Darkness then the next thing she knew, Nix had fallen, flat onto her face, as sirens blared around her. Thumping, and rumbling, consuming her mind, unsure of where she’d even collapsed at this point. One of the escape pods? Maybe, not like it would be of any use with the Affini around. Maybe the jump room, that sounded more accurate. She had just done… something. Not that she could sort out what that even was at this point.
Blood rolls in front of her eye, the smell of blood. That is something to cling onto, her eye flat against the ground being bumped slightly by a foot against her side seeing, and barely processing drips of red flowing past it.
Right, she’d been caught. Caught… doing what. Opening her mouth Nix tried to choke out a few words, a cry of confusion. Perhaps for a savior, perhaps for release from this numb immovable prison she’d found herself stuck within.
It clearly didn’t matter to the person who owned that foot, as it came barreling into her mask, shattering it against her face. Sending the girl rolling over on the floor, noticing something odd… she couldn’t seem to see as well as normal.
“Fuckin defector!” The gruff voice rings out, as the foot’s steel toe rams against her leg. Right, she’d come here to stop the jump. They weren’t moving… that was a good thing right? That meant… something.
Finally there was the sound of a charging gun, a man in a gas mask who she swore she recognized, leaning down and pressing it against her temple. “At least I can make sure you won’t get your ‘happy ending’ plant fucker.”
She closes her remaining eye. Taking a deep breath of the drugged air, hoping that at the very least she’d be able to numb herself further before the gun fires… but the shot never lands, there's the sound of another explosion, and the last thing she hears as the drugs pull her to sleep is. “Oh you poor thing.”
Pain Nix is in pain, that’s good isn’t it? Pain means she’s alive. Pain means she made it off of that damn ship. She slowly forces one eye open, groaning at the light in the room around her. And what a room it is, instead of the cramped quarters of the Free Spirit, it is massive. Clearly intended to fit something much larger than human within its walls.
Right, Affini ship, big bushes that apparently ‘care’ about her. This is what she’d chosen over that missurable death trap. Slowly looking around the area, she tries to get any feel for the condition she is in. Mostly due to the fact her body seemingly refuses to move on its own, partially from the weight, but also a slight feeling of restriction around her limbs. As if they’d be set in casts.
Mere moments after she begins wiggling, a white door in the corner shoots open. Revealing a human doctor first, with an affini standing behind them, both clearly a little on edge as they step into the hospital room.
“Hello Mr.” The nurse is shocked to see Nix trying to open her mouth. Struggling to get a word out to correct them, only for her mouth to drop back shut. Too parilized by her own anxiety, and a numbness in her throat, to even attempt speaking to the pair. “Richard, you’re okay, you were very badly hurt when we found you… you will need to be patient with us, but we can fix it.”
Nix blinks a few times at the pair, opening and closing her mouth a few more times. Struggling to get more than a small choke out. Only for her bracelet to start beeping, flashing yellow once.
The massive bush steps forward, walking around the nurse and crouching down by the bed. “Hey, you’re okay, we can take our time with you speaking little one.” It reaches out its vine to pet Nix. Only for the girl to barely manage to pull her head away, whimpering as she takes a deep breath.
“Oh my…” The affini gently presses its vine against her cheek, causing Nix to shudder. Waves of forced relaxation echoing through her entire body, causing her to limply return to her resting state. “We are just here to find out what happened to you. You’re safe petal.”
Safe, that didn’t feel right in her gut. And the fact they didn’t know her name, meant they didn’t know who she really was.
“I’m Sola Verse, third bloom She/her it’s nice to meet you.” Sola puts a hand to her chest, moving a bit back to allow Nix an opportunity to get a better look at her.
Of course all Nix could see was a massive plant monster, even if it did have a very appealing set of orange flowers lining its vines. Leading up to leaves for hair that appeared to mimic the sunset going over the horizon with orange failing down into deep reds and yellows. A smile made of what Nix could only see as spikes, and finally nearly golden yellow eyes.
“I found you on the ground in the jump room little one, we had received a distress beacon from the woman who ran it. Her name was Nix. While we normally would not ask anything of anyone in your condition.” Sola frowns, looking over at the nurse. “We found you, with several dead terrans around you. And no one else on board has known anyone by that name.”
