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[Diaper Dimension] Hard Reset [6/4/2018] CH5

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    [Incomplete] [Diaper Dimension] Hard Reset [6/4/2018] CH5

    Heyo, this is a story I've been writing in between Nomad and Sheltered. Somewhere around the length of Sheltered so far I think, but there's a bit to read. I've never written a diaper dimension story so I figured I'd try it out, but I'm not sure if I have as much as a knack for it as everyone else on here. I was curious nonetheless though! If the turnout is well this won't be a one-off tangent, so allow me to post everything finished for it I have here. Be sure to let me know what you think afterwards!
    Hard Reset





    Prologue

    “Welcome back everyone! My name is Thomas Roberts and our next topic for discussion tonight,” the suited Little cleared his throat, “is the Interdimensional Workers Inclusion Act, also known as IWI for short. Here in Libertalia our borders will soon be opening to immigrants from specific dimensions the Parliament has determined beforehand. This is not the first instance we’ve welcomed foreign Littles into our country, but this will be the first time that it is for the sake of bolstering our workforce and diversity. The IWI Act can be seen as beneficial for a multitude of reasons, but has also been divisive amongst concerned citizens as well. To get both sides of the argument,” the Little gestured his hand towards a chair much larger than his own, “I’d like to welcome our guest tonight, Elise Goldmann, leader of APL, Amazons Protect Littles,” his face gave a look less than enthusiastic yet professional all the same.

    On cue, a tall similarly dressed woman emerged from a side curtain, visibly towering over the Little show host as she sported a telegenic smile and walked over to her seat. The applause came and fell as she sat down and politely shook the host’s hand despite like being a bear’s claw to a mouse. “Thank you for having me tonight Thomas, it’s a pleasure for you to have me on.”

    “Glad to have you here as well!” He chuckled with plastered joy. “Now, to get right into things, a--pardon the pun, liberty, we have here in Libertalia is the often celebrated shared rights and equalities amongst both Amazons and Littles here. At least, more than what can be said for neighboring islands. That being said, you lead the forefront for a group that has reportedly been trying to spearhead the IWI Act for quite some time now, only to have lost by a narrow margin in the final polls on its ratification. One circulating rumor is that the APL has been against the inclusion of interdimensional travelers into our society. Do you think you could give us some more insight?”

    “Well, Tommy,” Elise parted a lock of golden hair from her eyes. “I want to be clear that the APL is a strong proponent for the inclusion of Littles into our society, and that in no way is our stance on the IWI Act to be seen as an attack on Littles. Rather, it to the benefit to Amazons and Littles, both foreign and local.”

    “Haha, well Elise you sort of have me stumped here!” The host took a sip out of his mug. “I think you’re going to have to elaborate a bit further for all of us!”

    Her smile remained static as she also took a sip from her Amazon-sized mug. “Of course, I can get some people might find it a little bit hard to wrap their heads around. First, it’s no secret that APL’s goal is to foster and grow the relationships between Amazons and Littles, and that is to fulfill each other’s mental and physical needs. A common misconception for Littles is that they are think they belong in the role of an Amazon. Accounting, servicing, retail, deskwork, teaching, there are countless more examples I could go on for hours about. Our society is built in such a way, where to survive and thrive you need the physical and mental fortitude that unfortunately not everyone has, especially Littles. It’s everyone’s ultimate goal to find happiness in life, wouldn’t you say?” She looked expectantly at the host.

    “Sure, I suppose that’s natural.” He nodded, unable to see where this was headed.

    “Exactly, which is why the hardships to be found in the workforce can only yield success to those who are well-suited for it. Or in other words, Amazons. Littles aren’t as equipped to deal with these sorts of obstacles, lest they be cubs thrown to a pack of wolves! Heavens, even normal Amazonian public transportation struggles to accommodate for them! Simply living a grown-up life is a day to day struggle for them. To the Littles that try to emulate Amazons and work in a society meant for adults, it’s only a matter of time until they fail the system or the system fails them. And when things finally get too hard on the poor things and they finally crack, where will their Amazon be to pick up the pieces?”

    The spokesman looked a bit put off, as she seemed to have gotten careless with her words and who she was speaking to, which she either didn’t notice or simply didn’t care.

    “Of course, there can sometimes be rare exceptions.” She stressed in his direction as she dismissed it with a laugh.

    “The working world is not where Littles will find happiness, Tommy.” She shook her head in disappointment, as if she were imagining the countless amount of working Littles now. “For society to even fool them into thinking they could ever find success in such a cruel world is sickening. But that’s why,” a glimmer of hope returned to her face. “If they only realize that being cared for by an Amazon and learning to live a life that only has ups and no downs, they’d find it to be a much more rewarding lifestyle, for both Amazon and Little. Libertalia would be a much better place for everyone! So to answer your question with a bit more clarity, we do not hate Littles. Instead, we cherish them too much to ever put them in danger. APL wants more Littles to be introduced into society, only not in this way.”

    “Well…” Thomas seemed a bit taken aback by her dynamic response, collecting himself. “When you say ‘being cared for,’ are you referring to babying Littles, Elise? Don’t you think many Littles would much rather keep living like adults than lose their maturity and independence altogether?”

    “If that’s how you’d like to put it Tommy, then sure. I, on the other hand, see it as falling into our natural roles. Amazons care for Littles, and Littles live for their own happiness, and their guardian’s too. The diapers, bottles, cribs and the like are all essential parts in letting them feel safe and cared for. To call it a loss of independence is wrong, because babying a Little is the most liberating thing you could do for them! I can’t seem to find what’s wrong with making Littles only feel good things, do you?”

    “I...suppose not…” He couldn’t find himself compelled by her Amazon logic, even though he chose not to poke the bear too hard. “But wouldn’t you say it is essential for us to undergo hardship to grow as people? Develop the control and skills to better deal with what society might throw our way?”

    “Certainly! For Amazons, at least. Littles are such more tiny little packages, bottles if you will, that can only take so much stress until they pop! An Amazon’s mental and physical growth is much more accelerated; faster and more up to speed with society’s standards than a Little’s could ever be. It’s up to Amazons to see to the care of Littles, so they never have to experience such a harsh world; which is why every Little needs a mommy or daddy, to make sure they can stay their happy and bubbly selves! A Little doesn’t need to deal with such heavy emotions like depression, anxiety and fear when they have someone to keep those bad feelings away; people who are much better suited to deal with them!”

    “Ms.Goldmann,” Thomas quickly said moving on. “You have two adopted Littles, don’t you?”

    “Yes I do, Cameron and funnily enough, Tommy!”

    Thomas would never let the cameras know, but a small part of him recoiled in a mix of fear and disgust on the inside, just from hearing a parallel between he and this woman. “And did these Littles willingly consent to being adopted by you?”

    “Well, Cameron was my first. I caught him in the subway system when I was going to the public bathrooms. Poor thing soaked his big-boy pants pretty well.” Her face had the look of a doting mother. “It would have been harder to tell he hadn’t wet himself! I had always been wanting a little boy, and there he just happened to be! It was rough getting him diapers for the first month, but he knew what was best for him soon enough. Besides, while I’m an advocate for Little Orphanages that instill the etiquette into them beforehand, the Caught-When-Wet law made it much easier to skip the formalities. On top of that, it allowed for so much more bonding with my little boy as we both learned what was expected of us. It’s a shame that the laws are much more strict now...But! Five years later and my little boy is as happy as can be! And so am I!”

    “And what about...Tommy?” Thomas seemed a bit more uncomfortable asking about his unfortunate doppelganger.

    “Tommy actually used to be a friend of a co-worker of mine.” Elise took a sip from her mug as she pondered the thought. “He was actually a textbook case of the victimized Little I fear for so much…” She said, almost looking sad for a moment. “I managed to overhear that he was on his last leg between his job and rent, nobody being there to give him a break. Needless to say, a Little can’t fill an Amazon’s shoes, so it was only a matter of time until he was finally laid off from his job. While it was legally within my right to adopt him on the spot, I was much more gentle with the poor thing. We started talking, even though I was clear from the start he wouldn’t have much hope of finding a job around here after being fired,” she added passively. “I helped him come to terms with his options, and he found that it was much wiser and better to let Mommy take care of him than be turned over to a different Amazon. And now to this day I’m a happy mother of two! Something I hope every Amazon has the joy of experiencing.”

    The audience had a round of applause in a checkered manner, about every little in the room unable to reciprocate the paternal feelings. The crowd now fell into Elise’s favor, a direction just about every mixed setting here took.

    After the applause died down, Thomas went on to say, “Well, thank you Elise for joining us with the short time we had. It was a pleasure to hear from you and give us some clarity on current matters.”

    “Happy to be here Tommy!” She said, as Thomas for some reason could feel himself cringe at hearing her stress the name. “And if you ever feel the need, I’ll always be happy to be a mother of three!” She teased as she fished out a dangling pacifier from one of her pockets.

    The majoring Amazon crowd erupted in laughter as the tv host tried to hide the embarrassment on his face, trying to play it off. “H-heh...my name’s Thomas Roberts. Tune in next time!”


    1 - Admission

    Is it here? It has to be! I’m supposed to be getting my results today...Hopefully they didn’t just toss my application out. Please God don’t let that be the case...

    My heels clicked down the sidewalk as I was nearing my complex’s mailbox. It had been months of rigorous surveying and background checks just to even come to a verdict! The power of a single word had the power to make or break probably the rest of my life. But I didn’t want to think worst case scenario, because hopefully that wouldn’t happen. It won’t happen.

    Eighteen more clicks to go. I was counting each and every step down the sidewalk as the building came into sight.

    Sixteen. Please let this be the end of my suffering, rescue me from this dead-end job...

    Ten. Get me out of this shithole of a city! Lest I be mugged on the streets for staying here any longer than I have to.

    Five. This new job could only be anything but worse. A change of scenery and a ticket out of one of the most dangerous cities in the country sounded like a dream; only that it wasn’t.

    My feet couldn’t get me through the door fast enough when I pushed the bar open. I paid no mind to the stained tiles nor the dead plant sitting in the corner, accompanied by its plastic artificial cousin, which bettered neither of the two by association.

    There it was. The array of lockboxes ranging from one to one hundred were staring back at me. Each and every panel was caked in a varying degree of rust. My hand was already holding on to the tiny key in my purse since three blocks ago, all for this moment! My heart was beating a mile a minute as I forced the shaking key into the lock.

    “Come ooon lucky double sevens!” I quietly chanted as I twisted the key in synch. I gave the fixed key a tug as my mailbox creaked open, revealing my usual pile of mail. The world was going dark on me as I looked at the top and recognized the same damn phone logo that I got my service from. Did I have the dates right? Was today when I was supposed to get a response? I checked my phone in a silent frenzy for the given date and today’s. Sure enough they matched up, meaning…

    “No dice…” I said in a defeated whisper; I tried to fight the sadness in my voice. Completely dejected I looked through my pile, as it shifted from familiar to junk I filtered it all by tossing whatever didn’t matter onto the ground. A mere fraction of the mail that actually mattered in hand, I slumped off to the elevator; cursed to continue this wretched life of mine until the very end.

    “Fuck me…” I whined to myself as I clicked the button. I was too self-absorbed to even notice the loud rapping on the glass beside me. It was the desk worker, Jim. We never really talked that often. He was in his usual-worn suit covering a slightly discolored button-up. A relatively clean-shaven face with eyes that regularly screamed about as much enthusiasm as I was feeling right now...Wait, what does he even want me for?

    Back to reality, I looked at him this time rather than through, and asked “What is it Jim? I’m not feeling too great right now…” My recently energetic steps now felt sapped of all their juice.

    “Sorry to bother ya,” He said in an unconvincing voice. “Yuki was it? Yoko? Either way, I was told to make sure this got handed to you directly.” He slid a large manila envelope underneath the dividing panel of glass.

    “What?” I said with a fragment of interest. “From who?” Although my heart had just been ripped from my chest a few moments ago, some sense of change kept me digging. While this package screamed mystery to me, I was still trying to silence the hope in me that was trying to make it seem like something it probably wasn’t. The walls would really start to cave in then if I let myself get fooled twice...

    “Not sure, didn’t tell me much other than to give it to you and have ya sign for it. Right here, please,” he tapped the signature box on a slip as he slid it to me.

    My eyes had barely even scanned the paper until in a mix of fading depression and growing curiosity, I was already scribbling something not even remotely legible across the page. Whatever it took for me to figure out the contents of this package, I was starting to feel driven to reach that point as soon as possible.

    “Is that all you need?” I couldn’t help but let a pang of childish impatience in my voice as I was ready to tap my foot. I had already been waiting for so long, it felt like an insult to deny me my climax now. The familiar ding rung behind me as my ride was now here and the parting doors made the usual creak they’d always had.

    “Free to go,” his eyes were already back to his computer screen. Who knows what he was doing. Probably porn for all I knew…

    I didn’t spare much more thought on the pointless topic as one hand firmly gripped the large envelope. Could this be it? Please let it be! Part of me wanted to toss the thing immediately, just so I wouldn’t have to risk being let down again; let that lingering what-if stay, so it doesn’t have to be crushed by reality.

    I was always careful to look over the elevator panel before I ever pressed it. Ever since my first month here after pressing my floor, covered in something slimy that stretched from the tenth to the fifth...Needless to say I couldn’t scrub my hand hard enough that night, and there was no way in hell I’d be touching some foreign substance ever again. The interior mirrors on all four sides echoed my reflection into infinite nothingness. If I were claustrophobic I’d never take these tiny boxes on cables they called elevators. Four people’d have to be packed like sardines if they wanted to fit in here, which I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing before. But with my eyes on the manila prize, the opening doors interrupted my thoughts as I reached my floor.

