TFOS: Freddy On The Loose, Part 11
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.
As per their usual routine, Freddy and Karen met near her house to ride together to school on their bikes. Unusually, both looked rather sleepy this morning. Even more unusually, Freddy was a girl.
"Hi," said f-Freddy, a bit shyly, as she saw Karen.
"Hi," sighed Karen, who then yawned. "Sorry. Did you notice, after all that mess at the game yesterday got settled, that my folks were still in each other's bodies?"
"Uh, yeah," said Freddy, with an embarrassed grin. "I wasn't going to say anything about it. They obviously wanted it that way."
"Well, they were up half the night, 'experimenting,'" groaned Karen, rolling her eyes.
"Eewww..." said Freddy, screwing up her face in a very cute expression of disgust.
"Yeah, well, that's how we got here, remember," grinned Karen.
They completed the journey in silence, except for an occasional mutter of irritation from Freddy. Finally at school, they were just locking their bikes, Freddy bent over, hair in her eyes, when a tall guy sidled quickly up behind Freddy, starring at her rump.
"Whoah, hey, are you new here?" said the guy, seeming to materialize instantly from nowhere.
Freddy straightened, turned and blinked up at him in a moment of confusion, then flushed with an odd mix of emotions as she A) realized what was going on and B) remembered that this was the guy who'd picked a fight the first day of school.
Not even bothering to reply, Freddy screamed "You pervert!" picked up a trash can and slammed it down over his head so hard he wound up as short as her.
"Wasn't that...?" asked Karen, hurriedly following as Freddy stormed into the school.
"Oh..." Karen giggled. "Not too bright, is he? Though I admit to being a bit envious. Boys don't usually react that way to me."
"Yeah, well, some guys like the zaftig type more, and sometimes they mistake muscle for something softer."
Freddy yawned so hard she nearly walked into the handrail at the bottom of the steps.
"You still haven't told me why you're so sleepy," said Karen. "Or should I guess?"
That last was said with a dirty smirk, and Freddy flushed again.
"Okay, I did some 'experimenting' of my own," she admitted, quietly, as they reached Karen's locker. "Not that much, though. I've been a girl enough that it's not a novelty any more. No, what happened was, this was the first time I've slept as a girl."
"Had trouble finding a comfortable position with those in the way, huh?" snickered Karen, glancing at Freddy's generous endowments.
"Not really," said Freddy, shifting uncomfortably, as Karen closed her locker. "Well, y'see... I started having one of... those dreams. I was with you and we were studying at your place, and things got hot 'n' heavy. Only they also got really confused, cause I started out a boy, but then I was a girl, and then you were a boy, and... well, I still... wanted to. Only before we could, your big brother's waterbed fell through the ceiling, burst, and washed us naked out into the street."
Freddy braced for a clobbering, but Karen's reaction surprised her.
"Oh, how sweet," said Karen, smiling. She turned and started for Freddy's locker, leaving the confused blond hastening to catch up.
"You mean you don't think that's disgusting?"
"No. I think it's very romantic. Even though you knew in a dream you were a girl, you still wanted to be with me."
"I will never understand women," sighed Freddy, glancing down at her own chest in an ironic gesture.
* * *
Fortunately, by the time Civics class rolled around Freddy had found Hub and gotten both changed back to male and changed back into male clothing. Which greatly improved Freddy's mood. He was humming happily to himself as he settled into his seat. The class quieted, and their teacher began the lesson.
"Today, class, we are studying the social institution of a free press," Miss Furrpect announced.
As usual, she had the full attention of every male in class. Today she was wearing a loose-fitting caftan-type thing, which under certain lighting conditions threatened to become (but never quite became, though it got close enough that her lack of any other clothing was obvious) completely transparent.
"We are also combining with the shop class for an exercise they're working on, which is repairing, operating and maintaining an actual printing press. So, can you guess what this means?"
"We're studying yellow journalism?" asked Buffy.
"No, it means we're starting a school newspaper," Miss Furrpect corrected, still smiling. "An exercise in the Fifth Column!"
"Uh, isn't that Fourth Estate?" asked Freddy.
"Oh! You know, I think you're right!" said Miss Furrpect. "Sorry; I'm still getting used to Earth terminology."
She went on to explain how every member of the class would be expected to participate, either in producing the paper, or in writing reviews of the first few issues.
"And after the class project is completed, we will keep publishing it on a voluntary basis as a school institution."
The whole thing sounded rather dull to Freddy, but Karen volunteered so he decided to as well.
The class split into two groups. The smaller, composed of the paper's staff was instructed by Miss Furrpect to select who would serve which position. She then went off to work with the larger group, giving them examples of famous papers and articles and describing the history of both journalism and criticism.
Karen was quickly selected editor, on the basis of previous experience in junior high. An alien Freddy didn't know, Flinkpoid, was selected as events reporter, mostly because it was a cute little fluffy white bunny of indeterminate gender to whom no-one could say no. Talli Illat, a gorgeous alien babe who looked entirely human, was social/fashion editor. Freddy asked to be made sports editor, but that went to Jim. Freddy tried to get selected as news reporter, but that went to Ramet. Freddy tried next for technical reporter, but that went to Hub.
"But there's nothing left for me!" an exasperated Freddy cried.
"Sure there is. Layouts, proofreading..."
"But I want to be a reporter!"
"Okay, write stuff and if it's good we'll print it as commentary," Karen shrugged. "Mostly, though, you're going to help with the actual making of the physical newspaper."
"Hey, aren't you that guy who has to be a girl on the cheerleading squad?" asked Talli. "You could do a column on that! You know, a sort of 'My life as a girl' human interest bit."
