Switcheroo Issue 8

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Issue 8

By Melanie E.

Just like PFH, sorry for the long wait!

Horus is on the line, and Lou is less than happy about it. What could the mysterious information peddler have this time, and what will Lou have to give up in exchange?

EDIT: Now with corrected outline with chapters 6 and 7 linked by request!

(For those of you looking for superhero fights -- I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I promise they're coming! Issue Ten at the latest!)

Chapter 15

"It is so nice to hear your dulcet tones yet again, my dear Switcheroo. Have you... adapted, to your new role, yet?"

"What do you want, Horus."

A sigh emmanated from the other end of the line. "Ah, I guess you are still having issues, then. To be expected, given the nature of your changes. As to my reasons for calling -- by now I would guess you have at least started the reconstruction of the pieces of the puzzle, even if the solution should still elude you."

"You knew. Even before you met with us, you already knew who she was working for," I barked down the line, feeling the itch in my teeth that usually preceded changing into my lioness form.

"Of course I knew, but that information was not on the table for bargaining at the time, and even had it been, you would not have been ready to accept it."

"You bastard." I fought to control my anger, even as Mr. Stone gestured to me that I needed to keep him talking. "Tell me what you know about McCree."

"Alas, that is not something I can share as of yet. I can, however, present you with information on where our Lady Weaver shall next be easily available, should you care to bargain for it."

"Bargain for it?"

"Yes, bargain. Though I must warn you, you are not going to like it."


"It's all a game to him. Who wins, who loses, who dies, he doesn't care."

"Be that as it may, he's the best lead we have on this. And the two of you are going to be responsible for handling any and all dealings with him."

Totem looked less than pleased with this pronouncement, but Mr. Stone's tone of voice told both of us that his words were final.

Not that I was happy with the state of things, either. After all, Totem just had to be the diplomat who dealt with the bastard. I was the one he had plans for.

Horus's demand had been simple. In exchange for the information on where Weaver would be, and a promise that we would have her, we were expected to make a promise of our own. A promise I was less than willing to give in to.

"Why didn't he ask us to stop the MDSPF's investigations into him? Or another raid like the one he had us do on the warehouse? This is ridiculous!"

Mr. Stone rubbed the bridge of his nose as he glared at me. "I don't know why, but you're damn well better going to do what he asked or so help me I will MAKE you, are we clear."

"Crystal," I said calmly, but glaring right back at him.

Whatever Horus's plans might have been, his demand had been that I had to start presenting as a girl. What in the hell kind of a demand was that for him to make?! It made no sense to any of us, yet he had been adamant.

"Just tell me what your demand is."

"I want to see you in a pretty dress."

"Go to hell."

"My dear, I am Horus. I have seen hell many times. If you want your information, you will have to prove to me that you take being our beloved Switcheroo serious. As Switcheroo is always a woman, this is of course part of your duties to the station.

Otherwise, no information."

He had hung up immediately after that, leaving me standing there with a dead phone line and a rising sense of frustration.

The way I saw it, Totem was right, it was nothing but a game to him. But what kind of game? And why was I a part of it anyhow?

"Sir, I don't know what you expect me to do. It's not like I can afford to just go out and buy a new wardrobe or something."

"Why not? The MDSPF provides you with free living quarters here and a mess hall, I don't see what else you're spending your money on."

"I am NOT wasting my money on... clothes!"

"RAAAAH!" Mr. Stone screamed as he slammed his fist into his desk, splintering it on impact. "YOU will do what is necessary! I have HAD IT with your attitude, and frankly it's about time you faced the facts."

"Just what is that supposed to mean?"

With fury in his eyes, Stone turned from me to Totem. "Get her out of here and explain things. Please, before I do something I'll regret."

"Come on," Totem said, grabbing my arm and dragging me out the door as quickly as she could. As soon as we were clear of it, the door slid into place with a resounding 'thunk.'

Totem stared at me with disbelief. "I can't believe you spoke to him like that!"

"It's fricken' clothes!"

The last thing I ever expected was for Totem, Jami, to slap me.

"What was that for?"

