Warning: This story is explicit and is for adults only. It features adult themes in the apocalypse and the abuse of other human beings is part of that dreadful dystopian future. If this will upset you, please choose another story.                      -dtc


Chapter One


My name is Chloe. Just Chloe. I used to have a last name, but since the Collapse, it doesn’t mean shit. The whole world fell apart and it took my world with it. When the global economy collapsed due to massive debt, the riots began, and anarchy rushed in like water through a broken dam. I lost friends, family, everything when the world fell apart into riots and crime. And it all happened virtually overnight, especially in the big cities like Los Angeles.

I can say from experience that trying to survive in an active war zone is damned-near impossible.  I’ve learned that there are no good guys, just the lesser of two evils. Gangs fight each other for control of land and resources, taking what they can with fist and gun. It’s times like this when being a woman; especially a healthy, fairly good looking one like me, becomes a curse. The world is ruled by the strong once more, and the strong take what they want.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the skills required to survive in the nightmare L.A. became. Hell, I hadn’t really listened when officials on the news said you should have at least two weeks of food and water stocked. Inside a week, practically starving and searching for food, I’d been taken by a small gang of men and turned into their plaything. Rape and humiliation became my daily torment and I lost track of time as each hellish day blended into the next.

I’m sure there were many who might have thought that being an adult entertainment actress would mean that we could not be affected by rape. Let me tell you something, that isn’t even remotely fucking true! In the industry there are rules, and we never do something we don’t want to. No woman in her right mind wants to be raped, regardless of who she was or what she did in the world before. Rape is not just a sexual act, but one of power and control. Such an act destroys an essential part of a woman, makes her feel less than human. Thank God for my birth control implant, so at least thus far I haven’t had to worry about bringing a child into such a fucked-up world.

My new “home” is now a room in what was once a Comfort Inn motel, I think. The few times I’ve seen the outside of the building, it reminds me of that kind of a place. A brick, two story structure with metal railings, now neglected, with chipped and fading paint. The pool in the courtyard acts as the only source of water, collecting what rain falls.

There is not enough water most weeks to drink, let alone bathe properly. I’m always thirsty and most days hungry as well. I’m pretty sure that I’ve lost at least ten pounds since the Collapse, maybe more, and I didn’t have a lot to lose to begin with. My caramel-brown Latina skin has paled from a lack of sun. My hair is a matted, ragged mess, kept short to keep me humiliated. This has not dulled my looks in my captor’s eyes. They like me thin and weak.

These days I’m chained to a bed in one of the better rooms the wreck possesses. The leader of the gang called The Crazy Eight is a bastard known only as Knick. Clearly it’s not his real name, but given his love for knives, it’s what he goes by. This man is the worst of the lot, ruthless and vile. Lucky me, I’m his favorite.

I’ve almost gotten away from these assholes twice, and that’s why I’m chained up. Now I’m even left naked, just to help quash any thoughts of escape. I’ve had to adopt acting like I’m cowed while I look for any opportunity. Although as Knick walks in with a smug grin, I realize that today does not appear to be the day, damn it.

The sound of multiple gunshots reach my ears, although they’re far away. No big surprise.  L.A. is still a war zone. Gazing up through the holes in the boarded window, I see night is coming. That’s when the wildlife really slithers out from under their rocks. The soft glow of candlelight gives me something to see by, but I can’t be grateful for the light since it’s Knick who brought the candles in.

I can feel his eyes on me and involuntarily shudder, clutching the tattered blanket that was my recent reward for pleasing him. Worse, his lieutenant, Knack, is with him. Knick may be an asshole, but Knack is the whole ass. He treats women as brutally as he can get away with; though he got a beating from Knick once for giving me a black eye. He’s more careful about leaving marks, now. I like to think he has unresolved mommy issues. Regardless, he loves tormenting women and if he has a “knack” for anything, that’s got to be it. I feel sorry for the three other girls.

There used to be five girls, but two of them ultimately got pregnant, and that’s a death sentence here. The last thing the gang wants is more mouths to feed. So those girls were taken out into the street, their usefulness at an end and shot in the head. On the worst days, I think they are the lucky ones.

