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Transgender / Transformation stories in English
Part One:  First Terror: Death

Lieutenant Commander Allain Charboneau stood quietly just
outside the one of the entry doors to small, enclosed room. 
He was trying to be unobtrusive, but knew that was impossible. 
The young watch officer inside the curtained space had known
that U.S.S. Scorpion's Engineer Officer had been in the
propulsion plant spaces within seconds of Allain sticking his
head through the watertight door that separated the forward
compartments of the ship from the aft spaces that housed the
ship's propulsion and power generation systems.  "Engineer's
Aft!" had surely been passed over the communications circuit
to the Maneuvering Room, or simply "Maneuvering", by at least
one of the enlisted watchstanders - probably more.

Of course, everyone knew he'd be back there.  The Captain had
just given permission for them to start up the ship's reactor
plant.  The ship might belong to the Captain, but the reactor
was all Allain's, and it was his job to make sure that
everything was done correctly.  With nuclear reactors,
*correctly* meant *safely*, and the alternative to "safely"
simply did not bear considering.  Not that there was even the
most remote likelihood of anything going wrong.  The young
officer supervising the procedure in Maneuvering was top
notch, as were the enlisted sailors on watch with him.

Merde, but he was happy to be going back to sea.  They'd been
here at the shipyard for almost a year, and everyone was
bloody tired of having to deal with the bureaucracy of the
repair department and the nuclear regulatory types.  Allain
mused that even if they spent two months out of every three at
sea, he'd probably see more of his family than he had in the
months here at the shipyard.

He turned his attention back to his crew, watching them go
about their duties.  They were as excited to be getting the
hell out of Dodge as he was, but they still took the time to
check procedures and to do the job right.  God, but he was a
lucky man!

The startup went well, and soon the reactor was generating the
power that would change Scorpion from several thousand tons of
barely floating metal into one of the most powerful warships
ever devised.

"ENGINEER, REPORT TO MANEUVERING!"  The young officer's voice
had a touch of panic as it blared over the engineering
announcing circuit.

Allain was inside the room in moments and immediately saw the
problem.  The measured power from the reactor was wrong - it
was way too high for the electrical demand on the turbo-
alternators.  "Shutdown, Lieutenant!"  Allain ordered, but
power continued to be wrong even as the normal reactor
shutdown procedures were commenced.  "Scram the reactor." he
ordered with a calmness he did not feel.  

The ship vibrated with the force of heavy, neutron absorbing
rods of metal being dropped into the reactor pile.  Finally,
the indications were back to normal.  Normal for a non-
operational plant, that is. 

An abnormal quiet fell upon the Maneuvering Room
watchstanders, as each tried to find something to explain what
had just happened.  The surreal stillness was only broken when
the senior enlisted watchstander appeared, highly agitated, at
the door.  "Engineer, you better come to the reactor viewport. 
I don't know what the hell that is, but it does not belong
there!"  Allain tore out of the room and followed the older
man to the heavily leaded glass viewport.

"It" definitely did not belong there.  "There" was amid the
various control connections on top of the pressure vessel that
enclosed the reactor pile.  Something, painted to look like it
did belong there, was now hanging from the wires and cables
that connected it to whatever provided it power.  Had it been
there when Allain had checked the heavily shielded chamber
before locking it closed?

"I never saw it, Engineer, not in all the times I looked
inside." the grizzled chief petty officer told him.  "It
must've been shocked loose when the plant was scrammed." 

"Call the skipper.  Someone went to a lot of trouble to hide
that inside.  We need to get inside there and get whatever
that is out.  And we need an explosive ordnance disposal team
standing by, too."  There had been briefings about the
increased terrorist threat against the nuclear powered ships. 
No one had much believed that they could get past the
security, but it looked like they had.

The Captain, a tall New Englander, strode up to them.  Allain
told him what had happened, and what he feared.  "Too soon,
Eng.  The plant has not been shut down long enough.  We can't
go in until the radiation levels go down."

"Skipper, if that is what we both think it might be, I don't
see that we have a choice.  Look, by the time we can get the
door open, the levels will be down far enough that a few
seconds inside, just to look at it, won't be fatal.  If it
isn't a bomb, I come out and we wait for the levels to go
down.  If it is a bomb . . ."  Allain let that one slide.  The
skipper knew what that meant.  Someone, perhaps more than just
one someone, would have to get the bomb out of there, no
matter what the cost.  What had Mr. Spock said in that old
Star Trek movie about the good of the many?  Allain could not
remember, but he understood the bottom line.

The Captain handed over the key he wore around his neck.  "Who
goes in?"

Allain shrugged.  "My plant, skipper.  That makes it my job. 
Besides, I am as close as we have to a bomb expert."

The preparations were made and the door opened.  The Captain
looked at the Geiger counter's reading and shook his head. 
"Less than a minute of safe stay time, Allain.  Don't fuck
around in there."

"Aye aye, sir", Allain muttered. Swallowing hard to put his
heart back down in its normal place, he slipped in the opened
door and slid down the ladder.  He moved quickly over to where
the hanging tube swayed in the overhead near the pressure
vessel.  Allain's heart sank when he looked inside the tube. 
It was a bomb.  He listened to it for a few precious seconds,
but could hear nothing over the beating of his heart pounding
wildly in his ears.  Grimly, he accepted what had to be done,
and then yelled up to the Captain.  

He took a few more seconds to check out the wires.  He found
the power wire and clipped that, then pulled the rest of the
wires free.  Fortunately, the device was pretty simple and
straightforward - evidently the saboteur had not counted on it
being found.  On the other hand, the package was a lot heavier
than it looked, and he staggered under its weight, but
recovered and moved unsteadily to the ladder.

A rope had been tossed down and he quickly tied it to the
device and guided it up the ladder.  His head was starting to
spin.  Stress, he thought, and gamely worked to keep the
device moving steadily upward without hitting anything.

He came out into the safe part of the ship in time to see the
device leaving, being carried by two men in the camouflaged
utilities of a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.  Only
then did he let himself look down at his watch.  He'd been in
there for almost ten minutes.

Too long, he thought with cold detachment as the world began
to spin sickeningly about him. *Much* too long.  

And Allain Charboneau's world went black.

~----------~

Pain - dark, biting, unrelenting pain drove him back to
wakefulness.  He was in a hospital room, IV's in each arm.

"You are awake, are you?  Wasn't sure if you would come back. 
Do you know what happened to you?" a man in a white lab coat
asked.

Allain nodded weakly and instantly regretted the movement. 
"Yes." he said.  The sound was not meant to be a whisper, but
he did not have the strength for anything louder.  "I got a
heavy dose pulling that bomb out of the reactor containment
room.  How bad, doc?"

"Bad.  You aren't going to make it.  You are already showing
signs of advanced radiation poisoning.  Your blood work
results are. . . " he hesitated.  "Well, lets just say it is a
minor miracle that you are lucid at all."

"The bomb?"

"Neutralized.  You beat the bastards that did this, my
friend."

"Well, if you have to go, that is a pretty good reason, I
guess."

"Commander, I will be up front with you.  As it stands right
now, you will be dead within twenty four hours.  I am being
harsh about this because we don't have much time.  There is an
experimental procedure, that might, just might, mind you, save
your life.  We have never tested it on humans, but it has
worked on some lab animals.  Basically, we reprogram and
regenerate your genetic code.  If it works, everything that
has been damaged or is already dead from exposure will
regenerate."

Allain tried to speak and couldn't.  He fought back a coughing
fit. "And if it doesn't work?" he finally managed to rasp out.

"You will die." was the frank answer.  "But we think that your
chances of surviving a genetic transition are at least one out
of five.  If we don't try it, your chances are exactly zero."

Allain thought about his family, his wife Jeanne and his
little girl, Nicole.  "Do it, doc!" he ordered, just in time -
just before the world started to spin away once more.

In a swirling miasma of dark and light, the sputtering spark
of life that was still Allain Charboneau floated.  In that
undefined nowhere, he thought he heard bits and pieces of
words and conversations.

". . .inject him quickly . . ."

". . .works fast, doesn't it. . ."

". . .Doctor?  I need you. . .STAT!"

". . .Oh . . . my . . .god. . ."

". . . in a hurry. . .wrong serum. . ."

". . . .HOW!?!?!?"


Part Two: Second Terror: Rebirth

The room was dark when Allain awoke once more.  He still felt
weak, and more than a little strange, but no longer ill.  A
trickle of perspiration tickled its way down his nose.  That
is when he discovered that he was restrained.  Soft bands
around his ankles, wrists and his waist kept him from moving
at all in his bed.

He was about to call out, when a figure moved into his field
of vision from the shadows beyond his bed.  It was the doctor
who had offered him life.  "Hello." he said softly, "and
welcome back to the world of the living.  Sorry about the
restraints, but you have been on IV's for a while now, and we
could not take the chance of you pulling them out.  Mouth
dry?"  Allain nodded.  The older man took a glass and fished
out an ice chip that he dropped into Allain's mouth.

The moisture was heavenly.  "Did it. . ." he sucked harder to
moisten his throat so he could ask.  He HAD to ask. "Did it
work?  Will I live?"

"Yes, my young friend.  You are completely cured of the
radiation sickness.  Now, you are going to need complete bed
rest while we adjust your body's electrolytes and get some
nutrition into you that is suitable for being awake.  Tomorrow
we will talk."

The doctor slipped a needle into one of the IV's and Allain
felt himself starting to drift almost immediately.  Strange
drug, he thought.  Must be why my arms feel so short. . . .

~---------~

Medical Log Entry: 

I am very relieved to have Dr. Whitaker assigned to this case
now that Commander Charboneau has beaten the odds and come out
of the coma.  We have come much too far to lose this patient
now.

End Medical Log Entry

~------------~

He "heard" the voices before he was really sufficiently awake
to comprehend what they were saying.  For some reason, he
wanted to understand and that is what brought him slowly up
out of the drug induced fog.

The first thing he was sure of was that there were two voices,
one male and familiar, the other lighter and unfamiliar. 
Slowly, the words began to form meaning in Allain's head.

". . . going to need a lot of help dealing with this. . ."

"You're telling *me* that?  Dammit, Nathaniel, *I'm* the
shrink here - you keep telling me how you slept through that
cycle of your internship.  Christ, there's no precedent for
handling something like this."

"So, take your best shot, Janelle.  You are here because you
are the best."  So, Allain thought, the other voice is female.

"My best shot is to keep her drugged for the next ten years,
but we can't do that.  Every other option could lead to her
losing it big time."

"You know my thoughts on this."

"Direct as always.  Probably why you are a surgeon." the
female voice answered with a soft laugh.  "Certainly the
simplest method.  And if she isn't able to handle what has
happened?"

"As you told me, the alternative isn't any better.  The truth
certainly does have the advantage of simplicity."

"You're probably right." was the resigned answer.  "So lovely,
isn't she?"  

A cool, fine fingered hand stroked across Allain's forehead,
and he moaned softly in pleasure at the contact.  With an
effort, he forced his eyes open. 

"Well, hello there." said the unfamiliar voice.  Allain lifted
his eyes in the direction of the voice and slowly, the figure
of a tall, strongly built woman of mature years came into
focus.  Her hand came back to check his forehead again.  "My
name is Janelle Whitaker, Allain."

"And although we have met twice before," came the familiar
male voice, "we have not been properly introduced.  My name is
Evans, Commander - Nathaniel Evans.  How are you feeling?"

Evans put his hand underneath the blankets and Allain felt a
strong, gentle grip on his wrist pulse point.  "Okay, I guess. 
I am here, alive, when I did not expect to be."  What was
wrong with his voice?  "Doctor!  My voice.  What has happened
to me?"

The woman moved to the head of the bed and let Evans move up
into Allain's field of vision.  "Commander, do you remember
what I told you we were going to do to you?"  He said
forcefully.  "We gave you a treatment that rewrote your entire
genetic code.  Your voice is different because *you* are
different.  The only parts of you that is still Allain are
your name and your mind."

Allain's eyes went wide as he struggled to cope with that. 
The cool hand returned with it, a surprising degree of calm. 
He swallowed once or twice before giving a brief nod of
acceptance.  "How much?"  He rasped out.

"How much what, Commander?"  Evans returned.

"How much have I changed?" was the quavering response.

"Quite a bit, Allain." came the soft voice above and behind
him.  "And not very much.  Physically, just about everything
about you is different.  But your memories, your thoughts, the
things that made you what you were and are - those are still
there, aren't they?"

Allain relaxed, just a bit, and let his mind float back,
reliving times in the life of the Louisiana farm boy who went
off to Annapolis to get the education his parents could not
afford to give him.  Tears of relief prickled behind his
eyelids.  "Thank you." he whispered up before turning his eyes
back on the older doctor.  "Is that why I feel so funny?  Like
my arms and legs don't seem to reach anymore?  I feel so . . .
so short."

Surprise showed in the Doctor's eyes before he smiled gently. 
"You are about five feet even now, Commander.  That is more
than a foot shorter than you remember being, so it is
reasonable to expect that you will feel strange in these
bones.  We would have tried to make you a little closer to
your old self, but you were almost gone when we made the
decision to administer the treatment.  We rushed and we used a
different gene mix than we planned on.  Its going to some time
for you to . . . well, to learn how to move that smaller self
around."

"Is that why I am still restrained, Doctor?" he asked as he
tugged futilely against the snug bands on his arms and legs.

Evans seemed to hesitate before answering.  "For the most
part, Commander.  Now, Janelle is here to help you make the
adjustments to your new situation.  She is a psychologist and
we have brought her in on this to be here for you when you
need her.  Okay?"

"Okay.  When can I have my hands back?  I will need to
practice with them if I am going to learn how to move them
again."

"Soon.  Let's take this slow, all right?  We don't know have a
lot of experience with the results of this process yet,
either.  You have some very odd plumbing installed down below
there" he said pointing in the general vicinity of Allain's
groin, "To handle waste elimination and that sort of thing. 
We don't want you rolling over and hurting yourself before we
have had the chance to take that stuff out."

"All right." then another thought came to him.  "Could I have
a mirror, Doctor?  I'd kind of like to see my new face?"

This time the Whitaker did hesitate, and Allain saw the man
look up at the woman before answering.  "We'll. . . we'll see
about that."  He coughed nervously and then plunged on.  "Now,
you just relax there.  Your body has been through a hell of a
strain, and needs all the rest we can give it.  There will be
a nurse with you, so if you want something, just ask.  I will
check in with you later."

"So will I, Allain." the lady psychologist said.




Part Three: Third Terror - Confrontation

The United States Navy does not make a habit of giving the
responsibility for their reactor powered ships to stupid people. 
Allain had seen and heard his visitors' hesitancy when he'd asked
any direct questions concerning his physical condition.  They
were obviously working very hard to hide something from him.  The
only question they had really answered was that he would live. 
Surely that was enough for now, wasn't it?

Oh, and they had told him he was only five feet tall. *That* was
going to take some getting used to - he had not been that short
since sixth grade.  So much had changed - his size, his voice. 
Well, at least he did not have the problems of that person the
doctors were discussing when he woke up since he had distinctly
heard them refer to that patient as a "she" and a "her".

Or did he?  Allain's eyes went wide in the darkened room as his
highly trained, analytical mind suddenly latched onto that
question.  Just the facts, Al, he thought as he fought to calm
himself, just the facts.

You are a guy, his mind screamed, they can't change that!

Yeah, an ominously dark voice answered, but you've heard that
soft little voice of yours, and have sensed how small this new
little body of yours really is, even if they have not let you
*see* it.

But they can't do that, not for real.  This is not some Rod
Serling episode or a movie about a guy who is reincarnated as a
woman because he was a creep.

Sure they can't, Allie-cher, just like they can't take a six foot
two inch, two hundred pound guy and shrink him to five feet
nothing.  Oh, and didn't the doctor say that they had brought her
in specifically to help you?  What patient do you *really* think
they were discussing, Allain?   Or perhaps you should start
answering to Elaine.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo!" and the sound turned into a scream of
denial - a scream that what was left of Allain Charboneau's mind
had to admit, was as feminine as any of the B-movie sirens whose
videos populated the movie locker aboard his ship.

Lights flashed on and two white garbed men ran into the room. 
Even as each moved to one side of the bed to check Allain's
restraints, Doctor Evans strode into the room.  He took one look
at the terror on Allain's face, and ordered one of the orderlies
to sedate the patient.

Allain's last rational thought as the foggy darkness took him was
that there could be no other explanation.  Somehow it *had* to be
true.  He was now a she.  

~------------~

Medical Log Entry:

The patient suffered a attack of some type, and was nearly
hysterical when I arrived on the scene. She was too irrational to
calm and therefore, I had to sedate her.  A review of the
security tapes gave no indication of what may have caused the
event. Dr. Whitaker believes that the patient may have discerned
her gender change, but I cannot understand how she could have
done that.

Dr. Whitaker has decided to disclose (as much as our security
watchdogs will permit, anyway) what has happened to her and why. 
We will administer a mild tranquilizing agent before this takes
place so that the patient will not have another anxiety attack.

Unfortunately, the treatment continues to run at only about a
twenty percent survival rate on test animals, and the gender
changing attempts are lower than that.  Therefore, since she is
alive and, by every indication healthy, another treatment to
restore her masculinity is out of the question.  I don't envy
Janelle this duty.

End Medical Log entry.

~------------~

"How are you feeling?"  Janelle asked softly as Allain's eyes
fluttered open.

Allain thought for a moment and was surprised how hard it was to
think.  "I feel dopey." he said finally, "like the time the
ship's doc gave me something for pain and it turned out to be
stronger than he thought."

Janelle chuckled softly.  "That is because you are dopey.  We
have given you something that will help you relax, but stay
awake."  Allain nodded in understanding, but it was so hard to
move his head.  "Do you remember what happened after Dr. Evans
and I left you, Allain?"

Again, Allain had to struggle to get his brain to work, but soon
enough, seemingly unrelated mosaic bits of memory coalesced into
a more complete picture.  Oddly, this time, the realization did
not seem to bother him . . or was that more correctly, did not
seem to bother *her*.  It was like watching a movie in his . .
no, in *her* head.  "Yes." Allain finally answered.  "I
remember."

The female psychologist smiled down at Allain gently.  "And do
you remember why you became so agitated?"

Allain giggled drunkenly at the word "agitated".  "Doc, I don't
know what I was, but agitated doesn't even begin to come close. 
Whatever I was, it was because I had concluded that I was no
longer a guy."  Allain's concentration seemed to peel back the
veil of fog in his head just a bit, at least enough for him to
realize that he was taking this awfully calmly all of a sudden.

"That's the drug we gave you." she replied when he voiced that
observation aloud.  "You need to deal with what has happened to
you, and the relaxant we gave you will keep you from hurting
yourself.  You are lucid."  She gave him a half smile, "well,
mostly lucid, but you can't have an anxiety attack until that
stuff wears off."

"What happened to me?"  Allain managed to ask plaintively.  "And
*how*?"

~----------~

Well, Elaine thought to him. . . no, to *her*self after Dr.
Whitaker had left, he, or rather *she* *was* still alive.  He
still found it hard to think of herself in the feminine, but that
was to be expected.  Allain Charboneau had been a male for almost
thirty years, but now, *Elaine* Charboneau was a female, and from
what she'd just been told, was going to be one for the rest of
her life.   Which was likely going to be quite a long time since
whatever they had done to her had not only made him female, it
had regressed his genetic and physiological age to late
adolescence.  This body was, at most, eighteen years old.  They
would not know for sure until the blood work came back.

And it would likely kill him..DAMMIT.. would likely kill *her* if
they tried to change anything using another dose of that
treatment stuff. 

Elaine hoped she was at least eighteen years old. *She'd* been
voting for years and it was going to be bad enough not being old
enough to have beer or glass of wine for three more years. 
Unfortunately, there was another, equally likely, far less
pleasing possibility that she might have to face. She might be,
from a physical development and maturation perspective,
substantially younger than that minimum voting age.  Merde, but
she fervently hoped she would not have to deal with the hormonal
tortures of puberty on top of suddenly finding him. . .dammit
AGAIN.. *her*self on the wrong side of the yin and yang equation.

Actually, the *planned* treatment would have made him over into
another, healthy male.  Unfortunately, unbeknownst to any one
else in the super secret research project that had developed the
treatment, one member of the team had decided to play with the
process.  As a lark, and never expecting that particular vial
would ever be used, this damned genius had "programmed" his dream
girl into that serum.  Then, this absent minded professor,
instead of destroying the stuff, had put the vial away, in the
same damn locker as the approved treatments.  

In the hell-for-leather rush to save Allain's life, the team had
pulled out the first vial of treatment they'd seen in the storage
cabinet, thinking it would make him into a fairly average, fairly
normal male.  One small problem, however.  There was absolutely
NOTHING remotely normal OR male about the person Elaine was in
the process of becoming.  

Perhaps the biggest shock of the day came when Janelle had shown
her patient the computer simulation of what Elaine would look
like when she "finished cooking".  Just what she needed, Elaine
thought sourly for what had to be the hundredth time.  On top of
everything else, she was going to some oversexed, overaged
adolescent nerd's wet dream come true.

On the bright side, however, the young man had paid attention to
important details other than just those that tickled his libido. 
Except for the very petite frame, Elaine was going to be a superb
physical specimen, with excellent cardiovascular endurance, a
super high metabolism rate, outstanding strength potential and
very good physical coordination.

Her brain seemed to work pretty good, too, Elaine mused.  After
the tranquilizing drugs had finally worn off, she'd tested
herself by recalling and solving some of the classical problems
of nuclear physics in her head.  She was greatly relieved that
she could still work out the equations and that she seemed to be
able to remember everything of her life as Allain.  

