by Samuel Orona
A man from 5150 and two young adults from our era are shrunk and travel through time!
|Chapter Eight: 1950's America
The time cruiser emerged from temporal space above Bullet Bay, California. The sun was just starting to set. The sky was pink and purple with some clouds, but it was a nice evening.
"It's Friday, May 9th, 1958 and we're above Bullet Bay, California," said Professor Cannoli. "You can see the town on the main monitor."
"What's our mission this time?" Tad asked.
"There is a girl named Ariana Armstrong who is somewhat of a juvenile delinquent, and it's our job to make contact with her and try to get her to do better in school."
"Are there any other objectives for this mission, professor?" Tiffany asked.
"Just one, if Tad can get swallowed and vomited up without using our technology, then we have another chance at getting one mission subtracted from our itinerary. I know we failed in Russia, but now we might have a better chance."
"Why is that?" Tad asked.
"We're ordered to land across the street from a house party where teenagers are sure to be, and we have to turn off the cloaking device."
"So if Ariana finds us, she can collect the whole time cruiser?" Tiffany asked.
"Exactly," said the professor. "I have the latitude and longitude of our coordinates, I'm landing the time cruiser there now."
The time cruiser landed near a vacant lot, and there was no sidewalk there, just a curb. The professor tried to land the time cruiser near a telephone pole, so it would be somewhat hidden, but it was still mostly visible.
"I'm launching a drone," said the professor, "to see what is going on around this area."
The drone shot up out of the top of the time cruiser, and ascended until it was so high, it could not be seen.
"Here is a photo of Ariana, I'll post it alongside a view of the party across the street," said the professor. On the monitor, on one side a cute blonde girl about sixteen years old was on the left side of the screen, while video of what was happening across the street was on the right side of the screen.
There were about a dozen girls and boys in their mid teens, standing around holding bottles of beer. Some teens exited the house, while others returned inside.
"That house still exists in the time me and Tiffany are from, and they always throw parties there. It looks like that party has been going on for some time," said Tad. "I'm surprised it hasn't gotten busted yet."
"You spoke too soon," said the professor. "The police are on their way now, my drone is transmitting the video now."
Three police cars pulled up to the front of the house where the party was in full swing. There was a mad dash to escape, as multiple teenagers, boys and girls, ran in all directions to escape the police.
Three girls ran out, then crossed the street and slowed to a quick walk. One of them was Ariana. while another of the three girls, a Latina, held a jacket that contained several bottles of beer.
"It's Ariana, professor!" said Tad. "I recognize her from the photo. I'd better exit the time cruiser and make contact with her."
The professor activated the door and gangplank, and Tad ran out to greet Ariana. The three girls were wearing poodle skirts and saddle shoes. Tad jumped up and down and yelled at the titanic teens.
"Down here!" said Tad. "Ariana!"
Ariana and her two friends were astonished when they saw the inch high man waving at them, jumping around.
"What is that?" Ariana asked.
"It looks like a tiny man!" said the Latina, as she shoved the jacket to Ariana. "Here, hold the beers while I collect him!"
The Latina knelt down, and tried to scoop Tad up. Tad jumped onto her palm and said, "I'm a time traveler from the future, I've been miniaturized!"
The Latina stood up, carrying Tad in her palm. "My name is Elle, Elle Dorado!"
"That's a cool name!" said Tad. "I need one of you to collect my time cruiser, I have two friends with me who are inside. I'm here to help Ariana become a better student."
"You'd better worry about becoming the food of the gods before you concern yourself with anything else," said Elle. "I have half a mind to send you straight to the depths of my Aztec belly!"
"You're just saying that because you're drunk!" said Tad. "You're too beautiful to swallow someone!"
"You would dare to challenge me?" said Elle. She lifted Tad above her mouth, and said: "You're just the right size for swallowing!"
Elle dropped tad onto her tongue, and closed her lips. With some effort, she was able to swallow her tiny captive. Elle and the other girls began laughing furiously when Elle had finished swallowing Tad. She stuck her tongue out to prove he had been vanquished.
"I want to find the other two he talked about, and swallow them, too!" said Elle, as she lifted the time cruiser in her right hand.
"We'd better get to my house first!" said Ariana. "We're still within easy reach of the police!"
