Tag Archives: hand to hand combat

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #76

While I draw him after me again I marvel at the design and temper of those short blades in the sandals. It penetrated cheelth as if it was paper and I’d be willing to bet there is hardly any dulling of the cutting edges. Way to go Master Smith, I love you!

End blog post #75
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Begin blog post #76

Chapter 33 – The Fight of the Beasts – Part Two

Three hours into the fight, according to the great wall chrono and finally the trumpet calls the time out for cooling down, drink, weapons switch entailing armour replacements and patch up work on the cuts if needed. My handlers bring a first aid kit, help me remove all my armour since the next fight has to be with the rapier and dagger requiring we do it naked. Using sterilized and anaesthetized fibresteel staples they patch my cut and apply morphing tape on it. I bite on the handle of my rapier to absorb the pain. I nod I am OK to proceed and adjust my sandals.

Since I ‘invented’ the sandals we have been permitted to wear them in combat even when the rules demanded we be naked. Foot wear is not considered part of one’s apparel. Like so many other rules pertaining to the treatment of fighters, rape, and procedural matters of fighting, it would be a complete waste of time to wade through them looking for either common sense or consistency of enforcement. This world is choking on legalistic legalism. They make laws to interpret laws, laws to enforce laws, laws to render existing laws unenforceable. And yet bottom line is, all law breaking is considered a crime, all crimes are a capital offence. What was it that I learned during my days with the Supremacy forces? That when a thing becomes all, it becomes nothing? Absolutism destroys the very thing it would become… or claims to be.

As I prepare my mind for round two, I recall my Teaching to the women in the compound a few days ago. I wonder if they are doing the prayer I taught them. I sense they are. And I look into the sky above for the circling vultures. Hmmm, yes the are still there. Well, I did not say it would happen today, did I. What I said was, it would be a long time before these scavengers are frightened away by the sky boat of the goddess Desert Beast in her green scale suit. A long time. A time to determine whether they chose to become self-empowered, or chose to forget and remain in their slavery. That choice I cannot make for them, only for myself. But perhaps I can help them make it. By example.

In actual fact, the only thing that will send the scavengers away is when they no longer find food outside the great Keep of Hyrete – when they are no longer being fed the bodies of fighters and other female victims of the Power that rules Malefactus.

I drink greedily and surreptitiously slip the stim cube out of a tight lock of hair above my left ear and slip it into my mouth, cutting into it and letting it take effect slowly. Amazing stuff but I can’t understand how anyone could become addicted to it. That sex-slave trainee must have been introduced to it in some bastardized form, with something else in it, added to it or injected in it. Chakr mix? Possible. Or some kind of subtle poison which would explain her insane outburst.

I am able to penetrate the Warmo’s mind block while he is pondering his next moves. In my mind I actually see the attendant inject the poison on the end of the dagger blade, wait a couple of seconds for it to gel and blister the steel, then slip the blade back into its closed scabbard. Subtle enough for the average person, but I’m using Avatari functions today. I’ve noticed that lately they have been returning to me incrementally. I never thought I could use them to actually fight with intent to kill someone. Much to learn, I have!

Strengthened by food, water, stim and the short rest, I slip on the belt that holds the dagger in its scabbard. I take the rapier in both hands, lift it high over my head pointing directly at the sun and perform a high flipping throw, letting the thin blade gleam and vibrate in the sunlight. I wait for the thin sword to return to me and grab its handle as it comes down, blade straight up. Again I lift it high, only this time as a salute. Then I flip it down, tip into the sand and bowing my head, I wait for the centering trumpet.

It seems an unusually long time in coming. The crowd is growing restless without its usual quota of cut flesh, spilled blood and screams from the dying. I wonder too – what’s the hold-up?

A judge in a bright red robe and hood thrown back comes striding into the ring, kicking sand with his bare feet and puffing. He’s carrying a gold circle in his hand meaning he has a priority message. He stops by a group of trainers and handlers who have assembled. He slips the ring up his arm, indicating he is speaking for the Courts and the Law. He points at me and explains something with arm and hand gestures. A handler shakes his head negatively and angrily. The judge points at him and does the hand across the throat sign. ‘Shut up or die!’

A trainer comes over to me. “You slave, take off sandals, now! Fight naked now, no shoe.” I unstrap my sandals and hand them to him. He rips them from my hands and throws them at the judge’s feet.

He yells at me, “Now krosspeeg, you listen. This fight special, different, understand. When challenger drops belt and weapon, you do same or you flogged by challenger, killed. When he ready, you fight – no weapons, understand? If he no weapons, you no weapons. You keep weapon, guards cut arm off with laser.” He says these words clearly so they carry into the crowd.

