The old comics shop had reopened and while browsing the contents, finding
books and toys that never existed with indecipherable packaging, that
delighted him nonetheless Jamie bumped into Rose. She d been sitting in
her old place, looking at a photo album. That she appeared to have grown
no older in the intervening years made no difference in Jamie’s heart. Joy
blossomed simultaneously with fear but joy won out. It always did.
Heartfelt embraces flew about the room and suddenly Jamie found himself
alone with her. They were in a kneeling embrace, naked on his old bed
(inexplicably restored after being given to Goodwill), studying each other
with lover’s eyes.
For Jamie it was like drinking an ice cold Wild Goose after a long hard
dayin the sun. Cool relaxation washed away his burning embarrassment
as he gazed at her gifts. Rose had never been what most people today
would consider to be a beauty physically. She was short, only about 5’2″
and heavy, with dark brown hair and chestnut eyes that dominated a face
that alternately seemed to belong on a hobbit or a pixy. Endless mirth
seemed toreside there and made her body seem lighter than physics
should deem possible.
The great artists of the Renaissance would have drooled over her luscious
curves and pale skin. Most of his friends had thought her fat, but Jamie d
always found her plush body to be just right for the caressing and
Rose took such pleasure from. He’d delighted himself in discovering new
ticklish spots under the drape of her ample breasts, or at the joining of
her well fleshed limbs, or even in such unlikely spots as the crest of her
Just hearing her gasps and giggles of delight as he ran fingers or tongue
around her form was nearly enough to get him off. The fine sense of
ecstacy he received giving his lover the attention she craved was just as
satisfying in its way as actually having his penis comfortably surrounded
and squeezed by her tight canal.
Jamie started to speak but Rose placed her finger to his lips and said,
“No words Jamie love. I have a gift for you.” Jamie s back was to the
headboard, in contrast to nearly all their previous encounters and Rose
was taking the initiative. As she ran her the her fingertip across Jamie’s
lips, she pressed lightly, causing him to bend backwards. She followed his
decent and now her hands ran up into his hair, pulling him back into the
Rose played with the hair on top of Jamie s head as she continued lowering
herself over him. Jamie’s legs were still bent at the knee. She had him
trapped with his heels, touching his buttocks as she laid over him and
kissed him. He raised his arms to enfold her and run his fingers down her
spine, but she instantly broke the kiss, leaving his lips feeling the
moist embrace of the pale pink lipstick she favored.
“No Jamie love.”, she grinned, shaking her head gently and brought Jamie s
arms down. “This is my gift to bestow tonight.”, She brought her mouth to
his right ear and whispered, “Accept it in the spirit with which it is
given.” With that admonishment Jamie gasped then relaxed as Rose sucked
gently on his lobe.
Jamie could barely remember the last time Rose had lavished such attention
on him. While he d never had to force Rose to make love by any stretch of
the imagination, typically he serviced his lady, rather than the other way
“Ow!” There was a brief, unexpected flash of pain as Rose quickly bit his
Rose crossed from Jamie s right ear to his left with breaks to close his
eyes with gentle kisses and an admonishing brogue. “For every bit o
pleasure there s a equal bit o pain to match.” It was a saying Jamie s
grandma had been fond of but he couldn t remember Rose ever using it
before. Not that he had much reason to think about such trivia as Rose
started in on his left ear.
The nip at the end hurt every bit as much as the first and Jamie tried to
shift positions but with his legs in the position they were, Rose s weight
held him firmly to the mattress. His arms, seemed light and immaterial
now, with no strength to push his playful lover away. Rose had been
stroking and massaging them as she d been nuzzling his ear. Now she
sat up on him and held Jamie s hands to her face. His arms looked as
light and thin as they felt. Even the thick hair that covered them seemed
diminished. Only his large pianist’s hands looked as they ought. Rose
“You always treated me like your most precious treasure, Jamie love. When
I was with you, you always made me feel like a most gracious Lady. You
never satisfied your lust til I begged you for it. Before I go again, I
to always remember just how good you made me feel.
“Remember how you kissed and caressed me all over til every nerve I had
screamed for release?” , she asked and proceeded to take each of finger
individually into her mouth to be sucked and tickled by her tongue.
Letting him know that other appendages would fit quite as nicely in that
warm wet embrace. The sadness forming over her intent to leave him again
accentuated by the sight of his finger being withdrawn from soft lips. The
nail sparkled and glistened in the night lights being cast through the
She shifted slightly. Not enough to allow Jamie to move his trapped legs,
but more than enough to let his old friend (now as stiff and long as it
had ever been) feel the gentle pressure of Rose s warm, furry sex pressing
down on his manhood. Jamie groaned , forgetting the future and Rose
“That’s more like it love,” she said, lowering his hands and bending back
down to nosh lightly on his adam s apple she added, “I can feel your
attention.” Rose whispered as Jamie s hips began to pump involuntarily
against her, “but like I used to, you’ll have to wait til I think you’re
..receptive enough.” Jamie’s moan of delight at her kisses reached new
heights and Rose began moving down from his throat. Her hands massaged and
molded Jamie s shoulders as Rose’s tongue poked through full lips to rest
lightly on the very tip of his right nipple. Rose’s marvelously talented
hands continued down onto his chest, compressing and molding Jamie as she
began teasing his nipples with her tongue and teeth in an exact
replicationof the way he played with her in years gone by. He was almost
twingeof sadness through that even with all the attention his pecs were
there was no way for Rose to…
“Cushlamocree!!”, Jamie screamed as Rose pulled his teat into her mouth.
Jamie s back arched and his penis strove desperately to find any orifice
tolodge itself into.
Rose busted out laughing and pulled entirely off him. Jamie blushed,
panting. His vision was dimmer now, but he could swear she’d stretched his
tits. Rose began working on his legs and feet. After unfolding Jamie s
legs, she began massaging his feet.
“Yes, I think you re just about ready, but I don t want my Jamie love
cramping up on me.”, Rose said between giggles, working her way up his
calf. “Ok Barnaby, lets see if I can make you a full member of the “Elves,
Gnomes, Leprechauns and Little Men’s Chowder and Marching Society.”
