I beat women. I raped women. I killed women.
I was a monster.
At first, I thought I had no choice. It was needed for me to earn Pike’s trust. It was an awful necessity to ultimately save thousands, if not millions of lives later. If I could just see my actions as collateral damage…
Members of the resistance had warned me. They told me that a man can not be asked to do the things Pike’s trainers were rumored to do and return to being the man he once was. But I felt I could. I thought it was a risk worth taking. Something had to be done. Pike had to be stopped. I would go in, and I would bring the man down. That was my goal.
Until the day of death. I can still hear the cries when I close my eyes at night. The resistance grew impatient. They moved in and attacked. They had no idea what they were up against, and as each brave warrior lost their life that day, I stood back and helplessly watched. Everything I once fought for, everyone I had stood beside in camaraderie, was dead. I was told that even my own father had perished on that battlefield. The only thing that remained was Pike, his bloody and ruthless army, and the corpses of hope being hung up along the walls of the compound to warn all who wanted to attempt such an insane mission again. Should they have waited for me? Should my father have waited to lead the attack until I returned? Waited for crucial intel that could have helped them win the battle?
They wouldn’t have liked what I had to say.
You cannot beat Pike. He is unstoppable.
I thought I could. I thought I would be victorious.
But the damage to my heart and the core of who I was became destroyed. The only hope for me now was a deep grave that would swallow the filth that I had become.
So yes, that woman should have feared me. She should have taken one look at me and trembled, even pissed herself at what would become the horror of her new imprisoned life. She should have screamed, cried, all for the upcoming agony she was about to endure from my hand.
We entered a large housing structure, neither of us saying a single word. He maintained a strong hold on my arm, which I appreciated rather than feared. I could hear screams, pleas, cries of other women as we walked down the hallway. Some women were being dragged by their hair. Others were sobbing as they obediently followed their new master. I, however, did not shed a single tear. I had no reason to at this time. Was I scared?
Was I positive I would hate what was in store?
But I had learned something a long time ago—focus on the moment, rather than the future. To worry about the what ifs would only destroy what could be a moment that was not full of misery at the time. Misery would come. Hunger would come. Death would follow. But if for that one moment, you weren’t miserable, weren’t hungry, and were not dead—then focus on that positive. It was the only way to survive. It was the only way not to go completely mad.
Stopping us before a door—one of many down the long hallway—my trainer entered a code into a keypad, and the door clicked open. He guided me into the room and flipped a switch that turned on the lights. It was one large room with a window at the far end. The curtains were closed so I was unable to see what it looked out upon. There was a large bed, an armchair, a plain wood table with two wooden chairs on each end, and a cot pushed up against the far wall. Another door was slightly ajar, and I could see it led to the bathroom. The floor was bare concrete with no rugs, and nothing hanging on the walls. Gray floors, white walls, yet very pristine. The falling ash from the sky had not made its way into this room, and for that, I was grateful.
“I’m assuming you are hungry,” my trainer said as he shut the door behind us.
I looked at him and nodded. “Very.”
“Go on into the bathroom and clean up your knees.” I looked down and saw that blood was trickling down my leg. “There are bandages and antiseptic in the top drawer.” He let go of my arm, walked over to a small computer mounted on the wall, and began typing with his back to me. “I’ll order some food to be brought to us.” He looked over his shoulder at me and an eyebrow rose. “Well, go on now. Get cleaned up.”
My heart skipped a beat at how firm his voice was. He wasn’t exactly terrifying like Pike was, but he was a man who exuded no nonsense. I had no intention of upsetting him or defying him in any way. I rushed to the bathroom and closed the door behind me, releasing the breath I hadn’t realized I had been holding.