by Samuel Orona
Tristan is shrunk to ant size and given to a woman's 16-year-old daughter
|A man's car breaks down on a deserted street late at night. He tries to figure out what's wrong as he lifts up the hood, when a strange craft descends near his car. A gull-wing door opens, and two figures step out, a middle-aged blonde woman and what appears to be a robot. The woman appears to be in her mid-30s, in good shape, but with kind of a thick build. Any single guy who saw her at a night club would've tried to buy her a drink, whether he was younger than her or older than her. She zaps him with a strange device, which reduces him to ant size, and says, "Collect him, Enzo."
The robot is able to collect the man easily without injuring him. The woman explains what is going on to her newly acquired shrunken victim: "My name is Ursula Zeitner, and this is my robotic assistant, Enzo. We are time travelers from the 53rd century. You are Tristan Vasco, and after tonight you were reported missing and never seen or heard from again. My goal is to collect hundreds of men like you to populate a model city in the bedroom of my eighteen-year-old daughter Zoey."
The woman and the robot entered the flying craft, and ascended into the night. Tristan wasn't sure if the craft they were in had traveled through time to get to their eventual destination, but soon they were at a nice home. Tristan knew the woman was telling the truth about being a time traveler, because it was night time when she abducted him, and now, less than a minute later, it was day time at their destination. Tristan was taken, along with a larger group of captives, to the bedroom of the daughter of the woman who had captured them. There was a model city, complete with streets, houses and buildings, all built to the same scale as Tristan and the other shrunken captives who all stood at ant size. There were others who had already been captured before Tristan and the men who had been abducted along with him. One of them came out to greet them as soon as Enzo the robot and Ursula had departed from the bedroom.
"Are any of you electricians or computer programmers?" a fellow shrunken man asked.
"I'm an electrician's apprentice," said Tristan. "I'll be a journeyman in about another year. I also have an associates degree in computer science."
The other shrunken men looked at each other, and Tristan realized that there would be no escape for himself or the others, so becoming a journeyman was not in his future any more.
"I mean, I would've became a journeyman, had I not been abducted."
"You need to come with us, we're working on a secret project we don't want Zoey or her mother to know about."
Tristan was taken to a building in the model city on the floor of the bedroom where there was a large device that dominated the room. It looked like some kind of a weapon.
"What year are you from?" the man asked Tristan.
"2018," said Tristan.
"You're the earliest out of most of us," the man replied. "I'm from 2100. We have access to technology you know nothing about."
"What kind of weapon are you building?" Tristan asked. "Will it help us escape?"
"It's a neural stimulator, it induces vomiting," the man replied. "If Zoey or her mother swallows one of us, we can use it to make them vomit the victim back up, so he survives."
"You should be working on a way to get us out of here!" said Tristan angrily. "If you had enough raw materials to build that neural thing, then you could've built some kind of a weapon!"
"Right now we're working damage control," another man told Tristan. "There is no escape from Zoey or her mother, as far as we know, and even if there was, we'd get eaten alive by animals such as feral cats or dogs. Trust us, we've thought of every variable, and there literally is no other way."
"What do you need me to do?" Tristan asked.
"We need someone who can code," the first man asked Tristan.
"I have an associates degree in computer science," Tristan reminded him, "I did that for a while before switching to electrical technology."
"We pieced this device together from various other devices we found scavenging through the house," said the first man. "Ursula, Zoey's mother, told us when she has a certain number of captives she will reveal this miniature city to her daughter. You represent the final captive; she said she would have 200 of us, and you're captive number 200."
"Show me what you need me to do," said Tristan, and the two men took him over to the device and had him program the console that controlled it. They showed him how to adjust the level of power needed to affect the brain of someone who was normal-sized, and how to set it to a coherent beam.
Soon, Zoey Zeitner and her mother entered the bedroom. Zoey was eighteen years old, with long blonde hair, and blue eyes. She was wearing pink shorts, a purple tank top, and white socks with sneakers. She had bracelets on and a lot of rings, as any normal teenage girl would. Her long blonde hair was tied back in a pony tail. She wore a necklace with a black German cross pendant that was popular in Germany during World War Two.
