I was on my way back from New Vadtep when I saw the familiar sight of the Marx's Revenge coming into the atmosphere. It had been a few weeks since the ship left to raid corpo shipping lanes and everyone in Haven was dying to get fresh supplies liberated from those capitalist overlords.
I spit off to the side as my hoverbike crossed the wasteland. Fucking capitalists. They ruined everything they touched including this former Rinan colony world. Now it was just a barely habitable wasteland perfect for hiding our commune. The Navy knew were here but as long as we had a warship and a surprising amount of ground to space anti-ship ordnance they could rightly fuck off.
Even with all the problems from a barely functioning hydroponic agricultural system, to the inherent problem of dispute settling among a band of heavily armed anarcho-communists. Things were tough going, but we were family. Sometimes families fought each other, sometimes they fought off raids from the cosmic navy or pirates.
I had a few supplies from my run to New Vadtep. Having a community nearby to pose as a front for obtaining legitimate goods. Technically they still followed the Accord's capitalist bullshit but they were a necessary evil for when the Marx's Revenge was late with deliveries or didn't obtain some things we needed.
I finally came into sight of Haven. The compound was built into a glassed outcropping in the middle of the mostly flat rocky desert. The familiar flak cannons posted on the ridge, the silo doors for our stolen missiles embedded in the stone. It was home. A cozy heavily armed corner of the universe born to fight capitalism and the fascist Accord government to the bitter end. An end that kept me up some nights. Living in constant fear that one day they'll show up to glass us, gave me and the others nightmares.
Mental health was a bit tricky here, and all we had to deal with it was community support. No therapists here, just friends and family. Also some confiscated meds. Turns out the kind of people who'd join a compound are pretty queer and neurodivergent which is why my run to New Vadtep was primarily for prescription refills.
I wasn't particularly useful to the commune but I could do supply runs since I didn't have much else I was good at. I even got this cool hoverbike. Vince even showed me a little about how to take care of it though I was still having trouble learning. Technically it belonged to everyone, but functionally it was my hoverbike as no one else used it barring exceptional circumstances.
The familiar guards waved to me as I approached. Looks like Chrissy and Nikolai today. They were both way better shots with a rifle than me. My side arm was mostly for show since my coordination was subpar when it came to fine hand movements.
I pulled in through the gates and came to a stop in the garage. I heard Vince's familiar voice. "Welcome back Q. You see that the Revenge is back?"
"Yup." I chirped. "They grab anything good? They were out much longer than normal."
His face fell into a frown. "They didn't. We actually have a big problem. Affini."
I tilted my head. "Those xenos that people in New Vadtep mentioned?"
He raised an eyebrow. "You heard about them?" I shrugged, I didn't really talk to strangers outside of purchasing on behalf of the compound. "Well it turns out they've been conquering Accord space. Worse, they've basically halted all interstellar shipping."
I went wide eyed. No shipping meant no piracy, and no piracy meant we wouldn't get supplies. "But what about the Affini? Can't we just raid them?"
"'fraid not. The navy lost hard and the affini don't ship anything. Captain Harriet made the decision that the Revenge can't take even the smallest Affini vessel." Vince said with an air of resignation.
"But we can't just… We'll die without those supplies. I-I-" My breathing picked up and Vince grabbed me in a hug as I started to fall into a panic spiral.
"Shhhh, we'll figure it out. We made it through that three ship navy raid, we'll make it through this too. And if we don't, we'll take as many fascists with us as possible."
It was that same sentiment that we all shared here. Live free or not at all. Free meant not bowing to the whims of fascism and it's capitalist overlords, but if the affini were just interstellar imperialists we'd fight them too. Everyone here was free. Free to be unapologetically themselves and we'd rather die fighting than be dragged away to be forced labor on some prison world.
I finally calmed down after almost passing out in Vince's arms. I wasn't as strong as the rest. I tried to be, but I was constantly on the verge of falling apart and the support of the commune was the only thing that really kept me going.
"Come on Q, we should get everyone their meds, and maybe give Tix that shiny new converter I see you got them." He told me.
I snorted a laugh, that converter was far from new, everything here had been obtained far past 'new'. Still the little rinan was going to love it. The little mad scientist was no longer allowed to work with explosive substances… or without supervision, but with a little oversight Tix could make wonders out of the junk we salvaged. Our other rinan family members weren't quite as tech savvy as Tix.
We went around handing out people's prescriptions and we also made sure they took them since some of them had some really bad executive dysfunction without them. I was only a bit better in that department and lacked meds that'd help.
Finally we got to Tix's workshop where Mira was helping check their work to make sure it was stable before the little guy blew every breaker switch in the compound… again. "Hey Tix, I got that power converter you wanted." I held up the only slightly rusty piece of equipment. Tix fell into a flurry of chittering and hand signs that I only knew enough of to know that Tix was very happy and thankful. The translation machine had a field day turning it into a human language. Rinans always communicated so fast that even if Tix spoke English I doubted I'd be able to keep up with their words. I had enough trouble keeping up with humans talking to me.
I saw Moss a little after that, they normally were aboard the Revenge so I didn't get to see them much. I waved hello, but I think they didn't see and I wasn't in the mood to speak up. I made my way back to my cot to lay down. Panic attacks were exhausting and I wasn't currently needed for anything else today.
Mary came into the shared sleeping space a bit later. She too was a crew member for the Revenge. "Sup Q. Also it's still Q right? You haven't had any revelations since I was last here?"
I sighed. "Yea I'm still going by Q, and I'm not sure what you mean by revelations." I turned over to face away from her and towards the wall.
"Ya know, like with any identity stuff." She clarified for my benefit.
I groaned. I knew what she was trying to say, she'd been saying it since I changed my name to Q. "Mary I'm not trans, I'm pretty sure I'd know by now."
I felt her move onto my cot as it jostled a little from her sitting down. "You'd be surprised. Vince was older than you when he figured it out. Also, you give me such egg vibes."
"We've been over this, you're projecting. Not everyone here is trans." I insisted, still turned away from her.
"Yea but we're like 80% queer. And I don't think it's projecting when you already changed your name and pronouns."
"I'm not using any pronouns. It's different." I didn't have to look over to know she didn't believe me.
"Keep telling yourself that, hon. I'm just saying if you ever want to try on one of my dresses…"
"No." I knew no one here would give me shit for it. Or at least they'd only give me shit in that family ribbing sort of way. That didn't change the fact I'd still just be an ugly guy in a dress.
"Alright, also thanks for the HRT run, you're the best." She knew praise was my weak spot. I was glad I was turned away from her to hide my expression. "Aw, are you happy stimming?" Fuck. Stupid hands gave everything away.
"No…" My answer didn't stop her from handing me one of my trinkets I used for fidgeting with. I took it without a word and started rotating the little mechanical joint over and over in my hands.
"Well, it looks like our shore leave is going to be longer this time. So we get to hang out a bunch, maybe you can take me out on your bike later."
I didn't answer, I sort of lost the talking mood. I ran out of words so fast most of the time, and keeping up with conversations was a chore. I liked my family, but I also needed more space than we often got. It was part of why I went out on my bike so often. There was something satisfying about being in the middle of nowhere alone.
I sat up. Staying here as people came in and out of the bunk area was going to drive me up the wall. I went back down to the garage, double checked the bike like Vince had taught me and took it out. Chrissy waved and asked if I was headed out for a joy ride. She received a nod and the compound gate opened.
I drove off into the barren flat wastes and just took in the vast flat emptiness through my goggles. It was a sort of zen to come out here and be no one. Not some ugly guy, or a nervous wreck of a delivery person. Just the raw experience of a joy ride with no one around to observe or gender me incorrectly. No one around to provide unwanted conversation. It was as close as I could come to living in the moment, feeling the wind on the gaps between my face mask and goggles.
Luckily the bike ran off of a low output fusion reactor that we salvaged. It was too low output to supply for most of our equipment, but it did get pulled out on occasion to help when Tix blew a circuit breaker when trying to squeeze more efficiency out of the main generator. Some of our stuff just needed to be kept running as often as possible, like the humidity control mechanism for the hydroponic farm. Water wasn't in abundance on Xyarnia and the natural conditions after the navy's old bombardment were actively hostile to farming. If the system failed for too long, everything would die, and we'd starve.
Living every day knowing that some breakdown of equipment, or an outside malevolent force could just show up and destroy everything I care about, really wasn't good for my mental health. The worst part was there was nothing that could fix it. The Terran Accord wasn't going to magically vanish one day to be replaced with a benevolent government that'll give us supplies and never threaten to slaughter us all again. There weren't drugs that could just keep me mentally healthy like some of the others. And no one had the time or energy to tend to me when I couldn't.
After several hours of just driving around I saw a shuttle headed for the compound. Shuttles didn't just do that. The locals knew better. The navy sure as fuck wouldn't be dumb enough to try that again. I took off after it despite the speed difference between a hover bike and a shuttle.
By the time I got close I saw it had landed outside the front gate. I pulled out my binoculars and saw a giant plant xeno standing before an armed to the teeth welcome party including the heaviest armaments we had for ground combat.
I watched as the expressions on my family's faces turned from nervous to pissed. Guns got raised and Captain Harriet was going off on the xeno which acted rather taken aback. Eventually the xeno got back on the shuttle and left and I was free to approach the heavily armed compound where I had spent the last five years of my life.
I was scared to think what the strange xeno had said to have pissed everyone off. It had to have been a threat. As if the navy, pirates, and our failing infrastructure wasn't enough to worry about, now we had a new hostile xeno species to deal with.
Chrissy waved and yelled. "Thank fuck your back Q." I was home, and I was afraid.
The meeting with the little terrans was… an unmitigated disaster. Not even mentioning horses was able to calm the little cuties down. The rinans were also a surprise. Initial reports of the wayward group claimed them all to be terrans and yet several rinans wielding guns of all things stood with the terrans.
Things had been going so well at first. They were in need of help and when I had informed them that the Compact was here to help and provide they seemed so receptive. The moment the word domestication was said things fell apart. Worse, they seemed to react very badly to the idea of disarmament, and the idea of perhaps moving from the surface of a planet that has elevated levels of ionizing radiation.
I was surprised they didn't open fire on me before I left. Not that their little weapons would hurt, but just because of how aggressive they all were. That wasn't even touching on how rampant free terranist ideologies were in their speech. Which was shocking as they had little knowledge of the affini and seemingly no connection with rebels from the terran navy.
That of course did not matter, those little terrans and rinans were in dire need of help and they were in danger as long as they stayed on that planet and with their weapons. We were going to take them in as per both the Human Domestication Treaty and Rinan Domestication Treaty.
As I stepped off the shuttle and onto the Poaceae I found the captain waiting for me. "Welcome back Serapias."
"Thank you Ma'am. As per the report I sent ahead, it was worse than we thought." I greeted her and then her cute little floret before following her to discuss more.
"I read as much. To think there were such heavily armed rebels out here, and in such poor health. We are preparing a capture team as we speak. The sophonts won't be in danger for much longer." Captain Brassica assured me. I must have come off more shaken from seeing the underfed, injured, and ill sophont than I thought.
We reached the meeting room. A flurry of discussion over how to capture the terrans without risking them detonating one of the many explosives around their little home was underway. Particularly the long range and deteriorating nuclear missiles. How the little feral terrans managed to get such dangerous weapons was very concerning and the risk of detonation harming them was too much to leave to chance.
Not to mention the variety of other explosives, including several unstable reactors. One of them aboard the small terran vessel which was hailed as the Marx's Revenge. The very same vessel we had followed back to this system where we found the poor little sophonts.
Most in the room were used to taking their little ships, some had experience with seizing grounded terrans, but this compound of theirs was wholly unique and thus posed a challenge to optimally save every last cutie down there. We could not and would not allow a single one of them to come to harm.
Slowly a plan began to form, a stealth mission during the planetary night cycle. Initial part of which would be disabling and dismantling every explosive before they could accidentally hurt themselves with the devices. That being said the missiles were the highest priority as any error would result in the deaths of everyone including the raiding affini.
I opted to take part in the raid as every possible vine we could muster would help and I didn't have a floret of my own to worry about. I thought back to the cuties I saw down there. Perhaps I might adopt one of them as they were all going to need loving homes once they were caught and domesticated.
I had trouble sleeping that night. I always did when the looming specter of danger found its way here. From the way everyone described the affini it was clear that they weren't going to leave us alone. Worse, they were intent on capturing us.
I clung to my side arm that I was compulsively cleaning in the middle of the night. My hands were all shaky as I went through the motions. At any moment the alarm would sound on the sensors and we'd have to fight again. I wondered who we'd lose this time.
Tears welled in my eyes as I sat in the outcropping under the silo overlooking the vast desolate landscape. The stars shining down showing the whole galaxy full of creatures who couldn't just leave us alone.
"Hey Q" I heard Mary say as she came and sat next to me. "I see you're having trouble sleeping too."
"Y-Yea." My voice came out more choked up than I thought it would.
"Permission to give you a hug? You look like you need one." I was thankful she didn't just do it like she used to. It took longer than I'd have thought to convince people I didn't like being touched. The family sometimes got pretty touchy feely and I just never felt comfortable with it.
"Permission denied." I managed to croak out. I knew she was disappointed. Her hugs were admittedly good. I just… felt gross when people touched me. I would be reminded of this ugly body I was stuck in. The feel of it. I was as much of a mess as always.
She flicked her eyes up and down my barely functioning mess that was trying to remember how to reassemble my weapon. "Well I'm sitting with you at the very least. Together we'll keep an eye out for those nasty affini. It's a shame they're just a bunch of authoritarian plants, the one that showed up was kinda hot."
She managed to elicit the smallest laugh from me. I sighed. "Really Mary?"
"Look, I can appreciate hotness in all of its forms. Also cuteness like yours. You give off such cute vibes I'm convinced you're part rinan."
I frowned. "I'm not cute." I wasn't. It was an ugly truth about an ugly guy. I finally managed to get my pistol back into working condition. I double checked the chamber to make sure it was clear of a round before firing it towards the desert to make sure the mechanism felt right. It did and I turned the safety on before loading it and placing it back in the holster.
I wasn't looking at her when I finally said what was on my mind. "Do you ever think the fighting will stop? That we'll just finally get the farm and reactors stable. That we'll have a stable supply of meds for everyone. That we won't have to lose anyone else? Because I can't. I really can't."
"Q… We'll get there someday. Losing people is a part of life. Struggle is too, but we'll get through this together and we'll all be better for it." I could hear it in Mary's voice. The uncertainty. I wanted to call her out on it but I just couldn't. If I took away the sliver of hope to bring her down to my level… I'd never forgive myself.
I didn't respond. I just leaned back and took in the stars. How could a universe this beautiful be so cruel and uncaring? Why couldn't there just be one sliver of goodness out there that people didn't have to fight tooth and nail over. One that didn't require stealing nuclear missiles to protect.
That was when the power went out and the shouting started.
"Fuck Q, you got a flash light?" Mary asked.
"Yea give me a second." I pulled out the flashlight and flipped it on. The reactor was prone to going out even at the best of times, but it was still a foreboding moment to have it go out. Shouting from others awake to get the generator working again was all around.
I managed to hear the chittering of Tix and another rinan, they tended to be more nocturnal despite Tix clearly having insomnia. They were on their way with a few others to get that back online.
A creaking of metal from the silo almost had me drop my flashlight. Mary spoke up, "What the fuck was that?"
"Dunno, but we need to check. Missile safety is high priority." I informed her as I got up with my side arm safely holstered.
We headed around to the entrance to the barely underground missile command. My light guiding the way as we, a pair of early twenties anarchists with no training in nuclear weaponry, made our way into the silo with the power still out.
As we made it in I kept flicking the light around as my nerves got to me. What if something exposed the polonium cores? What if we were about to get a large dose of radiation? I searched for the Giger counter that was normally around here. I flicked it on and that eerie clicking that denoted Xyarnia's higher than average radiation levels. Nothing higher than normal for this wasteland world. I kept it on just in case.
"Maybe we should ask someone else to check on the big dangerous missile?" Mary asked.
"They're all too busy getting the power back on. We heard it, we have an obligation to do what we can." I informed her. I didn't like feeling like dead weight. I knew we had people who couldn't contribute due to health problems but I could so I had too. Riding around on a hoverbike was hardly helping.
She gave in if only to appease me. "Ugh fine… Shit what was that?" She pointed into the dark.
A chill went up my spine. I turned my light to where she pointed. "I don't know, I didn't see it." I turned my light around to look. Xyarnia didn't have native wildlife anymore, at least not around here. That's when I saw something move out of sight. "Fuck what is that." I drew my side arm. "Hello, is someone here?"
"Q, I think that was a vine." Mary said scared. "An affini."
I heard gunfire and that caused me to freak out and discharge my weapon. The bullet ricocheted and something grabbed me at that moment. The gun was taken from my hand as a prick feeling caused something to spread through my veins weighing me down.
"Shhh little ones. You are safe. The affini are here." A pleasant feminine voice said. My eyes fell shut but not before seeing the partially illuminated face of Mary looking back as the light went out in her eyes.
I grabbed the two terrans up in my vines as the others were hard at work safely and quietly dismantling the missiles. I did my best to stay hidden with the others as not drawing attention to what we were doing was more important than capturing them just yet.
The problem was the moment that weapon discharged I needed to confiscate it and shield the two from that bullet moving around dangerously fast. It wouldn't have hit them but I refused to take the chance. A bit more gunfire broke out but soon enough we'd have each and every little sophont here safely in our vines.
The two in my arms were absolutely adorable. It was hard to think of them as feral little terrans. They of course were feral terrans and I needed to take them to our stealth ship for the evacuation.
