"Let me out!" Alicia screamed down the empty hallway.
She shook the bars of her cell door. They rattled noisily. She anxiously paced the length of her narrow cell a few times, then plopped down on the bare, ratty mattress. 'How the hell did I get into this fix?' she asked herself, fuming, and closed her eyes, thinking back… When the rest of her family had moved into their underground retreat (the one she'd built for them under the mountains), she decided to take one final tour across the country take in the sights one more time before they left.
Well, that wasn't entire true she blew off after hanging around for a couple of years with nothing to do, missing the social life she'd always enjoyed in the 'Hub' and later in Boston. When she heard about the New Confederacy, that was it. She wanted out. She took her own personal flitter and headed for the coast. Upon reaching the Atlantic, she turned south, searching for an inhabited city.
All the original coastline cities were underwater by now. That didn't make much difference because most of them were radioactive craters anyway. Searching the new coastline, Alicia made it to Macon just as she ran out of fuel. She soon discovered that women were definitely second class citizens in this new Confederacy and valued somewhere between livestock and property. There was a bond system through which every female was processed upon entering.
She couldn't enter the city without registering. Once registered, she was required to stay in a communal facility (read 'jail') until she accepted a contract from a bondsman.
Accepting a contract meant that she would owe her bondsman a certain amount of money, which he was expected to put forward to set her up in the community. The higher the amount of the bond, the higher her social status would be. She would be the property of her bondsman until she paid back every cent declared in the contract plus every additional coin expended on her care and, if needed, education and medical treatment.
After a month of living in the communal facility and not accepting a single offer, she was ejected from the city and threatened with execution should she return.
No one was interested in feeding her if she wasn't pulling her weight, no matter how beautiful she was. Alicia was happy to leave, not even slightly interested in being owned by anyone. At that time, the Confederacy was setting up its capitol in Nashville.
Alicia took advantage of the fact that she could go anywhere she pleased during the daytime since there was no one around to stop her and decided to go there. Along the way, she found that food and drink were plentiful, though it was mostly out of irradiated cans.
Neither the radiation nor the raging sun bothered her because of her heritage. It was a long, slogging walk to Atlanta, as many of the roads were under a foot or so of seawater. The Georgia of the twenty-second century was mostly shallow salt lakes and swampland, with mosquitoes the size of her hand swarming her at night and twenty-foot long dinosaurs stalking her during the day.
It was hot, and the noon sun was cooking her. Half blinded by sweat in her eyes and exhausted from wading down the middle of the highway through ankle-deep water, she never even saw it coming, and didn't realize she was being stalked until her legs were yanked out from beneath her.
Alicia screamed as she splashed down into the shallow stinking water. Her scream was as much in pain as it was in surprise. Something large had her whole leg in its mouth and was dragging her backwards, very rapidly, into the deeper water at the side of the road.
Screaming, and clawing madly at the mud, Alicia was pulled under the tepid, foaming water, where the monster released her for an instant, then chomped down on her legs and hips.
Satisfied with its new grip on its meal, the monster dove down and swirled Alicia around, bashing her head and shoulders against the bottom of whatever body of water she was in.
Disoriented, terrified and desperate for air, she fought as hard as she could, striking its long, hard jaws with her hands and trying to jerk out of its vice-like grip. Its teeth hurt terribly and the water was red with her blood.
The monster spun around again, bashing Alicia's head against something hard. She watched the bubbles of air from her lungs rush away toward the light, then everything was dark.
In her nearly unconscious state, she could feel her body being wedged into a tight space as the monster's snout almost lovingly pushed her under a submerged log. She could see in the monster's mind that it was decidedly pleased. In a few days, she would be ripe and ready to eat. Feeling surprisingly comfortable now, Alicia let go and the darkness surrounded her. Alicia sat down in her cell, remembering waking up in the middle of a violent storm, lying face down in mud with her body half-in and half-out of a raging river.
She had no idea how she survived the attack of that giant crocodile. From the half-healed tooth marks and the deep gouges in her legs and lower belly, she estimated that the attack had occurred only a few hours earlier. This was the same day. It was barely daylight beneath the raging storm she found herself in. Realizing she had to get to higher ground or risk being swept away in a flash flood, she forced her cold, stiff muscles to move and staggered further up the shallow hill she found herself on.
When she reached the top of the hill, she could see all around her. There was nothing but water water and scraggy little tree tops, some of which were moving, having been uprooted by the flood.
