The Florette's Dilemma

22- Taken

by Motherlygirl

Tags: #dom:female #drugs #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #scifi #anxiety #depression #dom:plant #f/f

Hello! This chapter is, uh. It's rough. I'm putting down a content warning for shouting in all caps, and a much bigger trigger warning for discussion of cycles of anger and abusive behavior as a response to trauma, as well flashbacks and talk of kidnapping. It's not pretty. Be warned.

After the trio finished their meal, Effus recreated their earlier arrangement with her vines. Mane and Melody said their thank yous to the server and gave a message of the same to pass on to the cooking staff. As they made their way out of the restaurant Mane couldn't help but feel as if she'd made some kind of mistake during the meeting with Erias. She ran the appointment with her brain a couple times scrutinizing herself for some especially fatal blunder she might have missed. Her efforts bore no fruit but that only told her she wasn't looking hard enough. Did Erias see through her? Mane knew the affini wouldn't be content with her "sheep in bloody rags" act for long, but how quickly would they tear it down? Was the clock ticking down? Had she unwittingly set the bell already to toll for herself?  Nothing she recalled would tell her as much. The affini were aliens, proper aberrations to the customs she'd been left to teach herself-it was like trying to judge the body language of an animal that she'd never seen before. 

As Mane boarded the shuttle back to the Crest, her mind was elsewhere. Autopilot guided her as she put on the affini-made space travel suit. She fumbled multiple times as muscle memory tried to don it the way she put on the bloodstained one that bore the Greshul Corp logo. Her fingers pulled where there were no zippers, her hands tried to find a flap over the hips which this model didn't have, and she fumbled looking for the buttons and switches that operated the helmet. Even as she course corrected through a slow, distracted form of trial and error the physical act claimed no attention from her conscious thoughts. Melody noticed, not that Mane was aware, but Effus was still busy checking the ship's logs and making sure it had enough fuel and everything. 

Mane eventually finished her arduous mission and took a seat. As she strapped herself in she still wasn't in the present. She was frantically turning over the conversation with Erias, struggling to find where she might have had a lapse in judgment and not noticed yet. A hand took hers in an attempt to be comforting. Some part of Mane knew, despite the multiple layers of thick plastic-like material, that the other hand had to be human. That part of her wasn't in control. She flinched a great deal. 

"It's okay Mane," Melody tried to console her. The girl's voice was muffled and misty from its journey through her suit. It almost sounded like she was underwater. "You're safe now." The only reason Mane didn't virulently object was that not enough of her heard what Melody said. She certainly didn't feel safe, not with the constant threat of the affini's needles flashing in her mind. Their soft tones and sweet promises may have been genuine in spirit, but so was her family's belief that they loved her.

No, that wasn't quite right.

They insisted that they loved him. 

Mane ground her teeth together. Her father was dead. Her mother and the younger of her sisters had never been off of Gisk except on brief jaunts imposed on them by her father (who, as one might imagine, would have a hard time doing it anymore for various reasons). The elder of her elder sisters was out somewhere, but she was stationary as well. Her brothers, though…

 She hadn't seen Cain for a bit. He was a rebel, what the affini would disdainfully call a "Free Terranist." Mane hated that phrase not because it was misleading but because its use and undertones upset her. That humans, at least as a whole, ought to have at least the autonomy to govern themselves seemed unquestionable to her. The affini descending on capitalism like a team of buffalo punishing a predator for its hubris was a good thing. The Terran Accord had been vile and...well, not "corrupt." It was pure, successful at its stated vision without distractions or conflicts of interest. Its stated vision, however, had been unquestionably evil. 

Still, the framing in affini propaganda that this meant humanity needed, even benevolently, to be robbed of its self-determination permanently to this degree had always angered her. She had carried that anger with her. It was part of the reason she'd…

" shouldn't have switched," Mane practically growled. Melody looked at her, shocked.

"Switched...what, Mane?"

"Dullahand." The scene of that fateful match played through in Mane's head. She remembered feeling a pit in her stomach as she realized she might have to break a promise she made to the one person she loved the most in her life, or else be taken to the affini and snapped like a twig. "It would have been faster than Clothord. If you hadn't switched you'd have won that interaction." Mane's melancholy rang loud and clear in her voice even in spite of the distortion it underwent reaching out to Melody. "With that one ghost out of the picture I really didn't have much left that could safely deal with it." She remembered banking on Melody fearfully pulling back one of her trump cards and feeling a sort of resentment for herself when her mean-spirited prediction came true. 

"You weren't perfect yourself," Melody giggled. She didn't seem to be taking the memories as seriously as Mane was, but she might have just been masking it. "But...what, you think back on that match a lot?" Mane nodded. Melody gently stroked the back of Mane's hand despite the fact there was no way Mane could actually feel it. "That's behind us now, okay? I'm...I wanna ask...why did you accept it?"

"I didn't want to say goodbye," Mane gargled out. Her lip trembled. "I wanted to do something with you one last time before…before…" memories came flooding back. The months leading up to Melody's departure. Was that the day she left the planet? It didn't matter to Mane, up until yesterday it had been their last meeting until...there hadn't been an "until." Melody's face contorting in horror as she was denied the closure Mane had so selfishly denied her on purpose...she'd accepted that it was the last expression she'd ever see Melody make. It was burned into her mind more permanently than how to tie her shoes. 

