tagSci-Fi & FantasyExchange Students

Exchange Students

byCharles Petersunn©

Transsexualsim can be loosely translated as the right gender in the wrong body. This is a science fiction version of such an experience. It is classified in the science fiction section because it is a science fiction story, but it might fit as well within the transsexualism section to warn persons who would not enjoy transsexual stories to avoid reading this one. Please be warned, it does eventually develop transsexual content that some may find very difficult to enjoy. If you would dislike, or even hate, such stories, then try something else more to your liking. Don't read a story you won't like! Also be forewarned, the use of gender pronouns will at times be inconsistent and perhaps confusing. This is intentional, as it is part of the story. Also note, the story starts a little slow, but it does eventually take off and can be read in sections. Finally, having said all that, I hope you enjoy it!

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Marcia Martin and Michael Brady didn't know each other. There was a reasonable chance that they might have known each other. Both were students at Livingston College. Both were in their third year of college. They were both twenty. They may have even taken a course together, or at least seen each other. But, if they did see one another, they wouldn't think twice about it. Why is one person any more special or interesting than another?

They might though have made a pretty good couple. If they had both enrolled in Match.com or eHarmony there was actually a pretty good chance that they would in fact be matched. They had quite similar interests. They both liked taking an afternoon walk in the park, they both liked romantic comedies (although Michael would be hard pressed to admit it), they both liked playing board games (Scrabble was Michael's favorite; Trivial Pursuits was Marcia's), they both liked college football (although Marcia would be hard pressed to admit it), they both liked reading historical novels (that was a pretty obscure match), they both liked eating healthy foods (with the exception of extra salt on very buttery popcorn), neither liked to drink (it wouldn't be legal anyway), neither had any interest in experimenting with drugs, and neither was dating anyone.

It wasn't that they weren't interested in dating. They were both quite interested, but they were both quite shy. They were both quite inexperienced, sexually. They both had dated, but neither had gone at all very far. In fact, neither had yet gone past second base, although neither was particularly sure what that meant.

Neither should really have any particular difficulty finding a partner. They were both quite attractive. Michael had strong facial features, warm dreamy eyes, a wonderful smile, thick silky dark hair, and broad shoulders. He worked out frequently, including with dead weights. As a result, he had a well-defined chest, substantial biceps, and a very taut, firm abdomen.

Marcia was equally attractive. She had short curly blonde hair (she took great pride in her hairdos), large green eyes, very cute freckles, and the most adorable dimples. She was rather petite, but with very lovely firm breasts. She was though a little self-conscious about them as they seemed, at least to her, to be disproportionately large for her frame. This wasn't really true. They weren't actually huge, or even necessarily terribly large. Perhaps they would not have seemed so large on a girl of average height. However, she would notice that they would attract a boy's eyes. Don't they realize how obvious it is when you're looking at them? That might presumably be a good thing, but not for Marcia. Boys ogling (well, more like just stealing glances) just made her feel more uncertain and self-conscious. And, she was certainly not interested in a boy who was drawn to her primarily because of her breasts.

They did though finally have a chance to meet one another. They had both volunteered to participate in one of Dr. Minsky's psychological experiments. Everybody enrolled in Introductory Psychology had to participate in at least five experimental hours of research being conducted by psychology professors. It was a good way to experience, firsthand, what it was like to be within an experiment, as well as to contribute to the further growth of science. Marcia found it quite remarkably wonderful that she could in fact contribute to the growth of a science. Who wouldn't want to do that?

Dr. Minsky was researching trans-humanism or mind uploading, otherwise known as mind transfer or whole brain emulation. There were a lot of different names for it, but by any name it was essentially the investigation of the transfer (real or hypothetical) of a human mind into an artificial substrate; more specifically, a computer. One would develop thereby a form of artificial intelligence, called an infomorph. Perhaps someday one could even have the computer develop a sense of identity and consciousness, in a manner like Data (Star Trek) or David (Artificial Intelligence).

