The images used are Northwest Escarpment Llano Estacado by Leaflet and Cove Mountain Trail tn4 by Brian Stansberry, both are used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution rights. The trimming, manipulation, and adding of text is by Ernest Bywater. All rights to the cover image are reserved by the copyright owners.
6 September 2018 version
The titles in use are a Chapter, a Sub-chapter, and a section.
Table of Contents
The Rules and Workings
The titles in use are a Chapter, a Sub-chapter, and a section.
The Damsels in Distress (DiD) universe was created by Lazlo Zalezac. It is his brainchild, and he is the final arbitrator of what does and does not constitute the allowed DiD canon. He has been very free in what he’s allowed, so far. He also opened the universe for others to write stories in. The rules of the universe have been mentioned in various stories, and have grown with the stories. Most of the rules mentioned here are from the stories by Lazlo, others are rules and expansions provided in other stories and are approved by Lazlo. However, there are some stories set in the universe that have unapproved changes or break minor rules.
The bulk of the DiD universe stories are on the web site Stories on Line (SoL), storiesonline.net, and many include graphic sex scenes. Some stories do not include graphic sex scenes, and are also available at SoL and at Fine Stories (FS), finestories.com. Most of the canon has been spelled out in the early DiD stories at SoL, and much of this has been repeated in the early Chaos Calls stories set in the DiD universe so the information is there for those reading them on the FS site.
The basic concept is women from the planet Cassandra travel to the planet Chaos and place themselves in danger, then a man from Earth comes and rescues them. After the rescue they go to Crossroads and have sex until the woman is pregnant. Crossroads is an administration centre, and each Earth Hero involved has a female assistant there.
There are four worlds used in the main universe - Earth, Crossroads, Chaos, and Cassandra. There is a spin off series that uses another set of portals going to another section of Crossroads then to another world, this is not part of the main DiD canon and rules, but it has not been ruled out, either. You need to read the relevant stories for the rules of that planet, if you’re interested in it. Those stories are on SoL in the DiD story list.
The planet of Cassandra was involved in a war some centuries earlier than the stories are set in. There were DNA changes in the men and women of Cassandra as a result of after-effects of some of the weapons used. It’s almost impossible for the men to get the women pregnant, and they all reach orgasm very quickly during sex. The weapons’ effect on the men is sending them mad with a form of dementia. Thus, very soon after the war the men were unable to handle any form of leadership role. All Cassandrans have a much longer lifespan than the people of Earth do, and the women are attractive to males from both Earth and Chaos.
Crossroads is a facility on a habitable moon near the spatial centre of the triangle formed by Earth, Cassandra, and Chaos. The portals and rules were established along with a very powerful computer to manage the details. Humanoid staff interface between the people and computer.
The computer keeps all data, and provides all the services. It’s voice activated and able to create real objects then teleport them to where you are: food, furniture, clothes, etc. The medical technology heals broken bones, stab wounds, etc. in minutes, but it won’t fix existing issues like cancer, amputations, etc. Around 2011 (Earth time) the computers were upgraded with the addition of a number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) controllers for each major function, and a co-ordinating AI.
Originally the staff members were all from Cassandra. A humanoid supervisor from another world is brought in around 2011 (Earth time) to provide more control and better management of the facility.
The universe was started in 2005, and the stories are set with Earth as the modern day Earth because this simplifies many aspects of the story. There is no reason why a story can’t be set in an earlier historical period of Earth, but you’d need to be aware of the developments that it pre-dates. The current canon has the system being in use for some hundreds of years, with some recent changes. Also, the information provided has the system being established during Earth’s 13th Century with people transplanted from that time, then made operational soon after that.
Chaos is basically a medieval world with all the smells, diseases, and disadvantages that go with such a period of civilization. It also has the brutality of an entrenched feudal system where might is right, and the winner takes all of the property of those they defeat.
It’s a single planet created by the repetitive collisions of spatial objects adding to the mass over time; unknown numbers of meteors and asteroids colliding together. Terra-formed by aliens with an atmosphere created using gases and fluids released from the frozen rocks of the planet in the process. Then more suitable gases added by the aliens. A vapour cloud was added to hold in the heat, and to mitigate harmful solar radiation. The aliens decided the climate was best suited for the flora and fauna of Earth, so they were transplanted. Some did well, while others didn’t survive. Why some didn’t do as well as others is heavily researched, but not clearly identified, so it’s still unknown as to why.