    The carpet floor was just as torn as it was yesterday and so was the peeling wallpaper. The job I was overqualified for could only pay for a sorry-excuse-of-a-home like this, and I couldn’t help but want this delivery to bring a change to that. I fished the keys from my purse and opened the three different locks corresponding to three different keys on my wooden door. Not like it mattered, though. It was only just last week when my neighbor across the hall had his door kicked in by who knows who. It was easy to tell which was his, because a green door didn’t exactly blend in well with all the other yellow ones surrounding it.

    I was in my apartment and had the locks back in place faster than I undid them. With aching feet slipped out of their heels, I couldn’t help but moan a relief as I touched the hardwood floor; the one sensation that let me know I returned to my sweet oasis.

    “Hi mom,” I gave a slight bow to her picture on the wall as I brushed a petal from the flowers I had potted beneath her.

    I was fast to get the kitchen lights since getting natural sunlight in here was a cruel joke. For every window I have except a tiny bathroom one, you can get a breathtaking sight of brick, just brick and even more brick, close enough to where you could almost touch it.

    The nearby clock on the microwave read 5:37PM, just about the usual time assuming the conjunction of subway and sidewalk traffic stayed the same. Delaying my fate for just a few moments longer, I had a pot of water set to boil as I took one of the last few packages of ramen noodles from my cabinet. One of the rare occasions that I actually do, I took a beer from the fridge as well, since I could use a bit of liquid courage right now, and the tap water here tasted like my money’s worth.

    After a few sips just to work myself up, I flipped over the envelope and peeled off the tape that was protecting the binding on it. With each unravel of twine my heart started to beat louder and faster. Everything around me disappeared as it was only me, my beer and my fate. The thought still killed me that this might not even be for my new job, much less a simple rejection letter. The odds were two to one. Staggering enough to make me take another swig of my happy juice.

    With no more unbinding to do, the top unfolded on its own as the thick stack of papers inside were now exposed. Gripping the whole bunch I slowly reeled out its contents as I was on the edge of my seat already.

    But I couldn’t compose myself for very long when I saw what it was. I had lost every sense of my being and every fiber hyper focused on sight and sensation. I couldn’t do much for the tears that rolled down my cheeks on their own; legs shaking as I tried to process what was happening.

    “No way...this can’t be happening…” I looked over at my boiling noodles as my appetite was suddenly gone. I could throw up right now...Months of anticipation leading up to this moment, for this kind of result…

    The tears didn’t stop coming, as deliverance had come. Everything around me was a thing of the past! No more cheap noodles, burglary-prone apartment complexes or brick building windows!
    My cries became open sobs as my four years of hell were finally over!


    Applicant #349,578 Yoko Sasaki’s request for the participation in the 20,000 available occupational positions in the Interdimensional Workers Inclusion Act, for the purpose of establishing foreign relations with neighboring dimensions has been by the result of extensive surveying and investigation:
    Approved


    For further briefing on where to move from this acceptance letter, please be sure to read the additional provided information included with this document. Your scheduled departure and consulate meetings will also be included as well, where your assigned position and housing will be further elaborated on.

    “Yes yes yes yes yes!” I cheered happily as I paraded around the kitchen. Suddenly my next swig of beer didn’t taste so bitter like the last, and the ramen seemed like it was going to taste better than it ever had before! “We did it mom! We’re finally leaving!” I couldn’t help but hop from toe to toe with a grin from ear to ear as her eternal smile looked back at me.

    Suddenly I could hear a loud banging on one of the walls between me and my neighbor.

    “Hey! Shut the hell up!” yelled a voice through the wall.

    The walls were indeed thin here...Like that one time I could hear two people getting busy next door. Wasn’t that the same direction it came from too? Whatever! Who cares? I won’t be here for much longer! Not even my neighbors could get me down now, and if my acceptance forum weren’t just a piece of paper I swear I could have kissed it! The only thing that kept me even remotely reserved was the boiling pot of water that was starting to sing in tune with my emotions.

    I grabbed a pair of wooden chopsticks as I filled my bowl with ninety-five cent noodles and didn’t skip out on the watery broth. With a little bit of artificial seasoning I felt like I was a king dining on his feast. And what for the past four uninterrupted years tasted like shitty noodles, suddenly became the best dollar per pack I had ever spent.




    2 - Preparation

    “Liberatlia…” I couldn’t stop myself from reading while I was eating. My blood was still pumping with adrenaline as I tried to convince myself this was actually happening. While I knew about it beforehand, there was something so concrete, absolute, about it being on paper that I would be moving to this new place. And to be travelling to a different dimension to boot!

    If I remembered correctly, we haven’t been in contact with this other dimension for very long...Nearly a decade at the most? Anyways, the governments here have been very strict on who gets to cross through the portal, and even then it has to be consensual from both sides. While money often talks, not even some of the wealthiest people in the world could gain access! I couldn’t find much information on Liberatlia from my phone, other than that they’re regarded as a technologically advanced society. Lightyears ahead of us supposedly.

    The name looked like a warped form of the word liberty, freedom. Both in sense and reality this place couldn’t help but seem all the more enticing. And from the looks of it this place seemed almost like a one-way trip, since I couldn’t find anything about a return date or worst case scenario. They’d probably tell me more about it during the briefings, not that I hoped it would ever come to that though. This opportunity was too precious to squander. I had heard there were millions of applicants for this program just to fill only 20,000 spots! And to keep thinking how I was one of the lucky few...I was on cloud nine.

    My bowl of better-than-usual noodles came to its end as I sipped the last of its soupy water. I reasoned with myself I’d clean the pot later and stuck the bowl in the tiny sink. I dropped the chopsticks in the trash as I grabbed the papers off the table and moved to my office. While I lived in a complete shithole, this was the one thing that really made things bearable. I hit the power button to my computer as I watched the colorful lights from the inside come to life. My clean and shiny monitor responded as well, picking up on my emails where I left off last night.

    “No need to look at these anymore…” I grinned as I closed the tab. I had to stop myself from getting into a giggling fit as the positivity was coming back in troves. “Li...ber...ta..lia…” I said to myself as I typed the letters on the keyboard. Of course there wouldn’t be much of a difference from the results I found on my phone, but I found it easier to browse on a computer than a handheld device.

    Sure enough not a lot was coming up other than basic repeated information. There was lots of speculation on what kind of place Libertalia was; but despite any concrete proof, the general consensus online was how much better of a place it was than here on Earth. I skipped out on the suggested local poverty and debt articles, since all I had to do was look out my tiny bathroom window to get the gist of that; but the further I went the more my search went up in smoke.
    The ‘speculations’ started to become a bit more strange too, throwing terms around like Amazon and even Little? Whatever those meant.

    Deciding to give the pointless hunt a rest, I switched gears and closed the search tab while I moved from my office and into the living room. I put on my nearsighted glasses and turned the tv on while I looked the papers over like a fine-toothed comb to hair. My first meeting was actually in a few days, and was actually in the next city over...It was definitely out of the way considering I didn’t own a car--correction, cannot afford a car. I’d make due though. With seven available sick days under my belt there wouldn’t be an issue making the time. The papers didn’t say anything about an explicit date for the second meeting, but suggested there might be one in the future.

    After rereading them multiple times I was finally content with what I had and would start planning in the morning. I hopped in my tiny shower and already started to wind down, just so I could end the day even sooner and bring me one step closer to Libertalia! Even when I started to hear grunting from next door my smile didn’t waver!

    It had been three days since I got my acceptance letter, and I looked out the window next to me as we travelled across the highway. My phone read 7:38AM as the early morning didn’t match my energy right now. I made sure to sleep early the night before, just so nothing could go wrong today. Hell, I was so cautious that I should be an hour earlier than the thirty minutes I had already set aside for when I got there! My sneakers shuffled while I looked myself over. They were clear to wear casual street clothes for when I got there so to keep things relaxed. Probably after having me jump through so many hurdles, it didn’t have to be so formal now?

    I was headed to a Brazilian Consulate which I guess was being repurposed as one for Libertalia? The address didn’t matter to me, but I was starting to wonder just how discreet they were trying to keep this...The bus shook every now and then as we hit the occasional bump. The roads between cities got less attention than the ones that weren’t, local governments saying they planned to improve infrastructure, but they never did of course. My mind wandered as I looked at all the passing scenery, though it never really changed. The midwest never had much to look at between commerce points, it almost made me homesick, not that anywhere really felt like a home anymore.

    The drive went on for about another hour and a half until I finally stepped off and into Indianapolis. The Consulate was just a few blocks from here and while it was about ten o’clock I thanked myself for being so overzealous as I only had about twenty minutes or so to spare!

    “Should have done more research on the traffic…” I cursed myself while my pace picked up down the sidewalk. There was no doubt in my mind I’d make it on time, just that I wanted to be to be there early with some time to spare. Surfing through the crowd of suits and casual city-goers, I broke through the current and swung open the door to the air-conditioned building.

    The waiting room was relatively empty except for a few others waiting on solfas and the desk worker tending to her business. While it didn’t take much to beat the lobby at my apartment complex, this was beyond leagues better. The wooden tables looked actually polished and the plantlife wasn’t on its last leg. Flawless white tiles and a recent paint job, I had half a mind to tell Jim he should tell the complex owner to take some notes.

    “May I help you?” The woman called from behind the desk.

    “Oh! Yes. I was told to come here for an appointment?” I asked with uncertainty in my voice. It suddenly did feel strange coming to a Brazilian Consulate to discuss going to a different dimension.

    “For…?” she asked, looking for me to elaborate.

    “I know it sounds strange, but I have a meeting for the IWI Act? I have the papers here if you need to see.” Surely she had at least heard of the bill. It was all that the working world was talking about nowadays.

    Her face seemed to look a bit surprised, then quickly became wary.

    “Could I see the papers please?” she asked.

    “Uh, sure.” I pulled the stack of papers out and put them on her desk.

    She spent a good minute looking them over, constantly shifting her eyes from my printed photo to my actual face.

    “You seem to check out, Yoko.” she said as she returned the papers. “Sorry for the tense atmosphere, but I’m sure you know how few spots there are. They’re trying to keep things awfully hidden now.”

    My thoughts were confirmed hearing that now, which made me feel relieved because I knew I was in the right place now.

    “Haha it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

    “Then right this way please. I know you’re a bit early but I’ll see you to the meeting room now. I’m sure they won’t mind getting started now.”

    The secretary stepped from behind her desk and guided me down an adjacent hall. I tucked my hands into my jean pockets as the cold was starting to get to me. We reached a door with a metal handle and she gave it a turn and push as she let me into a conference room. It was relatively empty apart from the male in a charcoal suit and woman in a white lab coat sitting at a table.

    Without a word the secretary lead me in then stepped out, closing the door behind her. I walked over to the two who had already stood up, offering handshakes while we introduced ourselves.

    “Ms.Sasaki, a pleasure to meet you.” The female doctor said. “You can call me Dr.Summers and this is my colleague Mr.Rogers.” I gave them both a smile as I tried not to focus on how she already knew my name. Granted, I suppose at this stage of the game it’d be weird if they didn’t.

    “You don’t need to worry about my friend so much during this meeting, it’s mostly going to be a one on one talk from hereon. Think of him more a security, for both my safety and yours too.”

    That didn’t sound too great...It’s one thing to have security detail, but to even need it to begin with was concerning in itself.

    “Don’t look too worried,” she laughed as my face seemed to tell my feelings. “It’s just a precaution. I’m sure nothing will happen, but some people can be abit more eager than others to be able to experience interdimensional travel.”

    “Are you from Libertalia?” The question just happened to come out of my mouth. The curiosity was killing me and I wanted to know.

    “No, I’m not.” She simply stated. “I’m Earth-born, just like you,” she chuckled. “As much as I would have liked to be part of the program, I have friends and family here. Too much keeping me tied down here. Not that I mind, of course.”

    I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed that I still had yet to make contact with someone from Libertalia. I knew it would eventually be happening, but I still felt so deprived.

    “And before you ask, no, Mr.Rogers is not either. We’re both government officials meant to conduct one final screening for you here. I’m sure they’ll be giving you their own kind of meeting once you cross through the portal. And whatever questions you might have along the way I’ll do my best to answer them?”

    “Okay, sounds good.” It was clear I still wasn’t past the formality process yet and that’d take a bit more time.

    “Perfect. Now if you could strip for me please?” While she said this the security guard was already excusing himself from the room.

    “Ah, .naked? Or?” I didn’t expect her to be so upfront despite her being a doctor. I was already undoing the laces on my shoes though and slipped them off.

    “Just to your underwear please. Our most recent records of your physical health is from about a year ago, so we’d like to keep the books fresh.”

    My pants came off next while I emptied my pockets and kept them next to my purse.

    “So how much do you know about this place? Libertalia? I couldn’t find too much concrete information about it.” I was curious to see if she even knew anything.

    “Well, probably only a little more than you do. They’re a technologically advanced society and happen to share the same language as us. They’re mostly the ones sharing information and us being able to provide workers like this is one of our biggest contributions, actually. But it’s more than just that of course. We want to use this as a sign of good faith and I’m sure to the many participants like you of course, you wouldn’t be doing this without good reason. In fact, I believe it was Libertalia that requested we try to introduce our citizens into their society. Step on the scale for me please?”

    She wasn’t wrong, there was virtually nothing left for me here. No real friends, living family or great jobs to keep me around. The possibility that I was even desired on some level was all the more reassuring.

    “I suppose you’re right. There isn’t much keeping me anywhere. I hope this place will be kind of like a fresh start.” I started to drown in my thoughts while I stood there almost completely naked.

    “I can understand that. And, forgive me if I’m coming across a bit rude here, but I think the change in scenery should be much better than where you live now.”

    It didn’t take half a brain to realize that. “No offense taken. I was just thinking the same thing.”

    “111.4lbs…” Dr.Summers whispered to herself as she wrote down information on a clipboard. “Stay on the scale please.” She walked behind me and from over my shoulder I could see her pulling out some extending rod which travelled from the base.

    Soon enough it was as tall as me with a plate on top to level the height.

    “Take a step back for me please?”

