Category Archives: novel

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #80

(A very short blog post, the end of the “fight of the beasts” and after a pain-filled recovery, Antierra will enter a new phase in the fighter compound. Although on the surface nothing seems to have changed, yet everything has with Antierra’s win over Warmo.)
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Meanwhile I’m still pulling down to break his other wrist.  Another pull and another snap.  What his hellish cross did to my wrists in his dungeon I have returned to him.  I know I have won.  Bit by bit I tear away at him, breaking bone, tearing into muscle.  I stomp on his feet with the bionic-equipped foot and break his arches, making him collapse on the sand.  I continue to beat his body to a pulp.  I aim a kick at his genitals and rip one of them off.  A few more blows and kicks and I ease off slowly, watching him convulse and bleed to death at my feet.

I stand utterly alone.  There is no crowd.  No arena, nothing.  Just empty space with colours floating around me as if I were experiencing the Shearing drive effect. 

End blog post #79
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Begin Blog post #80

What have I done?  From his own mind is see.  I did what he has done to thousands of innocent victims over the years he was master of the Inquisition and all the other lives he lived to oppress and destroy: I ripped his body apart bit by bit.  As he did to the males and boys he received for the torture, I ripped his balls out.  I could have done much more to him but I made my point to the crowd above me.

I put one foot on the mangled mess that had been Warmo and raising my bloody hands above my head I let out one final shriek, loud enough to be heard by the women into the compound.  I had told Tiki to listen for my cry of victory over Warmo.  I had instructed her to let as many of the women know of it, and to pass it around to those who couldn’t hear it.  I had warned her it could mean my flogging to death later but that I was willing to chance that for the power we had gained together.

Let them flog me to death – I have won.

Two handlers approach to take me.  Suddenly every once of strength leaves me, the world around me turns black and I hear a noise as a great waterfall.  I am aware that I collapse and the handlers, instead of holding on to me let me fall into the sand.

Even in the state I’m in I can understand their reluctance to touch me.  I’m a frightful mess and the smell of Warmo is all over me and how can they know it isn’t my smell?  They cannot even know for certain I’m still alive.

End blog post #80

The Antierra Manifesto – blog post #79

(The one-on-one battle to the death between Antierra and Warmo continues and concludes.)

This is his power over me, he knows.  He pictures himself to me thus:  I see the spy who took over the leadership of the people I had come to love so long ago in Galilee and Judea, the serpent who destroyed the work begun by the man I’d hoped would change things forever.  I see the Christian judge in C-16 who had me tortured and hanged as a witch in England.  I see the father who rejected the blind daughter and condemned her to a short life in the wilds of Scotland in C-19.  I see the husband who beat me regularly in the barn on that farm in eastern France.  I see the SS Obersturmführer in Paris who personally directed the torture of female prisoners connected to the French underground and at whose hands I died.  I see Warmo himself, master of the T’Sing Tarleyn official Inquisition and my recent escape from his clutches.  He shows me that not only is he going to finish the job, but he’s going to get every woman still alive who was released from his torture that day. 

 

End blog post #78
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Begin blog post #79

I must die at his hands.  No, not just die, I must know he has triumphed and I must wear the pain he will inflict on me as part of his necklace of conquests.  He must drink my blood while I still live and that crowd up there must know he is the Master.  ‘I am your death’ he whispers in my brain.  ‘I am the One who will destroy you and all those who believe in your power.  This time there will be no escape for you.  No next life, no place to go.  It ends here.  I will rape, not your body, but your mind.  I will destroy you utterly, Al’Tara.’

He has discovered my true nature and revealed his.  Whoever heard of such a contest?  Yes, in the stories of “The Highlander” – a similar tale of arch-enemies chasing each other across the boundaries of time until only one remains, evil or good.  This contest does not mean there are only two of us in existence but that one of us here, today, must die for all time. 

