Category Archives: Quest

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
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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.

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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 #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

Dallas

Periodically I run a short story of mine here. Most of those pass by unobtrusively, a few likes, rarely a comment. I think it’s because most of my stories are parables that contain too damn much “Shatarian flossofy” that spoils the entertainment value. The odd time though, I can contain my exuberance and just tell a story.  Maybe this is such an odd time. Enjoy anyway.  Thanks for reading.
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Dallas was a week from her 15th birthday when she disappeared. I am her older brother by almost 2 years. My name is Greg, or for some, Gregory, 3rd oldest of five siblings. Home is Hope, a small town at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley, if you will. The house is in an older subdivision on the way to Kawkawa lake. Not much ever happens in Hope and Dallas’ disappearance created quite a stir for the next year, until nothing was discovered or found and like so many, Dallas’ fate entered the missing persons’ growing police files.
Needless to say, the family was not the same after that. Mom was disconsolate but adamant that Dallas was just “lost” as she put it, that nothing had happened to her. She managed to communicate this feeling to me and upon graduating from Hope Secondary, I decided to go in search of Dallas.
There wasn’t much to go by, but I knew Dallas intimately – we were more than siblings, we were close friends, and I knew a lot of things about Dallas that she had not shared with any one else. I knew that she was restless, not close to anyone and tired of being “mom’s girl” at home. Dallas had grown wings prematurely and wanted to try them out. She had talked to me about leaving home many times but it was always something in the future, when she was “of age” so to speak. But youth is fed by impatience and Dallas added impetuosity to the volatile mix. Hope and home were much too constricting for someone like her. I could remember her flashing dark brown eyes and black pony tail swinging back and forth when she entered into an argument about something she felt deeply about, and Dallas felt deeply about everything.
So, with only mom knowing my plans, and a little over 2 years since Dallas had gone missing; with some money from an uncle’s inheritance, I set out on my private search for her.
I went west, to the city and port of Vancouver. After settling down I focused on doing research on teens running away from home. I did a lot of work to create a working pattern. I rented cheap accommodations where I set up my notebook and bluetooth mini printer. I transcribed my notes from the day’s search into computer files and printed pictures of Dallas to put on posts, bulletin boards or to pass around. I got to know a few city police detectives on missing kids detail and everyday was a new learning experience. I won’t bore you with the endless false leads, and the sick people trying to cash-in on leading me to Dallas. I learned to smell them out pretty quickly. And all the while, I discovered the dark heart of a modern megalopolis.
Having made my peace with the reality of the city I knew that anything was possible. I interacted with prostitutes, pimps and massage parlours, any sort of place or business that might provide a haven for underage female runaways. I didn’t think Dallas would go that route but desperation narrows choices. On the other side, I frequented movie sets where a young girl’s ID might not be checked too closely when an extra was needed in a hurry. I checked the Internet for ads and agencies that placed babysitters or nannies.
It was a strange time. The more I came up blank, the more convinced I became that I was on Dallas’ trail and would find her.
I dreamt about her sometimes, and every dream showed me this: that she was not only all right, but had found herself and was happy with her new life. Sometimes I met her in a restaurant where she waitressed, or in a rich household where she worked as a nanny. There was always that mischievous look in her eyes, the twinkling that said, “I have a secret and I won’t tell you what it is until and unless you discover it for yourself.” Then she would laugh and the dream would end.

I emailed or texted mom fairly regularly, skipping many details but reassuring her that I was not only still looking, but increasingly sure that I would find Dallas and that she would be well. Often I would get a simple reply: “Thank you, Gregory, thank you. – Mom”
It occurred to me, after over a year, and a third of my funds gone, to combine my search with some practical course on private investigating and journalism. Within a few months I felt confident that I had enough horse sense and street smarts to try working. I answered an ad from a family looking for their disappeared son. I visited the people and explained what I was doing in Vancouver and convinced them that I knew enough to be of value to them. We settled on a fee and I added 14 year old “William” to my search query, creating a new set of patterns. Not surprising (to me) I found William with a group of Lost Boys downtown, trying to earn some money washing windshields at intersections.
Once I was sure of him, I waited for a chance and approached him as casually as I knew how, offering him a small amount of money if he would run an errand for me. He was hungry and broke and completed the errand in record time. Before I paid him, I told him his name and asked him if he ever thought about returning home.

