A 26th Century Affini in President Bush's Court

A Tale From the Southland

by apes

Tags: #cw:noncon #cw:george_w_bush #dom:plant #egregious_southland_tales_references #Human_Domestication_Guide #pov:bottom #pov:top #cw:guns #dom:female #dom:internalized_imperialism #drugs #f/f #f/nb #hypnosis #multiple_partners #petplay #scifi #sub:female #sub:nb
See spoiler tags : #trans_egg #transgender_characters

Long time listener, first time caller - this came out of a few internal conjectures of wanting to get away from typical HDG story axioms mixed with my own obsessions - what if an Affini was deep behind enemy lines, with no access to their nigh-omnipotent post-scarcity network? What if the Bush administration had to deal with the Affini? What if I was a soft, silly stoner taken in by a hot plant lady?

For all intents and purposes, the Joint Command Homeland-Defense Aerospace Intelligence Office did not exist. This is not to say that their existence was so secret and vital that only a scant few were aware of its existence, though such lack of awareness was certainly true. Instead, the AIO, entirely contained within a single floor of a single office building in Edwards Air Force Base, was simply so fantastically unimportant that it was not worth mentioning to anyone who wasn’t unfortunate enough to be assigned to it.

The pet project of one disgraced General Tina MacArthur - ‘no relation’, she would gleefully add every time she introduced herself as an answer to a question nobody had ever asked - Once the darling of the Air Force, she had a very public nervous breakdown in 2003 regarding her manic assertions of the existence of extraterrestrial life, and was given the AIO almost out of pity - the collaboration between the runts of the Air Force’s 544th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group and the runts of the Customs and Border Patrol’s Air and Marine Operations, it’s job officially was to monitor space for any strange happenings of a potentially national security nature, the kinds of things NASA would miss. Unofficially, it was understood that the AIO was MacArthur’s way to spend millions of taxpayer money every year on investigating nonsense UFO hoaxes.

Tina held out hope, however, considering it a mere numbers game - eventually, she’d hit paydirt if she kept digging hard enough for long enough. Fortunately, that paydirt happened to quite literally fall out of the sky only a few years into her search, on one fateful day; July 3rd, 2005.

The memories felt like dull afterimages in the mind of Rosales Cannabaceae, Twelfth Bloom. A concept she had recently heard been articulated by a friend’s floret came to mind, of a nasty side-effect of the terran depressant alcohol - after a session of significant partaking, one would wake up the following morning with a pounding headache, a general soreness, and a lack of memory of the previous night. The word was escaping her for the moment, and she put her groggy mind in great strain trying to find it. After enough difficulty, the word ‘hangover’ floated into mental view, meek and quiet. But that made no sense, of course - Affini rarely took part themselves in intoxicants, much preferring to vicariously experience mind-altering states through their florets. Any poison so crafted against an Affini would have to be so awe-inspiringly powerful as to weaken the typically very strong parts of the mind responsible for memory capture and storage. No, this was something much stranger than simple fun with drugs. But what?

Body still too sore to move, Rosales tried her best to remember anything that might explain her current predicament. Places, too jumbled to have meaning, flashed before her - some kind of laboratory. A briefing on the Cyanococcus. Chaos. A desolate outpost. Danger. After long enough marinating in this mental soup, she resolved to solve that mystery a tad bit later, perhaps when she could move her body enough to check her tablet. All this effort was really unnecessary until the situation changed, so she began to slow her biological processes to a crawl, a sort of sleep-like stasis. Hopefully some kind of external relief would be forthcoming.

Martin Kefauver - who much preferred Marty - and Francis Butcher - who was quite fine with Francis - found themselves in a situation they were quite often in. They were bitterly arguing over something stupid while Marty drove the two in his brother’s shitty work truck through the depths of the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge to retrieve some marijuana they had previously stashed in some or other hollow log or similar nature feature with a capacity for hiding things. The two had to yell to hear each other, as on one of their previous escapades they had accidentally broken the passenger-side window, causing the whip of wind and the tinny roar of the truck’s pathetic engine to overpower most mild attempts at conversation. 

Francis was dressed as he typically was - in what were basically pajamas. A fuzzy plaid number adorned his legs, crowned with too-big maroon Crocs, and a stretched-out t-shirt for a band not even Marty had heard of played the part of a top. In his right hand he held an awful McDonalds hamburger which had been actively dripping ketchup down onto his pajama bottoms for the last at minimum ten minutes - a problem he sought to rectify by occasionally popping his leg up with his foot on the dashboard to lick the globs of ketchup up and off off his pants. His perfectly shitty dirty blonde buzz-cut was beginning to grow out just the slightest measure, and his mouth almost always hung slightly open to pair with his simultaneously accusatory and vacant glare.

For Marty’s part, it was obvious he was trying a little bit harder to be a presentable human than Francis was, but it was similarly obvious that the key phrase in that was ‘little bit’. A faded thrift store letterman jacket overlaid a simple - and yet still quite stained - white undershirt, matched with patchwork denim jeans and black sneakers. He had taken steps to cover up the dumb stare that continual substance abuse had given him, always wearing a pair of sleek aviators no matter the hour. This combined with his own strangely smug smirk gave him the airs of someone with a lot more confidence and bravado then he actually had - something Marty was more than happy to just relish in, as it greatly reduced the number of annoying folks approaching him and his steadfast roommate. His mouth was also open at the moment, but not out of simple reflex, but instead vocalization.

