Category Archives: Freedom

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #106

“Never again we be goras.  Now we be ahya!  Always! Forever! Together we be ahya!  Say it low together.  This is my last mantra, my last Teaching.  Remember you all be ahya!   Let men say ‘gora’ but you must translate that as ahya in your mind each time to break the evil spell.  Practice self-empowerment, always.  That is our greatest weapon, ahyas.”  

End blog post #105
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Start blog post #106

Throughout the cages hundreds of voices in turn repeat that last Teaching.  Then there is silence.  They sense I wish to be left alone now to think and sleep.  It’s not so different than facing a fight to the death in the arena.  The part about not being able to win doesn’t quite become real after so many fights ‘won’ during those long, long years that seem at least four times their physical number: a mere thirteen years. 

Yes, only thirteen years to go from a beautiful twenty five year old female to one who feels seventy-five and looks it.  My hair is short and almost completely white at thirty-eight.  My body is covered in scars and lumps.  One leg is bent outward from a badly set fracture when I was not able to get proper medical attention after a particularly vicious fight.  I’m missing my middle finger on the right hand.  A deep cut across my left breast left a thick ugly brown welt there.  The top half of my left ear was lopped off long ago and half my teeth are missing from blows to the face, not all from the arena.  It’s no wonder they learned long ago to feed us with gruel, broths and stews.  Many of us could never chew solid foods and would starve to death.

The clanking of the cage gates awaken us in the morning.  A shaft of sunlight bathes our space for a few moments and it is glorious to see the dust motes floating in its gold and silver rays.  I can sense how much nature would like to speak to all of us and teach us simpler, better ways.  I have sensed the same things on Altaria… and back on Túat Har.  For a few moments I let myself bask in the comfort of those memories.  One more day, and however long I can last in the arena tomorrow and I’ll be going home should I choose to do that. 

I try once more to communicate simple words with some of the dikfols – we are twenty-three, including myself, shackled to the sliding rings – and this time meet with some success.  A few are not so far gone that they cannot speak but their minds are all darkened.  They spit at me, or in my direction and call me every low slang curse word they can dredge up.  I let it pass as a storm and say nothing in return.  They had expected me to react in the same way; my silence takes them by surprise.

“Why you hate me, goras?”  ( I have to use that term or they will get even angrier.)

One of the women snarls at me.  “You turn men against us, evil you be.  We know.  Men, they beat us and say because you hate them.  We know.  Now you die in orgy too krosspeeg.  Maybe I kill you myself.  Hate you.  Haaaate you!” She screams it at me.

“Stupid you be goras.” I reply in the fighter’s low throaty power voice.  “Stupid to listen lying men.  Is why you are here, because you stupid.  I help women, many years.  You be knowing this.  I get lovers together.  I send hurt goras to doctor to save life.  I take on bad drooks and fight myself for some I know cannot fight good.  I teach many good weapons trick, yes? 

“I say this to you goras.  Yes, you kill me tomorrow, instead of men who be killing all us.  Is smart?  I be best fighter ever.  Tomorrow, if we together, kill many, many evil men.  Maybe so many they no have killing orgy again.  Maybe young lovers not have to be killed that way no more.  Try understand!  Tomorrow  we all die.  We be friends to fight men? Or we be stupid and kill one-other to believe lying men?  You try kill me tomorrow, I promise I kill you first.  I better than you, any weapon I use.  Weapons my magic.  I be daughter of Great Desert Beast.  Ask others tonight.  They be knowing.  But maybe I just let men, let you, kill me because I tired living with stupid goras.  Maybe I just die, go home, never return to help more.  Maybe I just spit on T’Sing Tarleyn and let women and children continue die.  My world, it good place.  Everyone happy there.” 

And I turn my head away from them and say again the one word they understand better than anything else: “Stupid!”

There is silence for a time then one of them says hesitantly, “I think.  I too be good fighter.  I think I fight with you, be partner?”

I reply slowly, “Yes.  Is good thinking.  I like.”

“How you know when dead you go home?  When dead, I dead.  Not have home.”

“Listen to me.  First I give you name, Tomia.  You like?”

“Yes, very good, I like much.  I be Tomia.  It mean?”

