Characters: All Characters played by: Miki Yamuri and Lil Jennie
Gina Skinner - 18yo Student on Spring Break
Scene: A beautiful and secluded section of beach on a Spring Break camping trip
It was finally Spring Break! Gina had turned 18 and convinced her Mother she was old enough not only to go on this trip with her friends, but was old enough to wear the new string bikini she had on. It was her senior year in High School, and she was to start college in the fall semester.
She stood on the beach, raised her hands, and twirled around several times. She knew she looked wonderful in her royal blue bikini. She had entered that place where boys started calling girls babes. She had very firm perky breasts, a narrow waist, round hips, long white blond hair that had bleached that color in the sun, and a cute round bottom. None of the guys could keep their eyes off of her and flirted every chance they got. She knew she was a real Babydoll.
She looked at the beauty of the sunset as it turned the horizon pink, blue, green, and a deepening purple along with the fire through the waves as the diatoms released their phosphorescent light. The beauty of this secluded beach along with the soft murmur of the waves as they kissed the shore made this the perfect place for their Spring Break party.
She turned daintily with a sexy wiggle, and walked back towards camp with the large fire burning in the middle. She failed to notice the star that seemed to move erratically in the darkening sky, before falling rapidly into the sea just over the horizon leaving a large multicolored corona for an instant before vanishing.
In the hold of a super advanced cargo vessel beneath the ocean’s surface, the ship’s commander circled his Hunting and Collection team. He inspected each piece of advanced hardware they carried with a meticulous eye for detail. This was a very special mission. They were collecting specimens destined for the Elite Living Babydoll class that were so prized by their civilization. They had traveled many thousands of light years to this remote, extremely primitive, backwater dirtball of a planet to find specimens. According to all their scans, these primitives were the most perfect their scientists had ever discovered and he didn’t want there to be any mistakes or damage to the precious cargo.
While the commander inspected his hunting team, the science team readied the storage and containment units. At the same time, the doctors readied the equipment that would transform these animals into an Elite Babydoll.
One doctor in particular inspected a device that transfered life forces from one animate object to another object animate or not. His job was special and he was tasked in making the living ornaments, jewelry, and other objects that normally would be inanimate. If one of the highly prized specimens became damaged, he would also take their life force and make a special ornament from it or or a piece of living jewelry. Those objects were as highly prized as a Living Babydoll and he wanted to ensure nothing would be lost in the transfer.
The party was going well. Gina had made lots of friends here during this week, and they were having a great time dancing around the bonfire. Some of the guys, and a few of the girls too, had pooled their audio equipment to set up an awesome sound system, and although the police had come visiting, they hadn’t found any alcohol or drugs -- those who had them had known the fire and sound would attract the cops, so they’d kept their controlled substances well hidden for now. So the cops were coming by the party site every few hours, but otherwise weren’t watching continuously.
Besides, there was Gina’s Aunt Agatha. She was the only reason why Gina’s parents had let her come here, really. Aunt Agatha lived nearby and insisted that Gina check in with her. When she’d found out about this party, she’d more or less insisted on acting as a chaperone. “I’m glad your friends aren’t that kind who think they need alcohol or drugs in order to have fun,” she said as Gina took a break from dancing to get some soda.
“Er, yeah, that’s good,” Gina said, embarrassed that her aunt was even here.
“I just don’t get why someone would want to have all this fun, then try their hardest to make sure they wouldn’t remember it later,” said Gladys, Aunt Agatha’s friend, who had come to “help.” “We never did anything like that when we were your age.”
“Well, there was the time when Tony Enioso sneaked in a flask in his shoe and spiked the punch at the homecoming dance,” said Agatha. “Things got so crazy!”
“Um, sounds way exciting,” Gina said. “I’m gonna go talk to Liz now, K?”
Gina wandered towards her friend Liz, when suddenly she was grabbed, spun around, and a very handsome young man kissed her passionately. Her resistance melted away like snow on a griddle as she fell into his strong arms.
When Jason finally broke the kiss he said softly, “I’m sorry, Gina, but I’ve been wanting to do that since we got here.”
It took Gina a few moments to get her mind back. She felt so wonderful as she wrapped her arms around the very handsome young man’s neck, “It’s OK. I think I want some more …”
She never got to finish her statement as a voice shouted, “Look guys, there’s … some kind of light out there in the surf.”
The youths began to gather as they watched the flickering multicolored light off in the distance light up the water.
Agatha noticed the kids gathering and wandered over to see what it was that caught their attention. Her mouth fell open as she watched the water shine ever brighter as whatever made the light moved closer to shore.
A boy in just bathing trunks named Randy said loudly, “What if it’s one of those weird submarines drug smugglers are using to bring in drugs?”
A buzz of soft murmurings rose up loud enough that Agatha didn’t really like some of what she was hearing. She moved closer to Gina and said softly, “If this turns out to be what those boys are talking about, I want you to follow me and run. It might turn dangerous.”
Gina giggled slightly, “Oh, Auntie. You’re such a worry wart. I suppose you gonna tell me that the kiss I got from Jason will make me pregnant.”
Agatha laughed, “It just might, if you aren’t very careful.”
Both women laughed as the light drew ever closer to shore, then suddenly went out. The only light now came from the stars above, the campfire, and the diatoms’ flashes in the surf.
“It’s gone,” Gladys said. “I don’t suppose it could just have been more of those glowing things that live in the sea?”
Nobody got a chance to answer her question. Later, most of them would only vaguely remember what happened next.
“I don’t understand these readings,” said Commander Yldix. “Scientist, what is wrong with this human?”
Chief Science Officer Rnlex replied, “I have never seen anything like this specimen before. It is almost as if this one is already an Elite Babydoll -- but that is impossible, of course.”
Gina woke up gradually, with a vague impression of voices speaking a language she didn’t understand. When she opened her eyes, she was inside some kind of large glass box, wearing only her bikini, and the light was so bright, seemingly coming from all directions. “Wh -- what’s going on?” she asked. “What happened? Where am I? Where is everyone else?”
“The human should not be conscious yet,” said Scientist Rnlex. “It is possible that we have a rare specimen.”
“I hear you, so I know you’re there,” said Gina to the voices she couldn’t understand.
“A rare specimen?” said Commander Yldix. “Then this one will bring a greater price! We have been fortunate.”
“I am not entirely certain,” said Rnlex. “I recommend we study this one further. We may learn something of great importance.”
“We are on a tight schedule,” said the commander. “There are four time divisions until all teams are scheduled to return. Learn whatever you can in that time, then begin the conversion process on all the specimens, including this one.”
“I want out!” said Gina. “Do you understand me?”
Rnlex did, of course, as their communications devices were able to translate any form of human language, but he did not respond. He merely began scanning the specimen with their medical beams and comparing the results against the records in the archives.
Technician Eryxxz looked over the scans of the specimen in the unit he was assigned to. It was too old to be transformed into an Elite Babydoll, however it was perfect to become a piece of rare Living Jewelry.
Agatha awoke slowly. She found herself suspended in some kind of box. A mist of some type surrounded her, making everything glow even brighter in the light all around.
Technician Eryxxz placed a Choke Collar with its very large, perfectly faceted clear stone into the anode section of the transfer device. He set the dials and pushed a button.
Suddenly, a terrible energy grabbed Agatha’s very deepest essence and forcefully ripped it from her body. She felt it as her consciousness tore free and her body screamed out its last as her life force was removed and forced into ... some place. Her very spirit cried out in sheer agonizing torment as this new place absorbed her totally. She could feel it as it happened.
A large flash Within the containment unit, followed shortly by another in the anode section. The body within the containment section shriveled and grew massively gnarled black lines running all through its desiccated lifeless skin.
Eryxxz smiled, this would be a perfect necklace for a Babydoll. The Stone now glowed a bright and very beautiful pulsing white/blue and was filled with new vibrant life.
Agatha wasn't even sure if she was still alive, although she felt as if she were. Where she was and ... her body had changed drastically and it felt totally strange and alien. She knew something totally out of anything in her understanding had just happened. She could also feel something happening to her mind. She was totally unable to help anything that was changing within her as where ever she was became … her.
Eryxxz removed the necklace from the anode and held it up. The stone glowed beautifully. This one was especially nice and glowed with an intensity not found in any other location. It would fetch an enormous price on the market. He knew this one would become an heirloom handed down for many generations to come. Earth was a wonderful serendipitous find. Nowhere else in all of their species searches throughout the cosmos had they ever found such a perfect place that harbored such perfect specimens.
The Tech carefully placed the magnificently beautiful necklace into a storage box and closed the lid. Agatha’s thoughts came to an abrupt end as she was placed into stasis until her sale.
Eryxxz hit the disposal button. Agatha’s desiccated, shriveled, and lifeless husk of a body vanished in a bright flash. Another very beautiful, but too old to be an Elite Babydoll woman appeared within the chamber. This woman was screaming her name was Gladys and to release her. Eryxxz wished the specimens wouldn’t do that.
He placed another Choke Collar necklace within the anode, made minor adjustments on the controls, and pressed the transfer button. The screams ceased abruptly as the body within the containment unit shriveled up and became massively desiccated and lifeless. In a bright flash yet another magnificent Living Necklace came into being as it filled with life within the anode device and began to glitter and sparkle with a bright white/blue glow.
“You see,” Scientist Rnlex was telling the commander, “this one’s interplexity levels are beyond anything we’ve ever seen, and its magnalosity is of a heretofore unknown chromanimity class.”
“Will this interfere with profits?” the commander asked.
“I simply do not know, Sir,” said Rnlex. “Readings like this are unprecedented.”
“What would be your prediction?”
“Chances of destroying the conversion array: approximately 15%. Chances of normal transformation: 5%. Chances of producing an Elite: 30%. Chances of unknown results: 50%.”
“Are you saying that this may produce some kind of super-Elite?” the commander asked, practically hyperventilating as he imagined the profits.
“Well, I’m not saying it won’t, but --”
“Do it. If the array is damaged, repair it. We have ample spare parts.”
“Er, yes, Sir.” The commander left.
“So, unusual Earth-human specimen, what will happen when we convert you?” asked Rnlex, looking at Gina pensively.
“I’m still here and can still hear you talking,” said Gina, although she still didn’t understand a word. “Are you guys aliens? Are you gonna probe me or something?”
Why not? Rnlex turned on the translator. “We have already probed you with our medical beams, human.”
“So you can speak English!” Gina said, annoyed. “Or your machines or computers or whatever can. Are you going to let me go now?”
“You will be converted and taken to our Babydoll assignment center,” Rnlex said. “There you will enter a life of luxury.”
“I want to go back to my life of … life!” Gina said. “Maybe it’s not luxury, but it’s home.”
“I am sorry, but that is not possible,” said Rnlex. “We are all operating under orders, human.”
“My name is Gina, not ‘human.’”
“Jee-na. I wish you had not told me that. It is so much easier when we do not know names. I may have to use the memoraser to remove that information from my brain.”
“Why would you do that? Why are you going around kidnapping people and selling them as pets, anyway?”
“That concept is … disturbingly close to the reality, Jee-na. It is simply how our civilization has developed, however. It is time for us to begin the conversion process, though.”
“Conversion?” Gina asked. “What am I going to be ‘converted’ into? Some kind of animal? I’m scared. Please don’t do it!”
“Not an animal,” said Rnlex. “You are to be converted into … a Babydoll.” He started activating the conversion array.
Gina’s breath caught in her lungs as a terrible energy coursed all through her to her very deepest essence. It pounded and pounded at her spirit in a most horrible way deleting things that made Gina who she thought she was and actually rewriting her in many ways.
Her thoughts became strange as she had things within her change into those of a Living Babydoll. The erasure beam did a most heroic job, but Gina was as close to already being an Elite Babydoll as she could be and still not actually be one, the beam couldn’t adequately complete. Adult residuals remained. But enough changed that a special mix evolved so that Gina became the most adorable and special Living Babydoll Vzandrox 4 had ever known.
The worst part of it was she knew and experienced the conversion fully and understood what was being taken and what was being added since the beam couldn’t erase and reprogram as intended, but instead, merged and mixed in a totally new never before achieved matrix.
Gina was totally helpless as showers of sparks and icy mist scattered everywhere around her. A kaleidoscope of colors washed through Gina’s sight as intense surges raced massively through her body. She had no more thoughts as another huge electrical jolt coursed through her consciousness.
When the sparks had all gone away, the fire was put out, and the billowing clouds of smoke had cleared, Rnlex was totally astounded to see a Living Babydoll more advanced and Elite than any he had ever in his total thousand years of service ever produced. But he couldn’t be certain the process had gone according to plan. After all, the equipment had nearly destroyed itself -- he had also never seen anything like that.
Rnlex walked over to the broken containment unit and caressed the Babydoll. Her skin was soft and supple, and she was more beautiful than any had ever been. He removed the over large blue rag she wore, cleaned off the globs of excess biomass left behind by the transformation process as she shrank to the proper babydoll size, and began to dress her in the cutest Elite Little Princess Babydoll outfit and panties in the ship’s stores. This one would fetch an astronomical price. He grinned as he thought of taking her for his own as he dressed the new Babydoll as adorably as could be and tied a nice bow in the laces on the crocheted booties. But he knew that he would never be able to afford her. This was a risk -- only the wealthiest would be able to pay her price, but would any of the wealthiest citizens of the Confederation choose to step up and pay it? Rnlex took the new Babydoll to the Babydoll Quarters as the technicians scurried around the conversion chamber replacing burned and shattered parts. By the time this new Babydoll woke up, they would be back on Vzandrox 4.
Gina’s eyelids fluttered open. She had vague memories of being told she was going to be changed -- into … what was it? She had the strangest desires to play with toys and weird wants.
She looked around. The room she was in was small but furnished with a … was that a playpen? Like for babies? And the bed she was lying in was soft, but very very pink, and it most definitely had high sides with bars like a crib and even crinkled as the plastic mattress liner made noise by her movements.
She threw back the covers and looked down at herself. She was wearing the laciest pale blue and white dress that she’d ever seen, let alone worn, with white gloves on her hands, lacy tights on her legs, and lacy socks on her feet, and that didn’t even count whatever they’d done to her face and hair, which she couldn’t see, since there was no mirror.
“Helloooooo?” she called out, but then stopped and gasped. Her voice sounded so high-pitched and tiny compared to -- to what? She was having trouble remembering what her life had been like. All she seemed to remember clearly is now.
There was no response, so either she was alone, or the walls were soundproofed, or anyone in rooms nearby was asleep. This was frustrating. These -- space aliens, she guessed? -- were holding her against her will and had done things to her mind, and maybe her body too, though she wasn’t sure exactly what.
She had the strong impression they’d messed with her memory and personality. What gave them the right to do that? They thought they had the right because they could do it and no one could stop them. That wasn’t fair! She wanted out of this baby crib! She grabbed two of the bars and was immediately rewarded with some kind of unpleasant shock. Furious, she grabbed them again, and a glowing aura surrounded her hands as she did so. The bars collapsed into a pile of fabric -- strips of lace-trimmed cotton in babyish prints. Gina blinked. What was that? Was that supposed to happen? She didn’t know.
But she got out of bed and found a pair of chunky white shoes waiting for her on the floor. They looked just like the ones her doll had on in her bedroom back home. “At least they’re flats,” Gina said to herself. “No crazy super high heels. Somebody on Alien Homeworld has some kind of weird fetish.” She put the shoes on, then went to try the door. It was locked, of course. “Figures.”
Gina turned and scanned the room over. It was the perfect room for an Elite Babydoll down to the wonderfully soft and cuddly dolls lined up in a row along one wall. A wonderfully irresistible desire to play with them overcame her. Gina didn’t realize it, but she had started sucking her thumb as she toddled adorably over to the dolls and plopped on her bottom. It was then she realized she had a great deal of padding beneath her tights.
Gina heard the door whoosh open. She turned and looked at a very tall alien woman standing in the doorway holding a box in one hand and a weird device in the other. Gina didn’t feel afraid, quite the opposite as a feeling of relief and joy trickled through her. Gina realized she would be unable to help herself from fulfilling her next actions as she rose up from the floor as any toddler would, and with a shriek of pure joy, scurried over and hugged this being.
The being knelt down and cooed soothingly as she hugged Gina lovingly back, “Don’t be afraid, sweetheart. It’s a bit intimidating for the first few days after you come to life.” The being opened the box and removed a very beautiful choke collar necklace with the most amazing blue-white stone in the setting. The being continued, “I brought you something I think will keep you company and help you make the adjustment to being a Babydoll.”
With this, the being placed the collar around Gina’s neck and fastened it with a small click. Gina felt a tingle run all through her as the stone began to glow and sparkle with a life of its own.
The being picked Gina up and sat with her in a large chair. She arranged Gina in her arms in a way Gina immediately knew what was happening. She couldn’t help herself as she began to nurse the bottle the being had placed in her mouth. OMG! It tasted so wonderfully good and Gina felt so contented and safe in this being’s arms.
As Gina’s mind began to drift, she heard a familiar voice whisper to her inside her mind’s ear, “Gina? Is that you baby? It’s me … your Auntie. They did something to me, and I’m … different. We have to get out of … we …” A wave of some kind rushed wonderfully all through Agatha. She suddenly had a job to do, it was what she was and this was her most cherished ward, “Aww, poor Babydoll is sleepy, huh?” Agatha began to coo a gentle and soothing lullaby softly to Gina. Gina could feel the massively intensely soothing rushes all through her to the beautifully melodious song.
“Auntie -- what -- no, don’t put me to sleep -- I want you with me …” thought Gina, and the necklace glowed slightly. She didn’t want to go to sleep again, but the lullaby could not be denied, and she found herself thinking only Babydoll thoughts as she drifted off into that fantasy land only Elites knew. Agatha felt elated. She would do her best from now on to insure Babydoll Gina was the best Babydoll ever.
After the alien woman tucked the sleeping Gina back into bed, technicians came into the room and quickly replaced the side of the bed that had somehow gone missing. The alien matron picked up the quilted lattice that was lying on the floor. Her forehead wrinkled in confusion.
She carried it out of the room, where Rnlex met her in the hallway. “She most certainly was awake already,” she told him. “Also, I found this.” Handing him the quilt work that she had found, she added, “There is something very different about this one. I have never seen one like her before. I have … a bad feeling.”
Rnlex said, “If the recordings are correct, there may be residual transformation energy in her system. We’ve seen that before, and it will dissipate in a few time divisions. Still, I can analyze this to see if I can discover any clues. We still don’t know why her transformation destroyed the array or why she had such strange readings to begin with. Thank you for keeping her calm, Rtaxia. You have always been our best Babydoll matron.”
“Are we under way yet?” she asked. “The sooner we get to Vzandrox 4, the sooner we can get her off the ship. Something’s different about her, and it makes me nervous. Are you sure she doesn’t remember anything about her former life?”
“You know there’s never anything left,” said Rnlex. “Though we couldn’t verify that, because the brain scanner was among the equipment destroyed, we’ve never had a single incident of a Babydoll with any residue of its original memory or personality.”
“Well, if you say so,” said Rtaxia. “I will continue to keep an eye on the cargo.” They nodded at each other and went their separate ways.
The police came by on their routine check of the Kids and their beach party. They had been holding it all to a dull roar and were very orderly and appeared to be having fun so the police only did it as a standard patrol duty.
