by Samuel Orona
A scientist from an alternate reality shrinks all of the adults on Earth!
|Somewhere in Geosynchronous Orbit above the Earth...
A large metal sphere emerged from an inter-dimensional vortex, and positioned itself in Geosynchronous Earth orbit. The sphere was large enough so that from the surface of Earth at night, it was as large as the moon, even at that immense distance from the Earth. A female scientist who was also the pilot of the strange craft took over every radio and television frequency.
"People of Earth, I am Hannah Hexley, an anthropologist from an alternate reality. I am also from one thousand years in the future, so my technology dwarfs the technology of your primitive era. In the society where I came from, there are no protections for the people of other realities. I am performing a scientific anthropological study on your world. Exactly 24 hours from now, every adult on the planet aged 18 or older will be reduced down to one centimeter tall. Each person thereafter who reaches their 18th birthday will be miniaturized by my neutrino dissimilator cannons. My goal is to see how the children of the world conduct themselves in a world with no adult supervision."
A mischievous smile crept across Hannah Hexley's face. "I will allow the governments of this world to contact me during the interim, my translators will make it seem that I can communicate in their own language. But try as you might, my mind cannot be changed. In the new order, robots I've programmed will assist the children of the world and provide them with food and clothing. The robots will maintain power stations, so you will continue to have electricity. The robots will also teach school, if the children decide to attend school. All miniaturized adults will be rendered immortal. without the need for food or water, and will not die of old age. The only thing that can kill them is being dissolved in stomach acid. This will be my final message, I will have it repeat for the next 24 hours."
Meanwhile, at a secret military base...
General Barger received a call from the President of the United States.
"I'll try to contact the invader as soon as possible, Mr. President!" General Barger hung up the phone. "Colonel, the invader has sent us a frequency code that we can use to contact her. Get her on the line!"
A large monitor soon lit up, and Hannah Hexley's face appeared.
"I'm General Barger, I answer to the President of the United States. We are prepared to bargain with you, we have gold, silver, and uranium in large supplies that we are authorized to negotiate with. Make us an offer!"
"Nothing you have is of value to me," said Hannah. "I come from a post scarcity society where anything we need can be replicated very easily."
"Then what do you want from us?" General Barger asked.
"I want to see the results of my experiment carried out," Hannah replied. "Your reality is separate from mine, so I can alter your history without causing any danger to my own reality. I'm interested in studying human nature to see what the weakest in a society would do if they were granted absolute power."
"It could result in the deaths of billions!" the General shouted.
"I've anticipated that," Hannah replied, "my government has authorized me to conduct this experiment on your reality. There is nothing you or anyone on your planet can do to stop me!"
The screen went blank.
"She closed the channel, General!" shouted a lower ranking military officer.
"What time will she shrink all the adults of the world?" one of the military officers asked.
"About noon Pacific time tomorrow, 3 pm Eastern time," the general answered.
Meanwhile, in Bullet Bay, California half an hour before the miniaturization takes place...
Three adults were watching television while one of them, a woman, cut some green melon in an adjacent dining room where she could see the television.
"Neil, is any of this for real?" the woman asked.
"All the channels are repeating Hannah's message," said Neil, "I don't know if she has taken over the Internet or not. Ben, can you check it out?”
Ben got on the computer and began to look into things.
"All the news sites are reporting what's happening, Hannah hasn't taken over the Internet," said Ben.
"If this is real," said Neil, "it's good we cut our vacation short to come home, or we would've been stuck out in the boonies when we got shrunk!"
"About that, Sassy," Ben said to the woman, "the idea of leaving our smart phones behind and embracing nature might have sounded like a good idea, but it could've been our undoing!"
"How long before everyone gets shrunk?" Sassy asked.
"Just under half an hour," said Ben.
"Should we get supplies in town?" Sassy asked.
"According to what I'm reading online," said Ben, "experts think we should stay in our homes."
"What's the consensus?" Sassy asked. "Do most people think it's a hoax?"
"That metal globe in the sky isn't a hoax," said Ben. "Most people think all of this is really happening."
"Should we go into town?" Sassy asked.
"We might as well," said Ben. "No matter what we do or where we go, we're not safe from Hannah Hexley's miniaturization weapons!"
Neil got into the driver's seat of his late 60’s muscle car, while Sassy got in the passenger seat, and Ben sat in the rear. Neil drove into town, and they were surprised to see no other drivers on the road.
"It's like a ghost town!" said Neil. "Ben was right, if we hadn't been on that road trip without our phones and a broken car stereo, we would've known about all of this sooner."
"We're probably better off," said Sassy. "If the stores aren't cleared out, we can take what supplies we need and get back to the house."
