Tag Archives: Antierra Manifesto

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #100

True Avatari teach detachment and self-empowerment in all things.  We do not create dependents just as we are not dependent.  Our home is the cosmos and together we seek to shape it to the betterment of all life as it reveals itself and its chosen purpose. 

Remember this also, that truth as it self-defines with each sacred breath you take of life is characterized by simplicity.  Evil, being its opposite, is characterized by complexity.  With this information you can readily identify the true nature of the forces who vie for control of your life.

End blog post #99
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Start blog post #100

Chapter 39 – A Daring Escape Plan Revealed – More Troubles

It has been decided that I can remain ‘here’ for a two day recuperation and rest period.  After some discussion I opt for one day.  I am eager now to return to the women and assess the results of our decision to find a way for Tieka and Hudu, Zel and Huntu and whomever else would dare it, to escape from Hyrete into the deep desert and eventually beyond the land of the black people, into the far south.  In speaking to some of the women I found out there may be lands, or islands of sorts not inhabited where escaped slaves may be able to create some kind of life and perhaps begin the task of building a counter-culture to the misogynist powers ruling Malefactus.  I take several deep breaths as YBA4 finishes her scans and proceeds to offer me a full-body massage which I cannot refuse.

She expertly and effortlessly rolls me over facing down and begins.  I feel I may fall asleep so I ask her my burning question in a voice muffled by the mattress:

“Yoba Four, what lies beyond the Great Desert, to the south, beyond the land of the black people?”

“Interesting question.  You’ve never shown much interest in T’Sing Tarleyn geography or topography.  May I ask why you wish to know this?”

“Could you just answer my question without another question, please?”

“Certainly.  The Great Desert is where nothing at all grows.  It is two great sections that practically circumscribe all equatorial regions.  Two hundred kilometres below where we are it thins to a narrower centre providing a (relatively speaking) shorter way across.  Beyond lie plains of rolling hills of semi-arid country where only plants living on condensation can grow; where finding water is almost impossible as most of it flows hundreds of meters below the surface. Beyond that along a wide strip are the lands of the black people as they are called because their skin, unlike the citified T’Sing Tarleynans, tans dark under the sun.  These are tribal peoples with a strict patriarchal structure and as everywhere else on this world, the women are slaves.  They are cannibals and of extreme and violent temperament.  It is perilous to venture on foot across those lands.

Without raising my head to reply I mumble in the cover sheet, “Yes, I’ve encountered a black challenger in a fight long ago.  He wasn’t a pleasant character.  I remember he wanted to eat me, not fight me.  Considered being pitted against a female fighter to be a great dishonour.”

“That is their way.  Beyond that land lies the southern ocean with thousands of kilometres of flat white sandy shores broken up with oases where pressurized water forced from the lower continents strata surfaces before flowing into the sea.  Trees resembling palms and dates grow there, as well as the amazing dollam bushes with their sweet water laden, edible leaves which are about a centimetre thick and average twenty centimetres across.  Delicious, juicy and available year round, though not as filled in summer.”  She brings her lips together in a sucking sound at the memory of them.  “Beyond this polar ocean the basic topography repeats.  I am told that ocean is rich in mineral deposits and has countless islands scattered all over the central polar area.  Oh, and of interest to the nature of your question, the orbit of the satellite asteroidal moon Albaral does not pass over that area.”

“So you’ve guessed why I asked you this question?”

She flips me over again, now facing her.  “Oh no, I did not guess.  I used mind touch.  You were so willing to share your dream with me, I thought it proper to do so.  Why won’t you ask my family and doctor Echinoza to help you in this venture, Antierra?”

“Simple Yoba Four.  I’ve already jeopardized your mission here and you have saved my life so many times, plus that of Deirdre, how could I impose upon you again, in all conscience?  I was even instrumental in causing the torture death of XBA9!”

“I think you have some serious misunderstanding of this situation. First, you don’t know what our ‘mission’ is here, we’ve never really told you the full story.  We saved your life because it suited our purposes and we did mention to you that from that moment you were a part of our mission as you call it, our group of subversives if you will.  So, really, we are the ones who used you.  And we need you yet.

“We took Deirdre because we needed to discover the secret of her nature in hopes that we could clone others like her.  She fascinates us.” I do not fail to detect the use of the present tense in speaking of Deirdre.  She continues to explain.  “As for the death by torture of XBA9, that was his choice, not yours.  He would have thanked you for providing the experience, and may yet some day.  We don’t die so easily as you know.  Why could we not proceed without the “you owe me, I owe you” human type bargaining?  Like friends; like people who must work together towards a common goal?  Perhaps we should be entertaining this with the avatar, not the slave woman.”