    A chill was sent down my spine when I made contact with the metal rod. It was a reminder of how cold the room already was with the air-conditioning.

    “5’5”.” She rounded off her measurement with a few more jots. “If you could fully strip for me now, I just need to make sure you’re healthy in every department.”

    A bit more reluctant this time, I fully stripped and she looked me over with her cold, doctor-like latex gloves. From there I was allowed to put at least my underwear back on, and she tested my reflexes, ears, mouth and heartbeat the finally concluded the last of her notes.

    “Everything looks good Yoko.” She put her pen and clipboard to the side while I put my clothes back on. Thankfully she didn’t ask me any nutritional questions. I’d be too embarrassed to admit that I’d been on a predominantly noodles-only diet for the past four years. Somehow I worked in some more healthy foods in on occasion.

    “Now that we’re past the checkups, I can give you a bit more information on when you’ll be leaving and how to prepare. Here’s a two copies of the sheet I’m going to go over with you, incase if you lose the first.”

    The paper looked almost like a checklist for suggested things to bring, just about summing up to all the things I already planned for.

    “It’s best to think of this as a permanent change in location, or just like you’re moving.” She started. “For all intents and purposes, you will be considered a citizen of Libertalia first and foremost, and you will be a citizen of our dimension and specifically the United States second to that. I’ve been told to be clear with you that for your first year here there will be no talks of returning. Put simply, it’s quite expensive to move 20,000 of our own citizens to another dimension and you are being considered a long-term investment. Try not to think about it like that though, since this will be beneficial to you as well.”

    I know this is what I wanted, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit unnerved from hearing the bluntness of what this entailed. I’d actually be leaving this dimension and going to a new one, with barely any idea for what to expect.

    “By attending this meeting your compliance is assumed and that you will be taking part in this program. It’s suggested that you bring all personal belongings with you within reason, because you should assume that there will be no coming back for some time. Housing will be provided for you and you are free to move somewhere else if that’s what you choose. And on top of this, you are also free to switch jobs. Meaning, you are not required to stay with your government provided job. However, you are required to maintain employment so not to lose your provided benefits.”

    “Benefits?” I asked. It wasn’t often that I ever got those.

    “Because you’re part of this program, Libertalia will being giving you an additional sum of money every month and have you registered with health insurance, as you’ll be considered one of its citizens after all.”

    That sounded amazing! For so long I was always toying with the thought to drop my health insurance just so I could increase my income a little bit, but I could never bring myself to do it. There didn’t seem to be any downsides to this place; superior to us in every way possible!

    “There will be a portal for your departure at the given airport with a specified gate, and you will be allowed two suitcases worth of items. However, you will not be allowed to bring anyone with you, which includes but is not limited to friends, family and pets. In regards to your current housing and employment commitments, it’s recommended you deal with those on your own terms, though should you not they will be handled for you.”

    “And I’ll have zero contact with anyone back here?” Yes, nothing was here for me, but I was curious just how sealed off I’d be.

    “There are communication channels between dimensions I’ve been told, but they aren’t exactly in abundance. It could be arranged, most likely, but I wouldn’t expect much. For all intents and purposes you will be relying on Libertalian services. It’s assumed you won’t have much difficulty adjusting to society there, and whatever may be unclear to you will be clarified by an official.”

    “That’s good…” At least there wouldn’t be too much a culture shock when I get there.

    “And also there’s an additional note on here,” Dr.Summers continued. “Libertalia suggests to all its newcomers that they come into their borders with a sense of optimism, open-mindedness and a receptive personality. Though, I’d say that goes just about anywhere. And if I look down here...” she flipped over the page. “Your scheduled departure is in two weeks. Just enough time to pack up everything here and say your goodbyes. If you need to.”

    Two weeks? I was happy that it was so soon, but also disappointed at how I was already starting to feel a bit antsy, and I was itching to leave already.

    “Oh! Will my technology work there? As in, can I bring my computer and phone?” They were probably the two most expensive possessions I owned, and it’d be a sad day if I had to part with them now.

    “You’re more than welcome to bring your phone, it states here. But as for your computer I don’t know how customs there would take to that. I also believe there won’t be any adapters for you to use since the electricity runs a bit differently there.”

    It was sad but I was expecting an answer like that. At some point I knew it couldn’t be all rainbows and gumdrops, I’d need to compromise somewhere.

    “Besides, I’m sure you’ll be able to get much better technology there than you’ll be able to here. You’re going to be replacing your phone too.” she added.

    “Out with the old and in with the new...” I reasoned. I was already making a mental list in my head of all the things I’d be bringing with me. My treasured computer not being one of them.

    “And like I said earlier, Libertalian officials will be able to give you a better idea of your situation. You’re welcome to bring any forms of ID, passports, licenses and other documents if you wish, but they won’t carry much weight in a different dimension. You’ll be issued a new set of identification and updated medical records. You’re already pre-approved to get past airport security for the portal but if you’d feel better taking it then I suggest you do. With that, though, I think this is the end of our briefing from this dimension. Are there any questions you might have for me?”

    “Uhhmm…” I tried to think of anything important either of us might have missed but nothing was coming to mind.

    “Tell you what, between now and the date of your departure, feel free to contact me if you have anything you want to ask that I might be able to answer.” She already took one of my copies and was writing down an email and number on it.

    “Thank you, so much for everything.” I said.

    “All in a day’s work. Will you be needing transportation back to your home? Or can you make it from here on your own?”
    “Transportation? I didn’t think I really warranted for something like that.” I couldn’t help but laugh uncomfortably. It felt like a sudden transition from rags to royalty.

    “As of right now you’re considered an important individual on our soil, since you’re being expected somewhere else. I’ve been instructed to aid you in whatever might ease your transition from place to place.”

    “Oh...well, would a ride be that much trouble?” It felt awkward for me to ask for something so privileged.

    “Not at all,” she gave a professional smile. “Gather your belongings in here and come outside when you’re ready to go. I’ll have a car waiting for you.”

    We shook hands and she excused herself from the room. I re-tied my shoes and slung my purse over my shoulder, sure to grab each and every important piece of information.

    It was a long, quiet, ride home in Mr.Rogers car. Part of me expected Dr.Summers to be driving me but I knew it was foolish of me to think that. Of course she was a busy woman, too busy to spend every constant minute doting on me.

    “Is this the place?”

    I must have looked bewildered for a second, because I had to register that the voice was coming from Mr.Rogers, being the first time I heard him speak all day.

    I looked out my passenger window and gazed up at the glorified block of cement I lived in, somewhere I wouldn’t have to get acquainted with for too much longer.

    “Yep.” I said blankly, my feelings of disgust neutralized by my joy for departure. “Thanks for the ride!” I waved to him as I shut the door. Like clockwork he pulled back onto the road and was soon gone; lost in a sea of moving vehicles.

    It was just about one o’clock now, and I already wanted to start chipping away at my list of things to do. I skipped my mailbox and went straight for the elevator, minus the rare kind of interaction I had with Jim a couple of days ago. It was only a matter of time until this shotty elevator broke, but hopefully I wouldn’t be around to have it happen. Practicing the same routine with the locks on my door, I was inside and locked up faster than you could say a-really-long-word.

    “Hi mom,” I gave my usual bow to her picture after taking off my shoes and tossing my jacket. I didn’t waste much time going into my office and booting up my computer. I fired open a fresh text document and started drafting my two week’s notice.

    “Remind me to start looking for a second suitcase…” I said to no one in the room.

    With each passing day and night the time to leave came closer and closer. I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas, I felt like I could touch it, but at the same time it was miles away! When it came down to the final two days in my tiny apartment, a fraction of me started to become sentimental, but it didn’t do much to dampen my mood.

    On the final, I had my suitcases packed with strictly the essentials. All my clothes, my few pairs of shoes, and basic amenities and the like. I knew Dr.Summers told me I wouldn’t be needing it, but I made sure to hold on to my documents. It didn’t exactly feel right leaving them behind, nor just destroying them. And on top of that I took the hard drives from my computer as well. And for the final item I made sure to save a spot between two cushions of shirts, which was the picture of my mom.

    “I suppose you’re about as home as it gets.” I looked back at her. As long as I had this picture it never really felt like I was leaving anything behind, so when I zipped my second suitcase back up I knew everything was finished.

    Apart from the pyjamas I was wearing, I set myself up with another casual outfit for the morning. I’d be leaving at eight in the morning and someone would be picking me up (Dr.Summers later told me about it) to go to the airport. My last night in this place...I still couldn’t bring myself to believe it. Things would finally be set into motion ten hours from now
    I set my charging phone on the nightstand and let my head hit the pillow.



    3 - Sayonara and Hello?

    My heart was ready to burst from my chest while I shuffled from side to side in the elevator. It was the last time I’d be in here and I survived taking trips in it for four years! I had both suitcases at my sides with a purse over my shoulder, both extended arms in hand to move them on wheels. The doors opened to the decrepit lobby, as it never changed during my entire stay here except for getting worse.

    Jim was on his computer, behind the desk like always. There was something about our unspoken interactions that I would miss, but would soon forget of course.

    “Here ya go, Jim.” I said fishing the apartment keys from my pocket. “It’s been a pleasure!” I slid them over to his side.

    “Good knowin’ ya too.” He didn’t bat even an eye towards me. Not the sentimental type. Makes things easier I suppose.

    I didn’t take much more time to absorb the atmosphere for memories, on the contrary, I couldn’t get out the door fast enough. Surprisingly my driver seemed to be Mr.Rogers again, dressed in the same kind of suit like last time except for being a more bluish tone.

    “Mr.Rogers, good to see you again!” I said, trying to be friendly with our reunion.

    He gave me a basic smile and nod as he took my bags and already started loading them into the car.

    “Do you have all your paperwork in your purse?” he asked, closing the trunk.

    “Yep, wouldn’t think of keeping it anywhere else.” Honestly, there was no way in hell I’d be parting with my lifeline this far in the game.

    With no regrets, I didn’t look back at the complex when we started to drive off. Instead I was much more focused on imagining what Libertalia would be like.

    I browsed through my phone and saw I had a couple of messages. There were just a few from people I had exchanged numbers with from work. When your job is to keep secondary stock records for branch retail stores, you don’t exactly meet the most interesting people at age 26 in your department. Needless to say, they were from acquaintances wishing me the best of luck on my trip. I never elaborated that I’d be going to a different dimension, but they didn’t need to know that part.

    I sent about the same kind of reply to each of them then kept browsing. After swiping by the weather widget on my phone it made me ask myself what the weather might be like when I got there. There was so much about this place I didn’t know and wanted to find out. I looked out the window and saw the usual gray atmosphere. Clouds more often than not were mixed with the nearby smokestacks to give the whole area a depressing feeling. On rare occasion did we ever get some strong sunlight here.

    “Hey, Mr.Rogers, how long do you think the drive might be?” I was already bored from surfing through the few things on my phone.

    “Should be a little over an hour. Not many airports have portals installed yet.”

    “Alright…” I started to get myself comfy and nuzzled my head into the passenger’s side. Time would go by faster if I wasn’t around to experience it, so I started making headway on my shuteye.

    “Ms.Sasaki, we’ve arrived.” I could feel my shoulder gently being nudged.

    “Hnnn?” I groaned as I came to. We were parked at the drop-off entrance to an airport I’d never been to. Flight was expensive, which meant it never made its way into my life up until now. “I’m awake…” I yawned as I sat up and undid my seatbelt.

    “I’ll take your bags from the trunk, just stay with me while we move.” Mr.Rogers said as he closed his door and escorted me out of mine. In each hand he had one of my suitcases as we started to intercept the bustling crowd. There was plenty of people and noise pollution as everyone had someplace to be. The flight schedule we were passing under constantly changed its bright red text. He took us over to a line of attendants and started handing them slips of paper to one of them.

    “One departure for a Yoko Sasaki?” The attendant asked as he punched information into the computer.

    “Yes, just her.” He said, standing patiently.

    I was totally out of the loop already, so I chose not to start poking now.

    “Head to the last gate in international, please.” The attendant smiled after reviewing the papers and handing them back to him. “Enjoy your trip.”

    Despite being the flagship for interdimensional travel, that didn’t stop us from having to go through customs. Like Dr.Summers said though, I didn’t have to bother with showing any form of ID, as at every turn Mr.Rogers would show them some badge and give a few words which was enough to get us through. We’re they expecting us? It felt like things were going too smoothly considering this was airport security.

    We passed into the international flights section and I looked down the long stretch of gates. Sure enough at the very end, guarded by portable dividers and officers there it was. I’d only seen pictures of the prototypes, but this one looked a tad bit newer. It was clearly favored functionality over form, as it almost looked like an extended door frame almost. I also happened to notice a few other people sitting by it as well.

    Mr.Rogers cleared me through and handed me my bags as I walked to the seats by the portal, when I noticed I was getting curious looks from the people sitting already. There looked to be three of them, two were guys and the other a woman.

    “Were you guys accepted into the program as well?” I asked, taking my seat.

    “Yep! Happy as can be too.” the blonde-haired guy went off. “Name’s John, you?”

    “Yoko, nice to meet you.” It felt good to be reminded I wasn’t the only person going to a completely different dimension.

    “Interesting name, haha.” he remarked while he checked his phone.

    “I’m Ana.” the brunette interrupted with an outstretched hand which I shook.

    “Fred,” the last of them said. “Good to meet you.”

    “So we’ve all been talking before you got here, and we hope you might know a bit more about what this place is like?” John asked, as I saw all their heads turn to me.

    “Er, I don’t know much, really. Just that Libertalia’s supposed to be better than here?”

    Fred let out a bit of a sigh of disappointment I knew wasn’t directed at me.

    “They’ve really kept us in the dark on this, haven’t they?” he said to no one in particular.

    “I’ll say…” Ana added while she tightened the laces on her shoes.
    “How long have you guys been waiting here? For the portal, I mean.” I asked.

    “Just about an hour. We all got here around the same time. I think they said you were the last one that needed to arrive.”