It’s my turn to touch his twisted mind with thoughts as clear as water flowing from melting snows on a high mountain.  I call forth my light and speak into his mind:  ‘I’m not so easy to convince that another entity, however powerful, however evil, can destroy me.  I have met with gods and other entities in the cosmos.  I have seen into infinity.  I have penetrated the very fabric of the web of life.  I have seen the twists and turns of infinite changes.  It does not have to end here, even if I cannot complete this task with this fragile and broken body.  I can escape you…’

I feel elation come from him.  I continue, ‘Ah… now I understand your game demon.  Of course I cannot escape from you.  I am bound to this fight by a promise I have made long, long ago.  A promise to help, not only the women of Malefactus, but those of Earth also.  I have a task to accomplish and I am trapped by it.  Yes, you are right, it will end here.  It will end between you, my ancient nemesis and myself.  I must defeat you, you give me no option.  I must.  And so let me show you how I brace myself for this final act.  However it plays out, I cannot let you have me for I’m all that stands between you and those I’ve promised to protect from you.  To the death of the self, Warmo.’ 

If only they would call a break!  But there will be no break. 

Already the crowd has become restless again.  They want a resumption of the gore; they want blood and they want to see one die.  They want to feel that death, the death of a female fighter.  They want him to tear my body apart and throw pieces of it over the wall into their hands.  They want to take their drug, the chakr they carry for their celebration and suck the blood from the dripping pieces.  They are blood-maddened, enraged. 

Aristocrats!  This time the arena authorities must have decided to take no chances and spend the money on proper policing.  Black-clad police-soldiers, armour pulsing in combat readiness,  begin to file down, goose-stepping through the aisles, two abreast, lasers activated to stun.  The crowd subsides somewhat.  The ones who refuse to settle down are removed without any struggle.

I move my arms and my legs as if I were working a water-logged wooden puppet.  But at least I can control my movements.  I flex my hands, elbows, knees and toes.  Everything works, in slow motion, so it seems, but it works.  I can continue.  Do I feel pain?  What is pain?  All of life is pain, it seems. Everything a birth and a death at the same time.  Nothing but a sea of pain that you swim in just to stay afloat.  And you wonder why you do it and you know:

It is the way of it.

Warmo stands now and has tested himself also.  He brings his hands together, grabs them, pulls then releases.  He forces his lame and terribly swollen foot forward and exercises it lightly, enough to show me he can stand and he can fight.  He smiles through his mangled lips.  I counter with the attacking female fighter’s last sound: the call to the death – “Aieeeeeeeeeeeaaahhhh!” and approach him once more. 

Into the death grip.

With the encouragement of the crazed crowd we come at each other.  No finesse now;  no wild moves.  Just pure determination and force of muscles.  Our hands lock together and we both begin to pull down, trying to break each-other’s wrists.  Oh, the pain!  He has the strength of the demon in him and if he could he’d bite at my face.  His battered mouth opens and despite the gap where I knocked out two teeth he still intends to bite into me and suck blood.

I lock in the bionics and tug down more, bringing his face closer.  The smell of him is overwhelming but I block it with my pain.  I give one final pull and snap his left wrist.  His hand goes limp.  I release it and bring my hand to his face, slamming into the bleeding gums, breaking more teeth.  He tries to bite my fingers as I jab into his mouth to grab his tongue.  He cannot and I tear it out of his mouth.

Meanwhile I’m still pulling down to break his other wrist.  Another pull and another snap.  What his hellish cross did to my wrists in his dungeon I have returned to him.  I know I have won.  Bit by bit I tear away at him, breaking bone, tearing into muscle.  I stomp on his feet with the bionic-equipped foot and break his arches, making him collapse on the sand.  I continue to beat his body to a pulp.  I aim a kick at his genitals and rip one of them off.  A few more blows and kicks and I ease off slowly, watching him convulse and bleed to death at my feet.

I stand utterly alone.  There is no crowd.  No arena, nothing.  Just empty space with colours floating around me as if I were experiencing the Shearing drive effect. 

End blog post #79

Antierra Manifesto – Blog post #78

(Oh, where does the time go! – this blog post was supposed to be posted 5 days ago!  Sorry about that. Antierra is fully involved in a fight not only for her life – all fights in the arena are to the death – but one that, should she lose, will have terrible consequences for the women of Hyrete and the secret work of Dr. Balomo and his Cydroids. If she loses her entire effort at making changes for the betterment of the women of Malefactus will essentially be for nought. So she fights on…)
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Again we face each other, crouching, weighing our moves and their chances of succeeding.  The obvious for me would be to kick to the groin with my bionic ankle.  Problem is, he expects me to do that and will have a counter that will take me by surprise.  I cannot afford any surprises.  I forego the temptation and back away a single step.  He follows, comes forward and moves in closer.  I can smell that nauseating body odour of his in a change of breeze.  It smells even more of putrefaction.