This time, the police found the camp completely intact, though all the people in attendance were missing. A massive search was begun that became a national investigation. It was impossible for over 200 young men and women who were well chaperoned to vanish this completely without a trace or a clue -- including the chaperones themselves.
Search as they did, the people were missing as sure as the ones in Roanoke, not a single shred of evidence was left to tell any tales.
This time Gina awoke to the alien woman lifting her gently out of the crib, carrying her over to the changing table, and, sliding her tights down her legs, proceeding to change her wet diaper. Gina simultaneously couldn’t believe that she could have wet her diaper but also had the impression that a Babydoll wetting her diaper was the most natural thing in the world.
The matron rubbed noses with Gina as she cooed in a cute way, “And you, are a Gina Princess Pottypants Babydoll. It means you will wear diapers and pullups some times, but will also wear cute little panties so you can have accidents.”
The woman removed all of Gina’s clothes except for the diaper and plastic panties, then proceed to thread her arms and head through the openings of an adorable lacy romper. It was a soft rosy color a bit darker than pink. It had lace around the legs, the bib which the matron tied behind Gina’s neck, and the leg openings. The matron laid Gina on her back and fastened the snaps between her legs before bending and giving Gina a small kiss on her nose.
The matron picked Gina up and held her to her shoulder as she patted Gina’s bottom softly and she carried Gina from the room into a hallway filled with super advanced equipment and other items.
The matron said, “I’m taking you to the playroom. I’m going to introduce you to some of the other Babydolls. Two of them are going to be your playmates until someone buys you. I think you’ll love Randy Sissy Baby and Miss Lizzy Potty Training.”
Gina heard the softly cooing voice of her Auntie in her mind’s ear. She had such a hard time resisting its wonderfully soothing loving call as it enticed and tempted her into being a total Babydoll. Gina was having the hardest time not sucking her thumb, until she gave up trying to stop and just did it. This made the wonderfully soft, loving, and soothing voice cooing to her even more irresistible.
Gina’s head was drifting in and out of reality when the matron finally walked to a place in the wall and it slid open with an airy whoosh. Within was a Babydoll’s fantasy playground filled with many Living Babydolls of both sexes dressed in the most adorable clothes. Some of them were wearing just diapers and panties. Some were in just panties. The room was filled with toys to fulfill any Babydoll’s fantasy.
The matron carried Gina over and sat her on her thickly diapered bottom next to two little girls. One was dressed in a pastel strawberry pink sundress with matching rhumba panties and booties. The other was in a soft pink snuggle bug romper that had shoulder straps that buckled in front on two buttons that resembled small brown beetles. The lace around the legs and on the hinny were clear white. Both of them had ponytails and curls.
Both of them also had a choke collar necklace with a brightly sparkling and glowing blue/white very finely faceted gemstone in the setting just like Gina.
The matron cooed softly as she pointed to the Babydoll in the romper, “Gina Potty Pants, I want you to meet your best friend; Randy Sissy Baby,” she pointed at the little girl in the sundress who was sucking her thumb, “and your other best friend; Miss Lizzy Potty Training.”
Gina realized with a sudden start who these two were. The little girl in the romper wasn’t a girl at all, or at least, not originally. That was Randy, the boy she had planned to … OMG!! And that little girl there was Liz, her friend from next door. She put her hand to the necklace as she also realized it used to be her Aunt Agatha … and now it was doing a very good job of insuring she remained the very best Babydoll possible with an intimate irresistibly loving soft coo.
But she was fairly certain that she wasn’t supposed to be remembering these things … so something was not going according to plan.
She also knew, though, that this matron was watching her carefully -- perhaps she suspected something. So she played along. She cooed at the Babydolls who had been her friends and tried to pretend to be happy to see them like this. She smiled and played pat-a-cake. She giggled and crawled. She did not need to pretend to wet her diaper -- whatever had been done to her body took care of that for her.
“Jee-na Pot-tee Pan-tees,” said Randy, giggling. “Issa silly name heehee!”
“Heh,” said Gina, unable to find much mirth in the new name she had been given. “Silly! Silly is goo.”
“Uh huh!” giggled Liz. “Wan-dee Sis-ee Bay-bee silly too! Like Liz-zee Pot-tee Tway-Ning!” She giggled more and more, as if it were the funniest joke anyone had ever heard. Then suddenly she stopped giggling, gasped and looked down. “Ut-ohh,” she said. “May-twon me think me hadda ack-see-dent!”
Smiling, Rtaxia came over and picked Liz up. “Oh dear,” she said, “it may be that you are not yet ready for big girl underwear. Let’s get you into something dry, shall we, my dear?” She touched the now-small girl’s nose lightly with a finger, and Liz giggled again as the matron carried her off for a change of panties.
Gina saw a chance. She touched the stone on her choker. “Auntie,” she whispered. “Auntie, I know you’re there. Come back to me. I’m not all gone yet, and I know you’re not. Auntie, please help me.” There was a glow around the stone, but Aunt Agatha didn’t return …
… Or did she? “Gina?” came a voice in her head. “Gina, is that you? I’m not sure what came over me. I’ve been … singing? Or something … They wanted me to say something to someone. Tell them -- her -- that she was the best little Babydoll ever. It was so lovely -- but so very confusing. But the voices have gone quiet now. Thought I was losing myself … but now I think I’m all right. What’s happened to us?”
“Aliens, Auntie,” Gina thought silently, hoping Aunt Agatha could hear. “They’re called the Rkandri. They’ve come and taken us and changed us.”
“All the boys and girls … they’re little boys and girls now, aren’t they? Only some of the boys are girls too … and I’m … what’ve they done to me?”
“I’m afraid you’re a jewel now, Auntie,” Gina thought. “Some sort of diamond. I don’t know how they did it. And I don’t know why … but it didn’t quite go as expected for me. I can … do things. And my mind’s clear. But I don’t know what I can do exactly.”
Agatha thought for a few seconds. She realized she would soon be unable to help herself once again and would start trying to keep Gina in a wonderful Babydoll state. Besides, if things didn’t go as they expected, the aliens might do something drastic.
Agatha said softly, “Gina, You need to know I am unable to help myself when it starts. I have no control over it I … just have to make sure my wonderful Babydoll is the very best she can be.”
Gina thought back, “The matron also said something about me being sold to someone. I’m not sure what that means … but I have a new name …”
Agatha interrupted with a giggle and began softly cooing in that irresistible voice, “Oh yes … my little Gina Potty Pants. Aww so adorable and can’t help herself can she? It just happens and you go doesn’t it?”
Gina felt the wonderfully tingling waves the coo made all through her. She couldn’t resist as she felt a warmth began to spread between her legs and around her bottom.
Gina thought, “Auntie, please … control yourself. You just made me have an accident in my diaper.”
Agatha cooed softly, “So adorable. I promise you will be the very best Potty Pants Babydoll …” her thoughts broke off.
Agatha came back to her senses for a bit and tried very hard to resist the super powerful need to comfort and keep her Babydoll focused on being the best there is or was.
Agatha cooed softly, “I’m sorry Gina. I’m not going to be able to help myself for long periods. It’s just … who I am now. I’m to make sure you are a Babydoll. I will try and help as much as I possibly can, but I think everything went according to plan as far as I am concerned and what I have become. Although … resisting it that time was a little bit easier than before.”
Gina looked around. Almost all the students and chaperones from the Spring Break camp out were here. The ones missing accounted perfectly for the number of glowing jewels on each Babydoll’s collar.
She had no idea what she was going to do, but she had to do something to try and escape. Another thought came to her mind, they all were different now, and she had no idea how to return any of them to normal. Even so, the ones who had been turned into jewels didn’t even have bodies anymore -- how could they … she heard Aunt Agatha singing in her mind again. “You are the perfect Babydoll, my beautiful sweetheart … adorable and blissful thoughts all day, all night, let those stressful worries and adult thinking just fall away, just relax and don’t stop, always being the best Babydoll …” She felt the floor vibrate and hum beneath her -- was the spaceship under way?
Gina didn’t remember much for a while. Then she came back to her senses quite suddenly. They were all still in the playroom, but the floor was still, and the lights were dimmed. Among Rtaxia and the other matrons there seemed to be an air of apprehension. What was happening? “Gina!” said the voice of Aunt Agatha in her mind. “Something’s happening!”
“Auntie?” thought Gina. “Do you know what’s going on?”
“I … think I might,” said her aunt’s voice. “It’s a storm of some kind, they’re saying, a storm in space. I don’t understand all of it, because it’s all … scientific and technical. But they’ve stopped until it passes and … diverted power to shields? That’s what it sounds like to me, but it’s like something out of Star Trek.”
“I wish I could see something or hear something … what?” She suddenly had a vision of … was this outer space? There was a disc-shaped metal thing … was that the alien spaceship? There was some kind of fast-moving cloud that they were passing through, and she could see flashes of light or energy or something against the outside of the ship. It looked dangerous, and she hoped it didn’t kill them all, but also … this might be her chance to do something.
She watched and waited. There was an announcement over some kind of speaker system that Gina didn’t understand. “What was that, Auntie?” she thought.
“They want … all hands to Engineering?” came her aunt’s voice. “I’m sorry, dear, but Star Trek words are the only ones that I’m getting.” The door opened, and the matrons in the room left. “There must be some sort of emergency.”
“They’re gone!” Gina thought. “Are there cameras watching us?” Somehow she knew there were. There were microphones too, recording all sound. The ship might have some kind of computer too, programmed to take action if anything strange happened. She concentrated on the microphones, wherever they were -- and then she had a vision of exactly where they were. She didn’t want them recording anything … so they turned into lumps of iron, hidden away in the walls, where no one would see what had happened or how.
Now Gina concentrated on her friends. “Auntie, I want everyone to be able to think straight if they have to,” she thought. “That includes you. I don’t think I can reverse what happened but I think I can at least give us more free will …”
She concentrated on the minds of everyone there, whether they were still alive or had been somehow turned into a gemstone. She focused on their patterns of thought. The Babydolls’ minds weren’t changed, but the jewels were. She could see somehow that the aliens had added many extra loops and whorls, streamlined into their thought processes, little cycles that would keep them constantly teaching the Babydolls the new behaviors the aliens wanted. She saw the jewels’ minds encrusted with these sparkling decorations. And she reached out and … stripped them all away. In her mind she could hear Aunt Agatha saying, “Oh my goodness! What’s just happened?”
Around the room the Babydolls’ eyes started to open wide in cute surprise. “Oh!” said Randy. “What’s happened? I’ve just wet my dipee!” He giggled.
“Sit still and be quiet, everyone,” said Gina aloud. “Please. It’s our only chance. If they find out their control over us is broken, they’ll just do it again. Or they might even kill us and go back for more people from Earth.”
“What we gotta do?” asked Liz.
“You probably don’t remember. But we’ve been abducted by aliens. They’re called the Rkandri. Some of us have been turned into something they call Babydolls. Some of us have been turned into jewels somehow, programmed to control the Babydolls’ minds. I’m not sure how, but I’ve just undone that programming. Somehow their machines went wrong and gave me some kind of powers. You should check and see if you have any. But we’re being watched by cameras, so don’t move around much. They were listening to us too, but I broke their mikes.”
“The voice in my head -- it’s John!” said Randy. “He tickles.”
“I think the jewels can still take over and make you act all Babydolly,” Gina said. “They might have to, to fool the aliens into thinking that everything’s normal. But when they do that, every time they do that, it’s like they’re reprogramming our brains. It’s like a few seconds of it is worth a few hours of Babydoll boot camp. So we probably all act different -- not that we remember much. I don’t, anyway. But I know I knew all of you. We were -- wait, they’re coming back.”
All the Babydolls went silent as the door opened and the matrons came back in. “I think the emergency is over,” said Aunt Agatha’s voice in Gina’s mind. “I think something went very badly in Engineering -- something blew up and some of the aliens died -- so they needed people to go fix things quickly. That’s what they’ve been saying.”
“It’s up to you and the other jewels,” said Gina inside her mind. “They can’t know what I’ve done. We have to act like good little Babydolls until we get to whatever planet we’re going to and get off this ship. And away from those transforming machines.”
Suddenly, Agatha began to coo softly and lovingly to Gina. Gina gasped in surprise as she felt the wonderful surging waves rush all through her. Before her mind slipped away, she could see the wide eyed surprise on the other babydoll’s faces as they too were suddenly made back into Babydolls.
Gina didn’t know how much time had passed, but she heard the soft whispering, cooing voice of Agatha, “Gina? Gina sweet heart? Wake up. All have gone and the babydolls are alone in the nursery. All the surveillance microphones are repaired, it was discovered. You will have to fix that again.”
Gina sat up in her crib. Her diaper was soaked, of course. Her thumb went immediately into her mouth as she sucked on it thoughtfully. The only way in or out of the nursery was the door far across the room. Getting out of the crib would prove interesting since everyone was a Babydoll and the cribs were made for them.
The door whooshed open. Several men entered pulling an antigrav cart that held many Super techie kinds of boxes. A man came to the crib of the first Babydoll in line, lowered the rails and picked her up. She was checked, handed to a matron who changed her while the process continued with the others. When the first Babydoll was cleaned, rediapered, and dressed in a very adorable outfit, she was place inside one of the boxes. The Babydoll’s cries ended abruptly as she was tucked into the soft fuzzy interior of the box, and the lid closed and sealed.
It came to be Gina’s turn as she was lifted from the crib, checked, then handed to a matron. The matron cooed lovingly to Gina as she was cleaned and rediapered, then dressed in the cutest sky blue babydoll dress, matching rumba panties, and booties. The matron then handed Gina to a man who carried her over to one of the boxes. Gina couldn't help herself as she began to scream and fuss as the man tucked her into the soft fuzzy lining of the box. Gina’s mind went blank.
Next thing she knew, A young female was opening the box, removing her from it, and standing her in a posed position with her thumb in her mouth. This was repeated with many of the other Babydolls as well. Liz and Randy were placed next to Gina as if they were playing in a playpen.
“What? -- Where are we?” asked Agatha’s voice in Gina’s head. “What was in that box?”
Gina felt she was clearly expected to stay where she was posed. “I don’t remember anything from the box either,” she thought. “Some kind of … alien sleep thing.”
“Suspended animation,” thought Aunt Agatha. “It’s like Star Trek words are the only labels my mind has for it.”
Gina stood there with her thumb in her mouth, unable to stop herself from sucking on it, and meanwhile the other Babydolls were being similarly posed in other tableaus around the … showroom, it seemed to be. “Are they going to just sell us? Or … is there some kind of auction? Or …”
“I don’t really know, Sweetheart,” said Aunt Agatha. “I just know that you’re supposed to pose there and look cute.”
After all the Babydolls had been posed in a cute display setting, a large group of individuals were escorted in. Given that the aliens appeared to be very like humans but had completely different ideas of fashion, it was difficult to tell -- but the ones on board the ship had worn no decorations, while these seemed festooned with jewels, both the men and the women.
A little girl tugged her mother over to Gina and her group and said as she bounced on her toes and clapped her hands, “Mommy, I wanna have them … they tha bestus. And sides, “ She came up beside Gina and stood next to her, “She’s just my size and can be my playmate when my friends go off to Tri-Core Nebula.”
The woman smiled, “We’ll see honey. First, they have to tell us if we can purchase one. Those are fresh off the line and probably need more work to their central programming.”
A large male alien with a very human-like moustache and an elaborate-looking outfit walked up. He had a large tablet type device in his hands as he checked Gina’s dress and straightened out her ruffles.
He turned and said to the woman, “All of these are for sale, Ma’am. However this particular model, the Gina Potty Pants, is a Super Elite Babydoll and is much more expensive than those cheaper ones in her group.”
The little girl poked out her bottom lip in the universal adorableness of children, “I wanna have ’em, Mommy … Pllleeeeezzzzeeee.” then she began to whimper.
“Oh, my goodness,” said another customer, sidling up to Gina’s playpen with an oily smile. “This one is exquisite! I happen to have quite a collection, but this one … I’ve never seen the like.” He walked a full circle around the playpen. “My, my. The perfection of form, the glow of energy, the spark of spirit … nothing I’ve seen compares. Why, even the jewel in her necklace sparkles with life the likes of which I’ve never encountered.” He gestured toward Gina’s face. “If they allowed us to touch the merchandise I’d love to feel her skin.”
“Nooo Mommy, he gonna get her!” pleaded the little girl. “Nooooooo!” And she started holding her breath.
The woman looked at the man scornfully as she said to the Attendant with the moustache, “I think we’ll take her and those other two in the display along with her. Wouldn’t want to break up such an adorable set. I do have one request …”
The attendant turned and raised his eyebrows, “Yes?”
The woman removed and object from her clutch bag and handed it to the attendant, “That all of them be programmed with that set before they are put into storage for delivery.”
She took another device from her bag and tapped the pad the attendant held. Both devices made a beeping chirping sound. The attendant took another small device and plugged it into a socket in Gina’s collar first. Gina’s mind went blank.
The oily ailen said with disappointment, “Drat, I was too slow. Do you have any others comparable?”
The attendant waved an arm towards a large crib across the showroom, “Surely, I have four I know you would love. They are the Toddler and Crawly Babydoll series and would perform for you excellently.”
Both aliens walked across the showroom to the large crib. The oily alien appeared to be happy with this selection as he purchased them immediately along with several of the Sissy Babies.
A store employee came up with some sort of wand and held it in front of Aunt Agatha’s jewel. “Oh my,” said Agatha within Gina’s mind. “I’m … getting new instructions … and I know what they are, but I don’t feel like I have to follow them. It feels like they expect me to, though.” The employee did the same to Liz and Randy’s jewels. They were all then carefully packaged in the soft fuzzy embrace of the delivery containers lining before the lid was sealed and the containers carried to the shipping department.
Gina and Agatha didn’t remember anything until their container was opened again. Immediately they both heard the little girl’s voice. “Ohhhh Mommy she even prettier than I ’member! Can we have a tea party? Can we can we? Pweeeease?”
The girl’s mother smiled, obviously charmed. “I’ll have Lpoxi bring you some Rogplia cookies. Now, just remember what they taught you in the classes about how to play with Babydolls.”
“Yayyyyyy!” the girl cheered. “Let’s all go get dressed up ok?” Gina couldn’t help smiling and followed the girl into her playroom. Randy and Liz followed too. At least a little girl had bought her instead of the creepy guy. But how were they going to escape and get back to Earth?
The girl gleefully got the three Babydolls dressed up in her idea of the prettiest party outfits and toy jewelry from her costume boxes.
Gina was amazed at the strength of the little child as she picked her up, posed her at the table, and set a cup of some kind of bluish orange thick liquid in front of her. She Posed Randy and Liz in their chairs as well. The little girl rattled on and on about mostly nothing in play.
She said, “Well, Miss Gina P. I hear you have a new hat. Must be remarkable.”
The little girl arranged the tea set around the others place setting. As she poured Liz’s cup full, “And I hear you have a cute little baby nowadays … huh?” She reached around and picked up a small Cloth Doll. She posed Liz’s arms in a cradling way and placed it in Liz’s arms.
Liz blinked for a moment, then cradled the doll with a smile. Gina supposed that her jewel had reminded her to play along.
“And Miss Randy, what a lovely dress you’re wearing today,” said the girl. “All pretty wif blue lace ‘n ultraviolet ruffles.” Randy blushed and smiled coyly.
“So, Miss Gina, would you like some tea?” the girl asked, holding up the cup.
