Lily groaned and whimpered away as the sudden pain and unnatural rock of the ship woke her brain up. Or was it that strange pink haze that flowed around the ship? So much denser on the floor of the centrifugal gravity. Lily felt the pain. Lily felt the hellish torment her body began to bombard her with. She almost wanted to pass out again, the nice smell was urging her to do it…
No. Don’t give up. Live! *BLAM!!!* Another thunderous shake rocked the ship. The guards now decided to dump her body and run for it. Of course… Like any brave soul would do...
Lily yelped through the agony as she fell over. Her eyes began to shed tears in pain as her mind caught up to the fact that 7 of her fingers were broken in the process. She didn’t want to think about it. She shouldn’t… Her body began to shift. *slowly.* So many broken bones, it was a miracle she even managed to do anything. Do what? Roll over and lay pressed against a wall on the floor in a thick haze of the gas.
Lily whimpered through the fumes and the pain. Her whole body screamed at her to just give up, but she couldn’t. She needed to escape. No matter how, no matter where. The pain was so unbearable that even as the toxins in the air began to mellow her mind and dull her nerves she couldn’t help but scream out her whimpers. Perhaps it was luck that the guards came to pick her up. Perhaps it was luck that both her legs were broken that the rebels didn’t believe they could transport her fast enough. Perhaps it was luck that her head was struck so hard that the dizzying pain which flooded her mind distracted her from the rest of the body screaming in agony.
The alarm kept going off. Was the ship being attacked? What a silly question… of course it was. Those all too familiar fumes were burning inside Lily’s lungs sedating her to oblivion and back.
Was she just to stay here? Lie in wait? Forgotten? For everyone to leave her floating in space. Broken and beaten up. Lily couldn’t take it. Her mind was tearing at the seams as she couldn’t accept the drugs calming her down. It was too much. There was just too much wrong. Too much pain! Too much… Too much… Too… Lily’s strength was failing. Her heart and mind broke as she feared the worst. Death… Death was so near.
Footsteps could be heard in the distance. Something heavy was approaching. And in the fear riddled brain she saw a familiar shape walking towards her. ‘Silwey?’ Lily barely had strength left in her. Speaking was hard, moving was painful. Every little rumble of the ship had caused her more pain.
As the shape gradually approached Lily noticed it was simply walking past along the corridor she was laying in. She needed to move! She needed to do something. She needed to… move her hand forward right in the path of the shape moving along the hallway to make them notice her.
This would have been a good plan if it wasn’t for the lack of observation the shape displayed as a foot stepped onto her hand causing her to whimper out a painful squeal. Her head was spinning and pain kept rushing to her brain that the drugs could not sedate. The foot rose up just as quickly as it pressed down, surprised by the sound it heard. “Little one… what on earth happened to you?” An unfamiliar voice spoke to her, however Lily could not answer. The words bounced off her ears as the loud static of fear and pain filled her ears. “Not to worry, little one. We’ll find you a good home.” It spoke seeing as there was no reaction.
Vines began to slowly creep up around the broken girl. Strange, unfamiliar, foreign vines. They were nothing like Silwey, not her fragrant scent nor her delicate touch. Even as her bare skin had direct contact with plant matter it didn’t stimulate the Terran from reacting. Her glassy stare just looked off to some place in the void. Full of pain, sorrow and regrets. Tears kept streaming down her face and slowly dropped in the centrifugal gravity, yet she lost the ability to register how free flowing they were. Her mind simply broke and empty silence began to take over. A cold, unpleasant feeling. Nothing like the warm blankness her xenodrug sedative gave.
“Little one? Please stay with me will you? We’re almost there. Your new home will surely be more pleasant, I promise you.” The Affini spoke encouraging Lily to stay with him while producing an injector prickling Lily in the shoulder with it.
Sure enough it gave Lily a few extra minutes of feeling never ending sorrow while the pain slowly began to turn into a drugged induced warmth. She was being taken to be domesticated, wasn’t she? “Nnnnnhh…” Lily tried to speak barely moving her limbs around trying to refuse the plants actions.
“Save your strength little one. Preserve it for the fight ahead.” The large Affini said, trying to hush Lily down.