“It mean quick understanding.  It mean now you have person.  Now you have name, no stay dead.  They kill, you move from dead body, you fly to home.  Not hard.  You find quick.  Friends there, they help.  All fine.  Is how it is.  This big ahya secret, men not know this.  Men not find Tomia home.  Safe there.”

“Other dikfols here, how they go home?  No name, cannot speak.  Brain broken.”

“They be your family now, Tomia.  You think name, give name to each one.  That name, it go inside broken brain and follow spirit after body dead.  Very powerful is secret name.  When awake from dead body, they find name.  They too be free.  You, Tomia, set ahya friends free.”

I watch her working her mind to find names for the other women.  She frowns deeply and certainly works hard to find fitting names.  She knows these women, a couple of whom are just small girls barely thirteen I’d wager, someone having faked their brands to expedite their sale and make a quick buck.  They likely went over the edge from sexual and other physical abuse, torture, overdosing on chakr or from having witnessed horrors their young minds could no longer absorb.  It could be all of the above.  The most dangerous part of any young fighter’s life is the trip from the crèche to the fighter arena.  I try not to imagine watching these children being set upon by males to be dismembered while still alive and their parts thrown over the walls into the crazed crowd, but the image remains nevertheless.  This is one more horror I must remember, in case the temptation to forget becomes too seductive.

End blog post #106

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #104

[How time flies this time of year. But, better late than never, here’s blog post #104]

Now eighteen of my children are heading out into the unknown to attempt the building of some kind of normal life they have never experienced.  They and their men hitching rides in the open on flimsy carriers are the seeds of a new culture, the hope of Malefactus.  Much hinges on the success of this venture, and taken one part at a time, it is a simple plan.  But put all those pieces together to happen simultaneously and you have a complex structure that can collapse on itself from the outset.  I’ve never been one to overlook possibility of trouble.  Life has not been so easy on me that I can afford to do that.  But at this stage, what can I do but join in the women’s prayer and offer mine to our ‘goddess’ in hope?

* Bene Gesserit mantra against fear – Dune, by Frank Herbert

End blog post #103
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Start blog post #104

Seeing an opportunity to speak near the end of our training session I signal I want as many women as possible to get within earshot of my words.  As I gather the weapons, examine them and store them, I speak to them in our special tone that men hear only as muted sounds which they now allow as they think it has to do with weapons handling.

“I ask this of you, fighters.  That you stand firmly behind our escape plan.  Tonight or tomorrow will decide it.  The storms are fully upon us and all other matters have been taken care of.  So now, please, time to turn to the Goddess and entrust this great venture to her care.  Our people will pass through her lands and we want her to bless their passage and help them fly through to the southern sea and the islands where they will make a new life.  They must succeed.  They must.  It’s no different than entering the arena.  This is a fight to the death.  None of these people can come back, for to do so is to destroy everything we’ve worked so hard to do.  They will succeed or every one of them will die in the desert, in the lands of the black ones or by the sea shore if there is no food and water to be found.  Many things we cannot know, but we can all focus ourselves on this venture.  We can all be a part of it.  We have shown our solidarity by not speaking of this to anyone except through trusted channels.  For this we will all be blessed.  Now we need to pray ‘so our ships launch and our new world is found.’” 

I explain the meaning of the line from the early days of human expansion into space as they faced unknown dangers taking their seed ships into unexplored solar systems to find that one planet, or group of planets, that would accept their type of life.  Mostly they were successful yet many were lost in space, never finding suitable worlds or landing on inimical places and dying cruel deaths there.  Seedships were designed to land and ‘park’ themselves.  Once committed to a landing they could not be launched again or returned to a safe orbit. 

The women understand.  They walk somberly towards the toilets, drinking and washing troughs.  It is so quiet here, we can hear the clattering in the kitchens, the intermittent bombing in the north and another quite welcome sound: thunder.  The thunder heads have finally past apogee and are quickly filling the whole sky above us.  Thunder rumbles louder with each passing minute and we rejoice inwardly.  I make the secret sign of ‘victory’ and it is quietly passed along among all the women.  We are one.  The great escape is on!

The young women bring our food and Tieka finds me finally.  “It’s on for tonight.  I would thank you but I have nothing suitable I can find to say to you for this.”