That had been a relief.  Since there was almost nothing remaining
of Allain Charboneau's genetic pattern, Elaine had been worried
about what was "in" her head.  Neither doctor had any clue about
whether her new brain was left or right handed, or whether all
those little memory connections would still work after being
genetically rebuilt.  Evidently, they still did.  How that
happened since her "new" brain had not had all the experiences of
her old brain with which to build those pathways, no one could
explain.  She was just thankful that she still had at least
*that* much of her old life.

And that realization, more than anything else including the
drugs, had started Allain down the path toward acceptance of her
new fate.  As Janelle had said, she was still who she had always
been because she had not lost those memories.  Allain had always
been noted for being levelheaded in times of crisis, and Elaine
was determined to maintain that reputation. Besides that, she
*was* alive.

With that commitment made, she sighed and shimmied herself into a
somewhat more comfortable position.  They'd left the restraints
in place, promising her a little more freedom later if she was "a
good little girl."  Elaine had snarled at that because it was the
expected response, but she'd recognized Janelle's pointed jibe as
an attempt to lighten the mood.  

Strangely enough, it had even worked.

~----------~

Medical Log Entry:

Based on Dr. Whitaker's recommendations, Commander Charboneau
will begin limited physical therapy tomorrow.  For the time
being, this will be very limited as her muscles are very weak
from long disuse.

End Medical Log

Part Four: Beyond Terror - Your Life in Third Person

The next morning, Evans and a new, *female* nurse arrived just
before breakfast.  With quiet efficiency, they removed that
"special plumbing" he had warned Elaine about.  Elaine had not
wanted to watch, so they had made a tent of the bed sheets and
worked behind it, out of her field of vision.  The sensations
were quite enough to deal with without having to see her
"unmaled" crotch for the first time as well.  Odd that she had
not "felt" that lack before.

"We used a spinal blocking agent." Evans told her when she'd
asked him about that afterwards.  "Same kind of thing that we
used to use on most child births."  He grinned as he snapped off
the latex gloves and tossed them onto the tray held by the nurse. 
"We did not want you feeling or rather, *not* feeling what used
to be there until you were strong enough to handle being told. 
You surprised us there, by the way, by figuring it out so quickly
and by how well you are dealing with this so far."

"Well, I woke up sooner than you expected and besides, neither of
you should give up your day jobs to become actors.  As to how
well you think I am taking it, well, don't be too sure.  Half the
time I am resigned and just happy to be alive, but the other
half?  Terrified comes close."

The nurse returned with a breakfast tray of cold cereal and a cup
with a straw.  While she set up the bed tray, Evans began
unbuckling the straps restraining her arms and wrists.  "Not very
appetizing, I am afraid, but you need nourishment that your body
won't reject.  You also need to learn how to use your new body,
so until we figure out how dexterous you are, we will keep the
knives and forks in the kitchen."

Even with that subtle warning to help prepare her for the worst,
Elaine was mortified at how clumsy she was using the simple
spoon.  She was glad there wasn't a mirror in the room yet,
because she had more food on her than in her.  Even getting the
straw properly into her mouth was a challenge. She probably
looked like Nikki did when Jeanne had run out of their daughter's
preferred pears and had tried to substitute bananas.

Reminded of her family, she looked up at the Doctor.  "Will my
family be able to visit me here, Doctor Evans?"

The doctor's sad expression answered her question before he could
begin to form the words.  "Is it because this is a secret
facility of some type, Doctor?"  Elaine asked quietly,
disappointment stealing her appetite.

Evans sighed, rose, and walked over to a sideboard cabinet. 
Still without making a sound, he fiddled with some instruments
and files before picking something up and turning back to face
his patient.  "Commander, what you just said is true, but that is
not the real reason you will not be seeing your family."

The door swung open to admit Janelle, who strode into the room
looking flushed and breathing heavily.  Glancing at Evans, she
then moved over to sit down on the bed where she could look
Elaine in the eye.

"You might as well give me the worst of it, folks, because not
knowing what the problem is will only make me crazy." she said
with a lightness of tone she did not feel.

"Elaine, please look at this file." Janelle said kindly, as she
passed a manilla file folder into Elaine's trembling fingers.

The folder fumbled in her uncoordinated hands, but she managed to
get the file open.  What she saw made her eyes go wide in
amazement and disbelief.  Each page of the dossier was a cutout
from a major newspaper, and most of the cutouts were banner
headline articles.

                "Terrorists Sabotage Nuke Sub -
             Officer Dies Stopping Atomic Disaster"
                                
  "Navy Orders All Nuclear Ships to Sea Pending Investigation"
                                
    "President Awards Posthumous Medal Of Honor to Sub Hero"
                                
     "Nuke Sub Plot Investigation Continues - No New Leads"
                                
One of the articles was of his funeral and showed pictures of his
wife and daughter at a cemetery, being escorted by a four star
admiral.  The article said that his casket had been lead lined
and sealed for the protection of the mourners.  

"Merde." she said in shocked confusion.  "She . . my wife. . she
doesn't know? that. . .that I'm . . .that is, what really
happened to me?"

"That you are alive, well and a woman now?  No, Elaine.  She
doesn't, because for a while there, only the 'woman' part of that
was of any certainty.  And we did not think it was fair to give
her hope when we did not know if you would survive."  Janelle
answered.

"We almost lost you four times during the transition, Commander."
Evans added apologetically.  "When you finally showed signs of
coming out of the coma, well, . . . there were other . . . .
difficulties."

"Like my sanity?" Elaine asked bitterly, looking accusingly at
the psychologist.

"That was part of our problem, dear." rejoined Janelle gently. 
"The other major issue was the time factor."

"Time factor?  What do you mean - time factor?"

Evans moved around the bed, so that Janelle was no longer between
him and his patient.  He nodded to his colleague and then she
continued.  "Elaine, you were in a coma for a very long time
while your body rebuilt itself all the way down to the cellular
level."  She said very quietly.

"Define 'a very long time', please." Elaine ordered in icy tones
that were pure career naval officer for all her voice's
youthfully feminine timbre.

Elaine felt Dr. Evans grasp her arm, but she did not take her
eyes off Dr. Whitaker.  "Fourteen months, Elaine.  You have been
unconscious for more than a year."

"Oh . . . . my . . . . . God."  Elaine said before the world
began to spin again.  She'd been so shocked, she had not even
felt the prick from the needle that Evans had palmed behind his
back until it was too late.

~------------~

Medical Log Entry, Dr. Evans.

We had hoped to delay this revelation until later in the
subject's recovery, but once again, she has surprised us.  This
leads to several very touchy questions which Naval Intelligence
really does not want broached.  Unfortunately for them, this is a
medical issue, and the President has ordered that this patient's
medical needs supercede security issues.  Good thing the
President decided to award the Medal when those terrorists leaked
the story of the attempted sabotage to the press.  Now, I have
all the leverage I need to ensure that this patient makes a
complete recovery.  And if that means contact with her family in
contravention of the desires of the Special Security detail
leaders guarding both Elaine and her wife and child, then so be
it.  A lot depends on how she deals with this when the sedative
wears off.

Medical Log Entry, Dr. Whitaker.

One issue became clearer as a result of today's crisis: Elaine is
still resisting acceptance of her physical sex change at very
deep levels.  This became obvious when she was unable to even say
that she was a woman while asking if her spouse knew about the
transition.  

"Gender" as opposed to physical primary sex characteristics
(i.e., what kind of gonads are installed or what type of
chromosome pair a body has) is a very difficult topic to deal
with.  Throw sexuality into that mix and it really becomes
uncertain.  Right now, we can only say that Elaine is physically
fully female from a *sex* perspective. It is obvious, however,
that the mind, the id is still all male.  Moreover, that male
self image is, subconsciously at least, strenuously fighting
confrontation and acceptance of the being a member of the female
sex. 

While I fully support the theory that Elaine should be free to
live as her own self perception dictates and to live her life as
she sees fit, that does pose a multitude of problems for her. 
Failure to accept, at least at some basic level, her intrinsic
and extrinsic femininity could isolate her.  She needs to
confront those new and frightening aspects of her being, so that
if she does choose to reject the all the feminine trappings of
our society and to live such a lonely life, she will do so with
as much profound knowledge as I can help her find.

I accept that there are a huge number of women who have decided
that they cannot be true to themselves and conform to societies
expectations.  Whether that is due to their inherent sexuality,
the self perception or whatever the cause, they have elected to
stand apart from the mass.  My problem with Elaine making such a
decision, right now in any case, is that she does not have the
lifetime of experience that led these other women to make that
choice for themselves.

The question is: how do I get her to realize that and open
herself up to the types of experiences that would give her the
knowledge she needs to make an informed decision?

End Log Entry

Part Five:  Dealing with Loss

When she awoke, the two physicians had been there for her, had
helped her begin to deal with the situation of her family, and
had shown her the records that the Naval Investigative Service
had developed while providing discreet surveillance and
protection for Jeanne and Nikki.  There had been a very real
danger that whichever terrorist group that had threatened the
ship might attempt to wreak vengeance on the family members of
the fallen hero.  The NIS was determined to prevent that.

They had moved back to Louisiana to be near Allain's and Jeanne's
families.  Jeanne was working part time as a librarian, and Nikki
was too young to realize that she used to have a daddy.  She was
enrolled in a pre-school program and by all accounts, having a
wonderful time.

"They are all right?  I mean, *really* all right?  They are okay
financially, and they're safe?" she'd finally been able to ask
through a throat choked anew with fresh tears.

Evans was the one who answered, attired for the first time in
Elaine's memory in the uniform of a Navy Captain, Medical Corps. 
"They are fine, Allain.  Some very important people in the
National Security business have made it top priority to keep them
safe.  As for their financial status, this country takes care of
the families of heros, my friend.  Your wife is working because
she wants to work, not because she needs the money."

A harsh bark of laughter, tinged with a sob, tore from Elaine's
throat.  "God, that almost sounds funny.  My *wife*.  She can't
be my wife anymore, doc.  We're both Catholic, and the Catholic
church does not recognize same sex marriages.  They'd annul the
union."

"Do you want us to find a way to tell her you are alive,
Commander?"

The part of Elaine that was still Allain wanted to scream "Hell
*yes*!", but she stifled that knee jerk reaction.  She loved
Jeanne, but she also knew her very well.  "Jeanne couldn't handle
this, Doc. - no way, and besides, she has already grieved for me"
Elaine seemed to shake herself for a moment as she reconsidered
her words, "that is, she has grieved for Allain.  If she'd found
out I was alive and Elaine, . . . Allain would still be dead to
her, only she'd have to grieve all over again."  Tears were
cascading down her cheeks now, as she, too, grieved for a dead
relationship, a lost-forever love.

Janelle spoke for the first time.  "Don't you think you are being
a little harsh on her, Elaine?  She might surprise you."

Elaine gave a sad little smile.  "No, I am not.  Jeanne was
planning to take the veil and enter a missionary convent order
when I first met her." A watery chuckle hiccuped through the
spate of words. "She wanted to be the Cajun Mother Theresa. Took
me more than a year of hard courting to convince her that giving
up that vocation to marry me was the right decision.  She's still
very devout.  No, it is better for Allain to stay dead." 

"Perhaps when you are more acclimated you could go visit.  Maybe
the spooks could set up an identity for you - you know - a
distant unknown cousin or something." Nathaniel offered.

"Don't know much about Cajuns, do you, Doc?" Elaine responded. 
"No such thing as an unknown family member to a Cajun.  Family is
very tight in my part of Louisiana.  The few members of the clan
who don't live there are known to everyone else who still does. 
If I tried to pass myself off as a cousin, I'd get run out of
town on a rail."

"There are other ways, Elaine." Janelle offered. "Maybe you could
move there.  Get a job with some local company or a government
office.  Get to know your family as a friend.  It is not the same
as being a parent, but at least you would get to watch your
little girl grow up.  Don't give up yet, all right?  It may take
time, but let's give the spooks a chance to work on it, Okay?"

~-------------~
Medical Log Entry - Dr. Whitaker

The patient's beliefs and revelations about her family are
disturbing, and although she seems to be confronting them, I
remain concerned.  I have ordered round the clock observation of
the patient for the foreseeable future to ensure she does not do
herself harm.

I am having a great deal of difficulty "reading" this patient. 
Part of that is that when I am with her, I "see" a young woman. 
For all of my training about treating *individuals*, my first
instinctual reaction is to treat her as a young woman.  

Other times, I remember that "she" was once a mature "he" and try
to treat her like I would a mature male.

Unfortunately, she is a highly unpredictable combination of both
the young puberty-ridden woman and the mature male mind.  I feel
like I am juggling eggs and hand grenades at the same time.  One
moment she is very fragile, almost ready to crack under the
strain of being what she has become, and the next, she is almost
explosively volatile, ready to fight.

This is not a good situation, but all I can do is be there for
her and try to earn her trust.

End Medical Log



Part Six: A Second Infancy


The shock of that revelation required time to heal, and Elaine's
still developing hormones made her moody and emotional.  Janelle
worked tirelessly, trying to help her "young" charge deal with
the worst of it.  Elaine was impressed that Janelle always seemed
to come visiting just when the dark thoughts started creeping
into her head.

What also helped was having to work so hard at being mobile
again, or as Elaine angrily described it after yet another fall,
at *trying* to be mobile again.  It was not an easy process,
although as Elaine remarked in one of her more rational moments,
it was an experience she might be able to look back upon and
laugh about some time in the future . . . . certainly not more
than about fifty years!

The root cause of her difficulties was that Elaine did not "know"
how to walk on *her* two feet or how to use *her* hands.  Elaine
"knew" how to move *Allain*, but there was a *huge* coordination
mismatch between Allain's brain/muscle memory that was trying to
direct her movements, and Elaine's new body.  Instinctive
movements were usually ineffectual, often slap-stick funny and
sometimes painful.  Getting out of bed the first time was the
initial painful movement.  Elaine just "hopped" out of bed as
Allain had for the last thirty or so years of his life.

Unfortunately, *Elaine's* feet were almost a foot further above
the floor because of her greatly reduced height compared to
Allain.  Only Dr. Evans' quick action had saved her from injury.

Her first "walk" had not been much better.  Her muscles were weak
from the long coma.  There had been therapy while she'd been in
fugue, even electro-stimulation to prevent too much atrophy, but
the honest truth was that Elaine was a not even a 98 pound
weakling - she was more like an 89 lb one.  Coupling that
weakness with a center of gravity that was in the "wrong" place,
and she'd barely managed two faltering steps before pitching over
into the arms of the attending nurse.

"I guess this means karate is out." Elaine quipped after the
nurse had finished with her and had left the room.  Inside, she
was disgusted that she'd only managed one pitifully inept
circumnavigation of her ten by fifteen foot room before the nurse
had gently helped her back into the now-lowered hospital bed.  

"You did karate?"  Nate Evans asked curiously.  "This isn't one
of those lame old jokes where the patient asks the doctor if
he'll ever be able to play the piano again when he couldn't
before the surgery?"

Elaine chuckled at the jest as she settled into the bed.  "Yes, I
'did' karate.  Earned my first degree black belt when I was
fifteen, and got all the way up to fourth degree while I was at
the Academy.  Used to take a lesson when ever I could while we
were in port, and would do katas between the main engines while
we were at sea."

"Katas?" Janelle asked.  "What's a katas?"

"Kata - singular, Jan.  Ritual shadow boxing.  You imagine
attackers and respond to them physically as if they were real. 
Some folks elevate that to a thing of real beauty, almost like
ballet."

"Well, Elaine," Evans said after digesting that, "There's no
reason you can't continue that once you get yourself built up a
bit.  It would probably do you a lot of good in the areas of
coordination, strength and conditioning.  Want me to arrange
something?"

For the first time since learning of Allain's "death", genuine
enthusiasm sparkled in Elaine's otherwise weary eyes.  "God,
yes." she breathed with a sigh.  "I really need the focus and the
discipline very badly right now." then she hesitated, "only. . ."

"Only what, Commander?"  Evans asked, a twinkle in his eye.

"Make sure it is a real sensei and not one of those fly-by-night
kung fu chop-shoppers.  I need the mental and spiritual
discipline at least as much as I need the physical training."

~-------------~

Elaine lay in her bed hurting in places she did not know she had
muscles to hurt.  Of course, she mused with an incipient giggle,
that just might be because she *did* have muscles in places that
Allain never had.  That being the case, she sure as hell knew all
about them now.  One thing had not changed - who ever called them
"physical therapists" had been in the forefront of the political
correctness movement.  Physical terrorist was close; physical
torturer might be even better.  Even her eyelids seemed to ache
with each involuntary blink.

The new day-nurse assigned to her case was also a physical
therapist, and part of her duties included supervising Elaine as
she learned how to use her new body.  Unfortunately, Donna
Ellison, Lieutenant Junior Grade, United States Navy Nurse Corps
was not cleared for the true story about Elaine's incapacity. 
She was given the cover story that Elaine had been in a long term
coma during which her youthful body had changed significantly. 
The coma explained the muscle weakness while the body change was
supposed to explain her patient's clumsiness.

The fact that the woman was simply gorgeous did not help either
of those problems one little bit.  Almost a foot taller than
Elaine's diminutive height, the redheaded LTJG looked more like a
runway model than a naval officer purveyor of medically approved
pain and agony.  She even made her navy uniform look sexy, which
seriously distracted the part of Elaine that was still Allain -
*big time*.  At least four of the spills she'd taken today during
'walkies' were the direct result of *Allain* paying too much
attention to Donna's legs and way too little attention to where
*Elaine's* feet were going.

Of course, the Iron Assed Bitch, had merely snarled at her, then
hauled her to her feet again with surprising strength, all the
while berating her into continuing the exercise.  Elaine would
have some very interesting bruises on her shins, knees and hips
tomorrow.

~-----------~

"Good morning!" Lt(jg) Ellison chirped as she strode into the
room as Elaine was finishing her breakfast.

Uncertain as to why her tormentress of the past week was suddenly
so happy unnerved Elaine.  What new and diabolical torture was
fiendish enough, *painful* enough to put a smile on *that*
woman's face.  She fought back a shudder and tried to return that
frightening smile.  "Ummm. . . good morning, Nurse Ellison."

"Oh, you can call me Donna, Elaine."

That *really* made Elaine worry because almost the first thing
the nurse had told Elaine once Doctor Evans had left them alone
was not to get too familiar.  "You may call me Nurse or
Lieutenant Ellison, young lady." and her tone had been definitely
"adult to troublesome teenager".  

"You're sure of that, Nurse?  I mean. . ." Elaine let her words
slip off meaningfully.

Donna pulled up another of the chairs that had been moved into
Elaine's room now that she could sit up and eat her meals at a
table.  "I'm sure." she said softly as she took the seat opposite
her charge.  "I just pulled that rank stuff on you at first
because I did not know how hard you would work.  Sometimes in
this line of work, you have to be pretty tough and mean to folks
to get them to do the things that are necessary to help them get
well.  You work hard enough without that."  Then a smirk crossed
the high cheek-boned face.  "Of course, if you start slacking
off, the "Iron Assed Bitch" can return right quick."

Hot fire flashed across Elaine's face and she wanted to slide
underneath the table and crawl away.  Instead, she squared her
shoulders and forced herself to look into the gently laughing
blue eyes.  "I . . . .I'm sorry I said that and that you heard me
say it.  I was . . . well, it was hurting pretty bad just then
and it . . . well, it slipped out."  Hot moisture trickled at the
corner of her eye and she brushed at it with her napkin.

"Don't worry about it.  I have been called worse and have called
others worse.  Try motivating a thirty year-lifer chief petty
officer with two badly broken legs into putting weight on them
for the first time.  Singe your ears off, missy, and I *always*
give back at least as good as I get." she grinned mischievously. 
"Now, are you ready for a dirty dozen?"

The dirty dozen meant twelve laps up and down the long corridor
outside the room, and was more than they had done the day before
when Elaine had been in such pain.  "I don't know, Donna.  I am
still pretty sore from yesterday."

The woman stood and straightened her black gaberdine over-blouse. 
"In case no one told you this, honey, in cases yours, a little
pain during and after therapy is good.  It means we are waking up
those sleepy muscles of yours and reminding them what they are
there for.  They're just grumbling about it a bit."  She laughed
merrily at the sour look on Elaine's face before reaching over to
pat her hand.  "Tell ya what, kid, just give it your best effort
and I will come back tonight before I go home and give you
another rubdown."  Then she grinned down slyly at her diminutive
charge.  "Finish the whole dozen and I'll give you a special
surprise." she whispered teasingly.

If she'd still had Allain's external plumbing, the look on
Donna's face would have given Elaine the beginnings of a hard on. 
Get your mind out the gutter, girl, we aren't ever going to be
able to do that again, and she's regular navy.  'Don't ask, don't
tell' aside, it was damned unlikely that the lovely nurse swung
to other women, and even less probable that she would be
interested in someone she'd been told was barely seventeen. 
Besides, what could she do now, anyway?

"A surprise, Donna?  What kind of surprise?" she answered in a
suspicious tone.

Standing up, she reached down and helped Elaine to her feet. 
"Finish the dirty dozen and find out." she answered
enigmatically.

It wasn't much of a prod, but it worked.  Especially on that last
hellish lap when her legs felt like limp noodles, the carrot of
something different was enough to keep her moving one foot in
front of the other.

"Now that wasn't so bad, was it?  We'll have you jogging three
miles before breakfast in no time at all." Donna soothed as she
massaged Elaine's cramping leg muscles.  Elaine wasn't sure she
did not prefer the Iron Assed Bitch to Little Miss Mary Sunshine
but did not say so.  The Bitch might have decided to stop the
massage and it felt *heavenly*.

