Tag Archives: female slavery

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #103

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
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Start blog post #103

While I wait Tiki and the Concubine are involved in two more fights.  They are a deadly pair.  Twice in one day they are pitted against drooks and twice they defeat them and kill them, sharp and clean.  With the many tricks I’ve taught and demonstrated plus their single-mindedness as fighters the two are simply unbeatable in any reasonably fair fight.  The day will come when they will be tested in unfair fights, especially Tiki because she is small, pretty to watch and young.  Money flows more freely where basest emotions of sexual lusts are stirred.  I have warned them not to get over-confident and to expect the unexpected, always.  Treachery is always around the corner.  It’s the way of life here, basically.

This I teach all women fighters, no longer using their pidgin in my exhortations.  I am the representative of the goddess now, and the voice of the crone from the other side:  “One day, I sense, you will enter the arena expecting the usual one-on-one fight and you will be faced with double the number of men, two on one, four on two.  You will not be permitted to protest and will have to fight for your lives.  You will get hurt in those.  If a team, one will likely be killed and the other have to finish the fight to stay alive.  Think about that.  Think about your state of mind when your partner receives the death blow.  What will your instinctive reaction be?  That is what will determine if you live or die, at that moment.  You are all excellent fighters but you are not immortal or super women.

“Train for that one eventuality now.  Train also for weapons switch.  It will be done to you.  Arena fighting, because of the many losses and the new phase of wars with Estáani, is entering a dark phase.  They are angry that less women die at the hands of challengers than used to be the case.  Ordinary challengers, the ones who did it just to show off for their friends; who made bets while under the influence of brew or chakr, are becoming rarer.  Now you mostly fight condemned men or drooks and less money is flowing through the gambling houses.  Investors are pulling out or going broke.  This means desperation and treachery.  Know your place, and your changing times.  Adapt to them quickly, I warn you.

“Now I have this to add.  When I arrived in Hyrete I was shown the legal array of weapons fighters needed to be familiar with and would be challenged by.  Of those we have consistently ignored one set because it is, well, antiquated and ridiculous.  So it was pulled out at my suggestions some years later as no one in their right mind would use it.  Who remembers this particular set?”

The women look at one another, staring especially at the oldest in the training line-up.  They all shrug negatively.

“It was a lance and buckler.  A lance is like the staff, a kind of long spear only much more unwieldy, easily broken if a weight, such as a man’s body is thrown against it.  Basically it can only stab a challenger.  The buckler is a small round shield with a short spike sticking out of the center, with which, if you break your lance, and expect you will, you try to stab your opponent.  Idiotic?  Totally but I’m going to request this weapon be re-instated in our sets because I sense that very soon some drook from a distant town where they use this stupid weapon to kill women will demand to face one of us with it. 

Yes, it is a man’s weapon.  It is very effective against us because of our small size and light weight.  It works against our speed.  A clumsy weapon designed on Túat Har, another world, in another dimension and at another time, to be used by tall muscular fighting men called soldiers; also used by fighting men, usually slaves, called gladiators, who, as with us, fought to the death unless given mercy by the crowds.  Later the combination lance and shield was used for one-on-one combat using heavy four-footed beasts called horses who could carry a man in a heavy saddle while both man and horse were covered in steel chain link armour.  The lance rested on a stand when not in use. 

“Tomorrow we begin training with lance and buckler if I can find enough of them.  Back to your training please, women fighters of Hyrete!”  I salute them to give them that extra edge of pride.  I have thoroughly trained them in the art of the self-empowering mantra and I can see their lips moving as they repeat the old mantra against fear:

I will not fear. Fear is the mind killer. I will face my fear. I will let it pass over me and through me. When it has gone, I will look and only I will be standing there.”*

Action processes, when engaged properly, tend to move in a reverse spiral, from slow to tight and fast as they approach the center.  Our commitment to the escape is tightening up.  The storms are all but certain now.  Great winds are arising over the desert I am told via Tieka from the on-duty Cydroid in the kitchen. We can see the sands being sucked high into the atmosphere, dulling the sun’s light.  Sand builds up in our washing and drinking troughs, on our benches and tables and even our straw we have to kick and stir before we can lay in it.  The flagstones are covered with moving, snaking sand.  On the horizon, what we can see of it, are great grey clouds with white thunderheads climbing high in the sky by late afternoon then receding in the night, only to return again the next day and climb higher each time.  So we know the prevailing winds are weakening to be replaced by a type of sirocco rising from the desert, crossing the sea and dumping its wet, oppressive sand-filled humidity upon Elbre. 