End blog post #77
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Begin blog post #78

I must find a psychological advantage, not a physical one: I don’t have one.  I move back another step and stand up straight, lifting my arms over my head as if I were giving him my body.  He goes for the bait and I lower my hands just in front of his face and after smashing my elbows on top of his muscular shoulders I grab his neck.  Before he can twist out of my grip I roll him to the side while dodging a kick aimed between my legs. 

When his leg comes up I release his neck and grab it, pulling it the rest of the way until he’s down in the sand.  I kick sand in his face and let him have the bionic kick in the ribs.  I feel the cracking and hear his harsh intake of breath and gasp of pain.  He recovers and attacks by grabbing my arm and twisting with all his strength.  I have no choice but to roll with the twist and in turn I’m in the sand.  I see his kick and close my eyes and mouth as a volley of sand hits me in the face.  I turn my back to him to pull him down on top of me while I raise myself on all fours.  He collapses on my back and I “buck” him off, jumping out of reach as he delivers another masterful kick that would have felled a horse and certainly broken my leg had I used it to block.  I dodge with a back flip that takes me momentarily out of his considerably slowed reach.

I wipe sand from my face and wiping my hands on my breasts and front, prepare for another attack.  He’s in terrible pain now, an angry, desperate wild boar cornered by dogs.  This is truly the most dangerous part of the fight.  He backs away, drawing me to himself instead of attacking.  I move in, crouching low, my hands almost touching the ground.  I expect him to kick at my face and he does.  I move my head just a fraction to clear his arc and when his foot goes past I grab his ankle, going with the lift.  He was expecting that and as he goes back he puts all his available weight on my holding arm and brings his other leg up and connects with my side.  A jab of searing pain tells me one of my ribs is either broken, cracked or severely bruised. 

I clench my teeth and move in again, as if I no longer cared, swift and deadly of intent.  I seek to grab any part of him and break it.  I duck under a jab and put a full fist in his face, breaking his nose, lips and a couple of teeth.  The skin in my fingers splits and my hand is covered in blood.  I chop at his arm with my wrist instead of hand then use the other hand to grab his left upper arm.  I fully engage the bionics and crush through muscle and tissue to the bone.  He screams and swings at me wildly, connecting my head and I have to release my grip as I feel I’m going to faint.  I jump back, seeing black and feeling dizzy.  He put a hole in my temple and blood is coming out.  I press my hand to it, pull the skin over the hole and scream in turn.  Scream in anger.  Scream to release what’s left of the fighting animal in me.

I regain my sight in time to block another deadly kick.  Now the crowd is standing up and cheering, jeering, booing, clapping, going wild.  The aristocrats are showing they are no better than the rest when it comes to admiring bloodshed and mindless violence.

I must disable his legs.  His kicks are the most dangerous part of his attack and defence.  I attack again, being a little more careful but still acting out my instinctive wild beast persona.  I snarl at him as I charge straight in.  He readies to finish me only to discover it was a feint.  I pirouette to my left and as I fly past him, deliver my own kick with the bionic ankle, connecting just inside the thigh, making him drop to one knee.  I spin again, and deliver another kick to his back and he goes down, rolls to jump up and I’m there waiting.  I grab him by the arms from behind and squeeze until my fingers feel like they are going to explode from the pressure.  I use my chin to dig inside his shoulders and see his face as a mask of pain.  He tries to bring his head down to bite but I’ve damaged that part of his anatomy enough he can’t use it properly.

Putting all his remaining strength in it, he pulls himself forward and sends me flying as I release his arms and somersault away from him, turn and stand.  I don’t feel right, as if one side of my body was dead.  I feel I’m going to stagger and fall.  But somewhere deep within I find a new force, a power to overcome the weakening flesh.  I take hold of the body that doesn’t want to work and move it as if it were on strings, a puppet.  I urge it to stand properly, to move its appendages and consider the next move.

