(The one-on-one battle to the death between Antierra and Warmo continues and concludes.)
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
Begin blog post #79
I must die at his hands. No, not just die, I must know he has triumphed and I must wear the pain he will inflict on me as part of his necklace of conquests. He must drink my blood while I still live and that crowd up there must know he is the Master. ‘I am your death’ he whispers in my brain. ‘I am the One who will destroy you and all those who believe in your power. This time there will be no escape for you. No next life, no place to go. It ends here. I will rape, not your body, but your mind. I will destroy you utterly, Al’Tara.’
He has discovered my true nature and revealed his. Whoever heard of such a contest? Yes, in the stories of “The Highlander” – a similar tale of arch-enemies chasing each other across the boundaries of time until only one remains, evil or good. This contest does not mean there are only two of us in existence but that one of us here, today, must die for all time.
It’s my turn to touch his twisted mind with thoughts as clear as water flowing from melting snows on a high mountain. I call forth my light and speak into his mind: ‘I’m not so easy to convince that another entity, however powerful, however evil, can destroy me. I have met with gods and other entities in the cosmos. I have seen into infinity. I have penetrated the very fabric of the web of life. I have seen the twists and turns of infinite changes. It does not have to end here, even if I cannot complete this task with this fragile and broken body. I can escape you…’
I feel elation come from him. I continue, ‘Ah… now I understand your game demon. Of course I cannot escape from you. I am bound to this fight by a promise I have made long, long ago. A promise to help, not only the women of Malefactus, but those of Earth also. I have a task to accomplish and I am trapped by it. Yes, you are right, it will end here. It will end between you, my ancient nemesis and myself. I must defeat you, you give me no option. I must. And so let me show you how I brace myself for this final act. However it plays out, I cannot let you have me for I’m all that stands between you and those I’ve promised to protect from you. To the death of the self, Warmo.’
If only they would call a break! But there will be no break.
Already the crowd has become restless again. They want a resumption of the gore; they want blood and they want to see one die. They want to feel that death, the death of a female fighter. They want him to tear my body apart and throw pieces of it over the wall into their hands. They want to take their drug, the chakr they carry for their celebration and suck the blood from the dripping pieces. They are blood-maddened, enraged.
Aristocrats! This time the arena authorities must have decided to take no chances and spend the money on proper policing. Black-clad police-soldiers, armour pulsing in combat readiness, begin to file down, goose-stepping through the aisles, two abreast, lasers activated to stun. The crowd subsides somewhat. The ones who refuse to settle down are removed without any struggle.
I move my arms and my legs as if I were working a water-logged wooden puppet. But at least I can control my movements. I flex my hands, elbows, knees and toes. Everything works, in slow motion, so it seems, but it works. I can continue. Do I feel pain? What is pain? All of life is pain, it seems. Everything a birth and a death at the same time. Nothing but a sea of pain that you swim in just to stay afloat. And you wonder why you do it and you know:
It is the way of it.
Warmo stands now and has tested himself also. He brings his hands together, grabs them, pulls then releases. He forces his lame and terribly swollen foot forward and exercises it lightly, enough to show me he can stand and he can fight. He smiles through his mangled lips. I counter with the attacking female fighter’s last sound: the call to the death – “Aieeeeeeeeeeeaaahhhh!” and approach him once more.
Into the death grip.
With the encouragement of the crazed crowd we come at each other. No finesse now; no wild moves. Just pure determination and force of muscles. Our hands lock together and we both begin to pull down, trying to break each-other’s wrists. Oh, the pain! He has the strength of the demon in him and if he could he’d bite at my face. His battered mouth opens and despite the gap where I knocked out two teeth he still intends to bite into me and suck blood.
I lock in the bionics and tug down more, bringing his face closer. The smell of him is overwhelming but I block it with my pain. I give one final pull and snap his left wrist. His hand goes limp. I release it and bring my hand to his face, slamming into the bleeding gums, breaking more teeth. He tries to bite my fingers as I jab into his mouth to grab his tongue. He cannot and I tear it out of his mouth.
Meanwhile I’m still pulling down to break his other wrist. Another pull and another snap. What his hellish cross did to my wrists in his dungeon I have returned to him. I know I have won. Bit by bit I tear away at him, breaking bone, tearing into muscle. I stomp on his feet with the bionic-equipped foot and break his arches, making him collapse on the sand. I continue to beat his body to a pulp. I aim a kick at his genitals and rip one of them off. A few more blows and kicks and I ease off slowly, watching him convulse and bleed to death at my feet.
I stand utterly alone. There is no crowd. No arena, nothing. Just empty space with colours floating around me as if I were experiencing the Shearing drive effect.
End blog post #79