May 08, 2021 3:53 AM
yer a grayward tintin
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Sovie is mildly uncomfortable, but that is a common state from her. They might stay a couple of days away, and might take the opportunity to do some sightseeing.

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"That would be fine. ...I know I am not ready to fight monsters yet, you do not have to trick me into staying away."

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"It's not a trick. Just awful timing. And we figure you'd want to go through the transformation before it comes up in school." In a smaller voice. "I think if it was a trick Stephen would've booked for us to stay longer, a week at least."

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"I understand. It is just - I want to help. I know I cannot, but I want to help."

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Sovie smiles at him with a sad kind of fondness. She pats his hand. "It doesn't help now, but you are learning, and it will help later."

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"It is nice of you to say."

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Eventually, they arrive at their destination: a relatively large and eclectic settlement with portals to two other locales, one of which appears to be a desert if the odd presence of camel-like beings is any indication. After leaving the train station, they take a cab that takes them to a group of buildings made out of elaborate gray brick designs that practically scream that "this is a place of higher learning" even to people that are not familiar with college architecture from another world.

There is an air austerity, which is promptly broken by a random student passing them by in a unicycle.

They are greeted by a person as tall as Sovie but tan skinned and who introduces themselves by the name "Dant". The High Library representative that is going to oversee everything. They are invited inside and Dant wants to talk to Tintin what he wants out of the situation.

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"...I want to be a boy. Properly, I mean. I - um - this is embarrassing with you here, Auntie, could you -"

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"Of course, I will wait outside." Sovie leaves.

Once she is out Dant explains. "We talk with the guardians both in and outside the room. So that they think their opinion matters, while also listening what the child may say while they are away. Could you elaborate what properly being a boy means to you?"

 

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"...it - I want to have the - important part. But I do not want to lose the parts I have. And I do not want to start - growing breasts, or anything like that, and I want to go through the right puberty, I just - it is difficult to explain, I want to have both the parts? And to be a man everywhere else. Is that an option? I will take being a man fully if I have to, but I would rather not lose the parts I have if you can manage."

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Dant is unfazed by this, but is clearly paying attention. "That is an option, yes. We might need to re-do the ritual in a couple of years to make sure it isn't deviating, but that was already to be expected. Are those all of your preferences? Do you want to keep all functionality in both sets?"

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"Yes, please. Um, and I would not like to grow too much hair, if that is something that can be adjusted. I know that Earth's way to do this makes you very hairy, and I do not want that if I can avoid it."

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Dant smiles encouragingly and writes all that down. "Hair is easy, we will give you a maintenance pack which includes a ritual for controlling hair growth. If your goal is to remain able to get pregnant, that is doable, but it might be easier keeping all relevant organs inactive, but still there, then 'waking them up' later. But that is not the only way."

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"If it easier to wake them up later, then that is fine. And maybe safer than leaving them on."

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"Then that is doable. Let me outline the steps to you and their effects. You can tell what you think of each one and whatever else you'd prefer. And let me know if you want your mother back."

Dant shows the various steps, the process is a series of rituals one after another, taking over the course of six hours, with the full change taking half a day to set in. The maintenance package will make sure everything is develops and stays as expected. Specially as Tintin grows up. Everything is reversible, in part because our laws demand for it to be so.

 

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Tintin is excited about this. He has some requests but not many, it's a very well-polished process.

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Great! Then they can go through it during the course of the day.

The ritual performance takes place in a clean and lit space that looks quite a lot like a surgery room. Despite the ritual itself be remarkably not like a surgery. The casters spend most of their time a couple of feet away from Tintin.

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And by the end of it, Tintin can feel his flesh shifting! Or, well, he can tell that his flesh is shifting - it's mostly not directly perceptible, nerve endings not being designed to detect this kind of thing, but he has magic senses and they're telling him that he is becoming more Correct.

He thanks the casters profusely, both for their help and for putting up with his constant questions.

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In that case everyone is happy and Sovie may give Tintin a careful hug (he is advised to not move around a lot just yet). And they can eat Tintin's favorite dessert to celebrate.

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Gender and cake! This is easily the best day ever. (Tintin did not know that anyone outside of the Francosphere could make good mille-feuille!)

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(Happy Tintin is adorable.)

Once Tintin is up for walking again, they can go do out and do some tourism. They can see an "acrobat show" where the performers ricochet around the chamber. Or see the institution's "zoo" of enhanced animals. Sovie is also taking the opportunity to add to her library's collection.

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Tintin would love to see the zoo! He likes animals a great deal.

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They go to the "zoo" then. Which is the space where the animals worked by the students live in. Which isn't to say that it isn't nice. There is a nice park where they are allowed to roam and are trained. Most are canids of various sorts. But there are a couple of goat-like things over there, apparently being trained to be ridden on by people as tall as Sovie while being careful with obstacles smaller than Tintin.

Sovie already had spoken to the people responsible, and they let Tintin in to play with the trained animals. They flock excitedly near Tintin but are well-trained enough to not actually jump and knock over the small boy.

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Tintin is delighted. Particularly by this massive snow-white wolfhound.

"Who is this?" he asks, hands buried in the creature's ruff. "He is very handsome."

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Sovie checks the collar, whose names is at the back of the neck instead of by the front. "Snow-1929?"

"Yeah, 'snow' stands for the kind of service. They are made to easily learn new names, owners prefer that and the adaptability is a mark of intelligence," says one of the students very formally.

"But the important thing is that he is a very handsome boy," says another in cooing tones. "Do you want to play with him? Our snows are very good with kids."

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