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Chapter Twenty-Four

Ayesha's Dominion

Two of Wands





"I would guess it’s the Cretan Coast Guard, and they are probably curious as to who we are. We'll head north towards that volcanic isle; we need to tell the people to flee."


Instinctively, Jim felt that his first obligation was to instruct the residents of that island to flee for their lives. It would erupt soon and destroy everyone on the island. He had Genie show Antiope and Helen the records concerning Mt. Thera.


"Why do they still live there? They are so silly for living in such great danger."


"Perhaps they feel that their gods will protect them. I have information which leads me to believe that the island administration conducts human sacrifices in order to appease their volcano god."


"How primitive."


"How atrocious."


"Well apparently someone from the past must have been considered by the human population as a goddess, and expected her subjects to treat her accordingly; and they haven't forgotten the practice, even though she is no longer an Earth resident. We have all sorts of twisted permutations of past practices because of the forgotten knowledge and illusional beliefs."


"Do you think any of our lost sisters are still alive?"


"If they are, I'm taking them home. You girls can stay here, but I must take any of your sisters back to Artemis. Everyone must be taken home."


"And if we choose not to stay?"


"We'll see. I'm not going to force my will upon you."


"Sure, Jim. You'll just trick us into doing what you want, making us think that it was our idea."


"Do I do that?""I think I see his point, Helen. I believe he is concerned about our babies. Where shall we raise them?"


"Where we choose, but under his dominion as well.”


"But he wants only the best for our children."


Jim smiled, and they knew now that in this time they were both his wives. Isis did not exist here or now, and as long as he was there with them, they knew he was their husband. They did not mind sharing him. Each received all she needed, but then they remembered the incident concerning the royal children. Jim had made an extreme effort to return the children to their proper time. Would he permit his children to live in the past?


"Jim, are you really going to allow your children to grow up in the past?"


"What is the past? Human history, or our future? We know not where our sojourns take us. You are the mothers of your children and I shall honor your instincts."


"So you're not going to tell us?"


"How am I supposed to know what your future orders are? You're choosing the path."


"Don't think so. You're telling us to that active volcano. It could blow at anytime."


"Genie can clear us out in time. So you don't want to warn the locals of impending disaster. What would you rather do instead?"


"OK, Jim you have us there. Shall we make way to Mt. Thera, then, Helen?"


"With all haste, Antiope. Jim can't you make this boat go any faster?"


The Cretan sailors were amazed at the swiftness of the craft they pursued. After a half hour chase, they discovered that they were losing ground, but the captain could see that they were headed for Keftiu. Minos, king of Crete and Dagon, the Egyptian viceroy of Keftiu were allies, and permitted free travel between the two islands so that trade could flourish. The swiftness of the unknown ship captured the attention of the Cretan ship captain, and he wanted to know more. He continued following the Flying Dutchman to the island.


Keftiu controlled the copper trade, selling both to the Hittites and the Egyptians. The powerful Minoan navy kept the two islands safe from any who chose to attempt an invasion. The island of Keftiu was much smaller than Crete, but it had a tremendous mineral wealth, and the mountain furnaces were used to refine the mined copper into copper ingots which its merchant marine would sell throughout the lands. Dagon kept his navy distributed throughout other islands that he protected. Dagon considered himself king of the sea. Controlling the local beliefs had been a tradition of the Dagon dynasty. The local island god was called Baal-Dagon and in honor to the great legendary queen of heaven he permitted goddess worship as well. A few Amazons lived on the island and were honored as priestesses to the goddess.


Although there had been some rather nasty recent lava flows, the citizenry had been led to believe that every thing was under control. A few sacrifices were made to the fire-god of Dagon and Keftiu, and life continued on as normal. Each day scores of ships would enter laden with treasures in return for the copper exported. Keftiu was an extremely rich city and all of its free citizens lived in great wealth and luxury. The people of Keftiu were well educated with respect to the knowledge of the forge, and many of the men would take turns working in the forge. As pay they would receive an ingot which they would sell on the market.


Many would choose an excursion to Crete and shop there instead of paying inflated Keftiu prices for common goods. Hence many of the Minoan merchants would also ferry passengers between the two isles. Upon arrival in port, each ship however was required to pay a tribute to the lord of the island. The Cretan captain anticipated catching up to these "pirates" there.


