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Chapter Fifteen









The legendary Antiope, Helen and Theseus of old were nothing but myths. The past influence of Isis was also alive in a myth. An inaccurate history did not give a precise account of what these figures actually did, but Jim already knew full well that he had an impact on Earth history; apparently a very profound impact. Furthermore he was in a dynamic state at the very moment concerning this history. He could not explain the truth to Antiope and Helen, because the truth was so indefinable. Part of Earth history was a result of what he had done. How much more of it was due to what he would do? With Genie, he had opened Pandora's Box. Jim recalled his past experience. His acts of destiny were not a result of free will, but a result of making the proper decision. Genie had advised him with the best information available before he exercised his great power, and then Idiot alone was in charge of the hyperspatial navigation calling and releasing extreme amounts of power with a systematic precision.


"What are you thinking about?" Antiope broke the silence. "I thought tonight was going to be special."


"Antiope, I am not so sure we want to have any further financial involvement with US industries."


"And why is that Jim?"


"YAOHUSHUA drove the moneychangers out of the temple. We cannot be associated with the merchant interest. It leaves us too exposed to an attack from our potential enemies."


"I'm not sure I understand."


"The money is only of value at the time and location of its redeemability. We have no need of such currency for our travels. We generate the wealth. We shall take only enough currency to satisfy our earthly needs while we are here; which in our case is not going to be very much longer. The wealth of Antiope Industries which would normally be due you, Isis will require of you because she shall claim it is her wealth and not yours. You know Venetian law, my dear Antiope."


"Jim, I am still under the impression that I am to run Antiope Industries in this time as well as travel into the past with you. Won't you be returning me here?"


"I am not sure what the future will bring. I am going to need some time to think about it."


"Oh! Hahahee! Jim we are going on a nice vacation so you can get your bearings. Is that it?"


"In a manner of speaking."


"How wonderful! So apparently tonight is my last night on present day earth for several of my years?"


"An eternity if you will. You may choose not to return to run Antiope Industries. I certainly can't tell what you are going to want to do the day after tomorrow; and I'm sure by then you'll have something different in mind than what you thought yesterday or are thinking now."


"Well Jim! You are certainly making an offer that I can hardly refuse. So tell me more about where we are going."


"Antiope, I still have eighty virgins to go before I am to be sent back to Earth as her Qblh. That return is the day after tomorrow, local time. Genie is reconstructing the Box presently so I can make this maneuver. I am not here, remember. There is also no true evidence that we were ever in the past."


"But we are going there."


"Now you are beginning to get an idea as to what the rules are."


"Jim. I am not going to make a move back then without you."


"That will be the day! I think you shall fare quite well, Antiope."


"So this is the true reason why you are taking us both back in time."


"You are both my captives. Remember? Aren't you holding me responsible for your welfare? You also need me to run Antiope Industries. Isis is going to want her voice heard as well. She will take over the industry. Never doubt that for a second. "


"Unless you have your Box fully operational without her realizing!"


"But she may realize it once she has gained wind of today's experiment."


"Yes, Jim, but you could have done that any time. As far as she knows you are visiting us now from the far future, and then she would expect that to be you doing something for her. Simply stand forewarned."


"I don't think she's that naive. Uh, Oh! And the name Qblh is now public, and as being a time-traveler. There is a lot of spilled milk here to clean up, Jim."


"Well, maybe I shall tell her nothing and let her use her imagination."


"She'll love it."


"That she will."


"I'll have Genie create an alibi communication to the Dutchman to account for any observations that she may infer. I'll be able to maintain a clean cover."


"Well then perhaps we should just disappear and maintain a low profile from now on. There is no telling what Helen will say."


"Helen will not disclose my presence to anyone. I made her swear an oath."


"Then I am sure she will say nothing, but she did mention your name as a time traveler at the banquet. That was a little risky."


"Yes, but she did check me well when I challenged her concerning the issue. She did not violate her oath."


"Shall we get going then?”


“ Genie tells me that there is a maintenance van in the building that we can use to leave the building."


"Do you have any idea where we are going?"


"I want to play." Jim smiled.


Full of expectations, Antiope followed Jim to the garage and entered the van. Genie performed a little magic with a minor interior redecoration. Completely darkening the windows, Genie had manufactured a somewhat comfortable interior within the van completely equipped with a pair of command virtual reality consoles. Each console gave the occupant a very fine command set which they could use to selectively view items of interest. There was also a dual interactive cooperative command function which would allow both participants to act as one in a game simulation.


Genie would do the driving whereas Antiope and Jim would jointly agree on a destination path. To make matters more interesting, extra commands would be expected en route while Genie would have to comply with all directions. The anticipated game then would be unpredictable.


Antiope said, "I'm have a taste for some pizza, how about Gino's East?"


"So be it. Genie, Gino's East."


"Which one?"


"Chicago, by Northwestern Memorial Hospital."


"Genie, take us to the tollway and into the city."


Genie assumed command and Antiope decided to share Jim's command console center with him.


"I'd like to start the evening out with me in command. Drink my ambrosia."


Taking advantage of the moment and the enchanting privacy provided by Genie, Antiope assisted Jim into a more appropriate dress. Genie, realizing that time was not a factor but discretion was, avoided the tollway. Rather than consume fuel and obey the limitations of earth vehicles, Genie reconstructed the drive system into a more compatible framework. It would restore the vehicle to its normal state when finished, with not a drop of gasoline consumed.


The van turned down an obscure alley and vanished. It reappeared in a parking garage. Genie had rematerialized the van at a garage only a block from the pizza location. Genie parked the van, yet simulated motion within, and let the duo play until further instructions were received.


Displacing the van in such a manner required less effort on the part of the Box than an actual drive through the city. Genie had run a minimal risk routine and acted on the result. Idiot was also able to greatly accelerate the refueling process while Antiope and Jim were enclosed within its protective shields.


Qblh under the influence of ambrosia, dreamed, and Antiope dreamed with him. They would be friends for an eternity. She would be giving up all attachment to any time or space just to constantly be his companion. She would not mind sharing him with Helen. Helen had always been her best friend, and she would enjoy her companionship as well.


She could feel Qblh's sense of urgency to accomplish his destiny, even though she had no idea what he had in mind. She wondered if Qblh had any idea as to what would happen.

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