Tag Archives: Relationships

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #25

[perhaps I should have explained at the beginning that Chapter titles do not indicate endings for blog posts.  One chapter can contain several blog posts. For example this post begins with a chapter title that will make sense only in the next blog post…]

[begin blog post #25]

Chapter 12 – The Dark Sun; a Few Explanations

“We owe each other some serious explanations, I think,”  says the doctor.

“Yes sir.”  I return to my subservient mode as a precaution to this conversation.  I cannot forget how the last one ended and I have Deirdre to worry about now.

“Look, you don’t need to take that subservient tone with me now.”  He says as he feels my reluctance and fear of his changing moods.  “I know I must do more than apologize for striking you but see, I’ve been on this world so long I’ve taken on some of its patterns within myself.  I have great difficulty fighting back the terrible disease of this place.  On this world, women are ectohormonal all the time.  That creates sexual lust beyond any male’s power to assimilate.  Because of the social taboos on sex, the repression results in a deadly combination of fear, anger and violent hatred towards the females.  As an anthropologist, I came here in part to identify and isolate the source of it but I have had no success, rather the opposite.  This world is dragging me down with it.

“I hated myself for striking you, and for having sex with you without asking, yet another part of me said that to do less under the circumstances was to deny my manhood and my rights.  I could not allow a woman to flaunt her power, any kind of power, over me.  I reacted as any normal male would react here.  Basically, from the programming here, you were the one responsible for me striking you in anger and hate.  If you are asked a direct question, you must answer immediately and truthfully at all times.  Never try to shrug it off, that shows disrespect and truly enrages men.

“Love-hate, love-hate.  It bangs in our head, hearts and loins all the time.  It’s not so bad if we can avoid contact with females, but it rages the closer we get to one.  Utterly irrational feelings arise and boil over into emotional outbursts.  But at least I am able to demonstrate to you that I am still somehow different? 

“After I sent you out I came in this place and got totally, disgustingly drunk!  I remained in here for two days without food or washing until my Cydroid servants brought me out and restored me to some semblance of sanity.  I hate this place…”

“Doctor, why did you call your people “Cydroids” and not androids?”

“Ah that, well, I cannot explain now.  Why don’t I let the Cydroids themselves explain it all to you later?  Just think of them as androids if that makes it easier for you until it is explained properly.  Now, Antierra, I want you to speak to me freely, as an equal.  At the moment my mind is free and as long as the Cholradil is with us you are safe.  She seems to provide a dampening cushion to this world’s energies.”  And with a sudden change of tone, almost beseeching for forgiveness, he asks,   “Do you object I had sex with her?  Please answer me as a person to a person.”

What an unexpected question!  “There is no jealousy in me in that respect.  In fact I think it was a very good thing for her.  I think the Cholradil is equipped to do this with any number of men and women without arousing more than surface jealousy in others.  When she is with me, she is not with anyone else.  However she is not immune to jealousy in herself.  There are human feelings there also.”

“I found the same to be true.  When we made love she was entirely mine, even with you lying but a few meters away in the auto-medic.  She is a fascinating creature: there seem to be few contradictions in her mind.”

 

“Isn’t it strange, doctor, that we speak of her as if she wasn’t here, listening to us speak?” 

“Watch her.”  He makes me notice Deirdre in a new light.  “She isn’t really listening to our conversation.  Notice her expressions.  She is in full empath mode searching your body for any weakness the auto-medic may have missed.  She can hear us, of course, but our conversation is meaningless to her because it doesn’t concern her personally.  Cholradils do not care what others think of them as a general rule.  They exist on separate neural pathways of emotion-feeling.  She would make an interesting case study on my world.”

“On your world, doctor?  So I was right in thinking that you and your Cydroids are not from T’Sing Tarleyn but actually from another world; another planet?  You have just made the statement I was hoping to hear from you.  If you are not from here, then you must have the means to leave this place, a ship?  Could you maybe consider getting her to your world, or at least off this one and onto some safe place?  I don’t know if you are aware of her predicament: Cholradils cannot fight.  They cannot hurt others for when they do, they feel the full impact of it within their own minds and suffer even more than the other.  Consequently doctor, she cannot fight.  Her first arena combat is a sentence of violent torture and death for her.”

“I was aware of that, yes, but thank you for the reminder.  Antierra, I would like to help both of you.  The Cydroids take the trip to our home world fairly regularly and taking her on the ship would not be a great burden.  Travel there incurs only a little over six months of transit time debt.  The real problem is getting her admitted to our world.  She may be refused entry, in which case what can the Cydroids do with her?  They must land before they can return here.  If they land her illegally she will be put in cryogenic freeze unless I can somehow guarantee some sort of refugee status for her.  Our world does not, as yet, have any clear policy on granting such status to off-world aliens.  Our ability to travel space is relatively new and harboring refugees from other worlds has not been needed or considered to date. 

“Taking Deirdre there would be to put her at the mercy of pure goodwill unless it could be demonstrated that this Cholradil is a paragon of intellectual prowess.  If that were the case, no problem.  She would become an instant celebrity in our society.  Our fledgling World Court ( which I helped establish before I posted myself to this world) would accept her without question.