People and culture were added by transplanting early thirteenth century Earth villages and farms from England, Europe, Asia, and the Steppes of Russia. Their homes, shops, animals, and crops were put in various locations around the planet. The churches, priests, and upper echelons of their political system were not transplanted. Religion was removed from their memories, and the idea of feudal lords who lived elsewhere and seldom bothered the general population was planted in the peoples’ minds. The common language is English like it was used then, and now it’s like the English in use on Earth today.
In general the people of Chaos have no curiosity and accept many odd things; like extra people coming out of banks, and people taking animals into banks and disappearing. This lack of curiosity also means they don’t think about or question their existence or the universe. They are a very pragmatic people who usually accept things as they are. From time to time there are people who are a bit more intelligent and a bit more curious, but they’re an exception and not the rule. However, most are as smart as the average modern day human, maybe smarter in some cases.
Over many generations something in the local minerals altered the people and removed the spark of creativity. So the planet still dwells in a middle ages society. Now it’s much like the western culture of the USA in the mid 1800s, but with little metal and no guns or explosives. Another change is Chaos men have a burning feeling during sex with Cassandran women, and the pheromones of Cassandran females cause certain men from Chaos to irrationally want to possess them. However they’re very frustrated by their inability to mate with them without the burning.
When Chaos was linked to Earth a dampening field was set around the planet to prevent propellants or explosives like gunpowder from exploding. Most Earth flora and fauna now survive when taken to Chaos.
There were changes made on Chaos due to the effects of the wars of which the Slaver War in General Sid is one part, the changes are ongoing. Chaos did have one dangerous natural mineral removed by the new AI computer when they found out about it. The AI replaced the mineral with an equal tonnage of iron ore, plus some other useful minerals and sands in the same areas. The finding and exchange of the mineral occurs in Shiloh. The total amount of iron ore is not that high. Native deposits of nickel of reasonable sizes are also found. However, few of the people recognise the nickel as a usable metal, and fewer know how to use it.
The everyday welfare of people on Chaos is slowly rising from a few centres of improvements created by some Earth Heroes who establish bases to operate from. In doing so they introduce better ways of doing things to help ‘their’ people, and those improvements slowly flow out to the rest of the people living on Chaos.
Investigations found the women of Cassandra can breed with the men of Earth. So the aliens’ social scientists developed a system to use Earthmen to impregnate the Cassandran women. The struggles and efforts of the Damsels assures their children will be cherished and not taken for granted, while the efforts and sacrifices of the Heroes assures they’re impregnated by the best men available. This provides a slow shift of power from the Cassandran people to the Earth - Cassandran people. The Heroes are Cassandran cult idols, but they can’t travel to Cassandra. The rescues by the Heroes provide an emotional and physical outlet for many of the best men on Earth. Also, it’s hoped the interaction with the people on Cassandra, Crossroads, and Chaos will prepare a core group of leaders to face meeting aliens visiting Earth in a sane and safe manner, at some future time.
The Cassandran women who have a very high probability of getting pregnant enter a lottery to be placed on a list to go to Chaos. There is a limited number of women sent to Chaos at any one time, this varies as per a complex algorithm used by the computer on Crossroads. Once the women are in dangerous situation the men from Earth go to Chaos to rescue them. After the rescue the man impregnates the woman during an interlude on Crossroads, then he returns to Earth for a week to a few weeks before he can visit Chaos again.
The system keeps the population relatively stable while letting the human male hybrid children to mature, expand, and gradually move into positions of authority, rather than create a civil war between the Human half-breeds and the fully Cassandran population. It’s an attempt to find only the strongest and most determined women to conceive and raise the children. The system is a kind of self-imposed Darwinian approach by using survival of the fittest to produce the strongest children. It applies selective breeding concepts to the population increase while providing fertile cross-breed males over a long time-frame.
The involvement with Cassandran women in support roles on Crossroads adds incentives to some of the Earthmen to keep returning to do their best to make the rescues on Chaos.
Apart from the regular inhabitants of each planet there are a number of important roles with special titles and duties. There are also many administrative and support personnel on Crossroads, but only the most important ones will be listed, many of the others are those you will find in any major organization and facility.
The Supervisors handle issues and problems while ensuring the day-to-day operations of Crossroads go well.
A Hero Greeter is a woman who meets a Hero on his first visit to explain to him how the system works, and to assist him in selecting a Caretaker.
A woman from Cassandra who goes to Chaos is known as a Damsel, thus the Damsel in Distress title for the universe.
The man of Earth who goes to her rescue is known as a Hero and he’s expected to behave like a chivalrous knight.
The Heroes can have helpers from Earth known as Companions who can be men or women. In an odd twist of computer logic any living creature brought from Earth by a Hero is seen by the Crossroads system as the Hero’s Companion, so animals taken along are also Companions.