The car pulled into the empty parking lot of the local supermarket, and Neil parked right in front of the store. They got out and went in, and the automatic sliding doors slid open for them. The store was ransacked, devoid of almost all supplies. The three of them walked the empty aisles in silence, until Sassy spoke up.
"I guess we're in a bad way," said Sassy. "I'm really sorry guys! I feel like this is all my fault."
"Don't blame yourself, Sassy." said Neil. "It won't matter any way. The recording did say we would be rendered immortal."
Just as they left the store, they saw a kid of about fourteen with the hood of the car up, and he had yanked a wire from the distributor cap.
"Hey!" Neil shouted. "That kid just yanked the coil wire! We have to get it back or our car won't work! Stay here with the car while I go after him!"
The kid was already around the corner of the building when Neil began chasing after him. Ben and Sassy followed close behind. When Neil was just about to catch up to the kid, the kid threw the coil wire down and abandoned it. Neil knelt down and picked it up, then raced back to the car.
"You two should've stayed with the car, in case more of them show up!"
When they got back to the car, all eight plug wires were missing. Neil threw the coil wire down and rubbed sweat from his forehead.
"The plug wires are all missing!" said Neil.
"What can we do now?" Sassy asked.
"We can make contact with those kids and try to make a truce with them," said Ben.
"Ben, how long until we shrink?" Neil asked.
"Just under ten minutes," Ben answered.
Just then, three kids appeared on the edge of the store property. It was a boy of about thirteen wearing shorts and a tee-shirt, a girl about a year older wearing a short mini-skirt and tank top, and an eleven-year-old girl wearing pink shorts and a pink blouse. They appeared to be related. They approached the three hapless adults.
"We know the kids who took the parts from your car," said the boy. "We can help get your car parts back."
"You were stupid for coming out into an exposed area like this," said the older girl.
The youngest girl was carrying a plastic jar, with a lid that screwed on. She held it and manipulated it in her hands as she watched the three adults.
"I've always wanted to hold shrunken people in my hands," said the youngest girl. "You will be our first conquests!"
"What will you do with us when we shrink?" Neil asked.
"We will collect you," said the older girl. "My sister Lydia has a jar to contain you."
"Most of the other adults have evacuated the town," said the boy. "What brings you here?"
"My girlfriend Sassy thought we were spending too much time on our phones and tablets," said Neil, "so she suggested we get out to nature. That's where we were when that crazy chick from an alternate reality took over the television and radio channels. We just got back into town not too long ago."
"Do you have any friends we can collect when all of the adults shrink?" the older girl asked.
'It's just us," said Neil. "My name is Neil Downs, this is my girlfriend Sassy Sumner, and my room mate Ben Dover."
The kids laughed at the names.
"I'm Gianna Savage, I'm fourteen" said the older girl, "this is my younger brother, Victor Savage, he's thirteen, and our younger sister Lydia Savage, she's eleven."
Meanwhile, above the Earth, the time drew near for the miniaturization process to begin; Hannah Hexley's metal sphere projected a force field around the Earth about a minute before the shrinking process was set to start. When the countdown reached zero, billions of neutrino dissimilators fired simultaneously, targeting every adult on the planet.
Neil, Ben and Sassy were shrunk down to a centimeter tall instantly. Almost instinctively, they ran under Neil's car to hide.
"We have to escape from those thunder children!" said Ben.
"Thunder children?" Sassy asked. "How did you come up with that name?"
"That's what people are calling them on the Internet," said Ben. "That's the correct term.”
Gianna knelt down to address the tiny trio.
"If you don't surrender to us, other kids will capture you and they might kill you! You're safer with us."
"We'll take our chances!" said Neil. The three adults who now stood one centimeter tall ran toward the center of the car. Meanwhile, Victor stood on one side of the car near the passenger's side door, while Gianna stood on the other side of the car near the driver's side door.
"Lydia!" said Victor. "There's enough room under the car for you to crawl under and get them! We'll capture them if they run out from underneath the car!"
Lydia crawled underneath the car, while the other two kids knelt down and peered underneath.
"Maybe we should trust them!" said Sassy, as Lydia reached to grab them and missed.
"Never trust thunder children!" said Ben.
Neil ran toward the front of the car and tried to reach the entrance to the supermarket, but Gianna caught up to him and stomped her foot down in front of him. Her pink sneaker filled his field of view. Gianna knelt down and captured him easily.
"I caught you!" said Gianna triumphantly, as she stood up and showed her conquest to her brother Victor.
"My sister already captured one of you," said Lydia. "It's better if you just surrendered to me!"