“Look in my eyes, Tieka”  I say and lift my face to hers in the gathering gloom.  She sees the tears there and knows she need say nothing more.  Her body sizzles with anticipation and the stress of the long wait.  The onus for success now lies with them, not us.  Here we part company and take a different road.  She knows.  We squeeze hands and she carries on with her duties.  Nothing out of the ordinary could be seen by any observer.  But each one of us is alive, more alive than we’ve ever been in our entire lives here. 

“All right there, line up for count, to your cells, now!”  We file past the wash troughs, rinse our mouths and hands and line up as we head for the cells.  I did not recognize that voice but I’m thinking the entire escape group must be out here now in official capacity to be ready for action.  Indeed at the cages we are sorted and all those earmarked for the escape are place in the front row of cages, four to a cell.  The women are ordered to stand at the back of each cell as the gates are locked, then each lock sliced open clean with hand lasers on tight beam.  It must all seem as a break-in, not an escape. 

Hand signals flash quickly between the women, and also between men and women.  I have to admit, love began and accomplished what nothing else could do all the long years I’ve been here.  I’m seeing a miracle take place right here.  This reminds me, not of an escape, but of a group of settlers heading for the wilderness to begin a new life.

The great doors remain open, their automated mechanism disabled electronically.  We can see the action in the yard between flashes of lightning.  I count five carrier shapes floating by, two coasting past loaded with men and three, one half-full, gliding towards our compound and landing at the entrance.  I see mounds covered with netting on every carrier – the supplies and what have to be heavy laser guns mounted on turrets on each side of the pilot’s cabin.

Quickly the women file out and are made to slip on desert coloured men’s hooded robes to protect them from the whipping sands then shown to take their place lotus fashion on the flat decks of the carriers. The women are given straps to put over their shoulders and ropes to hold on to.  One by one, silently, the carriers lift off and disappear from view in the pelting rain and buffeting winds.  It is done.  Once more we wait.  Who can sleep now? 

“Anti, are you asleep?”  It is Tiki’s voice from a cage to my left.

“Tiki, how are you?”

“Excited.  My friend the Concubine has something to share with you.  She was afraid to tell you earlier, but it’s good.”

“Aw come on Tiki, you can’t fool an old woman.  I know what it is: she is in love with you.”  I say this to tease her, I’m quite sure such an obvious observation would not need to be shared.  Everyone in the compound knows these two are inseparable.

“No!  Tell her, tell her!”

“Antierra?”  It’s the sultry, sexy voice of the Concubine.  “What I want to tell you is I have a name also.  I found it in my head during our last fight.  It is my goddess and power name.  It is ‘Tallala’”  She pronounces it ‘Tayaya’ and it literally translates as Freedom and Hope.  I do not reply for a moment to clear another lump in the throat.  These people amaze me more and more.

“Freedom and Hope. Ah woman, what a name.  This you did not make up.  This is given to you by the goddess herself to carry for her as a banner.  When you die that name will carry you past all the darkness to your true home.  Bear it well and proudly.  Bear it for all of us.  When you enter the fight, use it as your mantra.  In your last fight, when you lie in the red sands dying, say it as your prayer.  Then in your heart forgive that last man because by taking your body he is giving you access to your own freedom and your own hope.

“Now in honour of the One who gave it, hold your friend, touch forehead to forehead and say the name – slowly, just once.  This binds you both to that name.  And I, as her Teacher to you, bless you both.”

There is much approving grunting and sighing throughout the cages.  The message is past on to the far end and even the ‘dikfols’ chained there are not excluded.  This message and tonight’s venture is for all of us, all of us everywhere.  We have already overcome.  Now to make our ‘others’ realize this throughout space and time!

We do finally sleep and when morning comes we are awakened earlier than usual when the “break in” is discovered.  Old guards in threadbare and ill-fitting uniforms walk over to our compound, examine the great open doors, try their remotes on them then give up.  They examine the cut locks on the cages.  Someone, a messenger, comes running up with the news that the five newly repaired carriers are missing as well as some trainers, handlers, guards and the two chief engineers of the hangars.  Some time later it is noted that two of the night shift security personnel are also missing.  The moat is scanned and broken pieces of shunts and remotes are dragged from the water.

