Category Archives: fiction

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #25

[perhaps I should have explained at the beginning that Chapter titles do not indicate endings for blog posts.  One chapter can contain several blog posts. For example this post begins with a chapter title that will make sense only in the next blog post…]

[begin blog post #25]

Chapter 12 – The Dark Sun; a Few Explanations

“We owe each other some serious explanations, I think,”  says the doctor.

“Yes sir.”  I return to my subservient mode as a precaution to this conversation.  I cannot forget how the last one ended and I have Deirdre to worry about now.

“Look, you don’t need to take that subservient tone with me now.”  He says as he feels my reluctance and fear of his changing moods.  “I know I must do more than apologize for striking you but see, I’ve been on this world so long I’ve taken on some of its patterns within myself.  I have great difficulty fighting back the terrible disease of this place.  On this world, women are ectohormonal all the time.  That creates sexual lust beyond any male’s power to assimilate.  Because of the social taboos on sex, the repression results in a deadly combination of fear, anger and violent hatred towards the females.  As an anthropologist, I came here in part to identify and isolate the source of it but I have had no success, rather the opposite.  This world is dragging me down with it.

“I hated myself for striking you, and for having sex with you without asking, yet another part of me said that to do less under the circumstances was to deny my manhood and my rights.  I could not allow a woman to flaunt her power, any kind of power, over me.  I reacted as any normal male would react here.  Basically, from the programming here, you were the one responsible for me striking you in anger and hate.  If you are asked a direct question, you must answer immediately and truthfully at all times.  Never try to shrug it off, that shows disrespect and truly enrages men.

“Love-hate, love-hate.  It bangs in our head, hearts and loins all the time.  It’s not so bad if we can avoid contact with females, but it rages the closer we get to one.  Utterly irrational feelings arise and boil over into emotional outbursts.  But at least I am able to demonstrate to you that I am still somehow different? 

“After I sent you out I came in this place and got totally, disgustingly drunk!  I remained in here for two days without food or washing until my Cydroid servants brought me out and restored me to some semblance of sanity.  I hate this place…”

“Doctor, why did you call your people “Cydroids” and not androids?”

“Ah that, well, I cannot explain now.  Why don’t I let the Cydroids themselves explain it all to you later?  Just think of them as androids if that makes it easier for you until it is explained properly.  Now, Antierra, I want you to speak to me freely, as an equal.  At the moment my mind is free and as long as the Cholradil is with us you are safe.  She seems to provide a dampening cushion to this world’s energies.”  And with a sudden change of tone, almost beseeching for forgiveness, he asks,   “Do you object I had sex with her?  Please answer me as a person to a person.”

What an unexpected question!  “There is no jealousy in me in that respect.  In fact I think it was a very good thing for her.  I think the Cholradil is equipped to do this with any number of men and women without arousing more than surface jealousy in others.  When she is with me, she is not with anyone else.  However she is not immune to jealousy in herself.  There are human feelings there also.”

“I found the same to be true.  When we made love she was entirely mine, even with you lying but a few meters away in the auto-medic.  She is a fascinating creature: there seem to be few contradictions in her mind.”

 

“Isn’t it strange, doctor, that we speak of her as if she wasn’t here, listening to us speak?” 

“Watch her.”  He makes me notice Deirdre in a new light.  “She isn’t really listening to our conversation.  Notice her expressions.  She is in full empath mode searching your body for any weakness the auto-medic may have missed.  She can hear us, of course, but our conversation is meaningless to her because it doesn’t concern her personally.  Cholradils do not care what others think of them as a general rule.  They exist on separate neural pathways of emotion-feeling.  She would make an interesting case study on my world.”

“On your world, doctor?  So I was right in thinking that you and your Cydroids are not from T’Sing Tarleyn but actually from another world; another planet?  You have just made the statement I was hoping to hear from you.  If you are not from here, then you must have the means to leave this place, a ship?  Could you maybe consider getting her to your world, or at least off this one and onto some safe place?  I don’t know if you are aware of her predicament: Cholradils cannot fight.  They cannot hurt others for when they do, they feel the full impact of it within their own minds and suffer even more than the other.  Consequently doctor, she cannot fight.  Her first arena combat is a sentence of violent torture and death for her.”

“I was aware of that, yes, but thank you for the reminder.  Antierra, I would like to help both of you.  The Cydroids take the trip to our home world fairly regularly and taking her on the ship would not be a great burden.  Travel there incurs only a little over six months of transit time debt.  The real problem is getting her admitted to our world.  She may be refused entry, in which case what can the Cydroids do with her?  They must land before they can return here.  If they land her illegally she will be put in cryogenic freeze unless I can somehow guarantee some sort of refugee status for her.  Our world does not, as yet, have any clear policy on granting such status to off-world aliens.  Our ability to travel space is relatively new and harboring refugees from other worlds has not been needed or considered to date. 

