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Difference between revisions of "User:Hawl/As A Woman I RIDE(DC)"

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On the planet of Zharus, one of many colonies in Earth-Space, there was a happy family with a happy son. Well of course he was happy, who wouldn’t be happy being the son? The one who carries the family name towards future generations, takes charge, becomes a man, and stands tall on behalf of all who came before him. The man marries a woman and comforts her and sees her through the bad. It has always been the destiny of a man to help a woman through her insecurities. The man has the responsibility of telling her everything will be okay tomorrow because he’s going to make sure of it. Men are called to slay dragons and love every minute of it. We men do it because god damn testosterone drives us to just love masculine things like fighting, partying, fucking all the chicks they can because that is manly and not being manly makes you a pussy. Sounds fun right? Right?
 
On the planet of Zharus, one of many colonies in Earth-Space, there was a happy family with a happy son. Well of course he was happy, who wouldn’t be happy being the son? The one who carries the family name towards future generations, takes charge, becomes a man, and stands tall on behalf of all who came before him. The man marries a woman and comforts her and sees her through the bad. It has always been the destiny of a man to help a woman through her insecurities. The man has the responsibility of telling her everything will be okay tomorrow because he’s going to make sure of it. Men are called to slay dragons and love every minute of it. We men do it because god damn testosterone drives us to just love masculine things like fighting, partying, fucking all the chicks they can because that is manly and not being manly makes you a pussy. Sounds fun right? Right?
  
Oh God why did I have to be born this way? Please you're all powerful and all knowing? So tell me, why give me this body if it can bring me are tears? My body is supposed to command strength! Take leadership roles! Live everyday using reason and power! Instead all it can do is make me regret every second this darned thing has a pulse. Freedom or Death, whatever comes first I will welcome it with open arms!
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Oh God why did I have to be born this way? Please you're all powerful and all knowing? So tell me, why give me this body if it can bring me are tears? My body is supposed to command strength! Take leadership roles! Live everyday using reason and power! Instead all it can do is make me regret every second this darned thing has a pulse. Freedom or Death, whatever comes first I will welcome it with open arms.
  
This is all what I meant when I woke up and groaned, one outward breath that said everything. I didn’t have a look at my body first, I’m in it, I can feel how wrong it is for me just fine. This was my curse and I had to live with it. Oh sure, there was was always getting filled up with nanites. If that ever happens they'd change my body around to whatever I wanted and then they would work hard to maintain it and make it permanent! Sounds nice right? Well, it’s pricey and I’m broke. I could probably try the other way to get your gender bent, there are some super powers and a tail that come with that. Yes a tail, ears too, just like a cat girl in an old Japanese Cartoon. I could have that done so easily and Tokyo Mew Mew has always been a guilty pleasure I’ve been partial to. So why didn't I just take it? My friend Simon could just snap his fingers and it would be so. Well I guess the real problem is what it has been for male females like me since the Oil Ages. My family.
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This is all what I meant when I woke up and groaned, one outward breath that said everything. I didn’t have a look at my body first, I’m in it, I can feel how wrong it is for me just fine. This was my curse and I had to live with it. Oh sure, there was was always getting filled up with nanites. If that ever happens they'd change my body around to whatever I wanted and then they would work hard to maintain it and make it permanent! Sounds nice right? Well, it’s pricey and I’m broke. I could probably try the other way to get your gender bent, there are some super powers and a tail that come with that. Yes a tail, ears too, just like a cat girl in an old Japanese Anime. I could have that done so easily and Tokyo Mew Mew has always been a guilty pleasure I’ve been partial to. So why didn't I just take it? My friend Simon could just snap his fingers and it would be so. Well I guess the real problem is what it has been for male females like me since the Oil Ages. My family.
  
 
How could my dad ever face me if I was female? The bond between a man and his son is one of the most sacred things in all the worlds. That bond has been so for several families for countless generations. As far back as recorded human history goes a dad and his son were two of the closest family members in the house, second only to husband and wife. So, how could he ever possibly accept me as his daughter?  Dad’s just one man, and yet his reaction alone could destroy me and my future. It was a nightmare to envision, me standing there in the clothes that fit only my body, looking downward in shame for myself, as my father did the same. Wondering just where he went wrong with his beloved “son”. It would crush his spirit and make him regret we ever came to Zharus, Planet Of Cross-Riding Freaks! And that's not getting into what my close-minded Mother would do.
 
How could my dad ever face me if I was female? The bond between a man and his son is one of the most sacred things in all the worlds. That bond has been so for several families for countless generations. As far back as recorded human history goes a dad and his son were two of the closest family members in the house, second only to husband and wife. So, how could he ever possibly accept me as his daughter?  Dad’s just one man, and yet his reaction alone could destroy me and my future. It was a nightmare to envision, me standing there in the clothes that fit only my body, looking downward in shame for myself, as my father did the same. Wondering just where he went wrong with his beloved “son”. It would crush his spirit and make him regret we ever came to Zharus, Planet Of Cross-Riding Freaks! And that's not getting into what my close-minded Mother would do.

Latest revision as of 16:22, 14 February 2019

(Work In Progress)

June 4th, 148 AL

On the planet of Zharus, one of many colonies in Earth-Space, there was a happy family with a happy son. Well of course he was happy, who wouldn’t be happy being the son? The one who carries the family name towards future generations, takes charge, becomes a man, and stands tall on behalf of all who came before him. The man marries a woman and comforts her and sees her through the bad. It has always been the destiny of a man to help a woman through her insecurities. The man has the responsibility of telling her everything will be okay tomorrow because he’s going to make sure of it. Men are called to slay dragons and love every minute of it. We men do it because god damn testosterone drives us to just love masculine things like fighting, partying, fucking all the chicks they can because that is manly and not being manly makes you a pussy. Sounds fun right? Right?

Oh God why did I have to be born this way? Please you're all powerful and all knowing? So tell me, why give me this body if it can bring me are tears? My body is supposed to command strength! Take leadership roles! Live everyday using reason and power! Instead all it can do is make me regret every second this darned thing has a pulse. Freedom or Death, whatever comes first I will welcome it with open arms.

This is all what I meant when I woke up and groaned, one outward breath that said everything. I didn’t have a look at my body first, I’m in it, I can feel how wrong it is for me just fine. This was my curse and I had to live with it. Oh sure, there was was always getting filled up with nanites. If that ever happens they'd change my body around to whatever I wanted and then they would work hard to maintain it and make it permanent! Sounds nice right? Well, it’s pricey and I’m broke. I could probably try the other way to get your gender bent, there are some super powers and a tail that come with that. Yes a tail, ears too, just like a cat girl in an old Japanese Anime. I could have that done so easily and Tokyo Mew Mew has always been a guilty pleasure I’ve been partial to. So why didn't I just take it? My friend Simon could just snap his fingers and it would be so. Well I guess the real problem is what it has been for male females like me since the Oil Ages. My family.

How could my dad ever face me if I was female? The bond between a man and his son is one of the most sacred things in all the worlds. That bond has been so for several families for countless generations. As far back as recorded human history goes a dad and his son were two of the closest family members in the house, second only to husband and wife. So, how could he ever possibly accept me as his daughter? Dad’s just one man, and yet his reaction alone could destroy me and my future. It was a nightmare to envision, me standing there in the clothes that fit only my body, looking downward in shame for myself, as my father did the same. Wondering just where he went wrong with his beloved “son”. It would crush his spirit and make him regret we ever came to Zharus, Planet Of Cross-Riding Freaks! And that's not getting into what my close-minded Mother would do.

I got up and went to the bathroom, wondering why the cliche of dreaming about your “true self” never seemed to apply to me. My real body, the one I deserve, is denied to me even in my dreams. Instead, they're either about Earth or about falling. Moving onto the the mirror I saw what I usually see, that reflection, HIS reflection. That masculine face of mine. My face is kind of cute in a way, but it’s not me and it never will be. I slammed my fist on the sink in rage as I grabbed my toothbrush. Hurting my hand in the process! Just a bruise, but the rage was getting very hard to contain, it's been getting a lot harder these past few days and I'm about to reach my bursting point.

In my reflection I could see that I had brown hair, blue eyes, and a fair face. On my fair face I had a bit of a goatee, itchy sometimes, but it was another guilty pleasure. I could not take pleasure in being a man, Christ knows I tried, but I could try to enjoy having some pretty nice facial hair.

After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, in jeans and a green shirt from an old video game, twas my dad’s, he was very into twenty first century gaming back in his day. As far as gaming goes I don't really tackle things much more complicated than Solitaire or the odd visual novel. I forgot who this guy on my shirt was. Looked like some kind of lumberjack or a plumber, he had an L on his hat. Larry? Lenny? Louie? That last one felt right. I went downstairs to meet with the rest of the Reverbek Clan. Our stairs were red and velvety looking, my mom being a fashion designer made most of the decorating decisions and her tastes in my humble opinion were a little on the tacky side.

My name’s Paul by the way. Paul Devon Reverbek. My father was cooking outside on the grill, I could see him through the screen door. Dad usually cooked, my mother did not really know how to. Admittedly for the best, my dad’s food was probably the very best thing about being his son. I was a bit of a late sleeper when I didn’t have work, so by now it was the afternoon, no exactly noon. I still can’t get used to Zharusian time, 30 hours in a day and I am still wired for 24. Dad would be fixing lunch right about now. The discarded packaging in the trash told me it was his trademark buffalo burgers, and not the fabbed kind either. Natural buffalo meat is much easier to come by on Zharus, you can get pretty much anything here and if you can not find something there is always at least one person in any given place who would be happy to show you where it is.

“Hey there sleepy head, how’s my little man?” She said. Mom was wearing her usual glasses, they had a computer in them for work and also they helped her see,. Lo and behold she was also wearing that velvet outfit, the one that mixed the colors blue and purple, it was a strange and abstract gown that she sometimes liked wearing. I always thought it was silly, but she seemed to like it, for whatever reason. Well Mom's outfit wasn't too horrible it did have that weird made of stone look to it that I'm not sure how to describe.

“I did not really want to get up.” I said to her with a shrug, I really didn’t, nothing matters when you’re asleep. The world could be on fire, but as long as you’re catching some z’s that does not matter at all.

