Category Archives: Death

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #38

[note: Spring has sprung, the grass is riz… leaving me with much restricted time for blogging.  Fortunately the ‘Manifesto’ is already written, requiring only the usual scan for missed typos, misplaced modifiers and such like.  Continuing on…]

“Yes I do Bal,” saying the name thus almost makes me choke with fear, “I will remember.  I know I cannot survive Malefactus but what’s in my mind I will keep.  I won’t let anyone have it.  No force will take it.  I’ve been under torture before, though not by neuro-inductor but we have a way on Altaria to shift our knowledge into parts of our minds that even we cannot access during times of stress or under duress.  It may be the memory of this power will come to me should I need it and I won’t be lying when I say, “Je ne sais rien.”  I do understand that strange ability to lock information possessed by the Cholradil on this world.”

[end blog post #37
____________________

[begin blog post #38]

He opens the door and I walk out into the sunshine.  Deirdre is sitting on the flagstones just outside the door with the new axe.  She jumps up when she sees me and her eyes light up but there is no smile, only concern.  I let it go, it’s her problem, not mine and nothing I can do about it.  The doctor calls the handlers and the same ones return, in the blue uniforms with the gold braids.  Bal whispers, “They are the King’s aides, not regular handlers or trainers.  Pay attention to anything they may say to you.  They may have information that will save your life.  I know they invested a year’s wages in bond notes on the events of this day, betting that you would overcome the Prince, which you have, and you would also kill his fellow conspirator.  They have already doubled their money but they want to double that also.  They will help you win any way they can.  Be careful, these be men, not Cydroids; I do not control them.”

I heft the new axe and in spinning it I notice a slight discrepancy in one of the curved blades.  I examine it closely in the light of the sun and smile inwardly.  My blacksmith friend has put tiny serrations, like teeth of a fine hacksaw blade on one side of the weapon and has heat-coloured the metal to a dark blue hue on that side so I will recognize it .  Now it truly is a deadly weapon.  I can hack as well as slice through armour with this.  I thank him in my heart and walk back to the arena with the two aides.

“The Torlat means to kill you quickly,” one of them says to me with an unusually soft voice for that of a man.  “He has poisoned his weapons, including his boot blades.  You cannot let him draw blood at all.  We tried to expose it but he, or the Prince, had bought the weapons judge today.  The poison is allowed.  You must take precaution.  Beware if he crouches low – we suspect that the boot blades may be designed to be sprung free and thrown.  That is all we can do to help you.  May the Spirit of the Great Desert Beast be with you and may you win.”

It may have been spoken from greed and not out of any concern for my welfare yet the words warm me greatly.  In such situations even the smallest kind offer becomes a great gift.  Again, in my heart, I thank them, not being allowed to do so audibly.  I nod a brief acknowledgment.

And with the customary fanfare and trumpet blare the fight is on: time to completely change tactics.  I cannot let Torlat know I am aware of his poisoned cutting blades but I can pretend I am afraid of his skills.  To create this impression I circle him backward, wider than the tight circle I normally use to draw in my opponent and strike, usually allowing him to get in and do some damage.  It’s a dangerous game no matter whom you meet.  Always expect the unexpected.

I circle ever wider, dancing around his attempts at stabbing or cutting, following the movement of his feet by staring in his eyes.  Most opponents do not realize how much they tell by where and how they focus their eyes, even those who pretend.  A quick but deliberate look to the left means a sharp thrust on the right; up means down.  There is more psychology in a fight than actual stabbing and slashing.  You have to get inside the mind – that’s where the outcome is determined.  In the mind is where you win or lose.  I look into his mind.  There is no bravado there, just pure concentration and determination.  And that too can be taken advantage of.  Too much concentration and you break if it leads to an expected move that does not manifest.

The crowd grows restless.  Cries of “Kill her, kill her now, now, now!” bounce from the walls and over into Malefactus’ mad and twisted bones and sinews.  After so many battles, my body hears the calls as music to dance to.  I move with greater alacrity, giving him no chance to come at me, and for many of my improved dancing moves I silently thank Deirdre.  How much she has taught me about my body and my perception of the fluidity within the material world!  I wonder, at times, who trained whom the most!

