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  1. I have been putting together a guide based on the Diaper Dimension for a while now. Some of it is a little rough and it is by no means complete. As I have been reading the DD stories for far longer than I have been writing this guide, there are many stories that I have missed in putting in here. This will be an on-going process to add these stories and further authors who have contributed to this wonderful setting. When I started writing stories, I realized I wanted to inhabit the worlds others had already created, as they felt real and complex. While I will acknowledge that many of the stories could live in similar but still different dimensions, I noticed several similarities between many of the stories. As such, I have created this guide for anyone to use freely to create their own stories if they ever want to use part of the pre-existing lore. Due to the on-going creation of the DD, I have labeled this story as 'complete,' but as my vanilla job would like to say, it is a 'living' document. For those who don't know, this just means that the document will be submitted as a final form, but may often be updated as new information comes to light. Additionally, while it behooves me to post a link here rather than the actual information, the nature of this guide and the fact that I will still be updating it going forward, means posting it here in its entirety would be a bit of a pain. I may change my mind later, but I hope the link will work for now. https://www.wattpad.com/story/339576633-diaper-dimension-reference-guide *NOTE: Wattpad has since removed my account on there unforunately. I will leave this section up here for now though as a testament to it's original placement though. As before, however, further updates will be done on this page below regardless.
  2. Warning! As with my previous stories, this one contains several elements inherent to the pre-established 'Diaper Dimension.' These include, but are not limited to: Diapers and their usage for their intended purpose Breastfeeding Non-consensual mental regression through various means (Including possible drugs, hypnosis, and/or surgery) References to surgery to achieve various nefarious goals Humiliation Giants, aka, Amazons or Bigs Predominantly female domination (some male) Babying of adults (perceived or otherwise) Experimentation on humans Kidnapping Coerced or manipulated actions through possible means of white lies, gas lighting, or incentives Mild language or use of explitives Depictions of death, illness, or handicaps Graphic imagery associated with any of these warnings This story has not been labeled as mature, due to a lack of specific references to anything overtly sexual, but this warning serves as a 'turn back' point for any readers who do not wish to read about the previous warnings. Lastly, this list is subject to change during the course of writing this story. While most of the plot is ironed out, more warnings may be added if needed. For those readers interested or do not care about the warnings listed, please enjoy the following story. Hey everyone! First off, I promise that I will be updating the DD reference guide soon. Things are just a little busier during this time of year, but I will get to it. Going off that, I also want to note that currently at least, this story is shaping up to be about 26 chapters long. With the holidays coming up and even a vacation sprinkled in there, I will try to post this story as often as I can, but I will ask for your patience during this time. For instance, I will be a little busy this weekend, so the next chapter might not post until Monday. Also, because of that and the at least 26 dyas going into the future here, this will be my last story of 2023. No matter when this ends, I will be taking a tiny break and then coming back around the middle of January with the sequel story to the CONvention. There should be plenty to look forward to with this origin story of sorts and the several sequels that I have planned for next year. Anyways, I hope everyone enjoys the first chapter of this new story! Chapter 1: Sitting... Waiting... Ten minutes. It was such a small fraction of time, and even less than what it took to fingerprint and photograph a perp at my old job, but today, I was nowhere near that old job. Here, in another dimension entirely, one end of those ten minutes was back at daycare. Possibly forcefully mind numbing and a place where bad things could happen, but safe and familiar as it had become since I first arrived at the facility and town here. On the other side of the ten minutes though, the group now surrounding me were to journey into history or oblivion. It was hard to tell at this point, but from what I had seen with my own eyes by now, either was just as terrifyingly likely. At the front of the shuttle bus speeding across the town I had come to know so intimately, Mrs. Louder sang at the top of her lungs to distract the other Littles from what was happening in her own nervous yet excitable energy. She was a kindly figure that I had even grown attached to as she had gently braided my hair a few times and gave me extra snacks when I was good, but I could still see through all her charm and musicality that she was worried about what was to happen next. I wasn’t sure if she could be nervous with what was about to happen to her precious Littles or that she was nervous for what would happen to her if she didn’t keep her Littles calm on the way over. I then saw my friends sitting and humming amusedly right next to her. ‘Why did they have to be so complacent?’ I knew the effects of everything here were powerful, but my friends were now first up in all this madness. In likely another ten minutes after we arrived, they would either be a pile of goo, a drooling and babbling disaster of a once proud adult or would rank among the great successful firsts such as Ameilia Earheart or Valentina Tereshkova in great traveling milestones. While I wanted to admonish them, I was here too. “The wheels on the bus go round and round!” Mrs. Louder sang out as a contrast to my own thoughts of great explorers who had come before us. A few of the more regressed Littles joined her, but most just seemed scared or confused. I, however, was neither complacent nor confused, but I was legitimately scared. My only solace now was that my hair was up in a single ponytail today and that I was wearing my now favorite pair of daffodil-colored shortalls, as opposed to the short and cutesy dresses most of the rest of the women Littles were dressed in around me. Small concessions like that were important here. Still though, from my assignment at this place, I knew exactly what was going to happen, and despite my previous mishap with the room with the pretty lights and a slight burning desire to join in on the song now, much to my annoyance and shame, my awareness ensured that I knew most of the grizzly details of what could potentially be our fate. If Amy was even remotely correct about her warnings about other peoples’ theories, everything that I had ever known could be ripped apart in a few violent seconds as reality imploded over the breach that was about to be purposely formed. My inner thoughts mattered little though, as we finally arrived at our destination and went through the black door at the end of the hallway at the main research facility. I tried anything I could to get help, but nothing seemed to work. Now, to my left was robotics and to right was hypnotics… ‘so colorful, so pretty, so…’ I shook my head and refocused on not tripping over my pink Velcro shoes as we entered a large room beyond a single door. It was the source of current lot in life and secretly admitted joy, but it was also the main villain in all my recent experiences as well. It was a portal device. Per typical of Bigs around this area though, many known and unknown figures clinked their champagne glasses together over the possible success of today up on the viewing catwalk nearby. Most just ignored the terrified expressions of the Littles passing below them and continued to laugh and cheer about what today could mean for their wallets and reputations. Once we were all in, one of the more elegant and reposed Bigs from up there raised her glass to the scientist standing nearby next to a myriad of controls and switches. “We’re ready when you are, doctor! Make us proud!” The scientist nodded and with her black-gloved right hand, yanked hard down on a large lever connected to an expansive and impressive control panel. All at once, the room began to vibrate erratically, and I quickly tasted cooper in my mouth. Each of most of the Littles sequestered in the room began to cry out; some for mercy, some for their appointed mommies or daddies. I remained silent, but tried to plug my screeching ears as much as I could. My eyes shut tightly but when they opened for a split second, I could see many of the Littles in front of me squat and mess themselves completely. It was a normal thing for some of them by now and their thick diapers and onesies or humiliatingly short dresses were a continual visual testament to that notion, but still, to see them all at once with everything else going on was positively horrifying to witness and experience firsthand. Fearful of it all, I even probed my hand to my own rear in the tiny amount of strength I could muster. To my relief though, I found that I didn’t have a ‘mush tush.’ In a day full of bad things, it seemed to be the one legitimately good thing occurring now. Finally, though, the vibrations and noises ceased and for a moment, I felt a tiny trickle of blood exit my nose. As I wiped it away, the portal hummed once more, but this pitch was lower and seemed to shake the very foundations of the building. As soon as this one started though, it stopped. The once skeletal finger-like metal shafts in front of us then belched forth a liquid barrier and was soon still. Reality remained for now, but I quickly saw something even more troubling on the other side of the perceived opening. * * * The old skyscrapers stretched to the clouded sky like blackened claws swallowing the city up. The afternoon rains had produced a sickly ooze that seemed to creep down each aged façade with the same menace as the neighborhoods that were now riddled with crime and despair north of 89th street and the safe zones below. The once proud monuments to industry and progress up here to the north now only stood as stark reminders of a time now long passed and how the world had moved on but only to a darker and more dismal state. I ensured all the lights were off on my squad car so as not to alert any of the criminal elements that likely now surrounded our position. My rookie, John, sat beside me and nervously encircled his thumbs and tapped his foot over what was about to go down in the building just a block in front of us. For me, it was just another Thursday night where I might need to exercise a little more caution with the upcoming raid we had planned for the building in front of us now. “Relax, rookie. Keep going like that with your foot and I’m sure the gang leaders will be able to hear your stammering foot from inside their hideouts,” I said, pointing to the ramshackle old building that was now being surrounded by several members of our assault squad. “You don’t want to give away our position, do you?” John shook his head and stopped tapping his foot. “No, ma’am. Sorry…” I nodded my head and was glad he could take a hint and try and calm down. Fear was a killer on these streets. Now, I can freely say that some amount of fear in a cop could keep them safe, like the eyes in the back of your head or the prickling sensation running up your back when you were being watched. These sensations had been formed after millions of years, so trusting them was natural and, most often, essential. John’s energy, however, was more on the fatal side of that equation. In a moment of surprise, he could panic and freeze. The gangs around here these days didn’t hesitate to take advantage of a cop like that… or their training officer, and I had already lost too many friends in this job to have it all just end like that. “All units be advised north of 89th street…” the radio buzzed from our central dashboard. “We have reports of a flash of light reported at Lexington and 116th. Be advised that this could be instance of leftover ammunitions from the last war… extreme caution is advised.” John nearly reached for the radio, but I quickly stopped him. “Easy, rookie. We’re to provide capture for any runners of this assault. Happens a lot and you don’t want these guys swearing a blood debt or anything against our units in there now. Plus,” I emphasized, “that area is notorious for tweakers and others just trying to get a quick high before fleeing the city. Lots of hallucinations, so that’s probably all it is. Better to stay here and do our job until another unit arrives at least.” John hesitated, his rookie instincts to help everyone instantly still strong, but just nodded and eased back into his seat. “Good. Just wait a few, and then, if no one else responds, report that we will check the scene after we are done here.” John nodded and waited the few minutes I had advised. From our experience together, I could see that he was scared and quick to react in most situations, but he seemed like a good kid fresh out of the academy we had since cobbled together after the collapse to keep at least the lower half of the city safe from the more northern half. I wondered why he had chosen to be a cop here in the big city in the first place honestly, but that was his own business. Just like my reasons were my own as well… “Central… be advised,” he began with a smirk after no one had responded yet after a few minutes. “We are in the middle of an assignment but will radio in after to check it out if no one has yet responded.” “Roger, unit 902C.” The dispatcher then paused. “Good luck out there. Bring ‘em in safe…” John smiled. “Roger, Central. We are advised.” He then kept his smile up and placed the com unit back into its holder on the dash. He was definitely green, but he would learn if he just followed my advice. Turning back to the house in front of us, knowing the Glowers gang, these guys were sure to give off some kind of show tonight and try to make a break for it during the assault. I readied myself for a wait, but when I looked over at my rookie after a moment of watching the building, I spotted him pick up a comic book he had been reading for some time now. I wasn’t the biggest fan of his little hobby, but I at least noticed that he would still occasionally look up from its pages. Resolved that he was at least partially doing his job during the quieter moments so far, I resumed my more diligent watch. After some more time, the temperature began to drop, and our seemingly ancient squad car barely gave off any heat. Soon, we could both see our breaths as we waited and watched. “Damn!” John cursed after a moment of slightly shivering and then rubbing his hands together. “No month like October, huh? It’s warm and all, and then one day… ugh… it’s this! There’s just a bit of nip in the air now. Damn, do I wish these heaters would work better.” I sighed as I wished the same but complaining like that only made oneself feel better and not the situation itself. “Yeah… all that pollution and fallout from out west really screwed up the usual weather patterns of this area… used to see 70 or even 80-degree days when I was a kid. A little global warming in there didn’t hurt, but I almost miss when that seemed to be our largest problem.” “Wow… that would almost be hard to believe if I didn’t read about that in one of the old books from back at school. I reckon there’s not a day now above 55 around here anymore in October.” I nodded and he soon went back to looking at and distracting himself with his comic book. After a moment though he then looked back up toward me as if he wanted something. “You got any plans for all the upcoming holidays? Like Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or Chri…” “I don’t really think anyone celebrates Thanksgiving in these parts anymore,” I interjected. Being alone made the holidays tough. Talking about it for me just made them worse. “I try to celebrate, but it’s hard to have all that Thanksgiving cheer without even a single turkey leg.” I could barely remember the taste anymore. I was only 15 when it all started going massively downhill, but the years since had been tough and felt like a lot longer. “Maybe one day…” John looked surprised for a moment. “Wait, do you know someone with a turkey leg?” he asked with a glint of hope that maybe I had a connection downtown or with someone in my shelter who was better connected than I was. I disappointedly shook my head. “I’m not some kind of millionaire, you know… There’s what? Maybe seven turkey farms in the whole world left? Anyone who even touches north of 89th street like us definitely doesn’t have access to that type of food anymore. Just a hope is all.” John sighed. “I see your point… could do with some hope, but then what about any plans for Hall…?” “Let’s just stick to looking out for any escapees from the raid, okay?” I asked, trying to steer the conversation away from personal topics like that. I just didn’t want to think about all that anymore after… I shook my head and refocused back in front of me while I adjusted one of the pins keeping my longer hair tied up in the back. “Sorry…” John said dejectedly after a second. Soon, he went back to splitting his time between reading his comic and occasionally looking up. The assault team seemed to have everything in order tonight and I was glad that they were getting better at all this. The original police that had been on the force when I was a kid were now all either dead or about to retire, so this next batch of senior assault force police officers had to be ready to keep what was left of this city alive. Often, that meant knocking down a door north of 89th street to prevent any of their old raiding parties from coming south, but if any of them wanted to go home again, they still needed to do it right the first time. So, I continued to wait. It was a good night so far, but still, I looked over and saw what could almost be guessed as a pout occasionally flicker over John’s face, likely from my shutdown of his questions. I knew I had to act… at least for the sake of the future of our partnership… a good partner in this city was hard to find after all. “Been a while since I’ve seen one of those,” I said pointing to his still brightly colored comic book. “Looks in pretty good condition as well.” John looked up and his smile I had seen earlier began to light up once more, seeing that I was actually taking an interest in something that he liked for a change. “Yeah… I know a guy who owns a bunch and he’s replicated all of them and sells them to anyone willing. He was really big into all of them before… well, you know.” I nodded. “So, I get them from him as just a nice little thing I do for myself.” “Fair enough…” I studied the cover. “Crisis on Infinite Earths… I think I remember that one…” I tried to recall. “Is that the one where they ban together from different dimensions to fight an evil or something like that?” John almost let out a chuckle. “Something like that…” I realized how ridiculous I probably sounded to someone willing to spend money on these things these days, but I could tell John was at least appreciative of my efforts towards something that he liked. “Okay… yeah. Probably sound like an idiot, but it’s been a bit since I’ve seen one, okay?” John nodded and smiled. “Right… so, when was the last time you actually saw one in person? Were baseball games still a thing every weekend?” It was a completely innocent question, but I just resumed my posture and stared back at the house not wanting to dwell back on my own personal past. Fortunately, from the lights inside, I could tell the assault force had busted into the place and were now going floor by floor. Hopefully, all this would be over soon, and that John would take my abruptness as a refocusing on the job rather than an avoidance of his questions. Still, I could tell John was taken aback by how suddenly I ended the conversation, but I couldn’t share a vulnerability with someone who had yet to be tested out here. If I wasn’t careful and he was captured, someone could pry the information from him and use it against me. Happened to my last partner… she resigned instead of giving up any information, was let go, and ended up killed three weeks later as retaliation. Fortunately, though, John only looked back and to the building where I was mainly focused and saw the movement inside himself. At that point, he seemed to take the hint and placed his comic book down to refocus on the job. Still though, I had to admit to myself that all this was a mind-numbing task for a quiet night so far. So, inevitably, John soon asked me the question I had heard dozens of times over the years and even asked it myself before I knew the real answer. “So why the assault force and not just us? Or, at least why do we have what amounts to babysitting duty tonight when it seems like they have it covered?” I sighed. “That’s a tough needle to thread, rookie, but I won’t lie to you like I was originally lied to when I asked that very question. Won’t do you any good and with the truth, you may just learn something in the long run.” I took a breath and continued. “As you may know, after the last war, a lot of the ordinance wasn’t used after the Desolation Ceasefire Treaty was signed. That treaty kept a lot of people from dying and us humans from becoming an endangered species in all likelihood, but it also meant that a lot of the weaponry made to be used wasn’t. Then, a lot of it was somehow… lost.” “Lost?” John questioned while correctly looking puzzled. I sighed in frustration. “Yeah… no one knows if it was a quick buck by a crooked politician or just the ensuing chaos of the world afterward, but the weaponry got out into civilian hands.” I looked back to the flashing lights and the tiny noises of the patters of guns going off in the distance. “Last assault before we had a dedicated team for things like this… we lost 15 officers within two months, or 70 if you include those who had to at least retire afterward from all the damage they sustained. Bullets aren’t fun, but chemicals… that’s something slow.” John looked horrified, but also somehow relieved and satisfied at the same time. I’m pretty sure a tiny part of his innocence in all this went away as well as I relayed the failures of the government and the futility of us normal police in some situations, but he needed a tough hide to survive on the streets of this city nowadays. After another half an hour of virtual silence outside, the flashes of light seemed to slow down as the assault team reached the top of the large building. We hadn’t heard a dispatch for any medical services, so the gang must have either been subdued or killed very quickly with no injuries on our side. To be frank, with assaults like these, that entirely depended on how or even if they defended themselves. That was the other crucial factor of the assault team’s existence besides protecting everyday cops: fear. It didn’t mean anything to most of the more hardened gangs now, but even the few that it was effective against was satisfactorily enough for most of us ‘normal’ cops with the odds sometimes slightly in our favor because of it. John seemed to get antsy again and as if he was desperate to fill the silence in our squad car. Finally, he did as I peered out toward the streetlight by the back alley of the building. “So, you mar…? “Shit!” I yelled and then popped open my door. “There goes a runner!” John saw him immediately as well and locked the squad car as he hopped out as well and we started our pursuit in the winding streets. Normally, we would take the car for a pursuit within the city, but the Glower gang had marked this as their territory over the past year and had set up defenses against rival gangs and us police. As much as no one liked it, going on foot was ultimately easier and likely safer in this area now. Our slowly rusting squad car just couldn’t handle the area properly or safely anymore when it came to a pursuit, and in the end, we probably would have just lost them in the rubble all around us. So, John and I doggedly pursued the runner, and I could feel my lungs begin to strain from the higher speeds this runner was electing. I could see several onlookers observe the action before them from their own little shanty towns in the burnt-out buildings and alleyways, but I knew they would just remain where they were. While there were several heavy-hitting criminals up here, most never wanted to get involved whenever we chased a suspect anymore. Most never helped us, but likewise, they never helped the gangs either. The runner fled as fast as he could, but after a few minutes, he became a victim of his gang’s own traps having made a wrong turn about a block back in the heat of the moment. Breathing deeply and seeing his wrong move, I held my weapon aloft as I approached him carefully. “Arms up! You are under arrest in connection with the assault today with the Glower gang. Now, we’re going to cuff you, but don’t you do anything stupid, okay?” He nodded and I gestured to John. “You do this one. You could use the practice.” John walked up from behind me and nodded. As he approached the runner, I hung back and kept my guard up to still offer the rookie some protection. Unfortunately, searches weren’t one of John’s strengths as I soon found out, and the runner could have probably smelled the rookie aura around him. He was new at this after all, and I should have been paying more attention to the little things, but I was more distracted by someone lurking over nearby in another alley. These were perfect places for an ambush whenever they did occur, so, I only looked away for a second, but the runner saw his likely only opportunity and took it. In seconds, he shoved John right into me. Being barely 5 ½ feet tall while looking away meant that my steadiness right then was sorely lacking, so when I was hit by an athletic someone easily over 6 feet tall, I nearly fell to the ground. Being the first to be hit and seeing the attack coming for at least a split second before the impact, John was on his feet first, but he had been too slow for the practiced skills of the runner. So, by the time John was about to charge and subdue the suspect once more, the runner had already pulled out his concealed snub nose revolver from his pants and pointed it right at John’s heart. “Oh…” was all that John could make out with a gun pointed directly at him. He wore a vest, but like most of the equipment we owned, it was at least 15 years old and was showing its age. Sometimes, they would still function at this range, but other times… well, there was a reason we used an assault team now when more bullets may have been involved. Seeing my rookie in trouble though, and now taking advantage of the runner’s focus on John alone, I steadied myself on the ground and eyed my target. I knew I had to be quick. A single wrong move could be deadly, but I was confident that I could disarm him and quickly end the situation. Seeing my move as the runner briefly rubbed his bleary eyes, I bolted up and smacked the gun away from his hands. I knew it was a risk, but I had seen his slight shakes from the likely drugs he was currently on, so I knew his grip and reaction time were weakened in the best of circumstances. My gamble paid off and the gun went flying and scratching across the street as John lurched in the opposite direction at first and then grabbed the runner’s gun once he was sure that he wasn’t in the line of fire anymore. Having been the one who reacted first this time, I was quick on the draw, and almost instantaneously had my taser pointed directly at the runner’s head. I needed a live suspect, not another dead gang member on these streets tonight. “That was really stupid, but we’re going to do this one more time. If I see any of that nonsense again as my partner searches you, I’m reaching for the other one without hesitation. Understand?” I gestured to my still-holstered service gun on the other side of my belt. The runner saw the more deadly option and only nodded and relaxed his stance in defeat. I then turned back to a clearly intimidated John who had just picked up the discarded weapon. “Okay. Give the gun to me and search him again. Do it properly and more thoroughly this time. I’ll be sure to keep a bead on him, but I don’t want another incident like that. Got it, rookie?” John nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” John then forcefully spun the runner around and searched him far more thoroughly. I could tell that he was a little frustrated and embarrassed with what had happened, and I could see that it was translating to his movements. It may have been a bit rough twenty years ago, but now, I could only note that it was good police work in a city so full of crime. Still, I knew we were going to have to have the talk once the runner was secured. Once John was satisfied with his second search, he cuffed the runner and we both escorted him back to our squad car and popped him in the backseat. I closed the door, securely deposited the runner’s gun in the trunk, and then turned to John with a sigh. “You went easy on him at first.” John drooped his head and nodded. “I… I didn’t want to be that cop, you know?” I nodded back in acknowledgment. “I get that, John, and I’ll admit that there’s a fine line between being that cop and just being thorough. Your second search towed that line today, but your partner, be it me or anyone else in the future, needs to be able to trust that you did your job properly the first time, and not the second time when you went a little too rough.” John hesitated but nodded again. “I understand, but… where’s the line? How do I know if I’ve crossed it?” I sighed and rubbed my temples. He was asking questions that every cop had likely asked themselves at one time or another. “Well… asking those questions is a good start, but don’t do something to just be cruel. Show the force out here, but we don’t want them coming back injured because you were adding a little extra to your job description instead of just talking about your feelings later or taking your frustration out on an actual punching bag. Don’t be that cop. There’s enough of them these days already.” I took a deep breath in. “I’ll admit that in the years after the wars and everything after, we had to be extra cautious to differentiate between the criminals and just the misfortunate up here. Now though, all that’s changed due to the gangs, but we still need to obey the law in all we do. To be blunt, these days, if you need more force as a cop, you probably need the assault team or you’re doing something wrong in the first place.” John acknowledged what I had to say, but after a moment then looked very guilty. He quietly asked, “Because of the shelters in place? Is that what’s different now after the war and all the pandemics? Besides the gangs I mean… they can’t be the only reason, right?” I nodded. “Well, that’s exactly right actually. Those pods of thousands of all of us living downtown are the biggest reason due to their rules and all. Maybe annoying but because of those rules, the government even supplements projects like that these days. One of the only things still too…” I said with some frustration. The shelters were great, but for the price of just one of them rather than renovating an older building, our department could easily have been fully funded for the next five years. I shook my head to unload that ‘what if’s thoughts. “Anyways… if you’re still living out here, you’re likely going to be doing something illegal. Maybe 2% aren’t, but then they wouldn’t run from us… not anymore. I’ve seen it happen before in those rare circumstances, but look, rookie,” I sighed, “if you’re going to make it as a cop in this city, you’re going to need a tougher hide but to also follow the line as well. It’s a tough needle to thread, but then, not everyone is cut out to be a cop here. You understand?” John nodded hesitantly but then just got in the squad car. Satisfied our prisoner wasn’t going to be any more trouble situated in the backseat and knowing we needed to take him back to the station now, I radioed in. “Dispatch, this is 902C. We caught a runner, but there could be others around here… especially since our runner nearly came from out of almost nowhere. It’s enough to warrant other investigations here, so we suggest other units check it all out. Could be escape tunnels