“Had a nice dream?” she asked me in her usual chipper tone as she took a sip from her mug of coffee. Mom was happy when she wasn’t complaining about the weird things on Zharus and how much they change people. The unusual things on Earth didn't strike her the right way either, mother always loathed Virtual Life and discouraged anyone from using it, she never minded if you did use it as long as you weren't a Reverbek. Mom could say what she will though, she could not deny Dad and I felt a lot calmer about this planet than what passes for Earth, but she’s always had a few things that irk her about this place. The Virtual stuff on Zharus didn't bug Mom as much though since no one took it to the same extremes they did on Earth.

“Eh nothing special, but I was trying to.” I replied back. Truthfully I was, I downloaded a book on Lucid Dreaming and was trying to dream myself into a woman. That sweet relief, can I have it for just a second? Just long enough to take a breathe and know that I’m a good girl. A beautiful curvaceous lass. Just, for a second? Outside of Virtual I mean. I hear it's so real in those lucid dreams, no simulation can even come close.

“Practicing Lucid Dreaming again? Can’t you just fiddle with VR like a normal kid your age?” she asked, adding just a dash of sarcasm to the latter bit.

“Yeah, but....” I didn’t really have an answer for that. I have thought about it, it sounded like tons of fun on the internet. Even a child’s game could net you a female body image. The problem is, that I knew it wasn’t real. The fact that I couldn’t take my clothes off or touch myself with too much feeling was enough to ruin it. An online pen pal who used to be in the same boat till she crossed says it seems to work fine if you stay focused and try to let your mind work with the technology. Especially if you did so in more, adult, chatrooms. Sounds like fun admittedly.. To tease horny boys.. but I... I don’t know if it’s for me.. It’s a little risque and I don’t know I have that in me. In a lucid dream, my conscious mind controls all!

Everything is purely me, but VR, where I can use avatars to stabilize the image. I can easily tell how fake it is, it just has that vibe to it. You know? It’s like wearing a costume on Halloween. Even it it’s a good one, you know it’s fake. I hear it’s different if you’ve managed to be completely separated from your body, but my hardware isn’t good enough for that. If I had a RIDE and became completely submerged in its programming that would be another story all together, but if I had a RIDE, chances are I’d already be female. There are some implants that force you to lucidly dream, but they only really did the “Brain Boosts” and “Prosthetic Body” thing on Earth. If you want to go Transhuman on Earth, you need a RIDE. I've heard rumors of transhuman enthusiasts bonding with their RIDEs permanently in a method called Integration, but I've never known anyone who actually did that. Many people claim Integrates don't exist and it's all an urban legend, but a wise man once told me that there's no smoke without fire.

“You want something less artificial?” she asked, giving me an approving smile, almost like she was somehow appraising me.

I nodded “How did you...?” I said nervously, hoping she hadn’t peaked through my recorded sessions or chat transcripts, I breathed heavily as I nervously tapped my fingers on the desk. I wasn’t sweating, but I would have not been surprised if I was.

“I was your age once Paul. It’s only natural for a young man in his 20’s to want a little escapism every once in awhile. Especially one who works for someone like Mr. Bertrand, I bet you hear a lot of crazy stories from him.” She said with an expectant look, as if she wanted to hear one. Though I knew if I really told her one she’d probably get uncomfortable. Simon's stories tend to be really out there.

“I uh... don’t have anything springing to mind at the moment... I’m hoping I’ll get to work on a desert rescue one day.” I half-lied, though I’ve always wanted to ask someone about the Integrates, someone who wouldn’t be scared to tell me or just insisted they didn’t exist. I guess it’s going to take someone rich, famous, and with a really big mouth to integrate for the denial to stop. It’s kind of silly, even an Earther like me knows they’re out there. I hear from too many people who have friends and their RIDEs go missing with no warning, same story each time the human and RIDE just started getting a little too close and then, they're gone.

“There are strange things out in the desert, most of them dangerous things. I wouldn’t dwell on them son.” she said as she adjusted her glasses and gave me a look of concern.

Dad turned around from the grill, his antlers in full view, I had no idea how he walked with those things on his head. My mouth was watering as I noticed him carrying a large smoking plate of burgers, all done up nicely, almost everything on them. Normally he liked to load these things up, but he didn’t appear to have made any chilli to go along with it. We must have been out. Good Chilli, again not the Fab Stuff, we do not touch fab chilli in this house. As dad says “A Fabber is an insult that is not worthy to touch real meat. It’s alright, if you like ramen.” personally I like Fab Shrimp, and how it does seafood in general.

Father plopped the plate down in the middle of our circular table and smiled at me. “I was worried I’d have to drag you in here. You can sleep through breakfast, but I’m not letting you sleep through buffalo.” After a few fuses with our pet buck he wasn’t too much into meat, but he still loved his grill. I waited for Mom to get hers, it was obvious which two were deer ol’ dad’s, but I was lactose intolerant and unable to tell which cheese was which. The no fabbed stuff on real stuff rule is bent for me to put non-milk cheese on my burger. My parents both ate cheese made with real milk which we had a large supply of. I live in Venars, which is a farming community, not too many of the older folks were Riders as a result, no real reason for them out here. There are still enough enthusiasts and tourists to keep Simon's La Wrench De Paris open.

By now you’ve really noticed why the family is a dilemma for fixing this accursed male body of mine, they’re the best parents anyone could ask for. I could never do something as cruel or as heartless as take their only son away from them and force them to come up with these same feelings for their daughter.

When it became clear which buffalo burgers were mine I descended upon them like a vulture on a dead rabbit. Dad smiled at my carnivorous habit, “That’s my boy!” he spoke forward “A Predator like I was back on Earth! I bet you’ll get yourself a nice jaguar RIDE!”. He still had an appreciation for meat despite losing his taste for actually eating it.

“Alexander!” My mother exclaimed looking panicked at me, and then furiously at my father. “Don’t encourage him!”

“What, boys his age are all getting RIDEs, and honestly they’re not that bad, we should look into getting you one.” He said, with a smile on his face, looking his wife with curiosity in his eyes. Likely wondering how the woman who birthed me would look with doe ears.

Mom scoured at him “You’re not even the same person anymore! The Alexander I married didn’t eat Trashfu!! Who knows what those beasts would do to me..” She was afraid not of RIDEs but of Fuser Nanos, any major changes in general creeped her out. More so what they did to people, like I said she was very against Virtual Life and people who tried to bodymod themselves to look like thier Virtual Life characters. As for the RI half of the RIDEs she was actually very nice to them. Mom loved Claude and treated him like the dog we used to have back home, sadly he did not survive the trip to Zharus and we had to have an Airlock Funeral for him aboard the Silverstar.

Dad laughed “I still love grilling don’t I? I’m still your deer ol’ husband!” he said giving his goofiest possible smile. One that looked like he was trying his hardest not to laugh.

Mom groaned, he LOVED that pun and made it every chance he could. Deer Ol’ Dad and Deer Ol’ Husband, it was never funny, but also not worth complaining about. He just made more buck puns. I am talking puns like “That joke is worth a hundred bucks” or “Oh what’s wrong deers? Don’t like hoof slappers?” That last part didn’t make any sense, you don’t have hooves on your knees and that’s what you slap when you’re laughing. Why would being a deer suddenly make you slap your feet?

“Well I have been thinking about it lately.... Where is Claude anyway?.....” I asked him, he usually wore him for lunch so that rider and RIDE could taste the not-meat together. I’ve heard from some people on the net that they really like playing human. Kind of funny in a way, since RIDEs are basically furry wet dreams on four legs. If Earthlings knew about them, there was an information embargo in effect preventing other world from knowing about them, the fandom would basically not EXIST on that planet. Of course, I don’t know how anyone does. Things were really bad when we left, two years ago, and we’ve lived on Zharus for less than one. It took quite a while to get here. Though fortunately we did indeed find what we were looking for, maybe I should just be grateful that we no longer have to put up with the into the nightmare of the ruined Earth. I still get chills thinking about my old life. It’s better left without mentioning too many of the details of that hollow planet. To think that Earth was actually green and blue at one point.

“He was stalling a few times and had a bit of a cringe in his neck, so I had him dropped off at Simon’s.” Dad said casually and without a thought towards anyone else in the room, namely me. I felt insulted that he didn't have me do the repair work myself, since I'm a mechanic.

I shot him with a look of halfway to rage incarnate. “I could fix Claude, I work for Simon for crying out loud!” I got a little defensive, but hey, fixing RIDEs was my job and damn it, I like to think that I was good at it.

“No offense sport, but Claude is a male, don’t want to take any risks. So I’ll stick with someone who has at least been with a RIDE before.” He said to me, in fear of the price-tag of RIDEs that won’t leave me with two mothers more so than any concern for Claude. Sometimes I wondered if he knew his beloved buck was actually alive. I was a little offended, but after looking upward at his antlers, I thought maybe it was a good idea to have Simon fix the deer half of the duo that is my father.

“Sounds like a minor enough problem, but maybe you want to ask him about the whole nanite thing next time you see him. It’s only been a few months and you already have heavy duty headgear.” I warned, sometimes faulty nanites or over exposure can have some mutating effects, some people liked it and broke their nanites on purpose to become anthropomorphic animals.

“Oh? Pretty sure it’s normal to have animal bits.” He said, mom looked like she nearly choked on her food!

“No Alex, it isn’t. It really isn’t. We’re HUMANS!” Mom tried to adjust, she wasn’t some Anti-RIDE Radical. Mom just did not approve of how dad went native so easily. Life on Zharus was very different. In many ways better, but still different. Transhumanism being such a natural part of life worried mom. It was normally the only thing. She’d even invite an Integrate to dinner, but if you tried to get her into a RIDE she’d yell and maybe start beating you. So overall the problem was so that Zharus and her family were mixing so easily. She looked down and back up with a slight smile. “They do look cute on you though.” Mom said, her voice becoming far sweeter. Mother dearest had mentioned a few times a few times in the past about how dad liked to wear Claude to bed with him, along with some other things I really didn't need to hear.

“Hmm.... I’ll ask about it. I’m pretty fond of them myself, but I don’t want problems fitting through doorways.” He said as he finished his second soy burger. I had already cleared my plate and decided I’d enjoy my day off out in Venars.