He is sweating profusely now, unaccustomed to having to do so much walking, running and jumping to try to position himself safely within my defence.  And all I give him is a defensive posture.  I make no move to attack him, just keep drawing him to me and moving away. 

“Kill her now!  Kill her now!  Kill her now!”  They stand and chant until a dozen trumpets near the King’s pavilion call for silence.  The last trumpet calls die and you could hear a fly buzz if there were one.  The silence of fear; fear of that which is in authority over you and can get you killed in most unpleasant ways – strange expression, I know of no pleasant way to be killed.  The King, you see (must maintain the image!) wants to hear the blows ring, not a bunch of crazies yelling.  This would be a truly stimulating time for those who study the art of one-on-one combat.  The Torlat and I are as professional a set of fighters as this place has ever witnessed.  Unfortunately only a few of the minds in the stands can grasp and appreciate the deadly art form in our moves and the terrible beauty of our semi-nude muscular and sweating bodies gleaming in the reflections of the afternoon sun and plasma lighting.  Few can feel respect for the terrible discipline that has created this dance between deadly opposites.

Obviously the King knows why I’m not attacking.  Is he enjoying my performance from up there, observing the fight from his holo imager?  Does he care that in the silence he has imposed, I may or may not prevail against the persistent, now crouching Torlat? 

The crouch! 

Watch his right hand drop to his foot, yes, now!  He’s given me the one chance I so desperately needed.  I jump past his guard and complete the serrated edge swing into his arm, cutting through the cheelth super-skin and severing it even as he draws his blade.  I swing the axe end to end, upend him and spear him just below the rib cage, driving the weapon and the body into the ground.  Leaving the axe embedded, I walk slowly back, refusing to stagger, not letting that all-male crowd have as much as one moment to gloat. 

They will not see I’m tired unto death and weak from loss of blood in the earlier fight.  They will see me walk straight and tall out of the bloody arena once more.  And they will go away nursing their hatred and if possible, take it out on some unfortunate female servant.  Compromised morality… what a price I’m paying and causing others to pay.  The trumpets announce the end of the day’s fighting, unleashing a veritable storm of protests, boos and spitting against the ‘unfair’ results of the battle. 

Where’s the light?  Two “suns” and Malefactus remains the darkest world I have ever encountered.

The second fight has lasted over three hours.  Later the doctor tells me it was the longest one-on-one combat fights ever recorded.  Even as Torlat still twitches on the ground the King rises, ends the tournament and dismisses the unruly crowd with a show of force from several hundred black-clad uniformed and armoured Hyrete police held in readiness.  As the police units file down the aisles in the stands all outbursts cease.  The fans file out to consider their staggering losses and a few to rejoice over their winnings.  Despite the mounting evidence that female fighters will overcome their male challengers on an average of three to one, these sick men cannot believe the evidence, going with their feelings of revulsion and hate; believing women are weaker than men and continuing to place their bets on the male challengers.   

I live another day, and to what end?  For the moment, there is but one end: to save Deirdre.

[end blog post #38]

Dogville Revisited

[a rant by   ~burning woman~   ]

The 2003 psychological thriller Dogville depicts a bigoted community that accepts to harbour a fugitive from the mob but decides she would have to pay a price. The movie goes on to demonstrate how the price she must pay keeps going up, so high that in the end she is near death when her pursuers finally find her. Then comes the interesting twist as Grace’s terrible secret is revealed.

What is planet earth, in particular the “First World” but a Dogville? The only people who “have” are those who find the means to exploit those who have less, or have nothing except the land they live on, unless it’s their bodies that can be sold for slave labour, prostitution, whatever makes a profit. It’s no secret that we of the West are the “haves” and that the rest of the world has been paying an ever-higher price to us just to stay alive while we maintain our consumer lifestyles. So far, no exaggeration. But there is more, much more.