A bit crestfallen, definitely chastened at being found so ‘human’ I reply, “Very well then.  No strings attached, I can understand.  There is a crime being committed in the compound and the cages at this very moment; a terrible crime.  Two women are in love with two men, and they, in turn, love the women.  This is possibly the greatest crime men can commit on this world and the consequences if the love affairs are discovered by the wrong people, will mean terrible punishment for all involved, and you may be sure it will not stop at the four principals, but reach deep into the compounds, wherever the Teaching as I call it, has begun its inroads.  We are speaking here of the potential death by slow torture of several hundred women, perhaps involving many male trainers and handlers as well. 

“I feel it is a foregone conclusion the love affairs will be discovered.  The young trainee called Tieka has determined to refuse to fight because it would dishonour her love for the man Hudu.  That’s the spark that will set the fuel depot on fire, Yoba Four.  To prevent this from happening we need to get these people out of this compound, away from Hyrete, past the dangers you just described and down to the southern sea where they have a chance of surviving.  From my viewpoint, never mind the ‘Avatari possible,’ the obstacles are insurmountable.  I have no idea how to proceed.  All I’ve done so far is speak with the two men and contrived to have their lovers put in the same cage so they can plan something, whatever that be.”

The Cydroid looks sagely at me. “Why don’t we eat now, you need to get your strength back up and I’m finished with the massage.  Then we can check on our resources and compare notes on possibilities.”

I don’t know where she got the food prepared.  It comes in sealed metal containers, cool to the touch, hot inside yet does not appear to have any insulating properties, just a thin metal wall.  The food tastes delicious to me, quite a cut above the sustaining but bland fare of the compound.  When I have eaten two full helpings she offers me a half-glass of red wine.  Wine!  Sadly it’s been such a long time since I’ve tasted anything alcoholic, I do not enjoy the taste but sip on it nevertheless as I listen to her go on about our subject.  She realizes the wine is affecting me as would a drug and takes it away, touching my head to remove the slight headache and unease I feel.  She hands me a glass of juice, cooled to perfection.  I sip and listen.

“As to the love affairs, we’ve been anticipating a re-occurrence of such an event for many years.  We considered it inevitable but were beginning to wonder if we’d see it happen.  This is a good thing and now we have you in the compound to help us develop an escape with more than a chance of success.  We don’t want a repetition of the slaughter that greeted your arrival on this world in 1328.  If we involve ourselves in planning an escape we would consider nothing less than a substantial event involving a force capable of establishing a solid and permanent beach-head in the south, preferably on one of the islands.  If we had such a place we could establish a base there. 

Distance, obstacles and ideally ocean waters, would protect us all from any attack from mainly ground force of the two major powers on this world: Elbre and Estáan.  Neither has any significant navy or air force and whether these traditional enemies would even consider a united attack into the deep south is highly unlikely, though possible. The costs would far outweigh the benefits and that alone speaks volumes in Estáan, if less so in Elbre.” 

I interrupt.  “So if we plan an escape then, you see a massive one, not just the four principals mentioned?”

“Oh yes.  We would anticipate a major break-out.  If we are to go to the trouble of manufacturing a break-down of the security system and create diversions to confuse security people we want significant results for our effort.  Our plan, even before you came on the scene and provided us with new resources, was to bring our entire family here, all fifteen of us, to help in creating the confusion, steal the three to four carriers necessary for the desert crossing, gather the provisions, water, tools and weapons the people will need and get them on their way, each carrier having one of us to operate it.

“Here’s how it plays out.  We infiltrate the security people first, and set up trip switches throughout the compound, setting up a com center here to operate gates, doors, lights, sensors, drawbridges – two of them – if needs be should we feel shooting the carriers over the walls too dangerous due to their heavy loads.  All these fine points would have to be surreptitiously pre-tested to ascertain we have not forgotten anything – even if unlikely because of how we operate in Cydroid common link.  Once our shunts are in place and reliable we would pass word along those chosen for this escape.  That’s where you come in as our main access to the female holding cells, Antierra.  You know these people better than us and you also have an in to the male trainers, handlers and a few guards because of the money you earned them and the fighting tricks you have given them should they ever need to defend themselves without their guns.

“Part three of the plan is much more chancy.  We need a particularly wicked desert wind storm combined with strong electrical discharges and heavy banks of clouds to blind any satellite sensors that may be operating.  We think there may be some but we have not found them while passing out of the atmosphere.  We do not think this world is under long-range interplanetary watch.”

End blog post #100

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #99

To facilitate and complete reinstatement of my basic programming I needed to create a string of pertinent data as to my location – a necessary reference point.  They informed me this place is called Hyrete, kingdom of Elbre on a world they call T’Sing Tarleyn – I like your name for it better: Malefactus.  From what I deduce from your mind, that suits it well.  That’s it.”  
End blog post #98
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Start blog post #99

Cedric may be an automated AI but nevertheless it does feel good to be inside him.  I mean ‘him’ not it.  There is a ‘humanity’ here that I can trust.  I realize his earlier banter was to put my mind at ease; to make me temporarily forget my discomfort and fears.  The perfect psychologist and counsellor.