Nix’s eye widens slightly, desperately trying to regain the slightest control of her body. Eventually managing to get her left pointer finger work, struggling to get it to move properly, but eventually using it to tap out -. .. -..- / -- . (Nix Me)
Sola’s frown shifts slightly, her vines starting to rustle slightly. Going from perceived concern, and almost grief, to one of utmost jubilation. “Oh it is you little one! That is such a relief!” The vines around her chest seem to relax slightly, her vines approaching Nix once again. Gently running across the woman's face. “Do not fret, we will help you get better little one. Everything is okay now.”
The mere touch of the affini causes Nix to shudder, closing her remaining eye as tears drip down one side of her face. The flower on the opposite side quickly absorbs the other half. - .... .- -. -.- / -.-- --- ..- (Thank You.)
“Of course dear, I am so happy we have affini who know that silly little code of yours.” Sola couldn’t help but chuckle to herself. It was so rudimentary anyone could have deciphered it within an hour, but the fact that this adorable creature found comfort in communicating with them through it, even during their distress messages. She couldn’t find it almost endearing. “Now you’re going to be in recovery for a little while, we’ve found some issues with the… frankly barbaric spinal implant your species had fit you with.”
Right, her spine. It was bad, it always had been. Bent to the side almost like a question mark, but once the war started that didn’t matter, she was a jump tech, and that meant she was getting a ‘free’ surgery to fix it.
The surgery definitely ‘fixed’ the initial problem. Pulling it all into one spot, making sure she couldn’t bend or arch her back whatsoever. After all, she needed to be able to do, was to sit and stand straight constantly, and they didn’t have the resources to allocate to one of the more technical treatments.
.--. .- .. -. / ... - --- .--. ..--.. (Pain stop?) Nix dragged each dot and line slowly. Struggling to focus on the code under the blanket haze of xenodrugs, and needing to restart several times. This is what she’d been promised, no more pain, no more standing hours until she’d collapse to her knees, and then get beaten for that. This was going to be better… it has to be.
“Of course, there will be slight discomfort until after rest of your surgeries. But once it’s done, you will come home with me, and I will be personally helping in your recovery.” Sola turns back, nodding towards the door. A needle, coated in a bright blue substance slowly sliding out of her body. “You will sleep now, and when you wake up. We can really get to know you, Nix.”
Nix didn’t need to tap this time, simply giving Sola the smallest nod, and closing her eye. Thrashing wouldn’t help her, fear would not help her, she had to be strong now and maybe she could get out of all this. After all, she didn’t want to fight them… it was just her situation.
Interrupting her train of thought there is a small prick, right on her wrist. The little energy she’d been able to drag together, drains out, almost like someone had opened the cork on a bathtub. Once again, Nix found herself thrust into blackness, unsure what she would be like after waking.
“Get up you useless sack of shit!” Thump, a fist crashing into her gut. Causes Nix’s eyes to fling open, looking up to see her bunkmate standing there. Obviously impatiently waiting for her to get out of bed for her shift. “I swear, every day you do this shit. If you don’t cut it out, someones gonna kick you into the vents one of these days.”
Nix groans, grabbing her stomach as she tosses the tiny blanket off of her. “I regret to inform you Eric, but unless you can find a new jump technician on this side of the universe, no ones going to do shit to me.” She grumbles out under her breath, this was every day. Sleep in two minutes, have him punch her in the gut, roll out of her bed, and grab her cane.
“Well maybe we will, we’re going to be meeting up with another ship in a week. If we’re lucky, there’ll be someone who actually can do their fucking job on it, to replace your sorry ass.” Eric scoffs, sitting down on the bed right as Nix gets off. “Of course I got bunked with the cripple.”
Don’t let it hurt you, that’s all she could try and do as she pushed herself to stand up straighter. Reaching a way too tall for her standards 6’3. Her head bumping against the ceiling of the miniscule quarters, thanks extra inch, I’m sure someone else would love to have you on them instead.
“I’m leaving gods, you’re such a fucking ass. Yet still better than those damn weeds.” That’s right, all this pain, all this suffering. It’s better than being under one of those massive monsters, being ground into their heels. While she’d heard that non-combatants weren’t always domesticated, the story was very different for people in the cosmic navy, and especially the rebellion. Which was exactly where she found herself, so she couldn’t afford to think of an Affini saving her. Especially if that would just mean being another mindless broken pet.
