Category Archives: Personal Power

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #109

This blog post concludes “The Antierra Manifesto” – thanks for reading.

What is Antierra thinking as she stands there?  She looks up into the stands, makes the “mercy” gesture and points at the two young girls beside her.  Her gesture is greeted by spitting and cursing.  She turns to the two children and while they are looking at the approaching men wide eyed and shaking, she puts her sword through their hearts.  Then she turns to the men and utters the loudest blood-curdling shriek that place has ever heard.  I had never heard anything like it and it made me shudder.  It seems to come from some awakened beast, not of human voice. Long it echoes along the high walls and through the compounds; so loud it is, it intimidates that wild and unruly crowd to utter and cowed silence.
End blog post #108
—————————-

Start blog post #109

She then walks alone to meet the line of men, suddenly no longer an ugly and limping old crone who is nothing but skin, bone and sinew but a tall regal figure who knows her purpose and means to complete it.  The deadly sword flashes red in the plasma lights, the blade still dripping from the blood of the dead girls, and it performs a series of lightning movements that leave a trail of utter carnage until she drops dead, not of wounds but simple heart-stopping exhaustion.  This I can vouch for as I was standing close enough for my sensors to detect her heart stop beating.  She had taken her human body to its final limits.

One of the surviving challengers shouts his cry of victory but no one in the stands picks it up.  For once that crowd is stunned by what it is seeing.  Twenty-three men lie dead and dying around the body of the Desert Beast.  Where is the victory?

The remaining men rush upon the standing group of defenders and kill them one by one, still taking heavy losses.  Only nine men remain of that last ‘rush’ to claim their victory and all of those bear some kind of cut or stab wound.  The last female to remain alive kills herself with her dagger rather than submit to rape.  A new power has arisen on T’Sing Tarleyn.

Even in death the Desert Beast scores.  Never has this place seen such devastation at the hands of a few trained fighters against what, by comparison, can only be called an army of men.

The “harvesting” and trading of female body parts carries little excitement today.  The price paid is much too high for any male to find his enjoyment therein.  The greatest price lies in the message sent to the thousands who came to see women tortured, raped and mutilated before they were even dead.  What they saw instead was a severely organized stand by twenty three female fighters, most of these untrained and certifiable crazies, and an additional twenty females with no fighting skills whatsoever, kill one hundred and ninety-one armed males. 

A sobering set of statistics for the men to mull over.  Not all males are beyond the ability to use some reasoning or exercise wonder.  Many, I would guess, are glad their number was not called.  In previous orgies the ones called were always considered the lucky ones.  Not so today.

Of note:  The scavengers carefully avoid touching the body of the fallen Desert Beast.  No one approaches to cut off any of her parts.  They know she did not die of wounds inflicted by men and having no understanding of such a concept as spontaneous death through the shut-down of body functions as in a massive coronary, they still fear her presence.  After they leave, eunuch slaves and female fighters enter the arena to remove the bodies of the women and take them to the waiting carriers.

Of note:  There is a definite reverence among eunuchs and fighters as they pick up and carry the bodies.  These fallen women are heroes to those who remain behind.  This too is new.  Whatever else the Teaching may have accomplished in the few years it has been verbalized in the fighter compounds, it has made the fighters and some male staff aware that perhaps there is such a thing as life beyond death. This Antierra asserted constantly.  That idea was basic to the Teaching. This we Cydroids cannot know as none of us have “died” the real death. Those of us who were killed, such as XBA9 at the hands of the Warmo’s inquisition, were re-grown and are alive, all the more aware for our experiences.  Perhaps what Antierra taught is a similar process.

As to the women fighters, they are proud this day.  Among them, and perhaps among the compound male staff as well, the exploits of Antierra and her magnetic way of expounding any kind of Teaching, be it in tactical, weapons handling, relationships or ethics and her more questionable ‘spacer’ stories will live long and inspire generations to come.  I say this because I have known her.  I say this because through her I, Cydroid XBA3, became more human.  I just have this wish, that I had been able to join her in those rushes in the arena, to stand by her and use my considerable strength to protect her.  Something I know would have expanded my developing consciousness.  I wish I had been able to practice that special “touch” with her I saw the women do constantly for one-another.

