(a sequential fiction story)

Chapter 1 – by dmuk

Jaimee’s eyes blinked open; the thunderstorm in her dream had awakened her. Another echoing thunderclap sounded and she realized that the raging storm was real, too. She could smell the sweet-pungent scent of ozone in the air, along with them smell of rain streaming in wetly though her open bedroom window. She knew she was shaking, charged with adrenaline's frantic energy, sitting bolt upright in her bed. Fear gripped her thoughts; the helpless terror of someone unable to move fully on their own. Jaimee cursed the accident that had left her an invalid; disabled. If a tornado appeared, she would never be able to get to her wheelchair and flee in time, even with her husbands certain aid. She tried to breathe slowly, then suddenly heard the slow deep breaths of another person in the same room, in the bed next to hers.

Lighting flashed outside, arc-blue and fleeting. In the brief strobe-like glare Jaimee glimpsed a reclining form, turning jerkily towards her, a favorite quilted comforter pulled up snugly to its chin. The figure had reddish-blonde hair, unlike Ted's graying brown, and seemed to be moving with difficulty. Another flash lit the sky in a cascade of bolts that flickered for a few seconds. Jaimee was able to see clearly the person in the other bed – it was herself! Then her vision blurred as she realized she was watching her own sitting figure through the other's eyes at the same time she saw the reclining figure's eyes go wide with surprise. Both figures gasped, then screamed at the same moment. Jaimee fainted dead away and fell backwards in the bed, white as a sheet.

She awoke secure in the warm embrace of Ted's strong arms. With the room light on, the storm's fury seemed to retreat back outside. He held her close, saying to himself "It's all right, pumpkin, everything is going to be okay now. It's all right now…" Jaimee shook her head slightly and he loosened his grip. She was still laying part way down, propped up by a pile of pillows.

"Whooh, what a dream!" she exclaimed, shaking her head again, looking up as he blocked the view towards the window. Ted must have moved her glass of water; it was over on the other nightstand.

"It must have seemed like a dream to you, kitten," he said, catching her eye-line and twisting around to reach the glass and hand it to her. "But everything is OK; it worked. Thank God, it really worked!!"

"What did, Ted?" Jaimee sipped the cool slightly mineral-tasting liquid, starting to clear the cobwebs of sleep and confusion from her mind. Something felt different to her; some little thing she could not pin down just yet. It had been such a vivid dream; a nightmare really. Seeing a ghost of yourself.

"The transference, pumpkin. You made it!" he said, patting her on the legs which tickled them slightly.

It took her another few seconds to realize the significance of that simple feeling. Thinking she was still dreaming as she wiggled her toes, Jaimee reached up and pinched her arm, hard, then reflexively cried "Ow!" at the sudden twinge of pain she had caused herself. She could move again. It was a miracle! Her muscles felt stiff, unfamiliar, as she twisted around to sit on the edge of the bed next to him.

"Welcome back; honey…" Ted said softly as he kissed her gently, then with greater passion. Jaimee responded as she had not been able to for years, feeling the strength in her legs and torso as she pushed him onto the mattress and climbed on top of his muscular body. She had the advantage; she was already naked. Somehow he managed to douse the lights as they entwined, leaving only the brief flashes from the cooling storm to illuminate their passionate coupling. For the moment, Jaimee had forgotten all about the strange dream that had awakened her. Though a few minutes later she experienced an odd sense of deja-vu as her orgasmic cry of exultation seemed to occur in stereo, as if she was hearing it from two locations at once. There were no more dreams that night.

Morning dawned pink and misty, with the aroma of fresh flowers blown in by a light breeze. The air was moist, and as Jaimee lay there with her eyes closed savoring the new day she knew it was going to become hot and sticky later on. Maybe towards afternoon there would be another thunderstorm to cool things off. An aroma of fresh coffee meant that Ted had risen earlier and was getting a light breakfast together. She let her thoughts wander to the fantasy of lovemaking from last night and tried to avoid thinking about the reality of trying to get up out of bed and into her clothes for the coming summer day. Without conscious action, she stretched catlike and drew her legs up under her chin, then realized that should not be possible.

Jaimee came fully awake with a start, and suddenly was very aware of her body; it was different than she had remembered, even back then. She was taller, slimmer, fuller in the chest. Her thoughts flashed back to the dream/nightmare last night and the vision she had of herself leaning over herself – of THIS body! Glancing over to the twin bed by the window, she saw it was empty but unmade; someone had been under those covers last night during the storm. This was becoming very confusing to the young woman.

"Ted," she cried, "Come here, quickly! I think I'm going crazy?" He came in an instant, holding a cup of steaming coffee in each hand. There was even a little swirl of whipped cream on the top of the liquid Calmly he handed her one; she took it and sipped briefly before demanding "What is happening to me?!"

