Tag Archives: gambling

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #102

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

End blog post #101
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Start blog post #102

Chapter 40 – The Great Escape and Aftermath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End blog post #102

A Difficult but Necessary Matter of Balance

 (thoughts from    ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara)

I haven’t had much time for blogging lately, being as they say, busy.  But surprisingly, I’ve had time, perhaps too much time, to think about this world, about its overall condition and where it is heading, apparently heedless and unaware.  I know this is a judgment forming an opinion, but not once in my entire life of 70 years has my sense of where things are going ever been wrong.  It’s like a compass in my mind, something I can “see” and rely on entirely, basing my personal movements on it, knowing when to “hold and when to fold” as the song goes.

I feel massive waves of sorrow passing over me time and again, triggered by many encounters: a baby in its mother’s arms; an old man hunched over waiting to safely cross a busy street; a homeless lady holding a sign saying, ‘Please buy my CD, I’m hungry’ and displaying a CD she probably found in a dumpster – (she got lucky: I saw her and I chose to believe her despite all the propaganda against her) or even moved to a helpless stop by the wind’s choreography of tree branches not yet covered in leaves.  A house hunched behind a sagging gate; a rusting sign from a business that went broke years before…  

Have you ever just “thought” about “the world” and had tears well in your eyes until they started flowing down your cheeks?  Closed your eyes and brought your hands together as if in prayer, though you don’t pray?  Then thinking, ‘Do I want to be here?’ and knowing the answer is ‘No, I don’t want to feel this, this way, connected to this chaos of ignorance, of pain, of apparent mindlessness.  I don’t want to be the stranger any longer; to not be able to speak to the trees, the birds, the clouds.  I’m tired of just feeling and finding it so terribly difficult to harness those feelings; to draw intelligence, awareness, understanding, acceptance and meaningful teaching from them.  That is probably neither their purpose, nor task but I’m breaking the rules here.’ 

Life, I find, is like driving a street.  Some parts are smooth, some rough.  Some are safe and some, well, you may not get out of alive.  The truly sad part is, much of life is entered into without its overall costs duly assessed.  People are programmed, it seems, to repeat patterns and unable to stop and consider the risks, the odds, based on previous lives, previous experiences of elder people, or people in history.  ‘What are my chances this is going to work as I hope?’ Is not the question asked.  Plunge into the swamp, there are no alligators here!  But there are, disguised as floating logs.  You may have passed your swimming tests and won medals, but guaranteed: terror is but a splash behind you, and it isn’t virtual reality. 

Too dark a vision?  Probably, but some of us have chosen a path that runs counter to that of the herd and we see that which the herd isn’t permitted to see, and would not want to see in any case. 

Someone has to shed burning hot tears for the dying.  It’s a difficult but necessary matter of balance.  

 

Stop Grasshopper: where are you going from here?

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

If I were a betting kind of person, I’d bet a substantial amount of my pension check, say $100, that the main question on most people’s minds these days would be something like, “where are we going from here?”  At least in the Western world, faced as it is with some quite serious political and economic changes and challenges. 

Imagine what it’s like to live in a world built almost exclusively on slave labour and stolen resources from Third World nations, or any nation that can’t defend itself against political graft, military superiority and financial corruption, and having that cornucopia gradually go empty? 

The growing number of war costs and bodies on the ground (take that metaphorically or literally) is making itself felt.  Cheap resources and cheaper labour are not delivering their quota of expectations.  Prices are rising, as is discontent, chaos, confusion and fear. Damn, but it’s really quite annoying, this constant discomfort.  It’s like the Western world is suffering from sciatica; it can’t find any comfortable position to put itself back to sleep. 

Never mind the MSM (I understand that to mean something like “Multi-Slime Media” but I could be wrong, it’s probably something much worse), I’ve been reading “alternative” media, or just a lot of blogging on various subjects such as Trumpism, war, global injustice, climate change… or sometimes switching to war, climate change, global injustice and Trumpism.  Nothing like variety, is there.  So, big picture, what am I reading?