Then he comes closer to me and under guise of checking my weapons or belt he whispers: “Sorry to you, we must obey Law judge. Big change, big problem with the Warmo. Much evil done. Cannot help you. Must fight bare hands. Sorry you not trained. Much we need you win. You OK now?” I nod and would just love to hug him and assure him it’s all right.

The Warmo has taken off his boots and suddenly drops his belt and weapons. He stares at me and I cast a sidelong glance at his totally naked body and the way his toes curl in the sand. Powerful legs and forearms. Have to concentrate on those. Yes indeed, this is a switch. There has never been a weaponless fight has long as I’ve fought in this place. Only in the killing orgies have I seen people tear into each other with bare hands, or kick each other in the genitals or face. But those were free-for-alls and no one would dare intrude to bring order.

The trainer raises his voice again. “Understand now, krosspeeg? You animal, fight like animal. Beast fight with beast, no weapons.” To avoid punishment or worse, forfeit of the fight, I drop my rapier and dagger belt and the trainer grabs them and throws them at the judge’s feet also.

So what the Warmo let me see in his mind was a complete fabrication, a deception. I understand now what the Warmo is doing. First, by disarming me he’s preventing me from fulfilling my promise, should I win, to cut him down piece by piece and torture him to death. Second, if he gets close enough he will bite me, Vampire fashion and drink my blood to weaken me and strengthen himself. That taste of warm female blood is how he gets his power. I know that even my bionic wrists, which he must suspect I have somehow acquired, seeing as how he destroyed my original wrists on his infernal cross, and the small cube of stale stim I have ingested cannot prevail against what he plans for me.

However, like Samson recovering his strength as his hair regrows, my Avatari awareness has been returning to me. And the reason is, this battle is for the very soul of T’Sing Tarleyn, hence of Túat Har. On the etheric we are not human combatants but cosmic divinities fighting for the mind of an entire world. One of us wants to own them to devour them one by one; one of us came to redeem and to set free.

One of us is the Demon; the other the Avenging Angel.

End blog post #76

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #75

I keep moving back, back, drawing him to me as a magnet draws steel. I move in and out of trance, sometimes seeing an SS guard, complete with the dreaded insignia on the coat – he knows of my ancient morbid fear of men in police or military uniforms. Sometimes I see a Melkiar robot in gleaming black metallic armour and the staff becomes a death tube. Sometimes it’s a giant demon from hell, his black carapace smoking and his eyes red laser beams. Then I see a human being desperate to escape the mould his vices have locked him into for eternity or until his Valkyrie, his Avenging Angel of Death and Ultimate Mercy kills him and pulls his soul from it. I see an evil black hooded Darth Vader from an Old Earth flatvid sci-fi production coming at me with a red light stick.

End blog post #74
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Begin blog post #75

For one full hour we go through the motions of a fight. We dance around each other, doing no real damage. I have not yet taken the stim hidden in my hair nor have I had to use my bionic enhancements. Warmo is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered in this place. There is something utterly inhuman in him. He carries his own enhancements; a combination of power that reeks of hell. I am repulsed by the thoughts in his mind. His darkness is terrible. His body exhudes a foul stench of putrefaction.

My mind probe tells me he drank the blood of some of his victims mixed in chakr; that he is addicted to it. Have I now met a real life humanoid vampire? And how do you kill a vampire? With a wooden stake through the heart. Did it have to be precisely at midnight? I cannot remember but I know that the Old Earth tale of horror has in fact manifested itself on Malefactus, at least for me. How many times did I warn people on Old Earth that everything they ever thought, wrote about, dreamed of, or imagined, had to become a living manifestation in some dimension? That they would in some future incarnation either encounter their creations or be one of them? Malefactus would be a custom-made world for human vampires if one existed and was actually killed on Old Earth. Here is where it would naturally re-incarnate.

I am repelled and fascinated by this vision or revelation. I jump out of trance and watch the human part of him struggling with me. His attacks are fast and subtle. He has devious and unexpected moves, but that’s not where his focus lies. He’s drawing me into a place of his own choosing, like a flame draws a moth. He does not intend to kill me with his weapons, at least not directly. Yes – and I think he allows me to know this – he is going to have poison put on his dagger, but that too is a side show. He’s got something else in mind. I take a chance and trance again. Now I’m met with a barrage of confusing images. I won’t get anymore information, he’s sensed my probe and is blocking. I jump out and now it’s time for the physical approach.

One and one half hours and nothing to show for it. We are both as fresh and cool as when we began. It’s as if we were just floating over the sand. There is no blood. Ah, blood. Vampires like blood, particularly women’s blood. What will happen to his cool exterior if he sees blood on me? Will it weaken or empower him? Will he become wary or will he attack? I decide no blood. Let his be the first. I change my tactics with a violent rush and stab him in the thigh. First blood drawn. He seems surprised, backs off a little then smiles at me. His hand slips down into the blood and he licks the protecting gauntlet.