"Something that should have happened a while ago, but I was too scared to go through with it. You've got a new body now; a better one than ever. We can do all the things now we were going to, before your bad accident. You've got your life back!" He hugged her again, almost spilling the coffee onto the sheets.

"But how?" was her simple question.

"Don't worry about that; I don't know how exactly anyhow. Thank God, but it worked! How can I explain?" Ted seemed flustered, as if he wasn't sure of what to say. "You'd better sit down, kitten."

"I am sitting!" she replied, stating the obvious and starting to get a little worried. Dreams should not last this long, she told herself. Nightmares either…

"What happened is called Transference of Consciousness, at least that is the technical term. Something new, of course; remember my old school chum Lester? He worked it out, and pretty soon he'll be more famous than Einstein. And you're the first; the first real person after all the lab subjects and tests of course. It's quite an honor, really."

"Talk English, or at least American, and TELL ME WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!" Jaimee was getting more rattled all the time. She had a sinking feeling in her mind; but then why did she feel so alive?

Ted sat down too, and put his coffee on the nightstand. Facing her, taking her hands in his, he said "Your memories, thoughts, everything that makes you YOU is in a different body. That's all…"

It was everything.

"Oh, My Gawd!" she shrieked, unconsciously echoing the tones of a long-ago sitcom character as the truth finally sank in. Seconds passed while she thought about thinking and that she could think, that meant that it had really worked, otherwise she wouldn't be thinking this…about that…or at all. But she was, so she could, and it did. Changing bodies was so, so, science fiction. Or weird science, in some way. "If I've switched bodies, whose body is this?" She looked critically at her slim arms and shapely form, thinking she had seen it somewhere before. A female form she had tried so long to forget that she eventually had.

Once again she went wide-eyed with realization and blurted "You've put my mind into the body of your LOVE DOLL!!??" It was true; he had gotten the replica some years back and hidden it after her tantrum.

Ted reddened and looked at his hands instead of into Jaimee’s blue eyes. "Well, yes, but technically Joy is, was, an android." He looked her squarely in the eyes. "She was the very best that money could buy, for a reason, pumpkin, but I couldn't tell you at the time. I wasn't sure that Lester’s crazy gizmo would ever work; I didn't want you to get your hopes up. I know I should have said something. I'm sorry, Jaimee."

Now it was her turn to blush, as she realized that she could. She remembered the day the android had arrived at the house, in a long coffin-like crate. How Ted had read the instructions carefully and then opened the enclosure. She recalled her flash of jealousy at first seeing that perfect-looking female body that rested within, how the voice had said "Hello, Ted; I'm Joy" when he activated her. How he had weathered her scathing sarcasm at his explanation for having a ‘robot mistress’ as she had called it then. Jaimee had been furious at the time when she realized that the android even looked a little bit like her when she was younger – it was as if he was replacing her – she had thought. How true and how false that notion had turned out to be. Now that face and body had become hers, she finally understood the reasons why.

Ted had taken her gape-mounted silence for anger. He gripped her hands more tightly and pledged "I love you, Jaimee; I always have. When you were injured, it was as if a part of me had died too. Everything I've done has been to try and restore your life the way it was. I took a chance. Forgive me, please!"

Crying came easily to this body too, she realized, as tears streamed down her cheeks. Things were coming at her way too fast, but Jaimee knew trusting her emotions was the right thing. Trying to ignore the ‘how’ and concentrating on the ‘is’ she sagged against his chest and replied, "Of course, you big lug," while kissing him once more. "Next time, though, let me in on the secret; huh??" She had been on the verge of splitting up with him over the android but her trust had prevailed. It had been a close call, however.

"Okay, kitten. You've been through a lot; you should rest for a while." He motioned for her to lay down again. "Later on today, we'll start to get you used to walking once more."

Jaimee felt strange, mostly because she didn't feel strange. Try as she could, there was nothing about her new body at seemed at all artificial. There were no obvious motor sounds or metallic clanks as she moved; the voice that used to be Joy's sounded sweet and clear to her android ears. She started to wonder about other bodily functions and suddenly realized there was no way she could have a child. Or was there? "Ted, what about my old body?"

"She's sleeping, in the other room. After the transference her mind is sort of a void; at least that's what Les tells me. Otherwise there might be two of you and that's more than I could handle!" He chuckled. "After you decide what to do, we can talk more about her." It was strange the way he described her old self in the third-person.

"After? I thought it was decided already?" Jaimee placed her hand on her synthetic chest. "After all, I'm here, now."

"If you want to, you can go back. For about ten days, then your old brain will no longer match up."

"Back. What an interesting notion. Why?"

Authors Note:
OK, folks, your turn!!


[This started out as a ping-pong story, on the ASFR Fiction messageboard.   Ed.]

Click here to go on to Part 2, written by Brytestar