She was now following the pressure of her kneading fingers with sweet
kisses as she made her way up between his thighs. Jamie felt the gentle
pressure of Rose’s nails on his sack now. Anticipation broke into glorious
relief when she began laboring over his swollen member.
Jamie was already almost to his breaking point and knew from the past that
Rose had never been terribly fond of getting shot in the mouth. He tried
to withdraw, but Rose followed as if permanently attached.
“Hon,” Jamie gasped. The effort to fit words to concepts was becoming
quite an effort. “I can’t …. hooold it much .. longer!
Normally, Rose let her hand finish the job and had fun using the throbbing
organ like a squirt gun, Aiming it anywhere but at herself. Tonight
however, she increased the pace and as the first spasm ran through him,
she swallowed it and him whole.
Rose crawled up Jamie’s spent frame and smiled down at him like the cat
that ate the canary while idly caressing his breasts.
“God Hon, that was…”, Jamie paused. Rose s lips weren t pink anymore.
They were a glistening scarlet. There was a similarly glistening track
running from her chin, down her body where she d crawled up Jamie. She
opened her still smiling mouth to reveal red stained teeth and said,
“_Now_ I think you’re open to receive what I have for you.”
Jamie was wide awake, in a cold sweat and standing beside her bed. She
reached over to the chair she laid her terrycloth robe on before going to
bed and drew it about her shivering frame. The room was quiet and dark but
for the hum of the air vent and the dim light illumination from the clock
at Jamie s bed, which read 3:28am.
Tired but unable to sleep, all she wanted right then was someone to hold
onto; the way Anne had Saturday morning. Before coming here, she d have
just gotten some munchies and waited the feeling out. Telling (then)
himself the dreams were a reminder of why he made sure he had no one to
call or cling to.
“When others depend on you; it is a responsibility. Honor it. Becoming
dependent on anyone for support is a tactical weakness. Do not submit to
it.”, Jamie’s Rule #10 & 11.
As little as a week ago, she (then him) would have been consciously
tempted to scrap rule eleven and knock on Anne s door. Now? Well she
sure as hell didn’t _want_ any munchies. She could (must) control herself.
It had worked in the past and her mind had’nt changed, right?
Her body on the other hand, was shaking like a leaf.
“Maybe a God’s Blessing will calm me down.”, She said to herself and
turned on the lamp by her bed, set up the one-cupper in her bathroom and
slipped into a night shirt to go with the robe. Her movements seemed
jerky to her. It was taking real concentration to place her hands and feet
where she thought they were going.
Walking gently down the hall to the stairs, she noticed a light under
Dan’l’s door. “Sweet dreams to you too.”, She said under her breath and
went down to the bar in the rec room. Collecting half a shot glass of
with some mint mixed in, Jamie returned to her room. The light under
door was off.
“Just a couple more hours til first light.”, Jamie said and began putting
the ingredients for Irish Coffee together. Taking measured steps she
turned on her computer, and finished sorting through the phone logs. The
jolt from the coffee helped get her motivated while the Jamison’s mellowed
jumpy nerves. The routineness of sitting at her machine began reaffirming
stability of reality.
Looking the list over, she began dropping numbers she knew were harmless.
Ron, Matt, Ron’s store, other neighbors, contractors, etc. .. That left
about thirty names. Some were familiar and the others got plugged into an
Internet search. She then ran a Search program through C&P to list the
owners of the numbers without names listed in the logs. Only a fraction of
that group saw hits. Not surprisingly, those that did showed up as
corporate numbers. The others would be purposefully unlisted and she would
need someone a little more savvy in such in digging through the phone
company s mainframes than she was.
Maybe Davis was still at his old address. “Well, it won’t hurt to send out
a quick inquiring note.”, Jamie wrote a quickly and posted it to the
appropriate newsgroup. “Nothing to do but wait and see if he’s still out
So saying, she began creating a database in Approach to insert the loose
the names, numbers and what descriptions she d been able to pull out of
the net so far. At five, she closed it down, threw some clothes on and
went down to start breakfast.
* * *
Jamie didn t show up for breakfast Sunday morning, although she had left
sausage gravy and biscuits for everyone. At 9 am. Anne began looking
around the grounds for her. Jamie had made a habit of scheduling any
for as early as possible during the summer months. Switching off to things
that could be done in the workshop in the garage, or running errands, or
whatever needed to be done inside by one. On the other hand, she ritually
kept her plate clean on Sundays.
Still, Anne found her scratching around the bushes they d planted around
the front property line. The Eagles “Doolin Dalton” led her to the new
girl, searching through the mulch that defined the line of bushes. Knowing
that when she was concentrating on a project she tended to block out what
was going on around her, Anne approached in as noisy a manner as possible
on damp grass.
“Jamie, what are you doing out here? It’s past nine. Did you forget I
wanted give you and Danny physicals today?, Anne asked. “And were did you
find those jeans?
Jamie threw a handful of small weeds away and stood displaying her work
clothes. She was barefoot and wearing a pair of her old size 36/31 Levis,
using a short rubber tie down to cinch the waist in and rolling the legs
just above her ankles. She had been half hoping no one would think to look
for her today if she didn’t make herself readily available.
“It was such a beautiful morning that when I finished breakfast, I decided
to spent some time out here and do a little weeding.”, ..and thinking.,
she didn t say as she proceeded to dust off her hands and brush small
nuggets of pine bark from her knees before continuing. “As for the
are some of my old things. Chris selections for my wardrobe were very nice
but I m not wearing a $50 pair of jeans to weed the beds.”
“Go ahead and do Dan’l’s physical first. I don t think he would want me to
be anywhere in the vicinity prior, during, or after that and I need to
clean up and anyway. Sides,” Jamie added, “he’s made it pretty clear he
doesn t want any thing to do with me.”
“Jamie, I think he needs your support more than you or he realizes.”, Anne
paused, as if considering whether to add to the comment. Then shook her
head and said, “Be at the Lab by eleven.”
Jamie watched Anne’s receding form, grabbed her boom box and started back
herself. She couldn t help but think the meeting of the world’s first
artificially created fraternal twins had been, at best, a qualified
success. They hadn’t killed each other (yet), but Dan’l seemed determined
to make their relationship as antagonistic as possible. Given the
absurdity of the situation though, it certainly could have been worse.
how, Jamie was hard pressed to describe but then, how do you handle
person whose DNA had merged with your own without so much as a turkey
baster in common? Somehow this situation didn’t seem to be covered in any
of the etiquette books she d rummaged through in Jr. High.
