Lotti had received no information which was useful from the Tower guards. Both men had appeared preoccupied despite her presence, but that could be a devotion to their particular duty. She had seen first-hand the devastation that the effects of the rain had caused and understood the responsibilities of the guards in the Watchtower. Her questioning of the men had proved just as useless and she stepped off the bottom rung of the ladder and stared up at the blue sky. She squinted in the sunlight and marveled at the beauty expanding above her head. How could it change so quickly she wondered to herself idly and cast a glance around her. She noted various glances and stares as people passed with their heads lowered as they neared her. A stranger in a strange place she pondered. She cast a final glance up toward the platform high above her head and wondered over the futility of her actions, had she acted rashly in entering the Watchtower or had it simply been mild curiosity which had led her into the observation tower. Either way, she felt she had wasted a couple hours with very little results. Her eyes fell on the path which lead away from the town toward the Bio-Dome; Faith. Perhaps that girl...Cass could be more informative. She had seemed very friendly the previous day...and any positive information now would be a bonus.
She cast a final glance toward the town before moving along the causeway toward the rising dome at the edge of the colony. As she walked she watched some of the children in the colony playing in the mud and felt a pang of jealousy over her lost youth as their laughter drifted over the landscape. The hulk of the Bio-Dome rose in the distance like a massive spider protecting her web and Lotti covered her eyes from the glare of the sun as it struck against the glass and reflected the rays, scorching the earth as they roamed the countryside. She could make out figures of workers within the dome as they toiled in the gardens and vegetable patches, digging and weeding in a never ending struggle against nature. Lotti soon found herself lost in thought as she neared the entrance of the Dome and wondered whether there was a connection between the agricultural aspect of the colony with the recent events of the rainfall. The large metal door stood before her barring her way into the Dome and Lotti placed her hands against the large circular handle in the center of the door. The handle refused the budge under her pressure and she grimaced as she leant heavily against the door. Lotti paused and gulped hard the clean air and attempted to turn the handle for a second time, but once again found her way into the Dome barred. She stepped back from the entrance and was forced to accept defeat in her approach into the Dome and resorted to banging sharply on the metal.
The sound of her fist against the cold metal surface echoed through the Dome, and Lotti pressed her ear against the steel and listened to the noise of her knocking residing through the Dome. She stepped back from the door as heavy bolts were pulled across the door and slowly at first the handle spun in a circular manner before the heavy obstacle was pulled open from within.
"Yes?" came the question from an unseen person hidden in the shadows just inside the doorway.
"Err...is it possible to talk to Cass?" stammered Lotti, surprised at the reception.
"No" snapped the voice.
"Could I ask why?" demanded Lotti.
"You could ask"
The unseen person was deliberately attempting to provoke a response from her and Lotti was determined not to rise to the provocation. "Why can't I see Cass?" she demanded.
"She hasn't come in today...and before you ask, no I don't know why. Have you tried her home?"
"No..." said Lotti, "could you tell me where it is"
There was a pause from behind the door which unnerved Lotti as she waited. She felt as though something was not quite right in the man's manner. "Head into town..." he began, "straight until you reach the second intersection then head straight for three domes. Her's is the fourth in the street"
"Thank you...Mr...?" replied Lotti, but received only the door slammed firmly shut from her face. She stared into the reflective surface of the door and frowned at her reflection casting an accusing glance at the plain metal doorway. She turned and faced down the town in the distance, resolved in another long walk. The sun was high above her head and as Lotti trudged through the dirty landscape she realised that it would have been late in the afternoon by now. The same children she had seen on her way to the Bio-Dome had now gone, presumably home for dinner. She became aware of her own hunger as she walked toward the town and wavered over a direct course for Cass' dome or head for the Central Dome to eat. She sighed inwardly, the morning had already passed fruitlessly and the decision to at least try to get some kind of answers before Reverend James returned spurred her decision to head for Cass' home. Ignoring her mumbling stomach, Lotti reluctantly passed on toward the town and thought back to the instructions given to her...second intersection, then fourth in the street. Didn't seem too difficult to find she thought as she passed through the main causeway into the town and into the heart of the community.