“Taking Deirdre there would be to put her at the mercy of pure goodwill unless it could be demonstrated that this Cholradil is a paragon of intellectual prowess.  If that were the case, no problem.  She would become an instant celebrity in our society.  Our fledgling World Court ( which I helped establish before I posted myself to this world) would accept her without question.

“There is another, most obvious and more pressing problem before us: getting her out of this compound alive and without endangering the lives of many others, mostly innocent bystanders if there is an escape.  You know how they react to their security being breached here.

“For me there is also a personal aspect to this venture.  If you want me to seriously consider taking such a risk for you and the Choradil I must insist on a fair exchange for my costs and troubles.  You will owe me something in return.  You will have to tell me exactly and truthfully who you are and what you are doing here, as well as how you got here – I want the real story.  Further to that you must agree to join with us whatever be the cost to you personally.  Can I hold you to that?”

[end blog post #25]

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #25

[begin blog post #24]

When I come to, and I must admit I’m surprised they didn’t just kill me for the satisfaction of the crowd out there in the arena, I’m lying on a flat, hard surface and what I first see are the faces of the doctor and Deirdre staring at me.  At first I think I’m having a PDE (Post Death Encounter) of latent images.  Then I hear them talking and I pick up a whiff of disinfectant.  I’m truly still alive!

The room I’m in looks strange by any standard.  The ceiling is low, curved and full of recessed lights.  At my feet are pulsing blue-green lights around an opening that resembles an ancient short-range shuttle auto-medic.  I’m wrapped tightly in some kind of tensor bandage with only parts of my face showing.  I detect a familiar humming sound.  And I realize, almost ecstatically, that for the first time in months I feel no physical pain beyond a slight throbbing at the temples.  What a blessed relief!

“Do you recognize where you are?” the doctor asks me.  His voice comes from a great distance and moves in and out.  But I understand him.

“No sir.” I reply, my voice weak and throaty.  I realize my throat is parched and motion with my mouth.  Deirdre brings me a pink coloured drink in a clear crystal-like goblet with a folding tube from which I suck the liquid.  After she removes it, she applies a wet cloth to my lips, removes it and kisses me!  The witch!  Tears form in my eyes.  How good it is to be alive at this moment!  And loved.

And I continue answering the doctor, “But I should know.  Those lights and sound are those of an auto-medic unit as used on ancient short range crafts we called Jump Scouts, the kind used by the United Treaty Worlds.”

“I don’t know anything about United Treaty Worlds but you are correct, this is from an alien spacecraft, yes, we have ascertained that.  But we are not in space, just a few yards from my room.  This medical unit was obviously cannibalized from an abandoned or disabled alien space craft perhaps hundreds of years ago.  It was entombed here, we do not know by whom, nor why it is here but it has been used by my people as com center, first aid medic facility and safe house on many occasions since we have been studying this world. 

“That we know, no one else on this world besides the three of us here and the Cydroids you saw previously know of this facility.”

Cydroids?  Ah, he probably means the androids.  Of course!  A beep sounds and the lights by my feet at the opening into the auto-medic change from a pulsing blue to a steady red.  The doctor consults his watch-chrono.

“It’s time again.  I’m going to send you into the auto-medic for a deeper scan and some preliminary bone repair.  You will be returned in thirty-five minutes for my inspection.  Meanwhile I must decide what to do with your friend Deirdre.”

“Please don’t hurt her!”  I try to scream as the stretcher I am strapped upon retracts into the glowing tube.  The end seals itself shut just behind my head and white noise or white light or both, fill my brain.

In a moment of timeless eternity I awaken once more in the land of the living.  I’m no longer in bandages but still lying on the retractable “gurney”.  Deirdre helps me up and the doctor actually hands me a gown.  It’s been so long since I wore any clothing, I’m almost embarrassed to put it on, as if wearing clothes is committing an act of indecency.  Deirdre is also wearing a short black dress and sports a comical perplexed expression as she fingers the flimsy material as if she wanted to tear it off of herself.  She has never worn a dress, or any kind of clothing in her entire life!  It would seem strange, indeed.  To her it must seem as if she were attired as a male.

She does not seem hurt in any way and with my full senses returned I know she is not hurt.  In fact I sense some kind of new energy from her.  I know the doctor has made love to her – I can smell it on her – and I know that she has made a deep impression upon him with her sexual skills and empathic personality.  He likes her and I like the connection made thus, a connection that I plan to use in time, in whatever time I am given.

After I sit at the doctor’s small table Deirdre serves me some food concoction that tastes beyond delicious, whatever it is, on a real plate and with utensils!

