For the past several days, Elvira has been kept in a semi-lucid state. A necessary precondition to the implant properly bonding with her body, she had been assured. Regardless of the exact reason, she doesn’t remember much. Just Akash touching her, feeding her, drugging her, touching her, bathing her, dressing her, touching her, breaking her.
Elvira awakens to the sensation of Akash’s vines curling around her possessively. Her bare skin is dancing with pleasure and sensation. She can barely think. With great difficulty, she pulls herself together enough to speak. “M-Mistress,,,”. Akash’s vines slow their idle winding, and she looks down at her squirming ward.
“Hey there, Elvy. Need something?” she giggles softly, ruffling her human’s hair. Elvira moans, Akash’s voice is so elegant, so resonant, it lights up her mind like a fusion drive against the void. She does want to respond, with an emphatic yes, that she wants to be touched more forever, but before she can, Akash continues. “What am I saying, of course you do! You need me to play with you more, don’t you~”
Somewhere, deep within Elvira’s xenodrug-addled mind, a part of her is screaming at her to resist, to thrash and yell and bite and kick. To tell Akash that she is a free terran, that she will never give in, that the terran will is unbreakable! But she doesn’t want to do that, not really, not anymore. A much greater part of her mind has already realized that there never really was such a thing as a ‘free terran’ — Just another helpless species waiting unwittingly for the affini to come and domesticate them.
To this end, she nods immediately, managing to squeak out a breathy “Y-yes, Mistress”.
Resting her face on a vine, Akash smiles broadly. “I know you do, my lovely floret, but alas, it’s time to come up now.” Elvira groans needily, she wants to stay like this forever, not come up! She feels so content here, safely wrapped in her Mistress’ vines.
Regardless, Akash adjusts something on her tablet, and Elvira begins to regain awareness.
She feels a rush throughout her body, like a brisk mountain breeze blowing the haze away from her mind. She blinks in rapid succession, shaking her head, coming back to her senses. By the time she has, Akash has already withdrawn her vines, leaving Elvira feeling uncomfortably untouched.
From across the room, Akash asks “How’re you doing, darling? Ready for me to dress you?”
“I -”, Elvira blinks again, still adjusting to being able to think in a way that could reasonably be described as ‘clearly’. She experimentally curls and uncurls her fingers, noticing that her reactions still seem dulled, somewhat; almost dreamlike. “I’m alright, I think?”, She slides out of bed, standing on mildly unstable legs. “Are we going somewhere?”
Akash explains, “We’re going to lunch, dear. Nikhila and I haven’t had a chance to talk in person since your little ‘escape attempt’. Oh, and Mara will be there too~”.
Elvira feels her stomach drop. On impulse, before even thinking, she shouts a panicked “No!”
Akash turns to face her abruptly, a stern, if surprised, look on her face. “No?”
Elvira stammers, “I. Sorry Mistress. I want to obey you. I just —” she pauses, fidgeting with her hands, confused by what she’d just admitted. “I,, Want to obey you?”, she repeats, almost not believing that she’d said it again. “I want to obey you.”
So perplexed by her own declaration, she doesn’t notice that Akash is now standing directly in front of her, a pleased grin on her face. A vine tips the human’s head up to look at her. “It pleases me greatly to hear you say that. Good girl Elvy!”. Elvira’s eyes light up with excitement and contentment. Her Mistress is happy with her! She feels her stomach flutter affectionately.
“But,” Akash continues, “Why would it be that you’re so against seeing your friend Mara, hm?”
Elvira’s eyes dim, and she tries to turn away, but Akash’s vines hold her head in place firmly. With a small sigh, she despondently answers “She’s not my friend! Not anymore, not after what happened…”
Akash sighs, releasing Elvira’s head, but gently grabbing hold of her hands, pulling her towards the wardrobe. “Why don’t you explain while I get you dressed, ok?”. Elvira follows, nodding silently. It’s not as if she even has a choice.
“She’s the reason I’m still here at all. She pulled the alarm!”. Elvira gestures broadly, before Akash pulls her arms upright to slide a shirt on.
“You didn’t really think that you had even the remotest of chances to escape, did you?” Elvira starts to stutter out a response, but Akash preempts her. “You do realize it was a test, yes? One that you failed, I might add~”. She cups a leafy hand around Elvira’s neck, possessively.
The human girl shivers and gasps. “I… Well! Um.” she trails off.
Akash stares smugly, almost disbelievingly down at Elvira. “My stars, you didn’t realize, did you?”
She gestures repeatedly, as if about to try and find some excuse, but then realizes it’s futile. With a sigh, she confesses, “No, Mistress…”
Akash boops her pet on the nose. “You’re too cute, darling~”. The human blushes. She can’t deny that being called cute feels wonderful.
“So,” The affini circles almost-predatorily around Elvira, knowing she’s almost backed her human into a logical corner. “By your own admission, you’ve surrendered, you want to obey me, and you certainly are enjoying my touch.” Elvira nods dreamily, thinking of being tangled in vines again. “Why is it that you’re upset at Mara then, dear, seeing as it was you who tried to run away?”
