© Copyright 2014 - Jo - Used by permission
Storycodes: Solo-F; space; planet; explore; naked; plants; drug; tendrils; bond; insert; transform; cons; X
"Tim to Collins."
"Captain, we're just about done here, about to head to sector D14."
"Copy. Anything interesting?"
"No ma'am, just more of the same, predominantly poppies."
"Hey! It's 2400, happy birthday! The big 3 0, woohoo! I know we're not on schedule, but maybe we could grab a little quality time when you get back".
In another time and place that would be insubordination, but in the space program sexual interaction among the crew was not only encouraged, it was required. In fact, sexual competency was considered a core function and ship crews were selected based on sexual compatibility. They changed partners regularly, according to the schedule, but often couples developed a special bond even if they were required to sleep with others.
"Thanks, Tim. I'm sure we can squeeze something in."
That brought a snort to her ear piece.
She rolled toward the pool. Everything around a monochromatic sepia. She pulled on her goggles and adjusted them. Things acquired color of sorts and she could see more detail.
It was all vegetation, mostly poppies, as the plant had been dubbed, although it looked more like a rose to her - tall and stalky, with thorns. Instead of leaves each plant was nestled in a bed of tendrils.
Katherine clipped the O2 generator to her belt, fit the nose piece. There was oxygen outside, but not quite enough to support human life. She had, on occasion, spent an hour or more out there while meditating, but any activity required the supplement.
Katherine thumbed the tab and the canopy slid open.
The sun was bright, the air warm, bordering on hot, and it was clothes-drenching muggy. The smell was shocking. It smelled perfectly normal, like any greenhouse on Earth. Thick and pungent, cloyingly sweet. Which made it seem totally alien.
They had been here for a bit over a two months, making their preliminary observations from space, finally landing three weeks back. They found nothing but plants and microbes, no animal life ... yet.
She headed toward the pool.
This was her private spot, had visited often. There was a larger pond near the ship and everybody took advantage of the unlimited water source. But this was hers. She recognized the plants. Often she would sit and meditate amid them.
She stripped down, removed the goggles and generator, stepped into the pool and sank, rolled on her back and floated, just her face and breasts breaking the surface. A natural current drew her to the middle of the pool, spun her slowly. Katherine closed her eyes.
When she emerged she clambered across the rocky ledge, her foot slipped and she fell against one of the poppies.
Several of the thorns had pricked her thigh. She felt a slight burning sensation, then the wounds began to tingle. Katherine's head spun and she fell to her knees, then down on all fours. She took a few gasping breathes, thought about the generator, but realized, with a start, that she was not short of breath. In fact she felt invigorated. She looked up and saw colors. Not the blurry apparitions she was used to, but rich, vibrant colors: reds, blues, greens, yellows. The place was bursting with color. The effect was disorienting.
Then came the noise, kind of a chirping hum. They had recorded no such noise, just the sound of wind rustling through the plants.
Katherine knelt, head still spinning. A movement caught her eye. One of the poppy's tendrils was inching toward her. It was bright yellow about as thick as a finger. It came up to her hand, slithered across her fingers. Katherine's brain screamed at her to run, but her body wouldn't respond.
It was beautiful. She noticed that it had several threads that wafted as it moved. It wrapped itself around her wrist. It felt cool and, not soft or hard, somewhat rubbery. The tendril withdrew dragging Katherine with it. The motion upset her. She fell to the ground, rolled onto her back, was being drawn closer and closer to the plant.
She lay both terrified and fascinated by this thing on her wrist. As she watched, the threads spread over, then into the ground. Mesmerized, Katherine felt the grip tighten, trapping her hand.
A touch. Katherine turned her head. Another tendril was making its way over her other hand. And somewhere in her brain she registered two more on her ankles.
In due course each wrapped themselves and retreated, stretching her, drawing her arms and legs until she was spread, taut. And, she realized, firmly anchored to the ground.
Other tendrils advanced. They wormed their way over her body, prodding and probing.
One slid into a nostril, then a second into the other. She could feel the threads setting the tendrils in place. Others filled her mouth, the threads creating a root ball of sorts. Katherine felt a moment panic until she realized she could still breath. Than an instant later, she realized she didn't have to. Her lungs still worked, but it didn't seem to matter whether she used them or not.
Others tendrils settled on her breasts, belly, thighs, drove threads deep into her skin.
One pushed into her anus. The sensation was distinctly uncomfortable. She could feel it move deeper and deeper into her.
Another entered her sex. Again the sensation, not pain, but she could tell when the threads penetrated her flesh.
A tendril eased itself into her left ear. The chirping noise increased. It was almost like listening to broadcast under heavy static. Another tendril slid into her right ear. Still static, but a bit clearer.
She tried to move, but couldn't. The tendrils had not only anchored themselves to Katherine, but also her to the ground.
Katherine began to feel a sense of community. She felt herself connected to and surrounded by what she did not know, but entities of some kind.
Above her the poppy swayed. It took a moment to realize it was bending, lowering itself. The effect was hypnotizing, it's huge green flower swaying, drawing near and nearer. Soon it was directly over her face. It blocked out the sun. Soft petals slid down her cheeks and chin, over her hair until head was totally engulfed. And there was the smell, at once so familiar and yet so alien.
The static cleared and a voice in her head said, "Welcome."
You can also leave feedback & comments for this story on the Plaza Forum