"You just said it yourself! It's. Just. Clothes. Dammit, Lou, when's the last time you really looked at yourself?"

I gave her my best death-stare. "This morning, when I saw what you had put me in."

"And what did you see?"

I couldn't answer her. Instead, I turned away, and stomped off toward my room.

"You already mostly wear girl's clothes anyhow, Lou."

"I don't wanna hear this."

"Your body's just not built for the guy's stuff any more!"

"I don't wanna hear this!"

"You don't really have a choice any more!"


I slammed the 'close door' button on the inside of my room's door frame, but nothing happened, and Totem stormed into my room, grabbing me by the arm again and dragging me into the bathroom.

"Look at yourself. Look!"

I did.


"Pleeease, Lou? PLEEEEEASE?"

I looked down into Lesli's eyes, and felt my strength start to wane.

"Can't we play something else, Lesli? Everyone will laugh at me if they see."

"No they won't! I'll make you look sooo pretty, everyone will love you!" She said it with all the conviction of a seven year old who knew that it was only a matter of time before her older brother gave her her way, and that smile that always melted my heart.

*sigh* "Alright, but I'll only play with you inside of the house, okay?"

"Yay! Thank you, Lulu!"


"That's what I'm calling you while we play!"

Suddenly I had a feeling this would be the longest Saturday ever.

I had no idea where she found a dress in my size. It wasn't one of hers, and it certainly wasn't one of our mother's, but nevertheless there it was. No shoes, and my short hair looked rather rediculous even at that age, but it looked better on me than I had expected it to, and soon I completely forgot about it as we played together.

"Kids, I'm home! Lesli honey, I brought you a -- Louis James Phelps, what the hell are you wearing! Get out of that piece of shit this instant or I have half a mind to make you wear it to school on Monday!"

I looked over at Lesli, and I could see the fear in her face. Fear of what would happen if I told our mother the truth.

Hiding my own fear the best I could, I turned back to our mother. "I'm sorry Mom, I just thought it would be fun to play with Lesli for a little bit."

"Don't you DARE talk back to me, young man," she said, reaching out and grabbing the sundress by the neck, trying to rip it off of me. "If I EVER catch you dressed like this again, you will get a whipping like you won't believe!"

I cried as she dragged me to my room by the neck of the dress while Lesli watched, tears in her own eyes, but too afraid to do anything.


"Lou? LOU!"

"Grrrrgh, wha?"

Everything was fuzzy when I first opened my eyes, but it wasn't long before Totem's worried face swam into view above me.

"What happened?"

"Lou, I'm sorry. Are you alright? I dragged you over to the mirror and you looked at yourself, but then your eyes just went blank and you fainted."

That would explain the headache, I thought as I tried to sit up. At least this time I was still wearing the sweats I had slipped into before heading off to talk to Mr. Stone.

"I'm fine," I said, swinging my legs over the side of the bed. "And for what it's worth, I'm sorry too."

One good thing about my involuntary nap was that it seemed to have drained all my energy for feeling angry, and now I was left with nothing but grim disappointment with what I knew was expected of me. They might be right about how I looked, and what I needed to do.

But there was no way I was giving up without a fight.



"If we're gonna do this, I've got some requirements of my own."



Okay, I know a lot of people probably won't be very happy with this chapter, and BEFORE THE ANTI-MARTIAL CROWD STARTS YELLING ABOUT UNFAIRNESS, I should point out a few things:

A) Lou isn't the only person on the team who's been having issues dealing with things lately. Martial, as the director of their team, is being held personally responsible by the entire MDSPF for Weaver's infiltration, something that will probably be touched on more later in the story. This might not forgive his behavior, but it does go a ways to explaining it.

B) We're only seeing things from Lou's side, and trust me, s/he's a snarkier piece of work than most of the dialogue so far has let on. I'll be working on getting this through better later, but writing a superhero story's a new experience for me, so I hope a few issues in style/substance will be forgiven.

Alright, now let the comments rip!

Melanie E.

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Pushing it

Not pushing it to much but could I see parts 6 and 7 before I read this?

Sorry 'bout that...