I whispered to the other two. "I'm taking them to the ship." I got two short confirmations and went out.
Another terran spotted me. "Fuck it's got Mary and Q." The man had to force his friend to lower their weapon. "Are you crazy? You might hit them!" They certainly lacked the discipline of the navy rebels but the clear care with which they looked at each other was heartbreaking.
I continued to the cloaked ship as they were dealt with by the others. I gently placed them each on a cot and hooked them up to a machine to check their vitals and keep the cuties asleep until we were ready to wake them up.
Others started to trickle in with their own captures. It was all going smoothly enough until the explosion. It didn't have nearly enough force to damage the ship but it certainly trashed the place outside.
I zipped outside with the rest only to find three heavily armed rinans firing ineffectually into several affini while occasionally tossing improvised explosives. They were so adorable and yet the horrifying situation was too much. Rinans were known for reckless behavior and it was clear they'd get hurt if allowed to continue.
Thankfully we had a micro drone swarm that converged on them and dismantled their weapons before two affini made it to them for the capture.
There was still a holdout section that I made my way too. "Please lay down your weapons. We will not harm any of you."
I looked at another as they began producing pollen to knock them out. I began doing the same. They were in an enclosed area perfect for it and unlike the rinans they weren't using explosives. Or at least not explosive beyond the tiny explosions powering terran firearms.
We went in as the sound of them hitting the ground rang out. I stumbled upon one with a rifle in one hand and a rag over his mouth. "You!" He said under the muffled rag. "What did you do to them?"
I quickly recognized him as the same terran who yelled after the first two I found. "They are safe and sound aboard our ship, no harm will come to them or any of you. Just let go, we are here to save you."
"Fuck you." He lifted his arm and fired, trimming some leaves on my arm as I crossed the distance and gave him an injection as he was clearly unwilling to breathe in the pollen.
The all clear message came in. Every sophont was accounted for according to our scans. I helped carry all the little sophonts in the room out including the handsome little one that worried for the two I found.
The capture went a little off script, but beyond a rinan who hurt herself with an explosive everyone was safe and sound. Now for the fun part. Giving each of the cuties a new home and owner.
I came too feeling very, very strange. I felt a lot better than I normally did, but also small and weak. Not small and weak in a bad way just like I was supposed to be insignificant. Opening my eyes I realized why. There were big giant plant people around me. They were so big and I was nothing next to them but that was okay. I wanted to be nice, small and servile. These big plants were clearly meant to be in charge.
I got lost staring up at them until one tried to keep eye contact with me and I was forced to look away. A sweet but authoritative voice spoke down to me. "Greetings little one. I am Delonix Lingua, Fifth Bloom she/her. Can I get the name you like to go by petal?"
My head tilted as I took in the big affini up close. I got lost in how pretty she was. It took her reminding me of the question before I answered. "I-I go by Q but I don't like it…"
"You don't have a name you prefer?" I shook my head. "Alright petal. Can I get your age, and pronouns?"
"Twenty two, and uh n-no pronouns."
"Okay dear. I'm just finishing up gathering your health profile, and then we'll get you a nice new owner and home." For the briefest of moments her tone and whatever was affecting my head almost made me think that was a good thing before I processed the words.
"N-No. W-where's my family? Where am I?" I started panicking. My breathing picked up. Something was trying very hard to smother those feelings, but I fought against it. This wasn't my home, this wasn't the compound. My bike wasn't here, my found family wasn't. They got me. The plants got me and I have to go back.
"Shhh flower, everything's going to be okay." I felt a blanket over my thoughts pull me down into sleep.
I awoke again feeling far more normal. I looked around and found I was still not home, in the compound. I reached for my weapon and found nothing where it's familiar weight should be. I was in a dress. My wrists were bound in cuffs and I felt the weight of something tight around my neck.
For some reason I was lying on a very comfortable and large bed. My cuffs were attached to the frame. I was alone. I stared around in shock, muttering 'fuck' under my breath a lot. Tears spilled out of my eyes. I was gone, taken and now I was locked up as some strange prisoner. I-I had to get home to Mary, Vince, Chrissy, Tix, and the rest. I needed my family because I couldn't handle this on my own.
A beeping came from the cuffs and I started panicking more. Eventually I felt a sting and my sensation of touch heightened as my sense of time faded.
I lost minutes, hours, days I could not tell but I eventually came to in the presence of a large woman made of tightly woven vines with sculpted wooden parts including her face. She towered over me and her red flower petal hair cascaded down her and her floral dress made of more living vines.
"Greetings petal. I am Serapias Regia, Second Bloom and you are my new pet!" She sounded so happy and chipper, but I was trapped, bound, and she was calling me a pet. I was told I was bad at reading the room.
"N-No. No! I-I'm a member of the Haven anarchist-commune! I'm not a pet for some evil alien." I declared with every ounce of will I had left.
"Petal as per the Human Domestication Treaty, I am your new owner, guardian, and mistress. You were found to be a feral free terranist and a danger to yourself and others and thus compelled by law into domestication." She stated matter of factly.
"I don't care about your stupid laws. Let me go!" I struggled again as I had shaken off the last of whatever drug I just got stuck with.
"I can't do that little one. I'm here to keep you happy, healthy, and safe even against your own wishes." Serapias told me so gently.
"I don't care. Give me my family back. Give me my life back you stupid fucking plant!" I screamed before the cuffs started beeping again. I had been unable to free myself and thus had been struggling against the bed frame. A prick and I started feeling a familiar sensation flood me.
Tears filled my eyes and I begged again. "Give them back. I want to go home."
A vine stroked my cheek sending a shiver of delight through me. "Flower, I can't let you go back there. It was deemed too dangerous for human habitation. Besides, this is your new home!"
I squirmed and struggled. "Give them back. Give me back my family!"
"Oh petal, they are all being cared for by their new owners, or in the case of a few, a pet café. I'm sure I can arrange playdates with them if you’re a good little terran for me."
I-I had to save them. Was my last thought as she slipped a flower over my face and I breathed in some spores that put me right to sleep.
My poor new floret missed a family… this was just so hard without my floret having pronouns. I had considered taking two, but as my first floret I was unsure of my ability to handle a second. With how much my floret missed the rest I was starting to think I might have separated pinnates. I did find this one together with another.
I got on the communicator and messaged a few others that had taken the new rebel florets in. Sure enough many were reporting the same issue of separation. I knew enough about taking rebel ships to know it was highly unusual to see this level of bonding between rebel florets. At least with this many usually it was in pairs or groups of three. This time they all were having separation anxiety.
I contacted the affini who had the potential pinnate for my floret and arranged a play date. If I was right the pair would be much calmer together.
Looking down at the cutie sleeping soundly in my bed, I had to take a moment. Terrans were so adorable and cute and this one was all mine, though perhaps we'd have a bit of a shake up with the new florets since their pack bond was proving to hurt them in separation.
I found myself with that same affini who was restraining me now that I was no longer bound to the bed. She said, "Flower, if you behave I've set up a play date so you can see your packmate Mary. So please calm down alright?"
The stupid plant was using Mary as a hostage to make me obey. I hated it so much but if I could make sure she was safe I had to try. I stopped resisting. The affini ruffled my long brown hair. "What a good little terran. I also got approval to start you on your class-Gs."
"On what?" I didn't like the sound of that.
"Class-G xenodrugs. Your neurological profile requires them for optimal happiness so I'm starting you on them!"
That sounded horrifying. She was going to use some drug to enforce happiness on me. Fuck is that what they did when I woke up that one time? She was going to force me into a high to turn me into an obedient… pet. Stars that was beyond messed up. I almost started thrashing again but remembered Mary. I couldn't act out yet. I needed to pretend to be good and once she was with me we could hatch a plan to escape with everyone else and go home. Maybe steal some alien tech on the way.
She held up another flower to my face. "Now I need you to breathe it in for me."
I looked around nervously. I really, really didn't want to. Sure enough she picked up on that. "Would you prefer it as an injection? I'll need to go out and fetch an injectable version but I'll do it if it makes you feel more comfortable."
I nodded. At least it'd give me time to sort out all of this alone. She told me to behave and slipped out and I got up to explore. The entire place was big in a way that was clearly not designed for a human. The human style kitchen fit in well with the rest of the design, but that only made it stranger that this was the home of a plant alien.
The pressure of my collar reminded me that I was being kept as a prisoner and pet. I tentatively tried to remove it but I couldn't even get my fingernails between the collar and skin. The cuffs didn't seem to respond like they did before. No beeping. I racked my brain trying to figure out what triggered them.
The affini returned a short while later. "I'm back dear and I've got an injector so you don't have to worry." I ended up sitting on a couch that my legs didn't even come close to touching the ground upon. Getting the flowing dress to sit and feel right was… I didn't like it. This was what Mary would like, but not me. I was just an ugly guy the alien decided to shove in a dress.
The crimson haired affini quickly made her way over to me and held up the flower with the filled needle, her vines wrapped around my arm and before I could protest it went in, injected me and came out. "There, now let's get you something to eat, and then we'll go meet up with your friend."
She started humming as she prepared something in the kitchen. I had to stand up to get a peek over the back of the couch as to what my alien jailor was making. It was pizza. A really good looking pizza. Fuck I missed pizza.
My evil alien jailor that kidnapped me and separated me from my family was now just happily making me a fresh personal pizza. The whole situation made so little sense. I must have been hallucinating from like radiation poisoning or something. The strange mix of niceness and imprisonment was confusing me really badly.
The worst part was… whatever she had done to my head was working. I felt better than I had in years. Less aches, more energy, a better mood. It was like she had injected me with life and I still hated her. She was nothing more than another authoritative asshole using the law to justify holding me against my will and separating me from everyone and everything I had known. Next I know she would probably be charging me for my own imprisonment, like a filthy capitalist running a for profit prison. Jokes on her I didn't have money and I had no intention of earning some to pay her back.
Eventually she served the food and didn't even ask for the payment yet, not that I minded. I ate up the best food I had in years. I caught the affini, Serapias staring at me with a smile. "Did you enjoy your meal petal?"
"Maybe." I wasn't falling into some verbal trap with a definite answer.
She just smiled. "Well if you did, you're very welcome. Now are you ready to go out and meet your little friend?"
"Yea." I said half-heartedly. I did want to see her, but the way Sera treated me was demeaning. I was a full grown adult and she was treating me like a child, or perhaps a grumpy cat. Of course that's when she pulled out a leash. Okay this whole pet thing was going way too far.
She reached down and I struggled against her. "Flower, I need to put this on you. If you want to see your friend you need to behave."
I waited one moment before I stopped resisting. That being said she was so fucking strong I couldn't have stopped her. She let me stop her only to make me let her do something she could and would do anyway. Stars, I hated her.
I was humiliatingly walked out of the habitation unit in a dress and on a leash. I was expected to see Mary like this… Fuck. I stopped walking and the alien stopped. "Is something the matter, petal?"
"Of course somethings the fucking matter! Everything's the matter. Why? Why couldn't you have left us alone? Why do I have to be dressed like this? Why the fucking leash?" I was practically yelling at her while we were already in public. Others saw but they were all aliens or boot-lickers. I hated them. That burning hate I felt for all of them was the only thing keeping me from crumbling under the social pressure of being witnessed making a scene.
"Little one, you were all living on an irradiated world in a crumbling facility next to a poorly maintained radioactive warhead. You were all one accident away from blowing yourselves up. You were all severely malnourished. If we had left you all alone you would have all died slow painful deaths or sudden painful deaths." She spouted off. I mean sure that was all correct but it didn't matter.
"And that was our problem to fix, not yours. You don't get to abduct and imprison us and say it's for our own good. We ran away there to be free of authoritarian regimes like the Accord, like you." I sneered.
Her tone shifted a touch colder. "Pet stop. If you want to meet your friend and not be a quivering blissful puddle of a terran, you will stop making a scene. You will not spout feralist ideologies in public again. Am I clear?" She punctuated her line with a syringe dripping with a sweet smelling xenodrug. She held it menacingly in front of me.
I couldn’t bring myself to say yes so I just looked away and nodded.
"Good pet~" She patted me gently on the head and her vines softly guided me to keep walking. I was trembling with impotent rage the whole remaining walk over.
We arrived in front of another habitation unit. There was screaming inside as the alien holding my leash knocked. The door opened and another affini greeted us. "Thank the Everbloom you're here. Getting her to calm down is impossible and she's been holding herself hostage since I mentioned you were bringing little Q over."
The alien who threatened me asked, "Did you not try sedating her? What about the cuffs?"
"She cut them off and refuses to let me come near without seeing your floret first." The affini lamented.
My affini merely said. "Would you mind if I handle the situation?"
We entered and I still had the stupid leash on. If anything, the way Mary had been rebelling made me regret not trying harder to resist. Rebelling against authority was our thing and I was being really bad at it.
I spotted Mary and she in turn took a minute to recognize me. "Holy fuck, Q?" She started laughing a little. "Is that a collar… and a dress? Damn, I knew you'd look cute in a dress."
I pouted. "I'm not cute."
"Q you're hella cute, anyway why'd you let one put you on a leash of all things?" She was still just holding a kitchen knife to her neck. Just casually threatening suicide while chatting like everything's fine.
I blushed at her repeated assertions of cuteness that were definitely inaccurate. "I uh, was promised I could come see you if I let her do it."
"I see." Mary stared down the affini holding said leash. "Take the leash off and back away from the Q-ty." I groaned at the pun.
"No." My affini said. "You will set down the knife and stop making demands, or I am going to inject your friend here with something that will turn said floret into a moaning pleasure ridden mess and I'll make you watch as I have your friend beg me to satisfy the urges."
I blushed, and Mary blushed. She just said. "You wouldn't, you can't do that. Also how is that a threat?"
Vines wrapped around my limps suspending me to where I couldn't move or resist. "M-Mary fuck, please don't let her do that to me. Please. I'm scared." I was trembling as much as her vines allowed. The terrifying idea of being drugged like that was too much. I didn't want to be violated. I didn't want to be touched and yet vines already held me. Tears rolled down my face. "Please."
"Let my friend go this fucking instant." Mary pressed the blade a little tighter against her neck as a drop of blood trickled down.
Sera, the affini that restrained me held up a syringe to my shoulder. "Drop the knife and I will."
"Give me one good reason to trust you, you overgrown weed." Mary spat at her.
"Flower, have I not been honest and truthful with you in our dealings so far?" The affini spoke to me.
I nodded, my cheeks still wet. "Y-you were."
"And do you believe I'll honor my part in this?" Sera pressed.
I paused to consider it. "I-I think so."
"Do you believe your friend's opinion on this?" The crimson haired affini asked my friend.
Mary scowled at the affini before glancing to me. "Fine but you better not turn around and dose me either, I want to talk to my friend. No drugs or manhandling."
"Deal." One word and Mary dropped the knife on the counter and the other affini quickly confiscated it.
I was set down and Mary ran over to hug me without even asking first. I let it go for a few seconds before I said. "Mary, personal space."
"Oops, sorry Q." She backed off immediately. "So you feeling alright? The affini didn't do anything to you?"
"Other than the threats of being drugged, no. I feel a lot better than I used to… also I got to eat pizza."
"Fuck you got pizza? I just got some lame-ass sandwich." She smirked. "Anyway I'm glad to hear you're doing good." She dragged me over to the couch ignoring the affini in the room. "Also did you know they have super HRT here? We definitely need to nab some for the family on the way out."
Sera butt in. "While you are free to take as many class-G drugs as you need. You two will not be leaving."
Mary rolled her eyes. "Yea whatever."
My mind got hung up on the class-G part. "Uh… are-are all class um, G drugs HRT?"
The crimson haired affini smiled. "Why yes flower, they are. Including the ones I have you on."
Mary looked between us. "Shit Q, when did you have time to figure out you're trans?"
"I-I didn't. I'm not. She didn't tell me what they were." I was trembling and freaking out.
My friend turned on the affini fast. "You have about five seconds to explain why you put my friend on super HRT before I show you what Tix taught me on turning everyday things into bombs." Mary was practically growling at Sera. The other affini had more or less faded into the background.
Sera seemed completely unconcerned with the threat. "When we were getting biochemistry profiles it was determined that, among other things, your friend's neurochemistry required a lack of testosterone and elevated estrogen levels to achieve optimal physical and mental health."
Mary blinked. "You have a machine that can just tell if someone's trans by what their brain chemistry needs? Seems a bit bio-essentialist."
The affini continued her little lecture on my supposed health care needs. "In general no, most terran minds are not so easy to determine hormonal preferences for. Plus, it does not determine one’s gender even if we can. We managed to find a clear improvement in Q’s mental health with elevated estrogen. The class-G I gave to Q will not cause physical changes, but will affect your friend's brain as if it were estrogen. Should Q wish for physical changes, that can be changed at any time."
Mary squinted at her then looked at me. "Okay yea, that checks out. You're off the hook for now, sexy plant lady."
"Wha- How does that check out? I'm not transgender!" I protested. Looking around no one seemed to believe me.
"Q, sitting imprisoned by giant authoritarian plant ladies is not the time for me to be helping you work through your gender stuff." Mary said exasperated.
"Is it not?" Serapias asked. "I'll make you a pizza if you help your friend."
Mary glared at her. "Stars, she's really good at this negotiating thing." She looked over to me sitting right next to me in her own flowy dress and collar. "Alright buckle up Q, it's time to rip the gender band-aid off." I groaned and laid back on the couch. "Also did I ever tell you, you look hot in a collar?" I groaned louder to the giggles of Sera in the kitchen.
"For the last time, I'm a guy. I'm an ugly useless guy." I was just lying there looking at the ceiling. The smell of cheese and the sound of tomatoes being chopped filled the air.