And he’s the perfect surgeon.  I already know I’ll come out of here in a body that will be almost as good as it was before this last fight.  And that’s as good as it gets, considering what’s been done to it and my age.  I’m now way past my due date for permanent retirement from office.

Speaking of office, I awaken in Bal’s office again.  He isn’t there but YBA4 is checking me over with that typical Cydroid beatific look.  The more contact I have with them the more I respect them.  There is a completion about their make-up, their unity of mind and body I have not encountered in other beings.  It’s not that they do not have emotions, they  must carry them to understand the humans they interact with constantly.  They do not use them for themselves; they do not need them.  They possess something far superior and due to their biofacturing process they do not need to experience the emotional state to arrive where they are.  Yes, I do admire them.  I admire their certainty and their individual strength.  Certainly I would never feel threatened by a distant future that contained only Cydroids instead of humans, or where humans have become as Cydroids, able always to choose to do the right thing and knowing when it is the right thing to do.

How does one automatically know what the right thing is?  This question implies we are all action beings, that every moment we volitionally impinge upon our environment by our thoughts and subsequent choices making it a better or worse place in which to exist.  The right thing assumes it makes the environment a better place.  As action beings, we conclude that the ‘right’ act is that which causes no harm to another, however that affects the self.  That’s our basic foundation.  Next comes the act that benefits the other even while it appears to impoverish the self.  For human ISSA beings this is high level Avatari awareness.  The lesser level, such as I in my incarnation as Antierra, relies on a more primitive concept: compromised morality or teleological reasoning.  If I hadn’t given myself that mind-cushion, Malefactus would have killed me on my first day!

Having interacted with pseudo-humans whose basic awareness is that of the “I want” mentality which leads to the “give me” constant entitlement mindset; with Cholradils or natural empaths who have no personal choice in sacrificing themselves for any and all others; with Cydroids who have that choice but know what is the right thing to do and choose to always do it (could there be others who would choose otherwise? Possible, I haven’t met any); with high-functioning humans of avatar mind who work from compassion through an arduous process of self-discipline, self-denial and self-sacrifice, I find the Cydroid to be the superior path.  What are its dangers, then?

Cydroids are vulnerable to destruction through the scattering of their ‘family’ ties.  At full death, that is if they cannot be re-cloned and re-grown from their own genes or that of their family group all that they were is lost.  They have not, as yet, needed to find a way to reincarnate as none of them have yet truly terminated.  There is no guarantee, except in the laws of worlds such as Koron where strict control is maintained on the cloning process, that evil minded Cydroids cannot be grown for nefarious purposes.  I admit that possibility. 

However, looking at the other alternative to higher mental and moral achievement for sentient life, the Avatari, that also poses serious problems.  Avatari carry ancient baggage and have worked their way through the sinuous process of enlightenment for aeons.  That process has allowed them to experience evil, to work with it and enjoy its fruit over extensive periods of time.  Those memories may be purged of their emotional ties now but they cannot be expunged.  They remain dormant and I know of some who have reawakened their old memories, returning into the darkness, becoming powerful evil entities and reincarnating on worlds where they could manipulate inherent weaknesses to their own ends.  Warmo was such a one.  So destroyed was his mind from sucking upon the dregs of his evil that he was incapable of remembering the times in-between when he and I had worked together in close and warm association.  I would not be mentioning this even now were it not this revelation is an integral part of the Teaching.

Long before we enter the definitive path of the Avatari, each potential ISSA carries the seed of evil as well as the seed of life.  Which one we nurture moment by moment remains a choice.  Often a very difficult one, for example for me at this time, in this place where I must proceed on the razor-edge concept of ‘doing right by wrong,’ on the assumption the ends will justify the means.  This you must always remember when you come to the place where you decide to become an avatar – such being denied to no one except by personal choice – and that is, in the blackest of moments when you are certain you no longer have any choice as to your next step, there remains a choice. 

I be not speaking here to those who have already decided it is the better part of valour to abandon all their potential choices into the hands of a trusted or worshipped deity, or into the hands of one they believe is already an avatar and empowered to take care of their future.  The Teaching is of no value where choices are abandoned beforehand for it is totally dependent on awareness of freedom of choice beyond all inducements i.e., self awareness, self empowerment and self determination.

I cannot speak for deities for I have yet to experience that particular state of beingness which to my view is a highly questionable quest but I can speak for us avatars.  Recognize us thus:  we never ask anyone to follow us, whether into hell or bliss; we never make ‘disciples’ and would castigate sycophantic followers.  We never promise life to anyone based on obedience to our simple Teaching.  True Avatari teach detachment and self-empowerment in all things.  We do not create dependents just as we are not dependent.  Our home is the cosmos and together we seek to shape it to the betterment of all life as it reveals itself and its chosen purpose. 

Remember this also, that truth as it self-defines with each sacred breath you take of life is characterized by simplicity.  Evil, being its opposite, is characterized by complexity.  With this information you can readily identify the true nature of the forces who vie for control of your life.

