Tag Archives: hand weaponry

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 #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 #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 #34

[begin blog post #34]

They eagerly listen and seek to incorporate many of the innovations I propose.   We turn to the design of the axe blade itself. 

“Too heavy for any woman, even I” I say.  “Try leaving just the outline of the blade and remove all the metal inside.  Think of it as a sword blade cut in three sections, the longest cutting edge curved, the other two used as braces.  Weld them here… and here.  See?  Then try a new design – one with two blades opposite each other.  That will cause excitement, guaranteed.  Look, if I roll the handle with a powerful wrist action the blade spins around its axis, thus, and anything it contacts is sheared off as if it had contacted a milling blade…”

“A milling blade?”  The look of intense interest is almost comical, like leading a class of first graders on a field trip.

“Don’t they teach engineering to men here?”  I ask, being deliberately provocative.  The smith’s face darkens momentarily and I know I’ve walked in dangerous waters.

“Begging your pardon sir, but how do you know about blending metals?  Is there teaching for this?”

“This of no matter to gora.  We not speak of teachings here.”  The subject is closed.  I keep my mouth shut and await developments. 

“Tell what you need to fight, we make.”  He raises his finger at me in a warning gesture.

I bow my head and lower my arms, then speak in a much lower, subservient  voice, “Please, light and deadly, always, when designing weapons for females.  Survive on skill and speed we do, not strength.  Longer we last, more money owners make.  They see results from good weapons, smiths get credit, as you say, yes?  Good arithmetic?”  The two I’m addressing look at me quizzically.  No ‘arithmetic’ for these guys. 

Then I show them my relatively larger feet than those of a typical T’Sing Tarleyn female.

“Where I from there be people train to use no weapon to kill – just body.  Feet be good killing weapon in hand to hand combat.  You hear I kill trainer by using sweeping side kick many years ago when first I here, yes?”  Some nod knowingly as I demonstrate by knocking down a bundle of what could have been potatoes, from a ceiling hook, raising my foot higher than the tallest of them.  I pick up the bundle and swing it back into place, hiding the fact it was almost beyond my strength.

There is one thing you learn in these kinds of worlds, not very different from Earth: that those who think themselves stronger are easily impressed to observe those they consider weaker do something they cannot do.  It’s up to the “weaker one” to immediately change the subject, let it go.  Never rub it in that you can out-do a man at anything.  If they see you beat them at something they will accept it, once or temporarily, but if you make it look that you are gloating in the least they will find some justification for nailing you when you do not expect it and they will never miss their chance. 

The only safe place to gloat over a man is in the arena when you know you have beaten him and he still does not realize he is a walking dead man.  If he is a particularly vicious type who has raped or tortured other females, now is the time to let him know that you are taking revenge for their pain and death.  Let him face and feel the terror he has been inflicting on others.  In any other situation, when under an authority that has power of life and death over you, remain subservient even when it is obvious you are superior.  You cannot reject them but they can reject you.  Here subservience is best expressed by always reverting to pidgin talk when addressing men.

“Please, I would like foot weapon is call ‘sandal’ that straps to foot and has blades mounted on it.  Make retractable if that be possible?”

I had to describe what a sandal is.  Except for the richest among them who do so strictly as an affectation, no one wears shoes, having no need of them.  But they catch on quickly especially the head smith after he decides to ease his now huge erection in me.  He takes me as casually as if he were taking a drink of water.  The others watch and smirk.  I have difficulty getting used to that, even after all the years I’ve experienced the casualness of it.  Perhaps it’s because they are also raping you when they do it, stealing your power if you let them by not being prepared for it.  Almost every act of fornication here is an attack upon the woman.  As an act of love it would be a violation of their laws on sex.  But breaking their law on casual sex seems much less of an offence, probably because it is rape, the socially acceptable humiliation of a female.  

“I see head trainer,” he belatedly answers after rubbing his dirty hands on my breasts and feeling my hardened nipples. “Maybe I convince.  He approve, yes, we make for you.  I credit young apprentice here,” – points to a young boy working with a hammer on a piece of what I take to be white-hot steel – “for new ideas.  He be about gora size so he be one to think of thing like that.” 

It was a definite insult, not just a slip of the tongue, a serious goading for whatever reason.  Maybe the head smith does not like the boy and would like to be rid of him.  The boy fires his master a look of pure hatred that could mean trouble down the road.  To be compared to a female is the lowest of insults.  To say to a man, “You’re a gora!” is to guarantee a fight, often to the death.  I suspect this boy has yet to pass his puberty rite and has not killed his first female.  His eyes sweep over me with utter contempt.  I know he’d attack me if he did not already know that would be the most foolhardy, and terminal, thing he could do.  He knows that if he did kill me he could claim I was the cause of the insult he had to avenge.  Probably he would only receive a mild reprimand and have to pay back some of my value by winning a fight in the arena sometime in the future.  Of course, that also depends on who it is owns me and my fighting skills and how much they are worth…  He’s not so stupid that he does not realize to attack me gains him two ways to die: at my hands instantly, or in the arena by and by.