Finally, she decided that just catching a glimpse of Dani while calmly
retrieving the luggage from the car would be sufficient till Anne or
someone could arrange something more formal. Having made a decision, Jamie
glanced at Chris with a confidence she wasn t sure of and grasped the door
knob before anyone could have a chance to get to the door.
The car had just stopped on the drive in front of the house and Beth
calledas Jamie and Chris approached the car. “Jamie, This is Rick
Angstrom. Rick, our Handyman, Jamie McGowan and you remember Chris.”
Jamie looked up at the man who d just extricated himself from the car.
He’d somewhat expected the stereotypical pot-bellied old rich dude who was
living his remaining years at the club. This man however, if he spent any
time at some club, it must be spending most of it exercising. At 6′ 2″ he
had not let his large frame go soft and with his iron grey hair and rugged
face, he had a presence that reminded Jamie of Robert Mitchum at his best.
As Angstrom presented his immense hand, the first thing that went through
Jamie’s mind was that it looked like he could probably pick her with that
hand. Just place the palm on the top of her head and grip with the
She was supposed to put her hand in that?
“Pleased to meet you Mr. Angstrom.”, Jamie said, watching that great hand
swallow her own. “I’ll just get y’all’s bags.” She started to pull away
but Angstrom’s grip did not loosen. He was still sizing Jamie up.
“Now hold on a minute. We can t have a little thing like you hauling all
those heavy bags, eh?” In the dim illumination provided by the driveway
lights, he had initially thought that somehow Dani had managed to teleport
into the house and come back out. The background check he’d arranged for
Anne back in February had prepared him for a heavy set man who d been
reduced and feminized. Not a replica of his daughter at 12. But then the
posture and body language was wrong, the face seemed distorted and while
the voice was certainly similar, pitch and a very mild southern drawl
betrayed the girl before him. When they got into the house, he wanted a
better look at Jamie. Why don t we all pitch in and then I understand
there’s some food awaiting, hmm?”
“Really, Mr. Angs..”
“Call me Rick, Jamie.”
Jamie sighed and extracted her hand, flexing it slowly to restore
circulation. “One more try” she thought. “Rick. Really, this is just a
part of my job.”
“Hi Rick.”, Chris said while grabbing Jamie shoulder. “That’s a great
idea. Cut the macho posing Jamie.”
Anne had popped the hatchback from the dashboard after killing the engine
and Jamie reached in to grab a couple of bags. She noted the guitar case
with interest, but decided not to touch it. She knew better that to mess
with another person’s instrument without permission. She picked out three
large bags, she was the hired help after all and Anne had said her job
hadn’t changed. Unfortunately, Jamie’s small hands and reduced
musculature were unable to manage two suitcases and the hanging bag
she’d initially picked out. So she contented herself with just the two
cases and turned to stare into the strangest pair of eyes she d ever seen
of the mirror.
It was rather like looking into a distorted mirror. Jamie was looking at a
not quite accurate portrait of what she d looked like as a boy late in
sixth grade. A thick mop of unruly blonde hair reaching just to the top of
his(?) surprisingly broad shoulders had been worked on extensively to
force it to maintain the center parted style Dani evidently preferred. As
Jamie had always parted his hair on the side, but to each his own. She
knew from previous experience that you could suspend a pencil vertically
in Dani’s bangs and it would stay without any form of support. (She’d won
on hat point for a number of years until shortly after her high school
graduation, when she noticed the pencil slipping.) This framed a face with
high cheekbones and deep set eyes that stared back with the same
turquoise irises that resided in her own sockects. There were no personal
revelations on either side as far as Jamie could tell. Just surprise on
both sides as Dani was evidently not yet prepared to look into this mirror
Just as that revelation was seeping into Jamie’s brain, she also realized
that two great weights had been released from her hands. Dani’s brief yelp
of pain let Jamie know where those weights had gone. Jamie recovered
quickly and retrieved the bags, straining to lift both. She apologized
profusely while Chris snatched one of the suitcases and admonished Jamie
for not remembering she wasn’t as big as she used to be.
“Y..you’re..?”, Dani started, getting her(?) composure back.
“I’m Jamie McGowan. ..Sorry about this.” She said, trying to ease the
tension. Unfortunately the Ranma reference was too obscure for even Chris
to catch and Jamie added, “Somehow I don’ t think this was the formal
introduction I had in mind.”
Everyone began collecting bags and transporting them to the rooms that
* * *
Jamie gave herself the once over while showering. Her wavy hair reached
just between her shoulder blades and her body was had just begun to really
show the promise of what was to come. Scrubbing with soapy hands along the
her still developing lines, she realized that even with the proper
clothes, it would be impossible to pass as a young boy for very long, if
“It’s a certainty that Mrs. McGowan wouldn t recognize her only boy if she
walked in right now.”, Jamie chuckled as she carefully cleaned the folds
of tissue between her legs. She thought briefly about leaving that area
stinky to discourage what was likely to be her first gynecological exam,
Anne would likely just lecture her about it while Beth smirked and Chris
would never let her live it down.
Later, while getting dressed, she began comparing her appearance with what
she remembered about her self-image as a boy of twelve or thirteen. Her
hips were still a bit slim for a mature woman, but if the pair of jeans
she was attempting to slip into now were any indication of all the pants
Chris picked up for her yesterday, there was simply no way for them to be
mistaken for a boy’s (Was it really necessary the jeans to be so tight, or
for flowers and butterflies to be sewn on the back pockets?)and unless she
was willing to break out the ace bandages, her (!) petite breasts would
give her away the first time she crossed her arms no matter how loose
fitting a shirt she wore.
Pulling on the lace-trimmed, white tank top she’d deigned to leave on top
of the hamper yesterday, she began thinking about everything she would
have to get used to in the coming years. The shirt had been too cute
(kawaii) for Jamie to think about putting on yesterday. Today, she saw it
more thing to reinforce this new aspect of her identity.
