A 26th Century Affini in President Bush's Court

Cookie Hashplant, First Blaze

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

I love these boys.

There were many strange things about the document then currently residing on General MacArthur’s desk. This was not in and of itself usual, of course - the General in no uncertain terms demanded every scrap of information even tangentially related to her interests. Such typically resulted in a massive amount of tabloid stories reformatted into more official-sounding lingo, from both those who were trying to give MacArthur something good and those who weren’t. This wasn’t one of those files - indeed, the strangest thing about the report was just how short it was. The tabloids loved to have intricate, interwoven stories, so the report and its attached evidence folder only having a few pages between the two was something largely unprecedented. Even then, most of the text was simply restating the same information.

On July 2nd, late at night, a bright flash in the sky was seen in the outskirts of Modesto, accompanied by a very localized seismic shock, consistent with patterns from previous spaceborne impacts. Yet, in what previously would have been an open and shut case for a meteorite, one of the shortest sentences in the report betrayed something strange - “NASA expected and recorded no natural satellites for the week.” It kept bothering the General, like a piece of food stuck between teeth, and as such even when most of the rest of the day’s reports had been shredded for being useless fictions, she still kept noticing herself stealing glances at it on an opposite table in her office every few minutes like a bad habit. Something about it, something about the blurry polaroids of a brilliant flash in the clouds, almost green in tint, called to her, reminded her of something. Filled with unknown purpose, she pressed the red button on her intercom control.

“Two volunteers required to Modesto on Interest Event KI-18, field-ready in fifteen in my office. If nobody shows up you’re all on cleaning duty.”

Two desk jockeys glared at each other as the intercom rang through the pitiful amount of rooms it was hooked up to. It wouldn’t be too bad to get out of the office for a few days, stand around while pretending to chase down some supposed haunt of grays.

Rosales let out a sad little whistle in approximation of a sigh as the sophont in the antique vehicle - whom she had just wanted to make sure was alright after the component malfunction - went limp in her vines. The poor thing was just so terrified, it was like he had never even heard of an Affini before in his life. All screaming and shaking and shuddering, it was what anyone would do upon seeing such a sour sight. On pure instinct alone she, without a moment of thinking, eased the sophont deep into chemical-induced sleep through the open window and into a tight, consoling hug. He seemed to be responding well, even unconscious as he was. As vines gently and purposefully glided around his form, a few stray little whimpers escaped, and he even seemed to ever so slightly shift himself closer to Rosales’ core. She couldn’t help but smile, but said smile was very soon chased with a pang of longing - these were not her florets to care for, and the most important thing was to find their owner. These two seemed to be real, real frazzled from losing their owner, evidenced in the very way they carried themselves.

Oh. Right. Two.

Thankfully, the cutie that just a moment ago had practically melted into her hand wasn’t doing anything like his pinnate, in fact he wasn’t doing much at all. He simply stood, very still, with a held-back curiosity barely making itself known on his face. It wasn’t even a brave face put on over abject horror, like Rosales had often seen in the frontlines of the first months of the Terran Domestication. It was the look of a man who didn’t understand what he was looking at, and was probably perfectly content to keep living his life like that.

Francis swallowed, his breathing quite steady. The sight before him was strange, for certain, but that wasn’t really his business - people are entitled to their own strangeness, Francis was very firm in believing. What he was also rather firm in believing was that his best friend, his dear dear roommate, needed to be okay, needed to be alright. He was cool with the alien, but if the alien fucks with Marty, he’s gotta hit back. So, very calmly, he raised, “Is he okay?”

Through his stoic face shined genuine concern, heartbreaking concern, and at the display Rosales smiled softly and gave the boy another few pats on the head. This time he flinched very slightly as the hand was approaching him, but he managed to steal back control of himself not long after, his expression remaining unchanged in anticipation of her answer. 

“Fit as a horse,” she beamed, as Francis tried to figure out if the idiom was correct or not, “I just needed to get him out of that panic, and it was too sudden for me to work out the proper dosage of anything different. He’ll come back around soon.” Her false face was configured into a display of honesty and congeniality, and behind it certain thrum hung in the air. Francis had only really noticed  it now that he was standing in close proximity to Rosales, yet it seemed to wordlessly affirm that she was telling the truth.