But the white bearded, broad shouldered smith laughs loudly – the first hearty laugh I’ve heard on Malefactus.  And I start to wonder… the smith could be useful if I could somehow draw him into a conspiracy to get Deirdre out of this place, away from Hyrete and off Elbre.  I too have that female ectohormonal power men so dread here.  The power to seduce just by being what nature has endowed me with.  My “rebuilt” body is still very attractive despite its scars.  And he’s had a taste of it and what I chose to express with it.  How much more of it does he want?  He would know many traders I warrant, but how could I trust them not to sell her back into the same situation?  I shake my head to free myself of these mindless thoughts.  Always I comeback to worrying about ‘my’ Deirdre.

Dreams are one thing.  Reality too often plays out differently.  And in this place, reality has a way of hitting you on the side of the head.  Not literally this time, but in my heart. 

The days continue to slip into weeks, the weeks stretch into more months.  Since my healing and interview with the doctor – I still don’t know his name – I have heard nothing.  Deirdre has had many “interviews” with all the men in the compound but she seems not to mind, or care.  She had expected her life to have been as a provider of erotic pleasures and has been thoroughly trained for it.  It doesn’t make it any easier for me though, because I seem to worry about her every waking moment.

In all of that, I am a fighter.  I had anticipated that sooner or later I would be forced to use the axe in a fight and that day has come. 

[end blog post #34]

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #33

(Another excerpt, this one gives some insight into Antierra’s not so subtle exhortation to the women fighters, but also into the background of weapons design and construction. Words are fine but what will speak the loudest to the fighters is “new and improved” weaponry, and this is Antierra’s discovered forte.)

[begin blog post #33]

Chapter 14 – The Forge

On the surface life resumes its pace in cages, compound and arena.  The auto-medic has done a great job of repairing my body while leaving all the obvious scars received previously.  With renewed hope that I will be able to work out a scheme to rescue Deirdre from the arena, I work out with increased strength and vigour.  I am able to continue my unofficial training of new fighters while Deirdre is left to attend kitchens and tables, as well as the cleaning of the stalls.  Although she must still take her turn in the line-ups for training, all of it takes place with me and I know not to press her.  She does her amazing moves, to the continuing delight of the male watchers and I pretend they are part of the weapons handling.  No doubt the male trainers and handlers would not mind if all the young trainees performed as does Deirdre the trained entertainer.  She is very popular with the men, naturally and certainly doesn’t mind it.  She is also happier than I’ve ever seen her.

Long ago I had wondered why these nubile young women did not get pregnant from constant sexual intercourse.  I was told we are given contraceptives in our food, it is that simple.  Only rarely does this not work and a woman becomes pregnant.  If she cannot quickly abort in the cages and is discovered, it means death.  She cannot report her condition to a medic to be given a proper abortifact.  Any female who has the constitution to overcome the effect of the contraceptives is considered a danger to the system and must be disposed of.

A gora cannot, by statute, give birth.  This is the sole preserve of the birthers.  No ‘wild’ children legally permitted on any part of Malefactus, so I’m told.  Again you see how legalism is twisted to fit the needs or wants of those in power.  A woman who gives birth to a wild child is killed along with her child.  She has no recourse in this matter.  However if the child survives and is captured at an age where it can be sold into some sort of usefulness it is automatically entered in the system in some capacity as a slave.  As on Túat Har, it appears some stack worlds are also infected by the power of money to control ruling forces, even when such control makes absolutely no sense.  Money is here exposed for the destructive and corrosive virus that it is and if people made the effort to see this, it would lose its power to destroy. But greed causes spiritual blindness and none are so blind as those who will not see but by their faith in the system convince themselves they have the greater sight by simply purchasing their claim to the greater right.

Whether training or fighting, I find it ever more difficult to keep my mind from Deirdre.  Part of it is pure carnal “love” and it’s easy to recognize that weakness, but there is more.  A part of me is with her all the time.  My work; my long-time process towards becoming a compassionate being, though severely curtailed here, has somehow attached itself to her empathic nature and we’ve become a “one” of sorts.  This pleases me, yet annoys me also.  She has too much power over me, made the worse because she is neither aware of it, nor would she want it if she knew of it. Despite the pain of loss I will feel, I will only become whole again when (not ‘if’ – I never allow myself to think ‘if’) she leaves this planet.