The story comes together fairly quickly, the evidence so obvious.  The two security personnel were Estáani spies and were able to disable the sensors and alarms with equipment given to them by their people.  Estáani commandos broke in, stole the carriers and various types of supplies and weapons, took captives for sex and slaves and returned to their camps using the carriers to carry their loot.  So carefully did the Cydroids craft this multi-faceted deception that no other conclusion can be drawn.  As if more evidence was needed, lost gloves and other artifacts used by the Estáani were found in the near desert.  The investigation is concluded swiftly and no one in the compound punished.  What questions we could answer of what we saw no one would credit anyway.  We are ignorant goras.  They file us out of our cages to the wash troughs and the tables.  How good breakfast tastes this morning, even under the oppressive humidity of last night’s storm!  And it looks like another one is going to hit us today. 

I scan the skies and I’m happy to see the great cyclones of sand continuing to partially block the sun’s rays and the sky’s normally sharp blue is of a tan colour.  The ‘goddess’ continues to bless our efforts, it would seem.  ‘I thank you Mother’ I whisper quietly and in my heart I feel a flutter of a response.  She is awakening, I know.

End blog post #104

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #102

I force them to consider this, emphasizing that only by a miracle would all of them reach their destination alive.  I speak of the carriers which, even if enough of them are found to put in service, may be overloaded and crash, or succumb to the action of sand and wind in the desert storms.  I speak to them of the many hundreds of kilometers to cross with no access to cover or water.  Of roaming tribes of black people who hunt down trespassers in their territories and ritually kill them to eat.  Of giant snakes in the badlands beyond the borders of the desert.  But the gravest danger remains the possibility of discovery by computer sensors and being chased by Hyrete police, Elbre military forces or worse, hunted down by bounty hunters.  A shiver passes through me as I remember, so vividly, my first encounter with these hunters of human beings.  The group gathered around me feels my pain and remains silent.

End blog post #101
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Start blog post #102

Chapter 40 – The Great Escape and Aftermath

After a peaceful and restful sleep, my bony frame tucked gently between the soft bodies of the young Tieka and the fighter Zel morning finds us going through our rituals as if nothing had changed.  But they have changed.  Many less men in the compound.  Less guards for these are weapons trained and were called to defend Hyrete from the Estáani attack.  We can still hear the firing of heavy guns far away to the north.  The unmistakable sound of military booted feet running through the streets can be heard even through the walls as men are brought from near-by towns to bolster the city’s defenses. 

Being simply trainer and handler, both Hudu and Huntu are again in the compound.  They acknowledge their women with the briefest of nods as Tieka files into the kitchens undoubtedly happy to escape the weapons training and Zel takes her place in the training line-up.  Hudu walks behind us then takes the place of the female trainer to spar with Zel.  Undoubtedly he wants to know what we spoke about and it’s relatively safer than usual to exchange words today.  I engage some of the trainees to teach them basic custom tricks that have been useful in saving many women’s lives in two-on-one combat situations.  Yes, our brave men still believe that if two men fight one woman they are being honourable.  It’s amazing what you can convince yourself of if you really believe in something.

A skimmer carrier sporting the Hyrete flag glides gently down by the doctor’s office after coming over a low wall.  Two men get out and disappear inside to emerge soon after, remount their carrier and disappear over the wall again.  Cydroids?  Most likely.  I continue the training with half a mind on my job.  I receive a stab wound for my carelessness and the young trainee who inflicts it appears devastated.  She freezes until I press her again, smile at her and give her the “Job well done” signal.  Hudu walks away pensive and racks his staff, rejoining Huntu at their table.  They talk rapidly and seriously.  Huntu signals for me to stop and come to their table.

Huntu speaks low while Hudu pretends to be giving me hell over something. “We have better plan now.  Have access to repair hangar for carriers.  Four large ones in for drive upgrade and one for burned flue.  Have friend in hangar, knows of plan, wants to join.  We can get carriers repaired, tested and ready in five, maybe six days.  Four carriers for sure, maybe five.”

“You trained in carrier piloting?” I ask him.

“No, only in yard, not in difficult conditions or terrain or when in heavy load.  Need trained pilots.  Friend in hangar, he good.  Need three, maybe four more pilots.  Or I can do if I get instruction and follow leader.” 

“This is good,”  I say, “do you know anything about the attack on the city?  Is it going to last?”

“Enemy dug in and using mid-range weapons on walls.  We are training ground troops to flush out and try maybe do what call pincer movement on them. Cut off reinforcements.  If enemy get no additional support from Estáan battle last maybe couple weeks, no more.”