It got totally dark shortly after she woke up, and she spent the night curled up against the driving rain and a fierce, cold wind. Sometime after midnight, the rain stopped and the wind died down, but the total blackness continued until daybreak. It was two more days before the water went down and Alicia could continue her journey toward Atlanta. During that time, she caught a colorful, orange snake, killed it, and ate it raw.
She was actually pretty proud of her wilderness expertise in being able to eat bloody, raw snake until she discovered the snake's last meal, the partially digested remains of some sort of rodent. Then she threw it all up. Sitting in her cell, now, Alicia thought it strange how some memories seemed so vivid, like that croc attack and eating the orange snake, and how hard it was to remember the faces of her old family.
She could see the outlines and hear their voices, but the exact appearance of her parents, her brother or her late husband, for the time being, anyway, eluded her.
She lay down on her jail cot and closed her eyes, continuing the journey through the memories of her mind. There were still small groups of survivors in the larger towns, living off whatever was left to scavenge. After her first encounter with survivors, she stayed clear of populated areas. In Athens, she'd been gang-raped and left out in the sun to cook. Another roving gang found her, raped her repeatedly, then stood her up against a wall and executed her, firing squad style.
They left her corpse at the side of the road as a warning for others to stay away. It had taken her two days to recover from all the bullet wounds. After that, she was more wary and wasn't caught again. This new 'lifestyle', traveling and thieving during the day, then holing up at night when the Normals came out, became a new and intense game for Alicia.
She'd spent most of her life being a social creature in a social society and this was a real challenge of her ability to survive. She began to understand the thrill that her son, Jake Hedron, and his wife found in doing security work, and search and rescue operations. Not knowing her way around the country (that what computers are for, after all), she eventually arrived in Memphis, another Confederate city.
There, she was also required to register for a bond. This time, tired of hiding and eating out of cans, she was offered and accepted a 10K promissory note. Thus, she entered her new profession as a bond girl (not James). The tall, willowy blue-eyed blonde quickly filled out again after having walked several hundred miles over a period of about two years, and became Arnold Baker's favorite.
Over the next ten years, she actually paid off the 10K she owed, but stayed with him anyway, until one day he didn't come home. Two other people did, however, and took her with them. After several weeks of sexual abuse in her new captivity, Alicia was left unguarded at the edge of town. There was nowhere she could go, of course, unless she chose to go topside and be cooked by the sun. The next night when they came to get her, she was gone. "Don't bother," her captor said. "She went topside.
She'll be dead by the time we find her." There were more people traveling in Tennessee than she'd seen for awhile as the Confederacy had set up underground and basement lodges for people to stay in as they moved from town to town, reestablishing a form of caravan commerce.
These underground lodges actually made it easier for Alicia to steal food and water, as well as fresh clothes.
She traveled during the day and hid out at night when everyone else traveled, just like before. Each morning, people and their animals went underground, often leaving their supplies stacked at the entrance of whatever underground lodge they chose for the day. After all, who in their right mind would risk sun poisoning for a few supplies? Alicia found pickings really easy. During her entire two-month walk to Nashville, she was only shot at twice by guards.
She was never chased. A person would have to be a fool to go out in the sun these days, even to recover stolen goods. Arriving at the outskirts of Nashville, it was impossible to tell that the city was inhabited. No one was out in the daylight, of course, so she established herself in a nice house and lived there comfortably for about two months until she discovered that her body monitor had ceased functioning sometime in the last year or so.
She discovered that when she noticed she was several months pregnant. She didn't have any trouble getting bonded when she presented herself to the city registry.
A pregnant woman was a treasured commodity. She accepted a 50K bond for herself and her unborn child and lived in underground luxury for the next four months until her son was born. After that, she resumed her work as a bond girl while raising her son in the Confederacy.
There were only a dozen children near his age in the entire city, so they were all schooled together. Alicia was highly educated in the best schools and was able to pay off her bond much faster by helping as a teacher's aid as well as becoming a much-sought-after companion for high-ranking officers and merchandisers.
Once again, she was a socialite in the power circle of government, even though she was only a lowly bond girl. When her son was fourteen, he was inducted into the army. Alicia only got to see him once a year after that. When Colonel Sattersby became Commander of the Army in Nashville, he spotted the slender, blue-eyed blonde and bought her bond.
That severely limited her freelance activities as a bond girl, but she was much more on the inside of the movers and shakers of high government as a result, and that pleased her.