His tone was as best as his Southern California vocal fry could approximate stern and pointed - that is to say, not well. “You’re a moron if you don’t pick Star Wars, I mean think about the opportunities - adventure, glory, hot space chicks, the fucking force? You’re telling me you’re choosing to enlist in the Navy but in space over the force?”

Francis let out a stupid little chortle, constrained by the chunks of hamburger in his mouth. “Dude, dude, dude - you don’t have to sign up for Starfleet if you don’t want to. Star Wars still has money and shit, in Star Trek you can literally just smoke weed and watch movies for your entire life and nobody would bother you.”

In response, Marty took his eyes off the dirt path for a few moments to jab an indignant finger towards his companion. “You have no sense of wonder, that’s your problem, all you can think about is which option lets you keep doing what you’re already doing. You can’t imagine for shit.”

Francis palmed his hand against his chest in mock horror. “God forbid I don’t like imagining getting impaled with a laser sword. You can’t fight for shit, man, you’d get your ass kicked by the first stormtrooper that spotted you.”

Marty just shook his head, sighing as he spotted the place he thought he remembered was where he stashed the weed. As he began to ease his foot onto the brake, he finally offered up, “I would cause some major ownage and you know it,” of which it was clear that even if it wasn’t true, it wasn’t something that he fervently believed. Francis chortled once again before opening the car door and stumbling out, hearing the damp earth crunch underneath his crocs.

It was at this moment that the somewhat man noticed something somewhat strange, as Marty had already engaged the parking brake and stepped out of the car, beginning to head towards a log that might hold the treasure they came in for. Something got caught in Francis’ throat, which was the first unusual thing, as Francis almost never had any difficulty saying whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. This was a mere curiosity for Marty, flipping a rotted-out mossy log over, until Francis’ words actually got through - “Uh, dude, there’s a fucking spaceship” - to which Marty sighed at and offered back a snide “Both of them have spaceships you dumbass,” accompanied with a look over his shoulder which made plain that Francis was no longer speaking of their storied debate of the merits of living in the Star Trek universe versus living in the Star Wars universe. A spaceship, in specific, made this plain.

Well, that’s about the only thing it really could’ve been - a hunk of once-sleek metal, containing a small cockpit inside as barely visible through what was clearly a windshield. Its livery was intricate, but hard to make out due to the massive amounts of dirt and grime which coated the craft. That and the trunk of a tree, laid unceremoniously on the roof, probably the result of however the thing got here. It was around the proportions of a standard RV, but angular and without any sort of wheelbase. By the time Marty reached it, Francis was already kneeling by the windshield, trying to wipe off the muck to see into the cockpit. Francis couldn’t see much still - it was dark inside - but there did appear to be some kind of control apparatus on the other side, complete with a throttle and flight stick, as well as innumerable buttons, switches, and indicators. Because of how little light was able to get in, not much beyond the control mechanisms could be seen, but there appeared to be similar angular and mechanical shapes lurking in the background - and some decidedly not angular shapes too, appearing almost dark green, curling around everything.

As soon as Marty was able to stammer out a weak “don’t touch it,” Francis was already hammering against the windshield with a nearby rock. Though its effect appeared to be entirely minimal, it did certainly make a pretty loud bang. Thank fuck they were this deep into the woods that nobody could hear, Marty thought as he grimaced. After a few more meek stammers went unanswered, he sighed and resigned himself to watch as this stupid, stupid man tried to break through what was most likely a vehicle designed to endure the vacuums of space with a dull rock, himself dusting off a spot of ground near the craft to sit down on while the magic happened.

And magic did happen, it would turn out, as Francis’ hammering seemed to be noticed by something or someone on the other side of the glass, and the particularly organic shapes hiding in the shadows began twitching, almost, spooling together and apart in a mesmerizing dance. Francis’ eyes opened wider as his impacts became more powerful, more frantic - still not producing so much as a dent, mind you. This phase of escalation lasted for only about a minute before the slick and smooth curves tucked away in the dark began moving into the light, revealing quite the otherworldly sight - a human face. Not precisely human as it was, though certainly a face of some kind, shifting and moving individual muscles in what could be perceived as waking them back up. The face was made of dark green vines paired with thick, brown bark, occasionally dotted with little flowering buds, and as clearly situated in the uncanny valley as it was, it did seem strangely friendly, and strangely well-meaning. Francis slowed his arm, contorting his own face into one of bewilderment and confusion, casting a quick look at Marty to compel him to come over himself, which he only did after a deep, deep sigh, the face not quite visible from where he was sitting.

It was as Marty was ambling over to where Francis was kneeling that the strangest thing of all happened - the plant-based Venetian mask began to speak, or at least move it’s mouth in time with a stunningly sweet, kind voice that emanated from within the ship and was muffled by the glass. “Oh you silly thing, I appreciate the thought but it’d take you a long while to get to me with that implement,” the voice echoed with what must’ve been some kind of gentle, melodic laughter, “and besides, I can get out of here just fine on my own. While I get my bearings, can one of you dears please tell me what planet I’m on right now? My shuttle must’ve had some sort of mishap.”

Thanks for checking my dumb self-serving bullshit out, sound off in the comments if you enjoyed it, god knows I live off of praise.

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