Antierra Manifesto – blog post #74

It’s a simple, age-old choice.

One, I believe and I trust the High Priest to know better than I ever could. In his hands I die a sacrifice to the God as I have been in the habit of doing over and over.

Two, I walk to the Knight, kneel, accept the knighthood proffered. I take the weapons, walk past the altar into the room where the demon in black metal armour awaits my entrance. He is ready to fight me, dishonour me, kill and devour me along with all I have ever loved and cared for, living or dead.

That is the choice I have been moving towards since I evolved into ISSA consciousness. This choice determines whether I graduate, or remain in obedient subservience and servitude to a Higher Power.

I choose the weapons. I go to meet Warmo. It is time.

End blog post #73
_________________

Begin blog post #74

I am given a light early meal and in another upset, I am dressed in a sleeveless short white cotton shift. Even my trainers give a slight bow of the head to me. I feel like sobbing out loud, this is such an emotional affair. I am overwhelmed and embarrassed by it all. The kitchen staff is allowed to come out and wave to me. The overseer comes over and touches my shoulder and whispers a typical T’Sing Tarleynan good luck saying that translates roughly as “keep the sun shining” and pats me on the head. I needed that little bit of ‘enlightenment’ to bring me back to ground level.

I thank the old overseer from the heart and let him see my face covered in grateful tears while I smile openly, freely. I silently wish them all well.

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you wonderful people who are demonstrating your real humanity today. I bless you all…’

But their inane law prevents me from saying the words to them aloud. So I carry them in my heart, for now. And in my mind I plant them in the soil of this place, under the paving stones. In time, perhaps they will emerge and fill all the cracks in these structures.

And I’m led into the arena to meet my arch rival, my nemesis who has hounded me through so many lives and given me so many nightmares. Yet were it not for him I would never have found my way here, to this transition point.

When the crowd sees the female fighter in the white dress come forth to the armour and weapons table, they fall into dead silence. This has never been seen. Of course there is no riff-raff in this crowd, the prices of admission being astronomical. This is the day for the aristocracy to enjoy itself. Still, the silence prior to any fight is unnerving. I strip my dress off, stand naked as per protocol, do a few bending exercises to demonstrate my fitness and with some help, don my armour for the first fight involving the staff.

I have studiously avoided looking in Warmo’s direction. I want to use my so-called sixth sense and feel his presence rather than study him with my physical senses. It’s his mind/heart I must penetrate and remain vigilant over. To him I must project, send, nothing but white noise. I must block any thought aimed at me while attempting to read his. Remains to be seen how much of an adept he is at this game. Concentrate, focus, collect, withdraw, analyze, discard and repeat until nothing of value can be gained from the exercise.

An eternity and the centering trumpet sounds. I walk to the center, still looking down, not at him. I sense a slight discomfort from him. He is probing me with his eyes, ears and nose. To a much lesser extent I feel his mind probe but it is weak. I lift my head just enough to see his weapon and the arc it’s going to describe on the very first swing. I turn to the King’s dais and although I cannot see him, I know he’s watching his holo and has me on close-up. I salute with my staff held high at a slight upward tilt and bow. Then I wait without fear or tremor for the second trumpet.

As soon as it sounds I literally jump out of my trance and begin the dance with him. I already knew he would swing left and I parry, jumping back, not yet engaging my bionic ankle. I must ‘study’ his moves for he knows much more of mine than I of his. And I take careful note of the long sword in the scabbard on his back. I try to see if it is lashed with thongs I could cut with the cutting point of the staff – very unlikely.

I keep moving back, back, drawing him to me as a magnet draws steel. I move in and out of trance, sometimes seeing an SS guard, complete with the dreaded insignia on the coat – he knows of my ancient morbid fear of men in police or military uniforms. Sometimes I see a Melkiar robot in gleaming black metallic armour and the staff becomes a death tube. Sometimes it’s a giant demon from hell, his black carapace smoking and his eyes red laser beams. Then I see a human being desperate to escape the mould his vices have locked him into for eternity or until his Valkyrie, his Avenging Angel of Death and Ultimate Mercy kills him and pulls his soul from it. I see an evil black hooded Darth Vader from an Old Earth flatvid sci-fi production coming at me with a red light stick.

End blog post #74

11 thoughts on “Antierra Manifesto – blog post #74

  1. Hyperion

    This is like witnessing a spiritual moment. Again, Antierra’s emotions don’t override her warrior ethos. She correctly chooses to remove a chance for Warmo to project his hate and intimidation nor lower herself to the same. The unexpected respect she is given demonstrates an awakening of sorts for those close to her pain. What now for the aristocracy as they watch the battle of two titans. I’m on the edge of my seat.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for that comment, Daniel. The build-up to this epic fight has been long but I felt it incumbent upon myself (as her ‘interpreter’) that Antierra’s mindset and changing position among the fighters and the men be well presented. After all, this entire exercise is a teaching tool, not meant to portray cheap, gratuitous and pointless violence. It’s not a popular thing to do these days and I notice the number of “likes” has dwindled accordingly. I already guessed that was going to happen.

      Reply
      1. Hyperion

        I feel you told this story exactly as it should be told. The narrative is compelling and the action that backs up the examination of Antierra’s inner most thoughts is necessary. I’d put this on equal standing with some of the best adventure tellers in the golden age of literature where most of the classics come from. It’s a story for these times and there are many that don’t know about it that would read it and take something from it they could hold on to.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        That’s a very encouraging comment. I may have to find a different kind of “courage” and do the publishing thing, huh?

      3. Hyperion

        Why not publish it? I’m constantly reading books highly taunted as best sellers that are truly good reads but don’t carry me away like your writing does. You touch every aspect of what one is taught a book needs to be in order to capture the heart and mind of the reader. Certainly it belongs to you to do as you please when you please. I just think many people are in the right frame of mind to find relevance in the story and a way to ground their thoughts and feelings much like I did with the Hyperion Cantos and Dune Epic. The imagery of Malefactus alone is stunning.

  2. Sha'Tara Post author

    Publishing is certainly something I’ve thought about. I’ll see how I feel about it once I’ve blogged the whole thing. Maybe publish then get serious on working in the sequel where “Al’Tara” makes her second appearance on Malefactus as a young “wild” girl of twelve years by the (secret) name of An’Ala (pron. Anaya) who is captured in the Union of Estaan, traditional enemy of Elbre, trained as a sex slave then stolen (or demoted due to unusual size and high spirited personality) and illegally sold to Elbran mercenaries to end up training as a fighter… in the Hyrete arena where she meets with Tiki who becomes her female trainer and advisor… The chronology between the end of book I and the beginning of book II is a very tight affair since I’m synching one entity with two separate, physical persons. Antierra and Anaya do not meet. Hopefully I haven’t let the cat out of the bag here.

    Reply
  3. deteremineddespitewp

    Two sets of images moving with easy from one to the next.
    First a portrayal of the near Joan of Arc status achieved by the heroic figure. Some of the folk she passes by no doubt feeling she is on her way to a sacrificial execution and are distressed. Others, do they have the glimmers of an impossible hope in her, maybe victory.
    The opening stages of the battle I do like, as this is taking across one than one level of time and distance, and images of the combatants shifting in and out of realities comes to mind.

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks again Roger for following this as it explains the deeper connections between these two antagonists – how their differences are anchored in a long lost distant past of upheaval, conquest and enslavement.

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Thanks again. Coming from you as a science fiction-fantasy writer, that’s a great compliment.

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