Day of the Moon

A Good (Wo)Man Goes to War

by dreamingkat

Tags: #cw:violence #fantasy #Human_Domestication_Guide #scifi #cw:blood #cw:homophobia #cw:toxic_masculinity #cw:transphobia #slur_usage

This is my first attempt at a longer form story. Thanks to everyone who has continued to encourage me. I hope this brings you joy!

That being said, please note this first chapter is not a happy one. Harsh language/slurs, toxic masculinity, transphobia, homophobia, and all around douchebaggery happen in this chapter. Please be aware of that as you begin, and know that I intend for it to get a lot fluffier. <3

Ch 1 - A Good (Wo)Man Goes to War

Lex woke up a little after the sun rose. She hadn’t been able to sleep in during any time in recent memory, so nothing new there. Grumbling quietly to herself and throwing the blanket off, she padded over to her bucket and gave herself a quiet wash to start the day. Being on the run from the Free Terrans AND the Affini Compact was certainly a fun life. She couldn’t remember what specific accusation the Free Terrans had thrown at her this week. All she knew is she felt justified for hacking their comm systems and sending a full blown SOS to the Affini. Bastards had certainly earned it. Whatever atrocities the Affini were supposed to be committing couldn’t be worse than the way Terrans treated anyone they considered lesser, (which was practically anyone who wasn’t at least a guy in middle management), and what they’d already threatened her with on her semi-frequent raids on their bases for supplies. Thankfully, all the really skilled soldiers had already been captured and sent off to the mines or whatever. The ones who were left seemed to make up for their incompetence with their malice.

After her last Terran raid, she had a handful of synth cubes, and she’d even stumbled on a sad-looking apple orchard, apparently hidden from all the madness. She crunched a half of a synthcube thoughtfully as she went over the last raid. She had pulled it off perfectly. Memorized their schedules, didn’t miss a step, made sure the alarms were disabled. She was feeling pretty good about herself. She had liked this safe house, but she knew it’d likely be compromised soon. They may be incompetent, but kick an ant’s nest and they’ll go a relatively far distance for retribution. She sighed and looked around wistfully one last time, then peeked out of the entrance. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she slipped out and made a run for it. She made it for what she guessed was 20 yards before she heard angry yelling. She started making slow, but somewhat random zig zags. She wasn’t going to take a chance on whether or not they decided to waste ammunition on her.

Lex had also already figured out the quickest route out, and hidden a few things along her planned route. The shouts of the soldiers were starting to grow faint when she actually heard some gunfire. She was a little surprised, but did not stop running, and made it to her first checkpoint, which was actually a hiding spot. She got down and crawled through a small natural tunnel in the rock until she got to a place that was big enough for her to sit and catch her breath. She finally decided to try to eat something besides those god-forsaken synthcubes, and pulled an apple out of her satchel. She’d seen them a long time ago, when she was young, but these looked… off. She gave it a sniff, and tried taking a bite. The outer skin was leathery, and the inside was grainy. She spit it out and decided that the apples she’d grabbed would at least make good defense.

She waited what she hoped was a few hours, scraping little nibbles off of a synthcube to try and stretch it longer. She played a few games of rock, paper, scissors by herself. She tried to remember some of her favorite shows from her childhood. 5 minutes of show to 10 minutes of advertisements made it a little hard to piece the stories together (not to mention the more… unpleasant memories that kept trying to interrupt). She tried to figure out how to make a dripping sound with her mouth that one of her old friends did when they were kids. Finally, she couldn’t distract herself from the march of time anymore, and decided to take a look around. Lex crawled through the little tunnel, until she could actually see sky. She poked her head out as much as she dared, looking back and forth. There wasn’t anything out of place that Lex could easily see, her intuition telling her the coast was clear. That lasted all of a minute after she stood up, when she felt a gun pressed into her back. “Gotcha, freak!”

Lex raised her hands into the air, trying to not further agitate the ‘military’ thug at her back, but felt a kick to the backs of her legs and fell to the ground. “Ow! I’m cooperating, fuckhead!” “Yeah, right. Probably just biding your time to get back to your weed master” her assailant growled as he put a boot on her back roughly and put the gun back to her head. “I caught him, sir” he said, into a radio, she assumed. After this long, she’d gotten tired of arguing with intentionally obtuse meatheads over who she is, so she simply rolled her eyes. “Good work, private. Jenkins and McCauley are on their way to help with transporting the plantfucker back to base.” Lex tried to calm the ball of anxiety sitting in her chest. She knew they hated her, and that this was going to be unpleasant, to say the least, but panicking wouldn’t help. “3 of you to escort me? Yall sure know how to treat a-” The gun pressed harder into her. “Don’t fucking talk, traitor. And yeah, we know what you play at. Doesn’t fool us, asshole.” She succeeded in holding her tongue from telling him exactly what he could do with his opinion, and focused inward, trying to take stock of herself and figure out what her options are. Unfortunately, she got caught up in her own head, and the rest of her escort arrived before she knew it. She was roughly forced up onto her feet and towards the base.

