Note: This story uses background and concepts from the Teenagers From Outer Space role-playing game, Copyright 2001 R. Talsorian Games, Inc. The characters and story are Copyright 2001 Rodford Edmiston Smith.
"I can't believe they're going ahead with the plan, in spite of what happened yesterday," muttered Freddy, sourly.
"They're going ahead especially because of what happened yesterday," Karen replied. "The administrators feel that students - especially the non-alien ones - need to learn how to handle weird stuff."
"Great," the boy muttered.
Compared to the reactions of some of the other students after the announcement in home room, Freddy's response was mild. Still, youngsters tend to focus on the immediate, and just now trying to decipher what Doctor Sumt'ang was saying took priority over worrying about the distant future of that afternoon.
"Hyperspatial today's on phenomena is lecture," Doctor Sumt'ang announced. "Phenomena these curiosities to tools to dangerous useful menaces from range."
The lecture went downhill rapidly from there, with obtuse technical words and phrases complicating things. Still, what hints they did get left the students excited, anxiously waiting to see what Doctor Sumt'ang would do with the experiment set up in the corner. Finally, Doctor Sumt'ang finished the preliminaries. He went over to the device and turned it on. The lights dimmed, then brightened a bit without regaining their full vigor. A deep hum filled the air, rattling the desks. And a strange, shimmering circle appeared inside the large metal loop attached to the apparatus.
Doctor Sumt'ang picked up what appeared to be an ordinary fishing rod, with an unusually large hook attached to the end of the line. After a few practice casts, the hook was sent zizzzing into the circle. Almost immediately, the line went taut. Doctor Sumt'ang reeled it back in. On the hook was a large, covered glass jar, containing something vaguely shaped and pinkish grey in color. Doctor Sumt'ang placed this with a glassy thunk and rattle on the counter.
"Around gather students!" the purple fireplug announced, making tentacular gathering motions.
The jar and its strange contents were examined with morbid interest. Freddy noted that the browning label bore the typed letters "A. Schicklegruber."
Meanwhile, their teacher had cast again. This time the catch was an old silk top hat, with a label inside reading "Judge Crater." The third item was a soaking wet and badly decayed wallet stained with oozing mud. Searching through this resulted in the discovery that the owner's last name was Hoffman, and little else. Looking up to see what would be hauled out next, Freddy saw Doctor Sumt'ang struggling with the line.
"One big a!" Doctor Sumt'ang gasped, starting to slide towards the hole.
Freddy jumped to help, grabbing the far end of the pole and pulling. For a moment, the odd couple held their ground; then they both started sliding towards the hole. Fortunately, by this time several other students were arriving. Together, the stopped the slide, and began to make progress the other way. Finally, the hook came out, connected to a shoelace. The lace was on a hiking boot. The boot was on a foot. And the foot was struggling. Only the lace was slipping...
"Grab my belt!" yelled Freddy to whoever, as he reached for the foot.
Fortunately, some of the students not helping with the line moved to aide Freddy. He got a good, two-handed grip, and held tenaciously as the others heaved on various parts of his anatomy. The foot turned out to be connected to a long, thin leg in a blue jumpsuit. And the leg, naturally, belonged to a long, thin guy, who suddenly popped free of whatever had been holding him.
Roughly half the students in the class, plus their teacher, plus stranger, wound up piled against the counter, the brain jar rocking perilously from the impact. Fortunately, after a few nervous seconds it settled, neither tipping over nor slipping past the edge.
The pile on the floor began sorting itself out into individuals. The stranger, being on top, was first off. He quickly - if a bit too energetically - began hauling people to their feet. Freddy could see, now, that he had black hair, and black disks floating in front of his eyes, obscuring them. He chattered excitedly as he help people upright, patting them and asking if they were all right. Fortunately, all were.
"ThankyouThankyouThankyou!" the stranger exclaimed, hyperactively, shaking hands (and, in Doctor Sumt'ang's case, tentacles) all 'round. "ThoughtI'dnevergetoutofthere! Ioweyouallabigfavor,justask!"
"Is no necessary reward," Doctor Sumt'ang assured the strange man. "By you caught mistake we, trouble were and helping someone simply in."
"Doesn'tmatter," claimed the stranger, seeming to have no trouble deciphering this. "Youhelpedmeandifyoucan'tthinkofarewardnow,I'lljustwaitunitlyouneedhelplater."
Following their teacher's lead, the students declined naming a reward. (Well, a couple of the less socially ept boys asked for dates with supermodels, but they were ignored.) The stranger nodded, smiled in a preoccupied sort of way, bowed and vanished.
"Okay," someone asked, "what was that?"
"Unknowns with universe the is filled," Doctor Sumt'ang said in an ominous voice.
* * *
"Wow, Freddy; you've got a rack!" exclaimed Jim, staring at her friend's chest.
"Yeah, yeah," sighed Freddy, pulling the sport bra ebarrassedly over her generous bosom.
"I mean, if I've got to be a girl, I'd like to be a girl," sighed Jim, staring down at her own modest mammaries. "But you can hardly tell the difference from normal."
"You're looking in the wrong place," someone snickered.
The usually boyish horse play was subdued this gym class, mostly because the boys were girls. Whether the current occupants of the boys' locker room were experiencing a corresponding increase in hijinks was a matter of speculation. Freddy and Miz Klupper had to help several of the new girls with their undergarments. One new girl became hysterical when she went to pee and couldn't figure out how. Apparently, the school's "hygiene" classes needed improvement.
