“Darling, it’s time we have a talk about your behavior.” Akash runs the back of a finger down Elvira’s cheek, the human girl involuntarily whimpering. She pulls away from Akash’s touch, in as much as she could. Her naked body is securely bound to the bed, only her head unconstrained. Sighing, Akash places her hand atop Elvira’s, the affini’s easily covering the human’s. Again, Elvira tries to pull away, but her struggles against the vines holding her are futile.
“You’ve got to behave yourself dear, it really will make this experience easier.” Elvira interjects — “Easier for you, maybe!”
“You’ve seen how content your friend Mara is, don’t you want to feel as happy as she is?” Elvira scoffs, looking away from the affini. “That traitor is no friend of mine”. Akash sighs again, pulling her hand off of Elvira’s.
“I’m not sure that you understand your position, free terran. You belong to me, and that is a fact of your life now.” Elvira tries to make a skeptical sound, but it comes out far less confident than she’d hoped. The vines idly stroking up and down her sides certainly didn’t help. “Your plays at resistance have gone nowhere, and they never will. You’ll be far happier if you’d let me take care of you”. Before Elvira can object, Akash continues, “You need to stop fighting how you feel, darling.”
Cutting through the pleasurable haze, Elvira yells “I know how I feel! I am a free terran and I will not be so easily swayed!”
Akash pauses momentarily, as if in thought, “Of course, if my care seems so unpalatable, know there are other options available to you…”. Elvira stares quizzically at Akash as the affini taps at her tablet, several holoscreens populating the air in front of her. At first, Elvira has trouble making out what is being displayed, but as she realizes she gasps in horror. Each screen depicts a human — or a xeno species she doesn’t recognize — wrapped in vines, writhing in pain? No, worse, pleasure.
Akash slides a finger up Elvira’s shivering jawline. “We simply cannot have our wards acting out the way you have been, darling.” Akash’s voice has a venom largely unfamiliar to Elvira in it, “But we do have ways of ensuring good behavior. Our pharmacological technology is far beyond your own, as I’m sure you’re aware.”
Trying to muster a strong front, Elvira shouts “So what? You’ll just drug me till I.. Till I..” She stops, unwilling to admit to just how overwhelmingly nice the xenodrugs had made touch feel. “It won’t work! I won’t break!”
“Darling, you won’t have a choice. The xenodrugs you’ve been experiencing are the gentlest ones available, Class-A. Imagine feeling that way, touch starved and desperate for my attention, magnified by a factor of a hundred thousand, all the time.”
“A-all the time…?” Elvira shudders in as much as the restraining vines holding her allow.
Akash continues unabated, “Class-O xenodrugs are so potent, so effective at not only augmenting the subject’s senses, but at replacing their natural reward pathways, that it’d be unsafe, not to mention cruel, to ever allow their treatment to lapse.”
Elvira stares grimly ahead, trying to not show her fear.
“Do not misunderstand me terran,” Elvira flinches, “you would enjoy Class-Os, but that’d be all you could do. You wouldn’t even be able to think a few seconds ahead, let alone pull another stunt like you did earlier.” Akash smoothes back Elvira’s hair. “You’d be entirely at my mercy, forever. Little more than a squirming monument to your own pleasure.”
Trying to not cry, Elvira responds in a quiet, frightened tone. “You.. You’re bluffing! You can’t possibly —” The words catch in her throat as she sees the glint of a medical injector in Akash’s hand and the squirming wards in the holoscreens beyond.
Akash stares down Elvira, holding her gaze. “Would you like to call that bluff, darling? I’ve got an injector full of Class-O xenodrugs all ready to fill you with if you’re so ready to lose your free will~”. As Akash moves to inject her, Elvira squeaks out a desperate plea. “N-no! Please don’t do this!”. Akash sighs, shifting the injector away from the human, just slightly, while strumming her fingers impatiently.
Realizing the affini wants her to continue begging, she does. “I, I promise I’ll behave! I’ll do what you ask! Just please don’t turn me into one of them! Please Mistress!” She stares at the holoscreens, tears already running down her face.
“Oh? I wonder where all your bluster and defiance went just then, so unbecoming of a free terran”. Elvira thinks better of responding. Akash places the injector down on the bedside table, and dismisses the holoscreens with a swipe of a vine. “All that, just from fear of an empty injector~”
Akash laughs, a smile returning to her face. “Worry not Elvy, it would take you weeks to build up to a Class-O xenodrug regime.” Her expression darkens momentarially, “But I assure you darling, it would not take much to convince me that’s what you need~”. Elvira swallows nervously, eyes still wet from tears.