I do not envy those untrained and poorly equipped soldiers out there in their sandy dug-outs and eroding trenches attempting to defend Hyrete, the royal city; waiting for death to find them in the way of concussion bombardments or swallow them in quicksand in the sudden collapse of newly formed dunes or washed away to drown in the sand-filled waters of flash floods from rain storms sweeping the foothills to the north east. 

I get word that a confusion plan has been worked out among the Cydroids.  I really think they enjoy all this cloak and dagger stuff.  They have ‘recruited’ two of the legitimate security personnel to escape as well, using these individuals as the fall guys in what should be seen as a security breach allowing an Estáan commando force to enter the keep and steal five carriers as well as taking some thirty five captives for slave labour and sex in their offensive.  So that’s to be the official cover story.  It should leave all of us in the clear.  And that, I hope, takes care of the last detail. 

We wait, not without some anxiety.  The way I feel, you’d think I was one of those escaping.  But these are my people, these young women my children.  Long ago there was a change of energy towards me in the compound.  I became the head mother, especially to the newly arrived trainees.  I sought them out to encourage them and protected them from particularly vicious fighters to whom they were given.  I had one fighter taken out and flogged to death for abusing a trainee.  That example was needed at the time both to protect the young and to establish my authority in the cages.  Serious infractions to our own ‘rules’ were reported to me and I administered the punishment in a totally fair way.  It was done on the training ground.  I’d ask for the perpetrator to be matched against me in training, then I’d let her have at me to see who was right and who walked away in pain. 

Now I’m also the Teacher.  That’s my personal beachhead on Malefactus.  Over time, I’ve embellished our silent and sacred ‘cult’ to our goddess.  The women’s prayers, always including their chosen name, have become more personal and specific.  I’ve taught them that prayers are not begging for miracles, but for strength and patience.  For understanding when nothing makes sense.  For compassion towards one-another when one is afraid or hurt.  For courage the day a killing orgy is announced and the cages are culled for the slaughter.  I have given them something to look to, beyond their physical life and we have lived longer, had less suicides and many less executions.  Also I’ve noticed the women respond better if I use my own language, not their pidgin, and they are learning to speak more fluently. 

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 Geseritt mantra against fear – Dune, by Frank Herbert

End blog post #103

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
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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

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #93

“Wild” slaves such as myself, rarely found, even rarer they manage to survive the rapes and tortures suffered in the orgies, are branded by admission year plus a #-1, meaning number of ‘wilds’ and non-crèche raised.  These brands are usually found only on the black women captured beyond the desert.  For whatever reason, although they are physically taller, stronger and superior in weapons handling, the men of Malefactus have not seen fit to breed them.  Or perhaps they have and the breeding program failed.  They are moody and very dangerous.  They seem to be missing an essential element of the ‘normal’ ISSA mental make-up due to breeding or evolutionary branching.
End blog post #92
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Begin blog post #93

My first order of business is to contrive to have Tieka and the ‘Lover’ put in  the same cage.  Obvious – they must be able to plot together and must know each other’s abilities and weaknesses to a fault.  Also they must know if they like each other and if both be willing to die for their love.  Not such an easy task.  Glad I am I don’t have Tiki to worry about anymore.

“You!”  The overseer points at me.  “Come here.”  Oh-oh, what now.  I walk slowly with head bowed to his private table under the overhang.  He is chewing on some concoction that smells of onion.  Even for this malodorous place, he stinks.  Glad I am at the moment I am no longer sexually attractive or desirable.  I stand a meter from him, stop and wait, head still bowed.  A slave does not make eye contact with an overseer, at least not until he orders her to, then if she does not, he slaps her.  If she does, he slaps her.  It’s the no-win game they like to play.  This one is the worst kind we’ve ever had running the compound.  Not one redeeming quality have I ever observed in him.

“You ready now die old witch?  Tomorrow get two challengers, they fight you together.  They kill you sure this time.  I tired you be around, cause trouble with young slaves.” 