It isn’t enough that the poor are disenfranchised, dispossessed, persecuted and murdered in their own lands. If they manage to escape they must then become the scapegoats through which the self-righteous Dogvillians can continue to justify their enslavement, thefts of resources, rapes and open murdering rampages. After having been forced from their lands, no matter where they go, they will face resentment, hate, be ostracized, reviled, endlessly exploited and as just happened in New Zealand, massacred.

So one Dogvillian decides to be less hypocritical, more open than the rest, and turns his guns on helpless people in a mosque and all hell breaks loose. Yet two days before the massacre in Christchurch, US artillery massacred 50 civilians in the village of Baghouz, and quote: “On Monday, US warplanes attacked Baghouz, killing at least 50 people. Details on what the intended target was is unclear, but the reports suggest that the dead were mostly women and children… In the past few months, US airstrikes backing the SDF offensive have killed hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians. With thousands of civilians still believed to be in Baghouz, the US strikes are undermining the SDF’s effort to convince them to leave, by showing that those who try to leave may be targeted.” (End quote) (https://talesfromtheloublog.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/us-airstrikes-kill-at-least-50-mostly-civilians-in-eastern-syria/

My point here is very simple: where are the screaming headlines, the heads of state standing at their podiums, the social media erupting with indignant cries against war crimes and institutionalized mass murder in Syria? All I heard was dead silence, and that happened just a few days before Christchurch. Well, that, plus it’s been happening for years, witness the refugee crisis. Where is your outcry over those murders?

So my question is simple: why is it totally acceptable to murder women and children in an undeclared hence “unofficial” war but it suddenly become opprobrious if the same or lesser crimes are committed by individuals? Who is the greatest criminal here? On one hand a malcontent, or a few of them, gun down some people in a building, or an arena. On the other hand, all members of any self-styled democracy are in agreement with the massacre of innocent civilians in places where the killer, the aggressor, has no business being. One massacre is widely and openly deplored while a greater massacre lasting years is not just tolerated but openly funded, justified, rationalized and everybody sleeps soundly knowing the bombs are falling like rain “where they should.” Western hypocrisy astounds me.

I’ll tell you this, people of the Warmongering West: Grace, the helpless dispossessed being exploited and murdered by you as willing participants and cheering spectators in these hunger games have a terrible secret. You’re all about to find out what that is. Maybe it’s time to watch the movie Dogville again. You might see many faces you recognize.

I’ll Forgive you, Eddie

(I do have a short story for the March Blog Battle “Dusk” but this isn’t it!  I was in a mood so I wrote this out tonight… go figure.)

Short Story – by Sha’Tara

I’ll forgive you Eddie, just as soon as you give me time to work this one out. I mean, the lying, the cheating, the way you’ve made me feel cheap in the eyes of our friends while boosting your bottomless pit of an ego and sucking the life out of me.

First, I have to go back over time and find that place, not in the photo album but in my memory, where I found myself truly “in love” with you; that place where I said “yes” when you asked me to marry you. But there is no such place, is there, Eddie. I said “yes” because I was pregnant and I’d call that duress, wouldn’t you?

How did you make me pregnant, Eddie? Do you remember your little trick at the Christmas party? Sammy told me how you put the date rape drug in my drink while I went to the ladies’ but years only later, Eddie. I remember the shock of discovering that bit of truth about you. Why did you stick around after that? Did you feel guilty, or was it the fear of being exposed by your own friends who knew what you’d done? Fear, wasn’t it. You felt obligated to marry me because it’s how we did things in those days.

Why did you stick around after our baby boy died of crib death Eddie? Was it because I brought in good money from my legal secretary job while also providing the house wife bit? So you had a comfortable place to live when your contruction jobs went soft? A safe base from which you could go out to bars, bowling alleys, race tracks and clubs to have fun, screw and gamble our money away? So you’d have someone to beat up when something pissed you off?

Hey, don’t make that face. Did you think I didn’t know about the affairs? You fucked my best friend Vivian and she finally admitted it because she felt guilty she said. But you Eddie, did you ever feel guilty? Does a rat ever feel guilt? No. It’s not in its nature, nor yours. You’re not just a rat Eddie, you’re a cockroach and I’ve been thinking that it’s time I did something serious about my pest problem. Time I returned the favour for that date rape drug thing, the beatings and my suspicion that little Alfred had help in his crib death.