In turn he attacks violently. I engage my bionics then and parry his attack easily. I smack his gauntlet-protected fingers but still that had to smart. I spin my staff and do a Deirdre pole vault over him coming down behind and smashing into his shin so hard my staff vibrates in my hands. He almost falls over, recovers, spins and lays his staff to my shoulder. A powerful individual. My shoulder remains numb for a few seconds and throbs like hell. I jump back out of reach. We both survey the space between us. Who attacks next? Our eyes lock.

He comes to me in a crouch as low as he dares and tries to enter below my defences to cut into my calf. The slicing edge of the staff point comes to millimetres of my dancing foot but fortunately for me he attacked my bionic side. A blur is all his staff goes through. But the move is enough to allow him to pull the long sword which he wields with one hand while still using the staff to block my blow to his head. Part of it connects and he drops the staff to come around with the deadly sword. If I parry with my staff he’ll cut it in half. If I don’t I’m dead. That’s what my brain tells me. My training. I drop into trance to slow him down in my mind. First I see him kick his fallen staff over the low wall so I can’t grab it. Then I see the sword engaging the staff and cutting it cleanly in half. I see a huge nick in the sword weakening the blade, throwing off the balance, rendering it useless in this sort of intricate combat.

He finishes his turn, kicking his staff out over the wall where a guard picks it up and holds it. Instead of parrying his deadly swath with the middle of the staff I give him the blunt end to bite into. A quarter of the staff goes flying but his sword has the nick in it I saw in the vision. I rebalance the remaining piece of staff, engage the extender fully and return to the attack. I force him to cut at the staff again. He does, cuts through the staff again but shatters his sword near the half point. I pursue him madly now. He parries with a half sword and I attack with less than a half staff. It would be comical if our lives did not lie in the balance. We continue, no choice. Only the “time out” trumpet can stop this.

I realize that in my eagerness I’ve activated my front sole blades. I try to quickly find a way to use them because they are now obstructing my steps. Damn stupid woman, you call yourself a professional gladiator? A trainee would have known not to do that! I parry another truncated sword slash to the side. He connects enough to cut in my right thigh through the side slit in the tunic. My blood flows and I can sense him licking his lips. He smiles. Attacks. Comes closer. Just as he comes in for another cut I lift my bionic leg and drive the foot blade deep into his arm then pull back. The moment of shock is enough for me to retract the damn blades and regain my natural stance and begin a whole new dance. Now I feel my sweat, but it’s more of a cold sweat than exertion. He secretes a smell of death, and it’s not a carry-over from his victims in the dungeons. It’s in his blood! I got a sure whiff of it from the stabbed arm.

While I draw him after me again I marvel at the design and temper of those short blades in the sandals. It penetrated cheelth as if it was paper and I’d be willing to bet there is hardly any dulling of the cutting edges. Way to go Master Smith, I love you!

End blog post #75

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #74

It’s a simple, age-old choice.

One, I believe and I trust the High Priest to know better than I ever could. In his hands I die a sacrifice to the God as I have been in the habit of doing over and over.

Two, I walk to the Knight, kneel, accept the knighthood proffered. I take the weapons, walk past the altar into the room where the demon in black metal armour awaits my entrance. He is ready to fight me, dishonour me, kill and devour me along with all I have ever loved and cared for, living or dead.

That is the choice I have been moving towards since I evolved into ISSA consciousness. This choice determines whether I graduate, or remain in obedient subservience and servitude to a Higher Power.

I choose the weapons. I go to meet Warmo. It is time.

End blog post #73
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Begin blog post #74

I am given a light early meal and in another upset, I am dressed in a sleeveless short white cotton shift. Even my trainers give a slight bow of the head to me. I feel like sobbing out loud, this is such an emotional affair. I am overwhelmed and embarrassed by it all. The kitchen staff is allowed to come out and wave to me. The overseer comes over and touches my shoulder and whispers a typical T’Sing Tarleynan good luck saying that translates roughly as “keep the sun shining” and pats me on the head. I needed that little bit of ‘enlightenment’ to bring me back to ground level.

I thank the old overseer from the heart and let him see my face covered in grateful tears while I smile openly, freely. I silently wish them all well.

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you wonderful people who are demonstrating your real humanity today. I bless you all…’

But their inane law prevents me from saying the words to them aloud. So I carry them in my heart, for now. And in my mind I plant them in the soil of this place, under the paving stones. In time, perhaps they will emerge and fill all the cracks in these structures.

And I’m led into the arena to meet my arch rival, my nemesis who has hounded me through so many lives and given me so many nightmares. Yet were it not for him I would never have found my way here, to this transition point.