"There, there," Melody purred. She reached out and hugged Mane. The affini-made suit did what Mane in hindsight should have seen coming: it heated up and made its padding swell just a little bit, so as to emulate an actual hug. It was an absurd feature that served no actual purpose, which was exactly why she felt embarrassed that it caught her by surprise. Not that she wasn't flustered (or emotional in lots of other ways) for plenty of other reasons. 

"Blast off!" Effus giggled from her spot at the pilot's seat. The inter-ship travel vessel took off without a hitch and made its way towards the Crest. "This skip through space will last just a bit longer than it did on the way. Do you two want me to enable the view so you can-"

"No!" Mane cried almost fearfully. The thought of facing the void right now-its endless expanse of inky black ready to crush her under the limitless weight of nothing, was the last thing she wanted to make a reality at the moment. Both Melody and Effus froze for a moment and looked Mane over, worried by her sudden outburst. 

"Note to self," Mane could almost hear Effus thinking, "get that checked out next time she sees Erias." Melody squeezed and tried to whisper reassurance but Mane wasn't listening anymore. The small vessel made its return journey in quiet, even if it wasn't quite in peace. All through the process of requesting permission to land, receiving it, preparing to enter the docking bay, passing through an opening door in the outermost extremities of the Crest, and the equally numerous steps that it took to actually land...Mane said not a word. She was tense and worried again. 

"We're back home!" Effus announced. Mane and Melody unlatched their safety straps, stood, and stripped away their spacesuits. Mane was paying enough attention this time to shed hers in a reasonable amount of time. She had to-Effus would actually notice if she didn't. "Well, not really home yet-we're not even in the affini part of the ship, let alone my hab," she added with a giggle, "but we'll be there soon en-"

Pink vines exploded into the ship, seized a hold of Melody, and tore her out of sight. Mane's higher mind shut down, leaving an animal in its place. Should she use- 

Mane stomped to the vessel's entrance faster than she'd ever moved in her life. A taste similar to her father's blood ignited in her soul. She remembered being ten, her father picking her up from school. "I'm taking your mother to the doctor," he'd said. She remembered asking her aunt if she could call her mother and see if she was alright. "No," she'd said with a smile. Pure unfiltered hate flowed past Mane, past her mind, directly into her blood and made the very iron inside it want to become daggers and embed itself in this intruder. Tears flowed from Mane's eyes.

She was ten. Her father towered over her, untouchable and protected by her school and the cops. She was powerless. He was going to take her, and there was nothing anyone could do. He was lying to her face and she couldn't fucking do anything about it.

She was twenty four. Her father lay weeping on the ground, ruined and drenched in the blood oozing from his mangled face. She was powerful. He was going to die, and there was nothing a single soul in the godforsaken ocean of stars could do to save him. She was beating him to death and he couldn't fucking do anything about it. 

"HOW DARE YOU!?" Screamed the animal seated in Mane's amygdala, its eyes bloodshot and front-facing and its nightmarish collection of fangs eager to taste whatever ichor these eldritch beings bled. "I'LL HAVE YOUR HEAD!!!!" She flew through the air at the pink affini and plunged her teeth and nails into it. 

"Mane Mane calm down this is just Cordi!!!!" Melody screamed, her voice full of anguish. The affini Mane had never met dropped her human and looked down in surprise. It said something. Mane didn't hear what. Melody was behind her, tugging at-

Melody was behind her. Mane rushed backwards, extending an arm out to the side as though the menace were not big enough to go over her more easily than around. She lowered her stance, she bared her teeth, she started to reach for her pocket-

The knife was on the side with Melody. Protecting her was more important. Mane's hand instead made a fist and tucked itself next to her ribs, ready to punch hard enough to shatter her own arm. 

"Mane!" Melody threw her arms around Mane and hugged her close. She smelled...nice. Mane's breathing slowed down. She steadily, bit by bit, reclaimed control of herself. She felt cold terror gripping at her.


"MANE!" Effus snarled. Were they friends? God, if their pets were dating they had to be-oh, oh god no. She was finished. One of Effus' hands took her by the shoulders and pushed her to the ground. She was left staring upwards into Effus, into the inevitable, into the cold void of space and the bell announcing her demise and the truth-

"Nobody's going to love him and he's going to die alone!" She remembered her father berating her mother when she was in middle school. This was it. She was going to be taken and snapped in two. This was the last straw.

It wouldn't be the first time coming back from therapy that her ride wanted to assault her. 

"Hey, hey, let go of her," the affini she'd attacked insisted. They waved Effus off of her and daintily lifted Mane up to her feet. They had...kind eyes, forgiving eyes. They seemed almost...proud of her. "There, there, little one. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have just snatched her like that. I'm sure that must have been scary, huh?" Mane opened her mouth to answer.

The animal was gone.

The murderer was gone.

All that remained was the child, frightened and powerless. It had been offered kindness by the one it had wronged. It did not understand.

Mane didn't answer. She choked and started sobbing. She didn't want to lose Melody again!

Back to top

Register / Log In