Unless she wanted more dreams about impromptu circumcisions like last
night, she’d need to do what Capt. Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager needs to
do every week.
” I need to get my ship together.”, Jamie giggled and stepped onto
bathroom scale for old times sake saw she was down to 120 lb.
“Heck of a way to run a weight loss program”
* * *
Dinner that first meal didn t go much better. With the everyone’s luggage
in, the conversation around the table started with the typical ‘How was
the trip?’ type fair. Jamie was finally able to get a better look at Dani
as “she” stuffed her face. The new boy had definitely gotten the McGowan
Hard and sharp as a knife. His hair looked wildly incongruous though. It
was longer than Jamie had ever worn as a boy. The bottom was showing all
the waviness that had convinced her (then his) mother to insist she (then
he), keep it as short as possible. Right now, it looked like it was trying
desperately to tap Chris on the shoulder. The top had been tamed somewhat
and “poofed” out with (what?), mousse she guessed.
“Oh well, there s something else I’ll have to learn about”, Jamie thought
as poked her fork down and heard it clank. Jamie looked down at her plate
and realized it was empty.
“What the. ..” Jamie mumbled. “When did _that_ happen?” She looked up from
her plate and into Dani s face.
He stared back with a look of amusement on familiar features and said just
loud enough to carry, “Didn’t realize how hungry you are? I m still
famished. Pass what’s left of the Taco Salad, would you?”
Dani s tone was overly polite and there would be no mistaking the contempt
behind his words even without this weird feeling (Empathy?) between them.
Jamie picked up her own empty plate as well as the largely decimated
remains of the salad, got up and dropping the salad off with Dani went to
the kitchen. Anne began talking about the possibility of using nutritional
supplements to help control Dani’s appetite.
As Jamie proceeded to the kitchen a sensation of fullness grew in her
stomach, until she felt quite ill. Rushing to the sink, she dropped the
plate into the sink and then her belly hoisted what she d eaten to join
the pate and silverware. Jamie consciously stopped breathing through
her nose, wiped her mouth and contemplated the matter while eradicating
She knew, with the door closed no one could’ve heard her spill her stomach
into the sink. So she didn’t have to worry about anyone rushing in to see
She’d nibbled at everything since this morning, but in all honesty, she
had never been hungry. Just looking the full plate at brunch had made her
queasy. She remembered taking a few sample bites before starting to put
the clothes Chris got her away, but she never came close to finishing the
plate. She knew she’d taste tested everything in dinner as she made it,
but again the thought of an actual meal was making her gall rise again.
Yet she’d sat across from Dani and ate at least one (uurrpp!), full plate.
“In fact”, she thought rinsing the last of the mess down the drain, “I
pretty much inhaled a full plate without thinking about it. I didn t even
feel queasy til I got away from Dani.” Pouring herself a cup of coffee to
occupy hands and mouth while thinking, she returned to find Dani glaring
at her. Jamie declined to comment that green suited Dani.
Conversation, after Jamie returned, drifted towards plans for “Danny” and
Jamie s future. It seemed “Dan” was going to start taking courses at
Loyola come Spring Session in January. Jamie was asked to consider the
option to go back to school as well. After all, who was going to believe
she’d been in college at age 5 or whatever.
“Anne tells me by January the two of you should have stabilized enough
that any further cosmetic changes would be unnoticeable. Rick said. “That
should give our two kids here more than enough time to help each other get
set up in their new identities. It also gives me time to arrange the
record changes for Dan and … Pardon me Jamie, but I feel more than a
little responsibility for you as well.”
That startled Jamie. “How so?”, she asked. The inclusion of herself as one
of his children made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. She
knew from the days she used to follow the markets that Angstrom had been a
_big-time_ money man before going into “retirement” to spend more time
with his new family. Although he d supposedly shifted from the more
mercurial and of the market to various “long-term” investments; evidently
New U was
among them. The kind of money this guy wielded ultimately just kept
breeding more money unless you were a fool.
That kind of money also bred power. Even if all of his money was solidly
locked into long term investments, his name was helping to keep them
afloattil they could pay off that investment. That alone gave Rick access
whatever resources they had at hand.
His attention was now focused on Jamie. She wondered briefly how many
timeshis name would pop up on the phone logs before the events of this
Anne watched as Rick shifted uncomfortably in his seat and tapped his pen
on the pad he d been reading and taking notes on. “Rick was one of our
earliest supporters and helped give us a lot of contacts with potential
“Yes.”, He said, “That’s one of the reasons Anne was willing to hear my
pleas for giving Dan the treatment. What was it? A year and a half…no,
two years ago. Beth approached me about getting someone to maintain
quality and streamline the production facilities for the clinic when it
they got it on line.
“There are maybe a handful of people around the globe who are both good
engineers and really good setting up and managing production schedules.
They command salaries that make even my head spin, but I knew of a man who
had been tops among their number. I suggested Beth look up Harry Selznick.
He’d worked in a consulting role at several companies I helped build up
over the years. He was looking for work after some hard times. I pointed
that New U needed the best. But they needed him cheap.”
“Why exactly was Harry cheap?”Jamie asked.
“Got into some problems with the bottle after a particularly nasty
divorce. He’d been on the wagon for two years though and well, he’d done
well for me in all the jobs I’d brought him in on. I don’t forget useful
“Wait a minute. Selznick knew you were responsible for getting him hired?”
Jamie was stunned at the thought.
“No Jamie.”, Anne said. “Beth approached Harry directly. He never knew
Rick’s connections to New U except for the fact that Dani was being
by us. He also gave us the detectives who ran through your history before
started direct interviews.”
“We had some words after he fell into the bottle and out of his last
position.” Rick said picking the tale back up. “I thought he might be too
prideful to take anything from me directly. Unfortunately, it’s turned out
to be one of the worst calls in a my very long career. Maybe …” His got
distant and then Rick shook his head.
“In any case Jamie, I feel I owe you some _goodwill_ at least. Your
records are going to have to be generated from scratch. Beth tells me you
will be the same biological age as Dan here when you stabilize. Obviously,
that won’t jive with your real age of 31. Besides, my legal contacts have
informed me that your military records are virtually untouchable and the
state of Maryland actually has a law on the books which disallows altering
birth certificates for the purposes of sex change. Then Anne informs me
that it would be practically impossible to prove your identity through any
the accepted practices anyway.”
