Sarah woke up on a bed far too large for a human and far too nice to have been made by one. She felt sluggish but found the strength to push herself upright. Her thoughts were a mess. There was something about the chase but it all felt blurred. Then she had woken up and been told she had been in an accident…
A chill went down her spine. The details started coming back to her. They said she had been asleep for over 5 years. They had been giant plant aliens. They had drugged her. She looked down at herself and found a simple but unfamiliar outfit. It was almost definitely hospital wear. The only other thing she was wearing was a cuff on each limb made of something that looked like coiled vines.
It was hard to be scared in her groggy state which must have been an aftereffect of the drugs. She tried to pull at the cuff on her left wrist but it let out a beep and constricted just enough that she could not wiggle her hand out. She strained for a moment but then let it go. A second chill went down her spine as she went to scratch an itch on her neck. Her hands found a collar there that felt like it was made of the same material as the cuffs. She wrapped both hands around it but managed to still herself before pulling at it in a panic. What if the collar restricted her breathing.
She forced herself to push all her feelings down. She had been abducted. It was by far the most likely answer. Now she just needed to see if she could get out of this nightmare. Pushing away her feelings about the cuffs and collar she took in the room.
It looked like a bedroom, if a bedroom had been decorated by someone obsessed with old earth rainforest. She was on a gigantic bed on the far side of the room from a closed door. Vines and leaves coiled around everything in the room with flowers of many colors dotted all over. What must have been several wardrobes were lined up along one wall. Most things could be reached by a human but they were definitely too high up for a normal person. Despite being so busy the room felt lavishly spacious and relaxed.
Sarah pulled her hollow self together and clumsily crawled to the edge of the bed. She slid off the side onto the floor where she promptly fell on her ass. Glad there was no one to see that she crossed the room to the oversized door and tried to open it. Nothing happened. She checked around to make sure there were no other exits. She returned to the door and tried voice activation. “Computer, open door.” Nothing happened again and she felt more foolish. What would it take to get her out of here? There was nothing she could use to batter the door open.
A sound came from beyond the door followed by a voice calling her name. “Sarah, are you up yet? I will be right there.”
*Shit.* Things were going from bad to worse and she was not sure how much more she could take. She looked around frantically but there was nothing to be done. There were not even that many hiding spots. She settled for hiding behind the farthest wardrobe from the door. Footsteps approached followed by the nearly silent sound of the door opening.
“Sarah, where are you?”
The voice came from the doorway and higher than the head. It was English, plain and clear, but the voice held a presence that no human could. The tone was of someone looking forward to seeing their cat at home. She tried to make her breathing as quiet as possible.
A beep sounded from the collar on her neck, easily audible throughout the room.
Before she could react the voice continued. “There you are. What are you doing behind the wardrobe, silly? Would you please come out so we can talk?”
Sarah bit down on her fear and tried to think, which she could almost do clearly again. The creature knew where she was so she could not surprise it. It had not hurt her yet and said it wanted to talk. Maybe she could learn something and then try to rush past the creature. She took a deep breath and stepped out into the open. The plant creature from the medical room stood there. She towered at least twice Sarah’s height. Her body was made from vines wound together with patches of leaves and a small rainbow of flowers around her shoulders. More of the same material made the shape of a dress around her of brilliant colors. Her face was comprised of vines shaped to have human features. Her eyes stood out amongst all the vegetation. Multifaceted, they looked like hammered metal and were colored a strong blue. Several vines waved around behind her like extra limbs caught in a breeze. Sarah focused everything on one thought; she would not let this thing scare her.
“Good girl Sarah, coming when I called!”
The creature complemented her enthusiastically like she was some pet. There did not seem to be any good way past it so she just stared defientely up at its face and said nothing.
"How are you feeling little one?" It inquired.
Sarah did not answer. It had been a long time since she was in a bind this bad. She had done the same thing then, frozen in place staring the danger down. She had been lucky before. Things didn’t look so good this time.
"I am sorry if we frightened you earlier. I wanted to make sure it would not hurt your recovery."
Still she stared. The creatures continued expressions of interest in her well being felt contradictory. All it had done before this was drug her and try to deceive her. It was also just so damn big.
"Sarah? Are you feeling alright?"
It moved towards her so fast, vines disconnecting from the front of its body to extend towards her. Her fained confidence shattered and she fell backwards and trying to crawl away. She reached the wall and pressed herself against it. The creature had stopped a short distance from her but she was now completely cornered.