Working her way through the halls of the Free Spirit, she did her best to lean on the walls. Appreciating the lack of gravity to put as much stain on her body.
Passing by a group of soldiers on break, she turned to look away. Trying not to draw the group's ire, only to have just as she passed by one of the men kick their leg out in front of her cane. Knocking it out of her hand and leading Nix to fall face first on the ground, the sound of laughing almost immediately echoing all around her.
Do not cry, do not cry, DO NOT CRY. Shit. Tears dripped down onto the metal mixing with a little bit of blood from her nose, she couldn’t go to the ward for this. They were low on supplies, damn it!
Pushing herself up, she reached out for her cane. Struggling to get up without it, only to have the one who kicked the cane hold it just out of reach. “Come on, stand up like a man. Someone on this ship, using a cane, it’s pathetic.”
Right, that’s what she was, she always knew it. She was pathetic, and everyone around her would always be there to remind her. To remind her that without her use, she wouldn’t be here, she wouldn’t even be alive. Just dead outside of some random airlock in the middle of space.
“It’s not pathetic, it's necessary. The surgery didn’t go well, I need that now, give it. I know none of us want me to not be in position, if we have to make a jump to avoid the affini.” That oughta shut them up, always seems to at least. Even if she never gets an ounce of respect, everyone on this damn death trap seems to know better than to fuck with the affini. Especially after they’d lost the bigger ship they’d been working with a few months back.
The man holding the cane rolls his eyes, grunting and tossing it down in front of Nix. Letting her grab it and use it to stand back up, starting to walk away from the group once again. Knowing in her gut that the second she turns that corner, they’re going to go right back to talking about how they hate her. They have to, they all do.
Arriving at her station as always, she was alone. A single person left running an entire jump room, the fact that they threatened repeatedly to vent her at this point was comical. If she was to be vented then the entire ship would become one massive sitting duck, waiting for an armada to come on in and… and… do something to them? Maybe the navy was right, maybe the affini just wanted to grind them into smoothies, or some fucked up shit like that. But the more depressing, and more realistic outcome, was that the Affini just wanted to make sure they were safe, and not hurting one another.
Which, considering the current state of the navy… who was she kidding, considering the existence of the old terran government, they were entirely correct in their assumption that Terran’s need to be cared for.
Not Nix though, she didn’t need anyone pitying her. Not anymore, despite the hate she got for her needs, and disability. It was almost preferable to her old life. Having people look at her in her seat and pity her, it only took hearing her back crunch in front of them once, one stumble and explanation, and then everything would always change. It would go from her being seen as a capable technician, to a burden to the job. Not quite as efficient as someone who could move faster than her, better than her.
No, now isn’t the time for this thinking, she can’t be seen distracted like this. She slowly walks over to one of the panels, flipping it up and pulling out a tiny tablet built out of broken parts of other tech. This was her way out, on any day if things got too hard, if she couldn’t take it any more, she could put this message out to an affini craft. It would be just obscure enough. Based on a centuries old code her family taught her, that her idiots of shipmates likely wouldn’t be able to decipher it, but the affini almost certianly could.
.... . .-.. .--. --..-- / .. / .- -- / .. -. / -.-. --- ... -- .. -.-. / -. .- ...- -.-- / ... .... .. .--. / .- .-.. -- .. --. .... - -.-- --..-- / .-.. .. -. -.- .. -. --. / .-.. --- -.-. .- - .. --- -. / -....- / .-- .- .-. .--. / ... .--. . -.-. .. .- .-.. .. ... - / -. .. -..- (Help, I am in Cosmic Navy ship Free Spirit, linking location - Jump Technician Nix)
Every day, she had to make sure she updated the location every day. And every time she felt her finger slipping just that little bit closer to the button. Not only due to her anxiety of being disposed of, but because the jump drives were barely functioning at this point, and she wasn’t sure how many more the ship could take, before ripping itself apart.
Placing the pad back down, she fixes the panel back into place. Going back to her stations and going over the statistics, trying to check for any signs of further strain the ship was experiencing. Trying to figure out just how many more jumps she could even survive, with her body nearly breaking each and every time, thanks rod really holding her together there.
“Nix sweetie, wake up.” Rings through the girl's ears, making her knees buckle slightly. Wake up? But she was awake! Right? Her eyes slowly start to blur in and out, dropping her cane and falling to the ground losing consciousness.
