Tag Archives: Slavery

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #88

… Five, by empowering myself to reject any and all temptations put forth during my ‘in-between’ times by those who would buy me out or destroy me.  For it is true that all of us are constantly being watched by the forces we come upon and challenge.  Every battle we fight in the flesh is a battle we have already fought, are fighting, must continue to fight in spirit.
End blog post #87
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Begin blog post #88

Chapter 36 – “Stupid Speak” in the Cages – More of ‘The Teaching’

Due to the oppressive heat we are ordered to close the training earlier than usual and allowed to spend more time at the wash troughs.  The women eagerly wash each other and would be laughing happily were it allowed.  Tiki and Swala are playing with each other in the water until a couple of guards walk by and take them inside a small hut constructed of plain grey plasglas – a typical movable guard station.  They return a while later and I can just imagine how hot it must have been in there with those men.  It’s time to eat and I am starving.

The food, whatever it is, tastes as great as any I’ve ever eaten.  I quietly thank the young girl who brings it and ask her to pass my thanks to all kitchen staff.  She smiles shyly and as is their habit, rubs her head against my shoulder, letting it linger there a few precious seconds.  “Absorbing” my strength, I know.  I let my inner energy flow into her and can feel the difference as she takes it in.  They do know this trick, it’s not just a belief of theirs.  I wonder if it’s because they cannot speak freely they developed this power?  It’s the same concept as using hands and movements of the head to communicate when words are too dangerous to use.  Also, as I mentioned before, they use a quick rhythmic tapping upon the arm to indicate they do not understand something.

The meal over we are quickly and quietly ordered to our cages.  We lay on the straw, sweating, waiting.  The storm has moved in now and we hear the first distant rumblings of thunder.  It suddenly gets darker so we know the black roiling clouds have reached over to cover the sun.  The thunder gets closer and louder and now we can see reflections from flashes of lightning.  A hot breeze flows through the cages – our handlers having had the decency to leave the heavy doors open to create drafts.  We remain quiet and expectant as the thunder continues to rumble.  A bright flash immediately followed by a rumble and concussion tells us another part of the keep has been hit.  Soon there is the cry of men running and we hear carriages whining by.  I worry about Balomo and the Cydroids while most of the women are hoping the lightning destroyed the inquisition’s dungeons.

More lightning strikes and rumbles of falling stones tell us major damage is being done to parts of the keep.  It reminds me of bombardments during my brief years in the Melkiar invasions.  You crouch and hope you’re not the target.  Unlike then, I cannot run.  I cannot take my troops to safer grounds here.  We are prisoners in an old castle whose walls could topple upon us if the heavenly bombardment followed by its concussive blasts repeats much longer.  I’ve seen the cracks and done mind sweeps of this place.  The entire structure is weakening with each passing season.

One good thing about all this commotion, we can freely talk as the men are busy saving their hides or digging each other out of rubble and the noise covers our voices.  I call the women closest to Tiki and I and we ‘introduce’ ourselves formally, using our women names.

Suddenly unsure as how to proceed, I sense so much expectation from them, I begin thus,  “What women of T’Sing Tarleyn want more than anything?”

“Want alla! (freedom, pron. ‘aya’).  Want no more beatings, killings.  Want children.  Want family.  Want safe place.  Want home.”  These were the main “wants” I identified among the many, all of which were legitimate.  At least they had some idea that what they were experiencing was not normal; not what they were supposed to experience.  They had thought about it and knew life was supposed to give them better things than what they were given.  I ask,

“How women get good things, you think?”

They had ideas on that too.

“If men all gone, we free.  If goddess kill all men, this our land then.  We no more kill.  Have children by river, be happy.  Grow food as did long, long ago.  Build houses, be safe.  If men come, we kill.  No more they take us, no more.”

They raise their voices in anger and I ask the few near me to quieten them just in case.  Then I pose the obvious devil’s advocate question:

“If no men, how make babies?  How have children?  Babies, children, they come from man seed, yes?”

“Goddess make seed, make babies for us.  We not need men; not have evil babies from evil men.”

I reply, “Goddess not make seed.  Goddess make love.  Goddess, she fight against evil men long ago, they win, see?  Goddess not evil warrior, not fighter.  You think maybe problem not from men but from other very evil beast?  Twist, destroy men heart so they no feel woman pain, woman love?”

A woman hidden in the dark behind me says, “This hard to know.  We know men evil.  Kill women, always.  No woman free here.  Is women free other place, Anti?”

“Some place, yes, women free like men.  No difference.  No hate, no fighting, no killing.  Not many place yet.  But problem here, not other place.  Must fix problem here.  Like broken thing.  Cannot leave broken thing here to find good one other place.  Must fix here, now.  Cannot go to other place to live.  Cannot leave here, see?  This your world.  If men no fix, then women, they fix.  How women fix this world?”

“Women no can fix.  No power.  Goddess must fix for women.  She good.  She strong, powerful in sky boat…”

I stop that line of reasoning sharply:  “You forget.  She be beaten in sky boat.  Gone down in desert long ago.  Evil machine men, they enslave all women and children then.  Goddess no help then.  Be no help without all women with her; all women.  This very important.”

“How we with her?  If she dead, we be dead too?”

“She not dead,”  I reply, “she in bad dream.  All women together, they awake her from bad dream.  Take long, long time.  But first women must awake from same bad dream.  This men do here, is bad dream.  Not real.  Is evil, evil never real, not like dirt, straw, cloud, food or love.  Evil only real if women think it real.  Evil power is in weak thinking.

“Evil not grow here.  Always from other place it come.  From skies, from stars far away.  This evil, it eat good part of men heart, make evil.  If evil beaten, men awake too, no longer evil.  No longer hurt women.  This women must understand.