The streets off the main causeway were smaller in size and width, and the domes sat huddled at the edge of the road. Lotti glanced at the buildings as she walked and watched as doors and windows were slammed shut as she past. A growing feeling of unease crept across he as she walked and she felt the presence of several pairs of eyes boring into her back as she continued her progress down the street. Fourth dome, she thought as she stood outside the dome. She turned and cast a glance up the street, expecting to have been follow, but they were either very fast or it had been her over active imagination which was causing her to become jumpy. Her hand reached for the handle on the door and wavered over the metal lever for a moment before she placed it firmly on the cold, hard steel. She glanced both ways up the street and her eyes rested on homes, shops and the sheriff's office and with one final resolution she closed her eyes and pushed at the heavy door blocking the entrance to the dome.
The inside of the room was dark and untidy and from her position in the doorway, Lotti could see furniture discarded across the floor. Chairs and tables had been upturned with cushions and broken crockery spilling over the surface of the dome. Clothes lay in piled heaps on the bed, draping the odd leg or arm over the covers and reaching down toward the floor through the askew mess. Her eyes became aware of a single figure sitting in the darkness opposite the doorway in the one remaining chair; Dillonger Creed. He sat opposite the doorway, smiling in the direction of Lotti as his fingers stroked the material of his trousers. "My dear..." he purred as she became aware of his presence.
"Mr. Creed" she acknowledged politely.
"So, good of you to come" he paused to wipe his hand across his lips, "I was beginning to lose all hope"
"I've never been one to disappoint" said Lotti innocently.
"Oh...I should hope not" remarked Creed slyly, a sickly smile crossing his face. "I certainly hope you will not disappoint me" he continued standing to his feet. His eyes locked on hers and Lotti felt a chill running through her body as she realised the lustful look which had crossed Creed's face was thrown in her direction.
"I should warn you Mr. Creed..." said Lotti slowly backing toward the door, "my master..."
A laughter burst from Creed and he made an elaborate effort to check his watch on his wrist, "By now my Dear, your master should be dead" he tilted his head back and produced another hearty laugh before allowing his attention to fall back onto Lotti, an evil look spreading over his face as he spoke. "so, I'm afraid you are very, very alone" he reached out his hand toward her and stroked her face, "unless you are very good to me" he smiled at the young girl and Lotti recoiled at both his insinuation and hot breath on her face.
"Never" she spat as her foot came down hard on his toes. Creed doubled over, surprised by the sudden act of defiance by the young girl and smiled as he watched her bolt from the dome. In the bright sunlight Lotti paused outside the dome for a slightest of moments, pausing only to notice the sight of two burly figures moving from their previously concealed position at the rear of the building. Shutters over windows slammed closed concealing the unfolding scene on the street from the shelter of the homes. Lotti's walk turned into a run as small traces of mud splashed under foot with the weight of her body as it pushed through the dirty causeway and away from Creed and his men. She hazarded a quick glance over her shoulder and through flittered vision the image of Creed emerging from the Dome and signaling to his men to follow haunted her. She stopped close to the intersection, temporarily having lost her sense of bearings and watched as Creed slowly made his way up the center of the causeway; never taking his eyes off her as he walked. The other two men had disappeared into the shadows of the domes and despite the advantage of youth, their knowledge of the area and terrain would make it more than easy for the two men to catch her, even at this speed.
Her eyes caught the sign for the Sheriff's office and changing her general direction she ran toward the small building. Her speed and momentum took her crashing into the door where she stood for a moment on the precipice of the office hammering savagely on the door. "Sheriff!" she called desperately, glancing down the causeway at the still approaching Creed. "Please, Sheriff!" she begged. Her hand was sore from the insistent knocking and eventually, she discontinued her attempts and instead placed her hand on the handle and forced her way into the office.
Lotti stood in the doorway, framed by the sun on her back and she staggered under the shock of the inside of the building. Her hand snaked to her mouth to conceal a scream as her eyes strayed into the room. A cup of brown tepid liquid lay cooling, abandoned on the table, while at its feet lay a disconsolate chair, on its side discarded by a savage and final kick. Her eyes slowly climbed to the rafters of the building where they filled with salt water and the limp body of the Sheriff hung, staring out of dead, bulging eyes into the room. A rope cord tied around his neck, held him firmly in place from the ceiling while his skin gorged a mottled purple hue. His eyes bulged in shame, while his mouth was contorted in a twisted silent scream as he gazed out with a guilty accusation. Lotti spun away from the cadaver as it swayed in the gentle breeze from the door and was caught in the arms of Creed's bodyguard. His arms wrapped themselves around her slender frame and Lotti, despite her fear was grateful for the company...any company. An involuntary sob erupted from her mouth as she buried her head into his chest. Despite himself, the bodyguard loosened his grip on the girl and looked down at her shaking form staring down into her widening eyes.
