‘Eden, I’ve been thinking. Could those Xenodrugs your kind use, would they be able to make me look like I feel inside? like a girl?’
That was the question that had been swirling around the mechanical engineer's head since the dam broke back on the transporter, but she had been too afraid to ask. But before she posted she felt the need to add something.
‘P.S. I think my dad is planning some kind of attack. It might be bad. I’ll let you know if I learn more.
That was it, she had come out to Eden, sort of. She hadn’t gone full “Hey I’m trans and kinda knew since I was 9, but my dad abused me until I repressed my feelings, so that’s a thing I got to deal with.” But it was a start. While to her it didn’t matter as much, she was under no illusion that the second part of her message wasn’t a clear betrayal of the Rebels. She just couldn’t force herself to care. They were foolishly fighting a lost war and sooner or later a lot of people were going to get hurt, provided the Affini didn’t find them first. It was honestly really funny. Everyone else on the ship's greatest fear, the Affinis arriving out of nowhere to capture them, was about the best possible thing that could happen to her right about now. With that happy thought in mind she went back to work trying to keep the cooling unit from exploding.
It was thankless work, it had been purposefully destroyed after all, and the fact that it was old as dirt to begin with didn’t make things any easier, but working on it had some upsides. The two goons tasked with serving as her role models didn’t want to risk pushing past the searing hot pipes to reach where she was working on the cooler. She was left alone, provided she was making progress and getting the ship ready to jump. That also meant she could check her messages from Eden more often. Something she was about to do when there was a loud banging against the pipes.
“Ey captain's boy, making any progress? Your daddy doesn't want you slacking off. ” She gave a dismissive grunt, their constant nagging was not helping. “Ey, listen you twerp, we want her ready to jump.” In one of her more clear moments she had come to the conclusion she should probably be afraid of her guards, but honestly, after the experiences she’s been having lately she had run out of fucks to give. Beside, a couple of violent bullies seemed downright pathetic when compared to the Affini. Still, deciding she was better off giving him an answer she forced herself to speak. “8 hours. Cooler is running, so I have to make some reinforcements.” Technically they would be ready to jump in 7, but she didn’t want to risk getting torn apart and she did take some glee in slowing them down, even if just slightly. Besides, claiming some more work needs doing gave her time to check for any replies from Eden.
‘Don’t worry my deary, once you are with us you can look just as girly as you want to. I am sure your body will react wonderfully to our treatments and I can’t wait to witness my little seed bloom into the cute girl she is. But those plans need dealing with, we really can’t let those little mousies run free for a second can we? If you could figure something out that would be wonderful, but don’t take any risks. Wouldn’t want the mousies to realize what you are up to. Stay safe, my little heroine.
What she was up to, what even was that really? Spying for the Affini Compact? Keeping the jumpdrive just functional enough her dad wouldn’t kill them all the next time he ordered a jump? After a moment of thinking and tinkering she decided. She was surviving, and she really liked talking with Eden.
‘I’m looking forward to it, and I will try to figure out what is going on, maybe where we are going. Dad keeps pushing for early jumps, he must be in a hurry.
It had taken until she had started enjoying it to realize Eden was growing possessive. ‘my deary’, ‘my little seed’. It was a little concerning, but there was safety in it too. Every time she thought about it her mind repeated the footage of all of those happy florets enjoying their carefree lives.Yep, that feeling she was dealing with was definitely jealousy. That was another realization she would have to deal with. Maybe she should ask Eden, figure out what her options were.
“Hey, captain's boy, finish up here. We are bringing you to the local range engines, he wants them in top shape by the time we arrive.” She rolled her eyes as she did some last checks on the cooler before sliding underneath the pipes and passing by the goons, seeing her chance to set a little trap for the two. “Arriving where anyway?” She said in the most casual tone she could muster, really feeling like she was pulling off that whole "just curious don’t actually care" wibe. “Trofi. Some mining asteroid.” The guy who she decided was Thorn for the day let out on accident and Spice stared at him. “We weren't supposed to tell him that idiot.” He spat. “What is he going to do with that information anyway?” She made her way away from the two as they argued, unable to hide the grin on her face.
She needed to get this info to Eden. Though she still had no idea how many jumps they were away knowing where they were heading could let the Affini set a trap. Frustratingly enough though it didn’t take the two long to catch up to her, and the thrusters engine had far from as many easy hiding places as the Jump Drive, so for the time being it was hard work for her, until she could slip off and send Eden another message.
‘If you could do that would be most helpful. My little heroine, fighting back against your captors all by yourself. I can’t wait until we catch those mean mousies. Then we will finally meet. Have you decided on a name yet? A goregeous name for my seed about to bloom?
It had taken until after the next jump for her to get some alone time, and she had to wait an additional hour for the jumpdrive room to become liveable once more.The cooling system truly was on its last legs and each jump turned the room into an oven. At least Thorn and Spice would be off her back for a while, their uniforms didn’t really work well for heat.
‘We are heading to a asteroid called Trofi. I haven’t had time to think about a name yet, do you have any ideas? Oh, I also wanted to ask, what are my options once I get out of here? Will I be forced to become a pet with the other rebels?
While nobody had ever confirmed to her that was the usual fate for captured rebels she felt the picture had been fairly clear from the excessive amount of Affini propaganda and Rebel rumors she had consumed. Captured rebels were turned into ‘slaves’, ‘pets’, ‘florets’ or whatever else they were called depending on who you asked. Imprisoned and forced into slave work according to the rebels, domesticated and loved according to the Affinis. But she wasn’t a rebel was she? Not really. She was helping the Affini, and they had promised to take care of her. It was easy to buy into the rebel rumors, because that was how humans treat each other. At Some point however she had decided to trust those plants. Even Thorn and Spice would surely be given loving homes, though how those two could ever be domesticated though was beyond her.
‘Very good job! My cute little spy, a proper heroine standing up to those naughty mousies. Someone as strong as you deserves a strong name… what do you think of Athena? I read it in one of your old mythology books. A strong name for a strong girl!
Those silly little rebels will soon be captured and sent off to a happy home where they will no longer be a danger to themselves or to any other cuties. As a good and very cooperative sophont held captive by rebels you will be free to choose for yourself, though I hope you give me a chance. Athena Tyr, third floret. Has a ring to it, doesn't it?
Athena was blushing deep red and had already started blaming it on the heat, that to be fair was excruciating. Eden, or Edanitira Tyr, fifth bloom as it was now obvious was her full name, wanted her. She wanted Athena, Eden gave her a name and Athena had accepted it as her own without question. Though the rest of the name she was less sure about. She had heard Florets introduce themselves before, and Eden's intention was clear. She wanted Athena to become hers. To become her happy floret curled up in her vines, resting under her blanket of flowers, simply enjoying life to its fullest. All buzzed up on Eden's drugs, her hormone levels finally corrected. All she had to do was give up her freedom.
‘Athena feels just right,’
She wrote out several options to finish off her message, before finally settling on something that may still come off a bit too flirty.
‘And I feel like I owe you that opportunity, after everything.
Athena clicked send before she could change her mind once again, her body feeling warm and tingly, and It was obvious that wasn't just caused by the busted jump drive.