In The Face of Tyranny

Chapter 1: Terran Dystopia

by Isactuallyabear

Tags: #D/s #dom:female #f/f #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #sub:female #aliens #bondage #dom:internalized_imperialism #dom:plant #drugs #f/nb #foot_fetish #humiliation #medical_play #praise #scifi #slow_burn #sub:nb #sub:the_horror_of_existence_in_a_caring_universe #systemic_D/s #transgender_characters
See spoiler tags : #multiple_partners #polyamory

Hello and thank you for checking this story out! This is one of many fanfics of Human Domestication Guide by GlitchyRobo. Ever since discovering this setting, I've been obsessed. And now, here I am posting my own work in the setting!
Fair warning, the first few chapters are pretty dark, since they go deep into the hypercapitalist dystopia. But I promise things get better soon!
**Edit:** Changed the date in the beginning paragraph to fit more closely with canon, according to the *Divaricated* sidestory *Postcards*.
Chapter CW: Allusions to past abuse and one accidental deadnaming.
Story CW: Self-hatred is a recurring issue.
P.S. Any graphic sexual/kink content will be contained in their own chapters with their own warnings.
On a particularly cold day during March of 2551 CE, Alex was driving home on one bone-chilling evening on her old, used hoverbike after another exhausting and monotonous day working in a job she hated. Having to wear a stuffy mask after the dust storm the day before left microscopic amounts of radioactive particles in the air.
Day in and day out, she had to do the same boring tasks involving the production of Synthcubes over and over as she anxiously waited for her time to go home. She had to take orders from her smug, self-important asshole of a boss unquestionably, lest she be fired and have her social credit score decreased for being ‘insubordinate to her superiors’. She had to strain herself to be as perfect at her job as possible, because each mistake was a dock to her pay, which hurt since she was already barely scraping by as it was. She had to make sure not to get on the bad side of her irritating, brown-nosing coworkers who were obsessed with trying to get ahead, all too eager to sell out anyone no matter how kind they were or how dire their straits were. On top of all that, she had to never take a day off unless she was very sick and even then that cost her money she couldn’t afford to lose.
It was running her ragged and she wanted nothing more than to quit but the ruthless, hyperindividualist brand of capitalism the Terran Accord worshiped left her with few options, all of which were terrible in different and increasingly severe ways.
Alex wished she could do something about the state of things, but any form of public protest against the regime calling for even the most moderate amount of change was punishable by a lengthy prison sentence, and that’s assuming the trigger-happy police-soldiers didn’t just shoot you dead on sight. Even breathing the word “communism” without a sufficient amount of hatred towards the concept could decrease your social credit score drastically and put you under police-soldier watch. Anything other than unwavering support for the human-grinding machine was met with suspicion and contempt by the state, if not outright unprovoked brutality.
This wasn’t even getting into what they were doing to the poor Rinans. Stars, the horror humans inflicted upon those they saw as inferior sickened her. She could barely look at a picture of one flanked by their domineering human slavers without feeling horribly guilty, despite her having no say in it happening or any power to put a stop to it. Anyone who spoke out against mistreatment against them were also imprisoned for questioning the ‘greatness’ of the Terran Accord.
When she was just a teen back in eighth grade she made the mistake of talking back to a teacher who was making fallacious arguments about how the lower class people were poor simply because they made poor choices in life, due to laziness and intellectual inferiority to the ‘hard-working’ quadrillionaires. It was so incredibly insulting considering she grew up in poverty and her parents practically worked themselves to death just to keep her and themselves afloat. She had become fed up with his rhetoric after months of gritting her teeth in silence and decided to voice her displeasure about the state of things. Thinking that at worst he would make a calm, if condescending rebuttal that would embarrass her in front of the other students.
Instead what happened was her receiving the nastiest glare she had ever seen in her life followed by a vicious berating, detention for the rest of the year and her parents being called to talk with her and the principal to 'keep her on the right path' so she wouldn’t 'turn into a damned communist'—something that terrified her since communists were executed by the state for ‘crimes against the corporate’. To top it all off, she also received a stern talking to by a sneering cop who took great pleasure in telling her that she was getting off lightly but not to do it again or else.
She cried a lot that day, which her father derided her for—calling her 'oversensitive', along with all the other criticisms he threw her way for what she said to the teacher. Not the first time he called her that or the last, but that stuck with her in particular. That whole day was burned into her memory.
