I wrote a thing

So I’ve been thinking about writing and how cool it would be to have a fictional world where only women have a special power (like Bene Gesserit’s in Dune) and doing it in a trans inclusive way.

So I wrote a little short story about a trans women named Alice finally getting to grips with using her powers to guide ships through hyperspace. Hope you enjoy it!

Alice in Hyperspace

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Get the best resources in the galaxy to help me with my transition. Get injected with alien nanobots that give you superpowers and in return, all I needed to do was join a mysterious sisterhood of women to guide starships safely through the increasingly chaotic regions of hyperspace in the core. 

The only problem is I’m useless at it. My instructor sent out five hyperspace probes for me to guide to Alpha Centauri today and the best I’ve managed is for one to turn up in Barnards Star. Who knows where the others are probably lost somewhere in hyperspace never to be seen again. 


After our practice session, we all went to the ship’s mess hall to unwind after the day. 

“How did it go today? Is anything starting to click yet?” Lisa said to me. 

“I still can’t get even one of the training probes to the right destination. One ended up in Barnards Star and the rest lost in hyperspace who knows where.” I said. 

“Remember Lisa all the problems I had. I struggled for months and months and then one day something clicked and suddenly I could guide everything to the right place.” Anna said. 

“And don’t forget your six months behind us in training. Considering how long you’ve been doing this you’re doing well!” Anna said. 

“I guess,” I said. 


That morning Maria my instructor popped her head through the door of the mess hall while we were having breakfast. “Anyone want a break from navigating practice probes to the far corners of the federation? I’ve been invited to a banquette on Haven.”  

“Why don’t you go, Alice? A break might be what you need right now.” Anna said. 

“I don’t know. “ I said, “I’m not great at social stuff”. 

“It will be good practice for when you graduate and have to get involved in interstellar intrigue and diplomacy,” Maria said. 

“Ok then, I’ll come,” I said. 


I felt nervous walking to the scout ship.  

“This is a terrible idea. Why did I agree to this?” I said. 

Maria looked at me and said. “You will be fine I used to do state banquettes all the time when I was younger. You just need to stand around looking pretty and acting like you own the place.”  

“That’s kind of difficult when you grew up on a farm and everyone thought you were a boy,” I said. 

“Yea, but no one knows that. To them, you’re practically royalty.” Maria said. 

The jump through hyperspace was only a short one. Our little scout ship was fast and only took a few days to make the journey to Haven. 

As we made our final approach, I finished getting changed and met up with Maria in her quarters. Make-up is something I still struggled with, so I needed a bit of help getting ready. After we had finished getting ready, I looked myself up and down in the mirror. I knew in my head that all anyone saw when looking at me was an attractive young woman, but brains are good at lying to you and I saw all the flaws that had gone long ago. 

The ship landed smoothly on a pad at the starport and we prepared to leave. As we walked down our shuttles boarding ramp and onto the red carpet an honour guard stood to attention. We walked down the red carpet to the awaiting transport pod that would take us to the governor’s mansion. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to being treated like this I thought. 


I sat awkwardly at my dinner table. As guests of honour, we were at the head table with the planetary governor and his family. The governor was talking to Maria about how sorry they were about the incident with their diplomat on our homeworld. I sat there staring at my datapad, I’ve never been much good at small talk.  

After a while, my datapad lit up with a message notification. Maria must have a neural link to hers active as she was still talking to the governor: 

Maria: How are you holding up? 

Me: Not sure. I’m sure everyone is staring at me. 

Maria: They are. They are staring at both of us with a mixture of fear and wonder. Try to enjoy the attention. 

Me: Ok, I’ll try. 

Maria: It takes time, but you get used to it. You’re doing really well so far! 

After dinner, I decided to get some fresh air and made an escape towards the mansion’s gardens. The gardens were lit by a combination of mood lighting and the system’s other star. It was nice to escape to the quiet and enjoy the fresh air and I don’t think anyone noticed I was gone. 

