The soft sheets and warm comforter held me for far longer than necessary. My bed wasn't this nice. I almost leapt up in confusion and also that sense of being late for work… I got fired. There was no work. This wasn't my home… the affini.
I was worried Abies Fir, something something was still here… and equally scared he wasn't. I didn't get up. My eyes stayed shut and I kept acting like I was asleep. Just lying in bed… My tear ducts felt sore. I didn't even know they could feel sore.
Beyond my reluctance to get out of bed there were a few problems… first was that I wasn't wearing my glasses and thus navigating this place would be sort of a challenge until I located them. Next was that I needed to take my hormones. That meant water. I also hadn't eaten in… I couldn't remember. Getting evicted sucked. Apparently, there used to be time set aside for a tenant to like figure out where to move to but uh, laws that restricted landlords were ancient history… I guess landlords would be ancient history soon since everyone was going to have a free home. What was I thinking about? Uh hormones. Yea I needed to find those in my bag and take them.
So, the bed was too comfortable to leave until the door to my room opened. "Hello little Evie, I stopped by to make sure you were doing okay… Awww, you're still in bed." Right, the xeno. The one looking at me as I slept… Oh my stars, he tucked me into bed last night, er uh, morning. "As much as I'd love to let you sleep the whole day away, you need to take care of yourself. Food, water, meds, and hygiene. Come on get up."
I groaned and pulled the covers up to shield me from leaving bed.
"Petal, if you don't get out of bed by the time I count down from ten, I'll pluck you out of bed and handle it all myself." He'd what? Wait, he could totally do that. Abies was like a super strong fast alien that could vanquish the Accord and landlords. But like could he really make me do all that stuff? "Ten~" Oh, he was really doing this. "Nine~" Uh… "Eight~" I'd just stay in bed. Yea. "Seven~" Abies wasn't really the kind of- "Six~" alien to like pull me out of bed. "Five~" He was too nice- "Four~" that. "Three~" Oh stars, oh no, oh stars! "Two~" My body was shaking between wanting to leap out of bed and being too anxious to move. "One~" Move body move!
"Times up little Evie~" His vines wormed their way under the covers and wrapped me up. They bound my limbs, my torso, and even my head. The vines were too strong and I was left helpless and immobile. He pulled me out soft yet swift. "Remember little one, you're safe with me, and with every affini you meet. Some are a little more awkward than others, but I promise you we each want to help in our own way. Relax~"
I couldn't. This was too strange and weird and-and-and I don't know! Feelings were weird and I didn't know how to handle them. My emotion processor must be faulty or possibly never got installed.
Their vines weren't haphazardly binding me. Every bit was placed just right to restrict my movement. They slipped my glasses on. "Petal, I'll handle everything unless you tell me you can handle it yourself, okay?" Their rippling blue eyes lured me in. I nodded slowly. "Good girl~"
They carried me over to a little table and uh had some muffins, a glass of water, and my meds all there. A-Abies was really going to do this. They weren't lying. The affini actually was handling it themself. The glass was held up to my face along with my meds. They prevented me from opening my mouth when I tried. Instead, they opened my mouth with their vines and guided the water and meds in. slkjdgjasldkgjsaldkgllkfglskadg The vines guided the pills down my throat and-and the drink and then he started with the food…
"I-I can handle this myself!" The words tumbled out of my mouth. This was weird and strange and I couldn't like just keep letting this happen.
Abies withdrew their vines and smiled down on me. "So that's what your lovely voice sounds like." M-My voice?! My voice wasn't lovely. It was awful and if I never had to speak again I'd be happy. They noticed my frown. "You don't like your voice do you?" I shook my head as they withdrew their vines leaving me seated at the table holding myself up. "Well, then it's a good thing that we have many means of fixing that."
"W-What?" I stared up at them… The shapeshifting aliens form was far more androgynous today.
"If you eat that muffin for me, I'll tell you how, along with how you can have your body crafted into whatever form and shape you'd feel most comfortable with. That is if you even want a physical form at all." They were spouting utter confusing nonsense. "I promise I'm being truthful, and you'll know why as soon as you eat your food~"
My eyes went down to the big fresh muffin. It was blueberry. Stars, it looked good. After the first bite of delicious food I began scarfing it down until the xeno reminded me to take my time and not choke. They were fretting over me in a way that was wholly unfamiliar. They cared… They cared.
A vine wiped a tear from my eye. "No more crying for Evie okay? I'd like to, with your permission, give you something that'd make everything seem a little less sad. Alright?"