around here I’m guessing. Meanwhile though, the rookie and I are going to check out the earlier reported lights on our way back to booking if no one else has, since it’s on the way anyways.” “Roger, 902C. We’ll be awaiting you shortly, but no one else has checked out that report on those lights. Please do use extreme caution when dealing with them. This isn’t the first… and they’ve been… well, just good luck.” I raised an eyebrow over what that even meant but decided not to question it further. “Roger, dispatch. Leaving now and thanks for the luck!” I then placed the radio back on the dash and took off, John still looking perplexed and yet satisfied that we would now be investigating the lights that he had wanted to investigate earlier. Arriving at the apparent scene, we ushered a few gawkers away as we heard a few grunts, mumblings, and bits of laughter coming from the nearby alleyway. Knowing this area and that someone was likely just currently hallucinating, John and I both placed our hands on our stun guns to be safe. Entering down the corridor, I could see a few oddly placed what almost looked like burn marks, but as predicted, a ragged and scrawny man stood trembling and rubbing his arms and hands together. I tried to get his attention. “Sir? I’m going to need you to come with us, sir. We can help you.” I wasn’t sure if I truly believed that, but I just needed him to believe that for a few moments as we brought him in. The man stopped and stared at me in one of the most peculiar ways I could have ever imagined. Part of me swore he resembled a toddler’s scared and yet upset look, though it also seemed to be easily coupled with a look of distrust and hatred. “You… you need to get out of here. Bad portal! Not safe. S’not safe!” he yelled. I wasn’t sure what to say, but the man paused, waved his arms about, and then ran right up to me. Seeing John almost reach for his other gun, I lowered my hands and shook my head to ease him off. The man before me could use a shower and maybe some anti-psychotic drugs, but I somehow knew that I would be okay if nothing was escalated further. I had seen this behavior before and I knew that if we all just kept calm, it would all be over in a few minutes. He then started up again. “Bright lights! Bright lights! All around! So blue and silvery! So pretty…” Being so close now, I could smell a permeating smell of urine and could also see what clearly looked like needle marks dotted about his arm. Oddly enough though, I also swore that I saw something strange on a few of his wavering and trembling limbs. Undeterred though, I cleared my throat and I at least felt satisfied that I had easily found the person that had gotten us on this call today “Sir, we may have people that can help you with those lights. Just come on back with u…” “No! Save me pretty lady,” he practically cried as he flung himself into my arms. “Save me! She’ll get me! They’ll get me!” I patted his back for a quick second and then peeled him off me and looked him directly in the eyes. “Who?” I asked quickly, doing my due diligence. “Is someone going to hurt you? Are you running from someone?” His knees began to shake, and his lower lip trembled. I wasn’t sure if he would remain upright, but he finally made out a few words. “The… the giants!” he finally managed to blurt out. “They took us all! Experimented with us… forced us to do things! We were so short and vulnerable and… and…” The man seemed ready to burst into tears at any moment. I had seen odd behavior from a tweaker before, but this felt… different. At first blush now, he almost seemed like the victim of an abduction. Intrigued and wary of what he had said, I tried to listen to his words more, but it devolved into a rambling mess just like most did with these nights in this area. I wasn’t sure how to classify him specifically, but he had fresh needle marks on his arms and a dopey look on his face, so I knew I could bring him in as a drug user if nothing else. Still, I also couldn’t help but notice that his clothes were heavily singed in some places, and upon closer inspection now, the earlier marks on his limbs that I had seen looked like several old scar lines. It was odd though as many seemed like they were still healing, yet still had been fully sealed up. “Sir…” I said exhaustedly and just wanting to get him back to the station now, despite my curiosity, “we can help you out, but to do that, we need you to cooperate with us just this one night. Can you do that for me? Can you be good for me?” I wasn’t sure why I added that last part, but for some reason, it just felt right. His face then oddly relaxed, and though he still seemed sad, everything else almost went on autopilot as he asked, “Can I get a snack as well during that time?” He then paused and dropped his head low, and mumbled, “I was a good boy…” I wasn’t sure what to make of any of this anymore. Part of me wanted to try and snap him out of whatever this state seemed to be, and that he was likely just one of the many now transient homeless people with some kind of underlying psychological disorder, but another part of me just wanted to give him a hug. Still, following Occam’s Razor, I knew that after further government-funded programs were shut down, the masses of homeless living on the streets with a psychiatric disorder had nearly tripled. The shelters downtown used to take them in on a case-by-case basis, but that was becoming less common as the years rolled on. So, in all likelihood, he was just one of the rejected ones and not something else that my mind was trying to concoct. “Sir…” I tried to begin once again. I wanted to get through to him, but he didn’t seem to be budging away from saying that he was a ‘good boy.’ Remembering a brief stint of training I had for these types of situations, and still grappling with the notion that this could be something other than drugs, I decided to go another way. “Well, if you want to be a ‘good boy,’ then just settle down and let us take you in. Maybe you can even tell us what really happened here. We might even be able to get you a snack if you do…” The man stopped rocking back and forth and looked at me with such a mixture of hope and anguish. “I can do that… I promise that I’m a good boy!” He stopped moving for a moment and just sat down on the ground and his eyes almost seemed to glaze over as if he was in some type of meditative stance. I slowly signaled for John to move in and try and escort him back to our car so we could get him back to processing. To my relief, the man no longer struggled and instead just wore a big goofy grin. He kept mumbling about being a ‘good boy’ but I was just relieved that he was compliant now. Now secure, John and I just needed to get him back to the station before any more problems occurred between there and here. “Hey! Get this freak show outta here!” the runner complained when John ushered the supposed tweaker into the other side of our squad car. There was a metal barrier between the two seats that we put up just for this, so John just ignored the runner and shut the door on our new passenger. After several blocks, we finally arrived at the back entrance to the station. While before the wars it hadn’t been much more than a compacted multi-story car park mostly underground and next to the police station, now, it was a fortress unto itself. Being one of the most northern police stations in the city, and while gratefully attacks were less prominent in recent years, everyone still had to be prepared if the worst should happen… again. After acknowledging the two sentries on duty at the entrance, we were let in and parked underground before we unloaded the cuffed detainees. Fortunately, neither struggled as John and I escorted them into the station and to booking. As John dealt with the runner, I processed the tweaker. “They’re coming for us all! This is a trap! You lie! You’re with them!” the tweaker cried while we took his fingerprints on our scanner. His meditative stance had unfortunately worn off and he quickly panicked as soon as he saw several men with guns. I sadly knew that he was almost certainly bound for one of the few mental prisons out of the city, but I hated to see him in such a state. As for the station, they just largely ignored him, especially after his next statement. “You’re with them, but they were all so terrible!” he yelled in desperation. “They forced me to do so many awful things. I wanted to be a good boy for them, but I was too short! Good boys aren’t short! Good boys are tall! Why do you help the giants? Aren’t you like me?” John and I looked at each other and back to the nearly six-foot-tall man in front of us. Seeing as we weren’t in some fairy tale story with giants and all, we both just gave each other the same look of disbelief and pushed on with our duties as both the runner and tweaker were processed and placed into the temporary holding cells. For his safety, I advised that the tweaker be placed into a pair of padded cuffs, but a large part of me just wanted to hug the clearly distressed man that I was now leaving behind. He oddly reminded me so much of George. He even… ‘Easy, Megan. Easy… this job is hard enough without you comparing him to your brother…’ Shaking it off, I then joined John at the rest station nearby. While enjoying our allotted one of two cups of coffee per day while on duty, I noticed that John was still looking down as he had since his mistake with the runner, so it was no surprise when he spoke back up to me. “I’m sorry for what happened with the runner today… I feel so stupid.” Though it was an error on his part that could have gone much worse, I managed to worm myself into his gaze and give him a small reassuring tap on the shoulder. “Yeah… you messed up, rookie, but as your name suggests, you’re still new at all this. It’s practically in the job description to mess up occasionally, which is why you’re partnered with someone like me. I won’t always be around, so you need to learn, but making a few mistakes on the job happens. The main thing is, are you going to learn from today, or is this going to happen again when you search someone who just fled a building that was being infiltrated by our heavily armed assault team?” John just shook his head. “Definitely not. I’ll be more thorough… promise. I’ll even try to keep that line you mentioned earlier in my mind. I really do want to be a good cop here.” “Good and I’m glad to hear that. From what I can see on the board, no one got hurt today, so it’s a good day in this city. It’s not always perfect but going home alive is sometimes the most important thing we can do in a day here. We can’t always have that wish granted but we should always try anyways.” John nodded with a smile, and I gulped the last of my coffee. After restocking our supplies and finishing our coffee, John and I headed for the exit back to our squad car. Apparently, there were other runners from the assault, so we needed to plug in the gaps from where the other units had been pulled from. Passing the processing desk though, I overheard something that piqued my curiosity. “Sorry, Officer Lewis. Sergeant Reynolds here already bagged the find of the century. You’re not the first tonight with tweakers claiming of giants of bright lights.” I turned to Sylvia, our main processor here after hearing my name and then to the beefy and slightly overweight Officer Lewis. “Officer Lewis… you find something else interesting as well tonight?” Instead, Sylvia nodded and spoke up first. “Yeah… weirdest thing… got another tweaker claiming to come from some portal. Giants and bright lights even!” “Yeah!” Officer Lewis said, jumping back in. “Strangest damn event too. Actual reports of some lights or some nonsense like that and then we found this tweaker claiming… uh, dimensional travel. Yeah, that’s it! Can you believe that bunch of bull? Some imagination, huh?” I looked over and saw a woman now dressed in similarly singed clothing and was now also quietly babbling to herself. She was more subdued and quieter than John and I’s man, who was now sitting on a bench oddly circling his lips with his thumb. Strangely enough though, this new woman almost seemed to being saying that she was a ‘good girl’ like our guy had been calling himself a ‘good boy.’ The back of my brain twitched at the peculiar coincidence. ‘But maybe it wasn’t…’ “Strange…” I squinted at the two for a moment but then ultimately shrugged my shoulders and decided to shuffle away the lingering sensation in the back of my head saying that this was something more. “I guess that’s just this city now for you though. Was a weird place back in the day, but it’s just gotten weirder.” I looked back over to the two odd individuals. “Case in point, I guess…” “Yeah. Probably right, sarge,” Officer Lewis noted before shuffling off and to the breakroom. As I exited the station and joined John back in our squad car, I saw once more that he had picked up his comic book and was reading it while he waited on me. Oddly enough, I saw a strange glowing light depicted on the front cover and remembered the whole plot of that story. The tweakers… the light… I shook my head. I was trying to make detective in a month, and I knew damn-well that detectives don’t use comic books to formulate their theories. As I turned the car on though, I just couldn’t get the two tweakers I had seen out of my head. It was probably just some new drug to replace the old one, Escape, because everything else that was playing through my mind right now was just ridiculous. Afterall, portal travel was only something in comic books and old movies and stories. It wasn’t something that would ever be part of my reality in this life at least.
  3. A Warning As with my previous stories, this one contains several elements inherent to the pre-established 'Diaper Dimension.' These include, but are not limited to: Diapers and their usage for their intended purpose Breastfeeding Non-consensual mental regression through various means (Including possible drugs, hypnosis, and/or surgery) References to surgery to achieve various nefarious goals Humiliation Giants, aka, Amazons or Bigs Predominantly female domination (some male) Babying of adults (perceived or otherwise) Experimentation on humans Kidnapping Coerced or manipulated actions through possible means of white lies, gas lighting, or incentives Mild language or use of explitives Depictions of death, illness, or handicaps Graphic imagery associated with any of these warnings This story has not been labeled as mature, due to a lack of specific references to anything overtly sexual, but this warning serves as a 'turn back' point for any readers who do not wish to read about the previous warnings. Lastly, this list is subject to change during the course of writing this story. While most of the plot is ironed out, more warnings may be added if needed. For those readers interested or do not care about the warnings listed, please enjoy the following story. So, this will be my next story set in the diaper dimension. I fully admit that I am not paralyzed myself, so I hope I do not offend anyone with this topic, but after tearing a muscle in my back this summer, I couldn't help but think of what I would bargain away to get rid of the pain or the problems that I was having. It seemed to good of an opportunity to pass up. If everything holds, this story will be divided into 6 parts, but all will be posted within this thread. If nothing goes wrong, I should have this completed before mid-October and I'll likley be picking up shortly after with a bit of a different story with magic and diapers and whatnot. It's not my usual fair, but I wanted to do something with Halloween in mind this go around. I hope everyone enjoys this first chapter! Part I: New Beginnings Chapter 1: Crashing Through Life The storm had been raging for the better part of the day, but Patrick had to be picked up from a friend’s party. He had run his truck into the ground and the engine likely needed to be fully replaced according to the auto body shop that had towed it away two days ago. He sighed and scoffed deeply as he entered his mom’s car, still frustrated over the fact that he couldn’t get a rental car until tomorrow and thus had to rely on her for transportation. Of course, Laura had noticed immediately and just let it go to maintain the peace between the two of them as usual. For the past two years their lives had touched briefly about every two weeks now in between visits. She didn’t like it, but she didn’t want to start another fight over it. About halfway through the drive back home, however, Laura turned onto a long stretch of road with only two lanes. It saved everyone who took it about an hour of driving, but it was a dangerous stretch that had claimed many lives. She had just gotten off her shift at the hospital so getting home as soon as possible after dropping her son off at his home was the main priority before her lack of sleep caught up to her. As a nurse, she knew very well the number of deadly crashes that had occurred here even in perfect weather. Patrick mumbled something under his breath. “Say something, honey?” Laura asked sweetly, trying to keep the spark alive with her ever-further distant son. Patrick shifted and just continued to stare out the window. “No…” Laura continued to stare at him with her tried and true facial expression that she had used on him since he was two years old. She didn’t say a word, but her well-crafted look said all it needed to. Patrick groaned. “Fine, mom. Geez! It’s just embarrassing to be picked up by my mom when I’m 25.” He rolled his eyes. “It’s fine. Just drop it…” It was now Laura’s turn to sigh. “You know how I hate that word…” “What? Fine?” Laura nodded. “It’s just a word, mom, and it’s just how I feel. I’m fine.” Laura sighed again. “I’m sorry you feel embarrassed sweetie, but your car is still in the shop getting repaired and your rental won’t be ready until tomorrow. You’re lucky my shift ended when it did, and I could pick you up. Something tells me that your other friends back there wouldn’t have been… uh, as safe.” Laura tiptoed around outright saying sober, but Patrick still caught on to her insinuation. “Yeah… maybe. But it was a party!” Patrick threw his hands up in the air. “We were celebrating Sam’s promotion at work!” “And that’s wonderful, dear. I just wish your fun would have been safer. I am your mother. It’s practically in the job description to worry about my only child.” Patrick rolled his eyes. “Yeah… it’s just my stupid car is all. Would have been fine otherwise.” Laura sighed. “Honey, I love you, but that car has been on its last legs for months now. Even as mechanically inept as I may be compared to your late father, even I could tell that. Sometimes I just wish…” Laura faded off. Patrick turned to her with an annoyed look, one that was continually adopted by him whenever they talked about his dad. “What?” Laura shook her head and gave a small shake of her hand to wave him off the subject, before quickly snapping it back to the shaky wheel from the elements outside. “What?” Patrick pressed again. Laura sighed. “It’s just that…” She paused and took her eyes off the road for a second to reflect on her next words. Lightning crashed all around the two and the rain seemed to only pepper their car further. The only positive was that with all the bends in the road, both could see the exit off in the distance whenever the lightning would light up the sky. Having taken the road before in more favorable conditions, ten more minutes and they would be off this stretch and nearly home. “I just wish you were a little… less carefree.” Patrick groaned. “Sorry I’m not some corporate shill like all my other friends,” Patrick said with a deep undertone of sarcasm. Laura winced at the implication. She wanted the best for her son, but she also wanted him to be happy, a fact which couldn’t necessarily be said about his other friends who had pursued careers for money instead of what they enjoyed. “You know that’s not what I want for you, I just… you’re so darn talented. You could do so much…” Laura said wistfully. “You know how much I admired you for not becoming an engineer, doctor, or lawyer like half the block. I mean look at them all now. Out of the ten friends you grew up with from there, seven went on to have one of those three jobs. Now, only two of them have still stuck with it.” Laura let out and exaggerated breath. “I want you to follow your passions, but I just wish that you would pursue them a little more…” “It’s my life, mom. I don’t want to burn out like all the rest. Can’t you understand that?” Patrick’s eyes pleaded out with his mom. He wasn’t poor or anything, but no one could consider him wealthy either. He had tried engineering for a while, but after an intense argument one fall semester, Patrick had changed his major to art. Currently, he worked for an ad agency, but he was still the low man on the totem pole. Laura saw the desperation in her son’s eyes. She knew he had the potential to do well, but two years at the bottom of a company was long enough. Something had to be done. “I do, honey. I just wish…” “Yeah, yeah. You just want me to work a little harder. Work for my position and all that... It’s a nice sentiment and I’m trying sometimes but there’s more to it.” Patrick paused and looked at the ground for a brief second to gather his willpower to continue this conversation. Once collected, he shifted his head back up to meet his mom’s turned and loving gaze. “I… Mom! Look out!” Patrick quickly reached for the wheel to turn out of the path of the oncoming tractor trailer as his mom tried to react to it as well. It was too late though. The large vehicle had slipped out of its own lane and was coming right for them. In a second, the two cars collided with a sickening crunch. All at once the world lurched forward as glass and metal spewed in all directions. Two large pieces came hurdling toward him and his mom. * * * “No!” Patrick bolted upright in bed. He was soaked in sweat and his breathing was labored. Per his old therapist’s recommendation, Patrick looked around the room to steady himself by using his five senses. It took a minute to complete properly, but it really did help, and he once again thanked the universe for lining him up with her after the crash. He looked around the room and shook his head. “Five years… where has the time gone?” Patrick glanced over at his small, old alarm clock and saw that it was 8:06 in the morning. He groaned audibly. “I was hoping to sleep in today, but there’s no point now. Just got to get on with things…” Patrick adjusted himself in his bed, and after many years of practice by now, with a grunt, he was able to swing his legs over and to the side of the bed. Some people had massive cramps in the morning with his condition, but not Patrick. With a large sigh, he collected his wheelchair and then hoisted himself into it. It was black and lower to the ground without any handles in the rear for him to be pushed by someone else, as requested. He lived alone and dealt with all this by himself. It sucked most days at this point, but that was just life after the accident and his ensuing paralysis. His suffering was part of his self-enforced punishment for what had happened. The accident had done many things, but Patrick had fractured his L1 through L3 vertebrate. It caused a lot of issues initially, but the most apparent were what he had to deal with in the morning ever since he had managed it himself since that night. With a groggy sigh, Patrick wheeled himself over to the bathroom to relieve himself. Due to the nature of his injury and his doctor’s plan, it was discovered that enemas and intermittent catheterization were the best policies to avoid any accidents or blockages. Patrick had been a private person about most of that stuff before but now, he knew that he just needed relief. Personal happiness or feelings of modesty had to be placed aside occasionally to ensure nothing got worse. He collected the necessary materials and winced as he prepared himself for the now daily ordeal. The incident that had occurred two years ago when he had to be hospitalized over a blockage then was a painful reminder to just set one’s ego aside and get this whole thing over with. Positioning himself correctly, Patrick applied the apparatuses to relieve himself. It was darn frustrating to do this every morning, but he knew that it needed to be done. About twenty minutes or relief and cleanup later, Patrick wheeled himself out of the bathroom after washing himself off and removing the catheter. “One day I might get used to this… maybe…” Patrick sighed and then rolled himself over to his easily accessible dresser. With some careful maneuvering, he quickly popped out a pair of jeans and a nice polo shirt. Today was a special day and he didn’t want to look like a complete bum. His beard had already grown out and he knew his mom would have disliked how it framed his previously gushed-at round and rosy cheeks. Satisfied with his appearance and groaning after finally getting his shoes on with a little manipulation, Patrick rolled out to the kitchen. After a quick spot of cereal later and the popping of some pills, he was out the door with his usual backpack attached to the rear of his chair. It had everything he would need for the day, and he at least had the common sense to pack it the night before in case it was one of the ‘bad’ mornings. Closing his door, Patrick looked distastefully at the view before him. His apartment was decent but was by no means the fanciest in town. Sparse furniture and minimal wall decorations all desperately noted his still-single status and overall depression. Dating was tough in this town, but the accident or its consequences always seemed to weigh too heavily on his mind to make a real effort to even contemplate a change. Regardless, Patrick then locked his door and rolled down the hallway and to the small elevator at the end. A few neighbors acknowledged him as he wheeled by on the creaking laminate flooring in the hallway, but none made the effort to give him a full ‘hello.’ Patrick had given up on trying to be friendly a year after he moved in here. It was just too much effort for too little of results. On the ground floor and right before he exited the apartment building, Mr. Stacci bumbled out of his front door. “You! Patrick!” Patrick halted and pivoted his wheelchair back to face his odious landlord. “Yes, Mr. Stacci?” he asked as politely as he could. Rent control still wasn’t in place around here and Mr. Stacci was highly known for charging more toward those he disliked. “Rent is due. Pay it in the next day or you’re out!” His breath wasn’t necessarily foul, but if this was a cartoon, a green and noxious odor would have likely spewed out of his chubby and tiny head and all over Patrick as he lumbered over to him. “Yes… right…” Patrick acknowledged. He had the money thanks to some family funds but keeping track of time always felt hard these days. He kept a calendar on his phone, but it remained an issue of his since the accident. “You’ll get the money on time. Promise.” “Good.” The heavily obese and balding man huffed by the front entrance but then squinted his dark and beady eyes. “You know I’m a man of my word. Money tomorrow or you’re out.” Patrick just nodded solemnly, hoping the encounter would end soon. Fortunately for his sense of smell though, Mr. Stacci seemed satisfied and turned about and crept back into his own first floor apartment. A few of the old pictures on the wall briefly rattled as his door slammed close. Patrick sighed at the encounter, made a mental note of the rent while checking his phone calendar, and then made it outside and to the nearby bus stop. He lived in the city and cars just gave him a bit of anxiety now, so the bus system or newly installed public transportation monorail were good enough and had at least become more reliable since the influx of technology in the past two decades. The bus soon halted and lowered its platform device for Patrick to get on board. A few stared as he locked himself into position, but Patrick just ignored them as he usually did by now. It had become routine and Freddy, the bus driver, just gave a nod of his head when Patrick signaled that he was ready. The two rarely spoke, but Freddy had trusted him enough to let him lock himself in by now. It was no secret to anyone that even slightly knew him that Patrick still liked his independence. About thirty minutes after a bumpy and uncomfortable ride later, Freddy announced, “Seventh Street! Seventh Street!” With all the automation in technology, Freddy appreciated the warmth of the personal announcement that he would give out on his bus. Plus, his booming yet gentle voice usually woke anyone up who had fallen asleep and would prevent them from missing their stop. At the current seventh street, Patrick made no motion to Freddy to stop, but he did anyway only meters away from turning into the bust stop. Patrick had taken this route several times before, so Freddy only maneuvered the controls to let Patrick off near the curb. Satisfied after Patrick had made it off, Freddy closed the doors and leaned back in his seat. Soon, the bus was huffing away down the hilly road to the east and eventually out of sight. Patrick sighed at the loneliness of seventh street but then wheeled himself a block to the west and halted before looking up at the large sign above him, ‘Grace and Prosperity Cemetery.’ Patrick blinked back the tears that always seemed to form when he entered here and fervently hoped that one day that might stop. Still, today was more important, and after purchasing a bouquet of flowers from a nearby vendor, he pushed forward more in the cemetery and finally made it to a small plot of land perched on a hill looking over the growing and buzzing city in the near distance. The grave was large and had been purchased years ago by his father. The black granite was practically a mirror to all else that went on around it, but the intricately carved white lettering provided a nice contrast that his parents both appreciated when they were selecting it together. When his father passed away suddenly, his mom and him both found the site a bit depressing but still elegant and regal. Today wasn’t any different. “Happy Birthday, mom.” The accident had taken away more than the majority of feeling from Patrick’s waist down; it had also taken his mom’s life. The storm had caused a delay in rescue and treatment which led to his mom bleeding out more than the doctors could repair as well as the deadening of his nerves in his spine. The distant city shone against the cloudy atmosphere of the day and stood as a symbol of all the change that the world had undergone after discovering portal technology. Trade agreements with the Amazons, or how they liked to be called, Bigs, had fixed so many of the world’s previous and seemingly insurmountable problems. Pollution was quickly becoming a distant memory and most citizens of the world had enough food and power to at least be satisfied, if not comfortable. Even medical treatments had started to advance, but like all things, they had come with a price and had their limits. Now, his mom might have been saved, but even a few years ago, well… the grave was evidence enough of the technology not arriving in time to save her life. Patrick fumbled around in his backpack and pulled out an old silver flask. His dad had given it to him when he had turned 18, much to the chagrin of his mom, but it was a nice reminder of better times. “Cheers, you two.” Patrick toasted the stark gravestone etched with his parents’ names and then took a swig of the whiskey he had poured into the flask last night when he had packed his backpack. “I hope you all don’t judge me for this…” he said, gesturing to the flask. “I know the doctors advise me not to drink with my medication, but… I’m sure if you all can hear or see me now… you would get it.” Patrick took another swig and casually glanced around to see if anyone was watching him. They likely wouldn’t care, but he still didn’t want to be watched in pity. He still had some standards to maintain… Another hill over, Patrick could see a family gathering around another gravestone. Their heads were all hung low, but each held each other’s hand tightly. It wasn’t the first time, but the loneliness of it all could still be felt just as keenly as when he first realized he was now all alone. “Honestly, a sibling, an aunt or uncle… someone would be nice by now. Can’t blame you all, but ugh… I just miss you all… so friggin lonely around here these days.” He took another swig and winced a little as a few more drops went down his throat than were intended. It burned but on days like this, feeling the burn almost felt good. Given his current predicament, the burn was at least something. He was already numb in so many other ways, so even the sting in the back of his throat was a reminder that he was still above ground, unlike most of the people here today. Patrick then laid the small bundle of flowers he had purchased on top of the grave and gave another toast with his flask. “Cheers to you all. Sorry to be the downer and all… but if I hadn’t… I only wish… I would have done that night very differently…” Patrick blinked back an errant tear. It wasn’t the first time he apologized or felt guilty when coming here. While his inheritance and disability let him live a comfortable life, the guilt that plagued him after that night with his mom was nearly intolerable. To say the least, there had been several low points in the five years since the accident. Patrick wiped his face and then gave one more cheer and a long sip of his flask before rolling back out of the cemetery. Staying longer wouldn’t do anyone any good and would just give him more ammo of feelings of guilt later tonight. He had figured that out the hard way three years ago when he had stayed until dark. Rolling down the block, Patrick briefly stopped at the bus stop where he had originally got off and he knew from experience that Frank would be here within the next thirty minutes, but today was different. From his position at the top of the hill, he could see a small corner bar. Knowing the drinks were strong and cheap from other times he had visited and then deviated from going straight home, he knew that it felt like just what he needed today. The neighborhood was in a failing state of what once was in society and the city. Some areas had been refurbished around the world that once looked like this, but the portal industry had changed this area for the worse. A new city center was established to the west and the original neighborhood had been left in ruin. A large and shining billboard clearly indicated the decrepitude of the chipped paint and broken brickwork buildings was not to last and soon, the new industries would be here as well. Likely, in a year, the bar now in front of him would no longer be here. “Progress…” Patrick popped some more pills before shaking his head and then wheeling himself inside. After a single beer with his sandwich, Patrick leaned back in his wheelchair and observed the patrons around him in the aging sports bar. It was still slow, but at least five people had already stared at him from their own positions at the bar or at a nearby table. He picked the corner spot to avoid more attention being drawn to him as usual, but in a place like this, someone like him tended to stick out no matter what they did. Patrick was paying more attention to his sandwich when one of the patrons started speaking loudly and caught his attention. “…stupid Amazons… All of dem are stupid… Isn’ dat wigh… right, Bill?” The man was obviously intoxicated, and the bar counter seemed to be one of the few obstacles that stood in the man’s way from completely collapsing. “Sure, Sam…” the bartender acknowledged but also partially dismissed of the patron. From his face, Patrick could see that it wasn’t the first time that this had happened with the local drunk. “Stupid tall fascists came here with all their… fancy technology…” He leaned more heavily into the bar. “I had a good job, Frank… Coal power plant.” He hiccupped. “Hippies hated us… but it was a good job!” “Good job. Right, Sam…” He polished another glass and nodded his head. “Then they came in… with the government and all. It was such a happy day.” The man took another swig from his drink. Patrick couldn’t tell what was in it. “You remember that, Frank?” Frank sighed. “I do, Sam…” Patrick did as well. Most people alive back then did too. Patrick was only five, but even at that young of an age, it wasn’t every day that a race of beings comes from a different dimension and offers your world a treaty that would only seem to solve everyone’s problems. “Yeah! Had a mass on my liver. Hardening even back then, and boom! Gone in a day!” He then got a smug look on his face. “Iss why I can drink all… this,” he gestured to his quickly draining drink. “Can’t kill me anymore!” Patrick stared at the local drunk and couldn’t help but notice almost the sad hint in his voice. He had obviously lost his job when the fusion reactors outside of town had popped on. It was free energy and the Amazons had offered job training, but the more stubborn or set-in-their-ways folks had elected for unemployment instead. ‘Idiots…’ Patrick’s father had eagerly signed up for the training. Built his own business from what he learned in the new offered classes by the new beings and then sold it for a nice chunk of change. Their small family would be financially set for years to come, but almost like a curse from that windfall of money, after only a year of joy, the next six had then claimed both his parents. “Alright… I think you’ve had enough for the day, Sam… let me call you a ride.” Frank quickly tapped on a nearby touch pad and instantly sent for a ride service to pick Sam up. It was simple and convenient and now, most just accepted the service after it was practically fully funded by the city once true unemployment and homelessness had almost been eliminated. It was a good life… ‘Too bad it was all too late for my family though...’ Patrick continued to sit in the bar for the next four hours. The light began to dim outside, and Patrick had relieved himself in the bathroom twice already with his mobile and disposable catheter products. Each had cleared his head a bit, but once he had switched to the harder stuff beyond beer an hour ago, his inebriation only seemed to take a life on its own. By the time it was night out, Patrick was feeling everything, and his inhibitions were fully lowered. The sadness of the day had been briefly put on hold. For a minute, he could almost imagine himself back with his friends before the accident if he just shut his eyes. Then, a very beautiful and leggy redhead sauntered into the bar from outside and sat at the steadily crowded bar. She was alone and many looked at her with longing looks of their own after her stunning entrance. After three guys struck out, Patrick decided to try his luck and wheeled as smoothly as he could right over to her. With a breath, he spoke in the voice he used to use to pick up women before. It had a bit of a swagger to it, but it practically breathed confidence and sincerity. “Hey there, red. I’m Patrick. Mind if I ask what’s your name?” The woman swung around to meet the gaze of the voice next to her, but after a moment of seeming confusion, her eyes dropped to the figure beneath her. After a moment of looking unsure of what to do next, she finally spoke. “Oh… uh, Mary.” “Good to meet you…” He hiccupped and could feel the stronger effects taking over. He had to push forward, but this bravado probably wouldn’t last long. “Uh… sorry, Mary. You live around here?” Not having dated for a while now, his social skills weren’t as refined as they used to be, but he still had a smidge of confidence about him. His fifth whiskey on the rocks had helped with that. Mary looked at the man below her with the same sense of loss and almost pity that Patrick had come to expect. “Yeah… but um, I’m…” “You here by yourself?” Patrick blurted out. His heart had fallen a bit at the looks she was giving him, but he had to push his luck. Mary grimaced a bit over the suddenness of the question. “Umm… yeah, but look, uh…?” “Patrick…” he said, starting to sound a little deflated at the notion of her not remembering his name already. “Right… look.” She sighed. “You seem nice and all…” Patrick could feel his drunkenly inflated hopes start to quickly fade. “But I have a boyfriend…” Patrick groaned. This was headed for failure anyway, so he decided to push his luck further. In times like these, inhibitions might have been a good thing. “Right… do you though?” he questioned. The words had just slipped out and Patrick could immediately tell that Mary wasn’t prepared for them. After her initial shock of his rudeness, her eyes squinted in annoyance. “Well, if you really must know, then no. I don’t have a boyfriend.” Her eyes narrowed further, and her voice started to rise. “I was actually just trying to protect your feelings at a rejection, but I suppose that doesn’t matter.” Patrick started to shrink away in embarrassment. Many of the growing number of patrons in the bar began to look in pity over the developing event before them. Mary seemed to notice as well and took a moment to collect her feelings. “Look, you seem nice and all… probably… but you’re drunk, and you just seem… you look like you could use a shave and maybe a haircut.” She sighed. “Maybe in another life, but not this one and certainly not today. Understand?” “Yeah… okay…” Patrick’s drunken revelry and confidence was no more. With all the dignity he could scrounge left, he quickly downed a few more rounds back at his old table, but after a few stares from those around him, however, he felt that his welcome here had passed. Subsequently, he rapidly paid for his food and drinks and exited without another word to anyone or even a glance back to the woman who had turned his advances away. The still-seated Mary and the others stared back in sympathy over the figure they saw exiting the front door, but Patrick was too entombed in his own self-pity that he didn’t notice. He didn’t even hear Frank call after him to get a ride back like he had done with Sam earlier. Once outside, Patrick rolled on through the streets. The neighborhood was still a bit of a relic and leftover from the old days of the city, and no time like the night was this more evident. Many of the lights were still their old energy sucking and dimly lit versions, which were barely able to keep even the streets below them properly lit. As such, there were many alleyways and dark corners. Gangs and drug deals were rampant in certain spots and Patrick actively avoided them at all costs. Once completely out of view of the bar and a few wandering people on the streets, Patrick began to curse himself as he made his way back home. “Stupid, stupid, stupid! Damn alcohol!” he cursed out loud. “Why would someone like that even talk with someone like me? Who am I but a lowly failure?” He paused his wheelchair in front of a partially cracked window that barely showed his passing reflection. “Fitting,” he huffed as he looked back at his own image. “Fading away and cracked down the middle…” He shook his head in disgust and wheeled onward. While his confidence from alcohol had seemingly evaporated, his overall drunken state still hadn’t. “Stupid accident… stupid party! If I had just stayed over or found my own ride, she would still be alive! Stupid! Stupid!” Patrick took another round of pills and then rolled his wheelchair down a particularly uneven sidewalk toward one of the distant bus stops. The dim lighting and his drunken state were too much though, and he missed a large crack in the sidewalk until his front wheel got caught in it. “Oh shit!” Patrick cried out when he realized the predicament that he had just gotten himself into. Unfortunately, no one was around to help him out so he tried as best he could to dislodge himself. It was no use, but he stubbornly persisted. It proved to be too much however, and his chair tipped over to the side after one of the larger lurches. “Ah! Damn it!” The wheelchair fell on the ground and Patrick sputtered out in front of it, landing with a dull thud on his head on a piece of the upturned sidewalk. In pain, disoriented, and still very drunk, Patrick looked about him for any signs of anyone that could help. Being a part of the old city that most were no longer frequenting, he reaffirmed that he was all alone. Now, Patrick had been diligent about his intermittent catheterization at the bar. It was mighty uncomfortable at times, but he had a routine. With his mild rejection and drunken state though, he had neglected to empty his bladder before he left. As such, the impact of the fall had caused the damn to burst, but Patrick still hadn’t noticed… until now as the urine encroached on his stomach. “Shit… did I fall in a puddle?” His head throbbed and his vision was becoming blurrier by the minute, but he quickly cocked his head down just to see the damage. To his horror though, all he saw was a wet spot emanating from his crotch and lower portion of his shirt. “Unbelievable…” Normally, he would have shaken it off and just gone home. He had a change of clothes in his still attached and nearby backpack, but the bump on his head and his inebriation were proving too much for his body to handle. Darkness began to overtake him and the last thing he saw was a pair of flashing lights and then a large white truck pulled up with ‘Oasis Opportunities’ plastered over the side. He could hear some distant shouting and the sound of footsteps, but he soon slipped out of consciousness and into a world of only darkness.
  4. Just before 25-year-old programmer and chess IM (International Master) Isabelle drowns, she is pulled to the Diaper Dimension by the UN's Dimensional Rescue Group. Things don't quite go her way, but she has a powerful ally... Your Move Foreword Welcome to my first story. Ever since two of my favorite authors* introduced me to the Diaper Dimension, it's become one of my favorite genres, and I thought I'd give back to the community in the form of this work. If it were not for the legends before me, this story wouldn't exist, so I'm honored to write it. Many thanks go to BabySofia, YourDiapersCute and Acer for beta-testing it. Y'all helped me improve my writing and gave me motivation to write. Finally, PrincessPottyPants must also be acknowledged for INITing the sandbox. Please be advised that this story contains ABDL content. Even if this isn't your cup of tea, there's some interesting content I have to offer (but consider yourself warned). If you like chess, advanced tech or computers, then you're in for a treat! I currently have the first of 3 parts of the story completed (you'll want to read the updated version here:) I'm posting one chapter of Part 2 (well, what I've written anyway) every Wednesday here! I hope you'll enjoy this story, and please do comment your thoughts and suggestions! ©@DiaperedPrince2021-2022, all rights reserved. Please do not repost any part of this story to any other website, platform or medium, at any time, without my express written consent. :3 *@BabySofia and @YourDiapersCute Part 1: Opening "Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by." — Garry Kasparov Chapter 1 — What the Hell I never expected it to be like this. Frankly, I didn’t think I was even supposed to be in Hell. Even though I wasn’t the most devout Christian, I certainly was one. So shouldn’t I have gone to Heaven? Even if I take the secular interpretation, don’t only bad guys end up here? I’m pretty sure I’d been a good girl — most of the time anyway. Of course, human nature made being perfect all the time impossible, and I’ve certainly done my share of sinning. But… but… this?? I don’t think that anything I’d ever done had made me deserve this. Did some angel mess up? Or was it a bug in some kind of software? Did angels even use software to make these decisions? Leaving aside the ‘why’, shouldn’t Hell be all hot and fiery, and shouldn’t Satan be a guy? I pinched myself just to confirm I wasn't dreaming, and looked around the dilapidated, dirty room for the third time since I'd opened my eyes a minute ago. The 20-by-30-foot space was dimly lit by a small window almost opaque from dust and stains. The looming figure of the Devil, about twice my height, was clunking away in front of a stove, puffs of smoke coming out of her mouth rhythmically as she dragged on a cigarette. I wretched again at the malodorous pile of dirty dishes, pots and pans that sat in the sink next to her, unwashed, and the overflowing trash can beside it that contained a large mound of unidentifiable ooze whose composition I could only guess at. A lonely mattress, straight from a prison cell the way it was stained, filled the opposite corner of the room. All the furnishings, intimidatingly large to me, were clearly sized for her. What was most disturbing was a pile of reeking garbage bags that filled the last corner of the room, ending just inches from the mattress, and topped with a pair of flies buzzing around angrily. My disgusting panorama was interrupted by a noxious wave of cigarette smoke reaching me, making my head spin. I choked and coughed, nauseous and unable to breath. When the air had cleared somewhat a moment later, I drew a deep breath, inhaling the putrid stench of the space once again. Though it wasn't exactly hot, the room was bordering on that, and the air was unpleasantly humid and warm. A trickle of sweat meandered down my face. Whatever I was wearing was definitely much bulkier than necessary. I looked down at the lavender footed sleeper I was dressed in, certain that it wasn't what I'd put on the morning that I died. It was frayed but soft, and the cute design adorning the front had long faded. Somehow, whoever had re-dressed me for this place knew that I liked purple. I'd actually owned a very similar outfit before I died, but mine had been less... cute? The similarity stopped there, however, as I noticed the straps that connected the butt of the sleeper, just below the end of the long zipper, to the heels of the feet. They evidently fulfilled their purpose of preventing me from getting up onto my feet. Odder yet, my undergarments felt utterly foreign to me. I was flat-chested enough that I rarely wore a bra, so it didn't surprise me that I wasn't wearing one, but the pillow hugging my loins stuck out to me just as much as it spread my thighs apart. I felt the thick padding experimentally, confirming that it was some sort of ultra-thick diaper — a word that still made me blush as it stirred memories of my bedwetting fiascos as a child. Thanks to the heat caused by the pillow of a diaper, my nether regions were even warmer than my other body parts, but this discomfort was nothing compared to the ringing alarm bells that my bladder was sending to my brain, telling me to 'get to a toilet, now!' In desperation, I cleared my dry throat and spoke for the first time since I'd died, "I eed oo you a waoom." I blushed harder as I heard my own words, blatantly incoherent, and found the gag in my mouth. How on earth did I not notice this thing? I tried pulling it out and retrying my plea, and it suddenly expanded with a loud POP! My jaw felt like it was on fire as I cried out in pain! Satan turned around and I got to see her face for the first time. Her washed-out green eyes were partially covered by strands of her matted, unkempt, dirty blonde hair. She looked like she was about fifty-five, and the wrinkles on her face scrunched up into a frown so ugly that I shuddered. "Quiet, Christa!" She scolded in a crackling voice, turning back to whatever she was brewing. Who's Christa? I scanned the room once again quickly. There was definitely no one else here. Is Christa what they call Christians here? Does it mean— My bladder once again interrupted my thoughts with its tingling, and I tried to squeeze my legs together and press a hand between them to prolong peeing myself. The thickness of the diaper rendered both efforts futile, so I frantically searched for a toilet. I could see a weathered but imposingly tall door and a curtain on the opposing wall which was just as large. The paint on the door had peeled and the curtain's designs had most likely washed out years ago. Realizing that I had no other options since I couldn't even stand up, I whimpered as the floodgates opened and I wet myself. The Devil clearly didn't notice what had transpired, but I almost broke into tears as I pawed at the warm wetness between my legs, spreading its tendrils into the thirsty padding. I hadn't felt anything like this in years, and my memories of waking up in a cold, wet diaper as a little girl came flooding back. The pain in my jaw had dulled somewhat, but it still ached, and I rubbed it, choking back tears. In an attempt to distract myself from my distressing situation, I recalled the last moments of my life... "Mom, dad, are you guys ready to go?" I called out as I set the burglar alarm and locked the front door on my phone. "Yeah hon!" My dad shouted back from the car. I jogged over to the driver's seat, climbed in, and started the car. Putting on some nice classical music, I started driving to the annual regional chess tournament, where I was hoping to secure my third GM norm, which would promote me from an International Master to a Grandmaster, a title I'd spent the better half of my life trying to secure. 'GM Isabelle Green' would look perfect on my website, I noted to myself. As I drove down the winding road hugging the mountain, I marvelled at the lake on the other side of the road. Its crystal-clear waters perfectly reflected the blue summer sky, on which a family of ducks were making a wide V-shaped wake. As I rounded a bend in the road, a large semi truck suddenly bore down on me from the opposite direction! The driver must have been either drunk or crazy, because it was driving dead-center on the two-lane road! I heard my mom shriek as I swerved quickly to the right, narrowly avoiding a deadly head-on collision. Just as I thought the incident was over, the steering wheel was wrenched from my grasp! The three of us joined into a collective scream, as the crystal-clear water loomed closer and closer. It was almost like everything was in slow motion, like I was watching an action movie. It must have been only a second or two from my driving off the edge to the impact of the water, but it felt like hours! People say your life flashes before your eyes when you're about to die, but my mind was totally blank as the car slid silently below the depths. The slight thud as the car hit the bottom of the lake jolted me to my senses, and I quickly looked behind me to check on my parents. They appeared to have either fainted or been knocked unconscious by the collision with the surface of the water. I undid my seatbelt, twisted around, and struggled to free them as well. Once I got their arms free from the seatbelt, I pulled out the headrest of my seat and used the pointed end to smash open my side window, knowing that the doors wouldn't open yet due to the pressure difference. However, I wasn't prepared for the ice-cold water that gushed through the window in torrents, smacking me in the face and sending me into a stupor. Surrounded by a frenzy of air bubbles, I let out a cry, muffled by the water pouring into my lungs, as I began to drown! *** "Pull her now!" Dr. Torelli yelled, determination and a hint of desperation evident in her voice. Not wasting a millisecond more, I hit F6 to run the extraction script and watched as the localized portal leveraged quantum entanglement to swap the girl with a proportionate amount of fluid in the transfer tank. The process had been perfected by the legendary Dr. Bremer's protégé, Wilhelm Münch. After undergoing field trials by private sector organizations like the Procurement Agency for Childlike Littles, it was now being used by the Dimensional Rescue Group of the United Nations' Interdimensional Commission to give people from the other dimension a life after their sudden deaths. Every second that I'd had to watch the livestream of the accident was pure torture, delivered in submillimeter-pixel holographic gory from the ceiling-mounted volumetric display projector. The feed showed the girl's vitals directly on her translucent body, which was stitched together in real-time by advanced AI. The data and imagery were being captured by nanobots in the other dimension using a mix of lidar, x-ray, and millimeter-wave imaging, since we were working underwater. Visible light at that depth would be blurry at best. We had a strict protocol to follow, so I was forced to wait until Dr. Torelli, the physician on the team, affirmed that the girl couldn't possibly survive without some sort of miracle (that we'd pull off) before executing the extraction. I breathed a sigh of relief as the tank's indicators showed that she was still alive. It was not the first time the team had done this, so as soon as the script finished and the indicator screen flashed a green 'GO', the medics breached the tank's seal and lifted the girl onto the waiting operating table with a calm and skillful preparedness. "DNA verification successful. Subject is twenty-five-year-old Isabelle Green, caucasian, height five-four, weight one-nineteen, pulse forty. Symptoms include water inhalation and cold shock." The extraction room's AI helpfully listed. I heard a hiss as one of the medics nasally delivered the nanites that would be used to clear the Little girl's lungs of fluid via an oxygen mask. Another medic quickly diapered her, not wanting a shock from the nanites to cause any more of a mess. I loaded a standard electrolysis program I had written for the nanites, wirelessly uploading it to them. "Clear! Activating!" When the holographic vitals floating above the operating table improved, everyone in the room visibly relaxed. I knew that nanites had yet again saved a life, electrolyzing the water in Isabelle's lungs into harmless oxygen and hydrogen gas. They had first formed a thin film around her alveoli, the parts of her lungs that oxygenated her blood, and then started the electrolysis process from there so that she could breathe. I shuddered as I remembered that the other dimension still stuck tubes into the lungs, often causing irreversible damage to the trachea and bronchi. A swarm of exothermic nanites spread throughout her bloodstream, warming up her body to prevent hypothermia and treat the cold shock she'd experienced from the icy lake. "Good work people! Let's send her to recovery." I congratulated the team as I let go of Isabelle's hand, which had gone from cold and clammy to a comfortable room temperature. They'd all done their jobs well, a quick glance at Isabelle's now strong and stable vitals confirmed. Inwardly, I regretted not being able to save her parents as well, but we had limited staffing, time and resources, so we couldn't save everyone. We always prioritized the young and healthy. And the girls. I shuddered at that last one. As a Canadian Dimensional Rescue Lead, I was proud of how well Littles were treated and how equal their rights were up here in Canada, at least when compared to other more bigotted countries. Little weren't granted anywhere close to equal rights in many other countries, like our southern neighbors the United States. Since the headquarters of UNIC were in the US and the majority of its directors were Acimeran, I knew just why the Little-owning Bigs down south had set those criteria in our guidelines. They were more adoptable. I looked over at Isabelle being wheeled out of the room. She was very cute. Very adoptable. "Thanks Mike, you know you're the best." Dr. Torelli patted my back. I nodded. I'd basically written the book on extractions. As one of the first DRLs, I'd helped set up the program and personally programmed a lot of the tech around me as a result. When you design the system, well, you tend to know everything inside out. "You're not so bad yourself, Doc." The rest of the team followed the medics out of the room, and I was about to go with them, but something stopped me in my tracks. I... couldn't help but feel a pang of... emotion. For Isabelle. What was it? Pity? Guilt? Love? Whatever this is, it isn't something I've felt before. I sat down at my workstation again. "Where's her destination?" I asked the room's AI on a whim. "Ollirama, Jacinto". I shuddered again. That was down in the deep south, one of the worst places that a Little could end up in. I made a note to check up on her situation in a few days, and got up to join the others in the break room. =========================================================== That's Chapter 1 folks! Hope you enjoyed reading it! Leave a like and a comment to make my day ?
