The Antierra Manifesto – [Blog post #7]

[Begin blog post #7]

Chapter 4 – First Fight

You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.    (Unknown)

I wish I could say I walk to the arena without trepidation, in full confidence of my ability to defend myself against a single male opponent.  But I cannot.  I am afraid.  I can hear the cheers as two handlers lead me down a dark, damp underground tunnel.  My opponent – challenger- must already be down there, showing off for his friends and perhaps family, such as family can mean on this world.  Father?  Brothers?  Other male relatives?  Oh, the sadness of it; the utter hopelessness of this.  Why would I choose such a place to work with?

Again I repeat my mantra against fear, less successfully, and we pass through an automatic door to emerge in a brightly lit area.  I become embarrassingly aware of my nakedness and the chains that bind my wrists behind my back.  I have been told my weapons would be waiting for me but how can I trust these people?  What if I’m being led there just to be slaughtered helplessly by that malevolent fop who tried to crush my jaws with his vicious grip?  To be subdued and raped publicly, as I know they do in some of their killing rituals?  Surely they are capable of anything, any sort of treachery.  Would it be treacherous in their minds to trick a slave?  Of course not.

My two handlers open a steel grated gate also by remote control and I step into the low arena floor proper.  I’m temporarily blinded by bright light, not only that of the sun at high noon, but by brightly lit plasma lighting tubes surrounding the entire small walled and fenced yard.  Tiered seats, what we called bleachers or stands on Old Earth, are filled almost to capacity by men in wildly coloured attires, resembling that worn by my challenger yesterday. 

I am brought to the center of the ring to be greeted with jeers, catcalls, whistles and lewd shouts and gestures.  The fop pretends not to notice me, but continues his prancing and playing with his swords, making them flash in the lights to the delight of at least one vocal section of this crowd.  His supporters?  Where are mine?  Right!

I’m finally unchained, after a stern warning and being shown where guards stand with lasguns trained on me with orders to kill should I make any unauthorized move.  To my surprise, the “doctor” appears and carefully checks me over.  He takes my pulse and heart rate, entering these on his wrist com unit.  Again he looks me in the eyes and I react to his gaze: he wants me.  He hands me a supple piece of leather thong and indicates I should tie up my hair so I am not blinded while fighting or so as not to give the challenger an opportunity to topple me by grabbing my hair – and whispering in my left ear he says, “He was going to use your hair against you and also his dagger is drugged.  Be careful.  I will see you after the fight and patch you up if needed.  Take care.  Don’t let us down,” and nodding towards the challenger he adds, “it’s your mandate to kill him – we want him dead.”

Who are “we” and why do they want this particular individual killed?  Another aspect of my status of slave I have to learn.  I can be given any sort of order by anyone in authority over me (which translates as any male, basically, except my officially sanctioned opponent) and I must do my utmost to deliver.  I do not need to know any of the reasons why I should do whatever it is I am asked to do.  My function is to obey without ever questioning any of it.  Silence and obedience. In this case, not obeying means death so not much choice there.

Now a man in a red robe which I was to learn is called a weapons judge leads me to a small stand at the opposite end of the squarish yard from which I entered.  There I’m told to buckle on my dagger belt.  I tie up my hair as tight to my head as I can.  I heft the rapier but without any obvious theatrics.  I must appear totally humbled and look as if I’m here to die, not to kill.  No sound must I make and no shout will I utter if I kill the challenger.  All I will feel will be the unified surge of hatred and lust for revenge from every spectator, bar none.  I am the alien, the enemy, the one to be defeated, humiliated and killed.  Were it not for the gambling, and the simple fact that we are worth much to our owners, no gladiator would ever leave these arenas alive.  The crowd would rush through the defences and tear her to pieces if she won.  Such is the way of their mindless, programmed hate. 

A single trumpet blows.  As instructed, I take my position at the marked center of the ring.  I face my opponent now.  He’s removed all his clothes as well, since he must match the slave’s attire and weaponry.  He has an enormous erection and I’m surprised at the amazing musculature his ridiculous attire had hid.  I feel another shaft of fear go through me – even though I’m not at all afraid to die.  It’s something else, something dark, ancient, atavistic, some raw memory that tries to take over my mind.  I fight off a moment of vertigo and regain some of my composure.  The yells and shrieks of the crowd seem to fade into the background until I can hear my opponent breathe and my heart beat.  I’m finding a center of balance, certainly, but it isn’t really mine.  I’m being controlled by a force I did not expect and cannot push away.

Another, shriller trumpet blows.  I feel his rapier slash through the air rather than see it and easily bend out of its way, thrusting with mine toward his loins.  This takes him by surprise, just enough that I nick his thigh.  First blood drawn.  The crowd is standing, enraged.  Kill her!  Kill her!  Kill her!  Deafening chant of pronounced judgment.  He moves like a cat, stealthily and sure.  This man is certainly not here to die today.  He fully intends to bring me down slowly, tiring me by giving me false openings.  I realize he had let me cut him.  Let me feel the elation of first blood to create over-confidence and to draw the favour of the crowd to himself and rise on the power of their killing chant.  Blood: there must always be blood.  These men are raised upon the shedding of female blood and trained in feeding that ever-flowing river.

I begin to give way to him, backing around in a tight circle, parrying his thrusts, none of which are intended to kill outright.  He cuts me on my right arm as I lift it to balance my sword – clumsy.  Fortunately he does not know I’m fully ambidextrous and I switch sword hands – again surprising him.  He glares -likely visualizing the informer he has handsomely paid to supply him with crucial details of any surprise fighting tricks.  Someone’s in deep shit, I think and find myself smiling inwardly at the old Earthian saying.  At that moment everything changes.

I’m no longer a simple woman who would rather be sitting in a small home rocking her sleeping child.  I’m no longer the wandering Avatari seeking answers to existential question, or the philosopher she embodies.  I’m no longer an Altarian logician balancing equations to extract answers nor am I a slave fighting for her life in an alien arena confronted by a trained killer. 

I’m the green-eyed Desert Beast whose turn it is to challenge and taunt her prey.  No longer is the naked man attacking me a danger to me.  He’s a gift to me.  And I to him.  I will kill him and because I’m the Beast he will die honourably, according to their belief system.  And my task with the women will begin.  So I think.  So I must believe.

I project thoughts of my Desert Beast nature over to him and watch his face.  I see a subtle change on it and the not-so subtle effect of losing his erection.  He pales,  noticeable even on the white skin.  I see a profusion of sweat running down his torso and I smell his fear.  There is nothing for it now but to press my attack, parrying and moving in.  He jumps back, now on the defensive, and I know it’s no longer a ruse on his part.  He knows I do not fear him; that I’ve entered in a terrible, dark high that can only result in his death if he doesn’t kill me first.

For him the impossible has happened: he realizes (by force of the many superstitions that under-gird this society) that I have somehow incarnated that evil female Spirit, the green-eyed Beast of the Desert men somehow fear here.  He realizes, too late, he should not have challenged me.  He’d hoped that my clumsy attempts at avoiding my trainers’ thrusts and jabs in the training yard were proof of my total ineptitude in handling weapons.  He’d chosen the swords because they require the longest training and the most skill and dexterity.  And he’d made the most costly and last mistake of his short and pointless life. 

The power of the truth as he understands it makes him lose control.  In a desperate moment, knowing his rapier thrusts are outmatched, he reaches for his dagger.  At that moment I thrust my sword into his exposed throat, almost exactly as I had visualized the day before. 

It’s over.  There is a stunned moment of complete silence.  Seeing their  challenger is not going to stand, the crowd erupts in angry utterances.  Many spit in my direction as they leave.  I was to learn their hate did not come only from the killing of a man, but from loss of money in betting.  The odds in favour of their challenger winning had been astronomically high.  What does a just harvested ‘wild’ female know of sword play?  She should have provided the expected sport, been brought down in blood, raped, then while still alive, her extremities and limbs severed and thrown to the exuberant crowd.  I was to experience many such reactions in the months and years to follow.