"Q, you do not get to fucking rag on yourself like that. Also, that was so egg. Q, in the guy sense you are by no means ugly and you certainly aren't useless except potentially in the gay sense."
"No I'm not, have you seen my face? It's awful." I said, staring up at the ceiling. I knew how I felt.
Mary groaned. "I swear I wasn't this bad. Look Q, whose face would you say looks good enough for you to want? Name one guy whose face you'd want to have over your own."
I frowned. I started running through all the guys at the compound. Vince had an alright face except for that beard. Then again he's AFAB with spotty HRT due to issues with supply runs. There's… no he looks good, but I don't want his face or body. What about… no not him either. "Uh, Moss's face."
"The enby that leans a little fem? Not a single binary guy, nor demi guy?"
Mary didn't leave it there, noooo she just had to press further. "Okay, tell me out of all the ladies you know whose face you'd feel less ugly with."
The quick answer was basically all of them. Except maybe the captain, but she was a bit too butch. And of course not Maggie's but she was like seventy and that was admittedly an age thing. "Fuck."
"Oh my dear single letter, what makes you say fuck?" She teased.
"I-I'd feel more comfortable with basically any of their faces."
Her grin was shit eating. "Even mine." I pouted. "So your two reasons for being cis, one was gender envy. And the other was… you feel like a guy? So, tell me, how happy you are to feel like a guy?"
"Really because of all the guys I've talked to, they all agreed that they like being guys. Seriously once we get out of here and see Vince and Nikolai you can ask them how much they love being guys."
Her words didn't feel right. I argued. "Just because I don't like being a guy, doesn't mean I'm not one."
"Q, it's an awfully big indicator you're not one. If you want to be a girl, that's like the only thing you need to be one. If you keep taking super HRT, the class-Gs or whatever, you're going to look as feminine or more than I do now. Can you seriously tell me you don't want that?"
"I-" I tried saying that I didn't, but the thoughts came fast enough that I was stricken silent. Did I want that? I tried to imagine what a feminine me would even look like. My imagination failed. Such a thing was impossible. But the idea of being feminine was… was it bad I wanted that? I looked down my nose at my trans friend sitting with her own collar and quirky feminine face, judging me for not yet picking up on what she was putting down.
The silence was filled with the sounds of an alien happily cooking in someone else's kitchen. The smell of the fresh made from scratch pizza was in the air, and it hadn't even been put in the oven from the sounds of it. There was also a light background conversation in a language I was not familiar with.
"Q, you alright?" Mary asked softly.
It was only when I tried to answer did I realize the words got stuck in my throat. My eyes teared up. I blamed the hormones I didn't consent to.
"Permission to hug?" She asked. I nodded and she fell over next to me and pulled me into a hug. "You know, you're going to be a very pretty girl." Those words took me from a quiet cry to a loud sob. "I'm sorry you had to find out like this, but I'm thankful that something forced this conversation. You've been pretty miserable since we met, and the moment I realized it might be dysphoria… I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemies let alone my best friend."
There were several awwws from the affini who had been quietly listening until then.
"Aw they are so cute together." Deverra cooed. I agreed wholeheartedly.
I looked at her and asked, "So what do you think of my proposal to take on Mary as a pinnate to Q?"
"She's yours. Those two clearly mean a lot to each other and you've handled them both so well. I would be a terrible owner to not give her to you."
I was glad we reached the same conclusion after watching the two be so much more docile once they found each other. "I'll make sure to send you plenty of cute pictures of them."
"Oh please do!" She shared a small laugh with me.
The pizza I had promised them was cooking in the oven. I noted that Deverra hadn't yet switched her oven after the exploding oven bulletin was sent out. The knowledge that Mary could very well have made a bomb sat heavy in my core. I had thankfully updated mine, but I'd need to double check everything if I was to be taking in a troublemaker. Mary was exceedingly feral and ill-behaved and I was afraid she'd bring out more of that in poor little Q rather than the reverse.
Q was feral but she, yes she, seemed more open to conditioning. I would have her house broken soon enough if Mary didn't get in the way. Mary was likely to need a far more heavy vine and possibly a xenodrug regiment to make her more compliant. Still she was food motivated like any other pet which boded well for the seeds this interaction was planting.
The oven dinged. "Girls pizza's ready!" I cheerfully told the cute little florets pinnate, my cute little florets pinnate.
I shared a look with Mary over pizza. A look that only two people who lived off scraps stolen from the Accord could have when eating the best fucking pizza in the universe. Homemade too. It was ridiculous to think a plant could make good pizza, but here it was.
Pizza was also great because it served as a very good distraction from a recent discussion on gender. A discussion I was not comfortable with the implied conclusions of. That of course hadn't stopped Serapias from referring to me as a girl just now. Something which left me with an incomprehensible soup of feelings in my heart.
Of course eventually the food ended, and the ‘figuring out gender’ and ‘how to escape alien overlords with my best friend’ began. Considering we couldn't actually plan anything without the two affini overhearing, we were left with the gender stuff.
"So Q, want to try using she/her pronouns?" Mary asked unabashedly.
I twiddled my thumbs wishing I had something to stim with. "M-Maybe."
Mary then turned to the affini. "So like, just so we're super fucking clear on this, I'm not letting you take my friend away again."
Sera smiled. "We discussed it and you will be coming with me and Q, we wouldn't dream of separating pinnates."
"Explain." Mary demanded She wasn't taking shit from the affini.
"Pinnates are small pairs and groups of florets like you two that are so close it'd be unethical to separate the two of you. I apologize. I should have just taken you both from the start."
"You shouldn't have taken either of us at fucking all. I was given the floret-pet spiel. This is so grossly unethical you should be disgusted with yourselves."
Sera rolled her eyes. "If we hadn't taken you, you'd be starving on an irradiated world with a number of deteriorating explosives around you. All the while you were all physically and mentally unwell and armed. It would have been unethical to leave you there."
"Then you should have given us the supplies we needed to keep up the place. Not kidnap and separate us to be pets. We weren't some navy deserters, we were a fucking family and now I don't even know if they are okay, let alone if I'll ever fucking see them again. That's not even talking about the rest of the problems I have with this whole thing."
"We placed the value of your lives and quality of life over short term separation and a lack of autonomy. Freedom being something your terran ideals place far too much emphasis upon. You are human. You need those who know better to watch over you or you will flounder in the dark suffering and dying."
Mary got up to try and stand at near eye level with the affini. "We are fucking sapient beings. We have a right to determine our own course of action regardless of if you think it's best."
"Oh so in your mind it is okay to sit back and let others come to harm if they are mentally and physically unwell enough to avoid self-harm or the harm of others. If Q was left to become so unwell that she tried to take her own life, would it be unethical in your mind to stop her?"
"That's so fucked up and also completely different. Of course I'd stop her. And sure, people sometimes are volatile when unwell but newsflash, most of us were sane and sober when you fucking kidnapped us!" Mary shouted.
Sera flawlessly closed the gap getting up to Mary and pronouncing her slight height advantage with her posture. "To us you were that unwell. It is not sane to live in conditions that would kill you all within several years out of some blind devotion to freedom. Not when we tried to talk to you all into joining the compact as independent citizens."
"You fucking came at us, asking us to surrender our only protection to some xenos half of us had never even fucking heard of and just trust you not to fucking screw us over. Not even a day later you proved us right. Take your high horse and shove it up your ass."
"I possess no such inebriated arachnid, nor a true ass to properly shove it into. The lack of knowledge you possessed on us was with little precedent, and the conditions you all were in mandated us by the Human Domestication Treaty to take you in as florets for your protection and wellbeing."
"And see that's the biggest issue right there, You care more about some arbitrary rule than actually doing the right thing. Following the rules is pointless because the rules can never reflect right and wrong and end up being used as justification for punishment for the sake of artificial wrong doing. The mere concept of crime is immoral and serves no purpose. To be locked up or potentially killed for breaking a rule regardless of whether you had done something wrong, or even if you had done something wrong is unethical." The abolition of crime and prisons was a very big thing for all of us.
"You misunderstand Mary, we do not imprison or kill those who harm themselves or others. We provide corrective action and wardship and in the most serious of cases we induce a state of perpetual pleasure to prevent one from causing further harm to themselves and others when there is no other means to prevent such. Crime does not exist within the Compact as it did in your Accord. Simply because you terrans could not create and maintain an ethical framework to dictate societal needs and values does not mean that we are incapable of such."
Mary balked in horror. "That's fucked up, induce a state of perpetual pleasure? That strips them of their autonomy, just exile them. At least then they can keep their minds."
"That would be unethical. There is no sophont species that can or should survive in total social isolation. Condemning them to such would be the equivocal of killing them with a prelude of torture which is something we absolutely cannot do."
Serapias raised her chin and bore a gaze down upon Mary that had my knees weak enough I would have collapsed had I not already been sitting. "We have had these discussions trillions of times over tens of thousands of years with species in dozens of galaxies. Your view is one that has borne nothing but hardship and suffering to those who have followed it, and we have brought peace and happiness to every sophont species and individual under our care. We have discussed, learned, practiced, and observed. Domestication is the correct course for the universe."
Mary was shaking but somehow remained standing. A few vines guided her back into a seated position with little to no resistance. Even if she had the words to still argue she didn't have the nerve and neither did I.
I had to admit that I could sort of maybe see where the affini were coming from, but that would require them to just innately be hyper competent and benevolent. Something I hadn't seen yet. That being said I still agreed with Mary. Kidnapping us all was wrong and we deserved our freedom to live together in peace.
In a much softer but still commanding voice Sera said. "Now girls thank Deverra for hosting us for an early dinner."
I gave a thank you to the affini that had originally kept Mary. Mary didn't and after a moment of waiting Sera decided it wasn't coming out. The crimson haired affini thanked the host and scooped Mary and I up into either arm before walking out with us.
Mary finally stopped struggling in my arm after a minute. The feral little terran did not enjoy being picked up. At least Q stopped struggling early. These two were going to be so much trouble, and yet they were so cute with each other when they weren't struggling against me.
Everything was going great on the way home when an explosion sounded in the distance. How that could have happened on the Poaceae was startling. What horrified me more than an explosion aboard the ship was when my florets turned to the other and both said "Tix." The name of the one who supposedly taught little Mary how to make bombs.
This was a step beyond concerning. I sent out a message on my communicator to query for information on what just happened. I then turned to my floret pinnates. "And why do you think that was your friend?"
Mary rolled her eyes. "Well you split us all up which means Tix was left without supervision, and explosions happen when Tix isn't supervised. Perhaps you should have thought about that more before you fucking kidnapped us."
"Watch your language dear." She performed a rather rude terran gesture towards me. "Also Tix was given to an owner just like you two. Why would you think we'd leave them unsupervised?"
"This whole babysitting thing isn't going to work for Tix. We had someone around the clock keeping them focused on non destructive stuff. Mira was the best at it but we all helped Tix out." Mary explained in an attempt to talk down to me from her place in the crook of my arm.
I gave a perfectly timed "Hmmm." Followed by a proposal, "Perhaps the two of you can help with the relationship web of your little pack, so we can ensure all of your emotional needs are met." While I was very much in favor of the idea, the important part was to get Mary interested in cooperating.
The moment I saw the glint of a trouble making plan in her eye I knew she'd cooperate to an extent. Q would have to serve as a counter balance when she intentionally tried to make a mess of things.
"Fine. I'll help with the whole reuniting my found family thing. But I want to be clear, I hate you all and I'm not helping you, I'm helping my family." She did a cute little snarl to punctuate the line.
Q was nervously watching her pinnate while fidgeting absent mindedly with a vine I snuck into her hands. Now that she had her friend she seemed to have fallen into such a submissive state. The only problem was she was intent on listening to her feral friend and not me.
I locked the door to our hab unit behind us. I didn't want either of the cuties running off. I set them down on the couch and told them to start thinking up pairings of their packmates while I snuck off to ensure there was nothing Mary could use to threaten herself or use as an improvised explosive.
Mary and I were sitting talking about everyone from the compound. Who would work best with who, and whispering about who'd work best together to break us the hell out of this ship. Tix and Mira were the easiest choice. It helped that they were smitten with each other in a cross species relationship. The thing was Mary spent more time aboard the Revenge than I did and I spent more time with those who stayed on the ground.
"Mary, I just don't see Moss and Vince being better than Moss and Harriet. Vince and Moss barely hang out."
She huffed. "Those two have been stealing glances for years. I bet if we put them together they'll be dating by the end of the week. Besides, Harriet was more interested in Joan. They had this super gay captain and right hand woman thing going on."
I didn't know either of them well enough to comment. "Still I think Vince would be better with Lander. They're best friends plus they'd definitely get up to some trouble."
"Really? I didn't see them as being that close."
"Yea they did dumb guy stuff together a lot." Stuff they tried to rope me into on occasion.
"Alright we'll pair up the himbo squad, but that still leaves Moss without a partner." Mary summarized.
I ran through the list we had written up with paper and pencils given to us by Serapias. "Maybe we could do another three person pairing like with Nikki, Fae, and Jerome?"
"Yea but Moss would just do their whole silent shadow thing with any pair we've got."
"What if Moss doesn't need a partner?" I proposed.
Mary hummed in thought, scratching her chin. "You know, they might actually not need anyone else. Moss is kind of a loner."
I nodded. "So, is there anyone else we forgot about?"
"I'm pretty sure that's everyone Q." Mary then leaned in close to whisper. "So maybe let's start planning on how to get out of here. I don't want to wait for Harriet and Joan, or Tix and Mira to break us out."
"I'm not really good at plans." I rubbed my hands together. It felt wrong not to have something to mess with.
Mary noticed because she always noticed these things with me. "You need a fidget thing?" I nodded. "Hey Sera, can you use your fancy compiler thing to make Q a fidget toy?"
The affini who had been in the kitchen on a tablet said. "Of course, Any preference for the design?"
Mary looked at me and I shrugged. "Not really, maybe something metal?"
"Coming right up petal~" Sera cheerfully chimed. The sound of shifting vines was followed up with a little metal fidget toy being placed into my hands. The texture was really nice and smooth, and it could detach and reattach parts. The feeling of the magnetic bits snapping into place was very satisfying.
"T-Thanks." I said as I kept messing with the object in my hands.
The affini’s hand patted me on the head. "You're very welcome dear."
Mary gave me a weird look. "What?" I asked, as the look bothered me.
"Since when do you not complain about unprompted physical contact?"
My hand went to the top of my head where she touched me. "I-I don't know. I didn't even think about it."
"She hasn't been messing with your head has she?" Mary asked suspiciously.
"I-I hope not." I answered honestly. Sure I felt a lot better and I had Mary here to ground me, but I was still an anarcho-communist at heart and this was a prison regardless of how many things Sera gave us. I was Q and while I might not have been a guy like I thought I was still an autistic loner, who liked riding his…her hoverbike around the wasteland. I also hated physical contact. I was trained to use a pistol and I had lots of friends and found family.
I had to reassert all of that in my mind. I almost felt complacent in this cushy prison. That was bad. Clearly the optimal brain chemistry Sera was trying to enforce was messing with my head.
"Just don't go all boot licker on me okay?" Mary seemed worried about me, and I couldn’t blame her.
"Okay." I forced as much conviction as I could in.
The affini warden came over. "Now girls it's about time for bed. Wrap up your little matchmaking thing and we'll go lay down in bed together."
"Fuck off. You don't get to tell us when to sleep, weed." Mary spat. "Also we finished the pairing guide."
I did my best to back her up. "Yea, we decide when we get to sleep."
"Nonsense, you both need your rest. Now you can either come willingly, or I can get out the class-Zs" She said brandishing two flowers.
"Fuck off with that shit. Come on Q" Mary dragged me away and we ran to the exit.
"Mary, we don't even have a plan yet." I whined as we reached the door.
"Fuck the plan, fuck the drugs." We made it to the large door but it wouldn't budge. "Q help me pry this open."
"How? There's no seam!" I looked over to the smug looking affini slowly walking over. "Shit Mary, she's going to drug us!"
"Fuck off bitch." Mary tried dragging me off to the side, but we got caught by incredibly strong vines. "Fuck, fuck, fuck."
A flower forced itself over my mouth and nose and in my panic punctuated by beeping cuffs, I breathed in whatever was in the flower and fell asleep.
I scooped up the cute sleepy terrans and brought them to bed with me. I sent a picture of their pairing diagram and listings to the group chat with the other affini who had taken in the feralist pack. From the sounds of their discussion, the recommendations should help the little sophonts' emotional states. Perhaps Tix might not need to go on class-Os if my little florets were right.
At least with that out of the way, I can focus on breaking my two little florets into happy needy pets. They are so soft and loving until I remind them that I'm their mistress. Clearly I need to force the bond that they seemed rather against. The two bonded so well with so many and yet that pesky free terranism was keeping them from bonding with me.
The worst part was the way Q leaned into my touch making it clear she wanted to bond but Mary and her past wouldn't let her. The adorable little terran was too hurt to accept love from any but her pinnate, and she seemed to have difficulties there too.
Mary was a danger to herself and others, but simply medicating her would have an adverse effect on Q. I needed her to understand her actions are dangerous and that they make little Q so sad.
There was one big solution to all of this and though rarely used I needed to bring out class-C drugs. When morning comes and I planned to give them the class-Z counteragent to wake them, then I'd slip a class-C into them with their normal regimen.
For now, I slipped a cuff off of Q and onto Mary. Then I sent an adorable picture to Deverra and relaxed with my sleepy pinnates.
"Morning petals~" A familiar voice said as I roused from my sleep. I stretched and something helped guide my body into position to stretch all the sleepiness out of my body. Vines. I was being moved by vines.