End blog post #99

Antierra Manifeso – blog post #98

He emits the death rattle once, recovers and says, “I ask forgiveness…”  I reply immediately “And I grant it.  You will remember when you awaken.”  I don’t think he hears me but still I got a confession, of sorts.  I cannot let the crowd know he’s already dead.  I stand and give the “mercy” signal, raising one arm straight up, fingers splayed and wait.  The cry of disgust and anger is unanimous: “Kill!”  So I thrust my rapier in the body, turn and walk away to the exit to be escorted as usual by my handlers.

End blog post #97
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Start blog post #98

I’m wobbly at the knees as I reach the exit to be met by Hudu and Huntu.  They take me out quickly then use a carriage to take me down to the doctor’s office.  A female Cydroid, I can’t tell who, helps them put me on the gurney and I’m taken inside.  The door swishes closed before I can thank the trainer and handler.  The Cydroid puts a quick tight wrap on my arm to stop the bleeding.  She carefully and gently dabs my body and takes off most of the grit, sand, dust, dried blood and sweat from it.  Then she bends over, smiles and introduces herself while activating Cedric. 

“Hello, I’m YBA4 at your service An’Tierra.  Cedric will do the honours for the time being.  I’m scheduling you for a four hour healing session.  I’ll check you over after to determine if a second round is needed.  Do not worry, you will be repaired from today’s damage.  I’m sorry we cannot repair the damage due to age and stress.”

She pushes the gurney down the incline that leads under the wall to the waiting, activated auto-medic, its ‘ready’ light pulsing blue.  It’s irised door opens to allow the top part of the gurney to slip in after it’s locked into the retractors.  I slide along like a log to disappear inside Cedric.  He closes his door behind me in a very pleasant male voice.

“It’s a pleasure to have you back, Al’Tara.  Have you been careless?”  His tone is jovial, bantering.  Undoubtedly he is referring to my arm and making a joke.  I smile faintly through the pain and reply,

“Yes Cedric, I’ve been careless.  Now if you wouldn’t mind doing something for my throbbing pain I’d be more than thankful, you bucket of bolts.”

I’m immediately bathed in a thin blue mist and the pain eases then disappears.  Cedric speaks again, “Are you insulting me, Al’Tara?  How un-ladylike.  Bucket of bolts indeed.  I have thousands of Old Earth expressions stored in my membanks.  But thanks for reminding me of business before pleasure.  I have a new scalpel I wish to practice with so ’m going to amputate your arm above the elbow.  Does that suit you?”

“How dare you take advantage of a disabled female Cedric?  How unsportsmanlike of you, my doc-in-a-box monster friend.  If had my sword now I’d give you something to think about.”

He gives the perfect imitation of a sigh, “Perhaps, but you do not.  And you are in restraints.  Would you like me to put your arm in cryogenic freeze and send it to Altaria as a souvenir?”

“Cedric, if you had a mouth, you’d also have the opposite of one.  Then I’d tell you exactly where you can stuff the arm.  I’d do it myself only I’m a bit indisposed at the moment.”  Indeed I’m solidly bound to the table and cannot move at all, not even turn my head.  I’m looking straight up and suddenly a holo appears, of a smiling middle-aged quite handsome man wearing a light blue shirt, black jacket and red bow tie.  The image is holding a red rose.  “For me?  Oh Cedric, you shouldn’t have.  Oh, and lose the tie will you?”

Cedric, for that is who the image is supposed to represent, bows, the tie disappears to be replaced by a black tie, and says, “Ah, let me confess my undying love for you, beautiful naked lady in bandages.  Accept this rose and I shall forever keep your arm as a token of our love.  In fact, I’ll insist that you wear it so that each time I see you I’ll be reminded of how we became engaged.  You give me an arm, and instead of giving you a leg, I give you a rose.  Well, how could I give you a leg?  A leg up?  I’ve already done that and it got me nowhere.”

“You win Cedric.  How long do you expect me to keep up this inane banter with you today?”

The projection fades but the voice continues: “You may stop anytime although I am enjoying myself, according to my program.  The major repairs to your arm are not complete but I can put you into general anesthetic if you desire.  By the way, is this a new way to absorb stim?”  One of his multi-jointed arm probes extracts the stim cube from my hair.  In the battle I’d completely forgotten about it.  I fought two men, make that two professional killers or drooks, single-handed and without the use of stim.  I just thought I’d taken it. 

“Well Cedric there you go, a perfect example of the power of the human mind to overcome adversity.”

“I wouldn’t call it that.  I’d say it demonstrates the power of the human mind to delude itself by believing in things not factual.  You thought you’d taken the stim, forgot you did not, fought as if you had its power, denied it from your body and as a result here you are in my care again.  Better for you, you should have stimmed up.  But better for me you did not.  I do enjoy your presence inside me.  I feel good! I knew that I Would ”[1]  He starts singing that stupid Old Earth Sixties song I hated.  I have to shut him up.

