Back in my room, I took minor comfort in throwing the deadbolt for the door. There is a single central gear (and crank), which move six massive steel bars that seal the door closed: two on each side, top and bottom. It’s overkill, and worse than that, ineffective overkill. A TK will turn the crank from the inside, a brick will come through the wall. And despite all those weaknesses, it felt wonderful to latch the door closed and take a little relief from the outside world.
I pulled the shade and undressed from my inappropriate clothing. Then I looked at myself in one of the long mirrors.
I had changed. I mean, there were the obvious changes: my skin was black. Not African black, but black-leather black. India ink black. As black as Sinal Tap’s Black Album. Frankly, it made the girl in the mirror look dangerous, and hot. For the naked girl in the mirror, there were points of rather extreme contrast – elements of pink. I know it sounds strange, but it had been a bit of a fetish of mine. “White” people have a darker color skin in certain areas, such as the lips. Those alternate areas all share similar skin characteristics, and more importantly, they all share the same genetic sequence. I had tweaked that just a bit in the drow design. Despite my flat-black skin, I had a light pink tone to my lips. It was the pink of teenage-girl lipstick. Only, I had made it normal, for drow. For night combat operations, I’d want to wear dark lipstick.
This pink flesh also displayed itself in a few other locations. My nipples. And… the interior flesh of my vulva. Standing there, looking at myself in the mirror, I could see a stunningly black girl, with what I’d call “developing” curves. But she was naked. I was naked. The eye was drawn almost magnetically to the lips, the nipples (just beginning to grow firm as I watched), and an enticing line of pink that peaked out from between the concealing lips of her inky black labia majora.
I ran my hands and fingertips lightly over my body, watching, and feeling from the inside. The frustration was pretty bad. Looking in the mirror, I really wanted to fuck me. Being inside this body, I really wanted it, too.
I touched my chest, hefting and squeezing. I estimated I was about an A cup at the moment. In a move that I now regret, I had arranged for my dream girl to be a D cup when full grown. Belphoebe was a C. It would probably take her a couple of years to achieve her full growth. If Sara’s comments were correct, I’d be a C within a day or two. It was difficult to imagine what I’d be like, with those mammoth breasts on me. At least I wouldn’t need to worry about a bra. I had corrected a long-standing design deficiency in human females. First, I’d instituted nerve cut-outs, reflexive centers that would block extreme breast pain, akin to a sort of localized shock reaction. For a regenerator who could recover from damage, that would change breasts from a combat liability into valuable cushioning and protection for vital organs. I still wouldn’t want to be taking stabs and punches there, but if necessary I could take them and continue to fight. Second, and more importantly, I had created a “cartilage lace” based on a fractal pattern. The flexible lace was tied up and down to the rib cage, and formed a supporting structure inside the mass of the breast, making it self-supporting. My breasts would have just an iota less jiggle than a human female, but I would never need a bra, and never sag. I still hadn’t mentioned that detail to Belphoebe.
There were more substantial changes. I’d gained an inch in height. The tape said that I was now five-foot-four. But my proportions had changed. My torso was comparatively shorter, and my arms and legs longer. My eyes were completely different, as was the shape of my face. I now had prominent cheekbones and chin, making my face either foxy or a heart-shaped, depending on how you saw it. My hair had turned white, including my eyebrows and eyelashes.
Honestly compels me to admit that my previous face has been the slightest bit weasel-ish. My typical expression lent an air of hauteur, intelligence, and perhaps contempt. I would be happy to read those same expressions on my new face, but at the moment it seemed to be alternating between innocence, fear, and lust. Hardly appropriate, and I’d need to school my expression before venturing out. Particularly in a female body, it would ill suit me to wear an expression that advertised, “fresh meat, vulnerable, ready for the taking.”
Would the taking be so bad?
The unwanted thought reminded me of my sexual frustration, as if I’d had any chance to forget. That was high on my to-do list. I could barely concentrate. I tried not to think about what happened to drow girls when they lost their virginity. Another design decision I now regetted.
To-do list, Item one: hair dye. Item two: clothes.
When I’d first concocted my drow plan, back at age eleven, I didn’t quite have my current mastery of genetics. Instead, I’d chosen a single part of the design and began working from there. Drow hair was to be silky white, never tangling or snarling. This required a substantial alteration to the way hair is grown, and what it’s composed of. In the end, I enforced a design for all drow providing for a thicker, smoother hair, with greater internal strength and a set of scalp oils which could actually heal the hair’s dermic coat smooth again (although brushing or combing would probably be necessary to distribute the oil and smooth the hairs).
This also meant that conventional colorings and dye would have little effect unless formulated for the chemistry and physiology of drow hair. Since I knew those details, it was a simple task to formulate a beaker of dye that would penetrate the oils and move just below the dermal layer, remaining there semi-permanently until I washed it out or changed it.
It should be obvious that white hair serves as an excellent base for nearly any color, providing a vivid tint that’s impossible to match in human hair, even blonde.
I chose an emerald green, and there was a method to my madness. Hair of that color would draw attention. It would draw the eye. It would draw both away from other issues, that I was less eager to display.
It was the hair design that had started my thinking of drow as the perfect ninja. A white or colored head drew attention in the day. By night, the color could be quickly changed to a concealing black, furthering stealth, then restored at mission’s end. A ninja by day may be either quiet or flamboyant. By night, they must be both different and unnoticeable. By day, they return to their appointed place. If I’d been able, I would have provided chameleon skin as well, but that proved too difficult.
Wrapping myself in a robe, I headed for the girls’ showers. There was no way that I’d return to the boys’ bathrooms, as I’d done earlier. Given my new-found state, it would be far too dangerous. Besides, I wasn’t there to piss, I was going to shower. Anyone who had once used the girls’ showers would be reluctant to use lesser facilities.
Mental note: See about copying these showers for the Karedonian resorts.
The girls’ showers were a work of art. There was no line at that hour, so I immediately closed the door and moved in. Locking shower doors, that was the first great feature. Sure, it was no guarantee at Whateley, but it was another defense against casual pranking. Bath mats that wicked away water, while providing a disinfectant aroma with each step. I thought I detected a common fungicide. Perhaps as a minor aspect of my legacy, I could provide a better mat. These were good, but I thought I could do better. On the other hand, I knew I couldn’t do better on the tilework. Milan tile, or at least the appearance. My improved eye detected details that I’d previously missed, and I suspect the tile and grout were covered by a smooth and resistant layer of industrial diamond film. Common in the devisor labs, this was the first time I’d seen such in bathroom use.
The plumbing was exquisite, celebrated in ornate brass. Multiple showerheads, and pulsations, and random sprays that were a treat for my new flesh. I’d certainly heard rumors about girls and handheld showerheads. My own firsthand investigations into that were both pleasing and frustrating. Perhaps it was the heightened sensitivity of my erogenous regions, perhaps the hyper-awareness of altered physiology. All I can say was that the experience was intense… but ultimate frustrating. Sara Waite’s curse was still in effect. Ultimately, the shower heightened my frustration, rather than soothing it.
At least the dye job went as planned. My collar-length hair was now emerald green, as were my brows and eyelashes. This was more than evident in the large, full-length, steam-proof mirror.
I believe the shower bench was provided so that girls could shave their legs. Fortunately, I would never need to perform that odious task, but I did use the small hand-held mirror I’d brought in to give myself a brief gynecological exam. This is harder than it sounds. While I have the knowledge required for an M.D., the positions and angles make this a challenging task. Only through the use of twin mirrors, the shower bench, and the natural flexibility of my new body was I able to determine that I was currently virgo intacto – I possessed a hymen, in apparently pristine condition. I hadn’t been a virgin as a male, so apparently I was now a born-again virgin.
Ultimately, the shower was a failure. I’d hoped to soothe my frazzled nerves. Sara Waite’s alterations and manipulations still had me off-balance and off my game. The shower hadn’t restored my mental clarity, it merely filled me with more frustrations and repressed desires. Different parts of me wanted to be two people at once.
Had I shared Belphoebe’s “dilemma,” I’m sure I would have had no trouble at all. In my current state, I was becoming quite rapidly inured to the idea of sex from the female perspective. Had there still existed an original male version of myself, I would have happily solved all my problems. After all, what figure could make a better, more worthy mate than myself?
Sadly, the only way to achieve that would be to clone my own replacement and fill his head with second-generation memories, only to watch said clone supplant me in my father’s eyes and legal favor. Not a step I was eager to take, despite my desire for a mate who could be a suitable match for me.
So after all this work creating the perfect girlfriend, and succeeding, I was now back to square one.
Was it time to begin creating the perfect man?
The next day was Saturday, and I planned to be there the very instant the campus store opened.
Concerns over my appearance has given me troubled dreams during the night. Not as troubling as the shadowy masculine figure who gently spread my legs and …
Well, at least in dream I’d found a measure of satisfaction. It was disturbing that it had taken that particular avenue, but at least I could think again without wanting to slide down every staircase handrail on campus (and not side-saddle, either).