Approaching Santorini, Jim slowed down the craft. Many ships were headed both directions, and Jim simply followed the wake of a ship which was in front of him.


"They're still following us, Jim."


"Don't worry Antiope. I know they're there. We might be seeing some action shortly. Change your clothes to the local custom. Put on your Artemis wardrobe signifying your rank as the queen's guard. I have a feeling you might be given immediate due respect. I'll be your 'boy'. Do you think you can act like Amazons? And I'm your slave?"


.Helen laughed. "Why this is a dream come true. You really know how to treat a girl, Jim. Of course, I'll let you be my slave."


"Wait a second sister. He's my slave too."


" But I want him as my concubine."


"We're Amazons we don't have concubines."


"What man can live with us?"


"It would give Dagon something to think about; seeing Amazons keeping a man."


"Yes, and to let him know that he sleeps with us."


"Why Jim, he would envy you. Do you intend on intimidating him?"


"Only if he intimidates me first."


"You intend on intimidating him."


The Amazons did not take long in changing and returned to the main decks in parade dress. Each was armed with a javelin, bow, and sword. As the Flying Dutchman entered the harbor all eyes silently followed the beauties. Many boats yielded the right of way, and the Flying Dutchman easily found berth. The tax collector was the first to greet them.


"We do not pay tribute. We have urgent business with the high priestess. Take us there."


Helen spoke in her native tongue, and a vox, which was linked to Genie, translated her words so that the native could understand. The voxes absorbed Antiope's/Helen's voices and emanated the relevant syntax. Genie spoke in a very ancient Egyptian dialect to the authority, and the authority immediately cooperated.


Antiope, Helen, and Jim were then free to converse in their own tongue to each other as the magistrate escorted the trio to the temple.


"What's the plan, Jim?"


"I am under the impression that Dagon is lying to the people encouraging them to remain on the island and continue to feed his desire for wealth. If so, we must neutralize Dagon before persuading the population to flee the island. If we neutralize Dagon, the population might be inclined to do as we suggest."


"Who's Dagon?"


"Genie tells me that is the name of this island's ruler. Minos rules Crete."


"So what are you going to do, Jim; ask Dagon to give up his kingdom and find somewhere else to live? I am sure that he is going to be quite fond of that idea."


"I don't expect Dagon to listen. I expect him to perish with this island."


"Jim this reminds me of a lost island civilization straight out of Hollywood."


"Only this place is real, and the island is going to blow. How soon, Jim?""Don't really know. I'll give you two minutes warning."


"Thanks a lot."


No one approached the group as the magistrate silently guided them on their way. All were curious about these beautiful strangers, and many followed to find out more. The high priestess of the temple greeted them at the threshold to her sanctuary. Jim recognized some of the ritual adornments as being of Artemis origin. The priestess was quite beautiful by Earth standards, and Jim suspected that she may even have some Artemis blood in her.


"I am, Ayesha, and am a descendent of Artemis. You also are adorned in the sacred dress of Artemis, and that is blasphemy, to be adorned so in the sight of common men. You demanded to see me."


Helen spoke first. "Speak not so. We are from Artemis, and we are pure blooded Amazon. We are from Sirius, the star of our lady Isis."


Ayesha refused to believe. "I shall have you burned alive for such blasphemy. Guards!"


Antiope was not sleeping. She was at first surprised to know that this priestess was devoted to Artemis, but had lost true knowledge of Artemis. To her Artemis was a legend..


"What do you know of Artemis, Ayesha? We are the royal bodyguards of Isis and Qblh themselves."


She then exercised the Venetian power of her javelin to stun those who would have taken them captive.


"We'd prefer to keep our freedom. Thank you. We want you to evacuate the island. This city will soon be destroyed by the volcano."


"Lord Baal-Dagon says otherwise."


"Dagon is a liar, and Baal-Dagon is his own artificial idol that he has made up to enslave the minds of the people that work and live on this island." Jim had to break in with his comments.


"You allow your slave to talk to me. If you were from Artemis, you wouldn't tolerate such insolence from your male slaves."


"This slave is my husband Theseus," lied Antiope, "and I am Antiope, Queen of the Amazons.


""Husband? Such is unheard of in the Amazon tradition."


"We are both with his child."

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