Strength

Chapter Twelve

 

 

Antiope’s Proposal

 

Surprise to the Boys in Black! And Gotcha!!

Come and get me if you dare!

Fusion Power ,,

why aren't you making more of an effort

to share the potential wealth of fusion resources.. ??

Too dangerous?

So you say!

Or are you hogging it in secrecy somewhere.

Area 51?

Fusion Project!

Makes more sense.

Ah but I know it is really not so.

We don't have fusion yet?

Are they keeping the technology secret?

Is it the best kept secret in the world.?

And we all know time travel is impossible.

All very well folks,

but we all know that this is nothing

bu the fictional delusions of some science fiction writer;

but am I not in the habit of entertaining the public,

and where is the fine line to draw concerning censorship.

Tread the walkway very lightly folks, you're in my domain.

 

 

If Antiope was popular before, her popularity had now increased tenfold.

 

The scientists were aware that they had just seen an impressive display of matter to antimatter conversion. They surmised that Antiope had somehow created and stored a tremendous amount of antimatter "somewhere", and that "somewhere" was definitely a closely guarded secret.

 

Also of profound importance was the technology itself. A sufficient number of policy makers were present to have their lines of thinking reshaped. Antiope told them that she expected to get involved in the world's energy markets and establish power beam stations both in space and on Earth. She immediately requested from Washington special fusion licensing with a right to self insure. They expressed some reluctance to give her independent licensing rights, but a little extra pressure from General Armstrong's staff managed to persuade the right people.Jim and John occupied themselves with the Boxes as they restored the accelerator space back to normal. The regular Fermi staff watched in bewilderment as the two Air Force colonels quickly disassembled the "add-on" equipment which had made the "impossible" happen.

 

Some of the staffers were a little disappointed. They had hoped that they would be the first to make the energy breakthrough. They had quite clearly been upstaged. The military was apparently brushing off the credit to the Fermilab so as to maintain the cover for the true project. This provided some consolation to the staff; they could look forward to increased funding.

 

Antiope had her staff secure the equipment in some container trucks that were made available. John and Jim would take their units inside the containers and reabsorb the equipment. The trucks would later be driven away empty.When all the equipment had been restored to normal, John and Jim joined Antiope and Helen. Taking their seats at the reception banquet already in progress, John found himself seated next to Helen; Jim was seated next to Antiope.

 

Antiope spoke on their behalf. "Please don't ask the colonels any question concerning the project. They are under orders not to answer any questions."

 

Thus John and Jim were spared being asked any questions. Instead they were looked at with a sense of mystified awe, especially by the Earth women.

 

"Are you free to discuss any military applications of the beam technology, Antiope?"

 

"Only to say that the military has no pending contracts with respect to this technology."

 

The media focused their attention on the two colonels and dismissed the apparent lie as typical Washington doublespeak. Antiope seemed to be denying the obvious.

 

The Pentagon knew otherwise, however. Antiope had no intention of sharing the new technology with the Pentagon. She had adamantly refused to negotiate any military projects.Furthermore the motivation behind her financial empire started to become very clear. She was in an excellent position to control US power and space industries. She made it all too clear to Washington that they were too incompetent to control these strategic assets. The two Air Force colonels were clearly known by the Pentagon as Antiope's "muscle men", and they had to protect the true identity of these two colonels.Antiope proposed a toast to the assemblage.

 

"To the future and to our end of dependence on oil imports."

 

The audience was shocked. Someone questioned, "An end to our oil dependence?"

 

"That is correct. You have witnessed the basics of the controlled fusion process, and the power beam is capable of lossless transmission of power over great distances. The experiment also created antimatter fuel."

 

"What guarantee do we have that it is safe?"

 

"Antiope Industries is assuming one hundred percent liability for our processes. I have utmost faith in my engineers. We are so confident of safety that we have nothing budgeted towards expected losses."

 

"Most business people would find that rather risky or foolish."

 

"Most business people have only their own company's profit interests in mind and have to satisfy the requirements of insurance adjusters to protect against such types of losses. These same concerns have kept you oil dependent and afraid of investing in new industries. This 'new technology' as you would name it is really nothing new under the sun. The imagined fears of your insurance adjusters are fraudulent, and I refuse to throw away my investments to satisfy these thieves. I'll insure myself. By not paying this "fear money", and assuming the liability myself, I should be revealing to you how confident I am of success. With regard to being risky or foolish, I find that your dependence on oil is being rather risky or foolish. No one seems to have enough faith in any alternative energy projects to make as serious investments as Antiope Industries just has."

 

She dumped the twenty-two pounds of gold on the table. "Pure gold, gentlemen. This gold came from the beam as well. Furthermore, Antiope Industries intends to go global and not be just a US company."

