(Oh, where does the time go! – this blog post was supposed to be posted 5 days ago! Sorry about that. Antierra is fully involved in a fight not only for her life – all fights in the arena are to the death – but one that, should she lose, will have terrible consequences for the women of Hyrete and the secret work of Dr. Balomo and his Cydroids. If she loses her entire effort at making changes for the betterment of the women of Malefactus will essentially be for nought. So she fights on…)
Again we face each other, crouching, weighing our moves and their chances of succeeding. The obvious for me would be to kick to the groin with my bionic ankle. Problem is, he expects me to do that and will have a counter that will take me by surprise. I cannot afford any surprises. I forego the temptation and back away a single step. He follows, comes forward and moves in closer. I can smell that nauseating body odour of his in a change of breeze. It smells even more of putrefaction.
End blog post #77
Begin blog post #78
I must find a psychological advantage, not a physical one: I don’t have one. I move back another step and stand up straight, lifting my arms over my head as if I were giving him my body. He goes for the bait and I lower my hands just in front of his face and after smashing my elbows on top of his muscular shoulders I grab his neck. Before he can twist out of my grip I roll him to the side while dodging a kick aimed between my legs.
When his leg comes up I release his neck and grab it, pulling it the rest of the way until he’s down in the sand. I kick sand in his face and let him have the bionic kick in the ribs. I feel the cracking and hear his harsh intake of breath and gasp of pain. He recovers and attacks by grabbing my arm and twisting with all his strength. I have no choice but to roll with the twist and in turn I’m in the sand. I see his kick and close my eyes and mouth as a volley of sand hits me in the face. I turn my back to him to pull him down on top of me while I raise myself on all fours. He collapses on my back and I “buck” him off, jumping out of reach as he delivers another masterful kick that would have felled a horse and certainly broken my leg had I used it to block. I dodge with a back flip that takes me momentarily out of his considerably slowed reach.
I wipe sand from my face and wiping my hands on my breasts and front, prepare for another attack. He’s in terrible pain now, an angry, desperate wild boar cornered by dogs. This is truly the most dangerous part of the fight. He backs away, drawing me to himself instead of attacking. I move in, crouching low, my hands almost touching the ground. I expect him to kick at my face and he does. I move my head just a fraction to clear his arc and when his foot goes past I grab his ankle, going with the lift. He was expecting that and as he goes back he puts all his available weight on my holding arm and brings his other leg up and connects with my side. A jab of searing pain tells me one of my ribs is either broken, cracked or severely bruised.
I clench my teeth and move in again, as if I no longer cared, swift and deadly of intent. I seek to grab any part of him and break it. I duck under a jab and put a full fist in his face, breaking his nose, lips and a couple of teeth. The skin in my fingers splits and my hand is covered in blood. I chop at his arm with my wrist instead of hand then use the other hand to grab his left upper arm. I fully engage the bionics and crush through muscle and tissue to the bone. He screams and swings at me wildly, connecting my head and I have to release my grip as I feel I’m going to faint. I jump back, seeing black and feeling dizzy. He put a hole in my temple and blood is coming out. I press my hand to it, pull the skin over the hole and scream in turn. Scream in anger. Scream to release what’s left of the fighting animal in me.
I regain my sight in time to block another deadly kick. Now the crowd is standing up and cheering, jeering, booing, clapping, going wild. The aristocrats are showing they are no better than the rest when it comes to admiring bloodshed and mindless violence.
I must disable his legs. His kicks are the most dangerous part of his attack and defence. I attack again, being a little more careful but still acting out my instinctive wild beast persona. I snarl at him as I charge straight in. He readies to finish me only to discover it was a feint. I pirouette to my left and as I fly past him, deliver my own kick with the bionic ankle, connecting just inside the thigh, making him drop to one knee. I spin again, and deliver another kick to his back and he goes down, rolls to jump up and I’m there waiting. I grab him by the arms from behind and squeeze until my fingers feel like they are going to explode from the pressure. I use my chin to dig inside his shoulders and see his face as a mask of pain. He tries to bring his head down to bite but I’ve damaged that part of his anatomy enough he can’t use it properly.
Putting all his remaining strength in it, he pulls himself forward and sends me flying as I release his arms and somersault away from him, turn and stand. I don’t feel right, as if one side of my body was dead. I feel I’m going to stagger and fall. But somewhere deep within I find a new force, a power to overcome the weakening flesh. I take hold of the body that doesn’t want to work and move it as if it were on strings, a puppet. I urge it to stand properly, to move its appendages and consider the next move.
Warmo is in at least as bad a shape as I am by now. Still on one knee, his face a tangle of hair, mass of bruises, cuts, blood and sand, dragging a foot, he manages to stand. This is going to decide the issue. Will he find his own demonic power to pit against my new-found power? I can sense him searching, trying to tap into my power now. Focusing hate to me, and that deep and old fear of men with authority and power that has managed to find me again so long after my lives on Old Earth.
This is his power over me, he knows. He pictures himself to me thus: I see the spy who took over the leadership of the people I had come to love so long ago in Galilee and Judea, the serpent who destroyed the work begun by the man I’d hoped would change things forever. I see the Christian judge in C-16 who had me tortured and hanged as a witch in England. I see the father who rejected the blind daughter and condemned her to a short life in the wilds of Scotland in C-19. I see the husband who beat me regularly in the barn on that farm in eastern France. I see the SS Obersturmführer in Paris who personally directed the torture of female prisoners connected to the French underground and at whose hands I died. I see Warmo himself, master of the T’Sing Tarleyn official Inquisition and my recent escape from his clutches. He shows me that not only is he going to finish the job, but he’s going to get every woman still alive who was released from his torture that day.
End blog post #78