“N-nnnoohh… d-don’t… wanna be…. I can't b-belong to sh-someone else...” She protested as her gasps for air became ever more prominent.
“Someone else? Whatever do you mean child?” the large plant inquired while trying to keep a sweet voice.
“Slwhe-y…” Lily said in a slur of her barely functioning lips.
“Hmmm? What was that dear?” The Affini spoke as it already passed through the vine that penetrated the ship’s hull and into their interceptor vessel.
“Silwey… A-Anul..” Lily murmured, whimpering out more while letting her blank expression swim around. “F-twelfth b-bloomhhh…”
The Affini stopped walking for a brief moment as the name spoken shocked it to the core. Their eyes completely wide in disbelief. “Little one… How did you come across that name?” It asked while their vines produced a datapad to scan Lily's biometrics.
“I-I’mmm… already sshiilwey’sh… p-ph…..” She could barely finish the last bit of her sentence as she prayed to the stars above and below that this would mean she could go back, hoping it would let her see her friend once more.
“You are? That’s… peculiar.” The Affini said, trying to think about what the little Terran just said while looking at their datapad to see what the results would be. Then their eyes widened even more. “Dirt… You wouldn’t happen to be that person would you? That Terran.”
The Affini, rather excitedly, bristled up as he hurried to medical. One of the many vines grabbed hold of a little radio transponder and clicked a red button on it. “Call Brypso 3 37’s command. Tell them we found her.”
Lily didn’t find the strength to speak anymore. The pain was just too unbearable to deal with and talk at the same time. Her eyelids slowly fell half shut as she passed out in the Affini’s arms letting the cold dark void take her.
The following ins and outs of consciousness that followed left Lily in a very void of states. Fear was sinking in but that soon washed away along with the gruelling pain as a strange warmth began to spread through her. She tried to speak. Voice out her pain, her sorrow yet the only thing she felt was how the room spun around her as she lost the grip on her consciousness.
Second time she stirred - or was it third? - there were a lot of people looming over her. Both Terran and Affini. Lily could decipher that much but beyond that faces were so hard to make out. Just looming shadows with beady eyes looking down on her broken form. Her lips began to move as she tried to speak. Mumbling at first but then quickly turned into hoarse whispers calling out to someone. She herself didn’t know. Who in the stars she called out to. All she knew was the deep sorrow that engulfed her consciousness once more.
"<Three cracked ribs, twelve other bones broken, four bullet wounds, lung flooding, heart thrown out of synchronous rhythm, - absolute animals these rebels - skull fracture, windpipe crushed, collar bones broken, small intestine cut, - do you really need me to continue?! - bruised body, seven fingers broken, blood loss, malnutrition and ruptured eardrums. This is ridiculous!>"
Lily heard this strange Affini language but did not know what it was talking about. The voice was unfamiliar and the language was completely xeno to her. She could register it at the edge of her mind as her body laid motionless on a soft bed in what she could only predict was still a slow spin gravity she was kept in.
“<Look , don't worry about the little children that did it. Worry about helping her get better before we reach Brypso 3 37.>” Another voice spoke. This one was slightly deeper than the first yet still foreign to her. None of them were sweet like Lily remembered, even if they had their charm about them. But wait… She did recognise one thing… They said Brypso didn’t they? The name was mentioned in the Affini language so many times it was almost like a buzzword to Lily. She could recognize it simply because it had such a similar sound as that in her own language.
The little Terran stirred again. Her eyes still closed but non the less she stirred in her waking agony to do something. Her lips parted slightly, letting her body announce that even that might have been hurt badly as a tingling, like needles poking into her flesh, spread over her face. “B-Brhook...bh.. Brook…” The name came out followed by a gut wrenching feeling as she feared for her friend’s wellbeing. “S-silw-”
The two Affini stopped talking after hearing the Terran stirr. “Hush little one. Don’t move too much.” Their presence quickly circled the bed she laid on checking all the vitals readouts of - whatever the machines strapped to her were... Lily had no will to look, nor the strength to do so. All she felt was strange tube-like things around and over her body she couldn’t quite piece together. “I’m surprised you woke up given how sedated you are currently.” The voice added as the inspection continued.