After spending the night in the governor’s mansion, we headed back to our ship I couldn’t wait to be back somewhere I could get out of this dress and go back to my usual outfit of jeans and a tank top. 


I breathed a sigh of relief as the ship accelerated out of the planet’s atmosphere.  

“I know you’re not a social butterfly, but it wasn’t that bad, was it?” Maria said. 

“It’s just social anxiety, I’ve never quite got over all the stuff that happened on Earth before I joined,” I said. 

“I remember that time when we first met,” Maria said. “I’d escaped my security detail to get some air and time alone and I saw you sitting alone in a park crying.” 

“I don’t know what I’d of done if I hadn’t met you then,” I said. 

I didn’t like thinking about those times. I’d come to Earth full of hope that I might finally find somewhere safe where I could transition, but it wasn’t to be. When Maria found me, I was very much in that awkward early stage of being on HRT. It had made me a target of bullying at college and that day everything had just got too much. 

Maria nodded and said, “I’m sorry if last night was a bit much for you too soon.” 

“I kind of forget that not everyone was brought up in a royal household and taught that they were the prettiest one there and to be the centre of attention at a young age.” 

“How comes you’re not still there?” I asked. 

“Well, let’s just say the planet is a republic now. Me and my mother barely got out with our lives and my father wasn’t so lucky.” Maria replied. 

“I’m sorry,” I said 

“Don’t be. My father was a despotic arsehole.” Maria said. 

I decided not to ask any more about Maria’s past and retired to my bunk for an early night. After yesterday I needed the rest.  


I woke up to the sound of emergency lights and klaxons. What’s on earth is going on I thought. A klaxon sounded and a robotic voice said “Life support failure, emergency oxygen and CO2 scrubber activated.”. I rushed to the Bridge and looked in horror at the captain trying to treat Maria with an autodoc. She was unconscious. 

They looked at me and said, “The main intrasystem drives down, we only have a day’s Oxygen left and we need to get Maria to a proper doctor.”. With the main drive down the only place we could get to in time would be the survey ship in the next system and the only person qualified to get us there was currently unconscious. Either I navigated the ship through hyperspace, or we would die. 

“The only choice is for me to guide the ship through hyperspace and I’ve only ever done this with practice drones. “ I said. 

“Agreed Maria is in no state to guide the ship, I’ll put her in a stasis pod which should stabilise her condition.” Said the Captain. 

I activated the neural link to the ship’s systems and established communications with the jump gate. Luckily for us, the conditions in hyperspace weren’t terrible. I spent about an hour searching till I finally found the beacon for the gate where our survey ship was. I didn’t want to risk the hyperspace getting more turbulent due to a passing ship, so I immediately commanded the ship to make the jump. 

Shit, I thought as we immediately started to drift in the wrong direction. I fired the thrusters to push us back on course and overcorrected. We were now drifting off course in the opposite direction. After about an hour though, I got our course stable and with a few course corrections we made our way slowly to the other gate. I breathed a sigh of relief as we reached the gate and we re-entered normal space. Luckily the survey ship wasn’t far from the gate and help arrived soon. 


A week later the doctor was finally well enough to have visitors, so I went to see her. Maria was laying bandaged in bed in the med bay. 

“How are you doing?” I said to Maria. 

“I’ve been better. All I remember is the ship hitting some space debris and that was it,” she said. 

“The doctor said you guided the ship through hyperspace and saved us. I’m so proud of you!”  

I blushed and didn’t know what to say after that. 


It was three months later and I was feeling really nervous. Today I would be piloting the science ship through hyperspace myself for hopefully the last time before I become a qualified navigator. If everything went well today, I’d be assigned to a ship of my own.  

“You have control of the ship,” Maria said. 

I activated my neural link with the ship and the ship faded away to be replaced with a view of hyperspace. I concentrated on our destination and saw the bright flashing beacon of the destination gate. I then commanded the ship to enter through the gate. I felt the ship try to drift of course but quickly commanded the ship’s thrusters to counteract it. 