There are Cassandran women on Crossroads who provide Heroes with direct help as a combination research assistant, trainer, aide-de-camp, and mistress. The women are selected by the Hero from personal files listing their skills and knowledge, and are known as Caretakers. She gathers the information for the rescues, and helps her Hero with the basic planning. She also has lots of sex with him before the mission as part of their bonding process. They have no family name and are known by their work, so Ann Teacher becomes Ann Caretaker when selected. When her Hero retires or dies she ceases to be a Caretaker and takes on other work, often in a Crossroads support role; many Hero Greeters and Supervisors are former Caretakers. If a potential Caretaker’s file is rejected by three Heroes she’s removed from the lists, and she can’t be a Caretaker.
The Rules and Workings
I’ll not number these, because they’re not in any particular order. Each section with a heading contains different rules or canon on how the DiD universe works. The rules are as complete as possible at the time of writing, and they have been updated since they were first compiled. This isn’t a comprehensive list, because some writers have been authorized to add to the details of Crossroads, Cassandra, and Chaos. You’ll need to read their stories to learn the extras as they go, because I doubt I’ll be in a position to update this every time a new DiD story is published. I will try to update it from time to time. Some things are duplicated, because they’re in the summary sections as well as the details sections. These are the main rules that affect the main roles of people in the stories.
Caretakers are Cassandran women who aren’t able to be Damsels due to their fertility level being to low too allow them to be in the Damsel Lottery. A potential Caretaker whose file is rejected by three Heroes is removed from the lists of potential Caretakers and can’t be a Caretaker.
Each Caretaker provides services as a research assistant, trainer, aide-de-camp, and mistress to their Hero. They also has lots of sex with their Hero before the mission as part of their bonding and relationship.
She gathers the information for the rescues and helps her Hero with the basic planning. When her Hero retires or dies she ceases to be a Caretaker and takes on other work, often in a support role on Crossroads.
Most Cassandran women can conceive, but not all can conceive easily. Only those who’ve a high probability for conception by Heroes are allowed to volunteer for the lottery (it cuts down on the applicant numbers). Those not in the lottery are allowed to apply to be Caretakers.
The Damsels go to Chaos, end up in danger, need to be rescued by a Hero and impregnated. The women have a high sex drive, and are quick to orgasm. Their reward for their time on Chaos is to have a child.
Cassandran women live a lot longer than human men do.
New Heroes find their way to Crossroads. Many are introduced by a current Hero, or find the ring and the portal of a previous Hero. On their first trip to Crossroads a new Hero must select a Caretaker to help them prepare for, and to help them select, the rescue missions they’ll go on.
They must act in a heroic manner within a Code of Chivalry. One basic rule is a Hero cannot initiate an attack against anyone.
The Hero’s reward for being involved is the knowledge he’s helping to save people, plus the sex with his Caretaker and the Damsel he saves.
With a few exceptions, like on his first visit, when a Hero goes to Crossroads he must complete a mission before he can return to Earth.
On his first mission most Heroes arrives on Chaos with nothing but clothes, and he works his way up. He either makes his weapons or gets them from attackers. Missions get harder as the hero gains experience with operating on Chaos, and he builds up resources to conduct rescues.
Initially the Heroes weren’t allowed to have sex with anyone on Chaos except with a Companion. This rule had been broken at times, and it was changed by the new management put in place during the story Shiloh:
Sexual relationships between Earth humans on Chaos, and between Earth males and the females of Chaos. As long as the activities are consensual, they will now be allowed, and the pain that was used to discourage the acts will now be suppressed. At the same time, due to the temporal fields which are part of the portals, pregnancy of human females while on Chaos or Crossroads will have to be prevented, and no pregnant women, other than the freshly impregnated Damsels from Cassandra, can be transported through any Portal.
Some Heroes build a base of operations and recruit loyal helpers on Chaos to assist them with their rescues.
Female Companions must not be able to become pregnant while on Chaos, so they need long term contraceptives before they go.
They can only defend themselves and a few specified others, like the rescued Damsels.
They must obey their Hero at all times, and also obey the Hero’s Caretaker while on Crossroads.
The above are the original Companion rules given by Lazlo in the early stories. However, in Chaos Calls: Learning Visit a ruling is given by the AI to expand on what a Companion can and can’t do:
A Companion may not steal the weapons of a person as part of a rescue. They may not steal from honest people. They may not hurt anyone except when directly attacked, and then they are free to fight all in the immediate group attacking them, both then and later. They may carry food, drink, and messages to the Damsels if told to by the Hero. They may not tell the Damsels anything except what they’re told to convey. They may not provide the Damsels with any other support until after the Hero has rescued them. While fleeing from their enemies the Companion may help the Damsels in any way. A Companion may take action to help or free any other prisoners they come across, as long as it doesn’t involve initiating a fight. A Companion may not kill by poison, and may only drug someone when ordered to do so by a Hero.
