In The Garden of Eden

Chapter 3: From Frost To Warmth

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

Okay so. I decided to update this story every Monday and Thursday. I'm honestly way too excited to not share it, so with this, I'm going to try and get this story on a proper schedule.

So enjoy the other rather quick udpate! Next one will come on Thursday.

Also CW for Eye Impairment that is probably permanent. I'll add it in the tags of the story as well, just in case

Cold. So cold. The universe was frozen. They didn't know how for how long, but all they knew is that everything was so… Lonely. Cold, both inside and out.
Time slowed to an eternity. Nothing was going on. Nothing was happening. It was just an empty, formless void of dreamless sleep, with the inability to feel or think anything, other than the last thought that ran through their head. Now it was running through their mind on an endless loop.
How cold it was.
Maybe it was to torment them. A method of torture, one last cruel joke from the commander. They wouldn't put it past him to make sure that any runt that escapes still dies in utter agony.
The seconds stretched into minutes. Then into hours. And days, and years, and eons beyond that. Everything felt like an infinity of frost that penetrated their deepest parts, keeping them… In place.
Eventually, even the same loop of thought that persisted in their mind gave way to madness. Cacophonous noises that made zero sense and appeared out of everywhere. Dreams, apparitions, they couldn't tell. They could only keep replaying those last few moments of their life over and over. The shouting. The screaming.
The screaming.
The death.
The death that they caused.
They chose to let Spite die.
But they had no other choice, right? It was either they lived or Spite lived. And then either would die.
Rage had no way to block these thoughts now. Nothing else to concentrate on. Nothing else to take their attention. There was literally nothing else to this eternity of torture but their own thoughts.
They had no idea if the pod was even moving. Were they heading somewhere? Frozen in time and space forever? They only knew that it was cold. So cold.
The pod was in fact, moving. Attracted to the gravitational pull of the closest planet, and without any way to fly on its own, it was merely pulled by the most intrinsic force of gravity. First orbiting gently, then pulled down more and more. From there, the slow movement became a meteoric fall. Shooting down like a star into the ground below.
Still, Rage knew nothing. It was too cold.
It took some time longer for their pod to defrost. Right after the cryostasis was complete, the power went out entirely. The only thing keeping Rage frozen was the coldness of space, which was now replaced with the warmth of a living planet.
As it defrosted however, the pod door opened, steam rushing out while the human inside finally broke free. They fell to their knees. Shivering. Shaking. Breathing heavily. They weren't dead, right? They had to be alive. The cold proved it, something on that damned ship finally worked as intended and froze them long enough to survive.
It was then that they realized their hands were touching something unfamiliar. Touching… What the hell were they touching? Their eyes were still adjusting to the new source of light. All their life they were covered in nothing but artificial lights of the Spirit of Vengeance. They didn't really know anything else.
Was this… Was this ground? Actual honest to stars ground. It felt so weird. Kinda soft, but kinda hard in a sense. Rage waited for their eyes to finally adjust so they can see it, but… They didn't. All they saw was a sea of white. Nothing. It was too bright. Too much.
They took a step forward. One leg over the other. Every step was fresh. This ground thing felt… Kinda wet. Like there was water there. They hadn't had water yet. They heard that long ago humans used to drink it, but the nutripaste was modified to satiate their need for thirst as well. They still knew what water was, all the water that was left was rerouted to the cooling systems of the engine. In fact, Rage and their crew were the only ones who knew what water even felt like. They leaned down, touching this ground with their bare hands.
Yep. It was like it was infused with water somehow.
While they were busy being utterly fascinated by what ground was, they didn't notice the small, white flower that bloomed on one of the trees behind them. They didn't even realize trees were a thing yet.
<"Oh?… What is a cutie like you doing here?">
Rage quickly spun around. Something was making a noise. And it wasn't this ground they were standing on. It was like a voice, but they couldn't understand it. All they knew was the ship's spoken language. "W-Who's there?! Show yourself!" Rage shouted, trying frantically and failing to look around. Somehow their eyes would just not adjust!
What they didn't see is the flower that was both talking to and observing them. <"Such a poor thing… Can you not understand me? No, I suppose you wouldn't…"> In truth, the Affini observing this human couldn't reply in an appropriate language. That would require a mouth, and actual imitation of muscles to form the vowels that would usually comprise the human tongue, and she lacked neither with her current form. That left her only able to speak Affini, a language that far superseded the need for such trivial functions. However, even for someone not well versed in the inner machinations of the human tongues, the way they spoke felt odd to say the least. She knew to at least interpret their words. But this… This was some sort of lingo she just didn't fully understand. It was almost language, albeit if it was smeared and distorted with time.
From Rage's perspective, they heard something that just… Didn't make sense. It was akin to the rush of air that came out of the exhaust ports when they had to clean them, if instead of the usual stench it had a different scent. Something… They didn't even know what it was. But it wasn't unpleasant.
Finally, the world around them began to come into view. It was an extremely slow process. But at the very least, they were able to see a bit. They saw… They didn't even know how to describe those things. They were big, had brown stems coming out of the ground, and seemingly contained a lot of green things and white things at the top. Even the ground, now that they were able to see it, at least when they squinted and leaned in close, had a lot of green on it.
Were these… Plants?
As the thought entered their brain, Rage recoiled in fear. Fear was a good emotion, after all. They had to survive. These… These plants. They were everywhere! On the ground, and some even towering above Rage themselves into the sky. They looked around, their eyes seemingly stopping at just barely being able to see, as their feet carried them deeper into the land and away from the pod. 
Everywhere they looked, they saw more of those white plants. They could swear those things were watching them. Eventually though, their impaired sight caused them to miss a stray root, and they tumbled over, falling face first into the smaller plants that protrude from the ground.
"Get away from me!" They shouted with the fury of a cornered animal, ready to punch their way out of this. Even if in reality, compared to the other soldiers, Rage wasn't really worth anything in terms of physical strength. "I-I'll kill you!" They kept struggling, tossing and turning until they realized something.
Nothing was fighting back.
They stopped for a moment, and breathed in deep. There was this smell in the air still. It was sorta pleasant, but they didn't have anything else to compare it to that was also this soothing. Sweat? Blood? Charred skin? Exhaust fumes? All of those smelled nasty and Rage never liked those smells. But this one… They could tolerate it.
They just laid there. Feeling their strength leave them slowly. They didn't realize just how tired they were until this very moment. What would the other Engineers even think of this? They chuckled slightly, trying to imagine the reactions the other crew mates would have to seeing this strange alien world. They would probably try and destroy it. That's the only thing the other soldiers were good at, if Rage was honest.
Maybe this was proof enough. They weren't like the others. They didn't want to kill and destroy everything. Their mind turned back to earlier stages of their life, back to the training phase. Being shown constant Accord propaganda, which they seemed to be the only ones capable of understanding. To everyone else, it was just education. Teaching them the universe was out to get them and they needed to be strong to survive.
Everyone except… Someone Rage wasn't ready to confront.
Something about it appealed to Rage as well at the end of the sleep cycle. Perhaps, some dormant human instinct left in them from the cloning process, intentionally so. Fear. It was a good emotion. It kept them alive.
But these plant things… They felt soft. Kinda like their Sleeping Pod, but a lot less cumbersome? They were so used to sleeping tightly packed into a unit that was optimized for space, rather than comfort. And with that… Rage slowly fell asleep. Unsure of anything.