Here I am, sitting at a table, eating with cutlery, not wolfing coarse food down with hands and fingers from a bowl.  I’m wearing clothes, my body clean and free of physical pain and putting my hand to my hair, I feel that it has been washed and cut into a pageboy style.  Deirdre again.  My sweet lover cuddles against me and the man whom I’d feared, sitting across from the small fibresteel table watching me, is now most certainly my life saver.  And a fleeting smile plays across his beautiful face. 

We used to say, ‘wonders never cease’ and indeed it’s true.  They never do.  We go through life after life, experiencing the flow of the All-Thing and we are forever renewed by being pushed into new experiences by choices made by others, or choose our paths through our own creative thinking.  The best is when all of it works in harmony, but that is a rare thing.   

The doctor looks at me and smiles.  “You are truly a beautiful woman when you take care of yourself now huh!?”  Question?  Statement?  A joke?  Yes, my doctor makes a joke and the smile returns.  This man is full of surprises.

Daringly I ask him, “How do you know the girl’s actual name, doctor?”

“She came to me feigning a knee injury while you were in the fight.  She told me everything you and she talked about.  She told me about the name-giving rite you performed with her and said you needed to speak to me, which suited me fine because I need to speak to you also.  And she was emphatic in claiming that you would need my full attention when the fight was over because you would be mortally wounded.  She knew!  When I asked her how she could know this she just shrugged and told me she couldn’t say.

“But then I figured it out, of course.  This creature is a throw-back, a Cholradil.  She possesses the mind-set of an ancient race that inhabited these parts around a hundred thousand years ago, according to old writings.  I got that impression when I touched her body looking for the knee injury.  It is said that their responses to touch is somewhat like contacting a static charge.”

I look him straight in the eyes and let mine convey the thoughts in my mind.  ‘I owe you for not punishing the girl and I owe you the debt of life also,’ I think as I stare into his broad face, now more beautiful than ever to me, ‘yet I have a terrible favour to ask of you and must risk your anger once more.’  There is a quizzical look on his face.  He knows I’m speaking to him but cannot understand.  He is not telepathic, or if he is, he uses a different thought patterning.  It’ll have to be openly verbal then.

The time has arrived for real questions and real answers.  Now I must know; this charade between us must end.  

[end blog post #24]

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #23

(Sorry, missed one scheduled posting day!)

begin blog post #23]

So now what?  Unless I make some terrible mistake in the arena, I am certain to outlive her.  She will never survive a first encounter.  How am I going to save her life? 

And at that moment the true purpose of my chosen experience on this world returned to me.  I did not incarnate on Malefactus to save her life.  Or any other individual’s life.  I came to uncover a particularly insidious deviation and discover the source of it.  I came to introduce the “anti-virus” that would break its hold on the male population by spreading the Teaching among the women. 

Tiegli, Deirdre, even the doctor; all those others I’ve met, known; those who help me and those I help are points of reference I create so I am reminded to distinguish between the various interplays of forces vying for the life of this world.  So I don’t get lost and become just another woman fighting to stay alive against impossible odds.  I must remember the difference between compassion and love… yes, and hate.  I must remember exactly why I am here and beware the feelings I’ve allowed to dominate my mind lately.

Compassion certainly carries heavy responsibility and often seemingly impossible choices.  I know the above to be true according to my lessons.  I also know it is impossible for me to not attempt to save Deirdre, not only because I love her in every possible sense, but because I know I can make that process fit in with my stated purpose.  Now I must find someone willing to help me but before I do that, I must have some kind of plan as to where she should go.  One thing is certain, she must leave Hyrete, perhaps Elbre, but to where?  Her branding will always bring her back unless she can completely disappear.  The only process available to a female to disappear on Malefactus is death.

Can I talk to the doctor about this?  Would I dare?  I must find a way that will bring us together again.  I know I failed to demonstrate the proper degree of subservience to him in our last encounter.  I know he is dangerous but I sense he is intrigued by me and wants more information from me.  The only way I know of to meet with him again is to be severely, possibly mortally, wounded in an arena fight.  The most difficult part of such an obviously dumb plan is to prevent Deirdre from intervening. 

My next fight is scheduled in two days.  This may be the most serious encounter I’ve ever had.  The opponent is a “drook” as the fighters call all mercenaries who fight for money.  I’ve fought some before but this one has an unbroken record of kills in over thirty fights, most of them against female gladiators in public matches, some involving several female attackers at the same time.  A mercenary, as the name implies, is paid by certain people to represent them in a fight.  A match between the Desert Beast and such a one would certainly give rise to unusual gambling fever.  This is going to be more than a spectacular fight – it’s going to be a high-end money maker.  One of us, of course, will die, must die.