"You take a short nap, hun, and I will be back after lunch with
your treat.  You have earned it!"

Elaine's last thought before exhaustion took her was that if she
was coming *after lunch*, the surprise obviously wasn't the
Whopper with cheese she'd been hoping for.

Part Seven: A Real Surprise

Elaine stood in front of the mirror, trying to deal with swirling
mix of emotions.  At least she had been able to contain her shock
and had even managed what she prayed was a creditable display of
pleasure when Donna had brought in her surprise.

Elaine was slowly turning around to get a full view when the door
opened.  Janelle poked her head inside and said "Oh my goodness,
I am sorry. I must have missed the room. . . ." as she started to
back out again.

Then, she stopped cold in her tracks.  The look of stunned
disbelief on the older woman's face was very satisfying to
Elaine.  Especially since it mirrored the feelings she had been
unable to express without hurting Donna's feelings.  She shrugged
and managed a self deprecating smile.  "C'mon in, Jan.  You are
in the right place."

"Elaine???" she asked, her voice cracking as she tried to
accommodate what she saw in front of her.  The girl nodded, and
Janelle moved slowly into the room, carefully closing the door
behind her.

With measured steps, she moved over to her patient and then
slowly circled around her before coming to stand in front of her
once more.  She just shook her head in amazement.

Elaine was dressed - like a *girl*!  Her shoulder length, raven-
black hair had been put up into a perky ponytail that swept the
hair around the back of her head and let it fall gently off to
once side of her face.  Subtle, age-appropriate cosmetics added
color and definition to her already classically lovely face. She
wore a western cut, embroidered blouse, a knee length denim skirt
and a pair of simple flat heeled women's shoes. "But, . . . but
how?" was all Jan could get out.

"Hurricane Donna." Elaine answered as she made her way slowly and
carefully back to her chair.  "She promised me a surprise if I
worked particularly hard today on my therapy."  She turned to
take another look into the mirror.  "Boy, was *I* surprised!"

Jan made an effort to regain her perspective on this.  This is
may be exactly the opening we need to help her begin to confront
this. "Well, you look lovely.  You'd definitely break many a
teenage male heart if you were in school right now."

Anger flashed in the girl's dark green eyes, making them go
almost black.  "Christ, Jan, you think I don't *know* that?  I
used to be one of those horny teenage males.  Hell, I turn myself
on, okay?  God, I wish I had not done this."  A tear trickled a
dark rivulet down Elaine's cheek.

"Well, if it is making you that upset, lets get you out of those
things, then."  It made no sense to make the girl more anti-
female if she was that uncomfortable.

"Can't" she said softly.  "Donna's coming back in an hour or so
to give me a massage.  She'll be hurt if I have taken off the
outfit or washed off the war paint, just like she'd have been
hurt if I had followed my first inclination and refused to put
this stuff on."

"It was a very sweet gesture, Elaine.  Any girl stuck in hospital
gowns for as long as you have would have been over the moon with
such a nice outfit."  Then she had a thought.  "It was very
clever of you to maintain your cover that way."

"Hah!  That had nothing to do with it, and you *know* it, Jan.  I
did not even think of security.  I did it for the same reason
that men have been making fools of themselves over women for
millions of years.  She is one of the most beautiful women I have
ever seen and I wanted to make her happy."  Jan's raised a single
brow in overt challenge.  "All right, she turns me on, okay?"

"I'm not surprised at that, Elaine.  She is, as you say, very
attractive.  So, if you are doing a man thing by getting rigged
out as a pretty girl, what are you going to do next?"  Jan did
not know whether to be happy or glad about this admission.  On
one hand, Elaine was coming out of her self imposed isolation,
but on the other, she was doing so by reacting like a male.  What
would they do if she made a move on the nurse?

"Nothing."  The response was emphatic, definite and final.  "She
is a naval officer, for god's sake, and as far as she is
concerned, I am a snot nosed kid.  A *girl* snot nosed kid." she
became quiet for a long moment before continuing.  "I like her,
Jan . . . I like her a lot and I don't want to hurt her.  So if
that means I play Skipper to her Barbie, and ignore the sexual
pull I feel towards her, so be it.  It is not like I could do
anything about how I feel anyway."

That elicited a sardonic chuckle from the psychologist. No way
was she going to let the girl wallow in self pity, and most
*certainly* not for that reason. "You must have been a pretty
shitty lover with your wife, then." she said with a smirk.  "Good
old missionary position with the lights turned off?  Wham bam
snore stuff without even getting to the 'thank you, ma'am'?  Pull
your three G's - Get in, Get off and Get out - just as quick as
you could and then roll over, huh?  It is a wonder she did not
cut it off for you."

"Now wait just a minute!  Jeanne delighted in our lovemaking,
dammit!   I worked very hard to please her in bed and I . . ." 
Elaine stopped when she realized that Jan was fighting to keep
from laughing.  "And what," she intoned in her coldest voice, "is
so damned funny?"

"You are, you idiot.  There is more to making love than shoving a
male part into a female part, and you bloody well know it.  There
are many ways to give a partner pleasure and I am sure you know
many of them.  Even if you cannot overcome your male inhibitions
to try having a relationship with a man, that is not the only
type of relationship out there."  Jan made a visible effort to
control her mirth - it had not been all affectation.

If her tones were light, her face became solemn as she locked
eyes with Elaine.  "Let's be frank, *Allain*, all psycho-babble
aside.  You *are* a man trapped in a woman's body and that is not
going to change - not completely, anyway.  We won't risk your new
life on a less than one in five survival chance just to give you
your balls back.  So, if you still desire women, that is only to
be expected.  I can guarantee you this, Elaine-who-used-to-be-
Allain, there will be plenty of women who will desire you right
back.  You won't be a lonely, unloved, sexless creature unless
*you* choose to be one."

Elaine just here, quietly thinking about her mentor's words. 
Finally, she spoke.  "And this stuff," she fingered the skirt and
waved her hand across her made up face, "Is part of that?"

"They should be, at least at first.  They are things you need to
learn and to know about before you make any final decisions. Part
of living in your new skin is being female in our society. 
Rightly or wrongly, there are expected roles and perceptions. 
If, after living within those confines for a while, you decide
that those public roles are wrong for you, well, then you'll know
what you will be missing.  However, you will need to know the
things that birth-women know, so that you can at least try those
things before making your decision."

"This is all very hard, Jan."

"I know just how you fee. . . ." the woman stopped herself.  "No,
that is not true.  I don't know how you feel, but I think I know
some of it, and I can empathize with other parts of it.  But
remember this, you have a whole new life ahead of you, with all
the experience that only living that knew can provide you.  Don't
throw anything away in ignorance."

Before Elaine could answer, Donna bustled in and stopped short. 
"Hey, why have you been crying?" she demanded as she stared at
the mascara tracks down Elaine's cheeks.

Pulled from the emotional maelstrom of a moment before, Elaine
improvised.  "A cramp. . .yes, that is it, I had some cramps in
my calves and almost fell."

"DAMMIT, Elaine!" the nurse bellowed.  "Didn't I specifically
tell you to call for me if you felt any pain?"

More tears followed the earlier ones.  "I didn't want to disturb
you for something silly like that, Donna."

The nurse helped her patient stand and all but frog-walked her to
the bed where she deftly helped Elaine out of her new finery. 
Even pantihose, thought Jan with secret delight.  A sharp smack
to Elaine's bottom hurried her into bed and onto her tummy.  "*I*
will decide what is silly, *after* you call me, missy.  Is
*that*," and another smack emphasized that word, "perfectly
clear?"

"Yes, Nurse Ellison." was the pillow muffled reply.

"Very well then.  Where does it hurt?  And I *told* you, to call
me Donna."  

Jan slipped out to leave the pair to their work.

~------------~

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker.

Nurse Ellison's gift of clothing suitable to a girl of Elaine's
physical age may be a breakthrough.  For whatever reason, the
patient did not refuse Donna's gift and has, for probably the
first time, begun to confront the physical ramifications of her
gender transition.  

Plan:     I intend to discuss this further with Dr. Evans.  Since
the patient accepted this treatment from Nurse Ellison, while
refusing to even discuss wearing female dress with either of us,
it may be profitable to enlist her aid.  The security spooks are
not going to like that very much, because it will mean Ltjg
Ellison must be more fully briefed about the true facts
surrounding Elaine's "disability".  If she is going to become
Elaine's school mistress in the feminine arts and womanly
sciences, then she will have to be cognizant of how the girl
might react if pressed too hard.  She has to know she is dealing
with an adult male mind in that cute teenaged body.

On another issue, Elaine's confession that she is sexually
attracted to her therapist comes as no surprise.  What to do
about it is another question, but one thing we will not do is try
and convince her that her desire for Ltjg Ellison is in some way
morally or ethically wrong.  That will only serve to isolate the
girl who is, as noted above, still thinking with a male mind.

End Medical Log Entry.

~----------~

Jan set down her pen with a silly grin on her face.  One thing
that she could *not* write in the journal was the disproof of a
long held theory about the mental processes of the male animal. 
Obviously, they did not do all of their thinking with their
smaller heads.  After all, Elaine was still thinking like a horny
male and she did not even have a dick head anymore.



Part Eight: The Caring Conspiracy

"You are kidding me, right?" Donna Ellison had that 'you
absolutely *have* to be bullshitting me' look on her lovely face. 
"There is *no* way in hell that the little girl in that room was
ever a male, most especially not *that*" and she pointed an
accusatory finger at the photo on Nate's desk, "man.  He is six
feet tall if he's an inch, and that girl needs thick wool socks
and heels on her size five feet to make it to five feet tall."

"Never the less, Lieutenant, it is all true."

Ellison slid slowly down, her hand searching madly behind her for
the seat cushion, but her eyes never leaving Nate's.  "You really
did it?  Changed him. . .the guy who saved the city when that
bomb was in that submarine, . . you changed *him* into Elaine?"

Nate carefully polished the lens of his glasses before replying. 
"Well, it was not our intention to change his gender, but the
serums got switched and, yes, that is what happened.  He is
female right down to his, or rather her XX chromosome pair."

Donna looked over to the psychologist who was sitting next to her
by Nate's desk.  "Why are you telling me this?  Obviously this is
classified, so you must have decided I have a need to know."

Jan smiled.  "Elaine accepted something from you that she has
refused to even discuss with us.  Yesterday, after you dressed
her up in your gifts, was the first time she has even looked at
herself in the mirror.  She is a woman, now, and she has to face
that somehow.  She is going to need the help of a friend and a
teacher.  For whatever reason, she trusts you, Donna."

"Wow.  But, what do I know about what is going on in her head?  I
am a physical therapist, not a psychological therapist."

"I am, and what she needs most right now, is help with the
physical aspects of her femininity.  We have to be subtle about
it, or she'll rebel again, but that should not be too hard." and
here she cast a sly, teasing grin at Nate.  "After all,
underneath all that girlish beauty is a typically unsubtle male
mind."

Donna swivelled her head back and forth, looking at each doctor
in turn before finally shrugging.  "Okay, you'll have to tell me
how to proceed, but if you want me to give her Basic Girlhood
101, I can do that.  It is not like I have any other duties since
you folks jerked me out of the Navy Regional Medical Center.  So,
what do we, or rather I, do next?"

Nate coughed, uncomfortably.  "Well, um. . . Donna, we did say
that Elaine was fully female?"  Donna nodded.  "Well, she has
been out of the coma now for more than three weeks and she hasn't
. . ." and here the older doctor blushed.  "I mean to say that
she hasn't had her . ."

Donna's eyes went wide as she caught a glimpse.  "You can't mean
that she is going to . . " and her voice broke, too.

Jan chuckled softly at the two tongue tied medicos, "Yes, Donna,
he does mean precisely that, and yes, she is going to."

"Shit!"  

~------------~

Donna walked into Elaine's room a few days later, rigged out in
her sweatgear.  Elaine was up to doing laps around the compound,
now, and it promised to be a lovely day for it.  After a brisk
two miles, Donna would get the girl started on a weight training
program to strengthen the rest of her muscles, too.  She was
surprised to find the girl still in her bed.

"Hey, c'mon, up and at 'em.  We are burning daylight.  It is a
gorgeous day outside."  She gave her charge a swat on the bottom. 
"Move that butt, girl!"

Elaine only groaned and rolled over, pulling her legs up into the
fetal position.  Uh oh, thought Donna.  It's show time. "What's
the matter, Elaine?"

"My stomach hurts, and I am feeling nauseous as all get out.  It
just hit me just as I was starting to get up."  Elaine knew
perfectly well what was happening - she felt like Jeanne always
looked at those times of the month - she simply did not want to
admit it, even if only to herself, just yet.  Maybe it was only
something she ate last night, she hoped.  Yes, food poisoning was
a wonderful idea.  Then that little voice in her head taunted,
sure, and bland macaroni and cheese is going to make you feel
like you have the flu.

Donna put a hand on Elaine's forehead and found it to be cool. 
"Sweetie, I think you know what this is, even if you never
experienced it before your accident." she said following the
script laid out with the two doctors.  "According to your
records, you've had regular periods throughout your coma.  This
is just the first one you've been awake for."  Elaine groaned and
pulled her pillow over her head.  

Donna gave her another swat and pulled the pillow away.  "None of
that, now.  You won't die from it, even though it feels like hell
sometimes.  Let's go into the bathroom and I will show you how to
take care of yourself before we go for our walk." Elaine looked
mutinous, but Donna hardened her face.  "I *said*, none of that,
now!  Gentle exercise is good for you.  It will loosen up the
cramping muscles, and once we're done, I will rub your back for
you."

Then she walked her patient into the nearby head to demonstrate
for her the joys of feminine protection.

~----------~

Medical Log (Confidential) - Dr. Evans.

Patient is now experiencing her first menses and it has been
particularly difficult for her.  Severe cramping and nausea. 
Patient has not been able to keep down any solid food for the
past eight hours.  Although I am hesitant to use any medicinals,
I will intervene tomorrow if she has not been able to keep her
fluid levels up to prevent dehydration.  She is too small and too
light to be able to tolerate too much liquid loss.

End Medical Log Entry

~----------~

The door to Elaine's room opened slowly, a triangle of light
beaming into the darkness from the hallway.  Elaine looked up to
see Donna walking in, wearing civilian clothing.   "Hi." she
mumbled, "What are you still doing here?"

Donna walked over.  "Checking on you.  How are you feeling?"

"Not any worse, I guess.  Dinner stayed down, if you can call
jello and de-fizzed cola 'dinner'.  Still feel awfully crampy,
though.  I just can't get comfortable."

"Well, I might have something to help with that." Donna whispered
conspiratorially.  Then, with a great flourish, she drew
something out of the bag Elaine had failed to notice earlier.  It
was a stuffed bear.  "Meet my friend, Pooh."  Elaine cocked a
quizzical eyebrow.  "Oh ye of little faith.  I had my own special
teddy bear when I was your age, m'girl.  There is nothing better
for cramps than something warm on your tummy, and old Pooh is
just the thing for that.  Just cuddle his plush, furry bottom up
against your crampy gut.  Works like a charm.  Here, let me show
you."

Donna settled the bear against Elaine's stomach and then rolled
her over onto her side.   Amazingly, the warmth felt wonderful,
and Elaine was quick to hug the little toy up even tighter to her
locked up tummy.  "Now, just relax."  Donna ordered as she began
to work the knots out of the girl's lower back, relieving some of
the stress on her abdomen.   Whether it was the bear or the
massage, or a combination of both, was irrelevant.  Minutes
later, a soft little snore told Donna that her patient was
finally asleep.

~-----------~

Worried about how Elaine was dealing emotionally and mentally
with her first taste of Nature's forceful monthly reminder of
womanhood, Jan arrived bright and early the next morning to check
on her charge. Only long years of dealing with special people as
a therapist kept Jan from goggling at the large Winnie-the-Pooh
teddy bear that occupied a prominent place on Elaine's bed.

"Where did you get your new friend?" she asked easily as she sat
down at the table.  At least the girl was able to eat this
morning, she thought relieved.

"Donna brought it.  She said that hugging something warm against
my belly might help, and it actually did." was the monotoned
reply.

"Well, then that is all to the good, isn't it?" Jan said smiling. 
She stopped smiling when she got no answering smile from the girl
opposite her.  "Isn't it?" she asked again.

"I guess so." was the taciturn reply.  

Jan's pleasure at seeing the bear evaporated.  Obviously, its
presence did not mean that Elaine was trying to confront a
feminine lifestyle.  "Well, if having such a feminine touch
distresses you, dear, there are other ways to do the same thing.
We could give you a heating pad or a hot water bottle for the
cramps."

Her patient's mood brightened, but only for a moment.  "It's
okay.  Donna would be upset if Pooh disappeared and she was told
to give me hot water bottles."

"Donna will do what she is ordered to do, Elaine.  She is a naval
officer."  Jan replied, soft steel in her voice.  Helping was one
thing - embarrassing the girl into unwilling compliance or
unhappy behaviors was another.

"Ja - an." Elaine replied in two syllable, sounding for all the
world like a disgusted teen.  "I don't want to hurt her feelings,
okay?  She is important to me.  She matters to me." 

Is that Allain or Elaine talking, Jan wondered.  "So," she
continued, "what is it that is really bothering you?"

The disgusted look she got in answer almost made her chuckle. 
"What do you *think*, Jan. *You* may have lived your entire life
with some demon putting your guts through an old fashioned
wringer washing machine every month, but this is my first time. 
It has been an all together damnable experience."  Wait until you
try childbirth, Jan thought, but wisely refrained from saying
aloud.  "Uncomfortable and messy don't begin to describe it, and
not only that - I *smell* bad! To *ME*!" disgust dripping of each
syllable.

"Oh, really." Jan coughed trying to hold back a laugh and
spluttering instead.

Elaine's eyes narrowed.  "Don't you *dare* laugh, damn you. It is
not in the least bit funny.  How would you like to deal with
something like this for the first time at *your* age, huh? 
Something that, in your sublime ignorance, you thought was could
*never* happen to you because it was impossible." she fumed,
pointing her spoon at Jan like a weapon. "Really!  How would you
like to have. . to have. ." she faltered, trying to think of
something foul enough, then, "I know! How would you feel if you
suddenly got a case of blue balls!"  She crossed her arms
defiantly in triumph.

Jan lost it, and howled with mirth.  "Blue balls?  ME????" she
gasped out before another peal of laughter took her.  "Do I look
like I could suffer from testicular trauma due to unrequited
lust?"

She did *not* want to smile, but she couldn't help it.  "And I
guess I do look like someone who should expect to suffer from a
monthly visitation?" she said, cocking a brow in challenge.

"Damn straight!"  Jan laughed, and then decided to take a chance. 
"Sorry to be the first to tell you this, old man, but you are
about as feminine a female as I have seen in a long time."

"So, the mad scientist did his work that well, huh?"  Jan nodded
with mock solemnity, her eyes twinkling with laugh tears. "Damn. 
I am a walking, talking, and now *menstruating* sex bomb." Elaine
sighed heavily, making the bangs on her forehead flutter
prettily.  "Tell me something, Jan."

"If I can, hun."

"He *is* still alive, isn't he?  The mad scientist, that is?"

"Far as I know.  I have never met the fellow."

"Good." said Elaine firmly.  "It would be unjust for him to die
before I can get my hands on the son of a bitch.  I want to kill
him, very slowly."

"Those are very male thoughts , dear, for such a feminine
creature as you've become." Jan chided softly.  

A thoroughly male, thoroughly incongruous look flitted across
Elaine's pert features.  "That's okay.  I am a very male thinking
sort of feminine creature, dear."  Which set both of them to
laughing once more. 

~------------~ 

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

Elaine has successfully passed through the crisis of her first
period.  Although it was even more trying a right of passage for
her than for other women born as women, she has come through it
and is even a bit smugly pleased with herself.

For myself, I am grateful that she has adapted so well to this
aspect of her new physical gender, _particularly_ since the very
cowardly Dr. Evans dropped the entire episode in my lap.  As if I
know what to do with a male mind having fits because its very
female body is in hormone overload.

Other positive signs.  Donna, acting as surrogate "big sister"
has continued to encourage Elaine to deal with her femininity. 
She is now "loaning" her clothes, which supposedly belonged to a
non-existent little sister.  Of course, the program is actually
footing the bill for these "hand-me-downs", but the plan is
working.  

Lingerie was another issue, but Nate handled that by telling her
she needed the support for her still developing bosom until we
were sure her back was strong enough to support their weight.  We
told her it was a medical expense.  I just hope they stop growing
soon.  In his enthusiasm for large breasted women, that idiot
genius may have made her a candidate for breast reduction surgery
with his little attempt at playing God.

The good thing is that she cannot help looking in the mirror when
she is done dressing.  Surveillance cameras have even caught her
primping, and smiling at herself.  Whether that is the reaction
of a male lampooning his, or rather her new self, I don't know as
yet.  I am, however, encouraged that she continues to accept
Donna's guidance in ways of dress and grooming.  The clever woman
even has the girl practicing her own makeup.

That is one aspect of all this that particularly concerns me at
this time.  Elaine has as much as said that she is doing this for
Donna and not herself.  She remains infatuated with Ltjg Ellison,
who has shown no signs of noticing let alone responding to her
patient's uncertain overtures.  While I know that many patients
develop strong crushes on their physical therapists and that
Donna must know how to deal with such a reaction, I am still
uncomfortable with this.  How Elaine will react if her feelings
go unrequited is uncertain.  Her emotions, as are those of any
person at this point in their hormonal and developmental cycle,
are highly volatile.  Her masculine mind strives for control, and
mostly succeeds.  I am just waiting for the shoe to really drop
and for her to lose that control.  A lot will depend on how that
happens and how we help her deal with that.