I hated feeling sad all the time. It hurt. Letting feelings out hurt so I pushed them down all the time and ignored them. I firmly nodded.
"Now, you've never done xenodrugs so I'll try and keep the dose nice and light." A thin needle slid into my thigh so delicately I almost didn't notice. Only by the spreading warmth did my focus catch the needle before it withdrew completely.
Whatever had been injected into me spread rapidly and soon every bit of touch was heightened, clear, and felt pleasant. The crumbs on my lips went from barely noticeable to blatant. My jeans felt absurdly rough against my legs. My budding chest felt so sensitive that a subtle shift of my shirt had me shivering. I bit my lip to not moan and that only made things worse. The hints and waves of pleasure from every subtle movement and brush made the tears stop as my head got a tad fuzzy…
Between my legs the sensation was equally prominent and aware and with it came dysphoria. It was great until I noticed then… then I couldn't not notice. It was painful it was awful I was a mess of drugged up conflicting feelings of pleasure and torment. "AaaaaAAAAAhhHHH" It was awful awful awful!
Abies noticed my reaction. "E-Evie?! Dirt! Here." Another needle slipped in and took it all away. The sudden drop in touch almost made it feel like I just lost contact with my body. A complete disassociation from my flesh. I was thought and sound and sight. Not even the vines of the affini were felt as they wrapped me up. "I'm so so sorry little one. I've never seen that bad of a reaction to a class-A before. Can you tell me what went wrong? I'd like to make sure that doesn't happen again."
I didn't want to think about it. The memory of the sensation was still there burning in my head. I vaguely gestured downwards.
"What do you… Oh! I'm a fool, that was covered in terran studies. No class-A variants between 3.206 and 7.951 for physically dysphoric individuals. Recommend variants in the 11 and 14 ranges. I knew this and I forgot even after looking up your terran medication. I'm sorry little Evie. It won't happen again I promise." They seemed so upset and I mean it was their fault… N-No. Bad Evie, this was my fault for not asking and stuff. I should have said no. If I wasn't so weak as to need a drug pick me up then it wouldn't have happened. I failed and now Abies was beating themselves up over it.
"I-It's my fault. I-" A vine silenced me.
I was brought eye to eye with the hunched over affini. "You did nothing wrong. You didn't do anything. It was my responsibility to make sure any medications I gave you were safe and I failed. Little one, you've known about xenodrugs for around a minute, you couldn't have known the difference. I did this. Not you. You are fine." They kept trying to place the blame on themselves but it was me. I knew it was me. I was the bad one. Evie was the bad broken thing.
"You're spiraling. Hmm. Flower, I need you to look deep into my eyes, okay?" They asked, but I didn't know why. Their vines positioned my head to look right at them.
The shifting colors were interesting. It was nothing like staring into a terran's eyes. There wasn't that immediate revulsion. Every shift of color had my eyes following along. Ripple after ripple there was something to it. A pattern was in there. It was complex and deep an-an-nd… "What a good little Evie, so relaxed and open."
I had a smile on my face and felt sort of happy for the first time in forever… Wait, what just happened? "Uh, Abies what did you do?"
"I reminded you that you are a good girl and gave you a little bit of happiness." The affini did what? I tilted my head. I mean I did feel happier but like, they even tried their fancy space drug and that failed. I remember blue eyes…
"How??" The smile was still there. I mean, how could I not when I felt really happy.
They smirked, "Well little Evie, have you ever heard of hypnosis?"
Okay, I had heard of it, but I didn't know much outside of like fiction. For the real world it was supposed to require like actually wanting to do it. "Yea."
"Our eyes along with other parts of our anatomy tend to have that effect on adorable sophonts like you. Normally, I'd use a xenodrug to amplify the effect as it wouldn't work for what I just did, but you're already so suggestable." They eagerly awaited my reaction which was…
My reaction required thought. Happy thoughts, but thoughts. I was hypnotized without being asked and uh… hmmm. A vine tapped the table where the half-eaten muffin sat. I started munching on it while thinking about it. I was happy now, but I was made this way… I had to stop myself before I went down a deep rabbit hole. Was I okay now? Yes. Was I bothered by being hypnotized? No… but that could be the hypnotism. "Did you make me okay with being hypnotized?"
Abies's smile grew wide. "Flower, I didn't. Like I said, I let you know how much of a good girl you are, and I made you happy. No other thoughts or feelings were touched. You are rather obviously a seed."
