Kembla the Blacksmith

Kembla looked at the metal scrolls and tried to arrange them is a way that was aesthetically pleasing to her. She became immersed in the task and she believed she could see history in the patterns. She felt connected to the past even though she was making something new. The objects appeared to come from the past and gave her hope for the future at the same time.

Kembla was an artistic blacksmith with many years of experience forging metal to create fascinating works of art. Most were imperfect in many ways but they told a story of the metal they were created from. Some sculptures were like twisted plants with branches tangling around each other; they were very striking.

Kembla was a woman and in the past she hid her gender because the forge was a man’s domain. She had been harassed and attacked on more than one occasion. One particular time a man had tried to take over her forge and she had to defend herself and protect her property. In the struggle she had stabbed him in the stomach with a white-hot, sizzling piece of iron. The infection from his wound had killed him. She felt great sorrow for her actions but bravely carried on.

Over the years she had learnt her skill on her own. Experimenting with different ideas, creating works that she didn’t really plan on making but that seemed to create themselves when she heated the metal and started hammering. She loved the heat coming from the fire; she became immersed in her work each time. It forced her to push herself to her creative and physical limits. It was a great comfort to her that she had these skills that she developed on her own without instruction. She worked tirelessly every day, the hammer ringing on the anvil. She sometimes had to travel great distances to get the coke for her fires and on these journeys she would meet other travelers.

On one journey she met Theodorus who told her about his spiral so while she pulled her cart of coke back home she thought about a new design to make in the forge. She would cut the iron into different lengths the measurement that Theodorus had told her and she would hammer scrolls on the ends and attach all the spokes to a shield. She might be able to sell them at the market.

Why she was a chosen one she did not know but she found herself drifting in time. For a while she was Hypatia’s mother trying to help her daughter survive. She was so frustrated with the murder of her daughter despite all her efforts to change the sequence of events. In the end she saw a way to change the attitude of men toward women. She had heard about a man named Buddha so decided to travel to meet with him on his travels and convince him to try to change the way the men in the community viewed women. They could be brave intelligent warriors with good industrial skills. They didn’t need to try to be men they just needed to realise they could be woman but strong and capable at the same time as being feminine. The attitude of society needed to be changed.

When Kembla catches up with Buddha she looks him in the eyes and states, “I am the blacksmith”. He immediately sees the error of his way. He has seen the woman in the wrong light; he has misunderstood her purpose in the world. She is not to be taken lightly but taken seriously, as an equal. She knows as much as he does. Despite being deprived of education, treated like a slave and misused. She can be the pink engineer. He has missed this. It was a mistake all these years ago. He must make amends now.

“What shall we do?” “We can gather all the greatest minds, those who can contribute to make the vision. We can get them from the past. We can get their opinion and ideas from their holograms that they send to this meeting. We have been to the future we know it can be done. The past is not a hindrance now, we have conquered time: the last frontier. It can be done.”

Unfortunately a great tragedy occurred at dinner that night. Despite Buddha realising his mistakes and vow to spread the word, Kembla accidentally killed Buddha with poisonous mushrooms: diverting her chance to change the course of history.