Amber has always been waiting for her time. Her moment. When she gets to the age of fifty-five and finds that her moment has not shown up, she decides to take on an offer from three decades earlier that has recently been renewed and get her ass into space.
Well, she needs a bit of prep for the journey, and the reset involves rejuvenating her hair, skin, eyes, muscles, organs, and gets her into the best shape that her genetics will allow.
At the request of the Avatar of Terra, Amber agrees to travel the star systems to become the governess to the imperial princess of the Possitt system. The imperial regent is the princess’s uncle, and it was him that had the idea for the governess from an alien world with certain modifications. Being able to punch through steel had not be in Amber’s original specifications, but she is adapting and learning to enjoy her new position in a world where she isn’t allowed to meet anyone’s eyes. It is a minor inconvenience that she is willing to live with for the chance to help a scared young woman become the empress she was meant to be.
Amber sat up in bed when she heard a soft chime. A cheerful woman with grey skin and black feathers instead of hair came through the door before Amber had a chance to look around the room.
“Good day to you, Amber. My name is Alyla, and I am the head of this facility.”
Amber looked at the woman, who couldn’t be more than twenty years old. “Hello. Where am I, exactly?”
“You are at the Lunar Base. My mother had to knock you out, as your physical condition would not particularly be receptive to the stresses of leaving the Earth’s gravity. You might be feeling a little bruised.”
“Your mother? Minerva?”
Alyla smiled. “Yeah. She said you had met, and she apologizes for the sedative.”
“She’s immune to it? I am guessing she spiked the tea.”
“No, the treats. She never disrespects tea. The treats on your side were brightly coloured, so that is how you can tell the difference.”
She looked down, and she was wearing a medical tunic. “Why am I wearing this?”
“The transport window is opening up in two days, so we need to get you prepped and in the tank for your trip to the Possitt system.” Alyla sat next to her and handed her a tablet. “Pick your hair colour and any secondary pigmentation.”
“What do the people in the Possitt System look like?” Amber rubbed her short hair.
“Oh, good question.” Alyla moved her fingers over the tablet, and there was a variety of colours of skin and hair, but the one thing that was common was a pigment mask that covered half the face from forehead to cheekbones, occasional rising up the bridge of the nose.
“So, the mask thing is common?”
“It is in ninety-nine percent of the population.”
“Will it be on the face of my charge?”
“Ah, the Lady Emera. Yes, she has a silver mask, crimson hair, and orange eyes. Check your database. We wired you up while you were sleeping.”
Amber paused, and she touched the back of her neck, finding a small nodule where there hadn’t been one before. She looked at the tablet and thought of the people of the Possitt System, and images came up similar to the ones that Alyla had shown her. She looked for height specifics and paused. “So, I am not as short as I thought. I only need four inches to make it to average Possitt height. I will blend in. Well, with a few adjustments. I am going to keep my eyes but correct the vision.”
Alyla nodded, and a tattoo moved under her grey skin. “Hair?”
“Blue at the crown fading to green at the end. I would like to start with waist-length hair or longer.”
“It sounds lovely. Send me an image when you are decanted.”
“I will try if I figure it out. What about learning all the subjects that I need to learn before I get there?”
“You are going to have a constant stream of info and a matching vid display for when you are awake, you will know what you need to know and your formal wear will be ready when you are.”
“Yes, young lady Emera is related to the leader of her community, so you will need to be formally introduced, and then, if you are accepted, you are good to start. If not, we can change the hair and mask and bring you to the second choice.”
“There is a second choice?”
“Of course. And a third and a fourth. When you complete your contract with the Possitt, you may be able to seek other employment in the nearby systems.”
Amber looked around and her stomach growled. “Can I get something to eat?”
“Nope. This is best done on an empty stomach. If you can get up, we can go.”
Alyla grinned and picked up a robe. “Come on.”
Amber got out of the bed, and when she stood up, she stared up at the other woman. “You are very tall.”
“Friat genes mixed with that of a Terran. I am the result. You will meet my father or, at least, see him through the tube. He is going to be transporting you and the other four resets to their respective assignments.”
“What are the others having done?”
“I believe they are all getting an age refresh. The different adaptations are going to take place after that based on the requirement of their placement. The youngest of you is forty-five and the eldest is seventy-five, but she is the scary one.”
“Never mind. We will run your suggested changes through Possitt and see what they will allow. I believe the imperial household has rules about the appearance of aliens within their household.”
Amber shrugged. “That’s fine. I am used to managing expectations.”
Alyla sighed. “Don’t worry, you will still get to do the last three decades over on a whole new world, but it will have its challenges.”
“I spend my days looking for challenges and screwups, as well as instructing an endless array of new people. I can manage this. Or, I guess I get returned to sender and I try again.”
Alyla chuckled. “Don’t worry about that. My mother and father have both looked over your files and spoken with the household you are entering. They are eager for you to take over from the nanny’s tutelage. It is time for the lady to learn more about the worlds around her.”
“Why can’t she get the information the same way I do?”
“It is forbidden to pierce the skins of the household and also to install any cybernetics.”
“Oh. Right. I guess I have a lot to learn. Am I really going to be removed from the tank and then sent directly to my assignment?”
They entered a medical facility, where four other women who were past their prime were floating in long tubes. The women appeared to be asleep.
“So, we are all being delivered together?”
Alyla chuckled. “My father can bend space if necessary. He is an excellent traveller. He is taking each one of you and introducing you to your assigned governments or households as gifts from Terra.”
“Which, I suppose we are.”
Medics swarmed around her and numbed parts of her body before inserting the cables that would keep her alive in the tank. Amber had to ask, “Why now?”
Alyla chuckled. “You were ready. They were ready. It was the right time. When you wake, you will be at your full potential. The potential was there thirty years ago, but your brain wasn’t ready to take control of it yet. With the alterations that are being made, your mind and body will finally be on the same developmental track.”
Alyla held her hand out, and a ball of flames flickered above her palm. “Talents are more than just inclinations, they have power. If you put enough focus behind your interests, they can become a superpower. All of you were ready, though you were the only one who had to give three weeks’ notice.”