Tag Archives: Fighters

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
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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 #92

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


Begin blog post #92

Chapter 37 – Tiki’s First Arena Contest – Love Speaks

There was no scene when Tiki found out I’d let her go to be with the Concubine.  If anything it was a relief for her because she was under the impression I was angry at her.  She understood intuitively that my decision was for her benefit, not because I was angry.  She had grown up and needed a real partner and lover now, not a mother, which mostly I had been to her.  She had enough of the Teaching also to develop her own mindset regarding what is right and what is wrong.  There was time for that.  With the Concubine she would be able to hone her professional fighting sense.  She would be better matched with a peer and teach even as she learned more.  This venture should even them out a bit, taking the more dangerous edge from both of them.

She smiles more now and treats me as more of an equal.  This is good, although I worry about her still.  Especially today: it’s her first match and she’s already been taken from the cages to eat the traditional chakr-laden food of the fighter, alone.  Her opponent challenger I’m not too concerned about.  He is no professional fighter and to prove it, chose the obvious: the two-handed sword, thinking as is their wont that it would give him the advantage as a physically stronger male.  When he came to observe Tiki fight with the various weapons I made sure that she was doing it with me and demonstrated a very poor understanding of the long sword.  I made her look even worse by forcing it out of her hands and sending it flying, then tripping her with my sword pointed directly at her heart.  Even Tiki was fooled by the move and thought I was getting my revenge for that week-ago fighter trance idiocy.  I did not explain.  Just withdrew the sword and let her stand to retrieve her lost weapon, her face deeply flushed.

It was enough to convince the male challenger he had found her weakness and jump at the chance to choose the sword.  Well, it would be his last mistake, no doubt of that.

Two other fighters were prepared for the arena when we were let out of our cages to relieve ourselves, wash and eat, ready for the routine of training.  An hour or so later Tiki returned escorted by two handlers.  She was neither smiling nor scowling, just her usual plainly serious self.  I saw not one scratch on her as she drank, ate a light ‘lunch’ alone that all returning fighters not badly wounded earn.  After which she joined the training line-up, finding her partner.  Then she smiled – no, she beamed!  They certainly have something going those two and it’s good for as long as it lasts.

Near the end of our session I begin to inspect the cleaning and storing of the ‘weapons’ – I’ve instituted the unbreakable rule that all weapons, however poor, old or worn-out, be treated as if they were the best ever made and fresh from the forge.  I inspect them for dirt, blood, sweat.  Blades must shine with oil.  Handles must be clean.  If they show signs of handle wrapping unravelling they must be re-wound, tightened and knotted.  Only if tools are required for the repairs do I put them aside for kitchen staff to sew or forge to repair. 

While I’m doing this two young men approach me and make as if they want sex with me.  Surprised surely, but having no choice I follow them to an empty hut.  Once inside, one of the men, a trainer, puts his hand out and takes mine very gently. 

“I be Tieka man Hudu…” he begins with understandable hesitation.  The handler takes my other hand and says,

“I too be loving woman fighter and I friend of Hudu.  I be Huntu.  We be needing to escape from Hyrete soon.  Tieka no fight.  Say love stop her hurting man.  I afraid for Hudu and girl woman.  Need to help, maybe I too escape, take woman.  Go south, deep desert there, hide in storms from great eye.”

I shudder when he mentions the ‘great eye’ and ask, “What is great eye?”  He points into the sky,

“Albaral.  It sees.  It knows when things not right.  If people run, reports to Council.  When your lover escape, news come from Albaral.  No alarms given, yes, but they know.  They see something strange in desert, like fire shooting into sky – maybe sky boat.  We told by leader; cannot chase sky boat.  Need terrible storm to block great eye.  Not just cloud, need Desert Beast Fire in sky.”

I gather he means the kind of lightning generated by great sand storms.  Ah well, didn’t I know that about Albaral!  It is an observation post, an active satellite – but who really controls it?  No matter now.  I have to digest this new information and see how many more astral rabbits I can pull out of my hat and have hidden up my non-existent sleeves.

“You right to tell me.  But what I do?  I slave woman, old, tired.  Die soon maybe.  How I help?”

“Not know, we do.  But know you very wise.  Have many tricks.  Have friends.  You they say daughter of Great Desert Beast.  You they say is Teacher.  You they say will know.  We just ask.  We trust you as man.”

Well, that is quite an admission and confession.  The words, ‘We trust you as man’ coming from a man to a woman slave may not have been uttered on this world for hundreds of years.  Am I making an impression here?  No time to explore this further as I must return to the line-ups or we become suspicious.  I wave my hand, “I think.  Speak to trusting women.  Pray to goddess.  Find way, always we find way, friends of goddess.  What be Huntu woman name?”

Huntu replies, “I not know name.  She say secret woman name, for goddess only.  She be 1336-14-09.”

“Listen Huntu.  I call her ‘Zel’ so she has name to call, yes?”

“Zel is name, yes.  Thank you sir.”

Before we emerge I insist they make fun of me as if they’d had a good old time with the crone.  I look angry to convince handlers that I did not enjoy myself.  They are pleased at the cruelty and indicate so with lewd finger gestures at the two young men who must pretend they enjoyed themselves too.  While I eat I ponder my role in this new drama and certain crisis.  I can’t always go running to the doctor and Cydroids with every problem.  How do we, women, tackle this with any possibility of success if I do not involve my friends?  But what right do I have to compromise their work here?  None.  That I will not do.  If we are to ever succeed we must find it within ourselves.  If others choose to become involved later, that will be their choice.  Maybe I’m being stubborn; maybe, who knows, I’m becoming senile.  But I see much farther than I did when I came here.  Not so far that these people cannot share my vision, just farther than they yet realize they can see.

Well first I must identify the slave 1336-14-09 I call ‘Zel.’  She is three years older than Tiki (1339-32-19) so around eighteen to twenty.  A fighter in her prime.  Tieka is a thirteen year old kitchen gorok, just arrived this year in Hyrete.  Her brand would read, line one #1328-04 – born 1328, class 4 – bred fighter; line two 1341-15-07 for admission year, batch, number in batch. 

I better explain this strange record keeping of female slaves.  It’s quite simple actually.  The important brand dates refer to admission to Hyrete keep and batch numbers.  That is how females are auctioned off, not by birth date.  This could seem confusing to some.  Batch numbers are important to buyers as they are used to trace the crèche where the slave was raised and the kind of ‘product’ it is reputed to contain.  Every ‘batch’ comes from a particular crèche in Elbre and sometimes even beyond.  They are all official birth places. 

“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