“That is good too.  We are moving in the right direction.  This is time of big storms now so we can prepare to move in the next one.  There should be desert storms at the same time; there usually is.  I can get many women to join the escape but we need as many men preferably.  How many can a carrier transport take with weapons and provisions?”

Huntu replies, “Eight would be best.  It could handle ten depending on supplies.”

“Does this include the pilot?”  I ask him.  I need accuracy here, to get my complement of women together.

“Yes counts include all bodies.  So if get four vehicles, we take forty people.  Better like thirty two to thirty six.”

I return to the training until it is time to rack up the weapons, wash and eat.  We sit silently at our tables and soon the servers bring the food.  Tieka brushes my neck and whispers the kitchen Cydroid wants to know about transportation.  I quickly tell her we have a guarantee four large carrier transports with the possibility of five.  I add that each can carry eight to ten people depending on load of supplies. She tells me that two other kitchen gorok want to join our escape and have been briefed by one of the YBA Cydroids.  Again, this is good.  I enjoy the challenge but also the smoothness of this crazy plan. 

Two days later, with storms galore in the offing and the battle intensifying to the north of the city I have my complement of 18 women for the escape.  All are young and tough, including Tieka, for her desire not to fight has nothing to do with heart.  Quite the opposite.  She has declared her willingness to fight as well as anyone to defend the group.  News from the hangar indicate that the transports will be ready.  Three have already been tested but to avoid conscription by the military the head engineer has declared them as yet unfit for use.  They are parked, fuelled and ready.  Two to go. 

Via Tieka I hear there’s activity in the doctor’s place.  He has returned and gone to the false King with our plan.  We will get three of our pilots directly from the palace and they will join our escape.  So for the male complement, I’m still short.  I’ve got Hudu and Huntu, two from the hangars, both pilots, three from the palace, also pilots so we have extra should something happen to one of them.  Two Cydroids will also accompany the escape and will return with one of the carriers afterwards, crashing it into the deep desert and finding their way on foot to their landing site where they will join seven others in the ship and return to Koron.

Meanwhile under orders from the King much work is being done on the sensors and alarm systems all over our compound ostensibly to bolster security against infiltration by Estáani special forces.  That’s the other part of the plan happening.  The shunts are being installed by Bal’s trusty crew right under the noses of security people and the small complement of guards, mostly older men judged unfit for the rigors of open warfare in the sands.

It’s time for me to risk it all.  I carefully approach trainers I’ve done favours for over the years and explain our plan, one to one.  The life of trainers is boring, dull and dangerous in its own way.  They are often held responsible if a fighter fails her owner in some costly way.  They can be killed or ‘punished’ in a number of ways.  I offer them the dangers of freedom.  I gain five men that way. I need three more at the very least and more if possible; if we get the fifth carrier repaired on time.  Two of the handlers I consider close to friends and trustworthy, within limits. 

I approach them with my crazy idea of being free men to live with their own woman on an island in the sea with nothing to do but fish a little each day and wait for her to bring the cooked and prepared food.  “You could build a boat from trees that grow there and go sailing around the island and no one would ever be able to tell you where to go or what to do.  You can have your son to be with you, to teach and become your heir.  As it is none of you can ever afford to buy a son from the crèches, right?  You can’t have your own woman to lie down with in the night or to chase on the warm sands to catch and make love to whenever you feel the need.  What future do you have in this place?  If the wars get worse you will be sent out in the desert to get killed for people you hate anyway and what will you be protecting here?  None of it is yours.  You are as much slaves as we are.”

They have simple minds and I’m not really lying.  It could be the good life they all dream of sometimes.  I gain three men that way and stop my recruiting.  That’s it; we have our complement and are set.  Now it’s up to the engineers, the Cydroids and the weather.  We wait. Was it too easy? I feel serious discomfort in my mind but cannot locate the source. Maybe I’m nervous. Maybe I just want it all to be over.

End blog post #102

There are Moments

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

There are moments in my (aging) life when I become severely aware of how brief one physical human life is. I don’t live in that awareness of course but when I enter into it I can so keenly sense the past(s) and the future that beckons with its magical offerings of (mostly) unknowable possibilities and impossible to make choices. There is a dangerous longing in this greater awareness and confusion as well.

