Between The Lines

Chapter 4

by AutoNova

Tags: #cw:noncon #bondage #D/s #pov:bottom #pov:top #scifi #sub:female #clothing #dom:nb #drugs #f/nb #Human_Domestication_Guide #nonbinary_character #petplay #self_care_is_over_were_doing_drugs_now #self_harm #self_harm_is_over_were_still_doing_drugs #transgender_characters

Chapter 4

Bree's mind felt like syrup; thick, sweet, sticky. She tried to fight the slow waves as they crashed into her but it was a futile struggle. Any time she managed to get a breath, a small semblance of coherence, she was pulled back into the depths by an unknown force.

She knew something was wrong but she didn't know what it was. Every time she thought she might have figured it out, she sank back into the sticky haze in her mind. Something kept touching her, petting her, each touch a jolt of sweetened lightning straight to her skin, crawling outward to envelop her entire sense of being. She couldn't do anything but give in and endure the endless sensation.

Bree was raw. She'd felt so much, too much. She had no idea how long she'd been wrapped up in her own head, it could have been seconds, it could have been days, she had no way of telling, but eventually, she resurfaced.

It started slow, a single lucid thought bubbling to the surface of her mind before bursting, returning her to the mindless daze.

“Where am I?”

Pop

“What happened?”

Pop

Then the thoughts came more rapidly. Bree could string together a few thoughts at a time before dipping down once again.

“I was talking with someone. Who was it? She was tall… and green? I think there was a flower...”

Bree fell again.

“Fen! It was Fen… but what were we talking about? She’d been sad about something. I said something and…”

The needles.

Bree sat bolt upright in her bed; frantic breathing, heart pounding, mind racing. She clutched her wrist where Fen had pricked her, the memory replaying constantly in her mind. The mental image of the needle making her shiver. Fen had been so calm, eager even. How could she just do that without warning…

Twice!! She did it twice, not only that but after Bree had told her about her fear of needles. Bree's hand jumped to her neck, feeling around for where Fen had stabbed her the second time. There was no puncture wound, no evidence at all besides the drug trip she'd fallen into immediately afterward.

Bree frantically looked around the room, it was empty. She let out a sigh of relief upon discovering the absence of any affini. She needed some time to reflect.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Fen felt good about herself! She'd given Bree her first dose of her class-G's and helped her get over her silly fear of needles. And that was all before she'd drank breakfast! (that's how the Terran saying went, right?) Unfortunately, Fen couldn’t stay with Bree long enough for her to regain consciousness, she was expected in for her Domestication training.

Fen knew she wanted to work as a xeno handler from the first time she saw a floret. A lovely little beeple, linan, who belonged to the role model of her early decades. She spent a lot of time with linan and his owner Uris, until he had to leave the Disalix sometime in Fen’s early sixties, never mentioning what for. Fen’s mind trailed back to them often, clouding her thoughts. linan was a truly wonderful pet, he was such a happy little thing, willingly giving in to any orders and commands that he was presented with. He’d always be hanging onto Uris or buzzing lazily behind him, mindlessly bumping into obstacles as Uris gently tugged his leash along. The thought of the adorable little Bee flooded Fen’s mind. She couldn’t wait to have a floret of her own.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Calyx”, Anmera knocked on the doorframe to their office, “I’ve got a few new patients for you”

Cal turned to look Mera in the face, “You do? I thought all the new captures were headed straight through domestication.”

Mera huffed, “Of course not, We didn’t just run into a Navy ship, it was a colony that had been ready to surrender until the Navy dropped in and mucked everything up,” Her frustration was audible, her voice had a particular shrill quality to it that they only ever heard when she was particularly stressed. As well as the clear audible clues, they could see the coils of vines of her limbs twisting tighter and tighter.

“Mera”

She shot them a death glare.

“Calm down. You’re going to overstress yourself and snap your arm off again”

She relented and released the tension in her limbs, losing the stiffness that Cal knew she’d been holding for days. “Now, care to give me the patient files?” they suggested, keeping their voice smooth and calm.

Mera rolled her eyes before stepping forward and pulling out a file containing what Calyx estimated about thirty pages of documents. It wasn’t a lot, but they often found that more information on a patient made their job much easier. Thirty pages on one Terran alone would have them giddy. They couldn’t complain though, the capture had only been a day prior, so any information on the patients had to have been collected in that short time. Many of their colleagues were caught up in the sheer amount of domestications they were taking in. Calyx was a sort of last resort if they ran out of other affini to help with breaking in the soon-to-be pets. A job that they were not a big fan of.

Calyx briefly flipped through the papers, scanning to make sure that they were, in fact, patient files. They would have trusted Mera with their first floret, but she did happen to get overwhelmed and a tad forgetful when she was stressed. They constantly had to remind her to unwind herself from time to time to prevent her from forgetting that Terrans needed food. (she still needed to be reminded sometimes)

"Thank you Mera! You’re the best!” A light green tint bloomed across her facial leaves as her feathery antennae receded back and pressed against her scalp. She turned and left the room without a goodbye. Calyx shouted a farewell after her as she scurried down the halls to worry about some other patient. Cal shook their head as they started to read through the documents they'd just been delivered.

