Lilly's Blossom

1. A Self Made Lie

by Cracked_Ruby

Tags: #cw:noncon #dollification #dom:internalized_imperialism #dom:nb #drugged #scifi #sub:female #Human_Domestication_Guide #manipulation #memory_play #self_care_is_over_were_doing_drugs_now

Hey there, if this chapter seems familiar to you then you recognize this as Pearl's chapter from my story Recovery! 
Understanding Recovery and it's plot isn't required to enjoy this story, as it will all mostly happen years before that story starts, but having read it will give you a general idea of what character arcs will end up looking like! If you want a refresher you can read this, but if you still remember it you can skip straight to chapter 2!

Cw: Character death, and permanent injury.

Pearl Mison grumbles, sitting across from the cells in the brig of the Falling Stars. It had only been a few weeks since the official war against the affini had ended, of course this didn’t sit well with a majority of the crewmates on board, and thus they’d become an official part of the free terranist rebelion.

Her job ever since, had been guarding this cell. Filled with her former colleagues, who’re currently suspected of being affini sympathizers, while the captain decides what to do with them. 

It wasn’t much work, but that didn’t make it any easier on her, Pearl simply keeping her head hung low as she glared at everyone in the cage. Eyes locked on one person in particular, curled up in the corner, her old bunk mate Isaac. Everyone else, she could tolerate being in here, their allegiances clearly aren’t with the rebellion.

But not Isaac, all he’d done was take the fall to something she’d lied about. Telling the captain that he’d been the one with a black market communicator not her, and due to her rank and reputation, of course they believed her.

So while they search over it, to see if he’s to be vented for having it, she’s expected to keep an eye on him. After all, if he’s been messaging affini, it could be a risk to the entire ship.

Isaac glances up, briefly meeting Pearl’s gaze before shifting his head down again, quietly avoiding her as best he could.

The door to the brig slides open, the captain, flanked by two security members. “Isaac, I have made my decision. We cannot risk more lines of communication possibly getting out. You are dishonorably discharged, and will be executed, then we shall begin a series of random jumps, as well as a full sweep of the ship for contraband.” The security guards pass Pearl, opening the door to the cell, and keeping their weapons raised as one pushes into the cell to grab Isaac’s arm.

Isaac winces, but doesn’t fight, keeping his mouth shut as he is dragged out in front of the cell.

The captain then looks into the newly locked cell. “The rest of you, until I think of how to handle all of you, I want you to pay very close attention, to exactly how I intend to handle traitors.”

Pearl frowns, keeping at attention as she locks eyes with Isaac. Sure that they couldn’t have found anything more than the random hobbies that she has. Nothing even remotely related to something as repugnant as an affini. “Sir… please excuse my speaking out of turn, but what did you find?”

“We found evidence of what was potentially looking up the ‘Domestication Treaty’. I refuse to allow plant fuckers on this ship, especially ones who have had any access to a transmission device of any kind.” He then stares at Pearl. “You would do well to remember this, Lieutenant. Be careful of who you fraternize with, who you talk to, who you let anything slip to.” The Captain takes out their personal gun, an oversized plasma pistol that is normally used for ceremonial purposes.

Pearl nods slightly, walking behind the group. Understanding that at this point the Captain would want to have her watch the execution. Both because she spoke up, and because they’re bunk mates, so she’s likely still under a level of suspicion. Her gut churns, one thing on her mind. One thing that didn’t make sense, Isaac never tried to deny it. He never put the blame back on her, and she couldn’t understand why.

Isaac lets himself be shoved down the halls. The group heading towards one of the vents, both guards that have a hold of him, jostling around, and hitting him likely in the process, despite this he doesn’t say a word. Simply walking alongside them.

Once at the airlock, the guards kick out Isaac's knees, dropping him down, while each grab Izac’s arms, and force him into a kneeling position. The captain aims his gun for Isaac's leg. “Any last words, traitor?”

Pearl’s about to speak up, as the ship’s power suddenly flickers. The sound of two affini vessels appearing around the ship drawing the entire group's attention. 

Isaac blinks, realizing that the sound was not him being shot and sent out an airlock. Suddenly Pearl reaches down pulling him to his feet. “Sir I understand the need for us to execute him, but we should hold him as a hostage for now if it’s possible he’s what they want.”