    “Huh, I guess many weren’t accepted then from this area.” I aimlessly said when I looked my acquaintances over. “So, what do you all do for work?”

    “I’m a carpenter,” John started. “I was let go from the union pretty recently though, so it was pretty convenient for something like this to come up for me.”

    “An electrician,” Fred said next. “I feel confident to say I’m pretty good in the field, but from what I was told at my last meeting I might have to learn a few new things over here.”

    “And I’m a teacher, an English teacher.” Ana said. “I’ve only been teaching for about five years though, so I’m still getting my feet wet. I’m honestly surprised I was able to qualify for something like this.”

    They all came from pretty diverse areas, which left me a bit puzzled. They were never really specific on how they selected workers for the IWI Act, which seemed like a mystery no closer to being solved as I stared at them.

    “I work with databases,” I said. “But since I got out of college, I haven’t had much luck finding a job that really met my standards…” Hopefully my assigned job would be much better than the one I just left.

    “They must have wanted a pretty diverse spread,” John said, almost mimicking my thoughts.

    “So was this a tough decision for any of you? Leaving this dimension that is?” Ana asked.

    “Not for me.” Fred was the first to answer. “I might miss a few friends from back on the coast, but it’s already been years since I’ve seen them anyways. My dad just passed recently anyways.”

    “I can relate to that. Maybe a few friends here and there, but never had much of a family to begin with.” John said.

    It was my turn next it seemed. “I only ever had my mother since we moved across the country. And I lost her at a pretty young age, so there’s nothing holding me back, so to speak.” I was starting to see a common pattern among all of us; no reason to stay here.

    “Mhm, without going into too much detail, I don’t have anyone to really stay for here. I’d rather be farther away, actually. Moving across dimensions is one way to do it I guess.” she added a simple laugh to the end of her comment.

    The atmosphere was starting to feel melancholic with our dejected words, but the mood was shaken up when a perky looking man joined us past the guards.

    “Hello everyone. Good to see you all. You can call me Donald and I’ll be seeing that you all cross through the portal today!” the man said in an ushered tone.

    “You’ll be crossing over with us?” John asked.

    “Unfortunately, I will not.” Donald said. “However, there will be someone to receive you all on the other side, so there shouldn’t be any issues. I just got off the communication channel from the other side and they’re ready to go.”

    I looked over at a nearby panel on the portal, and could see a green light coming from it. And like clockwork the portal suddenly made a whizzing noise as the interior came to life and a flowing green wall materialized.

    “Looks like that’s them! Everyone get your luggage together, we’ll have you pass in one at a time.”

    I could see we were starting to get stares from nearby gates, people wondering what they were seeing.

    “We can’t keep these open for too long. Time is money after all, let’s get things a move on. Here, we’ll start with you.”

    Donald wasn’t giving us much time to digest what we were currently seeing. It looked almost like green water fixed in place with a bright light buried at the center of it. He placed a hand on Ana’s shoulder and had her and her suitcase moving to the portal.

    “I need you to keep your eyes and mouth closed while you walk through. Keep moving until it feels like you’re out of the water. Good luck!” He gave the unprepared woman a pat on the back as she stepped through. Curiously we all watched as we saw her figure fade the farther she went. It was only until then I realized from the angle I was standing at, she was walking an impossibly farther distance than the actual portal frame was!

    We waited a few minutes after she was completely gone from sight, and John and his duffel bag came next.

    “Deep breaths pal! Good luck!” Donald sent him off next, until it was just me and Fred.

    While Fred was getting ready, I suddenly thought to attach one of my suitcases to the other, almost like a train. I didn’t know what it’d be like walking through this thing, but I didn’t want to take any chances. By the time I was done, Fred was gone and I was all that was left.

    “Alright, you’re our last traveller! Remember, eyes and mouth closed, take a deep breath and just keep moving forward. Ready?”

    “Not really…” I admitted, my heart was beating a mile a minute as I couldn’t comprehend what was happening fast enough.

    “Don’t overthink it,” he said, guiding me in front of the portal, the handle of my suitcase in hand. “Safe travels, and thanks for flying with Earth!” He gave me a slight push and the gel-like substance swallowed me.

    It almost felt like a pulling sensation, as if I was being led forward. I kept my eyes and mouth tightly shut, as I walked forward. It almost felt like moving through water except I wasn’t wet. The light I saw earlier was getting brighter as it peaked through my eyes.

    This is actually happening...I’m leaving Earth...no, I’m leaving the dimension! There was no turning back...So long old life...It was the worst moment to even have an inkling of second thoughts, but I drowned those worries and kept pushing forward.

    Suddenly along the way my walk between dimensions suddenly felt noticeably heavier as the hand holding my suitcases had to use a considerable amount of more force. The swishing noise in my ears from shifting fluid started to die down until it was completely gone. Instead it was replaced by the noises of people moving about, feet walking across hard surfaces and distant conversations.

    “Yoko, hon? You there? It’s safe to open your eyes now.” A voice above me said. Slowly, I opened my eyes as I looked at my surroundings. What caught me off guard though were two large tan poles standing in front of me, connected to shoes significantly larger than mine. Shoes?

    I took a few steps back to realize what they really were. They weren’t poles, but a pair of giant legs! My face didn’t hide my expression as I slowly connected the dots that those legs led to a waist, torso, head and arms.

    “Wha…” I couldn’t find the words out of sheer disbelief. There was a giant woman in front of me!

    “Oh dear…” the woman got down to her knees as she still looked a bit down on me with furrowed brows. “You certainly are a tiny one? Aren’t you?”

    “Why...why are you so big?” I finally caught my breath, and started to realize she wasn’t the only big person here. Past her shoulders were two guards looking to be chatting casually, who looked to be about just as tall as the giant in front of me.

    “I think you have it mixed up, silly.” she joked with a smile. “You’re the one who’s so small! Heavens, I guess even Portal Littles are just as small as they are here. Though...I’d say even then you’d be considered a bit short.

    “Little?” I asked in confusion. Hadn’t I seen that word from somewhere before?

    “Oh! I’m sorry, I should’ve known you might not know much about Libertalia. Let’s go somewhere a bit more isolated to calm you down. Would you like me to carry you?”

    Carry me? My head felt like it was spinning. Nothing looked right and I didn’t feel right. It wasn’t just the people that were big, everything was big. I felt like a kid despite having all my lady parts…

    “Uh, no. I’m fine, I can walk. “I thanked her while I tried to find my land legs.

    The woman looked the slightest bit hesitant to my answer until she agreed and got back on her feet.

    “But I would like to insist you at least let me carry your luggage, please. It doesn’t seem like it came out in a very uniform fashion.”

    I turned around and was almost wide-eyed at how one of the suitcases looked to be about as big as me! The closer one was still its normal size, but the other one could have been my coffin!

    “What happened to my suitcase? My stuff!” I said in a panic as I rushed over to it. I was already starting to unzip the top until a much larger hand stopped me.

    “I think it’d be better if you look through your belongings somewhere else. This portal needs to be used again pretty soon, let’s go to my office first.” She zipped the giant suitcase back up for me and grabbed its handle, already swinging it into motion. “I’m okay with you walking, but I need you to stay close to me, you hear?” she said looking back for confirmation.

    I shook my head yes, seeing as she was the only thing I came close to understanding right now, as it felt like this went well beyond what I considered culture shock. I could feel the towering gaze from both guards as we walked between them.

    As I did my best to keep up with her enormous stride, I looked from side to side and noticed the diverse heights amongst the crowds. There were people about as small as me, and others just as tall, if not taller than the woman I was currently following. Everything made me feel dwarfed, as any one of these giants looked like they could crush me like a bug.

    The giants I managed to make eye contact with strangely gave me smiles and waves between the moments I was focused on my guide. Another giant woman was walking our way as it looked like she was holding the leash to a toddler. I could see he was just a little boy the closer we got, apparently well-padded too, considering the bulge from his shortalls. But I was a little frightened to see he was actually taller than me. And then, I couldn’t help but feel a chill run down my spine as I saw his face.

    It didn’t add up? If he was a toddler, just a baby, why did his face look so defined? As we passed by each other and I was hit with a waft of lavender scent, our eyes only made contact for the briefest moment. But in that moment, there was a look of fear in his eyes...I could see his brows, his jawline, cheeks, they were much too refined and mature to be that of a baby.

    “What the…” I pulled my eyes from him and started to look around a bit more attentively. Many big people were carrying some form of charge with them. It was only because I wasn’t wearing my glasses that I couldn’t see them as closely as the first toddler, or manbaby. But what I couldn’t mistake was that on some of the female babies was their obvious figure. Curves, breasts, you never saw something like that on babies…I decided to stop sightseeing as the more I saw there were only more questions than answers.

    “Well aren’t you the tiniest little thing!” A thicker pair of legs came between me and my moving suitcases.

    “Ah, what…?” I found myself being towered over by another giant woman, who looked to be a bit more plump.

    “Such an adorable Little! You look like a doll! Your black hair looks so smooth! There aren’t many Littles out there with your size and looks after all...” the random stranger cooed as my arms were suddenly being played with against my will.

    “Hey! Quit it bitch!” My confusion quickly sidestepped for anger as I didn’t appreciate being handled.

    “Oh! Feisty, aren’t you? All you Littles are bark and no bite, just waiting to be put in their place,” she scowled. “Why don’t you let me help you get where you need to go?” She held her arms open as her tone changed on a dime from bitter to sweet. It was then I noticed a large bag hanging by her side, something about it feeling unnerving.

    Apart from simple principle to never trust a stranger, everything about this woman screamed deception. From the brief interaction we shared I knew to keep at an arm’s length from her. And besides, what even was a Little? I was starting to get an idea, but I was still hoping for clarification.

    “Excuse me,” a familiar voice from behind the stranger interrupted. “She’s with me.”

    The plump giant turned around so we could both see the attendant who had my luggage. I didn’t think I’d be so happy to see someone I just met, but I was quick to move around the giant and to her side.

    “Oh...I was just trying to make sure she wasn’t lost!” the woman quickly sympathized, lying through her teeth.

    “Right.” She didn’t seem convinced. “She’s already licensed though. Nice try.”

    It seems whatever the attendant said it was like poison to her. Her forced smile quickly dropped as she looked more annoyed than anything. “Fine! I wasn’t even interested anyways. She’ll be in diapers soon enough anyways!” The giant huffed off with obvious frustration in her step, the large bag swinging at her side.

    “Thanks…” was all I could say. I was starting to feel tired from everything that was happening. “What the hell was she talking about? What’s a Little? What’d she mean about diapers? And how come I’m licensed?”

    “I think for your own safety and our convenience I should carry you the rest of the way.” she said while ignoring my questions, hoisting me into the air with one hand.

    I let out a yelp from the sudden change in height, but chose not to resist once I realized how far my feet were off the ground. Instinctively I grabbed her broad shoulders, past her large chest that was in the way, beginning to feel even more helpless.

    “So, I never caught your name…” I tried my best to remain composed, even though the person I was trying to talk with was carrying me like a kid.

    “Ms.Boon,” she smiled to me as I smelt her faint perfume. “But you can call me Sarah, if you’d like.”

    “Nice to meet you Sarah,” I found myself staring again now that Sarah was doing the legwork for us. It was also clear how much faster we were moving now. If I had to wager a guess, I’d have said she was probably moving slower for my sake. Even then I couldn’t help but notice that I was catching an extra breath or two now. Walking was my number one means of transportation, but going at her pace was a whole new level for me.

    We reached what I guess was an elevator, as we waited and the door opened. The space felt five times bigger than what I was used to, as we were the only ones inside and Sarah pressed a button on the elevator panel. We were going up a few levels, as I looked out the glass side and could see us moving a bit off the ground.

    “Where are we?” I couldn’t help but find myself asking, struck with a sense of curiosity as I marveled at the giants who were suddenly ants.

    “Libertalia,” she said blankly. “Didn’t you know you were coming here?”

    “I know, but, where are we? Like, specifically?” I didn’t turn my eyes away from the shrinking giants below.

    “We’re at one of Libertalia’s Portal Hubs. People use them here to travel either long distances or to other dimensions.”

    “Wait, there are more than two dimensions?” I asked with a bit of disbelief in my voice. I never considered there being any more than our two!

    “Of course. We’ve been in contact with a few different places lately. If I remember your file correctly you come from Earth? We mostly use planes like you guys to travel within our dimension.”

    I guess on some level we weren’t so different after all, but that didn’t do much to change obvious the gap in our size.

    “Why are you so big? And I’m so small?” I asked, realizing the much more important question. “And what about the people that came through the portal before me? Where are they? We should have only been a few minutes apart from each other?”

    For whatever reason Sarah couldn’t help but smirk out of a sense of amusement. “You Littles have so many questions! Portal ones especially.”

    I wasn’t sure how to feel about constantly being referred to as a ‘Little.’ While I’d been considerably ‘little’ my entire life, it was starting to feel a bit demeaning here based on who it came from. Regardless, I reserved judgement and allowed her to answer.

    “Your other friends didn’t come between minutes of each other, hours actually. You included. We suspect it might have to do with the technology you guys were using, and it wasn’t as efficient as ours. Infact, that’s probably why some of your luggage didn’t make the smoothest transition here.” she said, giving a slight tug to the much larger of the two suitcases.

    I felt knots in my stomach again, just from looking at it. If the suitcase didn’t come out my size, what was to be said about everything inside of it? Should that be the case, half of my wardrobe would already be unusable…

    “We’ll get it figured out.” Sarah assured me as the doors opened. It didn’t look like much of a public section compared to where we just were, as it looked like an array of offices that were pretty quiet. Sarah opened one of the doors and brought us into an office with a large, near-empty desk which she put my suitcases on.

    “Our offices aren’t as busy today, a lot of us have been preoccupied with getting all of you guys settled. You can look through your stuff here while I pull up your file,” Sarah said as she sat me on her desk and opened up a giant laptop.