“You a f…king cop?” he snarled and almost bolted from the outdoor table I had chosen for the exchange. I gently but firmly put my hand on his arm.
“Oh, don’t be stupid, Will. A cop wouldn’t ask you to run an errand. I wanted you to have that to think about before I talked to you.”
“So what’s the deal? Why do you care who I am or what I do?”
“Should be obvious – I’m a private investigator hired to find you, and I found you. I can have you home within the hour… if you’ll let me. Hey, it’s no skin off my nose if you run, I get paid regardless. I report that I found you, the location, and that you took off. Doesn’t sound too smart to me, though. Whatever caused you to run in the first place couldn’t have been that serious, and it’s been 6 months. I think it’s time for you to go home, finish school, then think about leaving with your head high this time, with a job or a degree at least. You’re not a poor homeless kid, William. You’re a spoiled Yuppie brat who may just have learned a valuable lesson now. You can take advantage of that. You know what gets you the farthest in life? Self-discipline. You can do it to wash windshields, surely you can do it to a greater end than that.”
So I returned a subdued William to his grateful parents. And I found other jobs; learned to collaborate with some of the undercover cops and my life slowly changed, but my purpose remained steadfastly the same: to find Dallas. Another year went by and I figured most would have given up by now. But something was inextricably linked in my mind: Dallas and the City. Dallas and I. All three of us were drawing together, I could sense this.
The City, as ugly and frightening as it had appeared at first, was definitely growing on me. I saw her gross sins and could forgive many of them. I interacted with her victims, the rich and the poor, and found out many didn’t mind being victims and I learned to accept that. And I wrote all of that down in my notes and began to feed some of my impressions to the borderline underground press that proliferated in the City. I deliberately used my real name to sign my articles and made sure it appeared frequently. I made a couple of “appearances” on radio talk shows about my work on the street, and what I had learned in interaction with the “Wendy’s” and the “Lost Boys,” as I called the runaways; their pimps, employers, lovers, and mentors.
And as I somehow knew it would, it happened: I found Dallas. She did investigating for a couple of Internet news blogs between other jobs, and she saw my name on an article, found the radio program on the Internet and contacted me by email. My heart soared as old Chief Dan George would have said. We chose to meet in a Starbucks, neutral grounds. I was there early because I wanted to watch her walk in; wondering how much she’d changed; if I would recognize her.
I had no trouble recognizing her face. Her hair was longer, no longer in a pony tail but allowed to flow freely thick over her shoulders. She appeared a bit taller, slimmer certainly, and much older. She wore a brown fake leather jacket and a short blue skirt and knee-length high heeled black boots. But that dark brown-eyed twinkle was as bright as ever.
“Dallas!” I couldn’t help calling as she looked over the crowd and line-ups. She saw me and smiled. It was still that special smile she used on me when we were “kids” it seemed so long ago. She came over, hugged me and went to get an espresso. I watched her, the poise, the certainty, the assurance. I should not have been surprised, but I was regardless. I couldn’t help but remember that she had not yet turned 15 when she left home and Hope to find herself. And I though it uncanny how right both mom and I had been about her. Except that she was never lost: she had her own map, her own destination and her own destiny to fulfill. And as I watched that young woman interacting with the guy behind the counter, I realized what her mind had told her, those eventful years ago: “It’s time Dallas. Leave – now, or forfeit your purpose. They will take you, when you come of age; when you have graduated, or earned a degree, and they will file you, pigeon-hole you, and you will become the living dead, just like your parents, your teachers, the adults you see on TV and meet in the stores. They will make you fit in. You’ll get married, get a house and stuff, have kids, part-time brain dead job, and walk the treadmill until you die. Walk away now, Dallas. You can do it.”
And, she had.
We didn’t talk very long that morning. I was on a case and she had reports to file, so we decided to meet at my place. Hers she said, was a bit crowded; she lived with two other women, one of whom was her lover – for the time being – she added with that twinkle. “Neither one of us is ready to settle, and I don’t think I want a serious relationship, at least not for a long time.”
She came to my place and having settled my case that afternoon and gotten paid, I got the goodies and wine and we talked, basically all through the night. And although the question was burning on my tongue, I never asked her why she hadn’t contacted mom, nor whether she would now. It didn’t seem appropriate and besides, she was the one asking the questions.
“OK, so I can see mom would try to put you up to this, but why did you come looking for me, Greg? Why didn’t you just let it go? Huh? She got up abruptly from the chair, sending it flying ass over tea kettle, turned, grabbed it and threw it back on its feet. She turned her back to me and talked: “I’ll tell you why you came to find me. You didn’t believe that I was lost. I became an opportunity for you, didn’t I. An excuse to leave also. Romance, excitement, feelings, emotions, so many things that tend to get bottled up in a small town stuck against a mountain and a river, things that can be let loose and expressed in countless ways, good and bad, here in the metro. You wanted what I had discovered. And you wanted to find me to prove to yourself that you had found it too. You followed me, not to find me, though that was your intent, but to find yourself. You were the one who was lost, Gregory. You were never going to find yourself in Hope, or in whatever institution you ended up working for. You sensed it, and you found my map in your mind, where I left you a copy. So, have you found yourself, Greg?”
She turned just as abruptly, leaned down with both hands flat on the small table and literally stared into my soul. She smiled thinly and sat down to sip some more wine. She waited for my answer.
“You are right, Dallas. The commitment, the gallantry, the chivalry, call it whatever you will, that was the cover story. The underlying motive was romance. I would do something different, and I had you to light my way. And Dallas?”
“Yes?”
“What a light you turned out to be!” She smiled again, and her eyes were wet, as were mine. We finished the wine and I called a taxi to take her home. We hugged once more just before she got in the car. She picked up the dragging edge of the long trench coat she was wearing and I closed the door, watching her disappear in the early morning mist and smog.
And the City stood surrounding us, neither smiling nor frowning, withholding comment and judgment.