It all came back to me and I got scared. The affini, Sera, had drugged us. The thought of something happening to Mary overwhelmed me and I started crying. A moment later I heard Mary's voice start crying too.
My hypothetical worry turned to actual worry as I saw how sad Mary was and I practically felt her sorrow making me sob harder. She seemed to notice me sobbing and her own sobs grew. Vines wrapped around us, pulled us close, and I hugged my crying friend who I loved so much.
"Shhh petals, you're both safe and loved. I will not let anything bad happen to you here~" Sera told us over our mutual crying. She sounded so nice and genuine. Her vines gently stroked me as she held us tight. "You two are so safe and loved, my beautiful little florets. I want you both to look up to me alright?"
I was bundled in a hug with Mary and some vines tilted our heads to face the Affini. Her face was so pretty, happy, and loving. I could see the care that I heard in her voice. "Can you two focus on the love you two feel for each other? On my love for you? There is nothing to worry your pretty little heads over. We are together and that's all that matters."
The evil affini that kidnapped us was so nice and loving and I could feel how much she cared, the same way I felt how sad Mary was. I had been so mean to her and she just cares so much. I couldn't help but trust and feel the feelings of the big loving plant woman. I was a fool to have snapped at her. The warmth of her continued cooing slowly turned my sobbing frown into a smile, and I saw that Mary felt similar.
My eyes got caught on my friend. Mary was so beautiful and she had always been there for me. Every time the Marx's Revenge had come back she made sure to find me and hang out. I had enjoyed her company even when I said I didn't, and I was so thankful she often ignored that.
I-I loved Mary, more than just the family feelings. I love-loved her. The warmth of her hugging me back and the smile slowly working its way onto her face as she calmed just pushed me over the edge. I-I had to tell her how much she meant to me. How much she had always meant to me, and how in this moment my feelings for her were overwhelming me.
"Q, I love you so much." I froze for a moment as her words came out before mine. "At first, I just wanted to cheer you up, but over time… I just think you're so cute and kind. Every little quirk of yours just sent me over the edge with joy. I love you, you beautiful girl and I've wanted you to figure yourself out for so long so I wouldn't have an excuse not to ask you on a date."
"I-I love you too Mary." I managed to squeak out. "I just love you so much, I can't even words good." I had more tears coming down from how happy she made me. I just wished I had words to express how much she meant to me.
Mary kissed me silly and I not only didn't stop her, but I tried doing it back. Poorly but with all the love I had.
Vines held us close together and close to another. "Oh you two are so precious." The affini kissed me on the head and then Mary. "I love you both as well. And I'm so happy you two are here with me."
I was busy holding on tight to Mary as if I could squeeze my love into her and she did the same right back.
"Now Mary, Q and I love you so much, but you can't go threatening your own life any more. Imagine how that'd make Q and I feel to see you in danger." The affini's words sank in.
I-I would feel so bad. I love Mary so much, more than life itself. "P-Please don't leave me, please don't hurt yourself. I-I love you."
"I-I'm sorry Q. I'm sorry sexy plant lady. I-I didn't mean to hurt you both. I just wanted to see you." Mary cried. "I love you so much Q. I won't do that to you again."
The affini pet Mary. "It's okay dear. I won't let you hurt yourself nor come to harm. You are both safe with me."
"T-thank yo-" Mary cut off mid word. "T-That isn't right. This-This is wrong. I-I hate you. W-What did you do to us?"
"Oh Mary I love you, and it hurts to hear you say you hate me. I just want what's best for you both." Sera said.
It slowly dawned on me. Sera did something, and the worst part was I had a hard time hating her for it. I could tell she loved us both and hating her seemed to make her feel bad. I didn't want to make her feel bad. That would be cruel and I'd feel bad if I did.
"I-I know that!" Mary said, raising her voice. "I'm sorry. I-I'm supposed to hate you, but you did something."
The affini wrapped her arms around us both squishing us softly with love. "I did, because I love you both and want you both to be happy."
"I get that." Mary's voice was strained. "What did you do?"
"I gave you both a little something along with your class-Gs to make you both a little more caring and empathetic. I may have overestimated your tolerance but it's perfectly safe. I would never harm either of you or let either of you come to harm." She sounded so honest and caring.
"I-I forgive you." I told Sera.
She smiled and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "I do not need your forgiveness but I'm happy you understand that I love and care for you both."
"I can't. I want to forgive you, but I can't let myself." Mary said to the beautiful affini woman. Mary seemed to be struggling and I wanted to help but I didn't know how.
"Like I said. I care for you both and you don't need to forgive anything for there is nothing to forgive." She stood up and carried us along. "Now let's get you two washed up and into some clean clothes."
The affini stripped us of our clothes while simultaneously drawing up a bath. I felt super embarrassed to be seen naked by Mary and Sera. I felt far less comfortable in my own skin than when I remained in denial about my gender.
Mary came over and threaded her fingers in mine. "It's okay Q, It gets better I promise. I still see you as a girl."
Looking up at her made it clear she really felt that way and the stupid empathy xenodrugs (sorry xenodrugs I don't mean it) made my feelings reflect her own. My head was all messed up. I was worried about hurting the feelings of xenodrugs. I was worried about Mary's feelings, and Sera's. I just cared so much about everyone. "S-Sera when will the xenodrugs wear off?"
"Around lunch time, petal. For now just let me take care of everything and show you how much you both mean to me."
Her arms picked me up and gently placed me in the oversized tub opposite Mary. She was gently trying to resist but I could tell she was trying to avoid hurting the vines Sera was using to hold her in place. I had given up on fighting because I didn't want to hurt anyone by struggling, and running away would probably make Serapias really sad. I couldn't do that either. I just wanted to do what would make everyone the happiest and currently that was letting myself be washed by the affini.
Years of grime were washed off of us. We never had enough water to do baths so Mary and I were pretty filthy by anyone's standards. Compelled by my feelings, I apologized several times for being so dirty. Including an apology to the tub itself. I didn't like feeling this way, but for the moment I literally couldn't get myself to stop caring about everyone and everything.
After cleaning up, the affini with the crimson flower hair showed off her cooking prowess with a delicious breakfast. I thanked her so much for the meal. It was great and she clearly put a lot of care into it and just thinking about that had me in tears.
Then we were a little cuddle pile as the xenodrugs started to wear off.
"You." Mary shoved an accusing finger in Sera's face. "You fucking fucked with my head. Our heads. What the ever loving fuck you over grown weed. You-You tried to make me care about you, well it didn't fucking work. I hate you!" She started pounding harmlessly against the affini and crying.
It broke my heart to see Mary like that, and I didn't know if that was the lingering xenodrugs or just our friendship. I hugged her. A familiar beeping noise came from a cuff that was on her. After a moment it stopped and she ceased her struggle.
What was stranger was she started moaning as I held her and shifted my hug on her. Sera began stroking her cheek and she practically melted in our shared grip.
I pushed back a bit and she whined. I had to ask. "M-Mary, are you okay?"
"Don't. Stop. Hug." She seemed to struggle with words a lot. I couldn't say no to my best friend so I went back into the hug and she had little shivers of pleasure run through her because of it. I was worried, but she seemed so happy right now. Only she was happy in a dopey drugged out way.
"Here I'll give you a similar dose and you two can enjoy your cuddles while I check on things outside the hab."
She didn't wait for me to confirm or deny it. She just dosed me and placed us together on the couch as she scooted off. The feeling of her skin against mine had me breathing hard. My head rolled onto her shoulder and her head onto mine. Two girls hopelessly high and leaning on each other.
"Love. You." I managed to say as I drank in the feeling of her impossibly soft skin sending waves of pleasure through me.
"Love. You." She said back in the same needy barely functioning manner.
Sera stayed out and about long enough for us to slowly come back down off of whatever she gave us.
Mary as soon as she was able said. "We really need to get out of here."
"H-How? We're in space and neither of us can fly a ship." I fretted. My mind was good at thinking of every way things could go wrong.
Mary stared at me for a second, blushing a little before she shook her head. "Look we just need to free the rest and the crew of the Revenge will work together to fly a shuttle out of here and back to Xyarnia."
"But Mary, they are all being watched over by affini. You know how strong they are." I wanted to fight too, but every time I ran through the steps we failed. "We have these collars we can't take off. Cuffs that dose us. They both probably track us. They kidnapped us to keep us safe once. They'll just do it again. You know she will, Sera… she clearly cares."
"Q, don't go all bootlicker on me. We-we'll find a way. We'll get back home but this time we'll have awesome affini tech and it'll solve all our problems."
I was hurt by her calling me a bootlicker. "I'm not saying that I want to be here. I just… if we don't have a solid plan we will fail. You're so desperate to get back you don't seem to understand how hard that'll be. We can’t just waltz out, grab everyone and go home because she left us alone for five minutes. They beat us. They beat the Accord. Half ass plans aren't going to work, so either give me a solid actionable plan or be quiet and stop calling me names." I teared up a bit because I obviously hadn't cried enough that day. Stupid hormones and xenodrugs making me into a bunch of waterworks.
"Q, I'm sorry. I just. She keeps fucking with our heads and making us say stuff…"
"Mary… she made me want to say stuff, but I meant those things I said under the drugs. I-I love you." I couldn't even look at her as I said that.
The sound of her sucking in her own breath came before her response. "I love you too. I also like meant all of those mushy feelings and stuff. I'm just scared we're still being messed with and that it's not true. If we get back home I-I can confess for real. We can be girlfriends and stuff. I just, I'm scared Q. I'm scared of losing myself here. To a new group of authoritarians that want to beat us into place."
"Mary…" I said tenderly as I reached out to place my hand on her shoulder. We had shifted to be up right and sort of facing each other on the affini loveseat. "I-I think we both know she's not going to beat us. I'm scared of losing myself too, I miss riding my bike. I miss going around seeing people's faces light up with my deliveries. Of Vince showing me how to do garage stuff. Of you arriving back from a trip on the Marx's Revenge and somehow always finding me."
She giggled softly. "Dork, you had like three places you hid in the whole compound. You weren't exactly hard to find." She left a brief pause. "I'm glad you miss it all too. I mean sure things weren't great, but we had everyone looking out for us. That sense of community was important to me and it got ripped away from us and replaced with whatever this is." she vaguely gestured to the hab unit.
"Yea… maybe we'll escape and rebuild again, but the idea that everyone is cared for and safe just like us… Mary, I was really tired of losing people. Sledge, Dee, Marcus, Sami. I fucking miss them so much and the thought of going back there and losing more people." I sniffled a bit. "I can't do that. Mary, I really can't."
She pulled me into a hug. "I understand. I'm sorry I called you a bootlicker, or implied you didn't care. You're right about all my attempts being half assed and doomed to failure. You're so smart even if it's just catastrophizing. Q, I really do want you to be my girlfriend."
I hugged her back. "O-Okay, but only if you'll be mine."
"Hell yes, girlfriends for life!" She kissed me on the cheek and I lit up. "Wait till everyone hears that you're a girl and my girlfriend."
I smiled shyly. "You know they'll be supportive… Who should we try to tell first?"
"Hmmm, I'll say Vince. We are both reasonably close to him and I think he'll be happiest to find out."
"Y-Yea that makes sense."
Checking on all the others who had been struggling with their new florets proved that they really did just need to see their packmates to stop struggling. We'd likely need to arrange a larger gathering for the sizable terran pack at some point. It was something the other affini seemed in favor of once they got their terrans nice and docile.
I may have stayed away and observed my new florets through my communicator. I wanted to know how effective the class-C was after it ended, and how feral the two still were. I was disheartened at first but as I watched Q slowly calmed Mary's more hardline feralist tendencies I relaxed.
Oh and they talked about their adorable confessions of love and decided to date in that oh so cute terran way. To think the two didn't even realize how deep their feelings were towards each other. I made sure to record their confessions to listen to later. They were beyond precious.
With the two of them nice and settled it was time to go back in and see if I can't try bonding with them some more.
"Girls, I'm back! Did you two have a nice time together?" Sera asked as she practically glided into the hab unit.
I glanced at Mary and she took the cue to answer for us. "Yea, but no thanks to you."
"Oh did you two not enjoy feeling each other while doped up?" The plant was just being blunt about it. I blushed and my eyes flickered to Mary to find she too seemed embarrassed by that… "Thought so."
She just picked us up like we were helpless kittens and moved us on to her big lap. "So it turns out your little list has been a big help to your friends. We're even talking about a big reunion at some point since you all love each other so much."
Mary couldn't help but drip with sarcasm. "Great. Thanks. Our precious overlords will let us hangout with our family. So benevolent of you. How did we ever survive without your permission?"
I snorted a laugh. Mary had a hell of a point.
"That’s very sassy of you my little floret. Perhaps I should take away your speaking privileges? Maybe then you'll be nice and kind."
Mary and I shared a look as she whispered. "You can't."
"Oh but we have an entire class of xenodrugs for it, my beloved petal. Maybe it would be good to go over all the fun little things we have xenodrugs for. I assure you that they are all safe even in very high doses, and none would cause any physical discomfort." She told us.
"See, let's start with class-A. You felt those earlier. They heighten senses especially touch, while many variants leave you with that cute helpless high that had you leaning on each other. Class-B lets us modify and take away your memories. Oh don't give me those looks. We use them for those of you that suffer from traumatic memories. You felt class-Cs when you woke up, they increase bonding responses or bonds of love and friendship as you might be more familiar."
Mary and I were both shaking in her lap. Sera seemed so proud and yet it all seemed horrific, they had drugs to make people love, to alter memories? This was beyond terrifying and Mary seemed to realize it too. She had already been threatened with some that'd take away her ability to speak. We were trapped on her lap as she just listed off her classifications of drugs.
Her vines subtly ended up on our limbs. It was clear that we were very much at her mercy. She had been so nice earlier and now she was terrifying me. I regretted saying I forgive her.
"Now class-D is very fun, it takes away your inhibitions, the little shackles of embarrassment and fear to let you truly enjoy yourselves as you desired deep down. Class-E is for relaxing and anti-anxiety drugs. They are used so much, as you little terrans are sometimes nothing more than bundles of anxiety. Class-F is for intrusive thoughts. So many suffer from their own mind haunting them and we can take those harmful thoughts away."
She was showing off little flowers every time she mentioned a new class of drug. I then saw a familiar pink flower and needle. "You both are more than intimately aware of class-Gs for your various gender and hormone troubles. Class-H are hypnotics so I can program little thoughts into your adorable little heads."
She kept going and going. The class-Os standing out as the ones she talked about before. The last resort for misbehaving pets. The things she said sounded beyond horrific. Identity death from overwhelming pleasure rewriting one's brain permanently. Finally she got down to the ones that take speech away.
"Now as I have hopefully made it clear, many of these are for helping with various psychological issues you terrans face, while others are simply to have pleasure and fun in a variety of ways."
"How the fuck is turning someone into a limp doll pleasurable or helpful?" Mary shouted. "Or the like four different forms of mind control? Like holy fuck this is awful."
"Oh, so neither of you would find it relaxing to turn your mind off for a few hours and simply be happy and at peace with the world? You can't imagine a single terran you've ever met who would enjoy that?"
"You threatened to take away my fucking speech!"
"You use such crude and insulting language. I know for a fact your words have hurt Q earlier with certain comments of yours. Taking away that vector for harm can be very useful. I'm not just here to keep you both physically safe. But mentally safe and healthy as well."
Mary looked over to me to see if it was true. The memory of her calling me a bootlicker, even after she apologized twice was still there. I looked down and away.
"I… Okay I get it. I let my mouth run off sometimes. I'm sorry Q I'll try and be better. You're my girlfriend and I love you."
"I-I know, I love you too Mary." Our hands met and we held them. All the while sitting in the lap of an alien.
"Aww, you two are so perfect together." Cooed Serapias.
I smiled at Mary. "Yea we are." She smiled back a little happier after the affini's unhelpful list of things she can do to us without our consent.
I then looked up at Sera. "So uh, if you're like trying to make us happy and stuff, what was with the list of threatening drugs?"
She smiled. "What a thoughtful question flower. The reason was that I wanted you to know just how capable I am of enforcing discipline and treating mental health issues, and also in case either of you were interested in the more recreational xenodrugs."
Mary coughed suspiciously. I may have gotten one or two stuck in my mind on the interesting side rather than the horrific side.
"I want the three of us to get along, but I have a duty of care to ensure the wellbeing of you both. I can't have you acting out and hurting yourselves, each other, or anyone else. If you do not wish me to use xenodrugs on either of you beyond what is necessary for your quality of life like with your class-Gs then I need you two to behave. Do you both understand me?"
"Y-Yes." I said first. Mary took a moment but she also acknowledged she heard Sera.
"Now I can put something on the holoprojector to watch, we can sit and cuddle, and/or we can get to know each other. What would you two like to do?"
I looked at my new girlfriend. "I'll leave it up to you."
She took a deep breath. "I just want to cuddle with Q."
"Oh course, petals." Her vines moved around us softly shifting us until we were cuddled in a pile of vines that had just made up her lap.
"I meant just the two of us." Mary scowled.
Sera giggled. "I'm sure you did."
We fell into a routine of sorts over the next few days. Wake up, get cleaned up if necessary, breakfast, post breakfast cuddles, same for lunch and dinner, and then bed. Sometimes Sera went out for work and the rest she stayed intrusively watching over us.
Apparently being on hormones had made me more cuddly which Mary informed me was something that totally happened to some trans girls getting turned into cuddle-sluts. My old boundary of please don't touch me without asking vanished. If anything I wanted to be touched more. Something that Serapias noticed and supplied head pats for.