    I looked over the edge and realized just how far up I was, so much that I wouldn’t go unscathed should I fall.

    “Hey,” a hand tugged on the collar of my jacket. “Not so close to the edge, please?”

    I tried to hide my embarrassment from being chastised, as I brought my attention back to my luggage. I opened the much more sizeable one first and looked through its contents. Thankfully my business clothes were intact and everything here looked fine, but I didn’t have the same hopes for my other one.

    Unzipping the larger container, I used both hands to flip the top over so I could see what had happened, and my worst fears were confirmed.

    “Damnit…” I whined to myself as I looked at all my clothes. They were completely unusable now, being almost twice my size. What was once a regular shirt for me now hung like a dress, and my running shoes would make me look like a clown! But the worst had yet to be seen, once I found the picture of my mother in between clothes.

    “Oh no…” I tried my best not to cry when I dug her frame out. The picture was half as tall as me now, and it took both hands to carry!

    “Hey, hey...It’s okay. You can still hang the photo? Right? You’re just a bit smaller now, that’s all.”

    “What do you mean?” I sniffled. “I’m just a mere fraction of my size now!”

    “Well, the portal can alter your height a little bit if you’re not a native from here. There’s no helping that.”

    I stood up in front of Sarah, nearly at eye-level now that she was sitting and me on a desk.

    “You call this a little bit? I’ve gone from five feet to one! Just look at me!”

    “I wouldn’t say you’ve changed that much. You seem about three feet to me. Granted, that is on the smaller end for even Littles.”

    “I can’t be three feet tall! You’re what, five foot-eight? Compare yourself to me!”

    A look of realization suddenly came over Sarah’s face.

    “What?” I asked, reading her expression.

    “Yoko, is that how tall you really think I am?”

    “Well, yeah?” I was starting to feel a bit flustered.

    “Hon, I’m about Eleven feet.”

    “Hu...huh?”
    Last edited by Me; 06-04-2018, 07:27 PM.

    #2
    4 - Sizing Things up

    “El...Eleven feet? What do you mean?” The numbers didn’t add up! There was no way she was that tall! It was becoming harder and harder to take things at face value.

    “Eleven foot three, to be exact. While you did shrink a little bit,” Sarah said, making light of my missing near-three feet. “Amazons put simply are much bigger than Littles.”

    “What even is a Little?!” My fuse was running shorter with each time I heard that word.

    “Relax, relax…” Sarah cooed. “Where you come from there are only Littles, no Amazons, like me. Here, there are two main types of people: Amazons and Littles. Littles here only get about as tall as four and a half feet, whereas Amazons can be as high as fourteen. Needless to say, that’s why everything you’ve been seeing is so big. Society around here is predominantly designed for Amazons, and Littles unfortunately come second.”

    “Then, all those babies I was seeing with those gian--Amazons,” I corrected myself. “Were they Littles too? Their bodies looked too mature to be just kids!”

    Her face looked like a puzzle that seemed to be missing a few pieces.

    “Yoko, Libertalia is an amazing place to live, whether you’re big or small,” she started. “Amazon culture here can at times be pretty divided when how it comes to treating Littles. There are people who want to accommodate for Littles like you as adults; and there are others...who find it much more logical to keep you in diapers.”

    Once again, it was one thing to give it to me straight and a whole other ballgame just to process it. It was like she was giving me an apple and calling it an orange.

    “So, you mean that there are adults in this place that are treated like children? Littles specifically?”

    “Yes...some willingly, actually. And others, not so much.”

    The gravity of her words were starting to come into full effect.

    “And...I’m considered a Little here?”

    “...That would be correct.”

    The questions started to spill out of my mouth. “So...so then what? An Amazon can just pluck me off the street and I’m their baby now? What was that other woman trying to do to me earlier? Was she trying to take me? Was I going to be her baby?” The fog was starting to clear on just how close to danger I really was. Was I even safe here?

    “Yes, I think she may have been trying to take you.” Sarah admitted. “But please don’t be so scared! I’m here to tell you that you’re safe! There are laws to protect Littles from being adopted! No one can take you. You’re an independent adult and the law has your back. That’s what Libertalia here is known for.”

    To call it ‘adopting’ sounded a wolf in sheep’s clothing and was nothing short of glorified kidnapping, but I didn’t want to project too much of my frustration onto her. I knew Sarah was only trying to help, and it hurt to lash out like this.

    “And can’t you see the conversation we’re having right now? I’m treating you like a grownup, aren’t I? And remember when I said you were licensed? That means an Amazon can’t adopt you without consent.”

    To say as if I should be treated as anything less was what stung this most, and having been saved by an Amazon from being kidnapped...It didn’t make me feel very much like an equal to Sarah, but I still acknowledged her effort.

    “But if I can’t be adopted unwillingly, why can other Littles? You know, the ones you said who were unwillingly taken?”

    “If a Little can’t follow the rules and consistently prove that they are capable of being independent, Libertalia will acknowledge them as someone who has proven themself to be in need of an Amazon or guardian to care for them.”

    “Then what about me? I had to be carried up here! What about that is independent?”

    “It’s okay, really. There are facilities for you to manage just fine, and there are plenty of Littles who get by just fine. You will too, and I’m here for any help you might need. Besides, the only things that can jeopardize your independence are committing serious offenses. Crime, unemployed for over a week while living alone, failure to pay bills; stuff that you won’t run into any issues with.”

    “A week’s grace period? Then what? I’m fair game as someone’s baby?”

    “If you want to put it like that, then yes.” Sarah didn’t seem as bothered by the idea as I was. “But as long as you’re registered to be living with an Amazon, not adopted,” she clarified. “Your name won’t be in the open adoption registry.”

    Nothing felt good about this. I’d finally found the crack in paradise that forced me to toe the line. Just to even keep myself composed I twiddled my thumbs back and forth.

    “Please don’t try to take on so much information at once, one person can only take so much.”

    Telling me to stop now would’ve only been foolish, but even I knew I was reaching a limit.

    “And hey,” she said, I brought my eyes to hers. “Where you came from, you managed as a functioning adult there, didn’t you? There’s really no difference here.”

    Although there was some truth to her words, the consequences here seemed to carry a much heavier price. My size didn’t seem to reflect my real age right now, and just the thought of that made my stomach churn.

    “Let’s not argue the semantics for now,” Sarah pulled a folder from her desk on set it beside me. “I have your ID papers right here, the stuff that guarantees your safety.”

    I could see my birth certificate in the folder, only much larger, stamped with a symbol I didn’t recognize.

    “You’ve been issued a new passport, birth certificate, worker’s card, bank account and insurance information. All the essentials you should need. Since your height has changed we’ll be sure to update that information, but it’s nothing you need to worry about.”

    One missing piece stuck out like a sore thumb and part of me almost didn’t want to ask. “What about my driver’s license?”

    “Littles aren’t allowed to drive on the roads here.” Behind the porcelain mask even her sympathy was starting to show. “Safety concerns and whatnot. It wouldn’t be practical for Little-sized cars to be moving around either, much less put one behind the wheel of an Amazon vehicle.”

    Yet another bitter pill to swallow, and I was trying my hardest right now to pick and choose my battles.

    “There’s plenty of public transportation, though. Perfectly Little accessible and punctual. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting around.”

    “Uh huh.” I spoke with a glum aftertaste, since I now knew the chances of ever driving were now slim to none.

    “We will need to send you to a doctor at some point to have you put through our own medical care, but that can wait for a bit. I’m sure you’re much more interested in your housing and workplace?”

    Finally something that couldn’t be bad. Though at this point it could only be at best, bittersweet now. To sink even below that would be the icing on the cake..

    “You’ll be working in the LPS department. It stands for Little Protection Services.”

    “Which is like what? CPS? But for Littles?”

    “Just about. You’ll be with the recordkeeping branch. You’re in charge of filing and finding cases, adoptions, things like that. It says here you have a background in databases?” her eyes paced the sheet. “I’d say it’s a good fit for you all things considered.”

    The irony was a bit too obvious, but it still sounded more interesting than what I was coming from.

    “When do I start?” I asked.

    “In a few days they’ll have you in for orientation and training. Before then though I suggest you get yourself a new phone. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why.”

    I nodded my head as I scanned the rest of the documents. Midway through she handed me my own Little-friendly copy as well, which made things somewhat convenient.

    “How about I take you to your new house right now? It’ll let you get settled in and then you’ll be able to do whatever you need.”

    That sounded fine. I stood myself up and slipped my folder into the smaller suitcase. I didn’t know what to do for the larger one.

    Sarah followed my gaze and was likely thinking the same thing. “You’re welcome to take the larger one with you if you want. It shouldn’t be an issue having the Portal Hub reimburse you for damages, but your complimentary arrival package should be more than enough to cover your clothes.”

    Like always money talked, as that topic came to a close. And I was so out of focus that my feet aimlessly led me to the edge of the desk and slipped off the side. Two and two came together faster than I did with the floor, and thankfully a pair of hands stopped it from ever happening.

    “Whoa!” Sarah was suddenly supporting me by the armpits. Thankfully she’d had been a bit more watchful than I was. “Let the Amazons handle the big heights, okay?”

    My cheeks burned from appreciating the save, but not the patronizing tone and my obvious blunder that came with it. I thanked her anyways as she gently set me down.

    “Actually, maybe I should carry you again,” she suggested. “It still stands that we’d get around much faster and safer. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    The logic was admittedly sound and hard to refute, thus my reunion with the ground was short-lived once I was in the air again..

    “I’ll get your luggage, then we’ll go to my car from here. And also take this,” she put a small card in my hands (small to her, not to me). “It’s your ID, something you should always have on you when you’re in public. That’ll be your immediate lifeline if anyone even thinks about adopting you. Even if you don’t have it an adoption agency will still turn them down, but it’s a great way to avoid even getting that far.

    All my basic information was on here: address, name, age, weight, blood type, birthdate; and I couldn’t help but notice in bold letters at the top right it was labeled LITTLE. “Permanently branded,” I thought to myself as we were already moving. It had been at most an hour and I was ready to take a nap. I felt exhausted already and the day was just getting started.

    “If you’re tired it’s okay to sleep, you know.” she hiked up her arms and shifted my weight. “It’s going to be a bit of a drive until we get you to your housing. Besides, I’m sure you’re pretty exhausted after everything you’ve been through. A culture shock as big as this one can probably be pretty hard to digest. Not to mention first-timers through the portal often find themselves pretty drained.”

    “I’m fine, really.” I lied, making no difference whether it was to her or myself.

    “If you say so…” she said unconvincingly, waiting for the elevator.

    No matter how much I lied though it’s not like I could deny the facts. After enough time, Sarah’s shoulder was starting to look like more than just an arbitrary body part. My eyelids were starting to feel like ten-ton weights the more I tried to resist, and I kept finding myself teetering on the line between dreamland and reality. I was tired.

    Once again a helping hand came from behind, and my back was pressed forward along with my cheek to the pocket between her neck and shoulder. The thought of even trying to fight what was happening seemed like an insurmountable task. I was like a pebble tossed in the river, helpless to fight the current.

    As we entered back into the public scene, I could just hear Sarah say, “It may make you feel small, but there are perks to being a Little too, you know.”

    I wasn’t too out of it to blush right then, but enough to not respond, so I let it sit. We didn’t exchange any more words the rest of the walk.

    “Oh such an itty thing!” A voice out of sight cooed. The words felt like they were trying to poke me awake . I could tell we were still walking though, as I felt the slightly rhythmic bob from Sarah’s chest.

    “Tell me, how’d you do it? Did you slip something in her drink? She looks like she went out like a light!”

    It wasn’t worth the sleep to face this stranger right now, I just kept my eyes shut. And just the thought that some Amazons might even drug Littles had me ready to vomit.

    “I’m sorry, she’s just a bit tired right now,” a hand patted the back of my head. “And she’s just a friend. Thank you for the kind words though.”

    “You’d be a fool not to adopt her then! She’ll be off to daycare in no time with looks like that!” The insistent voice continued. If only this bitch could let me sleep...

    “She’s licensed. If you’ll please leave us be now.” Sarah sounded a bit more firm this time, as her voice was ready to bear fangs.

    “Nonsense! Everyone knows those silly little things don’t mean much. All I’m saying is try not to lose yourself a golden goose!” the woman huffed as it sounded like she’d finally left us.

    “I’m sorry you had to hear that,” Sarah said, knowing I was still barely awake. “Just remember if you have your ID and a thick skin you’ll be fine. Don’t let them get to you.”

    “Mhm…” I lazily nodded. For some reason there was a warm sensation to have someone big on my side in a place like this. Having someone reliable to watch my back was reassuring when feeling so vulnerable like this gave me butterflies. Because I had Sarah, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to sleep for a little bit...



    “Yes, she’s with me right now. We’ll be there in just a couple of minutes. Also, I need you to file a complaint to the Portal Hub, she can’t even use half her luggage!” Sarah sounded as if she was angry for me. “Probably those damn Portal Littles didn’t build their end of the portal correctly. It’s fine though, it doesn’t seem like she lost anything important.”

    I felt the usual wave of grogginess I felt whenever I first woke up, Sarah’s conversation with whoever likely having stirred me.

    “Oh! I’m going to let you go now, she just woke up.” Sarah said, stealing a quick glance from the front seat. “Thanks again, bye.” From my still-blurred vision I could see her press something on her ear. “Rise and shine, Yoko. We’re almost there.”

    “Where are we going?” I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and suddenly noticed I was wearing more than just one seatbelt.

    “Your house, silly. Forget already? We’ll be there in just a few more minutes.”

    “Sarah, what did you put me in?” I tried to get a better look at my seat. With the straps down my shoulder and up my crotch, it became clear pretty fast it wasn’t your ordinary seat. My back cushion didn’t line up with the rest of the seats and the combination of armrests and straps made sure to not leave me much wiggle room. Was this a car seat?