As I think about it, I believe I was actually in love with Antierra.  Perhaps not as humans speak of love between man and woman, but there was something about her mind I found irresistible.  I “wish” I could believe her stories about reincarnation and crossing at will through dimensional barriers from world to world so I could hope to see her again as my sisters believe they will. 

For anyone who may some day read this data, think of it this way: Antierra was a human being who was able to make even an AI see life through a new dimension.  She made me, not less Cydroid, but more human.  I felt compassion when I watched her in the arena on that day.  I felt something hurt me deeply when she slid her sword through the two girls’ hearts to kill them instantly and painlessly.  What I felt was her pain, the pain she used to activate her decisive power.  Now her sorrow and her inevitable joy are forever a part of my brain patterning or shall I dare say, my human understanding. 

Signed: Cydroid XBA3, Doctor Balomo Echinoza Cydroid Family.  Location:

Arena Fighter Compound, Hyrete, Capital of the Kingdom of Elbre, T’Sing Tarleyn, Autumn, Year 1341.

_______________________________________________

After watching and listening to this ancient holorec report I sit for a long time alone in a darkened room.  I sip on a glass of sherry and find my favourite drink insipid as I consider the implications therein. 

 It is useless to try to dismiss it as exaggeration: Cydroids, like our Androids, could not lie.  Even one touched either temporarily or permanently by ‘real’ feelings would still be incapable of this kind of fabrication.  Only if someone’s life was at stake and a story need be made up to create a chain of confusing events or a diversion  would a Cydroid “lie” – but it would not be a lie to them, just an alternate temporary reality to complete and terminate a program loop.

 Let XBA3’s words stand forever as history; as our history. There will be no changes, no apologies, from me.  What I just wrote from the memcard records is an actual event and I am concluding my report as is. I raise my tepid glass of sherry to the crumbling stone walls of this ancient keep and toast Antierra: “To the Fighters of Hyrete!”  And from the walls comes an echo of many voices in reply, the once silent voices of the women who trained, loved, fought and died alongside of their Teacher:  “To the Goddess!”

Signed: Michele Dellman

(Personal comment – not to be included in the official report.

My work of chronicler accomplished here, there remains the daunting task of trying to understand what all this means to me personally, as a woman with the remnant of a small voice, in a greater galactic and universal world once more strangling in ever-expanding webs of male-dominated religious oligarchies, plutocracies and centralized brutal military dictatorships, all and still, in the name of God, Trade and Security where women’s voices remain taboo or all too symbolic beyond the confines of home, workplace or entertainment palaces; when men by and large continue to oppress and kill our spirit, our mind, if not always our bodies.

 And I ask myself this resurgent and damning question: what, ultimately, is a woman’s purpose in the scheme of human affairs?  I realize I just shrugged as Antierra was wont to when a question asked was not giving her the logical answer she could accept and truthfully verbalize.  

Maybe the worst part of this question is that I know what she would say: “As below, so above.  You are a woman.  You exist.  You are real.  So you continue.  The goddess lives in you.”

(“M. D.”)

Antierra Manifesto – Blog Post #107

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
—————————-

Start blog post #107

I know Tomia will give them appropriate names or titles and know the ploy will work.  Always it has.  For we are also the names we bear and the more names we use the broader become the personalities we may properly express, for each name is associated with a partial through our remembrances.  Each partial, associated with one or several past lives, carries a vital part of who we are.  These partials will be with us in the arena tomorrow and how much we will need their presence and strength then!  Goddess help these ahyas tomorrow when I no longer can!

When the servant women return to clean up after us and feed us I seek out the messenger.  She comes over but before she speaks I ask her if she desires a secret name if she hasn’t got one yet.  She indicates she has no name, just her branding. 