After a few hours, the ship safely transited out of hyperspace. 

“Congratulations. That was very well piloted. Looks like you’re ready for your own ship now.” Maria said. 

A few days later I received orders to report a freighter named the Eris. My new home. 


Guiding this slow, rust bucket of a freighter was getting routine now. Most of my time was spent trying to find things to do to occupy my time for two/three months followed by a couple of weeks of intense concentration to get the big old ship through hyperspace safely. I’ve been doing it now for three years and I love it. The crew feels like a big family. I just wish they let me help out sometimes with maintenance and stuff as there’s not much to do when we are travelling to the hyperspace gates and back. 

It looks like I’m not going to be on my own with nothing to do for this journey though. We have a passenger and oh my god they are such an egg. Cute though. 

The End 

My experiences of game streaming

I recently bought myself a new laptop so me and my partner can still do computer stuff when we are in the living room and I’m away from my desktop. As I didn’t want and couldn’t afford a gaming laptop I planed to use game streaming from my desktop so I could play games with decent quality.

Below is my experiences of each option that I tried.

Steam offers has two methods for game streaming from one local machine to another. The first of these is the steamlink app/application that can run on Windows, Linux (both PC & Raspberry Pi) and Android. I’ve found this to work really well although I did have some issues with the wifi on my PC so using a wired ethernet adapter can work a bit better. Quality can be pretty much identical to running it on a local PC (apart from my laptop not getting so hot).

The steam application can also use do streaming internally. The only problem I found with this was that you need to be logged in on the host machine or you just get a blank screen. This can be solved by either using a VNC client or using the steam link application.

Moonlight and Sunshine (if you have a AMD gfx card)

Moonlight emulates the nvidia game streaming as used on the nvidia shield. This offers very good quality and you can also pair it with the sunshine streaming server if you don’t have an Nvidia graphics card. The main issue I have with it though is that it doesn’t work well with my WiFi. I suspect this is due to having spikes of requiring a lot of bandwith that our WiFi can’t handle. Over a wired ethernet connection however it works very well.

Xbox cloud gaming

This differs from the above options in that games are streamed from a server in a data centre rather than you own hardware. In order to use it your require a XBox game pass ultimate subscription and you can only play the XBox version of the games available for cloud gaming. Quality is limited by only support 720p resolution and I saw some graphics glitching. I did find it useful for trying new games without downloading them to either of my PCs and it might be a good option for playing away from home.

Transport Fever 2 – German valley main line


I’ve recently been doing another play through of Transport Fever 2. This time I wanted to create a map with a lot of scope for fast express services so I created a long thin map where a single main line could connect most of the cities together.

I’ve currently paused things at about 1987 and am moving over to use more modded vehicles so things look much better.


The current map theme is a fictional river valley area in Germany near the French border. German ICE trains are currently not ready so high speed services are currently being provided by orange first generation TGV sets. There is also a fast intercity service provided along part of the route using rhine gold couches hauled by DB Class 103 locomotives. Various other locomotives haul services off of the main line and it’s various branch lines.

Route map

Route map of all lines in my map

Making TeleText/RustText pages

This is probably a bit premuture as I haven’t implemented HTTP yet in RustTex but I thought I’d do a short post on making pages for RustTex (you can also use the same pages with a teletext emulator).

I use a program called wxTED to create pages for RustTex. This is primarily designed for TeleText so the RustText file handler has to do a few things to make sure they display properly on a BBC micro/BeebEm.

wxTed presents a GUI which allows you to enter text. You can do line drawing by using ctrl-F? (F1-F9 for the colour). In graphics mode you can use q,a,z,w,s,x to change one of 6 blocks inside the character location. It also lets you set the background colour and do lots of other stuff. Check out it’s help pages Help->Special keys and have a play.

