The jump drive burned so hot the metal hummed as the heavily modified Terran Accord stealth corvette rode the edge of the bending gravity as space re-asserted iteself around the craft to get that little extra boost out of the jump. This was nescessary, because something jumped in behind it, the hole the much, much larger craft had punched into space-time visibly neater than the roughshod warp hole the Terran tech could manage. The Affini Compact, one of their smaller warships, hot on the Terran corvette's tail, easily keeping pace without any of the smaller ship's maneuvers, and at several times the size. The corvette dips and dives, knowing that even if invisible to the naked eye, the affini ship was certainly beaming the strange sort of technology they had to render an engine inert in an instant, as very visible and dexterous vines make lazy grabs for the ship. The voice that had been speaking to the ship's pilot for nearly an hour now into this high speed chase continued in its gentle, calm tone.
“Please surrender, Mr. Holtz,” the voice purred in its low hypnotic drone. The pilot had tried to disable it, but the ship's systems refused to respond, proving that at least the non-essential systems were already compromised. “The Terran Accord is fallen. There is nowhere to run to, and nothing to run from. There is a warm meal and a soft bed waiting for you the moment you cease your struggles. Your crimes against the compact are forgiven, and your Mistress awaits you already with warm vines. You will never want for love or comfort again.” the hypnotic tone of the voice was insidious, but Monte Holtz, perhaps the last remaining stealth pilot of the Terran Accord, was doing his best to block out the tone by reciting multiplication tables under his breath as he twists and spins the stick controlling his rattling and overheating corvette. He would never let some commie plant into his brain, like he had seen so many of his brothers in arms do. It was his job, after all, to know everything about the plants, and even though no one had responded to his reports in several Terran Standard Months didn't mean that he had stopped sending them. Nay, if anything, his work had grown more and more desperate and risky as he attempted to populate what knowledge he could to what members of the Accord remained to hear it. Which led to his current situation.
Another vine whizzed past the window of his ship as he tucked into a roll off to the side, narrowly avoiding the greenery and the EMP they would surely deliver to his ship's systems at a brush. But he couldn't keep up forever. The Affini were keeping pace, staved off only by the inherent risk to his smaller ship were they to overcome his position without first wrapping it in their loving vines and reeling it within the docking bay for processing. The corvette could not escape, could not jump again without risking being torn apart, and even if it could jump the affini ship could certainly maintain pursuit. And Monte could not evade his pursuers forever
The chase continued for hours more, as Monte struggled to stay focused and sharp and actively avoid the grasp of the Affini. Monte could feel his brain tire as his adrenaline ran dry, leaving his mouth dry and his body exhausted. He began to make more and more mistakes, which only mounted his frustration as he realized there was no way out.
And such is how the chase ended, an errant brush of vine, a crackle of some unknown ancient radiation sending his engines to a sputtering stop. Agent Holtz swore loudly, the first noise he had made since being spotted by the Affini cruiser, as he grabbed the fire-arm inside the emergency case inside the corvette, a small pistol kept under glass to prevent any idiots from firing it aboard and triggering explosive decompression. He cleared the chamber and checked the clip as his ship was slowly drug into the maws of the plant, the overgrown spaceship looking more like some kind of swamp monster than any sort of constructed object of war. Which gave his little black corvette the impression of a little fly trapped in its tongue, being drug toward a hungry mouth, an intrusive thought told him.
Monte stationed up behind the door to his ship as he clutched his gun, brows furrowed. This was it, the end of the road. Monte knew the plants wouldn't hurt him, he had after all monitored their airwaves for months. Monte knew, and was disgusted by, the idyllic communistic lifestyle the plants seemed to be perversely proud of. Without the struggles and strife of Capitalism and the good ol' Terran Accord, how would people get stronger, become tougher, and allow the cream to rise to the top. After all, he had been born an orphan, and had worked hard to be granted independent agent status for a private Terran intelligence agency allied closely with the Accord, basically a spy, albeit one paid by a billionaire rather than a government. That was all to say, Monte knew the plants wouldn't hurt him, which gave him a lot of power to harm them and their disgusting plantfucker pets without fear of reprisal. He had fantasized for weeks on his extended trip through deep space monitoring Affini signals and sending code about what he could do to hurt the Affini once he was inevitably captured, and of all the little ways he could make the lives of his assigned caretaker and any other plantfucker pets they may have a little worse every day of his captivity. It was his duty as a good free Terran after all, to resist his overlords however he could. Perhaps he could start with a few bullets aimed at some affini cores when his cockpit was finally pried open, which he knew were located traditionally at the center of their plant mass. Monte knew a lot about the Affini.
