I watch her working her mind to find names for the other women. She frowns deeply and certainly works hard to find fitting names. She knows these women, a couple of whom are just small girls barely thirteen I’d wager, someone having faked their brands to expedite their sale and make a quick buck. They likely went over the edge from sexual and other physical abuse, torture, overdosing on chakr or from having witnessed horrors their young minds could no longer absorb. It could be all of the above. The most dangerous part of any young fighter’s life is the trip from the crèche to the fighter arena. I try not to imagine watching these children being set upon by males to be dismembered while still alive and their parts thrown over the walls into the crazed crowd, but the image remains nevertheless. This is one more horror I must remember, in case the temptation to forget becomes too seductive.
End blog post #106
Start blog post #107
I know Tomia will give them appropriate names or titles and know the ploy will work. Always it has. For we are also the names we bear and the more names we use the broader become the personalities we may properly express, for each name is associated with a partial through our remembrances. Each partial, associated with one or several past lives, carries a vital part of who we are. These partials will be with us in the arena tomorrow and how much we will need their presence and strength then! Goddess help these ahyas tomorrow when I no longer can!
When the servant women return to clean up after us and feed us I seek out the messenger. She comes over but before she speaks I ask her if she desires a secret name if she hasn’t got one yet. She indicates she has no name, just her branding.
“I name you Angelia.” In their tongue it’s pronounced ‘aneya.’ “It means special messenger. Do you have message for me from goronda?”
“Goronda say, ‘Your friend is well on planet Koron. Now she is teaching a new course in ethics at the high academy for philosophers. Also she is being studied, at her insistence, by medical authorities for possible cloning. We are excited at the possibilities and everyone who knows her loves her. The President of the Koron World Court has given her a special citizenship. She is citizen of the entire world of Koron, not just one of its fifty-two countries. She can freely travel to any part of the world she wishes and no one can question her as to motives. She also expressed her undying love for the fighter Antierra to be conveyed to her whenever possible.’
“That is what goronda say.”
“Thank you Angelia. You are a perfect messenger.”
“Thank you for name. May I share with goronda?”
“Yes you may. She will understand and help you with it.”
“I know you die tomorrow.” There are large rolling tears on her white pinched face. “I not know to say proper, wish you not die. Wish you stay to teach more.”
“Listen Angelia. No one really die. Just body die, give much hurt but after, one alive again, free. Maybe I return and teach you when you training for fighter. I look different but it be me. I make sure you know. Take my hand, hold tight. Touch me and take from me what is left. You be the last fighter to take Antierra power. Use it well, Angelia. Be not sad. Is good for me go away tomorrow into timeless. I come back: this believe. Now is good for you learn name, practice self-empowerment.”
“What means self-empowerment?”
“Ask goronda to explain. She know you better. She mind touch, explain with power. She very good ahya. Trust goronda, Angelia. Go now, or guards punish you.”
She slips through the returning trainees and disappears.
It is always especially quiet in the cages any night before an orgy. Tonight seems even more so. I can just make out the silhouette of Tomia sitting quietly. I try to focus on her thoughts but I encounter the white noise again. She has shut down, just waiting. I swing my gaze around, see the two little trainees lying down. One is crying, whether in knowledge of tomorrow’s horrors or from some other nightmare, I’ll never know. I wish I could reach over and hold her. We can’t even comfort one-another. These people’s cruelty seems boundless. Yet how many times have I encountered the same, in quality if not in quantity, on Túat Har? The people there had the same lack of awareness of the pain they inflicted on others, including millions of non-human sentients who shared planet space with them; the same lack of empathy towards those of their world who died every day so some could become rich and be comfortable. This is nothing new, just more of same in a concentrated bitter brew. Indeed, that is the lesson of the stack worlds, isn’t it.
As below, so above my teachers insisted on telling me. Here you no longer doubt the wisdom of that saying.
I must sleep now. Tomorrow I will be empowered, one last time, to use every technique, every trick with weapons I’ve ever learned and used or can remember. I will be free to grab an opponents weapons if I so choose and use it against him, or them. There are no rules tomorrow. I plan to use Tomia as a bulwark against the attacking males to protect the two young trainees for as long as we can, if the girls will let us. At least that will give us a common purpose, apart from just tearing men apart and being torn apart by them in turn.
Tomorrow is our future.
End blog post #107