I’d settled on bright, emerald-green hair. Now I chose white skin, spraying my face, neck, hands, and arms. The spray-on skin had a tendency to clog my fingertip ducts, but I cleaned them with a swab. I “loaded up” the reservoirs, giving myself two different lethal toxins, a sleeper, a hallucinogen, and leaving the ring fingers free to collect samples.
Naturally, my drawers contained no clothes that fit. Belphoebe’s drawers were also empty. The few things she’d collected on her first day were apparently still with her. I settled for ill-fitting men’s boxers, slacks, and a polo shirt.
That proved unworkable. The contrast of pink-on-black was high, and clearly visible through the shirt. As were the contours. Worse, while I didn’t need support, the feeling of … motion and friction … inside the shirt threatened to return me to my earlier state of mindless arousal.
I doffed the shirt and wrapped myself thoroughly and tightly, then re-donned the shirt. Again, white linen bandage against black skin was obvious. An undershirt and alternate choice of top solved that problem.
Opening the shade, the day was dazzlingly bright – just for an instant. A moment later, things were comfortable again, even as I looked out on unfiltered sun glinting off the glistening blanket of snow. I snatched up my hand mirror to examine my new eyes.
The pupil looked square, and tiny. My eyes were cat-slitted, but with two sets of irises – vertical and horizontal. It was most obvious in bright light. My iris was oversized compared to humans, and the pupil almost vanished in a lavender ocean. Also, a slice up and down seemed to have vertical strips, rather than the purely horizontal stripes in the rest of the iris. It was odd, but those finer details were lost unless you looked closely. Even from a distance though, you’d notice the size, color, and shape.
I picked up my ray-bans and slipped them on. Perfect.
There were parts of my transformation that I was quite happy with.
Fate chose to crap on me once more. Standing duty at the store was none other than everyone’s least favorite and most public gossip, Peeper.
I tried to speak in my lowest register. Perhaps I could pass as a gruff tenor. “Hello, Peeper.”
He perked right up, those bugged-out eyes of his staring at me like they could drill through me. I felt uncomfortably naked.
“Helllloooo NURSE!” he greeted, jovially. “Are you new on campus? I’d be happy to show you the ins’n’outs, if you know what I mean!”
“Shut up Peeper, unless you want a quick case of leprosy, in a very painful spot.”
“Sounds almost like Jobe, but … couldn’t be. Jobe’s not a sexy, shapely, black … OH!”
“I am a GUY, Peeper. My face may be different, but you shouldn’t see any other changes.”
“No I shouldn’t!” he agreed, enthusiastically, staring at my crotch. He tried to do a bad Christopher Reeve impersonation. “I like pink, Lois!”
For a moment, blinding rage shot through me. I really wanted to pick up the cash register and bash him over the head with it until chunks of grey flesh came oozing out. But I decided that there was a chance that he was just bluffing, quoting an old movie, and he hadn’t really seen, hadn’t violated me with his eyes…
“Peeper,” I tried not to growl, “I’ve never quite understood the extent of your powers, but something Counterpoint said the other day is suddenly catching up to me. Can you see through clothes?”
“Of course not!” He said, tittering nervously. “That would be … uh … horridly, painfully bad, wouldn’t it?” He eyed me up and down, and I felt the slimy residue it left behind.
“Can you see through walls?”
“No! Stupid damn sheetrock!”
“I see. Peeper, you’re going to do me a favor, and sit on this information.”
“Oh, suuure I am, Jobe! Happy to oblige.”
“I mean it, Peeper. Until Sunday evening, after dinner is over. Otherwise, I’ll tell all the girls on the cape squad how your powers work. Starting with Mega-girl.”
He paled. “You wouldn’t!”
I smiled, but it wasn’t friendly. “Of course not. I’ve always been known as an easy-going bluffer, haven’t I?”
“And after the cape squad, I think I’d tell the Bad Seeds. And then, I know! Hippolyta.”
“Sunday, after dinner,” he agreed, shakily. “And you never, ever tell!”
I didn’t have a reason to pick that time or date. It’s just the most I thought I could get away with. You have to know how Peeper’s sick little mind works. Even at risk to his own life, he wouldn’t be able to keep quiet about this for very long.
“Why should I tell?” I asked. “Now that I know, I’ll have other ways to torment you.”
He looked puzzled, so I paused to scratch a couple of times. It was nothing you don’t see on a baseball field every day, but Peeper’s popped-out eyes got a little glazed, and his tongue began to leak out of his mouth.
I stopped almost immediately, because I learned something that was intently disturbing to me. First, I had enjoyed that. Second, a teeny tiny part of my mind was whispering, Do him!
Instead, I concentrated on my mental list of priorities: Item one: Throw up. Item two: Kill Sara Waite. Oh, yes. Item three: clothes.
I reluctantly moved my lower priority up a bit in the list.
The Whateley campus shop is not exactly haute couture. Under normal circumstances, I’d rather have a limb gnawed off by rats than be forced to descend to such mass-market polyester pandering. This was, admittedly, an emergency. I had literally nothing to wear. In preference to making all my public appearances in a bath towel (one size fits all), I hope I may be forgiven for descending to purchase items from the rack.
Bras were easy. Three in Belphoebe’s size (and my size within a day or two), and a pair in each of the cup sizes leading up to that. Given their tawdry quality, there should be no need to launder them. I’d just toss them out like the trash they were.
Underthings were likewise simple. The delightful offerings of Malaysia’s finest offshore sweatshops came six to a pack. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t sell them by the gross. I picked up two packs so that, once more, I could avoid laundry issues. Since my measurements confirmed my hips to be virtually identical to Belphoebe’s size, the selection was simple, even for one unschooled in the arcana of feminine garment sizing.
Slacks were a problem. I was now the proud possessor of a pair wide hips. Much wider than they should be. Proper slacks didn’t fit hips like that, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to buy women’s slacks. Which meant that I had to keep moving up in size. Using a belt to cinch them tight was a disaster. There was no possible way that anyone would think that figure in the mirror was a man. So… suspenders.
Shoes were nearly as bad. Forget transferring Dad’s clever additions to my footwear. Forget hand-crafted. My feet were too dainty for male shoes. The only sizes in the campus store were absurdly large on me.
I tried to decide what to do with my old Twain ties. Donate them to a worthy male successor? The only cottage ties in stock were … polyester. At this point, it became obvious that a trip to Dunwich could not be avoided.
And so I made my dignified way out of the campus store, in baggy pants and floppy shoes. I was beginning to regret the green hair. Perhaps if I added a gag flower that squirted water…
I tried to be reasonable. “Look,” you stupid bitch “it should be on file. As of Thursday, Carson filed an amended student record for me. Change of gender. I have literally nothing to wear. I need to go into Dunwich.”
“But you’re just a freshman,” the cow in human form replied.
It was so comforting to be able to interact with someone, without feeling a desire to mate with them. The normality of the situation was going a long way to calm my nerves.
“Yes, I’m just a freshman,” I agreed, “but an exemplary one. Not to imply that I’m an exemplar. You will find that I’m quite able to take care of myself, I don’t stand out, I don’t cause trouble, and if trouble should happen to find me, I usually deal with it quickly, decisively, and without a major disruption.”
“You don’t stand out? You have green hair.”
Contrary to my earlier opinion, this “woman” apparently wasn’t actually a dog, since she’d just given such a stunning demonstration of color vision.
“Yes, green hair. Good of you to notice.” I lowered my glasses. “It serves simultaneously as disguise and distraction.” I lowered my ray-bans, and pulled my hair back, to expose my pointed ears. “I think we’d rather have people looking at the dye job, don’t you?”
“Well, we usually like more notice…”
“Next time I suffer an unexpected gender reversal, I’ll try to give adequate notice.”
“Here’s a day pass.”
“Thank you so very much.”
Smiling, I contemplated how I might repay her. Perhaps a neo-yeast infection that desiccated her vaginal tissue until it was as dry as the Sahara.
I’d phoned ahead to Cecelia Rogers, so she was ready when I finally arrived.
Like many mutants, she had amazing abilities, coupled with limitations that were nearly as vast. As a tailor, she was the best on the planet. Perhaps the best in history. She also had access to some amazing fabrics, due to her proximity to Whateley and its devisors.
As a designer, she stunk. She reeked. The only runway show she was every likely to see was JFK, and it would be a mercy when the landing Airbus flights put her models out of their misery. Her use of fabric and color would have made her the preferred fashion source for Austin Powers. For anyone else, her shop’s display window conveyed a subtle message and that message was: “flee.”
The grand secret was that when you handed her an existing design, Cecelia Rogers could craft a look-alike that was better-tailored than the best Paris had to offer. And it was crafted out of materials that were more vibrant and durable than anything Jean-Louis Scherrer could ever dream of touching. A duplicate of the haute couture best, and better in every way.
But give her free reign and you’d be wearing tie-dye and beads before the day was out.
“But you’re transforming into such a beautiful girl!” Rogers told me, unnecessarily.
Of course she’s beautiful, you twit! I designed her!
Aloud, I merely informed her, “A temporary lab accident. I’ll be returning to my original gender shortly, I’m sure. I feel there would be less disruption all around if I were to continue operating, so much as possible, as a male.”