Mary confided with me while Sera was out that she was worried I was becoming a bit too comfortable with the alien keeping us prisoner. My response was to shrug and say she's nice and I like her pets. I shared Mary's opinion that she could be kind of evil with the drugs on occasion but that didn't really wash out the nice bits where she cuddled with us and took care of us. Also I liked the delicious food which I forced Mary to agree was amazing.
She didn't give up on planning a way out, and if she came up with one I told her I'd support her, but only if it had a decent shot at working and kept every one of our family members safe and together.
We finally asked to see Vince so we could check to make sure he's alright and also tell him about my girlfriend status.
Sera seemed happy enough but she in exchange wanted us to sign some papers. Papers she told us were redundant but would go a long way in setting expectations for what she wanted of both of us.
- Above all else, you, Q, must obey your Guardian, Serapias Regia, Second Bloom in all things. This is for your safety, wellbeing, and care. ☐
- Your Guardian, Serapias Regia, Second Bloom, owns you. You are her property. You do not have political rights in the Affini Compact. ☐
- You do have a guarantee of your wellbeing, as defined in Section 57 of the Human Domestication Treaty. ☐
- This guarantee of wellbeing does not preclude your Guardian from disciplining you, as outlined in Section 61 of the Human Domestication Treaty. ☐
- As the property of your Guardian, she may add, remove, or modify conditions of your wardship at any time for any reason within the limits established by the Human Domestication Treaty. ☐
- Your full name is Q Regia, First Floret from this moment forward. ☐
- Below this line are additional terms that your Guardian, Serapias Regia, Second Bloom, has stipulated. ☐
- It is unbecoming for wards to swear. You must limit your language as such. ☐
- You will refer to your Guardian as Mistress. ☐
- You will not attempt to run away or escape your Guardian for your safety, wellbeing, and care. ☐
Sign here to acknowledge your understanding and acceptance of these terms
"Uh I'm not a lawyer, but this is kinda really bad." I said as I read over the document.
Serapias replied, "If it helps to know petal, as feral rebels you are already expected to follow everything there. If you had been volunteers for domestication this contract would actually matter. Your names have already been changed in our system, I already have every legal right and duty listed there. Signing is simply… symbolic."
"Well paperwork is bullshit anyway and I'm not following this because I signed a paper." Mary said without a care, quickly checking all the boxes. "There's no way in hell I'm calling you Mistress."
I know Sera said it was symbolic and stuff, but Mary just completely acting like it didn't matter was hard to process. This was like us literally signing our lives away. I also didn't like the fact it listed my name as Q. Sure I was super behind on picking a name, but I didn't want some symbolic gesture of eternal servitude to have a letter on it for my name. Also the parts where I was signing my legal rights away forever also bothered me.
"Well Miss Mary. As per the agreement you willingly signed, yes you will be calling me mistress." Sera said smugly.
"Make me." Mary challenged.
"If you insist." Sera held up a flower syringe.
Mary's eyes went wide. "Fuck, fuck, fuck. Stop!" She was scrambling away from the affini.
"Use your manners dear. Say please." Sera said in a patronizing way.
"Please don't drug me." Mary said, hiding behind me of all people.
Serapias knew she had Mary right where she wanted her. "I think you meant to say, Please don't drug me Mistress." In her most begrudging mumbling voice Mary repeated the words. They were unintelligible. "Petal, you'll need to say them louder and more clearly if you don't want the xenodrugs."
In the most spiteful voice she could muster. "Please don't drug me Mistress."
"Good girl." Sera patted her on the head. The affini then turned her attention to me. "Now Q, what has you so hesitant?"
"I just… it's a lot and it has this letter for my name…" I said nervously.
"Is there a first name you'd prefer in its place?" She asked.
I shook my head. "I can't pick one, but I don't want this one here forever."
The affini moved closer to me, placing her large hand on my shoulder. "Flower, if you change your name, this document will be updated to reflect that. We aren't going to have your dead name remain on a single Compact document should you change yours. And you can change it more than once if you find you do not like the name you choose."
Mary snorted a laugh. "At least you plants got something right. She's right Q. If you have a problem with your name just change it when you want and when you're ready."
"O-Okay. Uh." I started checking everything off. I knew it was symbolic and stuff, but it still felt like I was giving up and giving in somehow by doing this. I'm an anarchist, this paper should mean nothing… but it felt like it did.
"Good girl." Sera said as she finalized the document with my fingerprint. "Now as pinnates, you will introduce yourselves as a pair. Q & Mary Regia, First & Second Florets Pinnate."
"Wow it makes us sound like we're married." Mary commented before blushing at the implication of her own words.
I also blushed. "Y-Yea it does…"
"Your terran institution of marriage is an apt comparison for being pinnates." Sera confirmed.
I looked at Mary. She looked back. "So uh wow we got alien married huh."
I smiled. "I um, guess we did, if you're okay with that…"
"Definitely. I can't really imagine a life without you being a part of it." She told me as she wrapped an arm around my waist.
She kissed me on the cheek and I kissed her on hers. Serapias awed from nearby. How being kidnapped by aliens turned into the best thing that's ever happened to me was rather confusing. The only two things off about it was, a lack of our shared family, and that looming specter of Mary wanting to escape.
We ended up going out and Sera, or as I need to start remembering, Mistress had us wear leashes. We hadn't gone out since I met Mary again. So the leash thing was odd, but I had experience even if it brought up memories I'd rather forget.
We were meeting Vince and Lander in a park on the ship because apparently they can fit parks on their ships. The ship itself was the size of a core world city. Just looking around it was a reminder the Accord never stood a chance, and neither did we.
I saw drugged up florets being led around by affini. Some were more drugged up than others. There was a big range from ragdoll to sober like Mary and I. Some had some body mods. I'm not talking piercings, I'm talking tails, wings, tentacles, robot arms. One was literally a person shaped cat purring in an affini's lap.
"Uh Se-I mean Mistress, what's with the uh people who don't look very human anymore?"
"Well my beautiful flower, some terrans are happier with changes made to their forms whether that be something as small as an artificial eye to replacing their entire body, or even uploading their mind to a digital form."
Mary chimed in. "Wow, so you guys let people go fully off the deep end with body mods? That's actually pretty cool."
Sera raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. "Oh? Are you interested in some changes?"
Mary shut her lips and made no comment. I poked her. "Mary, can I please know what body mod you're interested in?"
She rolled her eyes. "Ugh fine, I want a tail."
"We can look into tail options when we get home." Se-Mistress said.
"You're not bothered?" Mary asked me.
"Why would I be bothered? It's your body. Besides, tails are pretty cool."
She gave me a warm smile. "Oh did you want one too?"
"I'm not sure." I really didn't. I hadn't thought about body mods before. For most of my life I avoided thinking about my body at all. The idea that apparently the affini would be willing to just mod my body into anything I wanted was… too much choice in not enough time to think it over "What happens if someone doesn't like their mods and wants to go back?"
"Your genetic material is kept on record and we can regrow any part you need." Mistress confirmed.
I glanced at my girlfriend, my pinnate, she was in deep thought over all of this. Every time I was confronted with what the affini could and would do for people, I found it harder and harder to think of them as evil. People were genuinely happy all around us. Affini, terran, rinan, and creatures modded to the point you couldn't tell. Mistress once said that the domestication policy of the compact led to universal happiness and I could see it. I could feel it.
It just made me more and more grossed out by the thought of running away. I genuinely felt better than I had at any point in my life before coming here. The problem was the woman beside me. If she wanted to leave, I'd be so sad, but I couldn't not go with her. I'd want her to stay, but I valued her companionship and happiness too much to remain behind without her.
I tried taking my mind off of that by thinking of potential body mods as we walked to the park to meet our family that we hadn't seen in like a week.
I think the most surprising thing about seeing Vince and Lander in the distance was that they were wearing pants. So few florets seemed to wear anything other than companion dresses. Heck we were wearing companion dresses. Men wore companion dresses, but these two? They had pants.
As we got close Mary tried to run up to them only to be stopped by the leash. I almost made the same mistake, but was a little slow to react to the sight of them. My pinnate was rather upset about being stopped by the leash, but Mistress was nice enough to kneel down and undo the leash's connection to her collar. She then in turn did mine while Mary waited holding my hand to drag me to our friends.
Less than a minute later we were reunited with hugging.
"It's so good to see you two again!" Vince said.
"Likewise. Hell, are you taller?" Mary commented, pulling away.
Vince smiled. "Maybe I am." His eyes went to me. There was a raised eyebrow and a quirk of the lip.
Mary noticed both his awareness and my shyness. She had asked me before if I wanted her to do the talking about my changes and I said please.
"Well Vince, Lander, I'd like to reintroduce you both to my girlfriend Q." Mary sounded so smug.
Vince got the biggest smile and grabbed me in a bear hug. "I'm so happy for you Q. You are rocking that dress by the way."
"T-Thanks. You look good too." I then looked over to Lander. "Both of you."
Lander took the moment to talk. "Well it's hard not too when the affini won't let us get lazy with hygiene."
"Fucking tell me about it." Mary said before a vine firmly planted itself on her shoulder.
Mistress said, "Language."
"Yea, yea." She rolled her eyes.
"Oh your potty mouth finally getting you in trouble Mary?" Lander teased.
"You fucking know it bitch." She smiled. The vine grabbed her again.
"Mary one more outburst like that and I'm taking away your speaking privileges." Mistress was not fucking around. She waved the needled flower around.
I watched my girlfriend almost curse reflexively in response so I placed my hand over her mouth to muffle it. She seemed to get why I did that and didn't seem upset as she gently removed my hands.
Vince was looking from us to Sera with mild concern. "I didn't realize that was a thing you two had to deal with."
"It's new. Like right before we came here new." Mary explained. I nodded in agreement.
"Can't say we've had trouble like that." Vince glanced back to the affini with sunflower petals growing from his body. He was chatting with Sera in the affini language.
"What have you two been up to?" Mary asked.
"Fitness, messaging a few others, pulling pranks on Donax, not much honestly."
Vince smiled and Lander cut him off. "Right so when we got put together after some time apart, we talked it over and decided to pull one over on Donax. I pretended to get my arm stuck in the drain while Vince made a run for it. Turns out he took it all rather well when we kept pulling stunts like that. Sure we occasionally got dugged out of our minds, usually when we get reckless, but we fucking got Donx to do a snipe hunt."
I saw Mary frown when Lander cursed without anyone stopping him. I rubbed her back for reassurance. I knew how much she liked cursing. We all did.
"Well lucky you two. Our affini is more draconian." Mary said with a frown.
"So I've heard." Vince said. "So on a lighter topic, how and when did this happen." He said, gesturing to me.
"Well it turns out the affini started giving her class-Gs without telling her what they were. When I was talking about them Q found out and we had a big discussion about it in exchange for pizza."
"Yea the pizza here is pretty great." Lander added.
There was a lot of agreement from the four of us about the awesome pizza.
"To think we just needed to give you pizza and HRT." Vince joked. "But seriously I'm glad coming here helped you out."
"Thanks. I'm pretty thankful for it too."
Mary then leaned in and whispered something in Vince's ear.
"We gave up on that and so have most of the others." He told her. It took me a second to figure out what they were talking about. Mary seemed to get a bit agitated to hear that and looked like she wanted to go off on them.
I gave her a big tight hug. I didn't like seeing her bothered. She should be happy. She took a moment to calm down. "What about us? The family. The commune."
"We're all safe and happy here. We had damage to our DNA that needed to be repaired from living like that. We aren't starving anymore. We still get to see each other and now that we aren't focused on just getting by most of us have found hobbies or simply relax in the comfort that we don't have to do anything anymore. Not unless we want to."
Mary clenched her fists as I continued hugging her. "We're a family."
"And we still are." Vince assured her. "Even if we still wanted to, we wouldn't make it back there, and there's nothing left to go back to. Family and home was always about the people, not about things or places. We're still family if you want to be."
"No, I-I can't just give up." Mary had tears in her eyes.
Vince glanced at me. "And you?"
Mary also paid me attention. I spoke the truth. "We're still family, and I'm behind Mary 100% no matter what."
"I have to say that wasn't the answer I expected out of you." Vince told me. "You used to be such a loner. Always driving off into the middle of nowhere. You look different. You act different. Happier which I'm thankful for. A smile suits you well Q, so do dresses… I guess I'm trying to say. Do you want to keep trying or do you want to stay?"
He wanted me to say I wanted to stay. I just couldn't do that to Mary. "I-I want to be with Mary no matter what, and I want her to be happy and a part of my life."
"I see." He told me. A change of topic was then provided. "So I see you two haven't gone super recreational with the xeno drugs like some of the others."
"Uh…" I peaked at Mary.
"I'm not interested in my head getting messed with more, even for fun." She answered.
Eyes fell to me again. "I-I'm not-not interested in uh xenodrugs, but I'm not sure."
"I'm on some low dose class-A right now." Lander said not reading the atmosphere. "Feels great, colors are like sharper, everything just feels more alive."
"And you?" Mary asked Vince.
"I dabble, especially when Moss comes over." He said with a sly smile.
"I fucking called it." Mary said, before we all realized what just transpired.
A vine tightly coiled on her shoulder. "Mary, I know you're excited, but you need to be more careful."
My pinnate's eyes went wide and she tried saying something vaguely like an apology but the xenodrug prevented her from forming actual words. It was just gibberish and non-word noises.
"Uh, Mistress, can she still understand language?" I remembered she mentioned that too could be taken away.
"She can, just no speaking."
"I'm sorry Mary." I apologized for the situation she was put in. She ranted and raved incoherently as I tried to calm her with hugs. The cuff started beeping. "Mary take a few deep breaths for me please?"
It was too late and I felt her go a bit limp in my hug. I eased her to the ground and started stroking her cheek. She really seemed to like it. "It's okay Mary. I'll be here till you're feeling better, okay?" I knew she could still understand me even if she was severely inhibited from action and speech.
"This happen a lot?" Vince asked.
"N-No it doesn't." I just kept petting her as I used my lap as a pillow while she was completely out of it mumbling strange noises. I turned to Sera. "Se-Mistress can you please undo this? I-I don't like seeing her like this. She wouldn't like being seen like this. Please help her."
"I'll take you two home and bring her up from this. I'm sorry little ones that your reunion got interrupted. I'm sure we'll arrange another playdate for you all."
Vince and Lander gave some nervous goodbyes. I couldn't blame them, but I was too focused on Mary. Mistress was nice enough to carry us both back. I kept physical contact to reassure my pinnate that I was still with her.
When we got back we got settled on the couch. Mistress gave her a counter drug for the class-A. "Now petal, I'll give you speaking privileges again if you promise to behave okay?" Mary nodded.
A moment later. "Thank fu-rank."
"Are you okay?" I asked her.
She gave me a look. "I'm okay as I can get here." I wasn't sure what she was implying.
"Well I'm glad you're okay. Uh, should I do things differently next time?" I wanted to make sure my reaction wasn't bad for her.
"No, you did the best you could. Sorry for worrying you Q."
"I'm just glad you're okay."
Mistress then spoke up. "Mary was more than safe and secure the whole time. I would not allow either of you to be anything less than okay." I could see the burning desire to retort in Mary's eyes. "So Q I overheard you might be interested in recreational xenodrugs? Tell me which ones you were interested in." It was a command not a request.
"Uh, the class-J, and the um the doll one. But I'm not sure."
"That's quite alright petal. But I do need to start working you both up on your tolerances for your implants. So it would be best to start picking the ones you feel most comfortable trying."
I didn't even have to look to know Mary was unhappy to hear that. I just had one question. "What do you mean by implants?"
Mistress smiled nice and wide, full of care and happiness for me to have asked that. A little vine patted me gently on the head. "Florets are all implanted with a pit of biotech called a Haustoric Implant. Part of which will be made from a piece of me. It'll bind to your nervous system and give me the ability to perfectly maintain your health and biochemical profiles including automatic dosing for your class-Gs."
That sounded pretty good to me. Minus the plant biotech fused to my nervous system. But the benefits sounded nice. I looked at my unhappy pinnate. I gave her hand a reassuring squeeze.
"There is also a fun little thing I can do with Connivents like you two. I can sync your implants to let you share thoughts and feelings. Letting you two adorable pinnates feel each other's love directly and privately."
I smiled at Mary. "I'd love to be able to share my feelings with you. I love you so much." I was almost making myself cry with how much I loved her. If I didn't know any better I'd say I was dosed with a class-C.
She saw me. Truly saw me and dropped the anger and hate. "I love you too. I-I'm scared to get the implant but not at the idea of sharing my love with you."
I felt a tear go down my cheek and I leaned over to kiss her. I even felt the little nudge from Mistress helping me get into position as I gave her a loving peck on the cheek. I settled onto the same side of Mistress' lap. Cuddling together with her.
Mary was really trying not to let everything that just happened get to her. "So uh M-Mistress can I browse body mods."
Serapias stroked her hair before handing her a tablet. "Of course you can. I've already opened a catalog of standard ones, but if you think up something unique we'll make it happen. We want to provide you with whatever will make you happy."
I just watched Mary take her mind off everything by flicking through tail mods. I pointed to one. "That one's big, poofy, and cute."
"I don't know, I was thinking of something more reptilian. Like that one."
"That one is cool." I admitted.
"I wonder how big is too big with tails."
I just smiled at her. "Probably when you can't move with it."
She rolled her eyes. "Yea but how big is that?"
"I can always send a message to a specialist if you're curious about one. Would you like that petal?" Mistress asked.
"Uh sure, can you ask how big I can get that one before it becomes like a mobility issue." Mary asked.
Mistress took the tablet and after less than a minute, "The message has been sent. I'll probably get a response before tomorrow morning."