"Please..." she whispered. The bodyguard slowly shook his head and held her in his arms and moved out of the Sheriff's office. In the causeway she could see the silhouette of Creed on the other side of the street, partially hidden in the shadows as they began to creep over the street.
"I'm sorry" grunted the bodyguard silently and pulled her toward his employer. He eased the young girl across the street as Dillonger Creed pulled himself out of refuge and strolled casually in the center of the causeway, defiantly challenging anyone in the colony to confront his superiority.
"Bring her!" he snapped as he walked, and as Lotti was pulled down the street she hazarded a final glance toward the office. Through the open door she could just about make out the swaying form of the Sheriff, hanging limply from the cord around the ceiling of the dome and see closed her eyes briefly and prayed a quiet lament for his soul. She could feel the slight pressure in the center of her back from the bodyguard’s hand as they walked and as she opened her eyes she could see light from the domes filtering through the windows and into the street. Lotti glanced into the sky and watched as she walked as the sun lowered in the sky and was slowly replaced by the creeping darkness of night as it covered the landscape like a giant blanket spreading its warmth over the colony. Creed had disappeared ahead of them and Lotti could see in the distance the rectangular doorway of light from Creed's dome. She could feel her feet dragging through the mud and the extra pressure of the bodyguard’s arms as they wrapped themselves around her shoulders forcing her onward. The shape of the dome closed in on her and Lotti glanced desperately around for assistance she knew wasn't coming...not even from Reverend James. What had Creed meant? what had happened to the Reverend? fear swelled through her body, not just for her own safety but that of her companion.
The bodyguard forced her through the open door before closing it firmly behind them, then turned and walked into the shadows at the rear of the dome. She could see the outline of a second figure in the darkness, a smaller petite figure before her eyes focused on Creed who was now standing before her. His eyes flicked over her body, slowly undressing her of her religious white cowl. Lotti subconsciously moved her arms in front of her body and stepped back away from the man. Creed laughed and swept his hand through the air in her direction. As the back of his hand made contact with her cheek, the noise reverberated through the dome touching every part of the building with sickening clarity. The force of the slap pushed her heavily to the floor and as she looked at the ground and felt the sting against her cheek, Lotti was resolved not to show her emotions to Creed. She would remain defiant, she would remain faithful, she would remain true to herself. The patch on her cheek glowed red under the influence of Creed's touch and Lotti held back the sting of tears welling in her eyes.
"Creed...don't" a woman's voice broke the silence of the dome from the shadows. "She's only a child", it begged.
"Shut the fuck up!" snapped Creed as he bent close Lotti's face. Lotti could feel the warmth of his breath as it touched her skin and recoiled under his scrutiny. Creed laughed at the girl's discomfort and ran his fingers through her blonde hair, allowing the strands of hair to flow and ebb in under his touch before he tightened his grip and hauled her to her feet with a handful of her wistful hair. Despite her best intentions, Lotti screamed under the sudden and unexpected pain. He pulled her head back by her hair and looked into her eyes, before running his tongue the length of her slender neck. She could feel the traces of his saliva trail and squirmed under his touch, closing her eyes and praying for strength.
"Please Creed" begged the female voice again. Lotti couldn't be sure, but she felt as though the voice belonged to that of Cass.
"I warned you, to shut the fuck up!" Creed screamed toward her and nodded at the burly figure by her side. Lotti could see the silhouetted figure raise his hand before bringing it heavily down on her, echoing the actions of his master only moments before. The sound of skin against skin was sickening and Lotti shook, much to Creed's amusement. "Scared girl?" he whispered in her ear, allowing his tongue to touch the inner parts of her ear as he spoke.
Lotti pulled away slightly under his touch before answering defiantly, "I fear no evil" she said.
Creed laughed and pulled his arm back and clenching his hand into a ball released his fist into her stomach. Once again, despite her best intentions Lotti found herself groan under the pressure of his advances. Her body crumpled to the ground, where she lay for a moment unmoving clutching at the swelling pain growing in the body. Creed stood above the body of the prone girl and rubbed his fist, smirking at her between his legs. He stooped and grabbed a large handful of hair and once again hauled her to her feet, this time pulling her writhing in his grasp toward the table in the center of the room. He smirked at her as he pulled her to the wooden structure, before pushing her head roughly into the top of the table. The table buckled and swayed under the sudden and brutal impact of her face against the wood and as blood eased its way out of her face, it stained a patch on the surface of the table. Lotti could feel the taste of iron in her mouth from the small trickle of blood which had escaped from her nose after that last attack. She could feel the weight of his body as he lay on top of her back forcing her down in position, face down and helpless.
