My name is missing, and I can’t find any of my memories. I think her eyes stole them. An Affini found me somewhere, whisked me away – I’m on something smooth and soft, and staring into a sea of gold with splashes of black specs rippling every time I get too settled on one detail. I’m surrounded by the noises of a forest, the detail that I live in downtown doesn’t feel like it’s important. Anything that made me myself was traded to stare into that beautiful golden lake.
Something touches my back and all of my thoughts are stolen by the gold, replaced with jolts of overwhelming pleasure. It’s on my back, moving up my neck, and then down my legs. An ethereal voice washes over me with praise, I try to find context, but I can’t even find my arms or legs.
I’m good? Vines dance around my body, under my hoodie’s sleeves, my neck, my back. I know I’m wearing clothes, that they’re important.. But they stop the vines. As a faint sadness flickers into my mind, joy smothers the emotion.
“You’re so sweet.”
A simple praise erases my worries, surroundings and stray thoughts, leaving behind the desire to drop just a little deeper into those golden eyes. I can barely feel my body, the tension is entirely erased, just like the rest of me.
“Just stay lost.”
I couldn’t ever find the desire to leave the presence of this wooded meadow, my mind dances to every whim of the wind, of the flowers, their scents, their touch. Buried in the flowers forever, lost but safe.
“You’re all mine.”
Those sound true.. Any time I try to think of a counter argument, pleasure washes them away and traps the words inside of me. I’m glad they’re true. I’m so good. I’m so lost. I’m all hers.
It’s been over a month since the meteor shower in broad daylight. I try not to think about those being Terra’s defense satellites, or the aliens that made our authoritarian overlords roll over like dogs. Those facts aren’t really something I’m ready to deal with.
I haven’t ever been able to look away from politics until they showed up, so a massive game changer has just made me focus on other things, like mutual aid! I’ve been spending some time helping my comrades at an abandoned restaurant we’re squatting to feed terrans who don’t want to conform to invader standards! My platinum game pass subscription blinked off the servers on the second day, so I’ve only had single player games currently installed to play between shifts, and now I’m running out of hyper fixations to burn through.
Ads are back again, but it’s not the corporate AI piloted ones that get past your ad blockers. Plants appear all over the sides of my screen when I want to find more games to play that look way more adjacent to weird kink stuff – I don’t judge though! My favorite Anarchist forums are the worst place for these “floret” and “domestication” ads to be plastered all over. Talk about tone deaf. I decide to browse some threads out of desperation. It’s been enough of a break from politics.
Help, My girlfriend is domesticated??
Nnnnope! Not touching that one. Scroll. Scroll!!
Terran Cat Cafe in my neighborhood
Oh. That sounds wholesome. I click it, and feel my mind snap in two. There’s a gallery of Terrans in cute dresses, all scattered around, cuddling, or stacked on each other. One with a big cat tree! Distracted, distracted. Fuck, this isn’t what I wanted to see today. They’re all glossy eyed and limp looking.. I close my laptop and pull my blankets back over myself.
It’s only morning, and I already feel completely drained. Comfortably staring down my mess of a home, buried in thirty pounds of weighted blanket that I got from some authoritarian free ‘store’. I’m not entirely certain how it’s authoritarian, but if it came from the authoritarian aliens, it has to be authoritarian. I’ll dedicate more thought to this later. I would have had enough groceries for another week, but sacrificed them for these wonderful blankets.
It’s almost dinner time by the time I got my energy back. I’ve felt safest wearing my protest gear, and since it’s just a red mask and black hoodie with some plain jeans, I don’t get any more weird looks than normal! I stare at the sidewalk while I slowly make my way to the new tram, trying to avoid looking at the affini working construction equipment. If it wasn’t for the rustling of their vines, the intense pulsating sound and footsteps, I wouldn’t have even seen them.