"A seed?" That sounded like a weird thing to call someone but the affini were like giant plants.
"Yes, and that requires explaining domestication." The affini gestured for me to follow them to the bathroom. "But you just finished your muffin and I promised to explain how you could reshape yourself first. Plus, you need to wash up. So let's do both."
I froze. "Y-You're not going to like watch me in the shower are you?"
"Not unless you want help getting cleaned up! I've pet sit for some friends before so I know how to take care of little cuties like you."
Pet sit, cuties, domestication… Pets. Oh my stars that explained everything. "You're turning people into pets?!" I glanced at the giant plant creature.
"Yes, we are. And seeds are those who haven't realized how much of a pet they are." They were calling me a pet? I wasn't a pet. I was a uh… person felt icky. Sophont. That was a good term. Yup a sophont that was not an owned pet.
"I'm not a pet… did the affini really conquer the Accord to make us all pets?"
Abeis laughed and then started leading me into the bathroom again. "Not every one of you adorable little terrans, just the ones who'd be better off in the care of a loving affini. Those like you."
"I-I-I-I… no. Nope Not a pet. Not me. I'm not a seed. I-I'm a woman. Also c-can I get privacy to like bathe?" I was standing here in the massive bathroom but like couldn't do anything because they were still here.
"Alright little one, I'll explain from outside." The plant creature made their way back out of the bathroom's small door and reformed outside. "For alterations to make you feel more comfortable in your body, if you would like to keep it, there are class-G xenodrugs which are similar to your HRT but are far faster, more effective, and versatile. Beyond that there are body mods, if you'd like a different arrangement of body parts. Lastly you can shed your physical form for that of a digital one."
I paused mid-way through taking my underwear off. Super HRT, different limbs, being made entirely digital?! Oh wow, t-that seemed like so much. Like what would I even do with myself? I mean, I wanted to do things. The class-G's would have to be a yes. My hormones were slow and uh, anything that could make the changes go faster would be a hard yes. Body mods are like yes please, but also what would I even get? The last was… I think I need a body to be grounded, just not this body. The one currently attached to me. I guess if it was changed to the point of being unrecognizable that'd be fine too.
Washing up in an unfamiliar place made me more cognizant of the whole process, which wasn't great but at least I still felt better from the hypno stuff. Regardless I made it in and out of there as fast as possible. My shoulder length hair was definitely going to need a hairdryer. Yup, just being cognizant of this vessel I found myself trapped in.
A lot of other trans folk talk about hatching, but I never really went through that. Not that I always knew I was a girl, but like I knew I wanted to be and stumbled into transgender stuff with… envy. I knew my body was wrong, and I knew what would fix it, I just needed the terminology and the means to go through with it. I wanted to let myself be a girl. But I wasn't one to let myself have the things I really wanted.
Worse, most of those things weren't feasible. I can't make people like me, or want to date me, I couldn't just magic myself into a new body… I guess I could now on the last part. That still didn't fix the unlikable part. The piece of me that made others keep their distance. The socially awkward stuff. The inability to comprehend other people and how to properly interact with them.
It was like I had to mentally sketch everyone I met based off of vague feelings. You find out something major that was like a clear line to draw rather than just feeling out vague smears and sketch lines. It took a long time and a lot of concentrated effort to get anything other than the broad strokes. People were complicated. Everyone else seemed to just know how to social. Like someone handed them the user manual to social interaction and never gave me one.
At least Abies was easy to talk to. There was something oddly familiar there and with all the affini. It was rare in terrans but the default for affini. They walked, and talked, sort of like terrans but more clearly. Like I could easily pick up on body language from them without like hyper analyzing it.
I avoided looking at myself in the mirror. Nothing good ever came of that… huh I guess the hypno infusion of happiness had finally run out. I was left being me. Unlikeable Evie. The weird ghost everyone tried to avoid acknowledging existed…
A vine held out some of my clothes in the doorway. No words, just clothes. I forgot to grab clothes to change into… "T-Thanks."
"Of course little flower."
I snatched them and dressed myself… oh, this was like my most femme but also vaguely gender neutral to be safe outfit. I liked it. H-How did they know? With my black jeans and gray tee-shirt on I stepped out of the bathroom.
Abies was still here… Just existing and paying me attention and stuff. Thinking about it hurt and felt weird and wrong. The xeno was spending so much time with me rather than like invasion stuff.
Oh right there was an invasion going on. I felt so insulated from all of it here and wow. It had been less than a day. "D-Don't you have like other things to do than like hangout with me?"