    “Regular car seats aren’t exactly built for Littles,” Sarah explained with her eyes still on the road. “Littles are required to be in car seats while in a moving vehicle. Even if it weren’t, you’re still a bit too small to be riding normally.”

    Another blow to my pride. I could only take some comfort in her casualness towards it, knowing that it wasn’t to deliberately embarrass me. Because she didn’t think much of it I tried my best to follow her example, even though it was bad enough in itself this was considered normal here. And on a different note, I looked longingly at the surrounding windows, finding myself with a new dilemma.

    “Is there any way I’d be able to look out the windows?” I tried to lean up and forward a bit, but the car seat made sure to keep me from moving too much.

    “Not in that seat, no. The only ones that’d put you at eye-level with the windows would be some of the more ‘commercialized’ Little car seats. I take it you’d want to be treated as much of an adult as possible, so trust me when I say this is the best compromise. Without all the bells and whistles that’s about as good as it gets.”

    The seat did feel better than in Mr.Rogers car, my most recent comparison; but there wasn’t much to occupy me at the moment, especially when I’d been so restrained.

    “You’ll be happy to know that the community you live in is more of a hotspot for independent Littles. Amazons live around here, of course, but you shouldn’t find too many radical ones around the here.”

    “So you’re saying I shouldn’t be as afraid when I set foot out the door?”

    “You shouldn’t be, no matter where you go,” Sarah corrected. “But the area we have you in is especially safe. There are some other Portal Littles staying in your complex as well.”

    Sarah trying to tell me everywhere was safe I knew was like looking through rose-tinted glasses, but the independent Little part was what caught my attention the most. While their situation might not be exactly like mine, living in a world of Amazons was something we probably did have in common.

    “Based how your group’s arrival went though, I wouldn’t be surprised if some were as late as tomorrow. If minutes for you guys can pass like hours here, it’s not totally unexpected.”

    She was right if something like that could happen for us, but I hoped there would be at least one person there to greet me. Even though I’ve known what it’s been like to live on my own in a dangerous place, it felt like a different kind of dangerous here. Maybe Ana, Fred or John could be here, but I knew there was no guarantee for that.

    Another thing that had me thinking were my talks with Dr.Summers, which felt like ages ago now. “When I was back in the, uh, other dimension, someone I talked to said I’m free to move and change jobs if I want to. Is that true?”

    “It is, but It’s recommended you stick with your provided housing and job for at least a little bit. You should let yourself get acclimated before you think of doing anything too drastic,” she warned. “But yes, you’re free to do as you please. What we’re mostly interested in is introducing foreign and contributing Littles into society; and whatever means you use to reach that end is completely up to you.”

    I was silent for the rest of the ride much like the car itself; soaking in the limited scenery between the moments I played with my restraints. From what I could see though, the bright blue sky was what had a little curiosity burning within me. It felt like such a sharp contrast to the gray and dreary skies I’d been so used to.

    The car soon came to a gentle halt and ceased its pur.

    The noise of a key leaving its ignition was heard. “Looks like were here. You can undo your own buckle, by the way,” Sarah said as she undid her own seatbelt.

    I looked down at my own three strap buckle, and could see it was a simple press mechanism. Casually I pressed with one finger, but I might as well have been blowing on it when it didn’t even acknowledge my finger. I tried two fingers next and had just about the same kind of result.

    “I think this car seat is a bit old…” I commented.

    “Not when you’re the first Little to give it a test spin.” Sarah didn’t as much bat an eye while she fished through her own purse. “It might be a little tough for you but you really gotta press.”

    I tried three with an unexpected amount of force and still nothing! My dangling legs started to swing back and forth a bit after my third failure. After trying all five and then quickly switching to the butt of my hand, I could feel it start to press against my chest pretty hard! Forced by my other hand and with a burning face, the button slowly lost ground until it gave a small click and released me from my prison! I erupted with a sigh from finishing my harder-than-I’d-like-to-admit workout, and setting aside the straps while I sat there for a moment to catch my breath.

    “*Ahh* Why was that so hard?” I never knew a car seat that could leave a person so winded, and it only spelt trouble for what the future would be like.

    The side door opened where I could now see Sarah, who took the liberty of lifting me out of the car and onto the sidewalk.

    “Car seats are usually operated by Amazons. It wouldn’t be a surprise if you struggled with that one a bit. Not only does being an Amazon mean you’re bigger, but a lot stronger too.”

    Another element that forced Littles to rely on others, and I wouldn’t know what to do if someone with ill intent put me in one of those. I almost broke into a cold sweat imagining what it’d be like.

    “But anyways, this is your new home.”

    I turned from her to the side, and was a almost wide-eyed at how much of an improvement my living situation had just become! There was a stretch of path between the sidewalk and entrance, which allowed for green plantlife: towering bushes, overhanging trees that even outclassed Amazons, and flowers that had been dyed in colors of the rainbow. Gray masses of rock were shuffled about and were mindful of the walkway as they socialized with the rest of nature’s many friends.

    In simple awe, I could only muster the simplest word I could think of. “Wow…”

    “Better than your old home, I take it?”

    “Not even a contest,” I couldn’t help myself and allowed fascination to let me stray from the path. Between a combination of the sunlight and the abundance of nature it felt like a forest that packed itself up and moved to the suburban district! For the first time in my life I could say I stopped to smell the roses (literally!), and relished with each breath I took, inhaling the distinctly cleaner air. “Everything you have here is just so...clean!” My curiosity sent my gaze down the sidewalk and across the street, where instead of skyscrapers and other apartments there were houses and even what looked like a school, much better looking than the inner city ones I was used to.

    “You mean it wasn’t like this back home?” I looked to Sarah and could see her raised brow tried to convey sympathy.

    “Well, yeah. I came from the city. My area wasn’t exactly the safest, nor was the atmosphere the cleanest either. What you guys have here is like paradise!” I had to stop myself from exploring too much. My size almost played to my advantage here, as it only made me feel even more immersed in the little forest.

    “Libertalia tries to be green and extremely well-kept. You won’t have to worry about that here. Now you have all of this to wake up to!” Sarah cheered as she unloaded her trunk.

    It felt like the first time I actually had something here that was too good to be true. This in itself already felt like more than enough!

    Sarah had my suitcases back on the ground and was already rolling them. “What do you say we go inside and get you moved in? There’ll be plenty of time to admire the scenery later.”

    The building from the front looked to be two stories and almost U-shaped. As we got closer to the double doors I looked from side to side at the oddly elegant brick walls. There was beauty in its poor attempt at symmetry, the only similarity on each side being the white cement trim. A plethora of color beyond countless shades of gray was a foreign concept to me, and I felt admittedly silly for getting so worked up...Unfortunately though, it wasn’t long until life was back to rain on my parade, as I could see the double doors were at Sarah’s height, not mine.

    “Without an Amazon how am I supposed to get inside?”

    “Oh, well don’t you see here?” She pointed at the bottom of the already half-open door. I could see a smaller cutout of a door with its own handle as well. Almost like a door within a door?

    “That’s how most Little-accessible doors are done around here, unless they’re automatic.”

    “Huh…” I found it a bit odd, but at least is was better than no door at all.

    “Same goes for here,” she said.

    We were then at two glass doors without any handles this time.

    “There’s a keypad up here for Amazons, and one down there for Littles. The code to get in is the one on your house key. But, since you don’t have your key yet, it looks like we’ll need someone to buzz us in.”

    Sarah pressed a button on the keypad I couldn’t see, and a ringing noise from the other side responded in tune. We waited a few seconds until I could hear a voice shouting from inside.

    “Yes, yes! Hang on!” The source of the noise wasn’t long after, as an Amazon shuffled into view; who looked to be barefoot in a gray pair of pants and t-shirt hidden by a well-used green apron. Beyond my own reflection I could see her move behind a front desk to the side and soon after the doors sprung to life. Both of us stepped in on the hardwood floor, almost like my last apartment, except much cleaner and of a noticeably higher quality.

    “Sorry for the wait! I was a little bit busy in the kitchen, haha.” She joyfully smiled, trying to fix the loose strand of peach hair her bun failed to catch. “You must be my new resident!” A ray of positivity suddenly shined on me, causing my spine to sit up straight.

    Hoping to break my nerves, I started with the first greeting. “Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Yoko.” I put on my business face and offered an open hand. With time as my witness, past encounters with Amazons left me feeling a bit on the defensive, hopefully I wouldn’t regret this optimism though. Maybe it was the flowers outside that put me in the mood for this?

    “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Yoko!” she bent her knees and entertained my gesture. “You can call me Malorie. I’m in charge of the complex here. And you must be…?” she asked while standing back on her feet to face Sarah.

    “Agent Boon. We’ve talked over the phone before? There were a few emails beforehand?”

    “Yes, that’s right! Sorry, I can be a bit forgetful sometimes,” she wiped the front of her forehead with an apologetic face. “It’s nice to formally meet you, Agent Boon.”

    The two shook hands.

    “I was just getting some cookies out of the oven. I hope you have an appetite Yoko, because I tend to cook a lot!”

    “Haha, that’s a relief. I didn’t do so much cooking back where I used to live.” I felt a bit more relaxed now that I knew she could be considered a friend. At least, the vibes she was giving me said so.

    “Could I offer you one?” Malorie asked. “You too, of course Agent Boon.”

    “Sure! That sounds nice.” I replied. Part of it was out of simple courtesy, and the other was for my general lack of food. Interdimensional travel seemed to take a hit on my stomach. A cookie wouldn’t do much to change that, but it’d at least serve as a tide-me-over.

    Sarah didn’t take her up on the offer, though. “I appreciate the offer, but I’ll have to skip this time. I had a big breakfast this morning, I’m just here to get Yoko settled then I need to head back to the offices.”

    In a singsong tone Malorie said, “Alright, suit yourself. More for us~!”

    We followed her down the hall, where I could unintentionally get a better look at her figure. It was a trend I was starting to notice amongst the female Amazons...Sarah included. All of them seemed to have such, for lack of a better word, voluptuous figures.

    Respectfully, I tried to keep Malorie out of earshot when asking my next question. “Hey Sarah?”

    “Hm? What is it?”

    “How come all of you Amazons have such...good figures?”

    “Like what, curves?”

    “Everything. Your hips, breasts, skin, it’s too perfect!” It was a little hard to mask the jealousy when I put it to words.

    “Just about every female Amazon is built to be a mother, frankly. Whether we choose to have kids or not, any female is physically suited for the role.”

    I couldn’t help but curse my own luck. An entire race of women blessed from birth, whereas I rolled the dice and got stumped at three feet. And in the back of my mind I tried to silence a nagging thought, wondering how mothers might ‘fulfill’ their roles with a substitute for an actual baby…

    We were led through an open doorway into an expansive kitchen that smelt like baking powder and pastries. While I wasn’t tall enough to see it all, I could certainly get the gist. With plenty of counter space surrounding a prep table in the center, hanging pots occupied empty space above the table and the fridge kept next to the entrance. And again, while I couldn’t see it, there was an obvious and wonderful smell coming from on top of the oven.

    “I just got these out when you guys came,” Malorie said as she used a spatula to move two off the oven, which I could maybe only ever hope to see if I jumped. “One for you,” she deposited a cookie into my hands. “And one for me.”

    The cookie’s scent was nothing short of pure deliciousness. The melting chocolate chips looked like tiny little pools of pastry lava, just waiting to erupt in my mouth. Malorie had already played to my weak side and knew just how to buy my stomach. But right before my teeth sealed the deal, a small voice in my head suddenly had me asking out loud: “Wait, are these safe to eat?” I knew it could come off as rude, but I was trying to keep the resolve that my own safety took precedence.

    Thankfully Malorie didn’t seem hurt by the question.

    “No, they’re perfectly fine. To doctor these at all would be a crime against sweets!” she said with an exaggerated gasp. “They’re safe to eat, see?” she made a display of biting into her own cookie, and swallowing.

    Seeing it as sufficient, I took a bite into mine with a little less hesitation. My eyes lit up with energy as the doughey goodness fell apart in my mouth! It was the perfect balance between soft and hard, at just the right level to only diffuse the moment it hit your tongue. Rivers of chocolate flowed to the back of my throat as I ate my little piece of heaven.

    “Well? Is it good?” Malorie asked, as if she planned to take notes.

    “It’s amazing!” I exclaimed. Hands down I couldn’t think of any better pastry I’d had in my entire life! “How are you able to bake so well?” What was her secret?

    Malorie fed into my enthusiasm, and made more lighthearted remarks.“No tricks here, folks! It’s all magic!”

    We shared a laugh at her foolishness and finished the rest of our treats.

    “There’s plenty more if you like, but I think you should get on with Agent Boon before you take any more. She has places to be too, you know.”

    “Oh! Sarah, sorry, I got a little carried away…” I turned to her almost sheepishly.

    “It’s fine, don’t worry about it.” she smiled. “She’s right though, let’s go see your room?”

    “I’ll be finishing up here if you need me,” Malorie said with a dish towel in her hands. “Her room key is on the rack behind the desk under her name. Her room is on the opposite end of the building.”

    Without any more words exchanged, Sarah and I walked back to the entrance where the key rack was.

    “That was smart of you, you know.” Sarah said as she looked for the key. “For a Portal Little to already be this cautious from day one only says good things about you.”

    “I appreciate it, but I didn’t exactly take too much convincing back there…” I said, beating myself up.

    “Maybe, but something is still better than nothing.”

    Due to my lack of sight, there was only blurred hooks, shines of metallic plates and wood. They were probably engraved, because it didn’t take Sarah long to find the right key.

    “3-7-8-2-4…” Sarah said to herself as we retraced our steps to T-fork in the hallway. Instead of heading back to the kitchen, we moved in the opposite direction down the other hall, where a table supported a vase of flowers beneath a window

    I could see her head turn from left to right, as we passed two other doors.“Looks like this is you,” she said stopping in front of a door.