“There is another, most obvious and more pressing problem before us: getting her out of this compound alive and without endangering the lives of many others, mostly innocent bystanders if there is an escape.  You know how they react to their security being breached here.

“For me there is also a personal aspect to this venture.  If you want me to seriously consider taking such a risk for you and the Choradil I must insist on a fair exchange for my costs and troubles.  You will owe me something in return.  You will have to tell me exactly and truthfully who you are and what you are doing here, as well as how you got here – I want the real story.  Further to that you must agree to join with us whatever be the cost to you personally.  Can I hold you to that?”

[end blog post #25]

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #25

[begin blog post #24]

When I come to, and I must admit I’m surprised they didn’t just kill me for the satisfaction of the crowd out there in the arena, I’m lying on a flat, hard surface and what I first see are the faces of the doctor and Deirdre staring at me.  At first I think I’m having a PDE (Post Death Encounter) of latent images.  Then I hear them talking and I pick up a whiff of disinfectant.  I’m truly still alive!

The room I’m in looks strange by any standard.  The ceiling is low, curved and full of recessed lights.  At my feet are pulsing blue-green lights around an opening that resembles an ancient short-range shuttle auto-medic.  I’m wrapped tightly in some kind of tensor bandage with only parts of my face showing.  I detect a familiar humming sound.  And I realize, almost ecstatically, that for the first time in months I feel no physical pain beyond a slight throbbing at the temples.  What a blessed relief!

“Do you recognize where you are?” the doctor asks me.  His voice comes from a great distance and moves in and out.  But I understand him.

“No sir.” I reply, my voice weak and throaty.  I realize my throat is parched and motion with my mouth.  Deirdre brings me a pink coloured drink in a clear crystal-like goblet with a folding tube from which I suck the liquid.  After she removes it, she applies a wet cloth to my lips, removes it and kisses me!  The witch!  Tears form in my eyes.  How good it is to be alive at this moment!  And loved.

And I continue answering the doctor, “But I should know.  Those lights and sound are those of an auto-medic unit as used on ancient short range crafts we called Jump Scouts, the kind used by the United Treaty Worlds.”

“I don’t know anything about United Treaty Worlds but you are correct, this is from an alien spacecraft, yes, we have ascertained that.  But we are not in space, just a few yards from my room.  This medical unit was obviously cannibalized from an abandoned or disabled alien space craft perhaps hundreds of years ago.  It was entombed here, we do not know by whom, nor why it is here but it has been used by my people as com center, first aid medic facility and safe house on many occasions since we have been studying this world. 

“That we know, no one else on this world besides the three of us here and the Cydroids you saw previously know of this facility.”

Cydroids?  Ah, he probably means the androids.  Of course!  A beep sounds and the lights by my feet at the opening into the auto-medic change from a pulsing blue to a steady red.  The doctor consults his watch-chrono.

“It’s time again.  I’m going to send you into the auto-medic for a deeper scan and some preliminary bone repair.  You will be returned in thirty-five minutes for my inspection.  Meanwhile I must decide what to do with your friend Deirdre.”

“Please don’t hurt her!”  I try to scream as the stretcher I am strapped upon retracts into the glowing tube.  The end seals itself shut just behind my head and white noise or white light or both, fill my brain.

In a moment of timeless eternity I awaken once more in the land of the living.  I’m no longer in bandages but still lying on the retractable “gurney”.  Deirdre helps me up and the doctor actually hands me a gown.  It’s been so long since I wore any clothing, I’m almost embarrassed to put it on, as if wearing clothes is committing an act of indecency.  Deirdre is also wearing a short black dress and sports a comical perplexed expression as she fingers the flimsy material as if she wanted to tear it off of herself.  She has never worn a dress, or any kind of clothing in her entire life!  It would seem strange, indeed.  To her it must seem as if she were attired as a male.

She does not seem hurt in any way and with my full senses returned I know she is not hurt.  In fact I sense some kind of new energy from her.  I know the doctor has made love to her – I can smell it on her – and I know that she has made a deep impression upon him with her sexual skills and empathic personality.  He likes her and I like the connection made thus, a connection that I plan to use in time, in whatever time I am given.

After I sit at the doctor’s small table Deirdre serves me some food concoction that tastes beyond delicious, whatever it is, on a real plate and with utensils!

Here I am, sitting at a table, eating with cutlery, not wolfing coarse food down with hands and fingers from a bowl.  I’m wearing clothes, my body clean and free of physical pain and putting my hand to my hair, I feel that it has been washed and cut into a pageboy style.  Deirdre again.  My sweet lover cuddles against me and the man whom I’d feared, sitting across from the small fibresteel table watching me, is now most certainly my life saver.  And a fleeting smile plays across his beautiful face. 

We used to say, ‘wonders never cease’ and indeed it’s true.  They never do.  We go through life after life, experiencing the flow of the All-Thing and we are forever renewed by being pushed into new experiences by choices made by others, or choose our paths through our own creative thinking.  The best is when all of it works in harmony, but that is a rare thing.   

The doctor looks at me and smiles.  “You are truly a beautiful woman when you take care of yourself now huh!?”  Question?  Statement?  A joke?  Yes, my doctor makes a joke and the smile returns.  This man is full of surprises.

Daringly I ask him, “How do you know the girl’s actual name, doctor?”

“She came to me feigning a knee injury while you were in the fight.  She told me everything you and she talked about.  She told me about the name-giving rite you performed with her and said you needed to speak to me, which suited me fine because I need to speak to you also.  And she was emphatic in claiming that you would need my full attention when the fight was over because you would be mortally wounded.  She knew!  When I asked her how she could know this she just shrugged and told me she couldn’t say.

“But then I figured it out, of course.  This creature is a throw-back, a Cholradil.  She possesses the mind-set of an ancient race that inhabited these parts around a hundred thousand years ago, according to old writings.  I got that impression when I touched her body looking for the knee injury.  It is said that their responses to touch is somewhat like contacting a static charge.”

I look him straight in the eyes and let mine convey the thoughts in my mind.  ‘I owe you for not punishing the girl and I owe you the debt of life also,’ I think as I stare into his broad face, now more beautiful than ever to me, ‘yet I have a terrible favour to ask of you and must risk your anger once more.’  There is a quizzical look on his face.  He knows I’m speaking to him but cannot understand.  He is not telepathic, or if he is, he uses a different thought patterning.  It’ll have to be openly verbal then.

The time has arrived for real questions and real answers.  Now I must know; this charade between us must end.  

[end blog post #24]

A Sisters’ Conversation

 a short story  by  Sha’Tara

Well hi Diane. Haven’t seen you in ages.

I was actually looking for you. Let me buy you lunch. I really need to talk to you Elise.

Yeah? What about?

First off, the family is worried about you.

Worried about me? Why?

They worry about your lifestyle, living alone and well, quite free-wheeling if you get my drift.

It’s how I live my life, how I like to live it. Simple, uncomplicated, nobody really to worry about and it’s nobody’s business but mine.  Years ago I figured that “the family” and associated friends were actually my jailers so I broke out of jail.

Well thanks for that. Do you have to live alone?

I do, but I am not actually alone. I have those friends of mine in my head. They don’t try to control my life and don’t ask for much, just a bit of time now and then you know, to touch base.

Touch base? How?

They talk to me; what other “how” is there?

You hear voices in your head?

Of course, don’t you?

I don’t have entities in my head telling me how to live my life, no!

Are you sure about that? No one, ever, insisting you pick up a tabloid at the supermarket checkout, which you do to find out later there is an article in it you’d been dying to read?

That isn’t someone talking to me, that’s me making a personal decision!

Would you say the same thing if you’d been with a friend and she’d suggested you buy the magazine because it has something in it the two of you had been talking about and you could read about it?

That’s totally different. You’re talking about someone real, someone standing right beside me.

So someone standing beside you is more real to you than someone inside your own head?

Of course. She wouldn’t be an imaginary friend as would be someone in my head.

This is interesting. You would find someone separate from you speaking to you audibly in actual words more real than another living right inside your head speaking to you directly without the use of words?

I don’t have imaginary friends.

Let me try something here. You are seven months pregnant and you meet your friend, say her name is Rosa, pushing a baby carriage with her six month old baby boy in it. Is her baby more real to you than your own whom you are carrying within you?

That is a really stupid comparison. I know my baby is real, I can feel it; I can see how he’s changing my body as he develops.

But someone inside you who does not take up space; doesn’t demand energy from you and doesn’t need to be seen, can’t be real because of that?

Look, this is ridiculous. The only person in my head is me. There is no one else there.

So you do admit there is someone in your head?

Yes, me. I talk to myself and that’s perfectly normal. Everybody does that sort of inner dialogue.

Why do you do it if the ‘you’ whom you are engaging in your head is purely imaginary, i.e., non-existent?  Why would you or anyone knowingly engage a conversation with no one and if no one answers why do you listen? What are you expecting from the exchange?

Nothing, it’s just what people do.

If you do something, should it not serve some purpose?

I’m not going to dignify this topic any further. I actually wanted to ask if you’d come to Danny’s birthday party this Saturday?

Danny? Who’s Danny?

My son!  Your nephew! It’s his sixteenth birthday, do you think you can make the effort?

Sure. Still in the duplex on Alexander?

My God you’re hopeless! When Graham got his promotion we moved out of that dump. We’ve been living on Mount Thom for two years now. I’ll text you the address.

You have my cell number, Diane?

Yes, got it from Gram. You gave it to her when you did the home care for her through her hip replacement.

Gram? Oh you mean mom. Yeah, of course, it’s what the grandkids call her I suppose.

I should have called you but thanks for doing that for her, I couldn’t have done it with the redecorating and Danny’s sports – I’ve been run off my feet, literally.

Don’t sweat it, I’ve done it for lots of people.

Like it doesn’t make any difference to you that it’s mom we’re talking about?

People need my help, they need my help, why should it matter to me who they are?

If you weren’t my sister Elise, I think I would hate you.

Don’t be jealous of my freedom, Diane. You exercised your own brand when you chose redecorating and your son’s sports over your mom’s convalescing needs. See you Saturday.

Yeah.  

 

 

 

 

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #20

[begin blog post #20]

Chapter 10 – Deirdre of the Sorrows

The heroine of a tragic Irish legend. Deirdre, the betrothed of the king of Ulster, eloped with one of the three sons of Uisneach. All three sons were slain by the king and his henchmen while Deirdre was unharmed and left to mourn them. Two well known writers have based works upon this legend – William Butler Yeats in “Deirdre”, and J. M. Synge in “Deirdre of the Sorrows”.

“I baptize you Deirdre of the Sorrows,” I say as the rich blood follows the creases in her forehead.

“Strange name,” she says.  “Deirdre…  I have a name!”

She says it so loud, I have to put my hand over her mouth, leaving blood all over her face.

“Shhhh you idiot.  Yes, you have a name.  You are the richest young woman in the kingdom of Tassard now.  How do you like that?”

“It is good.  But what does the last part of it mean?    Of the Sorrows, is that also my name?”

“The name belonged to a young woman in a story from a land I knew a long, long time ago on another world.  Deirdre was a young girl chosen to be the bride of a powerful king.  But she loved another man, a  younger one, and she escaped with him and his two brothers.  But the king found them and killed her lover, his brothers and all the other men who had helped her or had ever looked upon her with love.  Then he let her live in her permanent mourning.  She never had another lover, never married, living and dying in sorrow for what her beauty and desire had done to others. 

“She was a heart breaker, but she inherited the heartbreak, you see?  What we do to others often returns to us.  And now because you love me you must share in my sorrows, not just in the pain we all must endure because of how things are here, but specifically in the suffering of heart our relationship is going to entail for you and me.”

“I don’t understand.”  She shrugs and shakes her head, her hair having been allowed to grow longer, brushing over my shoulder. 

I try to explain: “As I have told you, I was not born here, Deirdre.  I came here, full grown some years ago.  I remember coming here with a single-minded purpose: to collect information about this world, store it in my mind and take that back with me to my home world.  It has been my hope that in time, somehow, I may be able to help the women of Malefactus (it’s what I call this place) by creating change in the power structure that keeps things as they are.  If I can do that, and if some of the women here catch some of my vision also we can create beautiful change here, not just for the women you must understand, but for the men also.

“Remember this: it is not normal for men to kill women.  It is not normal that women should be the slaves of men.  All the things done that hurt others, these are evil things.  Evil destroys worlds.  On another world which is called Earth and where I had many lives before this one I saw much evil too.  When people like me see evil being done to others we experience much sorrow of heart.  

“On that world, the people practiced slavery also, for a long, long time, and in some places it was still going on when I left, though it was not called that.  They did many other terrible things that made their world in every way as evil and as abhorrent at this one.  They made people starve to death if there was money to be made in it.  Babies died along with their mothers, tens of thousands each day and very few of the people cared.  Young women, often just little girls, were sold into prostitution, as sex slaves to men, just as they are here.  Instead of chains, men used drugs and money to hold them.  Millions over the years were abused, their lives destroyed and many were killed, or killed themselves in despair.  Many more died of terrible diseases that continually plagued the people of Earth because they refused to understand the cause of it all.

“They tortured and killed millions of people for having different skin colour, or for believing different things.  Many of their great religions (that is to believe in spirit beings like gods or goddesses) were ruled by male gods who hated women.  There were times when women were killed by having stones thrown at them or they were burned alive, tied to a post because men were convinced these women were evil creatures, in league with a great enemy they called Satan or Shaitan.”

Even this child of Malefactus, with all the evil she had already known, gasped at the images my words gave her.  I had never thought of Earth as having such a similar, if more diversified and creative path of evil, to Malefactus.  Or perhaps I had seen, but never actually understood the depths of it.  It is hard to see the evil of one’s society when born and raised in it; when programmed to take it all for granted for as they say here: it is the way of it. 

I continued to explain.  “Things were done to their planet that hurt the air and the water; the animals and the fish and billions of creatures, of non-human lives died, often entire species were destroyed.  Poisons were spread by machines.  There were always diseases and they fought wars all the time.    There never was a time when there was no war being fought.  I am not speaking of the small groups of men who rampage through a countryside and fight each other for honour or slaves.  I am talking of wars that burned entire cities to the ground, poisoned lands and waters and killed everything in their path; when one bomb would leave millions dead or dying in horrible circumstances.

“Earthians killed others in the name of their gods but it always was to take their lands or any goods or valuable thing they had.  But even through those horrors the people never learned because in those days they were able to make more people than they could kill.  So the deaths, you see, did not seem so obvious.  It was as if they did not really happen.  The people of Earth could not feel the pain they caused others. 

“Not being able to feel the pain of another: that was the main problem of Earth just as it is here.

“You see Deirdre, on my home world which is called Altaria, we know there is one Great Law, written in the starry heavens for all the people when they evolve and become like us, having a concept of right and wrong doing.  That Law says they have to care, Deirdre.  They have to care what happens to you and me.  They have to wish that only good happens to others.  Even if it means that they will lose something.  Even if it means they must forfeit their own life!   If they do not care; if their life, their personal pleasures, their riches and immediate comforts, are more important that the well-being of others anywhere, but particularly on their home planet, then they have failed in their attempt at evolving.  They reach a certain place but can go no higher.  They turn in on themselves and begin a tumble towards destruction that increases exponentially year by year.  Each day their death, and that of their world, approaches at a faster rate.  That was the sickness of my adoptive Earth world.

All the evil I have experienced of life on Earth that was then my sorrow and it continues to be.”

Her questions indicate she is a sharp listener.  She says, “You speak as if that world is gone.  Or are the people better now?  Did they learn to care, to feel each other as you and I feel each other?” 

She hugs me tightly as she says it.  She is a true healer-witch and has the gift of knowing.  Her touch is a balm to body and heart.  She wants the pain I feel in speaking of Earth to go away. 

“No Deirdre, that world is not completely gone.  It is going through a terrible purging.  Billions of people have died and the population has dwindled to a fraction of what it used to be.  Everybody that is still alive must now struggle just to eat or to find shelter.  Everything hangs in a very precarious balance.  Some of it has to do with you and me here, now.  We are involved in a great project by billions of individuals from all human worlds to awaken the next level in our evolution – a non-predatory, non-violent way for all of us.”

“What is a billion?”  She asks with a truly puzzled expression I can just make out as Albaral passes by one of our “windows” in the high walls.

How can I explain the chaotic madness of the teeming billions of Túat Har?  I try the simple approach.  “A very, very large number, like grains of sand in a full feeding bowl.  Actually, if you understand what a million is, there are a thousand of them in a billion.”

“That’s so many, so terrible.  So terrible!”  She shuddres violently against me as she says this.  “But why do they need shelter?  Are they trying to hide from something?”

“Earth is a cruel world in its natural cycles Deirdre.  It does not care about human people.  It has great changes of weather in what are called seasons.  Summer is hot and dry in many places and winter is very cold in other places.  In between are other seasons that have unpredictable weather patterns.  People can quickly die from exposure to the natural elements there.  They have to have places where they can keep warm and dry; protect their bodies from the winds, the snows, the rains or just the freezing cold; where they can raise their children from predators – human or animal – and store food.”

“I don’t know what you mean.”   She looks utterly perplexed and there are tears in her big round black eyes.  “This place makes more sense to me than the Earth you speak of!”

“I know you don’t understand sweet.  I’ll find some way to explain it all to you.  Just give me some time.  Or maybe I’ll find some way for you to discover these things on your own.  Be patient.

“Now Deirdre, we were speaking of sorrows.  To know sorrow is to be able to feel by choice the pain of others before your own.  It comes from being compassionate.  It is not something you naturally feel, Deirdre.  It’s something you choose to feel, out of your own heart, something that desires only good things for all people, all things, not just for some who are special.

“Is that not what love is?”

“No sweet.  Do not mistake compassion for love.  Those who do can become very confused about their feelings when the feelings change and they no longer push toward what they know is right.  Love is that special feeling you and I have for each other that we cannot have for others, see?  No one else can share in our bonding.  That is love.  It is what I call an exclusive feeling.  It keeps others out so we can have more of it between the two of us.  It is a good thing for us when we are safe, not threatened, and we share our time alone together.  When no one else wants to take one of us from the other to have her.  When everyone understands our need to be together and gives us our place out of respect.

[end blog post #20]

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #18

[begin blog post #18]

After washing and eating I’m returned to my cage.  Having won a special fight I am not expected to continue training the rest of that day.  Later when the others return, as was promised, a young trainee is put in my cage.  She sits next to me and nudges against me, looking to please any way she can or knows how.  She runs her arms and hands over my skin to feel me.

I caress her slowly, running my long fingers through her short cropped, straight black hair, noticing her uncharacteristic lanky, skinny body covered in pure white skin, the long slim arms and long skinny legs and her large feet that seem almost ungainly on her.  She has a small patch of pubic hair and her breasts are just beginning to bud.  So young, I think, and so innocent.  At least in looks.

I croon softly over her, letting her know that I approve of her and she need have no fear.  She turns up to me and I’m staring into virtual pools of black luminescence: over-sized black eyes, reminiscent of those nocturnal arboreal creatures of Old Earth and Margaret Keane’s ‘big eyed waifs’ from Old Earth C-20; eyes that seem to penetrate into and beyond my most secret thoughts.

I’ve made an instant conquest, but so has she.  This child is mine to do with as I please.  If I’d ask her to kill herself for me, she’d do it without a moment’s hesitation.  Such is the way.  But then, if giving up my life would save hers, I’d have no hesitation either.  I see myself now plunging into an abyss of feeling I’d thought could never again touch me.  So much, once more, for reliance on training “in absentia.”

I cradle her and bring her lips to my hardened nipples.  She suckles slowly, tenderly and I realize, happily.  As easily as that I become the mother the baby never had.  And just like that, I now have another purpose in a type of relationship I’d believed I could never again engage in.  Blame the empty years here, my tired condition but mostly her uncanny ability to seduce.  There is witchcraft in her, I can easily sense.  The good kind.  The kind I practised once… somewhere…

Out of the most terrible of ordeals; the greatest of trials, comes beauty and love if one knows how to move through the energies.  Ah well, maybe this is where I start making a difference.  If I am careful to give to this child, without taking anything from her but what she freely offers me in return.  If I can bury my dark fear of losing her to the arena or to some mistake she may make and be “punished” for.  If I can allow myself to be broken, not only in body, but in heart, for love of her and all of us here. 

Totally broken.  Yes.  I know this lesson in my mind.  Now I must impress it into my brain and upon my body.

Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it will not produce fruit.”  Source is an Old Earth sacred book quoting a claimed avatar they called Jesus the Christ. How long ago was that? Thousands of years but the question is not relevant.  I am able to remember: that’s what matters now.  Remembering.  Remembrances.

I remember some of my lessons.  How I loved to say them to myself and make my feeble attempts at giving them living substance in my own life – “lives?”  But in this purgatory of lost souls, can I demonstrate the cosmic truth behind these pithy sayings?  Can I live them and teach them?  How do I reconcile my life’s performance today with that?

I look upon my child-woman without disturbing her.  Who will outlive whom?  I can’t help but torture myself with wondering.  I must stop thinking and just enjoy her.  My child and perhaps in time, lover; perhaps even friend: the most dangerous relationship of all.  Every life, however bleak, can have its moments of true tenderness.  Some time ago I would have rejected that notion.  Now it makes perfect sense.  I feel an urge within that I must baptize this child and give her a suitable name.  This one must enter her own version of Valhalla with her own name and must be given the recognition deserved.  ‘Help me, Tiegli!’ I silently beseech my old friend for it was her who impressed upon me the invaluable lesson of empowerment through the simple act of giving someone a name. 

I prepare myself to plunge into a much-needed deep sleep, despite the fact my heart overflows with love, my loins are filled with desire and my body is racked with a thousand lances of pain from the excessive movements I put my body through today.  A perfect balance for this would-be avatar, would you say?  My little one has fallen asleep with her arms wrapped tightly around my torso and her moist lips, slightly parted, brushing my nipple, leaving a tiny trail of drool to find its way, like a cool mountain stream, down my cleavage.  An image, a feeling, that changes one forever.

In the weeks that follow I find myself involved in few fights.  I think I am being avoided by bookies and gamblers because of a growing reputation for deadliness through apparent recklessness and ruthlessness.  Indeed I have decided that due to my size it is usually safe enough to take chances and go for the kill right from the beginning of the encounter.  I get less cuts, bruises and broken bones that way and return to the compound much less tired.  But the risks are real, not the least of which is being considered persona non grata and receive the Court order to be summarily executed as an undesirable, a bad performer.

I am not the crowd pleaser any longer.  If I am the gladiator being billed, the stands are but half filled.  They certainly object to seeing a woman kill a man outright.  They want play, sport, blood, but mostly they get off on the inflicting of pain.  They like to see long fights where opponents are fairly well matched and do the most damage to one-another before one is killed.  Entertainment.  Sport as a way to assuage their miserable lusts which their system will not permit them to satisfy in other more natural ways.

I just do my “job” as per its description.  But complaints are continually lodged with the handlers and trainers that the “Beast” is not being cooperative; that ‘it’ does not understand the subtleties of encounters with honour.  In other words, ‘it’ is not giving ‘its’ male opponents a chance to demonstrate their honourable ways of torturing a woman to death by killing her outright in public or destroying her body through violent encounter after encounter. 

Yes I am expressing spite and bitterness along with everything else, looking within to see all the things I’ve become a complete failure at achieving.  I may be winning battles in the arena but Malefactus is winning the war against my mind, perhaps against my heart.

Take detachment, for example.  I have become utterly and hopelessly “in love” with my child-lover, though I cannot quite locate my deepest feelings as being those for a child, or those for a lover.  I don’t think I’m capable of separating the two but I have steeled myself not to make love to her.  I have vowed to let her initiate that aspect of our relationship.  She, on the other hand, basks in my presence, cries silently when I prepare to leave for the arena and lights up like a shooting star when I return. 

Never have I experienced such gentle touch nor encountered such dedication and abandoned selflessness in a human being.  She steals pieces of cloth while working the kitchens and serving tables which she stuffs in her vagina to get past the guards then hides in the straw bedding.  She later uses those to bind my cuts.  She takes extracts from certain fruits and vegetables which she uses in my wounds or gives me to swallow.  She’s an accomplished and fearless thief and healer.

She licks and sucks the blood from my cuts, then bandages them in the night, using braided strands of split straw if she has no cloth.  She is fully aware and conscious of the fact that if she is discovered she will be flogged to death – or tortured in even worse ways.  It twists my heart to find her doing such things but however I caution her and ask her to desist, it is of no avail.  She has her own mind, as stubborn as I.  And she is tireless.

[end blog post #18]

 

The Antierra Manifesto – Blog post #10

[begin blog post #10]

Chapter 6 – Life in the Cages

“We cannot conquer fate and necessity, yet we can yield to them in such a  manner as to be greater than if we could.” (Walter S. Landor) 

I feel the most terrible ache in my heart.  I remember a time in a past life when I was taken from my home, accused of witchcraft.  My twelve year old son was taken from me and I was kept in a dungeon and I knew I’d never see him again.  I would never leave that place until, after an endless series of indignities were performed upon me, I was formally condemned for practising witchcraft by using herbs considered to have Satanic properties and I was hanged, my executors claiming compassion in my case by deciding not to burn me alive as was the current practice.  They said my healing arts had been of value to the village before I began consorting with demons and performing the black arts.  Men have never been short of excuses for “punishing” women, even in so-called modern, civilized societies.  But the greatest pain they cause women is not physical, it’s psychological.  The continual put-down of her knowledge, natural skills and abilities; of her intuition and innate compassion. 

That sort of pain is what I’m speaking of: emptiness of heart and an atavistic fear rolled together like some choking fog that will never lift until perhaps after you are dead.  And even then… who really knows?  Now imagine my temporary despair, that I, Antierra, who promised a better life to Tiegli, would lower herself to doubt her own knowing?  Who better than I can know of the future of a certainty?  But shock does strange and terrible things to one’s thought pattern.  I feel as if my mind is unravelling as it feeds from the poisoned mind sewers of Malefactus.

Tiegli is gone and I haven’t seen the doctor in many days.  My arm still does not feel right but the tingling of the wound tells me it is healing.  There will be an ugly white welt there, but that seems a small thing now.  I wonder how I can get near the other women who all seem to be avoiding me.  Something about me frightens them.  It could be any number of things.  The superstition about my status as the reincarnation of their Desert Beast and my ‘natural’ skill with their basic weapons.  My size.  The colour of my eyes.  But mostly, I think, the way I talk.  Can I ever learn to speak in their pidgin?  Would that make a difference?

This morning I wake up to a low cry followed by a steady wailing in a cage close to mine.  In the early light I see a young girl sitting up holding the body of another and rocking it.  Soon all the women are keening along and to my surprise I am too.  The heavy blanket of death touches us all.  The one they called “The Brute” – the dark-skinned woman Tiegli pointed out to me who’d been captured in the deep south beyond the desert has killed herself in the night and her cage-mate has awakened to her cold body against her.  The dead woman had managed to find, hide and bring a sharp piece of broken flagstone into her cage.  She inserted it in her own jugular and bled to death.

The wailing brings several handlers, trainers and a dozen guards armed with lasguns.  A shrill whistle silences the women and the first row of twenty cages are opened and we are led outside to stand in the cold dawn.  The Brute’s mate and another nearby are made to carry the body outside to a door in the far wall.  A carrier awaits and the body is dumped in the open back.  It leaves and the door is locked.

Perhaps I should describe these strange conveyances they call carriages (if equipped to carry people or carriers if for handling supplies.  Basically they could be compared to cars or pickup trucks of Old Earth except they use a directional anti-grav force field instead of wheels, are totally silent and are usually, not always, operated by remote control or pre-programmed to run a set course.  I cannot get near enough to one to study it and tell but I sense they are, again using Old Earth observations, of a very light alloy material that appears to be metallic.  They do not carry as much of a load as did the old polluters of Earth.  They also appear to be quite slow, at least the ones I’ve seen.  Maybe there are great roads somewhere and they move faster, or maybe they have some that can rise much higher above the landscape and run “as the crow flies.” 

So much I do not know, and so much I thought would be of no consequence to me may turn out to contain crucial knowledge in the future.  Expect the unexpected!  I must approach the other women, or perhaps if I see him again, seduce the doctor to talk to me and tell me of things beyond the obvious here.  A tall order that can get me killed and nothing gained, maybe, but I need to know more.  Despite the fear of the moment, my mind reels with thoughts around Malefactus’ strange mix of technology.  They seem to be a very primitive people, social mores and practices resembling those of medieval Old Earth. 

Yet their “castles” are equipped with auto-lifts and automatic doors, and draw-bridges weighing tens of tons operate on hydraulic energy run by computerized remotes.  They have laser weapons and sophisticated fabrics.  Also they seem to have endless time and energy to engage their depraved ways, apparently having no need to concern themselves with provision of food stuffs or materials for armour or weaponry, even though, technically they are a world constantly at war with the enemy, the Estáani.  I know that much of the labour is provided by a great river of slaves, not all of them women as my research had so emphatically indicated.  Many males slave as beasts of burden and castrated ones (eunuchs) look after young males and females in crèches and sorting wards.  Where do these male slaves come from?  How do they become slaves?

A light but painful flick of a whip on my buttocks shocks me out of my reverie.  We are told to return to our cages and clean them out.  We grab wooden pitchforks stacked in a barrel against the wall by our entrance and begin the task of raking and piling the old straw bedding which we roll into sheaves and carry to a rock pit where it is burned.  A fresh pile of straw is brought in, also by carrier, and we make fresh bedding in our cages.  After we wash and eat we are returned to our cages, locked in and the next row goes through the same procedure.  No one makes a sound and I have a deep sense of foreboding while this apparently normal effort proceeds.

After these chores are complete we are once more taken out, all of us together, and made to stand in a large circle around the steel post I’d spent a night chained to.  The young trainee who had wailed at the discovery of her friend’s death is dragged out from the group and chained to the post, her hands raised above her head and the wrist chain affixed to a hook.  She appears beyond petrified, wild eyed and mouth agape, beyond the power even to scream.  Two trainers throw ice cold water on her and two handlers proceed to flog her.  She is allowed the freedom of her legs, probably to make the flogging more interesting for the men. 

As she brings her legs up for instinctive protection the long whips wrap around them and as the handlers pull their whips free, her body slams against the post over and over, leaving their bloody marks on the thin white-skinned legs.  Now she screams and her cries are non-stop and beyond heart-rending.  Her blood splatters everywhere.  The terrible whips tear into her skin and rip it into shreds and finally she stops screaming, then stops moaning.  Only then do they quit.  When they see she no longer moves they leave her hanging there, her body shredded beyond recognition, her blood still dripping down onto the paving stones. 

Some dark energy beast inside me wants to pounce on these men and tear them apart as if I had fangs and claws.  I throw up and immediately two trainers come over to me and look me over.  Something stops them from administering the same treatment to me – what?  What protects me at that moment when they know my feelings towards them?  All I see beyond the totally irrational hate is an even deeper fear.  What kind of Power drives these men?

[end blog post #10]

“La Danseuse”

*You’ve read it in English as “An Unending Story” and now I offer it in the original French. I know that some of you will probably appreciate it more in this format. *

UNE HISTOIRE D’AMOUR À L’INFINI
                  [de Sha’Tara]

Ecoutez-moi bien, je vais vous raconter une histoire à l’infini. Cest une histoire d’amour, bien sûr, mais c’est beacoup plus. C’est une histoire de vie sans fin.

Je l’ai vue un soir dans un cabaret. Elle dansait éperdument, apparament sans aucun souci. Je me suis assis aussi proche que possible du plancher de danse et, comme tous les autres homme dans cet établissement, je me suis laissé ensorceler par ses mouvements.

Comme elle était belle, je vous l’assure. Quand elle passait ses grands yeux bleus-verts sur moi, je voyais une forêt vierge et un grand océan qui s’étandait à l’infini comme le désir de mon coeur. Elle dansait avec une camarade, et finalement, seule. 

C’est alors que je prends mon courage et je m’invite à danser avec elle.

Elle m’accepte, et tout change: nous devenons amoureux. On vit ensemble après seulement un mois, et on ne peut s’imaginer vivre séparément. Tous les weekends, on va danser, elle aime tellement ça, la danse. “Je me sens si libre quand je danse.” Elle continue, naturellement, à attirer les hommes et elle danse librement avec ceux qui lui demande permission.

Suis-je jaloux? Certainement, c’est naturel, mais pas nécessaire. Après tout, elle m’aime. Elle n’a qu’à me le chuchoter dans l’oreille et je n’ai aucune raison de la douter. Elle est si bonne pour moi, et quand on marche tous les deux le soir, sous les lumières de notre ville, on est heureux, complètement.

Et puis le désastre: le cancer au genoux droit. Il faut qu’on lui enlève presque toute la jambe. Pour quelque temps, elle pleure. Puis elle accepte. “Je ne peux plus danser, je vais chanter,” elle me dit. Alors elle chante, dans notre apartement, dans la rue même, et puis elle fait du karaoke dans les cabarets. Et on s’aime, peut-être plus que jamais auparavant. Je l’adore cette fille, cette femme si incroyable.

Mais le cancer ne s’arrête pas. Elle perd un sein. Elle est dévastée pendant quelque temps et il n’y a plus de chansons. Mais un soir, elle me donne un de ses sourires  d’auparavant et demande que je la pousse dans sa chaise roulante dans la rue en      allant à notre restaurant favori. Alors que je pousse elle jase et fait des commentaires sur les couleurs, sur les sons, sur les craquements du trottoire qui font sauter la chaise roulante. Elle rit, et je trouve le courage de rire avec elle et pour ce moment la terreur du cancer nous laisse en paix. Elle mange comme un oiseau en ces jours. Elle maigrit toujours…

Finalement, le coup de grâce: cancer dans la gorge et elle perd sa voix et doit rester à l’hôpital.

Ce sont les derniers jours, j’en suis certain. Elle lève la main faiblement et j’approche mon oreille de sa bouche. Elle soupire et me chuchotte ceci: “Écoute-moi bien, mon cher Paul. Je te quitte mais je ne regrette bien. Je suis désolée, mais c’est seulement pour quelque temps. Pour nous, ce n’est pas finit. Écoute, tu n’e resteras pas seul.” 

Promets-moi que tu retourneras à notre cabaret. Là, attends encore la danseuse. Demande-lui si tu peux danser avec elle et quand elle sourit et te dis ‘oui’ danse, danse avec elle come un fou! Car tu vois, c’est moi qui sera là, dans son corps et dans son coeur. Je reviendrai, ne t’en fais pas, je ne te laisse que pour un moment.’ 

Et comme ça, elle est partie.

Vous voulez savoir comment elle finit, cette histoire? Vous voyez, je la croiyais complètement quand elle m’a dit qu’elle reviendrait. Je suis retourné à notre cabaret. Je me suis assis tout près du plancher de danse. J’ai pris une bière ou deux en attendant, jour après jour. Environ deux semaines d’attente et la danseuse est venue. 

Et tout a recommencé.