I’m reading the confused thoughts of people enmeshed in a net of anti-human corruption called predatory capitalism.  The concept is a real-life Game played with real people who live and die at the hands of the players.  The Game itself is completely artificial, having nothing whatsoever to do with natural life as it was meant to be lived, either on this world, or on any sane world.  The tokens used are called money, and while they all serve the same purpose, they have different names in different parts of the globe.  Dollars is a popular name; rubles, yens, yuan, shekel, rupee, pound, it doesn’t matter, they are just tokens, some “worth” more than others. 

When you sign up for the Game, in very fine print at the bottom of the form, on page 198, there is a cautionary line: If you have some tokens, you may gamble and if Lady Luck favours you, you may get more, but the moment you lose your last token, your life is forfeit to the Game and you and your family must die or go into life-long slavery. 

How seriously do Earthians take this global Game?  Enough to play it 24/7, on every part of the planet.  Enough to gamble away everything they own, even their nation.  Enough to willingly enslave themselves to those who have the most tokens because they control the Game and have enough power to change to rules so the Game always benefits them.  Enough to sacrifice their children on the board and to die by the millions through a variety of preventable causes to keep the Game going.

Pathetic?  Beyond pathetic.  But if that isn’t sad enough, try to imagine billions of semi-intelligent creatures believing that if they stopped the Game they and their world would suddenly die. Billions, even those who have given up believing in invisible sky wizards called gods, believe in, and promote the Game as if all of life on earth depended on an endless exchange of tokens, either in a physical form or increasingly, over the internet. 

I taught myself the rules of the Game when I was very young because I sensed how it was designed to enslave people by forcing them to become addicted to it.  I didn’t want to play the Game because it is disgusting to me, but I needed to know it so I wouldn’t get ensnared by it; so I wouldn’t become tempted to worship in its churches called banks and gambling casinos or shopping plazas.  Furthermore, as I realized that each day of my life the Game was claiming more and more of the world and there would soon be no place left where anyone could live without holding a playing card and having a minimum number of tokens, I needed to know how to pretend to play so I wouldn’t be banished from its all-encompassing zone of control. 

I finally realized that the only place outside was through suicide but after a “half life” of playing with the thought and a couple of attempts, I gave that up.  I was offered a challenge: to live within the Game while despising it and doing everything I could to expose it as nothing but a death-dealing addiction, the number one addiction on the planet.  I could live with that. 

Once in a while I stop long enough to look at this world, and its addiction to the Game; to money.  I realize how everything, and I mean absolutely everything that has any value has been put up as an ante, a forced bet, on the Game’s table.  I see billions of players looking on in dismay, having lost everything, knowing that death is now mandatory for them.  I see the piles of bets in front of the few bloated players who only want more having no other reason to play but addicted to having more.  What do I compare this to?

I imagine a world where everyone is addicted to watching the Bugs Bunny, Road Runner Looney Tunes cartoons on TV.  It’s all they’ve ever watched, all they’ve ever seen, all they know, all they believe in.  The Game is played between Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.  It goes on and on and on, and all those people spend their entire lives convinced that one day, one time, Wile E. Coyote will win over the Road Runner.  They spend everything betting on the coyote, despite the fact that he’s never, ever won.

That is pathetic.  That is capitalism. 

Who does the Road Runner represent?  Bill Gates (Microsoft), Amancia Ortega (Inditex or Zara), Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathway), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Koch brothers (Koch Industries), Carlos Slim (Grupo Carso), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Larry Elllison (Oracle), Ingvar Kamprad (IKEA).  These ten richest multi-billionaires in order of value, are each worth over 40 billion Game tokens.  With his endless failed attempts at beating the Road Runner, it’s easy to figure out who Wile E. Coyote represents. 

Tell me again, intelligent people of earth, why you are absolutely convinced that you must play this really stupid “Hunger Game” and sacrifice everything of value to it?  Why you believe that the Game is worth more than the very world you depend upon for your life?  I’m not sure I quite understand your reasoning.  In fact I know I don’t.

Now listen to some pertinent lyrics sung so beautifully by Blackmore’s Night, food for thought:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbJ89efvKqM