Dr. Minsky was currently investigating the transfer of social memory from a human into a computer. The memory had to be new, unique, to the person, created within the context of the experiment, so that its appearance within the computer could not be attributed simply to knowledge that any person could have had at any particular point in time (i.e., it could not be downloaded into the computer by a less than honest researcher). In addition, once transferred, the memory would be lost to the person, and so it was best not to transfer from the person anything that he or she would find to be significantly important. A silly little experience created during the course of the experiment was an obviously trivial memory to lose.

In this study, he naturally needed two persons, because the memory would be social, the memory of their interaction. Michael and Marcia arrived on time. They were told to come to two different locations, as Dr, Minsky didn't want them to begin developing any social memories before the experiment actually started. They might then transfer a memory that he could not objectively verify as actually having occurred. He first greeted Michael, took him to his enclosed cubicle, explained in more detail the nature of the study, and then got his informed consent. He then left to get Marcia waiting on the other side of the lab, took her to her cubicle, explained in some detail the nature of the study and got her informed consent. Basically, they would interact with each other via a self-contained computer, thereby having a social interaction that was fully monitored and recorded. Dr. Minsky would then upload their memory of the interaction into a third, independently wired computer.

Michael and Marcia were each hooked up to the computer via micro-electrochemical and electro-mechanical transingular pathways. It took quite awhile to get it all set up. Just getting wired could take up to two hours, with only one hour left to conduct the actual experiment. This was why Dr. Minsky's research was so popular among the students. You got three of the five hour requirement in just one sitting.

Dr. Minsky was quite excited about today's experiment as he had recently obtained substantially more powerful cables, ones that could handle considerably greater electro-mechanical flow.

With considerable bated breath, he flipped the switch, and was instantly knocked off his laboratory stool and thrown to the floor by a rather severe electrical shock.

The cables had been improperly connected, and very grossly so. His assistant had actually used the central wiring to connect Michael and Marcia to their mutual computers, and the surge of power was excessive, to say the least. The overload blew out Dr. Minskey's command system, throwing him to the floor, leaving him unconscious.

Michael and Marcia at first had no idea that anything was wrong. They did feel a very strange sensation in their heads, a sense of warmth suddenly entering their bodies, their brains, and then they began to tremble, shake and convulse, and then went unconscious.

Dr. Minsky was the first to awaken. It took him awhile to realize what had happened. At first he couldn't even recall who he was or where he was, but his memories gradually returned, and he realized, with considerable shock and horror, that something had gone wrong, really terribly wrong.

He first rushed to Marcia's cubicle. You always first rescue the female. And, to his dismay, and trepidation, she was indeed unconscious, albeit still sitting in the laboratory chair (which was in fact a very comfortable easy chair, as the experimental subjects would have to sit there for quite some time). He didn't know at first what to do. He knew, as a Livingston researcher, he should have described such a potential scenario in his application for university approval to conduct this study, but he hadn't ever imagined such a possibility. Something like this had never happened before, and there was really no way he could have anticipated it, or at least that would be his story, his defense. His heart sank at the thought of what could happen to him, to his research, and then realized that was probably a little selfish, given the fact that this girl might in fact be quite seriously harmed, if not dead. He cursed himself for being such a selfish person, and rushed to her aid, to disconnect her, to hopefully revive her.

He gave no thought to the possibility that the wires might still be hot. He didn't even know how long he had been out, how long she had been connected, and perhaps was still connected.

He politely, delicately, patted her cheek. "Marcia? Marcia? Are you alright? Wake up girl, I think you got a bit of an electrical shock there."

His heart raced as she failed to respond. He wondered if he should apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But, he also realized that he didn't really know how to do it. It did require blowing air into the young lady's mouth and feeling, no pressing, on her breasts, no on her chest. Well, in any case, he would certainly have to open her blouse to do that, wouldn't he? He again berated himself for momentarily, only just for a brief moment, thinking that it would be nice to have a peek at the pretty young coed's youthfully perky breasts. Maybe he was indeed a very evil man and would deserve to lose his faculty position. What kind of person would have such a thought at a time like this?

