Doctor Avant:
    After Melpomene's Daughter

This information does not appear in any stories and probably won't appear in any stories. Most of this happened in a short period between the end of Melpomene's Daughter and the beginning of Beach Tour. July of 2030 to June of 2031.

Compression, Decompression

While living with the Furry Liberation Army and with little more to do than to be Dirk's constant companion and muse, Cheri looked back on her first 24 years and decided she didn't like what she saw. During her early years, she'd been raised in isolation from society, but when she was old enough to live her own life she continued that isolation, as much out of habit as shyness. Ever since she was a little girl she had immersed herself in her studies and other projects, and as an adult her workaholic ways continued. As for intimate companionship, she had never really considered it; she was always too busy. Her only friends had been her "work friends", people she was friendly with while at work.

Two months locked inside her head, unable to speak to anyone and alone with the knowledge that if her hosts even suspected who or what she was, they would kill her. Two months of stress, of constant fear, of being isolated with her thoughts made her determined to get a life—if she managed to survive. She resolved to stop hiding from the public and get some friends—real friends including a boyfriend.

Special Agent Frankie Jimenez

In the closing scene of Melpomene's Daughter, Frankie and Cheri made an emotional connection. He spent the rest of the day driving her around: To the clinic to have her satellite link removed; her apartment to change into her own clothes; and then, because she didn't want to be alone, she stayed at his place that night. They stayed up late and he simply listened to her talk about her feelings, hopes, and dreams of the future. The next morning he drove her into FBI headquarters for her official debriefing. Shortly after that, they became an item.

Her Outing

When she expressed her desire to come out to the public, to her employer, the NIH saw an opportunity to use her as a public spokesman. They chose a respected news magazine TV program and orchestrated an interview. Later, and because of the huge demand, she did several more on-camera interviews, but always with a lawyer by her side. The presence of the lawyer was because of her involvement with the FBI sting operation and the upcoming criminal trials of FLA members.

On camera Cheri talked about her creation, her early years growing up, her studies at the university, what she did for the NIH, and her desires for the future. She was very careful around the subjects of what motivated her work against the FLA and how she felt while undercover living with them.

On behalf of the NIH, she became involved with lobbying before Congress. She became a popular guest at Washington D.C. parties and made several friendships with Congressmen. She hopped her new friendships would help her when she got back around to funding and resurrecting her own research project.

Looking for a Good Man

It seems that good things come to an end, and so it was with Cheri and Frankie's love affair. It was a matter of conflicting schedules and different outlooks on life that caused them to drift apart. Technically, she'd lost her virginity when Kevin beat her senseless and raped her, but partly because she didn't remember much of the beating and partly because she didn't want to remember, she liked to think of Frankie as being her first. After their split they remained friends.

After Agent Jimenez, she had a hard time finding a suitable boyfriend. Most men she met seemed to fall into one of three groups:

Those that had an immediate sexual attraction to Sheri turned out to be perverts who viewed her as an animal, not a person, and an object of their lust. Unfortunately, she seemed to be a magnet for those types of people.

Most men, in fact most people, treated her as a person. When there seemed to be that extra spark, she pursued it. Except that her animal nature seemed to be a turn-off for this type of man. He might be a wonderful person, but he would hesitate when it came time for that first kiss, or complain about her shedding on his furniture. She quickly learned to cut her losses and run.

What she was looking for was someone like Agent Jimenez—a man who looked at her as a person and an equal, but wasn't intimidated by her species. She found one in Frankie, and she figured there had to be at least one more out there.