I am led back down the same tunnel to our compound, only I am allowed to bear my weapons and am not chained.  In our section the “doctor” takes me in hand.  I remove my belt and hair thong.  He orders me to wash and has me brought to his office where we are left alone.  He puts a bandage on my arm, then undresses himself and makes love to me, as I expected he would.  I don’t want to feel what I feel but I am helpless.  After the fight, after seeing that naked man flaunting his erection at me then killing him, a new force has come over me; something to my mind horribly depraved, evil, yet utterly enjoyable.  Something of the preying mantis has awakened in my loins.  Now I enjoy it – him.  And I want it to continue… forever.  To forget everything and lose myself in this man. 

At this moment I realize what that fear was I felt just before the fight.  I feared most of all that I would enjoy myself, that I would find, in fighting for my life, defending myself and killing my opponent, a kind of mind soporific, a drug, which I would then use each time I entered the arena.  I could kill without feeling anything beyond the simple effects of receiving cuts and bruises in the flesh.  I would become a killer without compassion or sense of empathy.  I remembered I had passed through that stage before and it was still a part of me.  My sexual release with the doctor amplified this feeling: it was my “due” as the one who conquered to enjoy the ensuing pleasures of sex or drunkenness or both.  I did not want to remember that, but I did.  And he was there, conveniently, to ensure I did remember.

[end blog post #7]

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The Antierra Manifesto – Blog post #6

(Continuing with the novel – thank you all for the likes, and the comments!)

[Begin blog post 6]

I begin training.  As I said, I top their tallest man by as much or more than a head and that annoys them because they have failed, on first contact, to intimidate me.  Well, I would have been properly intimidated if I’d known how, and how important it was to their ego that I be!

Now they have to cow me into submission before they put me on display in the arena.  Fighter slaves cannot display any air of pride or superiority.  They fight only because that is their purpose, and to survive another round; their sole reason to exist.  But I refuse to be intimidated.  I am clumsy with the weapons and receive many welts and light cuts. I am tricked into bad moves and tripped to guttural laughter but each time I come back up with increased resolve to get the hang of this hand-to-hand combat idiocy. 

I observe their moves and learn to parry quickly. After a while I go on the attack – and wished I’d been able to tie my hair back – it keeps getting in my face and obstructing my vision. 

An important looking type I take to be an overseer yells a command and three trainers attack me on every side.  I become exasperated by their relentless, persistent rushes and jabs.  One of them keeps jabbing at my still raw branding, laughing every time I wince.  He comes in with his head low and I lay him flat with a sudden and angry side-kick to the head – and where did that come from?  He drops and lays still, face down to the stones.  Weapons drop from his hands.  The other two stop in surprise and outrage.  The overseer yells another command and a man in a white robe runs out and officially terminates the training.  I watch as they roll him over to see a slackened jaw and no sign of life in the body. 

Not even allowed to clean myself up of sweat and blood or take a drink, my wrists are chained behind my back and I’m shackled to a steel post in the center of the yard.  I wait and finally slip down to sit on the cold flagstones whose edges are worn smooth by generations of bare feet running over and slipping on them. 

The usual line-ups for washing and eating take place but no one looks in my direction.  I am being studiously ignored.  No one brings me food or water.

There is a short period of darkness before the false sun, Albaral, rises above the stone battlements but all I hear is the occasional cry of a young woman’s nightmare in the cages.  In the wan light I look down and realize that what I’d thought earlier was some dark stain is dried blood, and it is not mine.

I feel my thirst and hunger; my bruises and cuts.  I feel the bite in the cooling night wind after the previous exertion.  My body shakes and my teeth chatter but I refuse to give in to self-pity.  These are not my feelings.  They belong to someone else.  I have no feelings.  I am not human.  I am a beast from the wilderness.  Think: you must survive this long enough to make some kind of impression upon these people.  Shock – you must shock them out of comfort, expectations and abject acceptance of the way things are.  You must shock yourself in what you can endure, learn and do.  Shock treatment in give and take.  You are a wild animal… I fall asleep to dream of teeth tearing into bare flesh – my teeth or my flesh?

Morning comes and two men come over to me, raise me, and unshackle me from the post.  I’m splashed with ice-cold water  – this seems to be some kind of ritual used to take away your last ounce of resistance.  Still in chains – so tight I cannot feel hands or arms, my hair dripping cold water down my back and front, I’m taken into another yard where a man wearing outlandish dress, a living expression of sartorial confusion, stands.  He turns to look at me.  I stand tall above him.  He reaches up and viciously pinches my face.  I jerk my face from his hand and get a flash of his eyes: they are filled with absolute malice.  He pokes at my goose-pimpled flesh and grunts then nods to some unseen other in a crude hover craft that floats over the ground.  I recognize an antiquated type of manually operated “skimmer” or repulsion-drive vehicle with covered seating for two.  He calls the vehicle over, “Bring the carriage!”  Carriage – what a wonderfully innovative language they have!

I’m taken away, back to the training yard, unchained and fed.  My hands are so numbed the servant girl has to feed me as I cannot hold anything.  There are no implements as normally we scoop whatever food is put in the light metallic bowls with our hands and use the bowls to drink liquids that remain.  So she just scoops the food into my mouth with her bare hand and holds the bowl up so I can drink.  When I’m done – we have a set time to eat – I look into her face to let her know I’m grateful.  She lowers her face to hide in her shoulder-length dark-brown hair and smiles sadly at me. 

The visions of brown-eyed, sad faced girls and young women of Malefactus, I think, will haunt my own visions forever. 

I stand and wait.  A handler in a skin-tight dark green uniform comes to me and tells me that because of my arrogance and my crime, I’m to enter the arena in two days, to die or claim my place in the line-ups.  For now it seems, my “training” is over.  It’s do or die.

“Speak?” I ask huskily.  Without express permission, speaking is considered an offense punishable by death.  He nods affirmatively.

“The man yesterday, what happened?”

“Remember never again ask questions.  He careless, now dead.  Kick broke neck.  Kick now permitted move on fighter list.  Good move, we like, not punished this time.”

“Thank you.”  I feel grateful so hungry do I find myself for any kind word; the irony of his claim that I would not be punished considering the night I just spent completely lost on me.  Much to learn, so much to learn.  To be grateful here is dangerous weakness.  What did he mean by “punished?”  Death by some kind of torture is my guess.  

I lower my eyes to the ground and sense they are pleased.  They have a new “secret weapon” which they hope will bring them fat tips and bribe money.  Yet I know that most of my “moves” were not based on trained skill but simple desperation, the advantage of size and speed and the unorthodox (totally unexpected – including by me!) quality of my fighting.  This could be detrimental should I tire myself out in real combat.  I must remember to maim and kill quickly and without any hesitation or qualm at the very first opportunity.  Can I do that?  Is this the woman who claimed compassion as her modus operandi?  How is it, I wonder, that humans that have gone through generations, centuries, countless lives, of civilizing, can so quickly return to their atavistic blood lust and do or die survival instincts?  Why is it so easy to move backward through time, so difficult to move forward?

In a way, the person I’d evolved into before this incarnation is quickly giving way to this new persona, this Antierra, female gladiator slave on Malefactus and that alters everything.  I know nothing of stack worlds theories or even of purpose at this moment.  I must bury any residual feeling of caring or compassion.  I am a killing machine, nothing else, until the day I am killed in turn.  I shall hold that day at bay for as long as possible, though it does not frighten me.  In my mind I repeat my old Earthian mantra against fear. 

Good! I say to myself in my silent dialogue, you have something to hold on to; you won’t get lost – not this day at least.  And for purpose and passion, let these come fresh to Antierra.   