 

"Does this mean that your technology will be available to foreign nationals?"

 

"It will be freely available to all that can comprehend the technical details. It will not be available to those that cannot comprehend the technical details."

 

"What is to protect us from terrorists gaining access to this technology and using it against us?”

 

Jim spoke. "What is there to protect us from global war when we start fighting over a few drops of available oil, or the rights to that oil? What is there to protect us from public panic when terrorists seize control of the oil supply, or are you going to depend on military intervention to guarantee free flow of oil. Free energy makes a lot more sense."

 

"Free energy?"

 

"That is what he said, Gentlemen," Antiope interjected, "Now perhaps you can see now why I expect nothing but success for Antiope Industries. Once a power plant has been built, it will create fuel and energy beams, consuming no fuel in the process. We shall be making our own energy in the truest sense of the word."

 

A hushed silence fell on the room. They all wondered if it really could be true.

 

One voice spoke out. "They said the same thing about nuclear power, but their promises didn't shell out. As a result, we have a waste disposal problem. You're expecting us to buy a technology that we know very little about."

 

Jim spoke up again. "You don't know squat about anything concerning power, except that it appears to come out of a wall socket. You know very little about what it's going to take to improve your world. Your minds are clouded by your own misconstrued ill-conceived notions. Left unchecked, your primitive ways of thought will guarantee your extinction or dominion by Isis."

 

"Perhaps dominion by Isis would not be such a bad idea."

 

Antiope stepped into the argument and put her finger on Jim's lips. "As the Venetian ambassador and representative of Isis, I find the human creature to be a detestable parasite if it cannot find the self discipline to give ear to the voice of educated reason over the voice of irrational fear and fatalism to a "deserved" destiny. I am aware of the fact that the great Qblh, himself, is due to arrive from Artemis in a very short time to determine whether Earth people will live as a free people or need to be treated as domesticated animals. Qblh and Isis have been divided over this issue. Qblh rescued your planet just recently from invasion. Have you forgotten so quickly? He left plans to construct this project for your benefit. You people just have to apply your brains and sweat a little to learn how to apply this new technology. These two colonels have been entrusted by him with the details of this technology, but they have also been given strict instructions as to how to disseminate the information. It is true that Isis promises to provide for our needs if we choose to serve her as her pets.. How would you like to consider yourself, man or beast?"

 

Qblh glared at the heckler as he sat back down uncertain as to how to respond. If he still had doubts, he didn't feel like articulating them.

 

The rest of the meeting passed with a very optimistic note. The major corporate executives were very skeptical, but they were so impressed by the size of Antiope's investment ventures into the proposed projects, that they all joined in for fear of being left out. It was quite clear at the present moment that Antiope had the ability to make or break the market. She had some friends in very high places and she had a reputation for being able to get things done effectively. Receiving overwhelming support, Antiope found herself booked for weeks with business conferences. Each meeting would involve multi-million dollar business contracts. Immediately after her banquet at the Fermilab, the overseas markets would start to rally on the news, while billions were reinvested in the affected businesses. She could see quite a few individuals sneaking cellular calls during the meeting.

 

Antiope's employees handled subsequent appointment scheduling without disturbing Antiope. She had a few moments with Jim, and she loved him as well. No one dared disturb her. Very few recognized Jim as the Venetian, and they knew to keep silent. Antiope had carefully screened out any guests that had ever seen Jim, and photographs were forbidden. Some had managed to sneak a few pictures, but they would be disappointed to find their film ruined when they left the premises. John had always maintained a low profile and very few had ever seen him. Isis would not be aware of Jim's presence. Antiope urged confidentiality from her guests as well with her summation.

 

"Ladies and gentlemen, I charge that you fully appreciate what we have taken a great effort to demonstrate. Try to minimize your tribal conflicts and you will be able to traverse the stars freely. Bear in mind that we are not releasing this technology as a means to conquer your enemies. Certain measures can be taken to intercept those who wish to use it for other than approved purposes. Antiope Industries is quite proficient at cleaning up its act, and you will all find that upon leaving the room you will find no evidence that you observed the event you have observed. We have completely removed any trace that we ever conducted that experiment. Yet I trust that you understand what you have just viewed with your own eyes. Antiope Industries shall construct orbiting power stations and transmit created power to Earth for usage as energy available to all. We shall sell power to the various power companies worldwide at an extremely inexpensive price. The beam that you witnessed is easily capable of transmitting such power. Since the technology is Venetian, Antiope Industries has exclusive rights to this manner of production and distribution of power and is not subject to the laws of the United States in its corporate decision policies. As the executive director, I claim alien immunity for both myself and the corporation, but shall honor contracts in accordance with US corporate law. It should be quite clear then that US laws will in no manner interfere with my contracts with other foreign nationals, but I shall deal with them in accordance with their contract customs. Furthermore Antiope Industries reserves the right to use its forces to enforce contracts. Bear in mind that Antiope Industries is a Venetian industry and is subject to Venetian law. It is impossible to buy me out, ladies and gentlemen, for if I am voted off the board without a Venetian replacement, all assets must be liquidated and all of our patented devices must be made non-existent. Qblh and Isis both forbid human control of this technology at present until you can fully comprehend the details and build similar devices of your own. May I introduce my partner? Helen would you care to say a few words?"

