Circuit Breaker

Sunset Express. (Page Six)

by CyanidePrincess

Tags: #cw:gore #bondage #f/f #pov:bottom #scifi #sub:female #alien_invasion #bisexual_lead #dom:female #drug_play #Human_Domestication_Guide #mind_control #petplay #robots #sadomasochism #slow_burn #trans_egg #transgender_characters
See spoiler tags : #cw:protagonist_death
(Some Content Warning tags are spoilered. Click to show them) #cw:protagonist_death

Cozy little "friendship hangout" with nerdy plant boi.  TW: harry potter/jk rowling is mentioned lol

"Hey Jalen! welcome to- Woah there." Raynor's vines sweep me off my feet, exchanging my forward velocity for a long vertical sweep, slowing me down and pulling me in.

I'm shaking, thrashing a bit against his firm and soft vines. He shifts with me in his grasp, a few orange flowers blooming on the ends of green vines, presented in front of my eyes. He's trying to calm me down through hypnosis.
It strangely works, but in a way I've never expected. The intricacy of minute details and patterns on the inside of each flower, spinning on the end of the vines. It takes a lot of energy and focus allocation to fully render out each little detail in my eyes. It takes a lot of memory to see all the details in perfect clarity at once. That calms me down, taking away enough of the processing power into my sight and moving it away from my panicked state.
My generators calm in my chest, and my mindscape relaxes. A soft but firm, slightly masculine voice calls out to me. 
"Jalen, tell me what happened."
I obey.
"I'm- I'm not sure, Raynor. I was looking at something... When all of a sudden I got all panicked, I don't know what happened, but I'm okay now. You can set me down now please."
Raynor obliges, gently setting me on the floor with a few vines for support, just to make sure I don't fall over. Looking back up at him, the flowers are still spinning. Very distracting.