Before I enter the fight I explain to Deirdre that I must see the doctor afterwards and if I’m badly wounded to let the trainers take me to him.  “Do not interfere or offer to help me.  Pretend to be angry at me, or to be sick, whatever it takes, but you must not interfere, understand?  I cannot tell you my reasons now so you must trust me.”

She displays an uncharacteristic flash of Malefactian female jealous anger, something I have never seen in her, controls it quickly and agrees.  I know it’s the slave to master controlling force that brings her to agree, not a personally motivated choice.  Nevertheless I have a commitment.  Then she extends her hand to me and in it is a small orange cube the size of a sugar cube.  I take the gel-like item and roll it in my fingers.  I hold it to my nose – there is no smell from it. 

“Take it and bite through it then swallow it slowly.”  So matter of fact, so cold; I shudder at the change in her.

“What is it Deirdre?”

“A stim cube, a completely synthetic hyper-stim sex-slaves often share with their partners, especially in orgies.  It will give you the energy the chakr normally gives without the side effects.  You will need this.”

How did she get that?  I won’t ask her, certainly not now.  I sincerely and warmly thank her and bite through the substance.  It tastes bland but as I swallow it in bits I can feel its effects almost immediately.  I feel a degree of confidence rising in me.  The world looks different, the day promising.

“Why don’t they give us this all the time, Deirdre?”  I ask, trying to sound light-hearted.

“It is not made here, she replies sullenly, meaning what, I wonder.  On Malefactus?  Or in the kingdom of Tassard?  She explains briefly, “It must be imported and costs a great deal of money.  They trade a female slave for a small box of those,” she points to the piece still in my hand with her long beautiful fingers that carry so much soothing power.  I want to reach out to her.

She has withdrawn within herself and looks at the ground as we part without kiss or hug.  Her sense of helplessness is palpable and my sadness as great as any I’ve yet known.  Not an auspicious way to enter a life and death struggle in the arena.  I clear my mind and begin the focusing breath as we walk through the now too familiar tunnel with its dampness and muted lighting.  One of the trainers fondles me as we walk.  I have to stop to let him do his thing then accommodate the other as well.  I put no energy at all in it and carry on as soon as they are done.  At least this much is good: they had no other expectations either.  They just wanted to be able to say they were the last to have the Desert Beast if I died in the arena, the chances of it being bandied at ten to one against me they gloat to my face, also telling me they put their money on the drook.  Are they trying to cheer me up?  These men, you gotta love ‘em.  Some of them are lower than dungut.

This time the arena is full to capacity and the noise from the crowd is deafening.  Sun and plasma tube lights contribute to the excitement in the atmosphere.  The usual garish display of dress is almost oppressive.  Flags of House Tassard are flying everywhere, flapping in a stiff breeze from some ocean I can sometimes smell but will never see.  Trumpets and drums blare and boom some harsh military type “music” that assaults the ears. 

All of that fanfare and ostentatious display just to watch two humans fight to the death.

High in the sky vultures circle.  Always the vultures are there.  So now I understand.  This is what they do with our female bodies, or what remains of them, when they truck them off from the compounds.  They toss them out into the open desert for the vultures to pick clean and the bones to crumble into the sand or be eroded by the sand-filled winds.  That is why the vultures circle over us.  Conditioning: a fight means they will eat at the end of the day.  They have learned that we are part of their food chain.

The fight is done with the rapier-dagger combination.  We wear only the short skirt armour and smooth light helmet held on with a chin strap.  We engage without words and without mercy.  Hours that seem like days go by.  We are allowed a few breaks to drink and throw water on ourselves to wash some of the blood off, then return to our center place to continue.  After several hours both of us are covered in clotted blood, dirt and sand but still no disabling cut has been received or given.  We hear each other’s panting breath, like animals that have been pursued by a predator too long.  We are tiring.

By now we know each-other’s every move.  We are as evenly matched a pair as could be found.   Only a mistake can give one or the other the advantage.  We look for them, or attempt to create them. I want this to end because I can feel that my energy will run out before his does.  I take a deadly gamble by pulling out my dagger and deliberately fumbling it.  A look of triumph comes on his face as he thrusts at me, pulling his own dagger out for the killing throw.  I take his sword thrust in my right side, absorbing the pain of a certain death blow while completing the full-force counter slash I had begun to execute, cutting off his dagger arm just below the shoulder and embedding my sword in his torso.  

We both collapse in the bloody sand and before I pass out I see a couple of trainers run on the field to drag my body away and medics in their typical white tunics carrying a stretcher to pick up the fallen drook who will no longer fight even if he survives this day.  For me it’s welcome blackness.