After putting my plate in the sink which de-fabbed and re-fabbed clean in one of the drawers. Our home had a 20th Century Earth feel to it, with some Victorian Era choices that mom liked, but me not so much. Though with some 2nd Century Zharus improvements such as the Fab-Cleaner. I told my parents I’d be going out and went to grab my headpiece. It was sort of like a 21st century laptop, but small enough to fit on my head. It’s not the most advanced thing in the universe, but it had a pretty decent holoscreen and the VR was inoffensive. Pretty good for 50 MU, it’s budget, but quality. Works wonders with the brain implants I got back on Earth.

Our new home on Zharus, Venars, was small and a little behind the times in its appearance. The city section however did have the cyberpunk zeerust that Zharusians loved. That The Jetsons meets Batman Beyond feel which was common on this planet. Most people just had hovercars or skimmers, a few even had AIDEs, but seeing an animal skinned skimmer wasn’t that uncommon. You could see at least one in every crowd of vehicles in our roadways. It was a rural town, at least appearance wise. Everything on Zharus was high tech, parts of it were just more high tech than others. Venars got its name because it used to be a capital known for its cheap and effective Gender Therapy, ironically the RIDEs that took its business away never caught on here. I guess everyone was happy with what they were now and just didn’t see a need for them, the town’s motto seems a little outdated though. “Venars, Where Venus and Mars come together.” I swear the world just wants to tease me sometimes.

I did not have too many friends on Zharus, just a few penpals on the net who I like to chill with in virtual. I had a small group of friends on Earth, the closest I was with was a older man named Malcom, he was of african descent and had green hair with blue highlights. I didn’t really question it, lots of college age kids had green and blue hair on Earth these days, it was just the style. It started as some Earth Terraforming Support fad, yes, they’re actually thinking of terraforming Earth. People who supported it got Green Hair and started spouting out the “We have a duty to rebuild Earth!” slogan, and some just changed their hair because they thought it looked cool. There weren’t too many people like that here on Zharus, I guess the Pre-Oil Age Earth Colored Hair does make you stand out a little too much. Then again, aren't Zharusians ALL ABOUT standing out?

I thought about heading to the garage anyway, I didn’t have too too much in the way of hobbies outside of fixing things, except maybe Volleyball and the occasional Virtual Pinball, which I was playing right now, the Pac Man Table, along with some early 23rd Centurary Ziron Music, it’s sort of like 20th century Disco meets late 21st century Quedra Noise, it’s not for everyone. Yes I know I’m simple. Though much like a Native Zharusian, I’m the kind of person who goes stir crazy if they have nothing to do which is sadly very easy in our town. I decided I'd begin heading toward the Vehicle District, the more industrial part, there’s a hover bridge high up that lets you see the whole city, even my house on the outskirts. It was a long walk, but damn worth it. While I was here though I figured I’d stop by the garage and see how Simon was doing, he wasn’t that much older than me or at least he didn’t look or act it, people stay young far longer than used to especially here than on Earth. I remember being in absolute awe when I learned that characters in old 21st Century films were supposed to be in their 30’s. They looked far more like they were in their 60’s!

Simon’s garage was mostly tannish in color, with hints of French Decor. This made sense, Simon’s ancestors were french, and he himself had come here straight from a ship in Neo-Paris. Simon's heritage showed well in his accent and langauge, not that accent is a good indicator of where on Earth you’re from anymore. The whole building literally resembled a giant sized garage, not the kind for auto repairs, but as an attachment for someone’s house. I liked it, some people thought it looked unimpressive and unprofessional, I think it felt more like home. The place looked closed, and likely was, but being an employee with implants in his head I can open the door by thinking. I love my implant; it has always made me feel like I can do magic.

“Merci! I really cannot keep you away from this place can I Paul?” a well groomed man with dog ears and tail said in a very thick french accent. This was Simon he was from France and had never been to the Former United States, a day in his life. Simon had no idea how to speak English and had downloaded a French to English translator, like me, he also had an implant in his head for machine based telepathy. Almost all Earthlings had them. The only Non-Native I’ve heard of who doesn’t have one is mom, she didn’t trust it and felt it dehumanized her too much. This is why I say she’d invite an Integrate to dinner, she didn’t care that me, dad, and Simon have them, but good God almighty she’d scream if you told her she HAD to have one.

“It keeps my mind busy.” From my masculinity and the lack of friends on this planet, very much so. “and well.. you are basically the only one I know personally who did NOT have a hand in my birth on this planet.” I responded.

Simon took a second for his implant’s translator to replay what I just told him in French in his head, before he laughed, and then afterward frowned slightly. “You really should get a RIDE Paul, I don’t know why you don’t have one already. Especially when you work at a garage, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised on your salary. People in this town just don’t ride. At least I can take comfort in knowing at least one of my employees is a good person.”

“I’m holding out, I haven’t met the right.. talking animal...” I said, I sometimes got uncomfortable around the furry wet dreams, I wasn’t afraid, I was fascinated, but still they just seem a little unreal. I might just not be used to them as we have only been off the shuttle for about a year. My family hasn’t even had its first Zharusian Christmas. Simon had at least four. “When she shows up though, I’ll fuse and accept what comes.”

“I suppose, I do see the value of not merging with a being you cannot stand.” Simon said as he turned to smile at something under a tarp shaped like an animal of some kind, probably a fox or a squirrel. “Bientôt, nous aurons un, mon précieux, précieux fille. Aristo est un sot à parier que vous..” he said to the tarp, in a very romantic tone, almost in the same one he’d use to propose to his wife.

It sounded personal from the way he said it, though I was curious. He mentioned Aristo, the CEO of ACE Evolution! Though I could have I didn’t translate what he said, if anyone’s seeing this recording of my memories I guess you could if you wanted to, I can’t really stop you. We had an understanding that if he said something without translating it to English first, it’s because he didn’t want to be understood. The temptation was still great Aristo not only ran ACE Evolution, Aristo Crescendoll Enroygall Evolution, bit of an ego on him, but he also owned our building. It’s never good hearing about him. We usually owe him money and never have enough to pay him. Though ever since their last virtual conference, I had not heard anything about him or his company.

Simon paused for a second, then turned back to face me with a bewildered look on his face. “Sorry I think the translator glitched, did you say you wanted a female RIDE? You DO remember what they do to stop gender mismatches from screwing the poor things up right?”

He seemed over zealous, one of our best customers as a Cross-Rider and he didn’t seem to care that the camel tailed man was a woman at one point. He said he switched for spiritual reasons, whatever that means. Why was he jumping onto my secret? “No no! Who wants to be a chick? Fallopian Tubes, Sitting down to pee, all those girly hormones. You’d have to be crazy to want that! Hehehe.....” I said sd I put on a bad poker face. Despite my bad lying Simon seemed to believe me.

Simon seemed disheartened. “Lui dire, lui dire non, je ne devrais peut-être retenir à ce sujet.” he said to himself, whatever that means. He closed his eyes staying silent for a few pregnant pauses before he finally opened his mouth. “I was going to send you an e-vite to le ball tomorrow, I wanted to be alone with her one last time before we fused, it’s why you had off, but when you came in...”

“What are you saying Simon? That’s.... that’s a girl RIDE under that tarp isn’t it?” I said, somewhat hoping my assumption was right, Simon was the manliest guy around, there was just no way. I mean the only reason I’m not a virgin is because he got me laid on my birthday. Clearly I had to have misunderstood something.

“Oui.....” he said, any idiot knows that means yes. Simon threw off the tarp and revealed a sleeping Skunk RIDE, formatted with hardlight, HARDLIGHT!? Where did he find the money for that! If I wasn’t in a garage I’d swear he had a live skunk with flesh. “Lucille, Quitter mode passif et dire bonjour à Paul.”

The Skunkette immediately sparked to life. “Bonjour!” she said in an even thicker accent than Simon’s, Lucille I assume her name was, clearly it was a name and voice only meant to be sexy. “What model is she?” I asked

“SKN(f)-PSA-817” He told me with a big deal of pride, his hands folded across his chest and a smile stitched onto his face.

“Pleasure Support Armor, Oh Simon that is SO you!” I said laughing to myself. Okay laughing is too light of a word, I actually slapped myself on the knee. I did however suddenly pause when I realized that something about this designation made no sense. “Wait...817? I’ve never heard of that designation.”

“Of course not mon amie, this isn’t your usual Military Surplus RIDE, 817 is the designation Aristo gives to his personal projects, this is the only one besides Xhyz who isn’t in his care. Speaking of, If you see a RIDE with the designation RDP(m)-IMA-817, he’s offering top dollar for it. The madman claims says it doesn’t matter if he’s been dismantled, as long as the RI still works. I imagine he must be furious.” Simon stated, catching his breathe before continuing “Of course Xhyz is an Intelligence Mobility Armor, so, fat chance of finding him. I am just wondering how a RIDE that Fettered runs away.”

“I don’t get it though Simon, you’ve bonded with so many Female RIDEs we’ve sold that were like family to you, but this sex toy skunk shows up with whatever she does and you’re throwing your maleness away for her, what gives?! I mean, you just don't seem like the cross-riding type.” I was really curious, we had three Male RIDEs, surrounded by ladies in the hanger and all of the men were owned. Simon had recently mentioned he was hoping to increase his clientele by becoming a Rider and getting those wary of Non-RIDErs tampering about with their Drive Extenders back into the garage. Simon had used RIDEs in passive to get a feel for what it was like, but ultimately he’d need to become a fully fledged Rider, no two ways about it. The sole female, for now, was that bitch I was talking about, well goat, but not only has she went missing recently, she’s also incredibly rude to the customers, especially men. I seriously don’t know what her problem is! She’s Native Zharusian! I thought they didn’t care about gender roles! Oh and don’t get me started about the Silver Fox Rider that is Brad, who shall from now on be known as Brad The Bad Guy!

After a few moments taken to translate he spoke up with a smile. “Did your mother not tell you that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover? Non? It’s one of Aristo’s personal RIDEs! He built this lady and it shows well how obscenely rich he is just look at the specs I’m sending you right now.”