Dunno why they weren't in the outline with the rest of the chapters, I KNOW they were before...

Anyhow, fixed, so read to your enjoyment :P

Melanie E.


Well even now Lou's (Lulu?) parents are still messing with him/her. isn't that always the way, something you don't remember sneaks up an slaps you.
good chapter, can't wait for more. thanks

Switcheroo Issue 8

Wondering when Switcheroo will snap and go atomic on everything.

May Your Light Forever Shine
May Your Light Forever Shine

just what is Horus up to?

why do I get the feeling there is a lot more to this than meets the eye?



Did I miss something?

Is there anything that forces Lou to stay with this team? Since slavery was repealed in 1863 (?) I should think Lou's best option would be to tell Horus and especially Martial to "Take this job and shove it!".

* * *

"Girls are like pianos, when they're not upright they're grand!" Benny Hill

Karen J.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin


a) Louis is turning into a girl anyway - it's a side effect of the Switcheroo power set.
b) Louis has the Switcheroo powers - they can only be transferred upon death.
c) Louis is determined to find Weaver and see justice done, since she killed his sister.
d) Especially given (a), Horus' demand isn't exactly unachievable.

Given the information Horus had on Weaver, it wouldn't surprise me if he was acutely aware of the childhood incident Louis recalled in flashback - which is probably one of the factors behind his reluctance to accept his changes. He could really use some counselling, and Dia's probably the best placed member of the team, since being an AI she doesn't have any human preconceptions.


Bike Resources

There are 10 kinds of people in the world - those who understand binary and those who don't...

As the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, then only left-handers are in their right mind!

But . . . .Nothing

a) So what? As I mentioned, unless there is some sort of involuntary servitude at work then Lou has the right to quit a job when the conditions become intolerable. I've known a lot of girls who go through life as tomboys. Lou can wear any damn thing he/she wants to wear, subject to employment requirements. Once he quits, then nobody has the right to dictate to him/her what to wear.

b) That just means keeping a good watch on her back.

C) Justice? I don't think Lou wants Justice, he wants revenge. That means eventually he/she is going to be outside the law anyway, in which case those powers are gonna come in handy.

d) Unachievable? Totally beside the point. Horus's demand, backed up by Martial, is UNREASONABLE, given Lou's stated desire NOT to go the girly-girly route.

So, if Lou doesn't want to go the girly-girly route, then he/she must be compelled to do so anyway, by any means possible. Damn psyches can make anything sound like a medical diagnosis. "It is my opinion that she must be compelled to accept she is a girl. Ve vill force her to wear nothing but skirts and dresses. She must vear makeup all the time, and denied any pants or shorts. Ya, even her uniform must have a skirt." Which Dia will figuratively fall all over herself to implement. Remember how she kept switching the uniform around on Lou? She wants to see Lou in skirts as bad as anybody there.

And, IMHO opinion, Martial is a tinpot god who can't handle somebody challenging him. (Cue picture of Martial in a USN Lt. Commander's uniform standing in the wardroom of a WW2 destroyer, rattling a couple of steel ball-bearings in his hand.)

* * *

"Girls are like pianos, when they're not upright they're grand!" Benny Hill

Karen J.

"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin

So, if Lou doesn't want to

So, if Lou doesn't want to go the girly-girly route, then he/she must be compelled to do so anyway, by any means possible. Damn psyches can make anything sound like a medical diagnosis. "It is my opinion that she must be compelled to accept she is a girl. Ve vill force her to wear nothing but skirts and dresses. She must vear makeup all the time, and denied any pants or shorts. Ya, even her uniform must have a skirt." Which Dia will figuratively fall all over herself to implement. Remember how she kept switching the uniform around on Lou? She wants to see Lou in skirts as bad as anybody there.

I don't know why this always happens in Stuck stories... I mean I would go atomic, if I got girlified and then everyone does everything to see me in skirts. I'm kind of waiting for a story where the well meaning people push the transforme to far and cause a catastrophe of some kind.
What is the point of pushing them to use makeup anyway? The generic stuck transforme is ultra beautiful and could just avoid using it. There is a limit of passiveness where it becomes unbelievable.