[end blog post #23]

Blog-battle Short Story

I’ve decided to participate in a “blog battle” at  https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/blogbattle-loss/   The subject for February is “Loss”, the story a 1000 words, give or take a few, and be posted by the end of the month.  The creator, Rachael Ritchie, will use this blog post link to join this story with others or so I understand.  I had to post the story (my story) so that is why you are seeing it here.  It’s short and my might enjoy it. It’s of my favorite short story theme: encounter, love, loss, redemption and fulfillment.


The Moon, Anali and Hope
 [short story by  ~Sha’Tara~ ]

She had made a decision, a choice.  She’d stopped watching the news one day, then she’d left the church.  She walked out of her parents’ home some time after that and took the bus to a smaller town up into the valley.  She rented a tiny apartment and found a job at the local library cleaning up and re-arranging the children’s section, and as general go-for. 

Anali asked herself, was it all just an impulse? No.  It was, she thought, her destiny, and destiny should be honored. 

Destiny, then, brought her to meet Charlie.  He swept the sidewalks and collected garbage for the town.  A charity job, perhaps, but one that needed doing.  Charlie was considered slow, and definitely abnormal as he thought everybody was a friend and never got angry or upset at anyone.  Anali liked Charlie.  They sat together on a bench by the library on warm sunny days, shaded by a rustling maple tree.  On other days they met at the McDonalds for a coffee and muffin. They didn’t talk much, there was no need for what was developing between them required no words. 

Anali wasn’t bright, and she knew it.  She wasn’t what you’d call pretty and she knew that too.  But she knew she was a human being, and that Charlie was a wonderful human being.  She wasn’t unkind, but Charlie taught her to be more so, more aware of the world around them, and the world’s needs.  Charlie stuttered, and his slowness of speech allowed Anali to keep up and understand him. 

“I feel sadness,” he said to her, “about lost things, and hungry things, and things that have no real home.  I guess I know what that feels like, and maybe that’s how it is, how you learn to feel things.  I can’t fix the world.  No one can do that, only God, and he’s angry at us so he’s not helping.  So, if I want to help I have to be nicer to everyone, and everything.  God will see that and he’ll think, that is a good thing.  And he’ll come down and help us.” 

Anali understood that perfectly. 

Was it just the moonlight?  It seemed to Anali that the moon had been shining every night of June forever, getting larger and larger in the night sky, then hanging out, pale and unwilling to leave the blue sky of morning.  It hung like a pale balloon above the tall, old, dark green cottonwood trees bending over the river, casting shade where fish jumped after low-flying bugs. 

That river was called Hope.  She had no idea why they had called it that, or what the native peoples who had fished its banks had called her, but she thought, Hope was a good name.  When I have my daughter, she thought, I am going to call her Hope, and I’m going to give birth to her on her banks, under the full moon.  Anali was a dreamer, like Charlie.

She’d been sitting silently in the tall grass on the bank of the Hope river when she heard footsteps in the grass of the park above her, then the swishing of a body pushing itself through the tall grasses she was pretending to be hiding in.  She rolled quietly on her back and looked into the blue sky, and the pale moon.  Waiting.  Waiting, and ready.

He cast his tall shadow over her prostrate form and looked down.  Not at her, but in her.  And she knew then that some things are written in the songs of the thrush; the call of the kingfisher; the whisper of the rising mid-day breeze in the willows, but mostly in the path of the moon.  She shielded her eyes and watched him bend down to her, kneeling on the soft earth beside her body.  He stretched himself beside her and she cradled him in her arms.  

Their clothes came off, easily and naturally, without haste or shame and without a word they came together and made love by the Hope river. Anali thought she had reached a place of near perfection.  It would take a while for it to complete itself, but Anali was very patient.

There was a bad accident in town.  Anali didn’t read the papers and she didn’t have a TV but she heard people talk.  She understood why Charlie wasn’t at the bench then, and why she never saw him again. Anali knew about loss, personal loss, and she thought, this too will be all right.

A year or so later, with glowing face and a child in her arms, Anali stood by the banks of the Hope river.  She walked to the edge and holding her own Hope over the waters, let her see her own reflection.  The baby went “oh, oh!”  Across the narrow channel a thrush called.  An otter slipped into the water followed by three playful young.  Two young raccoons stared at her from the top of an old fallen tree trunk, curious, not scared.  

From the pale moon high in the blue sky, Charlie looked down, tears of joy forming on his ghostly face, so Anali pictured it.  She looked up and knew he was there waiting for her and someday they’d be together again.  She smiled and cuddled their baby tighter – so he could feel its warmth through her.  She felt a deep, peaceful happiness.  She’d found her perfection and all was as it should be. 