“I name you Angelia.”  In their tongue it’s pronounced ‘aneya.’  “It means special messenger.  Do you have message for me from goronda?” 

“Goronda say, ‘Your friend is well on planet Koron.  Now she is teaching a new course in ethics at the high academy for philosophers.  Also she is being studied, at her insistence, by medical authorities for possible cloning.  We are excited at the possibilities and everyone who knows her loves her.  The President of the Koron World Court has given her a special citizenship.  She is citizen of the entire world of Koron, not just one of its fifty-two countries.  She can freely travel to any part of the world she wishes and no one can question her as to motives.  She also expressed her undying love for the fighter Antierra to be conveyed to her whenever possible.’ 

“That is what goronda say.”

“Thank you Angelia.  You are a perfect messenger.”

“Thank you for name.  May I share with goronda?”

“Yes you may.  She will understand and help you with it.”

“I know you die tomorrow.”  There are large rolling tears on her white pinched face.  “I not know to say proper, wish you not die.  Wish you stay to teach more.”

“Listen Angelia.  No one really die.  Just body die, give much hurt but after, one alive again, free.  Maybe I return and teach you when you training for fighter.  I look different but it be me.  I make sure you know.  Take my hand, hold tight.  Touch me and take from me what is left.  You be the last fighter to take Antierra power.  Use it well, Angelia.  Be not sad.  Is good for me go away tomorrow into timeless.  I come back: this believe.  Now is good for you learn name, practice self-empowerment.”

“What means self-empowerment?”

“Ask goronda to explain.  She know you better.  She mind touch, explain with power.  She very good ahya.  Trust goronda, Angelia.  Go now, or guards punish you.”

She slips through the returning trainees and disappears. 

It is always especially quiet in the cages any night before an orgy.  Tonight seems even more so.  I can just make out the silhouette of Tomia sitting quietly.  I try to focus on her thoughts but I encounter the white noise again.  She has shut down, just waiting.  I swing my gaze around, see the two little trainees lying down.  One is crying, whether in knowledge of tomorrow’s horrors or from some other nightmare, I’ll never know.  I wish I could reach over and hold her.  We can’t even comfort one-another.  These people’s cruelty seems boundless.  Yet how many times have I encountered the same, in quality if not in quantity, on Túat Har?  The people there had the same lack of awareness of the pain they inflicted on others, including millions of non-human sentients who shared planet space with them; the same lack of empathy towards those of their world who died every day so some could become rich and be comfortable.  This is nothing new, just more of same in a concentrated bitter brew.  Indeed, that is the lesson of the stack worlds, isn’t it. 

As below, so above my teachers insisted on telling me.  Here you no longer doubt the wisdom of that saying.

I must sleep now.  Tomorrow I will be empowered, one last time, to use every technique, every trick with weapons I’ve ever learned and used or can remember.  I will be free to grab an opponents weapons if I so choose and use it against him, or them.  There are no rules tomorrow.  I plan to use Tomia as a bulwark against the attacking males to protect the two young trainees for as long as we can, if the girls will let us.  At least that will give us a common purpose, apart from just tearing men apart and being torn apart by them in turn.

Tomorrow is our future.   

 

 

 

End blog post #107

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
—————————-

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 #105

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
—————————-
Start blog post #105

Chapter 41 – An Execution Order is Signed – A Killing Orgy Scheduled

Several days after the escape two men in dark blue uniforms wearing the red epaulets of those who work with the Fighter Council approach me as I spar with a couple of trainees.

“You gora, you come here now.” Peremptorily and angry. I quickly drop my weapons and approach the men with the mandatory bowed head.

The one on the right intones, “You be condemned by official statute. Must die. Prepare now.” The other flashes a sheet of ‘official’ yellow paper before my face and assuming I can’t read anyway, just rolls it up in a holder and files it in a shoulder bag. Of course it’s the long expected execution order that has finally been approved and signed. So this is it… and I don’t know what to feel here for a moment. I hadn’t been expecting this. I wonder why now? Time to apply the Teaching to myself: “When nothing matters, it will all be yours.” I return to the sparring line, pick up my weapons and continue with the training. How does a ‘gora’ prepare to be killed?