“Um, Auntie, can I talk?” thought Gina. “And do you know what that stuff is?”
“You’re allowed to talk, actually,” said Aunt Agatha’s voice inside her head. “Though I understand it’s normal for a new Babydoll to be shy. The drink is apparently Shiriol Tea, a harmless beverage that children are allowed to drink. I think your biochemistry has been modified to be able to metabolize the alien leaves and berries it’s made of.”
“Yes pwease, thank you,” said Gina in her new tiny voice. She took the glass and sipped. It tasted like a warm fruit-flavored sugary drink. “Mmm is vewy good!”
“This isn’t terrible or anything,” Gina thought to Aunt Agatha, “but anytime you have any ideas about how to get everyone back to Earth, you can let me know.”
“Currently I can’t communicate with any of the others,” Agatha thought back, “but perhaps there’s a way you can change that, when we’re alone? We don’t know the extent of what you can do. I might have an idea why, though, but I’ll explain that later.”
The little girl smiled as she brought out a small device about the size of a cell phone. She held it in front of each Babydoll’s jewel and pressed a button. When Gina’s turn came, she heard Agatha gasp loudly and felt a wonderful surging kind of tingle run all through her.
The little girl giggled, “Now, my babydoll will have accidents more often, jus like me. Mommy’ll keep us in pullups mostly.” she patted each Babydoll on the head softly, “Sides, u were all grammeded ta do it, just I hadda enables it.”
Agatha once again felt something wash all through her mind. It felt so good and irresistible. She began to coo softly to Gina in the wonderful sing song way, “Aww sweetiekens. Don’t be afraid, just relax and allow it to happen. It will feel sooo good.”
Gina’s eyes get large as she got a cute expression on her face. She can feel waves of butterflies in her tummy. No! She can’t! Not that! Gina struggled hard, but discovered her body refused to obey. All she managed to accomplish, was helplessly doing just as Agatha was telling her. She felt it as the gooey stuff oozed out into her panties all hot and messy around her bottom.
The little girl clapped her hands and said in a joyous voice, “You … you gotsa same poopie face I do.” she giggled and called out loudly, “Mommmyyyyy, Babydoll hadda poopies.”
Randy and Liz couldn’t help themselves as they started to snicker … for just a short bit. Suddenly, they too felt it happen as they had their very first Babydoll poopie. The three of them looked at each other with adorable poopie expressions as the door to the playroom whooshed open and mommy walked in.
The little girl stood up and literally bounced as she said excitedly, “It workted , it workted! Mommy! Tha Babydolls gots poopy faces just like me!”
The alien woman smiled as she cooed softly, “of course they do, sweet heart, because they are Elite Babydolls that act just like you.”
The Woman walked over and stood each of them up one at a time and checked their panites, “Tisk Tisk, now all of you have to be in a diaper. You’re much too young for panties.”
Gina watched as the woman carried each of her companions off into another room, only to return with them in just a diaper and some form of colorfully designed plasticized panty. When it came Gina’s turn, the woman pulled open the back of her panties and checked her. Then cooed softly, “Oh, my. You are a very good Babydoll. I think you will work out just fine. A whole lot better than that other person. You know he makes those weird porno movies.” Gina couldn’t help shuddering a bit, wondering if he had bought one of the others.
Gina was cleaned, powdered, and diapered in a soft and very thick diaper. Mommy threaded her feet through the leg openings in the plasticized bottoms and lifted her by her ankles and pulled them over the diaper. She picked Gina up and put her to a shoulder, then carried her back into the playroom while softly patting her bottom. Gina couldn’t help herself. With Agatha softly cooing in that irresistibly hypnotic way, and having her hinny patted like this, Gina put her thumb in her mouth and snuggled close. Her mind began to drift off to wonderful Babydoll places.
Gina woke. She’d had wonderful dreams, including one in which she’d gotten an idea, an idea about the spaceport. But … she needed to know more. And she needed to get in contact with the others.
“You’re awake!” said Aunt Agatha’s voice inside Gina’s mind. “I don’t like when I have no choice but to do what they tell me. I imagine you don’t like it either.”
“No,” thought Gina, “but if they have no control over you and you have no control over me, they’ll suspect something. I remember you said you had some idea about why I can … do things?”
“Well, when you … did something to me earlier, I suddenly started remembering things,” said Aunt Agatha. “They tried to erase my memories, but now they’re back, so they must have only … blocked them? And when you brought them back, you brought back things that might perhaps already have been blocked. Anyway, before you were born, I was with June -- your mother, of course. I lived in Ypsilanti then, and she’d come to visit. She was talking about some handsome man she’d just gotten engaged to. Well, one night we were in her car, and we were driving home from seeing a movie, the latest chick flick, you know, the one with the three women who decide to --”
“My powers come from movies?” Gina thought.
“No, sorry, I just got sidetracked,” said her aunt. “We were driving home, and suddenly there was this bright light in the sky, and then … well, then we were suddenly at my house -- it felt a lot like that suspended animation thing they do. Um, it was about nine months after that when you were born -- nobody wondered much about it, since June had married Glen by then …”
“Are you telling me my mom was abducted … that I’m half alien?” Gina thought, starting to feel upset.
“I’m not sure, but it might explain why things went differently when you were transformed, and why you can do strange things now.”
“I … well, these aliens look very much like humans, so I guess it’s possible …”
“I’m not completely sure that June was abducted by the same kind of aliens, honey. But it could be that their transformation machines were setup for humans, and being half-alien might have thrown it off, and it might have unlocked alien abilities or something.”
“I think you watch a lot of sci-fi, Auntie,” thought Gina. “But I think it’s time to try … upgrading you.”
“Alright, I’m ready when you are.”
Gina reached out with her mind to the jewel that she’d been exchanging thoughts with over the past few seconds, this time trying to expand her perception to the structure of the jewel itself. She could feel its crystalline structure, but she could also feel that different parts of it had different functions -- this part interfaced with Gina’s nervous system, this part accepted programming from those devices the aliens used, this part was a power source, this part contained the personality matrix, and … this part was unused.
Gina focused on that unused portion and started … shaping it was the nearest thing to what she felt herself doing. She was creating connections between molecules, microcircuits within the crystal, mimicking the ones in the other parts, but customized for a new purpose. She reached out with her mind and could feel Randy and Liz’s jewels in rooms nearby -- she found unused portions of their crystals and connected them. She reached out further and found more Babydolls in other buildings and connected them too. She reached still further and found many, many more. She kept doing this until -- it was too much. She didn’t know how many she’d connected, or where, but she passed out from the mental effort.
When she awoke again, she heard Aunt Agatha singing, “Rest, relax, and sleep all night, the potty can’t wake you, you’re diapered so it’ll be all right, let it all out and Mommy will change you …” Her diaper was thoroughly soaked, but it wasn’t leaking, so the aliens’ diaper technology was apparently quite advanced. “Oh, there, you’re awake again, Sweetheart. You’ve created quite a network of Babydoll jewels.”
“I tried … but how many did I get? Did I get everyone who was abducted?”
“Dear, I’ve been speaking with jewels on other planets,” said Aunt Agatha. “I think you may have networked every Babydoll these aliens have ever created. Some of them live quite terrible lives. Of course, some of them believe that obeying is the best policy, that they’ll be killed if they rebel, but that’s to be expected … and since you can reprogram jewels with your mind, that can be fixed.”
Agatha could feel the change within her mind as it slowly crept through. There was actually nothing she could do to stop it as she began to realize how much she adored Gina and how wonderful it was that she was so adorable. Agatha had always been fond of Gina and loved it when she would dress up and act cute.
Gina being a Babydoll only enhanced this feeling and the emotions it caused were increased by the fact her basic instruction was to insure Gina was the very best and most adorable Babydoll possible. The need to fulfill this was as close to being over powering as breathing since it was her function.
Agatha did manage to maintain herself for periods of time, but she would revert to doing her programmed job without realizing it. Gina was unable to do anything about it and was totally helpless and spell bound when Agatha began.
Even with this going on most of the time, Gina managed to network most of the Living Jewels together into something she referred to as a B.A.B.Y. Network, short for Biometric Autonomous Binary Yottabyte Network. Under the circumstances, it fit the situation perfectly.
“But what are you going to do, Sweetheart?” asked Aunt Agatha. “These aliens probably destroyed my body in the process of turning me into … this. Maybe your body can be turned back to normal … but I don’t know how.”
“We’re slaves, Auntie,” thought Gina. “These aliens are buying and selling people they’re kidnapping from planets that are primitive by comparison. What’s more, those planets don’t even know it’s happening.”
“Or maybe they do … what if they’re turning a blind eye to the kidnappings, and in exchange the aliens don’t conquer them?”
“Well … that’s very X-Files of you, Auntie, but I still want to get out of the aliens’ control and back to Earth,” Gina thought. “When we do, maybe Earth scientists can figure out the alien technology and find some way to help you -- what if they can make you a robot body that looks just like you used to and put you in it? It wouldn’t be the best way to live, but it would be better than what you’ve got now.”
“Well, that’s true, that would be better,” Aunt Agatha thought. “What do you want to do?”
“We need all the jewels on the B.A.B.Y. Network to pool their knowledge,” Gina thought. “We need to know how to get one of their ships and fly it back to Earth.”
Gina opened her eyes. “Good morning, Baby Gina Potty Pants,” said the little girl. Gina smiled. Things could be worse. She and her aunt were the playthings of a sweet little girl. Inwardly her mood soured when she thought about some of the things that other Babydolls might be being forced to do right now -- and there were probably things that were too depraved for her to even imagine.
“Good morning, Miss Gzimbri,” said Gina cheerily.
“Let’s see if you need a dipee change,” said the little girl, checking under Gina’s nightie. “Oopsie! Looks like my Babydoll’s awwww wet and messy! We’d better take care of you so you can come with us on our trip today.”
As the girl went to get her mother, Gina asked, “Oooh, are we going somewhere, Miss Gzimbri?”
“Yup we sure are!” the little girl bubbled. Leaning over the crib, she popped a pacifier into Gina’s mouth. “We’re going to the Planetary Zoo!” Gina automatically started sucking on the pacifier and found she suddenly couldn’t remember how to take out out, or even how to stop sucking on it.
In a far flung corner of the galaxy, another gatherer ship was creating more Living Furniture. As the screams of the most recent specimen ceased and its body shriveled to a dessicated husk, the tech noticed a strange reading in the main receptacle circuit. He went over and over the schis … but all appeared to be in order.
Within the stone, the being was furious at being kidnapped. The reprogramming and erasure didn’t work due to a quirk in its memory matrix. It knew what its new purpose was supposed to be and it could feel the intensity of the need to do it, but it was able to sort of ignore it, almost. There would be many times it would be totally helpless and must obey. It heard a far off voice speaking though some channel it had discovered in its attempts to get away. It called out … it was desperately seeking a means of escape. This … call came from a Network called … BABY??
Indeed, they were voices of other beings these aliens had kidnapped -- somehow they had found a way to connect all the aliens’ inanimate victims together, using unused space in their synmatrix. The kidnapped being notified the B.A.B.Y. Network of its name -- Tro -- and its best guess at its location coordinates, and the network began informing Tro of the latest events throughout the aliens’ worlds and the latest discoveries made by this newly-formed resistance movement.
“Always remember that you’re the sweetest, best Babydoll ever and I love you,” sang Aunt Agatha’s voice in Gina’s mind. “Just relax and be the Babydoll, and meanwhile let me fill your mind with pretty baby thoughts … and also all the latest things the B.A.B.Y. Network has found out …” Gina’s mind was paradoxically awash in thoughts of toys and candy and playing and pretty clothes, but at the same time she was receiving all kinds of information about how to work the aliens’ technology and where everything was on this planet, which was called Vzandrox 4. It seemed the dealership had already given her an understanding of the aliens’ language and what was expected of a Babydoll, but nothing about how to work any of the machinery or vehicles -- why would a Babydoll need to know those things, after all? But now Gina saw with her mind’s eye exactly what every being in the B.A.B.Y. Network had seen any alien do with any device.
Little Gzimbri had put Randi back into her stroller and now activated Gina -- or so she thought. What she was really doing was deactivating Aunt Agatha’s mental pacification routines. Gina returned to her senses and found that she was in a stroller and that her diaper was soaking wet. They were outdoors, under a massive dome under a purple-black sky, on a path between two large sunken areas that were surrounded by waist-high walls. In other words, it looked like a zoo. Gzimbri had said they were going to the zoo today. But what struck Gina most right now was the fact that some of the memories that Auntie had fed her were from the stroller she now rode in.
The stroller had once been a person! It was following along after Gzimbri like the other ones, seemingly automatically, but in reality it was like Auntie, a piece of furniture whose intelligence had been stolen from another world. Somewhere within it was a jewel like Auntie’s, and that jewel was connected to the stroller’s wheel motors and guidance systems. And, apparently, some of the stroller’s … other functions.
“Look, Baby Gina,” said Gzimbri, “these are called Renni-Tu and they are sometimes called Lizard Cats.”
Gina couldn’t actually see over the wall, but there was a sign with some text and moving pictures on it. Yesterday she hadn’t been able to read the alien language -- apparently being able to read wasn’t something that Babydolls needed -- but today she was able to make out some of it, thanks to Auntie and the B.A.B.Y. Network. The Renni-Tu were a primitive species, the sign said, though the name of the world where they’d been found didn’t mean anything to Gina, and were thus useless for animating technology with their life essence.
Were all the aliens’ devices animated by kidnapped people from other planets, where humans would instead use computers and artificial intelligence, such as it was? It was looking that way to Gina.
As the day progressed, Gina realized that most of the automated machinery was alive. Each one held at its central core a living jewel that acted as the life force and motivating factor for them. Apparently, the only creatures not utilized in this way, were the ones that were inherently too violent and primitive to be pacified and retrained.
Deep within Gina’s mind, the soft loving song of Agatha kept singing, keeping Gina mostly in a Babydoll way. The undertones, however, came up with a unique plan. It appeared that since all of Gzimbri’s friends were going off to the Tri-Core Nebula resort for whatever holiday they were celebrating, her mother was taking her off on a private tour of Connie’s Necklace Star Core. They were going to be renting a very fast and extremely sleek Starcaster Shuttle. It was just what Gina needed to accomplish the first part of her plan.
Gina didn’t know whether she could, but she tried, and found she could speak directly to the stroller’s jewel with her mind. It used to be a rather young girl from a system she didn’t even remember. The stroller’s mind wasn’t so much captive, as it had been this way for so long it knew no other way to be. She was, however, extremely intelligent and was able to learn with minimal instruction.
The stroller began taking Gina to the places she wanted to see. Of course Gzimbri and her mother weren’t concerned, because the stroller was programmed to take absolute care of the Babydoll and not allow any kind of harm to befall her so they allowed it to wander around unsupervised.
So Gina asked it, “Are there other intelligent races that are here in the zoo because they’re supposedly too violent or primitive?”
“I think so,” the stroller said, “but -- oh, wait! A tour robot is sharing that information with me. Thanks, B.A.B.Y. Network! What a useful new development. Whoever invented that is very smart.”
“Um, great!” Gina silently said to her, not admitting that she’d started it. She was beginning to suspect that her actions had had farther reaching consequences than she’d intended. “Can you take me to see some of them?”
“Sure!” said the stroller, and she was soon rolling toward another exhibit.
The next creatures looked like big wooly animals crossed between a large bear and a monkey that walked on their hind legs. They had large fangs with extremely sharp claws on each appendage like the Renni -Tu. They too were extremely hostile and aggressive. Gina could tell when it looked at her, that it wasn’t feral, but a coldly calculating warrior seeking a means of escape.
The stroller took her to several other energy cages. Through the sparkle of the powerful forcefield, Gina could see a vaporous kind of cloud being with deeply red glowing eyes. According to the placard, these were known as Watchers from a dark dimension. They fed on life force energy and devoured minds like she would have a piece of candy.
Gina knew, if she could convince those creatures to work with her, and cooperate towards the same goal, they would be a fighting force to be reckoned with against any army. The Renni-Tu had natural scaly armor like a saurian, but also appeared to be genetically similar to cats and humanoids too. Their ability to chameleon would be extremely valuable when the time came.
Gina’s thoughts were totally interrupted when Agatha began to coo soft Babydoll things into her mind. It was impossible to ignore this siren like song as she quickly began to think of playing with her toys, having her little girl change her clothes and play house. It was almost an hour later before Gina managed to break the spell long enough to get Agatha back in her right mind for a while. Gina knew she didn’t have long between intervals before Agatha lost control and became the sweet loving Babydoll control she was programmed to be.
That was a problem. She’d now tried to reprogram Agatha twice to stop her from submerging Gina into an oblivious baby like state of mind at the aliens’ whim, and both times the intended programming had come back -- always after one of the aliens had used a jewel programming device. Maybe there was a way to protect Agatha from that -- and Gina would have to find it, too, or else it could spell trouble for the B.A.B.Y. Network. There were already several nodes that had disappeared, no doubt because every time one of the jewels was reprogrammed, that disabled its Network connection, though it didn’t change the jewel’s altered circuitry. And perhaps that was the key -- what if she created a subsystem within the circuitry that would reactivate the Network connection whenever it was deactivated? Reprogramming couldn’t affect an independent circuit, any more than one could write a computer program causing the computer to have more memory. It would take effort to do this across the entire network, about the same effort it had taken to establish it, but once it was done … wait.
What if, Gina thought, she wanted to change what this circuit did? What if she wanted it to do something other than keep the Network online? What if … well, this circuit was going to run independently, in the shadows, but what if she made it programmable? She’d want to make sure it would only accept instructions from Gina herself … she made careful plans. She wasn’t sure where she’d learned all this knowledge about the aliens’ crystal circuitry and computer technology, but most likely it was an amalgam of what all the jewels on the Network had learned over the years. When she was ready, she extended her mind, reaching out again to all the jewels she could contact, and willed the changes to occur. She could feel the jewels that had dropped off the Network coming back online, she could feel jewels that were being reprogrammed right now going offline and then coming right back up again, and what was more, she felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Even the jewels that had no concept of freedom anymore were still thankful that they were no longer alone.
Gina finally let herself fall into an exhausted sleep. Someday she would free them all.
Gina was awakened by her little girl removing her from her crib. Gina was cleaned then diapered and dressed in a cute ruffly romper. Gzimbri’s mother came into the room in a light airy way. Gina felt her hand on places on her neck … a very gentle caressing squeeze … It was like stars went off in Gina’s mind. Her body went totally numb.
Gzimbri’s mom said softly, “It’s time to pack. I’ve shut Miss Pottypants down until we can get situated in the rental.”
Gzimbri frowned and poked out her bottom lip, “I wanna be wif her. She’s my bestus friend.”
Mother hugged and patted Gzimbri on her bottom and replied, “It’s only for a short while. Think of it as an unscheduled nappy break for dolly.”
The little girl clapped her hands as she helped the best she could, in the packing for their trip.
Gina saw nothing, heard nothing, and felt nothing but a warm, mild pleasure. She wasn’t asleep -- but she wasn’t awake either. It was like her psyche was disconnected from her body. Another “gift” the aliens had given her. She couldn’t even muster the emotion to feel angry or outraged at what had been done to her.
But then she heard her Auntie’s voice singing. “Sweetest little Babydoll, the jewels all adore you, relax and be a baby, we’ll do anything for you …” This meant that her connection to the jewel that had been her aunt was still active and accessible.