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #19

[begin blog post #19]

The doctor is not seeing me anymore and when I receive a particularly large wound, she pinches it closed with her long skinny fingers or her mouth in turn, doing so for hours at a time, refusing to let me stir.  I’m sure she saves my life on a couple of occasions by stemming flowing blood from cut arteries.  She always has her braided straw ropes which she makes during the night and hides in the straw bedding, ready to use as tourniquets. 

She is a totally amazing creature, yet seemingly unaware of her special skills, talents and gifts.  She is human, I know, yet she is more, something intangible that motivates her, pushing her to be what she is.   

It is during those long, quiet times when I’m recovering and she sits by me that I tell her stories and build alternate and future lives in her mind.  I speak to her of other worlds where people are not like they are on T’Sing Tarleyn.  I try to explain space travel that allows one to jump instantly between worlds so far apart that it would take several lifetimes of one person to reach, even if he were travelling as fast as a beam of light.  I relate some aspects of my remembered past lives in order to broaden the field of her understanding for I have learned by attempts to interact with most of the people here that beyond their immediate concern for this life, awareness drops into a void.  For them there is nothing beyond death. 

She puzzles deeply over the confusing quality of the lives of the people of Túat Har, of the simplicity of life in the silence of Parnako where the people there communicate exclusively by telepathy; and the fullness of the joy experienced by those who spend time on my “home world” of Altaria.  She asks many questions for which there are no answers, simply because in the living of the questions, she, and only she, can find the answers.  Just as I have to find mine.  I also attempt to explain that aspect of life to her.

How incredibly receptive – and consequently dangerous to herself – she is!  She wants to believe everything I tell her and this frightens me so for I am helpless to protect her from the unknowns her new-found knowledge may bring upon her.  Yet there is no fear at all in her, although she has exposed so much of it in me! 

I fear her utter, totally unconditional love for me, following the dreadful emptiness of her previous life may have made her a bit mad.  And again, I’m probably as wrong as can be in that respect.  The quality of her is such that whenever I think I’ve got her pegged to a certain understanding, or pattern of thought, she moves beyond it, out of my mind’s grasp.

For a while as I got to know her I thought it was simple innocence that made her at the same time utterly one with me and inscrutably fluid to escape any template I made of her mind.  But there are no innocents on Malefactus.  These children raised in crèches know all that is to befall them when they are taken from their questionable childhood safety and sold “into the trade” as slaves.  They are told everything, often even elaborated upon deliberately to frighten them. 

Sometimes in the telling, their bleak future is made even worse than what I’ve described so far.  The viciousness and malice of this society possesses few bounds.  The weak, in whatever form found, have but one purpose: to be exploited and oppressed to the utmost; the very marrow of their lives sucked from them.  So far I have found no redeemable moral values here.  Everything is set up to be cut and dry.  Those who have power will do whatever it takes to keep it, or augment it.  Those who have none, even the little they may think they have will be ripped from their minds, their hearts, their bodies by the most shameless, heartless and cruel ways that can be devised by minds sold into the concept of evil.  Along with her strange nature my young friend shows many signs of having been thus mentally and physically abused.  There is a dark, despairing side to her I can feel in her unguarded moments. 

So I love her all the more.  Weeks somehow stretch into months, months become the dreadful year taking her closer to the arena. 

Basically there seem to be little discernable change of seasons in this part of T’Sing Tarleyn.  Yearly temperatures vary little, except by changes in the weather.  Because it is a dry and sandy world it loses much of its heat during the night and the mornings are always cold.  The days are hot and dry, evenings cool, if the sky is cloudless. 

If it is the rainy season, the mornings are not as cold – but the wet and humidity on our bare skins makes it more miserable to bear while we eat (always in the open, regardless of the weather), train or repair our weapons and armour.  The only times we are permitted indoors apart from our sleeping and holding cages is when we are being used for sex and occasionally when we are being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries from the fights.  If the injury is life-threatening is it cheaper for our owners to buy a replacement fighter and let us die than attempt “repairs.”  More often than not a badly injured fighter, even if she has killed her opponent, is killed by her handlers in the arena, thus giving the crowd a moment of temporary satisfaction. 

During this strange and very emotional time I watch her grow.  She has a full growth of pubic hair now and her breasts are filling out.  I notice the men looking her over more and more.  I try to warn her about what they are about to do to her.  She smiles at me as if I’d lost my mind.  “I know that!” she whispers.  “Are you jealous?” 

“No sweet one, I’m not jealous – yes, I am jealous, damn you!”  She smiles mischievously, “Mostly I’m scared for you that you may do something unacceptable and be punished.  I want you to be everything they want you to be, to fit in, no matter what they say or do.  Whatever you and I are together, we are not when separated.  Keep those lives separate and never forget you are a fighter slave and not my child-lover.”