    The door was like all the others and had a Little-accessible feature installed. At the height of my door and Sarah’s Amazon counterpart, I could read up close the number Sarah recited off a metal-lined wooden plate. Craftsmanship seemed like it was on a whole different level here. In the span of just a week I had gone from room 77 to just 7 after losing its distinguished twin.

    “I would give you the honors, but then I’d have a bit of trouble getting in.” Sarah joked while unlocking the door. She pushed it open to reveal what’d be my new home for who knows how long.

    For starters, it was clear that in its absence of an owner the apartment had been well-kept! More of an open-concept sort of design, I could see both the kitchen and living room from just the entrance, a noted the high ceiling. The couch looked like it cost more than my entire security deposit back home! There were marble countertops instead of wooden ones, and the fridge had two doors instead of one! The sink looked like it could stomach more than just two bowls and the garbage disposal wouldn’t wuss out after three meals.

    “Everything looks so expensive!” My socked-feet padded across the wood, marvelling at how all of this was mine! The bathroom didn’t try to pack the toilet and sink like sardines in a can, and my bed looked like a it had a full size mattress too! My willpower could barely hold off my euphoria, so little that I needed to sit down.

    “This place is twice the size and fills the space just as well to boot!” Everything started to feel right as rain again. “The best part is how everything’s my size!” Sure, things seemed a little bit bigger than normal because I fell under the size of an average little, but that was nothing I couldn’t get used to. And the high-looking ceiling was just part of being a Little in an Amazon’s world, not that it dampened the mood.

    “I’m glad you like it, because I want to tell you again that it’d be smart to stay here for a little bit,” Sarah’s smile morphed into a warning face. “Before you start to think of moving anywhere else.”

    There’d be a fat chance of that happening any time soon. Having a kind landlord and spacious room gave little reason to even think of leaving!

    “Here’s your house key and I left your luggage by the door. I left your documents in your bag. If I remember correctly you should have your ID in your pocket?” Her eyes told me she was waiting for me to pull it out, which I did. “Good, and remember to keep it whenever you go anyplace. You can use your bank card for any purchases and can find all your information to get it set up to your new phone, which I suggest you get ASAP. Call me as soon as you do so I’ll know your number. I left my information in your folder, and please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions. Malorie should be more than willing to help you with anything too.”

    “Got it, got it got it.” I said with a gracious tone. To call it indebted would be selling it short for what Sarah had done to help me get this far. “Thank you Sarah for all your help today. I’m not sure what I would have done without you.”

    “You’re very welcome,” she replied. “First month for your rent should have already been deducted and the rest you’re free to spend as you please. I know I shouldn’t have to lecture you on saving your credits, but also don’t be afraid to buy anything else you might need. That’s what the money’s for.”

    Sarah looked as if she were reviewing a mental checklist in her head.

    “I think that’s everything,” she gave me one last smile. “We’ll be in touch, and I’ll see you some time later.”

    “Bye, Sarah!” I gave her a wave as she opened and shut the door.

    In the company of myself, left to my own devices, it was only logical where to move from there.

    My heart skipped a beat when the handle turned and the faucet didn’t groan in protest. On command a torrent of water flowed seamlessly

    “It’s sooo clean!” I watched it pool in amazement.




    5 - Moving In

    “Done and done,” I clapped my hands in an up-and-down motion. My hollow suitcase stared back at me. The much larger one had barely been dissected apart from a few things, since the majority of it was unfortunately useless now. I kept the remainder in my new closet which I was quick to put to use. The attention to detail really shone when even the closet bar had been adjusted to a Little’s height. Clothes packed away and papers sorted, I was ready to hit the town.

    I knew it was important I got myself at least a phone and computer before the night was up, which shouldn’t be an issue. I’d have to ask Malorie for some suggestions, though, seeing as I wasn’t very familiar with the area. At a time like this the empty space Sarah left was obvious, after being so close together for the past couple of hours. But I knew it was time to reclaim my independence again and get back on my own two feet.

    Out of curiosity while unpacking, I tried using my phone to see what it was like. While it still turned on just fine, it of course had no signal and the charger I had wouldn’t work with any of the outlets. Not that it was unexpected, but I still wanted to entertain the thought. The battery danced just above eighty percent, and it’d only wither away with time.

    Part of me wanted to hold tight and never let go. My finger brushed its almost nostalgic logo, the last of very few possessions that made me anything more than just a Portal Little.

    My moping was interrupted at the sound of a knock on the door, taking an extra second to realize it was for me.

    “Yoko? You in there? It’s me, Malorie.”

    “Oh, yep! I’m in here. I think the door’s unlocked already?” I found out earlier that the Little door lock could affect both the big and small one from the inside. Though I wasn’t tall enough to test the reverse.

    The knob turned and a head belonging to Malorie popped in, her hair still dressed in a bun.

    “I take it you’ve gotten everything unpacked?” she asked, stepping in and closing the door behind her. She was just in her regular clothes now minus the apron.

    “Yep! No issues. Feels good to be somewhere where everything’s my size.”

    “That’s a relief. I can sometimes find it hard imagining myself using Little-sized appliances,” she said sheepishly. “I was almost afraid even this stuff might be too big for you...But! That doesn’t seem to be the case. Now that you’re unpacked though and we have a little bit of downtime, I wanted to give you the official rules for when you’re staying here.”

    We each took a respective seat at the kitchen table, ignoring how to Malorie it was more like a playset. Envy grazed me when I saw how it only made her matured body seem even more pronounced, being so close together like this.

    “There aren’t a lot of rules to follow here, but it’s still important to follow them nonetheless.” she explained. “First and foremost I ask you keep the noise level to a medium. What you do in your own home is your business to a certain degree, but no one else should have to put up with the noise. You understand?”

    I shook my head yes and she continued.

    “Secondly, I’m sure you never would, but there will be no damaging the furniture, walls, floor or ceiling here. There is no security deposit, so doing anything of the sort like that will end in immediate eviction, no exceptions. But, there’s a difference between you breaking something and something breaking on you, so don’t hesitate to get me if there’s a maintenance issue.”

    “Uh-huh.” While it was understandable, the second rule seemed a tad bit more severe.

    “I’m pretty lenient when it comes to complaints against other tenants, but there is a certain limit to how much I’m willing to slip by. And thirdly, this house does have a curfew. I know it might sound crazy, but it’s for your own safety and my job. It’s up to me to make sure all my residents are accounted for, and to do that I need you inside at a safe time. This is a safe area, and I don’t think there’d be any Amazons daring enough to try, but we have rules like this so it doesn’t happen. I need you inside before ten at night or else it will count as a rule broken. Am I clear?”

    “Mhm.” A curfew didn’t seem all that bad, but being an adult in my twenties it couldn’t help but feel a bit excessive…

    “Good. You’ll never be locked out if you break curfew, but I will know if you do come in late, and I will count it against you. Breaking curfew means it’s an hour less from then on, and a second offense works the same way. Anything beyond that and we’ll need to talk about some better ways to reign you in. And you’re more than welcome to sleep somewhere else for the night, but I need to know if you’re coming back that night or not, otherwise it’ll be considered an infraction. Are we good there?”

    I gave her another yes and reviewed all of the rules in my head. Seeing as I likely wouldn’t be out very much for the time being, I wasn’t too worried about getting back late, and nothing else had me on edge. After seeing I understood, the atmosphere felt a little less tense and Malorie fell back into her usual self.

    “Perfect! I know I shouldn’t have any issues with any of my tenants, but rules do need to be followed.” She said stressing the part on ‘do’. “And also rent is 3,000 credits a month, but you should already be covered for this one.”

    I made a note to myself to get a better understanding of how money worked here, but it shouldn’t be too hard.

    “With that out of the way, let’s move onto some more interesting things. Do you have everything you need?”

    “Actually I was planning to ask you as soon as I finished up here. Do you know where I would be able to get a phone and computer? They’re kinda essential to me.”

    “A few places come to mind where you could probably get both…” Malorie paused to think. “And it so happens I need to go and get a few ingredients for dinner tonight. I don’t mind taking a detour if you’re willing to go on an errand with me?”

    “Sounds good to me. Two birds with one stone. This means a lot to me, really.” Once again I found myself thankful for the kindness of others. In a single day I already felt more selfish than I had been my whole life back on Earth.

    “What’re friends for? It’s not as big of a deal as you’re making it out to be, you know. Just throw your stuff together and I’ll meet you at the front door. I need to put some shoes on anyways.”

    Malorie left me to my own devices while she went to tend to her own. I didn’t see much reason in changing my clothes now, since recent events have caused me to be frugal. With a jacket and purse I made sure to have my ID, house key and glasses on before I locked the door. It wouldn’t be just me and Malorie going out though, as I noted the butterflies scrambling inside of me.

    “Suit yourself!” Malorie playfully called, backing out of a doorway. Who was she talking to?

    “Someone else is here?” I asked, noticing the change in her appearance. Her hair hung loosely now and there was more than just socks on her feet.

    “Sorry I completely forgot to tell you!” she apologized. “There is one other Portal Little here right now. His name is Jayce and he got here the other day. But between you and me,” she said in a lowered voice, “I don’t think he’s much of a people person. Not Amazons at least.”

    Had I been without someone like Sarah just from my trip from the Portal Hub, I might have been in his shoes as well. Thankfully the only strange things I saw were mostly happening to others and not me. Still, I hoped he’d at least be receptive to meeting me at some point. Amazons seemed alright as long as you knew the right ones, but I was a little desperate to socialize with some people that weren’t a constant reminder of how small I was.

    “I take it Agent Boon didn’t leave a car seat with you?” Malorie asked as we stepped outside.

    “Uh, no.” Every time when something degrading like this was brought up, I couldn’t help but cringe at my own incompetence.

    “I figured as much…” Malorie said in an expecting voice. “I think I’ll need to pick one up pretty soon if I want to be able to drive with any of you guys. We should be fine for today since it’s nice out but I’ll need to do something about that soon.”

    I didn’t try to engage in baby talk with her any further as we walked down the sidewalk, seeing that the sun was still high in the sky. A warm breeze danced across my shoulder and through my hair as a friendly reminder of where I was.

    Benevolently she said, “Let me know if you ever get tired, okay? I know Amazons can sometimes be a little bit too fast for you guys to keep up.”

    “Mhm.” I kept my response brief, trying not to seem any smaller than I already was.

    “We can get your phone and computer first since it’s the farther store, then we’ll swing back to the supermarket.”

    Although it was a bit of a distance, taking the scenic route felt pretty satisfying now that I was in this nice of a neighborhood. Freshly cut grass and flourishing leafy trees dotted people’s yards and even some of the stores. The bigger stores looked almost like castle walls and the roads were endless rivers of black asphalt..

    “Hey I didn’t know you wore glasses? Have they been on this whole time?” Malorie asked, finally noticing them.

    “Huh? Yeah, I’m nearsighted. While these things aren’t the strongest prescription I’ve still needed them for as long as I could remember.”

    “Interesting...So you chose not to get your eyes fixed?”

    “Fixed? What do you mean? Like laser eye surgery?”

    “I guess, but you mean to tell me you didn’t have corrective nanites in your old dimension?”

    “Corrective nanites? What are those?”

    Malorie seemed a little dumbstruck at my question, clearly not expecting my answer.

    “They’re just about for anything, really. There’s certainly a health use for them but style as well. Tweaking blemishes on the body, eyesight, hearing, even changing your haircolor. I know even some Amazons like to use them on their Littles…” her voice started to trail off, realizing little too late it had hit a touchy subject. “But the point is that you can use them for so much!” Malorie tried to keep things upbeat, hoping to fix the atmosphere.

    “Malorie…” Her poor choice of words had me thinking. “Why are Amazons so into babying Littles here? Why can’t they just stick to having their own kids?”

    There was a pause between my question and her response while she turned her gears.

    “Truthfully Yoko, a lot of Amazons have a difficult time seeing Littles as anything but someone they need to protect and care for...It’s a combination between how society perceives Littles and maternal instinct. Amazon’s fertility rates aren’t exactly the greatest, which I suppose is a cruel tradeoff to having just about every other asset of a mother…” her voice grew somber.

    Despite the sadness in her voice, my eyes couldn’t help but then drift to her ‘assets’.

    “Which is why we can almost see babying a Little almost like indulging ourselves. A lot of Amazons that want to be mothers unfortunately can’t. But then that’s where you guys come in. Because Littles seem like babies to so many people, it’s like throwing a pup to the wolves when they see a Little trying to be an adult. It’s a mix of fear and absurdity”

    The logic sounded twisted, but on some level I could see how it might connect the dots for some.

    “All Amazons on some level think of Littles like kids, you know. There are Amazons who truthfully wouldn’t like seeing you so independent like this, Yoko, and would much rather see you taken down a peg or two.” She said, choosing not to elaborate. “I think a lot of Littles are entitled to their independence, but the mother in me thinks just the opposite as well. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel uncomfortable seeing so many Littles living so recklessly on their own. Sometimes I do think certain Littles could use a guiding hand.” Her last few pensive lines felt different from the rest.

    It scared me hearing that even Malorie struggled with this kind of dilemma, but made me happy she saw me as an adult, even if it weren’t equivalent to an Amazon. At least she made the attempt to see me as anything but baby material. I know I hadn’t been exposed to anything firsthand aside from two women, but I felt like my conclusions weren’t completely baseless.

    “I know being an adult is important to a lot of people, but I also know that there are plenty of Littles that can’t handle what an Amazon society throws at them, or might even prefer being babied. The world’s a scary place, and it scares me even more to know there are people out there who can’t fend for themselves. It’s a difficult topic.” Malorie seemed a bit distressed just trying to find the right words.

    “I’m kind of new to the whole babying Littles thing, since it’s just my first day here. But how often are Littles taken against their will?”

    “More than I’d like to admit,” Malorie started to get a little emotional. “Libertalia is about as good as it gets in this dimension, and there are plenty of Littles who lead fulfilling lives...but it used to be much easier for Amazons to intervene.”