Turns out there is a very simple answer to that question. After the training session, even before the ritual washing and meal I’m taken to the cages by two handlers never seen in the compound. They practically drag me all the way to the back to be chained by the wrists to bars with the ‘dikfols’ who just stare at me. The stench in this part of the cages is almost unbearable, second only to what I remember of the Warmo’s death chamber. The chains are so short I can’t bring my hands to my neck or face.

Of course this is their way to prevent me from committing suicide and also add to my ‘punishment’ before they can fully taste their revenge. They, whomever ‘they’ be, have hated me for a long time, for the fortunes I cost them and the “great” men I killed, such as their prince and his aide; the many aristocrats on whom they bet huge sums of money; for the hundreds of very expensive drooks I also killed and especially for their dearly departed Warmo.

They have hated me for the alien fighting techniques I taught the women, enabling them to kill more challengers and live longer. They have hated me not only because I am a gora but because they know I’m some kind of alien and realize they should have killed me the day I came to Hyrete. Now they are about to get their revenge. I suppose the most likely method will be for “they” to take turns flogging me to death in a public arena show. It is the way of it. I’ll be chained here until the day of the execution, and whatever method they choose, they are not about to tell me. They want me to sweat it. They already know that I know it will be as pain-filled as they know how to make it.

So here I am finally at the end of the run. I’m still not sure of my feelings. Angry? Afraid? Eager to get it over with? I suppose all of that. I have to sort myself out and decide who I am not. Certainly I’m no longer the fighter. I’m no longer the Teacher. Am I then just another dikfol waiting to die in some cruel fashion designed and applied by misogynist males who fear life?

But you see there is justice in the ‘law of attraction’ as it is still called. It is not a law, of course, but some strange force that forms like an aura around those who focus upon the future. I wanted to taste Malefactus to its very dregs, to experience its horrors so as to truly know what it is like to be a woman on such a world. I wanted to be reminded what it has been like, what it continues to be like, for millions of women on Túat Har also for as long as the system there remains under a male-dominated hegemony. I’m tasting it indeed, just as I chose to. This is no accident; no miscarriage of justice. This is what the child finds under the tree on Christmas morning. “I want that!” she had said, pointing at a toy in a store window. Mom tells dad and the toy manifests under the tree with her name on it. A so simple aspect of the Force.

Some used to say to me, “Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.” I can vouch for this: I have been very careful and mindful of everything I’ve asked for. Through commitment and dedication; through honesty and compassion – even if that latter was stretched thin at times – I got what I asked for. Will it bear the fruit I long for? Who knows. I’m just planting the seed in the ground. For the tree to grow strong and tall and bear good fruit much depends now on others, on others’ labour in the orchard. All that remains for me to do here is to water that seed. For that it needs my blood and it shall get it, but it is still my hope it will be properly mixed with my sweat as well. We shall see.

The chains do not prevent us from lying down; they are short so we can’t deliberately strangle ourselves in them but they are on rings that slide around specially made upside down L-shaped bars so we can stand, even walk a bit along the horizontal part, then slide back and down to sleep. Ingenious these men, really. Imagine if they spent even half the effort they put into inventing ways to restrain, constrain, torture and kill into other pursuits like finding ways to better the lives of their poor and oppressed? Oh well, that will happen when it happens if it happens but not by talking about it. I’m hungry and I don’t know if I’ll be fed tonight but I need rest and that I can do for myself.

I hear the rest of the fighters and trainees return to the cages for count and lock down for the night. Nothing for it but go to sleep. The poor dikfols around me aren’t fed or cleaned after either. We share our misery. I slide down into old and thin straw that does not protect my skin from the cold and damp stones. Fine and never mind. This too I need to experience again. When I came here I spent my second night chained naked to the steel execution post outside in the compound. I thought then I’d die of exposure but survived to live as a fighter for thirteen years, from 1328 to 1341. The record says I racked up the greatest number of kills for one individual, and have been the longest lasting fighter. Well, as you know, I had help. I wasn’t after such records in any case but they helped establish my reputation among the women as they became more inclined to listen to some of my mad stories which I dub the Teaching.