As Akash slides a medium length skirt onto her, Elvira thinks. Why is she still mad at Mara? She thinks she is, but her Mistress has made a good point. She is enjoying being here, just like she’d sworn she never would. She realizes why as Akash secures a collar around her neck.
She wasn’t mad at Mara, she was mad at herself! “I thought I knew what it was she wanted. I just… I assumed she wanted to escape as much as I did.” Akash finishes buckling the human girl’s shoes. “It never even occurred to me that she might’ve been enjoying.. All this. I should’ve just asked her!”
Elvira sighs, “I think I understand how she feels,” Akash ties a small bow into Elvira’s hair, forming a ponytail, “Now that… I’m enjoying… Your care…” She says each word slowly, carefully, still in disbelief that she can admit it at all, “…But I said some cruel things the last time I saw her…”
“You called her a traitor, as I recall. From what Nikhila has told me Mara has been nothing but obedient~”. Elvira exhales sharply, she knows Akash is mocking her; she must be very aware that isn’t what she had meant Mara had betrayed. She clearly had meant the Cosmic Navy! Terra! She almost says something, but before she can, she feels a wave a calm wash over her. She hasn’t even been able to get upset at Akash since she got her implant. It won’t let her. Besides, it’s not as if she wouldn’t do the same thing herself, now.
So instead, her mind refocuses back to Mara. “She probably doesn’t want anything to do with me…”
“Nikhila tells me Mara has asked about you every day since your argument.” Akash smooths down the wrinkles in Elvira’s outfit, giving undue attention to the wrinkles around her breasts; a fact that Elvira does not miss. She moans softly, and tries to concentrate, “S-She has?”
Akash nods. “She really likes you, you know~”
“I… We spent a lot of time together on the Spirit of Jupiter.” Elvira takes a deep breath, centering what little of her mind remained under her control. “I want to see her.”
The affini clips a leash to her pet’s collar and gently takes a hold of one of her hands. “Let’s get going then, hm?”. Elvira makes a confirmatory noise, and follows Akash out.
They arrive before Nikhila and Mara have. Staffing the human-compatible section of the cafe are numerous dreamily smiling terrans, wearing identical colorful uniforms. Before Elvira has a chance to so much as greet any of them, Akash picks a booth and gestures to Elvira to sit.
Akash ruffles the human’s hair, grinning. “It must be nice, seeing so many terrans again, hm?”
“Y-yeah.. I suppose..” She shifts uneasily in her seat.
“A new convoy of terrans is due soon. Perhaps you’ll even know some of them~”
There is certainly some relief in seeing other members of her species, but mostly she just feels foolish. She may’ve come to accept that the terran identity of strength and power is an illusion, a fundamental misunderstanding of their place in the universe; but all the same, seeing this illusion shattered a dozen times over all at once is unnerving. Some small part of her had hoped that maybe some other captured terrans would’ve been able to resist the affini, even if she couldn’t.
Each of the humans looks like her, she realizes suddenly. And she looks like them. Partially glazed eyes, calm, slightly clumsy movements, an emotional softness punctuated with excitement and joy at the attention of the affini. She briefly feels contempt burning beneath the surface of her mind, but just as quickly, the implant douses it. She feels like she should hate that the implant does this, but even that feeling is quickly washed away.
“Most of them have been with us for months at this point, so I’m certain they’re well behaved waitstaff.” Akash gestures to a passing human, and their eyes light up. They immediately approach the booth, curtsying politely. In a voice that Elvira previously would have thought was far too full of enthusiasm, they ask, “Greetings Miss! Would you like to order?”
Akash gently reaches out a hand, allowing the back of it to stroke softly against the still-bowed human’s face. “What a polite terran! We have a reservation,” Akash hands the terran a small slip of paper, covered in affini text. “Give this to the kitchen, and my regards to your guardian~” They nod, practically bursting with joy from the touch of affini leaves and a compliment.
As the human wanders back into the rest of the cafe, Akash turns her eyes to the human sitting besides her, who is nervously tearing up a napkin into progressively smaller pieces.
“Have you considered what you want to say to your friend, darling?”. Elvira sighs anxiously but determinedly. “I’m going to apologize. I don’t know if she’ll accept it, but I want to try.” The affini smiles, reassuringly rubbing her pet’s neck. “That’s a wise decision, I’m proud of you, darling~”
From somewhere inside Akash’s mass of vines, Elvira can hear the buzz of her tablet. “Seems our friends are here”, she grabs hold of Elvira’s hand firmly. “You’ll be ok dear, I’m right here.” Elvira smiles halfheartedly, and squeezes Akash’s hand tightly.
Akash’s vines shiver with satisfaction. It had been easier than she’d expected to get Elvira to come around. She supposes it only makes sense, humans are so trivial to convince, especially once they’ve been drugged enough. They’re practically made to be pets, really! She glances down at her human and smiles warmly.