"Well now you have to pick something." Mary insisted.
I pouted. "But I don't know what I want! I can't even pick out a name."
"Alright then let's do the name first. If you want to keep the Q then there's only one real Q name I can think of." My pinnate told me.
"And it's my dead name." I summarized. It was a gender neutral name, but I couldn't hear it without thinking guy.
"So that leaves us with everything else. You could go with a classic like Luna or Lily." She suggested.
"How did you pick yours?"
She winced. "I don't think I want to talk about that…"
"Mary, we're going to be sharing thoughts and stuff. If you can't trust me with how you picked your name, how can you trust me with your innermost feelings?"
"Fuck your right." She froze for a moment. "Uh sorry Mistress."
Mistress patted her on the head. "It's okay petal. You both acknowledged the mistake and we are in private. I'll forgive you for now. However if you want things to be a little easier I can give you some hypnotics and make sure you don't slip up ever again."
"Please don't… Mistress." Mary begged.
"I won't as long as you work on it. I don't want Q picking up your swearing habit through your implant connection."
"That can happen?" I was very surprised and a little nervous.
"From my research, yes it can. Now you were about to hear the origin of Mary's name so you could receive help with your own." Mistress got us right back on track.
Mary sighed. "Okay, uh so I know this'll sound weird but like. My parents were Catholics."
"What's a Catholic?" I asked, having never heard the word before.
"A type of Christian."
I wracked my brain for the meaning of that word. "Wait, is this a religion thing? I don't think I've ever met someone religious before."
"Well you still haven't. I went atheist at twelve. Still, I liked some of the lore. Apparently there were two Mary's. One was a big part of the church lore, and the other… She was actually cool. Like she was a sex worker which makes her A-ok in my book. Anyway her name was like a connection to my past while also being a massive secret middle finger to my parents. The name is like twenty-five hundred years old so it's got that coolness vibe."
"Oh. Well that’s really cool. I don't really have any secret religious parents or stuff. Mine were just middle management." I shivered at the thought.
"Well I heard a lot of people go with names from media they like. What did you watch before the compound."
I dug up those old memories. There was one show that really stuck with me, it was pre copyright back in the 2200s. Princess Guardian was a show my parents would not have approved of if they had been home to supervise my network access as a kid. "Uh what about Elle?"
Mary smiled. "That's a cute name, Elle."
Mistress patted me on the head. "My beautiful little Elle."
I was trying to squash a big smile. I liked it a little too much to hear them call me that.
"So Elle, you keeping the name?" My pinnate asked. I nodded which due to our cuddling was more of an accidental nuzzling. "I'll take that as a yes. So body mods?"
"I-I just want to cuddle."
Mary sighed. "Alright." She adjusted a bit to get more into the cuddling.
I relaxed in the embrace of my pinnate and Mistress and drifted off.
I looked down on my adorable florets. So happy and cozy in my embrace. There was only one problem. Mary was still clinging to feralist thoughts and I could tell it was making them both unhappy. Something that simply could not continue.
I slipped a class-Z into my newly ordained little Elle.
"Mary darling. I think it’s time you and I had a little talk."
She shushed me, but it was adorably to keep me from waking Elle. The cuteness let me overlook her disrespect.
"She won't wake up no matter how loudly we talk, and we will talk. You've yet to drop your silly little notions of running back to where we found you, and doing so is making you both unhappy which I will not allow."
"Fu-dge you. This is all your fault. If you hadn't taken us away we'd still all be together. We'd be free. I wouldn't have to worry that you're about to take my effing speech away." She fumed.
"I'll permit you for the sake of this conversation to swear, but in exchange I expect you to be truly honest with me. Am I understood?"
"Crystal fucking clear."
"Now petal, your friends and family wish to stay here. You'd be alone on that rock, unable to care for yourself you'd watch as you and Elle slowly died if we did not come save you again. Why do you still want that?"
"That wouldn't be the case if you affini weren't brainwashing everyone into being pets." The poor thing was so hopelessly misguided.
I just needed to start eroding all of her little misconceptions. "Did your friends Vince and Lander seem brainwashed?"
"N-No but I know you all are capable of it."
"You have been far worse behaved than most, and yet I have not yet done such to you. Why would you think it would have happened to them?"
"Because… you're lying! I can't be the only one. Everyone wouldn't just give up because you give us good food and soft beds." She clung to the sleeping pinnate next to her. Both of them were still leaning into my vines.
"Mary, my beloved floret. I have never lied to you. Yes, you are not the only one struggling to accept that you do not need freedom to lead your best life here in our care. However most, like little Elle beside you, have realized that fact. That you are better and happier with us, with me. If you let yourself be. Elle does not wish to leave, but she can't stand to be apart from you. If you try to go you'll only be hurting her. We both know you don't want to do that."
Mary looked at her sleeping partner's warm smile. "But she said she'd go with me."
"And she would, but that doesn't mean she'd be happy. You'd be forcing her to choose between the misery of being without you, and the misery of being without me and everything the Compact has given her."
"It's not fair." Little Mary was at the point of tears.
"It's not fair, but it's what you all deserve. Happiness, fulfillment, and love without end. You just need to let yourself have it." I stroked her cheek with a vine to clear off the tears.
"I can't. I-I can't let go." Her words carried pain with them. The poor little floret was hurting herself.
"Then I'll make you. I will make you happy and you do not get a say in that. You are my beloved floret who I love so very much and I will not let you hurt yourself with those thoughts and feelings a moment longer." I had steadily been ramping up the volume of my rhythm over the course of our talk. Leading her to my tune. The resistance in her clung to itself a dying song screaming out.
"Please don't make me into something I'm not." She begged.
"I won't. I'm only going to take away what prevents you from being truly you. You are safe in my vines. You always have been, and always will be." I applied a numbing agent and injected her with a class-H.
"Listen to the sound of my voice. You are happy and safe here."
Her little frown broke and a soft cute little smile took its place.
"You know that there is no way in which we would let you go back to that planet. You know there is nothing left there for you. You are safe and loved here with Elle and I. A new home near all your friends and family."
She just vacantly stared at Elle sleeping. The words were sinking in, but not enough. I needed her to let go.
"I want you to imagine you're back in your haven. Dangling from its rocks by your hands alone. There's nothing left up there. No one to climb up and see. No one to come get you. I am standing beneath waiting to catch you with Elle in my arms. We are surrounded by all your friends and family. You just need to let go. To fall so that I might catch you. Your little fingers are getting tired of holding on. You feel one slip." I began tickling her now tightly clutch fingers open. One by one. "Another and another. The fall might seem scary, but I will catch you without fail. You feel your last little finger holding onto the empty nest you cling to slip and you fall. You fall down and then you softly feel my vines." I wriggled my vines beneath her body. "You are in my vines beside Elle. We have you. You are home with us. A place where you are loved and will receive everything your little heart desires. You are happy, you are safe, and you are loved." I gave her a kiss on the forehead. That discordant rhythm of hers slowly fell into place. Her breathing along with me. In her sleep Elle shifted following her pinnate's lead.
"You are mine~" I whisper in Mary's ear. "You are mine. Say it for me dear."
"I-I'm yours. I'm yours." She whispered.
"And that makes you happy." I watched her smile.
I wrapped my vines around her and held her close to Elle. A week of slowly eroding her resistance. Of bonding with her and finally I crumbled her resistance. Of course she'd still have her inklings of doubts until I had her implanted, but she didn't have to cling to the pain of the past anymore.
I'd need her to confess her change of heart to poor little Elle so she didn't have to live with the fear of being forced to leave. My little pinnates. So much work and so very much worth it. For now they could sleep and I'd wake them for a late dinner.
"Elle darling time for dinner." For a second I forgot and then realized that was me. I was Elle now. The smell of pasta filled the hab unit.
I stirred, finding part of myself tangled with Mary. She was awake and watching me. We mirrored smiles and she gave me a kiss. Slowly we untangled and Mistress seated us at the dining table. Another amazing meal prepared from scratch was placed before us. It was made with love.
Mistress cut into the moment. "So how are you both feeling?"
"Still a little sleepy." I admitted.
"Good, happy. I don't think I've felt not stressed like this in a long time." Mary told Mistress.
I observed my pinnate. There was something different about her. She had been shifting between happy with me and mad at Mistress but… now she was just happy. I loved it. I loved her. The idea she was feeling better meant the stars to me.
"I'm happy to hear such darling. Now eat up and I'll tuck you two into bed."
We both dug into the meal and sure enough after we finished she cleaned up while carrying us off to bed. We got curled up together on top of her and drifted off again.
Mistress heard back from the specialist and showed us a detailed image of Mary with a sizable lizard tail, maybe a bit more on the dragon side. It was cool and the fact they could just make highly detailed 3D models just to help with picking body mods was amazing. Every time I learned what the affini were capable of and willing to do to help I felt less and less willing to leave. I'd still do it for Mary but if Mistress told me not to I-I don't know what I'd do.
Mary seemed far more interested in digging into her body mod which was nice. She was going to look great. Of course she kept pestering me for mine but I didn't know. Changing my body was a bigger deal than changing my name. Sure Mistress said they could undo it but I didn't want to put the affini through the effort of that. They were all just too gosh darn nice for me to want to take advantage of them. I mean some people might say it's not taking advantage of them if they want to do it but my brain disagreed.
Beyond that stuff, Mistress made it clear we needed xenodrug tolerances and that meant getting high on alien feel good drugs. Well some of them resembled what was known as a high. Not all of them. Mary seemed less hesitant too and that led to us discussing them since Mistress had already gone down the basic list of how xenodrugs can make us feel.
"So how about I take a class-A and you take a class-J and we just get really into the sexy naked cuddle time." Mary suggested.
I looked at her. Something was definitely off. This was not the same pinnate who was terrified of xenodrugs and dead set on leaving. She was still Mary. I could tell, but she had changed. She was happier which made me all the more conflicted. Also she was suggesting something super appealing and I had to agree. "Uh, yea um. T-That sounds…" I bit my lip while blushily looking at her. My finger twirled my long hair.
Of course Mary was into me in a more physical manner than I was into her. I was a romantic at heart even if the romance was just cuddling in Mistress' lap saying 'I love you' over and over. I did fucking love her. Not that I was allowed to use that curse word. The no cursing thing applied to me too even if I didn't have as much of a problem with it.
She pounced me back onto the couch. Mistress catching us before we invertedly rolled off the edge of the three to four foot drop to the floor. Her hands were on my chest which was super sensitive now. She played me like a blushy instrument full of cute sounds I didn't know I could make. Whatever had held her back before was gone and I was helpless to stop her. Not that I wanted to.
It wasn't enough that Mary was all over me, but Mistress joined in too as her vines coiled around me in an artistic manner until I was beautifully restrained all the while my pinnate had her way with me. I felt Mistress slip me something because the sensual feelings got turned up to eleven and I couldn't help but try and squirm harder against the unyielding vines as the sounds of my moans filled the hab unit.
Mistress at some point pulled Mary off me, leaving me a twitching wet mess. From the sounds of it Mistress began putting Mary through something similar until we ended up tied together.
I came to in the soft aftercare of Mistress. Mary right next to me looked so pretty. I realized we had been absentmindedly staring at each other in the affini's embrace.
"Did you two lovely pets have fun?" She asked.
"Y-Yes Mistress." We said in unison. Only slightly out of sync and stuttering on different parts of the two words. Sera ruffled our already messy hair and I started giggling followed by Mary doing the same.
"I'm overjoyed to hear it. Unfortunately girls I need to go out and do some work in a little bit. Are you two going to be fine here without me?"
"I'll miss you Mistress." I told her.
Eyes fell to my pinnate. "We'll be fine." She said.
She kissed us both. "Elle I'll start you on your class-J, so Mary you'll need to give her lots of cuddles and pets while I'm gone, okay?"
"Yes Mistress." Mary said happily.
"Good girl~" She petted Mary on the head and Mary liked it from what I saw.
I was injected with something and for a brief moment I didn't feel anything from it. It was so different from the class-A. But then a single stroke of a vine had me gasping as a heat of pleasure cascaded through my body. My breathing hitched.
"Remember to breathe, petal." Her vines gently reached down and guided my breathing pattern as I was drowned in a want, a need for touch.
Eventually the vines left and I got up in search of more. I needed more. I needed touch and a moment later the soft skin of my pinnate found me and I was all over her. Rubbing her, pulling her hands to pet me on my head and belly, and nuzzling her.
I couldn't even make out the words of Mistress as she bid us farewell. The only breathy word I could utter was "Please~" Over and over I begged and Mary obliged. I couldn't string together thoughts as I needily plied my pinnate for touch in all its absolutely spectacularly amazing forms. The shockwaves of pleasure her hands could elicit from merely patting me on the head were mind numbing.
If anyone had tried to talk to me over the next few days I wasn't cognizant enough to respond with more than touch starved neediness. Neediness that was fulfilled by a certain Mistress and pinnate. On the steady ramp down I realized I was being very much like a needy animal in need of pets. Like someone had gone out of their way to show my doped up mind how to properly beg.
Eventually I came down all the way and found myself curled up with Mary and Mistress. "W-What happened?"
Mary smirked. "You have fun like that?"
Thinking about it almost made my eyes roll up into my head, my lashes fluttering. A single tight, "Yea~" Came out.
"Stars, it was that good?"
"Fuck yes." I replied automatically. The moment I realized my mistake was when a vine came down on me.
"Elle, you know you're not allowed to swear. Do it again and I'll take away speaking privileges." Mistress warned.
"Y-Yes Mistress. Sorry Mistress." I apologized. "So um what happened while I was… like that."
"Mistress can I?" Mary asked the affini. I blinked. That was as strange as everything else right before I went on a trip for Mistress knows how long.
The affini gave my pinnate a warm smile and patted her on the head. "You may."
"Well you got super needy for pets and Mistress came back and decided to teach you how to beg properly. It was super cute. I then got dosed on class-As a few times and we had naked cuddles in Mistress' vines. Elle, you were very cute and fun."
I blushed. "O-Oh uh that uh."
"Yea it was amazing." She told me. "The hard part was getting you to focus long enough to eat and breathe."
Mistress chimed in. "I'll have to condition you on some calming breathing patterns so you don't pass out again from holding your breath."
"Oh…" I was never one for drugs and alcohol before, not that the compound had much beyond shitty booze. Waking up from a long period of overwhelming bliss to find out all of the stuff that happened was weird. Stuff I was a part of like naked cuddles, and passing out from holding my breath. Also don't forget the part where I was trained to beg in a cute manner. No proper memories beyond having felt amazing existed.
"Yea 'Oh'." My pinnate said. "You going to try it again sometime?" I just nodded. She smirked. "Well in the meantime I've got an appointment today to get something implanted in my tailbone for my future tail.
"Uh… Okay so I have to ask. Mary, did something happen? You've been off since before I got put on the class-J. You were terrified of xenodrugs before and implants and now…" I had to know if she was okay.
She placed her hand on my head that caused me to instinctually rub up against it before I caught myself acting like a doped up pet. "Look Elle, I was clinging to the past in a way that wasn't helpful and… I had to let it go. Vince was right, we can't and shouldn't go back. We're all happy and healthy here so we should just let Mistress take care of us and enjoy ourselves."
I tilted my head in confusion over the change of heart. I then looked up at Mistress whose bundle of vines we cuddled in. "Did you do something to help her?"
"I helped her work though letting go. It was causing you both such pain that I had to do something." Mistress replied. She never lied to us which made it all the easier to trust her.
Mary looked up. "I-I don't remember, but thank you. I'm definitely a lot happier now."
"You were close to letting go on your own, but it gave you the needed push with a class-H." Mistress confirmed Mary's greatest fear of having her head messed with and Mary, my beloved girlfriend, didn't seem bothered at all.
I pulled Mary into a tighter hug. "I'm so happy you're happy."
She hugged back. "Of course I'm happy, I've got the cutest most beautiful pinnate and Mistress in the galaxy right here with me. My whole family is aboard this ship and they're happy and healthy too. It's everything I had ever wanted, just different than how I used to imagine. Better than I imagined. I'm getting a tail! I have a Mistress who handles everything so I can just spend time loving you without a care in the universe! I'm happy even if it took a tiny bit of head fuckery to get here."
"Language." I teased with a knowing smile.
She smirked back at me. "Maybe we should both curse so we can get punished together."
I matched her rebellious joy. "Now that's the fucking anarchist I remember."
"Hell fucking yea I am."
We giggled as Mistress sighed happily and took our speaking privileges away for a while. We continued babbling incoherently like we were still talking. I'm pretty sure Mary tried swearing a few times. I know I did just for fun. I also gave a bunch of declarations of love for her that got lost in the nonsense of wordlessness.
Eventually we got taken to the xeno veterinarian for human pets like us. Mary went in for her tail seed planting. I decided then and there I wanted a tail of my own. I didn't know what kind yet but I'd get one. I unfortunately had trouble communicating that to Mistress in the waiting room so I played charades. I'm pretty sure at some point she realized what I was trying to say and just pretended not to because she thought my wild gesturing and unintelligible babbling was adorable.
I knew she understood because as an asleep Mary was brought out, I was taken back and put to sleep.
* * *
"So seriously what tail are you getting?" Mary asked. The growth thing where our tails would get plugged in were days away from being ready for said tail mods to plug in.
"I can't decide! I want something big and fluffy but not like too fluffy. Maybe something I can grab stuff with."
"How about I pick for you." She said as she browsed the tablet we shared. Mistress got us our own. Only the one not that we actually needed two.
I rolled my eyes. "Fine… but no promises."
