"So tell me Winter, why are you so against participating in this mission?...and don't say it's because Erin was born without the proper 'plumbing' to be a legitimate female..because that would be shallow thinking and we both know that you are far from a shallow guy..."
Winter looked around the office of the Councilor, and for the first time after being here only a couple of other times it dawned on him how strange the room actually was. The whole place was a foreboding battleship grey color from top to bottom. There was no desk; the only furniture being two utilitarian folding wooden chairs the Councilor and he sat on. On the back wall, midway up, was a shelf. On the right side of the shelf (from his perspective of being in the middle of the room facing the Councilor and the back wall) was a gold (or at least gold colored) Cross with a snake wrapped around it, and on the opposite side was a gold tree with leaves and even little round fruits and likewise a wrapped-around snake was included in the highly detailed sculpture. The only light source in the room was a circular bright...something...near the top and center of the back wall. The light could be looked directly into so it was bright but somehow not too bright; and it also somehow was able to give equal illumination everywhere within the room since no shadows were cast that Winter could see.
"...hey Winter...Winter..hellooo there!..." -said while the Councilor waved his one hand vigorously in front of his face which finally was able to break the young man before him out of his fixation with his surroundings- "...dude, were you even listening?"
"You know..this place is really weird...what kind of office doesn't even have a desk?"
"Heh...so says the guy who can't deal with people who don't fit into nice and neat and completely arbitrary gender classifications...which in and of itself hurts absolutely no one...now that my man is what could truly be called weird"
"It's not that I can't deal with them..."
"Good!...then good luck with the mission"
"Come on Councilor, you didn't even give me a chance to finish...I was gonna say that I have no problem with trans-people...hell, a person could consider themselves an attack helicopter for all I care..as long as they're not goofing up other people's lives then I'm fine with it all...but I work for the Female Self Image Intervention Division and I take it very seriously...so seriously in fact that I consider it a huge waste of the Division's efforts to aid a GuyManDude who is only on the way to transition into a woman, and a simulated woman at that"
"That's right...real women have all the plumbing needed to bear children...at best a male can only simulate that with the medical techniques and technology available at the time before I came to this place"
"So according to you real women make children...like they're all just baby factories"
"No..no I didn't say that..."
"Sure sounds like it to me..and extending that 'reasoning', it would be correct to say that all women who were born with the right equipment to bear children but who for whatever reason can't are actually males"
"Man, you're killing me here!...women have the equipment to have kids from birth, that's all I'm saying...men can have the equipment too by surgery in the time period I lived in...but it can't produce eggs..."
"What if in a far flung future way past the one you came from, males who medically change over to females do produce viable eggs and are able to carry a fetus to term...what would they be?...and what if unborn males or females could be given sexual reassignments in the womb?"
"Huh?...uhhhhh...does that actually happen in the future?...well that would...uhhhhh..."
The Councilor grinned at Winter's discomfiture.
"Look my man, your brain is starting to fry and it's actually not my intention to do that to you...what I do actually want is for you to be loosed from the strict A or B gender classifications that bind you like a big heavy chain...now I'm pleased that you have a strong drive for helping females overcome the obstacles in life that they face and I know that you developed that drive because of your sister, so what I need for you to do for me is to expand your drive for helping females to include non-standard females"
"Aw man!...that's asking a lot you know?...a person can't just change deep rooted views overnight"
"At least meet Erin and get to know her before you totally crap all over the mission...you can be a pal and do that for me, can't you..." -he faux pleaded- "...I mean I DID do you a solid and bring you to this place...you, out of countless billions of Souls...and now you're here where you have a material form and can go to Earth in that form to be among the living...did I mention that there were like a ba-zillion other dudes who I could have hooked-up instead of you?...don't get me wrong, I'm just sayin man...it's not like I'm tryin to guilt you into giving this mission a chance..heaven forbid that I try to influence anyone by pointing out the absurdly huge degree of blessing I've bestowed upon them..."
"Alright already!...damnit, I'll go on the mission!...damn!"
"Why that's an excellent decision on your part!...now make that sour face go away so you can report back to your I-Angel..." -Winter's scrunched-up sour expression diminish by about three-quarters, at which time the Councilor gave him the go-ahead to leave- "...ok then, you can go..." -Winter had just grabbed the handle of the door when from behind him came- "...oh since you're here, have you noticed your Team's Diva acting funny?"
Winter turned just his head to look back.
"Yeah, you know...as in not freakishly robotic"
Winter remembered Diva 1705's faint but distinct smile at the end of the After-Action briefing, but decided not to mention it because it really was hardly a smile and no other 'funny' behavior had occurred since that time.
"Nope, our beautiful I-Angel is as emotionless as a block of wood as always"
The atmosphere in the room turned deadly serious all of a sudden and then the Councilor spoke with equal seriousness.
"You sure?...cause it's important that you guys tell me if anything weird goes on with any of the I-Angels...I know I told all of you four the same thing in passing at their and your first meetings with me when each one of you were brought here..but now let me inform you that an I-Angel that goes out of spec has the potential to cause massive damage to both the material and non-material realms"
"Is that so?..." -Winter then completely turned his body to face the Councilor- "...well our Diva is fully..in spec...as you put it"
The atmosphere went back to normal and the Councilor regained his usual happy-go-lucky expression.
"Sweet!...everything working as it should is good news to me"
"Hey since we were on the subject of gender, what gender are the I-Angels suppose to be?...I know they don't have a gender as normal humans like me and my teammates understand the word, but they are on the manly side of things in appearance at least...but not manly men..more like pretty, androgynous men like a lot of fashion models are...know what I mean?"
"Angels of all types have no gender as humans know it, but understand that in Heaven, gender is a matter of function...the Angels act in the place of God and both in function are male being of the Spiritual side, but since the Angels interact with the Material side of things, they are female in function...that's why they are androgynous looking with a barest leaning toward the male side since the male function is dominant in their case"
"Man that's complicated"
"It's actually WAY more complicated than that"
"Alright...I'll be going now"
"Well have a good time with the mission...and hey..just relax about Erin and the whole transgender thing...just be who you are and let other people be who they are and everything will sort itself out right"