The Nine of Wands
Showing the full power of the fiery element rising again
Jim was back with Antiope and Helen shortly after he had dropped Ayesha back at the Pleasure Dome.
"It seems that she's next. Isis has been a bad girl."
"What does that mean, Jim.."
"It seems that your sisters are also in this time. It seems that Ayesha was dropped off on Earth from the Pegasus. Guess who was the pilot?"
"What does that mean?"
"Come on, Jim. Don't play games. Tell us!"
"We're not mind readers."
"You don't need to know."
"Oh, please! Don't tell us that!"
"You know she likes to keep track of what you are up to."
"Well you know I don't like anyone looking over my shoulder."
"Oh, please, Jim! You are just as much a ham as Isis. You both thrive on all the attention that we give you."
"Maybe I'll have to drop you girls off in he Pleasure Dome as well."
"No thanks, we'll take being lowly lieutenants to you as you permit us to be your First Mates of the Flying Dutchman. Perhaps Isis shall take Antiope Industries from us, but don't let her take our beloved ship from us."
"Speak for yourself, Helen. You can have this ship. I prefer the city life. I have yet to find a man of power that I cannot manipulate, besides Jim of course."
"And don't forget John." Helen reminded her.
"Yet we still haven't a clue as to what Jim is up to? Do you have any idea, Helen?"
"Antiope, Helen, we have quite a few Amazons living in this current time, and I must hunt them all down and return them all home. You two will apparently meet your deaths in this time, and you will exit from recorded history."
"Jim, I thought you were taking us back?"
"I said you two would apparently perish. I'll try to prevent it from occurring but it would be advantageous for us all to meet an apparent end."
"There is no room for us in Earth history. We should not interfere, but apparently she has a tendency to do otherwise. She also apparently influenced Nimrod, and that is going back over a thousand years from now. She is here now and then, and who knows when else. The damage has been done. I just don't understand how she avoided paradox."
"Well she does have awfully good instincts," interjected Antiope.
"Well that shouldn't affect our vacation," said Helen.
"Unless she abducted you, Helen."
"You would never let them keep me from you, would you, Jim."
"Tell her, Genie."
"There is a greater than ninety percent probability that you will be abducted on this vacation, Helen, but your jailers will pamper you and try to seduce you."
Antiope laughed at Helen. "This is just simply too rich. And just how long are you going to be able to maintain this charade, Jim?"
"As long it takes."
"So where are we off to now, then?"
"I'm going below to make some navigational adjustments."
"Just how much time, did you spend with Ayesha, Jim?"
"Long enough to satisfy her." He smiled back at them. "Enjoy the sun, ladies, and Genie shall provide your needs. I'm up to full power. I need to make some plans."
Below decks, Jim activated Idiot. "We're still on course then."
"Yes, indeed I have a zero error guidance signal at present."
"And Ayesha will have never noticed my departure from her."
"Correct Jim, you will have been gone and returned in a blink of an eye; she will never notice that you left her, but you must, of course make sure that you return to her."
"Understood. Enter that requirement in the navigational solution."
"My navigational window requires us to make a transatlantic voyage."
"It seems that many of the island inhabitants are following us Jim. They are going where we lead them."
Indeed, a few hundred were quite fascinated by this unusual stranger and wanted him to lead them a little further. Most of the island refugees simply headed toward the Black Sea, eastern Mediterranean, Avaris, the mainland of Greece and a host of other coastal Mediterranean locations. Ayesha had provided sufficient notice to avoid the resultant tsunamis caused by the island’s destruction. Before it actually submerged a sufficient amount of deadly fire, gas and earth would have already been vomited to be lethal to any inhabitant. Those who did not leave by Ayesha’s deadline would not be able to flee the tsunami from the island’s destruction. The fleeing boats headed first towards the far side of Crete, Cyprus or toward any other land mass to shelter them from the expected tsunamis. Qblh had advised Ayesha about the tsunami concerns. All survivors would bring their knowledge and skill to wherever they migrated. Their children, the Phoenicians would inspire literacy wherever they went. Along with their alphabet, their seamanship would dominate the region for a few centuries as well as inspire the Mycenaean competition. Regardless of this, the destruction of the island would still act as a major setback for the local cultures and bring out certain states of excessive barbarism.
Jim did not wish to become too involved with the political concerns of any of the reigning powers of the time. His upcoming planned adventures with Antiope and Helen already involved many complications and he did not want too many more. He was aware of a fate and destiny that he would satisfy, but he was not yet aware of what the facts of such times would actually reveal and how he would actually react to such events. Working with Genie, they determined that a temporal displacement of over four hundred earth years was to be expected as necessary. It was not necessary to warp to greater than light velocity to achieve such a time shift. It would be also possible to make momentary pauses so as to gather information and to perform navigational adjustments.
It may have been simply also the case that the more adventurous were following Qblh hoping that they would aid them in crossing the great ocean to the west of the Gibraltar.
"I didn't ask them to follow us."
"Well it seems they lack a leader, and they have apparently chosen you."
"Did Ayesha put them up to this?"
"Uncertain, but there is a high probability that she did, but you would know better than I. You did promise to save her people. Did you not?"
"Lovely, just lovely. How much time is this going to take?"
"Jim you have plenty of time. I can program the Flying Dutchman to lead them to America. The fact that we are a ghost ship will only make them more inclined to follow you."