The man who looked me over was to be my adversary, the “challenger.”  The next day he comes back to observe me again.  Before he can approach me, my wrists are again chained, so afraid are they I will charge him and maybe snap his neck or do some sort of damage.  They have to maintain my reputation for being “The Desert Beast” – and extremely dangerous: makes the pot go up.  I look at that adversary and pity him even though I feel no compassion for him – I cannot afford that at this stage of my game.  I watch as he chooses the swords as our weapons – such a choice being his prerogative.  Adversary and gladiator use the same kind of weapons in any given encounter, though I suspect, based on unasked for information from a trainer that the point on his short sword will have been poisoned or drugged.  I must be very sure never to give him the opportunity to pull it out of its sheath. 

As I watch him fondly handle the weapons, favouring the short sword, I already know how I will kill him.  He will switch his attention for a split second from the rapier to the dagger and I will spit him through the throat.  I feel so sure and so completely deadly — without passion – for beyond this first public kill lies everything I’ve planned to do in this place.   First step: survival. 

[End blog post #6]

The Antierra Manifesto – blog post #5

Continuing with the novel…

Begin blog post #5

Chapter 3 – Malefactus: The Basic Set-up – Learning to Survive

 “One does not stand still looking for a path. One walks; and as one walks, a path comes into being. We make it up as we go, and we make it up by going. (Rebecca Solnit)

Malefactus (my name for this world, the people here call it “T’Sing Tarleyn” (pronounced sintarn) meaning Land of Man)  is a world whose main ruling force can only be referred to as misogyny.  Men rule absolutely and hold all women, without any exception, in total bondage and slavery.  No one escapes, not even those rare ones who are chosen as concubines by the various classes of rulers.  If, or more likely when, his concubine no longer pleases him, he tires of her, or buys a new one to play with, he either kills her himself or has her trained as a gladiator to watch her fight until she is killed, sometimes by a friend to whom he owes a favour.  Sometimes he even does the ‘honour’ and challenges his own concubine to the death.  The outcome is always the same, of course: the concubine is killed.

It is illegal and a crime punishable by death for any man to ‘fall in love’ with a female.  As for the female, her feelings in the matter are not relevant unless she becomes a nuisance, refusing to do what she is ordered or gets pregnant.  Then she is flogged to death.  There are stories of the cruelty of the judges exceeding all bounds: pitting the lovers against one-another in the arena forcing them to fight each other to the death.  They have inducements that leave no choice in the matter, trust me on that.

There are four basic classes of female slaves with few variations.  They are:

Class 01.  Those who bear the children – the birth mothers.  That is their only function.  They are normally artificially impregnated and they give birth.  If they have healthy babies, they get to continue.  One who gives birth to a defective child is killed along with the child.  When they are too old to be birth mothers, they are killed.  Sometimes they are sent to the arena to be disposed of as entertainment value.  In some cases, and in full violation of their own statutes, high members of the aristocracy and royalty will impregnate a birth mother in order to ensure a son of their own loins.  If the intercourse produces a female she may be killed outright or class branded and sold to a crèche.

Class 02.  These are the common labour slaves commonly referred to as goras although that term can be applied to any female anywhere.  This class comprises the vast majority of females and are found everywhere, doing all the menial tasks required and expected by men.  The law is very explicit on this, that these women may never be “used” for sex and if one is raped and it is discovered, or she becomes pregnant, she is killed, along with the rapist if found, indicted and condemned.  Such a thing does happen rather frequently, as one would expect under the circumstances.  “Free” sex is not permitted between men and any class of goras (female slaves).  The reason is simple: men need their energy for fighting, or so it is believed and so it is taught to the boys.  The ‘no sex’ rule is, of course, blatantly violated at every turn: who would enforce it?

Class 03.  The third class of female slaves are the exclusive group of “entertainers” or sex slaves.  These are bred specifically for their attractive bodies and trained in an endless array of sexual skills, including verbal skills, or skill in voice pitch, words, and even foreign languages should some be needed for trading to an enemy for certain considerations, or in exchange for hostages.  Their training is rigorous and if they fail or are not bid for in a certain period of time they are sold as fodder for the arena slaughters.  They are primarily bid upon by the rich and the nobility but also by the merchant class and foreign ambassadors as personal servants or concubines for themselves or their masters.  The few concubines seen are usually from this class.  The lives of these women are short.  Many of these, after they have served their purpose also end their lives in the arena.

Class 04.  The most sought-after and exclusive class are the female gladiators usually referred to as fighters.  These are carefully bred and trained for the single purpose of meeting men in an arena and fighting them, always to the death (but every rule has its exceptions).  It is considered an honour for a man to kill a female gladiator in public and huge sums of money change hands in the crazy gambling that takes place before and during these hand to hand combats.  The female fighters, of course, get no recognition for bravery or endurance, though their owners may get standing ovations when one proves to be a match for several male contenders in a single day.  The lives of these gladiator slaves are even shorter than those of the sex slaves.

 

This can be said: no woman dies of “old age” who has been slated to be a fighter in the arenas of Malefactus.  It can also be said that no woman dies of old age anywhere, in any class of female slave on Malefactus.  Fail at your work and you go to the arena to entertain male challengers and spectators by your bloody death.  Violent death, either by public flogging or in the arena is the only encouragement you get for sticking to your work.  It works.

Sub-classes of female slaves do exist as I discovered later (another hole in my research there!).  A few are bred as healers, for example, but generally lumped in with the sex-slaves.   Some specialize in numbers and are used as accountants or “Processors,” a type of human computer hardly considered to be a living being.  Though their lives may be somewhat safer than most others, they never see anything beyond the rooms where they work, eat and sleep.  

All “harvested” (captured) wild females are automatically branded as slaves in whatever class she seems to fit best, or has the most need of fresh bodies – if they survive the abuse they receive at the hands of their captors before they are auctioned off and bought.  Then they come under the protection of their owners, whatever that may entail.

Now to establish my personal reason for choosing to incarnate on such a world as Malefactus and specifically as a gladiator or as they call us, a fighter.

Having been purchased by a consortium that trains, fights and auctions off gladiators, I am now officially to become a fighter, my training, I understand, to begin immediately.  

A somewhat stocky man whom I take to be a doctor, wearing, it seems to me, nothing other than a white gown zippered down the front and dropping to just above the knees and a pair of sandals, goes over my body, inspecting every orifice.  He takes samples of my hair, skin, blood and vaginal excretions.  He makes me stand spread-eagle with my arms fully extended then proceeds to measure arms, hands, legs, feet, torso, shoulder width, head and neck.  Then I have to stand perfectly straight and he measures my height.  I can see him frowning and his lips move but he says nothing to me.  There is that taboo against “non-essential” verbal communication from men to women also. 

The “doctor” types notes on a small keypad Datacom unit on his left arm and consults briefly with a couple of men I take to be handlers.  They take a memcard from him with what I assume is a copy of his notes and disappear in a small side door while he takes another look at me.  Grabbing a handful of my hair, he pulls my face down and stares intently into my eyes for some moments, frowning even deeper.  He releases my hair, running his fingers through it, turns and walks away through an opening with an automatic door in one of the walls. 

What was he thinking apart from the obvious?  I did notice that unlike the men I’ve seen so far, he is the only one with blue eyes.  Also, his face is much broader and flatter than the others.  His skin is also of a darker hue, tending to olive.  And although I still stand higher than he, he is taller than any one else I’ve seen here.

Well, what else can I do but observe and try to fit in as quickly as possible to avoid further mistreatment or as they call it, ‘punishment’ for violation of rules?

These pleasantries over, I’m taken in hand by men I dub “trainers” and shown some of the various types of weapons gladiators are normally allowed to use.  A spear, or rather a lance, and round shield with a foot long thin spike in the center.  A staff made of some kind of metal alloy and what appears to be fiberglass on hardwood – flexible yet definitely a tough, effective weapon, slightly longer than my body length.  A set of swords, one rapier type with a long thin blade I test and find to be light, flexible and razor-sharp and the other stubby, more like a dagger but with a fiendish toothed point designed to tear chunks out of flesh.  A large, two handed double-edged “standard” sword that reminds me of those wielded by medieval knights on Earth but which I find incredibly light despite its size but still unwieldy if one were small of stature and short-limbed.  Finally I’m handed a battle axe with a straight handle and exaggerated wide cutting blade, the ends of the blade made into sharp points – obviously for cutting when pulling back or for spearing in throwing.  This is a truly ignorant weapon, suitable for trolls, not human females.  What small woman could wield such a clumsy thing?

