A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.


The Farmer’s Daughter

Chapter 4 – Spindle

Somewhere in the background I heard the soft sound of an air recirculator, its quiet chuffing being a noise I had known my entire life. But the bed and the covers that surrounded me did not feel like those of my own, and I opened my eyes.

“Welcome back,” said the voice of my father just to my left.

“Pop!” I could hardly believe how wonderful it was to see him, and not the floor of some slimy, moss covered cave. And then I remembered… “Shit,” I said, sitting up abruptly with my hands on my belly. The motion nearly caused me to vomit however, as nausea threatened to overwhelm me. My father’s hand settled on my shoulder and urged me to lay back down, but I was having none of it.

“Pop, the cave… those plants… They, oh god…”

He was shushing me. “It’s okay… Rachael, listen to me,” he replied calmly as he tried to keep me from going into a full blown panic attack. “They’re gone. The medical team got to them before they attached themselves. You’re going to be fine… Do you hear me?” He locked eyes with me until I started to calm.

“They’re gone?” I asked.

“Completely. You might have some residual effects from the toxins in your bloodstream, but those should fade in a few days.”

“I’m not… impregnated?” I could hardly believe it.

“Not any more.”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Then I looked down at my own abdomen and gently rubbed my stomach. I was dressed in a standard hospital gown and robe, but the emblem embroidered on the front was unfamiliar.

“Pop, where are we?”


My eyes got big again. “Are you kidding me?! How? Why!?”

He took a breath himself, and I suddenly thought he looked as though he had been through quite an ordeal of his own. “The ‘how’ is by shuttle, care of Marhead Corporate. It seems that your Mr. Andrews has a little more clout in the company than I first thought. The ‘why’ is a little more complicated…”

At the mention of my lover’s name, my face grew hot, but not from arousal.

“Really. And where is that son of a bitch? I’d seriously like to give him a piece of my mind for abandoning me…”

“Rachael, I think you better hear the whole story before you pass judgment on the man. Tim didn’t abandon you.”

“What do you call leaving me without so much as a voice contact while I was being raped into oblivion by a damn plant!” Tears started to pool at the corners of my eyes.

“Calm down… Listen to me. I know it seems like he abandoned you, but it was actually Tim who saved you.”

I was shaking my head. I remembered how I had pleaded for even a single word, only to be met with static.

My father continued. “He didn’t respond to your hails because he couldn’t. He left the Nest shortly after it became obvious that you were trapped in a failing EV suit.”

“Left? To go where?”

“To come and get you,” he replied seriously.

I frowned in confusion. “Come and… pop, how? He didn’t have an EV suit of his own, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have been able to use either of our spares.”

“He didn’t use a suit.”

I just stared.

“Tim knew that the air shaft was only a short distance away, so after having collected a few things, he wrapped himself in a wet blanket, held his breath, and cycled through the lock.”

“Oh no…” I said, starting to understand.

“He ran most of the way without a problem, but the bottom of his shoes were starting to melt by the time he reached the shaft. He was also out of breath. He took a bit of the atmosphere at that point, and passed out, but not before cycling through the maintenance lock on the shaft.”

“Oh my god, is he alright?” I was feeling a little embarrassed now for being so hard on him.

Pop smiled. “Fine. He’s undergoing a treatment to help restore the minor damage he did to his lungs. He’ll probably be by later, not that they could keep you two apart for long. They practically had to drag him away just to patch the worst of the burns.”

I grimaced. “Burns?”

“Well just minor stuff from the heat outside. Some on his feet. It was the inner wall of the shaft that did him the worst damage. He rolled against it when he passed out. A few third-degree spots on his left arm, but not too bad. When he woke up, he lowered the lift, which helped a lot with the heat, and was then able to remote pilot the Crawler back to the hatch. Without the connection to the Nest, however, he was still out of contact with you. He rode the bot back to where you were and used the flachette rifle to shoot the tendrils holding you. That literally cut you down. He said he had a bit of trouble getting you onto the Crawler because of the suit and the slippery moss, but once you were both aboard, he piloted you back to the shaft.”

“Damn…” I exclaimed, amazed.

“At that point, he had to decide whether it was better to wait there for help, or try to get back to the domes. You were unconscious and in an unknown state, so he opted for the later.”


“He’s a smart one, that guy. I wasn’t so sure when we first met, but no question now. A keeper if you’re considering.”

I blushed and looked into my lap, smiling.

“I might just keep him around at that. So how did he get us back?”

He covered you both with the emergency foil blanket – the water in the other one had long since dried out – turned your suit environmentals up full blast, raised your visor to share the oxygen and cool air, and then ordered the Crawler to go home. He had to manually cycle the airlock and drag you inside when you got there, but that was easy compared to the trip out. I landed about twenty minutes later.”