“Listen: is evil, not man-evil must fight.  Fight real challenger, not shadow.  Women, they fight shadow of evil in men, kill men, evil not die, just shadow die.  Evil go into other men.  Always make more evil.”

“Good, we know now.  How we fight evil, not shadow-evil?”

“Very hard.  Take very strong woman to do.  First, must have no man-evil in woman heart.  No man-hate.  No man-fear.  Must have only knowing.  Un-der-standing.  A-ware-ness.  Must know woman heart.  True.  Clean, like wash.  No evil in woman heart.  That be first thing.  Is possible this?”

“Is not possible, Anti.  If we no hate men, no kill men, we killed.  If we no work when men say ‘work’ we killed.  If we refuse men sex, we forced, gang-raped, flogged, killed.  Soon, no woman, no children alive on T’Sing Tarleyn.  Only stupid men.  If we not do bad to men, this they hate more than if we do bad.  How you say?  Men, they want women hurt them too.  They like hurt.  They crazy.  How you fix crazy?  Must kill crazy.”

How to explain my particular conundrum of ‘compromised morality’ or doing good by wrong concept to these simple minds?  I must be really dense not to see the obvious here.  They are innocents.  They would understand me if I could bring my knowledge to their experience.

And suddenly, in this dark cage surrounded by so much despair blended in so much newly awakened hope I understand the failure of so many Teachers in so many incarnations on so many human worlds.  It is their inability to climb to the top of this mountain and face the real scaffold: that we have less awareness than they have.

The difference between I and them is obvious to me in this moment.  They are more intelligent than I, being in their own element.  They are better equipped to understand.  They are more aware of the obvious.  And certainly they have more experience.  So what do they need of me?  They need the catalyst, that which forces change.  That’s all I am.  I have to put myself in the center of this latent force to create the explosion.  I am the mine that causes the avalanche; the detonator that causes the charge to blow.

End blog post #88

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #87

There be no new method.  Train or be punished.  You – you,”  they point at me and Tiki, “continue.  You-you,” they point to the two other women, “wash, drink, change partners.  Stop again, we flog.”  And to make their point they pull out their fibre-steel whips, making the “tails” vibrate and sing like tight wires in cold weather.  We bow to them in full submission mode – enough to convince them, not enough to forget it is all a pretense.
End blog post #86
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Begin blog post #87

Ah, new trainers.  Stupid, dense, closed minded.  Always the same with new ones. 

“OK Tiki, get ready, I your challenger now.  I nod head, you attack.”

As soon as I nod she charges into my guard and I barely have time to block her.  She swings wide to the left – a perfectly executed and masterful feint.  Spinning and dropping below my block she comes in and lays her staff solidly on my hip.  I feel that!  But I’m proud of her then.  She has the talent and the will.  Able to overcome the reticence of hitting a friend, that is good.

“Good Tiki.  That hurt for real.  Now I be more careful with you, mongoose.  I am enraged cobra now.  If I get near, I have poison in fangs, hah!”

And we continue to spar.  She scores several painful hits on me.  I know I haven’t yet put in all my power in this fight and I’ve pulled back my own blows because I don’t want her to become discouraged, but I’m not far from my limit.  This creature is a natural fighter, bred for the work.  She will do as well as any has ever done.  She won’t get angry, she’ll get even.  Her vengeance will not be personal and won’t eat at her as it did with the Concubines and so many I’ve seen pass through here.  She’ll lay them down neatly and professionally.  Tomorrow I plan to test her on the swords, then on the axe.  I will have to introduce a bit of creativity in that professionalism, for the entertainment value and the surprises.  That’s my specialty: the surprise effect.

‘Tomorrow is promised to no one.’  Yes, I know.  But for all of us here, beside perhaps enough food to sate our hunger later, some loving tonight in our cages, what is there but tomorrow?  Don’t call it a promise then, just call it hope.  Some won’t even make it.  Bodies will be taken out of the cages this coming morning, I know.

During our break and partner switch the late day heat rises even more.  The breeze has died out completely and it is oppressive.  Our drinking and washing water is almost hot.  The stones would burn the feet if we weren’t walking on thick calluses.  This has to herald another thunder storm; nature’s impromptu performance to give us a little bit of entertainment and brief excitement in the night.  I’m reminded of the last night I spent with Deirdre.  So many storms since that night yet so little precipitation even through the winter that was unseasonably cold and we suffered much from exposure in it.

My new sparring partner is an older fighter I’d seen before.  She smiles at me and gestures for a quick talk. 

“We remember, Anti.  Remember Teaching of Great Desert Beast.  We pray like you say and the Warmo was killed.  We know in heart he now dead.  Not even ghost remain.  We need learn more of Teaching.  Tonight, you speak, yes?  Give more power to woman.”

This is such a terrible responsibility, to teach people the very concepts they need to free themselves but which will cause them so much more pain in the beginning.  You get used to a situation and settle into it, getting the most of it you can.  Comfort is relative.  Suddenly you are given a new idea and your relative comfort rug is pulled from under you.  This new idea is naked and vulnerable so you protect it with your body and mind.  Now you become vulnerable.  Certain you must be that it is worth protecting and even dying for.  Or else, why do it?  So if I teach these women, it has to be about becoming free from the horrors men are imposing on them. 

How do we approach this concept of freedom?  It cannot, ever, be with violence.  Slaves throughout the histories of the worlds of humanity have attempted violent rebellions time and again.  In each case they were slaughtered and the conditions of survivors made worse.  This the Teaching makes very clear.  Most women of Malefactus have no means of turning to violence against the men.  They are untrained, unarmed slaves.  Even us with our weapons’ skills – what are those good for but to entertain?  They are useless against the real weapons of the police and military.  In any confrontation the laser weapons would turn our bodies into piles of smoking meat in seconds.