Warmo is in at least as bad a shape as I am by now.  Still on one knee, his face a tangle of hair, mass of bruises, cuts, blood and sand, dragging a foot, he manages to stand.  This is going to decide the issue.  Will he find his own demonic power to pit against my new-found power?  I can sense him searching, trying to tap into my power now.  Focusing hate to me, and that deep and old  fear of men with authority and power that has managed to find me again so long after my lives on Old Earth. 

This is his power over me, he knows.  He pictures himself to me thus:  I see the spy who took over the leadership of the people I had come to love so long ago in Galilee and Judea, the serpent who destroyed the work begun by the man I’d hoped would change things forever.  I see the Christian judge in C-16 who had me tortured and hanged as a witch in England.  I see the father who rejected the blind daughter and condemned her to a short life in the wilds of Scotland in C-19.  I see the husband who beat me regularly in the barn on that farm in eastern France.  I see the SS Obersturmführer in Paris who personally directed the torture of female prisoners connected to the French underground and at whose hands I died.  I see Warmo himself, master of the T’Sing Tarleyn official Inquisition and my recent escape from his clutches.  He shows me that not only is he going to finish the job, but he’s going to get every woman still alive who was released from his torture that day. 

End blog post #78

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #77

(…and the one-on-one to the death battle continues unabated)

However, like Samson recovering his strength as his hair regrows, my Avatari awareness has been returning to me. And the reason is, this battle is for the very soul of T’Sing Tarleyn, hence of Túat Har. On the etheric we are not human combatants but cosmic divinities fighting for the mind of an entire world. One of us wants to own them to devour them one by one; one of us came to redeem and to set free.

One of us is the Demon; the other the Avenging Angel.

End blog post #76
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Begin blog post #77

What I don’t understand is how the Warmo was able to get the rules changed for this fight. What legal technicality was he able to invoke and what did it cost him to buy the judges? Whatever, it’s done and I have to deal with these last minute “improvements” that the crowd I’m sure is really going to get off on. Especially if we come close enough to hold each other in the so-called ‘death grip’ which I’ve heard talk about but never seen done. If it comes to that I’ll know when the time comes to perform this thing. I’ll know what to do.

I know if he succeeds in overcoming me he will bite into my neck and draw my blood while he rapes me, not physically but with his poisoned mind and his scent that will work on me as a neuro-inductor would. He’s shown me by mind-touch the ritual he’s indulged in so many times with women in his torture dungeons. Some of the stories must have gotten out somehow and that explains why there is such a universal hate and fear of him. I can see in his mind that he now wishes he had raped me and drank my blood while he had me in his custody, but then he figured he had all the time in the world and wanted to destroy my will before he destroyed my mind and body. Now he is convinced he can finish the job. He is staring at me and smiling. Involuntarily I shudder at what I sense.

Still waiting for the trumpet call I trance out of Warmo into my own body. I trace its muscles and the bionic and positronic replacements. They seem to be in perfect order. I see nothing that could be taken advantage of except perhaps that massive black-blue bruise with the bleeding skin on my shoulder. But the arm movement is not unduly affected by it and I can easily control the pain. I’m sure the Warmo is nursing worse from my foot stab. Too bad about losing those amazing sandals. Oh well… I have done deadly things with my bare feet in the past.

We’ve moved as close to each other as possible without being able to touch. And we wait. More restlessness. Suddenly several trumpets blare. We’re free to attack each other. I feel strange in this position. I’m used to handling weapons to attack, not do it with my bare hands. I feel terribly naked for a moment and have to play-back many past lives to get some idea how to proceed. I extend my arms, hands and fingers in a straight line towards the Warmo. There is no plan in this except to confuse him and gain a sense of my own reach without my “extenders” or weapons. He would know my move is not a workable tactic and he must also know I would have at least some rudimentary skills to fight hand to hand. He also knows I have a very powerful body boosted by my additional height and length of arms and legs.

Despite all that he can’t help but move in to attempt a grab at my forearms to break them by pulling me down over his leg. My own plan is simple, if dumb. I need to learn what he knows of martial arts. It must be considerable for him to choose to fight me without weapons. I have to assume he knows moves I’ve never heard of. How far back does he extend his knowledge of this discipline? How much of an adept is he?