End Medical Log Entry:

~------------~

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Evans

The remarkable physical abilities of the patient continue to
astound everyone involved with the program.  She has been out of
coma now for just over ten weeks and she is already able to run,
albeit at a moderate pace, for two to three miles without undue
physical stress.  Her strength and coordination are improving at
an equally incredible rate, although she still does have problems
with the coordination part from time to time - mostly with her
balance.  These problems most often correlate to times when she
is reacting instinctively, and not consciously.  At those times,
her old male self muscle memory seems to predominate.  Given her
loss in stature and body weight, and the major shifting of her
primary balance point, this is not surprising.  What is
surprising is that these incidents are not more common.

Another bright spot is that her breasts have not changed in size
for over seven weeks.  Although she is well endowed, her breasts
are not so large as to invite muscle damage in her back or to
inhibit her freedom of motion.  It appears that our contingency
plans of breast reduction surgery will not be necessary after
all.

End Medical Log Entry.

Part Nine:  Life Happens
 
Elaine finished toweling off after her morning run with Donna.
Damn, but a mere three miles seemed a whole lot longer when your
stride was at least a foot shorter than her mind "remembered" it
being.  Still, she mused, twenty four minutes was not too shabby. 
That Allain used to be able to break nineteen minutes routinely,
and eighteen when he pushed it was not germane.  "He" was Elaine,
now, and besides. . .she was not even close to being in shape,
yet.

It was odd, she thought as she looked at herself in the mirror,
the things that really annoyed her about her change in physical
gender.  When she'd finally been given the go-ahead to start
running, Elaine had thought that her breasts would have bothered
her the most.  Although they had been a distraction at first, the
sporting bra had helped and she'd soon found herself not noticing
them.  What still really bugged her, besides having a stride that
was shorter than Allain's had been at age twelve, was her damned
hair.  No matter what she did with it, the stuff came loose and
started bouncing all over hell as she ran.  Felt like her scalp
was being pulled every which way but loose with every step, and
Elaine wasn't entirely certain that "loose" wasn't next.

And Donna steadfastly refused to let her get the stuff cut!

When she finally walked into the main living space of her
apartment, Elaine was not too surprised to see Jan seated at the
little table pouring coffee.  These little coffee klatches had
become something of a routine now that Elaine was on a more or
less regular diet, and truth to tell, she enjoyed them.  Jan,
unlike Donna, knew the her real story, so Elaine could ask the
older woman the questions that no *real* girl would have to ask.
*Real*? She thought to herself, remembering her most recent
period.  It doesn't get much more *real* than that.  Make that
questions that a life-long girl would ask.

"Good morning, Ellie." she piped, using the nickname she had
decided was more suited to the purpose of helping the girl
acclimate, than one that sounded almost like her male name. 
"Coffee?"

"Just a half cup, please." she responded with a grimace.  "It
goes straight through me.  Along with everything else that shrunk
on and in me, my bladder must be the size of a peanut."

"How are you feeling now, Elaine?"  Jan asked gently.

"Physically, I feel as great right now as I felt lousy forty
eight hours ago, but that is not what you are asking, is it?" 
Elaine answered as she sipped at the dark brew.  Her third period
had not been any easier than the second or the first.  Jan only
shook her head.  "Mentally, I'm okay.  I don't know half what I
will need to know to survive in this strange new world, but Donna
is helping with that."  She gave a self deprecating little laugh. 
"I still turn my back on her when I button up a shirt. . damn .
.I mean, a blouse because my fingers still go to the wrong side."

"You look very nice, you know.  The quintessential girl next
door."

"The clothes help.  It is hard to forget you are female when you
are strapped into a brassiere.  I think I will be able to
function when I finally have to make my own way outside of these
walls."

"What about men?"  Jan asked.

"What about them?"  Elaine replied off handedly, then snapped
alert.  "OH. . you mean, what about men as the yin to my new
yang?  I don't think so, Jan.  Underneath this soft, California
Girl exterior beats the heart of a Cajun Catholic good ole boy. 
Heck, I still get excited thinking about making it with girls. 
The really funny part of that is that *now* any priest would tell
me *that* was the sin, and yet, my mind tells me the sin would be
with guys."

"Still lusting after Donna?"  The girl blushed a fiery red,
giving away the answer without having to give it voice.  Jan only
nodded.  "So, are you masturbating?"

Elaine choked on the mouthful of coffee.  "What did you say??"

"You heard me well enough, young woman.  That dirty old man in
your head evidently knew his way around a woman's body well
enough to make a child.  Are you diddling yourself?"

Looking up at the surveillance cameras, she asked pointedly,
"Don't you know?"

"We've seen you tossing and turning at night.  That could be
trying to figure out how to get comfortable at night or it could
be. . "

Sighing, Elaine gave up.  "It was both.  Allain was tummy
sleeper.  Elaine. ." and she raised both hands to her chest
"can't.  As to Donna, she wears these really tight running pants
and a jogging bra which she changes into right in front of me -
it makes me *crazy*"

"I will see what I can do about getting you a little more
privacy, Ellie.  You have a vibrantly alive, wonderfully
sensitive young body there, and you are going to become aroused."

"Not if it means Donna changes somewhere else, you won't!"
snapped the male mind through the very female mouth.

Jan broke down and howled with laughter as Elaine sat there
trying to appear offended.  Then she too began to laugh.

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

Elaine has admitted to masturbating, and as should be expected,
to fantasies about Lt. Ellison.  The spooks do not want to give
up their "round-the-clock" surveillance and are trying to block
Dr. Evans and I shutting off the camera that looks directly at
Elaine's bed.  I suspect that is primarily because they don't
want to lose their late night peep shows.  Dr. Evans agrees with
me on this issue, however, and he is going to require female
watchers for Elaine's privacy.  He is also ordering the offending
camera removed.  With all the other cameras in that room, they
will be more than able to see any intruder before the villain
could get to Elaine's bed.

On another issue associated with the cameras, Elaine has begun
working out on her own.  We will need some expert assistance on
this one, and the spooks are not going to like it one bit.

TOUGH!

End Medical Log Entry

Part Ten: Spiritual Growth


Jan and Nathaniel sat quietly, alternately watching the monitor
screen, and then glancing over at the short, wiry older man in
the room with them.  He, on the other hand, had not so much as
twitched since their patient had begun the graceful, almost
dance-like exercise more than thirty minutes ago.  Suddenly,
Elaine's movements became faster, more forceful.

The older man looked up from the screen. "Remarkable." he said in
a softly accented voice.  "Fascinating.  You say she has recently
come out of a very long coma, one that has lasted throughout her
puberty?"  The two doctors silently nodded.  "Well, that would
explain her balance problems, but . . ."  He broke off, his
attention caught by a particularly vicious looking kick.

"But *what*, sir?" Nathaniel asked.  "Is there something wrong
with her doing that type of exercise?  Could it harm her?"  Nate
knew his limitations and he had no experience with the martial
arts.

"Only indirectly, Doctor." answered the little man enigmatically. 
"I have seen enough.  Come introduce me to this prospective
student."

"Prospective?  You were brought here to teach her.  You were the
only one the security guys would let in and that is because you
teach the Congressmen and Senators in DC.  You *have* to teach
her."  Nate blustered.

"I can only teach if she will learn, Doctor.  Whether she can and
will learn from me is something we have yet to determine.  Come,
let us go and find out, please."

The sound of her door opening in the middle of her kata caught
Elaine by surprise.  One of the reasons she had chosen this
particular time of the day for this particular exercise was that
no one ever visited during this hour. Still in the thrall of the
give and take of the graceful shadow boxing, she spun toward the
door, dropped into a defensive stance, and faced the intruders.

The old man simply glided through the door, and then went
motionless, facing her calmly.  Elaine recognized Nate and Jan
first, and began to relax until something clicked in her head. 
Recognition dawned - she knew that man, or at least, she knew of
him.

With great solemnity, she came to attention and then bowed deeply
at the waist.  "Greetings, Master.  This is a very great honor."

The two doctors watched, amazed, as the man simply watched their
patient who held her deep bow without further comment. Finally,
he spoke.  "You know me, young woman?"

Without breaking her awkward position, Elaine answered.  "You are
Master Rhee, father of American Tai Kwan Do."

"I am here to teach you, young woman.  Are you here to learn?"

"I would be greatly honored, Master."

Master Rhee returned the bow, held it, and then said a single
syllable word neither doctor understood.  Whatever it was,
student and teacher rose from their bows to face one another.

"Who trained you, student?"  Rhee asked.

Taken aback by this question, Elaine fumbled a moment.  She could
not tell him who had actually trained Allain, because that
teacher was known to Rhee. "My dead brother, Master."

"He was a large man."  It was not a question.  "And he taught you
as he was taught."

"Master?"  Elaine asked, confused.

"You are well taught.  Your techniques are, for the most part,
well executed.  You know enough to recognize which ones were not
done properly and you work them until you correct them.  That
demonstrates discipline, self awareness and excellent training. 
Your balance is what gives you the most trouble, probably because
your mind still does not know your new body."  The old man
stopped for a moment and considered.  "Yes, you are well trained,
but what you know is all wrong!"

"I. . . I don't understand, Master."

"You were trained in techniques and movements suited to a much
taller, stronger individual.  They are completely inappropriate
for someone of your stature.  In fact, if you were to attempt to
use them in actual combat, you would be in serious danger against
a trained opponent.  You have not the reach nor the weight to
fight effectively with those techniques."

"I. . .I see." Elaine murmured, bowing respectfully.

"I hope so, young woman, I certainly hope so."  He turned to the
dumbfounded pair of doctors.  "We shall need a larger space than
this, and mats.  Please arrange it by tomorrow." and with wave,
dismissed the pair.  "Come student, we will begin today with some
exercises that will train your body to find its balance."

~-----------~

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

One solution turns into the next problem.  Fortunately, this one
was solved easily enough, and it even has the side benefit of
making the security types happy, or at least three of them.

Elaine needed a mat partner for her martial arts lesson. 
Although Lt Ellison is also taking lessons, as much to ensure
that Elaine does not overdo in her enthusiasms as for her own
interest in learning Tae Kwan Do, it is not enough.  Donna is a
beginner.  Elaine, or in this case, Allain, is already highly
proficient, and the exercises she needs are beyond Donna's skill
level.

Three of the security team, a woman and two men, jumped at the
chance to study with Master Rhee.  The advantage of this is that
all three are already cleared for Project Elaine, and know the
truth about Allain/Elaine.  That simplifies the issue of
explaining to an outsider why this seventeen year old girl is
under twenty four hour guard in a maximum security installation. 
Questions we don't want to hear and that we cannot answer. 

The woman is a nationally ranked black belt competitor in judo,
one of the men is a black belt karateka and the other is a former
Navy SEAL.  The woman is taller and heavier than Elaine, but the
sensei does not see that as a problem, and both men are big
enough for Elaine to learn how to deal with large, aggressive
males from her new size perspective.

Aside from the to be expected bumps and bruises (Nathaniel is
going crazy and cannot bear to watch Elaine during her training
time), everything is working fine.  Elaine even seems to be
developing a friendship with the female security agent.  Although
very strong, the lady is still attractive; a combination of
attributes that is good for Elaine to see on a regular basis.

End Medical Log Entry



Part Eleven: The Conspiracy Discovered


Special Security Agent Christine (call me Chris or else)McKay,
groaned dramatically as she slowly settled herself into the chair
in Elaine's room.  "You got me good, today, kid." she said with a
wince.

Although all three women, Elaine, Chris and Donna, knew that
Elaine had been alive the longest of them all, Chris had decided
she was a "kid".  There were several reasons for this.  First and
foremost, although Elaine suspected that Chris knew her history,
she still believed that Donna had not been cleared by security to
know the truth of her transformation and that nurse still
accepted the cover story. 

Chris's other reasons had to do with security and with being able
to maintain cover.  As she had explained to Jan when the
psychologist had talked to the agent after one of her counseling
sessions with Elaine.  "But she doesn't like being called "kid",
Agent McKay."

"I kinda figured that out for myself, Doc, the first time she put
me on my ass on the mat.  However, I decided to keep on doing it
because it is good for security." she'd explained.  "When she
gets sprung from this place, we are still going to have to watch
out for her. Since I am female, that means I will probably be on
her detail.  Outside, her cover will be as a teenage female, not
a rundown, over the hill, male ex-submarine jockey.  It will help
desensitize her to being treated as a teenager, and will also
help us both get used to being in character."

Jan had acceded to the wisdom of that ploy, but Elaine still
didn't like it.  At best she tolerated it, and sometimes - like
today - she even got a bit of her own back from the Amazonian
agent.

"Thought you judo experts were supposed to know how to fall."
Elaine grinned at the almost six foot tall, solidly-built 175
pounder.

Chris snorted.  "We are, when we're thrown, smartass.  That slide
kick that took my ankles out from under me had me landing on my
tailbone."  Donna choked when the agent carefully rubbed the
injured region.  Her near laugh earned a steely stare from Chris. 
"And don't you dare laugh."

Coughing hard and scrunching up her face, Donna shook her head
emphatically.  "Me?  Laugh?" she gasped out.  "Wouldn't 
dream of it." Donna paused for effect.  "Even if you did look
like a  . . . a . . . well, words fail me.  Let's just say that
you were not at your most graceful when you bounced twice on your
butt."

"I'd kill you, but I'd have to move and my ass is just not up to
it right now." she retorted before turning back to Elaine.  "What
I want to know is where the hell you learned that technique.  We
haven't covered it yet."

She had opened her mouth to answer but then all but clapped her
mouth shut.  The frown that slipped across Elaine's face, and the
furtive glance at Donna told the agent that she had almost blown
Donna's cover.  Then Elaine saved her.  "Well, I did learn from
my big brother, and he was even bigger than *you*." she said
smartly, and then giggled, much to her own dismay.  She had
actually *giggled* at the pained look on Chris's face.  "Just
like the Master said, I couldn't do anything against him, so I
learned that technique out of necessity."

Actually, a mere slip of a girl had used it on Allain with very
similar results to what happened to Chris.  He'd learned the
technique out of self defense, but had always been too big
himself to use it effectively.  Until now.

"Not all of us can be pocket Venuses, kid." Chris said, looking
hurt and making Elaine feel ashamed.

Donna saw an opportunity to press the other part of her tasking
and piped up, "Well, it doesn't matter, Chris, because you are a
very attractive woman." 

The look the agent gave the tall, elegantly slim nurse was at
first surprised, and then resigned.  "Yeah, right.  The kid here
looks like she could pose for Playboy when she finishes growing
up, and you belong in Paris modeling some designer's new fall
line.  I am the ugly duckling in this crowd."  

Donna let that one hang for a few moments because she could see
Elaine's regret at having begun this line of conversation was
growing.  She intended to use that emotion to get her charge to
go along with her plan.  "Ugly ducklings and swans, Chris." she
said finally. "I know.  Elaine, how about we keep the Agent McKay
here tomorrow for dinner.  We'll do a make over on her, and make
her shine?"

This sounded entirely too female to Elaine.  Three women getting
together to play with clothes and makeup?  "But. . . But we don't
have any clothes for her, Donna."  She was pleased with that
dodge.

"Oh, I have a friend who runs a boutique.  I am sure she will let
me borrow some stuff if I ask.  I can get some basic cosmetics
for her coloring, too."

"Now wait just a bleeding minute here." Chris started to protest. 
"I don't wear makeup and fancy designer clothes do not look good
on me.  I am, as you so kindly pointed out, bigger than the
average fashion model.  All that silk and frou-frou make me look
like a male playing dress up."

If anything, that outburst made Elaine feel even worse because
she could tell that for all her accomplishments, Chris was
sensitive about her size and did not know how to play up her
looks.  She sighed inwardly and capitulated.  "Oh, please, Chris? 
Donna is very talented.  We'd have fun, and I just *know* that,
as attractive as you are right now?  You will be gorgeous when we
get done with you."

Surrounded, her last hope of escape cut off, Chris acquiesced,
but not before turning a hard look on Donna.  "Okay, but just
remember one thing, Lieutenant."

"Yes, Agent McKay?" Donna responded airily. 

"If you turn me into Bozette the clown tomorrow, we will have a
date on the mat day after tomorrow."

~-----------~

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

What seemed like an excellent stratagem to further immerse Elaine
in the feminine experience has had unexpected and unfortunate
repercussions.  Only time will tell how damaging it will be to
Elaine's development as a female, but we will have to watch it
carefully.

Elaine is now aware that Donna has known of her masculine history
for some time.  How this will affect their relationship and the
four months of work Donna has undertaken at my request are
questions that remain unanswered at this time.  So far, Elaine
refuses to speak with any of us about it, and totally ignores
poor LT Ellison except during her therapy and physical training
sessions.  She also refuses to wear any of the feminine finery
that Donna has "given" her over the past weeks, preferring Navy
issue unisex grey sweat suits. I have tried to draw the girl out,
but she is being stubbornly recalcitrant.  Personally, I
attribute this to her male outlook as any clear thinking female
would recognize the good that was accomplished.

Unfortunately, I had not anticipated the girl finding out about
this ruse until much later, if ever.  Dr. Evans is furious about
the setback and is worried that Elaine may decide to stop working
with Donna altogether.  The spooks will not like bringing yet
another medical type in on this, and the damage to LT Ellison's
career may be serious.  The head of security wanted to bring
charges against her for releasing classified information, which
was just stupid posturing on his part.  LT Ellison's role was
always strictly informal and there wasn't ever any real
classification of her activities.  Still, there are those who
would see her dismissal from this program as a black mark on her
record.

What a mess.

End Medical Log Entry.

Part Twelve: Confrontation - Sisters

Elaine sat in her room, staring at the waning patches of light
through the venetian blinds on her one window.  She'd been in
that position since returning from her workout with Master Rhee.

The session had been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish
- the first time in her life, or rather his and her lives, that
she had ever been verbally rebuked by the training Master.  Donna
had tried to put herself in the "ring" as Elaine's sparring
partner during the contact bouts.  The lieutenant had improved,
but she was still no where near Elaine's level and they both had
known it.  For one small instant of time, Elaine had considered
accepting Donna's challenge and then beating the living hell out
of her.  Instead, she had refused the challenge and had turned
her back on Donna.

Master Rhee, not knowing either the emotional state nor the
actual classified history of his pupil, only saw a pupil acting
arrogantly superior and haughty to another student.  He had
reacted in the way of martial arts masters, and had sparred with
Elaine himself to humble her.  He had succeeded magnificently at
that goal, and Elaine still hurt from the correction.  Still, not
fighting Donna had been the right thing to do.  Elaine did not
have the control that the Master possessed.  If she had lost her
temper during the match, even with all the padding they wore for
mock combat, she might have seriously injured Donna.

Why had she deceived her all these weeks?  Elaine had thought
Donna cared about her, but she had been just playing a role to
get the poor confused man-turned-girl into an acceptably female
attitude and outlook.

Be honest, at least with yourself, Elaine, she thought as she
batted away a stray tear.  It's the friendship the two of you had
developed that hurt the most.  If that had been nothing more than
a tactic, a tool to reach the unresponsive patient, Elaine did
not think she could handle that.  When Donna had slipped up by
complimenting her on her selection of an outfit for Chris ("Not
bad for a former guy, Elaine."), she had gone cold inside.  Donna
had been lying to her all along, which meant that Janelle had
been lying as well.

A soft knock on her door broke that train of thought.  When she
turned to look at the entrance to her room, she saw it opened
enough to admit Donna's head.  "Could I come in, please?" the
nurse asked softly.  "I'd really like to talk to you about all
this."
  
Elaine turned away.  "You're the nurse in charge, Nurse Ellison. 
There is nothing I can do to stop you from entering the room
where your patient resides."

"That . ." and Donna's voice broke momentarily into a half sob,
"stops me pretty effectively, Elaine."  The door opened wider and
the older woman drew herself to her full height as she strove for
what dignity she could salvage.  "If that is how you feel, I can
resign my post here, and ask for reassignment.  I don't want to
impede your progress, so if my continued presence here distresses
you that much, just tell me and I will be gone."

Elaine sighed.  She'd thought about asking for another nurse,
preferably a male nurse who would not try to make her into
something she was not.  In the end, however, she knew she
couldn't do it.  "Oh, hell, Lieutenant, come in and close the
damned door." she said resignedly.

Donna stepped inside, closed the door and then actually marched
to a position directly in front of Elaine and came to attention. 
It was a classically military thing to do as a junior entering
the office of a senior officer. 

"What the hell do you think you are doing, Donna?" Elaine asked
with a touch of exasperation in her voice.

"Reporting as ordered, Sir."

"Oh shit, Donna.  Cut the crap and sit down.  I am not even sure
I am a naval officer anymore and I sure as hell am not a "sir"."

Donna relaxed her rigid position and gave a weary smile.  "Well,
for the first time in our acquaintance, Elaine, you sure as hell
*sound* like a senior naval officer instead of seventeen year old
girl."

"I know all the words, Lieutenant.  I just did not want you to
think your young charge had a bad case of potty mouth.  I was
afraid the Iron Assed Bitch might elect to wash my mouth out with
soap."  Elaine waved her into the other chair and studied the
other woman.  Even seated, she was formally erect, her posture
and bearing militarily correct.  Her face, however, showed the
ravages of recent events.  Her eyes were red rimmed and what
little mascara she permitted herself while on duty had made
tracks down her cheeks that she had not been completely
successful in cleaning away.  Her hands were white knuckled as
she gripped them together on the table in front of her.

"You know you can't resign this position, Donna.  The Navy does
not forgive officers who don't do what the Navy, in its infinite
wisdom, have assigned them to do.  You'd be a civilian inside of
two years."

