In The Garden of Eden

Chapter 12: Confessions

by JustALittleOne

Tags: #cw:CGL #D/s #f/f #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #sub:female #transgender_characters #cw:death #cw:partial_blindness #dom:internalized_imperialism #hurt/comfort

This is gonna be a bit of a tough chapter. Expect some angst and comfort, and hopefully a better time for little Amity.

Please enjoy <3

After finally being discharged from the hospital, and being allowed to wander around relatively freely, Hyacynthia finally arranged a habitation unit for her and her new floret. As she put it, she preferred to live freely in the wilds, but since they needed to stay until Amity could get her implant proper, her owner had elected to request a place to stay while they wait.
Even then, however, she realized just how well versed the white Affini was at arranging plantlife when the first thing she did upon walking into the new hab unit was to walk inside, take a deep breath if nothing but for drama's sake, and implant her roots deep within the vetigation-based construct. Within moments, she seemed to have established a healthy connection, growing more and more flora around it with simplistic ease that left Amity's mouth agape. 
"How do you even do this? I didn't see any other Affini doing this to buildings around them…" She climbed, quite literally, into the sofa that was gently placed in the living room. Everything, for that matter, was far bigger than herself, but she figured it was just fit for a creature twice her size.
"Ah, an excellent question my dear." Hyacynthia sent a vine to pat her, as she leaned into the couch, happy if not tired. "I've lived for many, many cycles. Being on my 100th bloom is no small feat, you know~" She chuckled, though Amity could only equate it to someone living a 100 years? Sure, it was old, but it wasn't that old. "And before you came into my life, I spent countless cycles of my existence deep within the ground, growing and spreading my roots. I think you'll find a lot of Affini have the capacity to grow certain things, like fruits filled with nutrients. In fact, it's not uncommon to have florets feed off our love." To emphasize her point, Hyacynthia lowered her hand, pointing down with a single finger as Amity watched a flower bloom, and then close up to swell into a fruit for her to enjoy. "I just took our own innate ability to meld with plants around us to the next level. It may not seem like it, but I carry a lot of seeds from my garden world in this body."
Amity bit against the soft flesh of the fruit given to her and chewed, relishing the sweet taste. "Do you think… I could do that too? Grow plants, I mean." She didn't notice how her legs were rocking back and forth idly.
The mere mention of that idea sparked Hyacynthia's eyes with elation. "Of course! I'd be more than happy to teach you. Now, you may not have the same capacity to manipulate life the way I do, but that doesn't mean I can't teach you how to garden. Would you like to try now?"
She nodded in Agreement, and her Affini caretaker swiped her off the couch, taking her to a different room. As it turns out, while Amity was given a proper room with a bed in it and everything, Hyacynthia preferred to sleep in less… Conventional means, and her 'bedroom', for lack of a better word, was just a massive patch of earth and dirt, ripe for planting.
"Now, what you wanna do is treat each seed gently, okay?" Hyacynthia's chest folded open, and she pulled out a single seed out of it. Which made Amity surprised, for as big as the plants her owner grew were… They came from such tiny objects? "Are all seeds this small? Did… You come out of such a tiny thing too?"
"Oh my, what questions are we asking~" The Affini chuckled and pulled her in for a hug, and nodded. "Why yes. All plants come from these tiny seeds. But as for Affini… Well. Perhaps one day I'll show you. For now, however… Open your hands love." Amity made a cup with both palms, to which Hyacynthia dropped the seed gently. She couldn't help but stare at it. Such a tiny, fragile thing… It reminded Amity of herself. So small, so gentle. So inno-
She wasn't innocent, and she knew it.
She was a murderer, something that kept plaguing her mind. Even the dreams, now that she had properly acclimated to her situation and Hyacynthia's rhythm didn't protrude her as such, contained that horrifying scream of Spite that echoed in her very soul.