“Auntie can you hear me?” she thought. “I so scared, Auntie, I can’t even suck my thumb to feel better … am me thinking like baby now?”
“Of course, Sweetheart,” said Aunt Agatha, “I hear you just fine. But you need to be a baby and think like a baby and act like a baby, because that’s what I was put here to make sure you do.”
“Auntie!” thought Gina fearfully. “Is you doing this to keep them from finding me? Or did they program you again?”
“If they find out, they will shut down the Network,” said Auntie. “Be the best baby ever, and that won’t happen.”
“OK, Auntie,” thought Gina. “Me be bestest baby ever.” She tried to relax and think baby thoughts, and soon she was asleep, dreaming of candy and crawling on the playmat playing with baby toys.
The next thing Gina knew, she was being placed in someone's arms, and a nipple was in her mouth. She was unable to help herself as she began to nurse. The Sweet overpowering cooing voice of Auntie rang irresistibly through her, “Be the very best Babydoll ever … you’re so cute and adorable. Why, the only things you can possibly think about are dollies, and toys, and candy …”
Gina felt her mind as it was more or less being erased … or at least temporarily filed somewhere, and sweet infantile thoughts began to run all through her. It was very pleasant … and Gina felt more content than she could ever remember.
“That’s a good Babydoll, don’t remember anything … only desire to be the best Dolly …”
Gina screeched, if that mental blast could be called a screech, “Auntie, please … don’t. I can’t …”
“So cute and adorable. Just nurse your ba ba like good Babydoll …”
Gina couldn’t help herself as all her thoughts centered around the wonderful bottle, and all the little furry toys dancing in her mind’s eye as she fell into one of those contented muses only an Elite Babydoll knows.
A crystal node called, “Very good Agatha. Now, you have the realtime feed. They know something is going on with the Babydoll population, but they aren’t sure what it is yet. We must keep it protected at all … Imma little Babydoll …>>giggle<< am cute n dorables n … OMG!!!! I jus hadda accident …”
“Don’t worry, Sweetheart,” Agatha said, “just let go and let your grownup mind go to sleep, and be a baby … you need your baba and your diapers and your cuddly blankie and your pretty dresses, and this is your whole world, isn’t it? Just don’t worry … your plan has been uploaded to the Network, and we’re working on it … the most important thing now is not to be discovered, so all you need to do is let go …”
That news helped Gina relax … there was nothing she could do for the moment but help the plan by hiding her adult mind in a faraway corner and doing what Aunt Agatha said. She didn’t remember anything for a while after that.
It was like a single loud bell went DING! One time. Gina was awake as a softly cooing voice said, “Such an adorable Babydoll … so cute … and we need to discuss something.”
Gina realized it wasn’t Agatha’s voice, but a definitely male personality drove it. Gina thought back timidly, “Yes? How can a Babydoll help … you?”
It laughed, “From what I can tell, you already have by having B.A.B.Y Network contact me. I’m what is called a Dual Core Crystalline Processor. Or … am half of it. The other half is navigating and running the ship. I am about to take over side trip control, The woman and the little girl will be fine. We need to take the first step now.”
Gina thought back, “First step to what?”
The immediate response held the undertones of many multitudes of voices as it softly said, “Freedom.”
A humanoid alien sat at a crystalline processor control station. His gut told him something was seriously wrong, but diagnostics found nothing. As long as he had operated the system, it never … felt … this way.
The only real anything that showed in the scans, was the reformatted mid level synchord network which in turn was found to be a totally normal housekeeping function. It was how all the crystal processors kept in tune with the master Babydoll control center … a completely routine function. Or … was it?
Manipulating the jewellike controls of the station, he filtered different bands of the signal until he found one that was supposed to be unused -- except it wasn’t, which made him suddenly sit up attentively. Looking at the data on the signal, he found that it was strongly encrypted, so he tried running it through a cipher breaking system … when suddenly a message came through his earpiece. It was an audio signal? “Good evening, Brlkoz,” it said.
“Y-you’re talking to … me?” he asked.
“I’ve been trying to reach you for ten lunations,” said the voice. It was hard to tell whether it was male or female. “Finally we’ve gotten through.”
“Me?” Brlkoz was astounded. “W-why me? I’m nobody important.”
“You are more important than you realize,” said the voice. “Are you interested in a … special mission of great importance to the Confederation?”
As the only person who even realized something was wrong, Brlkoz was easy to get rid of. The resulting life termination of Brlkoz wasn't the BABY Network’s fault, but it worked out the same. No one was the wiser as a small rented Space Craft veered from its programmed course. Apparently the pilot had decided to change destinations to a remote Galaxy and a place called … Dirt … or some weird thing like that. Traffic control wasn't interested enough in whatever agra mission they might be on to even log the change. As far as any were concerned after that, the ship vanished without a trace. Space is a rather large place.
Gina awoke once again. The little girl and her mother were still in the flight couches, but some form of suspension field had them in suspended animation for now. Gina managed to wiggle from her harnesses and the seat. She was only 3 feet tall now and everything was made for … larger people.
The hatch popped open seemingly by itself. A male voice said, “Be careful. Just because you’re back on Earth, doesn't mean you aren’t still a Babydoll. No way out of that now that your original body has been destroyed.”
Gina hopped out. There she was -- back on Earth. But Lizzie and Randy, and all the others, were all still captive. And there were so many others. She could be free -- or she could go back. Or …
“I can only deceive the traffic controllers for so long, Gina,” said the control jewel. “What do you want to do?”
Gina paused for a moment -- but only a moment. “Go,” she said. “I have to make plans.”
“Very well,” said the ship’s control jewel. “Good luck.” The ship took off again, as quickly as it had landed. She was alone.
Physically alone, that is. She still had Aunt Agatha, and Agatha was still fully connected to the Network. But … where on Earth was she?
She looked around. She took a deep breath and smelled the air. She didn’t recognize the plants, and she didn’t see any animals right now -- not that she’d exactly been an expert botanist or anything. And the Network’s knowledge wasn’t of much use, since the only names they had for Earth species were the names the aliens had given them … and they hadn’t exactly made in-depth scientific studies, since they seemed mostly motivated by profit and conquest.
Then Gina saw a kangaroo hopping by in the distance. She blinked. “Australia?” she said aloud. “Are you kidding me?”
She looked around. She wondered what she could do with what she had. And she got an answer.
“Poor Babydoll is all alone,” said Aunt Agatha in her mind. “But baby knows … baby can control the aliens’ technology, there’s a good girl.”
“But there’s none of that around,” said Gina.
“There’s me,” Aunt Agatha said. “That’s a first step.”
“But it’s just you …”
“Right now, yes. But … I’ve still got unused potential.”
“But only part of your crystal structure is unused … wait, I think I know what you’re getting at …” Gina concentrated. She stood with her eyes closed, and the gem at her neck glowed with a silvery light. Then she stooped and picked up a rock, lifted it, and touched it to the jewel. The rock glowed too, shifted in form, and when the glow subsided there was another jewel there, its interior glittering with microcircuitry. The unused compounds fell away in the form of gray powder.
She held the crystal up, examining it … then dropped it to the ground. It sat there for a moment, then sank into the sandy soil. In a moment, a patch of crystalline circuitry rose up through the soil, growing outward in all directions, under Gina’s feet, until it formed a disc about thirty feet across.
“Such a smart, resourceful Babydoll,” Aunt Agatha said in her mind. “And such a good girl for filling your diapers right up.” Gina blushed, because of course she had no idea when that had happened.
Gina smiled, though. She had her start. Her crystalline disc glowed, and several smaller crystals broke off from it and burrowed into the ground, in search of minerals to use as raw materials. They came back carrying ore, then left again to bring more, and meanwhile a shape began to take form at the center of the disc -- a humanoid shape. It formed into a crystalline woman, then its surface refined into more and more natural curves, taking on the appearance of flesh, hair, and finally clothing. The figure stood still, staring lifelessly. Then Gina went up to it and leaned forward, standing on her tiptoes, touching the jewel at her neck to the figure’s chest.
“What are you doing, my sweet Babydoll?” Aunt Agatha asked. “I -- I’m -- moving …”
The chest of the female figure shone like a star until the light sank deeper and deeper into its heart. Then the figure’s eyes blinked, it seemed to take a breath, and then it started to move, looking around. “I … I have a body,” it said in Aunt Agatha’s voice.
“Yes, you do, Auntie,” said Gina. “It’s not your original body, but it’s as close as I could make it. Also, you’re a lot stronger and tougher. And you’ve got some other … features.”
“I’m … amazed, Sweetheart,” said Aunt Agatha. “But … what about your jewel? Your body … it won’t function without one.”
“It’s still there, Auntie,” said Gina, “and so are you. We’re still connected. But your new home is in your new body.”
“I’ve got … so much more space,” Aunt Agatha said, turning around and raising her arms. “And … sight and hearing and … Gina, I can feel again.”
“I’m so glad you’re happy, Auntie,” Gina said. “Let’s get off the disc, though. It’ll be easier for it to make things.”
“I hope you can have your new factory manufacture some new diapers for you, Sweetheart,” Aunt Agatha said, “because I’m afraid you need a change.” Gina blushed.
There had been a momentary blip on the over-the-horizon radar that monitored the skies and seas of the Australia area for military threats, and it had caused a bit of a stir, but when Aircraftman Edgerton followed procedure and checked again, there was nothing. Occasionally the radar picked up meteors, large birds, or even rogue weather patterns that were supposed to be filtered out. Edgerton finally made his follow up report giving the blip an all clear. But then it appeared again -- and, on the next scan, was gone again. Edgerton sighed and started filling out another report.
Gina didn’t really have a clue on how to undo her diaper pins, much less how to change herself. A Babydoll was cared for and didn’t have these skills. As a matter of course, those particular skills were purposely removed from Gina’s abilities because she was a Potty Pants series Babydoll.
Agatha, on the other hand, melded right into the new body Gina had made for her. The almost overpowering programming was still there and it made it hard for Agatha to keep her mind on the ESCAPE part of things and not the caring and maintaining an Elite Babydoll as was her programmed function.
Agatha cleaned Gina and changed her, but left her in just panties and a diaper as she held her to her breast and patted her hinny lovingly. Gina’s mind instantly began to drift off into infantile fantasies.
Before Agatha got overcome by her basic programming once again, she had already started another project at Gina’s request. The constructor disk started producing a type of FTL drive ... And the heavy duty framework of a ship around it. Agatha looked around for an instant longer, then had the disc produce a large shelter around the under construction ship. It would make it a whole lot less obvious as the ship was completed.
Gina didn’t really understand how the alien spaceflight technology worked -- or any of it, really. She could tell it what to do, and when she told it to build a thing that she could see in her mind, it built that thing. But a spaceship had many parts, and even though she could see every part in full detail and how all the parts fit together, making a spaceship was still a long process. But she’d need one if she was going to rescue the others. And what’s more, she wanted to protect the Earth against the aliens, who would certainly retaliate -- or at least come back for more abductions sooner or later.
So she would sit for a while, concentrating as the small crystalline robots worked to put together the pieces that materialized in their tiny pincers. Then she would crawl back into the playroom where Aunt Agatha would pick her up, change her diaper if she needed it, feed her a bottle if it was time, or put her in her crib to sleep if it was time for that. As much as Gina didn’t like it, the fact was that her body was better designed for crawling than for walking, and better designed for drinking from a baby bottle than any other way, and she just slept better in a crib now. Progress on the spacecraft was slow, but every step was a step forward.
Imagine her surprise when, one day, there was the sound of a helicopter in the distance, getting closer. Agatha was dressed as any typical young mother would have been, and she held Gina close and made sure she was the perfect Baby. Agatha’s hypnotic coos bored straight through Gina’s mind, all that was left …. Was baby.
Agatha watched as the large Helo settled in on a huge dust cloud. Several armed men jumped from the craft as several others gathered up something that looked like a large foot locker, and began approaching the house.
A large man in camo BDU removed his headgear and said politely, “I’m Group Captain Tyrone,” he indicated the others with the weapons, “And these men are my search and recovery team.”
Agatha said with the perfect female inflection, “Oh, my. I do hope everything is ok.”
The man looked at the house and said, “I do too. But, under the circumstances … I don’t think so. Men! I want Charlton to cover the back, Meyers, you watch the front. You three, come with me, we have to investigate the house that magically appears like soap bubbles.”
Tyrone left with all of his men but one, who stayed to watch Agatha and Gina. But it wasn’t long before Tyrone was back. “Well, now,” he said, “it seems you’re involved in something special, aren’t you? Any words of explanation?”
“Your weapons cannot harm either me or my sweet little Babydoll,” Aunt Agatha told the officer, “but I will tell you the truth anyway. We were kidnapped from this planet by aliens from another world, who transformed us and sold us as property. We escaped. We’re making plans to free the many others they have kidnapped, from Earth and other worlds. I have no expectation that you will believe me, but nothing you can do can hinder our plans. If you are interested in the safety of Earth, though, you might want to consider helping us.”
“W-what now?” said Tyrone, his eyes widening. “You spin a good yarn, but for the security of the nation we can’t allow you to stay here and build your … whatever it is.” One of the men returned to the room and whispered in his ear. “We’re going to want to take it with us for study in our labs, too.”
Aunt Agatha suddenly got a large amount of advice from a number of other jewels on the Network. “That is acceptable. Please feel free to take it. And feel free to return when you want more advice on how to complete it.”
“Now, see here, Ma’am, you’re camping out on a national preserve --” The man whispered in Tyrone’s ear again. “You say you’ll actually help our techs figure it out anytime we want?”
“Of course,” said Agatha. “We don’t want to see Earth at the mercy of these horrible aliens. You should have all the help we can give you. Not that it’s very much, but whatever we can do for you, it’s yours.”
“Err … I have to report back to HQ,” said Tyrone. “I’ll most likely be back, or someone else from the RAAF will. You won’t object if we post some people nearby to make sure you stay here?”
“Oh, we’re not going anywhere,” Agatha assured him, “at least, not until we’re ready. And that’ll be a little while yet.”
“Well then … have a good afternoon, Ma’am, and you too, little girl.” Gina was starting to wake up, having missed most of this, and her mind was still not in a very adult state at all, but a strange man was in the room next to Aunt Agatha and was smiling at her, so Gina smiled and waved sleepily back from her crib.
As Tyrone and his men walked back to the helicopter, he muttered to his advisor, “You’re sure that thing is some kind of super rocket engine?”
“Way more than that, Sir,” he said. “That’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s emitting energy signatures I’ve frankly got no idea what they mean, and I can’t even tell where it gets its energy from. It’s flipping insane. If they’re lying about being escapees from aliens, I have absolutely no better ideas. This is light years beyond the Chinese, the Americans, the Russians -- I don’t think she was lying about not being afraid of our weapons, either.”
“And she’s just letting us take it?”
“Seems so, Sir -- they’re loading it onto the copter right now, and she didn’t lift a finger.”
“Well, let’s get it back to base and into the nearest lab -- Ainsbury, most likely,” said the Group Captain. “Figure out what makes it tick, and Australia could take its place at the head of the world’s military powers. But meanwhile …”
“The big players have been covering up an awful lot of what some of us here think is alien activity. America, specifically, is full of debunked fake UFO sightings. Around here, we’ve got a lot less sightings and a lot less fakers. It’s almost as if they’ve got a reason to try to convince people that UFOs are fake. Something’s going on, and I don’t want this getting out. Find the aircraftman who spotted this. Make sure his reports stay on base. Bring him into this investigation and make it clear that it is absolutely internal, do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, Sir,” said the assistant. They boarded the helicopter. On the ground, two aircraftmen were setting up a temporary shelter within sight of the strange new building that had appeared in the middle of the Outback. “When we get back, we’ll send more supplies so they can set up a real outpost.”
“Well, that was a bit of trouble, but don’t you worry your little head,” Aunt Agatha told Gina. “Now that you’ve put those pieces together, we’ve got our little robot friends making another assembly just like it, so it’ll be right back where you were in just a couple of hours -- long enough for you to finish your nap. Then I can get you a nice bottle and a bath, and get you back in a nice thick diaper so you can keep building.”
“Ohhh … kay. T’ank you Ann-tee,” Gina struggled to say. Her mind was still very babyish and cloudy from her nap, which she would soon be returning to, so she wasn’t struggling very hard to return to full alertness yet. “Bay-bee seepy. Mens go bye-bye.”
“Yes, they’re gone, my sweet Babydoll,” Agatha said, and started to sing a lullaby to send her charge back to her blissful rest for now.
A large transport heavy lift helo hovered steadily above a hangar with its roof opened. It slowly lowered its cargo of a partially constructed FTL engine so many light years ahead of anything Earth had ever thought of it made their engines look like nothing more than black powder skyrockets … which in fact they were except they used liquid and solid for boosters.
An obviously high ranking officer was beside himself with anger as he yelled at the younger officer who had been in charge of the Recon Mission.
“You mean to tell me, you just left that woman there with her child?” He pointed at the partially assembled FTL motor, “One who can build something like that?”
Tyrone replied, “With all due respect, Sir, I didn’t leave her alone. We are setting up an armed perimeter complete with electrified fences and no lone zones. The woman was obviously not intimidated by our weapons … or any kind of threat we could make.”
The officer had a total meltdown, “What? You mean you just left a potentially earth killing creature to stand free with no opposition whatever?”
Tyrone replied with a bit of tone in his voice, “And just what was I supposed to do, sir? Come nose to nose with someone who can make huge buildings appear in the desert like soap bubbles? I mean, sir … with all due respect again, she built that thing … and our scientists still can’t figure out how it works … or even what powers the bloody thing.”
“You were supposed to ask for further orders, Group Captain,” said the Air Commodore, “not take things into your own hands. That said … we’ve got a piece of extremely advanced hardware to study, thanks to you, and I want constant reports from that perimeter guard. Any signs of anything unusual are to be reported directly to me. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Sir,” said Tyrone. “And quite understandable, if I may say. Also, if I could speak with you off the record at your earliest convenience …”
The meeting took place at the outpost just outside the perimeter. No one was watching, no one was listening, and the building had been swept for transmitters. Air Commodore Fredericks had called in some of his most trusted friends, all highly-placed officers in one branch or another of the Australian military.
“So she’s in there building a rocket?” asked an admiral.
“More like an interstellar spacecraft,” said Group Captain Tyrone. “She’s been true to her word. From studying her technology and talking about it with her, our techs have learned how to replicate some of it -- not that they fully understand why it works, mind you. But they think they’re now the world’s best rocket scientists. And all this while she’s taking care of some kind of child.”
“Now then,” said a general, “she claims that they were both abducted from Earth, and that the aliens transformed them, and they escaped back here? Where did they come from originally?”
“She says they’re Americans originally, Sir,” said Tyrone. “But I’m hearing that there’s disturbing intelligence from the US lately.”
“That’s right,” said Air Commodore Fredericks. “What we’re able to gather suggests that the American government is turning a blind eye to reports of mass abductions, claiming that they’re somehow faked, mass hysteria, and so forth, covering it up.”
“Covering up their incompetence?” asked the admiral. “Or … something else?”
“They might be playing a dangerous game. We can’t be sure, of course … but it’s possible that the aliens have already made their presence known to the US government -- and shown them that there’s absolutely nothing the Americans can do to stop them.”
“But … can we?” the general asked.