The nurse nodded her understanding.  "Perhaps, but I am a
qualified RN as well as a certified physical therapist.  I'll
find work outside.  What I cannot ethically do is remain here if
my presence hurts your recovery."

Elaine stood and began pacing back and forth across the room. 
"Dammit, Donna, I don't want you hurt, so just belay that
bullshit, okay?"  Donna stared at Elaine for a long time before
nodding, and beginning to relax.  "Just tell me, please, when did
you know that . . that. . "

"That you were once a man?"  Elaine nodded.  "Shortly after I put
you into that first skirt and blouse.  Up until then, I thought
you were just a confused kid who had grown up in a coma and did
not know how to be a maturing female.  When you accepted the
clothes from me, and wore them, Jan decided to bring me in on the
secret.  She really is worried that you will refuse to even try
to fit in as a female and will be very lonely because of it."

"I had wondered why her little "why don't you try this, Elaine?"
counseling sessions seemed to taper off so quickly.  So you got
the job of introducing me to my femininity, of instructing me in
those womanly mysteries of clothes and cosmetics?  Oh yes, and
lets not forget the wonders of menstruation."

"It seemed to be the best way.  You responded to me for some
reason in ways you did not for Jan.  She felt, as your
psychologist and therapist, that you needed these experiences in
order to make an informed choice about how you would live your
life now that you've been given a second chance."

"Was it all just an act?  The gifts, the chats. . . the
friendliness?"

Donna's mouth dropped and then her face went instantly from sad
fatigue to rage.  "No, goddammit, it was not any type of an act. 
I *like* you - hell, I even love you like I love my kid sister. 
I wanted to *help* you, dammit, and Jan said this was the best
way."

Elaine's emotions got the better of her and she burst into tears
as she flung herself at her nurse.  "I've been so afraid that it
was all a sham, and that I was all alone again.  The Docs aren't
family, and my family is lost to me.  All I had was you, and it
seemed like that was just an act."

Donna hugged the shuddering, sobbing figure.  "No, it wasn't an
act."  She pulled back so that she could look Elaine directly in
the eyes.  "I care about you, missy, very much.  Hell, I even set
myself up so you could stomp my butt today and you ignored me. 
I'm sorry you got punished by the Master about that."

"S'okay." Elaine said, stifling another sob and batting at her
streaming eyes.  "Damn female hormones."

Her friend chuckled softly.  "You'll get used to them.  They are
just a little overwhelming to you right now.  Are we okay, now?"
she asked hopefully.

Elaine started to answer and then caught herself.  "Donna, there
is something I need to say, now that I know you are aware of
Allain.  Do you know why I let you dress me up and paint my face
when I resisted every effort of Jan's?"

Her friend slowly shook her head, her eyes intently scanning
Elaine.  "Because you are a beautiful woman that I . . .that I
care about a whole lot, and because the only way I know to react
to that emotion is as a male.  I did not want to hurt your
feelings."

The meaning of Elaine's words slowly sunk in.  "You. . You *want*
me?" Donna squeaked in surprise.  Elaine hid her face against
Donna's chest and barely nodded.  "Oh my."  she said as she
hugged the smaller body to her own.  Then her body went rigid. 
"Damn her.  Jan knew that, didn't she?  That is why she was so
sure it would work - me being your teacher - because you would
take from the woman you . . . cared about that way, things that
you would not take from anyone else."

Donna moved them both to the small couch.  They sat there holding
one another for several minutes before the nurse broke the
silence.  "Wow.  I don't know how to deal with this.  I've always
been pretty much straight.  Oh, some experimentation with other
girls in my early teens - mostly "you show me how you do it and
I'll show you how I do it" kinds of thing."

Elaine gave a self deprecating laugh.  "How do you think I feel? 
I've always been straight, too, only now "straight" as my head
sees things is "gay" for my body. . . right down to my
chromosomes and entirely fertile womb.  Not that I would do
anything about it, Donna, but I do lust for you in my heart.  I
will understand if you cannot handle that.  I will even make sure
Evans finds a way to move you to another posting without any down
checks in your service record."

"I'm not going anywhere, sweetling.  I don't know how I am going
to deal with this. . . revelation.  I do know that I love you,
and it is nice to know that you still love me.  Can you handle it
if we never . . . errr. . . consummate a physical relationship?"

"Oh, I had never even let myself think that anything might come
of how I felt for you."  then she laughed softly.  "One advantage
of being a female is that unrequited lust is not quite so
physically painful as it is for a man.  At least, I haven't yet
had any reaction to compare to a bad case of blue balls.  Which
my loving wife unknowingly inflicted upon me a couple of times
during our very chaste, good-little-Catholic-couple courtship."

The two women shared a laugh at the bawdy comment.  "Are we okay
again, Elaine?"

"Better than just okay, I think.  And maybe even better than what
we were before.  Now, at least, I know that you understand why I
might react some way."

"I still want to dress you up, young lady.  I have really enjoyed
that part of my duties.  And I think it is important for you to
learn those things."

Elaine sighed before nodding her agreement.  "Okay.  Who knows. .
. I might even get to like it.  Lord knows that I like the
feeling of the softer fabrics on my skin these days.  Another
effect of the mad scientist's potion, I guess.  I seem to have
very sensitive skin."

~----------~

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

Based on my discussions with LT Ellison, and on my observation of
the security tapes of her and Elaine's confrontation, I feel that
the immediate crisis of LT Ellison's broken cover is resolved. 
My own relationship with the patient has, unfortunately, suffered
a setback as she has put the blame on me for her friend's
deceitful behavior.  

I am not too concerned at this juncture since Allain/Elaine is a
very mature personality for all her apparent youth, and I suspect
she will come to accept what I did.

As an experiment, I have seen to it that Elaine has been provided
with a couple of sets of what the Navy laughingly refers to as
"Pajamas-Men's-Cotton" from the Naval Small Stores uniform issue
in a size appropriate to her current stature.  Her comment about
the sensitivity of her skin is a factor I had not considered
before and may, along with the fact that menswear is simply not
cut for her figure, lead her to wear choose more feminine
clothing.  We will see what choices she makes in sleeping apparel
now that she does, in fact, have a choice.

End Medical Log Entry

Part Thirteen: Confrontations - Elders

Jan hesitated slightly before knocking on the door to Elaine's
apartment.  A week ago, she'd have just stuck her head inside,
yelled "yoo hoo" or some such thing, and expect to be waved in by
her patient.  That was a week ago, and this was now.

The relationship between doctor and patient had become coolly
polite over the past week.  Elaine still answered any question
Jan put to her, but she no longer initiated anything with the
older woman.  The rapport they had developed over the past months
had been badly strained as a result of the revelations of the
week before.  Elaine could not bring herself to blame Donna, and
the doctor understood that Elaine needed to fix blame somewhere.

Of course, if there was blame, it *should* be on her own head. 
The deception had been her idea and had been conducted at her
instigation.  Perhaps the worst part of it, from Jan's personal
perspective, was Elaine's comment to Donna that the "docs are not
family."  Jan had felt like Elaine was becoming family, and it
hurt to know she no longer was a member of her charge's special
number.  If she ever had been.

Grimly, Jan knocked on the door and then entered at the yelled
"Its not locked."  Which was, of course, strictly true since the
spooks would not allow the door to have a lock.  Why this was
necessary within the high security compound, Jan did not know,
but if Elaine did not complain about the lack, it was not
something Jan needed to fight for.  She needed to conserve every
silver bullet she had with those security types for battles she
*had* to win.

"May I come in, Elaine?" Jan asked from the doorway.  Two things
heartened the psychologist as she peered into the room.  The
first was that Elaine smiled at her and waved her in, much as she
had before the incident.

The second pleasing observation was that Elaine was wearing the
very feminine silk lounging pajamas and not the Navy issue men's
cotton pajamas Jan had obtained for her.  She walked over and
took her seat opposite Elaine.

"Thank you for seeing me." Jan opened formally.

Elaine laughed softly, surprising her guest.  "Has it really
gotten that bad between us, Jan?" she asked.  "First Donna comes
in here like she was facing charges at a court martial and now
you tip-toeing around me."

"You were very upset. . ." Jan temporized.

"True.  And I still think it was a dirty trick, but I will
concede that it was done with my best interests at heart."

Jan's brows rose in mock surprise.  "Only with your best
interests, not *in* your best interests or to your benefit?"

"Let's just say that the jury is still out on that, although I
will admit that your little object lesson has been received,
understood and accepted."

"Object lesson? Me?"

Elaine chuckled again.  "You don't do meek well.  I am wearing
these silky things instead of the oh-so-manly jammies you so
courteously provided."

"Oh, so you have discovered the pleasure of silk, have you?" Jan
asked with a wicked gleam in her eyes.

"I'm not sure it's the pleasures of silk or the downside of cheap
Navy cotton broadcloth. I have certainly discovered that I don't
like abrasive rashes on my butt, and since I don't particularly
like wearing a bra to bed, I don't much like the rashes there,
either."

"Oh." Jan said primly.  "Does that mean I can cancel the order I
just put in for some regulation boxer shorts and muscle t-
shirts?"

"As I said, Jan." Elaine responded, a twinkle in her eye, "I have
learned the object lesson.  Having said that, however, I think
*you* might want to solidify your gains and not push your luck
too much further?"

"Of course, dear.  So, what are your plans then, clothes-wise,
for the foreseeable future?"

"Let Donna continue to have her wicked way with me, of course. 
The only thing that has changed is that I know why she was
pushing all these frills on me."

The psychologist shook her head in amazement.  "I must say that
you are reacting with uncommon good sense for a girl your age.  I
would have expected you to hold a grudge for a much longer time."

"You forget sometimes, too, don't you?  I am not really
seventeen, Jan.  Oh, the body is and unfortunately, the hormone
systems are, but the mind is over thirty.  Sometimes, like when I
am really surprised or upset, the hormones overpower the rational
mind and I react like a seventeen year old immediately after the
fact.  Once I get time to think, however, the rational mind
reasserts itself and I can take action as the rational, mature
adult I really am."

"That is very perceptive, Elaine.  Still, I am pleased that you
are willing to forgive and forget.  We need to be able to work
together if you are going to lead a healthy, happy life as
Elaine."

An evil grin lit the gamine face.  "Oh, don't get too carried
away, doc.  Forgive?  Probably.  Forget? Uh uh.  We have a saying
in the Navy, dear lady, to the effect that payback is an
incestuous maternal male child.  One of these days, probably
sooner than later, I will get my own back on you." The grin
widened.  "And I *also* believe that merely getting even is for
amateurs.  I am a professional, and as a former missile submarine
sailor, I believe in overkill."

That elicited the expected laugh.  "I will remember that and try
to cover my ass around you, lad who's a lady." Jan decided it was
time to change the subject.  "So, what do you think of Bert?"

Taken off guard by the question, Elaine stared at the older
woman.  "Bert?  Bert who?" she asked in obvious confusion.

Well, that answers the question, Jan thought.  "Well, Bert, the
ex-Navy SEAL who is working out with you and Master Rhee?"

"Good fighter." Elaine said, choosing her words carefully in the
evaluation of a fellow warrior.  "Really superb control, both of
his mind and his body.  Excellent discipline.  He makes a
formidable opponent.  I really have learned a lot about
protecting myself against big powerful males by scrapping with
him."

Disgusted, Jan growled.  "That is NOT what I meant, Elaine.  What
do you think of his... .his looks?"

That earned her a disinterested shrug from Elaine.  "Looks?  He
looks unassuming and easygoing, but I guess guys who know that
can kick 99.99% of the world population's ass don't have much to
prove."  Then, it hit Elaine what Jan was driving at.  "You
mean.. .How does he look?  As in being male to my female?  *that*
kind of 'look'?"

At Jan's emphatic nod, Elaine blew out an exasperated breath. 
"Well, let's just say I am in no danger of wanting to trip him to
the mat and then have my evil way with him." She saw Jan start to
speak and cut her off.  "And it's the same with the other one. ..
What's his name."

"Larry." Jan supplied the missing name.

"Yeah, Larry.  Same as the way I feel about Bert.  Nice guy, good
fighter - the kind of guy you'd want guarding your back if you
had to go into a war zone or into a bar fight.  But Christ, Jan. 
They're *guys*!" and stopped herself just in time from adding,
"just like me."

And that says it all, doesn't it, Jan mused.  "So, the fact that
they are two gorgeous examples of the male gender in all its
power does absolutely nothing to you sexually?"

Elaine paused to consider that, and then shook her head.  "No,
can't say they do.  Now Chris and Donna, on the other hand - I
may trip either or both of them, really soon."

"Floozie." Jan said with gentle affection.  "So I guess where we
are is that you are starting to see benefit in dressing and
looking like a female, but you have no interest in the male of
the species."

"That's about it, Jan."  Was the complacent reply.

"What about children, Elaine?  You loved your daughter and now
for all intents and purposes, she is lost to you.  Don't you even
want the chance at another?"

Elaine giggled softly at that.  "Wait a minute, Jan.  Aren't you
supposed to be counseling me about abstinence and saying *no* to
sex before I am in love? Since when, in our modern age, do people
talk with seventeen year old girls about babies and getting
pregnant.  Other than to tell them *not* to, of course."

"Since you pointed out, missy, that you aren't your basic
seventeen year old girl.  You were a father, a parent and you
evidently cared for.. .I mean, care for that child very much."

"This isn't some new ploy of yours, is it?  Another way to get
Elaine to deal with all aspects of her newly gained femininity? 
I have to experience labor in order to accept my new role fully?" 


"No, dammit." Jan growled.  "I was only pointing out that you are
a fertile young woman who is capable of giving birth to a child
of your body.  It is something you might want to think about
because I am certain that you never have before.  That is part of
who you are now, Elaine.  And for that, you will need sperm,
which means, you need a man."  

Elaine saw that Jan was serious.  "I don't know, Jan.  Maybe my
ambivalence to males as sexual partners will change as I become
more. . acclimated to this body and gender.  If not, and I really
want kids, there are other ways to obtain the sperm.  Hell, for
that matter, I could go to the sperm bank where Allain used to
make deposits and have the old me knock up the new me.  Might
even be a good idea so there will be at least one more Charboneau
to carry on the family name."

"That is possible, I guess.  Still, it is sad that you can't see
your way clear to enjoy one of life's great pleasures and
intimacies - to at least *try* the experience."

"That is the way it goes, dear.  I don't see guys in that light,
and I cannot imagine the experience being good for either of us."

"Well, I guess I will drop it for now, then.  Anything you want
to ask about?  Anything you want or need?"

The girl went very quiet and still for several moments.  Jan
thought she could literally see the girl gathering herself to ask
for something she knew would cause a problem.  Finally, she
shrugged and sat up very straight.  "I would like to get out of
here for a few hours.  Go to a ball game, or walk on a beach or
even stroll around a mall.  I have been here for months and I am
going stir-crazy.  I mean, I'm not going to spend the rest of my
life on this maximum security reservation, am I?"

Jan made some notes on her ever present note pad.  "No, you are
not going to have to live here forever.  I will take it up with
Dr. Evans and if it is not a problem medically, we will see what
can be done about getting you a few days of  . . . what is it the
Navy calls it? Shore leave?"

"Liberty, Jan.  It is called liberty."

"Appropriate name in your case.  You realize that you will still
have a guard force and a watcher team?"  Elaine frowned, and then
nodded.  "All right, dear.  I will see you tomorrow." Jan said as
she stood and then left the room.

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

Trying to get Elaine a few days away from here certainly did
throw the fox into the henhouse.  Nathaniel had no problem with
it, provided that LT Ellison is with Elaine.  The problem, as
should have been expected, came from the spook contingent. 
Evidently they *were* seriously considering keeping Elaine here
for the rest of her newly extended natural life.  God only knows
why because there is no way the bad guys can know that Allain is
now Elaine.

The birds and the bees discussions did not go very well. 
Elaine's *male* mind is as staunchly heterosexual as ever.  Which
means that eventually, our little girl is going to need a girl
friend.  That also poses problems for our little cadre of guards
who won't see that as a guy stuck in a girl's body being
straight.  All they'll see is two girls together.

On another aside, I have contacted the sperm bank that Allain
worked with and found that there were, in fact, two of his
samples still in their stock.  I have issued a purchase order for
those two sperm donations against the possibility that Elaine was
serious about using Allain's sperm to father a child by her.  And
I have no reason to believe she was *not* serious. Family is
important to Allain/Elaine, and so is his "genetic legacy".  His
genetic material would be represented in future generations, but
not his family name.  I'm not sure how we will restore the
Charboneau name to Elaine's children, but step one has been
accomplished in preserving Allain's semen for Elaine's use.

Still, I feel badly that I have made no headway about getting
Elaine to at least consider relations with men as a possibility
in her life.  I need to talk to Chris and Donna about this
possible excursion for Elaine.  If she does go, maybe we can
arrange things so that our young lady does not forget she *is* a
lady.  Ball games are all well and good, but I think we need to
give her a bit more well rounded experience than that.

Elaine will probably *hate* it.

Too bad.  As her therapist, I honestly believes she has to deal
with this.  I am beginning to get just a little desperate. 

End Medical Log Entry.




Part Fourteen:  The Best Laid Plans

Jan had a very hard time not laughing at the pair of them - they
were so goggle-eyed at her proposed plan.  Well, it wasn't really
all that proposed.  She and Nathaniel had already ordered the
head of security to make whatever arrangements he thought
necessary without imposing on what Jan had in mind for her
patient.

Donna spoke up first.  "I can't believe that Elaine agreed to
this, Jan.  She can't have the faintest idea what this is all
about.  If anything, she is going to be thinking it is some kind
of Club Med vacation spot where she can play golf, get some sun
and ride horses."

"She doesn't know." Jan replied equably.  "And she will continue
to be kept in ignorance until it is too late for her to back out
without making a big fuss." she fixed the other two women with a
steely glare.  "Are we *very* clear on this?"

"She's not going to forgive any of us for this." Donna said
quietly.

"She needs this experience, Donna.  Your job is to be there to
help her deal with any negative reactions on her part, but she
*must* remain in the dark until the very last moment.  Are we
clear that there will be *no* prior disclosure?"

Donna became very solemn.  "And if I refuse to go?"

"Will you refuse a direct order, Lieutenant?" Jan had expected
this, and hoped this toothless threat was enough.  The plan would
surely fail without Donna there.

"I had already decided to resign over the last incident where I
hurt her by betraying her trust, Doctor.  I won't do that again,
and this would be just such a betrayal."

Damn, Janelle thought.  "Look, Donna.  It is not like we are
sending her to a male strip club or to a male brothel.  All we
are doing is handing her a relatively gentle fiat accompli
intended to shake her up and make her think a little bit."  Jan
let her voice become very soft.  "She needs this, Donna, if she
is ever going to make an informed choice."

The mutinous look remained fixed on the nurse's lovely face.  "I
still think she should be told what you have planned.  This is
not what she asked for, and it is certainly not what she thought
you were planning for her."

"I never told her what I was planning." Janelle replied equably. 
"She has drawn her own incorrect conclusions about the outing,
that's all."

"Bullshit, Doctor." Donna exploded.  "*You* lied to her, by
omission and by implication.  You are the one person she has a
right to expect absolute honesty from, and you are trying to pull
this shit."

"All right, I will concede both points to you, Donna. However, I
will continue to, as you say, lie to her by omission because I
honestly believe that this is something she *has* to experience. 
So, what are you going to do, Donna?  I have to know."

"I don't know." was the soft answer.  "On one hand, I can see
what you are trying to do, and even agree it might be for the
best.  On the other, I think it is a shitty trick that is going
to blow up in our faces.  She *should* be allowed to make her own
choice on this one, and if you cannot convince her that she
should do this, then I cannot see how springing it on her at the
last moment is going to be anything but a disaster."

Jan started to make a retort when Chris spoke up for the first
time.  "Aside from the fact that I *don't* believe you have the
right to choose her sexual preference *for* her, have you
considered, Jan, just how dangerous this plan of yours is?  I
mean, as in somebody might really get hurt?"

"How?" was the scathing reply from the increasingly angry
psychologist.

"Elaine has not yet tested out, but Allain was a high degree
black belt.  Elaine regularly kicks our collective butts in
class, and there, she is holding back.  If she feels threatened,
she won't hold anything back and a lot of people will get badly
hurt before we can slow her down."

"Elaine wouldn't do such a thing.  She is far too mature.  She'll
be angry, but if we play this correctly, she won't want to
embarrass herself by refusing point blank when the time comes."

"Who was it who told me that her maturity was only reliable when
she'd had time to get past the immediate emotion of a situation?" 
Donna challenged, fury radiating from her.

"I know that I, as well trained as I know that I am," and Chris
pointed her thumb at her breast, "Do not want to be *anywhere*
near her when you spring this on her.  She has a very short fuse
on her temper.  Part of that is Allain who was a hot-blooded
Cajun lad, but the greater part of that, right this very minute,
is a young woman in hormone overload who does not yet know how to
control herself fully."

Jan sat back, her eyes grim.  "You are both serious about this? 
You honestly believe that such a thing might come to pass?"

"For that reason as much for the fact that you have no right to
play God this way, Doctor.  That *person* in there has had more
than enough of that in her life recently, between the terrorists
who took her life and the damned mad scientist who took her
manhood.  What you are proposing is the same type of taking,
Doctor, only *you* are planning to take away her free choice.  Do
I think this will be a disaster? You bet. So much so, Doctor,"
Chris said firmly, "That if *you* don't tell her and if Donna
decides she has to obey her orders and not tell her, then *I*
will tell her before we leave the compound.   We are not dealing
with a seventeen year old piece of fluff here.  She is a warrior,
and she will react like one if she feels threatened.  And in my
opinion, she *will* feel threatened by what you have planned."