When the crowd sees the female fighter in the white dress come forth to the armour and weapons table, they fall into dead silence. This has never been seen. Of course there is no riff-raff in this crowd, the prices of admission being astronomical. This is the day for the aristocracy to enjoy itself. Still, the silence prior to any fight is unnerving. I strip my dress off, stand naked as per protocol, do a few bending exercises to demonstrate my fitness and with some help, don my armour for the first fight involving the staff.

I have studiously avoided looking in Warmo’s direction. I want to use my so-called sixth sense and feel his presence rather than study him with my physical senses. It’s his mind/heart I must penetrate and remain vigilant over. To him I must project, send, nothing but white noise. I must block any thought aimed at me while attempting to read his. Remains to be seen how much of an adept he is at this game. Concentrate, focus, collect, withdraw, analyze, discard and repeat until nothing of value can be gained from the exercise.

An eternity and the centering trumpet sounds. I walk to the center, still looking down, not at him. I sense a slight discomfort from him. He is probing me with his eyes, ears and nose. To a much lesser extent I feel his mind probe but it is weak. I lift my head just enough to see his weapon and the arc it’s going to describe on the very first swing. I turn to the King’s dais and although I cannot see him, I know he’s watching his holo and has me on close-up. I salute with my staff held high at a slight upward tilt and bow. Then I wait without fear or tremor for the second trumpet.

As soon as it sounds I literally jump out of my trance and begin the dance with him. I already knew he would swing left and I parry, jumping back, not yet engaging my bionic ankle. I must ‘study’ his moves for he knows much more of mine than I of his. And I take careful note of the long sword in the scabbard on his back. I try to see if it is lashed with thongs I could cut with the cutting point of the staff – very unlikely.

I keep moving back, back, drawing him to me as a magnet draws steel. I move in and out of trance, sometimes seeing an SS guard, complete with the dreaded insignia on the coat – he knows of my ancient morbid fear of men in police or military uniforms. Sometimes I see a Melkiar robot in gleaming black metallic armour and the staff becomes a death tube. Sometimes it’s a giant demon from hell, his black carapace smoking and his eyes red laser beams. Then I see a human being desperate to escape the mould his vices have locked him into for eternity or until his Valkyrie, his Avenging Angel of Death and Ultimate Mercy kills him and pulls his soul from it. I see an evil black hooded Darth Vader from an Old Earth flatvid sci-fi production coming at me with a red light stick.

End blog post #74

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #73

No, this will not happen.  I have a job to do.  My training and my enhancements were all gifts to me exactly for this moment.  XBA9 was tortured to death so I would have this opportunity.  This is one of those classic turning points in history when one person, one “hero” can make the difference and everything changes, forever.
End blog post #72
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Begin blog post #73

Chapter 32 – The Fight of the Beasts – Part One

The evening before the fight gives us a clear sky with glowing red clouds in a fiery sunset.  The setting sun sends off rays all the way to the meridian above the keep.  It is beautiful.  I ask my handlers if I can just stand for a while and watch the patterns in the sky, alone.  To my surprise they acquiesce to my request and two of them stand almost respectfully at some distance behind me, also staring into the beauty spread so lavishly above us.  Suddenly they both approach me and hold my arms gently.  One of them puts his hand under my chin as I instinctively bow my head in submission and makes me look into his face.  He pulls me slowly to himself and kisses me, as he’s undoubtedly seen women do with each other many times. 

This too is another of those massive breakthroughs. 

The other looks perplexed by his partner’s move, then tries it also.  I kiss him back warmly and gently.  I move my hand to his penis and it is fully erect, hard in my hand.  I fondle him.  He understands now at least one of the uses of kissing.  To him it had always been nothing more than some kind of stupid display of female emotion and weakness. 

Both of them take me around the back of the weapons cases and make love to me.  Yes, they actually make love.  They allow me to play them and arouse them fully before they come.  It is pleasant; it is good; it is like giving the finger to that terrible Force that my “high” sense keeps telling me uses the artificial world of Albaral to poison the men’s minds against women on this world.  No it’s even better than that.  It’s an awakening for the three of us. A bonding that can never be reversed.

They walk me back slowly to the cages.  Tiki is standing, a bit worried I think, maybe jealous.  I take her in my arms and for a long time after the gate has closed and the handlers have walked away we hold and caress each other.  I see many faces turned to me, to us.  On those faces closest to me I see smiles – smiles!  I smile back at them then Tiki and I slip down together into the straw and soon fall asleep.  Another dreamless, innocent sleep that ends with the morning call.  I awaken from a great distance and immediately realize what day this is.

It has been said that ‘only the dead do not know fear’ but if that is true then I must surely be dead.  I do not feel fear.  I feel as a bride on her wedding day.  This is when it comes together for me. 