I bend to his pull and fall across his thigh, then double over and land upright behind him, giving him a powerful kick near the base of the spine. He tumbles forward, gasps and regains his footing two meters from me, whirls to face me and return to the attack. I sidestep his rush and parry his finger thrust at my jugular as he whips by, smashing my fist into his fingers. Crude but effective move taking advantage of his speed. I know I break at least one of his fingers by the expression on his face and the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach.

Again we face each other, crouching, weighing our moves and their chances of succeeding. The obvious for me would be to kick to the groin with my bionic ankle. Problem is, he expects me to do that and will have a counter that will take me by surprise. I cannot afford any surprises. I forego the temptation and back away a single step. He follows, comes forward and moves in closer. I can smell that nauseating body odour of his in a change of breeze. It smells even more of putrefaction.

End blog post #77

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #76

While I draw him after me again I marvel at the design and temper of those short blades in the sandals. It penetrated cheelth as if it was paper and I’d be willing to bet there is hardly any dulling of the cutting edges. Way to go Master Smith, I love you!

End blog post #75
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Begin blog post #76

Chapter 33 – The Fight of the Beasts – Part Two

Three hours into the fight, according to the great wall chrono and finally the trumpet calls the time out for cooling down, drink, weapons switch entailing armour replacements and patch up work on the cuts if needed. My handlers bring a first aid kit, help me remove all my armour since the next fight has to be with the rapier and dagger requiring we do it naked. Using sterilized and anaesthetized fibresteel staples they patch my cut and apply morphing tape on it. I bite on the handle of my rapier to absorb the pain. I nod I am OK to proceed and adjust my sandals.

Since I ‘invented’ the sandals we have been permitted to wear them in combat even when the rules demanded we be naked. Foot wear is not considered part of one’s apparel. Like so many other rules pertaining to the treatment of fighters, rape, and procedural matters of fighting, it would be a complete waste of time to wade through them looking for either common sense or consistency of enforcement. This world is choking on legalistic legalism. They make laws to interpret laws, laws to enforce laws, laws to render existing laws unenforceable. And yet bottom line is, all law breaking is considered a crime, all crimes are a capital offence. What was it that I learned during my days with the Supremacy forces? That when a thing becomes all, it becomes nothing? Absolutism destroys the very thing it would become… or claims to be.

As I prepare my mind for round two, I recall my Teaching to the women in the compound a few days ago. I wonder if they are doing the prayer I taught them. I sense they are. And I look into the sky above for the circling vultures. Hmmm, yes the are still there. Well, I did not say it would happen today, did I. What I said was, it would be a long time before these scavengers are frightened away by the sky boat of the goddess Desert Beast in her green scale suit. A long time. A time to determine whether they chose to become self-empowered, or chose to forget and remain in their slavery. That choice I cannot make for them, only for myself. But perhaps I can help them make it. By example.

In actual fact, the only thing that will send the scavengers away is when they no longer find food outside the great Keep of Hyrete – when they are no longer being fed the bodies of fighters and other female victims of the Power that rules Malefactus.

I drink greedily and surreptitiously slip the stim cube out of a tight lock of hair above my left ear and slip it into my mouth, cutting into it and letting it take effect slowly. Amazing stuff but I can’t understand how anyone could become addicted to it. That sex-slave trainee must have been introduced to it in some bastardized form, with something else in it, added to it or injected in it. Chakr mix? Possible. Or some kind of subtle poison which would explain her insane outburst.

I am able to penetrate the Warmo’s mind block while he is pondering his next moves. In my mind I actually see the attendant inject the poison on the end of the dagger blade, wait a couple of seconds for it to gel and blister the steel, then slip the blade back into its closed scabbard. Subtle enough for the average person, but I’m using Avatari functions today. I’ve noticed that lately they have been returning to me incrementally. I never thought I could use them to actually fight with intent to kill someone. Much to learn, I have!

Strengthened by food, water, stim and the short rest, I slip on the belt that holds the dagger in its scabbard. I take the rapier in both hands, lift it high over my head pointing directly at the sun and perform a high flipping throw, letting the thin blade gleam and vibrate in the sunlight. I wait for the thin sword to return to me and grab its handle as it comes down, blade straight up. Again I lift it high, only this time as a salute. Then I flip it down, tip into the sand and bowing my head, I wait for the centering trumpet.

