Backfire

Backfire.
by Angharad

Copyright © 2013 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.
  
katrina-hodge-404b_734269c.jpg

Picture courtesy of the Daily Telegraph.

This is a work of fiction and there is no intentional resemblance to any real person living or dead, including the photograph at the beginning which is meant as an archetype not individual.

National Service had been restored to the United Kingdom some five years ago, it declared that all eighteen to twenty year olds had to enlist in the armed services unless they were in a reserved occupation or studying for one, for two years. Nursing and medicine, veterinary science, defence engineering and one or two others were the get outs, which meant only those most able students or very wealthy ones avoided the call up or draught as the American’s call it.

Sylvia Plant was very concerned for her son Laurence, who was seventeen though looked two or three years younger. The reason he did so was because she’d managed to surreptitiously feed him with hormone blockers for the past four years and therefore he’d not encountered puberty and consequently was smaller than average and without the muscles or bony structure of most of his male contemporaries.

The conscription had begun five years before and every day there were reports of young British men returning from the wars with limbs missing or in body bags and Sylvia was determined it wasn’t going to happen to Laurence. He complained about his lack of development though she kept quiet about the pills she crushed and added to his food or drinks. She worked hard to get them from the hospital, having to give sexual favours to Mr Austin, the head pharmacist.

Sylvia had lost her husband Jim, to the war at its inception. He was an RAF pilot whose helicopter was hit by a ground launched missile killing him and several of his crew. She was determined not to lose another man to the war, and would have killed to protect her son. Instead she began to work out how she might dodge the draught and the plan of disguising Laurence as a girl was the one which seemed most practicable. Jim was blond and not terribly tall, so by restricting the effects of testosterone in her son, she reckoned she could keep him looking neutral enough to disguise as female. If necessary, she’d give him oestrogens as well. She also thought that if she could demonstrate he was a gender bender, they’d pass him over.

Laurence tried to be a normal boy and teenager, though being smaller than most of his friends he wasn’t always welcome when it came to sports, although he was wiry and very agile, he couldn’t compete against the testosterone fuelled jocks who simply knocked him down and ran over him at most contact sports. He concentrated on his academic studies but he wasn’t a brain-box. His language abilities were his strongest subjects and he was quite good at French and Italian and middling at Spanish and German. He was rubbish at maths and science. He hoped to get into something like the travel industry but the war had made that very limited: people were scared to travel very far as tourists were frequent targets for terrorists and the fact it could take four hours to board a plane meant only determined travellers or business types bothered to fly anywhere.

Sylvia’s plan was in jeopardy when she realised the UK armed services no longer worried about using openly gay men or women, but she was sure they wouldn’t use transvestites or better still transsexuals and when two boys Laurence knew were killed by a roadside bomb driving their Landrover, she discovered he didn’t want to die the same way.

He was upset for days, and his red eyes showed he’d been crying. They attended both funerals which were military ones, with flagged draped coffins and volleys fired over them before the bugler played the Last Post, where many of the assembled shed tears over the youthful deceased.

“Andy was only out there two weeks, jeez, Mum, he was eight months older than me. I don’t wanna die like that, fighting so some rich bastard can run his Range Rover around his country estate,” Laurence said as they drove home from the funeral.

“You soon won’t have a choice, son, when your name gets to the top of the list they’ll send for you.”

“I won’t go. I’m not going to die like that.”

“Unless you do medicine or something like it, you can’t avoid it,” Sylvia replied.

“I’ll run away first.”

“They’ll catch you.”

“I’ll disguise myself.”

“How?”

“I dunno yet do I? I only just thought of it.”

“If you grew your hair, you might just about get away as a girl.”

“A girl? I hadn’t thought of that–dunno, Mum, not sure I want to try that, I get enough funny looks as it is.”

Sylvia smiled to herself, she’d planted the seeds all she had to do was nurture them and they’d grow. She’d rather have a feminine son or even one who looked like her daughter, than a dead hero. She’d work on him to come to agree with her, she thought she might start giving him low dosage hormones as well–just to help him see the light. She didn’t like deceiving him but these two pointless deaths had in her mind justified her actions so far.