The political zeitgeist of Terran society as a whole forcing the threat of execution among the disbelievers of capitalism meant that she had to keep her true beliefs carefully hidden around most people, only letting hints of the truth slip when she was one hundred percent sure there weren’t any devices recording them without their consent or knowledge, around those she completely trusted.
Those people were very few these days.
There probably were ways Alex could go about driving change, at least in her little corner of Mars, that she could find if she looked hard and sneakily enough. But if she were really honest with herself, the fear of potential consequences she could face if the wrong person caught her was paralyzing. Even being yelled at made her feel as if someone stabbed her in the heart, she couldn’t imagine the emotional pain of being forced to walk into the execution chamber, waiting for death to come as faces twisted into utter disgust and hatred burned holes in her skull. Or, at best, getting incarcerated into the prison system and facing abuse day-in, day-out from prisoner and guard alike. Existing only to be slave labor under a different name.
As much as she hated the system, as much as the state of things burdened her to her very core, she was too scared to do anything but pretend to be like everyone else outside her apartment much like she masked to hide her autistic quirks. She just wanted to stay home, not get beaten by cops looking for new victims or even shouted down by angry conservatives. But she knew that if she didn’t do something, people would continue to suffer like she was suffering. It made her feel like a selfish coward wasting oxygen instead of doing anything worthwhile with her life, unlike the brave souls risking their necks to get something for everyone else.
Maybe her father was right after all.
Suddenly, the sounds of a hovercar rapidly heading her direction snapped her out of her spiraling thoughts and adrenaline kicked in. She swerved as fast as she could out of the way and saw a flash of red speed ahead, swaying slightly. Likely a drunk driver. She cursed under her breath. Her grip on the handles became so tight that it hurt her hands and turned her knuckles white.
This wasn’t the first time she was almost hit by a car, but it never failed to spike her already-high-by-default levels of anxiety to the sky for at least half a minute. She took deep, slow breaths to self-soothe just like she did every time this or something similarly panic-inducing happened. Her breathing became progressively less shaky until her heart stopped pounding and her grip loosened back to normal.
As the minutes passed by and she had time to calm down, Alex let her eyes glean towards all the different lights and overly huge screens playing ads that littered the streets and skyscrapers. Forming a kaleidoscope of colors in the black of night. Such a display of forever-expansionist capitalism was as horrifying to the morally righteous side of her as the beauty of it was awe-inspiring to the more basic part of her brain that goggled at colorful shiny things. Maybe it was a little hypocritical, but appreciating the little things in life was one small light in her life she refused to give up.
Plus, as a bonus that gave her more motivation to practice her drawing skills. A habit Alex only recently worked up the nerve to pick up like she had been wanting to for years. The shaky and obviously amateurish scribbling she had done always made her cringe and set off those voices in her head telling her that her efforts were idiotic and would never amount to anything,completely demotivating her from practicing more. About a month ago however, she managed to push through these feelings and keep drawing and, she hoped she wasn’t being conceited by thinking this, but after a lot of practicing and watching ‘how to draw’ videos online she thought she actually might be turning into a halfway decent artist. She did need more practice drawing buildings though.
It boggled her mind to know that the city she was driving through was far from the biggest on Mars. It was actually pretty small in-comparison due to the location being towards the edge of the cluster of cities that made up Martian civilization. Only a few million people lived there, a far cry from the megacities that housed upwards to a billion people. In those massive concrete jungles, skyscrapers reached above the clouds. Neon lights and hyper immersive ads covered the buildings block-to-block and sometimes projected distracting holographic images on the sides of the road. There were the vast and dark slums where the bottom 80 percent of the class hierarchy lived. Public transportation was an absolute nightmare with people so tightly packed that trampling was a problem. The feeling of isolation amongst a sea of humans must have been magnified a thousand fold for the people living there.
She was thankful she didn’t have to live anywhere like that, or stars forbid, on Earth—Alex shuddered at the very notion—but it saddened her to know that so many people had to live in such horrid places, that those cities existed in the first place.
As Alex approached Apartment Block D, where she and her roommate lived, she pulled into the crowded parking lot. After turning the bike’s engine off, she felt it lower itself to the ground—stuttering a bit, due to its age—as the sound of its revving winded down to silence. She frowned at that. The old thing really needed to be looked at but she didn’t have the money for that at the moment. The bike was the best she could get with the money she had. It was better than nothing at least, with how little accommodation there was for people who were so poor they had no choice but to walk in the city.