I’m also shown some light armour but told I’ll be training and fighting naked -seeing as I’m being billed as “the wild one” already and no armour has yet been designed to fit my larger body. 

I accept all this.  In my memory I locate the images that remind me I chose this place and this position.  There are no real surprises here, except perhaps the degree to which this society has fallen into violence since the last records had been made – the ones I’d based many of my assumptions and hopes upon.  The apparent complete lack of empathy and the crass callousness exhibited in social interactions – these express serious and unnatural flaws .  These people may as well be computer-animated figures programmed by a very sick mind – but they are real enough to kill you at a moment’s notice.  

[end blog post #5]

Antierra Manifesto: glossary of terms

The Following is glossary of terms for the “Antierra Manifesto”
It isn’t exhaustive, and there may be some repetitions… my apologies for not posting this sooner…

Chronology (local):  from 1328 to 1341 (Galactic time, not CE time)

Terms  –

The references to “Old Earth” are to the planetary entity Túat Har  which in Altarian means “Place of Chaos” – this current “Earth”.

Avatari – (Altarian term) adepts graduated from the highest schools of logic and selfless commitment to service – not necessarily Altarians but having a foundational ISSA nature.  The Avatari travel dimensions through the process of physical death and reincarnation – never by resurrection. First level Avatari are known also as WindWalkers.
Malefactus  – One of Earth’s stacked worlds, in the lower astral realms, third from the bottom of the stack – the main concern of this story.

Other names: (from before the invasion of the “metal men”)

T’Sing Tarleyn  (land of man) (pron. sintarn) (man is ‘arleyn’ pron. ‘arn’)
T’Sing Taleya  (land of woman) (pron. sina-eeya) (woman is ‘ahya’ not to be confused with the derogaroty term ‘gora’ which means female slave)
T’Sing Talla  (land of freedom) (pron. sinaya) (freedom is ‘aya’)
T’Sing Tallala (Land of Freedom and Hope (pron sin-eelaya)  Hope is ‘la’ or ‘ya’

(Note that males always emphasize the “t” sound whereas females hide it.)

Ditani  – closest planet to Malefactus
Takkar – World of Dwarves (not of the Stacked Worlds – of Al’Tara’s travels -believed to have been a myth until discovered by Al’Tara)
Aíoná – Galactic wandering mind library – recorder of galactic events accessed only through mind-meld by the Avatari.  Aíoná is a Supra-Avatari, ‘graduated’ – was once a WindWalker.

***Chronology in years:

Antierra:  Arrival according to brand #1328-1-1-04
Meaning: year 1328, batch 1, # in batch 1, class 4 (fighter) All ‘wild’ slaves harvested are classified as year, batch 1 and number in batch based on how many ‘wild’ individuals enter alive in the fighter compound.
Tiegli: (born 1301)  1314 – 1328 (died in killing orgy at 27)
Deirdre: (1322) – 1335 – (to 1338 – flight to Koron)
Tiki: (1326) – 1339-32-19 (to ? – teamed with concubine, survives Antierra and still alive at end of Book I)
Zel’ lover slave (1323-04) 1336-14-09 to ? – escaped to desert, still living at end of Book I
Tieka  –  young trainee lover, arrive 1341 @ 13 years of age.  Escapes to desert with Zel, 1341.

Various types of artificial intelligence:

CydroidsAdvanced form of android – cloned from human DNA and perfected through tank growing process. (see below)
Androids
Mutants
Clones
Bionics
Cyborgs
Cybrid – (borrowed term from Dan Simmons Hyperion and Endymion- from Techno Core)
Robotsprogrammable and computerized, cf., Cedric the Medic
Morphsshape-changing using cosmetic gene splicers; morphing
Cydroid –  My term for android – AI cloned from human DNA.  Using gene splicing processes, can ‘grow’ other than human parts, or can be fitted with parts from other human bodies.  A Cydroid is an ISSA entity but need not look human at all.  Can be designed to fit needed/chosen function.

More generic terminology found in manuscript:
datacomreplaces comlog
Albaral
– artificial “sun” that orbits Malefactus, south to north.
Great Desert Beast – female divinity from a legendary past, a mythology of Malefactus.  When she arises from rock and sand she roams the land.  Antierra’s fighter title.

Female Classes and Sub-Classes: (see Sec. 2 – Stacked worlds theory)
birthers
– class 1 – birth ‘mothers’
processors (sub-class of birthers)– human computers.
fighters (or female gladiators) – class 4 – self-explanatory
entertainers, providers, sex slaves – class 3– self-explanatory
healers (sub-class) from the entertainer class
worker drones – class 2 – the largest female slave class

***Male worker drones are not classed.  They are given a private first name and the name of the family/consortium they belong to.  These are all eunuchs

ISSA – intelligent, sentient, self aware beings sometimes called “humans”
Elbre – another name for the kingdom of Tassard – the actual country
Hyrete – capital city of the kingdom of Tassard
King Jestor Tassard – previous king and “father” to the current one
Tassard and Tassardi – Kingdom and the people of Elbre
Estáan – Second great political power of Malefactus
Estáani – people of Estáan

a classic year – a standard galactic year close to that of Old Earth.
Cholradil – (pron. show ray) a natural born empath on Malefactus
sleue – slang term for a compound used in emergency patching and welding of damaged ship hulls in vacuum space.
Melkiars – galactic invaders – robotic, machine-like life form
cheelth – (pronounced sheel) a type of metal-like substance that can deflect thrusts and blows from cutting weapons – used in some armour
chakr – (pron. shoak) drug made from shakr plant that grows at the edge of the desert
neuro-inductor  – nerve control and programming tool
stacked worlds – see description in ms.
stacked worlds – descr. #2: Also known as “absolutist worlds” and also as “relative worlds” (by those who inhabit these worlds and are aware of each other.
osoleys – sea birds – in the great Rift valley called Shaliant on Altaria
Fallouin – main river on Altaria
cosmetic gene splicers – used to make permanent cosmetic changes to one’s basic body form
priapic compulsions – overly concerned with virility or masculinity, esp. as old men sexually molesting young girls, particularly virgins.
real time sharing (borrowed term) – Artificial Intelligence type of telepathy – used by the Technocore (cf., Dan Simmons sci-fi novel, Hyperion)
ich diene – “I serve” (motto of the Prince of wales – German)
whip-steel and fibre-steel – highly resilient compound used in space craft and weaponry
plasglas  — an unbreakable compound of aluminized plastic and glass
polymers – neutral name for various types of strong plastics – common term
X-ram or Shearing Drives installed and controlled by “Spacers” in critical positions within space in any dimension patrolled by the USC (see ms)
repulsion drive vehicle – land vehicle (skimmer) or “carriage” or carrier – old technology still in use on Malefactus
USC – United Space Command
UTW federations – United Treaty Worlds federations – later known as
United Treaty World Supremacy  after the Melkiar wars
Supremacy – human worlds, military dictatorship combining UTWF and USC authorities, also comprising the persistent armed religious affiliations combined under the power known as “Theos
sartorial chaos – gaudy, clashing expressions in expensively tailored clothes (as worn by rich men on Malefactus)
holo-imager – self-explanatory: gives an image in 3 dimensions. Method of viewing holorecs – holographic recording/imaging/play-back with voice
infovid – method for viewing informational graphic recordings
membanks – computer generated information banks accessed by brain shunts.
FreeNet ‘jabber’ – slang for commercially-driven media fodder whose purpose is primarily to entertain, not educate.
yalney  – deadly poison taken from a local desert plant, the ‘yaln’ root.
yaln – desert plant containing the toxin called yalney
dollam – bushes with sweet water laden, edible leaves available year round, though not as filled in summer.
drook – professional or professionally trained challenger of female arena fighters.  Fight only for money.
ahya – proper T’Sing Tarleyn word for woman (not to be confused with the derogatory term ‘gora’ which means female slave)

Women titles in compound:
Fighter – Class 4 female slave
Gladiator – (uncommon – Antierra’s name for Fighters)
goronda – general purpose female slave
teela – “bitch” – specifically for young newly arrived trainees who do menial work, such as cleaning compounds and working kitchen duty.  Teelas are usually assigned to a fighter as personal slave and/or lover and for eventual training in weapons.
gora – generic derogatory term, all female slaves.
gorok – young fighter trainee working kitchen duty
dikfol  – slang for woman gone crazy (due to blows to head, loss, grief,despair)
dungut – male – despicable, disgusting, stinky, ugly, untrustworthy, brutal.