Rage made that choice. They made it actively knowing what it meant. They didn't even try to stop the captain, maybe they could've. But they just wanted to get out. And they were willing to sacrifice Spite for it. They were willing to lay the life of another human being for their own selfish desires, to be free of the malice within the Spirit of Vengeance. But where the others they knew back then would've commanded their tenacity for being clever, if not for the reasons they exercised this intelligence, internally they felt disgusted with themselves about it. All this freedom, all this affection. The tiny seed in their hands could have only gotten there using the blood of another sophont. Of another human.
Spite didn't even know. To him, he was just about to climb out before the engine was turned on and he was fried alive. How could they even imagine what pain this is? Did Spite blame them as they died? Did they blame something else? Somehow they couldn't imagine anyone else Spite would hold this against.
She didn't deserve any of this. All this love and affection. Who was she to give this tiny seed life, when she took another's away? She was selfish. She was just like the others on that damned ship. She was a mon-
"Amity? Are you okay?"
Hyacynthia's voice cut through her train of thought, and she snapped back to the present. "I-I'm… I'm fine."
Her flowery owner sighed, and wiped a vine gently against her cheek. It was stained with tears. "You clearly aren't, my dear. And I can't help you if I don't know what's going on. I figured something was troubling you, but I didn't want to bring it up. But if it's causing you this much distress… Then I want you to tell me. Why are you crying, flower?"
She tried to talk. She really did. But the second she opened her mouth, she suddenly felt choked up and unable tp speak. Instead, she grabbed her stomach, curling in place. That prompted Hyacynthia to tense up in worry and pull her close. "Are you hurt? Did something happen? I'll call Doctor Xaxavex right away we'll-"
"N-No." She managed to mutter. Amity was bothering Hyacynthia enough. "I-It's… I can't…" Tears kept running down her cheeks, gently falling to the ground below them as Hyacynthia pulled her in for a close hug. 
"Petal…" The Affini kept her close, hugging Amity tenderly and humming without her mouth somehow. "I know you've been through a lot, but I promise you that it's okay. I won't judge you, nor will I punish you. You can be open with me, I won't tell a soul if it helps."
"Y-You can't know for sure…" Amity spoke between sobs, salty taste hitting her lips momentarily and her arms trembling ever so slightly. "I-If you knew what I did you'd throw me away…"
She could see the gears in her guardian's head turning. She wasn't sure if Hyacynthia could figure it out, but regardless, said guardian only hugged her closer. "I swear on my very core that I will not cast you away. You are my floret. And I am your Mistress. Now and forevermore."
Amity stopped. She wanted to trust, but she was afraid. What if she told her and Hyacynthia would be angry still? What if they somehow decide to put her back on that ship? Or punish her some other way? She only did what she had to do to live, but she wasn't proud of it. She wasn't happy, or content with herself. She never knew if she would be. All she knew is that she did something horrible and it was too terrifying to think about it willingly, let alone speak about it openly.
That scream. It was one of the most vivid memories in her brain. Months and months of mundane engine work and bullying all melded together into a blob of meaningless days, but that scream stood above everything else. She even watched others die there. When wasn't someone dying? They lost half the crew and had them replaced before she could escape. Spite wasn't even her closest friend, assuming she had any friends. But he was at least nice. He had dreams.
And she took those dreams away, so she could live.
"I… I had to do something." Amity finally felt the words leave her lips, still shaking with each vocal tone. It was hard, but she wanted to trust. "I… When I was on the ship… I-I needed an opportunity to run and get to the escape pods… A-And the captain, he was gonna turn on the Warp Drive with Spite still inside. A-And if I said anything, I would've died… A-And I couldn't tell Spite, he would've told the captain too… S-So I… I…" she broke into wails and whimpers, burying her head against Hyacynthia's flowers.
She could feel the very same flowers curl and shrivel a little. Hyacynthia's hug softened a bit, running a wooden hand across her hair. "Oh, you poor thing…" Amity was surprised. How was she the poor one? She was the one who got away. "That… Wasn't your fault, sweetie. It couldn't have been."