She'd been with Sattersby for eight years, now, and suddenly, this morning, he'd had her arrested and thrown in prison. And she had no idea why she was here. That brings us up to the present.
"Finally!" Alicia exclaimed as she saw several security guards approaching. "Why the hell am I in here? Do you know who I am?" A guard unlocked her cell and she arrogantly walked out into the hallway, where she was immediately grabbed.
Her wrists were cuffed behind her and she was led back up the way they had arrived, angrily yelling and cussing at everyone. An hour later, she understood. "Two days ago," her interrogator was saying, "you were seen consorting with a young security officer, a Lieutenant Conroy Barley. Later that night, he killed a bondsman and kidnapped a bond girl. He also stole a Jeep from the Nashville Motor Pool.
Before he disabled the transponder, it indicated that he was headed West Northwest." Alicia stared uncomprehendingly at the savage looking, snarling man. "So?" "Don't play Miss Innocent with me, you fucking spy!" he snarled at her. "We've been watching you for eight years, just waiting for you to slip up!" "What the hell are you talking about?" Alicia demanded.
"Are you fucking nuts? My son is a member of your army.
I've lived in the Confederacy as a bond girl for the last twenty years! How the hell do you figure I'm a spy?
"And for who?" she asked haughtily. "Who would I spy for? You're the only government around, or maybe in your absurd paranoia you haven't noticed that!" "You're looking awfully young to be forty-four," her interrogator sneered, leaning back in his chair after listening to her tirade.
"How do you do it?" "Do what?" Alicia snarled. "Did you use your mind power to turn him?" he asked, his voice sounding superior and snide. "What?" she exclaimed, caught totally off guard. "What are you talking about?" He placed a cube on the desk in front of her. She stared at it, not understanding. At a signal from her interrogator, the guard behind her jabbed her shoulder with a cattle prod. "Aaiiieee!" Alicia screamed. 'What the fuck was that?' Badly shaken, Alicia mentally scanned the other minds in the room to see if there were any more ugly surprises planned for her.
The little cube started blinking on and off. "What is that?" she asked, more nervous now. "A telepathic detector," the man smirked. "A simple device used to keep people from cheating at cards." Alicia stared at the man, real fear in her eyes now.
"I'm not a spy!" she confessed. "I used to be able to read my husband's thoughts, but I've never had any reason to try to undermine your government!" 'I need help!' she broadcast into the air as loud as she could think. 'I think they're going to kill me!' The cube began blinking again.
"Calling for help?" he asked, his voice cold now. The man stood up and picked up a very fancy looking scroll. "Alicia Burnhart, you are accused and found guilty of the following charges: "1. Using telepathy to brainwash a security officer and make him a traitor to his people. "2. Spying on the Confederacy and using telepathy to keep your seditious group informed of where our army and supplies are located, leading to… "3.
Theft of said supplies. "You are hereby sentenced to death," he solemnly stated. "You will be staked out in the sun until you are dead. "Tommy," he said to the sergeant of the guards. "Have some fun with her while she's still fresh!" "Yes, sir," Sergeant Torque replied, a malicious grin appearing on his face.
"She'll wish she'd never been born, sir." "No!" Alicia cried as she was dragged toward the door. "You can't do this! I'm innocent! I haven't done anything! Pleeaassee!" The guards dragged her back to her cell. There, they forced her to undress, practically ripping her fancy clothes off of her. "Please! Stop!" she pleaded as she was forced down to her knees.
Sergeant Torque backhanded Alicia across her face, knocking her against the frame of the cell bunk. Then he kicked her hard in the stomach, grinning as she grunted and choked, almost throwing up. He savagely kicked her again, and she did throw up. "This is how we treat spies, Miss Southern Comfort," Torque sneered at her.
"You and yer fake Bas-tonian accent and yer high-minded manner! All this time, just sneakin' 'round and taking advantage of our Southern Hospitality!" He put his boot on her rump and shoved her down into her own vomit. Alicia tried to push back up, whimpering and pleading. One of the guards started to leave, a look of sick disgust on his face. "Where're you goin'?" Torque asked, snarling.
"Stay an' watch!" "Well, I was gonna fuck her, Sarge," the other guard said, "But you've pretty much messed her up. I'll just wait'll she's staked out and do 'er then.
A bucket of water'll clean 'er up, I reckon." "No! Please!" Alicia cried out. "Don't stake me out. I'll die out there in the sun!" 'No, Br'er Rabbit cried! Please don't throw me in that briar patch!