More weeks pass.  I’ve decided it is in my best interest, and Deirdre’s, to add some entertaining aspects into my fighting.  I need to prolong the days I am considered a good bet in the arena.  Now would be a bad time to be earmarked for termination in a killing orgy.  I know I can outlast any contender since I have access to the stim which I get from Deirdre and which she procures by whatever means.  I suspect she has seen the doctor and has made arrangements that are seen to by the Cydroids.  Likely the stuff comes from some channel through the court.  There is an understanding between us that we do not speak of certain things.  Quite naturally I do not dwell on the fights in the arena and she does not tell me what she must do to procure the drug I need.  Nor do we touch on our sexual encounters with men, hers being on the increase, mine, well, quite obviously going the other way!

My body feels like its old self without the pain and the stiffness.  I can couple the speed and suppleness of youth with nine years of grueling experience in arena fighting.  I feel more confident also in the fact I’ve been given more autonomy in weapons maintenance and re-design.  Nothing major but enough to upset contenders.  And I’ve trained on that horrible axe with the knowledge that myself, or one of us, would be forced to use it in a fight.  I push the women to become more proficient in handling their weapons.  Become one with your weapon, I continually remind them; love your weapon.  I wait for the doubts to be expressed by trainees and fighters alike and demonstrate while teaching this ancient art. 

“As you would not normally drop your arm, or your leg, in a fight, so you cannot drop the weapon that is a part of your body, an extension of the physical you.  To accomplish this feat you have to learn that you, the fighter, are not a physical being.  You, the fighter, cannot be killed since you are an immortal mind.  Once you accept this, you will know the truth of it and be forever aware that your whole body and whatever appendages it possesses, is a weapon. 

“Your brain extends to the end of your sword blade, or the pike on the end of your staff.  You can feel the life of it throughout every part of you.  Now your ego self, your energy interpreter, is able to tell your extended body exactly what your mind is directing it to do.  You, the etheric, the shadow fighter, the immortal mind, directs the fighting from a place that is totally inaccessible to the challenger.  He, or they, cannot see you at all.  They can only see your weapons.  The same is true for those spectators in the arena.  Ignore them all, they have nothing to do with the purpose for which you fight. 

“I assure you that if you cannot reach this state of mind you are not a fighter, just another arena victim to be overcome, wounded and gloated over; to be raped and finally tortured to death for the gratuitous entertainment of the spectators. It is time, fighters of Hyrete, that we move beyond this lowly animal status and reclaimed our true selves.  We are not goras, we are ahyas! If we do not move ourselves forward, we are dead.” 

Thus do I continuously exhort them to excel, and to reach beyond anything they believe themselves able to accomplish.     

We have our own “blacksmith” in the compound; not so much in an individual as in a crew committed to producing the highest quality hand to hand combat weapons as well as experimenting with new ideas.  They keep their forge in a far corner of the training compound where some highly combustible odourless, colourless gas is piped in to fuel the forge fires; another interesting piece of technology in this otherwise backward and medieval world.

I am permitted to go there without asking permission now, and can enter the enclosure of the forge itself if one of the men inside escorts me in, reporting to the handlers’ office that he’s got me in hand.  Yes, they have voice communicators they use over short distances, but they do not have datacoms.  Those seem reserved for the elites and security forces.

The blacksmith group enjoys the challenges I give them, always eager to learn more about weaponry.  Even I wonder sometimes where my exotic tastes and natural skills in such a barbaric art form come from.  If I did not have a good working knowledge of information drawn from past lives I’d be confused.  For now, I credit my creativity in weaponry to my many incarnations on Túat Har; Old Earth, the center of the greatest “generic” and mindless violence I’ve ever experienced as a wandering Avatari.  Take pride in that, Earthians! You remain unchallenged masters of gratuitous violence expressed as psychopathy!  

I begin my work with the blacksmiths by trying to describe a proper axe handle.  They even allow me to draw an outline of one in the sand – after I query the danger of breaking the taboo on drawing or writing.  They look at one-another and smile.  The one I take to be the chief smith, a barrel-chested older man with a chest as woolly as a sheep, says:

“We follow somewhat different rules here, slave.  We be not as brain dead as your trainers and we not be slaves to dead gods and dead laws.  There be no danger for you here, you try no tricks.  You do, we beat you, maybe make you taste the red hot steel on pretty lips.  You savvy?” 

I understand their language is not motivated by hate or even a sense of superiority.  It’s just the way of it.  Cover your ass by explaining what goes, what does not.  For them what else could I be but a nameless gora?

As to my axe handle design, it’s a no go.  It leaves them utterly perplexed and perhaps just as well.  I have thought of a better idea. 

“Forget it,” I say.  “Here, put a hand stopper on the handle, like about here.”  I hold it three quarters of the way back from the blade end.  “Make  that longer,” I demonstrate by holding the straight handle vertically against my body, holding it to my elbow with my arm down.  “Now can you affix a short, sharp pike with a cutting edge on the end?” 

“That we can do, and a pleasure that is.  You truly have the Beast in you.  With our weapons you kill – we get credit.  More money for good steel and fuel for the forge, that is good.  What more you need?” 

[end blog post #33]