After sliding off with practiced ease she took off her helmet and pocketed the earplugs she wore to muffle the worst of all the hovercars’ noise, including her own. Before she could go into the building, she had to swipe her Credit card in the parking lot’s pay station to pay the parking fee. Otherwise she would be legally considered to be trespassing. It sucked that her already small wage was being siphoned from that just because she couldn’t afford to in her own house, but the habitation discount mitigated that at least. Didn’t help the cold though, she was standing there shivering and seeing her breath steam into the air as it was processing the payment at a painfully slow pace.
When that was finally done, she rushed to the building to escape the biting cold air, waited impatiently for the barely working automatic door to open all the way, and breathed a sigh of relief seconds later when it finally opened wide enough for her to enter and feel the warm(er) air reach her body. As she heard the doors slowly shut behind her, she took her mask off and shoved it in her other coat pocket while making her way up the staircase.
Since the complex she lived in was one of the poor districts it wasn’t in good shape, as evidenced by the front door. The old, off-white paint was turning a dirty yellow and chipping everywhere, suspicious stains littered the walls, the cheap linoleum of the floor was cracked and worn down to almost nothing and some of the lights flickered a little bit. There wasn’t even an elevator installed, those were a privilege for the upper echelons of society. Alex also had to be careful as she went up the stairs since some of the steps were also worn down and a few were broken or near breaking. This caused her to nearly tumble down and break a limb or worse a few times and she knew she would never be able to pay off the hospital bill she would receive for treatment.
Something that irritated Alex was that the building’s owner lived hundreds of miles away in a far better home than she and everyone else in this complex could ever possibly afford. They had no idea about the extent of the building's condition and from what she heard, they couldn’t care less. The unending greed of people with positions of power made her feel rotten to her core.
After climbing several flights of stairs, Alex made a bee line for her room and fumbled the lock with her keys for a bit before entering. To the left was a tiny kitchenette and a tinier bathroom and to the right was a door to the bedroom. This would be considered laughably small to the upper middle class, but considering a lot of living spaces, this was actually fairly big compared to some of the cramped places she had been forced to live in. Though opening the bedroom door gave her yet another stark reminder that the room she and her roommate were forced to share was still clearly meant for only one person.
On one of the two small beds, which could only have a few inches of space between them due to the size of the room, sat her childhood friend Drew, using it as a chair as he used his desktop computer—which he stored in their shared closet.
They met at one of the cheaper high schools and started talking after noticing they shared several of the same classes, becoming fast friends over shared tastes in holo shows and books involving heavy intrigue and conspiracy… and also dumb action flicks. One day Drew revealed in a hushed tone that he was a dissident and, after a moment where she thought she misheard him, Alex was elated to meet someone else like her. She could tell by the look on his face that he felt the same way after she told him she shared the same dissatisfaction with their society. They became close after that, eventually becoming them versus the whole world.
After going separate ways for a bit due to differing busy schedules—albeit still calling each other sometimes—Alex ended up losing her previous job a year prior and because she could no longer pay rent for her last apartment room in a different complex across town. Faced with imminent homelessness, she had no choice but to reach out to Drew and hope she’d be allowed to crash at his place for a while. He was horrified at her situation and accepted far more eagerly than she expected. She brought what little belongings she owned, moved them all into the already cramped space and ended up staying much longer than originally planned. Not that either of them particularly minded, though if Alex were honest with herself she missed the privacy that allowed her to take care of… certain urges without fear of getting caught. Nevertheless, she was grateful for his generosity.
Drew looked away from his screen when he noticed her presence and greeted her.
“Hey Bria— er, Alex, sorry.” He said as he turned his whole body around to converse with her. She only recently came out as trans to him and he was still getting used to the name and pronoun changes. It stung a little when he messed up but she couldn’t fault him when he really, earnestly was trying. No snide remarks or anything unlike her workplace.
“It’s okay. You’re still getting the hang of it.”
“So uh, anyway, how was work?” He asked, like every other night she got home. It had become a little routine that she didn’t mind.
“It sucked, as usual.” Alex sighed as she took off her jacket—haphazardly throwing it at the foot of the bed, and flopped down on her bed to let herself relax. She was so thankful she had the day off tomorrow. “Got chewed out by the boss for ‘lazing around’, as though I hadn’t merely finished the last of my workload early. He used that as an excuse to dock my pay too.”
“Yeesh… he’s always getting on you for the dumbest shit.”
“What was I supposed to do, pretend I was working? He would’ve thrown a fucking fit if he caught me doing something like that. Didn’t even bother checking to see if he was wrong, he just automatically assumed he was right and punished me for something I didn’t do.”