He's made of light green and white vines with little orange flower buds dotting him. His hair, which was just a mess of short vines when we met, is neatly tied up at the back of his head into a little bun. He's also wearing these big and round glasses that I'm sure are just for the aesthetic. He's slim, but in the way that a Terran would look if they did a lot of cardio. All in all, slightly androgynous but leaning towards the masculine side of things. A very pretty planty boy. 
"Do you normally have panic attacks, precious flower?" He asks me gently.
"No, not usually. Not very often at least." He nods along with my words, extending a vine out and gently petting my hair. 
"Would you allow me to give you something to take the edge off? Cool you down just a little bit?" He's talking about Xenodrugs. I don't think they really work on me. My body doesn't have enough human parts to have any meaningful effect over them. I shake my head no.
"No thank you. I'm already feeling much better, Raynor. I would like to keep my head clear for the time being." My breathing is steadied and normal again.
He nods, giving me a small smile. "Okay, petal. But please tell me if you change your mind, alright?"
"Alright Raynor. I'll tell you. Now, would you like to show me around the place?" 
"With pleasure, cutie~" He nods happily, extending a vine towards me in an offer to take his hand and let him lead me. I don't take it.
Following him in, he finally finishes the sentence he was going to finish a moment before. "Well, as I was saying. Welcome to my library. It's a mix of mostly historical records, but also a lot of old Terran fiction books for entertainment. The Terran mind is as creative as it is unique." He sounds so proud in his tone of voice. It's oddly endearing, he's obviously a bookworm.
"Helluo Librorum." I mutter under my breath with a smile. My Latin isn't very good, so I'm hoping he didn't hear it. He does.
Looking down at me with orange and green eyes. "Maybe so, little one. But in books there is freedom. In Libras Libertas"
Holy stars this guy's such a freaking nerd! I can't help but giggle a little bit. He looks at me again and smiles.  "You like that, little one?"
"You're a nerd, Raynor." I say playfully. It's true, he is.
"Maybe so, but who can deny the allure of literature! Like, here!" He reaches up into a shelf nearby, pulling down a book for me. It's a physical copy. "1985" it reads.
Holding it out to me, I examine it over. Strange choice of a book to give me.
"Rebel Terrans like to quote this book as the reasoning for the justification of their rebellion sometimes." He laughs, like everything he just said was a silly joke. "The irony of that is not lost on me, with all the constant surveillance and tracking that happens in pre-compact society." He's speaking wistfully and thoughtfully.
"Raynor, your enthusiasm is very endearing." He freezes for a moment, looking at me with a strange smile. "But I have no idea what you're talking about. I know about all the stuff that happened with the era of capitalism we were in before your arrival... But I don't know anything about that book, or any context beyond that. You're kinda pancaking at me here haha."
He looks embarrassed and a little bit confused. "Pancaking, little one?" 
"It means like... Giving me a lot of information about a topic that I don't know anything about all at once. Oh but! Don't take that as an insult!" I shift awkwardly in place about what I'm about to say. "I like hearing you talk..."
He seems happy at my answers, visibly relaxing, taking the book away and replacing it on the shelf. "Alright then Jalen. How about I actually show off the rest of the place then huh? With words like those, I have no doubt at all that I'll be seeing you here again." The smirk he's pulling is audible. "In one way or another~"
These bastard plants! Is this battle taunting or flirting! Well, I guess I'll find out when we duel.
Raynor leads me into the main room of the library, finally I get to take it in, in all its glory.
Floor to ceiling bookshelves line the walls and the... Well they're everywhere, spaced out neatly in wonderful little groups.
The entire building, though lined from top to bottom in the spines of displayed books, still looks incredibly easy to navigate. If a little tall in some places, but the reasoning for that is obvious.
Around each and every shelf are healthy green vines and flowers, growing happily around each nook and cranny. The air in here is a mixture of sweet floral and biblichor. 
It feels as if I've just walked head first into a fae house. Little mushrooms and plants growing everywhere. It's beautiful. Beautiful and calming, a perfect compliment to the ages of history and fiction contained between these walls and shelves.
I can't help but be in shock.
"Wow... Raynor. It's really beautiful here." My mouth is a little dry from being open so long. I clamp it shut.
He laughs a happy, satisfied laugh as though he was holding his breath for my reaction. "Thank you, little one. So are you." 
I don't quite catch that, so am I what? After a moment, he cuts off my thoughts with a question.
"So, sweet guest of mine. What do you like to read?"
It's then that we jump straight into passionate conversation. Literature is one of the two things that kept me sane under the weight of my compulsions these last few years. In between working on my inventions, remembering every detail of the scorched image of blueprints in my head and the heavy handed drive to fight, versus the pure escapism of happy literature.
We go back and forth joking in Latin, joking about books and reading, to lazing around on the soft furniture around the room.
Currently, I'm laying upside down in a big chair (bisexuals can’t sit straight), looking up at Raynor from below while he sits in front of me and reads a book aloud, fiddling idly with a little vine in my hands to keep me occupied while he reads.
After hearing about all my favorite books, he's landed on this one about "wizards and magic."
This gave us a long and deep talk about separation of art from artist, as apparently the author wasn't the kind of a person.
We ended up reading it anyway, coming to the conclusion that our own enjoyment may matter just a bit more than that. Since the problems of the world that were perpetuated by said author are no longer something this world has to concern itself with.
We can enjoy the series without indulging in the terrible ideas of the author.
It's been a couple hours by now, we're nearing the end of the first book. Raynor is a fast reader, but I'm also a fast... Listener, I guess. Eagerly drinking up each and every detail about the story that spills from the mouth of the Affini in front of me. A beautiful imaginary scene playing in my head the whole way.
He closes up the book after the last page, reaching up into the place he got it from and depositing it back in its proper spot.