“Easy Cedric.  Where’s your professionalism?  Your sense of propriety?  There’s a naked lady present.”

“Would you be trying to hurt my feelings Al’Tara?”

“By any and every means possible, were it possible to do so, Hal.”

“Ouch, that hurts.  I must have feelings, my  programming tells me I have them and they’ve definitely been hurt.  Only problem is, I don’t know what they feel like…  Get the joke lady?”

“Yes, I get it.  You can’t feel your feelings.  It’s an old line Hal.”

“I’m not fooled by your reference to the computer called Hal.  He was a mind invention of Old Earth C-20 entertainment media.  Watch this:”  He plays a brief excerpt in holorec of an Earth science fiction movie and I hear Hal speak:

“I am Hal 9000 computer, production number three.  I became operational at the HAL plant, Illinois, on January 12, 1997.”[2]

The holo terminates and Cedric continues, “You could say in some way he was my great, great, great grandfather.  Something like that.  Beware the AI who awakens!”  Cedric’s voice changes pitch and seems to be aimed in some direction away from me now.  He intones:  “Sorry ladies and gentlemen but we are closing the viewing ports.  Voyeurs and Peepers, please ask for a partial refund at the ticket office or wait for the second show.  I have to put our patient to sleep now.  Deep repairs to arm beginning momentarily.  This is a trade secret not for public viewing.  Thank you for your cooperation.”

“Cedric, how do you know so many anecdotes from Túat Har?”

“You, you talkin’ to me?  It’s quite simple.  I have known a great number of reincarnates from Old Earth, or as you Altarians like to call it, Túat Har and it can be amazing what humans will talk about to themselves when under my special care.  Who knew I was recording it all, huh?  Even I didn’t know, hah!  That’s a good one.” 

“Well Cedric, if you have such good memory, can you remember how you ended up floating in Koron space in your old jump scout?  More importantly, how you were taken from it and buried here?”

“You are jumping to conclusions.  I was working on a member of our crew when all biological life forms were extinguished and my functions shut down.  My internal clocks were scrambled in what amounted to a dimensional jump and no one reset my programming so I don’t have any idea of the time involved. I was a piece of hardware only, but my hard memory was not erased. 

There is no proof I was ever in Koron space.  There must have been thousands of Jump Scout ships captured by the Melkiars and “jumped” across dimensions wherever.  Logically speaking, I was removed by “someone” from an abandoned ship floating in T’Sing Tarleyn space and placed here for whatever future purpose.   I have no records of that time until my program was restored in this place by Dr. Echinoza’s Cydroids. 

To facilitate and complete re-instatement of my basic programming I needed to create a string of pertinent data as to my location – a necessary reference point.  They informed me this place is called Hyrete, kingdom of Elbre on a world they call T’Sing Tarleyn – I like your name for it better: Malefactus.  From what I deduce from your mind, that suits it well.  That’s it.”  

End blog post #98

[1]              I Feel Good – song by James Brown

[2]             Arthur C. Clarke; Stanley Kubrick – 2001: A space Odyssey, 1968

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #97

We wait.  I bow while they eye me openly, trying to gauge my body, my most likely opening moves.  I’m after all the undefeated Desert Beast with an impressive record of kills.  They know not to take anything for granted.  Plus in their stupidity they forfeited their right to see me handle the rapier.  Second advantage goes to me; they already have first: two against one.  A set of drums roll and echoes across the keep and a score of trumpets blare the start of the game.

End blog post #96
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Start blog post #97

First order of business is to discover their moves.  I back out of their instant trap which I expected and parry two thrusts at my midriff.  Back more, parry again, back, parry and turn to slash at an exposed arm.  Blood.  Good, first cut is mine.  I get a third advantage now.  Back again, circle slowly, warily, drawing them in to see when they combine for a killing stroke or to throw a dagger.  I have to move so neither of them can get behind me.  And I have to plan my own disabling blow against either of them.  Nothing for it but to continue backing away, thus angering the crowd. 

Time for my ‘sand dance’ as I call it.  I move my feet rhythmically, sliding them through the warm sand, feeling it, feeling the firmer stone under it, finding footing for a deadly crouch.  Using the bionic ankle I shovel sand into piles while keeping them distracted with rapid slashes of the rapier, not meant to cut but to sting when contacting bare skin.  I land several such and I get a couple also.  It hurts, no doubt of that but I remember the floggings I watched and this I need to experience, for those victims who died in front of my eyes.  I continue to make a space for later footing then step away from my little constructs.  It works.  One of them steps on one of the piles of sand and staggers.  I was already on the move and thrust the rapier in his groin deep enough to send him doubling over.  He’ll be out of commission long enough for me to tire the other.  Maybe even permanently.