I know he’s the one who arranged for such an unfair fight, two men together against one woman.  The gambling once more will go against me.  What chance do I have to survive this?  Especially if the two men are pros.  It’s been many years since I’ve done two on one but after Warmo it’ll be either extremely easy or impossible.  Which do I choose?  No choice.  I’m still needed here with the women, as Yoba stated.  ‘I fight, I kill.’  It’s our mantra.  I say nothing in reply, wait.

“You I hate more than others, old bitch.  You ugly, disgusting krosspeeg.  You think you man killer, huh?  Maybe I kill you now.”  He pulls a dagger from a concealed sheath in his belt under the soft overhanging paunch of a stomach.  He points it in my direction, standing up slowly.  Instinctively I jump back and spread my legs, poised to ward the thrust and take him down to fall on his own knife.  He knows I can do it, and easily too.  He grins, his yellow teeth sticking over his lips – yeah, who’s ugly!  I think, ‘coward piece of shit.’

“They choose weapon already.  Maybe I tell you, maybe not, huh?”  Another violation of strict policy.  The challenger must choose his weapons in front of the fighter.

“Must need know for weapons judge.”  I reply simply, letting it hang there.  Just a hint of a threat which I know he gets.

“One choose staff.  Other axe.”  But that’s a total violation of any regulation, an impossible conundrum for the fighter.  Unless it’s two on two, they must use the same weapon.  How do I choose mine now?  Shithead.  I want to jump at him and crush his stinking face in my hands.  I feel the bionic circuits pulsing.  Fortunately a red-robed judge walks by and I importune him, taking a considerable chance.

“Please sir, there be problem with weapons choice for tomorrow.  I fight two men, same time.  They choose different weapon.  Which I choose?  Legal problem, cannot decide.”

The judge turns on the overseer in obvious anger.  “What’s that Achnarr?  How can two challengers choose different weapons on one fighter?  Who authorized this?”  What a pleasure it is to see the overseer go weak with fear.  Well, well, well.  This fight is a more than personal hate on Achnarr’s part.  It’s a put-up job, obviously, another assassination attempt on me, the winnings going to the overseer.  No one obviously has been advised of Achnarr’s illegal manipulations in his favour.  The judge’s face now matches his robe.

“Guards!”  Five burly black-suited guards come running from their barracks, laser guns drawn.  “Take this ‘dungut’ and lock it up.”  Indicating the overseer. 

“I, Algomo, authorize the arrest.  Charged with crime of fixing fights.  He’s been fixing the fights for himself.” 

I just manage to lock eyes with Achnarr as he’s being put in restraints.  ‘I want you now, Achnarr.  See you in the arena.  How brave will you feel there?’ 

The judge turns to me:  “You slave, you say nothing.  Tomorrow’s fight is cancelled until this is sorted out.  I know you can understand my speech, no need to pretend with me.  I know you well, Antierra.  I know you by name and reputation.  Doc Bal and I are friends.  Tomorrow I get the challengers to choose weapons properly in front of you.  Then we schedule this fight for next day if there is an opening for it.  Can you handle two very good challengers on your own?  I may not be able to change that part.”

“Yes sir, I can.  I fight, I kill.” 

“Good.  You may go to your quarters.  Do you have any requests at this moment regarding living arrangements?  Do you need a lover?  I hear you have given yours up to the ‘Concubine.’  You continue to amaze us Antierra, and maybe frighten us a little too, I don’t mind telling you.  So?  What do you need?”

“Ah, sir… you amaze me too.  I don’t know; slaves do not ask.”

“I give you an order then.  Tell me what you want done.”

“Slave #1336-14-09 would like trainee #1341-15-07 for lover.”  He lifts the heavy sleeve on the red robe and activates a Datacom.  He enters the numbers without asking me to repeat them.  Pretty good, I think.

“It will be done.  And you, I order you, ask.”

“Sir there be a matter of a corrupt judge who tried to have me assassinated during a training session.  The fighter to question in this matter is #1341-29-03” (See blog post #86)

“That will be done.”  He enters the numbers on his Datacom. 

“More on this matter, please.  If the judge is condemned to arena challenge I’d like for the fighter he implicated to be the one to fight him.  A just exchange, I believe.”

He stares at me for some moments, eyebrows raised.  “You have a sharp mind.  I think Balomo may be right about you.  You shouldn’t be here at all, but at the King’s palace and Council chambers making policy for this land.  What a waste of good material.  Sad.  Now tell me about your current living arrangements.  Would you like some change?”