So many paths, so many twists, turns, dead ends.  But this path has been the most trying.  For years I struggled on it and the thorns, thistles, broken branches and fallen trees kept blocking my advance, tripping me, crushing my bones and making me bleed.  For some days now I’ve stopped struggling and now the path is clear. 

Ahead, in a clear bright light I see one single set of stairs and two altars.  The one on the left is covered with a pure white linen cloth on which the sacrificial victim must lie to be offered in death to the god.  Beside it stands the high priest with the sacrificial knife to cut the victim’s heart out.  Yes, I remember that part.

On the other is a wonderful set of deadly blades and a knight with a golden sword half drawn waiting to knight me and hand me the blades. 

It’s a simple, age-old choice. 

One, I believe and I trust the High Priest to know better than I ever could.  In his hands I die a sacrifice to the God as I have been in the habit of doing over and over. 

Two, I walk to the Knight, kneel, accept the knighthood proffered.  I take the weapons, walk past the altar into the room where the demon in black metal armour awaits my entrance.  He is ready to fight me, dishonour me, kill and devour me along with all I have ever loved and cared for, living or dead.

That is the choice I have been moving towards since I evolved into ISSA consciousness.  This choice determines whether I graduate, or remain in obedient subservience and servitude to a Higher Power.

I choose the weapons.  I go to meet Warmo.  It is time.

End blog post #73

Antierra Manifesto-blog post #72

That was the first and last addict I encountered in the compounds.  She lost her appetite for stim, at least around me.  I could have left my cube lying in her cage and she would not have touched it.  Maybe it was cruel; maybe it wasn’t funny but Tiki and I and a few other women laughed much over this unusual episode.  That it should happen at a time when I was flying so high was also of note.  The air of celebration continued until the day of the fight. 

End blog post #71
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Begin blog post #72

The Warmo, now a condemned prisoner, is escorted naked into our compound to choose his weapons.  There is much staring and gawking, but no noise as we had been warned the silence rule would be fully and viciously enforced while the Warmo was among us.  I could feel the tension and hate among the women.  There is not one here who would hesitate for one second to throw herself at him and tear off his balls and finish him off.  Well, he does not look cut.  He’s  not a eunuch so his lack of sexual desire towards his female victims must speak of something else.  Homosexual?  I could throw that in his face tomorrow.  And I’d just love to add that aberration to his public rap sheet!  Homosexuals are as common as sand here, but that can never be admitted to – another capital crime.  While female fighters and sex-slaves are expected to have same-sex lovers, males are prohibited from expressing themselves in similar fashion. 

I follow the Warmo’s movements as a hawk watches its prey.  What weapons will the rat choose?  The staff.  That’s good for me.  But he does not stop there.  He appears to have a special permit to use several weapons in any order he chooses.  He picks the long sword and the combination rapier and short sword.  Now I have to figure out his game.  There is no apparent sense to his choices so he’s worked out a system whereby he can defeat me with these choices.  I must logically deduce the reason behind his apparently random and meaningless choice.  He is escorted out and I ask permission to consider the weapons just chosen.  I watch the faces of the trainers when I make my request.  One of them sneers openly at me.  Ahah!  There is a connection between some information he has given Warmo and the choices.  Well, never mind that for the moment.  First concentrate in what order a thoroughly trained and professional fighter would use the particular weapons chosen.

First the staff.  Its strengths I am familiar with.  What are its weaknesses regarding the other weapons?  It’s long and thin.  A good blow across it with the large sword would easily weaken or even cut it in half.  Point one.  Warmo intends to switch weapons during the fighting, not during regular drinking breaks.  He starts with the staff, forcing me to match him, gets me engaged then switches to the sword and cuts into my weapon, breaking it and leaving me wide open to a thrust.  How does he intend to switch weapons so fast?

He cannot leave the sword just lying in the sand – a menace to his feet and I could grab it.  A scabbard!  He will be wearing the long sword on his back.  That has never been done in the arena but this is no ordinary fight.  We are billed as Beasts, therefore rules can be bent or broken to accommodate the fare.  Judges can be bought.  I have to remind myself of the awesome load of gambling money riding on this contest. 

Allowing for my intuition being correct, what about the rapier and dagger?  To carry poison.  Despite my invented stories I have no access to poison and besides I wouldn’t use it.  I intend to bring this creature down piecemeal, literally cutting him down to size.  I am the cat, he is the rat.  He may bite but I will get him in the end.  He is just one rat, not a pack.  This rat will use the long sword to tire me out if he hasn’t dispatched me with his switch already.  At the first opportunity he will trade for the rapier and dagger to make an opening for the poisoned tip to come in contact with my skin. 