You’re lying there on the floor beside the couch and wondering why you can hear what I’m saying to you but you can’t get up. It’s really quite simple: you’re having a heart attack. OK I’ll admit to having helped it along by playing with your prescriptions but you won’t be blabbing to anyone about that. That’s why I became a pharmacist after quitting the legal profession; this is so much more fun. There was no point seeking redress through legal channels, you’d eaten us out of house and home back when and even if you went to jail you’re the type that would just ooze through the bars to walk the streets again.

I’m sure you wondered why I invited you back into my life after all these years but you couldn’t resist a free B&B and you’d always considered me stupid, all evidence to the contrary. I have to thank you for accepting my invitation to come in out of the cold for old times sake. A softy, me, right? An easy mark, that’s me again. Oh you ignorant, vile, murderous imbecile, Eddie. I made it my life’s goal, after I got rid of you, to get even with you. No, not exactly even, just one step further. I felt I owed you that much.

What’s that you’re saying? You want me to call an ambulance? Oh but I will, I promise. That’s all part of the plan. I just want to watch you die in pain and agony first, is that too much to ask? What? I didn’t get that but I’ll assume you said that you understand completely. Thanks Eddie for agreeing to help me fulfill my lifelong ambition. I’m going to sit by the fireplace, have a glass of our favorite wine and watch you die.

Here’s to us, Eddie. I’ll forgive you when I see you in hell you bastard.

Dialogue with a Teacher

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

“I would be a catalyst for change, a change agent.”
“Why?” She asked, her back to me. She seemed to be staring at something beyond the horizon only she could see.
“Why?” I replied, “It’s this world, Teacher; it breaks my heart.”
“So you would change it then?”
“Yes.”
“You understand how change happens, do you not?”
“I think so… but there are so many ways…”
“No! Not if you desire good change. Yes, many ways to bring about change that nurtures unhappiness, misery and endless grief. But the good change, how do you make that come about?”
“I do not know… I simply do not know how.”
“Very well. I am going to reveal some ancient wisdom to you, then you will understand though it may change your mind about being a change agent. Have you ever fallen in love with someone? Ever been so in love that nothing else mattered?”
“Yes I have been, long, long ago.”
“Can you recall your feelings of that time?”
“Somewhat, yes. Pure madness!”
“Madness yes, but all good change comes from that sort of madness. Life proceeds from that madness. Children are born because of it. Now for the great secret but first you get one guess: where does this madness originate? What is its genesis?”
“Trick question, Teacher? I honestly do not know.”
“Such a seed can only be found in one place in the entire universe: in your heart. You must mine for it, extract it, grind and polish it, love it above everything else, desire it more than anything else then give it out freely and completely to the world you wish to see change come about in.
“Know this, that once you give it away you must die. You know the truth of it, “unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it will not produce fruit.” You were taught this when only a child and you remember that lesson. Of all the lesser teachings you received from your tribal parents and teachers, you kept this one and one other.
“Now remember this also, my Avatar, there are many ways to die. Dying is easy but there is only one way to live: with compassion through complete detachment. You understand?”
“Yes Teacher, I do understand.”
“Does it make you want to change your mind?”
I was very slow in answering her, not because I was unsure about my choices but because the moment was so charged with “sacred” energy. I suppose she would have said my reply was predictable.
“On the contrary, Teacher, this is an affirmation. As to that second lesson you alluded to, I remember it well also…”small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
“Be sure to remain on it.”

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #17

[begin blog post #17]

‘And what’s your name fellah?  I’ll call you Blacky.  That will do.’  He does not read thoughts at all so I don’t have to do the ‘white noise’ thing with him.  The centering trumpet blows.  I move across from where he should be but he does not move.  The handlers have to come back and push him to stance.  Could they not have taught him that much?  We wait, my sword raised up, his he holds tight across his midriff with one hand, the blade over his left shoulder.  He’s mocking proceedings, that’s it.  Showing he despises not just me but all of Hyrete, all of Elbre.  A roll of drums is followed by three trumpets announcing the beginning.  My heart gives a loud thump and I get ready to… do what?

