Tag Archives: vengeance

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #65

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

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

Chapter 28 – Vengeance as a Redemptive Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End blog post #65

I’ll Forgive you, Eddie

(I do have a short story for the March Blog Battle “Dusk” but this isn’t it!  I was in a mood so I wrote this out tonight… go figure.)

Short Story – by Sha’Tara

I’ll forgive you Eddie, just as soon as you give me time to work this one out. I mean, the lying, the cheating, the way you’ve made me feel cheap in the eyes of our friends while boosting your bottomless pit of an ego and sucking the life out of me.

First, I have to go back over time and find that place, not in the photo album but in my memory, where I found myself truly “in love” with you; that place where I said “yes” when you asked me to marry you. But there is no such place, is there, Eddie. I said “yes” because I was pregnant and I’d call that duress, wouldn’t you?

How did you make me pregnant, Eddie? Do you remember your little trick at the Christmas party? Sammy told me how you put the date rape drug in my drink while I went to the ladies’ but years only later, Eddie. I remember the shock of discovering that bit of truth about you. Why did you stick around after that? Did you feel guilty, or was it the fear of being exposed by your own friends who knew what you’d done? Fear, wasn’t it. You felt obligated to marry me because it’s how we did things in those days.

Why did you stick around after our baby boy died of crib death Eddie? Was it because I brought in good money from my legal secretary job while also providing the house wife bit? So you had a comfortable place to live when your contruction jobs went soft? A safe base from which you could go out to bars, bowling alleys, race tracks and clubs to have fun, screw and gamble our money away? So you’d have someone to beat up when something pissed you off?

Hey, don’t make that face. Did you think I didn’t know about the affairs? You fucked my best friend Vivian and she finally admitted it because she felt guilty she said. But you Eddie, did you ever feel guilty? Does a rat ever feel guilt? No. It’s not in its nature, nor yours. You’re not just a rat Eddie, you’re a cockroach and I’ve been thinking that it’s time I did something serious about my pest problem. Time I returned the favour for that date rape drug thing, the beatings and my suspicion that little Alfred had help in his crib death.

You’re lying there on the floor beside the couch and wondering why you can hear what I’m saying to you but you can’t get up. It’s really quite simple: you’re having a heart attack. OK I’ll admit to having helped it along by playing with your prescriptions but you won’t be blabbing to anyone about that. That’s why I became a pharmacist after quitting the legal profession; this is so much more fun. There was no point seeking redress through legal channels, you’d eaten us out of house and home back when and even if you went to jail you’re the type that would just ooze through the bars to walk the streets again.

I’m sure you wondered why I invited you back into my life after all these years but you couldn’t resist a free B&B and you’d always considered me stupid, all evidence to the contrary. I have to thank you for accepting my invitation to come in out of the cold for old times sake. A softy, me, right? An easy mark, that’s me again. Oh you ignorant, vile, murderous imbecile, Eddie. I made it my life’s goal, after I got rid of you, to get even with you. No, not exactly even, just one step further. I felt I owed you that much.

What’s that you’re saying? You want me to call an ambulance? Oh but I will, I promise. That’s all part of the plan. I just want to watch you die in pain and agony first, is that too much to ask? What? I didn’t get that but I’ll assume you said that you understand completely. Thanks Eddie for agreeing to help me fulfill my lifelong ambition. I’m going to sit by the fireplace, have a glass of our favorite wine and watch you die.

Here’s to us, Eddie. I’ll forgive you when I see you in hell you bastard.

Tu me Llamas “La Terrorista”

[thoughts from burning woman – visions of the future]

Tú me llamas “la terrorista”
but I was never a terrorist.

You came into my home in the night,
pulled my lover, me, my baby from our bed.
You made me watch as you tortured and killed my lover.
You stripped me and gang raped me and beat me
and you took away my baby girl.
You threw me naked in one of your cages,
to mock, to make sport, to make me talk.
Talk! Talk? What did I know? Nothing.
I asked, begged, pleaded, for my baby:
you threw acid to my face and laughed.

I escaped from your cage of terror, ran into the jungle
I was naked, starved, dirty and my face was burning:
that was last year, as time is counted. Or was it
the year before that? I found other dispossessed,
victims of your terror goon squads.
We survived, we hid, we found clothes and shelter.
We found more of our own and we vowed revenge;
oh yes, revenge the like even the gods had never seen.
We stole camo gear, weapons, computers, radios
then it began and we made it real in hand to hand combat.

For my face, a dozen of you lie rotting in the jungle.
For my lover, a hundred of you bloat and float
down the river, or lie in the fields to be eaten by pigs.
But for my child, a thousand of you will die, some
not so quick nor painless. I will ask you where she is.
You in turn will beg and plead your innocence:
“¡No lo sé! ¡Por favor!” and I will laugh, and kill you
one by one.  Not once will I feel regret, not ever!

I now wear my scarred face with pride. For a necklace
I wear grenades around my neck. At night
I sleep with a machine gun in my arms. My new lover,
he is very potent, walks his talk, gives me courage.

Your prostituted media posts pictures of me,
of before you burned my face and destroyed my life.
They call me “la terrorista de la jungla”
the woman terrorist of the jungle… but know this,
you who die at my hand and that of my comrades:
you made me what I am: the she-wolf deprived of her cubs.
congratulate yourselves!  While you die, think of the girls
you raped and tortured. Was it worth it? It better.

Like my hero, Che Guevarra, will you capture me
some day, torture me, kill me? Perhaps. But know this:
a fire that consumes the likes of you is sweeping this world,
from one end to the other, we rise, we rise:
we have learned this one thing, that though rising
may see us die, we are equally dead in your hands and arms.