What do “I” want out of Life?

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

What do “I” want out of life? The stock answer is found in a scan of some sort of mental list, or to look back over a thin memory and say, well, I want this or that which my situation hasn’t allowed me to have yet. Some missed opportunity at riches or notoriety; re-living and “fixing” a failed love affair, traveling the world, being one of the first Earthians to walk on Mars, the usual.

New thought: think of it this way: over 8 billion Earthians on one small planet doing its best to supply life but unable in the normal course of things.  The Earthians, instead of curbing their excess populations, resorted to building cities to cram their excess into. Now think: of the 8 billions, at least 6 of those are excess population; a population that can never, ever, know what it means to live a normal, natural, good life.

But even those who live on the outskirts of cities and even farther out, are living in artificial accommodations and surrounded by artificial means of life support provided/forced by scientists, technocrats, drug and medical cartels, bankers, agri-business, and the ubiquitous corporate elites’ dictates.

Now think: what if this massive majority of artificially-living Earthians have literally gone stark raving mad but there is no one left to point it out to them, or if there was, they have grown incapable of understanding what that means? What if the certifiable insane is now the sane, without any remaining ability to question it?

If a normal, natural lifestyle demands – yes, demands – that all the accoutrements of modern Earthian living be abandoned in order for the coming generations to re-discover how to live without the madness of their forebears, could the mad artificial folk of the day ever agree to such a tradeoff? A few might see it, but most would reject the idea out of hand as insane.  In the world of the crazies it’s the sane who are declared insane.

Now think again: where do you think the vast majority of Earthians mentally reside between the normal sanity of natural living and the madness of artificial survival?  I’m not good with graphs, but on a scale of one to ten, let’s say one being natural normal, and ten being the extreme unnatural artificial, i.e., the creature that has no chance of surviving without artificial means in nature’s wilderness, where does the majority of Earthians lie?  From my point of view, I see it at the eight mark. At that I believe I’m being too generous. It should probably be a nine-point-five to a ten.

So out of morbid curiosity about myself, what do “I” want, leaving “expectations” out of it?

Suppose I go back over this one life and look at what I’ve mostly always wanted.

I wanted to live in a sane world with some rather basic rules. No laws, just obvious rules. The first one was, if I possess something in excess and I know of another who needs it then that no longer belongs to me but to the one who has need of it. I also knew that once that whatever left my hands, I no longer needed to exercise any control over it. Whomever “had it” was now responsible for its use. I also knew for a fact that anything I thus gave up I could never claim back. If I give something away, the recipient owes me nothing, not even recognition. It’s just natural flow.

Mostly I wanted to live in a thoroughly peaceful world. My world had no place for conflict of any kind, least of all for war or preparation for war. These concept are totally anathema to my understanding of life. War is anti-life, however it is done or reasoned. War is evil from the get-go. Those who plan for war in any form, are evil people. What to say then of those benighted individuals who “join up” to fight evil men’s wars?

Mostly I wanted to live in a world where there is no such thing as predation. In my world nothing is killed for the survival of another. This goes from a sub-atomic particle to a galaxy. In my world all of life, however it manifests, is sacred and no one, or nothing, would ever claim to have the right to absorb, abuse or destroy that life.

Mostly I wanted to live in a world where “evil” is unknown; where it never had a foothold. A world without fear; without oppression; without danger, fears, tears or sorrow. A world without pain-filled loss. A world without death unless it is desired as a means of reaching greater understanding and greater awareness.