Knick stops an arm’s length away, taunting me with a plate of food as he leers down with that smug grin of his. He’s decked out like he always is, in grimy blue jeans and a dark vest holding a number of knives and pistols. All topped off with a black leather jacket that looks like it had seen some abuse before the Collapse.

Knick holds up the food. “You going to cooperate today?”
Asshole! As usual, he is going to make me sing for my supper. Already he’s unzipping his fly. God, it’s amazing what you’ll do to survive. You find ways to rationalize the worst that gets thrown at you to live one more day, even if it means giving in to your rapist. I try my best these days to look like they’ve broken me, but I’m still trying to find a way out. Some way to get free of this nightmare.


“Yes, what?”

Fucking bastard! “Yes sir.”

Knick shoots me a triumphant grin. “That’s my girl.”

Knick hands the plate to his lieutenant and motions for me to come forward. Knack is ogling me greedily, licking his lips like he sees a plate of ribs with all the fixings. His lecherous gaze makes me want to puke.

“Any time, baby,” Knick states while presenting himself.

These guys don’t even bathe regularly. Every time, every fucking time, I want to gag. But if I want to survive, I have to go through the motions and hide my real feelings. Probably the only bonus to having been a porn actress is that I have the skills to put these guys away fast. While Knick may have caught on, none of the others have.

As I crawl over, Knack continues to watch me with an expression that sends a chill up my spine. I’d rather be forced to have sex with Knick twenty times than be with Knack once.  I don’t pay much attention to the shadow moving behind the walking douche-bag of a lieutenant. There are eight men in the gang, so I figure there are a couple more waiting their turns. I certainly don’t expect what happens next.

When I look up at Knick, I catch the glint of a blade behind his lieutenant. With uncanny swiftness, the blade cuts Knack’s throat. Knick continues to grin down at me lecherously, totally unaware that his lieutenant’s blood sprays against wall. The bladed shadow pulls the dying man into the darkness of the doorway. I don’t know what’s going on, but I do see this is my best chance of escape.

With all the pitiful strength I can muster, I punch Knick right in the junk. His face contorts into a combination of pain and anger. Life goes into slow-motion dread as the fucker starts rearing up to backhand me. I ready myself mentally, closing my eyes as if hoping not seeing it will save me some of the pain.

The anticipated abuse never comes. A wet gurgle forces my eyes open and I see a short sword sticking out of my tormentor’s neck. All I can do is watch in shock as Knick falls to the ground, revealing a man behind him.

My savior is dressed in bits and pieces of tactical gear and leather, loaded with weapons and accessories. The upper part of his face is covered by a white mask, almost like something out of Phantom of the Opera. Or the Lone Ranger, maybe. A brown beard and mustache dusted with light gray graces the lower half of his face. His nose is strong and straight. His skin is lighter than mine, but we are lit by candles, so it’s hard to tell his eye color. He’s tall, not overly-muscled, but clearly strong enough to kill my worst abusers. Where has he been all my life?

Sitting there, I silently watch as he spits on Knick. Then he cleans the blade and sheathes it. When his eyes swivel to me—they’re blue—my shock turns to horror as he pulls out a sawed off shotgun. I want to say something, plead for my life, but my voice has deserted me as I watch in wide-eyed terror as he pulls back both hammers.

All I can imagine is that he’s going to kill me too. I’m shocked when instead he blasts apart the chain keeping me tied to the bed. The roar of the weapon startles me, followed quickly by a flood of relief. Then, as if my day hadn’t been full of enough unexpected events, without any explanation, my liberator turns and walks away.

This is a world gone mad. Why did this man kill Knick and Knack? Why bother releasing me? Why not take me as a slave for himself? All my questions go unanswered as this stranger walks out of the room.

I know one thing for damned sure. I’m safer with him. Scrambling to my feet, I shake what’s left of the chain free, and rush out the door.


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Cause and Effect: Chloe’s Story, Volume 1