Meanwhile, inside the time cruiser, Tiffany asked the professor, "How far is Ariana's house from here?"
"I'll put a map on the monitor," the professor replied, and within moments, a map that showed a red line going from the house where the party was to another house a couple of blocks away.
"She lives pretty close," said Tiffany. "If they plan on swallowing all of us, what can we do?"
"That has always been a possibility on every one of our missions," said the professor. "It could happen at any time!"
"Can we do something about it?" Tiffany asked. “Like using mind control to force them not to kill us?"
"We aren't permitted to use mind control to affect free will," said the professor. "All we can do is hope that we can convince these cannibalistic conquerors that we're better off alive than dead, because of what we can do for them!"
"There must be something proactive that we can do," said Tiffany. "Elle seems very dangerous! Can't we use mind control to find out what their innermost desires are, and exploit that knowledge?"
"I hadn't considered that," said the professor. "I'll look through the set of rules the Death Matrix left me." Professor Cannoli started reading through the text on a small monitor on the control console.
Meanwhile, the three teens were walking to Ariana's house, and were almost there. Elle carried the time cruiser, while Ariana still held the jacket that contained multiple bottles of beer.
"So are we going to finish partying at your house?" Elle asked.
"Yes," Ariana replied, "my parents are out of town. They went to Santa Barbara for their wedding anniversary."
"I think I should keep this time machine," said Elle.
"The shrunken guy you swallowed said they were here to tutor me," said Ariana. "I think I should keep it!"
"Let's find a pair of dice and roll for it," said Elle.
"Okay, that sounds fair," Ariana replied.
Meanwhile, inside the time cruiser, the professor finished reading the rules set forth by the Death Matrix. "We're able to read their minds and exploit that knowledge, just as you suggested! I'll do that now!"
Professor Cannoli hammered across the controls with his fingers, coaxing the buttons to initiate the mind control device so it would scan the minds of all three girls simultaneously. Within moments, the computer notified the professor that it had the results.
"They all want an advantage when it comes to gambling," said the professor. "If we can manipulate the outcome of any bets they make, say by controlling the dice, or giving them sports information in advance, then we can win them over."
"Will the rules allow us to do that?" Tiffany asked.
"Let me read through that section of the rules," the professor responded.
"Hurry, professor!" said Tiffany. "That map says we're only a few houses down from Ariana's house!"
"According to the rules, we can manipulate the outcome of bets!" said the professor.
"Tad!" Tiffany shouted into her communication ring. "We've got a plan, hang in there!"
Just then, the three girls arrived at Ariana's house. Ariana got her key out of her purse, and opened the door. The three girls entered the home, and Ariana turned the lights on. Elle set the time machine on the dining room table. Ariana set the jacket on the table, and set the bottles of beer upright. There were six bottles.
"That's two for each of us!" said Elle, as she used a bottle opener to open one of the beers. She began guzzling the beer, until she had drank the whole thing in less than twenty seconds.
"I think I'm going to be sick!" said Elle, as she rushed toward the bathroom. She stopped up the sink, and vomited into it. Tad came tumbling out, into the puddle of vomit. Elle grabbed him, and rinsed him off.
"Hey!" said Elle, "now I get to swallow you again!"
"First, take me to my two friends!" said Tad. "We've got something important to tell you!"
When Elle carried Tad into the dining room, Ariana had returned from her bedroom with a pair of dice.
"I found the dice!" said Ariana.
"Stay here in the time cruiser," the professor told Tiffany. "In case we need help."
Professor Cannoli exited the time cruiser, and walked down the gangplank.
"I'm Professor Cassius Cannoli, and I can be of great assistance to you!"
"Yeah?" Ariana asked. "How so?"
"If you don't swallow us, we can help you win at gambling. If you invite people over here, and you gamble with dice, I can use my technology to manipulate the outcome so you'll always win!"
"That sounds like a good idea!" said Ariana, licking her lips.
"I still want to swallow this tiny guy again!" said Elle. "It makes me feel like a goddess!"
"But we can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams!" said the professor.
"I don't want to be rich," said Elle, "I want to feel like a goddess!"
"You must listen to reason!" said the professor.