I was silent for a bit. He waited.

“Pop, I’m sorry I was such an infernal idiot. Going down into those caves was stupid. If I hadn’t had such a bad case of cabin fever…”

“…You’d probably be dead now, and Tim too,” he interrupted.


He looked old. “Rachael, what you don’t know is that while I was in Laynard, we lost contact with four other ranches. Disappeared right off the grid. At first they thought that solar activity might have knocked out radio communications, but that changed when they got distress calls from two more farms, one of which was the K and K.”

I gasped. “The Kiley brothers? Their place is huge!”

“Yes it is, and hardwired to the grid as well. When they went down, the government decided that it was time to call in the troops. Then there was Frida Reese.”

“Megan Reese’s daughter?”

“The same. She was one of the injured I ferried in from their ranch. Seems you and she shared a similar bit of trouble.”

“Oh my god!” I exclaimed in shock. “Was she…?”

“Impregnated? Yup, and not by humans. Nobody even said anything, even Megan. It wasn’t until she started going into convulsions that her brother finally admitted that they had gone down below to hide some illegal goods.”

I bit my lip. “Pop, what happened to her?”

He sighed and looked worried. “Daughter of mine, all you need to know is that she didn’t make it, okay? They got to you early, whereas she had been carrying those seeds around for weeks.”

I didn’t like it, but I nodded.

“After that,” he went on, “I went back to our place, but not in our flitter. I arrived in a fully armed Jetson, complete with a contingent of marines as escort. We grabbed you two, and bugged out of there just as the plants attacked. They came up through the foundation and very near pulled the whole place into the ground.”

I was shocked.

“Pop, our farm! Is it really gone?!”

“I’m afraid so, sweet,” he said sternly.

“That’s horrible!”

He nodded, but continued. “Yes, but not so bad as has happened to other people. We’re at war, Rachael. It seems that the natural inhabitants of the planet finally got tired of us and decided to do something about it. All the outer homesteads have been evacuated, but even the central cities have started to see activity. Ahh, that old farm was just a dome with a few memories attached. I’ll make more. Besides, the only thing of any real value that ever came out of that place is sitting right here.” He tapped my on the knee.

“I love you too, pop.”

“Don’t worry yourself. We’ll find a new home. Spindle will do until then, but I have a feeling it’s going to get crowded around here real soon. I’m sure something will turn up.”

“Speaking of which, how did we get here at all? I mean, orbital transports are expensive.”

“You can thank your man for that. He made a few calls and the next thing I knew we were getting VIP treatment on the next shuttle out.”

“I called in a few favors,” said a voice from the door.

“Tim!” Pop had to hold me down so that I didn’t jump out of bed. I saw that my lover’s arm was encased in some quick-heal bandages.

“Marhead may be huge and pig-headed at times, but they do take care of their investments,” he said smiling as he came over to the side of the bed and kissed me. I wrapped my arms around his head and held him until I remembered that my father was standing right next to us. If he objected, he didn’t say anything. I came away blushing again.

“As I was saying,” he continued while he held my hand. “Now that Marhead can no longer farm crystals off of Camadon, I think a position is about to open for a few good farming specialists to lead operations someplace else. Can you think of anyone who might be interested?”

“Really?!” I asked, beaming. “Pop, you said something would turn up. Not that I ever thought I’d be working for Marhead…”

“Whoa there, missy. I haven’t agreed to anything yet…” replied my father.

“Well, the offer is there, and being the chief of operations in that division, it’s my decision to make, so take your time. As for myself, I’m content just to be alive and back in the good graces of the most beautiful woman on this whole station.”

“Yeah, okay. That’s my cue,” said my father grinning. “Get some rest, daughter. See you both later.”

As soon as he clicked the door shut, I reached out and dragged Tim against me as I gave him the kind of kiss you can’t deliver with a parent watching.

“Whew!” He exclaimed, when we came up for air. “I didn’t think you’d have the energy…”

“Are you kidding? That stuff the plants got me worked up with is still burbling through my blood. It’s going to take some serious, er… effort to get it out of there. So why don’t you go lock that door and let me thank you properly for saving my life.”

“Rachael,” he said seriously as he pulled my hand from inside his shirt. “You’ve been through some really difficult and physically draining experiences, and your father is right. You need to rest…”

“Yes, and I will,” I answered sighing. “But right now, this very moment, what I need is for you to help me get these horrible memories out of my head and replaced by new ones. I’m sure I’ll be dealing with the fallout from all of this for years… But please don’t draw away now. I need you.”

Tim stepped closer again, eyeing me. “You promise to take it easy later?”

“I promise.”

“Well then,” he replied, reaching into my robe. “I suppose a little… recreational therapy wouldn’t hurt.”

“Hallelujah! I feel better already!”

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