He does not move.  I have to attack him but I know it’s the play dumb trap.  He wants to decapitate me at the first move.  ‘Good luck Blacky and take this.’  I lunge at him only to be parried with a lighting move.  Ahah, now we fight?  I whirl and lunge again, a bit higher and to his left.  He has a little more difficulty but also parries my blade easily.  Now comes the really tough part.  I have to make him chase me.  But he knows that game and won’t move.  Damn.  I have to buzz him like a fly then.  Jab, thrust, jump back, turn, move in.  I may as well be fighting our wooden man in the compound for all the reaction I get for my efforts – except that the wooden man doesn’t have a lightning fast reaction to my thrusts. 

The only way I can get him to move is to make him angry.  For that I must cut him, make him bellow, shame him.  I know some tricks.  I come at him full front as if I’m going to throw myself in his arms.  His sword is still across his chest.  I feint a stab at his throat, he parries but neither I nor my sword are there.  I dive under his blade and sliding my sword down in rapid motion cut a slash down his thigh then jump back on a low crouch while his blade passes over me with an angry vibrating whine.  I feel the displacement of air.  That was too close.

The mosquito has drawn blood and now he’s going to try to swat me.  Of course, being a female mosquito I can’t leave now.  I need a full belly of blood to reproduce.  I stare at his face and when he finally looks at me I smile, then laugh softly.  I have to anger him and get him to move or I’ll be so tired I will become a sitting duck for him.  ‘Come on big boy, chase me.  Think of that juicy female meat you want to cook and eat.  Did they promise you could barbecue me in your snake pit wherever they be keeping you?’  He knows I’m teasing him but can’t understand.  But at least I’ve got him moving.  His sword is slashing through the air as he comes for me.  I stand still until he commits himself to aim for my neck and duck, spin and cut him across the back before he can turn. 

Now comes the bellow!  He literally charges at me, flailing the sword, throwing up sand.  I dance in front of him, my breasts bouncing slightly.  That seems to enrage him even more.  I raise my arms above my head, holding the sword as if it were a dagger, pointing at his chest and continue to dance back, watching.  This is dangerous: I don’t know his moves yet, or if he has any more to display.  He sees this slim female body completely exposed and lunges low.  I hadn’t expected that and barely escape the heart jab followed by a cutting swath.  I jump as high as I can – and damn that soft sand to hell – turning and throwing myself down and just out of reach.  I’m still fresh and not cut.  His own cuts are superficial but I can tell he is becoming truly enraged, dangerous now.

Seems all he knows of fighting hand to hand is with killing blows.  No feints, no skill, no finessing around.  He approaches me as if I were no more of a challenge than a fence post.  I’ll have to trust my intuition on that and offer him more tantalizing openings and feints.  I continue to tease, following through after his predictable jab and swing, and cutting him a little each time.  So much like a bull, I feel I’m a toreador, as much as I despise that particular “sport” of Túat Har. 

I’m totally into the fighting now, dancing, enjoying the feel of breeze and sweat on my skin, feeling the sword in my hands as it becomes more a part of me with each stroke, the carefully crafted handle absorbing the sweat from my hands, keeping them dry and the grip firm.  At this moment you’d think I was the one bred to be a fighter.  Well maybe I was, in some distant other life?

Yes, I remember that one.  In what was called Nippon, later Japan, C-14 Old Earth, I learned how to use the famous Samurai sword then, and what a deadly weapon that was.  I was a woman then too, a Geisha in training, and what I did was considered immoral.  When they discovered my secret I was forced to commit seppuku with the very sword I’d used to fight men and kill men while defending a women’s compound from slavers and head hunters.  If remembrances are good for anything, this is as good a time as any to incarnate my ancient skills.  May they serve as well today as they did then.  I was able to save the lives of a dozen women that night so long ago, but not my own.  Now I can even that score and save my own life.