Special Note: Due to this change in the rule about not fighting until after being attacked for Companions the change was also extended to the Heroes. However, the freedom to initiate an attack is limited to the trip to Chaos it takes place in. That means when they come across the same group on a later trip they again have to wait to be attacked first before they’re free to initiate a fight with anyone from that group on that trip.
When a Hero or Damsel dies on Chaos they’re dead. Once their body is buried it’s returned to Crossroads where their damages are repaired before they’re shipped home via their portal. Removed parts are not returned until after they’re buried. If a Companion dies they aren’t returned unless the Hero takes the body back to Crossroads with them.
If the Damsel being rescued dies before the Hero can reach her the Hero is pulled back to Crossroads and returned to Earth. The Companion is left behind unless the Companion is with the Hero and in physical contact with him at the moment the Hero is recalled.
There are penalties for breaking the rules. While minor infractions are decided on a case by case basis, as are some in-principle breaches. The main penalties are summarised in the story Chaos Calls: Learning Visit as:
There are two levels of punishment for a Hero and three for a Companion. Two of them are the same. Do something on Chaos that’s really bad and you get stranded there. The portals won’t allow you back through. You can still use the banks and do all the other things locals can do, but that’s it. Do something not quite so bad and you may get back here from Chaos. You may also get sent home, but you will not be allowed back to Crossroads or Chaos. Those are the two penalties that apply to both. There’s a level of penalty for a Companion that’s between them. The Companion can do something that will stop them from being a Hero, but they can continue as a Companion. The rules are quite clear, but not so plainly stated.
A Portal is the way people move between the worlds.
A Portal Ring is gold with a sapphire of a certain size set in it.
The Portal System has many unspecified sensors and controls.
The only metal allowed by portals are the portal rings, and internal medical fittings. Some special alien metals are allowed through, too. Materials must exist on both Earth and Chaos before the portal will allow a material to pass through a portal to Earth or Chaos. Plants, clothes, wood, living forms that already exist on Chaos, and basic plastics are allowed through since they’re within the Chaos technology capability.
The portals will not allow anyone through unless they wear a portal ring, are of a heroic nature, and don’t have an illness; or they’re a person in physical contact with a person as described, and don’t have an illness.
Pregnant females of more than a few weeks aren’t allowed through.
Portals on Chaos are located in a bank’s vault area.
In one of the early stories Lazlo describes how extra portals can be made on Earth for new Heroes to have their own portal. He states:
A Portal is made in this way: on a door-frame of glass of sufficient size to step through, place thin films of these metals electronically isolated from each other - gold, aluminium, tin, platinum, copper, and zinc in that order, with a final layer made of electrum. A good varnish is suggested as the insulator between layers.
In general the portals on Earth and Chaos only link to Crossroads, so travel is via Crossroads, and it’s controlled by the staff there.
There are some special portals as part of a set of special stories that work a little differently to normal, and they’ll cease to exist when those stories and plots are finished after they destroy the rogue portals.
Movement Between the Worlds
There are four worlds: Earth, Cassandra, Chaos, and Crossroads. Travel between the worlds must go through Crossroads, hence its name. In recent times rogue portals to access Chaos and bypassing Crossroads have been found, and efforts are being made to locate and destroy them.
Crossroads is run by computers with the ability to create things on demand, and now with Artificial Intelligence (AI) oversight control. There are a number of AIs in the system with their own hierarchy.
The Crossroads Healing Units can repair physical or poison damage of anyone who reaches them while not yet brain dead: brain dead is dead. Dead Heroes and Damsels are removed from Chaos once their bodies are buried. However, it’s the rings that are used to track the Heroes, so removing the ring before death stops the transfer back to Crossroads. The Healing Units are controlled by an advanced computer, and it only fixes unhealed damage and damage done to them on Chaos. The portal control system does a health scan, and it won’t allow an ill or pregnant person through any of the portals it controls. That information is made available to the Healing system so it knows how to fix the person back up to that level. However, it is possible to locally program the system to make some other minor changes in a person’s health.
Women from Cassandra administer the system from Crossroads.
The Crossroads computers track Heroes, Damsels, and events on Chaos through satellites circling the planet as well as hidden cameras on the planet. However, they do not have a perfect coverage of the planet.