“I think he’s just looking for any excuse to yell at his ‘subordinates’. You know those types, always looking to exert their power over others. Just like the rest of the pigs in charge on this planet.” Drew said. Alex was glad to be roomed with someone so like-minded. She couldn’t even imagine being forced to share a space with an unrepentant bootlicker like too many people were in this city.
He was the one who introduced Alex to the darknet, so she could see the secret websites that illegally held information on the government as well as old history school hadn’t covered. It worked more like the ancient internet of the early twenty-first century. Not having half of the net covered locked behind a paywall and the rest with pages covered with ads that attempting to block would get you fined for. With the exception of government propaganda sites, of course. He also told her to be very cautious about what exactly she clicked on, considering how… seedy the darknet could be sometimes.
There was a site in particular she loved that had ebooks covering so many time periods and events that it made her head spin—some of which would’ve otherwise cost a fortune to access—by the name ‘The Library of Alexandria’. Based on a real place in ancient times that held information which was apparently still lost to this day. So many hours were spent on the site. She loved the concept so much that, like the dork she was, she made the full version of her first name ‘Alexandria’ after it.
There were also black markets that illegally sold medicine at an affordable price. Alex eventually stumbled upon a seller of HRT months ago after searching for a while. Since a prescription was too expensive for her to afford, she opted to buy from there instead. Though she had to make sure no one found out she was using illegally bought HRT since that would at the very least decrease her social credit score, if not get her a prison sentence.
Regardless, that was another thing she was grateful for.
“Yeah seriously, the lengths capitalists will go to ensure the peasants are slaving their lives away…” She said before breathing a sigh. “At least he didn’t deliberately misgender me again.”
“Are you sure there isn’t a better job you could be snatching up? Between that dickhead and your ass-kissing coworkers, it really doesn’t seem worth the microcredits you’re making.”
“I’ve been looking, but I really don’t have many options and there’s no guarantee that I’ll even get an interview, let alone a job.”
“Damn… there’s got to be something out there.”
“Maybe, but I haven’t found it yet and I’m not sure I will anytime soon…”
“Who knows, maybe the shadow government is secretly hiding all the good jobs from us ‘cos they secretly know we don’t like the way they run things? They already do shady shit to non-conformists as it is and I’d be surprised if they didn’t secretly punish those they suspect are anti-government in some way.” Drew speculated as he adjusted his beanie to brush his unkempt, dirty blond hair out of his eyes.
This was a side of Drew that Alex wasn’t on the same page on. While Alex herself frequently wondered what the Accord could’ve been doing behind their backs and what secret machinations there could’ve been behind the actions they made openly, he was near obsessed with coming up with conspiracies about the government and finding more online. Seemingly adding more and more to create a grand conspiracy of his own while tossing away others that were indisputably proven to be untrue.
One time he even indulged a theory that there was a new species of aliens posing a threat being kept secret by the Accord. While the Accord did go out of its way to bury the worst of its actions deep enough where they thought nobody could see them, coming up with wild theories with little evidence was something Alex only cared to indulge in jest these days, and that was when she had the mental energy, and tonight wasn’t one of those nights. Going off of what was real and actionable was more her forte.
“Drew, if they knew we were dissidents they would’ve stomped on our necks already. They don’t bother to hide their hostility towards ‘undesirables’ and our social credit score isn’t nearly low enough and nor is our income high enough for them to even care about us.”
“Still though! We have to hide what we really think in front of everyone lest they rat us out and we’ve had enough close calls at school to make our families yell at us. It’s possible that they’re aware of our slip-ups. They probably have a full list of everyone who’s ever criticized the government on a file somewhere as a ‘just in case’ measure.”
“I suppose I could see that.” Alex sighed, fidgeting with her blanket nervously. She really hoped this wouldn’t turn into another argument, especially after an already emotionally exhausting day. “But again, there’s no way for us to know they’re doing this. Not without any proof. And until there is a shred of proof somewhere—and real proof, not the spoofed shit from the darknet we’ve almost fallen for before—I don’t want to bother getting hung up on mere possibilities rather than focusing on what plans to make about what we do know… even if it is fun to speculate sometimes.”
“That’s fair. But stars above I hate not knowing what the government knows about us, and what they do with that information. I always feel like I’m grasping at straws while they already have us in checkmate, and I just want to find anything on them that could help us take those fuckers down, even if it’s really out there, y’know?”