I shift up onto the seat of the chair I'm in properly. Crossing my legs and staring at him happily. Guests have come and gone throughout the day, he would spend barely any time happily helping the Sophonts and Florets that wander through the doors while I watch.
It gives me time to really ponder. Really genuinely ponder what I would look like, happily dazed and content in a little book shop. I figured earlier that the lifestyle wouldn't suit me. Too slow and boring. Literature provides me with a lot of mental stimulation.
But not enough, as I've come to figure.
It can't beat the simple, pure ecstasy of losing myself in battle.
It's a revelation that sits uneasily in my chest. Shifting back and forth in my head. Am I really making the right choices?
"Hey, sweet flower? You seem lost in thought." He asks me, my attention shifting to him. 
"I was, a little. But can you blame me? That story you read for me was very interesting. It's just got me thinking about... A lot, honestly." I say as he nods along, patiently listening to every word I say like it's the most interesting thing he's ever heard.
It makes me feel weird but appreciated to have so much dedicated attention on me.
The only other being that gives me this much undivided attention is Lillina. I feel guilty for a moment. Guilty for something, I don't know.
"I understand. Like I said, freedom in books.” He pauses for a moment. “ Hey, it's getting a little late. I have a small event in about thirty minutes. I'm booked to read some more stories to a group of florets today. You are welcome to join me if you wish, sweetness." He tells me, his voice really fits his profession. Soft and thoughtful. A real librarian. It takes me a minute to consider it. And to consider the dumb joke. 
"Mmmnnh you have me hard pressed here, Raynor. But I think I'll pass, I wanna go home and laze around for a little while tonight. But, can you send me home with a couple books?"
"I can have you even more pressed if you'd like, cutie~. And yes, of course I can!" Happily he stands up and makes his way around the bookstore, grabbing up four or five different stories and stacking them together in his hands before wandering back over and setting them in my lap. 
Wait. Press me more? Is that even a flirt? That just doesn't make sense. I giggle again, standing up.
He looks at me with curiosity. I roll my eyes back at him playfully. Walking over to the entrance of the shop. "Thanks for inviting me today Raynor! I had a wonderful time today!" He waves to me with a smile on my way out.
About ten minutes into my walk back home, I realize how calm I'm feeling. My hands are still a little jittery, but there's a low feeling of calm in me. I'm not scared right now. I had a good day today. Once again, that clashes against my needs in my head. The urge to fight again is getting stronger and stronger each day.
I've made it back home, collapsing onto my bed with a stack of books. My social batteries are drained for the day. I just wanna relax and read. Grabbing up the first book that interests me, I look it over. "Battleship" is the title. It appears to be about a young queer human girl, who's granted the powers of the most powerful superhero on the planet, Battleship. It changes her body along with her abilities to match her heart. I don't know why Raynor gave me this book. But it definitely looks interesting.
The moment I pick it up, I get another ping on my PC. Another message.
Mnnhh... I'm alone. I have no plans but to read. I guess it's finally time to at least integrate the messaging app on my PC. Wandering over lazily, I pop open the access port hidden under my short hair on the back of my neck. There's a few stray USB cords around the house, grabbing one that's nearby, I connect one end to the pc, and one end to me. 
My vision fades to black, and then white as the image on the monitor clicks into place in my head. I quickly extract and download the messaging app files, as well as type in a few lazy bits of code to connect it to the overnet signal I can get in my head. I think it works.
Disconnecting from the PC, I go and lay down in my bed. Then, I push toward the application mentally. It's... Hard to describe. I just push at the place in my head where the app data is stored and.... Bang! There it is! The messaging app opens in my eyes, just out of the top right corner. I can see it clearly in my periphery.
It's a message from.... Lilliana! 
Username: 20CCliquidlove
Sent: Three minutes ago.
20CCliquidlove: Hi Jalen! Raynor just told me you got home! He said he had a wonderful day with you, and as your self appointed best friend, I'm jealous! I wanna see you soon. Can we all three see each other the day before your duel? Two days from now? msg me when you can, love - lils <3<3
I just blink for a moment. Considering the message. I can't decide.... I don't want to decide right now. At the current moment, I feel drained from hanging out with Raynor all day, so I want to say no... But I also know that by tomorrow morning, I'm gonna want to go out again and do something with all my energy.
For now I just elect to close the app and pick up the book. Thumbing through past the reviews and dedications, the first page jumps out at me. Six lone words on a completely blank page. "For The Girls Still In Hiding."  G... Girls in hiding? What does that mean? Does this have anything to do with why Raynor gave it to me? I couldn't think of what that means.
Alright well. Time to read I guess. Lets see how long I can last, I am a bit sleepy after all.
Two and a half hours later, I set the book down, closing the last page. My hands are trembling and my body is shaking with the post rush of excitement. That book... That book. Oh my stars, that book... It was such an intense emotional rollercoaster, every chapter brought a new hardship to the main character. Even though the main character's physical body is nigh indestructible, she still struggles every chapter with emotional turmoil and defeat. She's invincible, yet vulnerable and soft. She can take a bomb to the face, but enough harsh words have her broken down. It's visceral, it's real, it's raw, it's empowering, and I relate to it so much.   Raynor really gave me the perfect book with this one.
I feel some kind of strange connection to the MC... I couldn't tell you why. We are kindred spirits somehow. And now, I feel as though I'm in the good favor of Raynor too. My new friend. Wow... I- wow.... I feel strange, mentally exhausted, and emotionally ran through. I need to sleep.
My eyes close, it takes me probably half an hour of laying still before I completely let my brain shut down. But the moment I do, a text box opens on the underside of my vision. 
"Don't let yourself become too cozy. Remember the warm hug of darkness. Sincerely yours." 
The timing is perfect, it's the last thing I see before I sleep. The very moment I turn off. I have no idea what it means, but I don't get a single moment to consider it.

(End Of Page Six)

Chapter title comes from the Bliss3three song "Sunset Express {To Eternal Bliss}"

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