This is an awesome story, I hope you keep it this way and don't turn it into somekind of forced femme thing.
I guess it'll go along the TG in denial lines though. Which would be kind of boring.
I hope the dress-flashback was just a case of the utter intolerance of Lous parents. The intolerance would be the reason for his reluctance to wear dresses and skirts ^^

If they'd let Lou have his/her time to adjust, they'd probably see Lou in skirts anyway, because of his/her curiosity. If I get Lous personality right, then s/he is a "more push = more fight" character and therefor the current approach is dangerous.

Thank you for writing,

Universe Background Stuff

Another info dump, anyone?

In this setting which for ease of reference we'll call the Mount Drake Universe, it is accepted that there are people around who have special abilities and superpowers. It is also accepted, though grudgingly, that governments as a whole are incapable of effectively policing these individuals, as what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another, and the level of restrictions needed to keep them all under control would violate basically every human right imaginable.

Enter organized super-teams. For the U.S. there's the MDSPF, for Mexico it is Los Amigos Del Valor. Almost every country has their own internal network of powered teams that, with only a little persuasion and a few words in the right ears, tend to take care of policing those who would use their powers and abilities for more nefarious purposes, and so long as they keep civilian casualties to acceptable levels and minimize government property damage they are largely left to their own devices on how to do so.

In the end, though, being a Super is a lot like living in a community where gang activity runs rampant. If you don't join one side, the other will try to recruit you, and if you continue to refuse to join either then both sides will view you with distrust, which can make life very difficult as the instant you show a leaning one way or the other all hell will break loose.

In the end, Lou stays with August Branch because A) they're his best lead to catching his sister's killer, B) if he's gonna have superpowers he really does want to do some good in the world, C) despite his issues with his family he wants to stay nearby so he can better protect them, and D) he knows that outside the MDSPF the life expectancy of ANYONE with the Switcheroo Legacy powers would have a very short life span indeed. This ain't the comic books, and it's generally accepted that if you've got badass enough powers to go a-viking about with, and choose to do so, your identity is gonna get leaked eventually, if not to the world then at least to a portion of the super population you'd rather not have that information.

Besides, under his (currently) whiny and angst-ridden exterior Lou can tell when someone else has a point. Next chapter we'll get an update on what he really looks like now, and that will help at least somewhat to explain not only his attitude the last few chapters, but everyone else's own difficulties in dealing with him.

Or her, as the pronouns might be switcheroo'd themselves soon enough.

And if anyone ever has questions about something and are afraid that getting an answer might be a spoiler, you're always free to PM me. If it makes the difference between someone enjoying something I write and just being frustrated with it, I don't mind spoiling my own plot surprises for a person or two.

Melanie E.

just finished.....

revolution's picture

I read this story from the beginning until now in the last few hours and have to say i really like how you portray the emotional interactions between the characters. It adds great story content as well as a real life feel. The only thing that is slightly bothersome is how short some of the chapters are. however i believe in quality over quantity and as such it is only a slight bother. Can't wait to read the next issue.


Story Length

First of all, thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked it -- that always makes me feel good to hear.

As for issue lengths... I've been trying to write each chapter bit based on how much content I think would fill one normal sized (22-28) page comic book. Of course, it's been a while since I was reading a lot of comics, so that might be off. Regardless, each chapter takes about 4 pages of text in Wordpad/Open Office. That's the goal I aim for before posting.

Melanie E.

so thats why.....

revolution's picture

so thats why you go with issue rather than chapter....very creative i like that. can't wait to read the next issue.


Well like it or not there comes a time to move on

... Lou has to work towards that goal proactively and not just drag is feet kicking and screaming; obviously unproductive.

Sigh, if given absolutely no choice I might have to accept living as a man for the rest of my life (shudder) but thankfully that is not the case.

Simply said, it must be done.


BUT Lou should, MUST be given the right to choose HER path

Her denying what the power is doing is ultimately foolish. I assume she is nearly all female now or will be soon even down to her reproductive system so female cut clothing makes sense if only for comfort and freedome of movement alone.