"For God's sake Creed, she's only a child" begged the woman.
"I told you to shut up!" snapped Creed once again. He nodded toward the bodyguard by her side, "shut her up" he ordered. The guard reached for a thick rope laying on the floor and pulled it across her face, thrusting the heavy material into her mouth.
"Stop!" she begged, "please she's young..." anything else was subdued by the forceful insertion of the rope into her mouth and in the gloom of the dome, Lotti could see the figure struggling in her bondage.
"If she's old enough to bleed" sneered Creed and leant forward once again across the young girl's back. She could feel the warmth against her neck from his mouth and a growing sensation pressing against the material of her robe. Lotti closed her eyes, determined not to show the fear which was growing inside her.
Creed raised himself slightly and fumbled around his waist, undoing the thick leather belt which hung around the top of his trousers. She could feel his hand move as the buckle wielded to his actions and the release of the clasp, freed from its bonds. She could feel his movements as he pressed against her clothing, she could feel the belt moving round his trousers until finally it fell from its moorings and hung limply in his hands. Creed released his grip of her hair and grasped at her wrist with one hand, then grabbed for the other wrist whilst still remaining in firm control of the belt. Lotti attempt to move under his weight as Creed contorted against his pressure and could see a flash of pure contempt cross his face. "Stay still!" he urged as the leather bit into her flesh and pulled tightly her wrists together in a mockery of prayer. Satisfied she was bound Creed released his grip of her wrists and stroked her blonde hair, moving his fingers through the cascading follicles in small circular movements. "Beautiful" he breathed breathlessly.
His hands wandered down her body, tracing the contours of her neck and back through the layers of clothing. He pressed down hard on her youthful body and playfully gripped her hips and allowed a satisfied smile as she gave out an involuntary sob. Slowly he pressed his groin hard against her waist and grinned as his hardness forced external pressure upon her outer garments. His hands began to wander further down her clothing, tracing the lines of her buttocks and caressing her clothed form before pushing further down her legs. Creed stopped for a moment and grasped at the heavy material of the young girl's robe and pulled the clothing slowly upward, revealing her milky white legs. He leant back, still forcing his groin to press against her body as he watched the slow reveal and a sickly smile crossed his face. His hand snaked beneath her robe and traced the extremities of her knee length white socks and ran further up her leg, stroking her thigh carefully and gently. Lotti closed her eyes as fear and apprehension overcame her. She had never let a man touch her in this manner...and now here was this person forcing himself onto her innocence.
Creed smiled, sensing her discomfort and felt his own pleasure intensify. He thrust he hand between her thighs and felt the soft embrace of her underwear, before he slowly eased his hand under the soft fabric and snaked his fingers within, making small circular movements with his fingers. He could feel her shift slightly at his touch and grinned as she closed her eyes under his invasive touch. Leaving his hand firmly in her pants and allowing his fingers to wander around her genitalia, he pushed the robe further up her body slowly revealing her naked thighs and partially covered buttocks. His hand moved beneath the soft red material, and he nodded in appreciation at her firm body. Creed pulled his hand from her pants and ran his tongue along his fingers before bringing it down heavy on her milky white flesh. Lotti tensed and gasped under the sudden impact, which only fueled further excitement for Creed. He gripped her pants and pulled them hard, forcing up into her anus and creating a small red thin line of material leading toward her lower back. He smiled again and once again slapped her firm rump. The flesh reddened under his touch and her response was mild defiance as she made no effort to react, except for a small gasp as flesh met flesh. A red mark expanded over her skin as his hand made contact for a third time and roughly he forced the material down her legs revealing her nakedness.
Creed leant forward and smirked, whispering into her ear as his hand wandered to his own groin. "You’re going to enjoy this girl" he sneered, "not as much as I will, but you will enjoy it". She could feel his hands fumbling at his trousers and released a sob under his weight.
"I fear no evil..." she whispered desperately as she listened to the small zipper being pulled down the front of his trousers. "I fear no evil..." she repeated as she felt him pull his clothing down, writhing beneath his own contortion as his legs and arms moved in unison as he struggled to force his clothing to the floor. "I walk through the valley of evil...I feel no fear" she sobbed to herself as she felt a hard sensation touch her leg, leaving a small trail up the inside of her thigh. "I feel no evil" she repeated her mantra as she felt his growing presence press against her inner thigh...