“I’d like to have friend #1334-02-28 if it pleases.”  He enters the numbers and motions me to head for the cages where the guards wait for further orders.  He walks to another hut and two handlers walk to the cages behind me.  I am let in to my space and soon the ‘transfers’ are done.  I move into Swala’s cage; Tieka is moved to Zel’s cage.

End blog post #93

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #91

(In which Tiki’s training demonstrates a flaw in the use of emotion when engaged in one-on-one to the death fight – or, when things are not what they appear to be.)


Always when I say thank you to these women they remain surprised, even shocked.  It is the word you use to men, not to women.  For someone to thank them means recognition of their humanity, equality, worth.  That simple word goes a long way anywhere it is used but never more so than here.
“Ready Tiki?”
“Yes.  I drink, I feel strong.  Ready.  More sword?”

End blog post #90
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Begin blog post #91

“Not today but tomorrow morning again.  The sword.”  I take it as she hands it to me to file – as trainer I’m also weapons master – and I pick the rapier and dagger combo.  I hand her the set to strap her belt on and I do the same.  We both test our weapons, stepping on the blade of the rapier and bending to find weaknesses, cracks or to test if the steel has lost its resilience and remains bent.  We check the daggers for bad edges or broken points.  These of course have all of those faults but this is the proper thing to do with new weapons before any fight and I insist the training includes every aspect of the official arena fight protocol.  In the arena, if a weapon shows defective and the weapons judge agrees it must be replaced with a new one.  A quick test can save your life.

We take our stances and begin.  You move much faster with the rapier.  It’s not meant to slash but only to stab.  It’s all body work, placing the body out of reach, parrying a thrust, jumping forward, backward, dancing, one arm out to maintain balance or to create a feint.  On Old Earth they called this ‘fencing’ though the term always amused me.  There is nothing amusing here, as these deadly blades keep thrusting at your naked flesh.  There is no place on the body you cannot stab.  All is fair game.  The extended arm, unlike in fencing, is there also to make that sudden grab for the dagger, in a killing move inside the challenger’s defence or to throw at a vulnerable spot to disable or kill.

Tiki has obviously trained on this set because her skills are superior to mine and her speed almost on par.  My bionic ankle allows me to take chances on balance which she cannot.  I can see her wondering how I do certain moves and trying to mimic them.  That’s what I want – to see her push herself beyond her set limits and discover new abilities.  Faster we move, parrying and stabbing with lightning strokes.  She scores on my thigh and I get her on the arm.  Gasping for breath and having drawn blood, I signal a break.  She pulls back and refuses to let me see she is tired and thirsty.  She holds the sword poised, ready to start again. 

I motion break again and gingerly put my sword down.  She jumps at me and if I hadn’t been expecting it and drawn my dagger to parry she would have had me in the heart.  I don’t think she would have gone through with the move this time, but in the arena nothing would have stopped her.  As it is I barely escape the thrust by sliding sideways and catching her just slightly off-balance, send her flying to the stones.  Then I pick up my rapier again to lunge but she’s already flying out of reach and ready to fight again.

Now she needs a serious lesson on obedience to a command.  I heft the rapier in my left hand, my dagger in the right and crossing them advance on her.  She attacks below the cross as I expected her to do.  Flipping the light dagger down and turning the rapier forward I trap her move and put the tip of my sword to her throat and push in just enough to draw blood.  She cannot move at all and does not know what to do.

“Drop your weapon, gora!” I order her in a deep throaty voice.  “Drop or die!”  She glares at me and drops it.  I pull back.  “Why did you not stop when I signal for break, Tiki?”

“I could finish fight.  I could kill challenger.  He drop sword.  I move in to finish…”

“You were caught in an evil fighter trance Tiki and I could have killed you.  You made a very big mistake.  Never do that again.  If there is a next time, you die for sure.  I won’t play these stupid games.  Death is always on the line and challengers never play games.” 

She lowers her face and holds her hands open and out to indicate her total acceptance and subservience.  “Yes master.  I very sorry.  Never, never do that again.  Too much into fight.  Trapped by desire to win.  Not play game.”

“You understand then.  Good.  I have news for you: arena fight next week.  Weapons choice made three days before the fight – you are very lucky to be given three days to train with chosen fight weapon.  You are a very lucky woman, understand?”     