Sassy took the bait, and stepped into Lydia's reach; Lydia grabbed her and stuffed her into her plastic jar. Lydia set her other hand down, palm side up, and pleaded with Ben.
"We've got two of you, what good would it do for you to be out running around at one centimeter tall? You could get eaten by a cat or a dog running loose. At least with us, we can take care of you."
As Ben stood and pondered what Lydia was explaining to him, Victor reached his arm beneath the car and grabbed Ben while he was unaware.
"I got him!" Victor shouted.
Lydia and Victor crawled out from beneath the car, and the three kids closed in on each other. Victor and Gianna dropped their captives into Lydia's jar.
"Let's head home," said Gianna. "We need to check on our parents!"
The home the children lived in was only about a block away from the supermarket. They reached their house, and Gianna used her key to open the front door. Lydia carefully held her jar of captives securely while her siblings looked around.
"Mom?" Victor asked.
"Dad?" Gianna asked.
A man and a woman who stood a centimeter tall ran out into the open. Gianna scooped them up and set them on the dining room table. Lydia dumped out her jar of captives, making the total five miniaturized adults.
"Are you these kids parents?" Neil asked the man.
"Yes," the man replied.
"Can we trust them?" Sassy asked.
"I don't know," said the man. "All three of my kids are pretty independent, they don't like taking orders, and they like being in charge."
"That doesn't sound too good," said Neil.
"Once our children found out that all the adults in the world would be shrunk today, they couldn't stop talking about how fantastic it will be when they capture some captives."
"All three of our kids want to swallow someone alive!" said the woman. "I don't think there's any hope for you!" The woman introduced herself to the others. "I'm Beverly Savage, and this is my husband Earl."
"Nice to meet you," said Sassy. "I'm Sassy, this is my boyfriend Neil, and his room mate Ben."
The children started laughing. "Tell them your last names!" said Lydia.
"I'm Neil Downs, and Ben's last name is Dover! Get it, Ben Dover?"
"Gianna, do you know where the dice are?" Victor asked.
"I'll get them," said Gianna, and she returned a minute later with the dice. She dropped them on the table, and they were slightly higher than the height of the five miniaturized adults. "Did you want to gamble?"
"I want to win your captive," said Victor. "I own Ben, you own Neil, and Lydia owns Sassy." Victor shook the two dice in his cupped hands, and tossed them on the table. "Highest score wins!" The tossed dice came up a three and a five. "Eight points! Your turn, Gianna!"
"This is the first time I've ever felt like a poker chip!" said Neil.
Gianna took her turn, and got two sixes. Gianna threw her arms up in victory. "I win! Now I own two of them!"
Victor set fifty dollars down. "Lydia, I'm putting up fifty dollars against your captive."
"Okay!" said Lydia, and she threw the dice and got a four and a three. Victor tossed the dice and got a six and a five. "I won the woman!"
"Now I don't have a shrunken captive!" said Lydia.
"I'll give you one of my captives if you make the three of us root beer floats!" said Gianna.
Lydia ran into the kitchen and got a two-liter bottle of root beer from the refrigerator and some vanilla ice cream from the freezer, and got out three glass mugs from the cupboard. She scooped out ice cream into each mug, then poured root beer into each mug until they were full. She brought the root beer floats into the dining room, and set them down on the table.
Each of the three kids grabbed a mug.
"We should all take an oath," said Victor. "We should pledge to conquer as many adults as possible!"
"We should also pledge our allegiance to Lydia," said Gianna. "She's the youngest, and we will shrink before she does, so we'll need her to take care of us when we turn eighteen."
"To Lydia!" said Victor.
"To Lydia!" said Gianna, and the three kids drank from their mugs. Gianna took one of her two male captives and handed him to Lydia. "Now Victor has Sassy, I have Neil, and Lydia has Ben!"
"What should we do with them?" Victor asked.
"I think we should let Lydia decide!" said Gianna.
"I say we swallow them!" said Lydia, licking her lips. "Then we'll feel like gods!"
Gianna took Neil and dropped him into her mug, then Victor dropped Sassy into his mug. Lydia observed her siblings, and followed suit by sticking Ben into her mug. The three kids clanked their mugs together and gulped down the rest of their root beer floats; their captives were gulped down, also. Neil plunged into Gianna's mouth, and tumbled down her esophagus. Within two seconds, he landed with a splash in the depths of her belly.
Victor lifted his shirt to reveal his belly button, and Gianna lifted her shirt and patted her tummy.
While within the belly of Gianna Savage, Neil tried to hold his breath as long as possible, but eventually, he lost consciousness, and the last thing he smelled was the root beer and chyme he was swimming around in.