Akash taps on her tablet again, and the vines holding Elvira in place retract from whence they came. Elvira sits up, rubbing the exposed portions of her wrists tenderly. Staring down at the human, Akash asks “Well dear, are you going to behave for me from now on?”. Elvira nods shyly. “I want to hear you say the words ‘I will behave for you, Mistress’”. Under the intensity of Akash’s gaze, Elvira replies immediately. “I will behave for you, M-Mistress”. Akash ruffles Elvira’s hair. “Good girl Elvira!”. The human blushes bright pink.
“Now, I think it’s time that we get you dressed, hm? Perhaps get you a meal too”. The human glances down at her still nude body, realizing that she hadn’t even considered trying to cover herself till now. She decides against potentially committing any further transgressions at the moment, so she just nods and replies. “Yes Mistress”.
Akash had dressed her in simpler clothes this time, a long dark grey shirt with cyan trim, and a medium length skirt in the same pattern. She was just finishing her food, a bowl of some viscous, lumpy, but sweet porridge. Or rather, Akash was ‘helping’ her finish it. She had been forbidden from even touching the utensils, something Akash described as a “reasonable precaution”. At least she was allowed to sit in a chair on her own this time.
After Elvira had been fed the last bite of the porridge, and given an additional sip of water, Akash steps away, searching for something in one of the numerous cabinets that were beyond Elvira’s reach. “I suppose that some of the fault does lie with me, darling.” she begins, “I really should have made it much more clear what I expect of you here.” Elvira remains silent, shifting uneasily in her chair.
“Aha! I knew I had a copy around here somewhere.” Akash pulls a wooden clipboard out of the cabinet, a sheet of paper clipped onto it. Elvira only sees the paper for a moment, but there is unmistakable terran writing on it. “W-what is that?” Under the affini’s glare she quickly adds, “Uh, Mistress.” Akash grins. “A contract, of sorts. It outlines what terms I expect you to follow. Completing these is uncommon nowadays, but it seems as though it may be… Pertinent to have you do.”
She places the clipboard in front of Elvira, along with a pencil. “Please read each of the items here, and check each box once you understand what each requires of you. I’ll be right here if you have any questions.” Elvira stares down at the paper. Along the top, partially obscured by the clip, are various affini scripts, barcodes, and signage. She can make out one thing though. Her first name, printed in a terran script. Below the header is a list of ‘directives’ that she is expected to follow, each with a box next to it. At the very bottom lies a signature line and a box labeled ‘BIOMETRIC’. She takes a deep breath, and begins reading.
Above all else, you,
Elvira, must obey your Guardian,
Akash Nele, Third Bloomin all things. This is for your safety, wellbeing, and care. ☐
Akash Nele, Third 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
Elvira Nele, Second Floretfrom this moment forward. ☐
Below this line are additional terms that your Guardian,
Akash Nele, Third Bloom, has stipulated. ☐
It is unbecoming for wards to swear. You must limit your language as such. ☐
You are disallowed any secrets not specifically allowed by your Guardian. You are disallowed to hide any part of your body from your Guardian. ☐
Sign here to acknowledge your understanding and acceptance of these terms
Elvira hesitates, her pencil shakily hovering above the first box. “I-I… I can’t do this!” She drops the pencil, covering her face with her hands as she starts to sob. Before she realizes what’s happening, Akash is standing behind her, vines gently but firmly pulling her hands away from her face. The affini leans down, whispering into Elvira’s ear. “Oh, but you very much can dear. Here, let me show you~”
The alien places one of her powerful hands over Elvira’s, vines placing the pencil back into the human’s hand. Elvira realizes quickly that Akash is going to make her check the boxes whether she wants to or not. “Mistress… Please… I. I don’t want to!” Akash continues to guide the human’s shaking hand towards the page, slowly and deliberately, as if this is the first time Elvira has ever held a pencil.