"You could be removed from the security team, Agent McKay."

"Then I will tell her, Doctor."  Donna added.  "If you pull both
of us off, she won't go.  Then you will have to deal with more
questions you won't be able to answer."

"Elaine *needs* this." Jan all but begged.

"So you say!" snapped Chris, her eyes snapping in her repressed
fury.  "If she needs it so damned much, then you go convince
*her* of that, Doctor.  As you said, she is a mature person when
she is not reacting on emotion or instinct.  Give her the cold,
rational facts to justify your position and then let *her* decide
like the adult, rational human being she is. It won't do anyone a
damn bit of good if she is put in lockup for assault." Chris said
grimly.

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

The best laid plans of mice, men and psychologists oft times go
aglee.  After speaking with Donna and Chris, and also after a
good deal of reflection, I am forced to agree with them.  My plan
to force Elaine into going out for a night on the town with a
hired male escort is fraught with too much potential for harm if
I have read my patient incorrectly.  And two highly trained
observers of human behavior believe that I have.

There are actually two real roadblocks to my plan.  The first is
the adamant refusal on the part of both women to keep this secret
from Elaine until the last minute.  As both quickly discerned,
any threats on my part against them were impotent.  They are
irreplaceable because Elaine trusts them both implicitly.  Their
removal would only serve to isolate the girl even further which
is precisely what I am trying to avoid.

The second problem is even bigger, and one I have a difficult
time remembering even when I am planning something to attempt to
deal with it.  Chris said it - Elaine is not your typical
seventeen year old all-American girl.  And her ability to kick
most guys into next week is only a small part of it.  Most
seventeen year old girls, when faced with a date on the town with
a gorgeous, attentive and polite male would be thrilled, even if
it was sprung on them as a surprise.  My mistake in all this is
that I keep expecting Elaine to react like a teenaged girl, and
she won't.  Maybe more correctly, she can't, unless she decides
to act the part.

Which throws my plans for her into a real tailspin.  The head
spook is really pleased.  He was not looking forward to having to
keep her safe in a crowded restaurant and a more crowded night
club.

And Christine's accusation that I am making decisions for the
girl have hit home.  Maybe in my zeal to get her to keep her
options completely open, I have gone too far.  Perhaps I have
allowed my personal biases as a happily married woman to color my
views of how Elaine should reach her decisions with regard to
sexual preference and orientation.

Still, there has to be a way to start getting Elaine in touch
with herself as an attractive female, and yes, I still mean
attractive to men.  Because she is attractive, and even if she
does not choose to make love with a man, she has to learn how to
interact with them in some manner that does not involve beating
them up.

At the very least, I believe she needs to be put in close, fairly
intimate contact with a male in a social or semi-social situation
without having her try to emasculate the guy for doing what we
paid him to do.

There is a possibility that I am looking into right now.  It
doesn't have the potential impact that the other plan had, but
most of the down sides to that plan are mitigated in this one. 
She probably still won't like it, but she will probably go
through with it.

I hope.

End Medical Log Entry.

Part Fifteen: The Spa

"You want me to go *where*?" Elaine asked in utter disbelief.

Jan looked around the room and saw the knowing look on Donna's
face and a bit of a smirk on Agent Mckay's.  Well, she knew this
wasn't going to be easy, which was the reason she'd wanted to
spring the date night plan on her patient at the last minute.

"It is a very nice place, Elaine.  It is sort of like a health
club.  They are experts at fitness programs and, just as
importantly, they will teach you how to care for you skin and
body properly.  The three of you will have a lovely time there. 
I promise."

"But I wanted to go to a ball game, not some boot camp for out of
shape women." it was almost a whine, and Janelle reminded herself
again that she was dealing with a mature, male mind in that
gifted female body.

"And we've planned that.  After your two days of being pampered,
you will stop off in the city for a baseball game."  The defiant
look on the girl's face was pure male stubbornness, and Janelle
had to fight back a sigh.  "Look, I know that this is not the
complete freedom you'd hoped for, but this is a good transition
for you.  You will get to see some people other than those of us
in on your secret, you will be treated like a queen, and. . ."
Janelle hoped this was the big gun she obviously needed, "the
security team will be able to do their jobs more easily.  The spa
is in the middle of the desert and there is nothing around it
except for sand for miles."  All the better to keep you from
trying to escape into the night, my dear, Jan thought.

"Chris?"  Elaine asked the special security agent.

"What she says is true.  We still don't know if there is a threat
to you.  We don't think there is, but we don't know for sure.  We
can surveille every access to this place, including across the
desert.  No way anyone can sneak up on us, and if someone tries,
we know we have a security problem."

"But what about the game?" Elaine asked.  "I don't see how you
can watch everyone at a baseball park."

"That is why we planned it for *after* the trip to the spa,
Lainey." Chris answered.

Elaine was obviously not happy about this turn of events, but
could not think of any more arguments.  "Okay." she growled. "But
it had better be a *very* good ball game."

~--------------~

Well, Donna thought amused, if her charge was *not* really a
teenage girl, she was certainly giving an *excellent* impression
of one having a full scale hissy-fit.

"Dammit, Donna, did you read what the hell it is they think they
are going to *do* to me???"  No one had thought to hide the
information packets before the trio had arrived in their suite of
rooms at the Mountain Spa Resort, and detail oriented Elaine had
pounced on them before anyone could rectify that error.

Tongue firmly in her cheek, the nurse replied.  "I think I have a
pretty good idea, Lainey. I've never been able to afford an
experience like this on my Navy pay, but I have always wanted
one.  Before I got assigned to you, I was saving my pennies so I
could afford an afternoon at one of these places.  Now, thanks to
you, I get a whole three day weekend."

"Well, lucky you, Ellison.  Look at these pictures.  They are
going to rub green stuff all over us and let it dry.  From the
sound of one of these things, they are going to sandpaper off
that "old, tired layer of dead skin".  And I don't even want to
think about what they expect me to do in that pool of hot sludgy
stuff."

"I'm with you, kid." came a voice from the door.  Chris walked in
looking almost as disgusted as Elaine.

"Thanks a hell of a lot, Chris." Donna burbled, unable to control
her laughter in the look of unhappy dismay on both of their
faces.  "Just the kind of positive attitude designed to help our
young miss here go try something new for a change."

"Bite me, Donna." snapped Elaine, using an epithet that one of
her mat partners used when in her company.  "And just so you
remember, since I woke up from my coma, almost *everything* I try
is new, whether I want to try it or not."

"Okay, okay." Donna said, throwing her hands up in the air.  "Sit
down and let's talk."  Elaine's slow, reluctant walk over to her
seat at the table across from Donna almost set the older woman
off again.  "I will make a deal with you, Elaine.  Try what is
scheduled for today, all right?  Just try it.  I personally
selected every treatment and they are all ones I have always
wanted to try.  Everyone I have ever heard from who came to this
place raved about it."  She lifted a hand to deflect the outburst
she saw coming from Elaine.  "*If* you really hate today, then I
won't try to make you go for the other two days' treatments.  I
won't even tell Jan how you wimped out.  You can stay up here and
hide out in your room since Chris won't be available to escort
you outside at the other facilities."

"Why won't she be available?"

"Because she is scheduled for her own treatments and she'll want
to go."

"Don't bet the ranch." Chris muttered earning a dark look from
Donna.

"Oh, all right." Donna's exasperation was trenchant.  "If Chris
wimps out, too, and she is willing, you can go outside and use
the other spa facilities while *I* am being given the royal
treatment."

"Don't see why I need her just to go outside to the pool." was
Elaine's mutinous reply.

"Because you promised." both older women chorused.

"Look, kid.  Even if I absolutely fall in love with this place,"
and here Chris pinned Donna with a hard look, "which I *doubt*, I
promise I'll make time to take you swimming and let you get out
of the room.  Fair?"

"I guess.  But I am *NOT* going to like this.  Count on it." and
with that, she stood and stalked out of the room, slamming her
bedroom door behind her.

~------------~

Elaine only barely managed to drag her limp body up the last few
steps to the entrance to the suite she shared with Chris and
Donna.  She made the mistake of leaning against the door as she
fumbled with the key to unlock that same door.  This resulted in
three things happening almost simultaneously.

The no longer latched door flew open under the impetus of
Elaine's weight.

Elaine's body, deprived of the support that door provided her,
went tumbling into the room, just barely avoiding falling flat on
her face.

Special Security Agent Christine McKay came up out of her chair
like a rocket and interposed herself between her principal and
the open door in a defensive stance.

So it was with something akin to disgust that Agent McKay heard
the Elaine's soft giggling laughter behind her.  Reaching out,
Chris carefully closed the door before turning to cast a baleful
look at her young charge.  "And *what* may I ask, is so bloody
funny?  And *why* are you sitting on your delicate young ass on
the floor?  Trust me, Elaine, enquiring minds want to know."

Mirth continued to bubble forth from the young woman on the
floor.  "You were going to protect me, weren't you Chris." Elaine
said in a light, almost intoxicated voice.  "Shielding me with
your own body.  That's so sweet."   Elaine carefully pulled
herself to her feet, stumbled over to Chris and planted a
smacking kiss on the agent's cheek.  "My hero.  .  . Or I guess
that is heroine."

Donna moved in quickly to help support the swaying young woman. 
"Lainey, what have you been into?"  Donna took a quick sniff at
Elaine's breath.  "Have you been drinking?"

Elaine made an expansive movement of her hands.  "Sure. 
Gallons."

"Gallons?" Donna squeaked as she lowered Elaine onto the sofa.
"Gallons of what?"  Visions of a detox unit flashed in her mind. 
What the hell had these people been thinking of. . 

"Water.  Gallons and gallons of that awful tasting fizzy water. 
God, I had to go to the bathroom so many times.  And I am so
tired.  That masseur - the last treatment of the day?  That was
*really* something.  I don't think my muscles are connected right
anymore.  And then he did this thing - around my neck and scalp? 
Wow."

Amused now, by both the girl and their reactions, Donna allowed
herself a soft chuckle. "So it was pretty good, eh?"

"Oh yeah.  Donna?"

"Yes, dear?"

"You can gloat all you want to tomorrow when I am alive enough to
take it like a man. . .oops, I mean like a woman.  Can't forget
that.  Anyway, I am just too wiped out to get any good out of
your fairly earned "I told you so".  I need to go to the bathroom
again and then go to bed."

"C'mon, Lainey.  I'll tuck you in."

Chris had opened a bottle of wine when Donna came back into the
room.  She held up the bottle in offer and Donna gratefully
accepted.  The two women touched glasses and tasted the golden
wine.  

"Looks like Lainey isn't going to be hiding in her room tomorrow. 
What the hell happened to her?" Chris asked over her wine glass.

"Utter relaxation.  Her masseur got her so relaxed, her mind
wanted to shutdown and couldn't.  It feels like being drunk."

"Sounds like it, too.  I got just one question, though.  She had
a *masseur*?  How come I got a masseuse?"

The smile Donna flashed her friend was smugly victorious.  "Shock
treatment for her, and because I thought you would prefer the
girl.  Besides, they only had one male massage therapist on
staff, and Jan wanted Miss Priss to get that experience."

"Guess she liked it." was the laughing reply.

"I guess."  Donna took a thoughtful sip of her wine.  "Well, if
she didn't quite like it, at least she didn't *hate* it.  Only
time will tell if she actually noticed that he was a male, or if
she only recognized him as a very skilled pair of hands."  

Donna took another sip of her wine and then gave Chris a
conspiratorial look.  "Anyway, that is positively the last sneaky
thing I am going to do to her in support of Jan's "make Elaine
into a normal heterosexual female" campaign - whatever the hell
"normal" really means for her.  Tomorrow she gets a female
therapist.  From Jan's point of view, it would be nice if she
enjoyed the masseur better than the masseuse, but I wouldn't take
very long odds on it.  I just hope she will notice a difference
and draw her own conclusions.  *AND* that she doesn't *ever*
figure out what I did."

"Now why would you ask that?" Chris asked before dropping her
voice into a rasping whisper, "And what's it worth to you,
chickie?"

Donna raised her glass in toast.  "Oh, then I won't tell her that
it was *your* idea right before our next class with Master Rhee."

"Bitch." Chris said without heat.  "You think she is going to
change her mind about guys and gals. . . as prospective lovers, I
mean."

"No, not really." Donna said with a sigh as she plopped down onto
the richly upholstered chair.  "I think the most we will ever
accomplish is get her to accept some guys, and they would have to
be really exemplary guys, in *addition* to gals.  And *girls*
will always be her first choice. She has too many years and
memories of chasing girls for her to make the change to letting
boys chase her very quickly, or more precisely, to letting boys
*catch* her very often.  For the most part, if they chase, I
expect she will run, and I don't even want to think about what
she'll do *if* one almost catches her."

"Is that going to be a problem for her?"

"Being different can always be a problem," Donna said, giving
Chris a very significant look that caused the special agent to
drop her gaze.  "Still, in her case, unlike Jan, I don't think it
will really be all that big a problem if she prefers girls in her
bed.  Hell, Chris, she is already so different from anyone else
her genetic age and physical gender that what will it matter if
she is just a little more different? Jan seems to think it is a
problem.  Maybe it is, but one thing I do know - the first guy
she meets who doesn't think *no* means *NO* had better give his
soul to God, because his ass is grass.  And if something like
that happens before she has a positive, sexual relationship with
a guy, you can forget her accepting a guy as a lover.  *EVER*!"

"Would that really be so bad?"  Chris asked wistfully.

Donna's eyes snapped to her friend and saw the longing Chris had
so far successfully kept hidden.  "I think it would be sad if she
made that type of decision based on the actions of one bad apple,
on fear of the unknown or on never having had any experience.  If
she met a nice guy, tried to enjoy him and couldn't, then I'd
say, fine.  Live your life as you see best.  It is just that I
would like her to know what she'd be missing in that case first." 
Then Donna stole a glance at the closed bedroom door and her own
mood became pensive.  "But I am coming to understand your
feelings, Chris.  I really am."

~------------~

The remainder of the weekend went smoothly.  After accepting the
good natured teasing that was due her, Elaine had happily gone
off to find out if that sludge pool might be as nice in its own
was as the massage had been.  The only treatment that had not
gone well was the exfoliation treatment. The mildly abrasive
scrubbing compound had been too rough on Elaine's genetically
altered skin and nervous system.  The mad scientist had made her
just a little too sensual.

The ball game was a success, with one small exception.  Elaine
had wanted a beer to go with her ballpark frankfurter. 
Unfortunately, her apparent age had been too young for the spooks
to make a convincing "over 21" ID for her so she could purchase
or even drink a beer.  Still, the soda had been cold, and the
game had been great - a one to nothing shutout with the home team
winning in the bottom of the ninth.

Medical Log Entry: Dr Whitaker

The trip went fairly well.  Elaine did not have an anxiety attack
when faced with male therapists. I am reliably informed that all
of the men who touched her lived to tell about it. Oddly enough,
she did express some concerns about some of the female
therapists.  Evidently, Allain saw the males as something akin to
the team trainer from his collegiate sporting days, but saw the
females as, well. . . as females.  His male mind was embarrassed
by being seen in the nude by the women who were doing the skin
treatments, facials and such, but her masseur was just "another"
guy.

This all puts me in a very difficult position.  On one hand, I
firmly believe that Elaine must have some experience, ultimately
*sexual experience*, as a woman with men.  Unfortunately, her
martial arts training precludes some big strong *gentle* guy
sweeping her off her feet the old fashioned, Neanderthal way.  I
am not trying to get the guy killed, and yet, as we saw at the
spa, she either ignores or is just plain oblivious to any of the
more subtle ploys to make her aware of men.

Medical ethics preclude me from doing anything very drastic
(Rohypnol and some light, playful bondage come to mind) to help
her be more amenable to the idea and maybe even to help her enjoy
the experience.

I cannot even say that letting her take the lessons with Master
Rhee was a mistake in light of this problem.  She already *knew*
enough from Allain's own martial arts experience to discourage or
even disable any potential, unwilling-to-take-no-for-an-answer
suitors.  Short of trying to get her to consider a few sessions
of lovemaking as a "medical necessity", I do not see a good
solution to this problem.

And somehow, I cannot envision Elaine filling any prescriptions I
might give her that says "take one man with water at bedtime and
call me in the morning."

I have to accept that there just may not be a good solution for
this problem.  Can't say that I like giving up, but I may have to
in the end.  It would be a shame, though.  All that beauty, all
that intense sensuality, and she is cutting herself off from a
potentially beautiful experience without even giving it a fair
chance.  

Oh well, I am sure she will make some lucky woman very happy.

End Medical Log Entry.

Part Sixteen: The Calling

Nathaniel and Janelle sat on one side of the conference table
across from two naval officers.  "I cannot recommend this to you,
gentlemen.  It is my professional opinion that she is *not* ready
to function in such an uncontrolled and potentially dangerous
environment on her own."  Jan said very firmly.

The senior of the two naval officers pointedly looked over at
Nathaniel. "It was my understanding, Dr Evans, that the patient
is fully recovered from her coma.  In fact, she has gotten
herself into superb physical condition. And Master Rhee tells me
she is incredibly advanced for a student so young."

"While I must concede to Master Rhee's experience on the last
part, the rest is all quite true, sir." Nathaniel answered
carefully.  "but the key word here is *physically* and I don't
think that is what Dr Whitaker means."

Janelle took up the argument again. "Allain Charboneau, or as she
currently calls herself, Elaine, has steadfastly refused to
confront several critically important issues associated with her
gender change."

"Come to the point, Dr Whitaker." the senior responded with
barely concealed condescension.  "What *critical*, important
issues?"

"She has refused to learn to deal with men as an attractive
woman.  Based on her Catholic upbringing, she has real, deep
rooted problems with the thought of being intimate with a man
since her mind is still pretty much male."

"I cannot see that as a disadvantage, Doctor." responded the
officer, a satisfied smile on his face.

The damned paternalistic idiot, Jan thought.  He thinks having a
male thinking female operative is a great idea.  More fool him. 
"Well, it very well could be a major disadvantage, especially if
she agrees to take on this mission for you.  She is going to be
surrounded by men who will see her and then try to hit on her as
they would any pretty woman.  We're not sure how she will react
except that if one of them crosses a certain line, she may take
him out."

"I have to believe that a submarine naval officer would have
sufficient self discipline to avoid calling attention to himself
while operating covertly."

Jan lost it. "Dammit, sir, that is just the problem.  That person
is no longer a "himself".  She is a "herself".  More importantly,
her new body is still going through the hormonal transition of a
relatively late puberty.  She is subject to major mood swings and
she has a very uncertain temper.  Don't think of this person as a
male.  She *thinks* like a male, but *only* when she has time to
think.  When she has to react without thinking, her newly female
biochemistry gets in the way.  Not to sound cliched or
condescending, she is operating at a hormonal level that makes it
like she is continually suffering from PMS."

"Doctor Evans?"  the naval officer asked, looking for a different
opinion.

"Dr Whitaker is correct in her description of the patient's
physical condition.  As to her comments about her psychological
profile, that is not my field.  Moreover, that is why Dr Whitaker
was brought into the program in the first place as she is an
internationally acknowledged expert in her field."

"But there is no physical reason *she* could not do the mission
as we've described it?  Other than the fact that she might be a
little. . . flighty?"

"Flighty???" Jan yelled, thoroughly aghast at the man's
insensitivity and ignorance.  When she would have gone further,
Nathaniel's hand came down on her thigh beneath the table, asking
her not to make things worse.

"Provided she can control her hormone-charged emotions, which is
by no means certain, she is more than physically capable of
performing as you describe.  I can only reemphasize that we have
*not* seen her demonstrate the ability to control herself
consistently in that manner."

"Understood, Doctor.  However, she is the only person who has the
detailed technical knowledge coupled with a totally unknown
identity about the shipyard.  I don't have anyone I can send in. 
If she is physically qualified, we have to ask her."

Defeated, Nathaniel nodded.  "Of course, Sir.  If you will follow
me, we will go to her suite and you can discuss this with her."

~-------------~

At the unexpected knock at her door, Elaine looked up from her
book and called out for her visitors to enter. Drs Evans and
Whitaker entered, leading in two other men in uniform.  Elaine's
eyes went wide when she realized that one of the officers was
wearing the gold braid of a rear admiral, the other held
captain's rank and wore the braided shoulder cord of an executive
assistant.  They also both wore the gold "Dolphins" submarine
officer's warfare pin.  What the hell was going on?!?

She rose and went over to greet the newcomers.  Nathaniel made
the introductions.  "Elaine, this is Admiral Smith, and his
assistant, Captain Davis."

Elaine inclined her head as she had seen Donna do on occasion and
offered her hand to them and shook their hands.

"This is indeed an honor." the admiral began. "Commander
Charboneau."

Taken completely off guard, all Elaine could do was stare at the
man in disbelief.  Jan came to her rescue.  "Elaine, the admiral
knows everything.  His office is in charge of the security force
that is watching over you."

Swallowing hard, Elaine nodded.  "Thank you, sir.  Are you also
responsible for the people who are watching over my wife and
child?"  

"I have that honor, Commander." was the solemn response.

"All right." Elaine responded, her demeanor becoming harder, more
direct as she stepped back into character as a professional naval
officer.  "You did not come all the way out here from DC to
present your compliments and check on my health. Obviously, I owe
you for taking care of her and I suspect it is payback time. What
can I do for you, gentlemen?"

"Why don't we all sit down, Commander?  Captain Davis has a
briefing for you."