"Very well, Idiot, then we can maintain the appearance of leading them to America while we plan to set up shop in Greece with the ladies. We need to get used to living in these times. Maintain a ghost ship for the people to follow. Have it so they can never board, and always situate the hologram, if we make a side trip, so as to encourage them on westward. Make the route easy enough for them to follow. We shall lead this remnant of those who faithfully heeded our words and warnings to a new land where there shall be plenty for all. I shall explain to the ladies that there is going to be a slight diversion."
"If you wish we can base them in Grecian locations while we lead these people to America."
"Well, now Idiot. That is rather clever of you. Do you mean we shall be the first to discover America?"
"The people behind you will be more than thankful for your effort."ybe too thankful. Idiot are we being used? You don't think we were manipulated do you?"
"We are only doing what I am programmed to do."
"I don't know. We are creating the past of a world with which I interface with in the future."
"Well, Jim it seems that you are destined to lead these people to America, and you do know it is quite a simple deal for you to correctly lead these people to a new land. It is far easier than trying to part the Red Sea. Antiope and Helen can communicate effectively, but Ayesha could be much more effective."
"Yes, but Ayesha is dead to these people. She sacrificed herself for their welfare. She wouldn't permit herself to be seen by them alive, nor would we be able to successfully retrieve her without performing a continuum violation."
Idiot thought a few seconds. "My compliments to you, Jim. You out thought me on that one. You are correct. We cannot reinsert ourselves into Artemis space via our drop-off route more than once. We don't wish to collide with ourselves."
"I must return to Gemini. She can see me walking towards her after I dropped her off. She and I both know it will be our appointed rendezvous in the pleasure dome and she will ask me what I did to save her people. When I tell her that I gave them all a one way ticket to America, she should be somewhat amused, but happy as well."
"My compliments, Jim. Your humanity amazes me. We machines could never be expected to arrive at such artistic solutions."
"It seems that YAOHUSHUA tolerates some of my acts as a means for encouraging me to do other such foolishness."
"I would hardly say that is foolishness, Jim. It shows that you have excellent judgment."
"You sound like Shaltain praising Isis."
"Now Jim, be fair. I do not flatter, I was only speaking the truth. and don't be overly self-critical."
"And just where is that fine line between being self critical enough to exercise proper self control and overdoing it?"
"Don't ask me Jim. I'm not programmed with free will, so self control means nothing to me."
"Idiot. We are grounding ourselves by being caught up in the affairs of these people, and I'm not sure I want to endure all the time we are talking about here."
"Unfolding time events has that effect Jim. By being at rest. Earth grounded, we must experience the same time field."
"Then I am fulfilling destiny by taking these people to America?"
"What else would you prefer to do?"
"You know, Idiot; that is really not a bad idea. If there are any other humans there, I'm sure they can intermingle peacefully if I suggest it."
"May I suggest that you tell them that their custom of human sacrifice accomplishes nothing but the taking of life. You do want to tell them the truth about their bad habits, or so you programmed me to remind you."
"Very good, Idiot. Yes I do remember programming that instruction within you. Perhaps we could wait a few months before landing in Greece."
Jim felt the need to get some surveillance of Earth, but Earth in the 17th century BC had no eyes in the sky for him to tap into. He also did not want to extend himself too much in this time period. He had the Dutchman's onboard computer still though and Idiot's memory systems would be able to provide him somewhat distorted guidance. Looking back at the volcano erupting, he reflected that the local area would not have much to offer these people and he didn't want Isis to learn anything more about the event. Taking the remnant to America would culturally isolate these people from future Amazon influence, and he would have them turn away from the practice of human sacrifice and give them a new land for their own.
Indeed, Egypt, Crete and all of the Aegean civilized arena was about to go through a great social upheaval. Moses would later be leading his people to the Promised Land. The current Egyptian dynasty would end and be overrun by the invaders from the east. The local nobles would find themselves displaced as a new order came to power.
The physical effects of the volcanic eruption reaped havoc on the lands. Religious leaders of the day suffered as they were proven to be frauds. Thousands of Egyptian priests were executed because of their inability to account for the plagues brought by the volcano. The power of the Pharaoh was considerably weakened and his forces were unable to deal with the more educated crowd being coordinated by the powerful and intelligent alien presence of Anat at Heliopolis. The mathematical and medical arts as taught at Heliopolis proved invaluable towards the social infrastructure. The art of accounting was necessary to coordinate all the trade from Avaris and fairly collect tax revenue. As was in her sister city, business thrived for the Hyksos sultan, Salitis.
Cretan nobility miraculously survived the holocaust by concealing themselves within the labyrinths of the palace system. The great wealthy and commerce center at Santorini however was now gone, and all the local Mediterranean ports would feel the effects economically, if not physically.
All ships of the area were fleeing the region of the volcano, and refugees were often unwelcome. West lay open sea and the promise of new land, and Jim was certainly a very competent navigator. Ayesha would certainly love the fact that he had taken her people to America. Ayesha had always wanted to go to America herself, but had never had the chance. The people would settle and cause the memory of a Mayan civilization.
Returning to above decks, he greeted Helen and Antiope with a broad smile.
"Why are we headed west, Jim? We thought we were headed for Greece."
"I heard Mexico was nice this time of year."
"Mexico, are you out of your mind, Jim?"
"We're taking Ayesha's people to America to become native Americans."