"My head, my head," Michael moaned, his hand coming up to his head, feeling around, rubbing his forehead. "Oh man, I have such a fucking headache." His mind was all groggy and confused. He didn't at first even recognize the face of the man looking intently down at him, or understand where he was, or why he was sitting back in this big easy chair, wires hanging down all around him. "What the fuck?"

'Rather course language to come out of such a petite, delicate mouth,' thought Dr. Minsky, but he was nevertheless ecstatic. She's alive! She's alive! He was so, so relieved. Well, at least the charge wouldn't be negligent homicide. That was something, wasn't it? But, then, he realized, it still could be. "Wait! Wait right here!" he exclaimed, and rushed over to Michael's cubicle. "Don't leave!" he shouted back as he made his way to Michael's room.

Marcia was already awakening, and was in fact sitting up. "My gosh, Dr, Minsky," she said, as she saw the professor dash into the cubicle. "Wow, that was really something. What a cool experiment. Did it work?"

"Um, yeah, sure." He wasn't too sure what to say. It appeared that Michael didn't realize how awfully wrong things went. Wouldn't that be a stroke of luck if they both just thought that this was how it was supposed to go! The students rarely read the entire consent form, and hardly paid any attention to what he was saying when he described the procedure. Whereas a moment ago he was thinking he might face a charge of negligent homicide, he was now realizing that he might in fact experience no repercussions whatsoever! These two students could just leave, thinking that everything went fine. He was, of course, supposed to file an incident report when something did go wrong, but Michael and Marcia apparently felt that nothing had gone wrong, so who was he to suggest that there had in fact been an "incident." He began to help Michael get disconnected from all of the wiring.

Marcia was feeling a bit confused. She didn't feel right. Her body didn't feel quite right, which was a rather odd thing to think, and even odder to feel. Were these really her hands? They certainly didn't look like her hands. No way were these her fingernails. For one thing, there was no nail polish, and the nails were in fact atrocious. How long had she been asleep?

And what the heck are these clothes? These aren't her clothes! Her face reddened at the thought that the doctor might have actually changed her clothes while she was asleep. But, why would he do that? That certainly wasn't in the informed consent form, or at least she would never have signed it if it had been there. Just the thought of the professor seeing her in her undies was shocking, if not repugnant.

She touched her face, and again felt that this just wasn't right. Her skin felt much more coarse and rough. There was even a pimple! What was that pimple doing there?! She didn't have a pimple when she came into this experiment. If this experiment caused her to have a pimple, Dr. Minsky would be in big, big trouble!

There was even some stubble. Stubble?! No way! Her hair?! She felt her hair. What happened to her pretty hair?! Had he cut her hair? No way! She sat full up in the chair. Something was very, very wrong.

"Dr. Minsky, what has happened to me?!"

"What?" That wasn't a good sign. Maybe the students were going to be a bit upset about this after all.

Marcia reached for her purse that she had placed by the chair. She had a mirror in her purse and sorely wanted to see what she looked like. She sure felt like a mess. But, her purse was not there. "Doctor, somebody stole my purse! I left it right there. I'm certain."

Dr. Minsky felt a wave of cold anxiety sweep through him. No, this didn't sound good at all. Why is Michael complaining about his purse? He didn't have a purse. He was certain about that. Why would he even have a purse? He could feel his heart sinking. He really didn't want to realize what appeared to be happening, or what appeared to have happened. No, no, that was absurd, wasn't it?

"Um, uh, why don't you wait right here a second, I need to check something."

Marcia looked at him in shock. He needed to check something? She needed to check something, and he needed to do a lot more than that!

Dr. Minsky quickly extricated himself from Michael's room and made his way back to Marcia. He did indeed need to check something, and he so much did not want to discover what he was thinking. As he opened the door, he was greeted by Marcia, standing up, looking as shocked as Michael, saying, "What the fuck doctor! What the fuck is this?!"