“But your real skin – it’s so dramatic. I’ll bet you could make a living as a model. A super-model. With skin like that, people couldn’t help but look and admire! Sure, the clothes and colors wouldn’t be right for normal buyers, but who cares? The job of models is to get people to look!”
Like a lot of artists, Rogers is temperamental. If you’re too haughty, if you speak down to a mere tailor, she’ll turn your business away so fast it will make your head spin. Right now I needed her, so I reigned in my natural response and threw a bone in her direction.
“That’s all well and good, but they operative word here is temporary. Look, there’s another girl who was involved in the same accident. We’re practically twins. How about if I send her, in my stead?”
“In fact, you can base things on me, but her actual measurements are here,” I handed over a slip of paper. “Let’s start with a half-dozen Whateley girls’ uniforms. Deluxe cut, of course, all options.”
Next she laid out several rich fabrics. “I assume you’ll want Zylor, for the durability. This is actually a Zylor-Titanium weave that I use for my highest-end customers.”
“Of course I—”
As I’ve mentioned before, when I crafted the drow, I increased the number of nerve endings in some parts of the body. Perhaps that had caused side effects. Whereas before I had found the fabric to be smooth and cool, now it seemed scratchier than a cheap wool suit.
Intrigued by the phenomenon, I ran my hand down several other fabrics.
“That’s odd. Most of these seem intolerably scratchy. But the silk feels wonderful. The cotton’s not bad, the silk is great, and this wool is so… soft.”
She made a note. “Cotton, silk, and angora. The angora wool is actually from rabbits. I personally find it slightly superior to cashmere in feel.”
“Good. Let’s use that for both the girls’ outfits and my clothes. Now…” I ran a hand down my sides. Not at all the smooth drop expected from a male physique. “These… hips. How do we conceal them?”
She mused over the problem. “Well, fortunately I have lots of experience with this sort of thing. The GSD cases, you know. Hmmm. We could go with the ‘normal but fat’ approach. That works sometimes, but your face and hands won’t support that…”
When she was done, I was amazed. The shirts buttoned to the pants. Suspenders held the pants up. Beneath I wore a lace-up garment similar to a corset, but designed for the reverse effect. It compressed my chest and padded my waist. My shirt was a very male cut, and seemed to hang well on a slim male body. The pants hung well, with extra (empty) space in the crotch area. The tubes of the legs were tight at the top and thinner below, but in the mirror the effect worked well.
And, as the crown jewel on the classic uniform…
“Are you sure about the lab coat?” she asked. “It’s not exactly… fashion.”
When my janitor advises me on genetics, I sometimes also pretend to pay attention. “Trust me,” I said, “the lab coat is the modern equivalent to a robe of royal purple. It separates the intellectual haves from the have-nots.”
I regarded myself in the mirror.
“Not bad. Not bad at all!”
I could loosen the tie and unbutton my shirt by one or two buttons, and you still couldn’t tell. The lab coat made it perfect, but the padding was actually in the shoulders of the shirt – which included a dense enough weave that you couldn’t see my black skin through it.
“You’re still a little too pretty for a boy,” she said. “But now that we have the clothes, I can send you over to Cordell’s for the polish.”
I’d taken off my special shirt, displaying the corset thing and the black skin of my body. Cordell’s Salon has a section in back without any windows, where they handle most of their Whateley clients and an occasional few from Dunwich. You’d be surprised at the amazing things that can achieved through determined inbreeding.
“Black skin, those eyes and ears, mercy if you’re not the image of that girl we had in here last night!”
“Did her friends call her Belphoebe?”
“That’s the girl!”
“Family,” I confirmed.
“So you wanna look like a boy, huh?”
“I am a boy,” I explained. “Lab accident.”
“Then you had one awfully lucky lab accident,” she said. “Black skin, white hair, that’s easy. You want to know hard? Covering up lobster shell, that’s hard!”
It was a fairly pleasant talk, and I was getting ideas all through it. I was still dealing with servants and nobodies chatting with me like equals, but at least they were getting younger and better looking. A rather annoying background thread in my mind urged me to engage in inappropriate mating behavior. For example, at one point, my stylist Suzy was nattering on about some yokel concern that I could care less about (hillbilly murders up in the hills). All I could focus on were her fingertips, and how they might taste, and various other things that I could do to her with my tongue.
It was intently disturbing. I attributed it to the sea change in hormones, and Sara Waite’s curse. Still, I was sure I could master this. A superior intellect can find an way around any difficulty.
To distract myself, I began to intently study the salon process itself. Treating hair, cleansing the face, applying paints and tints to parts of the body. It was a fascinating process, particularly when you considered it from the perspective of income.
“The problem is your hair,” Suzy said. “Too long for a real punk. Too short for any good girl-styles. I could do a boy-pony, but that’s so dull, you know?”
I shrugged, as if I cared about what she was saying.
“How about if we spike it? A little mousse, some color. Not that green, but something… you want red’n’gold flames? That would be good!”
So we went back and forth about colors and dyes. I provided my base formula (which I’d been thoughtful enough to bring) – she provided me with three different colors of mix.
It was a session more about teaching me how to use mousse to spike my own hair, and how to re-apply the color (which washed out quickly). The final look was a bit … animé.
“Yeah,” she agreed. “Kind of a Yugioh look. Definitely bishonen. Just… a little too cute still.”
I had a brainstorm. “What if I added a scar?”
“Worth a try. What did you have in mind?”
So I peeled off my face, which got a good reaction from her. Not that she didn’t know I was wearing a fake skin, but she was impressed with the quality. She even dragged in Mrs. Cordell.
“You just spray it on?” the older woman asked.
“Mmm hmm. I’m going to be marketing it after it receives approval. It’s still in early trials.”
“Any chance we could get in on those trials?” Mrs. Cordell wondered, slyly. “Lord knows, this would let us do wonders for some of the kids we get in here. Remember that boy with the lobster shell?”
I closed my eyes as Suzy sprayed my face.
“Wait for it…” I told her.
She grabbed the small string lying on my cheek.
“See,” I said, not moving too much. “It’s bonding and changing state. Wait… now.”
Suzy pulled the string, creating an unzipping feeling across my face.
“Amazing,” Mrs. Cordell commented. “Very nice scar. Subtle, but noticeable.”
By the time I left, I’d concluded a very nice deal for prototyping not only the skin product, but also any other cosmetics that I might come up with. Their customers were more likely to approve the rather odious paperwork. Meanwhile, I’d have testing and results with no work on my part, and more free salon work than Phoebe and I and all our acquaintances could ever use.
And if I could spin this into a Karedonian venture, Dad’s greed might trick him into overlooking certain irregularities in his heir.
I strolled across campus, feeling pretty good about myself. Enjoying the crisp winter afternoon and the white blanket over everything. I looked sharp in my tailored uniform and newly-pressed labcoat. I had new-and-improved shoes, thanks to Cecelia Rogers. Who knew? I had my problems under control for the moment, and all was well with the world.
Admittedly, I couldn’t inhale with my breasts bound tight, but I was willing to live with that.
Campus, for once, looked normal. It was a red-flag day, so everyone was forced to dress and act and look appropriately for a completely normal school, as if we didn’t normally have freaks and monsters flying through the air, ghostly beings phasing up through the ground, or flocks of flame-bats harassing all the students who happened to look like Sasquatches. That last had been my fault, and I smiled in remembrance.
Just then, a black-haired jock pelted toward me.
“You are dead!”
It was Counterpoint! Training took over, and I felt a kunai drop into my hand. I crouched, slightly…
…and he continued on past me. He turned his head back, as he passed.
“What are you looking at, newbie?”
And then he was gone.
He hadn’t even recognized me.
Just the same, I was terrified.
Counterpoint had passed. He’d ambushed me, more than once. He’d stabbed me in the back – a blow that would have crippled a normal person. He was vile, ruthless, and dangerous.
I should have been ready to plant my poisoned dagger in his throat. I should have had my half-finished countermeasures ready. They were there in the pockets of my lab coat. I should have been ready for a fight to the death.
Instead… I’d been noticing the shape of his shoulders, the girth of his neck. There was something about his bad-boy style that just tickled, deep inside. A tiny thread of my attention had considered telling him everything – who I was, what had happened. I knew exactly how he’d use me, and part of me wanted it.
I hurried back to Melville and locked my door.
I promised myself that dinner would be normal. I was dressed like a guy, I’d act like a guy. There would be no problems.
As I was “fixing my face,” I added a small artificial extension for my nose. The tiny little upturned thing is fine for a fairy girl, but a man needs a nose that comes to a longer, more masculine point. A simple prosthetic and some spray-on skin, a fake scar, and I was good to go.
You know how dogs sometimes go a little crazy? They’ll get so hard up that they’ll hump your leg, or a piece of furniture, or just about anything in sight. You really have to sympathize with dogs sometimes.
I promised myself that dinner would be better: No girl thoughts.
I even fortified myself with a list of safe topics. My laptop was set to a financial page. I had development issues to contemplate regarding cosmetic products. And, of course, I could lose myself in endless contemplation on my favorite subject: the lingering death of Sara Waite. My current favorite fantasy regarded a barbecue, an electric rotisserie unit, and a certain demon girl being basted regularly until cooked down to a lump of crumbly charcoal.