"I don't 'need' to do anything," said Elle, "especially not coming from a pint sized man who stands an inch tall! There are supposed to be three of you, I'd like to swallow all of you. Make the other one come out of your time machine!"
"Elle," said Ariana, "maybe we should listen to him, we can make a lot of money!"
Elle thought about it, and set Tad down on the table. "I guess you're right," said Elle. "I get a little bit drunk, and I turn into some kind of a cannibal! I'm sorry, tiny one!"
Tad walked over to the professor. "So we're going to make them rich by gambling?"
"I showed Tiffany how to work the control console to manipulate the dice," said the professor. "Ariana, take the dice, and predict the outcome, and Tiffany inside the time cruiser will match that outcome."
"Okay, how about seven?" Ariana asked.
"Now throw the dice!" said the professor.
Ariana threw the dice, and got a five and a two.
"Again!" said the professor, and Ariana threw again; this time, she got a six and a one.
"Again!" said the professor, and Ariana threw the dice a third time, and got a four and a three.
"Do you see?" the professor asked. "With us in charge, you can't lose!"
"I need to make some phone calls!" said Ariana. "If I keep your time machine in my bedroom, can you manipulate the dice from there? I have to keep you guys hidden!"
"Yes," said the professor, "our technology utilizes dimensional string theory, so we can use force fields projected from other dimensions to force the dice to land as you choose."
"Okay, get back in your time machine, both of you," said Ariana, "and I'll carry you to my room. I know some kids who love to gamble, and some of them are rich!"
Within an hour, the living room was full of teenagers who had been at the other party earlier that night. It was an equal mix of boys and girls, the average age between 14 and 17. Some of the kids had brought more beer. The record player was going, and they were listening to rock and roll.
By this time, Ariana had a stack of cash next to her on the dining room table. She was betting with some boys on the football team, and they were angry that they were losing. Ariana got lucky once again, and collected her winnings from one of the athletes.
"How does she keep winning?" he shouted, as he beat his fist against the table. He got up and left the party.
Elle whispered something in Ariana's ear, and got up and went to Ariana's bedroom. The time cruiser was on the dresser, with the door open and the gangplank down.
"Tiny one?" Elle asked, and Tad came out.
"Yes, goddess?" Tad asked.
"She's winning too much, they're going to know she's cheating unless you have her lose once in a while. Just don't let her win every time, unless she's betting everything."
"Will do!" said Tad, and he went back inside the time cruiser to tell the professor.
"The Mexican chick with the epic legs told me you can't let Ariana win every time," said Tad to the professor, "they're starting to suspect she's cheating."
"You mean Elle Dorado?" Tiffany asked. "I'll never forget that name!"
"Just don't let her lose when she bets everything," said Tad. "That's what Elle said."
"At what point are we going to tutor Ariana?" Tiffany asked the professor. "I don't feel safe here, that girl might try to swallow us again."
"We can contact one of Ariana's teachers," said the professor. "With the control console, I can contact anyone through the existing telephone lines of this era. Maybe we can convince her to tutor Ariana for free."
"Can the time cruiser central computer calculate who the best teacher to contact would be?" Tiffany asked.
"Actually, that's not a bad idea," said the professor. He implemented Tiffany's plan, and got some results. "It says here, Ms. Warren is the most suitable."
"Call her up, professor!" said Tiffany.
Within moments, Professor Cannoli was speaking with Ms. Warren.
"I need someone to tutor Ariana Armstrong," said the professor. "She's struggling in school, and needs someone to help her get back on course."
"I'm always willing to help a student in need, that's why I became a teacher!" said Ms. Warren. "Give me the address, and I'll be right over."
"It's 238 Newport street," said the professor.
Just then, Elle entered the bedroom with two younger girls.
“Tiny one?” Elle asked, indicating she wanted to speak with Tad.
Tad exited the time vehicle and walked down the gangplank.
“Yes, goddess?” said Tad.
“My mom doesn’t know about the party, and she asked me to watch my 13-year-old sister and her friend. Can you entertain them, and keep them out of trouble?”
“Sure, no problem! One of your teachers is coming over right now to tutor Ariana,” said Tad, “so you need to hide the beer!”
“Which teacher?” Elle asked.
“Ms. Warren,” Tad replied.
Elle left the bedroom and went to the dining room.