Lily didn’t care however. The name kept ringing in her head giving her lips an unfiltered go-ahead to voice them out. “B-rook.. Brook..” Her concerns were starting to heighten again which quickly fell short as something in her sprung leaving her body in a warm tingly state while simply saying the name a couple more times with no real meaning.
The other Affini said something to her but she was already out of it again letting her thoughts spin and with it her consciousness.
There was no telling how long she was out. Time was still an enigma to her scattered mind yet the scene felt somewhat familiar. There was muffled sobbing to her left again. One Lily just couldn’t ignore. Her body stirred again eliciting another wave of warmth to spread through her body as the pain got drowned out.
Whoever was crying just a moment ago seemed to stop. A voice sounded out in alert yet Lily couldn’t register any of it. She was just gone at that moment. Swimming in her own drug induced mind to know what was going around her. Perhaps that was it. She was still recovering most likely. That or she had no body and there was just a head laying on a comfortable pillow. Lily couldn’t tell.
“Lily. P-please... O-oh stars what have they done to you?” An all too familiar voice spoke to her. As a light pressure could be felt on her arm. Warmth she almost had forgotten about. Care in that voice she didn’t know where to place.
Lily gasped for air through the slight pain but managed to force her eyes open to look straight up. There she was… Brook. And above her a very Terran like ceiling. Sterile looking. Hospital accommodation that felt familiar yet was just a foreign thing to Lily.
She wanted to say something. She wanted to say ANYTHING to her friend but words were just so hard to form. All she could do was stare at her friend with her glassy eyes, seeming as if she wasn’t there to begin with.
Brook seemed… different? In a way. She wasn’t in clothes Lily would have thought Brook would normally choose. There was fear in her eyes but the expression she wore was that of worry, that of sorrow. Lily noticed a white choker on her neck, something very preposterous for her friend to wear. She knew Brook never liked them. What was.. Going on?
“L-Lily?” Brook voiced out, scared that her friend wasn’t responding.
“She’s just a little bit out of it, little one. No need to worry.” A voice behind Brook spoke. Lily didn’t recognise it, but she reckoned its sweetness most likely came from one of the Affini.
Oh... right. She was back. Back in the hands of her new conquerors. Back in the hands of the Affini Compact. Were they treating her wounds? She couldn’t tell.
It was just now that she noticed two yellow flowers on either side of her vision. REALLY close to either side of her vision. As if they were growing out of her… her… growing out from her face? Lily stirred, concerned about what it was she was seeing. But just as soon as those thoughts of fear began flowing through her did they disintegrate into a warm nothing leaving her quite docile and tranquil.
“Don’t worry little one. They are just small Lugwigia Sedioides. We didn’t know how to stop your tears from streaming down your face. Eventually we opted to graft a few flowers there to drink up the moisture. Nothing harmful I promise~.” An Affini came close. She was a nurse… Probably. Lily thought at least seeing as how the Affini wore a white dress.
“Truly if I didn’t know any better I’d say I was growing a flower patch on a bed.” The nurse added inspecting a few things below Lily’s vision. The little Terran sure as heck tried to follow with her eyes, but the strain was already tiring her out more than she could admit.
Patch? What flower patch? Wait… graft? They… grafted flowers to her face? How was that even remotely possible? Biologically she meant. Her eyes looked back to Brook streaming so many questions her way.
The expression she returned didn’t seem encouraging. Not that Lily could really care much as the drugs in her system kept all of her emotions swimming in a pot stewing to oblivion.
A second Affini came up to her bed placing their vines onto Brook’s shoulder inciting the girl to flinch and look away from everyone with a pained expression and disdain in her eyes. “Little Brook it’s time we go back. Your friend is still recovering.”
“Nnhhh-!” sure enough Lily found strength through all the drugs keeping a heavy blanket on her mind. She didn’t want her to leave. She didn’t want to lose her friend yet again. “S-stayhh…” The young girl protested not wanting Brook to leave her side again.
Her friend almost broke down in tears as she clung to the side of the bed shivering in fear or sadness? Lily couldn't tell through her own drowned mind but she just knew she had to keep Brook by her side.