As that evil creature had predicted, my appetite was still pegged at “ravenous.” Having a bit more decorum and self-control than the common rabble, I took a meal that was what you might call, “brick, light.” That is, a steak, beans, rice, a potato, a salad, a half-dozen pieces of chicken, a loaf of bread, and a couple of smoothies. I’d get desert later.
Throughout everything, I was totally discrete as I itched my crotch. It was only on the third time that I realized it was my panties. The cheap Malaysian garment had left sharp bits of thread poking out at the waistband and leg seams. Now, every time I moved, I was getting scratched in my private region. I itched again delicately and, as usual, selected a seat by myself.
The red flag was still up, so the cafeteria was relatively normal looking. I unfolded my laptop to one side, and began my scan of the financial news.
Things were sparse; it was early for dinner. A few of the Alphas came in for their regular table, but honestly, that group hasn’t been the same since their big shakeup. They’d provided endless amusements, strutting about and trying to rule campus. It was like watching a cockfight at times, and I smiled fondly, remember the free entertainment they’d given us. Tragically, signs indicated that they were mellowing out. A shame if true, but at least at this school there would always be others to take up the slack.
As if on cue, Bloodwolf came in with some of his “pack.” Not all of them were wolves, or even shifters. Bloodwolf had two separate packs – the shifters, and his own crew of ultra-violents. I don’t keep close track of those whose mutation leads them along a devolutionary spiral, but Bloodwolf had done me service on more than one occasion, providing hard-to-get tissue samples. Today, the wolf was in low profile, looking particularly human. That is, aside from the tattered jeans that were his trademark, a half-day’s beard growth, and as a crowning touch, actual twigs tangled in his messy hair.
Next up was Thunderbird and court. Scott Emerson, better known as Thunderbird, was trailing three of his harem. His girlfriend-du-jour, Toni Chandler, was hanging on his arm. Toni is to martial arts what the Mexican jumping bean is to legume locomotion. Two steps behind, and denied actual physical contact, were Tesla and Widget. Tesla was a simple E/M energizer, nothing to write home about. Widget had some respectable skill with electro-mechanical gadgets. Nothing ready for patenting yet, but it was all pure gadgetry (as opposed to devises), and she had some respectable developments. If and when, I knew I’d be interested in buying out her patents if she’d let me. There were some fascinating things I could do, combining her force-field and “measles” technology with my bio-creations. The quartet headed for their own table.
Then the last element of the drama entered. A mechanic-girl, I believe she goes by “Skids” – her power was something involving driving or vehicle manipulation. She came in leading Grandpa and the Little Brother (at least, that’s what they looked like). Two completely normal humans. I was looking at the eye of Hurricane Red Flag. Gramps seemed every inch the wide-eyed tourist, looking around at the cafeteria dome as if it were the most amazing thing ever. You get that reaction a lot from the ignorant. Face it folks, a geodesic dome, even with glass panels, is not exactly one of the wonders of the world. But the geezer was all eyes overhead, and the kid was running from table to table, bumping into stuff and asking, “Are you a superhero? What do you do?”
At Emerson’s table, the martial arts girl was balancing silverware. My super-sharp vision allowed me to see every detail as Thunderbird reached out to tousle the kid’s hair. I could see Thunderbird’s face clearly, the crinkles at the corner of his eye, the smile that lit his face and his eyes. He was speaking quietly to the boy, so I couldn’t hear what they said, but he gestured up toward Skids. The boy looked up at his sister with wide eyes, and I could see him mouthing the word, “Wow!”
And in that act of generosity, Skids looked down at Thunderbird, and I could see her tomboyish face open up in admiration, looking at the handsome, generous, thoughtful man sitting ahead of her.
The other girls at Thunderbird’s table all gave the same resigned grin, and moved aside to let three new people sit with them.
But the boy was still running about. He came to Bloodwolf’s table, and asked him the same question. The acoustics of the cafeteria carried the sound to me with perfect clarity.
“Are you a superhero, too? What do you do?”
Bloodwolf’s reply was quick. “I sure am. Hey, how about if I teach you how to fly?”
I stood up. You don’t mess with kids. Especially on red-flag days. Especially people’s family. Especially kids.
But I was on the far side of the cafeteria. Too far to do anything. As I began moving forward, Bloodwolf hefted the kid in both hands.
“Here we go!”
And with one super-strong heave, the kid was shooting up fast enough to smash into the glass overhead, yelling as he went.
I have to give Thunderbird credit. He must have known it was a red-flag day. Even so, it only took him a second to clear the edge of the table, and he was flying straight up to catch the boy before he could hit the bars or glass. The kid’s wailing stopped as soon as those strong arms wrapped around him.
Down below, Bloodwolf’s cronies were laughing it up. Bloodwolf himself wasn’t done though. He stepped over to the next table and grabbed a weak-looking figure that everyone on campus recognized. Moving and heaving before the effect could stop him, he flung Delwin Florian up at the flying pair. Even so, Del didn’t get nearly the height of the boy.
Delwin Florian is better known as “Negator.” He neutralizes mutant energy. Move near him and you’ve got maybe a half-second before any mutant-related powers fade like a punctured beach ball.
Thunderbird caught him.
Scott may have made one mistake, but he didn’t make a second. He had time for a quick, “Trust me,” to the boy. Everyone in the cafeteria heard it. Then he gently lofted the boy toward his black girlfriend. The martial arts expert exploded backward out of her seat, jumped up, caught the child in a perfectly gentle hold, hit the ground in a tuck-and-roll, and was back on her feet setting the boy down before he’d even realized what was happening.
As for Scott, he had perhaps a half-second left to decide what to do as he fell. He had a hold on Delwin – one of the most pathetic, annoying, spineless, worthless weasels this school has ever had disgracing its halls. Scott knew all that. Everyone knew Delwin. And Scott rolled over, so that his body would cushion Del’s.
Tesla may have been only a middling-level magnetic energizer, but apparently she could act under stress. Every chair in the cafeteria launched forward, obeying her mental summons. Before Thunderbird could fall more than halfway back down, a tangle of chairs gathered under him like a giant metal nest. Scott held Del away from the chairs, the chairs held Scott from smashing into the floor. Everything came gently to rest and moments later the chairs scooted back into place.
“Good as new, eh, Del?”
And with nary a scowl to mar his shining smile, Scott Emerson gave Negator a slap on the shoulder and pushed him on his way.
The ruggedly handsome blond sat back down, leaning forward toward the boy as he did so. “Well, I’ll bet that was more excitement than you expected, wasn’t it? I think there’s maybe a lesson in here about running up to strangers, hmmm?”
“Wow, mister! You’re great! You’re gonna be a great hero! Better than Champion!”
“Hey, we’re all part of the same team. And remember: Anyone can be a hero. It’s not the powers, it’s the attitude. It’s what you choose to do with your life.”
Ba-bump. Ba-bump. Ba-bump. My heart was pounding and I didn’t even know why. Was I having a heart attack? My feet were on automatic, still carrying me forward toward their table.
“Then I’m gonna choose to grow up just like you, Mr. Thunderbird!”
“And when I have kids, I hope they’re as brave as you.”
That’s when I pissed my pants.
“Does anyone else smell almonds?” Toni asked.
I snagged my computer and practically flew back to Melville.
Maybe it was a good thing that those panties came in a six-pack.
There are certain difficulties associated with being female. One of them is that the urethra is right in front of the vaginal opening. They’re both right there. Together. So… under some circumstances, you think you may have lost a certain amount of bladder control. That is, you don’t feel like you’ve peed. Your bladder doesn’t feel any sudden relief. But you find that you’ve soaked your panties. Never having worn panties before, I had not previously experienced this delightful phenomenon. It wasn’t until I was back in the shower that the truth penetrated. My mind belated remembered a comment made by Toni Chandler. At the time, I was dealing with the higher-level humiliation of having pissed myself, and I wasn’t exactly processing at full capacity. But now, under that soothing pulsating spray, my mind began to work again.
I am told that women enjoy oral sex. Both giving it and receiving it. I didn’t know for sure, but I’d made plans. If my future ideal girlfriend wanted that, I’d be happy to oblige. But there were rumors of a fishy smell, and some guys said they thought the taste wouldn’t be so good. It seemed like one more problem in need of a good technical solution. I’ve always enjoyed almonds, and the proteins are simple to code for. A minor alteration of the Bartholin’s glands would form the proper amino acids, releasing a pleasant taste and smell, and enhancing the experience for any lovers (originally intended to be myself). It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Not only would my dream girl taste pleasantly of almonds, whenever she was “in heat,” she’d smell delicious.
Only, now I was discovering that I couldn’t go anywhere near Scott Emerson without smelling like the factory floor at Planter’s.
Just to be sure, I took a finger and swirled it gently inside an already-dilated opening. I didn’t need to sniff delicately. Almond.
God, I still liked that smell. The scent of my own arousal was making me hard up top and soft down under. I dialed the shower over to “cold” and stood there until I could think straight. And I’d tried so hard not to have any girl thoughts!