His reply was spoken in one oddly-pitched exhale, a quiet ‘okay’ almost whispered above the ambient sounds of the forest, very quickly followed by a significantly louder ‘sorry’ as he grimaced and shrunk his stature. He didn’t really know why that came out of him, it was something of an automatic response when dealing with people he felt he needed to put on a good face for - which was increasingly few, as he grew in turn dissatisfied with every hitherto authority figure in his life. His dad, who after 9/11 kicked him out after he refused to go into the military, like he did, and his dad did, and so on back to the invention of war waged for money. His mom, who wouldn’t even look him in the eye as he opened the front door for the last time. His boss, after he rather loudly and publicly chewed him out for going to work high. Perhaps that last one was different than the other two incidents, but at least in Francis’ head they all had equal moral weight. The immediate follow-up question, then, would be why on earth - or perhaps why on somewhere far greater - did he regard this titanic mass of vine and bark as someone to whom he owed respect? This was a question he really didn’t want to answer, and the turmoil was plain enough on his face that said titanic mass gave him more of those unexpectedly treasured pats as she spoke up.

“I can tell you really do care about him a lot,” she offered, “it’s sweet to see.” Francis could only nod in response, the compliment lifting his spirits significantly more than he thought it would, yet still a little awkward to take. Once more, Rosales picked up on this and shifted the topic of conversation, hoping to keep the big-hearted sophont in front of her feeling alright until his owner could be located. “So, where did you last see your… weed?” She chuckled at the last word, echoing through her chest like the sounds of small pieces of wood being gently tossed around by the wind. She wondered what the origin of such a nickname was - if it was something the florets insisted on that gradually turned positive as they realized their love for their owner, or if it was some silly hypnotic trick devised to take away their tools to degrade said owner. Either one would be quite adorable, and Rosales resolved to ask it later - in fact, what was it’s name? Certainly would help in looking for it. “And what’s it’s name, too?” She added quickly.

Francis’ eyebrows lifted and his mouth curled in contemplation. What was the name of the strain he and Marty were smoking? Of the two of them, he was more the strain snob, though being more of a snob than Marty wasn’t much of a challenge - one time as a prank he gave him a sandwich baggie of actual oregano instead of weed, and not only did he roll up and smoke the whole thing, but he on several different occasions asked if Francis could get some more of it. Francis let an ‘uhh’ roll for more than a few seconds before giving in a very tentative tone, “Cookie Hashplant?”

Rosales cocked her head to the side - strange name for an Affini, but with an uncountable number of them throughout the universe, statistically there’d be some strange names. She chuckled once again as Francis remembered there was a first part to the question, answering “oh, and I think Marty last saw it a few days ago. Wednesday? He’d know, but you uh… whatever you did, I’m not gonna bother you about it.” 

Now this was something truly concerning - what kind of owner would depart her florets for that long without a hint of how to find or even reach them? No, something strange must be afoot here. Maybe some poor, misguided feralists managed to by hook or crook swindle them into coming with them. Now, then they’re terrified and abandoned, trying to ensure their own survival out here in this thick forest. The thought shuddered Rosales to her core and almost involuntarily, the vine that had previously been off-and-on giving Francis gentle headpats wrapped around him and pulled him into a close hug, just like the still-snoozing Marty.

Now this was something that broke Francis’ cool demeanor much more significantly than anything else that had happened in the last fifteen minutes or so - she was already such a significant presence just standing next to her, but now that she was wrapped all around him, this sheer presence that Francis had been beforehand trying his best to ignore took him completely. The previously barely audible thrum was now a totalizing serenade, like a saxophone forever holding a deep bass note, penetrating and reverberating through his body. Only amplifying this feeling was a sheet of soft, fluffy moss, like a wonderful blanket that quickly surrounded him. He was now entirely not responsible for his actions and words - as evidenced by a few good quiet whimpers that slip from between his lips, entirely unbidden, met by yet more pats and pets by vines, swirling and whirling around his form, inviting him to just sink into the feelings, let his body dance to the music of the air, with his mind on blissful vacation. Vacation from worry, from stress, from anything that could possibly bother him. It was a feeling he chased every day with recreational drugs, but here it was in front of him - and behind him, to his side, and filling his insides too.

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