Calyx had been assigned three new Terrans for evaluation and integration. The first two were fairly decently documented, they were sure they could be done with them in a few days at most. They'd both been raised on fairly well-developed Terran planets before moving to the new settlement a year prior to them willingly surrendering themselves to the Affini. One of which was nearing her fifth decade while the other had just passed that milestone. Calyx figured they'd both be independent enough to take care of themselves until they decided to live independently or volunteer for domestication. They’d simply need to have a brief check-in with them both to determine their mental status before setting them loose in the ship.

The other Terran, however, was going to be a much harder seed to sow. Bree Kelly. Her file had only two pages as opposed to the sixteen and thirteen of the other two. Bree's details were limited to her basic physical data, two pictures, and three small bits of information. The first being the state that she’d been discovered in. She'd been curled up in a ball in her habitation unit, holding her hands over her ears and shaking uncontrollably. The second fact, that she had an interest in a class G xenodrug regimen. Finally, the third note mentioned that she expressed an extreme aversion to affini thorns and injections.

After a quick scan of the notes, they checked the images included with her file. One was a portrait of her face. Looking at her, they could tell why she had requested class g's. She resembled far more of the male Terrans than female Terrans that Cal had encountered and recognized the disconnect. The second photo was far more interesting than the first. It was focused on the Terran’s lower leg, centered around a wound that she’d endured during her rescue, but that wasn’t the detail that caught their attention. What truly intrigued them were the dozens and dozens of dark scars that occupied the entirety of her leg. They felt an odd kinship with the girl, glancing down at the bark plates that covered the coils of their own arms. The patterns matched, yet they were complete inverses of each other all the same. Cal’s bark consisted of metallic reds and purples, interrupted by the harsh lines of pale off-whites splitting the otherwise smooth surface. Bree’s legs were exactly the opposite. Pale skin with jarring glossy red and purple scars adorned her skin in the same manner as Cal’s own bark.

Cal wondered what could have made so many pronounced scars like that. Surely she would have run away from anything causing her harm, right? So why did she have so many scars, all varying in their state of recovery? Unless it was something she did to herself, but why would she do that? Terrans were incredibly sensitive to physical damage, very few could withstand even low levels of pain and damage, so why did she have so much built up?

Calyx was stumped. Bree was going to be quite the challenge.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Bree sat alone in the room. Judging by the clock and a rough estimate of when she’d first woken up that morning she came to the conclusion that she’d been drugged out of her mind for nearly three hours. How was that possible? And how could Fen have done that to her so easily, all it took was a single prick to render her completely helpless and immobile for three hours. She shuddered at the thought, so many things could have happened to her in that time, she was completely unresponsive and helpless.

The door let out a click before sliding open. Bree flinched at the sight of an Affini, but relaxed when she realized that it was Mera, the gentler Affini from the night before who helped her fall asleep without injecting her. “Greetings, Bree. I’ve brought some breakfast for you” Mera smiled at her before placing the tray on a table that she pulled over the bed.

Bree looked down at the food placed before her and nearly cried at the sight. There was more food than she’d seen at once in months, and it actually smelled like food and not the industrial paste that she’d been limited to for so long. There was cereal. Cereal! She hadn’t seen cereal in years, and it had actual milk -or something close enough to it- She immediately grabbed the spoon provided and started scarfing down the sweet, crunchy meal.

“Dear, can I examine your leg?” Mera asked, from the side of the bed.

Bree’s mouth was full so she simply nodded instead, allowing Mera access to her wounds.

Mera quickly and quietly replaced the wrappings, taking into account the state of the wounds while she hummed softly to herself.

“Bree, how are you feeling?”

Bree needed a moment to down her food before she could respond, “good, er… mostly” Bree thought back to the morning with Fen, “But I didn’t sleep well, I had… troubling dreams” She tried her best to speak in a way that she assumed Mera would understand.

Mera nodded, “I can assist you with that tonight if you’d like.”

“I’d like that” Bree paused, “No needles, right?”

“Of course, you requested as much last night,” Bree let out a sigh of relief.

"As for your care," Mera continued, "your leg has been healing nicely, you'll be back on your feet soon enough. Speaking of, tomorrow you'll have a new visitor, they will ask you a few questions and then we'll discuss how to best continue your care, considering you still need it, okay?"

Bree nodded in the affirmative and Mera turned to leave the room, before stopping and asking a question, "why did you ask about the needle?" She turned around, a confused look plastered across her face “Why would you think I had decided otherwise when you specifically explained your fears last night?”

Bree closed her eyes and took a deep breath before explaining what Fen had done that morning. As her story progressed, Mera shifted through several stages of disbelief, worry, and anger. Bree watched her face shift and twist and turn all sorts of colors as she recounted the events.

Bree finished her recollection with barely any breath left. She’d needed to take several breaks in the story to pause and recompose herself lest she start sobbing over the events. Mera wrapped Bree in a tight hug once she’d reached her conclusion. Mera soothed Bree with tender strokes along her back and words of reassurance. Mera composed herself before promising that she wouldn't let Fen near Bree without a supervisor and leaving the room with quick, frustrated strides.

Bree sat alone once more, left to stew in her own thoughts.

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