Item one: Kill Sara Waite. Item two: Grab Scott Emerson and have my way with him.
On second thought, I decided to reverse those priorities. Sara could “wait.” She wasn’t going anywhere. And when I was done with her, she’d be planted and composting, and for damn sure wouldn’t be going anywhere ever. But, first things first.
Okay, Scott Emerson. Thunderbird. I thought about that for a minute or five. Then I dialed the shower down to “glacial.” More challenging for the body, ideal for the mind.
First order of business: distancing myself from the pants-pissing idiot in the cafeteria. I lathered up my hair with regular shampoo and a special mix of my own creation, quickly stripping out the dye. Drow hair is durable, and white. The white is important because dye doesn’t have to penetrate deeply to change the color. That means it comes out easier, too. Back to basic white. It seemed a shame after my salon session, but half of that had been teaching me to do it myself.
The fake skin all came off in the shower, because if he was going to see me in the flesh, then it had better be the right flesh. Besides, the spray-on stuff muffled the sense of touch.
I’d use the girls’ uniform. He needed to think of me as a girl. I needed him to think of me as a girl.
Upon receiving my new gender, and beginning my use of ladies’ restrooms, I had made an interesting discovery. So far, every single one of them contained a vending machine. Napkins, tampons, mini-pads, you name it. Plunk your quarters in, girls, and take your selection of intimate products. Hell, these products are so intimate that most guys won’t be caught dead even discussing them. The basic principle is simple: “Wad up some toilet paper and slap it over my delicates like a giant band-aid.” Only, more absorbent. I suppose the tampon was slightly different. Girl though I temporarily was, I wasn’t going anywhere near that mental land mine. I didn’t want anything inside of me.
Except Scott Emerson.
Damn girl thoughts.
I hadn’t had a period yet. I didn’t want one, ever. Drow design and modern genetics ensured that I wouldn’t have one until I deliberately triggered a fertility cycle in my own body.
Scott’s baby. You know he’d marry you.
Fuck. My own mind was unraveling at the seams. I was planning the Great Scott Hunt for tomorrow morning, but I wasn’t sure I could even last that long. Maybe killing Sara Waite should be my top priority.
Back in natural drow shape and color, I wrapped a towel around myself, grabbed my damn sanitary pad, and hot footed it to my room. But on the way, I passed that big mirror over the girls’ sinks.
There was a girl in the mirror who looked absolutely fabulous. Coal black skin, shock white hair, and a matching white towel and feminine product. She was clutching the towel loosely over the swell of her prominent breasts, and you could see her figure through the drape of the towel. She looked frazzled and wild and sexy as hell. I had to pause to smile at me, because, damn I do good work!
My sleep was restless. You have to wear panties to hold a sanitary napkin in place, and it was very strange sleeping with a giant wad stuffed right down there. Not to mention that my breasts were bigger than ever, and my old sleeping positions were now impossible.
Not only that, but I kept itching. The seams of this pair of panties was also bad. It felt like it was filled with barbed wire. And apparently the girls pranked each other worse than the guys, because the napkin had been covered with red-hot or Ben Gay or some other type of liniment. After having the pad in place for an hour, I was so swollen and itching that I could scarcely contain myself. And each time I itched, it only brought attention to where I was itching, which made me more frustrated, in a never-ending cycle.
I ended up tearing off all my clothes and sleeping in the buff. That settled the itching problem eventually, but it was very distracting to my mind, which kept thinking of itself as male. I’d roll over, or move my hand, or something. And all of a sudden, there were all these curves and swells where there hadn’t been any.
When I finally did sleep, I dreamt that I was meeting Scott, and he’d take my hand, and he’d hand me his huge rifle. I’d polish the rifle until it was perfect, but then it would spontaneously discharge and the shot would strike Sara Waite, killing her dead, and then Scott would kiss me and I’d just sort of go wild with these seizures that felt really good.
Item three: Build time machine. Item four: Go back in time and assassinate Sigmund Freud.
Then I’d wake up and need a new itchy napkin, also covered with liniment. I finally wadded up one of my towels, which solved the problem, sort of, if I didn’t think about what I was doing.
The one consolation was that by morning, I had recovered a fraction of my rationality. I had barely enough presence of mind to realize how much I really, really wanted to sleep with Scott Emerson. And by “sleep” I mean… well, all the things that girls fantasize about boys doing to them. I don’t know what normal girls fantasize about, but I knew what I fantasized about, and for those parts of me that retained some shred of my original identity, it was enough to turn my hair white.
Oh, too late.
This was a bigger deal for me than for a normal girl. Normal girls worry about losing their virginity. Unfortunately, in another of those shit-what-have-I-done moments, I had made drow virginity a thing apart. My first man might also be my last, and I would create a bond that might be strong enough to overcome even my iron control. I knew it, but at the moment I was so hard up with need that I didn’t care.
At this point I was ready to throw in the towel, except that it was damp and smelled of almonds. Every part of me was willing to cooperate together, if it would only help eliminate this absurd obsession. I mean, I’d devoted years of my life to the design and creation of the perfect girlfriend, but I wasn’t obsessed!
So, I needed to catch a man. And that began with dressing appropriately.
Step one was the “intimate” layer. I began with a foundation of cheap Malaysian panties, attractively stuffed with a wad of cut-up toweling, to absorb my excess almond juice. It’s a shame, because if there’s one nice thing about being a girl, it’s that girls’ underwear fits really well. It’s not like guys’ boxers, where the parts just sort of rattle around inside. With girls’ underwear, it’s all snug and close and skin-tight and sensuous. Right up until the moment when you shove in a long strip of towel, to “plug the gap.” I trimmed away with the scissors, until I had a strip that fit my panties.
Next in the tour of intimates is the bra. A bra is like wearing a belt around your rib cage, with two cups that hold your boobs in soft support. I could see myself developing a love/hate relationship with the garment.
Another thing about girls’ underwear is that it comes in colors. I actually had to think about the color of my undies. This was doubly-confusing for me, because I was now black. Before, I would select something white and be done with it. But now, the white was high contrast against my skin. Good in some ways, since it definitely highlighted the lingerie. Well, underwear. The school store did not sell lingerie.
I had a black bra, which became nearly invisible against my skin. Was that good? I dithered for an inordinate amount of time. Was this why girls too so long getting dressed? In the end, I chose white. The highlighted attention was nice, and it didn’t make that damn towel wad stand out as the only white thing on my body.
The uniform was better – tailored to my fit by Cecilia Rogers. It was fortunate that I’d given her Phoebe’s measurements, because according to today’s tape, I was a C cup, just like Feebs. I sure as hell felt gigantic, with two parts of me waving back and forth in the breeze. At least until the bra corralled me.
The blouse was almost like a boy’s shirt, but with a few more ruffles, and the buttons on the wrong side. I assumed that girls were more likely to be left-handed. That was the only sensible reason I could think of for that strange design decision. I also discovered that a tie hangs entirely different when you have boobs.
And then I stepped into my skirt. My black, pleated skirt. It wasn’t until I wore the thing that it struck me. Perhaps as much as the bra, this was a garment to be worn by a girl. It hung nicely, just from the swell of my hips. It displayed the pleasing curve of my butt, without drawing too much attention. And I’m pleased to say that I have great legs. I’d designed them to be great. Twisting and turning, the skirt flared and swirled. Rogers had been right. The angora wool she used in the skirt and blazer was amazing – so soft that it made each moment a delight. It tickled my thighs, particularly in back.
It was odd to think of walking around campus with my panties so readily exposed. One updraft, one Tk lift, and I’d be exposed for all to see. It was an interesting thought, and I was grateful for my foresight in deploying the towel. Also frustrated to think that anyone who did see my panties would wonder why I’d stuffed them with wadded cloth.
I finished dressing – the knee-high socks, the low girl-shoes, the blazer that’s cut very differently from a boy’s jacket. Reluctantly, I left behind my lab coat, feeling strangely vulnerable without it. Looking in the mirror, clasping my hands on the purse in my lap, I was powerfully struck by just how much I seemed to be a young girl. Every inch of me screamed “schoolgirl,” but my greatest asset was plainly my arrestingly large, violet eyes. I practiced a couple of blinks, working on expressions of innocence and sincerity.
Finally, I felt ready.
Task one: Find Scott Emerson! Task two: Intercourse. Task three: Kill Sara Waite.
Yes. I was ready.
It turns out that there are disadvantages to wearing a thigh-length skirt in winter. With the snow 3’ deep on the ground. And icy breezes. The angora skirt and blazer were nice and warm, but my legs were freezing.
I was surprised to realize that my crotch was not cold. It wasn’t that the damp towel was a great insulator, it was because I didn’t have anything hanging out to get chill. All my intimates were sensibly tucked away, safe and inside. All that showed outside was a thin gap which gave the chill little purchase. But the thighs to each side of that gap were cold.
This was intensely disorienting. You’re supposed to feel the chill in your gonads, not your upper thighs. Not the points of your breasts. You are not supposed to spend your time thinking about how easily a large, warm hand could slip up your skirt, to warm that cold section of thigh right there, a thought which makes the tips of your breasts strain even harder into the cold.