Alicia thought as she pleaded with her captors. "Don't worry, Darlin'," the sergeant replied, his voice deadly soft. "We ain't gonna stake ya out… Tomas laughed, cruelly, then added, "Not 'til we've all staked ya in!
"A bucket o' water's a good idea," he proclaimed, unbuttoning his uniform. "Go git one! An' hurry back!" "Yes, Sergeant Torque!" the guard replied. He left quickly. It only took a minute and he was back with a bucket of water.
"Com'on!" Sergeant Torque snarled, yanking Alicia's out of her cell by her luxurious blond hair. Alicia found herself on her hands and knees on the concrete floor of the hallway outside her cell. Whimpering and crying, she tried to sit up. "Straighten up!" a guard yelled at her. She did and was immediately deluged from head to toe with cold water.
"Aaahh! Damn you!" she shrieked, becoming more hysterical now. "Goddam mother fuckers!" She swung her arm at one of the guards, hitting him up against his shoulder.
He grabbed her hair and straightened her up, then punched her in her belly with his fist. "Gnuugh"! Alicia grunted, doubling over. A knee in her face smashed her nose and she started to bleed all over her naked breasts and arms. "That's enough!" Sergeant Torque hollered. Completely beaten now, she curled down on her knees, whimpering, "I din do it… I din do it… I din do it…" Torque bent forward, grabbed her wet, mottled hair and yanked it so her bloody face was staring at him.
He slapped her hard. "Shut up! "Take 'er into a clean cell!" he snarled at the other three guards. "And get 'er ready!" He followed the three guards as they dragged the whimpering girl into another empty cell, then threw her down on the cot. Grinning, the evil sergeant approached, unlatching his belt. He had already unbuttoned his shirt. "Yer gonna fuck me?" Alicia asked, half-laughing, not believing her bad luck.
"We're all gonna fuck ya, slut-bod!" Torque sneered at her. Then he grinned at her. It was a mean look on his face. "First, we're gonna stake ya in here, an' then…" his grin widened. He laughed as he watched her come to an understanding… With new horror, Alicia suddenly saw the image in his cruel, vastly evil mind.
They weren't going to tie her to the stake… and he had done that to many, many others… Torque savagely backhanded her as she screamed. Then he had his hard dick out. He dropped down on top of her and shoved it up between her legs. Alicia screamed, in fury this time, and savagely clawed at him, trying to keep her legs together and throw him off of her. He slammed his fist into her diaphragm, knocking the wind and the fight out of her for a moment.
By the time she had control of her body again, he was already fucking her, grunting his cruel pleasure as he came inside her. "Next!" he snarled. "Don't worry, cutie. By the time we're ready to put you to the stake, it'll slide up there real easy like! You'll even like it! The first half-meter anyway…" He laughed and turned away.
'Fucking slut-bod!' He went over by the cell door to give his guards room to play, pulled his fatigues back up and began buttoning his fly. A feminine hand reached down into a pocket and took his keys. "Excuse me," the pretty blonde said pleasantly as she turned away toward the other guards.
"What the hell?" he exclaimed. "There's two of 'em!" He grabbed her arm and stared at her for a moment, thinking he recognized her. Even as he blinked and tried to focus his eyes, the girl seemed to fade right out of his grasp and reappeared by the cell door.
She locked it and tossed the keys across the hall into another empty cell, then pleasantly turned around and shouldered her way around the other two guards raptly watching Alicia being raped by the guy who'd splashed her with the bucket of water. 'Scuse me… 'scuse me, please… coming through…' "Hot damn!" one of the guards she slid by yelped as he grabbed at the new girl's naked torso. Sergeant Torque watched, his mouth hanging open, as the naked blonde flickered like she did before, easily evading the second guard's grasp with the same ease she'd evaded his.
Alicia was whimpering and weakly pushing against the guard on top of her, trying to keep his cock out of her pussy. Someone suddenly shoved him aside. Alicia blinked, not believing her eyes. "Mom?" "Com'on, Honey," Tanya cooed. "Let's go home." She sat down on the bed and hugged her daughter. "Oh! this is for you," Tanya said cheerfully as she tossed a small round object to the guard she'd just shoved off her daughter.
As the guard caught it with his hand, he heard something small and metallic bounce against the wall next to the cot. His eyes widened as the two naked blondes vanished from right in front of him. Then he looked down at the grenade she'd tossed to him. It was the last thing he saw.