  5. Just before 25-year-old programmer and chess IM (International Master) Isabelle drowns, she is pulled to the Diaper Dimension by the UN's Dimensional Rescue Group. Things don't quite go her way, but she has a powerful ally... Your Move Foreword Welcome to Part 1 of my first story. A year ago today I started posting a chapter a week, and I stopped when I got to the end of Part 1 since my Junior year of university was starting, and I just didn't have the time to study and write on top of extracurriculars (I'm a good boy! I got a 3.9 GPA this year! ?). This summer I found some spare time to write a bit every day after work (internship), and I've produced 7 chapters so far. With the way the story has taken it's own life, I'm only about 1/3 of my way through the plot points that I've had planned out for Part 2! Unfortunately, I don't forsee being able to finish Part 2 this summer, because of the amount of things I get up to (including editing @BabySofia's Lights! Camera! ...What?!?), so you may be left on a cliffhanger (Sorry! ??), but at least you'll get to read a couple more chapters (over on the original thread): Without further ado, here's the edited, up-to-date version of Part 1. There may be some small plot changes from the original thread, but consider this the canon version. Part 1: Opening "Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by." — Garry Kasparov Chapter 1 — What the Hell I never expected it to be like this. Frankly, I didn't think I was even supposed to be in Hell. Even though I wasn't the most devout Christian, I certainly was one. So shouldn't I have gone to Heaven? Even if I take the secular interpretation, don't only bad guys end up here? I'm pretty sure I'd been a good girl — most of the time anyway. Of course, human nature made being perfect all the time rather impossible, and I'd certainly done my share of sinning. But... but... this?? I don't think that anything I'd ever done had made me deserve this. Did some angel mess up? Or was it a bug in some kind of software? Did angels even use software to make these decisions? Leaving the 'why' aside, shouldn't Hell be hotter and more fiery, and shouldn't Satan be a guy? I pinched myself just to confirm I wasn't dreaming, and looked around the dilapidated, dirty room for the third time since I'd opened my eyes a minute ago. The twenty-by-thirty-foot space was dimly lit by a small window stained almost opaque by dust and grime. The looming figure of the Devil, about twice my height, was clunking away in front of a stove, puffs of smoke rhythmically emanating from her mouth as she dragged on a cigarette. I wretched again at the malodorous pile of dirty dishes, pots and pans that sat unwashed in the sink next to her, and the overflowing trash can beside it that contained a large mound of unidentifiable ooze whose composition I could only guess at. A lonely mattress, straight from a prison cell the way it was stained, filled the opposite corner of the room. All the furnishings, clearly sized for her, appeared intimidatingly large to me. What was most disturbing was a pile of reeking garbage bags that filled the last corner of the room. Topped with a pair of flies buzzing around angrily, its base spilled out to within inches of the mattress. My disgusting panorama was interrupted by a noxious wave of cigarette smoke reaching me. It made my head spin. I choked and coughed, nauseous and unable to breath. When the air had somewhat cleared a moment later, I drew a deep breath. All I inhaled was the putrid stench of the space. Though it wasn't exactly hot, the room was bordering on that, and the air was unpleasantly humid and warm. A trickle of sweat meandered down my face. Whatever I was wearing was definitely much thicker than necessary. Wait... I looked down at the lavender footed sleeper I was dressed in. This was NOT what I'd put on the morning I died. It was frayed but soft, and the cute design adorning the front had long faded. Somehow, whoever had redressed me for this place knew that I liked purple. I'd actually owned a similar outfit before I died, but mine had been less... cute? The similarity stopped right there as I noticed the straps that connected the butt of the sleeper, just below the end of the long zipper, to the heels of the feet. They didn't seem to serve any purpose besides preventing me from getting up onto my feet. Odder yet, my undergarments felt utterly foreign to me. I was flat-chested enough that I rarely wore a bra, so it didn't surprise me that I wasn't wearing one, but the pillow hugging my loins stuck out to me just as much as it spread my thighs apart. I poked experimentally at the thick padding, confirming that it was some sort of ultra-thick diaper — a word that still made me blush as it stirred memories of my bedwetting fiascos as a child. Thanks to the heat caused by the pillow of a diaper, my nether regions were even warmer than my other body parts, but this discomfort was nothing compared to the screaming alarm bells that my bladder was sending to my brain. Get to a toilet, now! In desperation, I cleared my dry throat and spoke for the first time since I'd died, "I eed oo you a waoom." My brain bugged at the disconnect as I heard my own words, blatantly incoherent. My hands quickly found the gag in my mouth. How on earth did I not notice this thing? I tried pulling it out and retrying my plea, and it suddenly expanded with a loud POP! My jaw felt like it was on fire as I cried out in pain! Satan swung around and I glimpsed her face for the first time. Her washed-out green eyes were partially covered by strands of her matted, unkempt, dirty blonde hair. She looked like she was about fifty-five, and the wrinkles on her face scrunched up into a frown so ugly that I shuddered. "Quiet, Christa!" She scolded in a crackling voice, turning back to whatever she was brewing. Who's Christa? I scanned the room once again quickly. There was definitely no one else here. Is Christa what they call Christians here? Does it mean— My bladder once again interrupted my thoughts with its tingling, and I tried to squeeze my legs together and press a hand between them to prolong peeing myself. The thickness of the diaper rendered both efforts futile, so I started frantically looking around for a toilet. I saw a weathered but imposingly tall door. A curtain on the opposing wall of the same giant size. The paint on the door had peeled and the curtain's designs had washed out years ago. Realizing that I had no other options since I couldn't even stand up, I whimpered as the floodgates opened and I wet myself. The Devil clearly didn't notice what had transpired, but I almost broke into tears as I pawed at the warm wetness between my legs, spreading its tendrils into the thirsty padding. I hadn't felt anything like this in years, and my memories of waking up in a cold, wet diaper as a little girl came flooding back. The pain in my jaw had dulled somewhat, but it still ached, and I rubbed it, choking back tears. In an attempt to distract myself from my distressing situation, I recalled the last moments of my life... "Mom, dad, are you guys ready to go?" I called out as I set the burglar alarm and locked the front door on my phone. "Yeah hon!" My dad shouted back from the car. I jogged over to the driver's seat, climbed in, and started the car. I put on some nice classical music, and started driving to the annual regional chess tournament. I was on-track to secure my third GM norm, which would promote me from an International Master to a Grandmaster, a title I'd spent the better half of my life trying to secure. 'GM Isabelle Green' would look perfect on my website, I noted to myself. As I drove down a winding road that hugged a rock face, I marvelled at the lake on the other side of the road. Its crystal-clear waters perfectly reflected the blue summer sky, on which a family of ducks were making a wide V-shaped wake. When I rounded a bend in the road, a large semi truck suddenly bore down on me from the opposite direction! The driver must have been either drunk or crazy, because it was driving dead-center on the two-lane road! I heard my mom shriek as I swerved quickly to the right, narrowly avoiding a deadly head-on collision. Just as I thought the incident was over, a front wheel cleared the narrow gravel shoulder and the steering wheel was wrenched from my grasp! The three of us joined into a collective scream, as the crystal-clear water loomed closer and closer. It was almost like everything was in slow motion, like I was watching an action movie. It must have been only a second or two from my driving off the edge to the impact of the water, but it felt like hours! People say your life flashes before your eyes when you're about to die, but my mind was totally blank as the car slid silently below the depths. The slight thud as the car hit the bottom of the lake jolted me to my senses, and I quickly looked behind me to check on my parents. They appeared to have either fainted or been knocked unconscious by the collision with the surface of the water. I undid my seatbelt, twisted around, and struggled to free them as well. Once I got their arms free from the seatbelt, I pulled out the headrest of my seat and used the pointed end to smash open my side window, knowing that the doors wouldn't open yet due to the pressure difference. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for the ice-cold water that gushed through the window in torrents, smacking me in the face and freezing me into a stupor. Surrounded by a frenzy of air bubbles, I let out a cry, muffled by the water pouring into my lungs, and I began to drown! *** "Pull her now!" Dr. Torelli yelled, determination and a hint of desperation evident in her voice. Not wasting a millisecond more, I hit F6 to run the extraction script and watched as the localized portal leveraged quantum entanglement to swap the girl with a proportionate amount of fluid in the transfer tank. The process had been perfected by the legendary Dr. Bremer's protégé, Wilhelm Münch. After undergoing field trials by private-sector organizations like the Procurement Agency for Childlike Littles, it was now being used by the Dimensional Rescue Group of the United Nations' Interdimensional Commission to give people from the other dimension a life after their sudden deaths. Every second that I'd had to watch the livestream of the accident was pure torture, delivered in submillimeter-pixel holographic gory from the ceiling-mounted volumetric display projector. The holographic feed, stitched together in real-time by AI, showed the girl's vitals directly on her translucent body. The data and imagery were being captured by nanobots in the other dimension using a mix of lidar, x-ray, and millimeter-wave imaging, since we were working underwater. Cameras recording in the visible wavelengths at that depth would be blurry at best. We had a strict protocol to follow, so I was forced to wait until Dr. Torelli, the team's physician, affirmed that the girl couldn't possibly survive without some sort of miracle (that we'd pull off) before executing the extraction. I breathed a sigh of relief as the tank's indicators showed that she was still alive. This was definitely not the team's first extraction. As soon as the transfer subroutine finished executing and flashed the transfer tank green, the medics breached the tank's seal. In unison and with calm and skillful preparedness, they lifted the girl onto the waiting operating table. "DNA verification successful. Subject is twenty-five-year-old Isabelle Green, caucasian, height five-four, weight one-nineteen, pulse forty. Symptoms are water inhalation and cold shock." The extraction room's AI helpfully listed. I heard a hiss as one of the medics nasally delivered the nanites that would be used to clear the Little girl's lungs of fluid via an oxygen mask. Another medic quickly diapered her, not wanting a shock from the nanites to cause any more of a mess. I loaded a standard electrolysis program I had written for the nanites, wirelessly uploading it to them. "Clear! Activating!" When the holographic vitals floating above the operating table improved, everyone in the room visibly relaxed. I knew that nanites had yet again saved a life, electrolyzing the water in Isabelle's lungs into harmless oxygen and hydrogen gas. They had first formed a thin film around her alveoli, the parts of her lungs that oxygenated her blood, and then started the electrolysis process from there so that she could breathe. I shuddered as I remembered that the other dimension still stuck tubes into the lungs, often causing irreversible damage to the trachea and bronchi. Another swarm of nanites spread throughout her bloodstream, exothermically warming up her body to prevent hypothermia and treat the cold shock she'd experienced from the icy lake. "Good work people! Let's send her to recovery." I congratulated the team as I let go of Isabelle's hand, which had gone from cold and clammy to a comfortable room temperature in the span of just 10 minutes. They'd all done their jobs well, a quick glance at Isabelle's now strong and stable vitals confirmed. Inwardly, I regretted not being able to save her parents as well, but we had limited staffing, time and resources, so we couldn't save everyone. We always prioritized the young and healthy. And the girls. I shuddered at that last one. As a Canadian Dimensional Rescue Lead, I was proud of how well Littles were treated and how equal their rights were up here in Canada, at least when compared to our bigotted southern neighbors. Little weren't granted anywhere close to equal rights in countries like the United States of Acimera. Since the headquarters of UNIC were in the US and the majority of its directors were Acimeran, I knew just why the Little-owning Bigs down south had set those criteria in our guidelines. They were more adoptable. I looked over at Isabelle being wheeled out of the room. She was very cute. Very adoptable. "Thanks Mike, you know you're the best." Dr. Torelli patted my back. I nodded. I'd basically written the book on extractions. As one of the first DRLs, I'd helped set up the program and personally programmed a lot of the tech around me as a result. When you design the system, well, you tend to know everything inside out. And be the best. "You're not so bad yourself, Doc." The rest of the team followed the medics out of the room, and I was about to go with them, but something stopped me in my tracks. I... couldn't help but feel a pang of... emotion. For Isabelle. What was it? Pity? Guilt? Love? Whatever this is, it isn't something I've felt before. I sat down at my workstation again. "Where's her destination?" I asked the room's AI on a whim. "Ollirama, Jacinto". I shuddered again. That was down in the deep south, one of the worst places that a Little could end up in. I made a note to check up on her situation in a few days, and got up to join the others in the break room. Chapter 2 — Predator and Prey Satan walked over to me. Towering over me and looking down, she introduced herself. "You will call me Mommy, if and when I let you speak. You're in my house. You're nothing but a doll to me. I don't care what you want and you don't need ANYTHING. I own you, and you will do everything I say. Nod if you understand me." "HNNNN!" I shook my head violently. "CHRISTA! What did I just say? I said you will do EVERYTHING I say. And I mean EVERYTHING. I also said nod. So NOD!!!" Confusion in my eyes, I tilted my head at the reappearance of that name. Christa. "YOUR NAME IS CHRISTA," she explained menacingly, her voice dripping with condescension. "Goddammit you Littles are so STUPID! NOD. YOUR. HEAD. Or you'll regret it!" She threatened. I sat there, bewildered. My name was Isabelle. Not Christa. Where did she— With a cry of pure fury, she yanked me into the air by my wrists and began spanking the daylights out of me! I shook in fear and pain. Even though the diaper somewhat softened the blows, her massive hand made my bones feel like they were about to crack! "YOU." smack. "WILL." smack. "DO." smack. A swat punctuated every word. I started to cry, sobs muffled by the gag in my mouth. Pacifier, I realized. "EVERYTHING." smack. "I." smack. "TELL." smack. "YOU." smack. "TO!!!" smack smack smack smack smack smack smack. By the time she was done, I was a snivelling wreck, blubbering and nodding vigorously. Anything to get it to stop. Please! She unzipped the back of my sleeper, reached down into my wet diaper, and pushed something up my rear exit! "Let that be your first lesson. Now here's another one. This is what you are." She grabbed my face in her free hand and cruelly twisted it around, forcing me to look at the pile of garbage as she zipped my sleeper back up again. "GARBAGE. What are you?" She twisted the pacifier, deflating it. Not fully, just to its state before I pulled on it. It was still uncomfortable, but at least it wasn't agonizing. I sniffled, too scared to speak. "I asked you a QUESTION, little girl! What are you?! ANSWER ME!!!" "Guhage?" I whimpered around the pacifier. "That's right. Garbage." She dragged me over to the garbage can by the sink, lifted out the overflowing bag of garbage, and dumped me in the bin! I watched in horror as she slammed the lid closed on top of me, trapping me in the pitch-black plastic prison. Ears ringing and eyes completely blind, I panicked. To make matters worse, a rumble in my bowels confirmed that the worst was yet to come. I desperately pushed both hands against my rear exit to prevent the monster in my guts from escaping, but something told me that I wouldn't be able to stop it for long. I squirmed against the rigid side wall of the bin, trying to find a more comfortable position. It felt like at least an hour, but I probably only lasted at most five minutes before I gave in to the unrelenting pressure. I gasped as warm mush oozed out into the waiting padding, forming a large mass in the seat of the diaper that pressed against my skin. I felt the need to pee again, and, given that all hope was lost, just let loose. I'd been flung beyond the point of self-preservation. I felt the diaper expanding to soak up my stream of pee, surprised at the amount that it could hold without leaking. I shifted my weight, grimacing as the mess slid around in the seat of the diaper and some of it seeped toward the front. Disgusting. My knees hurt so much from kneeling on the hard plastic grid that formed the base of the garbage can that I had no choice but to awkwardly sit down. I shuddered as I squished the mass in the process. This was unbearably awful. A single tear rolled down my cheek. I sniffed reflexively, and immediately regretted the act. The stench of the mess I'd made had stunk up the confined space, and my mouth was blocked by the pacifier! This isn't Hell, is it?? I'm some cruel person's captive, in some kind of messed up torture chamber or something. How am I even alive? Didn't I drown after driving into the lake? Where were my parents? Were they able to escape? Is that why I'm being treated so scornfully? I had a million questions. The darkness and isolation gave me time to think, yet the unforgiving stench prevented coherent thought. I rubbed my jaw, glad that at least the pain from earlier was subsiding. The mass between my legs was cooling, and my skin was starting to itch and burn at the same time. I frustratedly thumped a fist against the side of the bin, which only served to make my ears start ringing again. Real smart, Izzy. Real smart. After what must have been an eternity, the lid was finally opened, and I blinked at the sudden burst of light as I was lifted out of the garbage can by the scruff of my sleeper. I hastily drew in a deep breath of fresh air, not knowing just how much I would be getting. The room definitely wasn't a rose garden, but it was still a million times better than the horrific reek of my used diaper! "Looks like the garbage left a pwesent for Mommy!" The woman exclaimed in a patronizing tone, squishing the crotch of the diaper and patting my butt. "Since you were a bad girl earlier you're not getting a change just yet. You need to get used to sitting in your poopy diapers!" "Hnnn!!" I whined. "Do you want to go back in the bin for another hour?" She threatened, shooting menacing daggers at me. I desperately shook my head, eyes widening in fear. "I thought so." She proceeded to unceremoniously deposit me on the floor with another quick grope of the diaper. Eager to get as far away from the garbage can as possible, but still prevented from getting up by the straps on my sleeper, I crawled desperately across the room toward the mattress. Before I could climb onto it, I heard a yell from the woman. "NO! Bad girl!" I jolted and let out a stream of pee in shock, resaturating the drying sludge in my diaper. "The bed is for Mommy only! You should be thankful I let you sleep on the floor, and not in the garbage can so I don't have to smell you!" I just about threw up at even the thought of going back into that hellhole. She shoved a quart-sized baby bottle of water into my hands before twisting and removing the pacifier in my mouth. "Drink up!" Since I was getting dehydrated and my mouth was dry, I started sucking thirstily at the tepid liquid, ignoring the infantile drinkware for the moment. She stared at me as I drank, and I saw a smile so ugly I wanted to bleach my eyes when I finished the bottle. *** Three days after I rescued Isabelle, it was just after lunch on Saturday and I was working on a side project. "Remember to check on Isabelle Green," Max, my AI assistant, helpfully reminded me of the note I'd made. Furrowing my brow, I took a moment to recollect the feelings I'd had for Isabelle. I'd finally managed to put a phrase to it. Fatherly love. This was the exact same BS that the Acimerans used to enslave Littles, but it was real for me. It'd better be. "Right. Go secure and bring up everything you can find on her on Workspace 3." I couldn't risk making a mistake and having anyone track what I was about to do back to me, so I got Max to 'go secure', which meant encrypting all my internet traffic with lattice-based encryption instead of ECC, and bouncing it off 5 different random servers around the world using Tor. Both ECC and RSA had been cracked years ago with the first Shor-capable quantum computers, but people were still using them. The one issue shared by all technological advancements was that they made people more and more oblivious to shortcomings in the everyday tech they take for granted. I watched the holograms around me morph from the new nanite routine I was working on to a bevy of video feeds, a terminal, and some additional data about Isabelle that Max had collected using the backdoors and privileged access to UNIC and other systems that I'd accrued over the years. Max had spotlighted a hologram of a dilapidated shack, with two figures inside labelled "Karen" and "Isabelle". "This is her current location, eh?" I asked, reading the coordinates floating above the model. "Precisely. Karen is the adoptive mother. Records indicate that her older sister, Kate, should have adopted Isabelle instead, but her untimely death the day before your rescue triggered an automatic transfer of custody," Max explained. "Interesting. Bring up Kate's data on Workspace 4 in the background. Split 3 and 4," I commanded with a twitch of my right ring finger and a wave of my arms, sweeping the existing holograms into a 180° field of view so Kate's data would have room to be displayed behind me. I stood up to get a better view, and the holograms rose with me. I spotlighted a different vidfeed, enlarging and repositioning it to the center of my field of view. Sitting on the floor in front of a mound of garbage was unquestionably Isabelle... in a heavily soiled diaper. The dark crescents on her footed sleeper were a definite telltale that she had leaked through her padding. Her blonde hair was matted with dirt and debris. Her baby-blue eyes, crusted with dried-out tears, stared blankly at something just below the camera. A trickle of drool ran down her chin from a corner of her pacified mouth. She looked... gone. I gagged at the state of her conditions. I'm getting her out of there. No human being should ever live like that. Certainly no one ever will on my watch. "Cross reference her symptoms on the medware with those of hypnosis." "Everything except the crusty eyes match. That and her cheeks are excessively flustered, and the optical intradermal scan is reading excessive heat levels there." He helpfully offered. "She's probably been crying, I know I would be if I was in her situation," I guessed. "That explains her crusty eyes, eh? The flustered cheeks... maybe some sort of hypnosis side effect? I'm no doctor though." I sat back down and spun around to face Workspace 4. From the data I could see so far, Karen was dirt poor and had a mean streak. Kate, on the other hand, was well-off, kind and gentle. She'd successfully adopted two Littles before and even sent one to college, something so rare it was almost unheard of! No wonder UNIC had preapproved her for adoptions. Unfortunately for Isabelle, Kate had been killed in a car accident. How ironic. "Report this to Jacinto LPS. Send them her details and the supporting evidence, but make sure you wipe the metadata, sources, and any other fingerprints first," I directed. Hopefully she'll be okay. With luck, maybe even the hypnosis could be dealt with. "LPS systems acknowledge receipt of your complaint. They can only deal with it some time next week though, they've got a backlog of requests," Max reported. "What?! Probably fake complaints from jealous Bigs." LPS was a major scam, but even the few times that it actually worked made it worth keeping around. Still, the system was very much flawed. I spotlighted the terminal window. "Gimme their API endpoint," I told Max. "You're not gonna hack into LPS are you?" Max asked. "You know messing with that stuff is a federal offense, right?" "So was every bit of info you've pulled for me today," I smirked. "Copy it." I pasted in the endpoint and ran some commands. When I saw the nmap summary, I knew I'd struck gold. RRH, or Reverse Routing Header, had several zero-day vulnerabilities in it that I could easily chain with some other exploits to hack into the LPS API. Exposing that port was a rookie mistake, but apparently LPS was too focused on other things to care about security. A few minutes of Python scripting later, I had what I was looking for. I quickly logged into the admin interface and flagged Isabelle's case as ultra-high priority. That got the wait time down to 0... business days?! Isabelle would have to stay with that horrible bitch until Monday. Oh the poor girl. I decided there and then that I'd help her all the way. I tagged a specific orphanage on her file, checked over everything, and logged out of the LPS system. "Clear workspaces 3 and 4. Wipe the evidence," I instructed Max. Hang in there, Isabelle. I'm gonna save you. =========================================================== Bonus content — a funny video about suppositories and anal temp: Chapter 3 — Change of Scenery About an hour after downing the bottle of water, I was picked up by the witch and placed on her lap. I was fed dinner from there, which quickly proved to be another traumatic experience as the jarred sludge she spooned me was so disgusting that I gagged and almost choked several times. I could think of some people who wouldn’t mind eating sardine-and-spam, but I certainly wasn’t one of them. The ordeal was exacerbated by the airplane noises she made, and the only result of her waving the spoon around like I was two was my face and the front of my sleeper being desecrated by all the food that missed my mouth. Shortly after, she ate her own dinner and washed up. Having been fed what was equivalent to pig slop to me, the delicious bowl of instant noodles she had the privilege to enjoy was pure torment for me to watch and smell. When the sky outside the small window turned dark, she sprawled out on the tattered mattress. “Good night doll, don’t get bitten by the roaches!” I shivered in trepidation. From the state of the place, that wasn’t exactly this dimension’s version of “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” that they just told kids here. My dirtied face and diaper felt like prime targets, especially since the latter was now massively swollen from multiple additional wettings. I did my best to clean off my face with the sleeve of my sleeper, but I couldn’t do anything about my diaper. I groaned about that as I felt my butt complaining about the combination of the spanking I’d received earlier and the mess coating my butt. I definitely had a diaper rash from the prolonged confinement in the soiled garment, which was sure to get worse by tomorrow. I can’t believe this is happening. I had the habit of always saying a nightly prayer, so I decided that there’d be no harm in praying here, especially given my current situation. Dear God, I know I haven’t been perfect, but I don’t know what I did to deserve this hellhole. Why am I here? Where even is here? I know that you love me and that you know what you’re doing, so I won’t complain… But please, please save me from this degrading place and this sadistic woman. And please, someday, let me have another game of chess and a life beyond someone’s doll. I know you gave me this gift for a reason. Please don’t let me waste it. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me all my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen. I started to cry again, frustrated at how bad my situation had turned out. In the end, I drifted off on the hard floor, curled up into a ball as best I could. The next morning I rubbed my eyes as I sat up, my body hurting all over. I’d slept surprisingly well given the circumstances, but I figured it was mainly because of how tired I was. I looked down at my diaper, which — I could tell from the dark spots on both sides of my sleeper’s crotch — had definitely leaked. I suddenly realized that I’d been unconsciously sucking on the pacifier that was still in my mouth. It was strangely comforting, but I made myself stop. I’m not a baby. I tried spitting it out, but the bulb was too inflated, and I didn’t dare tamper with it any further. I definitely didn’t want to risk the painful inflation from yesterday repeating itself. The woman was already up, and sitting on her bed reading some sort of instruction manual from a paper-thin tablet. Just then, she looked up and caught me staring at her. “Morning doll! You’re gunna make me some money today!” She exclaimed. I frowned apprehensively at that, not quite sure what to expect. Whatever it was, it can’t be good for me. She deflated my pacifier with a twist, took it out, and handed me a large baby bottle of water. After I thirstily guzzled it, she reinserted the pacifier and inflated it with another twist. She then unboxed and set up a futuristic-looking semi-transparent screen on a stand about a meter in front of me. After pausing briefly to look at the manual again, she powered the device on and it beeped three times in rapid succession. A really bright light from the screen flashed, dazzling my eyes. A split second later, I saw some swirling colors on the tablet-like device, and a calming voice telling me something about using my diapers like a good girl. The next thing I knew, my mind went totally blank! When I emerged from a complete stupor, she was turning off the screen, and I was pushing last night’s mush into the back of my already full diaper! I frantically tried to stop it, but it seemed like my sphincter and related muscles were locked in the ‘open’ position. Not only did trying to clamp down hurt A LOT, I couldn’t dam the flow no matter what I did! “Good girl, using your diaper like you’re meant to!” The bitch cooed. “I think I might just change you earlier than I planned to, just so I won’t have as hard of a time washing your sleeper!” After making me sit in my mess for another half hour, she finally removed my sleeper and laid me down, buck-naked except for the diaper. She manhandled me as easily as one would a toddler, lifting both my legs with one hand just like I’d done when I’d babysat years ago. The relief of having the soiled and sodden diaper taken off me overcame any modesty I had, so I didn’t bother to try and cover anything up. She used the front of the diaper, which wasn’t much cleaner than the back, to wipe the worst of the mess off my butt. I was then dragged outside for the first time. As I walked, I could feel bits of runny poop that weren’t wiped off sliding down my legs. I need a shower to not feel disgusting at this point. Once my eyes had adjusted for the bright sunlight that starkly contrasted the dim room I’d gotten used to, I took in the vast landscape around me. Dense, yellowed, prairie grassland stretched unbroken in every direction for as far as I could see. Singular, stubby trees and small shrubs dotted the landscape here and there, and some cattle roamed in the distance. Besides that herd, this place looks like it’s devoid of humanity! I yelped from behind the pacifier as a jet of lukewarm water blasted my butt. The woman blasted my butt thoroughly, then moved on to my back and legs, as if I was a farm animal. When she spun me around to face her, I appreciated for the first time just how tall the shack she lived in was. A monster-truck-sized pickup truck was parked beside it, and both were at least twice the height of what they were supposed to be. I wonder how she got all this stuff in her size… When the woman finished hosing me down, she dried me off with a towel. I tried to protest that I could dry and dress myself to stop the uncomfortably intimate touching. She either didn’t understand me with the pacifier in the way or just didn’t care, so I gave up and stood there as she dressed me. My new outfit consisted of a puke-green sundress. Perhaps it was once a more pleasant color, but its current appearance just reminded me of vomit. I was just starting to feel self-conscious about not wearing any underwear underneath the dress, something I never did, when she dragged me back into the shack and laid me on the floor. She put some cream on my butt, which soothed the discomfort from my rash, followed by another massive diaper. Why are these diapers so huge?? As if ironically reading my mind, she jeered, “You’re only getting one change a day, at least for now. I’m not spending a single cent more on you than I have to!” Her voice boomed out in a pure cackle, in a manner only possible if she were a witch. This woman is deranged. Get me outta here! As a few more days passed, I lost track of time. The boredom was really getting to me, since there was nothing for me to do except sit around most of the time. I found myself sucking on the pacifier that was locked in my mouth more often than not, if not just for something to do. I also mentally studied some chess positions, but there’s only so much you can do in your head. My diapers were almost constantly filled with my bodily waste, and the bitch kept her word, changing me just once a day. I was grateful that at least she used the cream during each change, so my diaper rash hadn’t worsened. I began noticing that I had less and less control over my bladder and bowel functions each day, to the point where I now had very little warning before I went. I was truly using my diapers for their intended purposes, thanks to the hypnosis videos that the woman forced me to watch for God knew how long each morning. The second time that she’d turned on the screen, I’d tried to close my eyes and turn away, but she’d pinned my arms to my sides and kept my face pointed at the screen with her massive hands, preventing me from looking anywhere else. The bright flash had somehow worked even with my eyes closed, so I’d been utterly helpless. By the time she’d let go of me, the video had already turned me into a passive zombie, staring at the screen in a blissful stupor. One morning, I woke up to the door of the shack being flung open! “LPS! Hands on your head!” A gigantic officer, a full head taller than the bitch, screamed at her. Pistol trained on her, she swooped in swiftly, like an eagle hunting its prey. What was going on? Who were these other giants?? There were other giants here??? Another officer, slightly shorter than the first but still impossibly tall, grabbed me off the floor. I instinctively tensed up, unused to being picked up and held so far off the ground. “Dave to dispatch, Little secured, DNA scan verifies she is Isabelle Green,” he spoke calmly into an earpiece. “Karen Elizabeth Kemp, you are under arrest for child abuse under Section 1709 of Title 44 of the US Code. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you. If you understand me, nod,” the female officer Mirandized. “You can’t ar—”, the witch started to say something. “NOD!!! YOU UNDERSTOOD WHAT I SAID PERFECTLY!!” The officer screamed at her, “HOW DARE YOU ABUSE SUCH A SWEET LITTLE GIRL LIKE THAT?!” I couldn’t help but grin at the irony of the turn of events, and I silently thanked God for answering my nightly prayers. “Are you mentally intact?” The officer holding me — Dave — asked. I nodded. “Mothly, I think?” I lisped around the pacifier. “Good, we’ll need to interview you when we get to the station. In the meantime, your diaper is leaking! We need to get you changed first.” He rummaged around the storage area behind the curtain for a spare diaper, and emerged triumphantly holding one. The female officer found a pack of wipes from their truck outside, and handed them to Dave, who laid me down, and untaped my soiled diaper. I blushed as he wiped me down, not used to a strange new pair of hands dancing all over my crotch area. I was also quite apprehensive, with his being a man and all. Thankfully, he was very professional apart from a little cooing, which turned into a grimace when he saw the rash on my butt. His colleague got some sort of ointment and spread it over the entire red area, explaining that it would quickly heal my rash, provided I wasn’t kept in messy diapers for extended periods of time again. Dave then taped the fresh diaper on me and found a clean dress for me to wear. The officers brought us out to waiting vehicles, and I blushed as Dave sat me in a toddler’s car seat and strapped me in. “It’s for your own safety, and it’s the law.” I nodded, still confused as to where exactly this place was. There were laws here…? During our drive to the police station, the witch screamed profanities at the officers until they grew tired of it. At that point, the biggest pacifier I’d ever seen was locked into her mouth. I giggled at the further irony and her discomfort. She deserved ten times worse. When we arrived at the LPS office, Dave released me from the car seat and picked me up again, holding me close to his chest. I’d played with the buckle a bit, but hadn’t been able to get it open. That made sense, given that the giants were clearly much stronger than my puny self. I gawped at the size of everything as we walked inside. More giants were bustling about, and it soon dawned on me that everyone in this place was a giant. I was carried over to a room full of medical equipment, and Karen was led away separately. Good riddance, bitch. Dave set me down on a scale, and a nurse weighed and measured me. I’d apparently shrunk quite a bit when I died, and I stood at a measly 5’4 compared to the 5’10 listed on my Drivers’ License. I’d also gotten just a bit lighter, coming in at 119 pounds. Or maybe they measured length differently in this place? I tensed as I was picked up again, still unused to being lifted into the air. Once I saw that it was Dave, I relaxed quite a bit. He’d been gentle enough so far, and I could see no reason for that to change. We walked down several hallways and up a flight of stairs, and I was glad that I was being carried for once. The stairs were massive! Finally, we reached a room with “Interview - Little” on the door that was more regular-sized. Large stuffed animals, toys, and cushions covered the small room’s floor in huge piles. Some of the bigger stuffed animals were almost twice my size! I didn’t see a particular spot to sit down anywhere, so when Dave set me down on the ground standing up, I plopped down on the lap of a massive stuffed bear and made myself comfortable. I was stroking its paw and looking around the room more when a smaller, Asian giant walked in and sat down on a bean bag chair. She was still about 3 feet taller than me, but at least she didn’t look like she could eat me for dessert! But that perception changed, and I recoiled, when I saw that she was holding a transparent tablet similar to the one that had been used to hypnotize me! Chapter 4 — Truth Can Hurt “Hi Isabelle, I’m Linda. We’re arranging a safe place for you to live. I promise it’ll be a million times better than Miss Kemp’s place!” She saw my eyes darting to her tablet, and I could tell she sensed my fear. She reassured me, “Don’t worry sweetie, this is just a regular tablet that I carry around. It won’t do anything to you, I promise!” I relaxed by a miniscule amount, not quite ready to trust her just yet. “I’m going to ask you a few quick questions, which will hopefully help us put her in jail for a long time. Are you ready to be a good little helper and answer some questions?” I pointed nervously at the pacifier in my mouth that had been my companion for the past few days. She smiled and quickly deflated and removed it, biting her lower lip as she did so. I ran my tongue over my teeth, happy to have the restricting pacifier out of my mouth. “You looked so cute sucking on it, it’s a shame that we have to take it out. I’ll give it right back to you as soon as we’re done, but we do need to hear your testimony.” She cooed. “Do you know what that big word means? Test-i-mon-y?” I bit my own lip to stop myself from rolling my eyes at her. Instead, I answered with a more civilized but curt, “Yes.” “My goodness, you’re not just a cute face! Now, if you could tell me eeeverything that happened while you were under Miss Kemp’s care for the record, it would help our case significantly. Whenever you’re ready.” I sighed, disinclined to go over everything again in my mind. “Umm don’t you need to start recording or something?” I hadn’t seen her do anything like that yet. “Oh my, what a big girl! The room’s wired up for sound, sweetie, everything you say will be recorded.” Over the course of the next hour, I told her, to the best of my ability, everything that had transpired in the past few days in graphic detail. When I finished giving my statement, Linda sighed and commented, “That sounds terrible, I’m sorry you went through that sweetie.” I nodded in agreement. “Though you can rest assured that we’ll put her away for a long time. I’ve got plenty of evidence now. It’s all very strong. The physical stuff we found at the scene along with some video footage an anonymous tipper sent us fully corroborates your testimony.” She said almost to herself. “Do you want anything before we transfer you? A baba maybe?” I scowled at her suggestion. Did she think I was retarded or something? “Something to drink and an explanation of what this place is and how I got here when I died, please? And why I’m dressed and being treated like I’m two?” “Sure thing honeybun. Here’s some apple juice for you; drink up while I explain everything to you,” Linda said as she brought me a giant sippy cup of it from a fridge sunk into a wall. I gave her a pointed look for her term of endearment, but started drinking. I was thirsty enough to not care about the drinkware, having had nothing all morning. The sippyness of the cup still begged the question of why I was being treated like a toddler though, and I stared at Linda expectantly. “Let’s start with your first question. The reason you didn’t die was because the United Nations beamed you here just before you were going to,” she explained. “We didn’t want you to die at such a young age, so when you were helplessly drowning to a certain death they used some very advanced technology to bring you here. Miss Kemp was then supposed to take care of you, but she didn’t do that very well, now did she? We got an anonymous tip and now you’re here.” “Where is here?” “Here is the Jacinto headquarters of the Little Protective Services. We investigate when Littles like you are abused, and save you.” “No, no. I meant what is this world? This…” Dimension. No. How could that have been possible? “A dimension quite similar to yours, but with some differences too,” she confirmed. “Have you heard of the portals and dimensions?” I gasped and peed in fright. I’d assumed that I wasn’t in the other dimension — well, this one — before since I hadn’t seen any other people, and I didn’t think they’d be able to instantly create a localized portal at the bottom of a lake. Just how advanced was their technology? “The dark-web rumors are true then? The tabloids weren’t making it up??” I’d heard a whole bunch of rumors about what netizens called the Diaper Dimension, where regular-sized adults were treated as babies by giant Amazons. Their tech was supposedly more than a decade ahead of ours, and their history remarkably similar yet with subtle changes. For instance, their United States were those of Acirema, instead of America. “What rumors?” Linda retorted with a rather blatant mock innocence. I brushed past her question. “Please just send me home,” I pleaded. “I’ve cooperated with you to the best of my ability, haven’t I?” “You have, but I can’t do that.” She asserted matter-of-factly. “Why not?” I whined, getting nervous again. “Why can’t I go home?” “Because you’re a Little in a big world. You’re going somewhere where you’ll be taken care of properly instead.” She condescended. My anger flared up. “What?! How can you let people be treated like this?!” I couldn’t reign in my rage anymore. She tilted her head at me and tsk-tsked. “How is this not a human rights viol—?!” She sighed and popped the pacifier back into my mouth, twisting it a half-turn before I could spit it out. It inflated painfully and I screamed! “Huck ooo!!!” Seeing nothing but red, I threw the now-empty sippy cup and a nearby stuffed animal — a red panda — at her and pounded my fists on the bear I was sitting on in frustration. Tears began to stream down my face as I heard the door to the room open and felt myself getting picked up from behind again. I didn’t know who it was and I didn’t care. I just wanted this stupid nightmare to end. My only response was a deep moan of despair. This was the worst day ever. I was carried over to another room and set down in a highchair. Straps were tightened over my waist, head and legs. The tray was fitted over my arms, rendering me completely immobile. I had burnt up all my energy in my outburst, so I sat motionlessly as my pacifier was removed, too tired to care. Having eaten nothing but gruel at Karen’s place, I was thankful for the more normal continental breakfast that I was fed. Even when it was mutilated and spooned to me. Even when I rolled my eyes at the silly airplane and train noises and gestures. My brain will turn into freaking mush if this is kept up. Halfway through breakfast, I turned red as I grunted and pooped with less than two seconds of warning. I wonder if I’ll ever regain control? Thankfully, the feeding stopped to let me finish. “You won’t leak just yet, but I’ll change you as soon as we finish brunch!” I heard after the crotch of my diaper was squeezed by a large hand. When I finished the last bite of hash brown, the straps were undone and I was picked up. I was praised for being a “good girl” through breakfast and carried, eyes and nose red, over to a nearby changing table. I was laid down on it with a strap pulled across my stomach, securing me to the table. A strangely calming nursery rhyme that I’d never heard of was sung to me while my soiled diaper was removed and thrown out. And I was wiped down. And a new diaper was taped on me. Then I was “all clean”, tickled, made to giggle involuntarily, and given a different pacifier to suck on. There was something different about this pacifier, yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. I figured it out a moment later. It didn’t have a locking mechanism. I sucked on it, having grown fond of the comforting motion. Maybe it’ll calm me down. A short walk later, I was set down in a mesh-walled enclosure with a firm foam padding for the base. A playpen. Seriously? I looked around in a full circle and spotted the giant bear I was sitting on earlier directly behind me. I walked over and collapsed onto its lap. So soft. So comfy. So... sleepy… I decided that there was nothing to lose after everything that happened. I passed out cuddling the big bear’s paw. I woke up to the sound of a car door shutting. I yawned, rubbed my eyes with my fists, and blinked, then jolted when I realized I wasn’t where I fell asleep. Instead, I was back in the car seat that brought me to the police station earlier. Dave was driving, and there was no one else in the car. Since he’d been rather nice compared to the other giants, and I’d lost the pacifier, I asked him where we were going. “To an orphanage ‘bout a 10-mile drive away. It’s not the usual one we take our charges to, there was a note on your file. You’ll still be safe, lass. And I’m sorry that Karen was a terrible person.” “Why an orphanage? Can’t you just take me home?” I begged. “I’m sorry lass, I can’t do that without losing my job and probably getting charged with neglect too. Even if I could, there’s no way they’re letting you go back. You’ve got no documentation proving you were from there, and they don’t just let random Littles through the portals.” He looked at me empathetically through the rear-view mirror. “What about through a localized portal like the one that brought me here?” “As far as I know that’s a one-way thing. I remember something about there being no transfer tank in your dimension, or something along those lines. The exact details are beyond my understanding.” I desperately wanted him to be lying, but the psych minor I’d done in university told me he probably wasn’t. There was simply no gain for him in doing it, and he didn’t seem like a sadist either. I sighed. I spent the remainder of the drive staring out the window at the prairie landscape on either side of the highway. Occasionally we passed digital billboards that displayed all sorts of strange brands I’d never heard of before. One of them, Melon Corp, was advertising its latest laptop as we drove past it in a blur. I was startled by the sound of a woman whispering in my ear. “One century since we made our first computer, we now offer the MelOne. One exaflop of raw power. One exabyte of PCIE-7 storage. One hundred terabytes of RAM. Preorder online or at any Melon Corp certified retailer.” My mouth fell open in shock. This was insane! We had just worked out how to mass-produce nanosheet technology after years of setbacks. The amount of processing power they had on just one chip was incredible! Wait a minute, how did they deliver that ad? Dave saw my agape mouth and explained, “The voice you heard was from the billboard. It’s a new micrometer-wave technique for subcranial audio injection called inSAIn. Congress is having a tough time with it, because nobody knows what the long-term effects are and the ethics of it are muddied by the trillions that the corporations involved put in. Most billboards at least have a legal age setting on, so Little and child brains don’t just get scrambled by the ads, but I guess that one didn’t.” Soon, we took an exit off the highway. A short local drive later, we pulled into the parking lot of an orphanage with a big sign advertising its name, “Little Hearts”. I watched as Dave got out and spoke with the receptionist inside. A minute later, he returned and looked at me oddly when he reached over to unbuckle my seat straps and found them undone. I’d finally figured out how to undo the buckle over the long drive. It was a complicated depress-twist-slide sequence that required the use of both of my hands. The mechanism had clearly been designed with great effort to be ‘Little’-proof. Dave picked me up, closed the car door, and carried me over to the reception. When he bent down to set me down, I held on tightly to him and whined, not wanting to leave the nicest person I’d seen in this dimension so far for an orphanage. He sighed and picked me up again, bouncing me lightly once. I yelped softly at the momentary weightlessness. He brought me to his eye level and coaxed calmly. “Look lass, you’ve gotta go. There’s nothing I could’ve done for you and there’s nothing I can do for you now. Believe me, if there was something I could’ve done I’d’ve done it a long time ago. The only thing I can offer you is some advice: do your best to act as babyish as you can. It will one hundred percent make your life more tolerable.” I nodded. That wasn’t surprising, given the amount of weirdness in this dimension. He kissed my forehead gently, before passing me over to the receptionist, who brought me inside immediately. I was just starting to feel sad about Dave leaving, when the receptionist — her badge said Claire — carried me over to an alcove beside a strange glass enclosure. There, she removed the sleeper I’d gone to sleep in last night, and opened a panel on the contraption. She had me climb in and stand barefooted and gently placed my hands flush against opposite glass walls of the contraption. Ordering me to stay still, she closed the panel again. A second later, I was blinded by a familiar flash of bright white light from all four glass panels, and I peed myself instinctively! Chapter 5 — Life Is Like a Game of Chess The swirling colors that I dreaded but fully expected never came. Instead, Claire removed me from the device after glancing at something on her semi-transparent monitor. As she ruffled my hair and smiled at me, I saw the piercingly-high definition 3D-scan of my body that she had open on her screen. Enlarged images of my hand- and foot-prints and my irises floated in front of the main model. So that was what the bright light was. An iris scan. “Oh dear, you’re about to leak! Let’s get you changed.” She gingerly carried me naked but for my sagging diaper over to a changing table in the adjacent room, not bothering with my sleeper. She removed the wet diaper, wiped me down, and taped a fresh one on me. It was bright pink and adorned with white unicorns, and I frowned at how silly it made me look. Pink is NOT my color. Seeing my long face, she tickled me, causing me to smile and giggle involuntarily. Before I could regain my composure, she had me sitting up with my legs dangling over the edge of the changing table. A bright summer dress was pulled over my head, turning my vision into a sea of pastel yellow for a moment. When my head popped out the top, Claire swept my hair back with a matching yellow hairband, which came topped with a baby-blue bow. She stood me on the ground, gave me a pacifier that matched my outfit’s color scheme, and led me over to an adjacent mirror. When I saw her, I gasped at how cute the innocent, foreign toddler staring back at me looked. I hated being relegated to a toddler, but I was starting to not mind the adorable clothes so much. If only the stupid unicorn diaper didn’t peak out from under my dress. I tugged the hem down with both hands, but it rode back up the second I did anything other than stand perfectly still. “Well aren’t you cute!” She asked, beaming at my reflection. I couldn’t help but smile and nod. She led me to the main room of the orphanage, which was almost three-quarters the size of a soccer field, and patted my butt, motioning for me to join the other fifty or so people running around boisterously. There was a mix of teenage and adult Littles alongside Amazon toddlers. I didn’t want to just start running laps, but I didn’t exactly want to sit around in the middle of the room where I could get trampled over either. Just as I was trying to decide on what to do, an Amazon toddler bumped into me. He couldn’t have been older than three or four, but he was a good head taller than me, and stockier too! Without any warning, I found myself bent over his knee!! “Bad baby watch where goin!” He yelled at me, spit flying everywhere as he fervently rained down smacks. Even with a diaper on to cushion the blows, the rascal put unbelievable power into the spanking, and my butt soon felt like it was on fire! I was starting to break into tears when a nanny came over and pulled a kicking and screaming me off him. “James, we don’t hit people.” She chided him, steadying me on my feet. The toddler nodded and ran back to join whatever game he was playing before the ordeal. I could hardly believe it! I was about to protest the fact that the scoundrel had gotten off without even an apology, but the nanny, having given me the cursoriest of examinations, was already walking away. I didn’t want to put on any more of a show for the dozen pairs of eyes now on me, so I just sniffled, straightened out my dress, and sulked away. So this was the social hierarchy here. Littles at the bottom of the ladder. No, not even on it really. I spotted a group of Littles lying prone on the ground in a far corner of the massive room. Some of them had feet swinging in the air, and they all looked pretty intently focused on whatever was in front of them. I trudged my way along the edges of the room to see what they were up to. Halfway there, I stopped to pee and rub my sore behind. When I got closer, I saw their hands dancing over the pages of newspaper-sized coloring books. Giant crayons in fists, they definitely looked focused on what they were doing, but it seemed like none of them were staying within the lines. I was confused about this for a moment, before I remembered Dave’s advice and understood what was at play. Act babyish. Well, the spanking delivered by a toddler certainly helped to that end! I sat down beside them and yelped as my butt touched the carpet. Flipping over onto my stomach, I gingerly rubbed my rear end. The little rascal’s blows had really hurt! A Little that looked like he was in his thirties gave me a sympathetic look and put a spare coloring book and a red crayon in front of me. “Best to stay away from the Big children,” he warned. I nodded and smiled weakly, before turning my attention to the items in front of me. The oversized crayon reminded me of a giant Crayola I’d once seen a GM comically using at a tournament to record moves on his score sheet. At that time, I never thought I’d see another one being used, much less use one myself to color. Oh how things have changed. I shook my head at the absurdity of my situation and absent-mindedly flipped through the ten pages of the booklet. Each side had an outline of a different marine animal to color. I copied the others and randomly scribbled on the first page, essentially ignoring the printed black lines that outlined a seahorse. Halfway through the page, I sensed a pair of eyes boring into my back. “Nice to see a smart new face,” a young man about my age, dressed in a playsuit just as colorful as my dress, acknowledged quietly. “Isabelle, but everyone calls me Izzy.” I held out my hand and he grasped it in a quick but firm handshake. “Mark. Don’t look around and don’t stop coloring, or you’ll provoke one of the nannies into investigating,” he warned. I nodded and got back to it. “Why do you say I’m smart? I literally just got spanked by a toddler.” “I saw. That was just bad luck, not stupidity. I can tell you’re smart because you know to only make abstract art. So, what brought you here?” I looked at him for a moment to gauge just how much I should say before answering. “Well… you probably won’t believe this, but I was driving down a mountain road when a semi came head-on at me. I swerved and drove off a cliff into a lake. The UN sisterly beamed me to this dimension, because next thing I know I’m stuck as some woman’s doll. Good thing some agency called LPS put a stop to that, and now I’m here.” “So you’re a humanitarian portal Little.” “Uhh… sure? You could call it that. What about yourself?” “Parents got adopted and my job didn’t pay enough… I ended up not being able to afford rent, and I got picked up and delivered here the day after my eviction,” he recounted sadly. “Your parents were adopted?” He gave me an ‘Are you a Martian?’ look and explained, “I think Littles might be safer up north, but ’round these parts a Big can just grab you off the street and adopt you. It’s like kidnapping, except it’s legal and you can’t do squat about it.” “Yikes. I’m sorry about your parents.” I thought back to mine. They were probably still at the bottom of the lake. Burial at sea. “At least they’re not dead though,” I added half-jokingly. “Aye, but they might just wish they were,” he mused. “You any good at chess? I ask every new arrival, but so far nobody knows how to play. Not exactly the most popular game among Littles.” “Ooh I play quite often. It’s really popular back in my dimension.” “Shall we have a game then?” “Sure, you have a chess set around here?” I asked, looking around. Mark laughed. “No. Have you ever played blindfold chess?” “Sometimes. I did a sans-voir simul once when I was in college, for charity. I’m assuming you use the same terminology as we do?” “Guess we’ll find out. You can go first.” I nodded. “E4.” “E5,” he countered. “Knight F3.” “Knight to C6.” “Bishop B5.” “The Segura,” Mark remarked. “The what?” I’d never heard of that word. “The name of this opening. We call it the Segura, after the 16th-century Spanish priest?” “Ohh, we call it the Ruy Lopez. And I have no idea who Lopez was. Might be the same guy?” “Might be,” he echoed. “Knight F6.” “Berlin defense. What’s your name for it?” I asked, starting a mental dictionary. “Um, we don’t have one.” He stopped coloring for a moment to look at me. “You don’t have names for variations of openings? We have whole wiki pages on these!” I felt the briefest of urges before I wet my diaper. “Nope. It’s never been that popular of a game, so naturally it’s not studied as much as more mainstream games like Go.” “Wow. Bishop takes on c6.” “b takes c6.” “d4.” “c5.” “You blundered.” I smirked as I ‘finished’ the seahorse and started murdering the dolphin on the next page. “How?” Mark asked quizzically. “d takes e5.” “Knight takes e4.” “Queen d5.” “You weren’t kidding! You’ve gotta be one of the best players I’ve ever faced, and I’ve played thousands of games. You’re incredible!” He looked at me in awe. “Knight takes on f2, which piece are you gonna take?” “Knight g5. Both. Or you can give up your queen.” I smirked. “My… God. I resign. You’re too good.” “Good game!” I smiled. “I’ll give you rook odds if you wanna play another?” “Sure, although something tells me you’ll still beat me. What’s your rating? I’ve won against players rated over two thousand!” “My elo is twenty-five oh one. I was supposed to get my third and final GM norm.” “You’re a Master? Daaamn.” Mark quickly bit his lip and looked around nervously, and only relaxed when he confirmed his slip-up went unnoticed. We played another two games, both of which I won easily, even with rook odds. Mark then called it a day, claiming he was tired of thinking, although I suspected that he was actually tired of losing. I was starting to feel physical exhaustion creep in though, so I didn’t object. As an afterthought, I wanted to confirm something with Mark. “This dimension also has twenty-four hours in a day, right?” He gave me the ‘Martian?’ look again. “There’s thirty-two hours in a day here. Were there only twenty-four in your dimension?” “Yeah, no wonder I’m feeling so tired. What about the other units? You have sixty minutes in an hour?” “Yep.” “Sixty seconds in a minute?” “Yep.” “A thousand milliseconds in a second?” He laughed. “I dunno. Probably? You also have seven days in a week and fifty-two weeks in a year, right?” I nodded as a nanny came over and handed out bottles of juice from a tray. I thanked her politely when I got mine. No need to make enemies with the only ‘adults’ here. After another hour or so of coloring, the nannies began herding all the Littles into the adjacent dining hall. It turned out that this place was both an orphanage and a daycare, and almost all the Amazon kids had been picked up by then. On my way into the dining hall, a nanny grabbed me for a diaper check, making me blush. Probably never getting used to that. Seeing that it was wet, she grabbed me and changed it, and several others received the same service. I sat across from Mark on a picnic table sized for us for dinner. The meal consisted of some mashed potatoes, peas and jumbo chicken nuggets shaped like little animals, all served on a plastic plate. The potatoes were bland and the nuggets were soggy, but the food still tasted ten times better than the goop Karen fed me. The peas in this dimension were the size of small hazelnuts! Luckily for me, I loved peas, so I devoured everything on my plate. Unfortunately for her, the Little beside me seemed to have lost her appetite, and she pushed her peas around on her plate without eating anything. A nanny quickly spotted her dawdling, and honed in like a falcon on its prey. She yanked the Little out of her seat, flipped her dress up, and started spanking the living daylights out of her! After about thirty smacks, the sobbing girl was taken to a highchair nearby and straps were pulled across her forehead, chest, waist and legs, rendering her totally immobile. Her wails were silenced by a nanny feeding her a jar of what looked like the peas she was playing with, mashed up. I felt so bad for the poor girl, but it wasn’t like I could do anything for her. I looked at Mark, who wore the same grim expression on his face as I did. After dinner, everyone took turns being showered by the nannies, an experience that turned my face into a tomato again. I didn’t think I’d ever get used to other people seeing me naked. We were soon dressed in footed pajamas and thick nighttime diapers for bed. Giant cribs were unfolded in the main room by the nannies, who then laid mattresses on top of them. I was tucked in with a kiss and a bottle of milk, which I took a tentative suck at. It tasted like a vanilla milkshake, and was definitely the best-tasting drink I’d ever had! The soft mattress that cushioned me was a fluffy cloud compared to the unyielding floor that I had slept on in the days before. I said a quick prayer of gratitude, and soon after, thanks to the strange milk and the comfy mattress, I was out like a light! As a bevy of thirty-two-hour days passed by, I settled into a routine that consisted, for the most part, of eating, sleeping, playing, and avoiding the Amazon toddlers. It felt like I was thrown back into a second childhood, and I was somewhat grateful for the opportunity for a bit of R&R. My busy life juggling my chess and programming careers didn’t give me much time to just waste away, something I was essentially forced to do here each day. Mark had gradually introduced me to the other Littles who had been coloring when I’d arrived, and they seemed like a nice bunch. Other than the boredom and lack of freedom to go places, I was pretty happy, since I had food, friends, and a bed — well, crib. Even though I was babied all the time, I wasn’t being abused. I might have even secretly liked that a bit, not that I would admit it! All things considered, the orphanage was a million times better than Karen’s shack. My mental chess games with Mark were icing on the cake, and I gradually taught him some more advanced chess theory while we colored each day. He was a fast learner, and improved quickly. I was still able to consistently beat him though. One time, as I checkmated him after a windmill attack, he looked at me and tilted his head. “You know, life is a lot like a game of chess,” he mused. “You plan things, but they don’t go your way. You get pulled into a series of forced moves, and there’s nothing you can do but to go along with it until you get a chance to counterattack or you lose.” “Yeah, that sounds about right. Maybe one day I’ll get a chance to counterattack and change the system. Win the game.” I longed. “You know what Izzy? I hope you do. You’re smart, talented, and kind. There’s nobody better to change the world.” Every night, I prayed for another shot at living an actual life. You gave me so many talents for a reason. Please don’t let me waste away, God. Give me a chance. =========================================================== Bonus content — Izzy vs Mark chess game: https://lichess.org/study/YfxwmWUR Giant Crayola: https://shop.crayola.com/color-and-draw/giant-crayola-crayon-choose-your-color-52MEGA.html Chapter 6 — Extraction My prayers were finally answered around two weeks after I’d arrived at the orphanage. A loud bang came from the reception area, prompting the four nannies on duty to investigate. The Amazon kids didn’t seem to care though, and they continued running around. Most of the Littles didn’t notice either, with the exception of the few of us coloring. Suddenly, a vent cover in the wall beside me swung open and a Little dressed head-to-toe in a futuristic-looking black combat suit emerged from the ventilation shaft. A spool mechanism built into the suit attached to a black wire, which was pulled taut and disappeared into the shadows above. He scanned the room for a moment before spotting me and glancing down at a screen wrapped halfway around his forearm. “Isabelle Green?” I looked up from my prone coloring position and answered, “Hi?” He scanned my irises with a device in the wrist of his suit, which beeped and flashed green. “I’m going to offer you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he told me in a quiet but assertive voice while looking directly at me. “If you want, I can get you out of here. The staff won’t be affected by my distraction for too long, so you have thirty seconds to decide.” I inhaled sharply at the suddenness of his