Characters in story:

Al’TaraAltarian name of An’Tierra or var., Antierra
Paul Shearing – inventor of the X-Ram Shearing drive
Pieta Olnava  – wife of Paul Shearing – first human to use the Shearing drive to cross dimensional barrier
Dr. Balomo Echinoza
Cydroids – female: YBA1 to YBA5;  Male: XBA1 to XBA10 – Dr. Echinoza’s Cydroid family.  There are fifteen members in all.  Not all are on Malefactus at the same time.  Nickname of female Cydroids “Yoba followed by number.  For male Cydroids, Antierra uses Xoba (pronounced ‘zoba’) followed by number
Warmo – chief inquisitor and torturer.
Grand Admiral Chang-X  – Commander in Chief of USC – see notes
Michele Dellman – freelance journalist; chronicler; investigator for UTW
Deles Kotmallo of Parnako, journalist, friend of Dellman
Parnako – water world within Supremacy jurisdiction
Takkar – ancient, ageless gloomy Dwarf world, thought to be non-existent until discovered by the Altarians

Male names in compound:

Delton – first overseer of handlers – died in bar brawl
Achnarr – corrupt overseer [cf: sec. 37] imprisoned for fixing fights
Hudu – lover of Tieka
Huntu – lover of Lover #1336-14-09 nicknamed Zel by Antierra
Algomo – judge – friend of Balomo – intervened on Antierra’s behalf
Tarnat –  one of trainers in compound

Women name in compound:

Tiegli – first friend.  Killed in killing orgy
Dierdre – Cholradil (pronounced showray) – class 3, demoted to arena fighter- Lover of Antierra (note: a Cholradil is a rare type of natural born full empath)
Satka – remaining “concubine”
Tiki – friend of Antierra, trainee and pure-bred fighter
Swala – older fighter, trains Tiki – shares cage with Antierra
Tieka – young trainee – in love with Hudu – won’t fight. #1341…
Gonda – older fighter, vows to help lovers escape
Victa – fighter who treacherously attacked Antierra on behalf of corrupt judge
Zel – Lover of Huntu – secret name not revealed–brand #1336-14-09
Tomia – dikfol in compound, dies in last killing orgy

 

 

The Antierra Manifesto

Blog post #4

[This post is a bit longer; I chose to post one entire chapter dedicated to a brief explanation of the “stacked Worlds” theory that forms part of the background for “The Antierra Manifesto.”  This is for those interested in knowing whence came the inspiration for the story they are reading.]

Chapter 2 – Stacked Worlds – An Introduction to the Theory

“Yes there was a time in our pretended innocence when we were absolutely certain the terrible things our children’s nightmares and our prophets’ visions forebode could never be.  So certain were we of it we staked our lives on that belief.”

            (Voice from the Other Side – Sha’Tara)

At this point in the telling of this tale I need to break from the narrative from my An’Tierra self and briefly explain the concept of stack worlds, the supporting astral worlds existing in real time or in potential around all worlds inhabited by sentient life.  It is important to keep in mind at the outset that each stack world is separated from others by a dimensional barrier.  Nothing physical/material can cross from a core world to a stack world, or from one stack world to another.  I must emphasize this now.  It is also important to realize that each stack world is not just one lonely world in the middle of nowhere, but possesses, within its dimension, its own “heavens” so to speak.  Each world exists also in real space, with skies opening to suns, moons, stars; to deep space.  From the perspective of people living on worlds within that real space, a stack world is just another planet.  But that is only the physical image.  A stack world is not just another planet, either in shape or in purpose.

Let’s start with this:  imagine two spinning stacks of doughnuts going off into space from the poles of a base world, or planet.  Visualize these doughnut-shaped worlds each farther one smaller than the preceding.  How many worlds to a “stack” depends entirely on the basic moral expressions and mental development of the base world, whether simplistic (less astral support needed) or complex (many astral worlds created from the original potential).

Specific, powerful, absolutist types of energies flow from these worlds into the core of the base world following the “doughnut hole effect” created by the spins of each individual world in the stack.  The main carriers of these absolutist energies are, specifically the souls of the stack world inhabitants.  When someone dies on a stack world, the soul of the entity can only flow back to its core, or base world on which it first incarnated and from which it came.

Harmonious “energies” embedded in souls of dying individuals on the base world create the path the soul will take to the stack world that most closely match its state of mind at death.  For example the soul of a primarily religious person will flow across the dimensional barrier between its core world and a religion dominated stack world called “Theos” in the Earth stack.  Once there the soul entity will believe it has entered into its blissful “heaven” or Nirvana and will proceed to live out that reality, experiencing a euphoric sense of vindication; of salvation.  It will accept this without question.

One stack is made up of worlds that reflect what are usually considered positively charged energies, for example love, health, intellectual pursuits, technological advancements as manifested by the inhabitants of those worlds in various ways, always expressing to extremes as compared to what they were able to accomplish on earth.

Conversely the opposing stack is made up of worlds reflecting negatively charged energies expressed in extreme forms of vice such as greed, hedonism, violence, fear, hate and despair.

For planet Earth, imagine a total of thirteen worlds, the center, or base, being of course Earth.  The base world is by far the largest and densest and most complex; perhaps I dare say, the most “real” in the stack.  The base world, Earth, reflects its energies (in terms of Earthian moral choices) back unto its stack support worlds in two ways.  One, the sheer number and power of Earthian thinking and acts are broadcast from Earth and attracted, through the energy of their particular nature, to receptive astral worlds. Two, as already mentioned, when an Earthian “dies” its soul is naturally attracted to a world that most closely reflects the basic values it lived by on Earth, its beliefs, desires and various attachments.

ISSA[1] beings living on those worlds react to Earthian choices and input by plunging ever deeper into their own absolutism in terms of value system, thus feeding more of it back to Earth down the spin tunnel (doughnut hole effect); a vicious spiral that grows and expands unto the literal destruction of entire stacks, including their base world, or worlds in some cases.  There are known cases where twin (binary) systems exist within one set of stacks, sharing their mental energies much as identical twins do.   The variables in these systems are endless, as you may imagine.

That’s the rough outline of the model we are working from.  In this scenario, you have Earth, or any world inhabited by ISSA beings, crowned with symbiotic supporting worlds whose obvious purpose was initially for the single purpose of supplying a base or core world with what was hoped would be a constant balance of positive/negative energy.

But it did not work quite how it was meant with the unexpected advent of said “ISSA” life.  Though the concept was well adapted to normally evolving sentient life forms,  the sudden evolution of ISSA consciousness created massive imbalance through bad moral choices caused by stagnant or blocked spiritual evolution.

So stack worlds, by default, became a sort of holding place for any ISSA not advanced enough on the various intelligent-compassionate-empathic scales (or ICE scales as we know them) to be given free access to the outer worlds.  There was no place available for them to fit in the higher social order of those worlds, yet they needed places outside their base world to give them a beginning sense of life beyond death while allowing them to express themselves at the level at which they understood life to be optimum.

