Through a Dark Forest

Chapter 4

by commanderkaya

Tags: #cw:noncon #D/s #dom:female #dom:male #f/f #f/m #pov:bottom #cw:violence #dom:internalized_imperialism #drug_play #gender_dysphoria #Human_Domestication_Guide #hypnosis #multiple_partners #petplay #pov:top #scifi #trans_egg #transgender_characters

CW: Mentions of violence and death

Warm bed, soft sheets, abundance of pillows. This was hell.

Elizabeth woke up and jolted straight up, her synthetic muscles felt lethargic but she was fully aware. She looked around trying to identify her location. Hab unit, standard it seemed, little modifications more or less on the human side of things, no real special plant architecture. She looked down at the bed, and then immediately at the unconscious captain, she checked for a pulse. Vitals are fine, she sighed in relief. She looked over him, and saw that he was missing most of his normal outfit. No cloak or armor, he was functionally just in a loose fitting black t-shirt and gray shorts. He was so exposed in comparison to normal, Elizabeth blushed slightly. She felt like she was violating his decency even if he was fully clothed by most people’s standards. Elizabeth immediately moved to take one of the blankets and tore it into a covering to wrap around him. She finally checked her own body and saw that she was actually still in her armor and former clothes. Her vac-suit had been removed but that wasn’t surprising. She then looked around piecing together what was in the area. Nothing out of the ordinary or notable. Well the room looks acceptable, the captain won’t be upset at least. She sighed in relief, if both of them were here in an Affini Hab then they’re likely classified as pinnates or connivents. Pinnates was more than acceptable, she wouldn’t abandon the Captain, not again. If it was connivent this was a more precarious situation, endear yourself to the owner and convince them you and the captain have a necessary relationship. It should be easy of course, most Affini simply adored human relationships. At least that's what the captain told her. She’s seen the Affini they interacted with a handful of times but she preferred to stay quiet around them. Safer that way. Still, the captain was here and that was a step up, one thing down.

Next, she checked her integrated HUD, a number of features were disabled but largely speaking it was acceptable in its current state. She tried to access her internal weapon systems but was met with an unfortunate message “Sorry cutie! We can’t let you have something so dangerous!” She groaned, damn plants. She didn’t hate them or anything but their tone was grating. This is my life now huh. She tried accessing her private comms link with the other crews and met a similar response. “Sorry cutie! Your –guardian- has not approved this function yet! Guardian? Not owner? Strange. She got up and off the bed, she had to look around for potential dangers, any information really. No weapons meant relying on brute strength and skill, she's been in worse situations before. Of course she knew a fist would be worthless against an Affini but she wouldn’t let them do anything to hurt the captain.

Captain told me no violence though...violate his orders to save him? No, he knew best, he always did, maybe I can talk my way out? Convince them to leave the captain be? Shit, if she appealed to protectiveness then it would spiral the wrong way so easily. Alright, simple steps, assert yourself and the captain, identify immediate goals and aims of the Affini. Do not endanger the captain.

She finally got out of the damned bed, she hated these soft piles of cloth, she preferred hard beds, though she hadn’t slept in a bed in years. Zero-G made sleeping easier, she could just stand still and sleep. Meant she never had to leave his side. He could simply wake her if necessary and while he rested she watched over him. Regardless, she was up first and had to make the most of it. She walked around the room looking for escape options, no real vents, especially not big enough for her. There was a walk-in closet of some kind, nothing in there though. Odd. She thought all Affini must have a million outfits waiting to dress up their pets with. Eh, clothes didn’t matter much, she’d wear what she had to. She closed the closet and moved to the only other door, it was large but oddly far more inline with standard human dimensions. If anything it was more her size then most rooms she’d been in. She was tall for most humans, especially for women, her implants were mostly to blame for that though. She’d been a scrawny kid before, but still quite ruthless. No one stole from her and she knew far too many ways to injure someone with nothing but your bare hands. She only needed her fists to defend the captain if it really came down to it.