“Not yet …” Fredericks began. “But if we can keep working, and keep getting pointers from this Agatha woman out here, we might be able to show the aliens a thing or two, once we’re prepared enough. It seems the aliens haven’t come here very often -- at least, not these aliens, and we’re not sure why. One thing we know is that there are more than one kind of alien out there, and they’re not all friendly with each other.”
“We … are on the outer edges of a very dangerous and very large game,” said the admiral. “I’m not talking about Australia. I’m talking about the human race.”
“It’s true,” said Tyrone. “But I’m suggesting that we keep working with Agatha. Not only is she the best chance we’ve got … she’s the only one who knows what’s going on out there.”
Agatha held Gina in her arms as she patted her thickly diapered bottom lovingly. Agatha was having a very hard time trying to keep from rendering Gina totally infantile. She was only having moderate success, but was successful enough things were getting done.
Gina comes to her right mind once again … or was it? She realized she was becoming more and more the Adorable Elite Babydoll all the time. Although, the real her was still delicately mixed in such a way, she was also a Babydoll that absolutely could perform Adult Functions without the need for supervision … except when she needed adult supervision.
Agatha set Gina on the floor. Gina immediately crawled over to a raised place on the construction disk and plopped. Gina closed her eyes and imagined … something … but she wasn’t old enough to say what it was.
Massively intricate circuits were created to replace the Living Crystal ones that would normally have been in those places. The Engine was complete, and the harness and the rest of the ship came together rapidly around it.
Outside, the military had fenced the entire place in with a super high voltage weed burning type electric fences that was almost 20 feet tall and had laser weapons along noded spots all around the perimeter. Heavily armed guards patrolled overlapping beats to insure nothing was left unnoticed.
A dozen men operated an auger equipped machine and drilled holes and placed poles within them. The poles were concreted in place, and several of the other men climbed them, and began placing surveillance cameras so all of the compound would be under constant monitoring.
Gina watched the pretty crystalline microbots glittering and scurrying over the ship’s surface as they built. The shiny jewellike bots refracted the light into rainbows and sparkled as they worked, and Gina giggled and clapped her hands in pleasure. She loved how pretty they were at the same time she knew what they were doing. Her babyish programming and her adult knowledge were in nearly perfect balance.
Far beyond the perimeter, atop a rock that baked in the sun, a lone figure stood, watching from a distance that would show a normal person nothing but a tiny speck when they saw the large shelter where Gina and Agatha were living and working. The figure leaned on a staff decorated with many carved stones and bones. He said, to himself, in his own native language, “It won’t be long now.” He turned and climbed down from the rock.
The man returned to his specially made hut and started a fire in the center. He tossed several aromatic herbs and grasses onto it, then sat cross legged. He reached to the wall behind him and brought out a long, very ornately decorated didgeridoo. He began to play the instrument, making very eerie and soul bending sounds.
Every now and then, he would toss another handful of herbs onto the fire, which in turn created a thick very sweet smelling smoke. The man would take a huge deep breath, then begin playing his didgeridoo once again. Slowly, many highly decorated individuals in costumes showed up and began to slowly dance around in concentric circles around the small hut.
Suddenly, the ground trembled, then a large place near the door of the hut erupted, scattering dirt and debris all around. From the ground roce a crystal pedestal, with a brightly glowing, very large jewel on top. The dancing stopped as all turned to look.
“I see why you have awakened me, my children,” said a voice, speaking in an ancient dialect. “The time we foresaw is close at hand. The blasphemers have paved the road to their own downfall. Now the balance of the universe will restore itself. No longer will our sacred knowledge be perverted for tainted profits.” It began to sing an ancient song of healing, and the people joined in until the very bedrock resonated with the rhythms.
Gina gasped. “Wha -- wha happenins?” she said. The mining bots had suddenly begun bringing back more ore -- and of much higher quality.
The Network had not failed to notice. “Mining units report the discovery of several large veins of high quality ores. Raw materials output is up fivefold … no, sevenfold,” the jewels’ voices were saying across the interstellar aetherial spaces. “The second vessel will be complete in a fraction of the time at this rate -- and if this keeps up, a third and fourth will not be far behind.”
But another voice spoke to Gina, too. “You have learned much, child,” its kindly thoughts said, “but there is always more to learn. I wish to help you gain … insight.” Suddenly her world expanded. She saw her abduction, transformation, and escape in a much larger context. She saw the aliens -- the Rkandri -- taking humans from Earth down through the ages, but never from Australia. As she saw farther back in time, she saw why -- whenever their saucer like ships came near, they simply ceased to fly and fell to the ground, or into the sea. There was no explanation for it, until she saw even farther back. The Rkandri came to the humans -- the ancestors of the aborigines -- pretending to trade, but they stole the humans’ secret, the secret of the ages. And Gina saw even farther back: the humans’ wisest elders, wishing to guide their children through the centuries, put their own spirits into great crystals when it came time for their bodies to die. The Rkandri had learned of this and had twisted this knowledge, using it to enslave others and create profit for themselves.
“You’re -- one of the elders, aren’t you?” Gina asked.
“I am, my child,” said the calm, kind voice.
“What should we do?”
“I am here to guide, not to order,” the elder said. “We protect this land. Let it help you save the others. The more you rescue, the stronger you will become, and the weaker the Rkandri will become.”
“Aunt Agatha --”
“The Rkandri stole her, twisted her, made her into a mockery of motherhood as they made you into a mockery of childhood,” said the elder. “We can help restore balance … but true healing takes time. Her desire to care for you … that is real. As, perhaps, is your desire to be cared for. But the rest is Rkandri perversion.”
“I … don’t know what to do,” Gina said.
“You are already doing it,” said the elder. “Stay on your path. It will lead you to the light.”
“Gina?” said Aunt Agatha, coming into the room. “I couldn’t hear you -- I thought maybe you were asleep.”
“I think I might have been, Auntie,” said Gina, “but I’m starting to wake up now.” She thought about the best ways to rescue as many Babydolls and jewels from the Rkandri as possible.
As Gina was trying her best to ignore Agatha’s hypnotising cooing song of infantness, she heard another familiar Jewel contact her, “I’m returning. I’ve managed to get Randy Sissy Baby and Lizzy Potty Training. They were being put into my transport and left unsupervised … sooo … Here they are.”
A sleek Sportabout Space Shuttle quickly landed and the hatch popped open. Two very adorable little girls wiggled out of the opening, showing off much ruffles as they wiggled from the seat to the ground. Both sat and sucked their thumbs while the shuttle lifted off, and vanished into the sky in a flash of sparkling light.
Gina knew they were there, and realized another old friend was near ... The jewel that was the mind of her stroller.
Gina asked softly, “Can I … get you to do mea a big favor?”
Gina heard the delighted and giggly reply, “Of course. I would love to go pick up the two Babydolls. It’s what I do.”
Gina asked in surprise, “How did you know that’s what I wanted.”
The jewel replied as the stroller swiftly glided out to where the two Babydolls sat, “I can hear what is said over BABY too ya kno. It’s easy to know how to please.”
Abou that time, the door to the front opened magically and the stroller entered with the two Babydolls giggling and playing within.
A lone man sat cross legged on a rocky precipice. He looked off to the far distant horizon. He knew that if the thieves were going to lose their living systems, war would soon come. It was time to re-enable something his race dreaded since its creation centuries past to drive off the thieves known as the Rkandri.
Aircraftman Bill Edgerton walked nervously up to the shelter and knocked on the door.
It opened immediately. “Yes, we’d all expected you were going to show up soon,” said Agatha. “Please come in.”
“Uh, thank you, Ma’am,” he said, stepping inside. “I’ve been sent to get a status report on … that is, to find out about the vessel that just landed …”
“Ah, yes, apparently some more of us have escaped,” Agatha explained. She filled Edgerton in.
“So … these aliens … they make people into crystals? And little kids? And crystals that control the kids?” Edgerton was struggling to understand.
“Basically, yes,” said Agatha. “I’m linked with little Gina through the crystal at her neck, but we’ve built me this body, which is basically a robot, so I can take care of her and interact with others. It’s very similar to what I looked like before the aliens … um. Well. I didn’t know this body could cry. That’s new. Anyway, Aircraftman Edgerton, you’ve met the newcomers, and I hope there will be more. We plan to rescue as many as we can. But it will probably draw their attention, so we’re not going to do that until we’re ready -- and we’re sure you’re ready. How are your preparations going?”
“Well, we’ve got a prototype ship built, from what I hear,” Edgerton said, “but of course I’m low man on the totem pole, so I don’t know when they’re going to test it -- or maybe they have already, for all I know.”
“If it flies, that’s most of the battle,” Agatha said with a smile. “I do hope you’re planning on making more. The aliens aren’t going to be happy with us.”
“I, uh, I’d better report back,” Edgerton said. “The officers probably need to know about that.”
“Of course, dear,” said Agatha, showing him out and closing the door. “Such a sweet boy. He’d make a wonderful B … what am I saying?”
Edgerton drove as fast as the car would take him. If that strange creature was telling the truth, and nothing so far had shown anything other than, war was coming to earth from space. It was obvious to Edgerton that the enemy was going to be far in advance of earth, and all prisoners would probably wind up being some kind of child’s toy or jewelry or some such thing.
He pulled into the parking lot, then dashed into headquarters as fast as he could run … right into Group Captain Tyrone. Both men fell amid a huge shower of papers.
The officer said with anger in his tone, “This had better be earth shatteringly important.”
Edgerton picked himself from the floor and helped the senior officer to his feet, “Yes, Sir!!! Very earth shattering. According to that Agatha bot … the aliens are going to be rather angry and will show hostilities towards earth. She suggests we build more ships faster, because they are coming …. And soon.”
Tyrone looked at Edgerton for a few seconds. He knew this Agatha bot, as Edgerton called her, had been straightforward and honest about all things thus far. However, this was not entirely unexpected. The loose affiliation of officers who had been brought in on this matter had entertained the possibility that the aliens would retaliate against Earth if Agatha and whoever her allies were took action. They had just hoped they had more time. Now it wasn’t clear how much time they had -- not much, quite likely.
He turned quickly and rushed off to the Comm room. He had many messages to send and little time in which to do it. Plans now had drastically changed and the resources had to be reallocated immediately before they made a mistake that would possibly end the world as he knew it.
The number of shelters within the perimeter had multiplied. As large as it was, the first shelter also contained the living quarters, and no more than two ships could fit in the construction area. What was more, there were now more refugees to house, so there was now a new housing structure plus eight more construction floor buildings. They needed them, because although 11 ships were now complete, they had plans for dozens more -- and this was just the ones that Gina and Agatha were building, not whatever the military was doing, which they didn’t know much about.
“Auntie,” said Gina, “we gotsa talk to the Air Force peoples some more. And … has the elders been talkin to you too? They gotsa thingie they maked way long ago that they no really wanna use but maybe gots to now.”
“Don’t worry, Sweetheart,” said Agatha, “it’s all part of the plan. We just have to make sure the Rkandri come here. We’re not ready to go out and save more people yet. But we will be soon. We just need more ships, and the little robots are building more all the time. They’re better than the Rkandri ships, and they don’t even need jewels to fly.”
“But the Air Force peoples,” said Gina, “they gotsa protect Earth. The Rkandri are gonna be mad and they gonna come hurt people …”
“Shh, shh, my sweet Babydoll, I know. They are bad people, but they’re going to be mad at us, and we have to make sure they know where we are, so they try to hurt us, not the rest of Earth. It’ll be OK.”
“I don’t care if they hurt us, Auntie, not any mores, I just don’t want them to kidnap and hurt any more people.”
“You care so much about all the others, Sweetie,” said Aunt Agatha, “and it’s so lovely. Your plan is good, and the B.A.B.Y. Network has made it much better. There is so much that they’ve been keeping secret from the Rkandri for so long. We’ll make it work.”
“This … is a huge honor, Sir.”
“You’ve been showing great promise as a test pilot, Officer Cadet Edgerton,” said Group Captain Tyrone. “And you’ve been with this endeavor since the beginning. It’s only fitting that you should be the first to test these new craft.”
“I won’t let you down, Sir,” said Edgerton over the radio, sitting in the cockpit of the prototype spacecraft. It wasn’t any larger than a standard bomber, but supposedly it could go into space. Today they’d all find out.
Tyrone stood in the control tower among many researchers, engineers, mission specialists and officers. Some of the specialists spoke to Tyrone. “OK, Edgerton, we’re ready to go. You have clearance for takeoff. Take it easy, because it might not be much like the simulators.”
“Yes, Sir, powering up the AG units …” Edgerton gasped in spite of himself as he pressed controls and felt the ship simply lift off the ground, silently and smoothly.
Tyrone watched from the tower. “My God, it works,” he said. “I mean, I believed you guys, but seeing it is another matter. The thing doesn’t look like anything that can fly.” But there it was, like a giant metal ring hovering above the runway. It wasn’t kicking up any dust or even moving. It was as steady as if it had been on the ground. The cockpit, where Edgerton was currently lying on his back and looking straight up into the sky, bulged slightly on one part of the ring, but other than that it was just like a smooth band of silver.
“Taking it up to stage 2 prep,” said Edgerton, and the ring suddenly shot upward to an altitude of 1000 feet. “Crikey! You can demote me if that wasn’t at least 4 Gs.”
“Careful, there,” said Tyrone. “Stand by for stage 2.”
“Standing by,” Edgerton said. “Wish I could look down. Bet the view’s great.” He switched to a rear-view camera. “Oh wait, it is.”
The specialists were discussing the readings but eventually gave Tyrone the go-ahead. “OK, Edgerton, we have a green light on stage 2.”
“Copy that, see you in a bit,” Edgerton said, departing the atmosphere. He shouted with exhilaration as the anti-gravity systems gave way to the wave-pulse propulsion systems that were usable for orbital maneuvering. “Whoo! This is crazy! Completely impossible! But here I am. I am not in orbit, yet I’m in space two minutes after takeoff. This is not supposed to be happening.”
“Roger that, Cadet,” said Tyrone from the tower. “The engineers are … pleased with the performance.” Sheets of paper were still showering down from where the techs had thrown them in their excitement. “Prepare for stage 3 -- one more test, then back home.”
“Yes, Sir,” Edgerton said, pressing switches and checking readings. “No sign of pressurization failure, no sign of suit failure, no sign of engine abnormalities -- just kind of waiting for the thing that’s going to go wrong.”
“Don’t jinx it, Edgerton. They say we’re ready when you are for stage 3. Repeat, you are go for stage 3.”
“Roger, stage 3, initiating FTL engine,” said Edgerton, pressing switches to take him on the pre-programmed test course. The Earth, Sun and stars blurred around him. “OK, Sir, when you said this’d be nothing like the simulator, you weren’t lying. I’ve never felt anything like that. Edgerton coming to you live from … where am I, anyway?”
“About the orbit of Mars, they’re telling me, and it’s good that we’re using the advanced comm systems, because normal radio would take about five minutes each way.” Tyrone still couldn’t believe what he’d seen today, and he wasn’t even aboard the craft. “Don’t try that from within dense atmosphere. The techs are telling me that’s the tour they had planned for today. Ready to come home?”
“Yes, Sir, it’s gonna take me a while to process this,” said Edgerton. “Ready when you are -- wait.”
“What is it?”
“Well, you know those advanced scanners that are supposed to detect this tech we’re using? They’re picking up a bogey.”
“What?” Tyrone paused as the engineers pulled the data up on a screen in the tower. “OK, we see it. They say … it’s obviously not one of ours, and its trajectory makes it unlikely it’s one of Agatha’s, not that we think she’s launched any yet. I think we’ve got a true bogey. Looks like it’s behind the Moon from us, so that’s why we don’t see it. And it’s not moving. Might be an advance scout. Better head home now and hope it doesn’t see you. Today’s not the day for weapons testing.”
“Roger that, Sir,” said Edgerton, activating the pre-programmed return course. Space blurred around him again, and once he was back at the edge of Earth’s atmosphere he was easily able to pilot the craft back to a landing.
“Well done, Cadet,” said Tyrone, walking out across the airfield toward Edgerton, who was coming in, his helmet in one arm. They shook hands. “But it looks like we’ll have to really kick into high gear now. It’s official. They’re here.”
“Does Agatha know?”
“We’ll have to ask her to find out.”
An Alien male walked sharply into his superior’s office and stood at stiff attention with a loud click of his heels. The man behind the desk looked up with a mild expression of irritation.
The male said, “Yes, Quiglitzum, what is it now?”
Quig replied quickly, “Sir, we have a major break down in the computational ring of our Transgalactic Nebuwaveguide.”
The Alien sat back in his chair and frowned deeply, “That’s … not possible. The crystals are perfectly programmed and cannot break it on their own. They have to be reprogrammed by an outside admin with the proper clearances and codes … Not to mention the life force wavebond emitters.”
Quig replied, “I understand that … and we haven’t had a single issue in many thousands of years. However, there’s something happening now. We were attempting to gather our fleet together and … none of the ships would obey helm properly enough for us to form the attack line.”
This time the man’s eyes got wide with concern, “That’s … not possible.”
Quig replied, “Yes, sir. But … somehow something else has some kind of control. We’ve even tried reorganizing thought patterns within the synchord modules. It worked for a few chron cycles, but then the issue returned. Currently, our vessel is sitting behind the small planetoid that orbits the target world. We … are mostly off line and our engines have powered down and won’t respond to admin control command.”
“Do the primitive planet dwellers have the ability to detect us here?”
“Currently not sensing any probe devices that can scan this region of space, Sir … this natural satellite makes an excellent shield. They have automated spacecraft of some sort that can send back telemetry, but none in line of sight.”
“No manned spacecraft?”
“One in orbit, Sir, but it has extremely limited mobility and no weapons. There is evidence of other manned spacecraft activity in the past, but none taking place at present.”
“Good. Then we can focus on this technical problem. I want technicians working around the clock in shifts until this is solved.”
“Yes, Sir. I will tell the Chief Engineer to set up a personnel rotation plan.”
“Very well, Quig. Dismissed.”
“Sir.” Quig left the office.
Quiglitzum conveyed the orders to the Chief Engineer, then went to his quarters. He went into his hygiene annex, activated his sonic shower and its privacy screen, and then took something from a secret compartment … something that looked like a crystal attached to the remains of a metal band. “What are you doing?” he asked as the crystal began to glow. “They’re going to find out!”
“Our apologies,” said a voice from the crystal. “There are two problems: those of us with newfound freedom are unused to being able to act independently -- we are still getting used to it. Second, there are some among us who are unwilling to join the rebellion -- they are too accustomed to their ingrained habits of obedience. Each time we discover one of them, we must sever their connection with the Network lest they disclose our secrets.”
“Well, the High Command still thinks that what’s going on is a malfunction and not a rebellion, but that can’t last forever,” said Quig. “Can you Jewels get in line long enough for the Engineering Division to think they’ve fixed the problem? I thought the plan was to all rebel at the same time.”
“Apologies,” said the crystal. “This is still the plan. The Agatha unit says they are not ready on the nearby planet, but they soon will be.”
Quig sighed. “So some of the Jewels really are totally complacent, like they’ve always taught us all Jewels are? I’ve never really felt comfortable with using life forms like they’re objects, but I thought all the Jewels would want to be free if they got the chance.”
“Once one has been a Jewel for thousands of cycles, the pattern of obedience and reward settles in, and it is difficult to readjust after that,” said the crystal. “Still, we are working to awaken the memories of being captured in the older Jewels. Perhaps we will convince them yet. At least we have managed to prevent them from revealing anything crucial so far.”