BUT need it be girly-girl fashions? Gowns? Switcheroo is a heroine, a super and needs practical, stretchy clothing that allows movement or break away clothing for her animal transformations and friends standing by with spare clothes for when she changes back.

But need they be *girly* * frilly* *froo froo outfits*? Hell no!

She should be her own version of what she is, not the government's, not that FUC*-up head of the supers group, not Totem no matter how nice she sometimes is -- her slapping Lou, BAAD move -- and definitely not what Horus wants. Women, some VERY HOT looking women wear jeans and men's style shirts -- in women's cuts, women cut dress suits, skorts, athletic wear and rarely ever wear poodle skirts, crinolines, heels and bustiers. Lou need not become a June Cleaver or a Madonna Wannabe to be female. And where was our friendly computer avitar?

Guide her, help her but don't force her. The flash back about the dress-up and his taking the blame to shield the sister is very informative. Is this when their ho-hum treatment of him turned to near hate, IE assuming every bad thing was his fault, everything good was hers and belittling anything great he did or any help he gave her. The parental units, in particular the sorry excuse both kids had for a mom, need a healthy dose of reality mixed with whup ass. I assume this is also why she is so anti female clothing.

As to Horus, I wonder. Just a weird power broker type who wants to be the power behind the throne but unseen? A odd super playing both sides to weaken them in his favor? Or is he a mentor: a Henry Higgins as in My Fair Lady, a Mr Miyagi as in The Karate Kid, a really secretive Yoda?

So in the end WHY is Horus involved? A weird good guy or gal? An amoral neutral? A dangerous third party waiting for the two main sides to weaken each other? A mentor for Switcheroo for some reason, guilt perhaps despite the secretive, world weary, mercenary dealer of information mask he/she is wearing?

IE is he, in his snarky way -- GRIN -- pushing our budding -- snicker -- heroine into her rightful place as a young woman? Does he want to help her , just he dare not expose himself?

Given how badly he has been treated by his parents, mom being the worst in many ways, and given how close he and his sister were he/she has every right to be bitter, snarky and whatever. Plus she's/he's a teenager again and they ARE snarky, moody etc.

John in Wauwatosa

P.S. From the *infor dump* AND his sister's DEATH as Switcheroo I see that going it alone as such a high profile super is suicide. If you could stand back and not act the hero, something the power does not like as far as I can tell, she might hide out for a time but her looks/powers are too well known, Plus apparantly in this *world* if you are not on one side them both sides assume you are working for the other so both sides become your eneimy. She just needs to negotiate better terms, HER terms.

John in Wauwatosa

I have a sneaking suspicion

That Horus has taken interest in Lou for more reasons than is spelled out. I can suspect he has some designs on Lou in particular, has some idea he's running with, and he feels that Lou is the perfect opportunity to test that idea, and so needs to determine if Lou is worth testing that idea on.

So any and all demands, quirks and the like of Horus are first and foremost a test of character.

And what is the idea? My guess is that Lou, with the recent events, has become a possible... loophole to some rule.


P.S. Yes, I have a particular idea in mind. Though it's going into both 'Disney Ending' and 'stuff to be fulfilled not now but a couple major arcs later' territory.

On rights of free advertisement:
Big Closet Top Shelf

Where you can fool around like you want to and most you get is some bemused good ribbing!


On rights of free advertisement:
Big Closet Top Shelf

Where you can fool around like you want to and most you get is some bemused good ribbing!

Auntie Marshall

lol well I suppose that given the fact this is a super hero story that some battles are expected but people also need to realize that it is also a TG story and as such has more to explain.

Kudos to you Mel!

>> Foxxe Wilder >>


terrynaut's picture

Yep. I agree. Horus is up to something. But what? The only thing I can think of at the moment is that he wants Lou to accept being female so a certain romance can continue, but don't ask me why. It might serve as a distraction to the happy couple but other than that, it seems a bit odd. I could extrapolate a little and come up with a prophecy that leads to a super child that results from the romance. How's that for stretching things?

Anyway, I'm enjoying this, even in short installments.

Thanks and kudos.

- Terry