Hyacynthia kept watching, however. How could she not? This is the closest thing she's had to action while being suffused to this planet she called home. Still, just because she was rather a hermit, didn't mean she cut herself out of the Compact outright. Her data pad may have been old, but she kept it functional for exactly this reason. Sure, she had to pause her reblooming and restart it later, but there was no rush. She could allow herself a quick wake from her nap to deal with this… What appeared to be a human. Such a curious thing. She never thought she'd see a human this close to the Affini Core Worlds, not to mention one screaming bloody murder before falling asleep on a patch of grass.
Still, contacting her home was going to be rather troublesome. She had to actually manifest a vine for starters, which she hasn't done in ages, and then use it to send a message. By now flowers and other plant matter were easy. She could use them to observe this garden world of hers, and monitor it. What began as a lifeless rock was now her sanctuary, and she was rather proud of it for that matter. Not that there was anything dangerous in this world to begin with.
Regardless, after stretching a bit of her new vinework, now infused with her will directly, she used it to reach out. She had one part of her world that was technically a hab unit. Though calling it that would be rather silly, the thing was overgrown and hasn't been used for ages. More a tree now, than anything, she didn't use it, and thus, let the whole thing grow untamed while her blooms formed and she could wrest control back. Still, it had her pad. An old pad, but one she could use just fine.
[Whiteforest]: <'Argonia.'>
The returning message didn't take long to appear.
[Silverbloom]: <'Hyacynthia? What are you doing awake? I thought you were reblooming. Not to mention the last time we talked was… Very long ago.'>
[Whiteforest]: <'Indeed. And I wouldn't be contacting you if I didn't have a good reason to pause my reblooming. You wouldn't believe what sophont is sleeping on my world right now.'>
[Silverbloom]: <A sophont?'>
[Whiteforest]: <'Indeed. A human, at that. Though I'll say, I've never seen a human like this before. The way they talked felt so bizarre, and they were screaming about killing the grass before falling asleep on it! What curiosity.'>
She paused and sent another message.
[Whiteforest]: <'Or at least, I think that's what they said. It's hard to tell with their bizarre dialect.'>
[Silverbloom]: <'Wait a human appeared on your world? How? The terran Protectorate is several thousand light years away! Not to mention at this point their rebellion is long over. The only humans this side of the system are florets…'>
[Whiteforest]: <'Then I wouldn't know what to tell you, my dear Argonia. But this human here has crashed into one of my roots from orbit in what I can only deduce was an escape pod. They seemed really confused by the concept of what the ground is, for that matter.'>
There was a pause after that. A rather long one. Hyacynthia wasn't sure how to react to that.
[Silverbloom]: <'I see. I'll run a system wide scan. If a feral human like this just appears on your world out of the blue… There could be more of them in the area. We'd better run a full scan, just to make sure.'>
[Whiteforest]: <'See that you do, my dear. Now, if you'll excuse me, keeping this conversation going is rather taxing on me. I'll resume my rest and watching over this cutie.'>
[Silverbloom]: <'As you wish ma'am.'>
The vine retreated back into the ground, and the old data pad was left back to gather dust. Truly, Hyacynthia wasn't sure what to make of this situation. All she knew is that this human was here now. She couldn't just leave them to die. They'd need food, and shelter. And she could provide them, with ease. But it was less a question of giving them what they need, and more a question of earning their trust. She wasn't sure if her hunch was right, but if it was…
This human was going to need a lot of convincing that nature isn't out to kill them.

And so, Rage finds themselves on a brand new world. Do let me know what you think, and have a great day :3

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