Six months later, Laurence was at another funeral this time of someone who’d been in his class, another flag draped coffin and he got really upset when they got home. “They’re not going to do that to me,” he sobbed on her shoulder, “don’t let them send me out there, Mum.”

“You’ll have to help me, son.”

“Anything, Mum, I don’t wanna die like that.”

“It’s not going to be very easy and you’re not going to like it.”

“I don’t care what we do.”

“I’ve got an idea, son.”

“What?”

“Dry your eyes, I’m going to phone the doctor.”

“What for?”

“You’re going to see him and tell him you want to be a girl.”

He looked at her in disbelief. “I’m what? You’re joking.”

“No I’m not, can you think of a better one and you said yourself you’d happily disguise yourself as a girl to escape them. Why not do it openly, they won’t want to call up someone who’d rather wear dresses than fatigues.”

“They’d see it as a stunt to avoid call up.”

“Not if you told them you’d been buying hormones on line already.”

“But I haven’t, have I?”

“Um,” she blushed, “I thought of this a year or so ago and have been buying them as you.”

“What? You want me to take hormones? Next they’ll cut my balls off.”

“Would you prefer to have them blown off?”

“No.” He got up and went out into the garden where he paced up and down for an hour before he came back in. “You really think this could work?”

“Can you think of a better idea?”

“No–wouldn’t I be buying girly stuff as well? They’ll look at my records.”

“Not necessarily, transsexuals are more interested in acquiring a female type body than worry about changing clothes, it’s transvestites who like to wear women’s clothes, but I’ve got some stuff upstairs I think would fit you–we’re more or less the same size.”

“What if they do blood tests and things, find out I haven’t been taking pills.”

“Here, start now.” She handed him a strip of contraceptive pills. He swallowed hard then took one. She patted him on the shoulder, “Good man,” she said.

“Yeah sure,” he replied feeling anything but manly.

She coached him on his disguise as a transsexual and at home he began wearing clothing which varied from jeans which were almost unisex to skirts and dresses. Over the next month, they established his new identity as Laura and when he went to see the doctor and confessed he’d been taking hormones because inside he knew he was really a girl, his GP played hell with him but agreed to refer him to a gender clinic.

On the war front, the casualties continued to mount as did the propaganda, senior politicians regularly appeared on the telly saying how important it was to protect the oil supplies and everywhere they were heckled by mothers who’d lost sons or husbands in their cause.

In school people began to see changes in Laurence, his face began to look girlish and he was growing his hair, he was also growing his chest and his nipples itched like mad as they began to develop. Because of his lack of a male puberty, his body seemed to seize on the opportunity to have a female one and he grew more girlish by the month. He decided when he went back after the summer holidays he was going back as a girl and began to tell the school, who weren’t exactly happy but agreed to it.

So plans were made, and for his eighteenth birthday he was going to come out to all his class. They’d organised a party at the local village hall and she’d chosen her outfit, had practiced her makeup, gestures, and everything else to be as feminine as possible. Sylvia felt a sadness as she lost her son, but a happiness that she might at least be able to retain a daughter.

The party was a success and nearly everyone supported her. The girls had spotted it much earlier than the boys and welcomed her to their group. The boys were bemused, why would anyone want to give up male status? One even asked if it was just a draught dodge. Sylvia shot that down and showed some photos of Laura as young child in dresses. So they could claim she’d always known she was in the wrong body. It was a lie, there were a few photos of her in a dress at a fancy dress party, the rest were pictures of her cousin, Janet, who looked very alike at that age.

Laura had just taken her A-levels in Italian, French, German and Spanish. She expected to get good grades at French and Italian and she hoped moderate passes in German and Spanish. She got the envelope containing her results at the same time her call up papers arrived.

“What do we do now, Mum?” she asked Sylvia, “I have to report to the recruitment centre at Catterick.”

