One of the female scientists had sat with her for long hours and told her what was going on in the world. The virus that had been released caused the victims to have seizures and become violent before they died a painful death. They would go mad with a need for killing. The scientist said that they didn’t know who exactly unleashed it, and there was no cure. It scared her to know someone could create something so evil.
The death toll had risen sharply, and as Ashley looked around the changed landscape of the world, she knew nothing would ever be the same again.
Folding her arms over her chest to keep out the chill, she made her way along a darkened street when she heard a feminine scream.
She paused, fear gripping her with its claws.
“Get off me!”
“That pussy is mine. All fucking mine. I want it. I want it.”
Rounding the side of the building, she saw a man had a woman by the throat. His hand going to his pants, trying to pull out his dick. Lying near the wall was a pile of discarded rebar. Without thinking, she picked one up and slammed it against the man’s head. That was all it took for him to go out cold.
The woman underneath him scrambled out.
Ashley dropped the metal and stepped away, glancing down at her empty hand.
“Hey,” the woman said, rushing to her side.
She stared at her.
“Thank you,” the woman said.
“It’s all right. Men shouldn’t be hurting us,” Ashley said.
“No, they shouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean they won’t. Men have always been a law unto themselves.”
“I’ve got to go.” Ashley pulled away.
Just as she moved past her, the other woman grabbed her arm. It was the one that had the band around her wrist. Light cast down by the lamp, and the woman held her hand up.
“You’re a fertile?”
Ashley pulled her hand away from the woman, hiding it behind her back. “I said I’ve got to go.”
“Wait. It’s too dangerous for someone like you.”
“Someone like me?”
“I don’t mean it as a negative. I mean that you’re precious. What you can do is precious.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She just wanted to run away right now. Ashley wanted to be safe, invisible, not some precious breeding vessel.
“You’re not going to make it,” the woman said. “My name is Luanna. Look, I’m not going to hurt you. You think that’s the first man that’s tried to rape me?”
“I’m sorry about that.”
“No, he’s the first one that hasn’t succeeded. He’s not the first one to actually try and do it.”
She saw Luanna’s pain, and it scared her. Tears pricked at Ashley’s eyes for the injustice of it all.
“I’m trying to get to Draven’s Kingdom.”
“Draven’s Kingdom?” Ashley asked.
“Draven’s this guy. Some people believe he’s ex-military. I don’t know what he is, but I know he’s been able to make something out of this shithole. This world isn’t safe for women, but I’ve heard he takes care of men, women, and children.”
“Children? I thought they all died.”
“Not all of them. Whatever the virus was, it preyed on the weak and vulnerable. Some kids, they’re strong. I don’t know what happened, but I know there are children living. Please, let me try to help you.”
“You want to help me?” Ashley asked.
Luanna grabbed her wrist. “This, it makes you invaluable, but it also means that men will fight for you. They’ll fight to keep you, and some may even use you.”
“What makes you think this Draven will be any different?”
“I don’t know, but I have hope. Don’t you have hope?” Luanna asked. “What have you got to lose?”
Ashley rubbed the back of her head, thinking about the men who’d tried to rape her. There really was nothing to fight for anymore. She had no one. Nothing. The life she once knew was a thing of the past.
“Can you at least tell me your name?” Luanna asked.
“Ashley. My name’s Ashley.” She held her arm close to her chest. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Then let’s go together. I don’t know about you, but I’m out of friends right about now. We can take care of each other. It’s better than going alone.”
“You don’t have one of these bands?”
“No. Only fertile women get those. I was tested and thrown out on the same day. Like trash.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t be. I imagine it’s not good for you either.” Luanna held her hand out, and they locked their fingers together. They started to walk.
Ashley had learned that trust had to be earned but, right now, she’d never felt so lost. She was going to take a leap of faith and hope Luanna didn’t turn out like all the others.
It was the best thing she could do right now.
Draven drove his blade into the rapist that had tried to attack one of the females under his care. What he’d created wasn’t much yet, but he had vowed to protect anyone within his walls.