“Ariana!” Elle shouted. “Ms. Warren is coming over right now!”
“Hide the beer,” Ariana replied, “there’s another refrigerator in the garage, we have several cases of root beer, we need to swap the beer for root beer before Ms. Warren gets here!”
“Won’t your parents get mad that all that root beer is missing?” Elle asked.
Ariana waved the cash she won in front of Elle’s face. “Elle, I can buy more before they get back!”
By the time the teacher arrived, all the beer was hidden in the garage, and the kids who remained were drinking root beer. Ms. Warren arrived at the door, and Ariana let her in.
Ms. Warren pulled out a pocket watch, and said, “I’ve come to tutor you, I’ll stay for two hours, free of charge. This pocket watch will keep the time.”
As the teacher and Ariana studied at the table, Tad tried to entertain Elle’s younger sister.
“So your name is Rhea?” Tad asked.
“Yes, I was named after one of the Titanides,” said Rhea.
“Tad!” said Tiffany, as she peaked her head out the front door of the time cruiser. “The lock has been lifted! We can leave any time!”
“Okay, I’ll be right there,” Tad replied.
“My sister said she swallowed you,” said Rhea. “Will you let me swallow you, too?”
“You’d have to vomit me up afterwards,” said Tad. “It wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for you!”
“I don’t mind at all,” said Rhea. “I’d love to swallow a shrunken man!”
“Tad!” said Tiffany. “Let’s go!”
“I’ve got to leave,” said Tad. “My girlfriend is getting fussy.”
Rhea grabbed Tad and shoved him into her mouth and swallowed him. She raised her arms in victory after Tad was in her stomach.
Meanwhile, inside the time cruiser, Tiffany was concerned. “Professor, if we use the space warp to get him out of that girl’s stomach, will that cancel out the part of our mission where Tad was vomited up naturally?”
“I don’t know,” said the professor. “But it looks like we have no choice, we need Tad, and we have to get him out of the stomach of that giant girl!”
The professor activated the space warp and pulled Tad out of the dimensional hole that appeared in the floor of the time cruiser.
“Thanks, Professor!” said Tad.
“We completed our mission, our next time is the era of the Aztec empire in Mexico!” said the professor. He activated the controls, and something weird happened.
“There’s a power surge the likes of which I’ve never seen before!” said the Professor.
Just then, the power went dead.
“Professor, what happened?” Tiffany asked.
“I’m not sure, but we’ve reached an unknown time. I need to use the manual override to open the door,” said the professor.
When the door was open, and the three of them were outside, they were still in Ariana’s bedroom, and Rhea and her friend were still there sitting on the bed.
“Rhea is still here, we never left!” said Tad.
“We’re not in the twentieth century any longer,” said the professor. “But the power in the time cruiser went out, so I can’t be sure what era we’re in!”
“Perhaps I can clear this up!” said Ms. Warren, who had just entered the bedroom. “You’re a thousand years farther in the future than the year you are from, Professor!”
“How can this be?” the professor asked.
“I’m your daughter, I’ve been working all of this time to free you from the Death Matrix. I pursued a career in law enforcement, and when technology progressed to the point where we were superior to the technology of the Death Matrix, I infiltrated their group in the past, and manipulated them so they would bring you to me.”
“You posed as a teacher in the 1950’s?” The professor asked.
“Yes,” said the professor’s daughter. “I still must get back to that time, so the Death Matrix doesn’t figure out what I did. But before I do, I need to explain other things I did. I created duplicates of the three of you and your time cruiser, and they will go on your remaining missions, not knowing they aren’t you. The Death Matrix won’t know, either. They left to the era of the Aztecs when you were brought here.”
“But what about the kids at this party ?” the professor asked. “Why were they brought into the future?”
“They are duplicates, I created them when I created your doubles. They will have to integrate into my era, just as you will. Here is a neutrino dissimilator, it is programmed to re-enlarge you, it will bypass the dimensional lock the Death Matrix put on you.”
Arwen pointed the device at the professor, and he was instantly re-enlarged. She then re-enlarged Tiffany and Tad, in that order.
The professor hugged his daughter.
“I can’t believe the nightmare is over!” said the professor.
“Welcome to the year 6150!” said Arwen. “after you are de-briefed, you will be free to live in this time period without any further problems.”