“True enough.”, Jamie said thinking about where this was going. “We
already know my fingerprints have changed. I wouldn’t be surprised if my
retinal, foot and ear-prints had altered as well, assuming they d been
prior to this.”
Rick returned to his notes,”Have you told anyone about this yet?”
“Haven’t really had time. I’m going to have to do something about my
friends though. Matt’s supposed to give me a hand with getting some
landscaping blocks this week. Somehow I think he might notice I’ve changed
my image since last week.”
“What about family?” Rick continued.
“Actually, I’m not sure how to handle that yet. I’m not on the best of
terms with Dad since I went into the military but, my family tends to pull
together when the roof falls, so they may form a posse and go hunting for
vengeance – legal or otherwise. Dad’s family is from the mountains of
North Carolina. Round there, you wrong someone s kin and you re likely to
pull back a bloody stump with no body attached.”
“So? Sounds like they d be supportive of you.” Danny said, sounding a bit
“Problem is, assuming I can get them to believe I’m me, I think they’d be
likely to go after the company and the rest of y’all without thinking.
Heck, if I can’t convince ’em of my identity, they’ll be out for my blood
too. You know any lawyer they talk to will be licking his chops at the
publicity for his firm.” Jamie ran her hands across her arms, up to her
shoulders and back down to her elbows. “The resulting hoo-ha would
probably break New U as a corporation. After all, the company
experimented on an underage girl and a non-consenting adult. Public
opinion would sour on the idea of bio-reconstruction by use of nanites
and we could end up stuck forever.”
“I doubt the results would be that severe.”, Rick said.
“How well are IUD s selling in the States compared to Europe?”, Jamie
“What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” Beth asked.
“IUD s are still considered the BC method of choice in Europe supposedly,”
Jamie said, “but when one manufacturer put out what was thought to be a
defective version in the US back in the 70’s, the publicity killed the
market here. Even though there were and are two older, proven versions of
the product available.”
“And remember how Norplant was going to take the US by storm as a wonder
product? Then the suits started flying when doctors improperly implanted
them, or failed to tell patients that it produces the same side effects as
the pill, but went ahead and put them in women who wanted to sidestep
those effects? I was reading an article in US News that said IUD s have a
4% failure rate and Norplant was even lower at .05%. Yet for birth control
the US, they re used less than diaphrams, condoms and spermicides and have
failure rates ranging from 16% to 30%.
“And you just happen to remember all that? Danny asked “Why?”
“I grew up in a house built in the early 1900’s. Used to be a farm, then
suburbia grew up around it.” Jamie said. “By the time my parents bought
it, there were railroad tracks running behind it to the west, two major
roadways to the north and east and Middle River ran to the south.”, Jamie
grinned, “There were three blocks of houses in that rectangle, but those
places had originally sold to workers at the Martin Marrietta plant back
during WWII. Most of our neighbors were retirees or just marrieds.”
“When your most available playmates are all either just getting ready for
solid foods or just getting off them, you have lots of free time to read
when most kids would be playing with their friends. I never lost the
I read anything and everything that crosses my path. As a result, I tend
carry a lot of trivia in me noodle.”, Jamie said tapping her temple.
” Anyway, I’m about half convinced I should wait til the end of the year
when we ll be close to full grown and try to convince Mom and Dad I went
in for a sex change operation.” Jamie said returning to the original
“Dad likes to shave with Occam’s razor and with a little luck, he may cut
himself with it. Only problem is, I don’t think … No, scratch that. I
know he’d never accept it, even if he overlooks the impossibility of the
time elapsed since I’ve last seen the family. This is not something a
Deacon expects of his boy.”
“Course the other obvious plan,” Jamie started, thinking aloud, “would be
to just report me missing and abandon my car out on 795 or Rt 301. Nah,
getting a body for later discovery would be impossible and I d rather have
Mom and Dad knowing I was dead than always wondering what happened to me.”
In looking down at the table, Jamie missed seeing Rick’s normally squinty
” How soon before your family will expect to see you again?”Rick asked.
“Hmm? Oh, Dad doesn t. Mom invited me down to Black Mountain for a family
get together on Labor Day, but I’m not really expected. As long as I send
cards… well Mom’ll be unhappy and Dad would feign disinterest. Or just
blame me making Mom sad. Should probably have Dan’l talk for me if I need
to use the phone though.” Jamie looked at Danny. Dan’l . The name seemed
to fit. “No offense, but if we re going to keep them from noticing
something’s wrong straight off, you sound more like I _did_ than I _do_.
“Really?” Dan asked, batting his eyes. “I can t hear any difference
between your dulcet tones and mine.”
” Dream on unto the heart of the sunrise. “, Jamie quoted and began
counting ten in Japanese to herself.
“Yes well, I think Dan can certainly help you with that. Speaking of cars
though, I’ll need one Monday to meet with some people in Virginia .”
“Not to worry honey,” Rick frowned at the incongruous pet name,”There are
things about this I need to oversee personally and some fires with some of
New U s investors that will need to be attended to before things get any
farther.” Rick glanced significantly at Anne before continuing with Dan.
“Your mother will come in to help you start apartment shopping before the
next week is out and the three of you”,he said adding Jamie back into the
conversation, “should get to know each other better.”
Dan looked close to tears. Jamie had started another ten count, (This time
in German) when she felt Dan l s distress wash over her like a wave that
left her feeling vaguely nauseous again. She remembered the look and
feeling well as a teen.
“I don’t want Mom seeing me like this!”, The boy practically sobbed. ” And
why should she be forced to spend any time with HER!.
Jamie thought briefly about how proficient at counting she was going to be
at counting before this was over and mentally winced at the anger boring
into the back of her head like a white hot needle. “Despite the phrasing;
It is a fair question Mr..Rick. Why should your wife need to spend time
Rick s face went totally passive. Jamie could almost see him ticking off
numbers in his head. “This has been, and will very likely continue to be a
hard time for my family. My wife, Mary was looking forward to things
returning to normal for us. You can imagine how upsetting this has been
for her and I. Unfortunately, the fire breaking Anne and I need to do with
some of New U s associates, as well as the string pulling required to
create new records for you and altering Dan s will require me to be
allover god s green earth for the next few days.” His face softened a bit
“I don t want Mary to be alone any longer than necessary. Dan began
withdrawing from his mother since it became apparent that something had
gone wrong with the treatment.” His gaze shifted to Dan and became
accusing. To the extent that he refused to allow his own mother to travel
with us to Baltimore.”