I make it to the tram just as the sun sets and sit on one of the benches. Actual wooden seating, no anti-homeless spikes. These are new, artsy green metal vines twisted around into the frame and none of them are the same. While waiting for the tram, I run my hand along the twisty bits and enjoy the texture. It’s really smooth, and there’s no welds or creases from bending metal. If it wasn’t for the synthetic bell ringing from the tram, I might have missed it coming and stopping.
There’s no ticket turnstiles to hop over, so I have to settle for stepping into the tram normally. My eyes locked to the fractal patterned carpet as I walk along the singular car, seeing pair of legs after pair of legs taking up all the seats, a few empty seats -
“Darling, there’s space right here!”
An ethereal voice snaps my head up, and a seated thirteen foot tall woman shaped from masses of vines dotted with white and red flowers in the shape of a dress, with four golden eyes on a feminine face, piercing my soul. I stare dumbly at this plant lady, my eyes drifting over her shape until they meet her eyes. Black specs twist in her golden eyes, a few fractals are in there too -
I’m snapped out of it, and find myself seated next to her. Oh no. I didn’t plan for this. It almost sounds like wind rustling in her dress, accompanied by the subtle noise of her vines gliding and twisting against each each other. Deep breaths. Deep breaths, please. I fish a fidget square out of my pocket to mess with, and her gentle voice wisps me back to attention.
“Sweetie, you’re zoning out a lot. Are you okay?”
The plant asks me before I nod. Words don’t come to me, so I stay silent – One of the Terran riders groan loudly, getting me to look at an old man staring daggers right into my eyes. I twist my head away from him and find myself staring back at the affini who’s frowning until my face is back in her view. There’s no way for me to tell what direction those golden eyes are looking, aside from the direction of her face, but she’s smiling again. Her big, simple expressions make it easy to tell it’s not a bad smile.
“You’ve talked a lot last week, Enya. Are you nonverbal today?”
Oh god, Is this the same one that saw me taking all the blankets home? She has my name.. I start looking around for a distraction before remembering that distractions only work on me. I give another single nod. The affini exhales a pleasant sounding ‘Oh!’ and pulls a data-pad out of her massive wrist, passing it to me. It feels weirdly planty in my hands, which is a good texture, but tablets aren’t supposed to be moist! Are you supposed to water it? No, wait, focus.
I write ‘Thank you” in the text compiler app she had open. I don’t remember her name at all, but she remembers me. This happens to me all the time, but they have numbers in their names and that makes it way harder to remember the rest of it? There was a twelfth bloom, every affini who’s talked to me at the grocer had bloom in their name. Are they a polycul- Focus! I answered her question, and now it is my social responsibility to go quiet, stare at the floor and wait for her to ask more questions. I’m good at this.
“Getting more adorable blankets?”
Aaaaaa!!! Small talk, the affini are worse than terrans!! But at least she gave me a question. I can do questions. I type out “No. I’m out of groceries since another affini carried them for me.” Her smile vanishes as I turn the data-pad around, turning into an upset frown! I feel that piercing sensation in my soul and begin typing up an apology but she speaks more while I type.
“That was me, dear. Have you really only eaten pizza for the last two weeks?”
Two small talk questions failed, rewarded with an even harder question! I stim on my cube toy and shake my hands around to calm before typing some more. “No, no, I fed myself well!” I turn it back to her, and try to form the most confident expression I can, but she reads right through it. Plucking the data-pad out of my hands, and burying it back into her vines, she condemns me with the final verdict.
“You’re very pale, Enya sweety. You haven’t gone out at all, have you? I’m going to the grocer with you to make sure you eat.”
I slump back in my seat and play with my cube in silence, giving another nod and keeping my head turned to the floor. These stupid authoritarian plants, forcing me to not eat the same thing every day. I’d be happy eating the same thing for a month! I would have brought my own phone to say rude things to her if they didn’t all have tracking software in them, but look where that got me. The alien could either be looking at me, or looking away from me. Either more intense staring, or disappointed. There’s no winning for me.