My jaw dropped as I read some very impressive things off the screen. “No wonder you stopped caring about the whole chick thing.... You’d be like a Goddess in her. I don’t get it she’s only built for sex! When the heck did Aristo think he’d use all this other stuff! What’s the property tax on this!?!”

Simon smiled “That’s the best part, he had the tax wavered! Knowing him, our friend here was probably him trying to create the perfect human again. It’s all he ever talks about that and his grandmother.” His smile quickly became a shudder, he even rubbed up his arms as if he were cold. “Freaks me out right to High Heaven. Him and his philosophies remind me too much of the Cyborgs back on Earth..... Especially since he ran a company there too!”

Simon was very uncomfortable about this, for those who aren’t aware, on Earth instead of changing genders or growing tails for our advanced computing, we butchered ourselves. I only got the implant, others, didn’t know when to stop. It made the Zharusians very uncomfortable to learn this, the original colonists having left before this all started. I don’t blame them, mom didn’t have the implant. She’d sooner Integrate then let someone cut her skull open.

“Part of the reason I left was because I am the last in my family to still be all flesh and blood, the last one of us to be truly human.” He looked at his hands and cringed, balling them up into fists. “My older brother, he is a brain in a jar. He had quite a marvelous body, he taught me everything I know about....” he stopped and gave a smile, given what he said next it was likely in reflection of all things he had done up until this moment. He continued after exhaling in playful disbelief “hehe, well everything I know about being a man, how to romance a woman, how to play football. Real Football, not that boring American version, he even taught me how to shave..... and now my beloved brother is only a brain being kept alive through life support. I hope the money he got for his body was worth losing his only brother on the planet. I wonder what his reaction would be to know having no brother in the universe, just his sister Simone! I bite my thumb at him.” and literally he brushed his thumb up against his top front teeth and jerked it forward

Most people back on the big used-to-be blue treated the prosthetic bodies as a normal thing not to bat an eye at, switching sexes being a huge taboo even hundreds of years after Gay Marriage Legalization and the Transgender Rights Movements, which opposers mockingly called the Masculinist Movement. Various slogans were adopted to get them to legalize Nanite Gender Conversions like “Let Me In The Kitchen!”, “Putting The Man Back in Wo-Man” and “I’ll Get You A Sandwich, If You Get Me Some Nano”, it must have been an hilarious part of Earth History. Even as a sufferer of Gender Identity Disorder, I have to admit, even I’d laugh at anyone using slogans like that. I guess it was a different time.

“So, when does the magic happen? When do I get to meet my new employer, this Simone Bertrand? I hope she’s as fun to work with as her twin brother Simon.” I snided, telling a joke and trying to use humor to hide my jealousy. Though, part of me was truly overjoyed. Maybe it would be easier to admit to Simone about the way I really feel about myself than it was to Simon. A Cross-Rider wouldn't have room to play the "You were born a boy, you are meant to be a man." card.

“Well... I was thinking this weekend I’d have a “Crossing Over Party”, with many girls, oui oui! Give my dangly bits one last hoorah before I resign them to live in my new life. Have Simon go out with a bang! A very big bang.. or two. Hehe..” He said, smiling, petting Lucille on the head, likely trying to picture what he’d look like as a skunk when he fused with his RIDE, or perhaps he was trying to picture what two “lucky” ladies he’d get. He had always mentioned that if he absolutely HAD to get a female RIDE he’d have a threeway first.

“Greaaat.....” I said, a little concerned that Simon putting a big neon sign over himself saying “I’m A Cross-Rider!” would make Dad less trusting of him. My Dad was a bit of a man’s man and scratched his head at the idea of Cross Riding, he said he’d try it if mom would let him, but I could tell he was joking. I ran the idea of me doing so by him once, he just patted me on the head and said. “Son, you don’t have to worry about that, there’s plenty of males on the market if you know where to look.” Completely missing the point of what I was asking.

“How did you even get this thing anyway? I shouldn’t expect this place to be bombarded by ACE Security in Fuser Mode firing lasers and stuff anytime soon right?” I asked, somewhat frightened, but more so on the level of concern. Simon’s crazy, but not that crazy.

“Hehehe, that’s the best part darling. I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent on our lease, so I challenged him to a game of poker for Double or Nozing” I looked at him like he just pushed my mom out of an airlock. “What? I vas feeling quite lucky. To his annoyance, I won a few hands and eventually he put up Lucielle. If I lost I would have had to pay triple ze rant for the next three months, now I pay nozing for ze next five and I get Lucielle! She arrived just before you did.” He said, petting Lucille some more

I’d have to watch trusting money with Simon from now on. I didn’t know Simon was such a risk taker, no wonder we’re broke even though our garage is the fullest it’s been in weeks. Admittedly that still isn’t all that full.

Me and Simon chit-chatted about Earth and he was once again telling me that I should play more games, watch more movies, do more stuff with computers. Eh, that’s not really my thing. I like getting sweaty with dirt under my nails, not very ladylike I know. Eventually Brad The Bad came in in his Fuser Form and we stopped talking. I took that as a cue to leave, his snide voice fueling the nausea I was feeling from his mere presence. “Sorry I forgot my tools, wanted to do some tune ups on Dawn.” he had been referring to his RIDE, Vincent Dawn.

As I left I swallowed, Simon was getting something I’ve always wanted and by pure luck too. He didn’t even want to be a girl! It’s true what they say, life isn’t fair. Especially when you feel like there’s only one thing that you need to be free, and it’s one thing you can never have. I had no choice, I’d have to be happy for Simon, Simone soon. I looked down the street trying to lose myself in the scenery and saw two young ladies dressed like school girls in an old anime, both with tails and ears matching the RIDEs at their sides, one wolf, one otter. I couldn’t help looking up their skirts. No literally, they were that short. Ordinarily I’d take that as a sign they they used to be men, I hear you can tell whose Cross and whose Natural simply by how trampy they are. My gut however had told me I was looking at natural born women, privileged cisexual females allowed to be as beautiful and fertile as they desire. It just wasn’t fair to see such curvaceous ladies shaking their tailed rear ends without a worry in the world, a wonderful privilege that they were born with! Not that they care, cares were for men. People such as I existed only to be tortured, having to choose between familial scorn and abandonment or permanent dysphoria and a life of being unfulfilled. It was a cold harsh reality, even with nanites perfecting the gender switch it just didn’t catch on socially with Earthers. It was scientifically proven that these were beyond people’s control. They could check for brain shape to ensure that people were the gender they appeared to be on the outside and if the family could afford it, that person would have nanites switch them over. There however were a few problems, such as telling your loved ones that you’re really the other sex and the person they know and love is going to have to vanish if they’re ever going to live a happy life. Gender roles were strict on Earth, men were men, women were women. End of story, though I guess it’s not as bad as during the Oil Age and the following Dark Ages, you couldn’t even marry inside of your sex let alone change it.

“I’m glad Oshawott and Jamie are getting along. I was worried they wouldn’t.” The otter-girl said with a smile, looking back at the RIDEs. “Don’t wolves eat otters?”

“I’m not sure, I think that’s lions....” the wolf-eared girl answered. “I don’t really know Earth Animals.”

I’d say! Lions live in Desert Savannahs! Otters are aquatic mammals! I don’t even see how you’d begin to think that lions ate otters. I guess lions would eat otters would if they lived in the same environment. I mean otters wouldn’t exactly be equals to lions, but still, don’t they have classes on Earth Zoology in Zharusian schools? Especially since it’s a thing that people merge with them? I listened in a little, wasn’t eavesdropping, the bridge was in the same direction the two were headed and they did speak very loudly.

“So what’s the deal, you named yours Oshawott? What kind of name is that?” The wolf eared girl asked, raising her right ear in peaked curiosity.

The otter-tailed girl’s ears lowered, then raised immediately in defensive anger. “Hey I like Pokemon okay! What kind of name is Jamie?”

“Well she’s a wolf, so I was thinking female of Jacob?” said Wolf Ears, I got the reference, after five hundred years there are things that really need to be forgotten. The otterish friend just stared at her like she had no idea what the hell she was talking about.

“Jacob? Whose Jacob?” Otter Girl asked, very confused about the significance and rightfully so.

“You know from that old Earth movie Twilight? With the girl whose in love the vampire and the werewolf?” the She-Wolf answered and responded with a question of her own. I sincerely hope she wasn’t an actual fan of Twilight. Of course, I wasn’t sure anyone was. That would be like if people were actually fans of Manos:The Hands Of Fate.

“No, is it any good?” The girl with the otter tail pondered aloud.

“Better than Pokemon, but ultimately no, it’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, I like to laugh at it. Like one of those Riff Films, You know like those James Cameron Avatar Films, The Room, MST3k, the movie adaptation of Chakona Space, the Star Wars sequels, It’s been hundreds of years, but I still can’t believe Seven, Eight, Nine, and Ten really make One, Two, and Three look watchable!” The She-Wolf prattled on listing various things, one refreshing thing about Zharus was that everyone seemed cool with geeky culture of the early 21st century. I’m more into Recent Earth things which, no one on Zharus even knows about most likely, but I must admit I am really fond of MST3k.

I began singing outloud. “In the not too distant future, next Sunday AD, there was a guy named Joel. Not too different from you or me, he worked at Gizmonic Institute, just another face in red jumpsuit. He did a good job cleaning up the place, but his bosses didn’t like him so they shot him into spaaaaace.”

The Rider and Jamie noticed me and smiled, singing the next verse along with me. “We’ll send him cheesy movies, the worst we can find. Lalala, he’ll have to sit and watch them all and we’ll monitor his mind. Now keep in mind Joel can’t control, where the movies begin or end, lalala, because he used those special parts. To build his robot friends!”

I stopped to laugh before we resumed the next verse. “Robot Rollcall! CAMBOT! GYPSY! TOM SERVO! CROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes and science facts, just repeat to yourself it’s just a show, I should really just relax. For Mystery Science Theater 3000!”

We laughed, I haven’t had this much fun since I still used an AD Calendar. “Sorry about that, but who in any Galaxy doesn’t love MST? I’m not even all that into Old Earth Culture, I can’t even tell you who this is on my shirt, but Joel and Mike did something amazing with that. My name’s Paul by the way, I’m from Earth.” I introduced myself

Wolf ears smiled “I’m Sheila, this is my friend Fiona. We just got our RIDEs from this bloke in a panda fuser, let me tell you these things are amazing. I’m not sure what 817 on this bit that’s supposed to say 002 means, but, they work wonders.”