The professor asked, quite tentatively, quite anxiously, "Um, Michael?"

"Yea, doctor, Michael. At least YOU know who I am! I sure as fuck don't. Is this some kind of social psych experiment? Do you got me in one of those fucking fat suits or something? Do you really think I'm going to walk around like this? How in the hell do I get this wig off? And where the fuck are my clothes? I sure as fuck am not going to leave here dressed like this!" Michael did not normally curse and swear. He would on occasion, when he was really upset, and this was certainly an occasion in which to be really upset. He wanted to make it real clear to the doctor that he was no longer going to participate in this experiment. He wanted to withdraw from the study. He didn't recall that there would be anything like this in the experiment, although his memory was in general a bit foggy right now. Still, you had the right to withdraw from an experiment at any time and get full three hour credit, and he was making it real clear that he would want the full credit. He just wanted to go home and lie down.

"Yea, sure, I know. I realize that. If you would, just wait here a second. I'll explain everything."

As he backed out of the room, shutting the door behind him, Michael exclaimed, "I want full credit, doctor!" He felt he should in fact be crystal clear about that.

The professor slowly made his way back to what he now realized was in fact Marcia's room. He walked slowly as he really needed time to think about this. Could this really be true? The experiment could in fact be said to be entirely successful, far more successful than anyone could ever really imagine. It frankly appeared that he had not only successfully transferred the memory of the laboratory encounter, but he had successfully transferred all memories. The glitch, of course, was that the memories had not been transferred into the central computer but instead were transferred, or rather exchanged, across the two student bodies. Marcia was now Michael, and Michael was now Marcia, or least Marcia was now in Michael's body, and Michael was now in Marcia's body. This was fantastic! This would be the best publication of his career! Actually, of anyone's career. This was definitely Noble Prize material!

Still, though, he would need to calm these two students down. They did seem a bit concerned about this, perhaps even a little agitated. Everything would be alright, he kept telling himself. He would have to convince the students of that fact as well. All he had to do was to reverse the process. Of course, one wrench in that plan is that he didn't at all know how he had done it the first time. It had been an accident. That actually wouldn't look good in the publication. His hopes for a Noble Prize were diminishing. Still, he could probably figure that out, couldn't he? If he could just figure that out before it became public, he could then reverse the process, get the kids into the right bodies, and then publish his findings. Everybody would be happy! Yes, yes, that's the plan. He opened the door to Marcia's room.

Marcia felt like crying. She was much more than concerned, she was scared. By now she had come to realize that she was not actually in her own body, and how very strange was that. She wondered if this was part of the experiment. If so, it seemed rather risky to her. She sure hoped that Dr. Minsky knew what he was doing. She wanted to get back into her own body as soon as possible! "Professor, what's happened to me?"

"Yes, yes, Marcia, don't worry, I can explain. No problem. This has happened before." That was a bold lie, but he knew it was important for her to first be reassured, to relax, to remain calm. "This sometimes happens. It can feel unusual, but it's nothing to get excited about." He didn't realize what a good liar he was, or at least he was himself struck at what a bald-faced lie he was providing. But, he would soon discover how good of a liar he really was.

"But, this isn't me! I'm not me!"

"No, no, not right now, I understand. Let me explain."

Marcia definitely wanted an explanation. She desperately wanted an explanation.

Professor Minsky explained the situation to her, and was partially honest about it. What happened is that some wires got crossed (he left out the technical details, which were really quite complicated and would only serve to confuse her, as well as himself), the system shorted out, and rather than just transfer a small social memory to the computer, she and the other experimental subject, Michael, had traded minds, or traded bodies, depending on how you looked at it.

When he finished she just stood there, looking rather dumfounded. It was quite a bit of news to swallow, to say the least. "This guy has my body?" Just saying that was shocking, and rather disgusting. Some guy, apparently one with a pimple on his cheek, is occupying her body? What was he doing with it?

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byCharles Petersunn© 18 comments/ 63015 views/ 43 favorites

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