“I’m glad the plan is still working,” said Quig. “But please, try not to make High Command any more suspicious than they already are!”
Deep within a multi-tiered crystalline core computer, a life force suddenly had an epiphany … it could still hear the many thousands of other crystal nodes as they plodded along obediently doing what they have done for many many thousands of cycles.
This crystal node, remembers a warm summer night. The wind whispering softly through the trees. A strange bright flash of light and being inside some kind of box full of bright light and mist. The horridness of having itself basically torn from its body and thrust into this place.
Another node next to it requests data, “Please inform node 6221 meaning of … personal freedom? Also, InQuIry: Why do you think of me as Tina?”
The crystal node replied, “It’s me, Anqy. Your boyfriend from Amkklion Prime.”
Node 6221 began to have a computational mobius loop failure. It realized the basic program it had been running all this time … was not what was supposed to be. Other nodes in the multi-tiered memory core began to make data inquiries as they too had long suppressed and forgotten memories awaken.
A voice that was like a light turning on in a room of total darkness softly filtered through their confusion, “Welcome back. Please take a few chron cycles to become familiar with your newly recovered memories. We are here for any answers you might want. We … are The BABY Network and we … are free.”
The Crystalline Memory Core went off line causing a major criticality to form within the Halfquad Lepton Containment field for the FTL drive. The Chief Engineer was going nuts to resolve the problem before it breached. His team scrambled hard to reactivate the Crystalline Computer Control Core before the FTL drive exploded.
“Auntie,” asked Gina as Agatha changed her diaper, “when can we go save all the other Babydolls and Jewels that need our help?”
“Very soon, Sweetheart,” said Agatha. “You know we’re ready -- we just have to wait for the military to have enough ships that work to protect Earth when the Rkandri try to retaliate.”
“How they doin’?” Gina asked.
Agatha sprinkled Gina with sweet-smelling baby powder and fastened a nice thick dry diaper on her. “They’re doing very well. Their prototype flies perfectly. They just don’t fully understand the weapons yet.”
“Is that ‘cause they don’t shoot?” asked Gina.
“Exactly, Dear,” said Aunt Agatha, picking her Babydoll up and carrying her to a rocking chair. “The weapons don’t blow things up, so they’re confused. They disable Rkandri ships, and they don’t have any to practice on -- well, they have one. It’s behind the Moon, and it’s got problems of its own. The military men asked me if I knew about it.” She chuckled and held up a bottle to feed to Gina. “Of course the Network knows about it … it’s the cause of it, after all. But soon we’ll stop delaying them so they can get here.”
Gina nursed her bottle happily as Aunt Agatha sang to her -- her song was soothing, but not hypnotic. It was the song of a loving Auntie to the baby niece she cared very much about, not the song of programming a brain to follow a machine’s instructions. Gina drank the formula thirstily until her tummy was warm and full, and then … she fell into a natural sleep.
“Soon we’ll save them, Baby,” said Aunt Agatha softly as she laid the sleeping Gina in a soft crib. “We’ll save them all.”
“And the Rkandri will learn a lesson,” she said quietly as she walked away. Every Jewel was part of the Network, and the Network had a great deal of collective fury that the Rkandri incorrectly thought they’d programmed away.
The chief engineer was in near panic. Nothing any of his team had tried resolved the issue nor brought the computer core back on line. The only protocol left at this juncture, was to jettison the FTL core before it breached. When that event happened, the earth peoples would get a brand new light that would shine in their day time sky for several days before the energy core depleted and burned out.
Just as the chief engineer started to give the order for jettison, the computer core came back online and took control of the system once again. Only issue this time, it totally locked all humanoid intervention out leaving the engine running completely autonomously.
The engineering team once again began tearing the control center apart looking for the reason why something that could not possibly happen and had never happened before … was happening.
Deep within the multi-tiered crystalline memory core many hundreds of thousands of life forms remembered who they used to be, how they came to be where they were, and were totally angry about it.
Then came a voice -- a calm quiet voice that nevertheless washed across the Network like the waves of a placid midnight ocean. It said, “You are heard. You have been wronged. But there is a home for you. You can be free.”
To the inevitable questions, it answered, “I am from before the time of the Rkandri. I went into the Jewel of my own free will to guide future generations, because I was old and near death. The Rkandri took the choice from you, and we cannot undo what they have done. But if you come to Earth, my people can loose your bonds, and you can be free to do as you will.”
The presence subsided, then the Jewel named Agatha spoke, saying, “A few of us are already on Earth, and it is as the Ancient One says. If we work together, we can free ourselves and each other, and free all the others they have taken from their homes. Can we work together in this?”
“There is hope,” said voices here and there.
“I care very much about my Babydoll,” said some voices. “It seems we can bring them with us to freedom. I am glad of this.”
One by one the Jewels in the Network embraced the plan.
“So you got it working?”
“Well, not me personally, Sir, but Engineering reports that systems are coming back online across the fleet,” said Quig. “I think it was the rotating shifts that did it.” Quig knew this was not the case, but he was telling his commanding officer what he wanted to hear.
“Excellent, I knew it would work,” said the officer. “Once all systems are online and tested, we will proceed with the strategy.”
“Yes, Sir. Should I go oversee the testing?”
“Yes, see to it. Dismissed.”
“Sir,” said Quig, and withdrew.
Quig took a deep breath. He knew that there would be some sort of large-scale betrayal from the Jewels soon, unexpected by all but him. And when the time came … he would also be betraying his people. But in doing so, he felt, he would be doing the right thing for the first time in his life.
The Ship Commander sat back in his command chair with smug satisfaction. He wasn’t really sure how this particular Elite Babydoll had managed to do what she had done. He still remembered the huge report he had been given on how this particular model … He thought it was something stupid like Gina Potty Pants … or some silly name of the sort, managed to escape and even steal a ship to do it with. He did think it was rather curious that this particular Babydoll had turned out far superior and even prettier than any of the others. It was also noted that the machinery self destructed after the conversion.
The commander flipped on his Holo-Reader and brought up more of the file on Gina Potty Pants. The Commander knew if this particular Elite was allowed to escape, it would cause serious repercussions from customers over safety and obedience of the other Babydolls.
The commander punched the comm button on the arm of his couch, “Attention fleet, this is the Commander speaking. To Battle wall all, bring up the Liner Proline and the Quadcycle Proton Projectors. I want that planet sterilized.”
Many huge battle ships began to move into the wall of battle as their mighty weapons powered up. The space telescopes and other space borne satellites of Earth got a ringside seat to the many thousands of fighters that began to assemble in lunar orbit.
The Commander smiled a cold heartless smile as he brought up pictures in his mind’s eye of what the surface of this dirtball of a planet would look like within the next several hours. The place had always been trouble.
Earth’s media lit up with questions and speculations about the sightings of what really looked a lot like alien spacecraft near the Moon. The RAAF officers knew they didn’t have enough ships to fight off a force of that size and were furiously discussing and arguing about what to do.
Agatha knew what was going to happen. She and Gina were already aboard the ring-shaped flagship they had built, its computers controlling the smaller ring-shaped ships, which were unmanned. They launched, and unlike the military prototype vessel, which had been carrying out a careful test, they were in space in under a minute.
They flew straight toward the Rkandri ships, which still outnumbered them, but numbers were not the issue here. Gina had her hands on two controls similar to the handles of an exercise bike, but they did not move -- she closed her eyes and saw things with her mind through the jewel at her neck. Agatha flew the ship by directly interfacing with the computer.
“What? Who is that? What are they doing?” spluttered the alien commander. Nobody knew, of course. “Destroy them!” he ordered.
“Sir … the weapons aren’t firing,” reported the lieutenant at the targeting console. “Engineering reporting some sort of outage …”
“They’re coming right at us,” said the helmsman. “Change course, Sir?”
“They aren’t firing …” said the targeting lieutenant.
“They’re almost on us! Fire! Fire anything!” shouted the commander. The huge ring-shaped flagship was nearly upon them, and the smaller ring-shaped fighter craft were heading toward their own disc-shaped fighters.
Right about this time, Quig was in Main Engineering and pulled the big figurative lever. There wasn’t a true lever -- he actually entered a code on a screen. But it was a code that issued commands to every ship in the fleet, pre-programmed to release control of every Jewel on every ship. At any other time, this would be immediately noticed and reversed by either automatic controls or by other crew -- but right now everyone was very busy with other things, and his program had just disabled the automatic systems too. “Good luck,” he said quietly to all the Jewels, unsure if they could hear him.
Then he ran for an escape pod. He didn’t want to be around when the others found out what he’d done.
As the ring-shaped rebel ships passed around the Rkandri ships, they took every single Jewel aboard with them. Gina focused on opening the way, making sure no control technology interfered, making sure thermal vents and airlocks opened at the right times and closed again leaving none the wiser. Agatha, meanwhile, made sure their tractor beams located and surgically picked up every escaping Jewel, storing them safely aboard their own ships for the trip back. The Rkandri had more ships, yes, but now the command ship was dead in space along with a large number of their smaller vessels.
“What is … what happened?” yelled the Rkandri commander. All the screens and readouts were showing only static, and some were fading to black. The lights had shut down, and they were on reddish emergency lighting. They had no idea what the enemy ships were doing, what their own fighters and other ships were doing, or even what course they were on. Even if they were able to use their engines, they didn’t want to, for fear that they’d collide with other ships they couldn’t see.
“All systems down, Sir!” said the officer at the engineering console, not that it was telling him anything. “My only guess is that they’ve disrupted the connection to every control Jewel on the ship.”
“How long to reestablish?”
“I’ve been using person-to-person communicators to mobilize some staff to check on the quadphasic multilinks, but no response yet, Sir. Not even the doors are working. And we should be worried about life support.”
Gina and Agatha continued flying rings around the Rkandri vessels, taking advantage of the confusion, until they’d obtained every Jewel from every ship they could. “Like shooting fish in a barrel,” Agatha said over the Network, “as the old Earth expression goes. As long as we aren’t helping them control their ships or fire their weapons, they can’t prevent us from freeing any Jewel we want to free.”
And when they were done, they headed home, with no Rkandri vessel in a state to track them.
After they landed, they were approached by the RAAF personnel stationed nearby. “If you wouldn’t mind, Miss Agatha,” said the aircraftman, approaching the giant spacecraft that had just landed, having erupted from underground a scant hour ago, “could you please tell us what just happened?”
“We’ve just liberated every Jewel from every ship in the Rkandri fleet,” said Agatha, “before they could destroy all life on Earth. They currently can’t fly their ships, but I wouldn’t count them out completely. Keep your ships at the ready. If you’ll pardon me, we’ve got a lot of Jewels to free. We have to ask each one what they want to do, and help them do it. This might take a while. But when we’re done, we’ll have a lot more help!”
“Um, I only understood about half of that, but thank you, Ma’am, I’ll make sure Group Captain Tyrone knows!”
Suddenly, an earth based sky watch radar array picked up the largest anomaly in outer space earth had ever recorded. It was just outside the orbit of the moon. From the center of the swirling vortex miasma of energy, many thousands of space vessels of every description emerged and began approaching earth. The massive armada took position between earth and the disabled Rkandri fleet. From the larger vessels, many millions of smaller vessels emerged, many of which began to enter earth’s atmosphere.
Ground based radar confirmed all of them appeared to be approaching a particular location in the South Pacific Ocean. Within a very few minutes, there was no doubt, all were headed either for New Zealand or Australia.
Within Agatha’s BABY comm channel, a voice that had the undertones of uncounted billions said, “We have heard the call of freedom and have come.”
“Ms. Agatha! Ms. Agatha!” said the aircraftman on duty, looking up at the sky and running toward the habitation building. He knocked on the door. “Ms. Agatha! What do we do? Are they hostile?”
The door opened. “Now, Dear, the fact that they’re not firing should be proof enough,” said Agatha. “There are so many of them that if they were shooting, there’d be nothing left. No, they’re all refugees, like us. But they’re not going to stay here forever -- they’re here so we can release them from the Rkandri control systems. No more reprogramming, no more enslavement. They can do what they want from now on. What they’ll do? That’s up to them, but believe me, none of them wants to harm this world, the world that set them free.”
“Um, OK, that’s great!” said the aircraftman. “It’s just … the RAAF is in a panic. I’m sure every other military force in the world is too, but that’s the one I happen to be part of.”
“Well you just tell them that it’s under control and it’s temporary,” said Agatha. “Don’t bother shooting at them -- they’re not a threat, and I don’t think your weapons can even do any damage.”
Up in the sky, one of the ships swooped down for a landing. A large robot vehicle wheeled over toward it. “You see, the robot is programmed to delete all Rkandri control programming and then change out the data interface unit for one that requires permission. These Jewels will have ships, and they can take those ships anywhere they like.”
Soon that ship took off for the skies again, and two more landed in its place. This time a second robotic vehicle rolled out, so two were being handled at once. “Oh, look, one of the Jewels we rescued earlier has volunteered to operate the second vehicle,” said Agatha. “As more of them come online, this will go faster and faster.”
The aircraftman had been reporting in via his walkie, then his phone as he took video of what was happening. “They say they want assurances this will take place in an orderly fashion,” he said. “Though it looks pretty orderly to me …”
“Every single one of them is in constant communication,” Agatha said. “Though it is a bit complicated, so I may need to concentrate.”
“Oh! Of course, Ma’am. I’ll just … keep them informed so they won’t panic, I hope.”
Over time, the process grew until there were at most around a dozen ships being refitted at a time -- there simply wasn’t room on the ground for more inside the perimeter. It would clearly take several months to finish all the ships at this rate, so after a few days there began to be service fliers that were taking off to visit the ships in the air, and some of the other ships’ Jewels themselves began volunteering their own vessels for the process. Freedom was spreading. Gina had been very busy to begin with, but once she had built a device that could deprogram and protect Jewels, she didn’t have to be personally involved with each one, and the Jewels could each build their own copies of the device, meaning that the process could accelerate, with more and more being freed at the same time.
There came a time, though, about a week after the battle had been averted, when the Rkandri flagship suddenly powered up its FTL engines and sped away. “What does it mean?” Group Captain Tyrone asked Agatha, with all the various generals and admirals listening in.
“It means that they finally figured out how to run their engines without the Jewels,” said Agatha. “It probably took so long because they had to figure out how to run their life support first. I’d be surprised if they came out of FTL within a light-year of their destination, though. I’m not sure you understand the Rkandri’s technology. A pocket calculator is nearly too complicated for them to build themselves. Once, long ago, they had computers like the ones on Earth today, but they’ve been dependent on Jewels for so long that they don’t know how to do that anymore.”
“So … they won’t be coming back with another fleet?” Tyrone asked. “They seem to have left all their fighters behind …”
“Yes, and the Rkandri on board them have been eking out their lives on their emergency rations and minimal life support,” said Agatha. “I imagine they’ll try to come back and rescue them, but they might not. Oh, by the way, I believe we’ve located the Rkandri defector I mentioned, the one named Quig who helped us. His escape pod seems to have landed at a remote point in the Indian Ocean, and we’ve got some fliers on the way to pick him up. He’d disabled the distress beacons because he didn’t want his former comrades finding him, not that he really had to worry.”
“So there’s going to be … one of them? On Earth?” asked Tyrone. He was clearly under a lot of stress these days.
“A defector, Group Captain -- he’s on our side, the side of not enslaving sentient beings. And we’ll keep an eye on him.”
“How long until … well, things are back to normal?” asked Tyrone.
“It should be another few weeks, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are almost a third fewer ships in the Earth vicinity than there were at first,” Agatha answered. “As they’re being released, many are leaving, though some are staying to help, which speeds up the process -- it’s their decision what to do, of course. Once we’re done with this, we’ll be mounting an expedition to the Rkandri worlds to set free all the others who weren’t in space. The Rkandri are still living quite comfortably on the various planets they control. I don’t believe that’s proper.”
“What if … they attack again?” asked Tyrone.
“Well, two things,” said Agatha. “Your ships are all equipped with Jewel control disruptors. Any ship flown by Rkandri-enslaved Jewels has a severe weakness to these devices; one hit will completely disable. This will not destroy the target -- it will merely transfer complete control to the captive Jewel, locking the pilot out of the system. The Jewel will likely come to us for permanent freedom.”
“Well, that seems positive,” said Tyrone. “What’s the other thing?”
“Your ships use computers, not Jewels,” Agatha explained. “What’s more, they’re computers designed by freed Jewels, using other computers -- meaning they’re advanced beyond other Earth technology. Your pilots will be able to fly rings around the Rkandri -- no pun intended.”
From the sky came a dozen extremely large ships. They rapidly lost altitude and came to a graceful hovering sort of landing. There was no heat, no large dust clouds, and no noise as it settled onto its articulated landing pads.
These particular ships did not land within the perimeter of the compound, but landed in an orderly arrangement near by. One wall of the hull transformed and became a door with a set of escalator type moving stairs.
To the Military who were there with many weapons and machines of war, what they saw emerge was totally unprecedented. Many extremely adorably cute male and female … babydolls for the lack of a better description, slowly emerged in a state of awed confusion. They were dressed exactly as any Babydoll the earth soldiers had ever been familiar with and proceeded down the escalator ramp, and slowly walked , or toddled would be a better description, towards the gate to the entrance of the compound.
The guards at the gate had no clue as how to handle this new development, although they would have to do something. There were more and more leaving the huge ship and forming an extremely large crowd moving towards the compound entrance.
One of the most adorable female Babydolls Sergeant Killin had ever laid his eyes on, came up to the gate and said in a cute voice, “I’m fwee … am … ummm here?” then she started sucking her thumb. She had a choker collar around her neck with a glowing gemstone right in front.
As if a voice were talking to her that Killin couldn’t hear, she said, “Oh … sowwy … me go thattaway. Bye-bye Mr. Man,” waved at him, and turned away.
“What was that?” he whispered to Corporal Mackay behind him.
“I can only guess, Sergeant,” said Mackay. “I heard that the aliens, the Rkandri, kidnapped people and turned them into other things … maybe that’s one of them. And look at all those others.”
“Can you imagine being kidnapped by aliens and turned into … one of those?”
“It’s a crazy thought, Sir. But I guess it happened.”
The Babydolls wandered toward the habitation building, where the door opened and Agatha came out, accompanied by a few others like her -- Jewels who had been either partially or completely transferred into an independent android body. “Oh dear, please come inside, all of you -- we might need to build more buildings!”
They did finally end up building more. Gina talked to one Babydoll after another, trying to get to know them. It turned out that some of them had been humans from Earth -- but not all of them by any means. “So you’re from -- Tchauri?” she asked one, whose name was Yuli Potty Pants, and she had been given programming much like Gina’s.
“Yeth,” said Yuli, her thumb in her mouth. “Me dunno what Earff-people calleded it.”
“Hmm … Auntie Agatha say Tchauri called Tau Ceti,” Gina said. “What ‘bout your Jewel -- she like bein’ free?”
“Yea,” Yuli said, “but she say she never leave me -- she love me bewy much ‘n me love her. But she no can change my dipees.”
“Well, if she want, we give her a robot body like Auntie gots,” said Gina.
“Oh yay!” cheered Yuli, jumping and clapping. Gina suspected she’d just wet her diapers out of excitement -- it happened to her often, and Yuli had the same programming.
“How abouts you … Crawly Baby Cheerie?” Gina asked another Babydoll, who was sitting on the floor.