 

"Yes, Antiope. You forgot to say that Qblh will actually be the director of Antiope Industries, but you and I will be his chief executive officers."

 

"Didn't I say that?"

 

"Ladies and Gentlemen. Qblh can travel time and we just refueled his ship."

 

The audience was stunned.

 

"Anti-matter was needed to allow him to travel backwards in time. We created twenty-two pounds of anti-matter for his use. He came from the future to get it and is taking it with him into the past. Sorry that he couldn't stay and chat. He sends his apologies, but he had an urgent date with his lady, Isis."

 

Jim smiled and nudged John. "So she lies a little bit once in a while."

 

An understanding fellow broke in with a question. "Does this mean that we observed a truly alien business transaction, and does this mean that you will be conducting trade with Venetia as well as Earth."

 

Helen smiled. "You have made an important point my fine fellow. Antiope Industries is the only authorized corporation which can conduct trade with Venetia. Intergalactic trade will be subject to taxation by Isis. We are by royal command required to make a sizable profit to lure investors, and she expects sizable tax revenues."

 

"Does that mean we are to pay tribute to Isis for our power?"

 

"That is not considered intergalactic trade. Qblh has managed to arrange for that to be tax free. Any profit will be shared among Earth's native investors and the investor's local government may collect the taxes from his earnings. US power companies would pay US and state taxes and British power companies will pay British tax. We do not intend to interfere with Earth's tribal or national infrastructures."

 

"How does Isis plan on making a profit, if she's not cashing in on the energy revenue?"

 

Helen smiled. "She has more lucrative business opportunities than you can imagine, and many of your own people will be more than willing to offer millions in order to get involved with one of them."

 

Jim started to get somewhat disturbed. He hadn't told them that was how he was going to conduct business. Helen had pointed out the truth and it disturbed him. Helen and Antiope had both taken for granted that Venetian law would apply for business operations. Neither cared too much for Earth business operation strategies, and it was true everything that they said. Jim was not adept with contract law and he did delegate them executive powers. They both knew that they were still subject to Isis, and would still have to deal with her in the traditional manner; she was their queen. Could Jim detect the means that Antiope and Helen would use to deal with their enemies? He thought of the scum and the billions that she could entice with avarice, lust, and other temptations. She would be every bit as dangerous as she had ever been. Was she truly setting him free? Qblh could see his challenge: he had to preserve his reason in the midst of madmen; he had to preserve his faith in the midst of superstition; and he had to preserve his dignity in the company of buffoonery. Why did he ever get himself in this position? He considered his state.

 

He was a stranger in a strange land, but it was his world at the present and it was his task to preserve it. "Go to my great city and proclaim to it the message I give you." These thoughts were not those of his consort, yet they motivated Qblh deeply."Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish."

 

God had punished the world already with a great flood. Jim had lost his wayward son Pharos to the flood. Qblh felt additionally responsible to help Earth in light of the past destruction.

 

Cheap energy! Cheap energy meant inexpensive work. The human animal could be used as an intelligent self powered machine by corporate interests. Antiope Industries was capable of creating intelligent self powered machinery which could take the drudgery out of human existence. Work was required to support an exponentially increasing human population. Fixed resources by nature will limit an expanding population, and how is this curtailment of expansion to come about? Will we decimate ourselves by war as famine overcomes those who can no longer be fed and pestilence overcomes the survivors of starvation? Qblh remembered the history of his own race, great feats had been accomplished because of dire need. Complacency had caused the visionaries to be ignored during the times of great abundance. During the times of tribulation, new solutions were sought and the extra funding provided to visionaries yielded great new inventions. An inexhaustible energy solution and the level of power that could be maintained was directly related to the level that a civilization could aspire.

 

Qblh needed his unit back to full power. The energy transfer had been managed and now he would have to wait the required duration as Idiot achieved full readiness. He considered the evening with Antiope.

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Copyright © 1999/2015 Lazarus Cain. All rights reserved.

Site Last Updated July 2015

(Author's note: QBLHis a continuation of Venetia. QBLH ;Copyright 1999/2015; Lazarus Cain (G.T.King)) All rights reserved)

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