6 - A Quiet Relief

by Fluxom

Tags: #cw:gore #cw:noncon #D/s #drugs #f/f #graphic_violence #hurt/comfort #scifi #accidental_conditioning #anxiety #blood #depression #disassociation #dom:female #dom:internalized_imperialism #dom:plant #Human_Domestication_Guide #medical_play #mindbreak #paranoia #self_care_is_over_were_doing_drugs_now #self_harm #self_harm_is_over_were_still_doing_drugs #sub:female #xenophobia
See spoiler tags : #awake_surgery #parasite/symbiote #plant_vampirism #sadomasochism #torture

Autumn couldn’t sleep. All of space turned on its axis from the view of her window. At times she was even so fortunate as to see the light of Jupiter and it’s many moons. She had turned on her side to look, but her eyes didn’t really see any of it then.
The faces of the few humans she'd passed earlier lingered in her mind. The dreamy look in their eyes, the smile they always wore, the way they gasped and mewled at their owner's touch like it was a shot of pure cocaine to their brain.
She didn't really understand what the affini meant by domesticating people before, but now she had a slight impression. They weren't just captives, they were reshaped entirely. Simplified, in a way. Or perhaps, purified. Without worry or care or ability to resist and just left with the dopey love of a pet that adored being at their master's heel. She couldn't avoid the thoughts of herself in that position. Feeling the sting of Solanum's needle that preceded a fire burning away all that was inside her mind. 
She'd already had a bit of xenodrugs in her system. She felt it at all times, like a pleasant tingling just under her skin. It had her feeling just a bit more energetic, a touch more aware, left every feeling along her skin slightly more pleasurable. More importantly it'd helped her mind avoid completely falling into a spiral of dark thoughts. But how much had those pets taken? How strong was the storm of want that churned inside of them at the drugs command?

She could tell that she was spacier now. A little more able to get lost in idle thoughts and fantasy. More prone to staring off into the distance and playing victim to her own pleasant unbidden thoughts or simply mindlessly existing for a serene, silent moment. But only just a touch. She pictured those moments stretching farther, the silence becoming a deaf roar that eclipsed her mind, the idle thoughts leaching out over every moment of her day to day.
Autumn gulped quietly. She felt a small bead of sweat trace a line down her cheek. Don’t dwell on this. Just focus on getting better so she wouldn't have to find out what it was like the hard way. Don't disappoint Solanum bad enough to make her pin Autumn to the floor, mutter something about how "it's for your own good, little one" as she pierced Autumn's chest to pump that warm sap directly into her heart.
Autumn's cuff gave a small beep and flicked a yellow light. Heart rate warning. Right. Deep breaths. Try to change the topic. She quietly wrapped her hands together and clenched just for a physical sensation to focus on. What had Solanum said earlier? She could be released. Eventually. If she healed.
Into Affini Space, or course. On some far away planet or space station so distant from the Solar System that they didn't even have names for it. She'd get to see more aliens than she would've thought possible, that'd be nice. Of course that'd also mean she'd probably spend the rest of her life surrounded by more Affini. Probably ones more inclined to see a free human and- hrmm no let's not dwell on that. Just think about how she can get better, and then go…
Autumn bolted upright.
She couldn't go home. Home was a moon station with all her friends and family. She'd expected to go back and finish her education after the war. That wasn't ever going to happen now. She wouldn't be able to return to Earth space, no home, no friends, no family, every one and every thing she had known. Even her crew were all gone, by her own hand even. Autumn choked out a sudden gasp. She couldn't go back. Ever. Tears formed at the edges of her vision. Would anyone she knew even be there to begin with? Or had the affini already grabbed everyone and scattered them across the galaxy?

Autumn turned and looked out to Jupiter, this time actually looking upon it. This could be the last time she ever saw the familiar planet’s storms. The last time she could look upon a sky and see familiar constellations. Perhaps even the last time to look upon it with a mind that’d care enough to notice these things. If she were lucky it could be an alien sky she’d see next. Something with a strange splay of color arcing across it’s dome and dotted by shapes and lights she’d be completely unfamiliar with. She’d be surrounded by a language she didn’t speak, aliens she’d never seen, a star she’d never heard of. Stranded until all memories of Earth became faded and gray in her mind.