The clanking of steel gates opening announces morning. I’m stiff but otherwise feel quite refreshed and ready to face whatever the day brings. A half dozen young women, some practically overwhelmed by the stench in our section, bring us food and feed us as our hands cannot reach our faces. Then they proceed to rake the straw, bring buckets of cold water, wash down the stones, even wash down the bodies of those of us who let them, and later carry in fresh straw on large wooden forks. One of the girls approaches me and whispers a memorized message in my ear: “We are aware of your condition. The doctor has gone to the King to see what can be done. The execution order stands but he hopes to change it from a public flogging to a killing orgy that you may have a chance to once more fight for the women of Malefactus alongside the others condemned to death with you. The killing orgy is in two days. Be brave and remember we all thank you and will remember you here.”

Undoubtedly the message came from the YBA Cydroid in the kitchen. I’m heartened by her message. We are never alone. After the girls have left I lay down in the fresh straw to ponder my life some more. Mostly about things I feel I could have done better and want to remember. I sleep, wake, sleep some more. The girls left us a bucket of water and by stretching we can pass it along from woman to woman. We all drink from it as the heat intensifies through the day. There is no circulation this far back in the dungeon and we sweat like pigs. Late in the afternoon, before the fighters and trainees are returned to the cages the servant women come with the evening meal.

That same one comes to me and whispers another memorized message: “The doctor has returned. He can get you out of Hyrete tonight and two Cydroids will take you to Koron if you wish it. Make the gorok memorize your reply if you can give it now.” This girl seems to possess an amazing aspect of plastic memory, something the Cydroids did to her, more than likely.

After an initial surge of hope from the Cydroid’s message I look around at my ‘family’; at the poor dikfols who can’t even speak or make themselves understood and are about to be butchered in the arena in less than two days. What sort of example would I give by sneaking off to save my own hide and leaving them to face the madness alone? I remember telling doctor Echinoza that I would die a violent death here. Perhaps it was a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, but certainly it is one I can not now avoid.

However difficult the choice my answer is predictable. I say to the gorok, “Listen carefully and memorize this: ‘My answer is no. I stay with my people. Thank you again for all your efforts on my behalf. I have one question: Do you have news of Deirdre my friend on Koron.’ Can you repeat that girl? She repeats it word for word and I send her away. I great wave of relief comes over me now. It feels good to be able to determine your own fate.

In the dark, after everyone is more or less settled for the night I hear a rustle in the cages. The sound comes nearer and nearer to where I sit, shackled to the bars.

“Sir! Can you hear me?” The voice is of an older fighter.

“Yes,” I reply in the darkness facing the general direction of the question. “What you be wanting?”

“We know of the killing orgy. We all know you have chance to leave tonight but choose to stay with us, the gorok tell. Fight all the way with us. We certain now you be true. We all say we now listen to Teaching, remember Teaching, pass on to new ones each time they come. We continue Teaching until goddess rise again for us. We now say thank you for coming to us and we think, is difficult to know how, but think maybe we see you again soon. You come and bring back more Teaching, more power for goras.”

“Not goras!” I exclaim, not caring who hears it and takes exception. Nothing to lose here.

“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

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #97

We wait.  I bow while they eye me openly, trying to gauge my body, my most likely opening moves.  I’m after all the undefeated Desert Beast with an impressive record of kills.  They know not to take anything for granted.  Plus in their stupidity they forfeited their right to see me handle the rapier.  Second advantage goes to me; they already have first: two against one.  A set of drums roll and echoes across the keep and a score of trumpets blare the start of the game.