The walk was unpleasant, but she’d had worse. The soldiers weren’t in the greatest shape, and had been spending the last few hours searching for her, as opposed to her sitting and catching her breath. Until she got to the base, and saw a very smug face she’d hoped never to see again. “Hey dad,” she sneered. “I didn’t know you’d bothered to come out this far.” Her rancor earned her a backhand across the face. “Shut it. You are NOT my child, since you took up being a faggot and a plantfucking traitor. I bet you turned your mom in, didn’t you, you ungrateful bastard?” That comment froze her world for a moment. “Mom…?” Another slap, as his face turned an impressive shade of magenta. “DON’T YOU FUCKING PRETEND YOU DIDN’T DO IT, AND I SWEAR TO ANY GOD WHO CAN HEAR YOU WILL FUCKING PAY FOR HER BEING TAKEN BY THOSE XENO BASTARDS! THROW HIM IN THE BRIG WHILE WE DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THIS FUCKER!” A warm, metallic taste filled her mouth and she spit it at his feet as his thugs manhandled her past. “Hate you too, you bastard.” She heard a scream, thought she felt lightning at the back of her head, then blackness claimed her.

Some time later, Lex woke to the worst headache she’d had since that time she fell off an impromptu jungle gym in her neighborhood and hit her head on the way down. She reached up and felt her head was wrapped. At least someone wasn’t an absolute monster like that asshole. She imagined they’d gone into her hidey hole and got her pack, which means all the synthcubes she’d stolen were now gone. She felt her pockets, and everything was taken out, and the material had actually been cut out. Her shoes were gone, and the jumpsuit she was wearing was shredded. Bastard was thorough in making sure leaving was going to be as unpleasant as possible. Sitting up, Lex looked towards the entrance, a transparent sheet of who knows what, and was thankful for the small favor that no one was there, staring at her. She got off of the cot and paced out the room, just to get a feel for it. She wasn’t planning on staying long, and needed to plan now. Fortunately, her dad’s tender hospitality hadn’t messed up her memories of casing the place before her raid.

“Won’t do you no good.” a voice spoke out. Dammit, she’d forgotten to account for the closed circuit camera system. “We didn’t know when you were coming before, but now we’re ready and watching, and you’re gonna pay for all the good, hardworking Terrans you cost us.” “Yeah, cause you guys were treating us all so kindly before those weeds came.” “So, you’re a commie too, huh? Makes sense. Add another charge to the list.” Lex growled. “Yeah, big bunch of scary, hard working guys who had to gang up to take on one lone scavenger. You’re a capitalist’s dream, sure.” “Whatever, plantfucker. You’re gonna get what you deserve.” She sat back down, took a deep breath, and tried to center herself through the throbbing in the back of her head. She knew that these cells had some weakness. She’d had friends on the dark net who helped her look the diagrams up before she’d had to scrap her improvised tablet. She worked to tune out the pain and continuing taunts as she focused like she’d done in tai chi as a teen. She tried to remember every cut corner folks had discovered in the building of this place. Every place that wasn’t monitored by camera. 

She didn’t get long to think, however. A handful of soldiers came up to her cell. “Hey plantfucker. We know what you’ve been up to. Stealing, turning folks over to those stars damned xenos. Pretending to be a girl. And we don’t like none of that. So, we’re gonna teach you never to mess with Free Terrans. Maybe knock some sense into that weed infested skull of yours.” Lex jumped up to defend herself as they opened the cell door, knowing she was severely outmatched. All of a sudden, from behind the crowd, she heard her dad loudly yell “HOLD!” She hoped against hope that maybe he’d come to his senses, but that was gone when he said “Limbs and body are ok, as long as he survives. We’ll give a nice, public show to make any other traitors think twice. He’s all yours otherwise.” She gritted her teeth and started to rush her attackers, when the lights went out. She stopped, noticing their confusion as well. The group at the door to her cell stepped back and made sure to close and lock the door again. Her dad barked “Where the hell’s the backups? Jenkins! You, Richards, and Tomlin go check out the generator. We can’t get snuck up on by those xenos! The rest of you, you’ll get your turn with him later. Right now, battle stations, just in case.” As they dashed off to follow their orders, he came up to the heavy clear door. “Don’t get any ideas, you son of a bitch. You aren’t going anywhere, until I say so.” “Yeah? And how well did that work when I was a kid? You couldn’t stop me from going to the library, or the park, or anywhere else I wanted to. You’re just playing at being a soldier, while the real men were on the front lines, so fuck you.”

It took all of 5 seconds to realize she’d pushed him too far, as his gaze went from fire to ice, and he opened the door to the cell back up. “You wanna say that again, tough guy? You think you can take me? I’ll break every bone in your goddamned body myself.” He moved faster than she’d expected, and she barely got out of the way in time as he threw a punch at her face. In that moment, Lex saw the monster that had haunted her life in the eyes of this man, and it almost froze her. She remembered every hit, every snide comment, remembered the haunted look on her mother’s face, and she charged.

Except both of them stopped as the roof came off the building they were in, which just shouldn’t have been possible. She noticed lots of long cables coming off of the disappearing roof, way more than reasonably should have been there. She looked back at her dad, only to see something she never would have expected. Panic. That old bastard was panicking. He pulled out a hand pistol and started pulling the trigger, even as Lex finally recognized that those were vines, not cables. And a voice as gentle as a feather but as firm as the earth itself called out, “Hello, sweeties!”

That sure was a ride, wasn't it?

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