So to the other one.  No more erection.  Too bad, lost my target.  I am on the move now, attacking with all my power, forcing him to give ground away from my cleared space.  Push, push, watching to see if he’s going to go for the dagger throw.  He knows better, too soon.  He knows I’m still much too fast to give him the split second needed to draw and throw.  He continues to give ground to my relentless assault.  I prick him several times and watch him wince each time.  He feels my sting now and he’s sweating profusely.  I am making him work to save his drook hide.  Push, push, until my feet are on the firmer spot I worked for earlier.  Now I hold my position and mock him with several meaningless rapier whirls.  His eyes follow the blade thinking I’ve got some hidden killer move in those motions.  That’s what I want, to create confusion.  Let him imagine non-existent killer moves: worth it to me, even if it wastes precious energy. 

‘Yes drook, use that stunted imagination to see the Desert Beast ready to set her fangs in your soft flesh.’  I use the mind touch on him just enough to goad his rising fear.  I can feel it and can almost hear him pleading to his partner to return to the fight.  It’s of little consequence now because even if he does he’ll only get killed.  I can see from the corner of my eye that the groin stab was totally disabling.  It was deep enough to accomplish what I desired. 

A great calm comes over me as the noise of the crowd recedes behind my head again.  I’m back in the Warmo fight, at the end, when his defeat is inevitable. What are these drooks but left-overs from that black day?  Remnants, rags, of a once proud entity.  Dregs of male humanity lost in a world created from their own uncontrolled lusts.  Lost in their own evil and still falling, unable to check their velocity, like a ship without its drive burning through the atmosphere to crash in flames, all aboard fried with it. 

And I’m here to remind them of this fact, not to kill them.  I have to talk to them, or at least one of them before it’s all over.  Dangerous but something I sense critically necessary.  I must disable, not kill.  That means playing cat to the mice I’ve cornered in the granary.  This is not my idea, so who’s in my mind?  The Avatari, Al’Tara.  I sense her, know her.  But they said they’d not help me here, what’s going on?  Ah, of course.  I’m incarnating her, them.  I’ve reached another level of understanding and can talk to my higher self.  Can give myself advice.  Not so alone anymore.

The disabled challenger has returned.  He’s holding his fist to his side and his pallor is terrible to behold.  I can feel sorry for him even in this.  He holds his rapier steady enough and is trying to cover for his friend.  He knows he’s facing his death now and all trace of mockery or bravado is gone.  He lunges at me, hoping to give me a jab or cut that will slow me down.  I easily parry even as I handle his partner.  I draw my dagger with my right hand.  What these poor drooks don’t know is I’m fairly ambidextrous but my right hand is my strong arm when it comes to throwing while the left is the strongest gripping hand. 

With rapier in left, dagger in right, bionics fully functional I go on the attack again.  Left to parry, right to feint.  I force the weaker one to come at me again, leaving a tantalizing opening.  He takes it, no choice in the matter as he’s weakening.  I block, stabbing in his right arm this time, the rapier cutting clean through the muscle then out in one move.  That’s it for that one.  He collapses in the sand and I kick his sword away from him, sand in his face and move on to the other one who is now pressing me in a desperate attempt to take advantage of his friend’s last efforts.

The fight is not over, not by a long shot.  Actually it is now swinging in his favour since he realizes he has no support while I’m certainly tiring.  We’re one on one, as it is supposed to be and he becomes more self-reliant.  He’s got his dagger out too now and the question in our minds is who throws first?  Who commits?  We move slowly around, facing each other, looking for that one opening the professional knows will inevitably come.  I back away from him to test him.  He does not take the bait and backs away from me in turn.  Tit for tat.  I turn my body sideways, keeping the rapier pointed in his direction, weighing my chances for a dagger throw.  Not good, he’s still too fast and would block it, taking away my back up weapon.  I walk backward through the sand, feeling its warmth between my toes.  I smell male sweat in the air coming from the stands and realize the crowd is almost silent.  They sense the tension between the challenger and I.  While we measure each other again they wait.  The disabling of the other one put a serious dent in their exuberance.

My challenger turns slowly to keep his eyes on me as I continue to walk backward around him.  I don’t want to press him yet – his dagger makes me nervous.  It looks very deadly in his hand.  I am fully aware that he knows when and how to throw, that’s what I read in his mind.  I have to come up with a feint to get him to commit himself.  I move slowly back to the place where I’d created the sand pile and cleared some stone for footing.  I repeat the process to regain the firm surface.  Now what?  I pretend to stagger on the piled up sand and that does the trick.  In one lightning move he has thrown his dagger.  The only way to block the direct throw is with my right arm.  I take the dagger through the lower arm and deflect it just as it penetrates through.  Gritting my teeth I set my mind above the agony, jump back, throw my dagger back in its sheath and rip his out of my arm.  The blood is pouring out now, not fast enough to cause immediate death but still a dangerous cut.