“Hmmm… what to do, what to do…” The Affini spoke tapping their vines to their barky chin seemingly in deep thought. “I can’t just leave you two alone, who knows what little Brook might do.” She wondered as her vines began to tangle around Brook. The girl sure as hell tried to resist it feeling the electric effect of the Affini over her skin. “But then again. You were a willing surrender and you did call out to us.” The tall woman sighed as she lifted up Brook and gently held her in place. “Well I suppose I should reward you for your efforts. And Dirt. By dear Lily’s reactions I suspect you two are quite close.” Brook slowly got deposited onto the bed right beside Lily. The two Terrans gasped in unison, surprised by the turn of events.
Brook quickly turned her head away covering her cheeks to try and save face while Lily’s eyes looked away as fast as they could in her drugged addled mind. Both of them felt embarrassed and awkward about the situation but while Brook could shimmy around in the bed Lily was subjected to an endless stream of warmth sedating her every gesture.
“D’awww would you look at that~. They’re so cute together.” The Affini that deposited Brook onto the bed chimed with a rumbling giggle. Her expression sweet as ever excited to see another side to Brook other than just a closed up and scared Terran.
“There’s several sanitary rules you just broke with that.” The nurse schooled the mischievous Affini. “but… I suppose it has been a while since the operation.” The nurse leaned in. “Be very, VERY careful with her first floret.” She said, staring directly into Brook’s eyes.
Brook didn’t need to be told twice. She frantically nodded and just remained stationary on the bed, holding her breath in fear.
“Good.” The Affini brushed over Brook’s cheek before turning her attention to Lily. “Miss Pine, I’ve administered your prescription to you for the 5 days you’ve been on board with us. However you’ve been missing for over 4 weeks. I took the liberty of… changing up your prescription as I’m sure your body had developed a slight immunity to the majority of their effects.” Her words flowed slowly. Sweet and kind. Was that only so that Lily’s slow mind could keep up with it? That was kind of them… She blinked lazily, wanting to agree with what the Nurse said.
“One last thing. I wasn’t sure if you were familiar with how our operations work.” The nurse said slowly letting the vines of her hand snake under Lily’s head. “Don’t be scared. All of these are there to help heal your body.” She added lifting Lily’s head up to let her look at her own body.
The poor Terran felt like a blanket was pulled from over her mind. Wide-eyed as she for a moment saw her body. Was she? An… Affini now? That was a stupid question she still saw her body under all the vines covering it. Her hands tried to move, panicking in wanting to remove the tangled mess but just as quickly that thought washed away along with the panic in her eyes.
Oh… Flower patch. Now she understood what the Affini meant by it. Her lazy eyes slowly began to trace the scene a bit more clearly. Her body, her arms, her legs, even her shoulders. Literally everything was covered in vines and little flowers of various colours. Some seemed to go even under her skin which elicited another stream of panic that just as quickly washed away. Healing. She was hopefully getting better. The Affini was saying something to her but the girl didn’t even hear it. Lost in her own mind as Lily began to notice the different coloured flowers around her body. White petals covering her hands, her arms, where her broken collarbones were as well as every other place that had a broken bone under it. Red flowers scattered her body bruises and cuts under them, her four bullet holes seemed to have a different flower yet it was the same. Just slightly deeper in it’s crimson hue. Lily could guess that one was for the bones and the other for the holes in her. There were other colours scattered around. Yellow around her lungs, Violet, green and cyan just lazily dotted around. However the most prominent one was a large flower. Right where her chest was, right at her heart. Lily’s lips fell slightly open as she realized how deep she felt that flower. It was rooted around her heart. Keeping a stable pulsing rhythm. Two beats each time. One large beat followed by a smaller complimenting one. Just the way a Terran heart should always beat.
She looked back up at the Affini. Just how extensive was the damage on her. She almost didn’t want to know. And within the next second the thought of caring washed away into warmth again. Lily simply leaned to the left pressing her head up against Brook to make sure she was still there. Of course she was. Blushing furiously as never before. Lily didn’t care. She couldn’t find the will to care. Her friend was beside her and that’s all that mattered.