It seems an unusually long time in coming. The crowd is growing restless without its usual quota of cut flesh, spilled blood and screams from the dying. I wonder too – what’s the hold-up?

A judge in a bright red robe and hood thrown back comes striding into the ring, kicking sand with his bare feet and puffing. He’s carrying a gold circle in his hand meaning he has a priority message. He stops by a group of trainers and handlers who have assembled. He slips the ring up his arm, indicating he is speaking for the Courts and the Law. He points at me and explains something with arm and hand gestures. A handler shakes his head negatively and angrily. The judge points at him and does the hand across the throat sign. ‘Shut up or die!’

A trainer comes over to me. “You slave, take off sandals, now! Fight naked now, no shoe.” I unstrap my sandals and hand them to him. He rips them from my hands and throws them at the judge’s feet.

He yells at me, “Now krosspeeg, you listen. This fight special, different, understand. When challenger drops belt and weapon, you do same or you flogged by challenger, killed. When he ready, you fight – no weapons, understand? If he no weapons, you no weapons. You keep weapon, guards cut arm off with laser.” He says these words clearly so they carry into the crowd.

Then he comes closer to me and under guise of checking my weapons or belt he whispers: “Sorry to you, we must obey Law judge. Big change, big problem with the Warmo. Much evil done. Cannot help you. Must fight bare hands. Sorry you not trained. Much we need you win. You OK now?” I nod and would just love to hug him and assure him it’s all right.

The Warmo has taken off his boots and suddenly drops his belt and weapons. He stares at me and I cast a sidelong glance at his totally naked body and the way his toes curl in the sand. Powerful legs and forearms. Have to concentrate on those. Yes indeed, this is a switch. There has never been a weaponless fight has long as I’ve fought in this place. Only in the killing orgies have I seen people tear into each other with bare hands, or kick each other in the genitals or face. But those were free-for-alls and no one would dare intrude to bring order.

The trainer raises his voice again. “Understand now, krosspeeg? You animal, fight like animal. Beast fight with beast, no weapons.” To avoid punishment or worse, forfeit of the fight, I drop my rapier and dagger belt and the trainer grabs them and throws them at the judge’s feet also.

So what the Warmo let me see in his mind was a complete fabrication, a deception. I understand now what the Warmo is doing. First, by disarming me he’s preventing me from fulfilling my promise, should I win, to cut him down piece by piece and torture him to death. Second, if he gets close enough he will bite me, Vampire fashion and drink my blood to weaken me and strengthen himself. That taste of warm female blood is how he gets his power. I know that even my bionic wrists, which he must suspect I have somehow acquired, seeing as how he destroyed my original wrists on his infernal cross, and the small cube of stale stim I have ingested cannot prevail against what he plans for me.

However, like Samson recovering his strength as his hair regrows, my Avatari awareness has been returning to me. And the reason is, this battle is for the very soul of T’Sing Tarleyn, hence of Túat Har. On the etheric we are not human combatants but cosmic divinities fighting for the mind of an entire world. One of us wants to own them to devour them one by one; one of us came to redeem and to set free.

One of us is the Demon; the other the Avenging Angel.

End blog post #76

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #75

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
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Begin blog post #75

For one full hour we go through the motions of a fight. We dance around each other, doing no real damage. I have not yet taken the stim hidden in my hair nor have I had to use my bionic enhancements. Warmo is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in this place. There is something utterly inhuman in him. He carries his own enhancements; a combination of power that reeks of hell. I am repulsed by the thoughts in his mind. His darkness is terrible. His body exhudes a foul stench of putrefaction.

My mind probe tells me he drank the blood of some of his victims mixed in chakr; that he is addicted to it. Have I now met a real life humanoid vampire? And how do you kill a vampire? With a wooden stake through the heart. Did it have to be precisely at midnight? I cannot remember but I know that the Old Earth tale of horror has in fact manifested itself on Malefactus, at least for me. How many times did I warn people on Old Earth that everything they ever thought, wrote about, dreamed of, or imagined, had to become a living manifestation in some dimension? That they would in some future incarnation either encounter their creations or be one of them? Malefactus would be a custom-made world for human vampires if one existed and was actually killed on Old Earth. Here is where it would naturally re-incarnate.