I spar with the woman, demonstrating as many new tricks to her as I can.  As do most of the fighters she learns quickly.  We are using the long double edged, double-handed sword lately, for whatever reason, becoming the new fad in the arena.  Most challengers go for it now and this has meant we’ve had to spend much more time boning up on our skills with it.  The smaller women have a difficult time with this weapon.  It is too long and it slows their movements down.  Consequently our losses have increased incrementally.  That probably explains why the ‘brave’ men of Malefactus choose this weapon: it gives them an automatic advantage over the shorter, lighter females. 

But I must say this: the women are game.  Not only because they have no choice, but because they continue to improve themselves in many ways.  They now understand that any weapon can be mastered with skill if it is understood.  A small woman can move her body as she wields the long sword, thus not having to move the whole weight of it.  Kind of a hammer-throw concept: if you understand the lever concept, the centering balance point of your body does not have to be the fulcrum all the time.  You can create a hypothetical point for your fulcrum, your body at one end of the lever and the point of the sword at the other.  Now you can ‘orbit’ around your imaginary centre point. This requires great agility of feet and complete focus.

You use the weight of the weapon to propel you to a different location, removing the target – you – and placing the sword in an unexpected position relative to the challenger.  When he goes for you, neither you nor your sword are there – just your imaginary fulcrum point – and you can take him by surprise from an endless possibility of unexpected angles.  Those of us who are larger of body have less use of this concept and I find it difficult to teach.  So I have trained and assigned other fighters to do this part for me. 

“Can I ask you to teach my slave this sword technique you have developed, please?”  I ask her.  “And can I have your woman power name also?”

She beams to be asked a favour by such a one as I.  To be able to teach the Desert Beast Woman’s slave, that is truly an honour for her.

“In prayer, I be Swala.  Yes, and please, I do this for you.  I teach good.  The slave… ‘Tiki’?… she is very good with weapons already.  She very lucky to be slave to you and learn by touching much with you.”

“Your number for the trainers, Swala?”  She turns and I read 1334-02-28.

The women here believe it is possible to absorb another’s skills and strength as much by being physically close as by training with you.  I have noticed lately that many of the women find ways to get close to me to let their hands linger on me.  They want to absorb, to share the fighter part of me that has survived so long in the arena fights.  This is especially true now that I have killed the Warmo.  I have become a sort of inamorata to them.  They truly believe I am the reincarnation of their Great Desert Beast.  I have reawakened the old myth and they are putting fuel on the fire.

For better or worse it is a truism that avatar change agents have consistently used existing mythology to propel themselves upon the stage of whatever ISSA world they felt called to make change in.  We take on the persona of their favourite idol, myth, deity, or claim we are a child, brother, sister or other relative of that deity.  Again, it’s that compromised morality problem.  For us time is ever of the essence.  We rarely have the luxury to begin from scratch to build ourselves up to their expectations.  We are coming on stage so to speak somewhere in the middle of the action, or more often near the end of it.  We have to fit ourselves in someone else’s story – believably so or we don’t get to speak our lines – it’s that simple.

Thus Antierra or “Anti” is now the daughter of the Desert Beast and has become, in the eyes and hearts of the women fighters of T’Sing Tarleyn  the legitimate Desert Beast Woman, symbol of freedom for all T’Sing Tarleyn womanhood.  Well, as my good doctor said, I’ve brought all of them to a very dangerous crossroads.  How many avatars have brought those who believed in them to such a place then been martyred or killed to disappear following promises to return soon but never did?  How many worlds were thus politically changed on the surface but the basic problems that originally called the avatar’s attention remained unchanged? 

Earth was, or remains, one of those places.  Promises were made that were not kept and each time the people’s hopes were raised only to be dashed.  They were abandoned to their own devices and continued to perish despite Herculean efforts to maintain the reality of their disappeared avatars.  Powerful movements became powerful religions or powerful political factions  that claimed to exist as stewards for the avatar but refused to take on the responsibility such a claim entailed.  If anything can be said of those institutions it would be that they ended up demonstrating the exact opposite of what the “Master” taught so clearly.

I am on Malefactus fully aware of this problem and determined not to repeat this terrible mistake. 

And how do I propose to do this? 

First by beginning the process of self-empowerment among these female fighters.  They must ultimately believe in themselves as possessors of the power deriving from ‘the Teaching’ of their avatar.

Second, by understanding that my redemptive work achieved through deliberate submission to the lowest form of degradation in human slavery will only have begun when I leave here. 

Third, by programming myself to ‘return’ immediately after I die here.  No break, no hiatus, no seeking advice, no rest and relaxation on beautiful Altaria or other hidden world.  I belong to Malefactus until such time as it recognizes me, that is, its female population.

Fourth, by exercising my rights and powers as a WindWalker – to live and die by my own choices.  My fate and that of the people I choose to share myself with is entirely in my hands. 

Five, by empowering myself to reject any and all temptations put forth during my ‘in-between’ times by those who would buy me out or destroy me.  For it is true that all of us are constantly being watched by the forces we come upon and challenge.  Every battle we fight in the flesh is a battle we have already fought, are fighting, must continue to fight, in spirit.

End blog post #87

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #86

If I did not understand the ‘moods’ of Malefactus I would have been horrified at his whole attitude, indecency, crassness and hate.  This is nothing to get twisted about.  A man may be kind and considerate to you one day and treat you as filth the next.  I take three ‘reverent’ steps backward, as does Tiki.  Then we turn and walk to the end of the training line.
End blog post #85
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Begin blog post #86

“Antierra, you be good?” She pitches her voice craftily to be heard only by me.