    “What do you mean by that?” I felt a little afraid to ask.

    “Without going into too much detail, those protective IDs you Littles have now weren’t a thing not too many years ago. Amazon’s are always looking for an excuse to adopt a Little on the spot, and then just a pair of wet pants was sufficient enough to justify adoption. I think a Little can be happy when they’re cared for...but I can’t agree with taking their freedoms unjustly.” she started to sniffle. “A bond between a Little and Amazon can be a beautiful thing if it’s done right,” she stated. “Unfortunately that’s never been the common way to go about it.”

    I could see Malorie’s heart was in the right place, but under no circumstances could I see the reason in trading your adulthood for a life in diapers. I didn’t think I’d ever understand that no matter how long I stayed in this dimension, which is why I’d try my best to never find a reason to.

    “But,” Malorie wiped a tear from her eye. “Let’s talk about something else. What was your old home like?”

    We continued to chat while we walked, shifting to more positive topics. The scenery slowly transitioned into that of a shopping district. More people were walking and we saw more cars, and we even passed a park during our walk. I turned away when I could see a bunch of kids playing around in the park, and with the help of my glasses it was clear some of them were Littles. While I forced them out of sight they weren’t out of mind, as I found myself questioning whether they were babies of their own free will. They looked to be smiling though, so maybe?

    “This should be what you’re looking for,” Malorie stopped us in front of a store.

    Next to the sliding doors I could see the plastered sign ‘TechStop’ behind a window. I had to be reminded that I wouldn’t recognize any of the businesses here in a foreign world, and I would need to relearn all the important places to go to. The automatic doors made way for us as we walked inside.

    “Will they sell computers for Littles here?” I was starting to have second thoughts when I looked at the massive shelves. “Yep, they do business with both Amazons and Littles here. This is one of the bigger chains for universal business. Want a ride, by the way?” Malorie asked, pulling a nearby shopping cart out of the rack.

    “Er, thanks, but I’m fine.” It was a bit of a walk to get there, but I wasn’t ready to tap out just yet. I’d need to at least start pushing myself if I wanted any stamina to get around on my own.

    “Sorry, I should have known better.” Malorie apologized, pushing the cart ahead. “Now if I have it right, the computers should be down this aisle. Are you looking to get a desktop or a laptop?”

    “A laptop, probably.” I knew I was used to having a desktop back home, but to make our trip easier and give myself a sense of portability I figured a laptop was the best way to go for the time being.

    While we were strolling down the aisle, another cart came from the opposite direction, which had me quickly sidestep it to avoid a close collision.

    “Oh! I’m sorry dear I almost hit you!” A concerned Amazon was soon up in my face, inspecting me all over.

    “No, I’m fine. Thanks though.” I replied. Please let her move on. I tried my best to stay composed when she took the liberty to check me from behind.

    After a few seconds longer of finding no scratches she finally seemed satisfied, saying with relief “Thank goodness you’re alright! But it’s dangerous on the ground, you know! The carriages here have spots for you to sit in honey.”

    “Duly noted,” my patience was running thin.

    My irked attitude must have started to show, when Malorie suddenly said “Ah, Yoko why don’t we get going? And thank you for making sure she was alright. She’s a tough Little.” Malorie tried to defuse the tension.

    “Certainly…” the Amazon said with a stern look, as if she could’ve stared daggers at me. “Have a nice day.”

    We parted ways and moved on.

    “Yoko, I get you’re an adult, and no one is trying to take that from you, but you shouldn’t go picking fights like that.”

    “No one’s trying to take that from me? You heard her! She was belittling me!” I complained. How could an Amazon understand where I was coming from anyways?

    “She only meant well. Amazon’s just have a tendency to be like that with Littles. She was only being nice.”

    “Can we just let it go, please? I’m just a bit annoyed right now.” I wasn’t feeling up to hear why it was okay to look down on me, and just wanted to get back to the task at hand.

    “Alright…” Marlorie said, letting it go. “The computers are here by the way. Bottom shelf ones are Little-sized. Take your pick. I’m not too sure about these things.” her culinary knowledge didn’t encompass technology, not that was a bad thing of course.

    There were about five different models to choose from, and I took my time looking over each one of them. All of their resolutions seemed to be in the ballpark of what would be considered a high-end laptop back home, which was already amazing for starters. I couldn’t believe the storage sizes on these things either! Another parallel between our two dimensions was the same unit measurements. Each one didn’t fall short of two terabytes, and the other hardware parts were beyond my comprehension. I’d have to learn more about the standards for hardware here, but just from comparing all five I could see the numbers were all close to each other.

    Their prices ranged from 1,100 credits up to 1,400, which was starting to give me a better idea of how money worked here. I hadn’t seen my bank account yet, but I knew from Sarah’s words that it shouldn’t be an issue covering this kind of fee.

    “I’ll get this one,” I decided, pulling one of the middle three off the shelf.

    “Whichever one you think is good.” Malorie lifted the box into the cart. “You’re welcome to get anything else you see here, but we’ll have to get your phone set up at one of the support desks.”

    Wasn’t she forgetting the most important part though? “What about getting registered with a service provider?” I asked.

    “Libertalia’s your service provider. All the islands have one service for its citizens.”

    I didn’t know whether it was a good thing or bad, since a total monopoly only left consumers at the mercy of their supplier. But there was a element of convenience to it I suppose.

    On our way to the phones with the help of Malorie, I had her grab a few flash drives that hung a off some of the higher hooks, and even threw in a mouse.

    The phones were what intrigued me the most though, when I could see some of the display models were just screens and nothing else!

    “How can your phones be so slim?” My hands played with the seamless touch display, fingers swiping back and forth.

    “Cool isn’t it? I think those have only been around for a few years now. I heard they’re pretty good.”

    A match made in heaven and love at first sight, I didn’t spend much longer looking at the other phones with a boxed one already in hand. I handed it to Malorie who put it in the cart with the rest of my purchases.

    “Alright, I think that’s all I wanna get.” I had to limit myself from breaking the bank too much. The portable batteries and earbuds were starting to catch my attention, but I knew there should be some money left over for food and clothes.

    Malorie took us to a cash register first so we could buy the phone before setting it up. There was a small set of stairs that looked like it’d put me up to the level of the cashier, but I could tell I wasn’t fast enough when I heard them start to talk to Malorie.

    “Hi, let me ring these up for you.”

    Malorie handed them off to the pair of hands as the machine made a beep with every scan.

    “Do you plan to use cash or card?” he asked still staring at Malorie. Not me.

    I suspected Malorie didn’t want me to get a word in since she was quick to respond. “Actually my friend here is buying, this is all for her.”

    Only then did the cashier look down slightly and notice my much smaller presence.

    “Oh! I’m sorry. I couldn’t help but see your friend first…”

    The passive look on my face did the talking for me, telling him to get a move on.

    “Before we go any further though could I see your ID please?”

    That was a question I wasn’t expecting. The discrimination was in poor taste now that an ID was required when as soon as it was a Little doing the shopping. I pulled my card out and handed it to him which he then scanned under the machine.

    “Yep, you’re all good. Cash or credit?”

    “Credit please. I think this should work?” I handed him my new bank card.

    “This’ll work just fine,” he swiped the card into a nearby slot in the computer. “Sign here for me please?” He turned a digital tablet in my direction with an attached stylus.

    I signed off with a fast signature and tapped the ‘accept’ button which made the screen turn green.

    “Do you want a bag for your stuff?”

    “Yes, please.” Malorie answered for me.

    It only made sense for her to, considering she’d likely be the one carrying it. Still, it only made me feel like extra baggage.

    He handed the bagged items off to Malorie and wished us a good day. We wheeled the cart back into the rack and found a support desk.

    Our interaction with the worker there was similar to the one with the cashier only it took a bit longer. After setting up an account and providing all of my information, he unboxed the phone and had it powered and ready to go in just a few minutes. I was scheduled for my next bill a month from now, as I went with the standard data & text package. The price didn’t seem terrible at 50 credits a month, but only time would tell if they tried to jip me like they would back home.

    The phone was soon back in my hands and I was raring to go at it already. The only thing that reigned me in was Malorie’s reminder we still had one other stop to make. Exploring what my phone could do could wait, and I’d be sure to get in touch with Sarah soon.

    “Now that we’ve got your stuff out of the way, let’s go get some stuff for dinner.” Malorie hoisted the bag over her shoulder as the plastic crinkled when she moved to and fro.

    “Are you sure you don’t mind carrying it? I’m the one who made you come out here after all.”

    “It’s no biggie. Thankfully the stuff you got is pretty light anyways. Besides, I know you’re a trooper and all but this much walking can get pretty exhausting.”

    As a friend the concern was comforting but I tried to see it as nothing else. In a society like this I couldn’t afford to be seen as someone weak; not when I’d be playing into the desires of people who just wanted to see me fail.

    We walked back the way we came and crossed the street to a supermarket. Along the way it started to become clear how much the cars dwarfed my size. If I thought Amazons were big, regular cars felt like monster trucks now, and the occasional truck would roar its prowess into my ears.

    Malorie must have learned from her past mistake, because she didn’t offer me a ride this time when she grabbed a cart.

    “Let’s see...We could use a couple of things.”

    “What do you plan to make?” On the topic of food, I figured I should probably buy some stuff for myself tonight too.

    “I was thinking pasta. I need to get a few spices for a sauce and parmesan.”

    Staying close to her side, we navigated our way to the spice section, trying to keep my head down, so not to see their condescending gazes or the charges they might have had with them. I wasn’t looking to give anyone the eye, but I wouldn’t be pushed around.

    Malorie took us to the dairy section next where the cheeses were, and I almost recoiled in disgust when I saw what I did.

    “Little’s Friendly Milk, 5% Amazon Mother’s Mix?” What the hell? I looked down a couple of rows and saw the amounts went to 8, 10, 20 and even 50! They couldn’t really be selling what I think they were, could they? “Malorie, what is this stuff?”

    Malorie turned back to what I was looking at, and didn’t seem too enthusiastic either.

    “Jesus, they moved those on the bottom shelves now?”

    What did it matter where they put them? They were selling part breast milk to Littles!

    “Why are they selling something like this? What the hell?”

    I noticed an Amazon turn slightly our way, not that I really cared. Thankfully she still moved on, probably because she saw Malorie with me.

    “I know it might be unusual where you come from, but it’s not completely unheard of here. There are plenty of Littles that want to breastfeed, but their Amazon’s might not be able to do that for them. Nanites would fix that of course but not everyone wants to. Some Littles might just want the taste.”

    It was hard not to vomit hearing complete strangers breastfed from one another, but I was sure there’d be even worse things I’d come to find out. Regardless, this almost felt like the cherry on top when it came to surpassing my expectations for a simple culture shock.

    “You mean Littles actually drink this stuff? Real store-bought breast milk?”

    “No, it’s not actually breast milk. It’s just the flavoring they use to make it seem like the stuff. I suggest you don’t buy any though. While I’ve heard to Littles the stuff only gets better when you up the percentage, it can get pretty addicting. So steer clear of it if you plan on being an adult.”

    To even suggest me having the stuff had me squirming in my shoes. “Well I have no intentions of getting any of that stuff. Ever.” Another point she made piqued my morbid curiosity though. “And you said Littles, but have Amazons ever tried this stuff?”

    “Heavens no!” It was the first time I saw an openly sick-looking face on Malorie. She looked as if she could taste the bad thought in her mind. “Amazons and Littles have very different taste buds. What I might consider good and you might are like day and night.”

    “How different?” My tongue instinctively pressed against the roof of my mouth as if I could feel the difference on my own.

    “Little’s palettes are much more catered to sweet things. That’s why commercial food here is either advertised for Littles or Amazons. You wouldn’t like most of the food I would and vice versa. You’d probably think its too bitter, in fact. Portal Little or native, it’s just about the same.”

    “Then what about those cookies you made? We both liked those.” A complex was growing in me, trying not to widen the gap between me and Amazons any further.

    “While that’s true, we actually had two different cookies. I knew at least some of you might be coming today, so I made those beforehand. A batch for Amazons and a batch for Littles. With you guys I made sure to use Little flavoring.”

    It sounded like I was being drugged, and the delicious cookies didn’t seem all that trusting anymore.

    “But for the foods that are made from scratch apart from the basics like bread, eggs and whatnot, that stuff both Littles and Amazons can enjoy. The homemade stuff is for everyone. Try not to look so mortified though, it’s pretty common here for food to be prepared like that. It’s so it tastes even better to Littles. You thought the cookies were good, right?”

    “Yeah, I guess…” I couldn’t help but feel a bit betrayed. I tried to understand Malorie was doing what was normal to her, but it didn’t make the receiving end feel any better. Another thing I’d have to get used to.

    “Try picking out a few snacks, though. See what I mean. Because all the Little foods are meant for Littles, you should find the taste pretty awesome.” I could see Malorie even put her own bag of pretzels into the cart. Reluctantly, but giving into a guilty pleasure, I grabbed my own duplicate bag, except mine was specified for Littles and were even chocolate-covered.

    “Do you think I could get a few things while we’re here too? I want to build up my own stock of food as well.”

    “Sure! Just hand me whatever you want in the cart.”

    A few aisles over I was staring back at myself through the mirror of a bright red tomato. The produce looked to be pristine and living in the prime of its life.

    “I’ll take a few tomatoes.”

    Comment


      #3
      Very interesting and well written! I hope to see this continue because I would like to see where this goes.

      Comment


        #4
        For your first DD story you did amazing well. You are building up the story nice and slow but not to a degree its boring. I'm enjoying the characters youve chosen too. They are well described to a point you can already get a good idea of who they really are. You've done a great job of describing the world around them. I didn't have any trouble imagining what you were describing. Its easy to follow your writing style. You should be proud of this story you've started.

        Thankies for posting

        Comment


          #5
          I'm very impressed with this and where you're going! Looking forward to future parts!

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