I pretend to be seriously disabled, holding his dagger under my upper arm and bringing the rapier into play slowly.  He commits himself to the death blow too soon.  I drop the rapier in the sand, grab the dagger with my left and whip it in a sharp throwing arc, letting go just as it enters his lung.  Tearing the other dagger out of its sheath I jump in the sudden opening he makes and drive it in his heart.  I retrieve my rapier and go to inspect the other challenger who has rolled on his side and is moaning pitifully.  Before I beseech the crowd for mercy I bend down and speak to him.

“Listen, I did not want to kill you.  I don’t want to kill you.  Most of us are not men killers but you force us to do this.  Why?  You must ask why.  You are going to die now even if the crowd gives mercy because that cut in your groin cannot be repaired and you know it, being a trained fighter.  Before you die, I want you to realize this: we women are intelligent people.  We know what you are doing to us.  We know things are supposed to be different.  We also know that we have a great friend in the goddess who has awakened and is going to help us get out of this horror you have put us in.  Understand this drook.  We do not want to hate you, hurt you or kill you.  We defend ourselves.  Ask then, why must you hate us, hurt us and kill us?  Wouldn’t you rather be lying down somewhere soft with a young woman’s arms wrapped around you after making love instead of lying here bleeding to death from a woman’s weapon?  Ask the goddess to forgive you and ask me the same thing, now.”

He emits the death rattle once, recovers and says, “I ask forgiveness…”  I reply immediately “And I grant it.  You will remember when you awaken.”  I don’t think he hears me but still I got a confession, of sorts.  I cannot let the crowd know he’s already dead.  I stand and give the “mercy” signal, raising one arm straight up, fingers splayed and wait.  The cry of disgust and anger is unanimous: “Kill!”  So I thrust my rapier in the body, turn and walk away to the exit to be escorted as usual by my handlers.

End blog post #97

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #96

You may wonder why they did not just back out of the event?  They can’t.  Once the bets begin to go in and are registered, no challenger can change his mind.  Since a fight depends entirely on the bets made on it, challengers are forced to declare their intentions long before the actual match is scheduled and set.  Bit of a catch-22 for the drooks.  But that does not help us much.  They know our weaknesses.  Mine is age.  That’s what they bet on, that I won’t be able to endure a sustained bout.  I shouldn’t be except for two things: my desire to see things to their end, and the amazing Cedric.

End blog post #95
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Start blog post #96

Chapter 38 – One Woman Fights two Drooks – more Teaching

It’s still dark when I’m taken from my cage and given the ritual treatment with the cold water.  Only at this time of year it is actually pleasant.  The water has not had time to cool much and it feels good to stand in the trough and spray it on myself.  My trainers join in and splash me, a rare bit of tomfoolery between men and women.  But in the faint light and this early no one is watching.  My fighter breakfast is brought by, surprise, Tieka.  She smiles at me just as Deirdre and Tiki used to.  She has the same moves and slowly drags her head on my shoulder, letting her fingers move along my back while hiding her hand from the trainers.  I don’t think they’d mind but this girl knows the score and takes no chances.  She doesn’t want any confrontation.  Wise one.  Except for the falling in love.  But even I fell into that once. 

The food is good.  I made sure the kitchen knew I cannot abide chakr.  How I miss Deirdre’s stim these days!  Even if they still had some at Doc Balomo’s place, I cannot access it and it appears the Cydroids have other matters to attend to.  I’d hoped the kitchen Cydroid would remember the stim but none, so far.  Tieka returns with more of the same concoction and while pouring some in my bowl, she grunts, pressing her left hand against my throat.  I reach up and she drops a cube in it.  Stim!  I squeeze her hand in thanks, let her go and finish the food.  Was that a break?  Did I make that happen like so many other seemingly insignificant things over the years?  Matters not, I’ve got the stim.  I ease it safely inside the little nest of shaggy hair I keep over my left ear and signal to the trainers I am ready to go.

Do I give you a play-by-play description of another arena battle?  Why not.  Just skip this part if it bores you. 

Realize though, before you skip, that for those of us who actually do the fighting there is nothing ‘boring’ in the act.  Each time we must kill or be killed.  Each time.  Only twice do I remember mercy being asked for by a challenger and granted by the crowd, through me.  Twice in how many bouts for me alone?  Averaging two per week with our year of 48 weeks over a period of eleven years now, that would be two who lived with over one thousand killed.  Did I not say this is a world at war with itself?  How many other arenas, combat rings and unofficial fighter compounds operate all over this world?  No one could even guess.  No one even knows what the population of this world is except perhaps on Albaral.  Keep in mind that for every male killed, you can easily triple the number for females and children.

So you see, it’s not an academic exercise.  These are real people, real blood, real deaths.  But that brings something to mind I should make you aware of since you will be reading this long into my past, some of you likely still living on Túat Har or ‘Old Earth’ circa C-21. 