“Yes Tiki” I say in a low voice also.  “I be better now, ready to train you as promised.”

“I train already.  I good with staff.”

“I hear you good.  Pleased I be with you and for you.  Now we see if true, huh?  Can you attack me as if I man?  If you do not I hurt you.  Is what must be, Tiki.  Here must hate me.  I enemy for you.  I killer of you.  You be killer of me.  Never forget basic rule.”

“I not stupid Anti.  I know.  You be careful, I be true fighter!”

Let’s just say I was warned and should have listened to the changed pitch of voice: that was a moment of revelation a fighter or challenger should always be attuned to. 

I choose two worn but serviceable staves whose extender ends have been disabled for basic training.  We move away from the others and I make her hold herself ready, staff raised.  When I nod my head it means the same as the trumpet in the arena.  She attacks and I parry easily.  Too easily.  Again and again she comes at me and each time I parry even faster.  My skills are ingrained now and I want her to realize what it feels like to attack a professional fighter.  She finds no opening and soon her white body is slick with sweat while mine is still cool.  Fifteen minutes by my count and I call a break to explain.

“You see the problem, Tiki?”

“I too slow for you.  No good.”

“No, you good but I too fast for you.  Experience, Tiki.  I cannot teach experience, so you must copy all I do until you better than me.  Try remember every move if can.  Every move.  Measure moves by sweep, distance.  Use foot stones, walls, archways, posts, to measure reach of staff.  Know where it be before it go there.  Know where it not be – attack there.  I say, you be best fighter ever, Tiki, if want to.  Just want it.  Only that.  Now drink and we begin again.”

While she goes to the drinking trough I watch the women training next to me on the right.  I know one but the other is new.  Slightly older, not a trainee.  Three lines of branding on her.  Been sold twice already.  Unusual.  I must watch this development.  Something about her I find disquieting.  She doesn’t look at me but I know she is fully aware of my presence and the exact distance between us.  She could be an attacker sent to kill me.  But by whom now?  I know I have many enemies since I killed the Prince and the Warmo.  I must be on my guard.  Tiki returns and flashes her dark eyes at me and smiles thinly.  She’s into her fighting spirit now so I change my approach.

“Now I attack you and you block.”  I strike at her block making the staff vibrate in her hands.  She is surprised at the power of the blow and almost drops it.  I stop again to explain.

“This special trick.  Not straight blow, see?”  I demonstrate by hitting her staff while rolling mine to create the vibration.  She drops it this time and winces even though I did not hit her hands, just the staff.  “See?  Roll staff while hitting target.  If arm or leg this blow hits, stuns, paralyzes, not just hurt.  Can bring man down on knees or make drop weapon, helpless.  Then can kill challenger.  Finish quick.  Is how woman win fight.  Trick.  We be not strong of muscle like man but we be knowing things Tiki.  We be mind talkers.  Talk to weapons, gain friendship, they fight with you and for you.  Some masters Tiki, they can call weapon to hand after dropping, yes.  Pull things to you, you can.  I teach basics, you practice.”

The general break is called but the two women next to us continue to fight as Tiki and I must since we began late.  Now I know.  I feel the cold shivers up my spine, as if I were fighting two challengers at once.

“Now Tiki, guard.”  She stances and parries with relative skill.  I refrain from breaking through that time and jump back, forcing her to come forward.  I go down on the stones, flip and trip her.  Just then the woman next to me, thinking I just gave her a chance to smash my head comes at me with her staff which I easily parry and send flying.  She stands there, shocked, waiting for me to jump up and kill her.  Her partner stands still also wondering what is going on. 

“You pess!”  I say to her.  “You think you kill Desert Beast in training compound?  Stupid woman, stupid.  Now I kill you, huh, yes?  You think good time to die?”

Tiki is still sitting on the ground wide-eyed at this turn of events.  I want to teach them all a new lesson.

“I no kill you woman.”  I say to my attacker.  “Here, you take my hand, help me up.”  She reaches and pulls me up.  I tower a full head and a half over her and keep a grip on her hand.  I begin to squeeze, the bionics working well.  Her face contorts in pain as she keeps her eyes in mine.  I bring her body against mine and I smell her fear.  She moves her other hand against me to push away but I grab it too, squeezing that one also.  Terror fills her face now.

“Who want me dead, pess?  Who make you kill me?  You tell, you live.”

“Court man, red robe judge, friend of Warmo.  He promise make me concubine if I kill you.  If not, he kill me.  I dead now.  You kill me, better.  You do quick, please.  He tell me how I die if no kill you.  Ahhhh, please!”  She drops to her knees and I know she had no choice in the matter, none at all.  It wasn’t something personal, just a means of surviving a bit longer.  Now I have to figure a way to save her life from the “court man.”  I know of one way.

“I Desert Beast Woman, understand?  Very old.  Very strong.  Very wise.  Know many things no one know.  Now I say to you, talk to all women you can, tell them remember Teaching.  Tell them that and I protect you from court man.  I maybe save your life, or get order to kill you myself – quick, no pain to you.  I do what can be done.  You talk to women, yes?”

“Oh, please, I talk to women, yes.” And she bows down and puts her face on my foot.  I take her arm and stand her up.  “Now I give you power.  New name, woman name, for you to know who you be.  Name you ‘Victa’ – mean many things, but for you mean from victim to victory.  This name you get from Desert Beast Woman.  Never forget.”