Finally, everyone was ready. They filed out into the gym on the girls' side, facing the new boys. There was a great deal of nervous stirring and shifting among both parties, including Coach and Miz Klupper. The teachers looked at each other, sighed in harmony, and began.
For the most part, it went well. There were a number painful but fortunately minor accidents on both sides, involving a lack of care by a student with new anatomy during certain exercises. Oddly, four of the new girls started menstruating during the exercises. This led, first, to some panic, before the cause was determined and explained, and then some ribald comments as the victims of female cycling were escorted into the locker room and tended by Miz Klupper.
After the warm-ups the two sides combined as usual for some friendly games. Mixed teams for volleyball occupied most of the students, though there was also free-throw practice and some weight training. Several of the new boys enjoyed the latter, to the extent that a couple injured themselves showing off.
"People who aren't used to testosterone shouldn't 'do' it in public," Freddy snickered to Karen, watching as Coach helped one tearful, very muscular new boy off to the nurse's office.
"You know what's really weird?" Karen muttered. "That's Debbie. "
"The captain of the cheerleaders?" asked Freddy. "Well, I knew she was an airhead, but not that he'd be a dumb jock."
"Oh, give him a break," growled Karen. "He's not used to being a guy."
"Didn't I just say something like that?" asked Freddy, sweetly.
"You are getting much too good at being girly," muttered Karen, shifting uncomfortably. "I've been a guy before, several times, once for over an hour at one stretch. And I still don't like it."
Freddy stood back and pretended to examine her boyfriend carefully.
"You look fine to me," she assured him. "In fact, I'm thinking that costume party idea you had was a good one."
"You mean go as each other?" said Karen, frowning. "Nah. Everybody'd know. I mean, right now I don't look much like you usually do and you don't look much like I usually do."
"Or maybe," said Freddy, slowly, as if something was just occurring to her, "now that the shoe is on the other foot you aren't so happy about the idea."
She snickered, giving an impish grin.
"Or maybe that should be 'the dic...'"
Karen got hit in the back of the head by a soccer ball and pitched forward. Freddy tried to catch him, but the combination of surprise, a bit less strength than usual and Karen being even taller in comparison now resulted in both of them falling to the gym floor. Freddy, of course, wound up on the bottom. Karen had his face between her breasts, and his right hand between Freddy's legs.
Karen, fortunately, was only stunned, and quickly recovered, blushing and stammering apologies. Freddy resisted the urge to scream "You pervert!" and clobber him with something only by remembering all the times the situation had been reversed. Still, the fact she didn't resulted in repercussions in the locker room.
"So, Freddy, was it good for you?" snickered one new-girl, as she stripped off her top.
"You're just jealous 'cause none of the guys felt you up," muttered Freddy, causing her tormentor to turn scarlet.
"You have to admit, Freddy, it looked pretty strange from where we were," said Ramet. "And you had the weirdest expression on your face."
"I just had someone do a face-fault on my chest! The fact that this was my girlfriend, and that we were both gender-flipped at the time just made things weirder."
Freddy noted with mild interest that some of the new-girls seemed inordinately eager to leave the locker room and get switched back. Others, however, seemed to be delaying, a few of them even spending extra time in the bathroom.
Well, whatever floats your boat, mused Freddy.
Personally, she was about in the middle. Being a girl was no big thing for her, either way, and while she'd be glad to be male again, was in no hurry.
Once outside, Freddy joined the line going through the checkpoint which had been set up for the usually-male students. Girls would step up, get zapped back to guys, retrieve their possession (confiscated for the duration of gym class to reduce the pranks) and go on. The other way down the hall the usually-female students were going through the same routine. The herms and neuters were simply leaving as usual, of course. Freddy noticed, as she glanced in the other direction, that Ramet was in the line two places behind her, and still female.
"I thought you'd shapeshifted," Freddy muttered to the chocolate-skinned alien.
"Nah," said Ramet. "This saves me the trouble. And if I change with the zap once, I need to do it again or my default will be female."
Freddy considered her for a moment. Tall, leggy, moderately shapely...
"That wouldn't be so bad," she grinned. "It'd make Bl'fff happy, anyway. Oh, and speaking of everyone's favorite arachnoid, where is he? I heard he got an excused absence."
"Because females of his species are non-sentient, carnivorous, and cannibalistic," Ramet explained.
"Oh," said Freddy, stunned. "No wonder he's always hitting on human girls. It's safer."
* * *
"Well?" asked Principal Tolliver. "Did our plan work?"
"No dice," sighed Mrs. Mueler. "There were only five absences, and they all checked out. We thought we might have our man - so to speak - when that one kid panicked, but that turned out to be for other reasons. So our idea that whoever set those Boy/Girl Gun traps in the locker rooms might reveal themselves by refusing to change or by reacting strongly to being changed didn't pan out."
"Too bad," sighed Principal Tolliver. "I'd hoped we could trip up whoever it was."
"Well, it pretty much has to be a student," said Mrs. Mueler.
"I agree; so do the police. Our staff - Earthling and alien - has been too thoroughly checked for any of us to have such inclinations."
"So we have to just wait for the police to catch whoever it is," said Mrs. Mueler, exasperated.
"Or think of something else," said Principal Tolliver.
End Part Seven
This story is Copyright 2001 Rodford Edmiston Smith. Anyone wishing to reprint or repost it must have permission from the author, who can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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