What kind of poison?  Certainly the deadliest known.  It will be the concoction they call yalney, a deadly yellowish liquid stored in glass containers complete with glass stoppers.  Nothing else will hold it. If you put it on your blade it eats through it in about an hour on average.  They demonstrated this to me at the forge and I’ve never forgotten what it did to our beautiful steel.  It bubbles lightly and gels quickly on steel and you can pour it lightly over a surface that will contact flesh. 

Within fifteen minutes of contact anywhere on bare human skin the body begins to close on itself.  It impacts the nervous system, relaxing the muscles, first in the extremities then working its way to the heart.  The victim remains fully conscious for hours and finally goes into convulsions and spasms then death.  Very painful.  But imagine the pleasure the Warmo would derive from thus disabling me then proceeding to take me apart while I remain conscious?  He’d cut open my wrists and ankles and expose the bionic circuits to the judges.  He’d be vindicated…

Who will put the poison on his blade?  It would have to be put on while we are fighting, not before or it will have eaten through by then.  One of the floor judges or an assistant.  While we are on a drinking break.  Of course, simple.  After the break, he casually switches weapons as if nothing was out of the ordinary. 

I’m in a bit of a sobered state of mind now.  I realize I have my work cut out for myself in that fight.  Time to assess my strengths – I know my weaknesses and have dealt with that, perhaps a bit too much.  You can easily psych yourself out that way too.

Analysis of strengths. 

I’m at least as proficient in the use of weapons as is the Warmo.  I’m younger and faster.  I have bionic implants.  I have more recent training and most likely I possess superior weapons, simply because the “new and improved” ones were not in the weapons lock-up cases when Warmo made his choices.  My “special house blend” including all armour and my ‘magic’ sandals, is now being prepared and packed for the arena and will be safely stashed into the weapons lock-up shortly. 

Tiki was sent down to the forge to let the smiths know of Warmo’s choices.  I have already advised the chief smith I want him to personally bring up the weapons and armour, not to entrust them to his young charges.  I fear the jealousy and hatred of that young apprentice may have spread to the others and could result in deliberate sabotage or “accidental loss” of my weapons package.  Any such misadventure would certainly result in my death.  Who knows how long Warmo’s arm still reaches throughout the keep of Hyrete?  Who can know who’s been bought?

So much is riding on this match to the death.  So much, for the women of the keep, especially for Tiki; for my friend the doctor and his Cydroids.  At this moment I hold their fate in my hands.

I know that according to Elbran law, if the male “criminal” kills his female fighter, he is exonerated of all charges against him.  If this were to happen, Warmo would immediately be given his position and power back.  He would re-open his torture dungeons and sweep through the women’s compound to grab any of them who ever fought with me, were trained by me, slept with me or in some way befriended me.  Such is the pattern of psychotic hate.  I remember it so well from a life on Old Earth in C-20.  They called themselves Nazis, and the worst ones (called distilled villainy by one of my history professors in a following life) were SS guards.  You were guilty by association and torture was automatic if arrested. How many would Warmo claim?  How many tortured to death? 

No, this will not happen.  I have a job to do.  My training and my enhancements were all gifts to me exactly for this moment.  XBA9 was tortured to death so I would have this opportunity.  This is one of those classic turning points in history when one person, one “hero” can make the difference and everything changes, forever.

End blog post #72

 

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #66

I don’t have to explain the Inquisition or Warmo to her. She gets as much as I could tell her from her contacts which she has naturally developed as she works the kitchens, the yard and the cages. By now everybody knows her and she has had many offers to leave me and share younger flesh in other cages. She could do it, if she wanted it badly enough. Yes, she belongs to me, in a sense, but she could “trade” herself for another, say an older trainee who wanted to ingratiate herself to me for special training. This old human trading for advantage, for favours, is found everywhere except in the most advanced and evolved worlds touching the top edge of ISSA consciousness. No matter where I’ve encountered this process, I’ve always found it particularly repugnant.

End blog post #65
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Begin blog post #66

To this moment Tiki chooses to remain in my care. Undoubtedly there are many advantages for her in this choice, not the least of which is added protection. Especially now. I could literally commit a crime and I would not be molested by the men – at least not until after the fight. Tiki is no fool. Plus I think she likes me, even loves me, in her own way. We speak of the fight.

Tiki afraid for me?” I ask her.

Ah yes. Little bit afraid. That man is monster. Bad man. He hurt you, I hate him. If he kill you, when I become fighter, I kill him. Better for him you kill him, yes. Better.” So much fire in her low throaty voice; so much strength. It is I who feels strengthened by her devotion.

I kill him, Tiki. I have to, not for me, for all of us. I have to make my weapon talk to him and tell him he be very wrong about women. I show him power of woman. Then you know I true. You know I can give that power to Tiki, my full power, before I too must die in arena. You understand?”