No matter, since I spotted Scott. Soon, these disruptive thoughts would be gone!
The campus is shaped a bit like a bowl. Three small hills are tall enough to block a direct view of the farther cottages. With the ground covered by fresh snow, and yesterday’s red flag now a permissive green, the more energetic students on campus were taking advantage of things. Emerson Hill, across the bowl, was the sight of the Snow War. Walls and towers had been constructed at the top and bottom of the hill, with snowball munitions stockpiled against the periodic assaults. Manifestors and devisors manned the ramparts, launching snowy covering fire, while bricks trudged slowly toward the enemy, taking heavy hits. Overhead, fliers engaged in dogfights.
Dickinson Hill, in contrast, was set aside for the artists, who crafted lacy sculptures from ice, and then built palaces to house them in.
Last of all was O. Henry Hill, in front of my new home, Melville Cottage. This was, by tradition, the athletic hill, reserved for skiers, boarders, and the like. Today there were more than a few hoverboards and field-cycles. I spotted Widget on one of those, a sort of a trike with skis, only it sat a half-inch above the snow. Close behind her was Tesla, surfing on what looked to be a silvery surfboard. The board’s movement bore little relationship with the contours of the land, often taking off to fly through the air in unlikely maneuvers like a loop-the-loop.
Once I had them spotted, it only took a moment to spot Scott. He was tethered to Toni Chandler. The black girl, fashionably dressed in a flattering blue ski-suit was riding a pair of snow skis while holding a waterski tow rope. The rope was twenty feet long, and attached to a flying Thunderbird, who wore a harness. It was a combination of snow skiing and water skiing. As Thunderbird flew along, just above ground level, Toni was doing jumps, spins, and other tricks which ventured into the realm of absurd acrobatics.
I watched for a moment. It was all fine and good for them to have their fun, but I had needs. Firming my resolve, I marched forward. This initial contact was crucial, since the first impression could clinch or poison all future dealings. I needed to make the best possible impression on my Scotty.
First, I made my way cross-country, leaving the dry and heated brick walkway to cut across the slippery snow of the hill. Then, I waited for just the right moment, making it appear that I was struggling along.
Moments later, my opportunity arrived. First came Scotty, pulling like a happy sled dog, thumbs hooked into the straps at his shoulders. Following behind was Toni Chandler, laughing in glee and crying out, “Mush! Mush!”
I “stumbled” forward, directly into Toni’s path. She’d smash into me, and I’d have my chance to talk to Scott.
“Whoops! Alley oop!”
Giving a leap that was, frankly, unbelievable, the black girl launched into the air and performed a back flip right over me.
She even landed perfectly, and continued on, skiing away without pause or interruption.
I scowled. This might be more difficult than I’d expected.
“We’d better avoid the crowds,” I heard Scott calling back to his anchor, as they sped away.
“The all-campus tour!” Toni shouted. “Hey, Wendy! Louise! Betcha can’t keep up!”
“As if!” “Bring it on!”
And with the full harem, Scott flew off.
I scowled, narrowing my pretty violet eyes in thought.
Another skier whipped up beside me, riding a pair of rocket skis. I recognized him from the devisor lab.
“Can I help you up, miss?”
I graciously declined his offer. With scarcely a thought, a kunai slipped down my sleeve and into my hand. “Back off, bozo, before I ventilate you. I’m on the prowl.”
My gentle refusal seemed to penetrate, since he rapidly left me to my own thoughts.
Hmmm, Scott might be difficult to track as he traveled across the length of the campus. I needed a higher vantage point.
Brushing myself off, I headed into central campus, and the buildings located there. Scott and followers buzzed past me twice, as I made my way. Both times, they were gone before I could even get a word in, zooming by with yelps and screams of delight.
I was beginning to dislike those girls.
A normal skier would have been challenged to find the course interrupted periodically by dry brick pathways. They diverted steam from the physical plant to heat the walkways, melting the snow and drying the brick, to provide secure footing even in the midst of the piles of snow around us.
Scott was flying. He never actually touched the ground, so there was no problem for him. Tesla, on her silver surfboard, was likewise flying. Widget, on her power trike, had spring-loaded struts, As she approached a path, she’d execute a jump sufficient to clear the gap. And Toni (the anchor, as I was thinking of her) would jump the gap with pure leg power. That wouldn’t have been so bad, if she hadn’t performed a new acrobatic maneuver with every jump. Or if her yells and hollers hadn’t made it quite so obvious how much fun she was having. No one likes a showoff.
The squadron came buzzing around the tower of Kane Hall. Just at the base, there was a large pile of snow.
“Go for it!” Toni yelled.
Scott cut close to the tower, flying straight over the small hump. Behind him, Toni hit the hump exactly right, launching into the air as if she’d run up a ski jump.
“I’m flying, Clark! I’m flying!”
The landing is even trickier, but, drat the luck, she aced that, too.
My analytical eye noted something. Scott was repeating his path. And that gave me an idea.
Several floor up the tower, about halfway to the observatory, there’s a balcony. It would be perfect for surveying their route. And if Scott flew underneath again, just as I “accidentally” fell, he’d have to rescue me! And everyone knows that rescues like that always lead to romance!
I surveyed the tower. Brick and mortar. It would be a tough climb, but I could do it. I pulled my shoes and socks off and tied them around my neck. Then, sinking my fingers into the freezing masonry, I began to make my way up.
I would never have managed it with my normal muscles. As it was, I was shaking as I approached the underside of the balcony. It’s not obvious from the ground, but there are warning labels all over the underside and outside edge of that balcony.
“Security Only. Student access prohibited.”
As I continued my approach, the labels began to flash and beep.
Clearly, normal students would be obliged to give up at this point. I had more important issues, however. I continued, grabbing the rail and flipping up and over.
And here came Scott! I looked, trying to judge the proper moment to fall just in front of him.
“Who the hell are you? And give me one good reason why I shouldn’t shoot you for trespassing on my balcony?”
The blonde teenager has light blue silk pajamas with the logo “Property, US Navy” on them. From her mussed hair, she’d just gotten out of bed. Judging from the large handgun she held, she wasn’t in a good mood.
I twisted to react to the threat – at exactly the wrong moment. I saw Scott pass by. Combined with my twist, I tumbled backward off the rail.
Scott! Now I really need your help!
Instead, I had a moment to see a black girl in a blue ski-suit hurtling toward me.
Impossibly, she spun around, hooking her foot in the tow rope. She’d already removed the ski from that foot, and was holding it in both hands.
I don’t know how she managed, exactly, but I felt the stinging slap of the ski across my backside. I found myself flying face first toward the snow drift that had served as her launching ramp.
I will freely admit, a face-first landing is not comfortable. Not at all. Still, it didn’t hurt as much as my butt did. That really stung.
I took some small consolation, looking around at the now-exploded snowdrift, thinking that at least they wouldn’t be getting any more fun out of it. Then I began to dig in my shirt. Snow in your bra is no fun at all.
I finally did the sensible thing. Someone had set up a table with hot chocolate, at the top of O. Henry Hill. Scott and company swooshed by, and Widget pulled off for a warm drink. I sprang from my ambush and hit her!
With a wad of bills.
“A thousand dollars cash,” I huffed out, “to rent your ski-trike for one hour!”
She looked at me like I was crazy. “You’re kidding.”
“Take it or leave it!”
“Okay, sure.” She gestured toward the hovering vehicle. “Have fun, I guess.”
I gave a smile of cold satisfaction as I boarded the vehicle. At last, I could finally talk to my man and get indoors where I wouldn’t be freezing my thighs and the tips of my… areas … off.
I goosed the throttle and sped forward, closing the gap with those annoying girls.
The Chandler girl looked over. “Welcome back, Widge!” Then she saw who was at the controls. “You’re not Widget!”
“Corporate buy-out!” I sneered in reply.
Another twist of the throttle and I pulled ahead, drawing even with Scotty.
“Oh, Scott!” I called, seductively. “I can give you everything a man ever wanted!”
“Huh? Where’s Widget?”
“I rented the bike, while she warmed up with hot chocolate.”
“Oh. Okay.” He looked a bit disconcerted at that. “Uh, have we met?”
Damn! I wanted to ease him into my real situation. “I… haven’t come up with a code name yet. You can call me—” I thought furiously “—anti-Fey.”
“Auntie Fay? If you say so.”
“I can give you everything you’ve ever wanted!” I repeated.
“You’re not a recruiter, are you?”
“Arggg! Do I look like a recruiter to you?”
“Well no, but you kind of sound like one.”
I knew how people like this worked, and I was running out of time. “Look, play your cards right, and I can make you emperor of your own nation! Think of all the good you could do!” I didn’t want to make any actual promises, but if we hit it off as well as I thought we would… who knows?
“Ask her what the price is!” Toni butted in.
The girl had pulled herself forward, moving up the tow rope hand-over-hand.
“Oops!” I said, flinging my arm out. A kunai flashed out, slicing through the tow rope.