"But it was!" She called out. "I-I knew he was inside the engine when the captain came. I knew that he couldn't make it out of time before the switch would've flipped. And I knew that if I didn't escape, I would've died there with everyone else. But I needed a distraction, a disaster big enough to draw the captain's attention for enough time to let me escape. And Spite burning alive and ruining the Warp Drive… I chose to let him die. His blood is on my hands. It was just like-" She immediately shut up. She knew it would pop up eventually. She hadn't even thought about them since escaping.
She looked away. "Since I saw the only person who I genuinely considered a friend on that ship die…"
Hyacynthia felt like she had to ask. "What… Do you mean?"
"It wasn't much. When I came into the world, I quickly bonded with another of the Engineers who was cloned shortly after me. They were the only ones who understood that what we're doing was madness. Unlike me, however… they weren't to talk to the captain about it. They were executed as a traitor shortly after."
A heavy silence fell upon both Affini and floret. Neither could bring themselves to say anything. And yet, when Amity finally managed to look at Hyacynthia… All she saw was compassion. Worry and empathy rather than scorn and anger.
"I don't deserve any of this…" She muttered, and Hyacynthia pulled her into the deepest hug she ever felt.
"My Amity. My dear, gentle, loving Amity…" Hyacynthia began. "You were put in an impossible situation. No one can fault you for acting in self interest. I'm so sorry that you had to make this choice…"
"How can you even say that?..."
Hyacynthia's face hardened somewhat. "Because I used to be the admiral of the Compact's armies, love. For many, many cycles and blooms, I lead our warships and acted as the initial line of defense and offense within this universe full of sophonts. And I've had to make my fair share of tough choices. And it hurt. And the deeper I delved into meetings and beucracy, I couldn't help but forget every single life that I failed to save. Every sophont who's existence I could have protected and fell short of, every plant and animal who's lives cut down by the hand of nature or intelligent beings." Her head fell.
"Every time I had to make a choice between one life or another."
At that moment, Amity could feel a level of understanding between her and Hyacynthia that went deeper than just their meeting circumstances.
"It was rare. But it happens. When you live approximately 300,000 human years… you see so many things so many times that counting them becomes meaningless. I've had blooms that were hungry for war. I've had blooms that felt sorry for my actions. But at the end of the day, when I retired… I felt at peace with the plants around me. Which I always did, but planting myself deep in the ground made me understand why."
Amity didn't respond, but the tears running across her cheeks stopped. She let the Affini, who she just realized had lived much, much longer than she could possibly fathom, continue.
"I realized that despite my entire life of conquest, acquisition in the name of the Compact, domestication of other sophonts and bringing our will to the rest of the universe… I just wanted to give life to other plants. To simpler beings. It didn't have to be complicated. All Affini are filled with love and compassion, and I am no different. But I just… Learned that true love doesn't come from owning something and breaking it to fit your image. It comes from imbuing it with life. Watching it grow and thrive. And I want to give that same feeling to you, Amity. I want you to feel that love and nurturing growth every single day. To know that you're always cared for. Always doted over. And always given the space to thrive and bloom into the beautiful flower that I see in you." The white Affini closed Amity's hands, keeping the seed inside.
"So let this be the first step. I know you feel like you took a life away, and it can't be returned. So why not give life to others from now on?"
Amity's heart was thrumming and beating loudly. The very heart that was made for her from this Affini who understood her pain. This Hyacynthia Whitebloom, who's life preceded everything she could possibly imagine, and still had boundless love to give. She nodded.
The actual act didn't take long. Hyacynthia taught her how deep to dig the hole, to gently place the seed inside, and bury it so it's all comfy and safe. Give it water, and plenty of love. And to wait for it to make the first steps into the world of light on its own.
And for the first time in so long… she felt whole.

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