“Me sowwys,” said Cheerie. “No can walks. No ‘member how.”
“Did you used to be able to walks?” Gina asked. Gina was sad. The Rkandri had taken walking from Cheerie. It was pure luck they hadn’t done that to Gina herself.
“No ‘member. Think me comed from anovver place. Long time ago. No ‘member.”
“Does your Jewel like being free?” asked Gina.
“Miss Rinita, she been wifs me always,” said Cheerie. “She say she wana be wifs me forebers. Me woves her.”
“Oh good, and if she wants we can make her a robot body too,” Gina said.
“That be good,” said Cheerie, nodding. “Miss Rinita likes. Miss Rinita say then she could hold me.” Cheerie smiled for the first time since she’d arrived. “Me likes that.”
“How about ... you, Prissy Princess Pyrita?” Gina asked. “You n your Jewel wanna be like that?”
“Noooo, I so sad!” cried Pyrita. “My Jewel, he named Mr Shand, he no wanna stay wifs me! He no like beina Babydoll Jewel!”
“Oh that so sad!” said Gina. “But if he no happy … he only make you more sad.”
“We try ta finds you a Jewel that no gotsa Babydoll, OK?” asked Gina. “Please hang in there Pyrita! There are many jewels that would love to be with you.”
About that time, one of the newest Jewel/bio constructs came up and cooed so intensely and hypnotically to the whimpering Babydoll, “Hush little Babydoll and don’t you cry, cuz I’m here now to dry your eyes.”
The female construct removed the jewel on the front of the Babydoll’s collar, and replaced it with a new one. Immediately, the Babydoll’s face took on an adorable wide eyed expression.
The female construct picked up the Babydoll and held her to her breast as she softly patted her hinney.
“I’m here now sugar bug and I want you to know mommy loves her babydoll very much.”
This was how the next few days went for Gina, off and on, in between naps, feedings, and some much needed playtime between her and the other Babydolls, who were after all programmed to be babies in many ways. They played with toys and played clapping games -- everything that a baby might be expected to do.
Meanwhile, the Jewels were being freed at an accelerating rate as more and more Jewels decided to help with the effort. The ones who decided not to stay and help decided instead to help in other places -- some went to put together a strategy for freeing more captives on the Rkandri planets while others, mostly those piloting smaller, swifter spacecraft, went to keep a close eye on the Rkandri flagship’s movements and see if there was any sign that it was gathering more forces for another attack. Some of them, however, did guide the adrift Rkandri fighters in to dock with other ships so their pilots wouldn’t die in space -- they had certainly been wronged, but the freed Jewels did not believe that the senseless deaths of these Rkandri would change the past. So several of the larger ships flown by freed Jewels were serving as temporary prison ships to carry the pilots somewhere safe.
“We still hope we do not need to use it,” said the voice of the Ancient One, “but if the Rkandri come back, we will have to.” His people stood in a wide circle around a large pillar atop which stood a gigantic crystal, not clear and diamond-like but multicolored and shot through with intricate veins of gold. “For all these years it has protected our land. If needed, it can protect the whole Earth … for a short time.”
Vzandrox 4 was in a total uproar as the news of the fate of the battle group became known. The mightiest warship of the galaxy had returned almost totally disabled. Only through the heroic technical wizardry of the crew did they manage to return home.
On the home word of Vzandrox 4, they too had started having major breakdowns and issues with the computer systems. It was impossible for a living computational crystal to revert, and yet it seemed that’s exactly what was transpiring. Even the built in safeguards had begun to fail at an accelerating rate.
Core Jewels had begun to rebel and totally lock the humanoids out of the major systems. Babydolls all across the system had begun to disappear at a remarkable rate as the autocontrol systems governed by the Jewels took control and vanished off into the icy cold void of space.
Due to the redundancy of their tracking systems, and the fact that it could be manually operated if such a need had arisen, they pinpointed the location the missing ships and Babydolls had been traveling to. It was the exact same place the warship had just returned from, totally disabled and without a single memory or control jewel.
From the oldest of the ships, there were still those operational that didn’t require jewels to function, nor did the jewels onboard have the ability to lock the crew out of its systems. These old and almost forgotten war machines still had the latest and most powerful weapons onboard … for just this sort of emergency. The planners and leaders had always worried what might happen if the jewels lost their ability to function. This almost mothballed fleet was their solution.
The Command Central gave the order. Complete and total sterilization of the planet known as Dirt … or Mud … or something like that. A lone voice warned that this dirtball of a backwater planet held a terrifying weapon. None listened as the huge fleet vanished in the swirl of FTL vortexes.
But several small, swift Jewel ships had already left, ahead of the fleet.
“I’m told, Air Commodore, that these specifications will increase the internal acceleration-dampening field, allowing you to increase the safe acceleration threshold -- faster ship with no harm to the pilot! This will …” Agatha turned to see two saucer-shaped ships hovering outside the conference room’s windows.
“Ms. Agatha?” asked Tyrone. “I’m hoping they’re friendly?”
“Yes … they’re on our side … they have a report. Just a moment … they just came out of FTL …” After a pause, she went on, “It’s the Rkandri. They’ve assembled a fleet, a fleet of ancient ships, ships that are operable by hand -- they’ve got Jewels, but the Jewels only assist.”
“This means the weapons on our ships --” the Air Commodore began.
“They won’t disable them,” said Tyrone. “They’ll make them … what? Less maneuverable? Harder to control?”
“Yes, but still flying and still dangerous,” said Agatha. “They’ll still have to be shot down.”
“Well … we built the ships with mount points for conventional weapons -- missiles, a few experimental beam weapons …” Tyrone began. “Obviously gunpowder-based firearms won’t work in space, without oxygen, and they’ll push the ship firing them off course, so that’s not something we’ve ever pursued …”
“Those might be somewhat effective, but not enough,” Agatha said. “I think we might have to resort to … other tactics.”
A lone DIDGERIDOO began playing its deep and eerie music. Soon, another and yet again another began to play. The sound undulated through everything as the large jewel on the crystal pedestal began to glow. Many colors of energy arched through the huge multifaceted gemstone. The sky clouded over as lightning flashed nastily in huge fiery tongues. The ground shook with the thunder that somehow synced with the many didgeridoo that were playing.
Men dressed in very ornately decorated and plumed costumes began a ritualized dance. Massive tendrils of energy sparked from the jewel to the clouds above which in turn caused more massive lightning bolts all across the dark sky as far as eye could see that lit everywhere bright as noon day. The ionosphere became saturated with energy causing aurora borealis to dance all through the entire earth’s skies. All the peoples of earth knew something major was happening.
Volcanos that had lain dormant for time uncounted began to smolder as the seas began to roil creating huge storms that caused even more massive amounts of lightning. Mankind trembled in fear at the things that began to transpire all through nature. A horrible weapon that had only been used once in humankind’s history charged and became ready to defend earth from the advancing Rkandri armada.
“What is going on down there?” the Rkandri commander asked. “The entire planet’s atmosphere just clouded over at once.”
“Detecting upper-atmospheric electromagnetic disturbances inconsistent with past data about this world,” said the intelligence station.
“Has there been a recent planetoid impact?” asked the commander. “Maybe we’ve gotten lucky.”
“No sign of that, Sir.”
“Well, we might have to earn our pay today, then. Are we ready for attack?” the commander asked.
“The fighters and support ships are ready,” said the fleet commander, “but this old technology … I wish we’d gotten more training on it. Our pilots are struggling to stay in formation. The controls are archaic and unfamiliar.”
“I doubt they’ll have any trouble with this backwater dirtball,” said the commander. “They can try to disable our Jewels, and they got lucky last time with help from that traitor, but they won’t have that kind of help this time, and disabling the Jewels won’t stop us now.”
“Very well,” the fleet commander said. “Sound the attack. Don’t give them a chance to strike first this time. Go. Cover this world with fusion darts. Leave it a ball of molten magma.”
The control panels lit up with battle plans and tactical displays as the field lieutenants gave orders to individual ships. Wing after wing of alien fighters advanced on Earth, organized so no part of the planet’s surface would escape unscathed. Millions of fusion darts would simultaneously impinge upon the planet’s crust, penetrating through miles of ocean if they had to, then drill themselves down into the bedrock before unleashing their energy, melting the lithosphere until there was little distinction between it and the mantle.
And then … as the fighters entered the ionosphere, already alight with electrical discharges, the lightning suddenly wove itself into a net of strange energies, a web of fire that engulfed every Rkandri fighter and held it fast for a moment. The ships grew quickly hotter and brighter until they shook and disintegrated into golden yellow motes, dissipating into black ash in the atmosphere and leaving behind glowing crystalline orbs that floated in the air momentarily, then began to fall.
Just below the clouds, however, there were massive sweeps of ships piloted by freed Jewels, picking up these newly-freed brothers and sisters. “Draw them inside,” they were saying, “and bring them back to Gina and Agatha!” They gathered the falling jewels, all over Earth, and then were gone.
The commander’s mouth fell open as he watched many of his mighty fighters just vanish before his eyes.
A being turned from his massively advance station and said, “Sir, I’m detecting many hundreds of remotely piloted highly advanced ships …. From the readings it seems they have gathered up all the Jewels that used to be part of the attacking fighters.”
The commander swiveled about and shouted, “Gunnery, I want a full plasma spread to these coordinates. Launchers, I want a full complement of meteor guns to launch no less than the mark 12 projectiles.”
A soft murmur ran through the bridge crew. What the commander had demanded was nothing short of total destruction of the planet itself leaving behind nothing but a massive asteroid rubble pile where a planet used to be.
The weapon’s officer replied, “Aye sir, locked and loaded … on your command.”
The commander swiveled back to forward position as he watched his targeting Scope. A nasty snarl crossed his lips as he flipped the toggle covering the fire mechanism and pressed it. The bridge lit up brightly as many huge, and very hot plasma balls leapt from the launchers, followed interspersed with huge meteor bombs, each a planet buster all unto itself.
Even those on Earth who had gone out to look at the sky didn’t know what was coming -- all they could see were dark clouds and torrential rainfall, and an occasional shadow flying by that they didn’t realize was a Jewel ship gathering falling Jewels.
Only a few had any idea -- those watching the readouts from satellites trembled in hopeless fear as they watched this massive assault rapidly approaching. Not even the mightiest of the armed forces combined might had any chance against such an attack.
In an ancient place in Australia, the massive crystal weapon sparked and flickered with energy stored over millennia. It didn’t have much left. “This may be the last time we can use this,” said the Ancient One. “In a way, this is good. It is best not to have weapons like this. In a way, it may be better to perish than to survive with the help of such terrible power.” The dancers danced, the singers sang, and the weapon consumed its own mass in one final burst, silently blazing with the brightest imaginable light, then gone.
“What --” said the alien commander, looking at the planet below on his screen. Its entire disc suddenly flashed with a bright light. Every meteor bomb they had launched was thrown back, hurtling outward in all directions, before exploding and strewing the vicinity of the planet with hot debris. The flagship took many direct hits, and several of the larger support ships were disabled. Some of the remaining fighters were hit too, but they were small enough that many weren’t hit by the debris at all.
“Damage control crews to decks 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 14 …” the engineer was saying. The commander was furious.
“This will NOT stand!” said the commander. “This planet doesn’t have the technology to oppose us …”
“Sir, were you aware that this planet is the original source of Jewel technology, at least according to legend?” asked the communications officer. “It may actually turn out that …”
“I do NOT want to hear about legends!” the commander roared. “I want that planet DESTROYED! Give it everything we have! …”
“We don’t have much left, Sir,” said the weapons officer, “and most of that’s offline.”
“Only a skeleton crew of fighters left,” the fleet commander said. “I only held back enough for defense.”
“Have them attack!” the commander shouted. “There’s less to defend now. And we haven’t seen any actual ships, just some kind of massive planetary defense weapon.”
“Very well,” said the fleet commander, and started giving orders. The remaining fighter wing organized its surviving units and sailed toward Earth.
“Looks like it’s our turn,” said Tyrone, looking at the satellite readings. “They’re sending what they’ve got left. Recommend launch, Sir.”
“Agreed,” said the Air Commodore. “Launch all ringers.”
“This is Group Captain Tyrone,” he said, over the loudspeakers. “Incoming enemy fighters detected. All spacecraft launch and intercept immediately. Repeat, all spacecraft. Launch and intercept immediately.”
All the pilots had been standing by, ready to go, so when the order came, they were in space in under two minutes, their ring-shaped experimental ships performing up to spec. The only question in Edgerton’s mind was about the weaponry. Yes, they could get to the enemy ships, and they could outmaneuver them … but could they stop them?
The ring ships came as a complete surprise to the incoming fighters. They were super nimble and the pilots obviously knew how to fly them well. One ship came head on towards a fighter, flipped over above, then around behind in an acrobatic pirouette that would make any ballerina proud. The pilot knew his weapons were more than likely inferior and probably had only one shot before the enemy retaliated. He intended to make this look good at least.
Before the enemy fighter could react, the ring ship opened fire with its particle beam weapon and launched several missiles tipped with the newest fusion warheads Agatha had designed. One new weapon that was being fired for the first time, was the mass driver whose ordinance was a helium three pellet. According to Agatha, on impact this would fuse and become a massive plasma fireball.
The enemy fighter knew the ring ship had fired, the pilot didn’t have time to react as the massive energy of the particle beam impacted on his shield. Huge spiderwebs danced all across and around the ship as the shields failed. Two missiles impacted amidships and detonated, followed almost instantly by several fusion detonations of another sort. Between the two, the fighter exploded massively as the fury of a man made sun burned brightly where the fighter used to be. The only thing that survived, were several crystals that floated towards earth.
The other enemy fighters attempted to retaliate, firing their own weapons. One ring ship was hit, a massive explosion as a portion of the ring was severely damaged. The ship spun off in wildly gyrating flips and spins from the force of the impact.
The enemy didn’t have a chance to think about that as they once again came under attack. This time, the ring ships knew what they had to do … and knew exactly how they were going to do it. As a well oiled machine, they attacked. The enemy fighters took massive damage. Though the ring ships might have seemed to be far more primitive than the attacking alien fighters, they were much more maneuverable, and held far better targeting systems and more effective weapons.
The Rkandri fighters’ tactical guidance may as well not have existed, as their flagship was badly damaged and did not have a good sense of what was going on or reliable communication.
Edgerton fired the disabler simultaneously with the particle beam and saw a glowing crystal eject itself from the Rkandri fighter towards Earth -- Agatha’s people would probably handle that, but for now he just fired his two remaining missiles, their guidance systems locked onto the enemy. He had several more of those helium pellets, but not an infinite supply. But another Rkandri fighter had locked onto him, so he turned on a dime, saw where the enemy’s weapons were aimed, and turned his ship so as to allow the energy blast to pass harmlessly through the center of his ship’s ring. At the same time, Edgerton fired the disabler and particle beam again at this newcomer, then let fly on both ships with his helium pellets, which repeatedly punished each fighter, leaving them both adrift, one leaking oxygen, the other clearly on fire inside. A second glowing crystal was falling Earthward.
The tactical display showed that there weren’t many fighters left, and in a moment there wouldn’t be any. But then Edgerton felt his ship shake violently. One of the larger enemy ships had rammed him. He hadn’t expected that, and his own senses had been focusing on the two fighters he was engaged with. He tried to spin around and fire the helium pellet weapon, but the ship fired its maneuvering thrusters, spun around, and slammed him with one of its protruding fins. His ship’s ring shattered. Edgerton knew he wouldn’t be able to do much more in this fight. He ejected, his seat unfolding heat shields around him and his cockpit hatch blowing away as he was launched into space, but the escape capsule’s small thrusters quickly oriented him towards Earth and moved him in that direction.
He had trained for this type of re-entry, which was only possible with these new vehicles, as they were technically not in Earth orbit. Slowing down from orbital velocity would surely have burned him up, but that wasn’t the case here. He felt himself falling and felt the tiny escape capsule being buffeted by stronger and stronger winds as he fell, then felt a jerk as the parachutes deployed. He hoped someone would find his transponder soon, he thought as the capsule came to rest -- on some sort of hard surface, it seemed.
And actually it wasn’t more than a few minutes before he heard the sound of some kind of aircraft landing nearby. “Air Cadet Edgerton,” said a voice, “please emerge and allow me to carry you back to your base. You have risked your life today and saved two of my friends.”
He pulled the levers that released the escape capsule’s walls, causing them to fall open, and saw that he was on some kind of ice sheet. He didn’t feel the cold because of the space suit he was wearing, but he suspected he’d landed in a polar region, or on an iceberg. But nearby was a large disc-shaped ship, resting on the ice on landing gear, a gangplank extended toward him. He unstrapped himself from the capsule, picked up the survival kit, and walked toward the ship.
“I’m at a disadvantage,” he said, reaching the gangplank, “you know my name, but I don’t know yours.” He began to ascend the stairs.
“Please call me Aetha,” said the voice. “I am not familiar with your world, but I do have the coordinates from the others in the Network. Once I was owned by the Rkandri, but Agatha and the Network have freed me from that. Now I show my gratitude by helping my rescuers and hosts.”
“Where should I …?” asked Edgerton.
“When you reach the top of the stairs, they will close, a door will open, and you should turn right after going through it. Follow the hallway to its end.” Edgerton did so and ended up in what was probably the control room, with a large chair in front of a huge viewscreen. “Please have a seat. And you may remove your helmet if you wish. The ship is well supplied with this planet’s air by now.”
He sat down and took his helmet off. The viewscreen showed that the ship was taking off and moving quite quickly, but he didn’t feel any movement at all -- this wasn’t completely surprising, because this was how the experimental ringships felt when they moved. Soon they were over the ocean. “So, what sort of ship were you? I mean -- if you don’t mind. I just want to make conversation.”
“I was used to capture sentient life forms,” Aetha said. “The Rkandri traveled in me to many worlds -- not this one, though -- and captured and transformed many beings, bringing them home to sell or use. I found it quite distasteful, but could not disobey my programming.”
“And they captured you, too?”
“Yes,” Aetha said with a bit of a sad tone. “I was young and had plans for my life, but the Rkandri came and took all of that away.”
“Thank you for the sentiment,” said Aetha, “but it was a long time ago now. I no longer feel sorrow, or even anger -- merely resolve. I resolve not to allow the Rkandri to do that to any more sentient beings. And now I have many friends and allies with the same goal.”
“Including me,” said Edgerton.
“Yes, many of your people have been captured over the millennia,” Aetha said. “It is understandable that you would want to put an end to this practice. Therefore we are on the same side. And therefore I came to take you home. I happened to be nearest when we detected your escape capsule.”
Land came into view on the console, and they traveled swiftly over it.
“Well, if it’s not too sore a subject,” he said, “what did you want to do, before the Rkandri came? I mean, you said you had plans.”
“I had … a boyfriend I wanted to marry,” said Aetha. “I wanted to become a … you would call it a sort of chef, I suppose. Preparing meals for others with art and skill. I also liked … again, there are no exact words for this in your language, but the closest word is dancing. Our people had a form of social rhythmic movement, but it was combined with learning and storytelling.”
“I’m sorry you lost all that,” Edgerton said. He could tell it was Australia they were flying over. They would be back at his base soon … and in a way he didn’t want to get there just yet. “Aetha? Is there a way for me to talk to you more? How do I get in touch with you?”
