Kyna was shocked when she got an invitation to the Reset Project. She was even more shocked when she found out that her nephew had found her application from decades earlier and forward it to the Volunteer Project.
She had been mature then, she was older now, but her body was still her prison. Wracked with two types of arthritis, her body had been a temple to pain since childhood. The project says that it can reverse the effects on her body, so she cannot believe it actually works.
Kyna gains her health with a few additions. Her hair is darker, longer, and her ears are pointed. The one fun alteration is her eyes, as she is tired of being overlooked.
Kyna lands on Rai and begins her career helping the local retreat for wounded guardians to organize, and from there, she branches out and starts to perform her contracted obligation in guardian recruitment.
A few years pass, and she comes home to a full house, her normal room occupied, and she is given one of the VIP rooms. Across the hall is a guardian who is a little gruff but very charming, and there is pain in his eyes. She was always very comfortable with pain.
Kyna Meadow walked carefully through her home and answered the door. She used one hand on the wall and the other on her cane, but she managed to reach her door lever and push it open. “Please, come in.”
She moved slowly back into her sitting room, and she waited until her guest came in and took a seat. Kyna smiled. “May I get you some tea?”
The woman shook her head. “No, but thank you. Please, have a seat.”
Kyna nodded and slowly lowered herself to her couch. “You were very minimalist with your information on the phone. What can I do for you?”
The woman smiled. “My name is Minerva, and I represent the Volunteer Project. It has been brought to my attention that you filled out an application that was diverted by one of your relatives.”
Kyna snorted. “Yes. My mother took it. It turns out that it was for the best. I was in no shape to take a one-way trip to the stars.”
“That was not her call. It was mine. Having gone through your history, I would like to offer you that opportunity now.”
Kyna stared at the young woman with the bright green eyes. “Is this a joke?”
“My hand can barely even hold my cane, the walk to the front door was all my knees can handle, and I can’t even hold a spoon. I am in no shape to do anything more than stay here and wait until my next treatment.” Kyna smiled. “Those were the dreams of a young woman. I am no longer that woman.”
Minerva smiled. “I believe that woman lurks within you. You have congenital rheumatoid arthritis?”
“Yes, as well as osteoarthritis due to falls and damage. My joints are shot, and painkillers don’t do anything for me. This is where I live and where I meet the world.” She gestured to the house across from the park, coffee shops, and walking paths.
“If you could live your life young and without pain again, would you? Would you be willing to go through agonizing treatment in order to have the life that you once dreamed of?”
Kyna lifted her hands and used both to pour a cup of tea. She cupped both hands around the teacup and lifted it to her lips.
Minerva smiled. “If you could design your ideal situation, what would it be?”
“If I was fit and pain-free? I would like to have a place where folks came to visit me. Where I could talk to and read strangers, helping them to get where they needed to be. I guess I want a life where I can be social for a living and still enjoy myself.”
“How social do you want to be? You could easily get a job as a courtesan.”
Kyna laughed. “I think that is rather advanced. I have been sick for a very long time. I just want to cautiously observe the world around me. Romance is for other people. I just want to finally start a life. Oh, but I want a way to move my body, things to learn and experiment with.”
The other woman smiled and picked up a tablet. “So, aside from making your body fit, what else would you like? Height changed? Alterations to the shape of your body?”
“You are serious.” Kyna stared at her.
Minerva’s eyes glowed, and gold and green moved in them. Power began to radiate from her. “Nothing is too good for the daughters of Gaia. If you wish to be reborn, you shall have it.”
“Do you know where you are sending me?” Kyna sipped at her tea and played along.
“I have been getting requests for women of Terra to fill specific roles in administration.”
Kyna blinked. “Why?”
“The first round of Volunteers has made a favourable impression. The worlds that have had exposure to the daughters of Gaia want more of them. So, since there were a number of women who volunteered thirty years ago, I am going through the list of those who are unencumbered by family or obligation and offering them a chance at their dream again. This time, we are adding genetic restructuring to get them back to the point where their bodies were at their absolute peak. It is the least that we can do considering that they are fulfilling a need for us.”
Kyna refilled her teacup and sipped again with both hands. She had to. She had no grip strength with either of her hands. The joint swelling was intense today.
“So, the idea is to basically redesign me from the ground up?”
“You would be posted on Rai. The weather in the inhabited areas is warm and soothing. I suppose I can negotiate for you to have a teahouse or something. You would need to match the species specs for the most part, which means a little taller and more of a golden cast to your skin. Long hair is also a requirement for females. The sensibility is similar to Asia if it were overtaken by elves. There is little technology available, but their people are at an evolutionary crossroads, and their skills are needed around the sector. There is already a Terran there. Amethyst Decker. She is the wife of Lord Akutan and is the current Lady of Rai. She is willing to help you adapt.”
The concept that there was someone in the distant stars who wanted her company was amusing.
“Fine, let’s say that this will work. What is the procedure?”
“Well, you sign this contract, get your affairs in order, and then we get you in a gel transport and up to the Lunar Base where more of the medical procedures can be started. That is where the genetic manipulation will begin.”
Kyna nodded. “May I see the contract?”
Minerva got up and brought her the tablet, sitting next to her and scrolling the page when it was requested.