"Oooh, I like that," said Karen, with a sudden, fierce grin. "You work on that angle first, Freddy. If it's good, we'll let you do other stuff."
"But I don't want to..."
Miss Furrpect returned, having given the main group enough to keep them busy for a while.
"Everything settled? Good. The room we've set aside for the newspaper is this way."
She led them out of the classroom and down the hall, to another room which contained tables and computer gear at one end, and a small rotary press at the other. Freddy noted that the shop classroom was adjacent, and could be entered through a door beyond the press.
"For the next two weeks our class will meet briefly together, then your group will come in here and work. The goal is to produce one issue by this time next week. The other group will criticize the issue, then you will answer the criticisms. Okay?"
"Sure," said Karen, eagerly rubbing her hands together. "Okay, team, let's get busy!"
* * *
Hub was already in the cafeteria by the time Freddy arrived, avidly reading a car magazine. Freddy filled his tray and sat across from the big rhino-whale guy. The usual crew quickly assembled.
"You look like you're in love," said Freddy.
"Oh, they've got an article on the 2001 Zamboni," said Hub. He sighed, a wistful smile on his face. "What a work of art."
"So, buy one," said Freddy.
"He'd have to buy two," said Ramet, snickering. "One for each foot."
"Yeah," said Hub. "They are very small. Are Italians all midgets or something?"
"Ah, no; you're thinking of the French," said Freddy. "I remember my Dad saying something about the Italians liking their cars intimate."
Karen, bearing her tray, bore down on the group, which was unusual, since she usually sat with some female friends.
"We've already got a scoop!" she announced eagerly. "They've tracked down the guy who made that switcher bomb!"
"Already?" said Hub, startled. "I mean, the talent needed to build something like that is rare, but..."
"He had his name and business address inside the thing!" said Karen. "They think he didn't know what it was going to be used for. If so, he should be able to tell the police who hired him to make it!"
"And you heard this where?" asked Ramet.
"Dilly Pickle was running an errand for Assistant Principal Mueler, and heard Principal Tolliver talking with an Alien Control Officer about it."
"Well, that's good news," said Freddy. "Even if there's more than one person or group doing this stuff, this should stop one cold and put the others on notice."
"One can hope," sighed Ramet.
* * *
"Finally, I get my own," chortled Freddy, as he and Karen left the alien goods store.
"Oh, stop drooling," muttered Karen. "And stop fondling that thing."
"Mine, all mine," sighed Freddy, yielding to Karen and putting the Boy/Girl Gun back in the shopping bag. "Next step: that hyperspatial holster."
"Yeah, that would be neat," agreed Karen, "but since I already have a hyperspatial purse I don't really need one."
"How long until you can afford another Boy/Girl Gun?" Freddy asked.
"Oh, since you have one I'm not going to bother," she replied, shrugging. "I mean, its not like I need one for anything except to help you."
"What if you get sniped?" snickered Freddy, meaningfully sneaking a hand into his shopping bag.
"You wouldn't dare," said Karen, casually.
Freddy sighed again and removed his hand.
"Wanna go over to The Evening Club?" asked Freddy. "Your treat, since you got paid with money but I took mine out in trade."
"Okay, but only if we get to dance some!"
As it turned out, she decided to drop that last requirement. This was "random night." While the pair sat and waited for their food to arrive, they watched the dancers. Thanks to Hub's modifications to the Boy/Girl/Whatever setup, it now only affected those actually on the dance floor. Most of them were in unisex clothes, though some wore gender-specific garb, apparently for the humorous effect produced when they changed inappropriately.
"The things some people do for fun," muttered Freddy, shaking his head.
"Hey, it is fun!" said a girl in a jumpsuit, at the next table. "You have to stay on until you get back to normal, which can take a while. Makes it a challenge."
"Hmmm..." thought Freddy, perking up a bit at the word "challenge."
"Oh, no, you don't!" said Karen. "I've had enough changing lately to last a good, long while. And so have you! Especially since you've got cheerleader practice tomorrow."
"'Cheerleader practice'?" the girl repeated, looking confused.
"It's a long story," said Freddy, in a tone which implied he wasn't going to relate it.
"So you like changing when you dance?" Karen asked, curious in spite of her own unwillingness to participate.
"Yeah. I admit, most people who come here don't go on the floor on random night. Well, a few who don't know what it means do, and it's fun to watch them when the get zapped! Anyway, yeah. My boyfriend and I both enjoy it. A couple of times we've even gone home changed! Of course, that was usually because we were drunk and forgot to change back, or just didn't realize we weren't quite back to normal."
"Well, we were at the football game yesterday, and got caught in that Switcher Bomb," Karen explained.
"No kidding!" the young woman exclaimed, looking suddenly more interested. "You two got switched?"
"Well, not with each other," said Freddy, a bit wistfully.
"Wow! Y'know, my boyfriend and I were planning to go to the game, but we got sidetracked and missed it."
"It wasn't very fun," said Karen.
"Yeah, but, y'know, the idea of switching bodies with someone..." she shivered with imagined excitement.
Just then a rather grungy-looking guy, also in a jumpsuit, arrived. He mumbled a greeting to Freddy and Karen, then he and the girl went onto the dance floor. Interestingly, the guy made a moderately attractive girl.
"Y'know, that might be fun, switching with each other," said Karen, thoughtfully. "We trade places for a day or two, and see if we can fool everyone."
"I'll pass, thanks," said Freddy. "Besides, you'd hate cheerleader practice."
"Yeah..." sighed Karen.
Just then their food arrived, and they dug in.
End Part Eleven
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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