proposal. “Who are you? Why me out of everyone here?” “Don’t have the time to explain. Twenty seconds.” I looked at my friends for support. They were all nodding for me to go, even as several eyes sparkled with envy. “Your move, Izzy,” Mark said determinedly. “I think you should go. Go win the game. You can’t do that from here.” I nodded and gave him a quick hug goodbye. “I’ll miss you. And I’ll do everything I can to get you out too.” I stepped back and looked at everyone, “All of you.” I wiped a tear from my eye and exchanged hurried farewells with the few people that I could consider friends in this dimension. I felt guilt and sadness for leaving them, yet a rekindled hope about my future surged in my chest. I raised my hand to the group in a solemn salute, before nodding to my rescuer and stepping into the shaft. He shut the vent cover, and I watched through its slits as the others went back to coloring. I trusted them enough to be certain that no one would give us away. Maybe the nannies wouldn’t even notice that I was gone. There were almost sixty residents, and I’d done my best to keep to the shadows after the trauma I’d witnessed my first night there. “Get a good grip on me. It’s a long way up and you do not want to fall. I’d put a harness on you but we’ve got to move.” I nodded and clung tightly to him. He pressed a button on his harness and we rose into the ventilation system. On my way up, I couldn’t help but think back to my question. Why me? Was there someone looking out for me? *** “Clear workspaces 3 and 4. Wipe the evidence,” I instructed Max. It was the Saturday after I’d rescued Isabelle, and I’d just arranged for her to be sent to Little Hearts, one of the safest orphanages for Littles in Jacinto. In less than two seconds, all traces of my tampering with the LPS systems had been erased. “Shall I turn off secure mode?” Max asked helpfully. It’d taken me more than a month to customize Max from the latest open-source homeAI release. I’d written almost a hundred thousand lines of code and config files — with the help of an AI programmer — to do it, and the end result was spectacular. After testing everything, I hosted it on my own servers in my basement. It was much more sentient and intelligent than the open-source version, and it was perfectly tuned to my liking and needs. I’d named it Max, after the protagonist’s AI in Ready Player One, a novel from the other dimension that I had read in my teenage years. “Not yet. She’s safe, but not free. I want to set her free.” “What are you gonna do?” Max asked, confused. I’d never programmed complicated feelings like freedom into him. I didn’t think he’d need it. He knew what freedom was, of course, but he couldn’t feel it like he could the more basic emotions: happiness, sadness, fear. Someday I need to add more abstract feelings. Then I can file a massive pull-request to the homeAI project. I thought about the actions I planned on taking next. Is it worth all this risk, just for one Little? There’s millions of them. If I were asked this question on a game show, or if there was no risk to me, then I would immediately answer affirmatively. Unfortunately, this was real life, not a hypothetical. Actions had consequences here. I thought about it for a few minutes and took a sip of my coffee. I waited until I was absolutely sure before finally deciding. Yes. It IS worth it. They’re human beings. They deserve love and respect. They’re people. They deserve to be free. Sure there were risks to me if I were to do this, but those were negligible compared to a lifetime of forced babyhood that Littles are subject to. Every single one of them is worth the risk. With Isabelle specifically, I hoped that what I planned on doing would make up for all the trauma she’d been through. I sighed and answered Max, “You know how we just hacked the Empire? Now we’re gonna hack the Alliance.” I’d seen a few Star Wars movies from the other dimension and used some of it to train Max’s neural model. He finally connected the dots. “Well, the Railroad should be a piece of cake compared to LPS, eh?” Good boy. “Once we find them, yes. The decentralization will be a nightmare to deal with though.” The Little Railroad was an underground movement that freed Littles across the continental United States. They worked in regional cells smuggling Littles north to Canada or east to the Little Islands, where Littles were safe from adoption and free to live their lives. The situation in Canada was much better than the US, with adoption being illegal and equal rights for people of all heights. There were still some Little-specific laws, mostly concerning driving and other activities that might be dangerous for anyone short, but they were all for safety reasons. However, the one thing that Littles did have to worry about was Little hunters from the US that prowled the cities near the border. Given that two-thirds of the Canadian population lived within a hundred kilometers of the US border, that meant that Littles were in real danger of being kidnapped and smuggled across the border. The Little Railroad couldn’t really prevent this from happening, but they did try to rescue as many Littles as they could out of the US. Since their operations were so decentralized, there was no head of the Railroad that I could target. I had to change tactics and perform a breadth-first search instead. I spun up a quick script to scrape Mastodon, the predominant metaverse and social media platform in the dimension, for a list of known code words associated with the Railroad. My script would then process the raw data to extract a variety of metrics such as frequency, variation, emotion, and context. After five minutes of big-data analysis, I had a list of accounts likely run by affiliates or members of the Railroad, sorted from most to least promising. Back in college, I’d started an all-purpose rootkit-injection program to use when I needed access to systems that I would have a hard time accessing through official channels. I updated it regularly over the years with new exploits and patch-workarounds, and it now supported every operating system with more than a few thousand users. Since most people just used thin clients nowadays anyway, my program also worked for gateways running older, but still supported, versions of the popular cloud providers. I ran this program against the machine used by each target on my list, achieving a 70% pwn rate. After looking through the data of the first fifty users, I’d found out enough about their networks to locate the contact info of several Railroad cells. I chose three cells to serve as entry, relay, and exit nodes that roughly formed a line connecting Ollirama to the US border with British Columbia, and set about masterminding the operation. Decentralized computer networks could be trusted, but human ones couldn’t, so I would do all the planning myself. I marked up a few possible border crossings based on Railroad and Border Patrol data, the latter of which I had access to thanks to sysadmin credentials I’d acquired on the dark web a few years ago for another project. Just those weren’t enough to bypass the multi-factor authentication they had in place, but I had a digital carte-blanche to bypass the latest OAUTH protocol. There would be no room for error, and my ample arsenal of cyberweapons would keep my precision high. I dug up some more information on the cells, and a plan soon materialized. The first leg of the journey would be handled by an extraction team, who would break Isabelle out of the orphanage. Earlier that afternoon, I’d made sure to mark Isabelle’s LPS file for Little Hearts, one that I knew that treated Littles better and was easy to escape from, specifically to help with this part. The extraction team would immediately drive her west to the border with the adjacent state, which would hopefully get her out of Jacinto and its jurisdiction to ease her escape before her disappearance was even noticed. At the border, Isabelle would be transferred to the next cell, which was run by a sympathetical Big businessman who owned a limo company and used his fleet to drive Littles across the continental U.S. to where they needed to be. Bigs involved in the Railroad were limited in numbers, but critical to the network’s success from the data I’d gathered, as they could get around much more easily and safely than Mids and Littles could. Once I finished planning out the details for the final stretch, I contacted all three cells with their instructions. I gave each only the information that they needed, in order to maximize the security of the whole operation and thus Isabelle’s safety. I made sure to send the first cell a copy of her bodyprint, which I’d hacked from the orphanage. Surprisingly, none of them asked me who I was or where I got their information from. Decentralized meant a lot of need-to-know, and these people were used to not needing to know, which made my job easier. In all honesty, I was touched by their selflessness. There definitely weren’t a lot of people willing to put their own freedom on the line to help others find a better life. I seriously respected those that did. *** We reached the top of the ventilation shaft in just a few seconds, and I clambered up and into the horizontal duct running along the rear wall of the orphanage. The shaft was spacious, but not tall enough to stand up in, and I could see light coming from the end of the tunnel. My rescuer put a finger to his lips, tugged on the black wire, and pointed with 2 fingers to a bright opening at one end of the duct. I understood that as ‘keep quiet and crawl toward the light’, and proceeded to comply with his instructions. As I did so, my skirt flared up and I flashed my diaper. I blushed a deep crimson and pulled it back down. Thankfully he appeared to be too busy with the screen on his forearm to notice. When I reached the opening, I could see that the outer grill had been swung up and somehow fixed to the outside wall. It provided an anchor point for the black wire, which hung out down to a waiting car. The combat-suited Little had followed closely behind me, and I grabbed onto him again as he rappelled down the brick rear wall of the building. When my feet touched the ground, he pushed another button on his harness. I heard a quiet whirring sound as all the wire was quickly winched up, leaving no trace of our escape apart from the open grill. Fortunately, it seemed that my rescuer had thought of everything. He twisted a dial on his screen, and the grill quietly swung shut. My jaw dropped open and my inner geek screamed, ‘That was so cool!’ “It’s rapid-biodegrading electronics. In a couple hours it’ll all turn into dust and get blown away by the wind. We’ll be long gone by then anyhow.” I nodded, still in awe and slight disbelief that I was actually free. Just then, I saw an Amazon get out of the driver’s seat, and my heart jumped. He opened the rear door and grabbed my rescuer! I turned and fled in a panic. My socked feet pounded against the asphalt and my heart pounded from adrenalin as I ran in a straight line away from the monster. I’m getting kidnapped, not freed. This isn’t tag where I become ‘it’ when I get caught. If I’m caught, who knows what will happen to me! I didn’t make it ten meters before I was seized by a strong hand. I yelped. He lifted me into the air. He spun me around to face him. I tried whacking him to break free, but he held me at arm’s-length, pinning my arms down. I kicked uselessly at thin air and screamed hysterically. He sighed and pushed an inflatable pacifier into my mouth before quickly twisting to inflate it. My cries were quickly muffled as my jaw lit on fire! All I could do was look at him in sheer terror, distress and desperation. Chapter 7 — Silver Spoon “I’m sorry I had to do that,” the Amazon holding me at arm’s-length apologized, “but you’ve got to stop screaming if you want a chance to get away from here.” What was this guy up to?? “Owww…” this overinflated bulb is really hurting my jaw. I winced and moaned, slightly confused and more than slightly terrified. He could see that I was hurting. “If I remove that, promise me you’ll keep your voice down.” I nodded and stopped struggling, eager to get it out. He brought me closer to his chest and shifted my weight to one arm. The pacifier was deflated with a twist and a hiss of air. I quickly rubbed my jaw in relief. These damn things were so painful! “Who are you and what do you want?” I asked, perplexed, exasperated, exhausted… My feelings were so numerous and complex I couldn’t even put them into words. I gave up all resistance for the time being. Might as well conserve my energy. He’s strong enough to overpower me no matter what I do anyway. “I’m here to save you and I want to get out of the state before the cops show up.” “Save me?” I spat. “And then kidnap me to Mexico to spew babies or test drugs for some cartel drug lord?” Shivers wracked me as I remembered the stories that one of the Littles had told me about her time in Mexico before she was rescued in a federal drug raid. “No, Isabelle. I’d never do that. I’m with the Railroad. And we’re going west, not south.” How did he know my name? The Railroad? They were working together? There were Amazons that weren’t totally baby-crazy? I guess it does make sense though… It’s not like Littles are allowed to drive around here. Another Little had told me about how he almost got to one of the Little Islands thanks to the Little Railroad. Unfortunately for him, his counterfeit passport didn’t quite pass muster and he was detained at the port. Poor lad. But if this guy was with the railroad, then… he was one of the good guys? “He’s telling you the truth.” The Little reappeared beside us. My brain screamed for him to run while he could, but he clearly had no intention to do so. I was almost convinced, but I needed more assurance. “Where did he get all that high-tech military gear and training?” I questioned the Big. “I can’t tell you that.” “I’m not going anywhere with you until you do.” “Look, if you come with us I’ll tell you myself. I trust him with my life, and you should too,” my rescuer interceded. With a sigh, I conceded and let the Amazon put both of us into car seats in the back of his sedan. He closed the door, got back in the driver’s seat, and drove out into the street. “You owe me an explanation?” I turned and asked the Little. “You should know that the less we know about each other, the better. Never tell anyone who you are, where you came from, or where you’re going, unless they already know.” When he saw me nod, he continued, “As to where I got my equipment and training: I was a Hellcat.” “What’s a Hellcat?” I asked as we turned onto a main road. He tutted. “Enough questions. It won’t do either of us any good if I tell you more.” An hour later, the Amazon driver pulled off the highway we’d been driving on. As he got out of the car, I quickly undid the seat buckle, just to get some more practice at the complex task. That earned a wide-eyed stare from the Little. When the door beside me opened and the Big reached in to undo the buckle, he too sported a puzzled expression. “How did you do that?” He asked. “The buckle?” “Yeah, I’ve never met a Little who could undo it.” I snapped the straps closed again. “Push, twist, slide?” I demonstrated. The ex-Hellcat tried to reenact my movements, but his fingers slipped when he tried the twisting motion. “Interesting, we just have to push harder than you Littles can. That’ll come in handy for you though. If you ever need to escape in a jiffy, these buckles are standard for every device intended to restrain Littles.” “Why are we stopping in the middle of nowhere?” “To pass you on to another cell in the network who will get you where you need to go.” I nodded. “Thanks for rescuing me,” I said to both of them, as a strange, elongated vehicle pulled up behind their car. “Cheers,” the Big patted my shoulder as he picked me up, “this is what we do for our fellow human beings. Freedom is a right.” I was carried over to the strange vehicle whose falcon-wing door was open. He set me down on the carpeted floor inside. “Good luck,” the Big said. “Thanks,” I nodded and waved as he tapped the doorframe twice, as if he was signalling the driver to get going. Right on cue, the door shut pneumatically. A moment later, the vehicle started moving. It sounded like a Tesla from back home. There was no engine noise, only the muffled crunch of the wheels on the gravel of the highway’s shoulder. When ceiling lights lit up the interior, I gasped at my futuristic and luxurious surroundings. The entire body of the limousine was made of some sort of high-tech glass. What I’d assumed were lights illuminating had actually been the glass-like material of the roof and upper half of the side walls becoming transparent. I’d seen electrochromic tech before on airliners, but seeing it in such a large contiguity blew my mind. Just then, I realized that there was nothing underneath the windshield, and I could see right out the front of the limo! It was driving itself autonomously! I watched for a while as it accelerated to highway speed and turned my attention back to the interior furnishings. One long, white couch-bed stretched against one side of the spacious cabin from front to back, and curved there to form a loveseat against the back wall. The opposite wall had a strange looking cabinet recessed into it, with a variety of amenities behind transparent panels made of what looked like the same material as the limo body. I cringed when I saw that whoever had stocked the cabinet had graciously provided a stack of diapers for me. Just as I was wondering whether the limo had a TV screen, the entire side wall lit up. Wow, the glass was a screen too?? The logo of an AI reminiscent of a home or phone assistant back home sprung into animation with a bounce and a twirl. “Welcome, Isabelle, to the Luxuria Experience, I’m Luxuria,” a voice that sounded perfectly human annunciated. The tone could only be described as… luxurious? “Umm… hi. How do you know who I am?” I responded, slightly startled. I could feel my diaper warming. “I have some basic information on you that I received when your journey was created. Speaking of which, I wasn’t able to detect your privacy settings, so I’d like to go over them with you, as mandated by the International Data Protection Laws. First, would you like me to collect anonymous analytics from our interactions to improve my intent-parsing quality?” “Uhh… no thanks?” “Okay, I won’t use any analytics. Would you like me to connect to the internet for neural recognition? I can also remain entirely offline if you’d prefer.” Damn, this dimension’s privacy laws were just as amazing as their tech. Years ahead of us. “Offline please?” “Excellent choice, my voice recognition software is still state-of-the-art.” “Finally, would you like to enable holographic mode? I’d recommend it for an improved experience.” I thought about it for a second before replying. Holograms are cool. And harmless. Why not? “Sure,” I nodded. The limo body turned opaque again, and a bank of ‘lights’, which were really white pixels on the ceiling screen, lit up overhead. I watched with childlike fascination as the animated logo materialized out of the wallscreen and morphed into a humanoid-like body with flexible tubular arms that didn’t resemble anything I could think of. I couldn’t see where the projectors were, but it looked much more solid than I expected! When the avatar reached out with a hand, I shook it without thinking. Only after the act did I realize that I had just… touched light? “How is your projection solid? Isn’t it a hologram made of light?” “It is. The wave-particle duality of light allows photons in holograms to maintain a solid state under certain high-energy configurations, since photons are their own antiparticles,” Luxuria explained. “Interesting.” I didn’t know a lot about particle physics, but from what I did know, it was theoretically sound. We’d just never achieved a high enough energy density to do something like this on a scale larger than a few photons to reach any empirical confirmation. “My sensors predict that you’ll leak in about two minutes. Would you like a change?” I gave my padding a squish and disappointedly confirmed it. “I can do it myself,” I insisted indignantly, not wanting a hologram to… change me. Luxuria nodded and grabbed a diaper, powder and some wipes for me. I proceeded to flip my skirt up, untape my diaper, and wipe myself down. Halfway through, I looked up to the hologram’s eyes staring at me. “Umm… can you not?” “Sorry, but you do know that my projection is just that, right? The actual sensors and cameras are built into the vehicle’s interior.” The avatar picked up my dirty diaper and wipes. “Yeah but still,” I whined, skipping the powder and taping on a new diaper. Absolutely no need to degrade myself more than I already have. My parents had once told me that I’d taped my own diapers on as a toddler. I had a vague memory of it, but it was far too long ago for me to actually remember how I did it back then. The only thing I remember along those lines is having to wear stupid pull-up diapers at night. Instead, I based my taping on how the nannies had done it for me. It took a couple seconds of readjusting, but I got it done and ran a finger around the waistband to inspect my handiwork. Not bad for the first time in two decades. It’s definitely nicer when someone else does it for me though… Luxuria turned back around as I stood up and cleaned my hands with an extra wipe. “You did okay. Try to tape it on tighter so it doesn’t fall off when you wet it. And you should use the powder, it stops chafing and keeps your skin dry.” Okay?! Did I just get roasted by a robot? No, an AI. Har har. I stared at Luxuria. My stomach growled, interrupting my sulky thoughts. I was used to having dinner at the orphanage at 7 pm every day, and it was just past that according to the holographic clock. “Would you like something to eat? It’s just about dinnertime,” the AI noted, seemingly having either read my mind or detected my hunger. The time showed on the screen that made up an interior side wall of the limo, and the avatar gestured toward the strange cabinet. “Fine,” I replied, “are we going to stop somewhere for food?” Luxuria laughed, “No need to stop. The AmeniTea here is state-of-the-art; it can cook up anything you’d like. Wouldn’t you rather get to your destination sooner?” AmeniTea? I was confused, but I jogged over and found some drinkware. It looked like I would have to go with a milk-jug-sized mug, or a sippy cup that was my size. I sighed in defeat and grabbed one of the latter. I’d been drinking out of baby bottles and sippy cups the past few weeks, but it had never been my choice. I managed to convince myself that I didn’t really have a choice here either. I brought it over to a drink dispenser situated just above the level of the top of my head. I didn’t see any buttons or labels, but there was clearly a faucet on it. Probably detecting my confusion, Luxuria helpfully offered, “It’s a smart appliance. What would you like to drink?” “What options are there?” “It can make any drink you want, so long as it’s non-alcoholic, as mandated by the government under section 1012E of title 441 of the Little Statutes. The machine has miniaturized pods for several thousand different beverages. It unshrinks and dispenses every drink you can think of, and then some.” “Can I have an apple juice please?” I loved the apple juice they had here. Much richer in flavor than back home. “Sure, what temperature would you like it at?” Luxuria asked. “Uhh… I dunno, 50 degrees?” “Fahrenheit?” “Yeah, isn’t 50 celsius like, hot?” I questioned. Luxuria shrugged. “There’s people that like their juice hot. Put your sippy cup under the faucet.” I swear this AI is out to humiliate me. She just HAD to say the full baby term. I sighed and reached up — tipping my toes slightly — to do as she instructed. The second my hand left the cup, the room was flooded with the delightful aroma of apples and the cup filled with juice. I picked up the plastic vessel again — carefully since it was full — and took a sip. It was delicious! The aroma certainly helped, and I practically guzzled the rest of the cup. Luxuria refilled it for me, and turned the top half of the limo transparent so I could enjoy the splendid nature view on either side of the highway as I drank. I watched as the sun set, directly ahead of us, into mountains that I could just barely make out in the distance. It was the first sunset I’d seen in this dimension, and I was stunned by its beauty. The sun was much bigger, yet of softer tones, than back home, and the vivid colors streaked across the sky like a masterful watercolor painting. The moment was made even sweeter by my impending freedom that I could almost taste. I took a deep breath to savor the tranquility of everything. I’d come a long way from the dirty floor of a shack in the middle of nowhere. No matter where life brings me from here, this moment will be one that I’ll cherish for years to come. Chapter 8 — Exodus In the 10 minutes it took for the sun to set and the sky to turn dark, I’d gradually emptied my sippy cup and bladder. In one end and out the other. I heard an audible rumble from my stomach announcing the return of my dinner cravings. “So there’s miniaturized food as well?” I asked the hologram floating beside me. “The ingredients are miniaturized, yes, but each dish is made fresh. What would you like?” “Something spicy,” I answered without hesitation. Orphanage food had been filling but way too bland for my liking. I remembered a delicious burger recipe that my grandfather had often made for me when I was little. It would definitely make a good challenge for the robot cook. I went for it anyway, just to see what the machine was capable of. “Make me a burger with the buns buttered and toasted. Melt a slice of cheddar cheese on top of a beef patty, then add a slice of tomato, two half-rashers of bacon side-by-side, two slices of pickle side-by-side, two concentric onion rings, breaded and fried, and Buffalo sauce, in that order from bottom to top. Make a side of thick-cut sweet potato fries, topped with melted cheese and chipotle sauce. For dessert I’ll have mango sago pudding.” I was on a wishing spree! Take that, machine. There’s NO WAY you can make that. “You’re certain you can eat that much? Have you had any food not made for Littles since you got here?” I thought about Luxuria’s question for a moment. “Uhh… No, not really…” I finally put two and two together. If everything here is massive, then the food would be too. “Right, the size of the food. In that case, make the burger smaller and I’ll just have, say, 3 fries.” That I should be able to finish. I didn’t like wasting food. “Oh, and size the pudding down accordingly?” Luxuria nodded. “Will that be everything?” “Yup, thanks.” I confirmed, still confident that a machine would never be able to make a meal that complicated. Around twenty seconds later, the smell of the patty cooking started wafting from a glass panel on the AmeniTea. A table flipped out automatically from the opposing side wall, at just about the right height for me to sit and eat at, perched Japanese-style on the bed. Less than five minutes after I’d ordered, the panel slid open and revealed my dinner on a large porcelain plate. The avatar brought it over to the table as the AmeniTea panel slid shut again. “Bon appetit!” Luxuria beamed. I thanked her and clambered onto the bed with a small jump. After saying grace, I grabbed the burger with both hands and took a bite. It was the most delectable food I’d had in weeks! My first bite brought back a flood of childhood memories. I hadn’t had this meal in ages! I picked up a fry the size of a hot dog and brought it to my mouth. The sweet potato was fried to a golden crisp, but the size meant it was just slightly too mushy for my taste. The cheese melted a second time in my mouth, and my taste buds exploded satisfyingly from the spice of the Buffalo sauce. I may have been dubious of the robot’s capabilities, but by the time I finished the dish, I was convinced that the only downsides to it were the slightly off taste of unshrunken ingredients and something missing that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. When my plate was empty, Luxuria swapped it for my pudding, which also made for the perfect dessert for this experience. The food had tasted almost as good as my description sounded, and definitely better than “unshrunk meal” could ever sound! I was stuffed, but satisfied. After dinner, Luxuria put the pudding goblet into the AmeniTea, and the table sunk back into the wall. I heard a hiss and a light patter as both were cleaned… along with slightly more muted hiss coming from my diaper! A feeling of warmth spread through it. I’d just gone without any warning. “Would you like to see a movie?” the avatar offered, returning to its floating position facing me. “Sure. Anything sci-fi you can recommend?” I wanted to see what this dimension’s science fiction entertainment looked like, given that the world around me was basically sci-fi already. “I’ve got just the film.” I snuggled up to a soft cushion on the bed and watched as the screens delimiting the cabin lit up with billions of pixels blending together, each of which must have been too small for my eyes to register. Together, they seamlessly formed a realistic background of stars in space at a resolution that took my breath away. While I was somewhat prepared for that, I was definitely not expecting the Star-Wars-style scrolling text that was holographically projected in front of me. I let out a giggle of delight, both at the quality of the visuals, and at the absurdity of the retro style photobombing an otherwise incredibly futuristic setting. The movie was reminiscent of Interstellar, with realistic depictions of relativity and physics. If only more writers would depict science and technology more accurately. The single thing I hated the most about movies and books was the unrealistic depictions of hacking scenes. Hooded man furiously typing with green hieroglyphics and ones and zeros… The movie’s plot centered on the last human family searching the Milky Way for a habitable world. They teleported around the galaxy by folding the fabric of spacetime in a futuristic spacecraft. I never saw the twist coming, which was when the AI that helped the humans and kept them safe the whole time was actually hiding the habitable planet from them. I laughed out loud when it turned out to be caused by a bug in its code. You’d imagine their static analysis would have caught that. I looked worriedly at the avatar floating beside me, but Luxuria just shrugged. “I’m nothing close to a true AI, if that’s what you’re concerned about. There’s laws prohibiting military-grade machine intelligence.” The movie soon ended with the AI sacrificing itself for humanity’s greater good and the human family getting to the habitable planet safely with human embryos to settle the new world. It was a rather Disney-like cliche ending, but I liked movies that way. It sucks when a main character fails or dies. That’s what happens in life already, why make a movie or write a book about it? When the credits started rolling across the floor, up the side wall, and then back across the ceiling, I yawned and got up to stretch out my legs. I’d certainly had a long day. From an orphanage to a self-driving limo speeding across the country. I shook my head. It felt like I was living in a fantasy. A quick diaper change later, I was back on the massive bed hugging the cushion. Before I snoozed off, I said a quick nightly prayer. Dear God, Thanks for everything you do for me. I don’t know where exactly I’m heading, both in this limo and in life, but I know it’s to a good place you’ve prepared. Thanks for showing me once again that you care about me and love me. And thanks for sending these good people my way. Please keep all my friends safe too, and help me make the right moves. In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen. The next morning, I woke up to daylight and soft music. I blushed furiously when I found my thumb in my mouth. Must have been another stupid effect of that hypnosis. I’d never experienced this at the orphanage before, probably because I’d always been given a bottle or a pacifier to sleep with. I wiped the saliva off my thumb and rubbed my eyes as I sat up. All the cabin screens around me had been turned off, resulting in the glass body of the car being almost transparent. The scenery and asphalt sped by outside in an unnaturally fast blur that made my head hurt. “Morning Isabelle. Did you sleep well?” Luxuria greeted