This dream of harming was never allowed to pass, as a flood of inky black tendrils peel the door backwards off its hinges away from the hidden Monte, much to the surprise of the Terran. “JESUS F-” he attempts to swear, before the tendrils reach him, gagging him, binding him, and wrenching the weapon from his hands before he managed to fire a shot.
“Language, my Samara Seed, ...” the ink purred, a husky voice that reminded Monte of dark chocolate purred, as an array of 5 mottled purple and black eyes blink open, all arrayed like a crown across her face and pulsing with their own internal light. Monte twitched in his bindings, eyes widening in some small amount of fear despite somewhat expecting this outcome. His eyes darted toward the gun in a nearby vine, and he twitched toward it futilely, causing the mass to chuckle.
With the cockpit secured, the mass of black vines begins to reform, and some of them glowed with an internal pink light to help reveal the shaded monstrosity before Monte. Once reformed into a more feminine shape, however, even Monte had a hard time calling her a monster. Pitch black vines and purple-pink bioluminescent lights formed a willowy and elegant body dressed in fashionably tattered black silks and drapped in her own weeping willow vines. Dangling from many if not most of her drooping vines was various silver jewelry, embedded with a rainbow of gems, the only bit of color to her dark form besides her natural pur-pink glow. A mask of ashen grey wood made up her face, vines falling around her face to conceal a couple of her five shimmering purple eyes, her black hair held in check by a massive pointed hat that seemed to be made from ochre purple leaves in a wide brim around her head similar to banana leaves. Monte first impression of the alien was her beauty, but a much louder, spiteful voice in Monte's head scoffed at the sight. How....mall goth.
“Finally.” the rumbling feminine voice purred, wrapping Monte's arms at his side and pulling his gagged face up to hers. “I have waited too long to hold you in my vines, my floret. You certainly were a slippery one, weren't you?” she says in a hollow tone, the tone of a funeral director too used to handing off bad news to be affected by it anymore. Wait, what did she mean by 'were'? “You were assigned to my care long ago, once your existence came to the attention of the Compact, and I have dreamed every day since of how I will unmake you.”
Monte swallows hard at that, tasting the bitter herbal taste of the Affini's vines. They taste like medicine, causing Monte to grimace slightly around the vine despite himself. “Mmmf!” he tries to speak, to resist, but the strange witch affini just smiles sadly. “Oh, I'm sure you have many questions, my floret, but I long decided that I would not permit you to speak once you were in my vines, at least until you were unmade. But I suppose I could explain your predicament more thoroughly.”
Ice ran down Monte's back as the Affini began to move, holding the Terran in a paradoxically soft vice grip to her chest. Monte could feel the dreaded biorhythm he knew to fear thrumming into the back of his head as his eyes darted around the landing bay the pair exited out into. Dozens of Affini looked on with occasional apathy, but primarily joy and excitement at seeing a new Floret/Affini pair being made before their eyes. Monte knew better than to expect help from them as he was drug deeper into the den of the beasts.
The affini turned Monte to face her as she walked down the halls of the overgrown, swampy looking affini ship, away from the crowds and into the cozily street-lit streets of an obviously residential district. “My name is Ruebella Drakewort, Seventh Bloom, but you will call me Mistress. I will make sure of it. Once I am done telling you your fate, I will inject you with a compound that will put you into a deep slumber. I will then reach into your mind. I will pry out all the desires you fear to feel, all the secrets you hold from yourself and others. They will be mine as you are mine, and you have no say in this. When I am done taking from your mind what I wish, I will reduce you. Using tinctures and toxins made just for you, I will make you less than you are, until you are a mewling thing in my arms. I will make you a happy, docile thing that seeks nothing more than the love and enrichment I can bring you. I will teach you to need my touch and my presence so that you will fear my absence. And That absence will never come, as I will keep you at my side forevermore. My Familiar.” A predatory grin split her ashen mask to reveal a mouth full of needle thin teeth.
“You do not believe me now, but I am merciful. I will give you a chance to speak. Your last words as an 'independent', screaming at shadows on walls.” the Affini finishes, a serene smile on her sculpted lips and her head gently tilted in curiosity as the bitter vines finally slacken from Monte's mouth.
“Fuck you you Pollen-Humping Commie Bastard! You just wait, I WILL find a way to hurt you!” he seethed. Rue reacted not at all, head still tilted at the same curious angle.
“Expected.” she responded as though checking something off a list. The vines return to Monte's mouth as he attempted to scream, only managing a muffled yelp. “Well, thank you for your last words anyway, Monte Holtz. And goodbye.” A sharp sting was felt in Monte's side as he attempted once more to scream futilely. His vision swam as the edges darkened, and a tendril of ink slowly began to stroke his overgrown, matted hair, too long without a real shower in a way that was way too comforting for the context. Monte's eyelids slowly shut as he listened to the comfortable thrumming buzzing into his head, and then everything went black.