It made a sound like a regretful sigh and one of its vines with a needle tip rushed towards her. She screamed as it punctured her thigh. The same feeling as before crept up her leg though not as strong. It felt like it was forcing calm on her. Some part of her felt relief but the rest still panicked at being drugged again.
“Now now little one, I know the horse is out of the bag but it really pains me to see you upsetting yourself.”
The vines of its arms split apart to scoop Sarah up. She wanted to scream again but could not overcome the drugs leaving her weakened. The creature did not hurt her, in fact it was remarkably gentle. She glared at the creature and said with a faint voice, “get off”.
The creature obligingly lay her down on the oversized bed and let go with all of its vines. She felt silly just laying there but could only manage slow movements and did not have the strength to sit up.
“Do you feel relaxed enough for me to explain things now?” the creature inquired, sitting down on the bed a short distance away.
Sarah had no idea why she had been abducted or for what purpose. All she knew was she could not trust anything this plant said. She did not respond.
“Well you are awake so I will do my best. As I said in the medical building, I am Kadena Ahneen, Fourth Bloom. I am an affini, plant based shapeshifters from beyond terran space. We have come to free you from the burdens and restrictions of your old lives. Under the human domestication treaty signed by the terran accords, any terran found to be a danger to themselves or others will be involuntarily domesticated. You are my pet and I will be responsible for all your care and needs.”
The *affini* spoke in a soft slow tone that she could not help but find relaxing. She understood most of what had been said, it just seemed to absurd to be real. “You are crazy if you think I will believe any of that!” Her attempts to sound confident were undermined by her weak voice. “And stop drugging me.”
“I can assure that I am not crazy nor do I have any intention of lying to you. That is also not the proper way to address me. You will address me as your Mistress.”
“Like hell I will!”
The plant, Kadena, sighed again. “I will have to impose a certain level of restrictions upon you and your privileges. You must show the proper levels of respect to myself, others, and most importantly yourself. Until then I must do this for your own good.”
“Why even bother with a cover story for why you abducted me?!”
“I assure you that you were not abducted. I can show you footage of the accident and the proceeding medical documentation if you so wish. I do not want to show you something so traumatic so soon but it is important that you trust me. Do you still wish to see it?”
“Sure, let’s see how good your fabrication is. Now let me up.”
“Will you keep the volume and tone of your voice civil? If you do not, I will have to give you another sedative or something to limit your speech.”
Sarah was scared. They could do something like that? No! It was all lies! She would say whatever to get this plant to give her the antidote to the drug holding her still. Next she would wait until alone and find a way out of this leafy prison. “I will if you let me up.”
Kadena eyed her but a vine with a needle moved towards her arm. Sarah cringed away, her fear making the jab hurt more than it would have. She felt warmth spread from her arm and, after a few attempts, was able to sit upright. She stared back at the plant watching her.
The vines that made up the creature's body split and it reached inside its chest to retrieve some kind of tablet. It was very unnerving to watch. A few tabs on its surface and it projected a half dozen holographic images in front of her. Most were collections of medical documents bearing her name. They looked official but who knew what these aliens could fabricate. One of them was a video showing a high-speed vehicle chase from the perspective of one of the pursuers. A small error from the fleeing vehicle caused it to lose control and flip off the side of the road.
"The safety features were all deployed but terran technology could only do so much. You still suffered multiple injuries. After being retrieved from the vehicle you were transported to a nearby medical facility where they were able to stabilize you. Shortly thereafter you were moved to a long-term facility which is where I found you. You did not regain consciousness at any point from the crash until I revived you. The report also read that you were attempting to flee with a notable amount of stolen goods. We can go into details on this another time but for now are you convinced that I am being honest?"
Sarah looked at the video as it looped through the crash again. The story seemed to line up with what she remembered but everything on that day was a jumbled blur. She shook her head. "Is there anyone else here who can back up your story? Do you even have any other humans here? Humans that don't share your agenda?"
"There are many other humans here but I do not think that any of them will be able to help beyond this information in front of you."
It was not giving her the answers she wanted but at least Kadena was responding to the questions. "Where am I even?"
"We are in my hab unit. It is in the sixth hab ring of the starship Ferntusha."
Sarah just stared at Kadena blankly for what felt like an hour. Then she jumped to her feet and shouted "I'M IN SPACE?!"