To complicate matters further many ISSA worlds were taken over and seduced by dark lords; those we refer to as the Time Lords, but who are commonly known on core worlds as gods; as well as by their inhabitants’ own propensity for choosing what became known as ‘evil ways.’  Thus many of those worlds inexorably slipped further and further from understanding, mainly through selfish use of corporate power and resorting therefrom to judgment followed by condemnation.

To get a basic grasp on how the concept of stack worlds functions you have to know that each world in the stack is absolutist in nature.  Each world is continually changing itself and evolving to develop a working whole from its basic, foundational vice or virtue, to the eventual exclusion of all others even if arriving at such a state would mean the disintegration of that world.  In the absolute sense, reincarnates (residents) on whatever stack world have no concept of compassion and there is no room in their thinking to allow any other to be otherwise inclined. In other words, these are choiceless worlds.

Two of these extremist or absolutist worlds you are already very familiar with, even if they remain completely beyond realistic explanation: heaven and hell.

Here is a very brief description of how “authority” functions on some stack worlds:

We consider the stack world of Agape as the highest of Earth’s stack worlds and the one Earthians refer to as heaven.  This heaven, like all absolutist worlds, is totally dictatorial in scope.  Imagine a world where every motive there is based on pure love.  Since love is not a determinable force but a totally subjective concept, it can’t make any sense in an absolute environment.  So what happens on Agape?

We already know that each stack world is absolutist, so living on Agape would be just as horrible as living on “Degol-Apsu” (the hate or hell world and lowest of the six dark worlds).

On Agape (the sixth or highest of stack worlds on the “positive” side of Earth) you will be loved, like it or not, and you will be forced to love all of it, however it makes you feel.  No option.  Even if totally stifling  to your sensibilities, you will be forced into love, or you will die from its unwanted attentions.  Basically, Agape lovers are worse than stalkers.  Their sole purpose is to make sure no one remains “unloved” or “unloving”.  Anyone who refuses love can be eliminated as a danger to the community of love.  The end result is obvious: Agape is capitally intolerant of any existential concept outside its extreme interpretation of love.

On Sumer-Tarzon ( the first world on the “positive” side from Earth) the ruling force is intellectualism.  This has lead to the development of a complex society ruled by intellectual tyranny.  Officially anyone can rule any nation on this world by passing a sort of IQ test.  In reality most ruling authorities are despotic and hold power through military force and oppression.  Thought control is the order of the day for any governing authority.  Any method that guarantees maintenance of the status quo is legitimately used.  Of course intellectual groups debate these methods endlessly and court sessions over dissidents charged with harbouring or sharing “wrong thinking” argue the finest points of the law day in and day out, but the end results are always the same: the methods are used, the dissidents are stripped of their rights and sent into slavery or if they are guilty of having attempted to spread their “wrong thinking” doctrine, they are executed.

On Deceptis (second world from the “negative” side of Earth) the basic ruling force is politics supported openly and without apology, by legalism, deception, lies, hubris.  The saying, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” originated from this world.

On Capitalis (the third world from the “negative” side of Earth) the modus operandi is greed.  Money as a power determines how the economy is set up and how people live and die.  Everything on this world serves the ends of Money.

On Malefactus (the fourth world on the “negative” side of Earth) as you have seen and will see much more, the basic ruling force is misogyny.  Women are the slaves of men; there are no exceptions.  The following “Manifesto” concerns itself mainly with this world; the effects one committed individual can have upon such a place and to what end.

On Degol-Apsu (the hell world and highest on the “negative” side of Earth) the ruling force is hate.  How to describe such a place?  I will leave it to your imagination to do so.  Suffice it to say that this place does not lack its complement of souls, either entering it or leaving it to return to Earth with whatever dark thoughts one can but conjecture.

Earth possesses twelve such absolutist astral worlds; six in the negative plane and six in the positive plane to give a sense of direction here.  The ‘negative’ worlds exist in and foster darkness, or evil, in increasing singular measure as they stack themselves below your world.  The ‘positive’ worlds exist in and foster concepts of “light” in increasing singular measure as they stack themselves above.

All together you have a group of thirteen worlds related to each other and sustaining each other symbiotically in astral dimensions.  These “stack worlds” are astral projections that reflect their rather specific energies into Earth.  They act as filters and amplifiers phased to Earth mind projections: sustained by and in turn sustaining basic human desires and belief systems then “purifying” them of unwanted elements.

What upholds these worlds then comes directly from the people of Earth as they go about their daily, normal lives; as they die to be reincarnated on one of the stack worlds, to complete their lives there and once more reincarnate on Earth.  The concept is so simple, it’s difficult to believe.  For example an Earthian human who has tried to live a life of understanding and compassion but has yet to become totally free of Earth attachments (relationships, belief systems and unfulfilled desires for Earthian ways) may, after death, reincarnate on the highest of the stack worlds, which we call Agape.

Another Earthian who has believed in the supremacy of the male over the female; who has oppressed women and their children in a variety of ways, however legal and ‘moral’ and who has steadily supported teachings and systems that deny equality to women will in all likelihood find his heaven on the world I have already introduced to you: Malefactus.

Surprised you did not know this?  That your religions, gurus, psychics, scientists and others seem unaware of this particular set-up?  Don’t be.  This is the time when the dirtiest of secrets are going to be revealed and many will indeed be shocking.  Finding genuine “aliens” walking among you will not seem like such a big deal soon compared to what you are about to discover about yourselves.

Terrible things are about to dwarf your greatest current fears, all part of the process of awakening to a new reality – mostly one that is going to seem very harsh, one cleverly, craftily hid from your vision and understanding for the tens of thousands of years you have incarnated and reincarnated on planet Earth and her supporting astral levels.

Not that you could not have deduced it by observation, but only by deep searching within yourself and consistent questioning of all that you took for granted… but you have believed and thus never thought it necessary to do your own research on the matter.

We, that is those of us who are variously known as ‘change agents,’ ‘Avatari’, even saviours, cannot change the basic set-up.  No “outsider” can or as you have guessed, it would have been done long ago.  All we can do is choose the best “experts” available with extensive experience as incarnate ISSA beings on such worlds and send them to make whatever changes they deem necessary, or are able to perform.  For chosen ones to enter powerful base worlds, or any of their stack worlds to challenge the status quo usually means death, often violent.

You don’t normally find even the most empathic of these ‘avatars’ lining up to buy tickets to such places.  Still, they volunteer, some on a regular basis, crossing the dimensional barriers hiding these worlds and “dropping in” so to speak out of the blue.  Some arrivals are prophesied in an effort to legitimize the avatar’s claims and speed up the dissemination of the Teaching.  Some Avatari-Teachers appear as ordinary individuals who become extraordinary by their charisma or single-minded devotion to a process or a Teaching.

Many there have been on your world.  You’ve known some but most you never realize you have among you until they are gone and you remember something about her or him that set them apart.  Some attempt their changes by tackling the raw energies on one of your positively or negatively charged support worlds.

You have given these change agents many names and titles.  You’ve puzzled over them, ignored them, mocked them, imprisoned them and killed them, time and again.  Sometimes you’d change your minds and some of them you ensconced in your divine hierarchies, making idols or lesser gods and goddesses of them.  You’ve given them the title of avatar, saint, ascended master, sons of God, saviours or even Christed ones.  So you know what I’m talking about.  What you don’t know is why none of them have yet succeeded in setting you (individual “you” – not generic) free from your endless tendencies (addictions) to follow after evil rather than the obvious good you know you must do if your world is to ever know peace.

An entity from an “alien” world such as I who has spent many lives interacting with you as an Earthian may, if qualifications are adequate and/or the need serious enough, choose to incarnate on one of these stack worlds and express in such a way as to cause change to happen there so the reflected energies flowing into Earth will also change.  One may, for example, enter the farthest stack world on the positive side (the love world) and change how the love energy is misused there, thus changing the nature of understanding of “love” on Earth.  Or one may opt to enter one of the negative worlds and cause a shift there that will lessen, or even stop, its flow of negatively-charged energy upon Earth.  I call that our “butterfly effect.”