From mosquito I’ve become the wasp.  I buzz around him, seeking to sting, for the wasp is not bound to one sting.  She can bite over and over and my sword sings when it connects with his.  I pull back, draw him out, swing to draw his eyes away from mine, then whirl, pulling the sword tight against my body to present hardly any target.  When he lunges I use his great weight against him, going with the thrust, letting him believe he’s got me only to roll around and cut again.  This time deep in the right thigh, a real cut.  The blood pours out freely.  He turns to look at the damage and I get him across the forehead, bringing blood into the eyes.  He raises his arm to wipe his eyes and I swing with all my strength at the exposed wrist, cutting off the left hand. 

From then its just finishing strokes.  When he is finally down I raise my sword to the crowd to ask for mercy for their fallen champion.  He could still live.  No mercy is forthcoming and I kill him, turn and walk to the end of the ring to be escorted back to the compound. 

As is customary and absolutely necessary, I inventory the damage done to my body.  In these fights the adrenaline runs so high we often overlook many severe cuts or other damage.  My damage?  A blister and broken toenail that’s bleeding.  ‘Well Blacky, wherever you go I hope for your sake you don’t ever underestimate a woman again.  It’s not healthy.  Size, speed and the ability to roar does not a fighter make.’ 

[end blog post #17]

Antierra Manifesto-blog post #16

Chapter 9 – The Young Trainee

“What do we really know of love?  Mostly by all the ways by which it has never been demonstrated, however often defined.” (Voice from the Other Side – Sha’Tara)

So pass a couple of years between training and killing in the arena.  Rarely is there a change unless it’s some sort of punishment, usually when handlers and trainers feel a need for some gratuitous entertainment or think it’s time to assert their authority over us. 

One day a work gang of male and female slaves enter our compound to make superficial repairs to one of the towers.  An older fighter interrupts her training to watch these naked skeletons walk by and is unfortunately noticed by a trainer.  He blows a whistle and everybody stops dead, dropping their weapons.

Two trainers and a handler run along our line-up and grab the fighter.  She does not resist as they take her to the post.  She is dreadfully silent as they flog her to death before not only the fighters but the other slaves.  It is obvious to me they did this just to show their power, not for us but for the worker slaves. 

On another day, some two years after this event and while training I am unofficially and illegally challenged to a sparring match by a handler, not a trainer.  I immediately notice he is high on chakr.  This is not supposed to happen.  The overseer, other handlers, guards even trainers are supposed to intervene immediately and send me to my cage.  Nothing of the sort happens.  They just watch to see what will come of this.  I begin by just defending myself, blocking his blows and slowly giving ground to his attacks, not wanting to provoke some kind of outbreak of violence against myself or the other women. 

There is no protocol for his attack, nor for my response to it.  I wait for him to tire out but the chakr keeps him going.  I wait for my feelings to kick in and they do.  I get angry.  I have a coarse, basic staff made of a very tough hardwood but with with no metal caps, extender or pike end.  Still it is my favourite weapon and I know how to use it in many ways I have seldom demonstrated either in training or in fighting, saving them for the day when surprises are needed.  He holds a top of the line professional fighting staff, complete with spiked end and extender.

Undoubtedly, even if he is no great fighter he has a tremendous advantage.  He must have secured permission to attack me and I know this is to the death.  All the other fighters are standing still, watching this strange match.  I parry his blows as expertly as I know how but I need to attack to tire him out.  Time now to effect some of those “surprise” moves with my staff.  I block one of his blows and strike him hard on the shoulder.  He grins, the chakr now in full force and he can’t feel the pain.  He charges again and again.  I block, waiting, watching for the sudden spring of the extender and trying to knock the staff from his hands.  I aim at his hands time and again, connect twice and break fingers.  He’s still fully under the influence of the drug and coming at me.  I slip under his guard and jab him in the heart.  He stumbles and I strike him viciously across his right hip.  He collapses on the stones and I move to back away.  But the overseer comes over to me and says,

“You, gora, kill challenger or die!”  So I kill him, crushing his skull with a vicious side sweep that brings the end of my staff behind his ear.  It penetrates the skull.  No choice for me, and no reason to choose otherwise if there had been choice given.  For I know he would have recovered and challenged another woman to a fight, choosing a weaker one, probably a young trainee next time.  I did what I had to do.