Those round pools of luminescent black, the sad eyes of the women of Malefactus, bore into mine. There is a trace of tears in them, unusual, for women fighters do not usually shed tears. “Yes.” She whispers and I feel her warm breath on my face as she exhales heavily. “I lose you soon. Always they kill old fighters. Like young ones better; like to look at us. Like to hurt us and make fun of clumsiness. I learn from you, Anti. I not be clumsy. I be old first time I fight and kill man.” She means she will be fully trained and experienced and will fight like an old professional fighter. She means she will dedicate her training life to being the best. Now it is coming from her. Now I can begin her training in earnest. Demonstrate her spirit and abilities to interest a powerful and rich owner who will keep her for the profits she will bring him. One who will provide her that little extra edge of protection every woman desperately longs for and needs here. That I must do before I ‘leave’ Malefactus.

During the hiatus before the main event I’m given much liberty and all the training time I desire. I have full access to the forge and I make sure I have all the possible weapons ready. I do not know what Warmo will choose. They say in his fighting days as a drook he was an adept at all of them plus he handled others we have never seen here in the compound. I know he is considered a criminal now but he has deep roots in this place. Connections. Plus much money is riding on this. This fight could be fixed, or a serious attempt could be made to fix it.

Could he, somehow, find a way to by-pass the rule of equal weapon and armour? Could he show up with a new type of weapon I’ve never seen, or trained on and be allowed to use it? I try to imagine what sort of hand to hand combat weapon he could design not in our arsenal. Perhaps a poisoned throwing knife hidden in a sleeve of his armour? That is the kind of trick I must expect. Tiny balls with poisoned spikes that can be thrown at bare flesh and do their work in minutes? Those razor sharp star weapons used by Ninja warriors on Old Earth? Does he know of those? I suspect he does.

Of course there is a rule against throwing sand or any other material into another’s face but in this fight everything will be reduced to technicalities. There will be lawyers on both sides arguing the fine points of their idiotic arena fighting laws for months, perhaps even years, if any infraction is committed, or deemed to have been committed. All I know is, I have to remain within the letter of the law if I hope to demonstrate our power on that day. For us to make any impression; to leave any kind of message that can be heard, we cannot resort to subterfuge or cheating, even if we could get away with it.

And I cannot delay it any longer. I must speed up my Teaching.

End blog post #66

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #65

(In which Antierra faces her most challenging arena combat to-date which she hopes will score a very important point for the empowerment of women in Elbre.)

To all of this, much more and repetitively, Tiki listens.  I can feel her tensing at times, and wanting to speak but even here in these dreadful compounds there is an order.  When the older women engage certain topics among themselves, the young stay quiet.  They are expected to listen but may never interrupt.  Those who do are quietly but viciously “punished” by the older ones in the training compounds.  When they are punished, they know why.  Thus the women discipline ‘their’ children even under these circumstances.  Of course of those we are given, we can discipline freely.  They are our slaves.
End blog post #64
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Begin blog post #65

Chapter 28 – Vengeance as a Redemptive Act

Through Tiki I have been contacted by the female Cydroid who works as a goronda in the kitchens.  The Koronese “sting” operation on Warmo and his infernal inquisition has been successfully concluded, details to be given to me in the future should I require them.  Yes, XBA9 was tortured to death as was expected and his “re-cloning” (at astronomical cost to Dr. Echinoza and his associates on Koron) was immediately implemented when XBA9’s death on T’Sing Tarleyn was confirmed and officially accepted on Koron.

I am told that the King ordered a secret raid on Warmo’s dungeons following the death of a “terrorist” whose activities the King wanted to know more about.  All the victims of Warmo’s torture, alive, dying or dead but still on the stakes, were taken out into a secure courtyard for official examination.  Warmo was arrested on a technicality to do with a health code violation.  Apparently he failed to remove the decomposing bodies of his victims and keep the floors and walls disinfected and a member of his entourage got sick from accidental contact with the bodies.

Again I must point out the twisted logic on how laws are used in pseudo-ISSA societies.  I saw many such inanities when dealing with “environmental” or “health” related issues on Túat Har.  There never were any doubts in my mind then that the endless legal subterfuges used by the courts to hide real crimes through the prosecution of misdemeanours would inevitably result in the great die-back.  There never was the will to tackle the real problems because that would have exposed all the powers that be and all the rulers, leaders, CEO’s including the great heads of organized Religion.

But back to my story here.  The “member” in Warmo’s employ – one of the Cydroids – blew the whistle.  Another Cydroid, a member of the King’s legal counsel group, laid the charges against Warmo.  After short deliberation and the additional startling discovery that the “terrorist” was a confidant of the King and friend of the court, Warmo was officially pronounced guilty.  As you know, all crimes on Malefactus are capital crimes.  Warmo was given the chance to redeem himself through a fight to the death in the arena.  He naturally jumped at the chance and when he was told I would be his opposing fighter, he apparently raised his fist in the air and yelled, “I finally get to kill that bitch!”