A short introduction to UK legal gender for non-UK folks

Since this came up in regards to emigrating outside the UK and gender recognition I thought I’d write a small post about how gender works in the UK and is recorded. As the UK isn’t quite as organised as countries such as Germany it is possible and common for gender to be different depending on circumstances. This is probably best seperated into 2 sections. As always this is just a basic summary and it’s probably best to consult a lawyer.

Birth Certificate

Under UK law Legal Gender is defined as what’s on your Birth certificate. However for most practical purposes this is not actually legally significant as documentation such as driving licences and passports can be changed based on self ID.

The most important area where legal gender is important is getting married in the UK (as marriage vows in England/Wales may have to be recited in regards to legal gender), pension before the pension age was adjusted and if a person ended up in prison.

Eqality act and sex discrimination

Under the equality act it is illegal to descriminate due to trans status (perception or intent to transition) or sex. This would probably have the effect of covering a trans person in a sex discrimination case the same as a CIS person and there is also no need to disclose trans status in most cases (pretty much only for background checks when working with vulnerable people or working in a rape crisis centre). This is one area I’m not particuly well read up on so probably best to talk to a lawyer or trans organisation.

Other documentation

Apart from birth certificates all other documentation does not show legal gender but instead shows either the gender person identifies as or whatever they like (in the case of Ms/Mr/Mx as these have no legal standing).

In the case of ID documents such as passports/driving licences all that is required to change gender is a letter from a doctor or psychiatrist. It is also possibly to change your gender under the NHS using this method.

In the UK anyone can change name using either a deed poll (signed by witness’) or statutary declaration (signed by solicitor/judge). Both of these documents can be created using templates which are available free online.

Due to the equlity act and other provisions it is also easy to change documents such as exam certificates which are not normally changable by CIS people. For example changing your degree certificate is as simple as sending a certified copy of your statuatary declaration or deed poll and stating that you have undergone gender transition.

Toilets etc.

Access to single sex areas such as toilets is currently not controlled by law and is via convention. This means that you can use the one that match’s your gender identity. This is also backed up by case law around the Eqaulity act.

And update and maybe some hope for the UK

So it’s been awhile since we made the decision to move countries (Well technically since December). Things have been progressing slowly while we wait for the pandemic to subside and things to open up again.

While plans have been progressing it’s been a difficult month here in the UK and anxiety for not just me but most of the trans community has been through the roof. Earlier in the month we heard leaks from the government that the proposed reforms for our gender recognition laws were going to be shelved and our rights were going to be rolled back. This was rumoured to involve our access to ‘single-sex spaces’ being denied which would meen we potentially could even loose the right to use the toilet without harrasment (or arrest).

There has been a big push back from the community though and demonstrations have happened nationally. The push-back which has hopefully made the government realise that we are the small easily kicked minority that they hoped we would be. Surveys have also shown that there isn’t widespread support for rolling back our rights.

All of this has mean’t that the goverment has now announced that reform will be delayed again (first to this week and now to September). It means that we won’t get the prize of having self-ID for changing our birth-certificates but it also means that things atm won’t get worse either.

For now this feels like small victory. For me personally it gives me time so we can get ready to move. We still don’t trust that things won’t get worse over time and we still need to move somewhere where we can get away from the harm inflicted on us by the media and government. It also means that our friends and others that we care about also have a chance to be safe even though they don’t have the ability to move.

Lou’s future adventures beyond the UK

It’s been too long since I’ve blogged so due to some scary and exciting future life changes I’ve decided that it’s best to get writing again.

It’s been a difficult few years in the UK and things have been slowing getting worse here. The main stream media has become more hostile to trans people and we have a TERF for an equalities minister. The community is fighting back though and hopefully things will get better eventually. So hopefully one day the UK might be a better place for trans people.

We have decided though that this is not a country we wish to live in anymore when we could be happier elsewhere. I suspect one of the things that has really changed is me and my awareness of how England feels rotten to the core and although the younger generations here give me hope it’s not somewhere I feel comfortable anymore.