"Fair enough." She flicked through. "Alright, how about this one?" It looked like a dog tail, maybe a fox one. I wasn't sure of the difference honestly. The details said prehensile and the fur looked soft. It was sized at around three feet long which was shorter than Mary's 'as big as I can handle' dragon tail.
"I could see it, but what color?" I asked my partner in crime.
"Red in the same shade as Mistress' hair." She proposed.
I shook my head. "Too bright, maybe a darker red. Also, I might need to dye my hair to match."
"Yea, you should." My pinnate agreed. "You're going to look fucking cute as crap wagging it for pets."
She huffed dramatically. "Mistress isn't here. Don't be a narc."
"I'm not a narc, at least not until Mistress makes me one." I glanced off in fond memories of her little tricks for teasing information out of me.
"Uh huh." She looked down. "Oh we got a picture from Lander in the commune group chat." She turned it over so I could see the picture of Vince and Moss in the park on a date. "We really should have paired those two."
"Yea, but then Lander wouldn't be there to send us pictures." I argued.
A bit after getting the tablet we got an invite to a group chat with all the commune florets. Lander and Vince spilled the beans on me coming out and us dating. Another thing we learned was that even though they sort of paired people from the commune like we suggested. They weren't all pinnates. There were surprisingly few pinnate pairs. They were all just regular connivents or even just individual florets that just got more hangout time with each other for emotional needs.
The former captain of the Marx's Revenge insanely enough managed to slip out with Joan to a shuttle and escape for a while. They eventually got dragged back to their affini, but that was definitely more than I thought was possible. It seems the anarchist pirate captain was a bit more resourceful and willful than the rest of us.
To our horror we found out Tix was almost put on class-Os. Thankfully being paired with Mira and some strong handed affini care got the rinan mad scientist to settle down. Also Tix sent pictures of their new tail. The one they exploded off years ago finally got a replacement.
Not every relationship from the commune stuck around. A few couples broke up. A few members ghosted everyone. Still there were enough of us left to say the family was still together in spirit. Our big reunion thing we kept pestering our masters and mistresses for finally got scheduled in two weeks. Which would be right as Mary and I come down from the highs from our implants that we'd be getting soon.
Mistress got home a while later and we got placed on her lap. "So Elle, Mary. Were you two good for me today?"
"Yes Mistress." We said in practiced unison.
"Did either of you swear while I was out.
"No Mistress." We were slightly out of sync.
"Oh, really now?" She said with a knowing smile. She was spying on us. Oh well we were too deep in now to not commit to the lie. Maybe if we kept lying she'd do something fun.
"Nope." Mary said a little fast.
"No cursing here Mistress. We've been good girls." I was having trouble keeping a straight face.
Her eyes just flickered between us waiting for one of us to cave. "Then I suppose you good girls need a reward." She dosed me. The heightened sense of tingly touch got to me and I was about to dive into a cuddle when she placed me off to the side. "Now Elle, if you want to be touched I need you to tell me the truth, did either of you curse while I was out."
Mary was starting me down. Being placed over here had given me a small taste of the heightened sense of touch. Ever since the class-J, I never really stopped being a needy touch desiring pet even when sober. The behaviors were there and they got bad when given class-Js and class-As.
I whimpered under my pinnate's gaze and Mistress' waiting look. I rolled over all cute like and held up my blouse for a belly rub. Making noises Mistress had apparently trained into me. Mary could see I was breaking inside. She tried to get up to pet me, but Mistress held her back.
"Elle, you won't receive a single pet until I hear the truth from you." Mistress insisted.
I-I needed it. I needed pets. I was a good little floret who deserved head pats and belly rubs. "M-Mary swore. She uh, used the f-word. Please mistress, please pet me. I need it. please, please."
"You lied to me, Elle. That's as bad as swearing. No pets." She gave me a look that made it clear that if I tried to come over and get the pets there would be consequences. I just rolled around trying to act as cute as possible to break Mistress so she'd give in and pet me. I needed them so fucking bad. I was a good girl. I needed pets and attention. The sounds of my needy begging filled the hab unit.
"As for you Mary. Swearing and convincing your pinnate to lie for you. You've been a very naughty floret." Mistress injected her with something and then held her to face me.
Mary started squirming like I was as she watched me being a needy little pet denied her affection. She tried to say something to beg, but she couldn't speak. She was restrained helplessly watching me as something was happening to her. Mary teared up from watching how helpless I was.
After a while, Mistress relented. "Alright Elle you've been a very obedient pet." I perked up at the words as her vines came over and smothered me in everything I had been denied. I was pet, pat, and rubbed. A hundred loving vines giving me everything I craved. I made noises and Mary mimicked them as she was stuck watching me.
Eventually Mary was set next to me and she hugged me, nuzzled me, and cried. I relished the continued contact and nuzzled her back.
Two days later we had our new tails slid into place. The sensation of the new body part came online and I suddenly couldn't remember how I had managed to go without the feeling my whole life. I was born to have a tail. It just felt so right. The big red fluffy mess wagged around behind me.
Mary seemed to have a similar experience though her tail moved very differently than my coiling fluff. Hers was far thicker and less nimble. A powerful scaled tail that while posable was limited in dexterity making it up for in strength.
Walking proved to be a challenge at first as we weren't used to the new center of mass that had been dragged backwards by the weight hanging off our back sides. Mary had the bigger issue as hers was thick and meaty. Words I'd definitely tell her later to hear her laugh horribly.
We stumbled around and fell a few times each, but mistress caught us every time without fail. She was the bedrock for us and at this point I was sure neither of us could get along without her, and certainly not without each other. Nowadays Mary and I were basically joined at the hip. In a few days we'd be joined in thought too. I was so excited for our implants my tail was basically constantly wagging in anticipation.
Mary whined. "I thought the specialist said this tail wasn't too big."
I rolled my eyes. "It's not too big to walk. You specifically got one that was almost too big for you to walk with but not quite debilitating."
"I'm having mild regrets. You seem fine with your big fluff monster."
"Well duh mines thin and dainty under the fluff."
"You calling me fat?" Mary said in a fake serious tone.
"That tail's pretty darn husky."
"Oh come here you little shit." She lunged and almost fell before vines caught her. I danced out of range and also lost balance only to be saved by Mistress.
"You too are both very beautiful and appropriately weighted. I'm sure you'll both adapt to your new limbs given some time." Mistress was just playing her role as the voice of reason. All while Mary and I got to be silly teasing pets.
I ran my hand down my tail and shivered. It was going to be so good for petting. I couldn't wait to get put on the cuddle juice again. That’s what the J in class-J stands for 'cuddle juice'. A phrase that would make Mary groan without fail. It didn't matter, she enjoyed time with me when I was a needy cuddle-slut. Not that I ever truly stopped being one.
We spent the rest of the day back at the hab unit walking, running, and climbing around to get used to moving with our new limbs. The activity reminded me of another I missed from the surface of the wasteland world. I missed my bike.
I did a running leap onto Mistress that definitely would have gotten me hurt. I didn't even hesitate to be reckless as I knew instinctively she'd catch me and keep me safe. My trust for her at this point was second nature.
"Mistress, I was thinking."
"Oh? I didn't know silly little pets did any thinking." She smugly petted my now crimson dyed hair.
I pouted playfully as Mary laughed from the floor where she was still getting the hang of walking with her massive tail. Mary was doing a cute sort of waddle like she was a big monster wading around the hab unit.
"I think plenty Mistress. Anyway, I miss riding my hoverbike. Can I pretty please get a new one and a place to ride it around?" I pleaded. I did my well-practiced cute begging face she often caved too.
"Of course you can petal." She pulled me in a little to give me a kiss that sent my tail wagging even wilder. "So enough we'll be moving onto a ringworld and you'll have plenty of space to go riding around."
Mary voiced our immediate concern. "But mistress, what about the family?"
The red-headed Mistress looked warmly upon her floret. "Well my beloved floret, you aren't allowed to tell anyone else yet, but we have finished sweeping the nearby systems for rebel hold outs. The ship will be stationed on the ringworld and most of us are moving planet side while the rest will be close enough to visit."
I looked at the affini holding me up in the air. "Mistress, what do you mean by ringworld?"
"I could have sworn that was the terran word for it. I mean an artificial world we constructed to be placed in systems without habitable planets." She stated as if she didn't just say the wildest thing imaginable.
"The affini can build planets?!"
"Well it's considerably smaller than a true planet mostly in mass rather than radius, but yes we can." She sounded so arrogant in that affini way. The affini way being completely justified but still mildly annoying.
"That's so cool!" I exclaimed. "Can you pet my tail?"
Mary groaned. "Can you think about anything other than being pet?"
"I mean I can, buuuu." Mistress ran her hand down my tail and my brain turned off the speaking bit for a second. "But I love it so why not think about it all the time? I think about you all the time too. Brain spaaaaaaa. Space is for things I like and love and nothing else. I think I want to be able to howl, like whenever my brain gets overloaded with pets."
"Of course you'd end up a dog girl." Mary playfully dismissed.
"Wolf girl! Cause we're feralists." I stopped getting pets from my Mistress.
"Well I guess I won't be petting you anymore if you're a feralist." Mistress sounded completely serious and that scared me.
I did my best to be cute using my flexible fluffy tail to my full advantage. "Bu-But Mistress, I'm joking. I'm a good little floret I swear."
Mary started laughing her ass off. "Right, totally a wolf. Definitely not a tame little dog. I guess you aren't an anarchist after all."
"No Mary, I'm definitely an anarchist wolf girl. I can misbehave."
"I see. You were lying to me again about being a good little floret. Such a devious feralist is definitely not deserving of pets." Mistress' serious tone contradicted her playful wording.
"I-I" I fell on the ground and did my needy pet routine to make them feel bad. How dare they tease me. I am a cunning fox and a wild wolf who needs lots of pets and was definitely still a good floret.
Mary's tail thumped loudly from how funny she found my scatterbrained melt down. "You know it's hard to remember sometimes that you are the same depressed loner I had to harass into being friends in between you driving off into the middle of nowhere."
I blinked. "Huh, I used to be like that, didn't I? Wow, I didn't even know I was a girl back then. I hadn't met Mistress. I still had a gun. We hadn't become pinnates yet. How long ago was that?"
"You've been in my care a little less than a terran standard month." Mistress answered dutifully.
Mary had a slip up. "Fuck that was less than a month ago."
I pointed at her. "Language." I then proceeded to giggle. She was right. Wow, that was only a month ago.
Mistress took her speaking away.
"To think it's only been a few weeks. I'm so glad you found us Mistress. I-I love you."
Mistress' expression melted into a warm caring smile. "I love you too my beautiful darling Elle, and you my beautiful flower Mary."
Mary made noises that could have been an I love you too or fuck you. I didn't know, I didn't speak gibberish.
I got up from the floor and bounded over to give Mary a hug and a kiss since she couldn't tell me not to. Also she always loved it. My tail wrapped around our waists and hers around our legs until we both lost balance and fell over giggling.
Mistress scooped us up and we relaxed from our tail practice.
So the last day before we got our implants. Mary and I decided to do one last big act of faux rebellion just to tease our Mistress in our own special way. We made sure to message everyone else the deets Mistress told us not to share about the ringworld. Turns out most already knew which made it really obvious Mistress had just been giving us rope to hang ourselves from. Metaphorically, she'd never let us hurt ourselves like that. Still it seems like it was a playful excuse to get us deserving of punishment.
Now sure that was deserving of punishment, but taking pizza sauce while she was out and writing 'fuck the system' on the wall was definitely Mary's idea and I enabled her every step of the way like a good pinnate. At the start, I'd have done more than this, then I fell into line and became a docile little thing, but now. Now I realized minor misbehaving meant fun punishments and I knew Mistress enjoyed the excuse to power trip. So by being bad florets we were being good florets. Flawless logic.
I just looked up at the tomato based profanity. "She's going to be so fucking pissed."
"Hell yea she is." Mary agreed. "I think she left the door open. Want to run away for dramatic effect? We can crash the date Vince and Moss are on."
"I love the way you think." I kissed her and we ran out giggling. I knew Mistress kept tabs on us when working so there was no way she didn't catch all of that playfulness. I wonder if she'll come home to be fake mad or if she'll skip that and come nab us for being naughty. We put good work into that. I had to get on Mary's shoulders to get the words that big. So Mistress better play along. She was so good at faking being upset.
We still had our tablet with us which let us know Vince and Moss were still together. Lander was the best third wheel. Technically Mary and I hadn't seen Moss in person for a while. By 'a while' meaning since before the kidnapping into loving homes.
Being the crafty florets pinnate we were, we snuck close and took a selfie with them in the background and sent it to the group chat before heading over.
"Hey everyone." Mary said for us while I waved.
Vince groaned, "Girls we're on a date. Also are those tails?"
"Fuck yea they are." Mary said and we both turned a bit to show them off in perfect synchronization.
Lander commented. "I thought you weren't allowed to swear."
"Oh we aren't." We both started giggling. We were in so deep right now.
"Right… So tails? I didn't take you both for body mods." Vince said. "Especially Elle." Right we told everyone online my new name since Vince and Lander spoiled my coming out.
Mary shrugged. "We both wanted one so we got them. Also, hi Moss, it's been a while."
Moss smiled, "You could say that. Nice to see you two. Love the tails. Also Elle you look great. If not for the pictures you sent, I'd have thought you were a female stranger."
I scratched my cheek as I smiled and wagged my tail. "T-Thanks."
Lander then asked. "So what are you two doing here, and without your owner."
"Oh, ya know. Hiding after a prank." Mary fessed up.
"Oh, what kind of prank?" Lander was immediately 100% on board.
I took the tablet from Mary and brought up the picture showing it to the three florets and Vince and Lander's owner Donax who was chilling nearby.
"Shit, isn't your owner like super strict?" Lander seemed scared for us after last time.
I just smiled, "Yup, she's going to be pissed."
"Yea, I just had this wild idea yesterday and welp can't take it back now." Mary added without missing a beat.
"You two are a lot different from last time." Vince commented.
"Yea, well a lot changed." Mary countered.
I nodded. "Y-Yea like we got tails. Started doing lots of xenodrugs. Mary gave up on the whole running away thing. Ya know, stuff."
Our crowd just drank that in, Lander spoke first. "Neither of you seem high on xenodrugs right now."
"Yea, we have to wait for Mistress to find out what we did first." Mary grinned.
Vince blinked and Moss pieced it together. "Oh so that's just elaborate foreplay."
I bit my lip and looked down. "Y-you didn't have to like… say it."
Vince started laughing his ass off followed by the rest. "Wow, a lot has changed for you two."
"Fucking foreplay." Lander was wheezing.
"Language." I said reflexively.
That of course only made them all laugh harder. Donax seemed to enjoy the sight of us being stupid. As far as affini went he seemed super chill compared to Mistress.
"Maybe Harriet can teach you how to steal a shuttle, ya know for the foreplay." Lander was having too much fun with this.
"That would be very anarchy." Mary said and judging by the look she was definitely considering it. I sighed. The things I enable for love… I was being silly, I was definitely into any schemes Mary may or may not be thinking. It was like our thing.
Lander laughed. "Not like you can do more communism."
"I'm glad someone gets us." My pinnate happily said.
We sat down waiting for the inevitable with our family. Moss was leaning on Vince who had an arm around his partner. Lander was sitting nearby as the emotional support Ace. Mary sat down and we wrapped our tails around each other and I nuzzled her for pets. Mistress was sure to deny them later so I needed all I could get.
Moss just looked at us. "So you two are pinnates?"
I recited from heart my favorite phrase I never got to use. "Ella & Mary Regia, First & Second Florets Pinnate."
"I guess I still don't understand the difference between dating and pinnates." Moss told us.
Mary answered for us. "Basically we're xeno married and it's a affini crime to separate us."
"Damn." Lander dramatically said. "We got separated for a few days and you two started dating and got married. What in the stars?"
"We never did get the story behind you two dating." Vince added.
Mary and I looked at each other. I got the go ahead. "So like, the first day we were all separated and I got dragged over to where Mary was staying for some reason. After stuff… Mary ended up helping me through my gender stuff." I waved my hands in a gendery fashion. "Mistress took Mary home and called us pinnates. The day after we got like drugged with a class-C and ended up crying and confessing our feelings for each other that we apparently always had. We then had to do it again once sober. Now we are girlfriends and pinnates. I guess pinnate is like the step after girlfriend."
Mary shrugged, "The terms don't matter, we love each other and want to stay together forever."
"And tomorrow we're getting our implants, and then we'll be in each other's heads." I happily added.
"Wait, you two haven't gotten your implants yet?" Moss seemed confused.
Mary asked for us. "Do you all have them?"
We got three nods.
"Oh huh. I guess it's cause we stayed sober for so long." Mary said.
"Well that and you being feral until after last time we met Vince and Lander."
"Oh and what about my feral wolf girl pinnate?" She teased.
"Rawr." I said in the impression of a creature that went extinct a long time ago. I wondered what wolves used to be like.
The three we were sitting with were laughing at us. "You two are ridiculously perfect for each other." Vince said.
"I want to see them with implant telepathy. We don't even have that." Lander added.
Donax who had so far just let us do our own thing chimed in. "Guys, do you want me to enable thought and feeling sharing?"
Lander and Vince looked at each other and both immediately said. "Nope."
"Sorry dude, but I don't want your whole sexy romance feelings in my head." Lander told Vince.
"It's not that bad." Vince defended.
Lander just glanced to Moss and gestured wildly towards Vince.
"I get it, Lander." Moss confirmed.
"Thank you." Lander said exasperatedly.
The five of us plus Donax hung out and enjoyed ourselves. Mary and I tried to not think about our inevitable punishment. Or rather eagerly anticipated it. We were a pair of feral anarchists after all.