I wait for certain punishment by flogging for killing a man outside a prescribed combat.  Nothing happens.  Four fighters are ordered to take the male body inside one of the huts and they return, wash blood from their hands and we are told to wash and eat.

I never found out what that was about.  Best guess, some kind of private vendetta, or debt owed that involved a bet made on my ability to defend myself in a non-conforming situation.  Oh well, I’m not a king’s concubine, common expression among fighters.

That night I have another young trainee ‘lover’ in my cage, a new arrival.  This tells me someone is pleased with the results of the fight.  Go figure… or not. 

My reputation as a fighter keeps growing with the consequences that gamblers are pulling back on betting against me.  But you can’t say these men are without imagination.  I need more challenge and they find one for me.  A giant black man captured beyond their deep desert in a coaching sweep for military cadets, has been secretly trained as a challenger and this I’m told is what I must fight.  When I see him I understand the term ‘giant’ in relative terms.  Indeed, he stands a full head and a half over me and is easily twice my weight.  His legs are more like tree trunks than legs and the muscles on his arms ripple when he flexes.  Ouch.  I’d much rather make love to this one than fight him.  And even that could be painful.  He’s well hung as they say.  Now I have to kill him.  Pity.

He chooses the double handed sword and when he sees me and realizes I’m his fighter, the comprehension slowly showing on his face, he squints his eyes and sniffs the air like a bull, letting out a bellow.  Fortunately they have a neuro-restraint screwed to his head and they control him by remote.  He yells in a deep basso voice, “Female!  Arghhhh!  Give me real fight.  Give me man to kill.  Female!”  He spits on the ground and spittle spatters on his wide hairless chest.  “Kill, cook and eat that, I do.”  He points at me.  “This is dishonour!” 

He stomps the ground and it shakes.  His six handlers point lasguns at him and explain it simply:  “Fight female or we cut off penis and balls.”  Then they emphasize by pressing the remote.  He slumps down into a whimpering mass, shaking.

“I fight female.”  They ‘release’ him and he stands groggily, shaking his massive head.  I’ve changed my mind about the making love thing.  I don’t think that would work.  I’ll fight him.  How do you fight a tree?  I remember an old friend of Earth who’d say, “Use a chainsaw.”  For whatever reason I can’t get serious about this encounter and the image of using a chainsaw on this creature amuses me.  Perhaps because of his ignorant bravado about killing, cooking and eating.  We’ll see who does the killing.  I’ll pass on the cooking and eating – I’m vegetarian after all.

The next morning sees me going through the standard practice of having my fighter meal alone at one of the long tables.  Our current overseer who is called Dalton comes to me and indicates he’s put his money on me. 

“Win this one, slave, and I give you a special treat.  There is young trainee here will be very good for you.  My gift.  You win this fight.  I buy boy for son, need money to pay and get house and concubine too, understand?”

“I win this fight for you sir.  Thank you for gift.”  And I add sotto voce, “I deeply thank you for your confidence, for betting on me.”

The meal over I am splashed with the usual cold water and escorted, shivering and shaking, by two handlers through the cold tunnel and into the entrance to the arena.  I take my sword from the hands of the red-robed weapons judge, turn and walk to the center of the ring.  The plasma lighting is throwing a little heat and with the sun just rising over the battlements my teeth stop rattling.  Why must they insist on giving us that water treatment before a fight particularly?  Stupid is as stupid does!

The challenger arrives a few moments later.  He is in restraints and surrounded by six handlers with lasers charged.  He refuses to look at me and looks down as they remove the restraints and hand him his weapon.  Then they escort him to the center of the ring to face me.  Only now does he look at me and if hate could kill I’d be below the sand.  He doesn’t see my nude female attractiveness.  What does he see?  Something he’s bred to hate.  A female fighter: more than an anomaly – an impossibility; a female who dares oppose a man.  Something to be crushed, destroyed.  A pollutant, that’s what he sees.