“Dad, I thought there was a _cure_ waiting for me. I..”
“That will be enough young man.” Rick cut in. “I indulged you at the
expense of your mother. That stops now.”
He turned back to Jamie. “As you will be getting Dan acquainted with what
_he_ needs to know about being a man and he will be giving some basic
lessons in femininity, I’d like Mary to participate. To help get the two
of them reacquainted with each other.”
“In the meantime Jamie, there are some details I have to settle with Anne,
Beth, and Chris here. Would you be so kind as to show Dan his room and
help him get settled in?”
“Hyeah, sure.” Jamie said rising, “Dan l?”
Jamie gave Dan’l a brief tour of the house, trying to impress him with
what she’d done so far and intended to do in the future. She rapidly
understood that she was just boring Dan’l and began leading him to his
room. Being this close to him was weird. It was a constant battle not to
reflect the kid’s anger back at him and start a real donnybrook, just to
have done with it. There was so much she had wanted to ask, but just the
act of breathing the same air as the kid seemed to annoy him. Worse,
the tension radiating from him seemed to be building like a thunderhead.
“How’d you do that?”, Dan’l asked as they got to the door.
“Do what?”, Here it comes, Jamie thought.
“I’ve been stuffing my face since I got home from the clinic and not once
have I so much as belched.” He said “A half-hour after meeting the person
who… After meeting you, I m right in the middle of chewing and I feel
like I m going to hork up everything I ate in the past two weeks.”
“I thought you looked a little green when I got back.”, Jamie lost track
of what she was going to say, as her feet came off the floor and the wall
leaped up to smack her soundly in the back of the head. When her eyes
uncrossed and she found herself pinned to the wall, the logical side of
her brain began making a assessment as it had been trained to. The
emotional side was busy cranking the pots on every sensory organ she
had, then huddled in a corner to wait for this to be over.
Item 1: While subject is the same approximate height, he out-masses us by
at least ten to pounds. (RE: The little tiff with Beth this morning.)
Item 2: From the opening conversation at dinner, when she was a girl she
was active in
a variety of sports. Some of Rick s remarks at dinner indicate Dan’l
resumed physical training upon release from the clinic.
Item 3: Subject has taken a wide stance for better support and footing.
(Logic made an appreciative nod to emotion for widening the peripheral
Item 4 (Assumption): Subject has had testicles for less than a week.
Item 5: This is Angstrom’s kid.
Summary: Think fast rabbit. He might or might not be open for a knee to
the groin or a heel to the instep, but you can’t win a fight if he blocks
and do you really want this to draw Angstrom s attention?
“They tell me many of the decaffeinated brands taste just as good as the
real thing.”, Jamie tried. When Her head bounced off the wall for the
second time today, she decided that had been an ill considered comment.
“I got sick in the kitchen okay? I ate too much without thinking about it
and ralphed it into the sink.”, Jamie said. The anger in Dan l shifted to
confusion. Jamie could see, no that wasn’t quite right was it? “You didn t
just get gas or something. You felt my distress.”
“That s not true.”, He protested. His grip was slackening. “You ate less,
“Dan’l, I just want to help. I know how weird this sounds, but I haven t
been able to think about eating more than a nibble here or there since I
binged yesterday and triggered the final phase of my transformation by
accident.” Jamie could see, no, feel that she was beginning to get through
to Dan’l. “I didn’t get sick til I moved away from you. I wasn t able to
get around my own stupid fear til your appetite overrode it. You didn’t
even get queasy til I got sick. I didn’t know. I’m not your enemy.”
Jamie brought a hand up to touch one of the arms still pining her
shoulders to the wall. Her own control was a key issue now. If she could
just soothe Dan’l s anger with her own control. Jamie’s hand slowly
grasped Dan’l’s arm. “C mon Dan’l, how bad can being a guy be? I spent
thirty-one years as one.”
“Whoops”, flashed briefly through Jamie s mind as the Dan’l’s grip
tightened again. She winced waiting for bonk number three. It didn t come
though. Dan’l just pushed Jamie away down the hall.
“I am not a boy!”, Dan l shouted, “Now get out of my head, you bitch!”
Jamie watched Dan’l’s shoulders slump a bit as the distance between the
increased. “Leave me alone.” He said softly before going into his room.
“Nothing’s ever easy, is it?”, Jamie said to herself and went back to her
own room. It was almost eleven anyway, and besides; if Dan’l needed time
to get used to the idea that he was going to be a guy, who was she to deny
it? She’d been ready to rip Beth’s head off her shoulders just this
simply because she was close at hand.
Entering her room, Jamie thought about that while getting ready for bed.
One of the parts of her self image she was proudest of, had been finally
acquiring a modicum of control of her emotions. As a child, her partial
seclusion from kids her own age (Two major thoroughfares, a river and
railroad tracks.), had made Jamie the obvious outsider . A pariah, to be
kept at a distance. Add his large size to that (He’d been the biggest kid
in most classes through Jr. High, til everyone began catching up.), and
when he wasn t being made fun of in general, the boy frequently found
himself on the top of the list when new kids wanted to get their Tough-guy
image established. Jamie was thirteen before he started getting a real
handle on the cloud of depression that seemed to eternally follow him
Dan’l must ve been under enormous pressure all during her years of cancer
treatments. Keeping up a brave face under that sentence must have taken
everything she had. Being offered a chance to leave that behind and pick
up her life from where she d been before the diagnosis must have seemed a
dream come true. This must seem like Murphy has a personal grudge against
her. Dan’l probably saw Jamie as salt in the wound.
While removing her shoes and socks, she was reminded of the giggle Murphy
was having at her own expense. The accelerated growth she was going
through evidently included body hair. The light blonde hair on her legs
was already long enough to be visable.
