until I see you.”
Five minutes passed. Ten minutes passed. No Minotaur appeared. Not intending to be untrue to his word, Jim had the Box do some time acceleration. Sooner or later the Minotaur would have to come to him. Even if the Minotaur decided to stake him out for days, waiting for Jim’s weakness to show signs, it would only be a matter of a few seconds for Jim.
Seconds, if not hours later, the Minotaur made its presence known.
Jim examined the creature. He was a man dressed in ceremonial garb wearing a headress with two massive horns serving as his crown. He was mounted on a rather large bull, with leather wrappings around its legs to protect it from snakebite. He had a crude lasso and a net appearing to be used for capturing and restraining his victims. At his side he had a rather impressive sword, and on his back a quiver and bow.
“Well, young fellow. You seem to be still quite strong. Would you prefer to follow me quietly, or will I have to use my toys on you.”
“Actually, I would prefer to leave, but not first without the head of that marvelous bull that you are riding.”
The Minotaur carefully examined this apparently brash lad, unarmed but for a simple staff. “So you intend to beat my bull to death with your stick, do you? I guess I won’t need this then.”
The Monotaur then unsheathed his sword and broke it on the head of the head of his bull. The bull did not flinch, apparently not noticing the pain. It did appear that it was impossible for the bull’s hide to be penetrated. “Just how do you intend on severing the head of my pet.”
“That’s a secret for me to know and you to find out.”
“I’m all eyes and ears, quite eager for you to show me the way.”
“You don’t mind if I ask a few dumb questions first, do you. I had really expected to find a dumb monstrous animal, but instead I find a boy with delusions of grandeur riding a yellow cow. Does your mother know what kind of mischief you create?”
The Minotaur did not like the references to his mother who had banished him to this prison. She had been ordered to do so by direction of Isis, who had found the Minotaur to be very much not to her liking.
“This is a golden bull, not a yellow cow. You are doing a rather good job of trying my temper, young man. Certainly you must be aware that I do not permit my guests to leave alive.”
“You are such an ungracious host. Certainly you could learn to enjoy the company of others. What do you look like under your mask? Your face can not be that abominable, can it?”