“Lie back and maybe close your eyes and I will tell you. Don’t expect this to be fancy or well told I will just fill in what I know in the manner in which it drops out of my mind.” Drick noted that Marsh had closed his eyes again. He must still be suffering from the drugs, they were pretty harsh and normally intended for deep spaceflight. If your body wasn’t used to them, and there was no way his was, then they would hit harder.
“Jesus, Drick, just tell the damned story. Let me give you the critical score. Selling yourself short isn’t going to win a sympathy vote from this audience.” There was a trace of mirth amidst the grumbling baritone. Drick was suprised at the fluid notes of Marsh’s voice. It seemed that the more that time passed the more of the person returned and that coloured everything about them, and in a not unpleasant manner.
“Right. You seem to have found some measure of attitude. I guess a few hours alone with people who generally give me crap has perked you up. Don’t pick up their sense of dismay. Build your own.” Drick snapped the lines a little but felt no real malice or anger. It was good to hear Marsh gain a little confidence.
“I was made like this. I think this is a bit more of me. Not that it makes sense. Jeez, what the hell does make sense at the moment, I still can’t properly recall the events of the last thirty six hours never mind the rest of my life.”
“Well the real you seems to have a touch of flippancy. Did Krennar explain how things work on this system, in fact throughout much of the systems in regards to people and how they present? I only ask as you seem to be showing more of who you are and it is probably going to confuse you if you don’t know how things are.” Drick noted that Marsh was staring through slitted eyes. “It is just that you probably want to have some sense of how to portray yourself and your inner state at any point, to people.”
“Nope, they didn’t explain any of what you just said, well not in that way. In fact all of that was just, well, words, that seemed to fall out of your mouth. As if you just opened it and they tumbled out.”
“My mind. I said I was just going to talk.”
“Really! Seriously that collection of words was near your mind at some point? I honestly thought this was the preamble before the main wander. This is the wander, okay, expectations set.” Marsh smiled and Drick noted that the smile was both warm and generous, when Marsh smiled they did it for people and not just for themselves. It was a good smile.
“Nice. Sarcasm and a take down. Did you want me to explain? Or would you like to take a big shit somewhere as you seem to be carry a lot.”
Marsh laughed a deep laugh and coughed a little. They took a breath. “If you could explain a little more, yes please.”
“There is no gender here. No sexes to speak of. Well there are but not in the way you might understand. There are as many variants as what you likely had, when you came from. But there is no fixed gender. People are grown. Even those that are grown outside of a tube are products of careful choice. We are sexless up until the time we choose to take a sex, or a gender. We choose how we present. It is common to put how you present, as icons, on your tube tag. But it isn’t required and many choose not too.”
“I see, well I think I do.” Marsh had closed his eyes and settled back on the couch, “and I would say that I am a man who prefers people of the opposite gender, but if there are multiple genders?”
“You can easily have a tag that shows as male preferring females. Hell you can present as little or as much information as you like. It is neither right nor wrong to do so.”
“Well for any future reference, until I change my mind which I doubt, I am male and I prefer females. Though the whole idea of gender was not so much a problem but a series of armed conflicts. That’s not that much of an exaggeration. I mean that it absolutely polarised people, They still fought over it in the time I came from. There were religious and political restrictions in some nations. It was random and mindless to many, and the last vestige of morality and sense to others.”
“Well i guess that makes some sense. The change in society, in culture, wasn’t easy for us and was not won by weight of words. The excesses of the Expansion Wars created a different perspective that altered all of our history, irrevocably,”