“Scum puppies.” She said, removing the rest of her clothes and heading to
the bathroom to finish her now extended wash up for bed.
* * *
Dressed, pressed and if not smelling pretty (though there was more than
enough perfume in the shampoo), then at least clean, Jamie made her way
down to the living room without encountering Dan l. It was still about a
quarter til eleven when she got to the door to the lab.
She pressed the buzzed the intercom. “Is it all clear in there?”
The door bolts popped and Anne pulled Jamie in. “Great! We sent Dan out
with Chris and Rick a few minutes ago. C’mon in and put this on.” She
handed Jamie a traditional hospital attire
Anne was in uniform for the first time in Jamie’s memory. Normally, she
went around the house in whatever happened to be comfortable that day
unless she was going out or had company. In those cases she would go with
a conservative blouse an skirt. Today however, her white lab coat
(complete with name sewn over the right breast and stethoscope tucked in
left pocket.) covered a white cotton turtleneck. She even was wearing
those godawful white bellbottom slacks with white rubber-soled shoes.
suppressed a giggle as she had flash of Anne with short blonde hair
instead of her natural dark brown. She had her Comlok in hand and was
talking to Commander Koenig.
Looking around while changing, she noted only one major change in the room
and her heart sank to see it. The surgical table in the middle of the of
the room had stirrups attached.
Anne began running Jamie through the usual gauntlet; Urine sample
(difficult, Jamie not only didn’t have to go, but ended up having to ask
for a fresh gown afterwards.), Having her weight, height, blood pressure,
heart, lungs, checked with Anne talking the whole time.
“So how are we doing? Any special complaints?”
“Well, its only been what, a little over twenty-four hours?”, Jamie said,
pulling her bangs up off her forehead and running the fingers through her
hair. “Other than the obvious stuff connected to growing up again, I’m not
sure what to tell you about.”
“This is new ground for all of us.”, Anne said smiling. “If it helps, I
can think of one thing. Your gestures are already starting to change. You
still like to walk when you talk but, when you re thinking about something
you used to rub the back of your head. Now you’re playing with your hair.”
“Huh? Hmmm…Same basic response to stimulus, different form.” Jamie
jumped onto the table so Anne could draw bloods. I guess a lot of it is
kind of thing. Y’know, reaching for stuff and realizing you re going to
need a stool, that thing with the luggage was pretty embarassing and since
mentioned hair. .. No this is stupid.
“Nothing is stupid Jamie.” Anne said, drawing a second tube.
“Well, I never realized how much insulating value body hair has.”, Jamie
said trying to pick at physical items rather than go into the more
peculiar aspects of the encounter with Dan’l. “I mean, it’s kinda like my
first night in boot. You’ve seen recruit haircuts before. The barber
without enough hair to look tough and too much for the Mr. Clean look.”
Anne nodded and placed a bandage on Jamie’s arm where she’d just removed
“It s the same way it was weird to feel air directly on my scalp; that s
the way my whole body feels.”, Jamie continued as Anne unsnapped the
fastenings at the back of the gown and began examining her bust. “Hurmmm,
uh. ..When I went to bed last night and even with the jeans I came down
in… It felt different. Like I had never really directly touched the
fabric before. I’ll get used to it but. .. is that really necessary?”
Her breasts were responding to Anne s manipulations and Jamie could feel
the burn of her blush spreading across her cheeks and down her front.
“It’s a little disconcerting.”
“Raise your arms for me Jamie. I just want to make sure you re progressing
Jamie accommodated, sighing. “Also, my balance and coordination are a bit
off. I think maybe doing a little Tai Chi in the morning will help with
Jamie hadn t heard the elevator so Beth s voice came as a surprise. “You
know Tai Chi?” Beth smirked a bit as Jamie s hands flew down to pull the
remnants of her dignity back up with the gown.
“Well at least she retained her modesty. The computer should be through
chewing on Dan’s bloods in half an hour and I’ve got the samples prepped
for Jason at Hopkins. Are these ready?” Beth asked Anne.
“Yes they are. Next time I have a patient up here though, please buzz the
com first.” Anne responded, handing over the phials containing Jamie s
blood. Pulling the buxom red-head aside, she whispered, “If you’d come up
her a couple minutes later. ..”
“Okay Anne, I wasn’t thinking.”, Beth said. “I like the kid to, you know.”
Walking back to the open elevator, she called “I’ll have everything ready
for you by two Anne.”
Anne turned back to Jamie, who was red as a beet. “Sorry, Beth’s a labrat
at heart, and Chris has never had to work with patients before either, so
teaching them manners may take a little time.” She explained. Now, if you
could lie back for me, Jamie. Why don’t you tell me about Tai chi.”
Jamie allowed herself to be positioned and talked to cover her
embarrassment over the coming segment of her exam. “I had real problems
with my. .. temper when I was a kid. Yoga bored the spit out of me, so I
looked into the martial arts to try to find some discipline. Unfortunately,
as big as I was, I could already literally throw most kids my age out of
my way. If I actually knew how fight, I thought I might get into even more
“So I talked to a Sensei who suggested Tai Chi. It takes as much
concentration and body awareness as any other form of martial
arts, but it s very calming and peaceful. Very good for working through
stuff. I think I still have a book with some of the forms upstairs.”
Jamie felt the section of the table between her legs drop away. “Maybe I
could go find it and-”
“Maybe you should have studied a less mobile form of meditation. Just
relax and I ll try to make this as quick as possible.”
“How about painless?”
“Will you settle for uncomfortable?”
Jamie released her breath and tried to relax. Visualizing what Anne was
telling her about what she was doing and how it was being done was nicely
distracting from the discomfort of actually being there. She told herself
it was necessary no to look, to keep from squirming during the stretching
and poking and scraping. Especially since trying to crane her neck
wouldn’t allow her to see anything except possibly a scene from that
nightmare last night. Finally, Anne said she was finished and allowed
Jamie to clean herself and put her clothes back on.
While Jamie got dressed, Anne went down to hand off the samples she d
collected to Beth. When Anne got back, Jamie was just finishing tying her
“Well, will I live doc?”
“Much longer than most if you re careful. Jamie, just on the basis of a
visual examination, you are a perfectly healthy thirteen year old girl.