You may well wonder who it is that does the “choosing” or decides on qualifications for entering upon a base world or one of its stacks.  Well, the individual avatar does.  We are the ones who determine our own path; who possess the knowledge and the power that we know if properly applied will cause the change.  We choose to be the catalyst for change and often die in the volatile conditions we interact with.  We are the ones who carry the responsibility for our choices in all things.  Basically that’s what it means to become fully human, fully ISSA in nature.

I know that many from among you have already perished in the growing darkness of your world and great is the sorrow that your unknown, unseen, unheard friends and kin (such as myself and my people) experience because of these terrible events.  Hence why we are moved to intervene when we think we have something to offer that may prevent more catastrophe or reverse a process of downfall.  If only you could understand us and give us a chance to demonstrate the better Way.

Stacked worlds: a simple and unsatisfactory explanation of a complex situation. Likely I will find I have to do more explaining of this at a later date, when I’ve had time to adjust here and have a better idea of what I’m really supposed to be doing on Malefactus.

Now back to my Antierra persona and my story as it unfolds here.

[end blog post #4]

[1] ISSA: acronym for “intelligent, sentient, self aware” entity or being.

The Antierra Manifesto – [Blog post #3]

The fighting and struggling over, we are stripped of our miserable rags, our wrists chained behind our backs and the remnant of seven, including me, force-marched at a run in a north-easterly direction across the desert – destination, I find out, is the City.  Two of the wounded women stagger and fall and are seared through the head with lasguns, their bodies left on the sand for the circling vultures to clean what’s left of flesh from their skeletal remains.  To the men, this behaviour appears to be business as usual.  The ever-present aura of pure horror and dread I experience remains beyond any word I possess to describe.  I’m in a living nightmare from which there is no awakening.

After days of steady running stretched into weeks, the fear, pain, verbal and physical abuse so intense I cannot remember much of anything, we reach what the four survivors call “the City,”  a place that resembles more a medieval fortress or keep of Old Earth than any normal city, except much larger than any of the ones ever erected on Old Earth that I know of. 

Having introduced the term “Old Earth” I feel I must explain it better than can be drawn from the current context.  If you are reading this in or about C-21 (Twenty First century classic time or Earth time) you will think of your planet as “Earth” and not necessarily as “Old” in time.  The term “Old Earth” is an Altarian definition referring to Earth at the time just before, and during, the great die-back that followed the sudden end of crude oil (so it was named) use due to severe climate change believed to have been caused primarily by use of “fossil fuels” on the planet.  With the collapse of Earth’s patriarchal civilization the question whether climate change was indeed caused by the extracting, processing and burning of fossil fuels was never answered.

Generally, Altarians use their own term for Earth, that being the personal living planet entity name of “Túat Har” which loosely translated means “Planet of Chaos.”  During the rest of this story I shall use these terms interchangeably.

The enormous keep, surrounded by an interlocking array of high crenellated stone walls complete with an encircling moat and square guard towers, is an awe-inspiring, intimidating, fear-inducing and absolutely depressing kind of place.  Barely able to stand, we are dragged in over a typical draw-bridge of folding struts operated by hydraulics and remote controls.  The streets are lined with men who stare at us, some laughing in a monotone and unchanging guttural laughter I was to hear often and become too familiar with.  There is an evil in it, aimed specifically at women.

Some point at me and note my height (I stand a head taller than the tallest of them) interests them more than my nudity though I do not fail to register the lewd gestures they exchange for my body still holds its youthful healthy form, not yet reduced to the tough dried-looking skin and bony frame of the underfed young women I’ve seen so far. 

The bounty hunters’ lasguns are drawn and none of the street men try to reach for us or touch us though they would have jumped us in a moment had the protection of the heavy guns not been so much in evidence.   I avoid looking them in the eye as I observe them under my eyelashes and through my hair, pretending not to notice them at all.  I have already learned from incessant whipping, cuffing and denial of water and food through our forced march across the desert, that a woman’s survival consists only on demonstrating and maintaining absolute subservience to all men.  If she angers one while not yet the property of an “owner” or while under his care, and she has the misfortune of being classed as an “offender” he can legally kill her using whatever method he chooses – lasgun, sword, whip, cudgel or bare hands.  Gang rape and torture are common ways of disposing of unwanted or troublesome females. 

I received many such ‘lectures’ during and after rape sessions and beatings on my way here.  I won’t forget those, not ever.  I learned to keep my mouth shut, to bite my lips bloody in order to absorb my pain for every time I’d make a sound while being abused I’d get much worse treatment as ‘punishment’ for my attempt to draw sympathy to myself.  That is how they interpret any kind of sound made by a female.  Bowing, kneeling or walking backward in utter silence is how a female interacts with a male under normal conditions.  Since there are no, what I’d call, “normal” conditions, this translates as under any and all conditions, no exceptions. Subservience and servility are to be demonstrated at all times.

The men who line the passage we walk through are short, almost squat, with thick necks and round pale faces.  Their hair is worn almost universally shoulder length and of a dirty brown colour with few minor variations towards lighter tones.  Their skin is uniformly white or cream coloured and appears streaked with dirt.  They wear little but loin cloths or loose sleeveless garments made of some kind of coarse cloth that drops freely to terminate anywhere between mid thigh to just above the knees.  All of them are armed with what resembles “six shooters” protruding from holsters, reminiscent of Wild West lore on Old Earth.  I wonder what they use them for.  All of them exude a skunk-like stink.

After crossing through a small grated opening under a wall several meters thick we arrive into a dark place that gives the impression of endless depth.  We are separated and put into what I shall call cages rather than cells.  Just row upon row of steel-barred cages, each holding one or more naked females, some free to move around, some chained to the bars.  Between each row of cages there is a ‘hallway’ of about one meter in width through which guards can walk to observe or count their captives.

No words are spoken while we stumble in.  We are literally thrown into our cages and I hear the dull thud of a body slamming into bars.  I sit down to ponder and wait or if possible, fall asleep.  The lights go out, though the light of Albaral still comes in through square openings high above us in thick stone walls and I hear muted crying and much sighing but no words spoken.  

That which is not spoken has happened: another effort, another attempt at breaking free has failed.  I feel their despair, the fear and the palpable, helpless, hopeless hate for these are also my feelings in this moment.  My olfactory senses are overwhelmed by the stench of sweat and urine and feces from so many bodies packed together in cages with only straw for bedding and cover.

I have arrived in the compound that houses female gladiators.  No female ever leaves this place alive unless she manages to escape.  Here you have but one purpose: to fight, kill and eventually be killed.  Every fight is purportedly to the death.  This I already know from what I remember of my studies about this world.  I also remember that I chose to be one of these women, and why I “arrived” as I did in the desert and came upon the refugee camp.  These were not coincidences, but planned events to introduce myself to Malefactus.  To my new life.   

In pre-dawn, the morning following my arrival, our cages are opened by remotes with two armed guard standing by each gate.  We are led out by those I later learned, are dubbed ‘trainers’ and ‘handlers,’ one row at a time.  I’m directed – shoved describes it better – to toilet and cleaning facilities in an open courtyard.  Following and imitating the others I wash in ice-cold water from long parallel rows of holding troughs, some for washing, some for drinking. I sit immobile and silent on equally long rows of rough hewn benches made of some black hardwood attached to equally rough tables. Benches and tables are worn smooth, indicating these facilities have been used a long time already.  We wait, shivering in the numbing cold morning breeze.

Even at the sound of a cough from one of the women the guards look around and raise whips made apparently of spring steel with barbs on the ends that uncoil loudly and viciously when flicked.  I see several of the women nearest the guards flinch at the sound and the men laugh in their low, guttural tones as they maliciously drag the steel barbs over bare backs, buttocks and breasts.

Other gladiators and trainees emerge and we are fed by young naked servant girls emerging from a low, vaulted, dimly lit room that smells of cooking.  They hold metal bowls in their hands and arms and begin to serve us a bland, thick gruel apparently made from coarsely ground grains and fibre. 