The Captain growls. “That traitor led them here.” He takes out his com device. “Bridge crew, emergency jump, I don’t care where, do it now!” He grabs onto one of the bars of the cell along with the guards, leaving Pearl to support Isaac as the Captain’s gaze bores a hole through Pearl. The ship shudders and an unfamiliar jolt rocks the frigate. The com blares to life “Captain, something has knocked out our engines! We are dead in the water!”

The Captain sneers and pulls himself back up, aiming towards Isaac. “Well then, starting with the traitor, we will begin thinning the herd. I want those fucking plants to not get anything they want out of our ship!” He squeezes the trigger of his plasma pistol, locking it onto Isaac's chest.

Pearl’s eyes widened, putting her arm out in front of Isaac. Trying to think of another lie to keep him from being killed, not even managing to get a word out, before the trigger is pulled. Immediately freezing up as searing pain runs through her entire body, sending her almost immediately into shock, as the bottom half of her arm falls to the ground. “I-I…”

There’s two thumps behind her, the first being Isaac’s body, a hole burnt into his chest. The second is in the wall behind that, it looks like a massive vine with an opening at the end. A massive flurry of vines rocketing out of it, alongside the sickeningly sweet smell of xenodrugs.

Pearl’s knees buckle, fully giving out as a mass of vines jump on top of her and Isaac. Protecting them from further shots taken by their captain. 

The Captain coughs and motions for the guards, who are wearing gas masks as part of their uniform, to open fire. The pair begin shooting their rifles, despite how useless the action proves to be, bullets collapsing against the thick bark and vines. 

A pair of affini in a rush of vines leap over their comrade, pouncing on the guards, their vines lashing to knock not only their guns away, but to trip and disarm the Captain. “It’s alright cuties, just take your medicine, and all the bad feelings will go away.” With surgical precision, both affini sneak injections between armored plates of the guards uniforms, knocking them out. Once the guards are down, one of them rapidly wraps the Captain, pinning him.

As the firing stops, the affini protecting Pearl turns around with a sad look. “I’m so sorry we were too late, just relax, I’ll make the pain stop, then we can save the rest of the ship.”

Pearl’s facial expression is one of venom, the fact that her life had been saved being overwhelmed by the fact that she possibly could have lied her friend out of being killed. She grabs her knife, thrusting to stab the affini in the face, losing momentum near the end, as there’s the feeling of a prick on her thigh, and a vine shoots out grabbing the knife.

The affini sighs and holds Pearl as the girl loses her fight. More affini rush in, followed by one with white flowers who begins to inspect the body sadly. The rest of the squad leave the brig, letting the few there hold it while they secure the rest of the ship.

*********************************************************

Pearl groans, her senses slowly returning to her. The only thing that is immediately apparent, is how comfortable she feels wherever she’s laying. An incredibly soft comforter, and blanket sandwiching her within what felt close to a cloud. Of course as soon as she realizes this her eyes shoot open, revealing a massive bedroom. The bed she’s in is covered from end to end with a black blanket, looking over she immediately notices how large it is. Taking several body lengths just to get to the edge.

Right, she’d been captured by the affini. Those monsters who turn terrans into pets, and the rejects get thrown to the mines. She rolls over once, feeling weird as it feels almost lopsided. Causing her to look down under the covers, at her hands… hand?

Pearl is met with only one hand coming up, at her attempt. Her left arm, the entirety of her right arm is simply gone, removed at the shoulder. Her heart rate elevates, panic almost immediately setting in, only being interrupted by the sound of Beep Beep Beep a yellow light flashing off of her neck.

The door slides open, and an affini rushes in. “Easy, easy now!” They force her arm down, and her head up with vines. “I can explain your condition, but I need you to calm down, take deep breaths, and relax. Elevated heart rate and panic will do you no good. Can you do that for me? If not, your collar will give you an automated dose of xenodrugs, and we will have to try again when you wake back up.”

Pearl grimaces, pulling away from the affini. “Fucking monster.” She growls, putting her hand over her missing arm. “Get away from me you overgrown weed! I don’t need your lies…” She tries to keep taking deep breaths as she presses herself further, and further, back onto the bed. Looking over the affini’s purple, and black flowers, and almost jet black eyes. 