I’m sure Beth and Jason will confirm it when we get the results of your
Anne smiled and offered Jamie the Stool she’d been using. “However, There
are some things I need to discuss with you about. ..”
“Chris went over the personal hygiene stuff yesterday.”, Jamie offered.
“That was part of what I was thinking of, but there are other
responsibilities a young girl has to herself that …” Anne shook her head
and blushed, “I’ve never had a girl of my own to discuss sex with.”
“Geeze Anne”, Jamie said incredulously. “C mon, I’ve had all those talks
years ago and while I may have regained my virginity, I don’t think I need
a refresher course on what the plumbing’s for. Besides, I doubt even the
raging hormones of puberty could convince me to let my feet be swept out
from under me.”
Anne’s blue eyes twinkled but she said quite seriously, “Even so, the
Treatment does have some very gender specific holes in the defense it
provides. For instance, when/if you become pregnant,” She put a finger to
Jamie s lips to stop the coming protest. “This is important young lady.
The nanites in your system are specifically designed to recognize sperm
as friendly . Otherwise you would never be able to get pregnant.”
“Hey, I don t even want-“, Jamie started to protest anyway.
“But you might some day. Remember what we talked about yesterday? A
hundred years is a long time. The important point is a side effect of
allowing you that capability. The nanites in your system also maintain
proper hormonal balance. Pregnancy alters that balance drastically. We
programed in an allowance for such deviations and sincethere was no way
to define for the nanites how to recognize a developing fetus, when
anything close to that hormonal shift occurs, all the defensive nanites
tasked to your sex organs will go inactive. Otherwise you’d miscarry every
Jamie closed her eyes, thinking. “Don’t both Norplant and the pill use
synthetic hormones to convince the body there’s already a bun in the
“Esserntially. Using any such drug will simply leave you open to infection
down there. To run down the main list of other options though;
Spermicides will be neutralized very rapidly. They’re not that
dependable except as a secondary defense anyway. Diaphragms and
IUDs should not be used as they may actually make
you feel ill when
the nanites bulid up to attack these much larger and tougher invaders. A
condom is about the only form of BC you can tolerate and should
always be used anyway, but make sure to use a quality brand. No
reason to take chances on a thin wall.”
“Uh, If a diaphragm might make me feel bad, why wouldn’t a condom?”
“A man spends much less time in a woman than her diaphragm does.”
The next half hour was spent drilling on what was happening inside Jamie
and what she could expect in the future. Then Beth shifted the
conversation to when she came up from the lower level.
“I need to drop these off in Jason’s safe box at Hopkins. Anyone for a
trip to the Inner Harbor?”
“It feels like forever since I’ve been out and about.”, Jamie said. “What
say we do Phillip’s . My treat.”
Anne glanced at Jamie then to Beth, who shrugged. “Are you sure you feel
all right about being out?
“Hey, who’s gonna recognize me?”, Jamie was practically bubbling with
enthusiasm. “Besides, you just said I’m a perfectly healthy _thirteen_
year old. Yesterday I was twelve and I want crabs to celebrate my
“Give me twenty minutes to get ready.”, Anne said, watching intently as
Jamie ran out. While she was certainly attempting to behave normally, the
mood swings Jamie wasdisplaying over the past twenty-four hours were a
little worrying to her. Jamie had gone from quietly upset to completely
distraught, to treating her condition as a joke, then being enthusiastic
about meeting her new brother , which turned to irritation during diner.
She was withdrawn this morning and now she wanted to get out and
“She s a teen again. They re not exactly known for their stability. Twenty
Jamie felt truly up for first time since last yesterday. It didn’t make
any sense. She was a little sore from the exam and. ..”I m not enjoying
anything. Dan’l is.” The realization should have chilled Jamie, but in a
way it was nice to know that something was still capable of making Dan’l
feel good. The feeling got better as she crossed into the living room and
looked out onto the porch. A guitar was playing.
Dan’l sat on the porch swing with his back to the window. Chris and Rick
were leaning on the rail, facing in. Chris nodded to Jamie and started
back into the house. The tune was familiar but it was meant to have a
banjo running counterpoint and she was having trouble identifying it til
started the first verse.
“Fall upon me in my quiet pain.
Fall upon me again and again.
Across wide open fields
and grass down of green.”
Dan’l’s voice called strongly and Jamie found herself pulled into the
harmony for the chorus.
“I’m awake but my head is in the air.
Wide awake, take me walking
into the cold, cold air.
Chris walked up to Jamie, “He’s very good.”, Jamie said. “I used to wish I
could play like that. Anne, Beth and I are heading downtown. Do you think.
“I’ll stay here with Rick and Dan. They need some time to talk and Rick’s
headed out tomorrow. In the meantime let’s us get you ready to be seen in
Chris took Jamie upstairs and put Jamie s hair into a french braid and
swiped some of Beth s makeup to give Jamie some color.
“It s the middle of summer and you’re so pale. With arms showing we can’t
add a lot but this’ll help. I’d use my stuff, but our coloring is too
different. After Dan and I have some time to work with you this week
though I think we’ll go out to start putting you together properly. You
don’t even have a purse yet.”
The trip to the harbor went well, with Anne shepherding Jamie who
genuinely enjoyed finally getting the two to sample a Maryland traditional
dish. It surprised the two women when the waiter took the tablecloth and
replaced it newspapers. The afternoon was spent with Anne and Beth
teaching Jamie to sit properly and the like while Jamie taught them how
to finesse the sweet rewards out of steamed Maryland Blue Crabs. They
split a half dozen, of which Jamie only had one, Anne noted. The amount
surprised them til they realized Blue Crabs are much smaller than the king
crabs they were used to on the west coast. The reason for the
newspapers became readily apparent.
The crabs were caked in spices that instantly got all over everything.
Jamie had soda but insisted Anne and Beth have at least one beer which
disapeared rapidly when Jamie reluctantly informed Beth what the crab’s
‘Mustard’ actually was.
It had to end sometime though and when they got back, Jamie went to her
room with the idea setting up the week’s work schedule while beth and Anne
looked over what the computer spit out.. But when she got there Dan’l was
sitting by her computer.
“We have to talk.”