Nodding her agreement, Elaine led the way over to the small
dining room furniture grouping.  Once seated, Captain Davis
pulled out three folders, opening one and passing the other two
to Elaine and the admiral.  The cover was sealed and stamped Top
Secret.  "If you will open your folder, Commander, we will begin
this briefing."

Medical Log Entry: Dr. Whitaker

This is one of those times that I wish I could read minds. 
Elaine did not make an immediate decision, but she is definitely
considering taking the mission.  I cannot recommend this.  She
simply is not ready to face men on their terms.

End Medical Log Entry.




Part Seventeen: Reflection and Decision

"May I speak with you, Elaine?" Janelle asked from the door.

"Sure." was the distracted response.  "What's up?"

"I'd like to know what your thoughts are right now."

"About the mission?" Elaine asked.  Janelle nodded slowly and
Elaine sighed.  "I suspect I am going to do it, Jan.  I also
suspect that you are very unhappy with that decision.  Going to
tell me why?"

"They want you to go back to that shipyard as a female worker. 
First, you are going to be alone.  The main reason that they want
you is that they cannot get anyone of their regular folks inside
without alerting the bad guys.  Secondly, you will, in all
likelihood, be outnumbered by male shipyard workers by about
twenty or thirty to one.  You *know* how attractive you are, and
you know what the average shipyard worker is like around women."

"Janelle, if the admiral is right, they have isolated the
shipyard offices that actually planted the bomb.  They just don't
know precisely who did it or who was calling the shots.  They
won't learn either answer unless someone can go inside."

"Why does that have to be you?" Janelle pleaded.

"Because I know nuclear engineering as well as anyone in the free
world, Jan, and I don't look like I possibly know anything of
that nature."  Elaine held up a hand to stop Jan's rebuttal. 
"Jan, they tried to kill my *shipmates*, and they tried to kill
*me*.  Hell, some folks would say that they *did* kill me.  They
have denied me my family and have, indirectly at least, denied me
my chance to command my own ship someday."

"I see." The older woman stood and walked over to stare out the
room's only window.

When Jan did not move or speak for a time, Elaine set her reading
aside and walked over to stand beside her.  She too looked out
the window in silence for a time before finally speaking.  "Well,
since I cannot see anything worth that type of concentration in
your basic military installation parking lot, I would say you
have something big on your mind.  What is it you came in her to
say, Jan."

She hesitated for another few moments and then shrugged.  "All
right, I will violate the primary precepts of my training and
come flat out and say it.  I don't think you should go on this
mission.  You are not ready.  Your refusal to attempt any
physical contact with men, other than on the fighting mats,
concerns me greatly.  For all your training, skills and
perspectives, you lack the basic survival instincts most young
women learn while growing up in what is still, for all our best
efforts, a male dominated world."

"So? I grew up in that world.  I was a male.  I know what to
expect from them." Elaine responded.

"NO YOU DON'T!" Jan yelled, shocking both of them.  Jan took a
deep breath and said in a calmer tone.  "No, you don't.  You
don't know what to do when some caveman pulls you into a dark
room, or when the office Lothario pinches your butt when their
aren't any witnesses, or how to handle snide, malicious talk
behind your back about how easy you are or aren't.  On this
mission, you can't kick their asses, much as you might like to,
and you can't cry sexual harassment since that will result in you
being moved out of the office which will end the mission."

Elaine considered that for a time, and then looked Jan in the
eyes.  "And you believe that is a possibility?"

"A distinct one, Elaine.  The waterfront at the shipyard is still
inculcated with the "boys will be boys" syndrome.  Will it
happen?  Hell yes, girl.  You are a walking centerfold and those
guys are going to be tripping over themselves trying to get at
you."

"And I would just have to stand there and take it?"

"If you want to be there for any length of time, but I don't
think you can, Elaine.  You don't do submissive very well and you
don't know how to flirt your way out of trouble.  Particularly,
if what you have to flirt with is a man.  You might be able to
handle a woman, particularly a woman who wanted you, but your
basic response to a male is to challenge him physically.  That
won't cut it and it could get you into a lot of trouble."

"So I would need to learn how to flirt with men?"

"You don't have time, girl." Jan said with disgust.  "Even if you
had been more amenable to the idea since the day you opened those
lovely green eyes after your transformation coma, you wouldn't
have had sufficient time to learn what you need to know about men
as a woman."

"Suppose I act really shy, like a sheltered girl who is just  out
of the convent for the first time.  Suppose I run like a deer
whenever anyone puts a move on you."

Janelle snorted derisively.  "It *might* work for a little while,
but not for very damned long.  Ever hear of the "thrill of the
hunt", Elaine?  Those guys will be on you like a pack of dogs on
the trail of fox."

"Really nice imagery, Jan.  But none of that changes the fact
that I cannot let those animals get away with what they tried to
do to my shipmates and what they did do to me and my family.  The
admiral believes that I am the only one with a chance to pull
this off.  Do you disagree, Jan?"

Elaine could see the internal struggle on her friend's face and
already had her answer when Jan's shoulders drooped.  "No, he's
right in that.  I just wish you could stay out of it for a few
more months - go out and get some practical experience with
dealing with the male of the species."

"Their briefing indicated that the spooks believe that the
terrorists are going to try another attack at the shipyard in the
near term, Jan.  We don't have a few more months.  We might not
have a few more weeks.  They are having to scramble even as we
speak just to set up reasonable cover stories for us."

"So you've decided." Janelle's shoulders slumped in defeat. "What
are the plans?"

"I don't know them all, but I think I am going to live with Donna
- some sort of cousin or niece, I guess."

"Why Donna?" Jan asked.  "She's not trained for this type of
thing."

"She *is*, however, already cleared to know about me.  She won't
be involved, other than as a reason for me to be in the area.  As
for the job paperwork, that is already been done.  If I say I am
going to do this, I will be able to start almost immediately. 
The job is sort of a rotating secretary, like a permanent temp. 
They will set things up so that I will be in all the suspect
offices.  I think what is hanging them up right now is the issue
of providing me with a reliable backup."

A knock at the door interrupted the pair and Elaine called for
the visitor to enter.

A tall young man in a dark suit entered.  He had a relatively
long, professional's haircut with dark eyes and hair.  He looked
like a taller, dark haired version of Leonardo DiCaprio. 
Surprised to have a stranger enter her high security room
unannounced, Elaine stood and moved away from Janelle into the
open area near the window.  Jan smiled to herself as she
recognized what the girl probably did not even realize she was
doing. It was the instinctive move a warrior looking for fighting
room. 

"May I help you?" Elaine asked guardedly.

"Guess I am here to help you, kid." was the reply.

Elaine's eyebrows rose in surprise.  "Christine?" she squealed,
her voice jumping two octaves syllable to syllable.

"Christopher, just now, kid."  She preened in front of the
mirror, striking a masculine swagger.  "I don't make too bad a
guy, do I?"

Janelle shook her head in amazement.  "But, . . but why?"

"I am going to be cutie's boy friend.  That way, she'll have a
way to deflect all but the most determined males and it will give
me a reason to spend time with her on a regular basis.  We still
haven't figured out how to get someone in the vicinity full time,
but if she calls, I can come "pick her up at work" or take her to
lunch if she needs to make a report or to get the hell out of
Dodge."

"But why *you*?  Why not one of the men?  I mean, on first look,
you seem to be pretty convincing, Chris, and I am sure you will
hold up under closer scrutiny, but . . ."

"But why take the chance of screwing up the impersonation by
having a female do it when there are qualified male operatives?" 
At Jan's nod, Chris smiled.  "Because there aren't any qualified
males, at least none who look young enough to make cutie's heart
go pitter patter." Chris gave Elaine a leering grin. 

"And you do look young enough." Janelle said understanding.

"Yep, I am a pretty good sized gal, but I make a pretty average
sized guy, and my skin looks like a male just barely able to
shave.  Only one small problem though. . ."  She sighed audibly. 
"Damn piece of body armor they shoe horned me into to . . .ummmm.
. flatten me, " and her hands came up to cup her no longer
visible breasts, "up here.  The thing laces up like a corset and
feels like an instrument of mediaeval torture."

"Now you know what I feel like wearing a bra, Chris." Elaine
chuckled.

"Not *even* close, kid.  Trust me, it isn't even close."

Elaine smiled, and then her grin became mischievous. "Chris?" 

"Yeah?"  The streetwise agent looked at Elaine suspiciously.

"Wellllll, since you are going to be my boyfriend, and not my
female bodyguard, I think a boyfriend wouldn't call his best
girl, kid, do you?  I mean, any girl I went out with would have
killed me if I called her something like that.  And since it *is*
important that you not break cover in public. . ." and now
Elaine's voice lost the femininely sweet inflection, "maybe you
could stick that "kid-shit" where the sun don't shine and find
something more appropriate to practice calling me, okay?"

Chris stared at the girl for several moments before breaking into
laughter.  "Okay, Elaine.  I will start working on it." she said,
shooting a glance at Janelle before turning a mock look of sexual
longing at Elaine.  "Okay, sweetie-cheeks?"

Janelle couldn't help herself and howled at the look of disgust
on Elaine's face.  "We'll work on it, poopsie." Elaine shot back
in a "Betty Boop" cooing tone.  "We *will* work on it."

Part Eighteen:  Motivated to Learn "Girl-ness"

The low muted sounds of angry frustration caught Donna's
attention as she was walking to her own room.  Concerned, she
knocked on the door to the bedroom she had made available to
Elaine and entered on the girl's invitation. What she saw made
her stop cold, and fight back a fit of laughter.

Elaine was sitting at her vanity, a laptop computer perched amid
the bottles, tubes and pots, trying to type.  From the vivid
flush on the girl's face, *trying* was the operative word.

Her former charge had just returned from somewhere Donna did not
need nor wanted to know about for a three week crash course on
her mission and on her "new" identity.  The person who'd just
returned earlier that week had been groomed and buffed into the
image of the eighteen year old, recent high school graduate she
looked, for all intents and purposes, to be.  As a result, Elaine
now intentionally wore her make up a touch too heavy, her clothes
just a bit too tight and short and spoke in a breathless little
voice liberally sprinkled with current adolescent slang.

Donna hated it, and missed her mature if masculine thinking young
friend.  Unfortunately, the mentors had also stressed the
importance of staying in role at all times, so that the role
became natural and instinctive.  It would not do, in a time of
stress or crisis, to have an eighteen year old feather-wit
suddenly taking charge and giving orders she damn well expected
to be obeyed.  Donna accepted that because she knew this mission
was dangerous enough.

Equally unfortunately, and this time it was Elaine who hated it,
was the decision to lengthen her fingernails.  No fashion
conscious eighteen year old female would dream of having the
short, masculinely manicured, colorless nails that Elaine had
insisted upon before the mentors got hold of her.  The first
thing that Donna had noticed when the girl had arrived at her
home two days ago (after the tight, low cut sweater and the skirt
cut six inches above her knees) were the fingernails.  They were
straight out of a teen fashion magazine - long, sculpted claws
painted a dark vermillion red and decorated with various
sparkling designs.  Donna shuddered to think what that had cost. 
She was even a touch envious since her duties as a nurse
precluded having really long nails herself.

Elaine would have given them to her friend gladly.  They caught
on *everything*.  She was going to be spending a fortune on
hosiery and on top of that, she couldn't figure out how to type
with them.  No matter how hard she tried, when she pressed one
key, that finger's nail would hit and likely depress at least one
of the keys on the next higher row.

"I can't do this, Donna!  How am I going to work at the shipyard
as a roving clerk typist when I can't type for shit with these
damned knives on my hands?"  A measure of just how upset the girl
was that this was the first time in two days that Donna had heard
her break role.

Her tongue stuck firmly in her cheek, Donna scolded her for that
breakdown.  "Now, I guess those nails aren't very strong, then?"

"No, they're like steel." was the breathy, but still disgusted
retort.

"Then they wouldn't break if you used *them* to hit the keys
instead of your fingertips?"

She could see the recognition in Elaine's eyes as she spun back
to the keyboard and began to type.  It worked, or at least it
seemed to be working better that her earlier attempts.  She still
had trouble "finding" the correct key with the fingernail,
especially when she had to hit any key that was not on the home
row, but it was better.  

"All right!" Elaine crowed. "Now all I need to do is practice
some more until I become at least moderately inept."

Chuckling, Donna grinned.  "Glad to be of help.  So, when do you
start your new job?"

"Day after tomorrow." Elaine said distractedly as she continued
to concentrate on her fingering.

"Well, then I will just leave you to your practicing." Donna said
as she reached for the door to leave.

"Wait, Donna, please."  Elaine called.  "I need some help."

Elaine walked over and sat down at the head of her bed, crossing
her legs under her in a movement that Donna was certain had been
drilled into her by the mentors.  Biting her lip, she hesitated.

"What is it, Sis?" Donna asked gently.

Looking absolutely miserable, Elaine muttered, "I don't know what
I am gonna do about the guys."  At Donna's incredulous look,
Elaine turned away.  "The mentors didn't address that at all. 
When I asked, the men were disinterested and when I asked the
women, they couldn't believe I didn't know how already."

"How could they not know?" Donna asked, incensed.

"Because only two people there were cleared to know my history
and they were both men.  So I have absolutely no social skills
suitable for dealing with a bunch of yardbird shipyard workers. 
I am afraid that whatever I do will be taken wrong - either that
I am stuck up or that I am coming on to them."

Donna nodded her understanding all the while cursing the fools
who had worked with this person for three damned weeks and had
not done a damn thing about what she and Janelle knew was a big
problem.  "Well, let's see." she began, stalling for time.  Then,
an idea began to take form.  "Tell me, Elaine, did Allan have any
sisters?  In particular, any younger sisters?"

A soft giggle answered her.  "Donna, Allain's family was French
Cajun and Catholic.  I had three brothers and four sisters -
three of whom were younger than me."

"Any of them fairly close in age to you?"

"Angelique was born just a year after I was.  My Mom always
insisted that it was one of the distinct disadvantages of having
a passionate nature and relying on the rhythm method of
contraception."

"Okay.  That's good.  Think about how your sister treated you. 
Did she tease you?  Try to put you in uncomfortable situations" 
Spar with you verbally?"

"Christ, yes.  She did her best to make my life hell, and she
darn near succeeded.  She seemed to take fiendish glee in making
me look and feel like a fool."  Elaine responded testily.

"Just as I did to my beloved big brother." Donna said with a
smile.  "That's a little sister's job, Elaine.  Who else is going
to deflate those puffed up adolescent male egos when they need a
poke?  And when you came back, all grown up, did her response to
you change?"

Elaine thought about that for a few moments.  "Mostly, I guess. 
When I came home from the Naval Academy that last time, she was a
whole lot more. . .sisterly is a bad word but it is all I can
think of.  Oh, she still took a poke at me every now and then,
but it was a lot less often. . . almost out of habit, I guess."

"Exactly. Now, I want you to think of that teasing little pest -
no, don't defend her - any little sister worth her salt works to
be a pest.  Anyway, think of how she reacted to you.  Got it?" 
Elaine's eyes were closed, but she nodded her head.  "Okay, I
want you to think about that a lot in the next few days.  When
you get involved in a. . .. tight situation with a guy, I want
you to treat him like you were his little sister."

"You're kidding, right?"

"Nope, I'm not.  That is how most girls interact with guys, at
least at first.  For the most part, that behavior is perceived as
being mildly flirtatious.  However, most nice guys, especially
those who have been big brothers, will fall in line with the game
and begin to treat you like a well loved, but bratty little
sister.  They will also help keep the not-so-nice guys off you."  

She watched as Elaine digested that, and would have smiled at the
look of distaste on her face if this wasn't such a potential
problem.  No, Donna did not think Elaine was going to get past
her male upbringing to see guys as anything other than "one of
the guys".

"You're sure this will work?" 

"At least for a little while, and hopefully, that is all it will
have to work.  There just isn't time to give you "Flirting 101"
in two days.  We can work on other little feminine ploys in the
evenings when you are not out with your boyfriend."  Donna
teased.

"Great.  I'm the girl and my boyfriend is the one who already
knows all the feminine ploys.  Is there something wrong with this
picture?"

Donna stood up and planted a light kiss on Elaine's cheek. "Not
that I can see, little Sister.  I think you are doing just fine. 
I am not sure I would be nearly as well adjusted if I had woke up
six months ago with a matched set of testicles.  Don't be so hard
on yourself.  It's a stage play, darling, enjoy the acting."  She
stopped at the door.  "Want something to eat?"

"Later, okay?  I need to spend a little longer nailing down this
typing thing and remembering all the snotty things my kid sister
used to do to me."

That earned her another chuckle from Donna.  "Just not *too*
snotty.  Some little sisters are more pesterly than others. Yell
when you want dinner."



Part Nineteen: Back Home at the Yard

The next couple of weeks settled into routine for Elaine.  Donna
would drop her off at the shipyard on her way to the Naval
Hospital.  Elaine would then report to the supervisor in charge
of administration who would assign her daily tasks, which usually
involved general clerical work at one of the shipyard shops under
suspicion, but not always. Sometimes, she would be assigned to
another shop just in case anyone noticed her showing up an
inordinate number of times, or that she only went to a small
number of nuclear production and support shops.

One problem, of course, was that, thanks to the mad scientist,
Elaine was eminently noticeable.  Supervisors remembered her and
she usually drew a crowd as many workers would just find a reason
to need to be in the office she was working in at that day. 
Supervisors remembered her for that reason, too.

During her first few days, she would catch a bus to the local
community college after work.  The curriculum at the college was
designed to help students get into four year colleges. It amused
Elaine to study precalculus, biology, American history and
English composition again after all those years.

The real purpose of the college was to provide her with a
feasible opportunity to meet her new "boyfriend".  Chris was also
enrolled in some of the same courses and made a "move" on Elaine
the second day of school.  Following the mentor's prearranged
script, the "romance" went slowly - perhaps sharing a bite of
dinner before class in the college dining hall, or a cup of
coffee at a little deli just off campus before going home.

By the end of the second week, the pair were an item around
campus and Chris started picking up Elaine most days, although
she still took the bus a night or two a week.  During their car
rides, or if necessary, at the crowded dining hall or deli,
Elaine would make her reports to Chris who would then pass them
along to the agent in charge of the operation.  The information
was sketchy the first two weeks, mainly because Elaine was so
busy trying to figure out what she was supposed to be doing.  One
mission danger was that the supervisor might call and complain to
her boss, and insist that she not be sent to his shop again. 
Elaine worked very hard, often through lunch or a little after
quitting time in order to make sure that did not happen.

On the Wednesday of the third week, a relatively agitated Elaine
climbed into Chris's car and leaned over for the expected kiss
between young lovers.  By this time, Chris knew Elaine's moods
fairly well and could see there was something on the girl's mind. 
Still, she held her peace until they were well away from the
shipyard and after she had ensured they were not being tailed.

"What have you got, Lainey?" Chris finally asked.

"I think I have a big part of it, Chris.  I only just realized
that the bomb was in the reactor room.  That is an area with
relatively high radiation levels, even when the reactor is not
operating.  Therefore, access is controlled and only authorized
people are allowed to enter.  The Radiological Control shop are
the folks who set up the controlled entry point and check
everyone going in and going out."

"Okay.  So what does that mean?"

"It means that someone in that shop, probably someone who works
graveyard shift, is up to his or her neck in whatever happened. 
It is the only explanation."

"Slow down.  Why does it have to be someone in that shop, and why
would it have to be on the 12 AM to 8 AM shift?"

"Chris, when I was Allain, I was on the other side, okay?  I
mean, I was one of the ship's company, so I know how the shipyard
works.  That shop has the keys to the locks on the reactor room. 
If someone is going in, and someone obviously did, they need the
keys.  Since the ship's crew stand watch 24 hours a day, they
would notice if the door was unlocked and not radiation control
shop guy was around - so someone from that shop has to be
involved.  And graveyard is the most likely time because there
isn't nearly as much construction activity.  We had very little
shipyard work scheduled for after midnight so the only members of
the crew who'd be around would be one or two watchstanders."

Chris considered that.  "Okay.  It is a good working theory.  How
do we check it?"

"They keep logs - who went in/who came out, what times. . .that
sort of stuff.  *And* who was at the entry control area for the
radiological control shop."

"If we go in and start checking those logs, it is going to be all
over the shipyard that some suits are looking at records.  It
could blow the whole deal."

Elaine considered that.  Hell, she knew her way around that
office pretty well by now, and more importantly, as Allain, she
knew what she was looking at and for on those logs.  "I could
arrange to work a little late the next time I work in that
office.  I could go through their files and see what turns up."

"Nothing might."  Chris cautioned.

"True." Elaine said equably.  "But then again, something might. 
And somehow, those guys have to be at least involved on the
periphery.  Like being paid off to permit access to the
restricted area on my ship."

Chris nodded slowly as she pulled the car into the student
parking lot at the college.  "Sounds like a plan.  Just be
careful, okay?"

"I usually have to do a lot of filing for that shop whenever I go
there.  I'll just make sure that the filing doesn't get done
before quitting time and offer to finish it before I go home. 
Evening shift is not quite as deserted as graveyard, but most of
the suits have gone home and the guys on that shift are almost
always on one or another of the ships."

I really don't like this, Chris thought, but I can't see anything
more promising.  The limited intelligence we've been able to pull
together seems to indicate that, whatever it is the terrorists
are planning, is going to happen soon.  

Shaking her head in resignation, Chris sighed. "Do it.  As soon
as you can.  We'll try and get you down to that shop again as
soon as practicable."

~-------------~

Whatever "in" Chris and her fellow spooks had with the shipyard
administrative types must have been pretty good, Elaine thought
to herself.  The very next day she'd found herself reassigned to
the radiological controls office *and* ordered to do some filing
for them.