She made her way into the doorway and looked around into what seemed to be the living room. Seemingly standard, larger and far more fit to Affini proportions but it wasn’t as bad as she was expecting. Maybe this Affini was short. She saw some papers were strewn about on a table, TV, no real signs of inhabitation frankly. She saw the kitchen, nothing remarkable, another door leading to what was presumably another bedroom and one for the bathroom. A few more doors but nothing identifiable without moving further into the building, that meant leaving the captain behind. Not now, she’d stay put until he woke up, then they’d figure out what to do next. Of course she had walked through the plan hundreds of times, but no reason not to take extra precautions. He wouldn’t mind so long as he never found out. Suddenly, a noise, sound of footsteps down the hall, coming from the bathroom. A floret? Surely no Affini would leave one alone here, definitely Affini with them then, probably some perverted bath play. The door opened, an Affini came out muttering in english.

“Is this the right one? No, no Kasal suggested no drug shampoo to start. A little wouldn’t hurt right? Ugh, I'll probably have to get a different one. Maybe they have a preferred type?”

Talking about us it seems. The Affini was short, at least in terms of the species, she only stood 7 maybe 8 ft tall, taller then Elizabeth but not to an absurd degree like some took pleasure in. She also looked human? Not exactly the right words but she had a far more contained stature. The plant-like form many Affini took was instead reduced to a casing of wood which almost mimicked flesh and armor; she saw in between the cracks golden leaves and vines hiding just beneath the surface. She could have passed for a human with a little more effort, at least with the exception of her horns. Elizabeth’s first thought had actually been that she looked like a demon from some fantasy movie. Odd...this whole situation was odd.

Elizabeth stepped back into the room and still tried to listen, but the muttering had stopped and the Affini began moving towards the room. Elizabeth quickly debated, should she make a run for the closet, hide? No, the Affini would notice, she calmed herself and prepared for her first confrontation with the beast. The short Affini strode uninterrupted into the bedroom and looked very carefully at the captain, she got closer leaning in to touch him. That was it! Elizabeth nearly lunged in a fury at her. “Don't you touch him!” She growled and immediately took a fighting stance, knees bent, proper spacing, fists raised. She kept her eyes focused on the Affini’s stomach, avoiding the eyes at all cost. The Affini backed off slightly.

“Oh! Scarlett, you're awake already!”


“Ah my apologies, miss Elizabeth. Ahem, let me explain”

Elizabeth could tell immediately this Affini posed no immediate threat to the captain, at least in posturing. The Affini continued, “See, I have been watching you two for some time...wait, that came out wrong. OK, so I have seen your faces before, well um I had no names for you and so I simply assigned some in my head. You were Scarlett and um...your captain was Jade.”

The Affini was odd, she was so....innocent? No...she was a dork. Elizabeth laughed slightly, the edge was gone. “Okay, Shorty, so what? You had your eye on us for a long time?” Elizabeth lowered her fists.

“Wh-wha, no no I um...let me introduce myself! I am Tagetis Korentius, Ninth Bloom She/her.”

The Affini stumbled over her words: wait...Ninth bloom. Christ! She was older than the Roman Empire!

“I am well... for now.... your caretaker, until a proper um...assignment can be established, you and your crew made quite the scene. Frankly I have many questions myself but um, why don’t you introduce yourself dear, seeing as your captain is still asleep.”

“Name’s Brass, well, at least my codename, though you seem to already know my real name, Elizabeth.”

“Yes, hmmm.. And your last name…I have one listed but..?”

“Not so far, at least not one that matters. Though I suppose I could be in the business of taking one.” Tagetis seemed almost ready to blush, her mouth was caught open and she was totally shocked. Nailed it.

“Ah I see! Well miss Elizabeth, perhaps we should move this conversation to the living room, your captain needs his rest” Elizabeth looked back at him, this must have been the longest he's ever slept, at least since he was a kid. “I can’t leave him here alone.”

“Oh why not?”

“It’d be dangerous.”