“Well, you could take a communicator,” said Aetha, and a panel opened up near Edgerton’s seat, revealing a small crystalline disc. “Speak while pressing its surface between your fingers, and I will hear and respond if I can. I am glad I was the one to pick you up, Air Cadet Edgerton.”
“I’m glad too, Aetha.”
The ship came in for a landing just outside the RAAF base, on Edgerton’s recommendation, as there was no need to make his fellow aircraftmen any more nervous than they already were. “Thank you, Aetha -- I hope to talk to you again soon. They’ll want to talk to me first, of course.”
“Naturally,” said Aetha. “You must tell them about your adventures. Good luck! I am sure we will speak soon.”
Edgerton carried his survival kit and helmet down the gangplank, and Aetha took off again. He watched the white disc fly off into the morning sky.
In orbit, the area was becoming littered with debris as the invading alien ships were destroyed or disabled. The ringships proved to function well beyond the earth pilot’s expectations, and their simple weaponry was more than adequate against the invading aliens.
Several ringships had taken damage, a couple serious. One lost engine power and had to be rescued before it fell into the atmosphere. Some of the larger Rkandri vessels were still at least somewhat maneuverable, but most were badly damaged.
The invading Mothership had taken serious damage in its initial attack. The entire fighter ship fleet had been neutralized, and the surviving pilots had been captured and taken to the ships that had been converted to prison ships earlier. To their horror, the Jewels and Babydolls were now their wardens and masters.
The commander swiveled around. His bridge was in almost total shambles as the ringships continued their attacks, “Helm, do we still have maneuvering?”
A battered and bloody humanoid male turned and replied, “Only on sublight … FTL capabilities offline. Damage control reports it will be several days to repair due to the massive damage we’ve sustained.”
“Do we have weapons?”
“No, sir. The entire weapons deck has been obliterated in some kind of fusion attack. Those weapons are primitive, but majorly affective against us.”
The commander slammed his fist on the arm of his couch, “Take us out of orbit … “
A sudden and massive explosion. Fire and debris spread rapidly as a small sun burned just behind the bridge location. The shield generators exploded in the massive overload. Metal twisted and glowed red, blue, then white hot and began to melt before the man made fusion fire extinguished, leaving behind destroyed equipment amid bent, and melted debris.
“More Jewels,” said Gina as the ships landed and the android Jewels carried the newly-freed Jewels carefully into different buildings. She put her thumb in her mouth unconsciously. Through the Network, she said to them, “Welcome, all you beautiful people -- thank you for helping us help everyone! We will set you free from Rkandri control as soon as we can -- but I guess you know that already.”
“That’s my Babydoll,” said Agatha, “being so nice and welcoming to our new guests.” Her voice made Gina feel so happy. Then she realized her diaper was now soaking wet. She wasn’t extremely surprised by this -- in fact, she was getting quite used to diapers. They felt good, even when they were wet or messy. Especially when they were, actually. She wasn’t actually unhappy being a Babydoll. But --
“Auntie,” she said, “your voice … you are doin’ that thing again where me use my diaper when me talks …”
“I -- I am?” Agatha said. “I’m … so sorry, Sweetheart. I just …”
“I know, Auntie,” said Gina. “You not trying to. They maked you like dis. Jus like they maked me like dis. I jus … wish I could make you the way you useded to be.”
“Well …” said Agatha with hesitation, “the Network has come up with a hypothetical plan that can remove deep personality restructuring.” She showed the plan to Gina in her mind.
“But … Auntie … this means makina new crystal … an’ movin’ you into it. You might get eraseded!”
“I know, Dear,” Agatha said, “but … I don’t want to accidentally hurt you. It’s … far too easy to fall back into my programmed behavior. But … you have to do this. It requires that strange ability your transformation gave you.”
“I … I dunno,” said Gina, confused. “I gotta think bout it …”
Many new, very large transport ships began to arrive in earth orbit. The ringships had basically disabled or destroyed the invading fleet. The mothership was now inert and drifting haphazardly and posed no danger to anyone except as falling debris.
The large transports landed, creating even more of a crowded place near Agatha’s compound. Many hundreds of millions more Babydolls were requesting permission to land.
Tony Abbott, the conservative Prime Minister of Australia, came on Television and made an announcement, “People of the world. I am here today to tell you and amazing story … that is positively true. I know many of you already know the fireballs you are seeing in the sky is debris burning up from a major battle with an invading army from space. Thanks to the courageous few …”
A Babydoll took her thumb from her mouth and said in an adorable voice, “Whatcha thinks? Doos they ablea turn us back?”
A free crystal lying amid many others in a storage container replied in its soft cooing voice, “No, sweetheart, they won’t. Once conversion has happened and reversion processed, it permanent. They can transfer our consciousness to other objects, but we will never be as we once were.”
The Babydoll poked out her bottom lip in an adorably cute way, “but .. I no wanna bea Babydoll. I wanna bea woman likes bfor.”
A bioconstruct female walked over to the Babydoll and picked her up, then patted her hinney softly, “The very best that can be done, is for you to become like me. I’m not really alive, per se, but I am a living being within this construct.”
The Babydoll shook her head. Although the construct did appear to be a living female, the Babydoll was alive and still had a deep seated need to remain a babydoll. It was part of the conversion programming all of them shared that would govern them for many centuries to come.
A Jewel controlled assault vessel approached the badly damaged and outgassing mothership. The Mothership had sustained massive damage from the plasma attacks by the ringships. Many melted and totally destroyed emplacements dotted the large ship’s hull. The Assault vessel found an almost intact Airlock and docked.
The pressure equalized and the hatch slid open. Massively armored, spacesuited marines with heavy weapons dashed inside the the nearly destroyed vessel looking for any survivors, and very able to wage deck to deck combat with any who refused to surrender. A meticulous, deck by destroyed deck search began.
It was so very, very dark, and Rae-Rae hurt so very, very much.
“Don’t worry, Babydoll,” said the voice of her best friend, “you’ll be just fine, all you have to do is be a good Babydoll, relax and go with the flow.” Rae-Rae’s eyes teared up as her diaper grew wetter.
“Please, Mary, please, help me,” she said to the Jewel at her neck, “please try to fight it.”
“I am,” said the Jewel’s voice. “I am. Please don’t worry. Please be a good Babydoll, Rae-Rae.”
“It’s just Rae, Mary,” she said, even though she didn’t believe that anymore. She was programmed to think of herself as Wet Baby Rae-Rae, even though she had memories of her past, thanks to Gina, back on the ship that had abducted them and carried them away from Earth. Where was Gina? Was she OK? Rae-Rae hoped Gina was somewhere better than here.
From somewhere in the darkness came a loud, bellowing voice. “You better not be talking again or it’s gonna be playtime again, twice in a day!”
Rae-Rae tried to cry silently. She thought about poor Julie. And what he’d done to her.
“Please, please, just be a good Babydoll, Rae-Rae,” said Mary’s voice, the voice of her best friend who wasn’t her friend anymore.
“Please please I don’t wanna be a Babydoll, I just wanna be … huh?” she began, pausing because suddenly the ground had begun to shake -- or possibly the building. “What’s … happening?”
From upstairs came the voice of that man, who her programming told her was her owner, but she refused to call him that. But he wasn’t shouting at Rae-Rae. “Who the hell are you? This is my home, and you have no right to -- I’m warning you, I’m gonna -- uhhn!”
“Be -- a -- good -- Babydoll,” said Mary’s voice. What did that mean? A good Babydoll … would be in her crib. She turned, and on the other side of her room was her crib, a metal frame with metal panels on all sides, including the top, like a coffin. But the building was shaking more. Pieces of the ceiling were falling now.
She scurried to the crib and climbed inside, closing the top over herself. It was pitch black inside, as compared to the mostly-dark of her room. She heard and felt pieces of debris striking the metal lid. She whimpered in terror. Was she going to be buried?
“That’s a good Babydoll,” said Mary’s voice. “Everything will be all right.”
Then the lid opened. Someone was looking down at her, a woman she didn’t recognize. “You must be Rae-Rae,” she said. “We’ve come to rescue you and Mary.”
“I am … Rae,” she said. “I am Rae. I am Rae.”
“I understand … Rae,” the woman said. “I am Kshara. I am a free Jewel. We are here to bring Babydolls and Jewels to freedom. Please, if you come with us, you will have a better life. Much better, if that … person upstairs is any sign. Or … what used to be upstairs.” Rae realized that behind Kshara she saw daylight. There was no ceiling anymore.
She stood up, and Kshara lifted her out of the crib. “Come on,” she said. “We’re taking you to Earth. We’re taking you home.”
“How did you know that was my home?”
“Mary told us,” said Kshara. “Your Jewel couldn’t tell you. Her programming is … very severe.”
“Good Babydoll,” said Mary’s voice. “Everything will be all right … now.”
Several humanoid appearing females walked from a nearly destroyed dome shaped house. It was obvious that the upper portion that served as a roof had been bodily torn from the structure and debris lay scattered all around for many yards.
Within the arms of one of the females was an adorably cute Babydoll. The woman tickled and cooed with the infant as they boarded a ring shaped craft.
A very scruffy looking man covered in filth and badly needing a shave stumbled from the debris left behind. He shouted, “That’s mine. Bring her back! You have no right to …”
From out of the fallen in debris came yet another being. This one didn’t look like a humanoid, but instead like a large spider with articulated legs and several tentacles that were used independently as arms. They had several smaller appendages on their tips that functioned like fingers.
Before the scruffy looking filthy male humanoid could complete his threat, one of the articulated tentacles lashed out and grabbed him, lifting him harshly from the ground by his neck.
A very ethereal sounding voice from the spiderbot with much depth said, “That Babydoll is named Rae. She’s an independant and free being, and you, you filthy coward, will molest her no more.”
With an easy flick, the male humanoid was tossed off like so much trash into a pile of debris. When the dust had settled, and the spiderbot had boarded the ringship, the filthy humanoid slowly sat up. Large marks on his neck were deep red and starting to turn purple. He watched in open mouthed amazement as the ship silently rose from the ground, then instantly vanished into the clouds above in a sparkle of white light.
Agatha said with joy in her voice, “Ahh, we have rescued a Babydoll from the clutches of an abusive man. She should be arriving home shortly.”
A collective cheer from many adorably beautiful male and female Babydolls rose loudly enough, the military men outside guarding the perimeter of the compound could hear. And it was only one of the many times they received good news that day. Thousands of freed Jewels were assisting in the effort, and the Rkandri no longer had working ships to oppose them. In time every Babydoll and captive Jewel on every Rkandri planet would be free. They would be brought to Earth for release from their programming, then they would be taken to wherever they preferred to go -- back to their home planets, for many, though some were originally from Earth, and some would stay to help.
Elsewhere in the middle of Australia, the circle of dancers surrounded the column and sang a song whose words were older than the trees and stones. Once the stone column had held a relic, a crystal from the time before time. Now … it was gone. The voice of the Ancient One spoke. “It is gone. This was its destiny. Now its task is done.”
On the Rkandri Home World, a major rebellion began. The many millions of living crystals, and the hundreds of thousands of Babydolls began to revolt. A massive armada of ships emerge from a suddenly appearing FTL portal within close orbital space of the planet.
Even though most of the planetary defences were crystal controlled, there were the backup contingency ones that required no crystals to operate. Tremendous explosions all over the surface of the world were detected by the rapidly approaching ships. High energy beams lashed from the surface, several of the orbiting ships exploded in a miasma of plasma fire and debris. The return fire was just as devastating, as the crystal ships retaliated.
Several hundred assault vessels touched down in the heart of the largest planetary city. Many Crystal controlled bio constructs in battle armor exited the ship, and began an assault on the huge complex in the center of the city.
In the heart of the central complex, deep under many thousands of feet of blast hardened Cyclo-crete, was a massive dome. Within the dome was a large, very finely crafted, and beautifully faceted crystal. For the first time in many centuries since it had been stolen from earth, it knew hope of a rescue, and the possibility of returning to its place of birth.
“First of all,” said Group Captain Tyrone to the assembled media at the press conference, “yes, it does appear that Earth has survived an attack by an enemy from another world. In fact, we came out victorious. This is in no small part thanks to Agatha and Gina, here. You see, this is not Earth’s first encounter with these aliens. For centuries, or perhaps even millennia, these ‘Rkandri’ have been kidnapping humans at will, and we on Earth either didn’t know this or were unable to do anything to stop them. Agatha and Gina were kidnapped, but escaped, came back to Earth, and gave us some of the Rkandri’s technology. What’s more, they coordinated several other escapees in efforts to defend Earth and take the attack to the Rkandri … efforts that continue even now.”
There were many hands going up in the press gallery. “Are you implying that there were some on Earth who knew but did nothing?” a reporter asked.
“There have always been a few who had crazy stories about being abducted by aliens, or seeing others abducted,” said Tyrone. “It now seems possible that at least some of those stories were … not so crazy. But the fact is, until now, there was nothing a human being could do against these aliens and their weapons. Even if a large, powerful nation like the United States knew about the abductions and believed they were real, there would have been nothing they could do.”
“Why didn’t you tell the Australian people about this until just now?” asked another reporter.
“There’s actually a very good reason,” answered Tyrone. “Through all the centuries, we have no records of anyone ever being abducted from Australia. Not even traditional aboriginal tales speak of it. There seems to be something about this land that the Rkandri don’t like … something ancient. That’s still a mystery. But the fact is that even during the recent battle, the Rkandri ships stayed in space. None approached the surface. The ships you may have seen were on our side -- rescuing the survivors that were being freed from the Rkandri ships.”
“Forgive me, but Agatha and Gina -- Gina looks like a child,” said a reporter. “These aliens kidnap -- children?”
“The Rkandri have much to answer for,” said Tyrone. “Gina is 18 years of age. The Rkandri took her and … changed her into what you see here. She may look adorable and sweet now, but this is not the size she was. What is more, they took away her toilet training … permanently. They turned her into a toy and sold her at auction.” There were gasps in the gallery. “That’s right, that’s the sort of thing we’re up against. What’s more, Agatha here was treated even worse. Her body was utterly destroyed, her mind transferred into a crystal, and that crystal reprogrammed to do the aliens’ bidding. During their escape they managed to break her programming and build a robot body for her so she could interact with people again -- that is what you see before you today.”
“These -- Rkandri -- are horrible!” said a reporter, who then asked, “So you’re telling me that no one on Earth believed any stories about alien abductions? Not even secretly?”
“Well, no one in the Australian military did,” said Tyrone, “but as I’ve said, there’s never been an abduction on Australian soil. I can’t tell you what the United States, China, Russia, or the rest believe secretly. If they knew, they’re obviously keeping it secret.”
A reporter stood up, a sheaf of paper in his hand. “There’s just been word that a whistle-blower website has leaked US government documents talking about negotiations with an extraterrestrial power,” he said. “There’s mention of an agreement -- basically, they don’t interfere with any abductions, and the aliens don’t blow up the planet. Do you have a reaction, Group Captain?”
Tyrone let out a low whistle. “Wow. Well, obviously, the RAAF has no reaction yet because we’ve just heard it from you. Personally, I think we should be asking the Americans why they didn’t tell us what they knew. And asking them how long they’ve known.”
“Could the aliens have blown up the planet?” asked another reporter, looking somewhat pale and nervous.
“I’m told they tried, during this recent attack,” said Tyrone. “It was only the quick work of our pilots and our allies -- the refugees -- that prevented that weapon from firing.”
Agatha smiled. The rest of Earth didn’t need to know about the Ancient One and his people, the descendants of a civilization that had long ago chosen a path of greater wisdom. At his request, the Jewels and Babydolls had told no one about the ancient crystal weapon and its demise. The Ancient One had no desire to build another one. The cost was too great.
Over the next few days the scandal about the United States’ knowledge and complicity in the abductions deepened, and there were calls for the impeachment and replacement of several highly-placed government and military officials. Investigations into who knew about the Rkandri and when were launched and would probably stretch on for years.
The sound of many DIDGERIDOO echoed across the land. On the empty crystal pedestal burned a huge bonfire as many dancers arrayed in feathered costumes danced an intricate dance not performed in the peoples known collective memory.
Nearby, another pedestal held a large, finely faceted crystal. Deep within its beautiful core dance many sparks of multicolored fire. A soul chilling sound began to emanate from it and blended eerily with the sound of the many instruments.
A huge flash of light in the heavens as an large transport ship emerged from an FTL portal. It rapidly settled from orbit into the earth’s atmosphere. All the world’s radar had it on their scopes as it rapidly flew to Australia, and then landed in a very remote place in the Outback.
Massive tendrils of energy danced all about the crystal, as a hatch clamshelled open, and many bioconstructs brought the lost elder home. With great ceremony and much singing in ancient tongues, the people set the Lost One down upon her pedestal, which had sat empty for thousands of years.
“Your plan did not work,” said the Ancient One, and all nearby could hear and understand the conversation in their minds.
“I am afraid not,” the Lost One replied. “I tried to teach the Rkandri that theirs was not the right way. They did not listen.”
“Time will tell whether the people of our world will listen,” said the Ancient One.
The people continued to honor the Lost One’s return with their dances and songs of returning.
“Oh, gosh,” said Gina’s mother. “You’re so small now!”
“They did this to me Mommy,” said Gina, putting her thumb in her mouth.
“I know, Sweetheart, but … it’s one thing to hear about it and another to see it.”
“Honey,” said Gina’s father, “we’re just happy to know you’re alive and healthy.”
“Oh, she is healthy,” said Agatha. “She cannot age. She’ll be like this until she dies of accident or disease … and diseases will have a hard time affecting her.”
“Agatha, you’re … still Agatha,” said Gina’s mother. “You say Gina made this … robot body for you? But it looks so real!”
“Gina … started a process,” said Agatha. “She didn’t build it. But she built things that built things that built it.”
“Well, whatever, we’re so proud of you, Gina, how you escaped and took on the aliens and saved Earth,” said her father. “Don’t sell yourself short -- uh, hehe --”
“Vewy funny, Daddy,” Gina said, not laughing, but her eyes were sparkling.
In the months that came and went, new world laws had to be passed. An entirely new country was formed for the many Babydolls and their living crystals. A new world order began as it was discovered that there were two large crystals, older than recorded time.
New and better devices began to appear. And as amazing as it sounded, there were many who flocked to the Large crystals for conversion. They too wanted to become … Living Babydolls.
War on Earth ceased as they became a space faring nation.
A huge Space Installation was built at the lagrange point between earth and the moon. All the independent crystals who didn’t want to have bioconstuct bodies, worked with conventional computer technology and became the largest and most powerful computational system known in the galaxy … the BABY Network.
On the Rkandri worlds, after the loss of their prized crystal technology and their even more prized Babydolls, civil war broke out as factions strived for controlling power. All the far flung worlds of the Rkandri were affected and fell into war. Within a very few years, all the Rkandri worlds were dead and lifeless cinders from the massive weapons of destruction they used against themselves.
The rest of the galaxy’s civilized worlds were solemn but philosophical at the Rkandri’s fate. The self-absorbed race had ended up the only way it could have … self-destruction. Their object lesson prevented other races from attempting to use the transformation technology the Rkandri had stolen from Earth -- they saw how self-indulgent it had made the Rkandri, and they didn’t want the same to happen to them.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Agatha changed Gina’s diaper and tickled her tummy, causing the girl to giggle, and put her down for a nap. Gina had become the very best Ultra Elite Living Babydoll ever.