She made quick work of most of the actual filing, managing to
keep enough files out to make it seem like she was making
progress, but not finished.  The office was mostly deserted,
anyway. This gave her the opportunity to scan other files as she
appeared to "look" for the right place to stow the next folder on
her steadily shrinking stack.

She began to see a possible pattern late that morning just before
the lunch break.  Looking around herself to ensure she was alone,
Elaine made some hurried notes on a pocket spiral notebook and
began replacing all the open files. 

She'd finally "finished" all her filing chores just as the first
of the shop workers strolled in for the mid day meal break.  She
waved to him as she left the office, intending to get her own
meal while she tried to make sense of what she'd just learned. 
The key problem was that what she'd found did not make a whole
lot of sense.  After all, what sane person would do what she was
now sure had been done, and then hang around to be caught, quite
literally, in the fallout?  Did that mean this guy *was* insane? 
Wouldn't someone he worked with notice if he'd gone off the deep
end?

Elaine bought a hot dog from the mobile canteen (lovingly
referred to by everyone in the Navy as the "roach-coach), and
walked along waterfront back towards the admin building.  Nothing
made sense about this entire scenario.  If only she knew the guy,
or could check his record to find out if there was any insanity
in his past.

She stopped cold.  His record, she thought, and then smiled to
herself.  Well, she was finished with the job at the radiological
controls office, and personnel *always* needed help with
something or other.  She'd just have to figure out how to get her
supervisor to assign her there for the rest of the day.  With any
luck, she'd finish up there fairly quickly, too, and be able to
play Nancy Drew again.

~--------------~

Donna Ellison strode across her living room to pick up the loudly
ringing phone.  "Hello?"

"Hi Donna." chirped a breathy, perky voice on the other end. 
"Hey, Cuz?  I had to work late at the yard tonight and missed my
ride with Chris." 

Donna heard the pout in her charge's voice. Elaine was becoming
quite the actress. "So, what do you need, Lainey?"

"How about a ride?  The next bus isn't for hours and I am tired
and hungry and want to come home." There was just enough juvenile
whining in Elaine's voice to be completely believable.  "*Now*!"

"Be right there, dear.  See you in fifteen."

Part Twenty: Return of the Terror

Fifteen minutes later, a grim faced Elaine scrambled into the
car.  She'd barely said hello before she was punching out numbers
on Donna's digital cell phone.  She listened and then sighed with
evident relief.  "Hi there, lover-boy!" she said in an
exaggeratedly sultry tone.  "I missed you tonight. How about you
pick a girl up and take me out for a little wooing."  Elaine
paused to listen.  "See you then, sweetie.  Don't be late!" and
then she punched off the phone.

"Problems?"  Donna asked.  She had been kept out of the
operational end of things, but knew that what was going on could
be dangerous.

"Maybe.  Or an opportunity.  Chris will know which.  I hope." 
And it was the male senior naval officer who was speaking.

When Chris arrived, Elaine gave her the signal that they needed
to speak in a secure place.  Chris led the way to her car, and
the pair drove away, Elaine wedged tightly against Chris.  "Okay,
what is it.  You scared the hell out me when you used the
emergency meeting code."

"I am pretty sure I know which radiological controls guy is
working with the terrorist group.  He may even be the one who set
the bomb, but I can't prove that.  His name is John Smith, and
yes, that really is his name.  He works the graveyard shift and
is the backshift supervisor for the shop.  The reason I think he
might also be the bomber is that before he went into radiation
control, he worked in one of the nuclear electronics shops so
he'd know how that equipment that the bomb was connected to works
and how it is wired up."

Nodding, Chris leaned down to press a kiss on the top of Elaine's
head as part of the cover story.  "Okay.  Sounds promising.  What
else?"

"All of a sudden, this guy is standing control area watches on
*my* ship.  For about four weeks, and he hadn't done that ever
before as far back as I can see, nor has he done it since.  I
might believe that was necessary if they were short handed, but
they weren't.  In fact, they had a couple of new guys on the
shift and were pretty well off from a manpower perspective.  So I
cannot think of a really good reason for shipyard-wide supervisor
to tie himself down to one ship like that."  

Elaine visibly snuggled into Chris and leaned up to give her
"boyfriend" a steamy-looking, passionate kiss.  "And that is not
all, Chris."  Elaine drew a deep breath careful to make it look
like she was moaning in need.  "He was on a week's leave in the
mountains the week the bomb was supposed to go off.  He even
delayed his leave a week when our schedule slipped and we were
supposed to get underway a week later than planned."

"Like he did not want to be anywhere near this place just about
then?" Chris mused.

"That's my reading of it, but that's not the worst of it, Chris. 
He's been standing security watches again, after not having stood
one in the entire two years since the incident on my ship.  This
time he's working in the secure area where they store expended
fuel and other very radioactive materials prior to being shipped
to a permanent waste disposal site." 

"All right, in light of what you just told me, that does sound
suspicious.  Anything else?"

Pasty white now, Elaine nodded.  "He's scheduled for another
week's leave starting three days from now.  If I am right, and
they have sabotaged that place, we have about five days before
something horrible happens."

"Shit!"

~------------~

As she did not have the "need to know" about operational matters
outside of her cover, Elaine was not sure what was going on
behind the scenes with the spooks after she reported to Chris. 
She just continued going to work and to school as her cover
dictated.  Two days later, she was again in the radiological
controls shop offices.  Elaine decided to do a little more
investigating on her own and stayed late again.

She pulled out all the applicable records and began a careful
search for anything that might point to anyone else who might be
involved with Smith.  

Unfortunately, she lost track of time.  Something hit her in the
head from behind, and the world exploded in pyrotechnic display
of dazzling white star-bursts before going black.

The first thing she realized was that Smith himself was standing
over her, and that he had a furious expression on his face.  The
second thing she realized was that she was bound hand and foot
into a brutal hogtie.  She was lying face up (she could not
really call it being on her back) her entire body bowed sharply
into a painful arch, and  she was gagged with something wadded in
her mouth held in place by duct tape. 

The third thing she realized was that she was stark naked.

"Little bitch." Smith rasped at her in a very harsh whisper. 
"Good thing I came in here tonight looking for my leave papers. I
don't know what you are doing here with all those records, but I
don't much care for the thought of anyone looking at that
particular time very closely.  Sad to say, you are going to be a
victim of an unknown assailant.  You shouldn't have been here
this time of night anyway, and it will be hours before anyone
will find you."  

He reached into his wallet and pulled out a small, thin packet. 
Elaine's eyes went wide with terror as she recognized the condom
package.

"And that being the case, I figure I might as well try you out,
seeing as how you won't be around to testify.  You shouldn't
ought to die without having had a *real* man fuck you."  He
showed her the condom and the rubber gloves.  "And no trace
evidence to tie me to the crime.  Give me a good time and I will
make it quick and easy for you.  Give me a hard time and you will
be a long time dying."

Stark terror gripped Allain's mind at the thought of this animal
raping him . . err her.  She tried to buck away, to free herself
so she could use her martial arts skills on him, but what ever
was holding her was just too strong.  She would have screamed
when she felt him putting his hands on her to get her in position
and then *into* her, but she was so afraid, her throat refused to
work.  Grimly, she closed her eyes and tried to ignore what was
happening to her - what she was feeling as his hands continued to
*touch* her.

She heard, rather than saw, the zipper go down and tried to steel
herself not to give in and let him see her terror.  Then, a voice
called.  "Smith?  You in here?"

Cursing under his breath, Smith hunkered down to eye level with
Elaine. "Now you be really quiet, little lady." he whispered
directly into her ear, "Because as bad as you think I am, that
one makes me look like an angel.  He *likes* hurting people.  At
least with me, it will be quick and clean."  Then he strode out
of the record room and into the outer office.  "Coming." he
called out loudly.

Elaine could hear the two men clearly from the inner office.  Not
that it was all that difficult because their "conversation
quickly devolved into a shouting match.  "You fool," the new
voice said disdainfully. "You are compromised.  The target area
is now under, 24 hour a day continuous surveillance.  We even
believe that they may have found and neutralized our explosive
device."  

"That can't be!" Smith almost screamed.  "No one knows what we've
been doing. No one. Hell, I even set the bomb myself, just like
last time so that there was no record of anyone else going into
the storage area."

"Don't you understand?" contempt dripped from each word.  "If
they are watching that area so closely, then they must have an
excellent idea of what we have planned.  Moreover, they are
probably hoping to spring a trap on us when we try to find out
why the bomb did not go off.  Fortunately, we are *also* keeping
a close watch on the target, but that does not change the *real*
problem. The only way they could have known to surveille that
area is if your cover has broken. Unfortunately for you, they are
eventually going to get tired of waiting and come after you."

"So what do I do?" Smith whined.  "Take off?  Head for cover?"

A bark of harsh laughter answered Smith.  "Fool.  No matter where
you run, no matter where you try to hide, they will find you.  
They will find you, then they will question you and ultimately,
they will break you." 

"I won't tell them anything. . " Smith was screaming in real fear
now.  "I swear.  I won't tell them a thing."

"Ah, but since you are the only one who knows me, or who has seen
my face. . . well, I simply can't take that risk."

Elaine heard a strange, muted sound - something like >>shatoop<<
>>shatoop<< and then a heavy thud as something evidently fell to
the floor.  

"Get him out of here." the man with the harsh voice said.  "Take
him out into the bay and drop him in a weighted sack.  It is time
to cut our losses and get out of here."

Elaine tried to stop her own breathing in her effort not to make
the slightest sound that would draw attention to her.  She heard
a man grunt as if he were lifting something very heavy, and then
the outer door opened and finally shut.

And then, there was only silence.

~--------------~

Elaine didn't know how long she'd lain there, every muscle in her
body screaming from being arched like a bow, but it had seemed
several lifetimes.  A noise in the outer office alerted her.  Had
he come back?  Was she going to die?

Another voice called out.  "Lainey?  Are you in here?"  She knew
that voice. It was Bert, one of her sparring partners with Master
Rhee.

She tried to scream, tried to yell, but the gag was too
effective.  With a herculean effort, she managed to roll against
a chair and knock it into the table making a satisfyingly loud
noise.

Moments later, Ed was in there, ripping away the duct tape that
bound her hands to her feet.  "Chris was frantic when you did not
check in, so she called us to make a check on you."  She squealed
when he tore away the makeshift gag, taking a few layers of lip
skin with it, but finally, she was free.  "Now, do you mind
telling me just what the hell is going on?"




Part Twenty One: End Game.

Although the security team immediately initiated an all out
search, there was no sign of either the terrorists or of what
everyone now agreed must be John Smith's corpse.  They maintained
surveillance on the proposed target for several more weeks, but
without Smith, there did not appear to be any way for the
terrorists to replace their bomb.  Apparently, they had, as
Elaine heard the leader say, decided to cut their losses and get
away.

No word leaked about her part in the strange goings on that
graveyard shift at the shipyard, but the security guys were
taking no chances.  Elaine was quickly spirited back to the high
security installation, and soon was having her body poked and
prodded by a very concerned Doctor Evans, while an equally upset
Doctor Whitaker did the same thing to her mind.

Nothing was overtly wrong with her, although Jan knew better than
to think that a near rape did not leave emotional and mental
wounds on the soul.  Still, although Elaine was cooperative, she
refused to fully confide in the therapist for the first few weeks
after her return.

Security concerns required that Donna remain at the Navy hospital
for the foreseeable future.  No one wanted anyone associating
Donna's comings and goings with Elaine's appearance and
subsequent disappearance.  Chris was also off doing something
else associated with the cleaning up of the operation that Elaine
did not need to know about.  This left Elaine with entirely too
much time on her hands - time she had to spend alone.

She took to going on long runs around the perimeter of the
compound, letting the monotonous pounding of her feet on the
ground and the tempo of her breathing help blank her mind.  It
was only partially successful.

Jan was right, Elaine mused as she finally gave in and confronted
what was bothering her, she did have some unresolved issues from
the attack and near rape.  Only Jan would never have dreamed what
was actually upsetting Elaine the most.

She'd felt a tingle of pleasure when that . . . bastard Smith had
fondled her.  Not anything like what she felt when she caressed
herself after the lights went out, but there had been a definite
frisson of pleasurable sensation that Elaine could not deny
having felt.

From a man.

From a fucking rapist, she snarled to herself.  What the hell is
*wrong* with me? she fumed.  No one answered.

In fact, since that night, Elaine found herself noticing the
young sailors and marines who moved about the secured compound. 
Noticing as in  . . .*noticing*.  Particularly if the sailor or
marine happened to be wearing really tight fitting dungarees or
utilities and had a nice tight butt.

And that scared the hell out of the part of her that still
thought like a him.

Finally, she admitted, that she needed help and the only one who
could begin to understand was Jan.

~-------------~

"I guess I should have listened to you, Jan, about the
interacting with guys thing?  Once he had me, I just froze with
fear.  All I could think about was being raped."  

Jan simply shook her head, a gentle smile on her face.  "You'd
probably have reacted the same as Allain, in a similar state and
faced with certain rape and death, dear.  No, nothing I had
planned for you would have helped in that situation."

"I am glad you think that, Jan.  It is . . . an uncomfortable
feeling thinking of yourself as a coward."

"Bunk." Jan said firmly.  "Fear is natural and appropriate when
you are helpless in the face of a real danger."

"Jan?" Elaine said quietly.  Jan regarded her solemnly and raised
her brows expectantly.  "He . . .ummmm. . . touched me." and the
girl flushed crimson fire across her face before looking down at
the hands clasped tight in her lap.  "Down there."

Understanding, Jan reached out and took one of the white knuckled
hands.  "He masturbated you?"  Jan felt her stomach roil as
Elaine nodded her head jerkily. "Did he hurt you?"  She asked,
knowing that, if she had been hurt, it was unlikely that she
would ever allow herself to even try a heterosexual relationship.

The girl didn't immediately answer, instead remaining completely
still before finally answering.  "No, he didn't hurt me.  In
fact, I *think* it might have felt . . .almost good if I hadn't
been so terrified."  Tears began to flow.  "Christ, Jan.  What is
wrong with me?  How could something that . . . vile feel good?"

Jan considered her words carefully.  "Elaine, you know that one
of the parameters of the mad scientist's design for you was . . .
. ummmm. . . a highly volatile nature and strong procreative and
sex drives?"

"So what?" she sobbed back.

"So, I think it is likely that, given your natural courage
coupled with the "gifts" of our fine young researcher, you were
able to process that as being pleasurable.  You can't help being
what he made you.  He wanted his dream girl to enjoy sex in all
its forms so he made you . . " Jan searched for a word.

"Easy?  Round heeled? Perverse?"  Elaine sputtered angrily.

"Highly gifted sensually, dear.  As to that coming from a rapist,
well, maybe that was a blessing."

"You mean I would have enjoyed being raped?  If rape is
inevitable and all that bullshit?"

"You hadn't been raped, yet, Elaine. As to if you would have
enjoyed it - I think that is unlikely because he would not have
taken the time you would have needed under the circumstances to
arouse you.  But it is unlikely that a man who would stoop to
rape would be that considerate."  Jan watched her patient mull
that over.  Elaine started to say something and then caught
herself.  "Ah ah, Elaine. . .tell me what you were going to say."

Quickly, before she could lose her courage, Elaine told the older
woman about her recent exploits of "man-watching".  Jan worked
hard to suppress her pleasure.  "Oh, I wouldn't worry too much
about it, Elaine.  I look at girls and I am as about as
heterosexual as they come.  Whatever happens will happen.  Deal
with it as it happens.  Deal with men as and if you are ready to. 
And you did do quite well, by all accounts, dealing with the men
you ran into at the shipyard.  In the more normal settings, at
least."

Elaine grinned.  "Just played the bratty kid sister for those
guys."

"Well, it worked.  We are going to be releasing you soon.  There
is not much more we can do for you, Lainey.  Of course, Nathaniel
and I will be available to you anytime, anywhere, but you need to
go out and find a new life for yourself.  The security guys will
see that you have an income, and you can be a woman of leisure,
or you can go back to school or go to work somewhere.  You have a
whole new life in front of you."

"Just not the life I would have chosen, Jan."

"We very rarely do get such a choice, dear girl.  The trick is to
make the choice we are given work to our advantage."  Then she
pulled something out of her pocket and handed it to Elaine.

Elaine looked at the chain and locket and then back to Jan.  "A
Susan B. Anthony dollar?"

"She was a pretty strong lady who did a lot of good in her life
for a lot of other people.  I think you can be much the same,
Elaine.  You have a unique perspective on the human condition. 
You are the only person in the world who can truly understand,
from personal experience, both the male and female perspective. 
However, now that you have done this, you are probably not going
to be the last one.  None of us knew how to help you deal with
that transition mentally or emotionally.  I made some huge
mistakes with you that you seem to be overcoming in spite of me. 
Anyway, if you were to go back to school, and become, say, a
psychiatrist either in practice or in research, you could bring
tremendous insight to the issues that come between men and
women."  She stood and headed for the door.  "Think about it,
dear."

Epilogue

Two weeks later, Elaine was standing on a cold, windy pier in the
early dawn, watching her or more correctly, Allain's ship go to
sea.  Beside her was the admiral, his aide, Donna Ellison and her
once again female-dressed bodyguard, Chris. The stiff breeze kept
threatening to lift Elaine's skirt past decency, and she finally
had to resort to holding the hem down.  

She looked over at Donna, resplendent in her dress blue uniform,
a bright shiny new medal pinned above her breast and glinting in
the morning sun.  Elaine thought of the brand new, women's
service dress blue uniform in her own closet, complete with
commander's rank on the sleeve, and the Congressional Medal of
Honor on its breast.  It had been a whim when she'd asked for it,
but she knew she'd never wear it.  How many eighteen year old
Commanders were there in the Navy?  None.  Well, one, she
amended, but no one else would ever know that.

Underneath her blouse, a simple silver chain hung around her neck
from which was suspended a single coin.  She had decided she
would try Jan's suggestion.  As soon as the security guys could
give her another new identity, she'd be applying to colleges with
an eye towards going to medical school.  

Actually, that had not been her first or even her second choice
of what she would do with her new life.  Her first thought had
been to go to work for the Admiral in his security and
intelligence group.  She wanted to track down the animals who had
done this to her - and who had almost succeeded in causing a
second Chernobyl in the United States.  As long as they were at
large, Elaine could not escape the feeling that her family was
still not completely safe.

The Admiral had not been very receptive to that notion.  "You
aren't done maturing, yet, Commander." he had said very gently. 
"We did not have much choice in the earlier operation.  You were
the only one who had both an understanding of the shipyard and
who was completely unknown to the bad guys.  I had some bad
moments when we thought you'd been hurt or captured.  We do have
a choice now.  Learn to live with yourself - build a life for
yourself, and when you are apparently of legal age again, we will
reconsider your request.  Obviously, if your body matures to the
parameters designed by that idiot scientist, physically you will
be a truly superior candidate.  Combine that with your martial
arts skills, your natural and enhanced intelligence and your
experience, and you could be one of the best agents we've ever
had."

"But I am ready now, Sir." Elaine had protested.

"No, Commander, you aren't.  What you are is angry and that is
not a good emotional state for the work we do.  You need to learn
to deal with that, too."  Elaine started to protest, but he'd
silenced her with a raised hand.  "Yes, I know what they stole
from you, and you have every right to be furious and vengeful
about that.  What you *don't* have any right to be is a *danger*
to other agents because you cannot yet control that anger and
rage that boils inside you."

In a small corner of her mind, Elaine knew he was correct.  She
didn't like it very much, but there was no disputing that she
still lacked control over her emotions.  She just *felt*
everything so acutely.  Not a good characteristic for an
undercover agent, which is what Elaine had intended to become in
his organization.

The other choice she'd considered had also been shot down by the
Admiral.  She had come up with the idea of being a nanny or an au
pair to Allain's child.  The problem with that idea was that it
would have been inconsistent with how Jeanne was currently living
her life.  There had been tons of family to help the grieving
widow and her child, and the sudden appearance of an outsider
would have been very conspicuous if, as the spooks still thought
was possible, the terrorists were watching her. Since they had
not bothered to try to change her appearance when she went
undercover, there was the danger that a member of the terrorist
group might have recognized Elaine.  There was every possibility
that her very presence might still pose an unacceptable danger to
Allain's family.

Which was yet another reason to find those animals, Elaine
thought.  Again, the Admiral had agreed with her desire to find
them, just not with her wish to be the one finding them.

So, she'd go back to college.  Might even be fun not having to
worry about some of the more Mickey Mouse bullshit that pervaded
every nuance of life back at the Naval Academy.  She'd stay with
Donna for now, and she would still have Chris who had been
assigned as Elaine's security team leader.  It could be quite the
adventure, if she looked at it in that light.

It was just so damned hard, she thought as she watched the symbol
of everything she'd lost slip silently out of the harbor.

Elaine refused to acknowledge the tears that were welling in her
eyes.  It was time to get past this. Blinking her eyes tightly to
clear them, she took one last look at the small, black speck
disappearing over the horizon that was all they could still see
of Allain's ship.  More than almost anything else in the world,
Elaine wished she was aboard her, wished she was still Allain. 
But that was not to be, and she did have a whole new life to
live, and she would find a way to make it good, to turn it to her
own advantage.

Smiling now, Elaine offered an arm to each of the other two
women.  "I've seen enough, and I've said goodbye."  Elaine turned
toward the naval officer standing quietly off to one side. 
"Thank you, Admiral, for everything. I will keep in touch, sir." 
Then Elaine leaned her head first onto Donna's shoulder, and then
onto Chris's, pulling each tight to her in turn.  "Let's go home,
ladies.  Let's go home." 

Copyright 1998


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