“Elizabeth I can assure you that you are in no danger, not so long as you are under my care. I promise you that. No one, absolutely no one shall change that.” Her voice was stern. That was different, she was confident. Determined even. Fine. “Alright, we can talk in there, but I have to be able to see him from where we talk”

“Very reasonable Elizabeth.” The two moved to the living room, Tagetis grabbed a folding table from a closet and set it up in the middle of the room so that Elizabeth could still see the captain.

“Would you like something to eat, Elizabeth? I have some prepared meals, unfortunately my cooking has been quite poor so far. My friend promised to show me how to but up till this point I’d had no need for it.”

“I’m fine.” Tagetis looked concerned but said nothing.

“Alright Elizabeth, well if that should change I am able to requisition anything.” Elizabeth nodded but said nothing more. Tagetis seemed to tap her fingers on the table somewhat uncomfortably.

“W-w-well Elizabeth, can you tell me a little about yourself?”

“What would you like to know?”

“Well, perhaps you could tell me about….um.. what…your um...mission with your crew was.”

“You’ll have to ask the captain.”

“I see...”

“Anything else?”

“Could you tell me about...why you needed so many cybernetic implants? As far as I can tell most Terrans have very few if any at all. They were extremely expensive to procure and most carried side effects.”

“I needed them to fight better. To protect the captain from any threat.”

“Oh! Why do you have to protect the captain? Does he have many enemies?” Elizabeth froze slightly.


Tagetis blinked. “Is there something wrong? I apologize I didn’t mean to bring up an uncomfortable topic.”

“It’s fine shorty.” Tagetis went to say something but didn’t. Elizabeth continued “I have to keep him safe. I can’t let him get hurt again.”


“I’m not talking about this anymore. Got any other questions?” Tagetis fumbled for a moment. “ you have any interests or hobbies?” Elizabeth raised an eyebrow.

“Is this how you all talk to dangerous criminals?”

“Criminals? By the everbloom dear, do you think of yourself as a criminal?”

“Well, by most people’s definition I am one. I assume that's why we’ve been assigned an owner already.” Tagetis was definitely blushing, her woody cheeks warmed and a soft red color peaked through.

“No no, are simply under my care, wards you see...until I...well the um...committee has determined if you require domestication.” This sounded like a lie. Something else was going on here but Elizabeth wasn’t quite sure.

“I’m surprised,” Elizabeth chuckled. “Cap’ was sure we were gonna get placed on Class-O immediately.”

“Why is that?”

“Well shorty, perhaps you haven’t heard of the Geist before, or her captain, the so-called Void Runner. Not even to mention the fact that I am more than capable of inflicting severe harm onto pretty much any human alive.” Tagetis narrowed her eyes, she was quiet for a moment.

“That...there is a lot to unpack there.”

“Sure is shorty.”

“Okay...first off, I have heard of the Geist, the mysterious ship which has cut its way across a third of your known space, bane of the Free Terrans and Accord alike. I’ve tracked your history and plenty of your battles.”

“So then surely you can see that with the blood on our hands we’re a shoo in for orgasm town.” Tagetis was caught off guard by that. “O-orgasm town?”

“Well I’ve heard that being on Class-O is like orgasming all the time”

“Ah....well..that is exceptionally unlikely, but....depending on how this warship goes...considering your well as future actions you are likely to become florets.” Elizabeth nodded. “As to your other comment, as far as I have discerned you haven’t killed anyone other than in self defense? My records are frankly spotty so I would appreciate the help.”

“Well shorty, no, I’ve tried not to kill anyone other than in self defense.”


“Poor choice of words on my part, I’ve certainly thrown myself into situations where it's kill or be killed far more than I can count. I don’t really view it as self defense when I walk into a place willingly and knowing everyone there is gonna try to kill me and the only way to survive is with them bleeding out and me with the knife. I tend to view it more as I enjoy the whole process.”

“You enjoy killing?” Tagetis looked almost that's not the right word for it....concerned?