It confuses me because it does not fit the “normal” time of this world and it is this time that anchors me here, as contradictory as it seems. This particular life is the picket my ever-expanding life-leash is attached to. Until death do us part, that is. But what is death? It’s a birth canal, I suppose, a transfer from one world reality into another totally new and unexpectable or unpredictable.

That ever expanding leash is the sum total of my remembrances and memories. The longer it extends, the shorter any incarnated life will seem, of course and I’ve managed to extend that leash substantially in this life. I’m kind of proud of that actually. I’ve been hoarding some precious things this time around, things I now know I get to “take with me” because I’ve securely made them a part of me; of what I am. I have mentally evolved myself in an irrevocable fashion – a fashion not very popular on earth, I have to add. I have gathered for myself those treasures that no thief can steal, no moth can eat, no rust can destroy. Why? Because they are non-material treasures. 

In this very short life that is about to end I’ve managed to trade in a lot of petty earlier acquisitions for some serious ones. For example, I’ve traded in most of my emotional baggage, a lot of it from past lives and much of it held on to for purely egotistical reasons. I thought if something was “fun” or “exciting” once, with my experiences I could improve on that, make the same moves more fun or exciting. I learned that was silly because there was no substance in that suitcase full of emotional baggage. I got a little bag to keep some of it and ditched the suitcase. Done and done. Instead I’ve learned about self empowerment; about detachment; about joy and sorrow. I’ve taught myself the true meaning of ‘love’ which is spelled ‘compassion’ and I’ve activated my own sense of empathy. I’ve learned to manipulate energy so as to be able to give without expecting to receive in return because I can extract my spiritual and mental energetic needs from myself.

Sometimes I can actually see the “gateway” I will soon be standing in front of and I get shudders. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve stood in front of such a gateway there is no memory of how it was before. Because we mutate with each incarnation we are never the same when we approach the gateway, and it is never the same gateway. Each one leads to a different reality based on the message it receives from your mind, hence the shudder: it’s totally unpredictable and a little bit scary.

OK, it’s unavoidable so… go! Jump! And that’s what we do isn’t it. Believer or not, prepared or not, we all make the jump and we all end up somewhere. This last time that somewhere was here, as it was for all of you! I don’t know if I’d ever met any of you (all of you who crossed my own path in this life) but now we have. For lesser or greater memories! I don’t know if any of us will ever meet again – possibly if we have unfinished business. None of that matters at this point, does it.

I remember saying to some, “I’ll see you again on the other side.” and only recently did I come to realize how childish that is. Considering an infinity beyond size or boundaries of space or time, it’s silly to say, “I’ll see you again.” Such a limiting statement, such attachments deny one the freedom offered by a cosmic infinity. This reminds me of a poem a friend wrote some time back which said, let me live a full and vibrant life that leaves no path, not even a footprint to entice anyone else to try to follow into. That is total detachment. That is self empowerment.

This is April 2020. I see and read about a lot of frightened, confused, even angry people. Needy people who want to be safe, protected, felt sorry for, dependent, needy for collective support and agreement and very confused. You know what I’m referring to and this may be a good place to mention that if there really is a truly deadly killer virus about, I can think of one good reason for it, never mind all the theories and beliefs.

Mankind has allowed itself the unthinkable luxury of growing its population and a gargantuan technological society that is literally eating everything this world had to offer in terms of comfortable survival for all. Eight billion individuals(and growing) wanting and needing and taking, contributing absolutely nothing to their natural environment(!) when it is calculated that one billion is a maximum number in a fair exchange situation.

Isn’t it conceivable that if there is such a thing as a smart nature, or a Gaian super-organism, call it what you will, sooner than later the axe is going to fall and mankind will be called to account for engaging the greatest crime of all: ecocide.

It may seem contradictory but it’s in times when I feel the strongest attraction to my gateway that Earth’s condition appears the most poignant. I look back at what I’m about to leave and I have to ask myself: what has man accomplished that stands superior to anything natural life has to offer?

Not a thing. Not one single thing. Quite the opposite, in fact.   

 

 

 

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #100

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

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

End blog post #99
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Start blog post #100

Chapter 39 – A Daring Escape Plan Revealed – More Troubles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End blog post #100