This episode has strained our relationship somewhat and made me think.  Time for her to find another mate in the cages.  I approach the remaining “Concubine” – she calls herself ‘Satka’ and ask her if she would like to have another partner to train and fight with.  She looks at me with that strange look some women get when addicted to killing.  Dangerous, borderline dikfol even, but the kind I believe Tiki needs to associate with to learn the difference between her deadly inbred professional killer mind and that of an emotional killer. 

I ask as a favour to me, “Would you take my slave Tiki as your slave and partner?”

She makes a gesture and gives me a thin, crooked smile.  “Cannot refuse, Anti.  I take.  I watch her train.  She very good, hard fighter.  Together we kill men, many men.  I avenge my sister lover now, sure.  I take her.”  She hesitates then in a moment of daring, whispers to me,  “She come to me for night too?”

“Yes, No longer mine.  All for you.  Hope you and she good together.   Watch over each other.  Take care each other.  I not interfere in personal life of you and her, promise.  Yes?”

“Yes sir.  I do this.  I pleased; great gift to me.”  And for the first time since her arrival in Hyrete, Satka is smiling.   

So yes, I’ve become a manipulator.  But in my heart I know I’m motivated by compassion, there being no hope here of personal gain.  It is not easy to give Tiki up.  She has been my companion for some years now and I have motherly feelings for her.  I’m sending her into a new life, a dangerous unknown.  It seems a truism that whenever you want to help others improve their lives you will suffer loss and pain.  This has been true for me in hundreds of remembered incarnations.  If I wanted to break that pattern I should certainly have avoided this little trip through the crushing labyrinthine pressures within the confines of Malefactus… and specifically within the stone walls of Hyrete.

End blog post #91

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #84

The sun is hitting the far north wall, painting a dull orange-yellow into the texture of the weathered stones above the shadows cast by spired turrets thrusting themselves into the afternoon sky from the red-brown tiled roofs of ponderous square structures whose purpose I’ve never bothered to enquire about. There’s another piece of crenellation missing up there.  Why aren’t they doing a better job of repairing their keep, their great city?  On occasion while walking from the training areas to the forge carrying the weapons needing attention I noticed large cracks in the masonry between the square stones.  Are they just letting the keep fall apart because modern weaponry makes the idea of a ‘fort’ redundant?  Or is their economy collapsing from the combination of rising costs from raising, training and maintaining of slaves and perhaps even more relevant, a growing debt due to gambling?  Or is the war with Estáan expanding and draining more from the battered economy of Elbre?

End blog post #83
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Begin Blog post #84

I’m remembering the confused economics of Old Earth, early C-21, near the end of my last ‘formal’ life there and do a comparison with what is happening here.  I don’t have much of a perspective of Malefactus, being a slave within a compound buried inside a city and no access to current events, to the history, of the rest of this world.  On Old Earth there was a common, mostly subconscious awareness that economics based purely on exploitation of any resource and measured by the interest of greed would cause a massive collapse of society.  Of course the inevitable happened on that world as its primary resource called crude oil, peaked and dwindled with little actually in place to replace it, despite the best of hopes at the time.   

What about here?  What’s it like, say, in some city or town on the southern shores of their ‘Great Sea’ as they call it?  What constitutes the basis of that economy?  Is it the same dreadful thing as here in Hyrete?  Or do they fish, farm, mine, grow fruit maybe?  I know the females are still slaves, no matter where one goes on T’Sing Tarleyn; that the basic labour is all done by slavery, but do they treat their slaves better?  I don’t know why they should and I have to assume that no matter where one is on this world things are as bad as here. 

Long ago my ‘Teachers’ taught me how to look at the things which I had no way of knowing for certain.  “As below, so above.”  Translated it simply means that when projecting into other dimensions, other worlds, other places or into the future, go with your knowledge.  Remember that knowledge comes from two sources irrevocably blended together: information and experience.” 

Why does it matter to me how women are treated in those places I can not know about?  It matters simply because all that I have gone through here, all that I am going to yet experience, is meaningless to me if such a passage does not result in the betterment of their lives in some way.  It matters because over the years I have lived here the women I have met, young or old, all have a place in my heart.  They are, to me, mothers, sisters, lovers, daughters.  It matters because I will never be free in heart as long as they remain slaves. 