“Yeah, I understand completely. The Accord is shady as fuck and not knowing everything they do scares me too. I just… I don’t want to make myself more paranoid than I already am, or worse, get caught up in false hope again.”
What she didn’t mention was how she was even more afraid of believing him, getting wrapped up in any of these conspiracies and getting paranoid enough to do something that could get her thrown in prison or shot by a cop.
“Yeah… that really sucked.”
A moment of awkward silence passed before Alex’s phone buzzed suddenly, breaking her out of her pensive state. When she pulled it out of her pocket and her mouth quirked up the slightest bit when she saw who it was from.
Workbuddy: hey alex. didn’t get a chance to talk with you after our shifts ended. are you doing alright after all that?
“Oh well, at least Luke is there to keep me company at work.” She said, eager to take her mind off the government.
The one silver lining to her job was this one coworker she made friends with that showed up just a month ago. An all too sweet guy a fews years her junior, fresh into adulthood, who wore his heart on his sleeve and tended to assume the best of everyone for the most part. They didn’t talk too much at first, though their conversations were always pleasant, but at one point Luke was sad after the boss yelled at him for the first time and Alex consoled him. Letting him know that this happened all the time. Then, after realizing the boss really was an asshole, he made a joke about him that was so funny she had a hard time choking down her laughs, revealing this slightly cheeky side of him he rarely brought out, at least in the workplace. Thankfully neither of them were caught.
Afterwards, they hit it off quickly and talked or at least texted over the phone after work almost nightly. Since he happened to live nearby, he had even come over to visit a couple times in the past week. Which was a surprise to Drew, who knew Alex as a mostly reclusive shut-in.
Besides this unexpected friendship, there were no redeeming qualities about her job whatsoever and the thought of her workplace suddenly burning down gave her a grim satisfaction.
“Yeah, he’s a pretty cool guy. Even if he’s a bit naive. We should hang out again soon.” Drew said with a smile.
She typed out a reply.
Alex: I’m okay now, but thanks. Fucker docked my pay though, which sucks.
Luke instantly messaged back.
Workbuddy: really?!
Workbuddy: wow
Workbuddy: what does he even need that money for?? betting on hovercar races or something??
Workbuddy: that sounds like something he’d do
Alex: I have no idea, and honestly, I don’t care enough about him to speculate.
Workbuddy: fair lol
Workbuddy: there’s way better things to think about than HIM anyway
Alex: Haha... indeed.
The next few minutes passed with them just texting about random things back and forth while Drew used his computer in silence, probably focused on whatever conspiracy theory he found on the darknet this time.
At some point, she started thinking about how there would be a new season of a show that she and Drew introduced Luke to and decided that tonight would be a very good night to invite him over again. One of the few good shows made by actual people with real passion, rather than AI generated content using algorithms to determine what the majority of people have watched the most. Even if those were fine sometimes, they didn’t have any soul in them. Going back to watch one again after only watching real person made shows for a while gave her the creeps. Something about them set off the uncanny valley alarms in her head loud enough to distract her from the otherwise ‘fine’ content.
She’d also have to ask Drew again if she could invite Luke over to the apartment, he lived here too and technically it was his apartment, not hers, so she didn’t want to impose on him. And even if Drew likes hanging out with Luke, it didn’t mean he’d want him over tonight.
…Alex would just have to ask instead of sitting there ruminating until it was too late like last night.
“Hey… uh, Drew?”
“Yeah?” He said. Not looking away from his screen.
“…Would you mind if I invited Luke over and watched reruns of Space Adventure 3000 with him?” She asked hesitantly, with a bit of hope worming its way into her tone no matter how much she tried to sound neutral.
That got him to turn around.
“Sure! It’d be awesome to finish the current season before the next one comes out.” He exclaimed with more excitement than she anticipated.
Alex: Hey, Luke. Do you want to come over and watch Space Adventure 3000 with me and Drew?
Workbuddy: sure! i was actually just thinking of asking too
She smiled.
“He said yes.”
Her phone buzzed again.
Workbuddy: are you secertly a mind reader?
Workbuddy: secretly*
Alex: Nope.
Workbuddy: sure you aren’t... i’ll be keeping an eye on you when i get there :p
Workbuddy: see ya in a few
Alex chuckled lightly at the response. He showed his cheeky side more on text, evidently. After a few more seconds of staring at the text, she turned her phone’s screen off and set it on the stool-in-a-nightstand’s-place to charge.

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