“I do not lie, now let me check how you are healing.” The affini closes in, rubbing Pearl’s hand a little bit before pulling it away. Glancing down, Pearl would be able to notice what looked like some kind of plant matter covering where her arm should be. “This is very important, what do you remember? No lying, I need to know where I should start with giving you your medical report.”

Pearl pales as she sees the plant matter on her shoulder, resisting the urge to rip it out. “I do not want to hear anything you have to say!” She slips as close to the wall, and the edge of the bed as she can get. Trying to find anything that would give her a chance to fight back, or escape at all. “And if you want things I remember, I remember you taking everything from me, I remember the declaration of war, I remember fighting every day and seeing my friends disappear. All for your sick amusement.”

The affini frowns, shaking their head. “Oh you are going to be particularly difficult.” They reach forward and pet Pearl, regardless of how hard she tries to evade. “Well, I will assume you remember being shot. The plasma bolt from your former captain’s action of executing the crew member ‘Isaac’. The plasma burns to what remained of your upper arm were… extensive, and the cellular damage was far worse than a weapon of that size should have been able to cause. We had to amputate the rest to get your wound to properly heal. Luckily, there are implants, and prosthetics, that can help you live a relatively normal life.”

“You’re mocking me.” Pearl presses her arm against the vines, trying to push them off of her. Only to find vines starting to press up against her entire body, wrapping around her limbs in order to keep them still. “Say I even believed you, nothing I do matters anymore. You’re just going to torture me, or turn me into one of those detestable ‘pets’, or better yet! You’ll get frustrated and just send me off to be a slave, at least then I wouldn’t have to be near you.” She growls, as the affini’s head gets close to her head she takes a bite at it. Barely missing, but having a vine placed between her teeth instead, the affini simply letting her bite at it.

“Where in the universe did you hear such false statements? We don’t torture, and slavery? Really?” They shake their head. “We do make cute little sophonts like you into pets… in fact as per the treaty, and your little feral rebel status, you and the rest of your crew are going to be pets. Even better, I am your owner, my name is Resin Wils third bloom She/it, you will call me Mixtress or Mistress, I know that this is a lot to take in, but I promise, I will help you heal, and get all those nasty feral thoughts out.”

“No…” Pearl pulls back from biting on the vine, starting to thrash more violently. Trying to free herself from the affini’s embrace only to find the vines tighten around her. “You torture people, you make them into those depraved pets. You are nothing but a species of monsters…” She scratches at the vines around her hands, while leaning back in trying to bite Resin in the face, and biting into another one of vines. 

"Dear, we are caretakers." Resin slides a needle out of her vines. "But, I've run out of patience for this aggression. I'm going to give you something so you can sit still, and listen." She squeezes down on Pearl's thigh, making sure the girl doesn't wiggle before injecting her. 

Pearl squeaks at the feeling of the injection, warmth pooling out of the spot, and alongside that something else. Something that Pearl hadn't felt in years, stillness. Complete stillness, her eyes quickly glazing over as Resin readjusts her. 

"There we go my darling Pearl." Resin gently pulls the vine that had been in Pearl's mouth around. Using it to pet her on the head, showing off that the biting hadn't done any real damage. "You're so cute like this." She gently lets go of Pearl, tucking the blankets around her to make sure she's sitting comfortably. Placing her face right in front of Pearl's, making sure the girl is trapped looking in her eyes. 

"Alright Petal, I'm going to explain it all very slowly. I just want you to relax, look into my eyes, and listen." Resin gives Pearl a soft warm smile. "I am your owner, meaning you are now Pearl Wils first floret, I promise you that if you behave, we will be able to get your new arm on, much more quickly." She gently strokes the girl's cheeks. Watching the subtle changes to Pearl’s expression under the class M's. The little repressed shaky breaths, a finger twitching ever so slightly. 

"If you continue to misbehave, I will have to continue working on that until you calm down." Resin nods to herself. "Just seeing you like this, I can already see that lovely docile girl hidden underneath all of those nasty words, and thoughts."

Pearl can feel thoughts start bubbling up to the surface. Trying to return something to her, but she's trapped looking in Resin's eyes. Which aren't simply black, but almost like an imitation of the endless rippling expanse of space. Getting darker as she looks deeper into them, which only leads her to searching more deeply within them. Barely even processing the affini’s words as they echo within her, stuck in this nice quiet feeling. 