His handlers take a couple of steps back from him.  He hefts the sword as if it was a twig.  Not the least effort in holding it; as if he doesn’t even know it’s in his hands.  But he knows.  I know he knows.  Part of his pea-brain is open to me.  He’s trying to look dumb but he’s more than he looks.  This is a different kind of challenge, something I’m not at all familiar with.  Should prove interesting.  How fast can I run in reverse?  If I’m to win this I have to take him down ‘branch by branch’ as topping and de-branching a tree before you cut it at the stump. 

[end blog post #16]

Detachment to Life

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

“I’ve always felt that what we are taught of detachment at home is an illusion.  I think the ancients know this too, but let us discover it on our own.  They equip us to go with a story that makes sense only until it is tested.  A truly detached ISSA*, seems to me, at this point at least, is an oxymoron.”  (Antierra monologue speaking of her teachings on detachment while on her home world of Altaria – Antierra Manifesto)

Once the basics of one Earthian incarnation have been experienced – surviving, satisfying desires, experimenting with physical senses, what’s left but death, or entering upon a quest for the greater meaning of Life as a self aware being? 

If one chooses “death” which to me means going on repeating experiences pointlessly, then that’s that.  If one chooses the quest, there has to be a sure way to enter into that which guarantees one will not fall back into such silly behaviour as being a sports fan, chasing the opposite gender for sexual gratification, “making” money, hating, fighting, killing then dying to find out it was all a chimera.

Seems to me the way to freedom is opened through detachment.  What keeps us enslaved to the wheel of the System is an array of attachments each one justifying and strengthening the other. It behooves us therefore to relinquish all our attachments to the things this world offers more as bait than as satisfaction (since none ever completely satisfy, and that should be a very broad hint). 

OK, so I want to learn the meaning of Life, not just the meaning (if there be any) of one little incarnation on this little world but the meaning of Life as expressed through an infinite and timeless cosmos: that meaning! Only a free being can ever hope to enter into such a quest.  Attachments are all those things, big and small, that translate as chains, shackles, stanchions, locks, doors, walls, perimeters, limits that take one to termination.  In this situation, death becomes the final attachment. 

Before one tackles the difficult concept of death, one should consider the pattern of lesser attachments that enslave us to our body and its world and how we are connected to the pattern.  As long as a single attachment remains unexplored and connected, death remains the final enigma. Yet unless one can know all about death, even if the words to describe this certainty do not exist, the quest for Life remains closed.  Death was invented to create the impression that there is no such thing as “Life” as an infinite concept; that “Life” had been conquered. All attachments are lies and death is the final and greatest lie of all when living under attachments.

How then does one person achieve a place of total detachment?  As said above, it isn’t easy.  To my heroine (granted she is under extreme stress in that part of the story) it seems impossible.  But nothing is impossible! Impossible is just another attachment!

Detachment, once decided upon, comes through self empowerment.  All my choices are mine and I take full responsibility for the results.  Sure, there will remain many little itches of attachments, like cold sniffles or skin blemishes, but my immune system is self empowerment and that is how I heal myself, as much and as many times as it takes.  I learn not to repeat stupid or pointless moves. I learn to be satisfied with an experience that I know will not improve the more I do it. 

Prayers will not be answered with greater alacrity or better overall results.  Hockey games won’t improve. TV won’t demonstrate a higher level of intelligence. Cigarettes or booze won’t taste better. Crossing borders won’t become easier or safer and sex… well I think we all know the answer to that one.

I learn not to waste my time on the treadmill or the merry-go-round and I learn to use that salvaged time to better my understanding.  If I have any problem on how to direct this new understanding, I cradle it within compassion thus guaranteeing a successful continuation to the quest I am on.

Yes Antierra, it is possible to become totally detached.  You have to learn to take the broader view of the concept.    

*ISSA: acronym for intelligent, sentient, self aware