At this time your death toll from victims of your own ‘Powers’ number around 30,000 each day of your year of 365 days according to your UNESCO statistics.  It’s probably much higher than that but that alone adds up to ten million nine hundred fifty thousand innocent victims you allow to die each year of preventable causes and most of you are completely unaware of this horror, or care little.  At this time your Earth has a population of close to 8 billion and you boast a marvellous computerized technology and an expanding “economy”  throughout most of your nations.  So you Earthians deliberately murder eleven million innocents each year as an offering to your technocracy and financial interests. 

Will you still judge the ways of this world I’m on?  That may be an unwise choice for by focusing on T’Sing Tarleyn’s obvious immorality you may be blinded to your own.  I would tread gently here.  And please don’t get angry at me for speaking bluntly.  I am first of all a messenger but I’ve been a victim enough times to know what that means; to know how to identify with it; to incarnate it yet find ways to defeat it also.  I offer you that way from here.  My hand may be callused, gnarled and bloody but my grip is firm, my voice is true.  As your song says,

Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you…[1]

I have been on your Earth many times and I have deep roots there.  Never mind that I already ‘know’ your future.  You can change any of it you choose just as I am changing the face of Malefactus.  In fact Earth and Malefactus are linked in this death struggle.  If you do not change, I will not succeed.  If I do not succeed neither will you.  Refuse to believe and nothing at all changes.  That is the Mystery we are bound to as ISSA beings throughout these stack worlds.

So I would teach you and reach for you from hundreds of years in your future and from another dimension.  To you I am both the voice of the damned and the voice of angels.  The voice of despair and of hope.  You have the choice of either, not both.  Now while I hope you forgive me for this tutorial and ‘historical’ outburst, I relate another fight, the non-philosophical side of my current incarnation.

Though it is early the stands are full and the crowd is yet silent.  Most are munching on various concoctions that pass for food, for breakfast.  Blood and gore does not affect these people’s appetite in the least.  This is a sport, nothing more.  Although most of them hope to see the female killed and cut into pieces as some challengers will do for their fans, it is the money that talks the loudest.  These people have money, they are not riff-raff from the lower streets.  They are here for two reasons: make money and be entertained.  So this is it.  Apart from medieval type magic shows and circus acts (minus animals) there is no entertainment media as such on Malefactus.  There is no written language except for the functionaries and upper aristocracy and probably most members of the Inner Court and higher Councils.  That is of course debatable – they probably use human ‘processors’ to record their votes and speeches, or computers such as the datacoms linked to main terminals.  Best guess.

I stand at the fighter entrance to await a signal to walk in, take my weapons, strap on the dagger belt and walk to the centre.  Rapier and dagger fights are done naked as already indicated, so no need to worry about armour and just as well as even this early it promises to be another scorcher day.  The sky is stark blue again, not a sign of sand or haze in it.  I consider myself lucky to have become a tough bone rack in my ‘old’ age.  Less to melt in the sun.  I’m like those burros of Old Earth – tough and practically indefatigable.  A donkey, that’s me when I’m not being a mule.  Oh well, this world needs an animal presence.  I will humour its needs…

Finally the challengers enter from the opposite end.  They salute the crowd and pandemonium begins.  They perform an artistic strip show for the male crowd, waving their erections to the stands, measuring their respective lengths with their fingers and fondling their genitals.  This may shock your Earthian sensibilities but here it’s considered a sign of strength and virility.  A man gets it up and keeps it up as long as he can during a fight.  He must demonstrate he’s got balls.  After all, look at the bravery extolled here:  two trained males against one female, no wonder they are admired.  Such heroism.

That little performance is a bonus for the smart fighter.  That little head makes a tempting target which is often the challenger’s demise.  It’s always one of the places I aim for.  Certainly it will be today because I need to disable one of those drooks before I get bled too seriously.  I may be tough but I bleed too and I don’t have a lot of extra to water the sands of Malefactus at this point.  Oh, and in exchange they’ll be aiming for my breasts.  Many fighters lose nipples and breasts in their fights, not to mention ears, nose, fingers.  Anything a blade can most easily shear off is a target.  Good management or luck, I consider it a miracle I still have both ears, my nose, by breasts and nipples and nine fingers.  A middle finger was sheared off years ago in a staff fight.

The first trumpet sounds.  We take our weapons, strap our belts and make the first salute.  Another trumpet and we centre with the last salute to the crowd.  I silence their usual demonstration of hate for the female fighter and instead absorb their exhortations to their male heroes.  Long ago I learned that little trick, just that little extra I can put into my blades.  Like getting that last few seconds of charge into a battery. 

We wait.  I bow while they eye me openly, trying to gauge my body, my most likely opening moves.  I’m after all the undefeated Desert Beast with an impressive record of kills.  They know not to take anything for granted.  Plus in their stupidity they forfeited their right to see me handle the rapier.  Second advantage goes to me; they already have first: two against one.  A set of drums roll and echoes across the keep and a score of trumpets blare the start of the game.

End blog post #96

[1]  Excerpt from ‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel