Through the Gate
The gates appeared all over the planet, one by one at first, then in ever increasing numbers. When it was all said and done, there were hundreds of thousands of the mysterious gates scattered over every landmass on Earth. Those brave or foolish enough to pass through the gates on those first fateful days discovered that their passage gave them strong, healthy new bodies free from illness or injury. There was just one catch: the gates also switched their sex! Soon, political, scientific, and military communities across the globe attempted to understand and use the gates for their own ends, but the mysterious constructs refused to give up their secrets.
Although most of those who went through the gates passed through without harm (other than the sex change), a few did not. Furthermore, all those who attempted to pass through a second time never made it out the other side of the gate. After discovering this, those who had accidentally passed through (or been forced through) once, despaired of ever regaining their original bodies. It seemed that passage through the gates was a one-way trip.
Now, it has been little more than a year since the gates have appeared. Although no one is closer to cracking the mysteries of how they work or why they are here, there has been a new breakthrough: It seems that a few rare individuals are capable of passing through the gates more than once, changing their sex and completely repairing their bodies with each passage. These people, referred to as Seconders, are the subject of fascination for the scientific community and jealousy for the general population. After all, as long as the gates remain on Earth, the Seconders are effectively immortal.
So far, none of the Seconders have talked about their experiences on their second (and subsequent) passages, and no one has been able to force any information out of them. With no new information from the Seconders forthcoming, several questions remain unanswered: Who or what sent these gates? Why and how do they do what they do? And what makes the few Seconders that exist able to safely make multiple passages, when so many others have failed to do so? Only time will tell whether or not these questions are answered…