All the men in the compound, from the overseer to the medics, are aghast at the bold move by the King and his counselors in reaching down into the official inquisition’s affairs and condemning “the” Warmo.  The man is well known in Elbre.  Before the previous King gave him the position of chief torturer – it is well known that the King used to go and watch Warmo work and sometimes provide him with interesting victims for the fun of it – Warmo had been a drook.

His reputation was so that no owner of female fighters would enter them against him and he had no more takers by the time he was promoted to be the King’s Grand Inquisitor.  He killed with precision and mastery but more, with utter malice.  Warmo was (and remains) a consummate misogynist.  He literally tortured opposing fighters before killing them.  No one died quickly at his hands.  He would entertain the crowds with blows and cuts, to maim and disfigure after he’d tired his opponent.  Even if the fighter quit and lay down to die, he’d continue beating and cutting as long as he could make her endure.  He never sexually assaulted his victims and the story spread that he was a eunuch.

Well, maybe I’ll find out.  In the case of Warmo, I’m going to be utterly “human” in performing my own ritual with him in the arena.  Yes, I know I should not be so cocky, that anything can go wrong, that I am supposed to be a new person with a new outlook on life and that I need to be humble in all things.  Sure, I know all that, just as you know all that.  But again, there is that which I call compromised morality.  This is not about me, even though I will be the center of interest and attraction.

This is much more than personal.  This fight is a social comment and a political statement.  It is of paramount importance that my purpose is not to survive an arena fight against a powerful drook, but meant to avenge his victims, particularly the female ones.  I must be more than the ultimate fighter; I must also be the consummate actress to demonstrate that I am indeed the avenger.

In exacting vengeance on Warmo I will be causing the deliberate humiliation of a once “great” man and performing an elaborate execution by torture to be done by a woman to a man.  This must be seen by all, and reported openly.  This is my ultimate dare and my chance to make these males see what a fearless, self-empowered woman can do.

Even if after the fight I am publicly flogged to death or otherwise killed for my temerity, for having dared flaunt my womanhood towards a man, I must do this.  The law is clear on this: the penalty for a woman demonstrating power over a man (other than in the handling of weapons, of course) is death.  The choice of death, if it comes on that day, will be given to the crowd to decide.  Not likely will it be a mercy killing.

Nevertheless, there must be no doubt that I am meeting this monster in my own capacity as monster.  The meeting of Beast Warmo and the Desert Beast.  The stakes will likely be the highest the gambling  world has ever heard of.  The betting will go ‘through the roof’ as the saying went.

I have two weeks to prepare myself for this event.  It’s not that either Warmo or I need that time, but the longer the event is delayed, the higher the stakes will rise, and the farther the news will reach so betting will take place in all the major centers of Elbre, and perhaps even beyond.  This is “play off” time and the Big Money will be in evidence everywhere.  This also means that in the meantime, fewer women will be fought in the arenas as the money will be hoarded for the main event.  That also is a great victory to me, although I can see an uglier side to this as well.

I hear the King has decreed there is to be but one fight in the arena of Hyrete on that day, regardless of how quickly it ends.

Also, the day of the “Fight of the Beasts” as it is billed is to be a kingdom-wide holiday.

I wonder how that will affect the non-fighter women and girls in the kingdom?  They won’t see any holiday; in fact they will have a greater load to bear as a result of the partying, visiting, merry-making and the various needs for exotic pleasures and entertainment.  There is also the very real danger that should the fight cause great losses of money, and I am the one who causes it by killing the Warmo, innocent women will bear the brunt of reprisals in a surge of hate and anger against women in general.  This is, after all as I have already said, a world at war and in any war it is always the innocents who suffer the most.

Tiki and I speak of the coming fight.  This girl is no fool.  She understands her world and moves within its twisted ways with a skill born of breeding and necessity.  If it’s information she wants, she gets it quietly and quickly and she deduces much from what is not being said or publicized.

I don’t have to explain the Inquisition or Warmo to her.  She gets as much as I could tell her from her contacts which she has naturally developed as she works the kitchens, the yard and the cages.  By now everybody knows her and she has had many offers to leave me and share younger flesh in other cages.  She could do it, if she wanted it badly enough.  Yes, she belongs to me, in a sense, but she could “trade” herself for another, say an older trainee who wanted to ingratiate herself to me for special training.  This old human trading for advantage, for favours, is found everywhere except in the most advanced and evolved world touching the top edge of ISSA consciousness.  No matter where I’ve encountered this process, I’ve always found it particularly repugnant.

End blog post #65