“Eh, I don’t particularly enjoy killing, I don't take joy in the light going out from someone else’s eyes. It's more do I put it….it's unfortunate. Sad they couldn’t live, but no real remorse for my actions or their death. The part I enjoy, well, that's the inbetween. The struggle, the act of fighting for your life, the adrenaline, the dance of death. It's....better than any high in my opinion, your xenodrugs are nice but they don’t hold a candle to a fight. That edge is the goal, it' satisfying to win, to stand bloodied and beaten with no one left to challenge you.” Tagetis stared intently but unsure what to say.

“Hmmmmm...perhaps I shouldn’t have said that, that will definitely get me sent to O Town”

“Well...not..necessarily? You see, people who get....sent to orgasm town.... They’re people who have no other option. They fight tooth and nail against us, never give in and well...they make themselves a danger to others or themselves even in spite of our substantial efforts. Even then the vast majority come from the early cotyledon program. There are very few people across the entire compact that we can’t work with. Frankly, I’m perplexed by you. Few people ever outright admit to a total lack of empathy and major passion for violence. Especially in the way you just described, then again most people who do, in our experience, are motivated by negative emotions rooted in some fundamental trauma or experience. Something that can help them justify their actions. But even then...well, have you ever harmed what you viewed as an innocent person?”

“Oh like beat up some kid or whatever? Nah, I hated bullies, but I sure as hell loved fighting them. I guess I like fighting the bad guys? I dunno, when I was a kid it was kind of a fight for everything you had. If I didn’t I lost all my belongings, anything I cared about. Somewhere along the way I guess I got used to it, and started enjoying it. Of course...well that started to change when I met the captain. I wouldn’t say he saved me, but he brought me in out of the cold. I kept him safe back, and well, I listen to what he tells me to do. I trust him, his...his moral compass is better then mine. Without him I’ll make mistakes…hurt the wrong people. He knows when it's okay to fight someone and when not to. He told me there was no point in fighting the Affini so here I am. Of course......if you ever hurt him...I will not stop till I have hunted every one of you down.”

There was a look of desperation in Elizabeth’s eyes, her muscles tightened, teeth bared and fingernails digging into the table, she would do anything to save him. She couldn’t stop herself then. Tagetis shuddered. “Elizabeth, I can promise you no harm will ever come to him not as long as I am here.”

“Hmph, we’ll see. Anyways, that's the gist of it I suppose, I don’t fight anyone or kill anyone unless the captain says so regardless of how much I might enjoy it.” Something within her knew it wasn’t really true. She liked fighting, but killing was terrible, she was numb to it but it didn’t assuage the itch of guilt. She had justified it long was the...only way to survive....she couldn’t let it happen.... again........not again. She had to keep him safe...she had..a sinking feeling...where...where is the captain?

“Elizabeth dear?”

She snapped back. “Oh.. sorry I spaced out there for a second.”

“It’s no problem dear.... You know...I don't think you're a bad person” Elizabeth was caught off guard and Tagetis continued. “ clearly seem to have far more complex feelings than you let on.”

“I...I’m fine, I know I'm a bad person. It doesn't make much difference to me.” Tagetis nodded, she seemed to rustle for a moment.

“Elizabeth dear, I have to run out and finish some errands, your captain won’t wake up for a little longer. Keep him safe until I get back? He asked for a conversation and I hoped to give him one.” Tagetis stood up from her chair and seemed to leave.

“Sure shorty.” Elizabeth leaned back in her chair. Yet, before she could relax she was caught off guard by Tagetis appearing above her. Her golden eyes staring into her. They gleamed like a burning star. The ripples of beauty. Gold light cracking through her wooden mask, seeping all around her. A warm all encompassing embrace. “You’re a good girl, you know that?” She got caught in them, those eyes. A warm feeling spread around her and trapped her limbs. Was she really a good girl? Of course she was…..hhuhhhhhh.....Liz had to focus, what had she said?

“Sorry, what was that?”

“Oh nothing, I was just saying you’ve done a good job of protecting the captain this long.”

“Right... yeah, cya shorty” Tagetis left and Liz looked up at the ceiling for a while. Tagetis was dangerous, even if she was a dork.

Liz wanted to punch something.


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