I am repelled and fascinated by this vision or revelation. I jump out of trance and watch the human part of him struggling with me. His attacks are fast and subtle. He has devious and unexpected moves, but that’s not where his focus lies. He’s drawing me into a place of his own choosing, like a flame draws a moth. He does not intend to kill me with his weapons, at least not directly. Yes – and I think he allows me to know this – he is going to have poison put on his dagger, but that too is a side show. He’s got something else in mind. I take a chance and trance again. Now I’m met with a barrage of confusing images. I won’t get anymore information, he’s sensed my probe and is blocking. I jump out and now it’s time for the physical approach.

One and one half hours and nothing to show for it. We are both as fresh and cool as when we began. It’s as if we were just floating over the sand. There is no blood. Ah, blood. Vampires like blood, particularly women’s blood. What will happen to his cool exterior if he sees blood on me? Will it weaken or empower him? Will he become wary or will he attack? I decide no blood. Let his be the first. I change my tactics with a violent rush and stab him in the thigh. First blood drawn. He seems surprised, backs off a little then smiles at me. His hand slips down into the blood and he licks the protecting gauntlet.

In turn he attacks violently. I engage my bionics then and parry his attack easily. I smack his gauntlet-protected fingers but still that had to smart. I spin my staff and do a Deirdre pole vault over him coming down behind and smashing into his shin so hard my staff vibrates in my hands. He almost falls over, recovers, spins and lays his staff to my shoulder. A powerful individual. My shoulder remains numb for a few seconds and throbs like hell. I jump back out of reach. We both survey the space between us. Who attacks next? Our eyes lock.

He comes to me in a crouch as low as he dares and tries to enter below my defences to cut into my calf. The slicing edge of the staff point comes to millimetres of my dancing foot but fortunately for me he attacked my bionic side. A blur is all his staff goes through. But the move is enough to allow him to pull the long sword which he wields with one hand while still using the staff to block my blow to his head. Part of it connects and he drops the staff to come around with the deadly sword. If I parry with my staff he’ll cut it in half. If I don’t I’m dead. That’s what my brain tells me. My training. I drop into trance to slow him down in my mind. First I see him kick his fallen staff over the low wall so I can’t grab it. Then I see the sword engaging the staff and cutting it cleanly in half. I see a huge nick in the sword weakening the blade, throwing off the balance, rendering it useless in this sort of intricate combat.

He finishes his turn, kicking his staff out over the wall where a guard picks it up and holds it. Instead of parrying his deadly swath with the middle of the staff I give him the blunt end to bite into. A quarter of the staff goes flying but his sword has the nick in it I saw in the vision. I rebalance the remaining piece of staff, engage the extender fully and return to the attack. I force him to cut at the staff again. He does, cuts through the staff again but shatters his sword near the half point. I pursue him madly now. He parries with a half sword and I attack with less than a half staff. It would be comical if our lives did not lie in the balance. We continue, no choice. Only the “time out” trumpet can stop this.

I realize that in my eagerness I’ve activated my front sole blades. I try to quickly find a way to use them because they are now obstructing my steps. Damn stupid woman, you call yourself a professional gladiator? A trainee would have known not to do that! I parry another truncated sword slash to the side. He connects enough to cut in my right thigh through the side slit in the tunic. My blood flows and I can sense him licking his lips. He smiles. Attacks. Comes closer. Just as he comes in for another cut I lift my bionic leg and drive the foot blade deep into his arm then pull back. The moment of shock is enough for me to retract the damn blades and regain my natural stance and begin a whole new dance. Now I feel my sweat, but it’s more of a cold sweat than exertion. He secretes a smell of death, and it’s not a carry-over from his victims in the dungeons. It’s in his blood! I got a sure whiff of it from the stabbed arm.

While I draw him after me again I marvel at the design and temper of those short blades in the sandals. It penetrated cheelth as if it was paper and I’d be willing to bet there is hardly any dulling of the cutting edges. Way to go Master Smith, I love you!

End blog post #75

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
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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