“I don’t forget.  Great gift I have.  Now I be person, I be someone.  Even when I killed, I remain someone real.”  When she turns I note her Hyrete brand for reference, 1341-29-03

When people don’t believe they have any worth and are shown kindness or given any bit of empowerment they can switch their subservience to the giver and this is dangerous to both.  But in this case she is old enough to realize I gave her power for her own use; that I would not make any claim against that power for it was a free gift.  She has deep intelligence if it could be developed through ideas.  Maybe the women will help her when she reminds them of the Teaching, for after all she knows nothing of it and should be eager to find out what that is all about.  Thus we are trained on Altaria and find our natural place of leadership when it is needed.   

Trainers come on the scene to find out what is the hold-up and as usual I give my made-up-on-the-spot spiel about new methods of fighting. 

“I be trying to make sound without voice to focus blows against challenger.  But it not working.  They not understand.”

I have to maintain that pidgin so the men don’t get suspicious of our ability to learn.  I have been hinting for many months now that I want to introduce ‘toning’ to our arsenal of defensive methods.  I have demonstrated its effects to them but the men are wary of my methods now – having witnessed how well they work and how much the women’s fighting skills and daring has improved.  They are hesitant to grant me new freedoms that make a mockery of their rules by demonstrating their utter stupidity.  But to allow female fighters, women, to make any kind of sound, however low, is against the law.  Screams brought on by inflicted pain, of course, are quite another matter.  That is considered a fun thing here.

“There be no new method.  Train or be punished.  You – you,”  they point at me and Tiki, “continue.  You-you,” they point to the two other women, “wash, drink, change partners.  Stop again, we flog.”  And to make their point they pull out their fibre-steel whips, making the “tails” vibrate and sing like tight wires in cold weather.  We bow to them in full submission mode – enough to convince them, not enough to forget it is all a pretense.

End blog post #86

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #85

Late again… resuming blog posting of the “Manifesto”… 

“You are too hard on yourself, almost to the point of blindness.  If you refuse to see the good you have brought here by your sacrifices how will you ever succeed?  Antierra – you will die in that arena, perhaps soon.  The auto-med reports many failures in setting things to right in your body.  The Warmo did things to you we cannot repair.  Your heart is damaged but not all of your damage is physical, do you understand?  You must regain control of yourself for this world still desperately needs you.

End blog post #84
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Begin blog post #85

“By the standards of Hyrete fighters you are the longest surviving ever.  Granted you began your fighting at an approximate age of twenty-five compared to the usual age of sixteen for regularly bred fighters.  But that only means you had much less training and experience when you were pitted against some of the best challengers in the realm.  Still, no fighter has ever lived past thirty in the official records.  You are approximately thirty seven.  Just a reminder to you that you held on in hope of accomplishing more.  And you may yet. 

“I’ve heard of your ‘Teaching’ among the women.  The slave you call Tiki tried to explain it to YBA4 in the kitchens.  I understand it not at all – seems foolishness to me, but I won’t be caught underestimating you again.  Just be careful with that line of ‘work’ because the men are nervous and it would take but a spark to ignite a pogrom against all the females of this realm, perhaps in the entire world.  You have brought all of us to a critical point.  We are not all as certain of what lies beyond death as you are, you know.  However short, however terrible its circumstances, life remains precious to us all.”

I know what he is saying.  He looks so sad and I feel self-conscious and stupid for being the cause of so much upset.  One of my Altarian elder teachers had given me the following proposition to work through: 

  1. a) Prepare yourself with all the knowledge you can, train yourself in manifestation and self-regeneration, go to this world you speak of and cause the change you believe will help the people there and save your other world you call Earth, if that is what you know you must do.
  2. b) Follow the path of Ultimate Logic and close off the parts of your life that had anything to do with Earth and her stack worlds as you know them to exist. Take the rest cure you earned, change yourself and return to us for re-assignment when you feel ready for something else, perhaps somewhat less daunting?  There are a number of worlds assigned to us now being terra-formed and populated.  They could use your expertise.

“Know this, then: there is nothing anywhere that can be used to measure or determine which of your choices will cause the greatest ‘good’ in the aeons to follow.  The good you choose to do today may be the great evil of tomorrow.  The world you save today may become your nemesis of tomorrow.  The evil you pursue to destroy may yet claim you also.  Conversely if you do nothing, the results may still be the same.  The question is for your mind alone.  We can neither agree nor disagree with your choices.  For at the avatar level of mind all choices you make are entirely your own and you live by them until you change them.”

I turn to the doctor again.

“I understand only too well Bal.  Don’t you realize how much I wish I could do it all myself without involving others in the additional sacrifices demanded by planned change?  That cannot be.  As I chose then, they too must choose now.  And so must the men.  When a world succumbs to a particular evil, Bal, the people on that world must wake up to it and decide eventually to fight it or be destroyed by it.  This is as true of individuals as it is of worlds.  This I have seen in my travels.  That was the fate of Old Earth: that her people refused to see the obvious evil that was destroying the fabric of their societies and continued in it long after there was even any point to it.  Result?  Billions died Bal.  Billions!  For nothing.  It did not have to play out that way.  There are always two paths for every ISSA.  Always choice, always.”     

Chapter 35 – Training Tiki – Clumsy Attempt on my Life

I am sad to leave the comfort of Bal’s place and the peace of mind given me by the Cydroids’ presence.  But if I’m to remain here longer I have to return to the training compound; to my world.  I walk slowly back unescorted as is now my unofficial ‘right’ to do.  It’s the third day of the week, early morning and the sun is already beating down into the courtyards.  Some passages are stifling hot.

Not much has changed, I notice as I re-enter the training areas.  There has been some rain and the stones were swept clean and washed.  The smell is a bit more tolerable and there’s a steady breeze blowing, cooling the space of reflected heat from the midday sun.  The women are lined up, sparring savagely against each other, their white bodies shining with sweat.  Some already have bloody cuts and black bruises.  I may not have mentioned it before but many women die in these training sessions.  Often the training is used as an excuse to kill a rival who may have ‘stolen’ a lover or to get rid of a suspected snitch.  The hated woman will be fighting her opponent when set upon from behind by another trainee in league with her own opponent.

Training kills are superficially investigated and seldom punished.  It is considered as maintenance costs.  The male thinking is that any trainee who lets herself get killed in training wouldn’t be worth putting in the arena.

I introduce myself to the new trainers and am escorted to Delton’s office, the overseer.  I bow to him and wait to be addressed.   

“Hah, our killer slave return from dead.  You look disgusting.  I hear they be discussing your execution huh?  Good.  You past prime now.  Die soon.  Killing orgy, I be thinking.  Good to watch.  I get ticket, yeah.  You be wanting?”

“I be wanting to train slave was in my cage, slave #1339-32-19?”

“Ah, that young one, she be good sex.  I enjoy her much.  Wiry bitch.  Deek?”  He yells out the door of the office to an assistant sitting at one of the tables playing cards.  “Off your lazy ass.  Get the ‘teela’ from kitchen, now!”

Within a couple of minutes he returns with Tiki in tow, dragging her roughly.  She sees me and her face for a moment lights up then she also bows, hiding her face in her hair.  Delton eyes her and is thinking to take her in front of me just for the malice of it.  He senses I wouldn’t care and says:  “Take the teela.  Train good and I fight it myself, beat it down and fuck it for you.  You watch.”

If I did not understand the ‘moods’ of Malefactus I would have been horrified at his whole attitude, indecency, crassness and hate.  This is nothing to get twisted about.  A man may be kind and considerate to you one day and treat you as filth the next.  I take three ‘reverent’ steps backward, as does Tiki.  Then we turn and walk to the end of the training line.

End blog post #85

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #83

[Onward with the story, huh?]

“Well Antierra, we meet again my dear.  You certainly made a mess of yourself in that last fight.”

“It wasn’t exactly my idea, Bal.  I encountered something I had never successfully confronted before; something I knew well.  An ancient and deadly nemesis that had anticipated my coming here and had prepared itself to destroy me. It almost succeeded – twice.  The first time you saved me.  The second time, I took responsibility for myself and fought it out, as must we all sooner or later.  I wish I hadn’t let it get so strong and really challenged it sooner.  All those lives it persecuted me and I submitted to it thinking there was no better way.  And likely there wasn’t, not then, not yet: I wasn’t strong enough or focused.  I suppose this is the logical place where the outcome from such long-term hatred had to be determined and one of us consumed by it.”

End blog post #82
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Begin Blog post #83

Balomo holds my hand and looks at my scarred, beaten and old body.  There is no sexual desire in him now, hah!  I don’t mind.  I think I’ve known for some time that ‘sex’ was no longer on my agenda.  “You avatars see the world in strange ways.  I knew there was something utterly wrong and odd about Warmo but I would not have thought he was on par with your abilities.  Are there many like him or you who can travel through dimensions and through time to seek each other out to destroy each other’s spirit or mind?  With so much enmity?”

“As below, so above, Bal. Relative to the number of ISSA’s in the universe (or parallel worlds) we are very few.  But we do tend to make waves where we battle.  What happened with the motion for my execution?”

“Temporary reprieve.  Nothing settled.  The king, as you would expect, vetoed the motion but he cannot defeat it.  It will be re-introduced each week until accepted or defeated by a two-third majority vote of the Court.  If for, they will kill you, the method not described in the motion.  We suspect they may be planning to have you put in their next killing orgy.”

“Ah, such pleasant thoughts for me to entertain while I recuperate.  How much better than a State-sponsored parade in my honour for destroying the evil Wizard.  Seriously, how long have I been out of circulation this time?”

“Only five days so far.  You will have to return to the training and exercise yard within two days or the motion for your execution will automatically stand.  Seven days is the maximum any fighter can have as you know.  It’s their law.”

“Yes I know the law.  Seven days to return to active duty.  If the fighter is not fit by that time she is executed.  I’ll make it.  Any news from the compound?  How’s Tiki?  The Concubine twins?  The crazy young sex-slave addict, if you know whom I mean?”

“The kitchen Cydroids keep me informed.  I’m supposed to tell you that the slave you call Tiki has begun training and I hear good things.  She is fast and certainly determined, so say the handlers.  One of the twins as you call them has been killed.  Her ‘sister’ is borderline ‘dikfol’ from grief and has already fought two rounds single-handed against two-man teams, killing all four.  We need you to talk to her and maybe find her a match.  We think she wants to die but cannot end it as long as she can kill men.  The young addict, I regret to say, is dead.  She was strangled in the kitchens.  Two kitchen staffers were flogged to death for that worthless ‘pess.’  She was stealing chakr-laced fighter foods to use for favours and for herself.  Someone caught her.  We’ll never know who killed her.”

I take the weight of Bal’s news in my heart and hold it there.  I feel utterly dejected.  I cannot hold back my tears and turning away on the gurney, sob loudly and freely.  The lump in my throat could choke a horse.  So little change despite the sacrifices.  I know I shouldn’t have expectations but as anyone who goes through a war knows, it cannot be helped.  We always hope for change bringing in better things.  I need a better answer to it all but as this world is currently wired, it won’t allow me to find one.  Not directly anyway. 

I’ve defeated my personal nemesis.  Accomplished the impossible.  Remained alive through a series of miracles such as men not punishing me for flaunting their rules; surviving a fight to the death with an actual demon; manifesting events that got me access to an AI auto-med to put my body back into a semblance of a woman’s form and fighting fitness.  None of that brings me the comfort I long for.  Always thrown back to the beginning, it seems.

From now on, it must be small steps again.  I must train Tiki and continue the Teaching but before I can do that I must somehow cleanse myself of the accumulated grief and guilt for all the pain I have caused to other sentient beings while I’ve been here. 

A male Cydroid and Balomo stand beside my bed studiously avoiding looking in my direction.  They know I must work out my own sense of culpability; that any outside interference will only confuse me the more.  Finally I can look up again.

“I want you to sit up,” says Bal “and take XBA7’s hand.”

Without help I manage to sit, fight off a dizzy spell and take the Cydroid’s outstretched hand.  He helps me off the gurney and I stand shakily, feeling both cold and hot at the same time.  I turn and throw up, or try to.  There is nothing in my stomach and only bile drips from my lips.  I heave over and over until I begin to fall.  The Cydroid holds me by the waist from behind and I regain enough strength to finally stand unaided.  I’m handed a glass with a mouth rinse to clean myself.  Bal then hands me the flask with the pink nectar and I sip slowly.  Things come into focus. 

I look down at my body and by what I can see I am glad they have no mirrors here.  I must look like a one hundred year old skeleton!  Good!  Maybe I can just scare my challengers to death in my next encounters, hah!  I walk around the gurney, close enough to fall on it should my strength fail.  I manage, still feeling dangerously woozy.  I walk a little further, make a half-turn and stare at my prison. 

The sun is hitting the far north wall, painting a dull orange-yellow into the texture of the weathered stones above the shadows cast by spired turrets thrusting themselves into the afternoon sky from the red-brown tiled roofs of ponderous square structures whose purpose I’ve never bothered to enquire about. There’s another piece of crenellation missing up there.  Why aren’t they doing a better job of repairing their keep, their great city?  On occasion while walking from the training areas to the forge carrying the weapons needing attention I noticed large cracks in the masonry between the square stones.  Are they just letting the keep fall apart because modern weaponry makes the idea of a ‘fort’ redundant?  Or is their economy collapsing from the combination of rising costs from raising, training and maintaining of slaves and perhaps even more relevant, a growing debt due to gambling?  Or is the war with Estáan expanding and draining more from the battered economy of Elbre?

End blog post #83

Antierra Manifesto – Blog post #67

 

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
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Begin blog post #67

Chapter 29 – The Teaching Continues: Power in Simplicity

I call the women together, as many as I can without attracting too much attention and I make the boldest and craziest request of them I have ever imagined doing.  I have to involve all of them in some way in this  [coming fight: see last chapter] so that through me they will all be champions and winners in it.  My intent is to create an opening in their mind for an awakening to a new level of power.  They are a simple, child-like people.  I have to ‘remember’ the simpler means used by the people of Old Earth to empower themselves and introduce those here carefully.

There is a way I learned on Old Earth that could unite them behind me.  The ‘power of prayer’ as I remember it.  I don’t remember it working to bring about what the prayer asked, of course – there may have been exceptions and I remember some people I truly respected testifying they had seen ‘miracles’ done as a result of prayer.  But I am not superstitious and I will not jeopardize innocent minds with unverifiable stories.

What I do remember about prayer is that it brought people together to speak for a common goal.  Yes, our Old Earth requests were made to Old Gods who were quite deaf, if not dead.  But the words in the requests bound the people who prayed in a common circle of power.  That is the binding these women need now.  Time to go inside their hearts and their minds and re-create the human being in them.

“Listen,” I say to the nine women I have assembled to ostensibly demonstrate a new move with the double-edged battle axe.  “You call me Desert Beast.  You know is not quite true.  I not be her, I be one of her girls.  I too fly across skies to other worlds like her.  I need you believe me now.  This very important to all of us.

“I be Daughter of Great Desert Beast.  She be Great Mother to all women and girl children.  I want you make up words to Great Mother in Desert to help me.  Make poison and cutting blade turn away from my skin in battle with evil Warmo.  For this you make what is called prayer, meaning you ask her, all together but quietly – she has very good hearing if you speak of me – and must find same words for all fighters to talk to her.  When she hear you ask, she give me power and protection.  When I kill our enemy Warmo, she give all you the victory.  In arena when fighting our enemy I represent all you.  All us.  Now all you have same power and same protection.  She write down all your names in fire letters in sky boat where they written forever…”

“But we not have names…”  Objects one of them.  I continue to explain.

“Yes.  You all have name.  Think name and say name in prayer.  Think name you know, you like for you: that be secret power woman name.  Ask her, in my power woman name that is Antierra, then say your own secret name.  She hear.  She happy and she help us.  Your prayer, it wake her up from bad sleep, from bad dream she be trapped in.  Then she make sky boat fly again.  When you look in sky, if you out here, look.  If evil black metal birds that eat woman flesh not there, means Desert Beast sky boat coming to make new light; chase away evil black birds.

“One day, you see this.  Now believe this.  Always remember this, she your Great Mother, she be called a goddess.  Never to tell men of this – is great woman secret – power is in secret.  Never say to man you have goddess in heart.  Never!  They kill you, all you.  If speak this, goddess leave again.  Give no more power, no more help.

“Goddess, Great Desert Beast, she come down one day, she tell men herself.  You be her people and one day she come, she take you to place where you find all your children, all lost, dead children taken and eaten by black metal men, she bring back to you.  You happy then, forget bad things.