"There we go, good girl. So still so quiet.” Resin slowly pulls back, breaking eye contact and gently picking Pearl up. "We will get you cleaned up, get you in a new outfit, and then I'll try to bring you up to talk again during lunch." 

As they head into the bathroom, Resin first heads to the vanity. Holding Pearl up to look at her reflection, showing off how the terran has a small demure smile, and a fully relaxed posture. Her previously short spiky white hair, now a good inch longer and brushed to be straight. 

"Now who's that? It looks like a well mannered doll doesn't it?" Resin's form shakes in satisfaction, while having Pearl be docile immediately would have been nice. Breaking her down, to build her back to this point, without needing xenodrugs will be a wonderful project. "But a doll shouldn't be in such a bleak uniform." 

Pearl has a brief flicker of a grimace as she sees herself. The missing arm almost upsetting her, before Resin turns around. Running her hand through Pearl's hair, and starting to slowly peel Pearl's uniform off of her. 

She tosses the pieces to the side, to never be used again, as the tub fills up. Slowly getting into it, being careful to keep Pearl only chest deep. Not wanting the girl to feel like she's even remotely near drowning while in this state. 

Pearl simply stares ahead, the warmth of the tub combining with the warmth of the feeling that being this closely held to Resin's vines is causing. Only growing all the more overwhelming as Resin grabs some shampoo, getting a little glob of it and starting to work it into Pearl's hair. Sending shivers down the girl's spine with each little adjustment, her eyes drifting shut to allow Resin to rinse it. 

*******************************

"Wakey wakey cutie~" Resin grins, watching as the light returns to Pearl's eyes. Keeping vines firmly wrapped around the girl's limbs, not willing to risk her ward flailing, and falling out of her seat at the table.

Almost on queue, Pearl's expression shifts from gentle contentment, to a visceral rage. Quickly trying to pounce off of the chair, only to find her legs and waist held in place. "What did you do to me…" She shudders, using her arm to scratch at the vine holding her waist. "I knew you affini were sick, but that…" She growls, tears welling up in her eyes. "I'm glad Isaac died, if only so he doesn't have to experience this!"

Resin frowns, tightening her grip slightly. "You don't mean that Petal. I know losing him must have been hard for you, but you must not lie to me." She gestures over to a pizza in the oven.

"I'm not lying! Isaac was a good friend, and he…" Pearl pauses, looking down slightly as she clenches her fist. "He deserved better, better than what I gave him, better than this HELL you say will be my home. So fuck you, I'm happy he's dead!" She slams it against Resin's vine. Tears starting to spill down her cheeks, the collar flashing yellow again. 

"No." Resin pulls Pearl's head up, forcing her to look back into the normally empty black void. Which currently has red flakes dancing around the edges. "You are scared, lashing out, and I am so so sorry, that your friend can not be here with you." She gently wipes Pearl's tears away, keeping a compassionate tone but keeping a firm face. 

"I'm not scared! Shut up…" Pearl whimpers, being held in place as she tries to avoid direct eye contact. "If you affini never showed up he'd be fine. Everything would have been fine, but you monsters came in, you erased people. Make slaves, and pets for your own pleasure, it's all absolutely sickening." 

“We do not erase people, we just help them become their best selves.” Resin hums, nodding to herself. “And I will not tolerate lying in our hab. It is okay to admit that you are scared, it is part of the growing and healing process.” The oven beeps, Resin smiling, and standing up to her full height. “Wait right there, I’ll get your pizza out of the oven, then we can have a nice dinner, and talk some more.”

Pearl sits still, being held in place as she stews in her anger. A million different lies, alongside a thousand plans running through her mind. Trying to piece together what to do to escape her captor. "Tell that to the poor saps who you keep so high they can't tell up from down."

"Ones on class Js? Those are some fun recreational ones. They are kept mostly to volunteers, and particular locations. I'm sure after you calm down, you may have fun spending a day on those, although you are super cute on Ms." Resin leans in, her gaze hardening. “Or are you referring to class O’s, that are only given to those who could not hope to function without them, whether it be from pain, or because they’re that violent.” It comes back around placing a plate with a few slices of cheese pizza on the table. Putting a hand on Pearl’s cheek. “But I don’t think we’ll need those with you.”

