Chapter 1 – It can’t be that fast, can it?
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Hey! a lot of world building, i had a lot of fun writing this one, not all of the world building will be relevant but i wanted this story in particular to have a well constructed world, so i tried! It's mostly a good world, an utopian world especially this close to us (the story take place in 2040) but i'm a dreamer! I hope you enjoy this chapter!

For our American friends here is a list of converted units so you don't feel alone

  • 175cm is 5'9, 170cm is 5'7 (an inch is approximately 2.4cm)
  • 19°C is 66°F, 0°C is 32°F and 100°F is 38°C, the formula is °F = (°C * 9/5) + 32

Chapter 1: It can’t be that fast, can it?

Ring ring ring

I jolted awake at the sound of my alarm going off, today was Sunday but I have a meeting with Sylvia to draw, they said they had a new idea for a powerful new propulsion system to incorporate into our vessel but I had to review it to see if the idea seems plausible and how to draw it.

My house automation system sensed the fact I was awake and started the morning routine, I watched by the window as the curtains opened and saw the beautiful Sunday sun creeping by it, the sky was blue and unblemished, only disturbed by the slight shadow of a delivery drone passing by or the few air cabs circulating in center New Paris.

- “Good morning Ariana” said my house AI voice

It’s 1200h, 12th of October 2040, we have an outside temperature of 19°C in New Paris, the university sent you 3 email during the night nothing too important just a remainder your assignment is due tomorrow before 2pm, your meeting with Sylvia is scheduled for 1pm” the AI dutifully said

The temperature is a bit chilly but nothing surprising given the location of New Paris, a big city in the intersection of the once mighty European powers (France,Germany,Switzerland, Belgium, Italy) now unified in the European State “Europe”, following the events of the Massacre of the International Convention in 2023, each continent started to unify themselves for the next decade, in 2028 with the Union Treaty the once European Union and the other nations of the European continent unified and formed a new nation called “Europe”. Following the European example all other continents managed to mostly unionized.

Then the United Nations dissolved themselves and formed a new Federation Nation, the United Continent Federation, a few countries in the world (such as North Korea or the United Kingdom) decided to remain sovereign-nations but now almost a decade after the Declaration of Foundation of the Continent Federation (also called Federation Treaty in respect to the European treaty) this independence was mostly honorific and expert says the UK might just join Europe and the Federation in a few years to decade.

The capital was named after the most populated city of the ex-EU, Paris, capital of the province of France, but that is the end of the similarities, a new city was issued out of nowhere, and with the collaboration of all the continent high speed train became common in all of Europe, most of the once capitals of the EU are connected directly to New Paris. You can now go from New Paris to practically anywhere in Europe in a few hours. This fact alone explains how we went from new city to a 20 million enormous federation-wide hub in a few years.

- “Thanks please send a message to Sylvia to notify them I’m awake, I’m going to take a shower”

As I undressed to shower I took my HRT, nowadays a simple injection daily was enough, I mentally passed over all things I needed to do before tomorrow and decided it was nothing important as the warm water dropped onto my breast and I marveled to the sensation of warm water on soft skin, I started HRT a couple month ago after I got kicked out of my house by my parents and I really was surprised of the speed it was going.

I dressed simply, I am tall, maybe 175cm, but not skinny I had a bit of hips showing my breast are good enough to fill a simple B cup bra and my long blonde hair fell just short of my waist, I wear a simple blue dress with leggings to keep me warm, shoes with a slight heel to show my legs and I went to put make-up on.

Today was easy, no public appearance at all, just me and Sylvia, I decided to be conservative with makeup, a bit of eye shadow and eye liner to show off my big green eyes and a bit of blush for my cheeks.

As I passed the door of the dorms to walk over to Sylvia’s home I thought of how everything changed in just a couple of months, a year ago I still lived at my parent’s and haven’t transitioned yet, Sylvia is the one that managed to convince me to come out at school and to open to the world, I still think they feel somewhat responsible for the fact I got kicked out but that’s foolish, it’s my parent’s fault, whatever I started to receive basic income from the Europe State as soon as I declared my situation and my university provided me with a dorm room not too far away from where Sylvia is living.

Driiiiiiiing

I mentally laughed at the old school ring tone of Sylvia’s home, a quirk their mom loved a thing imported from last century France she once mentioned, her husband hates that thing, but as he was living in American Union to work on the International Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the successor of the JPL) she managed to stick it once again on their door, I managed to keep my composure just as Sarah, Sylvia’s mom, opened the door

- “Ariana! What a pleasure to see you again! And you look beautiful, Sylvia should look at you sometimes I’m sure she’s missing something” she added a huge knowing grin on her face

- “Thanks you Sarah! I’m here to draw with them”

- “They’re in their room I will make some tea, the one you like I’ll bring you one cup”

I almost jumped in the stairs and lightly announced myself at their door, a second later a sudden flash of flesh appeared and collapsed on me as I tried but failed to not fall on my butt as the trickster known as Sylvia smiled toothily at me with their big silly trademark smile