“Oh? strange my friend Simon got an 817 recently. So uh, if it’s not impolite to ask. I’ve only been on Zharus for less than a year now... Are you... that is... were you?” I asked, I had a gut feeling that these were women who were, as I said before, blessed, but they just looked so perfect that I had to ask to be sure. I hear women who look really attractive are more likely to be cross-riders than plain janes.

“Cross-Riders? Neither of us are. Only thing new on us today are our tails.” Sheila said, wagging hers happily. I guess she was just pleased to meet someone new.

“Hey!” Fiona spoke up. “If you and your new boyfriend are done singing old showtunes, I’ll have you know that I’ve got a wicked awesome emulation of Pokemon VR:Ultimate Red on Oshawott! Play it and tell me you still think Pokemon’s lame.”

“You’ve got roms and emulators on your RIDE, isn’t that like illegal?” Sheila queried, she sounded somewhat worried.

“Not if it’s jailbroken. There’s this program made by this Roger Seaford guy called FreeRIDE, pretty good for that. I could hook you up.” Fiona said reassuringly

“Hmm, well why not, that panda fuser dude was kind of sketchy. I mean who just gives out RIDEs, with Hardlight Attachments no less, and with Property Tax Waivers? I’ve heard of RIDE Giveaway Charities, but the whole thing sounds too good to be true. Would be nice to see what all he put on these... I mean, they’re not gonna fuse to us while we’re sleeping and have us wake up in Alpha Wolf’s hideout or take naked pictures of us are they?” Sheila asked, putting images in my head of all those bodyjacking porns that people on this planet are prone to writing. You know the ones where a girl or more often a guy is given a female RIDE, but she wakes up in virtual with virtual demons and furries doing things with her while the nanites make her enjoy it. Not that I read those or anything, the whole thing sounds disgusting it’s basically like watching someone get raped.

It was what came after that made me lose it. That just made my brain switch off as it drowned in a sea of acidic suffering.

“Don’t know, I didn’t see anything suspicious outside of this small bit of code that I can’t identify. I’m just glad it’s the girl RIDEs that are super common or he might have tried giving us males. I mean who actually wants to be a boy, especially when everyone’s throwing their manhood away just to check twitter? How many girls are lining up to get boy RIDES?” Fiona said, my fist clenched as I fought to hold back a tear. Rub it in why don’t you!?! You know what you have you Natural Girl! You carefree slut! I didn’t want to say these things, I just had to keep them bottled in to avoid making a scene. If I had my proper hormones in me I swear I’d cry. No I wouldn't cry, I'd be laughing with them commenting on how stupid boys are. Giving no thought to how it's not their fault they were born to be such wretched and damned creatures!

Oshawott spoke up. “Speaking of, Simon Bertrand of the local RIDE Garage “The Wrench Of Paris” just sent you an invite to his Crossing Over Party, says he wants you to bring your “Cute Wolf Friend” and wonders if you two would be interested in being his last girls... simultaneously. I assume he refers to a booty call.”

“See, even the frenchie! Sounds like it’ll be even more fun than Dad’s Crossover remember when she became a chick?. I’ve always wanted to be a last girl!” Fiona said excitedly. How lucky to be in her family, I bet if I was her dad’s son she wouldn’t care. Why I have to be anyone’s son is just..... It's just awful!

“I’m not sure I want to have sex with anyone...” Sheila said, blushing hard. “I mean I’ve only done it once or twice..”

“Oh don’t be such a prude, it’s just fun, besides we’re ON birth control!” Fiona pointed out

“Yeah, but.......” Sheila responded, holding her arm “Both of us? I don’t want to have sex with you or some guy I’ve never met, like most people I’m up for anything, but... that seems like a bit much Finn...”

“What are you an Earther? I, oh darling Sheila, I’ve been wanting to do this ever since I first laid eyes on your beautiful self.” Fiona said, with a big huge grin on her face, her ears as far back as they go in what I could tell was the end of longing and the beginning of experience as major as what I’ve wanted to end. Though it seemed like eons to me, it was just a moment to her.

Suddenly Fiona put her lip towards Sheila and the two began to kiss, interlocking and giving off an energy, an aura of oneness and womanhood, and honestly it wasn’t that bad of a view, no one would think it was. Even if I didn’t want to be a man, I still was one and the masculine would always be upon me, even if I did finally fuse with the proper RIDE, I’d still have been born a guy and what man doesn’t like two girls smooching. Sheila was taken aback, but eventually felt herself enjoying this display of passion.

I watched on with a mix of lust and envy, I’d love to be in Sheila’s shoes of this moments, I know that they can’t appreciate being in that situation as much as I would, they just don’t know how true longing feels and only those like me can feel! My being empty without something so simple and yet so vital to my continued existence.

“Woah, Finn, I didn’t know you felt that way about me!” Sheila exclaimed, hugging her new girlfriend “Alright, I’ll try anything once!!”

“Glad to hear it Shelly! After all, I’ll be with you the whole way on this.” Fiona said, very triumphant, full of the joy and valor of all Zharus. They, started holding each other’s hands and looking into their eyes longingly. Something had kindled before my eyes between two women who just had happiness thrusted upon them for no reason.

I was finally put off by their love fest, and thus the aforementioned losing it took hold. “It’s just SO EASY for you isn’t it, you were BORN into freedom!” I burst out suddenly. “People are happy for you two, it’s just so simple for you!” I felt nervous and mad at myself, they must think me a creeper, a weakling, a lesser creature.

“What the fuck?” Fiona asked, looking at me more confused than anything. “The hell are you even talking about?”

I walked irritated, and then ran, ran as fast as my legs could take me to that bridge, fighting the tears and trying to reaffirm my masculinity for now. True men are stronger and while I don’t want to be a man, I have to be strong, I have to put on a brave face! Even in front of the Zharusians, they can just go out and be girls all they want. I have no choice, I never had a choice, I will never be happy because I will never be myself!

Eventually I made it to the bridge having calmed down a little. The two girls and their happiness was still fresh in my head and I’d keep it there for sometime. It’s not that I’m not happy for them it’s just... Why do other people get to be happy when I can’t? I know I sound like a joke, eventually I stopped thinking about it. It was silly and childish and pitching a fit won’t solve anything. I looked out at the view, and lost my self in the heights. Never once have I ever thought about jumping, I’m maimed, but not mangled! I love my family and well, I’m depressed, but I’m not that hopeless. I mean, maybe if there weren’t RIDEs, an easy way to become female, I might consider just plunging off this otherwise inspiring view of the half-metropolis half-old country farm, I’d be separated from my body for sure then. Though as long as RIDEs exist, some help persisted. Dad has been pushing me to get one, but I know he wants me to find a male. As much as mom doesn’t like it dad speaks so often of how he wants me to get a RIDE to bond with me more.

After some time of thinking and reflecting, remembering the old life I had on Earth where I spent my days feeling like a starved and dying soldier in a bunker. I was even worse back then. Now me and my family were light years away from that horrible planet I should be thinking of how grateful I am that I actually have a shot at living a decent life and so do Mom and Dad. The sun was setting, and maybe I was being selfish. Afterall, the reason I’m afraid to cross-ride is because my family is great and worth loving.

When I got home, I went straight to bed. I didn’t go lucid, but at least I dreamt of being a woman that night. I saw myself as a priestess in white garb walking on clouds and looking down on my old Earth home, a hustling bustling city full of crime like any other. I remember huddling up in fear inside my own house for most of my childhood. I could see the young meek Paul, afraid, cold, and alone from my clouds. As though I were my own guardian angel. I wanted to tell him that one day Mommy and Daddy would take us to Zharus and that we’d with any luck be a woman one day. Regardless of that we were free of the crimewave and the careless heartless politicians of Bronsonville who refused to lift a finger to help us, being too busy trying to illegalize Virtual Life.

Okay sorry, my memory recorder broke, so from when I talked to Simon about up until his party, not here, you’ll have to check Ruby for those. Whose Ruby? I’ll get to that. Again sorry, So today was Simon’s big party, mom and dad neglected to show up. Dad seemed disappointed about the affair, but at the same time was pleased that Lucille meant that Claude would get fixed a little faster, Mom on the other hand hasn’t really ever jived with Simon to begin with. I ran on over, I love how most of my hotspots are in walking distance. Before I got there I remembered to stop by a store on the way to get some lingerie. I heard from a friend on the net that it was the traditional gift from male friends of cross-riders. When I finally got to Simon’s I found that everyone else in town was here! I knew he was popular with the ladies, but this place was packed with people of all sexes. There was one or two hermaphrodites believe it or not. I didn’t even know they existed, but apparently they do. There was a bar, two different catering services, and decorations absolutely everywhere. I was just here doing a shift yesterday, where did all these banners and statues come from. No joke, there’s a giant statue of what Simon was going to look like in Fuser Form. How did that even get here? How did, for now, he, afford that? Okay seriously, one of these days I need to pull her aside and chew him out over crap like this.

The soon to be woman of the hour took a stage on a grand red platform hovering above the floor in the back of the garage, and with Sheila and Fiona accompanying him, both seemed to be enjoying themselves as they fondled him. I put the box of lingerie on the gifts table, which mainly had lingerie from the guys and tampons from the girls. Just the traditional gifts, well for the most part, near the back of the table there were various sex toys. Given that Lucille herself was a living sex toy, these seemed both redundant and disgusting.

“Ladies, and Gentlemen, ve are gathered here on zis fine day to celebrate my soon-to-be-belonging to ze former of the two listed groups. ehehe. Oh la la~ If my mother on Earth could see this.” Simon announced, that last comment earning various laughs from the crowd. Simon was quite loud, though it’s because his implant was wirelessly connected to various speakers, that again our garage cannot afford.

Sheila and Fiona waved to the crowd, their RIDEs even went on stage and did some backflips. It was neat to see. “And these two lovely ladies, have been ze last two ever to be mated by Simon Bertrand!” He said before giving a devious smile, personally the public objectification of those two seemed more like an insult to their families than something to be proud of, but I guess I don’t get Zharus. “So now that they’ve been done, hehehe.” Simon continued, kissing both girls on stage, who just seemed happy to have people paying attention to them.

Fiona blushed and looked towards Sheila saying something, but I couldn’t quite make out what exactly, but it had something to do with the mini-orgy she just had with Simon and Sheila. The wolf-eared girl smiled and said something that seemed congratulatory, that caused Fiona to smile, but blush harder. Well looks like those two enjoyed themselves. They seemed like nice girls, maybe later I’ll try having a proper conversation with them.

“Who is ready to see the new Simon or, Simone rather?” Simon asked the crowd, putting a hand to his dog ear which raised in expectation. “Let me hear you my fellow Zharusians!”

The entire crowd starting cheering “Cross! Cross! Cross! Cross! Cross!”

“With pleasure!” Simon declared with a huge grin, the crowd began clapping the second these words left his mouth. “Lucille! Lancer séquence fusion!”

The second he said the french bit, the hardlight skunk jumped out of the blue, turned into a silver goo and tackled my boss. No really I’ve seen footage of the event dozens of times, I cannot tell you where Lucille jumped out of.

The crowd went silent as Simon and Lucille fused, dissolving Simon and birthing Simone, the crowd of Fusers, Eared Riders with their Walker Mode RIDEs, and unaltered humans roared in celebration as they heard him speak for the first time in her new sex, this new voice having an even thicker accent. “Zis is, woah..... AND.... Oooh my.. yes zis is a woman’s body alright. And it’s.. mine... making me a woman... I... wooah..” the skunk fuser looked her hardlight body over, rubbing her groin and breasts in disbelief, unable to fully grasp that she was indeed a woman, more than that, she also wasn’t a man anymore. I know that sounds redundant, but trust me on this. Predictably this form had an incredibly exaggerated hourglass figure and as we could all see because there were no clothes being projected on her, anatomically correct. Well now I know why no minors were allowed in this party. Well that and all the booze.

“This feels.... far different than I expected it too.... Oh Oui Oui! Damned good though.” Simone said, getting her bearings, I could tell there were some mental nanites affecting her as she was rubbing her head a lot and was having problems walking. I laughed my ass off as she fell into the crowd trying to take Simone’s first steps. “Hehe.. sorry, slight hiccup. *hic* oh! And here we go!”

Later I had learned that Lucille had a mode on that simulated the wearer being drunk off her ass and easy to take advantage of. I doubt the legality of that, but, whatever floats his boat, at this moment though I called out to her to find out if she was okay. “Simon are you feeling alright?” I asked him as I tried lifting her off the ground after my laugh was over of course.

“Oh Darling you’re my hero.... hehehehe.....” The skunk woman said to me, reaching her paw over to me, rubbing my chest in a seductive manner. I can’t say this was something I didn’t enjoy, must have been her arousal nanites getting to me, damned skunk pheromones, though the fact that she was one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen on two legs didn’t hurt. “Join me in the back Paul darling? hehehe.... It’s the least I can do...”

I was a little nervous, I mean, this skunk was not only smoking hot to a degree I haven’t seen before or since, but this was also my boss. “I didn’t know you liked men Simon.”

She just laughed “I’m French, we’re ALL bisexual silly Paul, also it’s Simone now darling, it’s a whole new me under this suit and I owe her all thanks to Aristo Cat Enroygall sucking at Poker! Lucky in cards, luckier in love!” after that gem she proceeded to dance among the crowd. Okay seriously, what alcohol were her nanites simulating, because I kind of wanted some. Overall I’m glad Simone seems to be enjoying this decision, I wonder if she’s always going to be like this or if she’ll calm down after awhile.

I never took Simone up on her offer of.... courtship.... but several other guys, and a few girls, in the crowd did. Apparently Lucille had two vaginas and thus so did Simone, so the two were taking four men at a time and however many girls wanted to take along. I don’t think there’s anyone in our neck of the woods except me who hadn’t slept with my employer that day. The festivities died down eventually and so did Simone’s appetite, well not really, she mainly just turned down the nanites when she started getting tired, but in Lucille that took a while. Finally, I’d have a chance to talk to her one on one or one on two rather, she was afterall, the very first Crossrider I knew in person so the experience just might be helpful. Now that Simon was a woman himself, there would be no way she’d scoff at my dream. The cure for my curse.

“Some party..I can’t believe how... courteous you were to our guests...” I told her, she had de-fused and was now an attractive slightly younger woman with an impossible bra size and the ears and tail of a skunk, the ride responsible stood next to her, seeming happy. Though given that she had just completed the heck out of her programmed purpose, I could imagine.

“It was a wild ride alright. I’m bi, but normally I prefer women, now I don’t seem to have any hang-ups. You know who else is a wild RIDE? Lucille! Hehehehehe.” she laughed for a bit at her own joke, still a little drunk. “Don’t worry Paul. You can still have your turn.” She teased, only half-joking. I can already tell that her new pet skunk was a bad influence on her.

“I bet it feels nice... being female...” I said, tiptoeing around what I wanted to talk to her about. My hands behind my back as I kicked at the ground, like a child expecting a treat from his peer.

“Oh! by le gods! Had I known it would be like this I would have started playing for le other team le second I got offfff le shuttle!” Simone said, her new voice was half-singer, half someone having an orgasm. Elegant until she started involuntarily moaning, I think it was supposed to be sexy, but it got old fast.

“I’ve always known.....” I said, nervously, looking downward, I was scared to go forward, but I had already gotten this far. “That it must be really nice.... to have a beautiful woman’s body...”

Simone raised an eyebrow, her voice shifting from constant orgasm over towards horny, and yet, concerned. “Paul, what are you trying to tell me dear?”

I took a deep breathe, this was it, I had to summon all of my courage for this. I never would have brought this up if she hadn’t become Simone, hell I couldn’t bring it up with Simon even when I knew he was going to be Simone in only days. “Being born male was the worst thing that has EVER happened to me, every second I’m like this is” I gestured to my body with my hands “...is... nothing but torture and pure agony. I’d go get a RIDE to fix me up, but my family’s from Earth! You were born there too! You know how much they look down on trannies there, I....”

Simone hugged me smiling, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I have always cared for you Paul, your well being is important to me.”

I hugged her back and looked into her fair face with confusion. “You have? It is?”

My Cross-Riding Boss nodded, having fused with Lucielle allowed her to speak english, so our conversations were more fluid. “My family sold their organs or became cyborgs. I am le last of my clan to be in anyway human. That’s why I came here, to get away from them. You are the only employee of mine who isn’t an absolute nitwit, and thus you are the closest to family I have.” she said, though she orgasmed in between half of her words, which took out some of the sentimentality, but I was touched all the same.

Already I felt better about myself, but I frowned. “I’m not sure why I came out to you... Mom doesn’t approve of changing yourself around and Dad’s kind of... So... even if you knew it’s not like you could do something”

“Your dad is a man’s man. I know, I used to be the type and I have worked on Claude many times, seen through his memories.” Simone smiled and said something that would literally change my life forever. “However, if my Paul wants to be a woman, then he will be a woman.”

My eyes grew wide, part from the idea of being female and another part from Simone calling me family. Simon had been a valued friend, but Simone saw me as family!?! Quickly my hopes dwindled as reality sunk in. “Yeah, you’re just going to sell me a discount Girl RIDE aren’t you?”

“Oh ye of little faith. Paul, zat wouldn’t accomplish anything, but I do have something better in mind” Simone said, giving me a look like she was asking for trouble. “There’s a job I want you to take, Aristo’s assistant Shyver left another RIDE that we are supposed to take to the crusher. She’s in working order, but Aristo had ordered her model discontinued and the prototype demolished.”

“Oh.... a free junker RIDE doesn’t really help either...” I said, my hopes dashed, so close. “My parents would KILL me!”

Simone still had that look on her face. “Oh, but of course, zat was the plan the whole time.” I looked confused, but I didn’t interrupt her. “Maybe you take her to the crusher? After all, these failed prototypes have all sorts of glitches in them..... Maybe this one became active, maybe there was one such glitch that caused her to fuse to the nearest person, this person.... Could have been you Paul....a hmhmmhmhm” she giggled as she added the a to the end.

“My family would be pissed at you then...I’d be an innocent victim of circumstance.. an innocent, female, victim...” I said finally grasping the idea, feeling elated knowing that this could be the day. I could be my real self at last. My crossover being the result of an on the job accident. Ingenius! Simone you magnificent bitch I read your book! "Just a girl injured in the line of duty..."

“I’m a Cross Rider “intentionally” and your family is already mad at me.” Simone reminded, which was technically a factual statement. “It’s up to you Paul, personally if turning you female will truly make you happy, then I want to see you become the prettiest girly girl in the Milky Way!”

There was no way this was really happening, for the first time in a long time I had a smile on my face that was sincere! “Simone....” I said, pausing, my eyes getting watery as I jumped up and hugged her. “I love you! I..... Did you still want.. to... with me..”

She smiled and hugged me back “Non, and you have a Flier to catch! She’s in the lower level of the garage, she resembles a cross between a porcupine and a bat, only hybrid down there. Use her nanites, crush her, and don’t come back until you’re the cute smiling Paula you were destined to be.”

I smiled even wider, hugging her one more time as I went downstairs to meet this porcubat who would finally let me live. No longer would I merely be surviving on Zharus or barely surviving on Earth. For the first time I would live! I would be truly alive, fallopian tubes, sitting down to pee, all those girly hormones. Who WOULDN'T want that stuff?

Getting the RIDE to the crusher without taking her out of passive would be a difficult task, or would be if I hadn’t kept her in a trailer attached to an IDE. Zooming out of the metropolis section and towards the junkyard that laid in the middle of the town. The junkyard served as a divide between the farm and city sections. I was ecstatic! My torment would finally be at its end, just activate her, fuse, crush her, and live my life as it was meant to be lived. There was no real downside to this! Well, I’d have batwings for arms and potentially some porcupine spikes, but honestly would you rather be a mutant of the right gender or a normie of the wrong one?

It took almost no time to get there, Zharus, unlike Earth, had hover vehicles that traveled at insane speeds. I’ve heard of some that can literally go the speed of light! Given how big Zharus is, literally the size of 4 Super Earths, it was needed. This was it, we were right here at the crusher. All I had to do was turn the 000 model on, fuse with her, drop her off in the crusher, and maybe invest in a nice kitty RIDE after I get some nanite surgery for the wings....

I booted the porcubat up and smiled at her, it was half me looking forward to re-arranging my most hated chromosome and half me trying to hide that I was basically about to kill this robotic animal after I used her for my own purposes. It seemed so easy in my head, but now that I was here I was beginning to have second thoughts. “Hey, can you fuse?”

What came out of the RIDE marked for death was the sweetest, most protective and motherly voice I had ever heard. “Yes baby I can, want me too?” It reminded me a lot of this whale named Bubby from an old Earth Cartoon called The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack.

I nodded, a lump forming in my throat, already I knew this thing was far too sweet to smash into bits.

“Okay baby, but you do know what will happen if I do? You aint gonna be a boy again for at least three years.” The Prototype Hybrid warned

“I shouldn’t have been a boy to begin with!” I said angrily, it was finally going to happen! The slightest stalling to the correction of the mistake of my birth was enough to make me tense. After this moment my life would become perfect!

She walked forward, and asked again, likely some kind of fetter made her do so. “Are you sure you want this baby? I can’t undo it, and no one else can for three years.”

Still, I felt like I was being made to beg, I was SO CLOSE! Literally I fell onto my knees and pleaded with her. “I want this more than anything, please.... that’s the whole reason I turned you on. Being male is absolutely intolerable, I want nothing more than for it to end. Even if you do give me bat wings. I’m begging you Ms. RIDE, I NEED this!”

“Wow wow, honey, you don’t need to do all that. I’m programmed to ask twice for male riders.” she said, before it was finally on me. She became silver gunk like Lucille did when this happened to Simone, and washed over me. I like to think I was being cleansed of all the horrible things that came with being a man. The dangling body parts, the ugly broad shoulders, the responsibility that naturally fell to males, the inability to get pregnant, all gone. Wiped from my being forever! My life would begin anew, the right way this time!

Before I knew it, we were one, no not like an integrate, I mean fuser obviously. I wouldn’t go THAT far to be a woman, well I guess that’s easy for me to say now that I am one. Paul might disagree. I was now looking at a read out on this RIDE and seeing her past, very quickly I saw that she had been named Ruby by Aristo. See one’s first fusion with a RIDE gives both halves the memories of the other and Aristo was in a lot of hers. Aristo had never ridden Ruby, but he was around during her testing.

That was.... intense....:: I said to Ruby, with whom I found I could communicate telepathically, awesome! ::Did it work? Am I a girl?!?! Like... CAN I GET PREGNANT!?!!:: I said to her, overly excited. I couldn't feel that dangling tumor anymore. I felt oooooh... New organs, new parts on the inside.
Your Conversion was a 100% success sweetums. It’s all there and ready for ya baby.:: Ruby responded, her pet names seemed more like an older woman talking to her grandchild than actual flirtations, she suddenly felt uncomfortable. I could tell because we were kind of the same person at the moment ::Oooooooooweeee... Oh babydoll no wonder you kneeled down in front of me. Being a man made you feel that bad? Well don’t worry sweetiepie, Ruby’s gonna protect you okay. Just, do her a favor.::

I was in flying armor at the moment, so I basically just had to take her word for it until my Virtual Body Image switched over, but it didn’t matter. I knew it worked! I could feel it, I suddenly felt even worse about being asked to trash her. It was the new hormones, swapped out in seconds! The HRT Days of yesteryear can eat it, Present Day Earth Nano too! ::Ruby, right now I’m the happiest girl in the world. I’m the happiest GIRL. In the whole Galaxy.. I...... Oh you can FEEL how much I wanted this.... Whatever you want you can have it.::

Don’t crush Ruby, alright? She only wants to protect you...:: I instantly regretted even considering it. I haven’t even seen what my new body looks like under the spiked bat armor, and I already feel a surge of.... Oh... I don’t even know what it’s a surge of, but I LOVE IT!
The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be is female, ever since my days on Earth, and you just gave me that like it was nothing. I would sooner crush myself in your place!:: I was getting teary eyed, this was like a dream! I’m me, I’m whole, I’m... cured! I don't feel that crushing weight anymore, it's lifted I.. I.. What do I have to say?
You mean that baby?:: Ruby asked in return, of course she already knew that I did and because we were one I could tell, Ruby was happy that I was happy. ::Hehe... Well, since you’ve been such a sweet girl for Ruby. She’s re-enabled her lifters. Go ahead, jump.::

I jumped into the air, focusing on the lifters in our feet. Before I knew it I was floating in mid-air, no, I wasn’t floating, I was flying! I’m female, and I’m flying. This is clearly the best day of my life. I can’t even think of a metaphor for how free I feel that’s better than what is happening right now. Going higher and higher, forget the bridge. I can see five towns from up here, way above the city. ::Ruby.... I... thank you:: I shed a tear of joy before landing us at Simon.. sorry Simone's garage.

Don’t mention it baby, you’re the one who spared ol' Ruby from the crusher.:: She told me in the sweetest and most sincere voice she had. ::If I had arms I’d hug you, of course, you don’t have arms either...:: which I didn’t, I now had batwings that had little hook arms on the end of them, but they were nowhere near as useful as my old arms.
Being free is more important than anything else.:: I assured her, I meant that, I really did. Though it’ll make being a mechanic hard I know I’ll end up working something out.

I stepped in the garage with my new best friend fused to me, feeling full of a new confidence the likes of which I’ve never known. Brad The Bad Guy, who said nothing to me, likely because he didn’t recognize me. Brad was working on Claude whilst Dawn watched. Simone was talking to someone, but I couldn’t see who. I called out to her, feeling very show offy and rightfully so. I wasn’t about to snuggle with all the men in town unlike certain skunks I know, but the world had to know that the only person I threw into the crusher was Paul who I stayed behind to watch die. “Simone! Guess whose baaaack”

Simone and just Simone, Lucielle was taking a nap, turned around to face me, “Now’s a bad time.” she said, I wasn’t sure how she recognized me, but it likely had something to do with me wearing a porcubat fuser suit and being happy. Actually that was exactly it, plus I did say that I was back.

“This can’t wait Simone, I’m a woman now, I’m Paula!” I told her, ecstatically. Oh forget hugging, I’d kiss her over this, no more sorrow, no more dangly bits, hallelujah!

“Simon, that Paula better not be my son.” cried a familiar voice, my father. Immediately I stopped dead in my tracks, my eyes grew wide and afraid. Next time someone tells me it’s a bad time I better make sure I listen.

Simone looked panicked before a very angry man twice her size with antlers. “I have not the slightest idea, but I assure you, if it is I had nothing to do with it.”

I froze up meekly, I needed to think of something quick. “Hi dad......” NO! What did I just say?! Bad Brain! Bad Brain!

Suddenly and without warning my dad grabbed Simone by the neck, began choking her. Simone tried to say something to my father, but Dad was too busy yelling at her to hear “What did you do!?! Look, you can do this to yourself if that’s how you get your kinks. I don’t approve of it, but it’s your fucking business. What I want to know where the hell do you get off forcing your kinks on my son!”

Ruby, do we have any non-lethal weapons:: I asked in a panic, I needed to save my boss from this maniac that my dad seemed to be. I wouldn’t even want to use non-lethal weapons on him, but his grasp on Simone looked well dangerous for her.
ACE Evolutions had my weapons removed to make me easier to crush:: My new partner reported. I wondered why they kept anything in her Drive Extender at all, I mean fizz, most people take the RI Core out and try to find a similar body for it. Unless the RI was the one of a criminal RIDE, like say Alpha Wolf or someone like that. No, they’d probably just Refetter Alpha Wolf, he’s never killed anyone I don’t think.
Wonderful....:: I commented, before going to Plan B and swooping up to my father and kicking him in the side. Who recoiled and dropped my poor defenseless boss who was now gasping for air.

“That’s a hell of a left hook...” my antler having father commented as he rubbed his face. “But why are you defending Simone after what he did to you?”

Simone gasped for air “Claude has made you pretty strong.... I have to respect that. Look, Paula is one of my finest employees. For that I’m not pressing charges, but if you do that again I’ll have Lucille Gender Jack you!”

“Damn right he has!” My dad threatened my boss again. “And as much as I appreciate that I’ll still be pressing charges for gender jacking my son!”

Simone nodded, looking in my direction and saying something in French, she was looking right at me, so I took it to mean I could translate this, which I had Ruby do. “Vous méritez d'être heureux, quoi que cela signifie pour vous.” she then looked toward my father who seemed out for blood “Yes, I Gender Jacked your son, Paula had nothing to do with her current sex.”

Oh dear lord, Sweetie your friend Simone just said “You deserve to be happy, whatever that means for you.”:: Ruby informed me

“STOP! Simone you crazy fool, don’t get yourself put in jail for my sake!” I cried out, defusing with Ruby and running up to hug my father, it must have felt weird having giant bat wings around him, it must have felt weird having my breasts up against his chest. Whichever freaked him out more I don’t know.

Dad looked down at my new winged woman’s body with confusion and love for his daughter, he hugged me back and was about to open his mouth to say something, but I cut him off before he could form a syllable. “Simone is lying to protect me! I can’t let her. I stole a RIDE that was meant to be crushed because.... even since we lived on Earth I’ve always wanted to be....”

“You did this to yourself?” He asked me in sheer disbelief. “Well shoot, I wish you had said something before I crushed your boss’ windpipe. Hehe... This is... a lot to take in..... I didn’t know you were one of those VL Genderplay guys... girls...”

“Actually I had GID.... I even had my brain examined on Earth just to be sure... I just didn’t want to upset you and mom. I mean, you liked having a son and...” So far so good, this is better than I ever thought dad would take it, choking skunk eared mechanics aside.

“By the way, Great stand there and fix my attacker’s RIDE strategy Brad!” Simone called out.

“Eh, I didn’t think he’d actually hurt ya, you were fine.” Brad said, seeming almost oblivious about what just happened, and not being too excited in figuring it out. This seems almost unlike him admittedly I was shocked by his inaction.

Dawn added his own two cents “What he said.” pointing one of his forepaws and nose at his operator.

“Pardon my french dears, but get the fuck out, you’re both fired.” Simone said a hand on her hip and a finger pointing towards the door. Simone’s hips were far wider than mine, I resembled a teenager now more than a young.... uhh.. let’s say adult, Simone was very big in the “Snuggle Goddess” look.

Brad fused with his Silver Fox RIDE and left “I hated this job anyway, I’ll stick with REAL RIDE Garages thank you very much, RIDE Garages like... Okay I can’t think of any, but there’s better ones out there someplace. I’ve been meaning to move away from this shithole of a town anyway.” we never really saw him again, fine by me, dude was a jerk.

“The real reason I never got a RIDE was because I didn’t want to be stuck with a male one, and I.... I’m happier this way.” I pleaded with my father. I really was, I looked over my more comforting physique as I said this.

He laughed “Hahahahaha, Paula, This is Zharus, people do things like this! Only reason I got a male RIDE is because your mother would kill me otherwise. When in Rome ya know.”

“WHAT!?!” Me and Simone said in unified confusion.

Dad was calm now “We left Earth because those customs were outdated, getting people killed or at least making them wish they were dead because they were stuck in an older time and not sure what a new one is like. I don’t care if you wanna go out and get Integrated. We didn’t move here to act like Earthlings! We would have have just stayed there for that.”

Simone didn’t buy it “Weren’t you just telling me that my being a Cross Rider was a bad thing?” she said, giving my father the maddest look I’ve seen either Simon or Simone give.

“I was talking about Pleasure Support Armor, you know the BBV you’ve got around here....” My dad said bluntly “What kind of bigot do you think I am?” he then turned to me “Welp Paul, sorry, Paula, looks like we’ve got another Rider in the family. Why don’t you go finish what your fox friend started, it looks like I have a lot of apologizing to do with Simone here. That is, if you can...”

I worked on Claude’s neck on my back looking over my breasts and stomach. Ruby had the idea to use our prehensile feet. Goofy, but like Paul tried telling his father this morning, the cringe was a very simple fix.

All charges were dropped against my father, but he agreed to pay double for Claude’s repair bills to make this happen. Simone insisted he didn’t have to, but dad insisted that, cross-rider or not, it was wrong for a gentleman to choke a lady in any circumstances. I feel like an idiot now for not talking to dad, turns out he thought I wanted to stay away from Female RIDEs, not that he didn’t want me near them. Well, regardless I’ve got Ruby now, and with her a set of wings and my brand spanking new set of matching X Chromosomes. I fixed Claude without a hiccup. Things however got a little weird when I got back home.

“We’ve got another Rider in the family!” My dad said proudly as we both came in the house fully fused up for a good entrance.

Mom freaked out before even reaching the front door. “Oh damn it Alexander! It’s bad enough that you’re doing that to yourself.. Now our son is.....” she froze seeing me and Ruby like a rat before a tiger.

“Mom, have I ever mentioned that I’ve always wanted to be a girl? Even when we lived on Earth? Well, now I am! Big day, I think I’ll just fab a pizza and call it a night.” I said, breaking it to her as casually as I could whilst scratching the back of mine and Ruby’s head with our small bat hands. I could have been softer, but... Mom clearly saw what happened, there was no way to sugarcoat it.

“ALEXANDER!” Mom screamed “WHY DO WE HAVE A DAUGHTER!?!” pointing at me like I was some kind of killer mutant in a B-Movie.

Ruby and I went right up to our room, we’re gonna let dad handle this one. He DID choke my second best friend on Zharus after all. I caved and downloaded the Lucid Dreaming app whilst taking a bite into a slice I fabbed. I spat it out immediately and fabbed myself something else, something simple I knew it could handle. A cup of noodles, or a cup of Life Noodles as Dad always called them. I should have listened to that Kimberly woman, a cheetah fuser who came in with her rat fuser husband to Simone’s last month, she had been complaining about how fabbers can make RIDE parts easily, but not a pizza. I wouldn’t have fed this ketchup and cardboard collaboration to our old dog Weenie. Well no more failing at lucid, I only tried doing it the natural way so that I could pretend to have a productive method of turning female, and well, I didn’t want to become obsessed with dreaming, but I still wanted it so badly. This isn’t really an issue now that I’m cured. I’ve had an exciting day today, the first day of my true life. I’m going to love being Paula, I just know it. I slept inside Ruby tonight, I saved her from the crusher, she saved me from myself, we were deeply grateful for one another. I didn’t actually use the Lucid Dreaming App, not tonight, I had what I wanted in the waking world. I didn’t want to dream, I just wanted to see what the first full 30 hour day as the real me was like. Though...... the next day....

“This is an ACE Evolutions Security Protocol!” Screeched a hologram of the very youthful looking billionaire engineer Aristo, who had the ears and tail of a Red Panda and various cybernetics replacing the left side of his face all topped off with a metal right arm inside Ruby’s virtual hard drive, waking us both up rudely.

“What the heck?” I asked “What’s going on?!?”

::Baby, Aristo found out you didn’t have me crushed.:: Ruby screamed, sounding very panicked.

“No more interruptions!” The Hologram shouted. “The RIDE you are currently occupying a model PCB(f)-MNA-000 is stolen property owned presently by ACE Evolutions Inc. This RIDE will be collected by an ACE Evolutions Employee and used for its proper intended purposes.

“But you wanted to crush her!” I protested

“Arrangements can be made to work for ACE Evolutions Inc. and a portion of your paycheck used to pay off this unit.” The Pseudo Aristo stated coldly summoning a digital contract. “You may either agree to our terms, or your Stolen RIDE will be collected and re-assigned to its proper intended purposes.”

::It’s a trick, honey, Ruby’s already read the contract dear. They will enslave you!:: My new companion told me in my mind, desperately trying to warn me.

Ignoring Ruby’s advice I signed the contract, there was absolutely no way I could allow my RIDE to be fed to a crusher. I was starting to really like my wings!

::Honey, neither of us are going to survive now:: Ruby told me, worried as can be. This was the darkest thing I’ve ever heard her say. I haven’t known her long, but I do have her memories and I had gotten used to how she spoke. Death isn’t something she’s even allowed to bring up!

We separated and I petted her cold metallic head, “We’ll find a way through this, I had to sign or they’d crush you outright!” I got dressed as usual, this time smiling in the mirror. I was a real cutie! Brown hair, black wings, and orange porcupine spikes. Oh and the figure which, was like Simone’s, but, far more tame. My breasts were on the small side, but the point was that I had them. I was a woman now, and I am no longer filled with torment. I was full of dedication. I’d play Aristo’s game, and I’d buy Ruby’s freedom. We are a planet of Free Riders and I will help keep it that way!

I heard my mother calling as I was doing a psyche up in the mirror. “Paul!... Fine Alex! PAULA! There’s a man in a panda fuser suit here to see you!”

I went down slowly with Ruby, these guys were fast and I needed to not be afraid. These guys were bullies! Only a bully would want to hurt someone as sweet as Ruby! So I can show no fear before this agent of Aristo. I had to admit, this guy works FAST!

The Panda and my dad were talking. “Look Ruby was going to be crushed anyway, there’s no reason you need to take our daughter.”

“Mr. Reverbek, she signed a contract and until she pays Ruby off, she is an indentured servant of my client Aristo Enroygall.” the Panda Fuser said, though he made it sound more like a command than a statement. I so totally called it. Bullies.

“Listen Shyver, if that’s your real name. You’re talking about slavery, we outlawed that back on Earth before the damned Oil Age. You are not taking our daughter and you are not taking her RIDE either, end of discussion.” Dad told him off while fused with Claude to make himself just as intimidating as this Shyver person. Shyver.... I swear I’ve heard that name.....

“Sir, is Paula Reverbek 18 or older? Did she sign a contract?” Shyver asked

“Well yeah, but we’ll take you to court. This is illegal plain and simple” Dad yelled “Your contract holds no water, now get out before me and my buck kick your fat ass across the desert!”

“I wouldn’t advise that.” Shyver stated as his RIDE’s claws turned into mini guns whilst assault rifles formed from his shoulders. “You don’t even have hardlight plating, let alone the best team of lawyers Monetary Units can buy. Mr. Enroygall and I can do whatever we want on this planet, be glad we are only hiring your daughter for a temporary position.”

“He’s bad news dad!” I cried out while fused to Ruby “Shyver is Aristo Enroygall’s right hand man, he’s way too powerful for either of us You can’t even scratch his paint job. I know, he comes in all the time. To think Simone called you a friend of hers!”

“I’m already calling the cops” My father exclaimed, accessing Claude’s internal phone. “Hello police, some Panda Fuser Bigshot thinks he can waltz in here and steal my daughter.... Yes she signed a contract, but she was forced into it, they threatened to kill her RIDE..... hello?”

Shyver shook his head “We’ve covered our tracks very well, you should listen to the Cross-Rider of a daughter you have there, she’s the only one of you four with any sense.”

“Asshole!” My dad cried out as he activated Claude’s weaponry “I don’t care if you are shiny, you aren’t kidnapping my daughter.”

I put my wing in front of Dad and shook my head. “Ruby’s told me all about Aristo and what he can do... This is the only way....” I went with Shyver much against my dad’s protests. He continually begged me not to go, but there was no choice. Aristo was far too powerful, Simone worked for him, Shyver could track me anywhere, and Ruby was technically stolen property. I wouldn’t be safe even if me and Ruby went back to Earth, not that I’d want to or that Ruby could go. It was illegal to bring concrete evidence of a RIDE back to Earth.

Shyver nodded and de-fused, revealing a large man in a business suit and a wool hat with earholes cut into it “Like I said, of the four of you, Paula is the only one with sense.” turning his RIDE into Skimmer form once we got outside “Follow me, failure to do we result in termination of your contract and confiscation of your RIDE. No funny stuff, and no fuser until we get there.”

I sighed, turning Ruby into Flyer Form and following the Panda Fuser all the way to the main building for Aristo’s RIDE Factory. ACE Evolutions Inc, it seemed to be just on the outskirts of Orroz in Supernova. Freedom has a price, and for Ruby’s I’d have to pick up the tab.