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If on a Yuletide morn a slasher

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Mida, or, "Charmides (The Sapphic Remix)"

"They just graduated a new class of cadets," Critia noted as about half a dozen raw lieutenants entered the spaceport tavern.

I nodded, turning my head to look. "Any of them hot?"

Critia and Chaera shot each other a knowing look--knowing what, I couldn't be certain. "Some of them," Chaera allowed, a mischievous look on her face.

Critia nodded, a light smile on her lips. "You remember my cousin Mida?"

I nodded; when my tour of duty had started, Mida had been fourteen years old, considering enlistening, and already some pretty delicious jailbait. "She joined up?"

"She did," Critia agreed. "Joined up . . . and filled out. Look and see," she said, pointing towards an entrance, where the most beautiful girl I had ever seen just walked into the tavern.

Now admittedly, when it comes to judging beauty, my vacuum meter is set to full atmo; if it's a young person and she has breasts, I tend to think she's the most beautiful girl in the world--until I turn my head and look at the next girl.

You frown as you read the fic; you can't quite figure out what, if anything, it has to do with Calvino's novel. As far as you can tell, it's some kind of genderswapped space opera AU of Plato's Dialogues--not something wildly out of the ordinary for Yuletide (if there can be said to be an "ordinary" for Yuletide) but not the story that was being sold to you when you clicked on the link. You scroll back up to look at the header again, and to your surprise it reads "Fandom: Dialogues - Plato."

Hmm. You must have somehow clicked the wrong link, you decide. You hit the back button on your browser to bring you back to the Yuletide works index page, and this time you very deliberately and carefully select the link for "If on a Yuletide morn a slasher."

But at that moment, when I saw her coming in, it was clear that this girl was different. It wasn't just me, either: all the world seemed to be enamoured of her. Amazement and confusion reigned in the tavern when she entered, and a troop of lovers followed her. That grown–up women like ourselves should have been affected in this way was not surprising, but I observed that there was the same feeling among the girls; all of them, down to the very least child, turned and looked at her, as if she had been a holographic display.

She had grown several inches since I had last seen the girl. She was not as thin as she had been as a child, but the extra flesh only served to accentuate her figure with gentle, inviting curves. Her cleavage at fourteen had been not inconsiderable; now it was positively excessive. Her legs were long, two pillars of dark brown skin emerging from the white skirt of her officer's uniform.

"So what do you think, Sokra?" Chaera asked. "Pretty fuckable, huh?"

I had to force myself to make words to respond. "You could say that."

Chaera laughed. "You should see her naked. I'm talking perfection."

As usual, my philosopher's spirit managed to get in the way. "Well, yes, she's perfect--assuming one thing."

Critia rolled her eyes. "Oh, Sokra," she said indulgently. "What is it now?"

Sure enough, it still takes you back to the same Platonic dialogue genderswap space opera AU. Oh well, you reason, the AO3 is still in beta; it stands to reason that in a production as massive as Yuletide, some wires are bound to get crossed. You open up the Support and Feedback form in a new tab and quickly fill it out, hoping that Astolat or one of the other coders will manage to find your missing Calvino fic, which you really do want to read very much.

That done, you close the tab and go back to the Plato story. You skim ahead, wondering if it's worth reading to the end; the premise is sort of interesting.

"She has to have a noble soul," I pointed out, "to be perfection." Then a thought occurred to me and I hastily added, "Which I'm sure she has, being your cousin and all."

"She is as fair and good within as she is without," Critia promised, a smile on her lips.

I couldn't help but smile back. "Then, before we see her body, should we not ask her to show us her soul, naked and undisguised?" I suggested. Gods, I was already wet. "You think she'd talk to us?"

"She'd love to," Critia answered. "She's a philosopher like you, Sokra--and you should read her erotic poetry. Hot as hell, and I'm not the only one who thinks so." That wasn't even all that much of a surprise--Critia's family includes some of the best erotic poets in the entire history of the Alliance.

"Then call her over and show her to us," I said, impatient. There could be no impropriety, after all, even if Mida were younger than she was--not in the presence of Critia, who was her cousin and guardian.

Critia at last assented and did so. "I was telling my friend here about your headache," Critia lied when Mida arrived, "and she said she knew a cure."

You finally give up. You don't really see the point of what the ficcer has done; the Dialogues were fairly dry back when you had to read them for your undergrad's liberal arts requirements, and making them all girls and putting it all in space doesn't really improve them any, not when those are the only changes as far as you can see. It doesn't really critique the original source, or make a statement about the way it treats gender or anything like that. It runs too close to the original; you think you even recognize some of the language straight out of the Jowett translation.

So you back out of the fic, this time for good, but a thought captures you: if this fic is where the Calvino fic was supposed to be, what will you find where it should be? You navigate through the Yuletide works, bringing up the Plato fics, and click on the link for "Mida."

"Come here, Jonathon," Dr. Benton Quest said, as he gripped firmly the leather whip in his hand.
You back-button as quickly as you can for the sake of your childhood.

"The things people will write," you say, even though you know that deep down the fact that fic exists, even if you're not willing to read it yourself, only makes you love fandom more.

"What, dear?" Ludmilla asks, looking up from her laptop.

"Stumbled upon a Jonny Quest BDSM incest fic," you explain to her, and she nods and turns back to her thirty-fourth reading of the Socialist RPF.