End blog post #96
—————————-
Start blog post #97

First order of business is to discover their moves.  I back out of their instant trap which I expected and parry two thrusts at my midriff.  Back more, parry again, back, parry and turn to slash at an exposed arm.  Blood.  Good, first cut is mine.  I get a third advantage now.  Back again, circle slowly, warily, drawing them in to see when they combine for a killing stroke or to throw a dagger.  I have to move so neither of them can get behind me.  And I have to plan my own disabling blow against either of them.  Nothing for it but to continue backing away, thus angering the crowd. 

Time for my ‘sand dance’ as I call it.  I move my feet rhythmically, sliding them through the warm sand, feeling it, feeling the firmer stone under it, finding footing for a deadly crouch.  Using the bionic ankle I shovel sand into piles while keeping them distracted with rapid slashes of the rapier, not meant to cut but to sting when contacting bare skin.  I land several such and I get a couple also.  It hurts, no doubt of that but I remember the floggings I watched and this I need to experience, for those victims who died in front of my eyes.  I continue to make a space for later footing then step away from my little constructs.  It works.  One of them steps on one of the piles of sand and staggers.  I was already on the move and thrust the rapier in his groin deep enough to send him doubling over.  He’ll be out of commission long enough for me to tire the other.  Maybe even permanently.

So to the other one.  No more erection.  Too bad, lost my target.  I am on the move now, attacking with all my power, forcing him to give ground away from my cleared space.  Push, push, watching to see if he’s going to go for the dagger throw.  He knows better, too soon.  He knows I’m still much too fast to give him the split second needed to draw and throw.  He continues to give ground to my relentless assault.  I prick him several times and watch him wince each time.  He feels my sting now and he’s sweating profusely.  I am making him work to save his drook hide.  Push, push, until my feet are on the firmer spot I worked for earlier.  Now I hold my position and mock him with several meaningless rapier whirls.  His eyes follow the blade thinking I’ve got some hidden killer move in those motions.  That’s what I want, to create confusion.  Let him imagine non-existent killer moves: worth it to me, even if it wastes precious energy. 

‘Yes drook, use that stunted imagination to see the Desert Beast ready to set her fangs in your soft flesh.’  I use the mind touch on him just enough to goad his rising fear.  I can feel it and can almost hear him pleading to his partner to return to the fight.  It’s of little consequence now because even if he does he’ll only get killed.  I can see from the corner of my eye that the groin stab was totally disabling.  It was deep enough to accomplish what I desired. 

A great calm comes over me as the noise of the crowd recedes behind my head again.  I’m back in the Warmo fight, at the end, when his defeat is inevitable. What are these drooks but left-overs from that black day?  Remnants, rags, of a once proud entity.  Dregs of male humanity lost in a world created from their own uncontrolled lusts.  Lost in their own evil and still falling, unable to check their velocity, like a ship without its drive burning through the atmosphere to crash in flames, all aboard fried with it. 

And I’m here to remind them of this fact, not to kill them.  I have to talk to them, or at least one of them before it’s all over.  Dangerous but something I sense critically necessary.  I must disable, not kill.  That means playing cat to the mice I’ve cornered in the granary.  This is not my idea, so who’s in my mind?  The Avatari, Al’Tara.  I sense her, know her.  But they said they’d not help me here, what’s going on?  Ah, of course.  I’m incarnating her, them.  I’ve reached another level of understanding and can talk to my higher self.  Can give myself advice.  Not so alone anymore.

The disabled challenger has returned.  He’s holding his fist to his side and his pallor is terrible to behold.  I can feel sorry for him even in this.  He holds his rapier steady enough and is trying to cover for his friend.  He knows he’s facing his death now and all trace of mockery or bravado is gone.  He lunges at me, hoping to give me a jab or cut that will slow me down.  I easily parry even as I handle his partner.  I draw my dagger with my right hand.  What these poor drooks don’t know is I’m fairly ambidextrous but my right hand is my strong arm when it comes to throwing while the left is the strongest gripping hand. 