I didn’t want to live in some Utopia. If you’ve ever read the book you’ll know why. I just wanted to live in a good world. A safe for all world. A clean natural world. A world suitable for children to play in, grow up in, have children of their own in and know all of it is “never have to look over your shoulder” safe. A world in which violence is anathema.

I think that in my many “wanderings” and mental/spiritual quests I have found that world. My intent is to go there once I’ve completed my turn of duty here. I know it won’t be a permanent place for me, but it will give me a much needed and welcome break from experiencing these lower astral worlds.

I wanted something this world would not give me so I found another world that would. Over the years many have asked me how I did that, or how I could be so sure I had done it. The closest answer I could, or can, give is a sigh and a shrug. There is no answer. It’s a question of self empowerment; of self confidence; of inner spiritual force and accepted guidance. It’s a question of “investment” of decades of one’s life to seek out a path based on one’s redefined nature. It might even be a question of learned and practiced humility…?

But how do I really know? Well there is a self test I can use. The whole thing hinges on how much I have been able to change myself in going from basic Earthian selfishness to living the compassionate life. To the compassionate being all good worlds are open, evil worlds easily detected and avoided. As of today I can’t think of a better way to live a lifetime than to spend it learning how to become a compassionate being.

 

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #96

You may wonder why they did not just back out of the event?  They can’t.  Once the bets begin to go in and are registered, no challenger can change his mind.  Since a fight depends entirely on the bets made on it, challengers are forced to declare their intentions long before the actual match is scheduled and set.  Bit of a catch-22 for the drooks.  But that does not help us much.  They know our weaknesses.  Mine is age.  That’s what they bet on, that I won’t be able to endure a sustained bout.  I shouldn’t be except for two things: my desire to see things to their end, and the amazing Cedric.

End blog post #95
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Start blog post #96

Chapter 38 – One Woman Fights two Drooks – more Teaching

It’s still dark when I’m taken from my cage and given the ritual treatment with the cold water.  Only at this time of year it is actually pleasant.  The water has not had time to cool much and it feels good to stand in the trough and spray it on myself.  My trainers join in and splash me, a rare bit of tomfoolery between men and women.  But in the faint light and this early no one is watching.  My fighter breakfast is brought by, surprise, Tieka.  She smiles at me just as Deirdre and Tiki used to.  She has the same moves and slowly drags her head on my shoulder, letting her fingers move along my back while hiding her hand from the trainers.  I don’t think they’d mind but this girl knows the score and takes no chances.  She doesn’t want any confrontation.  Wise one.  Except for the falling in love.  But even I fell into that once. 

The food is good.  I made sure the kitchen knew I cannot abide chakr.  How I miss Deirdre’s stim these days!  Even if they still had some at Doc Balomo’s place, I cannot access it and it appears the Cydroids have other matters to attend to.  I’d hoped the kitchen Cydroid would remember the stim but none, so far.  Tieka returns with more of the same concoction and while pouring some in my bowl, she grunts, pressing her left hand against my throat.  I reach up and she drops a cube in it.  Stim!  I squeeze her hand in thanks, let her go and finish the food.  Was that a break?  Did I make that happen like so many other seemingly insignificant things over the years?  Matters not, I’ve got the stim.  I ease it safely inside the little nest of shaggy hair I keep over my left ear and signal to the trainers I am ready to go.

Do I give you a play-by-play description of another arena battle?  Why not.  Just skip this part if it bores you. 

Realize though, before you skip, that for those of us who actually do the fighting there is nothing ‘boring’ in the act.  Each time we must kill or be killed.  Each time.  Only twice do I remember mercy being asked for by a challenger and granted by the crowd, through me.  Twice in how many bouts for me alone?  Averaging two per week with our year of 48 weeks over a period of eleven years now, that would be two who lived with over one thousand killed.  Did I not say this is a world at war with itself?  How many other arenas, combat rings and unofficial fighter compounds operate all over this world?  No one could even guess.  No one even knows what the population of this world is except perhaps on Albaral.  Keep in mind that for every male killed, you can easily triple the number for females and children.

So you see, it’s not an academic exercise.  These are real people, real blood, real deaths.  But that brings something to mind I should make you aware of since you will be reading this long into my past, some of you likely still living on Túat Har or ‘Old Earth’ circa C-21. 