"What would be more important than making sure a beautiful young woman in need is receiving proper care and assistance? I can't think of anything more pressing to do with my time." The xeno got me red faced. Their words were honest and yet deceptively false. Helping a woman in need would be important but not like me. I didn't deserve that.
"But like w-what about the invasion??"
"Oh, we have plenty of others handling that. This world wasn't exactly a bastion of terran resistance. It's handled. The small navy presence has already been detained and now we are working on a census and ensuring little homeless and in need sophonts like you are taken care of. I can spend as much time caring for you as I wish." The smug affini would not stop laying it on thick. Abies wanted to like domesticate me. Turn me into a pet. I-I needed to find a way to stop being a burden to them.
Then again there was all that stuff they mentioned… Ugh which to ask first, about uh the weird pet thing, or about the class-G and stuff. The transforming stuff was kinda self-interested and uh I shouldn't be that selfish only thinking about myself during all of this. "Uh, so um w-when you're turning people into like p-pets… what happens to them?"
An affini hand made contact with my head. "Oh, is the little one interested in being someone's pet?"
"N-No! I-I just like uh… I-If you're doing it to people I need to like know in case it's bad and I need to like help stop it…" Words were so hard! Bleh.
They gave me a big hearty affini laugh. I was being laughed at. Abies Fir was making fun of me. "That's incredibly adorable that you feel so concerned for everyone, but rest assured they are all in good vines. As for what happens when adorable little ones like you become pets…" My eyes found the floor very interesting. "You get taken in by an affini to love and cherish you. All your little rights go away so your owner can make decisions on your behalf. We put adorable little collars on you, give you a nice blend of xenodrugs to make you very very happy, and of course take care of the individual needs of the new pet. Every sophont needs something different and your owner will figure out what you need and how to best provide it to you."
They were definitely acting like I was the one who wanted to be domesticated. I-I wasn't a pet or a seed. Becoming the problem of another creature was bad and selfish. I had to handle things on my own. T-That way I wasn't weighing anyone down.
"Did any of that sound like things that'd make you try to stop us?"
In a small voice I answered. "N-No… but like you could be lying…" They weren't lying. At least not knowingly. Abies clearly believed every word or was the best liar I'd ever met.
"I'd be happy to show you it's all very true, and perhaps that's what we'll do today. I just got a notification that our scans show every firearm in the settlement has been confiscated. It'll be nice and safe. I can even take you up to our ship and introduce you to some pets so you can talk to them about it." Ah… AH! T-They were just proposing stuff I couldn't reasonably say no too. The worst part was I could see it. The whole point. Abies wasn't being subtle. The xeno's entire plan was told to me verbatim and yet I felt helpless to stop or thwart it. Abies wanted to make me a pet and this was all just a game for them. "Also, I can get you in to see a veterinarian and get you started on your class-Gs. You did want to pursue furthering your transition, yes?"
asfellbkhasdblkjsadbhjsdagsgadbkjdsakjlbklds! A fucking veterinarian! No subtlety and I couldn't even say no because I wanted the class-G things. This was soo unfair. I-If only I was better at pretending to people, I could like talk my way out of it… But I was a mess. A broken mess and I didn't know how to words… "Yes…"
"Perfect! Well, you are suitably hydrated, fed, medicated, and groomed, so let's be on our way hmmm?"
I nodded and went to follow Abies out the door. They flowed out like a sea of green and reformed and I followed through all the way down to the lobby. Another affini, a feminine one manded the front desk answering someone's question. That didn't stop her from waving to us. "Have a safe trip Abies and little Evie!" Little. Why did they keep calling me little?! I mean I was to all the affini, b-but they didn't have to like point it out all the time.
All these xenos were too nice and weren't overlooking me and jgvkjgasgkjlassgkljadkjgsajkgkjgdskjldgs!! How was I supposed to function around them? T-This was weird and strange and-and words are hard!
Worse, as we got outside I was swept off my feet. Abies had me in their clutches, as the sun was getting close to setting. "Did the adorable little thing in my arms think I'd let her walk all the way to our destination?"
L-Little thing… flustered noises broke through my lips and I curled up defensively. Emotions needed to go away. T-Too many emotions. Too many. I needed like nice small mute emotions not-not these! I was too defectively built to process emotions like a functional terran. They just overwhelmed me and I flapped my hands or stimmed and-and nfasgnjadsnjgarsldghasladkjsfsjda.
"So cute and adorable. You'll have an owner in no time." Abies made me scream a little.