“Am I really your child-lover?”  Her tone is reproachful and I’m stung to the quick by it.  “You’ve never made love to me.  I watch the others and I’ve been waiting.  Is there something wrong with me?  Don’t you love me?”

Oh the pain those words carry!  Oh please, I don’t want to hear that!  Again I realize I’ve thoroughly messed up with another when I was so convinced I was being kind and understanding.  Is there no way to “do the right thing” on this stupid world?  Or am I such a fool?

“Sweet, I love you more than I can tell or show.  I just thought you should be the one to, you know, make the first move.  You give me so much all the time, I was afraid to take something from you, you may not have been ready or willing to share with me.”

She leans over to me, puts her head on my shoulder and whispers, “You crazy old woman!  If you love me and you’re the oldest, you take me.  That’s how it’s done.  I cannot do it first – that would be wrong and punishable.  When I was put in your cage, I became your bond slave for as long as either one of us lives or you reject me for another.  But you would have known that, wouldn’t you?”

Old woman she calls me.  Old?  I’m maybe seven years older than when I arrived here!  Thirty two classic (Old Earth) years?  Or is this world so twisted that even time moves in some terribly debilitating way, aging some and not others?  No, it’s not time, it’s the way we are treated.  We are all old women the moment we enter the arena.  When youth is forced to kill to defend or avenge; when it is forced to die, it is no longer youth.  It becomes a ghost that wears an aging death mask.

Professional gladiators are at the prime of their lives on their first fight, usually at around sixteen years of age.  From then on, they age quickly, if they live to age at all.  I’m well past my prime now…  Even the trainers are no longer that interested in taking me for sex in their barracks.  Younger ones have taken my place. 

“Make love to me!” she says, “before the men take me.  I want you first.  Here.”  She digs into the straw and pulls up an implement that could pass, in shape and size, for an erect penis.  “Break my skin, please.  I don’t want them to have it.  It’s what we do where I come from but they took me before it was done.  So I have been waiting for my lover; for you to do it.”

What can I say?  I’m beyond amazed at her candour and offer of herself to me.  then I have an idea.  “Sweet, if I be the one to break your skin, I want to take your blood, mix it with mine – I’ll open that fresh wound on my left arm here,” (she knows exactly which one it is and winces) “and I will mix our blood in my hands and baptize you as I promised I would.”

Her large eyes light up with a glow.  “Yes, do it!”

And so we mix our blood together and with the few drops that I can keep in my hand, I sprinkle her forehead as she holds her head reverently backward as I had instructed her to do – a ritual so she could have something to remember later.  I smear the rest of the blood in her hair and hold on to her tightly.  We both cry.

[end blog post #19]

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #18

[begin blog post #18]

After washing and eating I’m returned to my cage.  Having won a special fight I am not expected to continue training the rest of that day.  Later when the others return, as was promised, a young trainee is put in my cage.  She sits next to me and nudges against me, looking to please any way she can or knows how.  She runs her arms and hands over my skin to feel me.

I caress her slowly, running my long fingers through her short cropped, straight black hair, noticing her uncharacteristic lanky, skinny body covered in pure white skin, the long slim arms and long skinny legs and her large feet that seem almost ungainly on her.  She has a small patch of pubic hair and her breasts are just beginning to bud.  So young, I think, and so innocent.  At least in looks.

I croon softly over her, letting her know that I approve of her and she need have no fear.  She turns up to me and I’m staring into virtual pools of black luminescence: over-sized black eyes, reminiscent of those nocturnal arboreal creatures of Old Earth and Margaret Keane’s ‘big eyed waifs’ from Old Earth C-20; eyes that seem to penetrate into and beyond my most secret thoughts.

I’ve made an instant conquest, but so has she.  This child is mine to do with as I please.  If I’d ask her to kill herself for me, she’d do it without a moment’s hesitation.  Such is the way.  But then, if giving up my life would save hers, I’d have no hesitation either.  I see myself now plunging into an abyss of feeling I’d thought could never again touch me.  So much, once more, for reliance on training “in absentia.”

I cradle her and bring her lips to my hardened nipples.  She suckles slowly, tenderly and I realize, happily.  As easily as that I become the mother the baby never had.  And just like that, I now have another purpose in a type of relationship I’d believed I could never again engage in.  Blame the empty years here, my tired condition but mostly her uncanny ability to seduce.  There is witchcraft in her, I can easily sense.  The good kind.  The kind I practised once… somewhere…

Out of the most terrible of ordeals; the greatest of trials, comes beauty and love if one knows how to move through the energies.  Ah well, maybe this is where I start making a difference.  If I am careful to give to this child, without taking anything from her but what she freely offers me in return.  If I can bury my dark fear of losing her to the arena or to some mistake she may make and be “punished” for.  If I can allow myself to be broken, not only in body, but in heart, for love of her and all of us here. 