Or she’d be here. With the same dazed expression all the other humans wore, looking but not seeing Jupiters’ familiar red dot and begging for her new owner to purge any thoughts that’d manage to slip out of her mind.

The lights on her cuffs were now blinking red. Danger warning, spiked anxiety, bad signs. Autumn looked down at them and stared blankly at the scars dotting her arms. Dots where she'd punctured herself with the pen. Slashes and stitch marks where she'd manage to rip the flesh. Feral scars where she'd bitten at her own skin in desperation. More marred her thighs and a line jaggedly tore at her throat. She'd probably already blown her chance for a clean release, hadn't she? Then all of this would just be theater to lull her into surrender. She was doomed.

Scratch the fantasy of recognizing an alien planet then. That faded away into the mist in the back of her skull, replaced by a vision of herself lost in space, only seeing the figure ahead of her and gasping and moaning in delight as they lead her through strange lands while none of it sticks to her.
The soft warning beeps from her cuffs matched the rhythm of her strained gasps for air. If she didn't calm herself down soon they'd do it for her. It was that or let her knock herself unconscious hyperventilating anyway. But what was the point? She might as well lash out just to trigger them if she was doomed to be another one of those eager, brainless, drug addled pets the plants loved so much.
A knock rang out from next to the curtain. "Dear, are you okay?" Solanum's drowsy voice resonated through the air.
"No." came Autumn's choked reply.
"Can I help?"
"May I come in?"
Autumn stumbled forward to crawl out into the main room, coming out to face Solanum directly. Only once she was on her own two feet did she realize how badly she was shaking. "Sol," She struggled to speak clearly over the sobs she was trying to force down, but as she managed to string out the words she held out her forearms to show the scars to her. "Do I really have a chance?"
Solanum looked confused at first, then concerned as she took hold of Autumn's wrists. "Of course, dear. I wouldn't lie to you about that."
Autumn couldn’t bear to look Solanum in the face. She was afraid she’d see something, some twitch or bend in her expression to spawn doubt in her words. "Why?"
"Because when you called us  you were scared and confused and reached out desperately for help. You didn't understand what would happen to you and," Solanum had to pause then, her calm facade for once broken to reveal a deep look of sadness as she glanced to the side. "And it'd only hurt you more if we forced our choices upon you. I figured you deserved better than that."

“I can’t sleep.” Autumn’s voice cracked.

“Would you like me to help?”

She nodded, and Solanum quietly scooped her up to carry her back into her bed. She pulled the sheets back up over her body, tucked one arm out for access, and all the while one of her vines had snuck into the kitchen to grab a tissue and dot hear tears away.

“I’m going to give you a shot of beta-63. It’s pretty strong, but it’ll knock you out quickly and safely. If you still feel tired tomorrow when you wake up I’ll need you to let me know, okay?” Autumn nodded again. How dare she be so sweet and careful when she’s withering away in this emptiness. She wanted to curse Solanum out, drag her through the apartment and shame her with every garbled book there until the affini finally got the mess- Ow! Solanum stuck her arm with the needle.

Autumn breathed a sigh of relief. No point worrying about all of this now. Beta 69 or whatever was coursing into her system, reaching through her arm and into her heart and- ah, yeah, it kicked in quick. Her vision of the world faltered, then broke up into a fuzzy blur. Her body became light and airy, and her mind started to fizz up with it as well.

Solanum was still sitting quietly beside her, one hand holding hers and watching her carefully as she slipped under. “Sssolanumm,” Autumn said. Her tongue felt weird. Kind of fuzzy? She giggled at the sensation then proceeded to slide her tongue against the back of her teeth. “I ffffeel funnny.”

“That part shouldn’t persist through the morning.”

“Ssolanummm” Autumn furrowed her brows. What was she talking about? Everything felt kinda heavy now. Heavy and spinny and cloudy and sillyyyy. With her free hand she clumsily reached up and grabbed one of Solanum’s vines. “C’mere.” She pouted, and Solanum leaned in closer. This time Autumn released her vine to grab Solanum’s cheek and give her a pinch. This proved harder than she expected as Solanum’s cheek was composed of wood and not- hey what WERE cheeks made of? Were there muscles in there? Oh what was she doing a second ago oh right. “Thank you,” Autumn smiled.
For the brief moment before sleep finally took her, she could have sworn she saw a bit of green in Solanum’s eyes.

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