“Whoop!” Toni, the anchor, was suddenly behind us and fading fast.
Scott was suddenly scowling. I hoped that indicated that he was happy to be free of his dead weight.
“All right, who the heck are you, and what do you want?” He came to a halt and settled to the ground.
I was off the bike in an instant, finally meeting him face-to-face. I wrapped my arms around his waist.
“It’s all because of that demon, Sara Waite! She did this to me! I swear, I think I’m going to die if some man won’t help me. Someone noble and selfless. Someone like you!” I tilted my head back, and gave him the quivering eye.
“Uh… well, of course I want to help, but… What exactly did Sara do to you? I mean, I know her, and she isn’t as bad as people make her out to be.”
“She’s a monster!” I practically hissed it. “And she changed me! And now, if a man won’t help me, I’ll die of frustration!”
“Help you how?”
I grabbed the straps on his harness and hauled myself up. If my mouth could just reach his lips…!
“I’m a virgin, Scott! I need you to fix that!”
“Uh… uh… I… uh… oh… I…”
The Chandler girl huffed up through the snow, with Tesla floating behind her on that surfboard.
“Oh, good going, Jobe! You better not have broken him!”
“So you figured it out,” I sneered at her. “Well, back off, Poesie. I want to give him what every boy wants. ME. Any way he wants me, any time, any place, any speed, any position. And if you lose out, it’s your own damn fault for not putting out for him.”
Tesla had moved forward to sit on the front edge of her hovering surfboard.
“Wow,” she breathed. “You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but gosh, what a boy!”
“No kidding,” the black girl nodded, in agreement. “Gee, do you think you could make it any more romantic?”
“Screw romance! And for that matter, screw me, too!”
Since I still held him by the straps, I shook Scott a little, trying to snap him out of it. Instead, his head just sort of bobbled around, and his glazed eyes continued to wander blankly, staring at nothing.
“Scotty,” I begged, climbing up again in a vain attempt to reach his lips. “You want me, don’t you? I’m a virgin. Think about it! Terra incognita. I’ll make sure you’re really, really satisfied. And I’m rich. And I’m going to inherit a whole country! We don’t have to call you emperor. You could be king, or president-for-life, or whatever else you want. Tell you what – just try it once, to see if you like it, okay? Or maybe twice.”
“Hey, Jobe,” the black irritant called, “I know you’re new to the whole ‘girl’ thing, but you’re going to have to learn a little subtlety. Most guys – well, the good ones – like to make friends with a girl first. You know? Have fun, maybe hold hands.” It’s harder to tell with black skin, but my eyesight is particularly good. She was beginning to blush. “Maybe work up to some kissing. You ever consider that? Any, FYI, it’s considered rude to steal someone else’s boyfriend.”
“What?” Tesla shrieked. “Why you!”
“I can’t wait!” Once they knew how things stood, they’d stand aside. “Your friend Sara saw to that. I want him so bad I’m about ready to EXPLODE!”
“Oh, that.” Toni waved her hand dismissively. “Normal part of being a girl. Get used to it.”
“Yeah,” Tesla nodded sadly in agreement. “I mean, whatcha gonna do?”
Scott’s eyes had lost their glaze, but they were even wider now. Unfortunately, he wasn’t looking at me, he was staring at Toni.
“Really?” he croaked out.
The black girl suddenly did the shy act. You know the one. Shoulders in, hands clasped together in embarrassment, head down and staring at her feet, where she traced circles in the snow with her foot. It was pathetic. I could have done that act a thousand times better!
“Well, you know…” Toni squeaked out.
“Ah, WELL!” Scott suddenly snapped to attention, the sudden snap of his posture flinging me back into the snow. “Perhaps it’s time to break for lunch! Girls?” He swept a hand toward Toni and Tesla, not including me in the wave.
“But Scott!” I reached toward him with a snow-covered hand. “I need you!”
“Uh, Jobe, uh, ma’am, whatever,” he began awkwardly, “I can appreciate your situation. Well, not really. Anyway, I’m flattered by your offer … I guess.” He leaned forward, his eyes meeting mine. “But don’t you see? It just wouldn’t be right.”
The frustration bubbled up within me, stronger than ever.
“C’mon, girls. Let’s check out the cafeteria. I’ve got a sudden hankering for … almonds!”
My lunch consisted of stew in its own juices, a topping of mortification, with a double portion of sexual frustration on the side.
As I ground away at my food, I considered how to do away with Toni Chandler. What got me was that shy little act of hers. “Who me? I would never dream of jumping your bones, Scottie! Fun though it might be. Of course, you could take the initiative, if you wanted…” She hadn’t said it out loud, not quite. She hadn’t needed to.
Perhaps I could add a single spoonful of sugar to her meal. That should be enough to take her over-blown sweetness and send it completely over the top, so that she would explode, showering bloody chunks everywhere. I chuckled to myself. One less girlfriend.
“What’s so funny?” The girl pulled out the chair opposite me and dropped into it.
“Oh, just imagining the explosive demise of Toni Chandler. In Technicolor.”
“I see. Yeah, that would make me laugh, too.”
I took a moment to study her. A sophomore or junior. Pixie cut hair, a little too black.
Probably dyed, I decided.
Still, nothing else about her looked Goth, so that wasn’t the warning sign it might be. Her nose was straight and perfect in a way that either said exemplar or rhinoplasty. Her triangular face was reasonably attractive. Her clothes, though, spoke of something more. I gave a nod toward her superb winter outfit.
“It’s Chanel,” she said smugly. “It goes so well with their perfume. Number 5, of course, but I purchase the blend from their Paris branch, not the New York outlet.”
I nodded, eager for the distraction. Frankly, to my heightened senses her perfume was a touch strong, but I liked her attitude. I didn’t even know there was a difference in the New York and Paris formulations. Still, she seemed to have a sort of smug, female haughtiness that made me want to emulate her. It wasn’t simply the “I’m more important than you” truism that I projected as a male. There were all sorts of female overtones here that I might do well to learn – subtle movements that conveyed an inherent superiority in appearance, dress, knowledge, and culture.
She gestured toward my own disheveled and snow-dampened outfit. “Obviously not off the rack.”
I snorted. “One has standards. I, ah, should be getting more of a wardrobe soon. I expect several things to arrive tonight.”
“I sympathize,” she said, coolly. “Still, you have to expect a few difficulties when you experience an exemplar event, eh Jobe?”
I’d seen her in the hall, and in line for the shower in Melville. Still, “I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage.”
She extended a hand, delicately. “Sizzle.”
“I assure you, I will.”
She smiled, tolerantly. “Darcy Dreyer. Exemplar three, kinetic speedster. Student of life. Unlike you, I wouldn’t just get rid of Chandler, I’d toast magnet lass, gadget-girl, and the Cuban, too.”
“Ah,” I said, nodding. “Competition for Scott. Who’s the ‘Cuban girl’?”
“Aztecka. She’s on our floor. Super-high exemplar. A bit bulked-out.”
I sunk my head in my hands. “God, I’m doomed. So I assume you saw my humiliation.”
She lifted a small headset from her purse. “Listened in. I try to keep bugs on Widget’s gear.”
“I see. And you came to head off the new opposition?”
Sizzle shrugged. “Don’t know. One thing I’ll say for you, at least your approach was fresh. Most of the others just fluttered around him with the ‘Let’s be friends’ approach, hoping he’d notice them. But Scottie’s a little thick-headed about some things.”
I snorted in self-derision. “I take it you employed a different stratagem?”
“I thought that maybe if he got a little jealous…”
Mentally, I was making notes. I should talk to girls more often, I thought. This stuff is good!
“How’d it work out?” I casually inquired.
“Backfire. Massive backfire. I think I’m on the ‘Don’t bother with’ list.”
“At least you’re not on the ‘flee in terror’ list,” I pointed out, to my own detriment.
She shrugged. “So… WARS was right? You really were…” She waved vaguely in my direction.
“And you’ve been a girl how long?”
I checked my watch. “Day-and-a-half now.”
“And you went after Scott right off. Good instincts. Who knows? If you’d done all that back in September, it might have worked. Aztecka had issues, I was killing my chances, and magna-bolt and Gidget were busy doing the friends thing. None of us realized that he just needed a big clue-by-four.”
“So what happened?” I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.
“Toni Chandler.” The words were spoken with a seething hatred, the way you might pronounce the name “Josef Mengele.”
“We were all jockeying for position, no one having the advantage, and this girl suddenly waltzes in. ‘Hey,’ she asks. She just right out asked him. ‘Want to be my boyfriend?’ I think it took another thirty seconds or so before they had lip-lock. Since then, the rest of us have been searching for the proper crowbar.”
“Well don’t look at me for that, I just made things a hundred times worse.”
I was beginning to see how this whole girl-thing worked. It was pretty interesting, actually. I didn’t like the losing part, but the competition was fascinating!
“Well, I came in and pounded him with the idea of sexual relations, right? What did you call it? A ‘clue-by-four’, wasn’t it?”