“Wear your best dress and makeup, but not too high heels, you might have some standing and walking to do,” Sylvia replied grateful that bodily Laura looked much more female than male with spreading hips and growing breasts, only her small penis and testicles looked anomalous, and you’d have to look hard to see them under tight panties. Also they’d changed her name some months before but the government seemed oblivious to it.

She’d got three good passes in French, Italian and Spanish but her German grammar let her down. However, it would depend upon what happened with her call up as to whether she applied to university, even though the local one had provisionally accepted her.

On the day of her appointment with HM armed services, she dressed smart casual and taking a wheeled suitcase with her, all containing only female clothing, a letter from her gender clinic and her GP, her pills and her registration documents of a change of name.
“Excuse me, Miss, it’s men only at this office.”

She faced the corporal on the desk, “Well this where you told me to come.”

He looked back and she handed him her letter of notice of National Service. “This says, Mr Laurence Plant, is this a joke?”

“That used to be my name, now it’s Laura.”

“Are you taking the piss, Miss?”

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Corporal.”

“This is you then?”

“That was me, or what they thought was me, I knew different.”

“You’ve changed sex?”

“In transition.”

“What to avoid doing your duty?”

“Heavens no, but I’d have to do it as a woman, if that’s alright with you?”

“Wait here.” He went off and returned with a sergeant.

“You’re changing sex?” asked the sergeant appraising her like he would a bit of totty down the pub.

“No, I’ve always been female, I’m just changing my body to comply with it.” She showed him the letters from the clinic and her GP. He looked at them told her to wait and went off to return with a doctor who asked her to accompany him to an examination room. When she asked for a chaperone he nearly exploded but eventually found a nurse. His examination concluded that she was now more female than male.

“So what happens now?” she asked hoping he’d say, ‘Nothing, bugger off.’

He didn’t. “You’ll be delighted to discover we accept transgender people into the army, though obviously you’d be better with the women’s section. I’ve arranged for a letter to be organised for you to take with you. We’ll give you directions at reception.”

“Right oh,” she said trying not to let her disgust show.

“Oh, Laura, if this was a long term ploy to avoid conscription it won’t work, we have women soldiers too, some which didn’t necessarily start that way.”

“Does that mean you’ll do my surgery for me–down below?” She smiled sweetly at him.

“We won’t but we might be able to expedite it if you meet the criteria.” It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, though her breasts were large enough now to make going back to boydom difficult as would her spreading bum. The surgery bit was bluff and he’d called her on it. Perhaps she’d be better keeping her mouth shut from now on.

At reception she was given a letter and instructions plus a travel warrant to go to the female recruitment centre, some ten miles away. She managed to grab a cab that was dropping off a new recruit and it took her to the railway station. An hour later she arrived at Tarnwood camp and queued with a group of young women while they waited to be processed.

As soon as she handed over the letter she’d been given the young woman clerk at the desk nodded and told her to wait. Five minutes later she was being taken through to an office to see a woman lieutenant. She was looking at other documents as well as something on her computer screen.

“So you want to dodge the draught, do you?”

“No, I’m prepared to do my duty same as everyone else, but as a woman.”

“Okay, I’ll give you that you look the part and have done your homework better than most who try it on.”

“I’m not trying anything on, ma’am, except possibly a uniform later.”

“You’d probably be correct in that matter, okay, we’ll take you but one step out of line and we’ll send you back to the boys, and looking like you do, I suggest you’d lead an interesting life. Do I make myself clear?”

“Perfectly, ma’am.”

“Do you have any skills?”

“I’m eighteen, ma’am, though I can sew a bit and cook a little.”

“You’re good at languages, too, I see.”

“Better at them than most things.”

“Can you speak much French or Italian?”

“A bit.”

“Okay, I’ll put you down for interview with Intelligence after you finish basic training. I hope you’re fit, otherwise those lovely legs are going to feel very tired in a week or two’s time. Dismissed.”

With that Laura left the office and wandered back to reception to find out what happened next.



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This story is 2714 words long.