"This city is all yours, Zoey!" said Ursula, her mother.
"Shrunken people?" Zoey asked.
"Yes!" Ursula responded. "They've all been reduced to ant size! You are allowed to do with them as you please!"
Zoey stepped closer to the small city in the center of her bedroom on the carpet. "Where did the shrunken people come from?"
"They are all people who ended up missing throughout the twenty-first century. If you kill them or stomp on them, you will never be prosecuted, according to the laws in our century." Ursula exited Zoey's bedroom and closed the door behind her.
Zoey rubbed her hands together with excitement. "Okay, tiny ones, I'm Zoey Zeitner, your new owner! Prepare for a reign of terror! Do I have any volunteers who are willing to sacrifice themselves to me? I will be your goddess!"
Most of the shrunken captives disappeared into the structures, but a small contingent of them gathered in the front of the city, at Zoey's feet.
"Okay, you will be the first to be sacrificed to your goddess! Prepare to be devoured by your cannibalistic conqueror!"
Zoey knelt down and licked the fingers of her right hand, and a group of captives stuck to her finger, and she stuck them inside her mouth. She moved her tongue around so she could feel them sliding around in her mouth, and laughed. She swallowed, and they went on a journey down her esophagus.
"It's time!" said one of the men who had recruited Tristan to help them. Half a dozen captives tore down the roof containing the neural stimulator, and aimed it at Zoey's head. They took aim, and fired. The beam of energy was invisible to the naked eye, but its presence was felt by Zoey when she stumbled around for a moment, then vomited into her trash can, completely unaware that a device had made her throw up. Zoey then knelt down and grabbed two more captives after licking her right index finger, and tried to swallow them, as well.
The captives who were working with Tristan aimed the neural stimulator at Zoey again, and fired. She vomited into her trash can again, but this time, she fished out the first group of captives, as well as the two she had just vomited up. She giggled as she held them in her hand.
Back in a control room hidden in the house, Ursula and her robot Enzo spy on Zoey as they watch a large monitor.
"Things aren't going as planned, Enzo!" said Ursula. "It looks like the captives are up to something!"
"They've built a neural stimulator from spare parts they scavenged around the house," said Enzo.
"My perspective as a neutral observer prevents me from interfering," said Ursula. "This is all being filmed, and will be part of my report that I am writing. It will be submitted back in our home century."
Back in Zoey's bedroom, Zoey re-swallowed the captives she had vomited up. She began laughing and rubbing her belly.
"There's no escape from me, slaves! My belly will be the final resting place of each and every one of you!" Zoey's laughter filled the room.
One of the small captives ran to Zoey's feet, in an effort to win her over.
"Zoey, I'm a counselor! Listen to reason! Just because you have absolute power doesn't mean it's right to dominate and hurt other living beings!"
Meanwhile, at the neural stimulator, Tristan had an idea.
"If we configure this to the right area of the brain, I think we can manipulate her mind into thinking a different way!"
"I'm listening," Zoey told the counselor.
He continued to try to persuade her to not be evil: "It would be far better if you swallowed us and vomited us up, even if you swallowed us thousands of times, we would still survive. How would you feel if you vanquished all of us, and you had no further captives to swallow?"
"Aim it now!" said Tristan, and they aimed the neural stimulator at Zoey's head. "Fire!" said Tristan, and Zoey puked into her trash can. She fished out the captives she had swallowed, and placed them back in the city.
"You're right!" said Zoey. "If I killed all of you, I would have none left. If I puke you back up each time I swallow you, then we'll both be happy; you'll survive, and I'll still have 200 captives!"
"It worked!" said Tristan. "We might all end up traveling to Zoey's belly and getting puked back up indefinitely, but at least we'll survive!"
From that day forward, there was established a symbiotic relationship between captor and captive; none of the captives needed to fear their teenage mistress, and she could live knowing her tiny slaves would always be there for her, to satisfy her every whim. She might swallow them a dozen times a day, but they knew they would most surely survive. At least, they hoped; accidents can happen.