“So I bounced big time,” I admitted. “And right there, picking up the slack, was little Miss Chandler. God, she’s good! She hardly said a word, but she had this look, this had-to-be-an-act look that said, ‘Oh, sex! Why, I’m too innocent to have ever thought of that on my own. But, gosh, I sure do like you, Mr. Emerson.’ ” I tried not to grind my teeth. “Oooo!”
Abruptly deciding, Darcy stood. “Let’s head back to the cottage. I’ve got a little black book. You’ve got talent and taste. Maybe… we can help each other.”
Darcy looked around the room in awe. “This stuff for real?”
I nodded. “Yeah. I’m just about done with setup. It’s not much, just for those putterings where you don’t want to run down to the lab, you know? I’d work on Black Plague or Hantavirus in here, but nothing really dangerous.”
She gulped. “I… see. That thought doesn’t really coordinate so well with the hearts and unicorns you have on the walls.”
“They were there when I got here. Hey, I don’t know what the protocol is with girls, but I have to change. This bra is making my tits itch like crazy!”
Darcy seemed to choke for a moment, then got out, “Don’t mind me.”
Shrugging, I hung up the blazer, tossed aside the blouse, and with some relief, removed the bra.
“Yow. That was getting a bit tight.” I also took the opportunity to rub underneath, where the band had been. “Jeez, what’s with the seams on these things? Prickly.”
Darcy gave me a bitter smile. “Okay, I’m now officially ill. Of course, you’ve only had ‘em for a day. Figures you wouldn’t have any sag.”
I thought she was talking about the bra, at first. Then I realized that she was staring at my chest.
“It’s worse than that. I think I’m fully filled out, but my calculations indicate that over the next couple of years, I’ll go up another cup size.”
I held my arms out and shifted from side to side, feeling the movement and sway of the new, larger me. A to B had been noticeable, but B to C was extremely noticeable. It’s hard to describe how it feels to have a sensitive and alert part of your body quivering out front like that.
“Shit, you can’t really take your eyes off those pink spots, can you?”
“That’s what I was hoping when I designed then that way,” I admitted. “Of course, I didn’t expect to be wearing them myself. If I had, I wouldn’t have increased the sensitivity so much. That’s part of what’s driving me so nuts.”
Darcy still couldn’t look away. “You’re getting off, just on making yourself jiggle?”
“Um… I was a guy, until Friday night. In fact, I’ll be going back to being a guy, soon as I take care of a few things.”
“Currently on my to-do list: Fuck Scott, kill Sara Waite, do something to take care of Toni Chandler. I was going to eliminate Sigmund Freud too, but it’s probably too late for that.”
She gave me a strange look, and then decided it was one of those Whateley-weird jokes. “Hmmm. Less than a day. That’s pretty good progress. I’m surprised you’re even interested in sleeping with a guy. Most guys are a little more… homophobic.”
“It’s a compulsion,” I explained. “I went to Sara for help. Instead, she tweaked the old hardware.” I tapped my skull. “Now I can’t help liking guys. And I’m desperate for relief.”
“You didn’t consider just Airing the Orchid?”
I looked at her in non-comprehension.
“You know, southern comfort, lip work, caressing the kitty, digging for clams, surfing the channel? Wiping the smile onto your face?”
At each phrase I shook my head, not getting what she was talking about.
“Oh come on! Finger dancing! Menage a'moi! How about, dialing ‘O’ on the little pink telephone?”
“I’ve considered enzyme inhibitors, but I’m a regenerator and I’m not sure that they’d survive long enough to—”
“Why didn’t you just masturbate???”
“Oh!” I thought back to her euphemisms and suddenly grinned. “Gee, girls can be as randy as guys, can’t they? Uh, believe me, I would have, but,” I tapped my skull again “Sara fixed me so that I can’t, er, help myself. I need a partner.”
“Oh. God, that must suck. You mean, not even with, you know, mechanical aid?”
“I seem to only get more frustrated.”
I walked around the room a bit more, adjusting equipment here and there.
“Darcy, can I ask you something personal?”
“I’m not into girls, pinky.”
“It’s not that,” I said, trying not to voice my disappointment. “I was just wondering. You seem like a girl with your head on straight.”
“You’re just saying that because it’s true.”
“And because I like your attitude,” I admitted, “and you seem to know that decent clothes require more than a single fitting, and even if you’re competition, you had the good sense to go after Scott, and because you’re not freaking out at the white hair and black skin. I’m just saying, you seem like a person whose judgment is sound.”
She preened. “True, all true. So what can I do to you?”
I bit back my first response. “Well… where they heck do you find servants in this place?”
“Ha! Shoulda figured we’d see eye-to-eye on that. I’ve got a couple of poor freshmen girls, in training. I have a line on a couple of more, if you’re interested.”
“Lord, yes!” I answered. “Listening to some people, you’d think I was expected to take out my own cleaning!”
“Oh, you are. And make the beds, and sweep the floor, and clean the bathrooms, and so on, and so on. The school thinks it ‘builds character.’”
I sighed. “For a pair of good servants I’d be willing to…”
“Well, I’m developing cosmetics that are twenty years ahead of the market.”
“Anything that’ll catch Scott’s interest?”
I sighed. “Not so far.”
“You know, you could put a top back on.”
I turned toward her, enjoying the motion. “Yeah, but this feels… rather good, actually. And that bra is intolerably itchy. I tried going without, but that just led to a rather embarrassing variant of friction burns.”
“Enjoy it while you can. If you spend much time braless, it’ll just make you sag sooner.”
“Oh, drow don’t have a problem with sag,” I informed her. “I engineered us with a built in cartilage lace. My breasts are self-supporting. It’s fairly elegant, ties into the entire front of the rib cage…”
Darcy’s jaw had dropped. “You’re kidding.”
“No, I’m pretty pleased with how it came out.” I used both hands, squeezing myself on both sides so that I bulged a couple of inches forward. “I can’t feel it from the inside, and I sure can’t feel it from the outside, but it’s holding everything up. I still wear a bra, but as I explained, that’s because my shirts are so rough that I—”
Darcy had crossed the room and had her hands on my tits. I defy anyone to keep talking under those conditions. I don’t know what Sara had done to me (must kill her!) but I can tell you that there was a world of difference between touching myself and having Darcy squeeze and stroke the most sensitive and erotic area of my whole goddamned body!
“I can’t feel a thing! Are you telling the truth about this?”
I just moaned and writhed, until she stopped.
“Were you telling the truth?”
I was distracted, looking down. Who knew nipples got so much larger? Heck, I could feel ‘em from the inside, straining away like that.
“Sonofabitch. If you could do something like that for me, I’d… I’d…”
“I’d do you myself!”
“I thought you weren’t into girls.”
“For something like that, I could be into alligators!”
“Gee, thanks for the compliment.”
“Could you do something like that for me?”
I shrugged. “Sure. The coding sequence is all worked out. But I couldn’t do it right now. Too horny and distracted.”
She was still staring at me. “You promise?”
I shrugged. “Okay. I promise.”
Darcy bit her lip. “Damn. The things I do for beauty.”
And then, before my mind had quite caught up with what she was really offering, Darcy had shown me how easy it was to slip out of that tailored little Chanel number. She spared a glance at the six-way door bolts, then practically tackled me into bed.
In a way, I suppose lovemaking is like advanced martial arts techniques. Darcy began with Polishing the Orbs, moved to Lady Fingers Teases the Navel, and finally concluded with a masterpiece that she called Splitting the Difference.
After my screams ended (and she felt it safe to let up on the pillow), she spent some time propped up on her elbow just watching me, as my eyes had apparently gone amazingly wide, and then contracted again, and repeated that cycle with each wave.
Darcy may not be into girls (though you couldn’t prove it by me), but I sure as hell was. And she was an exemplar three, and pretty stunning in her own right. And in bed with me. And nearly naked. So after my body stopped vibrating and I regained control of my extremities, I fixed the “nearly” part of “nearly naked.” Then I practiced some techniques of my own on her, such as The Finger Family Tours the Curves. And I upped the ante by performing Dr. Tongue Greets the Tuna Taco.
I have reason to believe that she appreciated my exhibition. When she had finally caught her breath, she admitted, “I’m not really hungry, but it’s really getting to me, smelling that bowl of almonds. Where are they?”
Somewhat embarrassed, I admitted to certain details of drow physiology.
“You’re kidding.” She seemed to say that a lot.
“No, really,” I said. “Taste, too.”
“Damn. I’ve never… I mean, another girl, that’s kind of disgusting, isn’t it?”
I shrugged. “I have recently learned that it is as good to give, as to receive. Well… No, it’s not. But giving is nice, too.”
“Damn,” she said again. “But… almond? You’re going to have to distract me, so I can get through it.”
And thus, we rediscovered the number sixty-nine.
Sometime later, she mentioned, “Wow, that’s good drow. I really do like almond.”
I, unfortunately, was unable to answer, being in the grips of something akin to an epileptic seizure.
And so things passed, until dinner.
To be concluded…
I swept open my dressing gown and thrust my hips proudly forward. “Behold, the Prosthetic Urination and Sex Solution, Passing Anterior to Labia!”
They both stared at me, stunned.
“Chicks with dicks,” Belphoebe finally breathed.