me as the limo body turned opaque again. “Morning. Yeah, I did, thanks. Umm… how fast are we going?” I asked in suspicion. “One-ten.” “Miles per hour?” “Yeah. There isn’t much autonomous traffic, and there’s good visibility, so the lanespeed is slightly higher than normal.” “Lanespeed? There’s a dedicated lane for self-driving vehicles with a dynamic speed limit?” “Indeed. Every autonomous vehicle is hooked up to Mothership, the central control system, so we can safely go faster than human-driven cars,” Luxuria explained. Mothership… Tesla? Is there even a Tesla in this dimension? “Is that also the reason I don’t have to be stuck in an annoying toddler car seat?” “Precisely. Speaking of toddlers, your diaper is at capacity again.” I could feel mush in the back this time, and I really didn’t want to change myself. I sighed and surrendered my last bit of perceived independence. To an AI. I looked away from the avatar, clasped my hands, and pawed at the floor with my foot. “Umm… Can you do it for me?” I asked Luxuria shyly. “Oh? I thought you did a pretty good job changing yourself before you slept?” The hologram floated gently into my field of view. Ugh. This thing is reeeeally annoying. I blushed. “Yeeaah, but there’s poop and I really don’t wanna do it,” I whined. Luxuria may have called me a “big baby” in jest at that point, but she grabbed the supplies necessary and gently untaped my diaper. The hologram’s zephyry movements were calming and efficient, and I soon had a fresh diaper taped on. The experience was so nice that I didn’t even complain when the avatar used the powder. When she was done changing me, I asked what time it was, just as we pulled onto an off-ramp and started to decelerate. “Eight fifty”, the time showed up on the screen again, this time in a light theme. I wonder if all IDEs have dark themes here. “We’re almost at our destination.” “Which is…?” “Sorry, I’ve been specifically instructed not to tell you. Can I get you some breakfast instead?” That was a little annoying of Luxuria, but I did understand the Railroad’s tangible concerns about disclosing information. “Milk and cereal?” “Sure, what kind of each would you like?” “Skim and Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Do you have that here?” “No, but we have something similar.” Luxuria went to the AmeniTea and fetched a pitcher of milk, a bowl and spoon, and a cute little cardboard box of cereal labelled ‘Cinna-Crisps’. I opened the box and the plastic cereal bag inside, and dumped all seven or eight pieces into the bowl. I grabbed one and ate it in two bites. It looked and tasted like an oversized version of a piece of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but each circular crisp was the size of an Oreo! I poured enough milk to cover all the pieces, said grace, and started eating. When I finished it, Luxuria put everything back into the AmeniTea, and informed me that we’d arrived at our destination, just as I felt the limo stop. The large falcon-wing door lifted up and I saw that we were in some sort of garage. There was a van parked a few feet away, but there was nothing around that betrayed our location. “I hope you’ve enjoyed your Luxuria Experience, Izzy” she said as her avatar floated over to me. I jumped down from the bed. “I did, thanks. It was pretty amazing actually, especially you and the whole solid hologram thing.” “Happy to hear that.” Luxuria produced a lapel pin from somewhere and pinned it to the hem of my dress. “Here’s a profile microchip containing your privacy preferences and some basic information. Keep it on you until you upload it to the international federated blockchain.” She also handed me a bag with three spare diapers in it. “And these should last until you get more.” I blushed as I took it from her. “Gee, thanks,” I nodded semi-sarcastically and gave Luxuria a parting handshake. As annoying as she was, she’d been a pretty great companion. When I turned around, a Latina Mid came over from the van. Mark had told me about Mids, also known as In-Betweeners or just Betweeners. The term applied to the comparatively rare instances where a person was taller than a Little but not quite a Big. They were clearly as rare as Mike had claimed they were, since this was only my second time seeing one. “Hola Isabella, I’m Sofia,” she said in a thick Mexican accent. I was about to correct her about my name, but she seemed like the type of person that didn’t like being told she was wrong, so I kept my thoughts to myself and went with a polite “hi” and a small wave instead. Seeing that I wasn’t wearing any shoes, she told me, “I will take you over so you don’t get your feet dirty, reinita,” and picked me up out of the limo. “Good luck Izzy, and safe travels,” Luxuria wished as the hologram fizzled out. Sofia carried me over to the van, and set me down in the back. Once she made sure I was comfortably sitting in the lap of a giant teddy bear, she handed me a pacifier. “Put that between your teeth so they don’t break.” She ordered in a dead-serious tone. I was a little confused and intimidated by that, but I complied. Sofia shut the back doors and got in the cab. There was a plastic panel separating the cab and the back, which had no windows, so I couldn’t see outside at all. There was some light coming from the gap between the back doors though, which didn’t quite touch each other when they were closed. I perked my ears up instead, and listened as she started the engine and pulled out of the garage. The van was magnitudes less soundproofed than the limo had been, so I could hear every surface that we drove on, from the clank of a metal drain covering to the smooth hum on asphalt. The van clearly didn’t have A/C, so I was starting to sweat a lot. About twenty minutes into the sweltering drive, Sofia yelled out “hold on mi amor!” to me and violently swerved off-road. I heard the coarse crunch of the gravel shoulder for a split second, and then the finer crunch of hard-packed dirt as the van shook and bounced over the uneven ground. The shaking and noise increased in severity as we picked up speed, and I was now glad I had the pacifier. Clearly Sofia hadn’t been joking about breaking my teeth, as my bones felt like they were being jostled out of their sockets! Suddenly, I heard a loud CRACK, and then the wailing of a siren nearby. Sofia swore but didn’t let off on the gas, and the siren slowly faded. I was starting to fear that the van would shake itself apart as I was flung into the air from a particularly deep rut. After a few more minutes and a couple turns, I felt the vibrations dampen out as she slowed to a stop. I unclenched my hands, extremely relieved to still be alive. Luckily the bear’s soft stuffing had protected me from the worst of the bumps, but my diaper got soaked from the bone-jarring ride! I felt the van shift as Sofia got out, and then bright light streamed in when Sofia threw the doors open, causing me to blink. She picked me up and carried me out of the van, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I trembled in fear and panic as I took in the landscape around me. It was an arid desert, being burned by a scorching sun. Small shrubs broke the sandy ground here and there, and stout mountains loomed nearby. I felt a trickle of pee down my leg as I flooded my diaper beyond its leaking point. That served as a painfully ironic symbol for everything that had gone wrong, for my chances of freedom and living a life had just leaked away. Sofia smiled and told me, “Bienvenido a Méhico!” Chapter 9 — True North Strong and Free I sobbed into my pacifier, too dumbfounded to struggle, utterly broken. Why had I been so stupid to trust these people?! When she heard my sobs and saw my tears, Sofia looked concerned and rubbed my back in an attempt to comfort me, but I was going into a full meltdown. “Ay hey Isabella! Calm down! You are safe, I was only ahh, what is de word, ahh, kidding, kidding! I was kidding! Cálmate, princesa, cálmate,” she soothed, hugging me tightly. “Yer wying! Dersh no dezherch in Canada!!” The stupid pacifier was distorting my speech, but it was doing is job of keeping me somewhat calmer than totally berserk. “Mi amor, we are in de Okanagan, in de south of de British Colombia. You are safe, reinita, I just helpet you cross de border!” Her Mexican accent got even thicker when she was stressed, and she looked like she was about to explode from anxiety. “Cwoss de bohduh indu Mexico?” “No no! Canada!” “Pwove it! I dun bewieve you!” Sofia sighed and pulled out a thin, flexible rectangle of plastic. She swiped a gesture on it and opened a maps app. I could see the position indicator indicating that we were just inside the border with Canada, and the background even showed the mountains and labeled the desert as the Okanagan. At this point, I relaxed enough to realize that the best proof I hadn’t been kidnapped to Mexico was right in front of me: Sofia wouldn’t be going through all this trouble to show me where we were when she could easily just overpower me. A few moments later, a black SUV pulled up beside us, and an eleven- or twelve-foot-tall Amazon got out. I’d seen enough giants at this point to not flinch, but I still stayed alert. He ran over to me and gave me a quick inspection, a massive hug, and a kiss on the forehead before I could even react. So much for staying alert. “I’m so glad you’re safe, Isabelle.” He turned to Sofia and shook her free hand. “Thanks for bringing Isabelle over the border. You people are the ultimate heroes.” “You are welcome, Señor. Protect her, the hunters are everywhere I hear.” Sofia passed me over to him, along with the satchel of spare diapers Luxuria had provided. “I will, absolutely.” “Freedom is a right!” She waved and turned around to get back in her van. That phrase again. “Hold on. Who are you and why am I going with you if I’m already in Canada?” I demanded. I was done with not knowing. From now on I’m finding out everything before I do anything. “You’re fifty klicks from the nearest town and less than one from the border. Acimeran border forces have been known to cross over to recapture escaped Littles, which is exactly what you are right now,” he reasoned. “All I’m gonna do is take you further into Canada so you don’t die in the wilderness or get sent back to an orphanage. Any objections?” “No,” I huffed. The Amazon walked the few paces over and laid me down in the back of the SUV. “Hey! What are you doing?!” I protested when he flipped my dress up. He stopped and calmly said, “you wanna sit in your leaky diaper?” “No,” I begrudgingly acknowledged. He proceeded to change me into a diaper from the bag of spares. I sighed, red-faced, when he finished and buckled me into a car seat in the back. So much for knowing everything. Things really weren’t under my control here. At least he was gentle and didn’t try anything. “Okay Izzy, I’m Mike.” He glanced at some kind of holographic heads-up display and started driving away from the border along a small dirt track. “The reason I didn’t tell you my name earlier is because I didn’t want anyone from the Railroad to know my identity. Just a safety precaution.” “How did you know I like to be called Izzy?” I asked suspiciously. “I run an automatic bug scan on everyone that comes near my property, which includes my car. You’re clean, but you’ve got a microchip on you with a bunch of your privacy preferences, which ironically includes your preferred name in conversation. Are you okay with me calling you that?” *** I really did scan her and find the chip, even though that wasn’t where I got her name from. I didn’t want to let on to any more than I needed to right now. She’ll have plenty of time to fully comprehend the magnitude of what I did for her. Or leave. That was a grim thought. I’d snuck a tracking chip with an integrated mic onto her dress the moment she was in my arms, just in case she was dumb enough to choose that option and ended up needing my help. As much as I wanted to, I wasn’t going to stop her from doing that though. “Yeah, you can call me whatever,” she replied as I turned onto a paved road. Deep breath, explain the situation. You got this. “Okay. I want you to know that everything I’m doing for you is to help you. If at any point you want to leave, tell me and I’ll stop the car and you can go wherever you’d like. Just please be careful. However, I recommend that you stay with me for the time being, for your own safety. Even though Canada is a million times better than the US for Little Rights, you’re unfortunately still in danger of being kidnapped by Little Hunters from the US. They WILL smuggle you back across the border and they WILL sell you to the highest bidder before you can say ‘True North Strong and Free’. Because of them, most Littles here actually choose to stay with a Big family or friend for safety’s sake. In fact, it’s so common that we have a name for it: homestay.” “Where are we going?” She asked as I took the on-ramp onto the highway to Penticton. It was a pretty big detour from our final destination, but I didn’t want to drive all the way to the west coast before Isabelle got her citizenship, just in case we got pulled over. “Well first we’re going to the Immigration and Refugee Board for your asylum hearing, where you’ll get registered and get your Canadian citizenship.” Boy did she want to know everything! I guess that’ll help her survive in this dimension, so it isn’t exactly a bad thing… Makes her about as annoying as a toddler though. “They hand out citizenships just like that?” She snapped her cute little fingers to punctuate her point. “To Littles who manage to get to Canada alive, yes. There’s a special clause in the Refugee Act from about twenty years ago.” “The US doesn’t care?” “They tried to stop them at first. When people protested and Canada caused a huge international scene with the first escaped Littles, the US struck a deal with us allowing Littles that cross the border to stay without persecution. In exchange, Canada still has the Safe Third Country Agreement for non-Little illegal immigrants, plus extradition.” “So I can be fully legal and everything?” Izzy’s face lit up in an adorable smile. “Yup, should be pretty much guaranteed.” I kept the other tricks I had up my sleeve to ensure that, including the fact that I’d sponsored her application, to myself. “What happens after that?” “We can stop at Tims for lunch?” “Who’s Tim?” I chuckled. “Tims, or Tim Hortons, is just about Canada’s biggest coffee shop chain. Has been for decades.” She nodded and turned back to the scenery out the window. “What’s a Hellcat?” Izzy suddenly asked a while later, when we were about halfway there. “You met one?” “The guy that broke me out. He was a Little and said he’d been a Hellcat? So, what’s a Hellcat?” “Wow, cool. I didn’t know Hellcat vets were in the Railroad. The Hellcats are an international team of elite special forces. They’re above the law and protected as such by UN resolutions. They’re the best of the best in CQB, and they carry out counter-terrorist and hostage-rescue operations around the world. No Big unit can match their cool, speed, finesse and precision. You were in good hands.” Izzy had a shocked, then sheepish look on her face as I said that. “What’s wrong?” I asked, slightly concerned. “I umm… kinda fought them behind the orphanage.” Her face turned bright red and she looked away from the rear-view mirror where I could see her. I decided to have some fun at her expense. “Ahh you’d better watch your butt now, you’ve probably pissed off their whole regiment.” I teased. “What?!” She squeaked. “Kidding.” I smiled at her and she chuckled nervously. Soon, I pulled into the parking lot in front of the Penticton office of the IRB and parked. There fortunately weren’t many other cars there, so I was able to find a spot in the small lot. Izzy had dozed off en-route, and her pacifier that was clipped to her dress had adorably found its way back into her mouth. It bobbed in and out there with each breath she took. She looked so precious! I gently brushed her cheek with my fingers to wake her up, almost regretting disturbing her. “Hey Sleeping Beauty, we’re here,” I chimed. She stirred and I undid the straps on her car seat. “Sorry about the seat, it’s a federal height law and honestly safer for you.” I’d forgotten to explain that to her earlier since I was focused on getting her away from the border, and I tried to make up for it now. “Mmmm,” she moaned. I was about to set her on the ground when I noticed she wasn’t wearing any shoes. Because of this observation, I made a split-second decision and changed my movement at the last minute, swinging Izzy awkwardly for a fraction of a second and accidentally bringing the sleepy girl out of her slumber. *** I felt myself pulled up suddenly in a motion that jolted me wide awake. I looked around and realized that we were in front of a small single-story office. The lower part of the shiny black coat of the SUV that we’d arrived in was caked in a layer of dust, and the rear passenger door was open. The Amazon… Mike… closed it and apologized to me, “Sorry for waking you up, Izzy, but I just realized you weren’t wearing any shoes.” “Huh? Oh ish okay…” I rubbed my eyes and waved it off. He nodded at that, and carried me in through the front glass door on his hip. The SUV pipped behind us, signaling the doors locking, even though Mike clearly didn’t do anything apart from walk away from it. Bluetooth? RF? NFC? Probably something similar, but more advanced. Aargh, I wish I could learn all of their tech! There were a couple people waiting around inside the air-conditioned office, most of them seated on a row of cushioned chairs along a wall. Heads turned to stare disapprovingly at us when we walked in. I let my pacifier fall to where it was clipped to my dress and gawped back at them. “Why are they looking at us like that?” I whispered to Mike as he sat down with me on his lap. He sighed and whispered back, “Adoption is illegal in Canada. There are, however, a lot of Littles that choose to live like they do in the majority of the US. Some of them are used to the carefree lifestyle from before they escaped, others saw the bright sides of the lifestyle and wanted in. But when they go out and do official government things, like what we’re doing right now, they usually dress and behave as adults. This is the IRB, so you’re dressed just as inappropriately as, say, if you were wearing pajamas or a bikini.” I giggled quietly at the picture. “Some of them probably even think I kidnapped you or I’m forcing you to do this.” An official-looking Little clerk walked over to us carrying a transparent tablet, her lips pursed disapprovingly. This was the first Little I’d seen working a job, and it very much set the tone for what Canada would be like for me. “Sir, I’m going to ask you to let her sit by herself,” she told Mike. She addressed both of us as he lifted me to an empty adjacent chair. “Miss…” she looked at her tablet for a moment, “Green, please be considerate of others the next time you pick an outfit to wear to a government office. I’ll let you both stay this time, but be warned that if you dress and behave like this next time, someone will likely ask you to leave.” I tried to start explaining to the lady, but Mike squeezed my hand to stop me, and I complied with a sigh. The clerk tapped at her tablet and gave us a number two greater than the one displayed on a TV hanging from the ceiling. “When your number shows up, please go into office number three over there, and an agent will help you out,” she instructed, pointing to the TV. “Miss Green must go in alone, per our privacy policies,” she looked threateningly at Mike. I nodded and Mike thanked her, and she seemed to be somewhat put off by that. She blinked and turned to speak to one of the others waiting. After about 10 more minutes, the display updated to mine and I jumped down from the chair. “They’re there to help you, so don’t lie about anything. Answer every question truthfully and provide as many details as you can. Good luck, I’m here if you need me,” Mike reassured. I nodded and walked over to the ajar wooden door labeled with a fancy calligraphic 3, my socked feet slipping on the floor tiles. The Amazon man inside looked up in surprise when I pushed it open and walked in. “What on earth are you wearing?!” He gasped, but quickly recovered. “Okay, okay, can you close the door?” When I did so, he took a deep breath and continued, “Okay… Isabelle, I’m Agent Duncan Schmidt with the IRB. I want you to know that you’re completely safe here. No one else, including the Big that I’m told you came with, will hear about anything you tell me, understand? And please have a seat.” I nodded, climbing onto a chair in front of his desk. “Okay, so I need to know, is he forcing you to dress like this? If so, that's illegal, you have every right that any other person in Canada has. We don’t discriminate by height or size here.” “No no, he isn’t. I just escaped from an orphanage in the US, and I haven’t exactly got anything to change into yet,” I explained nervously. He looked unconvinced, but dropped the matter. “Okay, so I need to confirm a few things with you. Can you state your full name and date of birth?” “Isabelle Dauphin Green,” I answered, followed by my date of birth. He nodded and tapped a couple things on his tablet. “You crossed the US border today and came straight here?” “Yeah,” I nodded. “I have it here on your application that you came via portal from the other dimension?” “Yeah,” I nodded. Application? “What was the date of your dimensional entry?” “Uhh…” I blanked on this one. I’d never bothered to ask anyone for the date, and no one had ever told me. “This past July?” I ventured vaguely. The chess tournament had taken place sometime in mid-July, and I knew that the dates were the same here as back home. Agent Schmidt looked at me suspiciously. “You don’t have the exact date?” “Umm… no, sorry.” “Okay, which portal did you go through? The name given by either dimension is fine.” “Uhhh… I…” How am I supposed to name the localized portal that the UN made?! “The UN one?” “What UN one?” “The one the UN made for me?” “What?? How am I supposed to help you if you make up answers to my questions?!” He looked exasperated, and he’d succeeded in scaring me. I started sobbing my heart out for the second time that day. Chapter 10 — Canadian, Eh? Thanks to the tracker I’d put on Izzy, I was able to listen as Agent Schmidt lost it and Izzy began to cry. Thank God I did that. I sighed as I got up and walked to the office. The Little employee tried to stop me, but I flashed my UN credentials and she stepped out of the way. I opened the office’s door to a depressing sight. Izzy was sobbing and the agent had his head in his hands, clearly too inexperienced for the situation at hand. He looked up at me, as if pleading for help, wanting to complain, and feeling guilty all at the same time. I sighed, picked Izzy up, and sat down with her on my lap. Her head nuzzled into my chest and I slipped her paci back into her mouth before gently patting her back to sooth her. “There there, I know you’ve had a tough day, let me handle it from here, eh?” I quietly comforted the poor girl as I slid my credentials across the desk with my free hand. “She’s telling you the truth,” I told Schmidt, turning my gaze back to him. “I was the one that brought her to this dimension. We opened up a localized portal and saved her from drowning. She’s actually right about the UN part; you can just choose ‘Other’ in the list of locations and enter ‘UN’ into the system.” He nodded and quickly did that. “Now, I can tell you’re new to this, so let me remind you of Rule 323 in your handbook. Isabelle here is a Little, obviously, and she has a sponsor, me. That means she can be fast-tracked through the refugee registration process and get her citizenship and passport now. I saw a stack of blanks in the office across the hall.” Schmidt nodded again and asked a few more questions, all of which I answered for Izzy, who’d managed to calm down and stop sniffling. The agent then got a blank passport from the opposing room and uploaded all her documents to it, along with the full-body scans I’d stolen from the orphanage servers. It was safer for Izzy that they didn’t have the scans — one less data leak to worry about. It had been a walk in the park to hack their servers and delete it after my data transfer anyway. It took just a few minutes for the central office in Ottawa to remotely approve and activate Izzy’s new passport, and we were on our way out in no time. I made sure to thank the agent for helping us, as well as the nice Little who’d both let us stay and tried to stop me. People doing their jobs thoroughly were worthy of a pat on the back, even if they got in my way. *** Mike buckled me into the car seat and handed me my passport, which consisted of a rectangle of plastic that looked like a smaller version of Sofia’s phone. “Fanks, Mike, fuh…” I paused to spit the pacifier out, “for that back there. I had no idea you were the one that brought me to this dimension… so umm… thanks… for saving my life.” “You’re welcome, sweetheart. Congrats on becoming Canadian, you deserve it.” I nodded, but one question still burned: “But why did the UN just dump me in a shack in the middle of nowhere?” Mike sighed, “I’m sorry, Izzy. I’m really sorry for what happened to you with Karen. That was our release team’s fault. You were supposed to go to Kate, Karen’s younger, richer and less heartless sister. Unfortunately, she died from a car accident just before you would have, and, well, that wasn’t something anyone expected and Karen ended up getting custody.” And now she’s IN custody. Hehe. “Again, I’m sorry. I never would’ve let that happen had I known. Most of the time the system works, but sometimes it doesn’t, and there’s nothing we can do except try to fix it.” “It’s okay,” I reassured him, “it’s not your fault I guess. The irony though.” “Yeah,” he breathed. “So, you wanna get the full Tims experience to celebrate your new Canadianness or go for drive-thru?” “It’s safe to go in, right?” I needed to be sure. “Yeah, you should be safe, especially since I’ll be there with you.” “Let’s do that then. I’d never been to Canada back home, might as well see it all now?” “Excellent choice,” Mike commended as we pulled up to park in front of the coffee shop. I got the seat straps off and opened the door… and Mike got to my side just in time to catch me from almost falling out! “Easy there, Tiger,” he steadied me and picked me up. “Hmm, I thought those buckles were supposed to be Little-proof?” “I’ve got a knack,” I shrugged. The SUV pipped again as we entered the Tim Hortons. “How is your car locking itself? Bluetooth?” “Yep, it’s a distance measurement feature. It measures the Doppler effect on the Bluetooth signal waves. You know what Doppler is?” “Frequency of the wave changes as the distance changes, right?” “Wow, you’re smart. What would little miss genius like for lunch?” I stared at the expansive menu, not quite sure of what I wanted, as we joined the line to order. “Afternoon folks, what can I get ya?” A robot server asked. “Chicken salad croissant, combo with a large, dark roast, Double Double and a hashbrown, please.” Mike told it, turning to look at me. “I uhh…” I still hadn’t made up my mind yet, but Mike’s meal was sounding pretty good. “I’ll have the same please, but a donut instead of the hashbrown?” “Excellent choice,” the android smiled. “Make her coffee a Small,” Mike interjected. “Sure. How would you like it?” It asked me. “Decaf, three cream, three sugar, please.” “Excellent, what donut would you like?” “This one, please and thank you,” I pointed at a cruller which it fished out with a pair of tongs and put in a paper bag for me. “You’re very welcome, have a seat anywhere and we’ll bring your food over in a moment.” “Decaf?” Mike questioned, sitting me down at a table and then joining me on the other side of it. I noticed that my seat was much taller than his, so the table was the right height for both of us. Quite a clever design. “I drink coffee for the flavor, not the caffeine,” I explained. On a whim I also noted, “That robot was really good at language parsing. And being nice.” “Oh? And I’m not eh?” He kidded and I laughed. “Well you’re not a robot,” I stuck my tongue out at him. “Mmm.” He nodded and continued in a less joking tone, “Welcome to Canada. Most of us — robots and people — are like this: we respect everyone regardless of size. We even have Littles on all levels of government.” “Well I’m liking it. Better than the crap I had to put up with in the States.” “Watch your language!” Mike chastised, making me jump slightly. “There’s kids around,” he reasoned, motioning towards a family of Amazons beside me. I glanced over and spotted the mother shooting daggers at me. “Sorry.” I sheepishly apologized as another robot arrived with our food. “Bon appetit!” It wished, before leaving with an empty tray from the table beside ours. “By the way, Canadians call ‘three cream, three sugar’ ‘Triple Triple’. ‘Double Double’ means two of each and ‘Regular’ means one of each. “Oh… I was wondering what you meant by that.” I was about to dig in when I realized something. “Uhh… Mike?” “What’s up?” “We didn’t pay,” I pointed out matter-of-factly. “We did, it’s automatic. See?” He tapped at the air a few times and suddenly a hologram of the receipt floated in the air in front of me. “Whoa, that’s so cool! Where’s the projector?” “It’s part of my state-of-the-art cyrano.” The hologram disappeared as he showed me a black earpiece that I’d thought was a rather old-fashioned Bluetooth earbud. I nodded and quickly said grace, before grabbing a bite of the croissandwhich. It was really good! The orphanage food I’d been eating had really prepped up my taste buds for all the proper food since my escape. By the time I finished savoring the sandwich bite by bite, Mike had finished his meal. He laughed when I picked up the honey cruller donut with both hands. It was the size of a small cake for me! “What’s the deal with you Littles and your sweets?” He smirked. “All Littles like sweets?” I questioned. “Every single one that I’ve known or heard of.” “Must be some kind of gene or something,” I offered. “Maybe…” When I finished the donut, Mike took all the garbage to the nearby bank of bins and sorted them into some 10 different types. They must really care about the environment here to go through that big of a hassle with their garbage. “C’mon, let’s go. I need to get you some shoes soon, it’s getting tiring holding you!” he remarked while picking me up again. I laughed. “You know, I kinda like it when you carry me around. Nobody’s done that for me in years!” My eyes welled up slightly as I recalled my dad carrying me as a kid when I was too tired to walk, but I shook it off. Enough tears for a day. Mike checked my diaper discreetly and whispered, “You’re soaked, you want changed?” I nodded thanks. Screw Karen, taking away all my potty training like that. *** I brought up Izzy’s situation again on the highway to Vancouver, “Where do you wanna go?” She stopped suckling on the bottle of water I’d given her. “What do you mean?” “Well, you’re no longer an illegal immigrant, you’ve got your passport, you’re a lot safer now. You still wanna come with me, or I can drop you off somewhere?” “I’d be safer with you, right?” “I think so.” “And I’ll still be free to go whenever?” “Of course.” “I’ll stick with you for now then, if that’s okay? It’s not like I’ve got anywhere else in particular to go.” “Absolutely, Izzy, I’m glad that that’s what you want.” “Are you gonna charge me rent or… how’s that gonna work?” “Don’t sweat it. It’s the least I can do for ya after everything that happened. If you get a job someday and you still want to pay me back then… we can cross that bridge when we get there, kay? Right now I don’t want you to worry about a thing.” “Thank you so much Mike. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me. People like you in the Railroad are just amazing…” She thinks I’m with the Railroad. Should I tell her? What would her reaction be? She’s already decided to stay with me on her own volition… I mulled over this a bit and decided to keep it to myself for the time being. If she found out somehow, that would be great, but I wouldn’t be the one to tell her. I spent the rest of the drive chatting with Izzy about her home dimension and mine, comparing differences and noting some surprising similarities. She was an amazing person, and she’d been an aspiring chess player, steps away from her GM title, until the unfortunate incident happened. I promised her that I would do my best to find a way for her to play professionally, even though it would probably require pulling a lot of strings. The first step would involve getting her a chess set, so, seeing as she also needed clothes, diapers, shoes, and everything short of furniture in her size, I drove to a massive outlet mall I knew of in Langley. This time Izzy was more careful with her exit, and waited for me to get to her side before getting up from her car seat. She held her arms out to be picked up and I obliged her with a kiss on her forehead. I stuck a finger into her waistband to check her diaper, which earned me an “Eeep!” It was wet again, so I quickly changed her in the back of the car. “This is the last one in your baggie, we definitely need to get you some more, eh?” I noted and was met with bashful nodding. I knew I couldn’t carry both her and everything we were getting, so I made a beeline for the robocarts once we were inside. I double-tapped a black one and it rolled off its charging dock. I set Izzy down in the padded seat behind the basket for unique purchases, set it to follow me autonomously, and headed for the first shop on my cyrano’s list. On our way there, I asked Izzy an important question: “Aside from diapers which you obviously need, are there any other baby-Little things that you want? You seem pretty glued to that paci for instance? It’s perfectly normal for you to be attached to things like that from your time in the US.” I consciously left out the hypnosis she’d been subject to, in hopes of not triggering PTSD. She’d been through enough for one day. She looked a little red faced and quickly spat the paci out, catching it with her hand. “I’m sorta… drawn to these… they’re really soothing for some reason. Bottles as well,” she added reluctantly, “They’re more relaxing to drink out of and next to impossible to spill. I think the addiction might have something to do with getting hypnotized, that’s how I lost my potty training?” “Makes sense. We can do that. You want some more cute clothes too?” “Ooh I got put in these footed sleepers that were so fuzzy and comfortable, I’d love some of those. I actually had one back home too. And I won’t mind some more pretty dresses either!” She smiled at me and I smiled back. “Sure thing, princess.” She was so precious! Chapter 11 — Some Things Can’t Be Bought This Robocart thing — that’s what the sign on the charging dock called it anyway — is so high-tech. I’ve seen similar robots being used to make deliveries and shelve books in libraries, but never as grocery carts. This is genius though. You never have to worry about leaving your cart somewhere and having to find it again, or having to push it through a crowd of people… The size of the basket doesn’t make sense though… Why is it so small? It certainly wouldn’t fit the list of items that Mike mentioned he was buying… Several store employees greeted us with a smile, but they never offered to help us. Soon, I figured out that only the people with red carts got offered help, and I was sitting in a black one. Apparently, Mike didn’t think we needed any help. When we reached the first aisles of items, I noticed something was off immediately. “Uhh Mike? Why are there only demos of everything and no actual stock?” “Oh I can just scan the barcode with my cyrano and it’ll be added to our virtual cart. We’ll pay at checkout and then pick up everything from the dispensary. Here, you wanna help me scan? That should give you something to do other than look around and keep you from being bored to death?” He fished something that looked like a large signet ring out of a pocket and handed it to me. I took the device from him. It was really light and seemed to be made of plastic. “That is such a brilliant idea!” I couldn’t believe that no one in my dimension had thought of this shopping model before. I never liked online shopping because I couldn’t see and feel the actual product. VR previewing was a thing, but that could only go so far. We’d yet to perfect reproducing textures and the feeling of holding a physical sample in your hands with haptic feedback. On the other hand, in-person shopping was slow and frustrating. People spent way too much time getting things off shelves and into their carts, not to mention all the checkout lines. “I know, right? Best of both worlds.” He seemed to be thinking along the same lines. I twirled the ring around my finger. “Kay, how does this work?” “Point the lens at a barcode and press on the back — there’s a pressure switch under the polycarbonate there. The scanner will vibrate every time it reads the code. If we get two of the same item just scan the same thing twice, and so on; one scan per count.” We reached our first stop in an aisle full of all sorts of different diapers, and Mike tossed me a Frozen-3-themed sample, covered in little snowflakes, Elsas, and Annas. I caught it like a frisbee and brushed my fingers over the fabric of the padding. It felt like I was touching a cloud! “Whoa, this is so soft! Makes the ones I’ve been wearing feel like sandpaper.” “MapleLove. It’s a Canadian brand, and we tend to do things right, even if we don’t really advertise that on the international scene. Scan it twice for two cases for now, eh?” He smiled. “Kay,” I nodded. “Oh right, what size are you?” “Err… I’m not sure?” “Okay, stand up and let me check.” I begrudgingly complied and let him lift my dress up to see. It felt like my wet diaper was exposed for the entire world’s viewing pleasure, and I was definitely going to die from embarrassment! “The princess is of size four,” Mike proclaimed in a whisper, chuckling when he saw the color of my face. “What’s wong, pwincess don’t wike her diapees shown off?” I whacked his arm. “Not funny, Mike. You try it sometime.” He smirked and handed me another diaper from the same brand. This one was covered in little translucent robot characters that reminded me of EVE from WALL-E. I didn’t recognize the characters though, so it was probably a Disney movie from this dimension. Hang on… “Why is this one so thick?” “It’s a nighttime diaper. Extra capacity so you don’t leak. One case should be plenty for now, we can always restock online.” I nodded and scanned it. Mike walked over to an adjacent aisle and the robocart followed suit. This one displayed an assortment of pacifiers and bottles. I was seeing more of these today than I’d ever seen in my entire life. “Any in particular that you like?” “Anything but the ones that expand. Those hurt like hell. Also, pink isn’t my color.” He nodded and picked up a Blue/Green/Purple 3-pack and matching bottles. He also grabbed a plaque for a case of wipes and a wipe warmer, something I’d never heard of but he assured me I would love. Just as I finished scanning all of them, I heard a female voice call out. “Mike! Didn’t expect to see you here today. How’s it going?” I looked up and saw a middle-aged Big with a Little in a sling of sorts. “Hey Maria! Going pretty well, yourself?” As she drew closer, she was about to respond when she saw me. “I’m— Oh my gosh, that’s… that’s…” “Isabelle,” Mike helped her out. “What’s going on, Mike? Why is she here?” “I’m just getting her some clothes and stuff. As you know, the release team screwed up and she got messed up pretty badly in the US, but she managed to get to the Railroad. I met her at the border. The paperwork is all done, I sponsored her and she’s Canadian now,” he smiled. “Wow, I’m glad you’re okay. Maria Torelli, I’m the physician on Mike’s team at the DRC.” She repositioned the sling and reached out her hand, and I grasped it in an awkward handshake. Our hands had so much of a size difference that I would have done better shaking only a finger or two! “This is Michelle, my adopted Little girl— Ooh! Hi snookums! You’re awake!” She looked down and gave Michelle her full attention, gently playing with her for a moment and then sitting her up. I took the opportunity to give Mike an uncomfortable look. He seemed to understand why, and put his hand reassuringly on my shoulder. “Ask her about it.” “Umm… Maria? No offence, but I thought adoptions were illegal here?” She looked back at me and lightly bounced Michelle, who had her thumb in her mouth and was cooing softly. “None taken. In the vast majority of situations, yes. So don’t worry, Mike can’t adopt you, even if you wanted him to, which I very much doubt.” She paused and he chuckled. “But special cases are granted for the few regressed Littles that somehow end up in Canada. Usually it only happens when an adoptive parent in the US screws up somehow, and the Railroad rescues the Little. It’s really a needle in a haystack though. Unfortunately Michelle’s regression was clinically proven to be irreversible, so she’s stuck like this for the rest of her life.” “Fortunately for her, I love her very very much, and I take very good care of her,” she told Michelle friskilly with a kiss. The Little girl in her arms just stared blankly into the distance with empty eyes and a blissful smile. I could tell that she was just a shell of a body, with no personality, no thoughts, and barely any consciousness. It was as if her brain was disconnected with reality. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Maria does seem to love and care about her though. Somewhere in my subconscious, a sliver of envy panged at just how much love Michelle was getting. Having always been the mushy, clingy one in the family, and ridiculed for it, I was a sucker for affection. Mike had definitely given me plenty with his hugs and kisses, especially considering we’d literally met less than 16 hours ago, but a little part of me couldn’t help but crave more of that. Just thinking about it made me feel fuzzy and warm. “Well, we’d better get going, this one needs her diapee changed.” She remarked. Turning to me, she continued, “Looking like you could use one yourself, eh?” The fuzziness dissipated and the warmth relocated to my face at her remark. I wanted to dig a hole and jump into it! I took a sharp breath, but got it together enough to wave goodbye to Michelle as Mike said “See ya!” and Maria disappeared down another aisle. Mike then turned to move to the adjacent store, and the robocart trailed him. From a quick history lesson Mike gave me on the spot, this one seemed to be this dimension’s version of Oshkosh. I cringed a bit at that, but I did ask for cute clothes, and beggars couldn’t be choosers, so I kept my complaints to myself. We found the toddler footwear section, where a friendly sales associate measured my feet to ascertain my new shoe size. Once Mike entered it into his cyrano, I scanned a pack of cute animal socks and another pack of normal pastel colored ones. In the same section, we also picked up a pair of sandals, sneakers to which Mike hilariously referred as “running shoes”, and some cute and furry booties that looked like a pair of little kittens. They were all adorably brightly colored and adorned with cute designs, but a distinctive compass icon on each of them caught my eye. Mike saw me fingering the icon patch on the sandals after I’d scanned them, and explained, “It means they come with GPS tracking tags. It’s a really common feature used to prevent children from getting lost. You can hardly find any kids’ shoes without them these days. We can always disable them or even rip the chips out altogether if you’d like, but I don’t think we’ll find any shoes here that fit you and come without ’em.” In an adjacent section, we found racks of dresses, onesies, rompers, and footed sleepers of various designs and sizes. It turned out that clothes shopping was exactly like back home, since there were several duplicates of each of the hundreds of styles, with retail tags on them. So that explained the robocart basket. Mike grabbed several dresses and sleepers that caught my eye for me. The adorable toddler and fashionable adult dress designs from this dimension both looked amazing, and I could see myself wearing just about anything on the racks. Just to be safe though, I did also get Mike to find me some plain jeans and t-shirts. We headed for the fitting rooms, where I tried on my selections and modeled a few for Mike. He cracked up when I put on a unicorn-themed dress, complete with a matching glittering horn headband. I also had to enlist his help with some of the designs that zipped up the back, which I felt were a pain and decided not to get, even though they looked really cute! I was still very unused to being in a fitting room with another person, even though said person had literally changed my diaper several times by then. It was just something I hadn’t done since I was a little girl. Guess I AM one again. Honestly, I’m still not sure how I feel about that. Thankfully, Mike had the same basic fashion sense as me, so we went through the giant pile of clothes in record time. After trying everything on, I made a few edits to my selections and scanned everything. Mike then put the clothes in the robocart’s basket. On our way out of the store, he took a detour through the stuffed animal section. “Anything you’d like here? Plenty of adults have giant plushies… I may or may not have one myself,” he smiled and gave me a playful wink. “Hmm…” What the heck. Might as well go all the way and splurge on my cuddling desires. “Can I have a dolphin?” I pointed at a pile of them, each one the same size as me. “Sure, princess. It’s your middle name, right?” He grabbed one and set it in the basket. “Well my middle name’s supposed to be the title of the crown prince of France, but it does have multiple meanings, so sure.” After I scanned the stuffies, we proceeded to an IKEA-like store on the other side of the mall. There, Mike had me scan everyday things like cutlery, a sonic teeth cleaner, a desk and chair, and a bed, none of which he had in my size. When he asked if I wanted a crib or a regular bed, I told him about how much I hated the stupid cribs at the orphanage for how prison-esque they felt and how I relished my freedom. For the same reason, I went with a booster seat instead of a highchair for meals. Having spent the past few weeks under almost suffocating restrictions, I didn’t want any more. Mike even managed to find a chessboard for me. When he claimed that he’d beat me with it, I giggled, knowing that, unless he’d somehow left out crazy secrets about who he was, he stood no chance. Our final stop was a Best-Buy-like store called Motherboards. Mike looked like he was giddy with excitement as soon as he stepped foot inside. He was definitely as much a tech fan as I was, if not more so. I couldn’t help but get hyped when I saw the crazy specs of everything, and I literally drooled at the insane hardware that they had. I could easily spend a whole day in this store, but Mike seemed to know what he was looking for. He waved off an overeager sales rep trying to be helpful and made a beeline for a section labelled ‘Displays and Peripherals’. He double-checked something with a sales rep there that I didn’t quite understand, and scanned the items himself with his cyrano. When I asked him what he got, he just smiled and said I’d find out soon. I was exhausted, so I didn’t push the matter. Mike took a left out of Motherboards and led us back to the mall entrance where we’d come in from. There, he showed me how the mall’s centralized checkout system worked. It turned out to be exactly like shopping on Amazon, less the shipping selections, since we were collecting the items right there. When the payment went through, an employee walked us to a receiving bay, where an autonomous flatbed robocart laden with everything we’d purchased met us. The employee checked over everything with Mike, and he confirmed receipt by scanning his cyrano. With that done, they thanked each other and Mike headed for the SUV, where he transferred everything except my dolphin to the trunk. Mike then picked me up, handed it to me, and pressed a button on both carts to automatically return them. Mike tore open a case of diapers and a pack of wipes. He changed me on the backseat before disposing of the used diaper in a nearby trash receptacle. The MapleLove indeed felt amazing. I could hardly even tell it was there, if not for the slight warmth and the bulk. Mike buckled me into my car seat. At that point, I had the first real chance that day to process the sensory overload. Nothing else demanded my attention. My head hurt from all the incredibly convoluted feelings I had, even as I felt content that I had no immediate worries. I abhorred whoever destroyed Michelle with fiery disgust. I pitied the poor girl. I was grateful that Maria had stepped up and shown her love that was as unconditional as a human could give. I still had a twinge of disbelief that I’d managed to escape, and a panging guilt that my friends were trapped in the orphanage. I was hopeful for my future, grateful for Mike’s kindness, captivated by all the futuristic tech in this dimension, and thankful that God hadn’t forsaken me. Above all, there hung an overarching exhaustion from the day’s events. Fatigue soon enveloped me. Hugging my dolphin, pacifier bobbing in and out of my mouth in tune with my gentle breathing, I drifted off to a peaceful sleep and the land of carefree, uncomplicated dreams. End of Part 1 =========================================================== Thanks for reading Part 1 of my story! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing. You can find Part 2 in the original thread linked below, being posted a chapter a week! Please leave a like and a comment, it means the world to me!
  6. Chapter one “Good morning Layla, are you getting up sweetums?” Mommy said softly as she entered my nursery. I was barely awake. I have never been a morning person and I never will be. “Five more minutes? Please?” I asked mommy, slowly opening my eyes and saw mommy standing next to my crib. “You know better than that Lay,” mommy said as she reached into the crib, unsnapped my onesie and checked my diaper. “And from the looks of it, you quickly need a change,” she said as her fingers crawled over my belly. “Please mommy, nooohoo,” I let out as mommy slowly started tickling me. My eyes sprung open and I started giggling and trashing my limbs around the crib. “Pleahease!” I yelled out, flipping on my belly, trying to protect it. Mommy moved to my sides and continued her tickle attack there. “So is Layla going to be a happy baby instead of a grumpy baby?” Mommy said as she slowed her tickling down. “Yes, just, please, stop!” I took a breath with each word, gasping for air. “So what do we say when mommy enters the nursery in the morning?” Mommy asked. She stopped her tickling and stood straight again. I got on my knees and looked up at mommy. “Good morning mommy,” I said, trying to sound as the sweetest baby possible. “Did you sleep well?” Mommy asked as she held out her hands to pick me up. “Uhu! didn’t even wake up once!” I said as I was being lifted out of the crib. Mommy walked to the changing table and removed the onesie. “Good girl!” Mommy said. She softly pushed me down on the changing table and gave me my teether. “Thwanks Mwommwy,” I said, biting softly on the teether. Mommy removed the tapes from my diaper and unfolded the front. She made quick work with the wet wipes and tapped on my legs, signaling me to lift up my butt. She removed the old diaper and threw it in the diaper pail. “Pink, blue, or white?” Mommy asked. “Not twhe pwurple one?” I asked, laying my butt down. “Not today Lay, doesn’t really fit with the outfit I have in mind,” Mommy said. I removed my teether “The white one please.” “Okiokie,” Mommy said, grabbing a white diaper from the stash underneath the changing table. I lifted my butt again and mommy quickly slid it under me. Mommy gave me a dash of fresh powder before taping the diaper shut and patting the front. “Time for breakfast,” Mommy said as she lifted me up, resting me on her hip. “I will fix your hair when we are full and dressed,” Mommy said as she looked at my long blonde braid. “Wait! We mustn't forget Ollie!” I yelled, leaning towards my crib. Ollie was my favorite stuffed animal because he was an elephant. And luckily not a big one, so I could carry it with me everywhere. “He’s still sleeping in there,” I said, pointing at my crib. Mommy walked to the crib, bent down, and grabbed Ollie the olifant through the bars. She gave Ollie to me. “Sssshhh, Ollie is still waking up,” mommy whispered. “So we should give him lots of tickles?” I asked mommy, giving her a naughty look. “Little smartypants,” mommy said, squeezing my cheek. We walked downstairs and to the kitchen, where mommy placed me in my highchair. “Why don’t we let Ollie sit here?” Mommy asked, grabbing Ollie and placing him next to me, but just out of my reach. “But, that way I can’t reach him!” I said, tears welling up in my eyes. “I know, you don’t want to make Ollie dirty with your messy fingers, right?” Mommy asked as she stroked my head. “N-no,” I said, trying to hold back my tears. “That is why Ollie sits over there and you here. Where you can see him, and Ollie you,” mommy explained. “Okay,” I said softly while I looked down and played a little with my fingers. “So who wants oatmeal?” Mommy asked chirply. My eyes darted back to mommy. “I do! I do!” I yelled, bouncing up and down in my highchair. “Looks like we got a hungry little Layla, don’t we?” Mommy cooed, pinching my cheek again. “Uhuh, can I have raisins in it?” I asked mommy. “Of course,” Mommy said as she made her way into the kitchen. “Raisins are my favorite Ollie!” I explained to him for the thousandth time. Mommy quickly made my oatmeal while I tried to be patient. Trailing my fingers across the tray of the highchair to keep me from boredom. “One oatmeal and a milk bottle coming up,” mommy said as she placed a pink bottle and a pink plastic bowl full of oatmeal with raisins in front of me. Mommy quickly stepped behind me and tied a light pink bib around my neck. “We don’t want you to get too messy, now do we?” mommy asked as she gave me my plastic spoon. “Nuhuh,” I said while I started digging in. Mommy made her own breakfast and sat down next to me. I took a few sips from my bottle in between bites. “It’s almost Matthew’s second birthday here, what do you think is a good present for him?” Mommy asked me. Matthew was a boy from daycare who I like to play with very much. The first few weeks, Matthew was very shy and needed to get used to almost everything! Mommy says that was because Matthew is not from here. I asked mommy which country he came from, but she didn’t answer that question. “A stuffy? Or a ball! Matthew likes to kick against balls!” I said enthusiastically with my mouth half full of oatmeal. “Matthew’s mom doesn’t allow any more balls in the house. So how about a stuffy?” mommy said, taking a bite from her fried egg. “A very soft ball stuffy?” I asked mommy. I picked up my bottle and almost drained it. “If they have them at the store. We will see when we get there, okay?” “Okay mommy,” I said. I hastily ate the rest of my oatmeal, making a mess of my face and hands. “All done!” I said after a few minutes, putting my now empty bottle down. “Can we go to the store now?” “Nonono, first we need to clean you up and get you dressed,” mommy laughed. Mommy cleaned her plate and with a few wet wipes she cleaned my hands and my mouth. “So, you’re no longer the messy oatmeal monster,” mommy joked as she cleaned the last bit from my cheek. Mommy picked me up from the highchair and checked my diaper. “Just a little wet, good girl,” mommy cooed as she kissed the top of my head, I giggled. “Time to get you dressed,” she said, grabbing Ollie and making her way upstairs, carrying me on her hip. In my nursery mommy placed me and Ollie on the floor. She dressed me in a white t-shirt, a pink jumper, knee high pink socks, and white sneakers. She undid my braid and combed it carefully while I nursed on my pacifier. “Let’s do braided pigtails for today, what do you think Lay?” Mommy asked me. “With pink bows?” I asked. “Well of course! Or else your outfit wouldn’t be complete!” Mommy said as she grabbed a handful of my hair and started braiding. “Are you excited for Matthew’s party next weekend?” Mommy asked, tugging my hair a bit. “Uhu! He said there is going to be a bouncy castle!” I said, spitting out my pacifier and leaving it dangling by it’s clip. “That’s nice,” mommy said as she moved on to the next braid. “Is there going to be cake?” “Mommy!! It’s his birthday!” I yelled. “Ah I am sorry, what is a birthday without cake?” Mommy said. clipping pink bows at the end of my braids. “All done Layla, why don’t you take a peak in the mirror?” Mommy said as she placed me on the ground. I waddled over to the mirror and spun around. “I like my hair mommy! Thank you!” I said as I waddled over her, hugging her legs, my head resting on her thighs. “You’re welcome Lay,” mommy said as she patted my head. I let go of her and picked up Ollie. “Can Ollie come with us?” I asked mommy. Mommy was filling up my diaper bag on the changing table. “No Layla. Ollie can get lost at the store,” mommy said, zipping up the diaper bag. “And the other stuffies will get jealous seeing you holding Ollie,” mommy said, putting the diaper bag over her shoulder and picking me up. “Can we buy them all?” I asked. “But then there would be no more room for you in the nursery,” mommy chuckled, walking down the stairs and to the front door. “Then, then I will sleep next to you,” I said. “Awh, aren't you the cutest,” mommy said, slipping the pacifier back in my mouth and closing the door behind us. Mommy opened the car and put me in my car seat, buckling me in tightly and taking her place behind the wheel. The drive towards the store always took too long, I always wanted to be there right away. They have a whole aisle filled with stuffed animals! The toys even got two! That’s why the store is my favorite place to be, I could spend hours just looking at all the toys and stuffed animals. I can't remember if I ever saw a stuffy shaped like a ball. “Mommy?” I asked behind my pacifier. “Yes Lay?” Mommy asked, looking at me through her mirror. “What if the store doesn’t have a ball shaped stuffy?” I asked. “Then we will have to find something else. What does Matthew like besides balls?” Mommy asked. I thought about it for a few minutes, going over everything Matthew likes. “He likes seals!” I squealed out, finally having an answer. “Those are his favorite animals!” “Very good Lay, I think the store will definitely have a seal,” mommy said, concentrating on the road. “Why don’t we find out?” Mommy asked after a few minutes, as she pulled into the parking lot of the store. Mommy parked the car close by the entrance and stepped out. She opened my door and unbuckled me. “Do you want to walk? or the buggy?” Mommy asked, lifting me up and setting me down on the asphalt. She grabbed a hold of my hand while she reached for the diaper bag. “Walk!” I said, tugging at mommy’s hand. “Easy now Lay,” mommy said, closing the door. We walked to the entrance of the store, me pulling mommy along The store was big, but I knew where we had to go. I kept pulling at my mommy’s hand. “Come on mommy!” I said, almost trying to run. “Slow down Lay. Or else I have to pick you up,” mommy said, grabbing a basket. “Owkay,” I said, slowing my pace. Luckily the store wasn't that busy at this hour. Only a few mommies and daddies with their littles. Mommy and I slowly walked towards the aisle with the stuffies. Stopping here and there looking at stuff that bored me. “Mommy, please! The stuffies are behind here! Can’t I look by myself?” I yelled, pointing through the shelves. I have always looked by myself. Sometimes people asked me where my mommy was. Usually she was looking at me through the shelves and would yell that she was there, always keeping an eye on me. “But only at the stuffies, and no running” mommy instructed for the hundredth time. “Okay,” I said, slowly walking away from mommy. I pulled the pacifier from my mouth and left it dangling by its clip. I turned the corner and saw the wall of stuffies in front of me. Every time I see this, I am in awe. So many stuffies, in different shapes and sizes. From tiny like my hand, to bigger than me! I walked across the aisle, eyeing every single one of them. Gorilla’s, panda’s, cat’s, and even spiders. I quickly walked by those. I didn’t see one ball sized stuffie, so I grabbed a stuffed white seal as big as my arm from the shelf. I saw it earlier, but I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a ball somewhere. I quickly walked back to where mommy was. “Mommy! Mommy”! I yelled while holding the stuffie above my head, “I found it.” I turned the corner and was met with a bright flashing light. I bumped into something and fell down. “Owh, that hurt!” I said as I rubbed my eyes, slowly opening them. “Look at that!” “Where did she come from?” “Who goes out like that?” I heard voices talking. I slowly got my vision back, as I stood up and looked around, trying to find mommy. “Is it a new trend?” “Is that a diaper?” the voices said. I almost could see clearly again, seeing shapes my size. I still couldn’t find a shape that was my mommy. I hugged the seal stuffy close to me, giving me a little bit of comfort. “Mommy?” I called out. “Mommy?” “Awh, looking for her mommy,” I heard someone saying, mocking me. “Meanie,” I said, looking at a boy my size, but dressed like a daddie. I looked around, I was still inside the store, but everything seemed smaller, much smaller. The shelves with stuffies were gone, replaced by tiny cans. I spun around and couldn't see mommy anywhere. “Mommy!?” I yelled across the store. “Look at this freak,” two girls said, pointing towards me. “Stop it! You’re just meanies and bullies,” I said. Tears started welling up in my eyes, stumbling away from the two mean girls. I turned around, wiping the tears from my eyes when I bumped into someone else and fell to the ground again. Luckily I landed on my diapered butt. The diaper let out a little squeal from the pee it contained now. “S-s-sorry,” I stammered out, trying to hold back the rest of the tears. “Miss, please come with me,” a male voice said. I squeezed my eyes to clear my vision to see it was a security guard I bumped into. “Do you know where my mommy is?” I asked him. Hoping that he has an answer. “I, euhm, well,” he paused. “If you know her phone number we can give her a call,” He said, giving me a weird look as his eyes focused on my diaper. “I don’t know her phone number!” I yelled, not liking the way he looked at me. “Why don’t we go to the back and figure something out,” he said annoyed, reaching out his hand. “No! Mommy says I shouldn’t go with other littles!!” I yelled. I got up and quickly ran off. I passed the two mean girls who were still laughing at me “There goes miss pottypants!” One of them yelled at me. Tears started to stream down my face. I dodged an older looking woman who came from behind the shelves. “Watch where you’re going!” She yelled. What is this place? Where are all the grownups? Why are all the littles dressed up as them? “Miss, stop!” I heard someone yelling from behind me, I took a look behind me and saw that the security guard was following me. “Nonononono! Please! I just want my mommy!” I yelled, Tears blurred my vision but I kept running. “Leon! Grab her!” I hear the security guard behind me yelling. In front of me I saw a big figure standing, blocking off what I assume was the exit. Finally a grownup! “Please! Help me!” I yelled at the person standing in front of me. I came up to the person and saw that it was a man. Tinier than I expected, maybe an in-betweener, even for that he was on the small side. “You’re coming with me Miss,” the man said with a stern voice, grabbing one of my arms with force. “Ow! You’re hurting me!” I yelled. I started thrashing around. “Please let go of me! You’re hurting me!” “Calm down!” He yelled, grabbing my other arm and locking me down. Defeated, I let my limbs give out. Tears streaming like a waterfall down my face, snot covered most of my mouth. “Please, I want my mommy,” I sobbed. “Good job Leon!” The other security guard wheezed, walking up to us. “What the hell is this?” The man holding me asked. Still sobbing I looked at the ground. “Don’t know, She seemed to appear out of thin air! Better bring her to the back and figure it out there,” the security guard said. “You smoking again Hugo?” “Still clean Leon!” The security guard named Hugo said. “I swear it, out of thin air!” He said, putting his arms in the air. “Better let the cops deal with this,” The man named Leon said. Leon picked me up by my shoulders and knees and carried me down the way I came. “Please,” I whimpered. “Everything will be alright Miss, we just need to make a few calls,” Leon said.
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