WARNING! The following page contains spoilers for the lore of Worlds Adrift
I had my suspicions from the off. Of course when she arrived we were all a little bit startled. I mean, I should make it absolutely clear that looks aren't important when it comes to new students, but she really was different.
I couldn't help but look at her legs, which were swaddled above the waist in loose sackcloth. She wore a large hat which she pulled down as far as possible over her face, though we could see it was heavily painted underneath, and she had stuffed her blouse with ogballs for breasts. Her chosen subject for study was, "Revelry in Vinicoti public houses, and the effect of enforced sobriety on hardened sky-mariners."
What actual experience she had had of the subject we dared not ask, but she quickly volunteered it. We noted she was not as eloquent as her portfolio suggested, but put it down to a bit of rustiness in spoken Gallish.
"I learned from books father collected as souvenirs. We were always in a new port. Most were written in Gallish, and I read a lot, provided they weren't under the Rebus."
We flinched at the word. It was taboo to talk openly of the Rebus at Panyana, and perhaps in that moment we should have twigged, but the interview skipped on, and we decided her topic was interesting, having little similar research in the archive.
As a senior figure in the social sciences field, our Professor Tummel of Mellifluan Baliandric studies sat beside me on the interview panel. She was born male, but always thought of herself as a woman. The charter of the University of Panyana is very clear on the matter; "Only women may study at Panyana." That is why Miss Tummel has been welcomed with open arms. The candidate had gone quite, and the interview very tense, when Professor Tummel decided to speak up.
"Please do not be offended, but may I ask a personal question?"
The candidate waved her hand in accord.
"It is common for trans-people to want to study at the University of Panyana, and we accept their applications as readily as any other. Do you have concerns that we might turn you away on that basis? If so, then rest assured that we are ahead of you. We want you to be completely relaxed with your own identity."
To our horror, she stood up, and kicking away the chair, began to violently tear away her clothes and accoutrements. This wasn't a student! It was Exus Levit, the Saborian spy, come back yet again to try and decrypt the Rebus by subterfuge, and making a hash of dressing up as a woman.
"The things I have to do for my country!" he spat. Then he ran off.