This is fan-fiction based on Heather Rose Brown's "Gender Express" She has kindly given me permission to post this story. This is fiction is not meant to represent any person alive or otherwise. Thanks for editing and proofing to our own Holly Happy Hart and Janet Nolan. Any mistakes are of course mine! Enjoy!
“Excuse me? Could you tell me the way to Gender Express, please?”
Mike jerked around surprised. He wasn't the kind of guy girls stop to ask directions from. Most found his burly appearance an affront in this age of metabolic enhancers and mall beauty enhancement shops.
Turning around he was pleased to see not one but six attractive women looking expectantly at him. They were as excited as a group of school girls on holiday. He guessed they were foreign tourists from their accent, and the way they kept referring to their wrist comps for translations.
Mike grinned at this unforeseen kismet so early in the morning. He tele-commuted, which let him set his own hours. He liked combining his love of people watching with the exercise he required as he was one of the few who wasn't able to benefit from most of the new medical advances.
Then it hit him just where this gaggle of foreign tourist wanted to go. Taking a second look pass their makeup and dresses, the truth was plain to see. The over large hands, height, Adam's apples and other clues slapped him in the face.
‘Hey, wait minute, these are all guys!’
Their enthusiasm and smiles died as they took his reaction for revulsion. A couple showed defiance, while others only had a sad expectation on their faces. One of them, however, winced as if struck and expecting a violent response from him.
If it was possible for him to feel more of a jerk, Mike didn't know how. As they began to turn warily away, “Ahhh... ladies, hmmm... I'm sorry. You surprised me, and I reacted badly. Please accept my apologies, and let me personally escort you to your destination?”
They circled around, appearing uncertain about accepting his offer. Finally, cautiously, the one who had first asked him for directions gestured for him to lead.
He decided the best method would be to keep to a slow easy walk and keep his eyes to himself, to help keep him from thinking about their condition. Hopefully that would keep him from insulting them further.
With the Sovereign State of Caforá±a's open policy on nano-tech, the tourism capitalizing on it was becoming increasingly important. Other countries were only slowly developing the medical aspects, or had restrictions on its use, causing it to be extravagantly priced.
Mike lead them back the main entrance and gave them a few seconds to orient themselves. “You should've gone left here and not right. It's down this way. There right between the Holo-portrait studio and Victoria's Secrets. There you go ladies, Gender Express.”
They stormed the entrance with an enthusiastic rush that made him smile, although the thought of what they were about to do to themselves made his stomach turn flip-flops.
A small brunette who was dressed a little less well than the others and carried an overnight bag stopped before entering. “Thank you for your help, yes?” she said in accented English.
Feeling badly, “It is I who should thank you. You helped brighten my day.” Sighing, “Go have a good life,” Mike tried to smile.
She tentatively returned his smile and turned to rejoin her sisters as they hurried to their rebirth.
Marie had saved every Euro she could to make this trip. She and her companions had traveled together to help reduce the costs. There were cheaper clinics, but Gender Express in the Sovereign State of Caforá±a was by far the best value.
She had second thoughts after Holly had asked for directions and gotten such a bad reaction. As fearful as she'd been, she'd held doubts about the wisdom of accepting his offer to guide them. He'd proven himself after he'd apologized, and led them to their goal after all.
The other girls were planning a major shopping spree to celebrate their new lives. She knew exactly what her finances would and would not permit. After careful research on-line she'd approximated what her new sizes would be, and carried a change with her.
It was over sooner than she'd thought and she was totally delighted with her new self. After dressing, she felt like dancing out the door!
“Ms.?” the smiling receptionist asked her.
“Ja?” Marie turned, smiling, feeling as if she was going to float away on happiness alone.
“A gentleman left this for you,” she said with a knowing grin.
Confused Marie took the greeting card. Her ability to read English was better than her ability to speak it. Opening the card, she found a handwritten note inside, as well a gift certificate to the holography studio.
It read, “May this help you remember this first day of the rest of your life.”
It was signed, “Your escort.”
Stepping outside she looked for the burly man from Caforá±a, but he was no where to be seen.
Behind her, she heard her companions remark about the certificates that he'd given to them as well. She wondered why the gift, and after taking one last look for the giver, turned to share her joy with her sisters.
Unseen, a burly figure sighed, “Maybe someday,” as he turned and ambled home and the work that awaited him.
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