Pearl’s heart plummets, so it wasn’t a myth. Class O’s really do exist, and despite the claim of not desiring to use them on her, she couldn’t really bring herself to believe that. This monster will toy with her, find her too willful, get annoyed and toss her onto the mines, or worse yet class O’s. Maybe even show off how docile her brainless body is on one of their propaganda lines.

Pearl’s mouth opens, unsure what to say. Only to find Resin picking up and placing a bit of the slice of pizza into her mouth, holding it there as if it wasn’t going to move until she bites down.

The feeling is uncomfortable, not knowing exactly what is in this meal. Given the affini’s already stated fondness for drugging her, whenever and however it pleases. There could be all sorts of xenodrugs in this meal and she wouldn’t even be able to tell.

"Well if you want to progress to me feeding you fully already, I can do that." A few vines gently climb Pearl's face, lining her jaw and moving it for her, making her chew the pizza, enjoying the fresh flavors before tilting her head back and giving her throat a little rub to cause her to swallow. "Shall I continue, or do you want to take your own bites?" Resin smiles kindly, petting Pearl happily.

“I’ll eat the damn thing myself, if only to spare myself that humiliation a second time.” Pearl growls, allowing the pizza to be brought to her mouth again, taking large snappy bites, and swallowing just as quickly. The food itself is thousands of times better than anything else she’d experienced almost in her entire life, but that doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that this was just another one of the affini’s many tricks, to try and pull her in. 

"Be careful Pearl, you don't want to choke on your food." Resin wiggles her vines. "I can take care of the chewing, if you really don't want to take your time yourself" Resin so far is making sure that Pearl can't get that much food at once, in fear of her eating habits hurting her.

“I’m chewing FINE.” Pearl in her anger jerks her head forward, getting a much larger bite and trying to immediately swallow. At least half of the bite going down the wrong pipe, and making her start to cough, because of the discomfort.

Resin quickly picks Pearl up, patting her back until Pearl coughed up her last bite. It then holds a bottle with some water in it to Pearl's lips. "Drink slow, then relax. I know you are acting out, but I will not allow this behavior to hurt you." She keeps a stern tone, rubbing Pearl's back while rocking her.

Pearl drinks the water, mostly due to the fact that she doesn’t want to choke on two things in one meal. Doing her best to keep from thrashing at Resin holds her down, if one thing is quickly becoming clear it’s that physically fighting the damn weed won’t do anything. It’s time to switch tracks, maybe lure them into a false sense of security, so she can have a chance to slip away.

Once the water is pulled away, Pearl pulls her knees against her chest. Looking down and not addressing Resin any further, still running through ideas in the back of her head. Maybe she could get the arm replacement, then use it to get a hostage… that might get her released. Then she can disappear into the universe and abandon all of this.

Resin sets Pearl down, and gently scratches her neck. "Alright Pearl, we are going to have fun getting you to open up. Do you have any hobbies? Things that make you just happy to work with in your free time?" She leans in, several vines rubbing Pearl's shoulders while holding her legs and waist.

“Dunno.” Pearl frowns, avoiding eye contact with Resin. Thinking over everything that is going on, trying to find the right words to convince Resin that it’s true. But also not give enough information about herself to be leveraged later. “I guess I collected plushies, when I was a kid. Learned how to sew, repaired them to make sure they didn’t degrade.” She exhales sharply, trying not to grin as an idea comes into her mind. “Not like I can do that, with only one arm.”

"Oh, I'll make sure you can do it again, however, it will be some time." Resin flashes a grin that startles Pearl in its perceived malice. "After all, you need to be relaxed and settled in, before I just give you a needle or anything. That would be irresponsible as your owner." It playfully picks up Pearl. "How about some TV to relax?"

“You’re not my owner, you’re my captor.” Pearl looks away, starting to anxiously scratch at Resin’s vines while she’s carried around the hab. Feeling woefully undersized for everything within, especially with only one arm getting up and down from any of these safely, would be nearly impossible. 

"I am your owner, filled out the paperwork and everything. All that is really left is getting you ramped up, so we can give you your implant safely." Resin flops down on the couch, and turns the TV to a floret version of an old Terran cartoon focusing on a bunch of girls in a world of frogs. “A friend of mine’s floret recommended this one.”