Sitting in a meeting with the captain going over reports was par the usual. Thankfully, I was entertained by my cute little florets pinnate getting themselves into trouble. It was so cute as they worked together to create a messy mural on the wall. I had plans to get a copy of it painted on said walls after everything was cleaned up. How could I not when the little cuties looked so proud of themselves and their act of rebellion.
They then adorably ran off to the park where Donax started sending me updates on my florets having fun with their friends and family. Including a message about how they did it to get my attention for a strange type of human mating. I would have rushed over to give them their punishments, but I didn't want to interrupt their time with their friends just yet. Also, I had a lot of paperwork to get through. I got to savor the anticipation of it all by working more.
The time did come for me to leave work and to give my florets the punishments they seemed to crave. I made my way over to the park where they were relaxing. I of course made sure to be as dramatic as possible, my florets deserved my best after all.
My expression controlled to reflect a stern and unamused mistress who was in search of two feral terrans. My step with forceful purpose to make them wonder if I was truly mad this time. I advanced upon them faster than they could run. Not that they tried. My girls preferred to play innocent in that overly adorable manner of theirs. Drawing out the moment before I could begin punishing them.
"Elle, Mary. What are you two doing here?" My tone indicated I very much knew what was going on.
"N-Nothing Mistress." Elle adorably tripped over her words, unable to contain her excitement over the whole thing.
"Mistress, we just wanted to visit our friends today." Mary added with a bit more self-control. Oh how I'd make her squirm.
"I see." My gaze over the others lasted just long enough to enforce my faux displeasure to deter them from interrupting our little play. "Tell me, did you two behave yourselves today?"
"Yes Mistress." They had gotten so good at answering in sync to each other and my rhythm. I wanted to shower them with praise right then, but we had a game to play.
"Neither of you used curse words?"
"N-No Mistress." They broke synchronization as Elle got nervous in her continued lying even for our game. I could see the way she wanted to roll over and beg before the punishment had even begun.
"Then perhaps a reward for your good behavior. Why don't we go home and I treat you before your surgeries tomorrow." They wouldn't decline.
The two scrambled to get up, both chirping. "Yes Mistress." I scooped the adorable florets up and took them home. I overheard the disbelief of their friends over our little game. It seems they let others in on it. The fact the two of them couldn't contain their excitement was obvious from every little movement, and their new tails that gave away everything about how they felt.
Oh how I had the sweetest florets around. Both so happy and eager for the things I'd do to them.
I stopped in front of the front door to our hab unit. They were squirming so much to see how I'd react to what they did. "You two didn't leave any messes before you left, did you?"
Oh how they struggled to say the words with a straight face. "N-No M-Mistress." Their tails thumping against me.
"What good girls I have~" I praised them before I inevitably couldn't any more as a part of our little game.
I stepped in and saw the beautiful work of art in person. My eyes savoring every last speck of sauce smeared against the wall in a delightfully creative way. My face betrayed none of my true feelings.
My vines securely wrapped around them with enough pressure for them to know I was serious. "Girls, would either of you like to explain what I'm looking at?"
Mary was much faster on the lie. "Oh no! Someone must have broken into our hab unit." Her acting there was probably the best I'd get from the two at this point. It was such a silly way to deflect and prolong the inevitable.
Elle tried to back up her pinnate as she loved to do. "Y-Yea it's even higher up than a human could reach. It must have been a-a rebel affini."
Mary subvocally chastising her pinnate was adorable. "A rebel affini, really?"
"I see. A rebel affini who stands short enough to be the height of one of my precious florets on the shoulders of my other darling floret." I tipped my hand a little, but the plot needed to be pushed forward if only a nudge.
"Fuck." Mary said quietly but still loud enough to give me the fuel I needed.
"What was that dear?" I gave her a look that let her know I heard.
I just smiled. My mind racing through all the cute ways to play with them. I had a nice class-M and counter agent that would make them cute little dolls, but keep them nice and aware. "Now my beloved florets pinnate, I think I might know the culprit who vandalized our precious home with such vulgarity."
They both held their breaths in anticipation. I injected them both one after the other. They were both now helplessly trapped in their bodies and at the mercy of my vines. "You see my dears, the size and height of the lettering gives it away. I believe this is how it all happened."
I set them down, puppetting their helpless bodies with my vines. Each one watching, unable to do more than wait for the inevitable. "I think two very naughty florets were sitting just like this." I had their bodies sitting on the couch. I even simulated their tail movements. "The two troublemakers got up like so, and rifled through our kitchen in search of this container of pizza sauce that is now suspiciously empty."
My vines had their little hands grab it just like in my recording and they walked over. "Together they began their little project of rebellion spreading the sauce like so." Their movements hovered a bit over their work of art. "As they found themselves too short. They had the bright idea to get on each other's shoulders like this, and finish their vulgar challenge to the Compact. Now I don't know about you two, but I believe the naughty little florets responsible need to be punished. And it just so happens I have two florets who so perfectly fit as culprits."
I set them carefully on the couch. "So do either of you have words to defend yourselves." I paused for a moment. "No? Then it's as I feared. My own florets were responsible. I suppose I need to punish you both."
I placed the helpless Elle on one end of the couch facing Mary and I before injecting her with a light dose of the class-J she had been gaining a suitable tolerance for. Just enough to be able to keep her mind until she received the pets she craved. For now she'd have to watch deprived and in anticipation as I messed with her pinnate.
For dear little Mary I coiled her up restrained and took away her speech as I brought her out of her immobility. She struggled playfully with those cute little noises of hers. I then gave her a very special class-A. It boosted the sensation of touch, but in a very specific way. Terrans had this adorable quirk of biology resulting in something called tickling. It was such a delightful sensation that I knew Mary particularly loved. The xenodrug made her entire body oh so ticklish as I began making her squirm with joy.
As her mind switched off, I stopped and held her gently as attention turned to the needy pet who was physically incapable of pouncing me in a desperate attempt for pets.
"Now my darling Elle, I want you to be a good girl and wait for sixty seconds before I begin petting you, understand?" Of course she had no way to respond, but I knew she was just present enough to listen. I had gotten very good at such exact dosages even without an implant.
I brought her up and she began doing her oh so adorable routine of pawing in my direction and mewling as she rolled around with that needy expression on her face. She came so close to being disobedient and pouncing me, but I trained my pet well. She even waited after the sixty seconds as she needed me to tell her she was allowed her pets.
I beckoned her forth with a vine and she broke into a diving sprint. I caught her and gave her every little bit of love I could as she slowly relaxed in the knowledge that she would get every shudder inducing touch she needed.
I was left with my two adorable florets curled up in my lap. My beautiful pets who had slipped so far into my grasp. A far cry from the two self-destructive and hateful terrans I had first encountered. I whisked them off to bed and to tomorrow when the fun could begin in earnest.
Mary and I spent almost a week in hazy bliss together without a care in the universe. When we sobered, we sobered together. Feeling the way the other roused. We turned to each other and I got confused as I saw myself from her eyes for a brief moment. Not just the visuals, but the way she saw me in her mind. I looked like the most beautiful girl in the universe to her. I felt tears of joy well up and she felt the same way.
We got lost in a happy crying hug. Feeling her thoughts and feelings, the sheer love. I was drowning in her love and she was drowning in mine. The closest we had ever come to these shared feelings was the morning we woke up crying that first day together with Mistress under the class-C. Only this was more, it was beyond chemically induced empathy.
We had grown close to the point we started answering our Mistress together, but it was practiced. We were so on the same page now, I was having trouble finding where she ended and I began.
"I see you're both finally awake."
"Yes Mistress~" We spoke not in sync but as one.
Mistress smiled. If anyone could tell the difference it was her. "Oh are you two getting lost in each other? Would you like help finding your individuality again?"
"Please." We both said that but in that needy manner Elle liked to do.
"If you wish to differentiate yourselves mentally just touch yourselves between your legs. I'm sure your different reactions will let you both sort out whose feelings are whose." Mistress told us.
We both reached down and… I shuddered as I felt Mary's member. It was gross and the small taste of dysphoria pulled our minds apart. She didn't seem to mind keeping her original equipment which, while I was happy for her, was definitely not for me. She didn't feel dysphoric from either set and that difference in reaction really put us back into our own selves.
I could still feel her, but it was her and not us. Not that I didn't enjoy us being a we for a time. She was my other half, my pinnate. My only problem was that I want to be one with her and love her as me. Which wasn't feasible at the same time.
"I see you two are feeling a bit more individual. Don't worry you'll both get used to sharing and separating as you both desire." Mistress assured us.
Mary looked at me. "I almost forgot what dysphoria felt like."
"Y-Yea me too, sorry I reacted that way…"
"Elle I'm in your head. I get it. You like it, just not as a part of you. Oh and I think after feeling yours I want both sets." Mary was really the best ever and from the smile on her face she knew I was thinking that. "Love you too babe."
"Gah!" I tackled and hugged her, rubbing up as much as I could.
She started petting me and I got really into it. "Oh, so that's why you love being pet." I gave an affirmative pet noise.
Mistress couldn't contain herself anymore and bundled us both up giving Mary pets which I felt and she felt me feeling and welp, Mary started acting a tad similar to the way I had been conditioned. "You two are just so delightful, and Mary we can definitely get you a second set of genitals. I went ahead and made an appointment."
"Thank you Mistress!" It took a second to realize I had eagerly answered the words to Mary's feelings.
"Oh are you two getting mixed up again?"
"Uh, m-maybe?" And Mary answered my thoughts. We looked at each other getting all the pets from Mistress and shared a laugh as we realized we kept doing it. Sharing my whole self with someone I loved made me happier than I ever thought I could be. It made us happier than we ever thought we could be.
We spent the next few days getting used to having a shared mind made up of our individual minds. I was still me and she was still her, only we could also be us. I was the same submissive little cuddle-slut who wanted nothing more than to enable all of my pinnate's ideas and dreams and support her always. And she was still the willful little troublemaker who loved dominating me and being dominated in a much more physical manner than I preferred. Together we were a pair of cheeky submissive pinnates who liked giving their Mistress an excuse to punish them all the while reveling in both the rebellion and her overbearing love.
Sometimes we spoke as one, sometimes I spoke as Elle and sometimes as Mary. It helped that we were to introduce ourselves as a pair because otherwise we'd definitely slip up and mix up names. And we had our little tricks if we wanted to force our individuality back into shape. We preferred doing it ourselves instead of Mistress forcibly severing the connection. She tried that once and just like gaining a tail we didn't want to go back to how we were before.
Unfortunately for Mistress, her greatest fear had become a reality. I did end up getting a bit more of Mary's potty mouth even when I was speaking as myself. Getting speaking privileges taken away only one of us at a time just let the other translate which usually just turned into the wordless floret getting the other to curse too so we could both revel in pure wordless feelings.
I did get bad enough I ended up asking for Mistress to take my ability to curse away. Ya know for fun. The idea that she could just make me incapable of saying those words or even thinking them was rather indulgent. Of course Mary understood, but wanted no part in it. We had to be mentally separated as Mistress hypnotically programmed me.
Afterwards, I tried hard to curse, but every time the only thing that came out was cute noises. Mary being rejoined caused some fun. I could curse, but only when speaking for her or us. And Mary couldn't when speaking for my feelings alone. I got to keep my potty mouth while being a good girl. It was fun to let Mary get me into trouble with words only she could say coming from my mouth.
We were all planet side as we had moved off the ship during our implant recovery. Looking up was wild. Like just seeing the horizon bend up into a thin ring across the whole sky was insane and really drove home how absolutely bonkers the affini were. Apparently this wasn't even an impressive affini megastructure at least not according to our Mistress. Humanity was so thoroughly outclassed by the loving and powerful vines of the Compact.
We were being carried to the family reunion, sharing our thoughts as fast as we could think them. Apparently Elle or me? I got confused sometimes. Elle with the help of Mary realized she wanted more body mods. Cute fluffy ears, limbs arranged to walk on all fours sometimes but certainly not always, and a few more tails to start. Mary on the other hand seemed to want to stay mostly as she was, but with a few minor additions such as fangs. We both agreed on fangs which would be so fun for love bites.
We got set down amidst the small crowd of familiar florets. Vince was the one to greet us. "Hey Mary. Hey Elle." He of course had Moss's smaller body tucked under his arm.
"Hey Vince." We said.
Vince looked between us a bit oddly. "That was a little creepy."
We had an inkling what bothered him. "What was creepy?" We said together. We knew the answer, but being the little shits we were, we feigned ignorance.
"That. The speaking at the exact same time… thing."
Lander wandered over. He never seemed to be too far from his connivent. "Hey girls."
"Hey Lander, Vince says we're creepy." We then giggled perfectly in sync, wagging our tails to the same rhythm.
Lander pursed his lips and 'hmmm'd. "Can't imagine why."
"Yea, he's being weird." We replied.
"Oh come on!" Vince exclaimed as Moss laughed at his side. We joined in as did Lander. "Seriously, how are you doing that?"
"The implant. We've only been at it a few days, but it's fun. Being in each other's heads is the best ever!" We told him.
"Uh huh, so like are you still yourselves?" Vince asked, concerned.
We gave ourselves a moment to untangle our thoughts. "Y-Yup, I'm still…" I patted my tail. "I'm still Elle."
"And that makes me Mary." My beautiful lovely pinnate said.
Lander just asked. "You two get that mixed up?"
"Sometimes yea, but it’s whatever." Mary answered. "Elle's great and if I end up thinking I'm her, well then I get to be my favorite person in the universe for a bit."
"Y-Yea same. Mary's awesome and I love sharing everything with her. Like a communist." I added.
That joke Mary thought was definitely worth Lander breaking down laughing like a mad man. Mary really helped me sort my thoughts out a whole bunch.
"Who knew the ultimate communist was a hive mind." Moss quipped. "I'm glad you two like it. I personally can't imagine letting someone into my head like that."
We chatted for a bit before Mary, who was petting my head, spotted Tix. The adorable rinan was hanging out with Mira, Chrissy, and Nikolai. I mentally poked Mary until we walked over. "Hey everyone!" We said together.
"Hey Mary, who’s this?" Chrissy asked, gesturing to one of us.
Nikolai elbowed her. "That's Elle remember? The delivery… person for the compound."
Chrissy blinked for a second. "Oh, Oh yeah. Wow, I even saw the picture. Damn girl you look good."
"Thanks!" We both said.
That got an eyebrow raise from the rest. Tix started chattering into a communicator. "Hey Elle, and Mary. How have you two been?"
"Hey Tix, we've been good. We got our brains linked a few days ago it's been super fun." We told the little rinan scientist. "How about you?"
Tix started chattering and Mira decided to speak for them. "Tix has been through a lot, but now we have a workshop which has been fun to make stuff in."
"Super fun! Mistress doesn't let me do dangerous stuff, but I get to build a lot!"
We just fell into casual chatting with them. Or rather Mary did as Elle wasn't a big conversationalist unless it was with her pinnate or Mistress. Still Mary voiced some of Elle's thoughts for her and occasionally spoke through Elle's mouth on accident. Everyone was super understanding of the whole thought sharing thing.
Eventually Mary dragged us off to go talk to a doped up Harriet and a more sober Joan. Mary wanted all the deets on how she jacked a shuttle so we could have fun messing with Mistress by pretending to run away. Joan had to answer because Harriet was a bit out of it. She apparently was still adjusting to being a floret. Her adventurous spirit was trying to take her running off. The pair seemed super interested in our thought sharing thing.
Eventually we noticed a gift wrapped off to the side and no matter how much Mary plied for an answer no one told us what the big thing was. Like a big secret we weren't allowed to know about.
Part way through we all got gathered around the thing. Vince was the one to present the gift. "So a certain affini contacted us about her floret wanting something back from when we were all back at the compound as you were all made aware." Mary and I looked at each other we hadn't been told. "So Elle we got you a gift from the whole family and our mistresses and masters. Feel free to open it."
Mary dragged me up in front of everyone. She grounded my anxiety and a little influx of something from Mistress washed the rest away as we excitedly tore open the large gift to find a hoverbike. One that looked like a new version of my old one except… my charm was on it. the original charm Tix made when they were still allowed to touch it.
We looked over the whole thing. It had all the little details I remember but everything was new and shiny. I popped up from behind it. "T-Thank you all I-I love it so much! Thank you thank you thank you…"
A few were confused and then Moss, Lander, and Tix started laughing. I blinked confused. Mistress was chuckling too. I looked at Mary and that's when I realized, oh I was talking as Mary. Mary realized it too and I started blushing as she joined in the laughter with her body.
I was just left a blushy embarrassed mess. "Th-Thanks everyone." I made sure to speak with my voice from my body.
There was cheering and laughter and Mary comforted my thoughts and eventually pulled me into a hug that everyone else joined in. A big ole anarchy hug with everyone. Even Mistress worked her way in bundling the two of us with vines in between the crowd of bodies.
We were then goaded to taking it on a joy ride. I hopped on with Mary behind me being big spoon. The reunion was near a wide open area to drive around on which in hindsight should have been obvious. The big difference for me was the new bike ran on some affini power source that was probably a lot safer. It thrummed differently, but overall it was my hoverbike. One given to me by everyone I loved. Sharing those feelings of thanks with Mary just made them all a million times better.
As everyone cleared out of the way we floored it zooming off into the distance. The wind rushed through our hair. We decided to park for a moment so we could braid our windswept messes of hair before zooming off again.
As we finally came to a stop, we got scooped up by Mistress and everything in that moment was perfect. The best part was we knew that this would never stop. Love, happiness, and family until the end of our days if Mistress ever permitted such an end.
We were loved, happy, safe, and most importantly we were together.