At this time your death toll from victims of your own ‘Powers’ number around 30,000 each day of your year of 365 days according to your UNESCO statistics.  It’s probably much higher than that but that alone adds up to ten million nine hundred fifty thousand innocent victims you allow to die each year of preventable causes and most of you are completely unaware of this horror, or care little.  At this time your Earth has a population of close to 8 billion and you boast a marvellous computerized technology and an expanding “economy”  throughout most of your nations.  So you Earthians deliberately murder eleven million innocents each year as an offering to your technocracy and financial interests. 

Will you still judge the ways of this world I’m on?  That may be an unwise choice for by focusing on T’Sing Tarleyn’s obvious immorality you may be blinded to your own.  I would tread gently here.  And please don’t get angry at me for speaking bluntly.  I am first of all a messenger but I’ve been a victim enough times to know what that means; to know how to identify with it; to incarnate it yet find ways to defeat it also.  I offer you that way from here.  My hand may be callused, gnarled and bloody but my grip is firm, my voice is true.  As your song says,

Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you…[1]

I have been on your Earth many times and I have deep roots there.  Never mind that I already ‘know’ your future.  You can change any of it you choose just as I am changing the face of Malefactus.  In fact Earth and Malefactus are linked in this death struggle.  If you do not change, I will not succeed.  If I do not succeed neither will you.  Refuse to believe and nothing at all changes.  That is the Mystery we are bound to as ISSA beings throughout these stack worlds.

So I would teach you and reach for you from hundreds of years in your future and from another dimension.  To you I am both the voice of the damned and the voice of angels.  The voice of despair and of hope.  You have the choice of either, not both.  Now while I hope you forgive me for this tutorial and ‘historical’ outburst, I relate another fight, the non-philosophical side of my current incarnation.

Though it is early the stands are full and the crowd is yet silent.  Most are munching on various concoctions that pass for food, for breakfast.  Blood and gore does not affect these people’s appetite in the least.  This is a sport, nothing more.  Although most of them hope to see the female killed and cut into pieces as some challengers will do for their fans, it is the money that talks the loudest.  These people have money, they are not riff-raff from the lower streets.  They are here for two reasons: make money and be entertained.  So this is it.  Apart from medieval type magic shows and circus acts (minus animals) there is no entertainment media as such on Malefactus.  There is no written language except for the functionaries and upper aristocracy and probably most members of the Inner Court and higher Councils.  That is of course debatable – they probably use human ‘processors’ to record their votes and speeches, or computers such as the datacoms linked to main terminals.  Best guess.

I stand at the fighter entrance to await a signal to walk in, take my weapons, strap on the dagger belt and walk to the centre.  Rapier and dagger fights are done naked as already indicated, so no need to worry about armour and just as well as even this early it promises to be another scorcher day.  The sky is stark blue again, not a sign of sand or haze in it.  I consider myself lucky to have become a tough bone rack in my ‘old’ age.  Less to melt in the sun.  I’m like those burros of Old Earth – tough and practically indefatigable.  A donkey, that’s me when I’m not being a mule.  Oh well, this world needs an animal presence.  I will humour its needs…

Finally the challengers enter from the opposite end.  They salute the crowd and pandemonium begins.  They perform an artistic strip show for the male crowd, waving their erections to the stands, measuring their respective lengths with their fingers and fondling their genitals.  This may shock your Earthian sensibilities but here it’s considered a sign of strength and virility.  A man gets it up and keeps it up as long as he can during a fight.  He must demonstrate he’s got balls.  After all, look at the bravery extolled here:  two trained males against one female, no wonder they are admired.  Such heroism.

That little performance is a bonus for the smart fighter.  That little head makes a tempting target which is often the challenger’s demise.  It’s always one of the places I aim for.  Certainly it will be today because I need to disable one of those drooks before I get bled too seriously.  I may be tough but I bleed too and I don’t have a lot of extra to water the sands of Malefactus at this point.  Oh, and in exchange they’ll be aiming for my breasts.  Many fighters lose nipples and breasts in their fights, not to mention ears, nose, fingers.  Anything a blade can most easily shear off is a target.  Good management or luck, I consider it a miracle I still have both ears, my nose, by breasts and nipples and nine fingers.  A middle finger was sheared off years ago in a staff fight.

The first trumpet sounds.  We take our weapons, strap our belts and make the first salute.  Another trumpet and we centre with the last salute to the crowd.  I silence their usual demonstration of hate for the female fighter and instead absorb their exhortations to their male heroes.  Long ago I learned that little trick, just that little extra I can put into my blades.  Like getting that last few seconds of charge into a battery. 

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

[1]  Excerpt from ‘The Sound of Silence’ by Simon and Garfunkel