The food, though bland is enough and filling; rather better than I had anticipated, but then we are after all prize stock.  Our performances can mean huge profits for our owners.  Doubtless they provide the funds for the food and other amenities.  I am starving and eat every scrap and again imitating my neighbours I lick the inside of the bowl clean.

After the meal which must be eaten with bare hands, or sucked by tilting the bowls to our mouths or literally sticking our heads in it to lick it, there being no utensils, we are lined up once more in the cold yard.  I’m singled out to stand some three meters from the other women.  A man in a dark skin-tight suit, a guard of some kind or handler, puts a stick in my hand and makes me hold it up to eye level.  He takes out his lasgun and I think he’s going to fry my face when he takes a strange gadget from a pouch and mounts it to the muzzle of the gun.  He fingers a dial on it and lights come on, and a beep sounds.  He aims the thing at the stick I’m holding and presses a trigger.  Smoke erupts from the stick and I see a line of numbers in it.  As I read them, I realize it’s the date of my arrival at the compound, with a space then “1” another space, “1” another space and the number “04” at the end. 

He enjoys seeing my total lack of comprehension of his fiery display and laughs as he motions for one of the women to come forward and he makes her turn her back to us.  On the upper right buttock are two lines of numbers similar to the ones on the stick.  Now I understand only too well.  It’s my brand!

Two other guards grab me and force me face down to the ground and hold me while slipping some kind of steel restraint that lays on my back and locks my arms and legs so I can’t move.  Then one of them puts the wooden stick, still smoking, in my mouth.  The one with the lasgun aims it at my buttock and presses the trigger.  I bite the stick and scream at the same time.  I remain conscious just long enough to begin smelling burning flesh until a guard hits me on the side of the head and knocks me unconscious. 

I learn later that uttering anything above a low, hoarse request by a female fighter in the compound is punishable by death.  The only reason they did not kill me outright is because they are intrigued by me and their investigators are still puzzling over my appearance at that camp without having the mandatory brand, or series of brands every female on Malefactus receives in stages, beginning in the crèches when just a baby to indicate her class.  Later come embellishments like destination, arrival date by year (and a number indicating how many arriving on that day) and sometimes the number or symbol of her owners.  Females on Malefactus have no name.  It is forbidden and a capital crime for anyone to give a female a name, or call her by one. 

My brand reads 1328-1-1-04 which means admission year one thousand three hundred and twenty-eight; batch of one (the others were returning and already branded); number in batch one; class four, arena fighter.  I do not have a birth date brand as do other females.  I’m classed as a legally harvested ‘wild’ slave.

The four surviving women from the annihilated rebel camp – I don’t count in this judgment – are slated to be the next ones in the arena, likely to be butchered as an example to others who may hold aspirations of freedom.  They are certainly in no shape to put up any kind of energetic struggle.  I later stand to be corrected on my assessment of their fighting skills and abilities as well as their toughness.  All four of these skeletal creatures hold their own and kill their opponents to return bloody and more scarred, to the compound.  This gives me hope, for I learn some of these were the mothers whose children had been slaughtered and in this display of strength beyond nature, were taking silent, deadly revenge.  There is hope.  Candles that can be lit into conflagration if I can find the match to light them.  Or if they already have the match, I can convince them to light it.  Rome did burn once and the world changed, at least for a time, for the slaves who survived the pogroms, diseases and hunger.

Dream big, girl.  You won’t have much else here.  Dream big.

[end blog post #3]

 

When I was Nineteen

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~ ]

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.
Everything seemed cut and dried.  Art and music were fine, but could they
explain anything?  Could they tell me why I was alive or what the world was
all about?  I didn’t think so.  And ever since, I’ve lived a compromise: I
wouldn’t try to kill myself, because there was always a chance something
would happen to explain everything.”  (Songs of Earth and Power – Greg Bear)

It is the end of another year, my seventy-second year, which isn’t bad considering I’d set my “best before” termination year at fifty. It seemed reasonable at the time, what could I possibly accomplish of anything worthwhile past fifty in a society that worships (fake) youth and gobbles its world as if it is a melting chocolate ice cream?

“When I was nineteen,” she said, “I thought about committing suicide.” So did I, definitely, but my reasoning was much more pathetic: my lover dumped me. It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wouldn’t be the last, but each one brought its own degree of particular inescapable hurt.  It would be many years later, having survived (dig the maudlin self pity!) the many losses, that I realized these experiences in an otherwise sated and bloated consumerist society was how I manipulated reality to grow a bigger heart.

I began to sense that my personal pain was but one of endless extensions of this world’s pain. I began to look at ways I could use that sorrowful “me” to become a part of the rest; to make sorrow my bed partner. I learned to cry in the night and though the tears were mine, gradually they were no longer for me.

Unlike Greg Bear’s heroine in “Songs of Earth and Power” however, I did not hang around for the chance that something would happen to explain everything. I used my awareness as a key to that explanation. Since I am my awareness, my own mind, I would be the key that would open the door and allow the “something that would explain everything” to come into my life and claim me as its lover. Once more, I fell in love, this time with a very dangerous character, an actual terrorist, someone for whom there would be no secrets, the ultimate WikiLeaks.

If I desired to know, all I needed was ask and he took me upon secret paths, through mined fields, under electrified fences of razor wire, into secure, severely guarded places where explanations were taking place.  He made me listen in and I discovered that official secrets were constantly being made up with all seriousness.

The first time I saw this, I wanted to laugh out loud. Only my dangerous lover’s hand over my mouth saved me. We would leave those places, return to city traffic, lights, pedestrians, noises, smells and facades of endless body accomodations, find our own and talk through nights that became ever shorter.

“There is nothing new under the sun” he’d quote from Eclesiastes.

“But I still don’t understand” I protested. “How can there be secrets, then? How do we not know everything?”

“I will not lie to you. The truth is, there are no secrets. You’re a victim of gross mis-direction, all of the time. That is the System, how it controls you, makes you fear; makes you hope. Then it dashes your hopes, deliberately, and starts the whole thing all over again. Each time you are left drained, like losing a lover, and while you are in this heart-mind weakened state you are taken by something else, on the rebound. You don’t want to let go of that last thread of hope and the next lie weaves itself into your dying hope and pulls more out of you. This goes on until you die. Nothing is ever explained because there is nothing to explain – that’s the realization that made you want to laugh when in the vault of secrets: there are no secrets, just manufactured lies.”

“So, if I choose knowledge, what should I do?”

“Use your key. Use you. You are your own source of all the knowledge that exists; all you need do is free your mind. Trust your imagination and go along for the ride.”

“How will I know where I am going?”

“You won’t; you can’t. If you did, that would be another false path, another lie. Where is the freedom in following an already existing path? Obviously it wouldn’t be yours and if you can see it, someone designed it as a trap for you, to seduce you once again upon a way that isn’t yours and will prove disempowering and end in loss, again.”

“Why do the great teachers ask us to follow them? Their teachings?”

“Because they are lovers, not great teachers and their teachings are powerless to change anything.  Because they want you for themselves and have no intention of ever giving you anything of themselves.  Because they are liars.”

“So, no great teachers, and I know everything?”

“Yes, potentially. You need to trust yourself; believe in yourself. You need to realize you were meant to walk this path alone. In fact, there is no path, just endless choices, the best ones seemingly impossible but remember this: nothing is impossible.”

“What happens now?”

“Now I will leave you because you no longer need me. You are equipped to live your life as a self-empowered being. You not only possess the key to all knowledge, you are that key. Much of that knowledge does not pertain to this, your reality, so you must learn to choose wisely, what you keep in your pockets, in your pack, and what you leave behind for the time being.”

“I am scared to be so alone!”

“Fear is the mind killer. I will not fear, I will face my fear… do you remember that? You learned it because you already knew you would need it. Now is the time. You walk alone, you never look back, you never doubt yourself.  Goodbye, lover.”