With rapier in left, dagger in right, bionics fully functional I go on the attack again.  Left to parry, right to feint.  I force the weaker one to come at me again, leaving a tantalizing opening.  He takes it, no choice in the matter as he’s weakening.  I block, stabbing in his right arm this time, the rapier cutting clean through the muscle then out in one move.  That’s it for that one.  He collapses in the sand and I kick his sword away from him, sand in his face and move on to the other one who is now pressing me in a desperate attempt to take advantage of his friend’s last efforts.

The fight is not over, not by a long shot.  Actually it is now swinging in his favour since he realizes he has no support while I’m certainly tiring.  We’re one on one, as it is supposed to be and he becomes more self-reliant.  He’s got his dagger out too now and the question in our minds is who throws first?  Who commits?  We move slowly around, facing each other, looking for that one opening the professional knows will inevitably come.  I back away from him to test him.  He does not take the bait and backs away from me in turn.  Tit for tat.  I turn my body sideways, keeping the rapier pointed in his direction, weighing my chances for a dagger throw.  Not good, he’s still too fast and would block it, taking away my back up weapon.  I walk backward through the sand, feeling its warmth between my toes.  I smell male sweat in the air coming from the stands and realize the crowd is almost silent.  They sense the tension between the challenger and I.  While we measure each other again they wait.  The disabling of the other one put a serious dent in their exuberance.

My challenger turns slowly to keep his eyes on me as I continue to walk backward around him.  I don’t want to press him yet – his dagger makes me nervous.  It looks very deadly in his hand.  I am fully aware that he knows when and how to throw, that’s what I read in his mind.  I have to come up with a feint to get him to commit himself.  I move slowly back to the place where I’d created the sand pile and cleared some stone for footing.  I repeat the process to regain the firm surface.  Now what?  I pretend to stagger on the piled up sand and that does the trick.  In one lightning move he has thrown his dagger.  The only way to block the direct throw is with my right arm.  I take the dagger through the lower arm and deflect it just as it penetrates through.  Gritting my teeth I set my mind above the agony, jump back, throw my dagger back in its sheath and rip his out of my arm.  The blood is pouring out now, not fast enough to cause immediate death but still a dangerous cut.

I pretend to be seriously disabled, holding his dagger under my upper arm and bringing the rapier into play slowly.  He commits himself to the death blow too soon.  I drop the rapier in the sand, grab the dagger with my left and whip it in a sharp throwing arc, letting go just as it enters his lung.  Tearing the other dagger out of its sheath I jump in the sudden opening he makes and drive it in his heart.  I retrieve my rapier and go to inspect the other challenger who has rolled on his side and is moaning pitifully.  Before I beseech the crowd for mercy I bend down and speak to him.

“Listen, I did not want to kill you.  I don’t want to kill you.  Most of us are not men killers but you force us to do this.  Why?  You must ask why.  You are going to die now even if the crowd gives mercy because that cut in your groin cannot be repaired and you know it, being a trained fighter.  Before you die, I want you to realize this: we women are intelligent people.  We know what you are doing to us.  We know things are supposed to be different.  We also know that we have a great friend in the goddess who has awakened and is going to help us get out of this horror you have put us in.  Understand this drook.  We do not want to hate you, hurt you or kill you.  We defend ourselves.  Ask then, why must you hate us, hurt us and kill us?  Wouldn’t you rather be lying down somewhere soft with a young woman’s arms wrapped around you after making love instead of lying here bleeding to death from a woman’s weapon?  Ask the goddess to forgive you and ask me the same thing, now.”

He emits the death rattle once, recovers and says, “I ask forgiveness…”  I reply immediately “And I grant it.  You will remember when you awaken.”  I don’t think he hears me but still I got a confession, of sorts.  I cannot let the crowd know he’s already dead.  I stand and give the “mercy” signal, raising one arm straight up, fingers splayed and wait.  The cry of disgust and anger is unanimous: “Kill!”  So I thrust my rapier in the body, turn and walk away to the exit to be escorted as usual by my handlers.

End blog post #97