- “Ariana! You came! I’m soooooo happy to see you, and OH MY GOD YOUREBEAUTIFUL” they squealed at the end of the sentence

I continue to just hug them without doing or saying anything, a few minute later I broke out of the hug and said

- “Yeah of course I came dummy you were so excited about your new idea of propulsion that I became excited too! I brought my drawing case with me so we can work a bit today If you’re feeling up to it”

Sylvia and I were designing our own little (okay it’s a big one) spaceship, but we want it to be as realistic as possible, I was designing and drawing it and Sylvia, the big SF nerd they was, was designing the propulsion system, heart of the ship, we were dreaming of FTL rated ship, even if we knew that it was impossible and against the laws of physics it was really fun to imagine, Sylvia’s enthusiasm about it was not a surprise, their father is a propulsion researcher at IJPL and was the head designer of the Federation Space Program, he is responsible for the engine that powered Saturn X, the rocket that re-launched the moon program. Nowadays he is designing a rocket powerful enough to colonize the moon and organize large and regular missions between Earth and the Moon

He once was the head scientist of a little private space company, before the collapse of the private space sector when the federation formed and the fact that private space sector was more or less public space sector anyway, just less effective because it had investors to satisfy. However he was immediately selected to be incorporated into the new IJPL and quickly rose through the ranks.

- “Hum… nah I can’t work now I have a theoretical computer science assignment due tomorrow and you know how I love computers but hate theoretical computers so, yeah” they said, bashfully

I giggled and then just stared at their bedroom, I spent so much time here these last few years, I met them in middle school around 6 years ago, Neither them nor I were publicly out at the time so we just enjoyed our mostly cishet lives together, without any hint of romance or other interest, we were both really into programming and created a bunch of silly apps and game for our computers and gaming devices.

As time went we were still really close and were the respective first people we came out to, they started first by coming out bisexual then pansexual, I then made mine and a couple weeks later they came out as non-binary. That was in junior year of High School, I didn’t came out to my parents until a few months ago after I turned 19 and they… yeah they didn’t took it quite right so I lived here at Sylvia’s a couple of days before the state provided me with money and a room. Their parents offered me to stay and live with them but I was too afraid to be a bother so for a few months now I live alone, just off campus.

Sylvia was beautiful, they is 170cm tall, with bright ear-length cotton-candy pink hair (they love to change the color of their hair) barely kept, with matching pink colored eyes, I think they had that done a few months ago. They is really androgynous and loved to play with that, they alternate between a really feminine wardrobe and a masculine one, seemingly randomly and I have to admit that it is pretty cute.

Sylvia interrupted my thoughtful glance,

- “Hum, Aria? You seems distracted and, how does hrt works that fast with you? You started a couple of months ago and you’re already more feminine that I ever was and with that cute face or yours and your height you’re more and more irresistible each day” they quickly realized what they was saying and put their hand in front of their mouth.

I mean in a platonic way, you’re beautiful, like too beautiful and hum you know me, it’s… hum you know hard…” they bashfully tried to cover up.

- “Don’t worry I get it and you’re really cute like that” I grinned watching their blush deepening even further into shades of pink I didn’t even know existed

And yeah I get what you’re saying? But I think it’s okay HRT has come a long way since the start of the 21th century so maybe it is normal? But yeah it’s definitely worth to think about”

I was really really really worried right now, they noticed it was a little fast, I noticed it too and maybe everyone will notice? I started to panic a little bit, it probably was normal but anxiety kicked in fast and I didn’t have my med right now, I tried to breath but it was harder and harder to think every second, a mental fog fell and I quickly lost all semblance of grip I had on my state

Sylvia, fast to recognize the effects of an anxiety attack in their best friend, embraced tightly Ariana

- “Breath… Hold in…. Breath… Hold in….. Breath, you’re gonna be okay Aria, it’s nothing you are alright, everything’s gonna be okay, you are safe, you are gonna be safe, I’ll protect you, I’ll never let anything bad happen to you again okay?” they pulled their hair brush from the desk and started to brush Ariana’s hair to calm her, it was her little weak spot

A few minutes later Ariana was calm again and was breathing slowly, she tightened her embraced with Sylvia

- “Thanks Syl’ it was close I don’t think it’s anything you’re right and I’m already on HRT for like 6 months? So it’s probably to be expected” she, however, really hoped it would slow down, her brother was in school and while he was okay he would be freaking out when he’ll see her, she added mentally.

She stared at Sylvia, a slight weak grin on her face, and once again analyzed their beauty, she was just shy of taking her pen to start drawing that, suddenly, she felt sick, Sylvia was not looking good too, and, a few seconds later, everything went black.

End of chapter 1.

I hope you liked this chapter! I will try to update at least once a week but i have the concours soon so maybe a bit longer than that or maybe the updates will be a bit erratic, i know what i want to do next and how i want this to finish but i also have ideas (and i plant a bit of foreshadowing here and there) for a sequel so we may see a lot of Ariana and Sylvia for the coming months, or years :)

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