Right, the implant, the horrible writhing mass that they shove into you, and have replace pieces of your brain. At least that’s what little she’s heard about them, hearing that one of those things is going to be put inside her. Pearl starts shaking, at first only slightly, the shakes and whimpers only becoming more violent as she envisions herself, sitting with a blank expression on her captors lap, the affini petting the thing that has replaced her. Crushing inescapable terror grips Pearl’s mind, the girl’s thoughts freezing on that image. “Please… no.” 

"What's wrong Pearl? I promise, the way you’ll be getting one, it is a very gentle procedure." She holds Pearl close to her chest. "Would you like for me to explain what the implant actually does? I am sure you have heard some propaganda about it that is so wrong." She brushes Pearl's hair, letting the girl just be hugged against its chest.

“It breaks down your brain! It makes you think whatever your ‘owner’ wants, so you either become a docile creature, losing yourself, or are thrown to slave labor to fund all of this!” Pearl gestures around the room, pointing out the individually hand carved pieces of furniture. The kitchen, the raw size of the hab. “I’d rather die, than have one of those things put in me!”

Resin has to stifle a giggle. "Pearl, that is not even half right." She shakes her head humming to herself, gently tightening her grip on Pearl. Tapping the base of the back of Pearl’s neck. "The implant goes right in your neck, where it taps into your nervous system, and spreads throughout your body. From there, it lets you always feel me, and it allows me an easy method of giving you your doses. Beyond that, it can act as an in between with some other implants if I find out you want to explore other options, but think of it like… that thing terrans do where they put a computer chip in their pets."

Pearl winces at the explanation, the absolute confidence behind the affini’s words unnerving her. This overgrown weed couldn’t actually believe any of that. Half of the explanation she doesn’t even understand, causing her to start looping in circles. Wondering about what other ‘modifications’ her jailor would see fit to make on her, probably rip her apart piece by piece, and then use what’s left as a source of amusement. “I’m glad there’s still people fighting you monsters.” She grits her teeth. “Stealing people's free will, all in the name of your personal amusement. You’re all sick.”

Resin shakes its head. "Pearl, you aren't even trying to understand. If the implant was that overwhelming, why wouldn't we have put it in you when you were unconscious." She presses Pearl's head into the crook of its neck. "You have a lot of really bad stuff stuck in your head, but I promise we will work through it all."

Pearl tries to pull her head away, only to find it held down by a vine that’s looped over the top of it. Resin’s hand reaching over and starting to gently pet her. “That’s an easy question, because you want to break me! You want to break me down and enjoy it, but I will not let you.”

"I want to break you out of this relentless negativity that is consuming you, and help the beautiful pet underneath thrive. The pleasure we get from this is seeing our florets reach their full bloom, through care and love, especially when they have previously been restricted. While still working firmly within the limits that their owner knows they need. Is all we need to want to care for you." Resin gently runs her hand down Pearl’s cheek. 

“I’ve been trying to be patient with you. When I heard your friend had passed, I knew getting through to you would be much more difficult.” She slowly pulls Pearl’s head up to look her in the eyes. “But I still intend to help you my way, I could have you singing every deep secret that you keep from me, within minutes. But I do not want to do that, because I don’t think that’s what’s best for you, but do not fool yourself into thinking I wont change my mind.”

Pearl winces, squinting under the pressure of Resin’s gaze. She doesn’t even doubt the affini’s statement this time, with one injection she’d been made into an empty doll for over an hour, so why wouldn’t they have something to give her to pull the truth out. “What is ‘best for me then’? Being your pet? Being another mindless toy for your enjoyment?” While she meant for the questions to come off more as statements, due to her own fear, and her shaking voice, it came across as genuine horrified questioning. 

"You are not a toy, and you will not be mindless." Resin hums, her vines rustling around as she gently pets her floret. "What I think is best for you, is having someone willing to give you lots of extra attention. First, we need to tear down Pearl the soldier, so we can build up Pearl the floret, finding what is under that trauma. I know it is scary, but I will be with you every step of the way."

Pearl shudders, closing her eyes and trying to just stop responding. Everything just being far too much for her to process, nothing Resin is saying makes any sense in relation to everything she'd seen and been told. While the regret, and pain, from the fact she’d gotten her best friend killed, burns violently inside her chest.

In the end, Pearl simply starts crying. Shaking, and shuddering as Resin readjusts her in its arms, letting go of Pearl’s legs. Watching as Pearl curls up, using her remaining arm to hold her legs, as she lets out little sobs only barely resisting the urge to call out to be comforted. Not even having the energy to fight back as Resin starts gently petting her.

