Clearly, Jim had no idea of what he should do, but that didn't bother him in the slightest. With no clear sense of direction to go, Jim felt that he was quite free to create a future without restrictions.
"Idiot, what time restrictions are there on my present visit?"
"That is a function of the future status of my power reserves. I am currently recharging and at current rate will be up to full potential in less than twenty earth years."
"How about intelligence gathering ability?"
"Earth networks are very easy to browse. We can stay well informed."
"What human factions would tend to be unreceptive to us?"
"Those that you would oppose the most."
"Well, I guess. I shall deal with them one at a time."
Jim turned his attention to Helen. Enjoying the dolphins, she seemed quite content in the warm tropical waters. She would want to take him ashore tonight to enjoy dancing.
The serene paradise of his surroundings tempted him to be unconcerned about any problems of other people. Yet the time constraints disturbed him somewhat. He couldn't wait the projected twenty years before his return to Artemis. Isis expected him to act as her ambassador to Earth in a matter of days, and he would necessarily be soon making his presence in another manner. Qblh knew he really only had two days to create a time reversal.
"Idiot, we need to return to Artemis within forty-eight hours. Analysis?"
"John must arrive within that period."
"So we must sit and wait."
"We won't have to wait long. I am receiving a transmission from John. He will be joining us shortly."
"Good. Shall we contact Antiope?"
Idiot searched for a way to contact Antiope. Within seconds voice communications had been established. Antiope was at a board meeting considering another buyout. Upon discovery that Jim was on the phone, she immediately excused herself and dismissed the board to consult with Jim.
"Where have you been, lover?"
"Can you fly to Maui tonight? I want to see you."
"What's wrong with your Box, sweetheart? I could imagine that you would wish me there a little quicker than twelve hours."
"Well perhaps, if John arrives soon, I can get you here a little quicker. Is there any business you need to wrap up, or any packing you need to do?"
"I'm ready to fly. I'm just waiting for your chariot."
"Buy power industries, sweetheart, while we're waiting. We will be making some major investments in that industry. I shall need some power plants."
"What is your strategy, sweetheart?"
"We shall be redirecting the electrical power and energy distribution industry.
""Do you mean that we will be controlling the world's energy resources?"
"I would describe it more as safeguarding the world's energy resources."
"We will be helping our friends by developing a critical mass of world energy generation. Our friends will manufacture the energy that they need by not depleting Earth's resources."
"My Earth scientists are showing some promise with semiconductor light to electrical power techniques. They are begging for a breakthrough in fusion technology."
"Antiope, what are the major barriers to our projected enterprise?"
"That is a difficult question to answer Jim, but I do have a list of enemies already."
"I am having some problems entering Mideastern markets. Apparently they don't like dealing with me too much because I am a woman, and you should hear some of the outrageous slander that they have been directing against me. Instead they seek to incite wars and acts of terrorism. Oddest of all they seem to not trust you either."
"I am certain that they can hardly be fair with me since I have yet to be involved in their affairs."
"No, your existence contradicts what they wish to believe."
"Their governments seek to deny that you ever existed. Some would have preferred you not to get involved at all."
"It seems the only thing they can agree on is to be disagreeable. Onward and forward. They will simply have to adjust. I shall do what I must."
"More adventure, Jim?"
"Well count me in, sweetheart. I enjoy my excursions with you much more than running financial empires."
"How is our anti-matter facility progressing?"
"Believe it or not, Jim, John is at the site at this moment making some major upgrades. He is actually expecting to manufacture 10 kilograms of anti-matter. I have no idea where he intends to store the material. I know of no such containment device capable of holding the substance."
"Genie, how much anti-matter do you need?"
"I see, and if you get 10 kilograms of antimatter?"
"Then I can implement 100% repair and return you to Artemis tomorrow."
"Antiope, where is this location? Apparently, I shall have to fly there and meet you at that site tomorrow."
"Chicago, at the Fermilab. John is making some adjustments to increase the antiproton production to something of the order of 10^30 charges per second. Apparently he is going to use his Box to power the reaction. He has been working on this since you defeated the fleet. What is going on?"
"Have you seen Aphrodite?"
"No. She stays out of sight. John disappears each day after his work is done to join her 'elsewhere' as he calls it."
"Contact JPL and have them arrange for a flight from Honolulu to Chicago for Helen and myself. Don't use my name. I also don't need to be scanned."
"Suppose I ask General Armstrong. I'm certain he can arrange for a military flight for you from Maui to Chicago. No one will ask you any questions in that case."
"That sounds good. I'll be coming along as Helen's assistant and baggage boy."
"I'm certain she can cover for you. Don't forget your money belt."
Idiot alerted Jim to another transmission from John. Apparently, John had decided to take a break long enough to talk to Jim.
"I was under the impression that you would need some antihydrogen to effect repairs. I had a similar problem when we landed back in time, but I didn't have antihydrogen production facilities waiting for me there. I thought you might find these facilities useful, since I am certain your interdimensional control unit needs to be recharged somewhat. If you would like, I can fetch you in an hour or two. I'll contact Antiope to tell her to cancel those flight plans. I have a lock on the Dutchman's coordinates. I will see you in two hours. Do you need anything?"
"No, I think you have been pretty thoughtful in anticipating my needs. Do you need anything from me?"
"I'll ask if I do. Since you ask, I would appreciate if you could bring me back the energy I'm going to give you, upon your return from Artemis. A brief pass by Cygnus ought to give you the necessary amount."
"I shall. Idiot, remember that, and make necessary programming adjustments."
"At your command, Qblh."
"Idiot, apparently we are going to use a high energy accelerator to deliver the required amount of antimatter to you in a short burst. You are going to trap all that energy and evolve into a stable containment field. What is your estimation of return date now?"
"I have managed to interface with John's box controller, and we are in the process of formulating the governor tensor matrix controllers at the present. Estimate 100% power twenty-seven hours after absorption of anti-matter energy. Within two hours after receipt of the ten kilograms of excitation energy, I should manage to go critical in my own on board proton-antiproton generators. The remaining twenty-five hours will be used to rebuild power reserves."
"Very well. I shall give you time to make necessary preparations."
Jim switched off the computers and went above deck to see how Helen was faring.She was still frolicking with the dolphins when he waved for her attention. Seeing him, she said good-bye to the dolphins and swam back to the yacht.
"Well, have you decided what we are going to do?"
"We're going back to Chicago. We need to seclude the yacht."
"Can't we take the yacht?"
Jim considered the possibility. Perhaps John could transport the yacht.
"When are we leaving?"
"In about two hours."
Helen was provocatively beautiful as she left the water. Enticing Jim, she smiled as she said, "Perhaps you can find a little time for me now."
Qblh followed Helen to her chamber.
"Qblh, grant me my wish. That is the custom, so they say."