Nix’s eye opens, seeing the same hospital room that she’d been in the last time. Right, that was a dream, she wasn’t on the ship anymore, and she sure as hell wasn’t still waiting on herself to set off that damn SOS.
Sola smiles, shifting her head slightly in front of Nix’s eyesight. “There you are little one, we’ve done a few surgeries while you were under. While the eye isn’t… able to be replaced currently, due to the damage, we have given you a little upgrade.” Her vines trace along the girl's throat and side. “Why don’t you try and talk to me sweetie?”
Nix opens her mouth, hesitating for a moment. She hates her voice, they would too obviously. Especially since she couldn’t even speak last time they came to see her. “O-okay.” The voice that comes out is incredibly light and timid, nothing like her old repugnant voice.
“Good girl!” Sola’s leaves ruffle lightly in satisfaction, a vine reaching over and running against Nix’s cheek. “Now why don’t you try bending your spine a bit little one? If you do you’ll get a treat!” Out of her vines a hand plucks a blue lollipop, waving it in front of the girl tauntingly.
Oh, now they are mocking her, of course she couldn’t move her fucking spine. They’d see, see that she’s broken and just toss her into some ‘care’ ward, this was a bad idea. She should have just let herself die on that damn- beep oh, looks like the cuff is beeping… that can’t be good.
Noticing Nix’s anxiety about the request, Sola wraps her vines around the girl's waist. Holding the treat just out of reach. “Just trust me little one, there’s nothing to worry about. Just try, bend forward to get your treat and you will see.”
Fine, fine she’d try and reach for the stupid piece of ca- Nix’s spine moves foward ever so slightly, letting her reach out that extra inch and bend to grab the piece of candy from the affini’s vines. “O-oh.” She whimpers out, tears unconsciously starting to unconsciously flow down one cheek. A mix of amazement and joy bubbling up within her chest, struggling to process how they’d even managed to fix it.
“That’s right little one, when we recovered you we noticed that barbaric piece that had been jammed into you, had snapped. So we had to put you under to do several corrective surgeries.” Sola couldn’t help but have a massive grin on her face. Sure this ex-rebel might think her arrogant, but the reality of this adorable creature's safety would never come into question, not if she had anything to do with it.
Nix lets out a little whimper, her grip tightening around the lollipop. Trying to find some kind of distraction from these overwhelming emotions, she quickly unwraps the candy, and shoves it into her mouth. Only afterward realizing that this too could have been laced with xenodrugs, the inhumanly sweet taste instantly coating her mouth. Causing her to bite her jaw down, unwilling to give up the nicest thing she’d tasted in three years.
Sola couldn’t help but let out an audible ‘aww’ at Nix’s behavior. Deciding to let the girl enjoy her treat, as her vines explore the new bright green vine, grown along where Nix’s old surgical scar was. Making sure that everything was just right to keep this precious creature healing, in as little pain as possible. “While your new spinal implant will do wonders, you will need to go through a good bit of physical therapy, in order to regain proper control.” She pats Nix’s shoulder a few times. “But don’t you worry, we’ll make sure you get the help you need, every step of the way little Nix.”
No, no not again, not this again. She couldn’t let another group start treating her like she was some helpless child, she had to do something. Prove that she doesn’t need the ‘care’ they so desperately want to provide. “NO!” Great, that was exactly how to get them to stop, yelling like a scared child. Good going Nix, real crowning achievement here.
“No?” Sola tilts her head, her mood dipping down slightly as her eyes trace over the now shaking terran. “No, what flower? You need to use your words.” She keeps one vine gently pressing down on Nix’s shoulder. Making sure the ex rebel couldn’t make an attempt to escape, and accidently hurt herself.
“No taking care of me! No treating me like I’m helpless!” Nix tries to push the vines away, her already reduced strength only making Sola’s vine ruffle slightly in response. Beep Beep Beep, the bracelet it’s beeping again it’s beeping and it’s red… that…
Another prick, Nix’s eye widens slightly as her body shakes in response. A spike of fear, and then a quick numbing sensation washes over her body, her eye starting to drift back shut. No, not again, she didn’t wanna go back to those dreams. Despite her internal protest, her body disagreed. Sending Nix crashing back into sleep.