Totally broken.  Yes.  I know this lesson in my mind.  Now I must impress it into my brain and upon my body.

Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it will not produce fruit.”  Source is an Old Earth sacred book quoting a claimed avatar they called Jesus the Christ. How long ago was that? Thousands of years but the question is not relevant.  I am able to remember: that’s what matters now.  Remembering.  Remembrances.

I remember some of my lessons.  How I loved to say them to myself and make my feeble attempts at giving them living substance in my own life – “lives?”  But in this purgatory of lost souls, can I demonstrate the cosmic truth behind these pithy sayings?  Can I live them and teach them?  How do I reconcile my life’s performance today with that?

I look upon my child-woman without disturbing her.  Who will outlive whom?  I can’t help but torture myself with wondering.  I must stop thinking and just enjoy her.  My child and perhaps in time, lover; perhaps even friend: the most dangerous relationship of all.  Every life, however bleak, can have its moments of true tenderness.  Some time ago I would have rejected that notion.  Now it makes perfect sense.  I feel an urge within that I must baptize this child and give her a suitable name.  This one must enter her own version of Valhalla with her own name and must be given the recognition deserved.  ‘Help me, Tiegli!’ I silently beseech my old friend for it was her who impressed upon me the invaluable lesson of empowerment through the simple act of giving someone a name. 

I prepare myself to plunge into a much-needed deep sleep, despite the fact my heart overflows with love, my loins are filled with desire and my body is racked with a thousand lances of pain from the excessive movements I put my body through today.  A perfect balance for this would-be avatar, would you say?  My little one has fallen asleep with her arms wrapped tightly around my torso and her moist lips, slightly parted, brushing my nipple, leaving a tiny trail of drool to find its way, like a cool mountain stream, down my cleavage.  An image, a feeling, that changes one forever.

In the weeks that follow I find myself involved in few fights.  I think I am being avoided by bookies and gamblers because of a growing reputation for deadliness through apparent recklessness and ruthlessness.  Indeed I have decided that due to my size it is usually safe enough to take chances and go for the kill right from the beginning of the encounter.  I get less cuts, bruises and broken bones that way and return to the compound much less tired.  But the risks are real, not the least of which is being considered persona non grata and receive the Court order to be summarily executed as an undesirable, a bad performer.

I am not the crowd pleaser any longer.  If I am the gladiator being billed, the stands are but half filled.  They certainly object to seeing a woman kill a man outright.  They want play, sport, blood, but mostly they get off on the inflicting of pain.  They like to see long fights where opponents are fairly well matched and do the most damage to one-another before one is killed.  Entertainment.  Sport as a way to assuage their miserable lusts which their system will not permit them to satisfy in other more natural ways.

I just do my “job” as per its description.  But complaints are continually lodged with the handlers and trainers that the “Beast” is not being cooperative; that ‘it’ does not understand the subtleties of encounters with honour.  In other words, ‘it’ is not giving ‘its’ male opponents a chance to demonstrate their honourable ways of torturing a woman to death by killing her outright in public or destroying her body through violent encounter after encounter. 

Yes I am expressing spite and bitterness along with everything else, looking within to see all the things I’ve become a complete failure at achieving.  I may be winning battles in the arena but Malefactus is winning the war against my mind, perhaps against my heart.

Take detachment, for example.  I have become utterly and hopelessly “in love” with my child-lover, though I cannot quite locate my deepest feelings as being those for a child, or those for a lover.  I don’t think I’m capable of separating the two but I have steeled myself not to make love to her.  I have vowed to let her initiate that aspect of our relationship.  She, on the other hand, basks in my presence, cries silently when I prepare to leave for the arena and lights up like a shooting star when I return. 

Never have I experienced such gentle touch nor encountered such dedication and abandoned selflessness in a human being.  She steals pieces of cloth while working the kitchens and serving tables which she stuffs in her vagina to get past the guards then hides in the straw bedding.  She later uses those to bind my cuts.  She takes extracts from certain fruits and vegetables which she uses in my wounds or gives me to swallow.  She’s an accomplished and fearless thief and healer.

She licks and sucks the blood from my cuts, then bandages them in the night, using braided strands of split straw if she has no cloth.  She is fully aware and conscious of the fact that if she is discovered she will be flogged to death – or tortured in even worse ways.  It twists my heart to find her doing such things but however I caution her and ask her to desist, it is of no avail.  She has her own mind, as stubborn as I.  And she is tireless.

[end blog post #18]

 

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]