There I sat looking at my communicator. My message sent and I awaited a reply from my Mistress. Being a very busy important affini doing busy important affini things, sometimes she was not perpetually in my presence… but she always said she loved seeing my messages and I should always feel free to send them, thus I sent her a message. Just a little message. One about something silly I did that she'd definitely find cute and call me cute for.
Unfortunately, Mistress didn't have her chat window open all day every day waiting for a message from me, like I did from her…. That'd be weird and very clingy and dependent of her and affini weren't like that. They were big and strong and capable and not at all dependent on another sophont for their emotional and physical needs.
The seconds ticked by. the long agonizing seconds, the forever seconds that each lasted the lifetime of a star, passed. Time flowed and flowed and flowed and a minute came and went. I was a big girl. A woman. An adult. I could handle this definitely. She loved me, and didn't at all hate my guts and regret adopting me as her floret. She definitely cared for me and didn't secretly loathe me and everything I stood for and saw me as a horrible burden that she regretted letting into her life. Mistress appreciated me—wasting her time and energy and constantly harassing her about every little thing all day even when she was trying to just live her life but this dumb worthless sack of flesh kept bothering her and really should just leave because nobody even wants me around anyway.
My eyes glanced back at the time. It'd only been two minutes. That was a reasonable amount of delayed time and even I couldn't always respond within two minutes. The fact that she couldn't probably meant she just happened to be busy—hating me and everything that I stood for and wishing the Compact would let her shove me out of an airlock and maybe they would because they value all intelligent life but clearly I didn't fit that definition because I was a dumb bitch who should stop imposing on others all the time forever and the longer I remained in her hab unit the more I'd be ruining her life and I could just walk out the door and never come back and she'd probably be happy about it.
As the third minute ticked by, I attempted to delete the message only to remember that Mistress disabled my ability to delete my own messages—Only she could delete my messages—and merely edited it to remove all the text instead. With as much of the imposing awful message expunged from the universe as I could I got up and walked away.
Even under the chemical soup in my bloodstream anxiety snuck its way past and clawed at my heart. I clutched my chest as I rushed out the door, mildly shaking. Nope still. Needed to be still. Affini would notice if I seemed bothered and they'd drag me back to her and make me ruin her life again and again and again and again and again and again—
Right just a short trip to the maglev and I'd be gone forever. That's what she wanted after all, and I wanted to obey her. I needed to be good for her, and she wants me gone and out of her vines. So I walked and walked and walked. Head down. Ignoring everyone else except for forced fake smiles I flashed them to show that I was a perfectly happy sophont.
Boarding the maglev was easy, because anyone can just walk aboard when it stops because any restriction would be too imposing and the affini knew how not to impose on sophonts unlike me.
"Do you need help, flower? You're trembling like a leaf." Asked an affini trying to be good, yet not realizing I was dead useless weight that should be gone.
"I don't but thank you! I'm just a little excited." Lying lying liar who lies. Mistress would hate me for lying. It went against our rules and I was a bad girl who needed to just go as far as this maglev would take me and—.
"Oh, and what has you so excited, little one?" The big smile of hers was too perfect. I could feel her suspicion. I was being suspicious.
Stars, I needed to actually come up with a lie but I was so bad at coming up with stuff and she definitely knew I was lying and fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. I opened my mouth and nothing came out. The universe stole my voice and I was doomed and why couldn't I just be good and useful and not clingy and—
Warm vines pulled me into an embrace. "Shhhh, it's okay. You're safe, alright? I'll contact your owner for you."
With my meager strength I pushed against her. Trying to free myself trying to flee to escape to be anywhere but here with her and- and- and- and-
"Yes I've got her." "No no trouble at all, poor thing is panicked out of her mind." "I only have ruvilon and selisi on me, are those okay to give her?" A pinch in my neck caused my body to go limp. "Are you sure? I can take the next one back, it's really no trouble." "Alright, here she is."
A leafy device got held next to my face that leaked tears while barely twitching. The crisp beautiful phantom voice of the most lovely affini drifted into my ear. "Tara, I love you very very much and I'll be there as soon as I can. Okay, sweety? You aren't a bother, you aren't imposing on me, and I very much love caring for you. Good girl."
The gears of my thoughts spun so slowly and disjointedly I couldn't even worry as I lay a helpless limp doll in the vines of a stranger awaiting her return. The affini pet me and whispered lies like good girl, and so adorable. Time drifted by unconcerned for my attempts to observe it.
Finally I heard her voice and it roused my gears enough to look her way. "M- Misssss-" I trailed off into oblivion as the word became too hard to think.
Her vines took me from the stranger and bundled me up so tight and snug. "Can you give her the counteragent?"
A slight pinch brought the entire world back into focus. Mistress's patient blue eyes rested above me. Her face held a patient warm smile and I wept. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I—"
"There's nothing to forgive, and if there was you'd be forgiven. After all, you're merely a pet. To be able to be forgiven would imply you ever had the agency to act of your own volition. You ran away because you believed that was what I wanted, hmn?"
Face wet with tears I nodded.
"You believed you could make me happier by running away, yes?"
"Look at me, dear."
I glanced up from my shameful floorward gaze. Her eyes rippled with a rainbow of color to a pattern I knew deeply in ways I could never express in words.
With a smug smile she commanded, "Would I be happier if you left and never came back?"
"No Mistress. You love me and wish to keep me always." My brain screamed it was a lie but my opinion did not matter. Mistress believed it and that made it truth.
"I do wish that, yes. Such a smart little pet. So good at reciting her little lines." She smeared my face with a blush, drenching my cold skin in gay heat. "What other little tricks shall I teach her, hmm? Perhaps, it's time to teach you to heel."
As she got up, the maglev came to a gentle, almost imperceptible stop. She set my messy blushy form on the ground and looped a vine around my collar. An unintelligible word filled the air. A tug followed it.
I got up to walk beside her but her vines pressed against me. My eyes went up, and found a shaking head. Oh. OH. Sinking to my hands and knees I began crawling. She tugged my leash and barked her word. Little and big tugs brought me right next to her heel. Only after minutes of crawling through public, my eyes darting between the soft grass covered ground and her viney leg while a massive blush consumed my face, did she utter another word. Praise.
My mind sank a little, plus a little more each time the cycle repeated. No thoughts remained, only obedience and praise. I belonged to her, and nothing I could do would ever change that. Nothing.