“I know you don’t, my little free terran.” Vines creep down Elvira’s other arm, holding it firmly still. “But this really is for your own good~”. Akash moves Elvira’s hand to check the first box. “See? It’s so easy, just one little motion of your wrist.” Between sobs, Elvira pleads, “No… Please…” As she makes Elvira check the second box, Akash gently shushes the human. “It’ll be alright dear, I promise to take good care of you~”
“I want you to check the third item yourself, ok?” Elvira sniffles, slowly and shakily checking the third box, her checkmark far more crude and wiggly than the two Akash drew. Taking a deep breath, she checks the fourth box also, tears dripping down her face. “Oh, what a good girl you are, checking the next box without even being asked!! Perhaps I’ll have to reward you later~”.
Elvira’s hand is shaking tremendously, and the pencil slips from her grip as she moves to check the fifth box. “S-sorry M-Mistress.” Akash’s vines gently push the pencil back into her hand. Elvira can feel her will shattering further with each box, all her rage and contempt for Akash being replaced with a quiet acceptance and a longing to behave, for Akash to touch her more, and a fear of what could happen if she doesn’t obey.
She moves the pencil above the sixth box, her eyes so blurry with tears she couldn’t read it, though she knew very well what it was. Giving up part of her name, replacing it with part of Akash’s name, admitting she’d lost. As she draws the checkmark, she nearly tears the paper with how hard she presses down.
The human was already exhausted, her mind feeling much like her body felt when the affini tore her out of her interface tank in the smouldering wreckage of her gunship. She wanted to just close her eyes and wish that she was anywhere but here. Akash’s voice cuts through her hesitation like an affini plasknife through terran shiphull. “You’re going to be ok dear. Just a few more.” The affini’s hand was electric against her neck, but somehow calming too, a gentle touch, softly stroking fingers against her skin.
She checks the seventh box. She doesn’t know what else she could do. Trapped here, at this xeno’s mercy. She rationalizes that she has to do what Akash is saying now, so that she can plan in secret later. Not that she has any plans left, her mind seems incapable of even thinking about escape at all. As she finishes checking the eighth box, the tip of the pencil snaps, the noise and sudden jolt enough to startle her out of crying for a moment.
She wishes that this could be the end of it, that Akash would somehow decide that this is enough humiliation. But she knows this isn’t the case. “You don’t need to press so hard Elvy, just glide right over the paper.” Vines take the broken pencil out of her hand, replacing it with a freshly sharpened one. Elvira stammers, her hand shaking and swaying, her vision blurry. She can’t possibly go on, not like this, surely Akash could take pity on her and —
Her train of thought is broken by a question “Do you want me to help you with this last one, darling?”. Before she can even think to decline, she feels herself nodding. She can’t see her face, but she knows that Akash must be smiling. The affini’s hand returns to guide the human’s, the ninth checkmark so much clearer than the previous several.
“S-stars… help me…” Elvira was never one to believe in deities, but at this moment she wished she did.
“Put down the pencil darling, I’m going to ink your thumb for the biometrics.” She places the pencil next to the clipboard, holding her quivering hand out to Akash. She feels a cold pad press against her thumb, and then the affini guides her hand back to the paper, gently rocking her thumb into the square. She feels distant, but the tenderness in which Akash wipes her thumb clean with causes her to shiver.
“Just the signature left Elvira dear. Remember to use your full name, Elvira Nele, Second Floret.” Hearing her amended name said aloud would’ve been enough to cause her to sob, had she not been already. With a shaky and uncertain determination, she signs her name. The familiar loops and dots of her first giving way to the unfamiliar shapes of `Nele, Second Floret`.
With trembling hands she drops the pencil, bringing her hand to her mouth. Akash raises the clipboard to her eye level, examining hers and Elvira’s handiwork. “This is perfect darling.” a pause, “I think I’ll have this framed~”. Elvira halfheartedly slams the table with her free hand as the last of her defiance breaks, crying all the while.
As the last of Elvira’s resistance scatters to the wind of submission, three facts come to light in her mind. One, she belongs to Akash. Two, she has no choice in this. Three, she does not like the first two facts. In her fear, panic, and despair addled mind, she realizes that one of these facts must change. She’s already run over the possible ways to change the first two in her head thousands of times since being captured. Since before being captured even. None had succeeded. That left only the third.
Tentatively, she reaches her hand out towards Akash, almost stopping herself a few times, before she grabs hold of one of the affini’s vines, holding it loosely and looking up towards her. “Mistress?” Akash looks down at her, placing the paper down on a nearby surface, grabbing the human’s hand securely in her own. “Yes Elvira?”
“I”, she hesitates a moment, taking a deep breath, preparing herself, “I surrender”.