On a lighter note we are currently exploring a couple of options with help from the people over at https://twitter.com/TransEmigrate, Ireland and Germany.


Germany was our original plan before the coronavirus hit the world. We had been trying to rush preperations so we could leave before we would need to get visa’s to move there (1st January 2021).

We know a little more about Germany as I’ve been posted there for work and we have been on holiday in the Berlin and Cologne area. There are lots that sound good about Germany and a few things that are a little scary for our situation and we need to research to see what the situation is especially when it comes to things like gender recognition as we have both changed our names and gender on our passports but not birth certificates.


Ireland is something we hadn’t thought about till recently. They have self-ID so that is a massive plus for us as we could both change our legal gender easily. This is a massive plus for me as changing birth certificates is costly and bauracratic here. In the UK it may also not be possible for me to change without starting the process again (probably privately) as I believe the people who signed off my transition are no longer practicing. The only downside with Ireland will be living in a smaller country and we already find it difficult to live in rural Cambridgeshire.

Further information

I’m creating a page which will be updated as I discover more here

Flying the Grob 103a

On Sunday my usual glider the ASK21 wasn’t available so I flew the clubs Grob for the first time.  This was interesting as the Grob is a lot less forgiving of uncoordinated (flying without using the rudder correctly) flight then the ASK-21.  It really highlighted that I’ve started to develop a habit where the first thing I drop in high concentration situations is my rudder control.

Even though my rudder control caused me lot’s of problem I still covered quite a lot flying the Grob.  The aircraft is much less placid then the ASK21 which was really interesting when I practised stalling it.  I found it to have a much more obvious buffeting which was interesting.

A Grob 103 similar to the one we have out our club.

I also made lots of progress with taking of on the winch which was welcome as I haven’t been able to practice this for a few weeks due to the club winch being out of action.  The highlight being my first couple of launches where I correctly flew the whole of the launch on my own!

Outside of real world aviation I’ve also bought some new Saitek rudder pedal’s for my PC.  I think having pedals is even more important when you fly real aircraft as well as simulators and will hopefully get me more into the habit of using the rudder more when I fly in real life.  I’ve also been playing around with trying to stall and spin various aircraft in X-Plane and DCS.  It’s been particularly interesting with DCS’ F86 as this really shows up the affects of high G on stalling speed.   While stalling the F86 I managed to get it to stall where the wing drops and it goest into a dive.  Recovering from this was really difficult and I crashed the aircraft into the ground quite a few times.




Learning to Fly

So after a work trip to a local gliding club I ended up enjoying it so much I decided to learn to fly gliders.  It’s been going really well for the last couple of months and last Sunday I did my first landing with me operating all the controls (my instructors have been using the airbrake to control the descent rate for my earlier landings).  I’ve also been experimenting with recording my flight logs so I can see where I’ve been flying and generally get a better idea of how to improve my circuits (basically the path you have to fly to perform a landing).  So after using a program called gpsvisualizer I made a track of my last flight on Sunday.


I also took a picture of the instrument panel on one of the clubs ASK21’s that I fly:


As you can see there’s a lot less instruments then you see on powered aircraft.  We also have a device call a variometer instead of a vertical speed indicator.  The variometer is designed to show if you are climbing or sinking due to atmospheric effects such as thermals.  The other instrument that is rarer is the G meter which is one with the 3 dials next to the altimeter.  This is needed as most gliders are certified for acrobatic flight and I’ve already experienced pulling about 3Gs from flying a fast turn when we had some altitude to burn off.


Terraria: I have a space gun and it’s mine all mine!

So I’ve finally defeated the Eye of Cthulu in Terraria and I’m now starting to be a lot stronger. I also used explosives to destroy a couple of shadow orbs and caused a meteor to crash (which I mined). So I now have a space gun and better armor. Now the next step will be trying to kill the eater of worlds.

I have a space gun!
I have a space gun!

All the demon forges!
All the demon forges!

Crossing the corruption made easy.
Crossing the corruption made easy.