No mas, no mas, no mas. La justicia nos llama y nos estamos
levantando!

[transl: No more, no more, no more. Justice calls us and we are rising!]

The Young Wife and an Age Old Dilemma

The Young Wife and an Age Old Dilemma
               [a short story by ~Sha’Tara~ ]

The air is warm, the wind but a gentle sigh through branches and foliage. Down-turned flowers reflect as washed water colours upon the otherwise unbroken grey surface of the slow-moving river below a shrub-covered bank. A soft grey rain falls steadily, sweeping over the river in misty sheets.  

Chinese Scene

From an observatory of heavy stones protruding over the edge of the river, a young woman holding a colourful umbrella stands perfectly still. Her patterned kimono blends easily with the near-by foliage. She looks intently over the river to a distant foot bridge. Two grey silhouettes, two people, a man and a woman, young and certainly in love, stand facing each other near the center of that bridge, their umbrellas touching, their free hands firmly clasped together. In their mutually worshipful stance they remain oblivious to anything around them.

An idyllic image.  

Certainly.

But how often on this world does beauty hide death?

The woman standing alone remains unmoving. Only her facial features reveal the powerful emotions that are running through her mind at this instant. Her lips are pulled tight together and her jaws clenched. She stares more intensely at the couple across from her. She knows they are completely unaware of her presence; unaware they are being not only observed but scrutinized.

In the distance a bell tolls the hour. The couple disengages and separates, he turning to the city offices lining the river and she, to a barely visible villa partially hidden by a small rolling hill and dark bushes on the opposite side of the river. 

The rain continues to fall unabated.

The observer now moves. She heads into the city proper, walking along the wet walkways as if in a trance until she finds what she was searching for.  She enters a small second hand store that offers practically anything for sale.  Casually taking off a fine silver bracelet, she places it on the counter to be examined by an obese man in a dirty t-shirt and wearing a drooping hat on his bald head. He slowly rolls a dead cigar between two protruding fat lips and examines the proffered item.

He names a price, the offer is accepted and the woman, taking her money, proceeds to walk through the ramshackle assortment of hardware. She scans a dusty glass shelf on which, among unrelated items, a small dagger in an imitation leather and gem case reposes.   She picks it up, brushes some dust off of its handle and pulls it out of its scabbard. She tests its blade against the unblemished skin of her left ring finger.  It leaves a thin crimson line.   She sighs, expressing a bitter smile and returns to the counter to pay for her find.

Having returned to the street, she tucks the knife in a fold of her kimono’s ample sleeves, opens her umbrella and proceeds to walk away from the lower shops near the river, pushing deeper into the city’s noisy streets. She is quickly absorbed by the hundreds of shoppers and pedestrians crowding the narrow sidewalks, disappearing among them.

Two days go by.  The storm passes and the rain ends.  The city’s ugly stain continues to mar the landscape.  Everything is the same.

It’s early morning and the sun has broken through the mist to reveal a classic landscape of flowering shrubs in a liberal avalanche of colours. From the second-floor balcony of an apartment, a door opens and a man in white shirt and pants steps out, standing to look at the scenery, listening to the excited calls of mating birds and inhaling the freshness of the morning air.  His face bears and air of satisfaction and anticipation.  A smile plays on the edge of his lips and he seems to be imagining something very attractive to him. 

He takes a towel hanging from his arm and casually wipes a small glass table and two chairs. On the now dry table he drops his morning paper and goes back into the house for his tea and toast which are in turn placed on the small table. He sits, sips his tea, eats part of a toast and proceeds to scan through his paper.

A woman in an azure kimono now steps upon the patio.  She is young, tall and very slim with almost translucent skin, a small round face and piercing black eyes.  Her thick, straight dark-brown hair hangs freely down her back past her waist.  After standing by the door for a few moments to take in some of the morning’s scenery, she in turn sits at the table. For a few moments she looks at the man reading his paper with an inscrutable Mona Lisa smile, then places her face in her hands, saying not a word. The man shakes the paper to spread the pages and continues his reading as if unaware of her presence.

The birds in surrounding trees continue their trills and bickering as the sun slowly but inexorably rises above dissipating morning mists, colouring tree tops and blushing hedgerows. Shadows shorten, the air growing humid and heavy.

As far as nature is concerned, this day is just another day.

Why shouldn’t it be?  

Only in the heart of man can the answer to that be found.

A bell tolls in the distance, announcing the hour. The man briefly looks over his paper, taking stock of his surroundings by glancing over his round-rimmed glasses.  He deftly turns a page and starts reading again. The woman sighs but does not move. It is as if she is made of polished bronze or fine marble, a graceful statue of inscrutable mien, fit for a palace drawing room.

“Ah!” The sound barely escapes the man’s lips. He folds the paper and bends his head to read. His face goes through several masks as he seeks to control his emotions. “Ah!” escapes again.

“What is troubling you, darling?” says the woman in a dulcet tone, raising her head and turning to him. “Unsavory news?”

“Oh… it’s… it’s nothing, nothing personal. Just that a woman who worked in our offices was found murdered yesterday in her villa. She had her throat slit. Excuse me, I have to get ready for work.” The man gets up obviously shaken and, bent over, enters the house and heads for the bathroom.

After another heavy sigh, the young wife stands and with a sudden turn her Mona Lisa smile vanishes.  She walks slowly to the balcony’s metal railing and grasping it firmly with both hands, she stares across the river at the line of villas and houses beyond a foot bridge.  Now her face displays pure, intense satisfaction.