"It will all be alright, I promise." Resin slowly runs her hand through Pearl's hair. "If you want, I got them to hold off on a funeral date for Isaac, being your friend, I figured you would be best to figure out what he would have wanted, as well as attending. There are several options, and we can discuss each of them. But if you don't want to think about it right now, we have some time to wait."

No, she can’t go there, she can’t see what she did. She’d basically killed her best friend, and now they expect her to face that, to see how they desecrate his corpse. “No I won’t help, I won’t go. Just let him rest in peace damn it.” She starts kicking her legs at Resin, less as an attempt to wiggle out, and more because she just needed to hurt something. To try and make Resin feel a fraction of the pain that she’s in.

Resin sighs, a dissatisfied frown on her face. "Pearl, we just want to know what last rites he would have wanted. Is there anyone he would want informed? Anyone he specifically wouldn't want informed?" She uses her vines to hold Pearl still not wanting to have the girl fall, and hurt herself. "However, if you want to talk later, we can talk about it later." Resin rubs Pearl's shoulder gently, making sure it is not being exasperated.

“He doesn’t have anyone who you should inform.” Pearl’s legs shake against the restraints. Fine if it wants to know so badly about what he would have wanted, it can know. Anything to make this line of questioning stop. “No one on that ship, no one from back home, nothing! Just get his ashes, put them in a tree or something. that’s all he’d have wanted.” 

Resin nods, her expression becoming slightly more compassionate. This is however small of one, still a step of progress towards trust. “Alright, I’ll fill out the paperwork. We will be planting a tree in the nearby park for this.” She keeps petting Pearl, making sure she stays still while calming down. “When you are ready, we can discuss things to do in the future.” 

After a few minutes of silence, Pearl's whimpers die down the girl gripping onto one of her vines. Giving Resin an idea on how to extend another olive branch. “If you were to have a plush to just have, what would be your favorite?”

"None, leave me alone. I don't want any of your bribes." Pearl takes a breath. Exhaling in a hiss, of course the creature thinks she could be bribed with something as simple as a stuffed toy. "Just leave me alone." Her entire body feels heavy, as she's blanketed by Resin's vines. For the first time, considering trying to find a chance to join Isaac in death, given escape from an affini ship in her condition, feels like an absolute impossibility. Even if she got saved by the rebellion, she'd probably be executed on the spot for defending Isaac or for having this implant in her arm. 

One simple fact suddenly runs through Pearl's head. She's already dead, it's just that she hasn't caught up with that fact. Be it their drugs erasing who she is, or simply sending her off to be a slave. No one is saving her from this, and that's exactly what she deserves for what she did to him. 

Resin shakes her head. “This isn’t a bribe, I want to gift you a plushie, because I think you would enjoy it.” She pets Pearl slowly, running a hand down her back. “I know you are hurting deeply, you are angry, and sad, and lashing out. Based on the security footage I was shown leading up to your capture, your friend sacrificed himself so you wouldn’t be punished. You are feeling guilty, and that is ok.” Resin shifts Pearl around so they can look at each other again. “The look in your eyes, I think that you want to chase after your friend, to make up for what happened.”

"Well I can't, okay? There's no making up for what I did, there's no taking it back. Everything is over, and instead of dying with him, or saving him from what I'd done. I'm stuck with an overgrown weed, one that is so high on its own propaganda, that it probably believes all the horrible things it says, and does, are for the greater good." Pearl slams her arm down onto a vine. "So just do whatever, I don't care anymore. You'll get bored, throw me away, and that will be that."

"No I will not, Pearl you will be my floret. You will remain my floret for the rest of your life, and I promise you will learn that it is a good thing." Resin gently pulls out an injector, keeping it out of Pearl's view as she snakes it up her thigh. "But for now, you will enjoy a bit more stillness. I can already see the positive effects it has on you." 

As Pearl's about to speak, the needle slides in. Barely getting out one last squeak of defiance, as the xenodrugs rush through her system. Quelling the flurry of emotions that Pearl has beating down on her, and replacing it with a calm warm quiet. 

And thus ends the pre-written content from Recovery, next time on Lilly's Blossom-

Chapter 2. Cons And Fables!

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