Again one of them interrupts, which is always a good thing; it shows they are intently listening and trying to understand the meaning of the worlds.  “If believe this, how long we wait for goddess?”

“Always is long time from beginning to pray.  So you not forget.  Never forget.  Always pray to goddess, every day.  Teach young ones to pray.  When dying, pray.  Not be afraid.  Not curse.  Just pray, leave body, leave pain behind in dead body.  Find new life in goddess.

“When I gone, dead in body, you pray.  I not really dead.  I come back.  I teach more.  This I give you to remember, to believe.  This you not understand?  No need.  Just believe.  If things bad, believe.  If things good, believe.  This is forever gift I give to all you.  This you call real love.  This when you die in body, you keep in woman mind.”

“What be mind?”

“Is like spirit.  Ghost.”

There is a collective intake of breath.  “Ah… we dead in body, we be ghost?”

“Yes.”  I did not know these people had a remnant of superstition, nor did I realize they knew about ghosts.  How stupid of me.  With so many deaths here, how could there not be ghosts crowding these places not knowing yet where to go?  These women see and sense the ghosts of their dead  partners, friends, lovers about this place but never speak of them.  It is forbidden and I’ve ignorantly opened another dangerous can of worms.

“Ghost is bad thing.  Evil.  We dead in body, we be evil things?”

“No!”  I shake my head in frustration.  “You be like ghost, not real ghost.  You be you but no body.  If you good, you good after die.  If you bad, you still bad after die.  Same you. That be mind, that be spirit.  You with no body.  But you free, not like ghost.  Ghost cannot leave but you fly away in skies like Desert Beast.  No need sky boat, just fly.  See everything, free, free.  No hurt.  No hungry.  No thirsty.  Happy like little fish in big water.  Swim in air, swim in water, swim inside sand, rock.  Easy.  That be spirit-mind you.”  I wave the training battle axe I’m holding in my hand to emphasize the point.  I stick its handle point hard into a crack in the stone, then I point it at the sky.  Anything to create a visual memory for the Teaching.  I almost wish I had the magic staff that split the rock or brought fire from the sky.  Almost.

As I explain to them the rudiments of worship and its real purpose which at its core is always self-empowerment, I ask myself how much of what I teach I believe.  But then, if you already know something to be true and real, you don’t have to believe in it.   You never have to fear that you could be wrong about such a teaching.  I have the experience of it and experience is the greatest of all teachers.

End blog post #67

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #62

(Something a bit different, a break in the story that explains a bit more about the politics of T’Sing Tarleyn. Thankfully short!)

For more information on the early life of Chang-X, see Rise of the Supremacy – Its Military Strategy – Melkiar Invasions and Aftermath by Michele Dellman, freelance journalist and Supremacy chronicler with contributing annotations by Deles Kotmallo of Parnako. The following report is intended to help the reader understand how Elbre was ruled and what that meant for the women of that land, in case there are still doubts.

End blog post #61
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Begin blog post #62

 As found in earlier writings by chronicler of T’Sing Tarleyn history, Michele Dellman

 re: King Jestor Tassard of Elbre by Michele Dellman.

 King Jestor (Yes, it is  pronounced ‘jester’) Tassard the One Thousandth Three Hundred and Three was the king of Elbre until the hundredth day before the arrival of An’Tierra on T’Sing Tarleyn {ref: Avatari and WindWalkers – the tales of Al’Tara by Deles Kotmalo}  At that time he was deposed through the simple but expedient and definitive process we call murder, by his own son who became king Jestor Tassard the One Thousandth Three Hundred and Twenty Eight.  It must be noted that the son only followed his father’s example.  Jestor the “OTTHT” (not to be confused with his son, Jestor the “OTTHTE) had also murdered his own father to gain access to the throne.  It’s a little family tradition that has served them well, so why should we question it?

The number, by the way,  does not refer to how many “Jestors” have ridden the throne of Elbre to ignominy and infamy, but to the year of investiture of power of that particular Jestor. 

 “Old” king Jestor Tassard (Jestor the “OTTHT’) is an avid spectator and promoter of organized sports – of one organized sport, actually.  On the day of his bloody climb aboard the throne of Elbre – a kind of coronation à la Napoleon that included the sudden, inexplicable but timely death of his father–(the inexplicability of it already explained) he held the most lavish of feasts.  It became known in the Annals of the King Elbre as the greatest display of state sanctioned pleasure-killings ever organized in the kingdom city.

 As per the records kept by the Arena Council of Hyrete, three hundred and eight female fighters, concubines as well as hapless birth mothers, female sex slaves and worker drones, were officially butchered in the Hyrete arena, most of them under the approving eyes of the new king, his jealous uncle and heir apparent and their respective retinues.

The event lasted from sunrise to sunset over a period of exactly six days.  It is assumed by this researcher that on the seventh day, the poor king desperately needed an extended rest period.  The very last victim to grace the arena and titillate the entirely male spectator crowd was the king’s own beautiful young concubine whom he personally escorted, with a complement of twelve aides, down unto the bloody sands of the arena floor where she was stripped and handed a weapon – a staff actually – with which to defend herself from, and attack to kill, her challenger whom as you have likely deduced, was none other than king Jestor himself.

The petrified trembling girl dropped her staff in utter terror of striking the king and for that little mistake was promptly decapitated by her reproving lover.  In a final tribute to the supremacy of malehood, the king then proceeded to have sex with the decapitated body.  A fitting end to a perfect week to commemorate the enthroning of Clown Prince Jestor to king of the fair land of Elbre.

(Note: my use of the word Clown rather than Crown is deliberate)

“M. D.”

End blog post #62