“When none of it matters it will all be yours.”  So I was taught those many years ago on Old Earth.  I remember the lessons so clearly now that I’ve failed every one of them.  And you know, maybe that is the purpose of every ‘great’ lesson, that we never get them until we realize we’ve failed at what we thought they were about.  Only then can we begin to rise to the challenge: that beyond the obvious lies reality.  This I’ve learned about being truly alive: that it will never cease to amaze me, no matter where I find myself, nor in what circumstances. 

That may well explain why in some place beyond time I sat with many good friends, human and others and we decided to join the shadow beings who are called “WindWalkers” within the All-Thing.  The “Ever-Wanderers” or “Avatari.”  Such joy we felt then, when we sang our song in unison, its power vibrating among the stars and their countless worlds, participating and adding power to the music of the spheres.  When we raised our hands, we created a crystal of rainbow light that for a moment illuminated our spirits and minds and cleansed us of all blemishes.  We enjoined ourselves to remember, as it has been said, the voices of the dead and of the living and take that remembrance as the gift of the Avatari to the worlds we would inhabit. 

We could not have known then the nature of the trials that awaited us among the various planes of existence we would visit and incarnate.  We could not have known that it was every weakness and every failure we would rise from that would determine who we were and how we could function.  We could not have known that the only power that would serve us in the end was what we ourselves manifested from our surroundings and from within ourselves.  We could not have known that in most instances where we would be most effective we would simply give our own physical lives to these worlds.  And not just once.

I’ve now managed a few steps without help and away from any support.  I feel a bit more confident.  Slowly, I bend forward, keeping a shaky balance, then attempt to bend back.  I fall but wave the Cydroid away.  I get up and regain my balance.  My head continues to clear and that distant drum beat that was the beating of my heart in my damaged temple fades more and more.  I cross the alley to a stone pillar and lean on it.  Bal has followed me and stands next to me.  He’s wearing a silken mauve robe that flows in the breeze and he looks very handsome to me.  Why not?  By galactic standards I’m but a very young woman, not a battered crone who should have died years ago.  Ah well, I truly do not care actually that I don’t attract him anymore.  I may not have changed things much on this world but I have gained a new kind of adulthood, a new kind of understanding from my experiences. 

Maybe there is one great lesson to be learned before one evolves into full humanity; the correct answer to the Sphinxian question:

‘How does one become human?’

The answer could go something like this: to become aware that ‘any allegiance to a deity or concept or universal principle which puts obedience above decent behaviour toward an innocent is evil.’ [1]

Perhaps that is the ultimate lesson above all lessons ISSA beings must learn before they evolve into full humanity.  The correct answer to any demand for sacrifice, by any Power whatsoever, is to offer oneself in place of the other, even if the act seems utterly hopeless.  It never is.  Infinity redeems, not history, not time, not God, not the gods.

“Bal, how long have I lived here?”  For in truth I can no longer remember.

“You came here in the fifth month of the year one thousand three hundred and twenty-eight (1328).  It is now the seventh month of one thousand three hundred and forty-one (1341). You have been here thirteen years and two months.  Do you want the statistics on the number of times you fought and won in the arena?”

“No!”  The cry comes from deep within my spirit, from beyond time itself.  “I have won nothing, Bal, except my mind freedom when I defeated and destroyed the Warmo.  All the others, no matter who they thought they were or I believed them to be, are my victims.  I killed them, all of them.  Yes, it could be said I had no choice, but I had.  I came here of choice.  Yes it could be said I wanted to help the women of this world and that remains as true today as the first day I was branded and became a T’Sing Tarleyn slave woman and fighter.  But the blood I shed, especially the times I enjoyed shedding it, I must yet atone for.  Nothing is free; nothing is ever what it seems.  Every good or evil event has its opposite.”

“You are too hard on yourself, almost to the point of blindness.  If you refuse to see the good you have brought here by your sacrifices how will you ever succeed?  Antierra – you will die in that arena, perhaps soon.  The auto-med reports many failures in setting things to right in your body.  The Warmo did things to you we cannot repair.  Your heart is damaged but not all of your damage is physical, do you understand?  You must regain control of yourself for this world still desperately needs you.

[1]   Quote from “Hyperion” by Dan Simmons, p. 292